Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine


Gone are the large, boxy TVs, replaced by wall-mounted flat panel screens and mobile devices. Young people have no memory of the large furniture-like TV sporting a black and white screen, with only ABC, CBS, and NBC as the program options, or the heavy “clunk, clunk, clunk” as the dial was turned between them. Nor do they have memories of the “TV Lamp” that could often be found glowing above the TV, as the screen below flickered in shades of gray. So what were TV lamps... more

Next time you need a new sconce or dome light, try thinking outside the (big) box (store). Anybody can buy those lights! You want something different. You didn’t realize it before, but you do. You want something old. Something used, refurbished, re-wired. And I’m here to help you! While new is good, and it certainly has its place (new underwear comes to mind), it can lack character. And there’s also the danger of new being homogenous. Homogenized milk is good. Homogenized light fixtures... more

I love the idea of using repurposed and recycled materials in my interior projects, but I hate the idea of giving up great style. In my many trips to design markets and gift shows I have found some amazing recycled and repurposed products that are super stylish, easy on the eyes, and easy on the environment. I have managed to find pieces that are the true definition of green, no greenwashing here! One of the main benefits of eco-friendly furniture is that it means less material ends up in the landfill.... more

“It is not your mother’s light bulb anymore. Most of us grew up with the 60-watt light bulb in our lamps and the smaller 40-watt light bulb in the refrigerator. Seniors recall the big silver-tipped bulbs, 200 or 300 watts, that were part of the white ring fixtures in schools. Then, when I was a child I saw a new kind of light, fluorescent tubes, used in schools and work places to save energy and provide even light,” claims Kay Newell (the Light Bulb Lady), owner of Sunlan Lighting, Inc., North... more

WHEW! Sure glad that spring is over! What a horrible, wet, yucky, gloomy (well, you get the picture) season it has been. I’m ready to get outdoors, not just to work in the garden and make it pretty, but to sit in the garden, have a cocktail, and enjoy the company of my husband and our friends. Since our house is teeny-weeny, bringing the party outdoors is necessary and that makes lighting the garden for those wonderful evening parties, essential. We’ve always considered our outdoor spaces an... more

The kitchen can be the most challenging room to light. Your surfaces need to be bright enough to be able to see where you are chopping, soft and inviting for conversation and midnight snacking, and in many cases, available to show off collections or family heirlooms. Accent lighting, task lighting, and ambient lighting work together to create the right amount of lighting for your kitchen! Hockey puck lighting is used inside the glass front cabinets for display. Here we used halogen lamps... more

The best part about being the “Lightbulb Lady” is the stories my customers share when returning to Sunlan Lighting to obtain more full spectrum light bulbs. They teach me the value of light and new ways to use them. Here are a few from people who use full spectrum lighting. Dogs and Cats One of my customers selected several neodymium bulbs off the shelf. “My dog is in the dumps,” he said. “Whenever the full spectrum lights burn out, my dog gets blue and just mopes around. I knew the bubs... more

My column this issue will focus on two technology trends I see as we move into the second decade of the 21st century. Number one on the list is battery power. This trend has gained tremendous traction in the past 10 years in the world of cordless tools, cell phones and laptop computers, with the current state-of-the-art lithium-ion cells leading the way. This technology continues to move forward as we speak, and suddenly the prospect of mass produced non-hybrid, electrically powered “plug-in”... more

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