2017 Lighting Clearance Sales – Save Up to 85%

Did you know that one of the best times to purchase a new lighting fixture is in January? Just like car dealers, lighting manufacturers typically start to make way for new inventory for the coming year – at the end of the old year. This creates a natural push to rid warehouses of older models that might not have sold very well in the previous year. One can find outstanding bargains when manufacturers race to clear space for fresh new designs that they are anxious to sell!

The irony of these great sales is that some really beautiful and very expensive fixtures end up going for rock bottom prices – sometimes up to 85% off! These sales are called ‘clearance sales’, because that’s exactly what the manufacturers are doing – clearing their buildings of products they no longer want to house.

It’s been our experience that sometimes a stunning design or collection is put on clearance simply because it was originally thought to be a best seller. Then over time, the fixture failed to produce adequate sales numbers. Sometimes a design just won’t sell no matter how much is it promoted. And these low volume selling designs can actually be quite elaborate and beautiful. If one shops though the clearance sales – a true gem can often be found. Sometimes it can take a little longer to peruse through the clearance racks – but it is so worth it to do so! Elitefixtures.com has three sales sections where you can find great products at bargain prices…

MONTHLY PROMO’S – There are ‘sales and promotions’ that are dictated by the manufacturers on a month to month basis. Typically, a manufacturer will issue to us a count of sku#’s that they have decided to let go on sale. These are normally priced products that they will temporarily lower price-wise for a 30 day period; with the use of a coupon code offered. Sometimes they’ll simply allow us to lower the price on certain marked items for a designated period of time. One should always check the general sales and promotions tab first to see if there is a favorite brand that might be having a great and ‘current promotion’ going on. With over 100 manufacturers on board – there is always a very wide range of fixtures to choose from.

OPEN BOX SALES – There are also ‘open box’ sales. Though there is not always a huge selection of these items available, sometimes, by just clicking on the Open Box link for a ‘quick see’; that one tiny action can land you a really great bargain that you didn’t expect. Open Box items are items that are brand new, never installed, but the packaging may have been opened for various reasons. If you don’t mind that it’s not a brand new box, you can get a great price on a fixture.

CLEARANCE SALES – are always ongoing because we house over 100 manufacturers on site. These clearance items are usually soon-to-be-discontinued items that manufacturers just want to push out of their factories. So if you choose a fixture that has several shade covers, as in a vanity with four bulbs; it would be a wise idea to inquire about purchasing at least one extra shade just in case one breaks a few years from now. Though a fixture can last a decade or longer, most often it is a shade or a diffuser that gets accidentally shattered while cleaning it. Use your smarts and make the ‘extra shade’ purchase in that case. Then you won’t go through the headache of realizing that you can’t find a replacement shade ANYWHERE online, because it was discontinued 2 years prior! Inquire about additional shades or bulbs that you think you may need and make the purchase while the manufacturer still has some of them in inventory!

Sales are great any way you cut the cake. Everybody loves a sale. But GREAT SALES happen when you truly pay attention! Check the product details. Make sure it’s still in stock. If the stock count shows only one left – it’s worth it to call in or chat in to make sure that ‘one’ actually still exists. Better get cracking! 2017 lighting clearance sales, where you can save up to 85% – are going on now!

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Black Friday – Functional & Fun Gifts

Black Friday is upon us and in gearing up for the best sales of the year, retail stores typically bombard consumers with sales ads online, in the mail, via email and just about everywhere anyone can look. Sometimes, the sudden influx of so many gift ideas can flood the mental senses and cause more shopper confusion than ever. One way to step aside of the glut of products on Black Friday is to re-think shopping before you even get started on the activity of it. What would be the best gift to give a friend or loved one? What products will last longer than the rest? What products are actually useful and yet gift-like? Here are a few of our suggestions for Black Friday functional and fun gifts. They may be a little out of the box, and yet when you stop to think about it….they are products that are not only fun to receive…but serve a function and will last over a long haul.

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Bowls

You might not immediately think to gift someone with a bowl….but anyone who’s walked into a Home Goods retail store, can immediately attest to the store’s consistent and stunning display of beautiful glass bowls, vases, urns and dishes. Not only are glass bowls dazzlingly beautiful, they are functional on so many levels. They can hold car keys, fruit, glass marbles, plants, candles, and just about anything you can think of that needs a container. These days glass can be crafted and melded with many different kinds of resins and colors; including natural objects, such as shells, ferns, flowers or crystals. A brilliant pop of color via glass is a wonderful way to gift those who are considered a length or two beyond personal friends or family members, such as an acquaintance or co-worker. And it’s a fun beat above the standard gift giving practice of handing over a boring ol’ bottle of wine.

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Candle holders

In the same vein as bowls and glass dishes, are candle holders. Since they come in so many styles, colors and shapes, you have quite a choice in terms of how much you want to spend. Some of the most beautiful candle holders on the market are the smallest ones that hold tea lights. Tea light candle holders can sit in a window sill, on a mantle and even on certain shelves. They can last for many years, are portable so they can be moved from room to room, including out of doors. They can virtually provide an unlimited source of ambient light – since replacement tea lights come in bags of 25, 50 and 100. One can brighten up any room space, large or small, with candles. Just be sure when selecting gifts for others – to choose a candle holder that reflects their personal taste or favorite color, not yours!

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Rugs and Pillows

Perhaps you’ve known a co-worker for many years and have had the opportunity to not only go out on occasion together, but you’ve visited each others homes as well. Perhaps you have a wife who’s closet and jewelry boxes overflow and the thought of purchasing one more clothing item might just bring the house down. If you’re on a close enough basis that you truly know your friend or partner’s personal style habits, gifting them with something that will warm up their private sanctuary space can be a hit, especially of you combo a few pieces to help re-drape or update a room. This can be a few pillows, an unusual throw rug, and a snuggle blanket with a few tea light candles thrown in. Similar to creating a bath-time gift basket, you can do the same for someone’s bedroom or den. This year don’t think in the standard, same old gift giving ways. Think creative, innovative and out-of-the-norm, and make this holiday season a much more memorable one for all your friends and loved ones!

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FAQ – Ariel Steam Showers

Ariel steam showers come in a Platinum Series F8 and F3.  This refers to the steam generator.  They are the only fully self contained free standing units in North America with a 6 thousand  kilowatt steam generator. This produces high temperature steam at a faster rate than the 3 thousand kilowatt steam generator. The 3k steam units are the normal output for a fully contained free standing unit. To assist our customers with foreknowledge of this product so that they can make a wiser decision regarding purchase, we’ve compiled some of the most commonly asked ‘features’ questions. We’ll use the Model’s DZ972F8 and DA324HF3 for reference…

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Do I need a licensed contractor to do the installation? Yes, you will need a licensed plumber and electrician.

What is Chroma-therapy lighting? It is the use of color lighting to heal the body, mind, and spirit. The colors are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

What is the material of the metal trim? Aluminum.

Where is the steam generator located? It is behind the unit towards the bottom and is built into the unit.

Where is the FM Radio on the unit and how does it work? It is controlled and located on the control panel.

Where is the speaker located? It is on the ceiling.

Does the shower have Bluetooth capability? No, but you can use Bluetooth by using an Ipod Transmitter or MP3 player.

What is the difference of whirlpool jets and air jets?   Whirlpool jets shoot water and air jets use only air. Whirlpool jets offer a high pressure, deeper massage, while the air jets offer a gentler sensation.

Can I use the rainfall shower head, handheld shower, and body jets at the same time? Due to different cities and states with water flow restrictions, the unit can only have one option running at one time.

Can I use the shower and steam at the same time? Yes.

Do I need to fill the tub up so the whirlpool jets work? Yes.

How does the whirlpool tub fill up? It fills up through its jets.

What is the material of the tub? It is acrylic with reinforced fiberglass.

What are the panels made of? The unit is glass all the way around. The unit uses glass panels, (8mm for up front and 5mm for the back panels).

Does the whirlpool come with a heater and is there an option for one? The unit does not come with a heater nor is there a option for one.

How much PSI does my house need to run the steam shower? An average household PSI of 45 is fine.

Where does the ventilation fan take the steam into? The ventilation fan is built on top of the unit and it takes the steam out of the unit and into the room.

Do I need to connect ducting from the unit directly into the ceiling? No you do not. The steam venting out through the ventilation fan leaves very little steam left when it goes through the fan.

What does the overheat protection do? The steam generator has a heating element and it boils the water. It operates at a certain temperature. If that temperature were to get to hot, there is a little breaker inside that will pop, cutting off the power to that heating element.

What is the material of the handheld shower? It is made of metal.

What is the material of the rainfall shower head? Chrome Plated over plastic.

What is the material of the body and whirlpool jets? Chrome Plated.

What material is the floor and ceiling? Teak wood (For models that apply).

Are the teak wood floors removable? Yes the shower pan and drain is underneath there. The teak wood floor can be removed for drain cleaning.

Is the teak wood flooring treated? Yes it has been treated.

What does the L or R stand for in regards to the unit? The LEFT or RIGHT stands for drain location and also what side you want your plumbing fixtures on. (See pictures for reference).

Do the units come in any other color then what’s listed or is there any customization that can be done? No they do not and no customization can be done. The units will come in either black or white.

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INSTALLATION

Do the walls need to be finished before installing the unit? Yes they do.

If something goes wrong with the unit, how do I access the back? You will need to create an access panel to get to the back. The panel should be 5 ½ feet tall and 2 ft wide. If you are unable to create an access panel, then you will have to slide the unit out. ONLY in the Model DZ972F8 – you do not need a access panel. This model you can remove the screws and take the back panel out to service it.

Does the floor have to be tiled or finished before installing the unit? Yes.

What size drain does the unit come with? 1 inch and half (1.5”).

How long is the drain assembly that comes with the unit? 2 feet long.

What type of drain comes with the unit? A Flex hose drain assembly.

How long does it take to install the unit? It depends from contractor to contractor. Anywhere from 3-6 hours from what the manufacturer has been told from past customers.

Can we switch out the drain for a different one? Yes you can install another drain.

Can we use a water softener with the unit? Yes you can. It will not affect the unit.

What is the average power consumption for the steam showers? For the steam showers that end in a F8 (they use a 6,000 watt steam generator) = 6 kw per hour.   F3 series = 3 kw per hour. ( Kilowatt)

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What is the difference between a 6k (kilowatt) and a 3k (kilowatt) steam generator?   The 6k steam generator will produce high temperature steam at a faster rate than the 3k steam generator.

How high does the temperature reach up to? 50° Celsius ( 122° Fahrenheit).

How does the steam unit’s temperature read? Celsius.

How long does the 3k steam generator take to fill up the room? Around 4 minutes.

How long does the 6k steam generator take to fill up the room? Around 1-2 minutes.

It has long been known that steam helps to  relax the body, allowing it to get rid of metabolic waste and helping to improve circulation. An investment in a steam shower can be a great way to offset daily stress and provide health benefits over the long term. For additional questions, spec sheets are available and EliteFixtures customer service reps are always on hand to assist!

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Earth & Home Decor – Interview w/Pablo Solomon

Sometimes spirit essence expressed through human form, can send out a subtle message that carries the beat of a higher resonance. Visionary work is not always a bluntly noticed thing. Evolved consciousness tends to flow within the gentler, quieter rhythms of this planet – usually for very good reason; to support stable human growth. We focus today on the husband and wife pioneer-artisan team of Beverly and Pablo Solomon. Aside from a lifelong dedication to the arts in one form or another, their work continuously emotes the messaging of our connection to Earth.

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Stone bench blended with natural stone and other Pablo Solomon sculptures.

Over many months of querying designers for natural home decor tips and suggestions, and in noting his penchant for incorporating nature into home, we sent a few special questions over to Pablo Solomon. We wanted to find out what it was like to be carving life designs out on the edge of a fence, when most others of decades past had become fascinated with polymers, plastics and other man-made creations. Blending nature into home decor can be a genuinely satisfying and creative DYI endeavor. If one has ever visited a gem or mineral show – it’s crystal clear that Earth provides an endless supply of absolutely stunning, one-of-a-kind creations. Quoting Pablo:

“Stones have spirits. If you listen they tell you what wonders they have seen, what lessons they have learned. The stone has waited countless centuries to show the world the beauty hidden within. Like a surfer riding a wave, I never fight the stone. I allow the flow of the stone to guide me. I never remove any more material than the stone wants me to.”

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View of a 160 year old restored courtyard–all stone, with a salvaged Mexican wood gate.

What did it feel like to be on the pioneering – Eco friendly front decades ago when it was not in mainstream awareness back then?

Believe it or not, back in the 1970’s being Eco friendly was not just far from popular, it was met with open hostility. Unfortunately as we were coming out of the turmoil of the 1960’s some people associated being Eco friendly as being a hippie, being a communist, being anti progress, being anti business, etc. And to be fair there were and still are elements of the environmental movement that are anti capitalist. However, from square one I always felt that to get anything done required cooperation between business, private groups and government.

What was your environment of youth? 

I grew up in a multicultural home in a very poor neighborhood just blocks away from what may have been the most polluted waterway in America–Houston’s Buffalo Bayou which is the upper end of the Houston Ship Channel. While Houston is 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico it is the 2nd biggest port city in America. A channel lined with chemical plants and oil refineries was dredged over the years. When I was a kid it was not unusual for the Bayou to be bank to bank with dead fish and the water was often so polluted that the surface would burn. I could contrast this with stories my father told of when his family first came to the US years earlier that they would swim in and catch fish from the Bayou. However, with some federal regulations, a lot of concerned citizens and a committed business community, Buffalo Bayou has been cleaned up in a remarkable if not miraculous way. The Bayou is used for recreation and wildlife has returned.

Also in the early 1970’s was the first ‘Earth Day’. National Geographic featured me on the 40th anniversary in an article by Mark Anderson. At the time, I was actually teaching Earth Science, working at the Houston Contemporary Dance Theater and loading trucks while struggling as an artist and designer.  It is ironic that I got so much coverage in National Geographic as all I did was basically draw some posters. I think this is because so many of the real big shots eventually ruined their lives or went in various unrelated directions.

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Solomon with some of his sculptures

How did you  merge a marriage and business successfully? And how did your visionary ideas then manifest in your work?

My wife Beverly and I got married in 1975. Before she got her big break with Diane von Furstenberg, she was modeling and working in communications for a big petro chemical company. Not as bad as it may first sound, as the owner was one of the biggest art collectors in the world. He would rotate great art –Picasso, Cezanne, etc. from museums to his office buildings. Her office had Persian rugs.

From day one of our marriage, we had a business furnishing cafes with antique furniture and collectibles. We were not beyond collecting furniture off the side of the road and from junk stores. Even back then, we used rocks and fossils for décor. In fact in addition to Beverly having been drop dead gorgeous, one reason that we were married two months after meeting at one of my art shows was that she loved to collect rocks and arrowheads. The first time I went to her apartment and she showed me her collections, I knew I had the right lady.

We still love to collect natural objects to use in our designs. We also love to build with stone and to incorporate it into landscape designs. Luckily we live on a historic 1856 ranch in the Texas Wine/Hill Country. We are in the middle of great rock and fossil hunting. Just down our road and over some hills behind our house is the tallest water fall in Texas at Colorado Bend State Park. (the property was once owned by Willie Nelson but he deeded it to the state in a legal settlement with the IRS).

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Beverly Solomon, Owner and Creative Director of Beverly Solomon Design

How did you introduce your clients then, to try new and different things other than what the common trends were of those days?

Good design always sells itself. We were and are lucky to have clients that want design that is not  only great design, but design that works with Nature and not against it.

How does today’s decorating trends parallel with Eco efforts of pioneers of past decades?

Now the pendulum has swung as far to the Green end as possible. In fact, it has almost gotten silly. There are people selling and suckers buying anything that is promoted as ‘Eco friendly, sustainable, Green, etc.’.

What kinds of Eco friendly products do you notice your customers asking for now?

Rocks, minerals, fossils, salvaged architectural materials and décor, etc.

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Pablo, Beverly and Beloved Feline Garden Guardian, Miro

Known for making the phrases ‘Green Freedom’ and ‘Vertical Greening’ household terms, Solomon has been featured in 29 books, dozens of major magazines and newspapers, TV, radio and film. He and Beverly live on a 1856 historic ranch in the beautiful Texas Wine Country near Austin. Their ranch was nominated for the highest award in Texas for Land Stewardship and Beverly was honored by the State of Texas for her work in Eco tourism. Thank you Pablo for sharing part of your journey with us! Visit them and view more of their work at: pablosolomon.com and beverlysolomon.com.

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Water Into Whirlpool Therapy

Water is a magical property of life and the human body is filled with approximately 70% of it. So it’s a natural thing to desire to be near it, on it or immersed within it. Turning water into whirlpool therapy is a relatively easy thing to do these days. For those ready to make the big move of replacing their old tub, the possibilities are numerous. We often get some common questions regarding our ARIEL Platinum whirlpools. So we thought we’d offer some additional information for those considering the miracle of a great bath.

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AM128JDCLZ

On the first tub pictured in image, (AM128JDCLZ) every hydro jet is adjustable for both flow rate and direction of flow, and depending on the jet, the water flow is adjusted by either turning the outside ring or the nozzle clockwise and counter clockwise. Though the tub does not come with a heat pump nor can it be equipped with a heat pump, the tub retains heat really well. The tub fills up through its jets and is equipped with a handheld shower wand.

The Thermostatic faucet will adjust your hot and cold water. The water inlets will be labeled on the underside of the valve by color. Red will indicate hot. Blue will indicate cold. The unit is auto pipe cleaning. This means that the water jets are supplied water through the pipes. When the tub is drained, the pipes are left with water in them. “An auto pipe cleaning system will drain the water in the pipes to help dry them out while the tub is not in use”. There is no control button; this process starts as soon as you drain the tub.  The selector valve will allow you to choose the function desired. You may choose between the shower head, tub filler and off. The tub holds 90 gallons and is made of acrylic reinforced fiber glass. It takes around 15-20 min. to fully fill because it’s a deep tub.

The pump circulates water not air. Do NOT run any pumps unless the tub is filled with water to proper usage level, 4 inches (10cm) above the highest jet fixture. Damage due to dry running (running pumps without proper water level height) is not covered under any stated warranty. It has a 60 minute auto shutdown function which is a timer that is set on a computer after you turn it on.

The backside is covered with a square panel.  You will need 1/2” FPT (female pipe thread) steel braided hoses that will run from your home to the thermostatic valve. Your local plumber can provide you with what you will need for installation. This particular tub is not considered a ‘drop-in’. The front skirt is not removable. The voltage required for installation is 110v and 20 amp breaker. Holes are pre-drilled.

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AM152JDTSZ 59” and 70”

For this unit, (top, middle image and just above and below) dimensions are available in: 59.06″ x 32.28″ x 25.6″and in: 70.84″ x 32.28″ x 25.6″. You will need to purchase a tub filler.  It can be standing, connected to the wall or a dropped down from the ceiling faucet. This unit is a free standing whirlpool tub with 8mm tempered glass. Everything is located underneath the unit. You will have to tilt the unit on a side angle.  All parts are underneath the unit. The tub is made of acrylic reinforced fiberglass. It is self cleaning. The water jets are supplied water through the pipes. When the tub is drained, the pipes are left with water in them. “Auto pipe cleaning system will drain the water in the pipes to help dry them out while the tub is not in use. There is no control button; this process starts as soon as you drain the tub.  This tub has a double drain system (patent design). The main drain allows water to leave the tub, and a second drain that’s hooked up that lets the water drain from the jets.  The 2 drains are intertwined.  They operate together. The secondary drain that allows the jets to drain the left over water.  The valve that opens up when the drain is open, so the water in the tub drains and the leftover water in the jet hoses drain.

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Yes, you can remove the headrest with an Allen wrench. The backside of the headrest is covered. There are 6 massage nodes and 4 intensity options. This is referring to the jet system. You can turn on the air bubbles which add a little more pressure in the whole system.  The air bubble system has 6 settings.  (1 thru 4 is low thru high.  5 and 6 is pulsating low and high). This unit comes with a heater, which is actually a heat ‘pump’ where it maintains the temperature of the water you set it at. The tub requires a 110v and 30 amp breaker installation.  It is a free standing unit and can be installed in the middle of the room, corner or against the wall. It is not considered a ‘drop-in’ tub.

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Whirlpool therapy has long been known to help heal various body ailments by encouraging the muscle system to relax. Water therapy can help to decrease swelling, control inflammation, promote wound healing, improve motion and decrease muscle spasm. From now on, when you crave water, just think ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Click to see our entire collection of whirlpool tubs.

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Finding the Right Fan Online

When it comes to the idea of buying or replacing a few ceiling fans, most people think it is as simple as picking out a style they like in-store or online and just purchasing it….period. Sometimes it is that easy. You just buy the fan and have someone else install it. But a growing number of homeowners and DYIers, who have been squeezed financially for every last dollar they own, are opting to do the work themselves. That includes the total demolition of rooms, the full renovation of rooms, the decoration of rooms, and so forth. Sometimes in the process of revamping an entire room, ideas and measurements and dreams become confused. And the eyes can’t always judge correctly what an exact dimension or measurement truly needs to be, in order for an installation of some sorts to work.

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Furthermore, most homeowners are being forced to purchase their products online, as brick and mortar stores are folding and closing left and right. Just recently it was announced that Walmart, JC Penny, Macy’s and Sears were closing hundreds of stores. When it comes to purchasing fans online – suddenly the world becomes complicated. Most manufacturers sell their fans online in pieces. Why? Because consumers can now pick out their motors, blades, light kits and remotes at the click of a link, and thus, e-stores have managed to magnify the shopping experience to a whole new level of confusion. Consumers are given a wide array of choices online – yet sans the friendly in-store sales person to guide them, and without an ability to be able to ‘physically see’ and inspect the items they plan to purchase.

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Is your ceiling sloped? What angle ratio does a sloped down rod allow for? Do you want a wet location fan? Do you need the hand remote or the wall unit? Would you like an additional light kit attachment? How many down rods come with the unit? Does it come with blades or are they sold separately? Must the fan be hardwired in? What does the canopy look like? Is the fan motor one speed or three speed? Is it reversible speed?  Is the light kit dimmable? What finishes does the fan come in? What are the replaceable parts? What’s the warranty? What are the glass shade choices on the light kits?

A lot of times, the ‘online details’ regarding all these questions are NOT provided by the manufacturers, nor the stores selling the products. And that’s because people are magically supposed to know what they want when they’re shopping – just by looking at the provided one or two web pictures of the ‘whole product’. A large majority of people never even think to ask half of the questions we’ve just listed. And quite often, customers will see the same picture listed for several different finishes and are then left to wade through the product details to make sure that what they’re looking at – is exactly what they’re expecting to get – because the description says black finish but the picture shows chrome. Yes, these days, finding the right fan online can suddenly become a nightmare project. What’s a human to do?

One could simply sit quietly for a moment with a notepad in hand…or cellphone for that matter, and make notes to oneself from within the room space one desires to put the fan. It would be ideal to list the things you think you want before you begin the online shopping process. Here are a few tips to start you off…

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Do you want your fan to hang incognito or be a decorative room feature?
What are the dimensions of your room? How high is your ceiling?
Will your fan need to give off light? You’ll need one that can host a light kit.
Go for a high quality quality fan. Cheap fans wobble and don’t circulate air well.
Don’t know what a quality fan brand is? Review them at: www.consumerreports.org
A fan should be elevated at least 8′ – 9′ from the ground.
Do you want a wall remote control? Some remotes are sold separately.
Find out how many down rods come with the fan and which sizes they are.
If you plan to add a light kit – make sure the circuit can handle both the fan and the light.
If your ceiling is sloped, make sure the canopy is designed specifically for sloped ceilings.
Be sure to look at the size of the fan blades. The full diameter is then usually (x2).
If the fan is hung high up in a double story room, get a remote and extra down rods.
If you are hanging it on a porch or patio, you’ll want a ‘wet rated’ fan.

Returns are no fun for anyone; not the customer returning it, nor the e-store selling it, nor the manufacturer receiving an item back. Doing a little pre-thought before rushing out to purchase online can save you lots of hassle in the long run. Most e-stores have ‘chat’ and provide a customer service phone number. Use those features. Sometimes one phone call or quick ‘chat in’ can nip any future purchase issues in the bud – by getting you all the information you need – before the point of purchase!

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How To Clean a Crystal Chandelier With Apple Cider Vinegar

Remember the day you installed that beautiful foyer chandelier and how excited you were to step back and take in the exquisite view? It cost a pretty penny but it was worth it because you knew you’d have it for many years to come. And it changed the entire look of your entrance way – made the doorway area much more inviting and appealing to arriving guests. Maybe you purchased a stunning dining chandelier and have spent many months having family meals under it’s showering light.

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Crystorama Chandeliers

But months later you’ve noticed something has changed. The fixture doesn’t dazzle you as much as it originally did. At first you can’t figure it out. Was it just your excitement over having something brand new that overrode the fact that it wasn’t as beautiful as you initially thought? It still looks clean on inspection, but somehow it’s…well, it’s just duller! It doesn’t sparkle like it once did. Something has happened to the luster of the crystals and now it’s really noticeable… maybe not to your invited guests… but to YOU! What happened? How did it loose it’s initial shine? Can something be done to get back it’s initial sparkle? The answer is yes! Here are some easy crystal cleaning tips to regain that original shine:

Though your fixture does not appear caked in dust and dirt, every home has floating air particles that carry elements of debris. You’ll usually recognize it as ‘cooking grime’ in the kitchen, when you find yourself cleaning the greasy film off of your appliances. That grease comes from cooking elements (oils that precipitate out from steam), which settle often on the range hood. But in a dining room or a foyer, it’s not grease that is the culprit; but actually very fine specks of general house dust that first begin to adhere to the crystals. Outside debris from nature might even be partially to blame when a foyer light is constantly exposed to the outside elements via the doorway. Over time, the crystals accumulate a light film of this microscopic debris, clouding the original luster of the crystal teardrops. There is a relatively easy way to regain that sparkle – without having to separate and scrub each crystal. You may have to pull out the ladder if it is hanging in a foyer, but the rules for cleaning are the same whether it is located in a dining room, a bedroom or a foyer.

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Here’s the things you will need:

1 large plastic sheet (for covering tables or floors)
1 roll of 1 inch masking tape
1 box of plastic baggies
1 bottle of apple cider vinegar
1 empty spray bottle
1 cup of  water

1. To be completely safe, turn off the power where you will be working, at the breaker box.
2. Spread directly below the chandelier, the plastic cloth; to protect a table, furniture or just to keep your floor area clean, if it is a foyer fixture you are cleaning.
3. Cover all the candelabra light sticks with a plastic baggie. Wrap the baggie around the candlestick, and secure the plastic at the bottom of each candlestick lightly with a piece of tape. (Do not wrap the tape so tightly around the stick that you can’t later easily remove it). This will protect the sticks and bulbs from getting wet.
4. Mix the one cup of water with one additional cup of apple cider vinegar and pour the mixture (equal parts) of both into the spray bottle.
5. Lightly spray the entire chandelier with the vinegar solution, concentrating more on the dangling crystals which hang below the candlesticks. Give the chandelier a good rain bath, lightly saturating the crystals with the vinegar-water mixture. For full coverage, you should move all the way around the chandelier, spraying as you go, and moving the ladder to do so if you must. Try not to twist the chandelier. If it is a relatively new chandelier, there is no need to wipe the crystals. Just let it air dry.
6. When it dries, you will see that the crystals now appear as clear and sparkly as the day you bought it.

 

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Besa Lighting

If you haven’t cleaned your chandelier for a year or so, you may need to use a lightly sudsy washcloth to gently rub each crystal teardrop. Over time, grime can build up and make it tougher to get the crystals clean. After gently rubbing them, respray them with the vinegar mixture. (A second option would be to re-wet the chandelier with a second or third dose of the apple cider mixture to see if repeated sprays help dissolve the grime film.)

When fully dry, remove the tape and baggies and restore power. There was no scrubbing. There was no painful disassembling of each individual crystal. There was no arm sore chore of re-hanging the separated but now-clean crystals. All you really did was safely give your chandelier a gentle rain bath. The apple cider vinegar did the actual work for you. Recommended cleanings of this type are three to four times a year. If you wish to stretch out your cleanings to only once or twice a year, then purchase a fluffy dusting stick and lightly dust every month. This will help to keep all of your chandeliers as bright and beautiful as the day you bought them!

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Master Bedroom Must-Have’s

According to the real estate industry, kitchens and bathrooms are considered the most valuable rooms in a home. However, a bedroom should be also be considered one of the best rooms in the house simply due to the fact that it is the one room where your human body regenerates itself each night; so that it can function in life every day. It’s funny how we can value eating and other human functions, and not place our sleep rooms at the same priority level. The truth is, no one would function in life without sleep. Therefore, creating the space where your body rests should automatically be a top area of focus, even if not valued in real estate terms. Here are some special tips when considering master bedroom must-haves.

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Manhattan Comfort 34184 Eldridge Collection

Start with the Right Wall Color for YOU:

A bedroom needs to be the most calmly decorated room in the house. Typically, there should be one main, neutral theme color chosen, with a variable of two accent colors and no more. The neutrality of a wall color enables you to change out décor items seasonally, without color conflict issues. But if you absolutely have a favorite color that completely calms you and makes you feel good all the time, and it’s not a neutral color, this is okay too.  It would still be a good choice because it is a color you naturally and innately resonate with. Try painting with an eco friendly, non-toxic paint– as it’s much safer for your resting, breathing, and absorbing body.

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What Touches Body Must be Sacred!

Add organic blanket and pillow patterns that whisper to your soul, and ‘feel’ good to the touch.  Those symbolic characters that influenced and comforted you as a child will work on your adult being as well. Simply change out those icons to a more mature version of them. A stuffed elephant can now be an elegant elephant statue. A love of flowers can be transformed into a beautiful floral accent blanket, lampshade or into a vase of real flowers. If you are a nature king or queen – anything made of organic materials will appeal to you. Those décor items that speak to your own divine essence need to be around you as you sleep.

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It’s important to not only choose a mattress that embraces and supports your body, but to make sure that the bed also fits the room it sits in. Sometimes, a king size bed may seem really grand and appealing, but it will only aggravate you if you are constantly stubbing a toe on a post because the bed size is too big for the room, leaving you no maneuver room in the mornings. Use a smaller size bed to create a larger and more spacious room environment. Feeling constantly cramped or cornered in your own room, can cause a body to automatically experience ‘unconscious ‘stress, which fosters its own odd effects.

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View all Wardrobe Units

Limit Your Clothes to 1 Closet
The absolute truth is that none of us need a huge wardrobe to exist smartly or fashionably in this world. Your entire wardrobe should fit into one closet, and if you can actually store a dresser in your closet – leaving only the bed and an end table or two in the room – this arrangement would be ideal. When you have fewer clothes to wash, there is less to hang and less to ‘put away’ each week. Clear your closets of only what you regularly wear. When you purchase something new, give something away. Most people don’t think of their closets when they think about creating their sanctuary, but keeping a closet clean will also help you feel more in control of your life…and that’s relaxing in and of itself.
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Pets Nurture Automatically

Pets who adorn you with love and affection the moment you step through the door should be allowed passage to your dream space. If you can’t share your bed with a beloved feline or canine, the next step is to get them a bed of their own, and train them to use it. That way they can be close to you – in a way that doesn’t disturb your need to commandeer the whole bed!

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Elegant Lighting 1201D32PN

Lighting Makes or Breaks a Room

Most people don’t think about lighting, but how and where you light a room can make all the difference between creating a cozy retreat or a harsh one.  Where will the lighting be placed? Will you use a chandelier? Do you desire wall sconces or table lamps? Do you want dimmable lighting? Do you want cool or warm lighting? Would you like an overhead fan, with a light kit? Do you need a wall switch or do you prefer to use remote controls? These things should be thought out in advance, so that when one does make a fixture purchase, especially if it is an online purchase, one can inquire as to specific features that a chosen product may possess – before making that purchase….to avoid return hassles.

A bedroom should be one’s most coveted sanctuary. Adding a few creature comforts to this room need not be an expensive venture. Sometimes just a few well placed, cherished items can not only bring great comfort on an emotional level, but they can also reflect a life well lived.

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De-Clutter Tips for Incognito Hoarders

No one who hoards lots of things wants to admit that they’re actually hoarding. The term ‘collector’ seems a favored label, as collecting ‘specific types of things’ tends to  boost hoarding to an acceptable, almost noble hobby activity. Regardless of what it might be officially termed, when there’s too much stuff in a house – there’s simply too much stuff! Most hoarders and collectors have an emotional attachment to their goods. We all need emotional connections in this world – no matter how we foster those connections. However, too much collecting can ultimately hamper the human experience and cause additional life stress. Here are a few de-clutter tips for those who may in fact, be incognito hoarders….(those who may never admit it, but are… guilty, guilty, guilty)!

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Need a New bed?

Let’s take a common hoarding spot – the bedroom. Here’s one really original way of clearing it!

1.    Grab a handful of large black (30 gal.) garbage bags, a fat black marker and one roll of 2″ masking tape. (At least 7 black bags – one for each wall and 3 for the closet).

2.    Stand in the center of the room and face one wall. Open one black bag and pull off of the shelves, dressers and window sills on that wall you’re facing – anything and everything you are not using every single day (or at least once a month) and place it in the bag. It matters not if different kinds of things get jumbled up in the bag. Just do it.

3. As you tie up the first bag, secure a masking tape sized label on the bag and write generically, what you tossed in the bag. (This is for later reference if you need to find something fast). You don’t have to label everything that goes in the bag – just certain things that you think you might want to find later.

4.    For anything strewn about – if you are still using it, throw it on the bed. You’ll sort that later. Do the black bag collection step for all four walls, and that includes items that are at your feet or strewn about the floor.

5.    After you finish each wall, twisty tie the black bag, label each bag, and then set all four bags in one corner of the room, labels facing outward so you can see them.

6.    Next, address your closet. Use one black bag for unused shoes, belts and scarves. Use one bag for hanging clothes (Maybe two). Use the third bag for the top closet shelf. Put those three to four labeled bags in a separate corner. Toss into the bags, anything you have not touched in 2 months.

7.    Now, for the items on the bed – put them away where they belong.

8.    Try to live in your bedroom with just the things you have left over – for one whole month. Mark a calendar on the wall, for each of the 30 days if you must. See how you ‘feel’ living on less. The good news is that you didn’t throw anything away yet, so anything is retrievable and relatively easy to find (via the labels).

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One clean bedroom naturally begets an automatic sense of peace and calm…

For those who have real difficulty in letting go of anything – the black bags are a visual reminder that NOTHING was thrown away and that everything they own is still right beside them in the same room. In time, SOME individuals may just find that they personally feel calmer; more centered and actually may even like being more organized. With less clothes to wear and shoes to sift through, there’s less physical labor in maintaining those items; less laundry, less time spent on straightening up, etc.  Living in a cleaner room allows one to re-think how they want their personal space to reflect their personality as it exists in the NOW.

After all, one’s own bedroom is often the only personal sanctuary there is against the world sometimes. Shouldn’t it feel safe and cozy and supportive? When people feel safe, they feel calmer and more relaxed, and even more mentally sane. One might become suddenly inspired and consider painting the room in a whole new color. It would be easy to do so, as items are now protected in the black bags, which can easily be moved around the room, while one paints. Maybe it inspires one to purchase a new bedspread in a bold new color. Or it might be fun to purchase or upgrade a piece of ‘cool furniture’, (like a storage chest that will last many years to come).

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Yosemite Chest Collection

If after a month, one finds themselves feeling so good that they can actually let their packed things go – they can surprise their favorite friends with a fun and exciting ‘treasure trash bag’. Who knows…maybe a few of them could even start a new give-a-way trend. This technique can be applied to any room in the house. It also works really well for those who are just a little messy-minded too. Though these tips may not address the more extreme hoarders, who actually may need professional intervention – it can certainly help those who recognize that they they may actually be hoarders in the making…incognito or not.

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Optimizing Your Workspace

When selecting storage shelves for your office or workspace, open book shelves are plentiful and come in many styles and shapes and therefore, are often quite tempting to buy. However, any kind of open book shelf means that everything stacked upon it or within it will be under close scrutiny by house guests, and in this case, there’s no hiding a messy pile of papers. Here are a few tips for optimizing your workspace:

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Use One Great Masking System

Choosing a closed door cabinet system, enables you to hide-store your messy ‘to do’ piles for another time. The closed doors will enable the room to appear more organized, and oftentimes, when one feels organized, one tends to actually become more productive, ironic as that sounds.

BLOG-2Choose a Glass Desk Set

A glass desk actually allows the eye to see through to the whole room, which often gives the illusion of more room space. By choosing a 3 piece L shaped desk unit, you have the option of separating the pieces and thus, you have the option to redecorate every few months. Glass desks are relatively lightweight and easy to move around, when separated. Look for ones that allow you to flip the L part to either side. Or choose a glass table that can double as a dining set.

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Consider The Importance of the Office Chair

Let’s face it – if you’re not comfortable, you won’t stay seated for very long. Choose a roomy, supportive chair that offers a selection of chair positions and heights. Choose something you won’t sweat in, won’t slip in, and won’t slouch in. Be sure that the chairs wheels move easily and glide into several directions effortlessly.

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Add an Easy to Clean Touch of Color, Area Rug

A great way to take the boredom out standard office furniture, especially when you are working with closed cabinets  is to enhance the room with a bright and contemporary styled area rug.  Not only are area rugs easy to remove and clean, they can be laid out on a variable of diagonals to create an off symmetry look – just for fun. Selecting a busier pattern with many colors will help hide the traffic dirt.

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Accent Pieces Double as Storage

It’s always lovely to have a few accent pieces in the room, but who says they should just be adornments? Choose decorative nested boxes or covered vases that will hold additional items, such as pens, paper clips, etc. There will be plenty of additional places to organize your office goods, if you select wisely and use several sets in a room.

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