Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Gail Claridge, of Gail Claridge Designs in Westlake Village, CA. As one of the first women to get a contractor’s license, Gail has been helping people improve their homes for most of her adult life. Talking to Gail made me realize how important it is to seize opportunities as they arise, whether it’s making a smooth business deal or setting off an antique to its best advantage.Gail is nothing if not practical when she gives advice about adding antiques to your home décor. She is quick to point out that if an item will clash, you shouldn’t buy it. Here are some of her other gems of wisdom:
When you begin collecting antiques, ask questions. The dealer will be able to tell you the history of item. Then all you have to do is take it home and spruce it up.
If the item will clash with your existing décor, don’t buy it. A good piece can stand on it’s own.
To make a special piece more prominent, use three-layers of lighting to make it stand out: ceiling spots, chandelier and a lamp.
When working directly with vendors and craftsmen, like ADG, make sure:
- How long they’ve been in business and do they have a good track record?
- Do they stand behind their product?
- Will they give you things on approval so that you can try them out?
- Service is everything; work with person, not a company.
Ever entrepreneurial, Gail went on to tell me about her upcoming design center, which will be the only one between Los Angeles and San Francisco, located in Westlake Village. After getting tired of renting storage space for her backlog, she bought a warehouse and decided to sell pieces from there at a discount. She asked other designers to join her and they also sell their backlog at discounted prices. Now, she is planning to create a design center so that designers can share books and supplies and samples in one convenient location.Gail finished our talk by saying that no matter how old you are, when it comes to hiring designers you are, “ buying ideas, not items and you always have that.”
In our first newsletter of the year, we extolled the virtues of green lighting. But you probably still have questions about the different kinds of sustainable bulb options that are available. Whether you want to replace bulbs in existing light fixtures, chandeliers, sconces or lanterns or start over with ADG’s decorative lighting fixtures the choice is yours as how to begin.
Among the best quick green energy investments a consumer can make is the replacement of traditional light bulbs with an energy efficient bulb. But preferably not Compact Florescent Lights (CFLs). These curly-cue shaped light bulbs give off the same amount of light as a traditional light bulb, and expend dramatically less energy, so replacing old light bulbs with new CFLs can save you money on your electric bill but are filled with toxic chemicals, still produce waste that should be carted off as electronic waste and not in your regular trash bin.
So what should we all do to help spare the environment some of the burden of power production? We have solutions that will last 50,000 to 100,000 hours as compared to CFL that go about 11,000 hours. These bulbs are 5 times that of CFL and 20 to 50 times life of regular incandescent. They also produce little heat, are easy to screw into existing fixtures and look relatively similar to a regular old Edison light bulb and Tesla would be proud. LED light bulbs, (Light Emitting Diodes) are another light source that pulls significantly less power, and produces brightness. LED bulbs about 10 times more energy efficient than CFLS, but they are quite a bit more expensive to purchase upfront. And deferred maintenance and your energy bill will prove that replacing incandescent with LED will brighten your home and save you money. Even the White House Christmas tree now uses LED technology.
A couple other techniques for greening your lighting include the use of Solar lights for outdoor areas, or if you are doing a remodel you may consider including features such as solar power, sky lights or strategically placed windows which can offer enough light during the day can give you a 0-wat lighting scheme on sunny days. ADG can help you make the decision of what kind of green lighting options will work best for your space. Contact us today for a consultation.
Click here LED Presentation compressed.pps (1.30 mb) to see the many ways a traditional fixture should be using LED or energy efficient bulbs. Some of these projects have been designed from the initial inception of sustainable solutions and others are on their way to being replaced
US Department of energy on LED lamping click here
Technical Aspects of how LED works by the State of NY. click here
Green Insurance since you are replacing your home with Green energy alternatives and on the track to low carbon footprint and just being conscientious about the environment.