Home Lighting Ideas from Around the Web

home lightingAfter having some trouble with some of my own home lighting renovations, I decided to look into it and see how I could do better next time. After doing more than a little bit of reading, I decided to round up my favorite ideas that I discovered in over the course of my perusal. So, if you’re looking to update your home’s lighting fixtures, there might be some useful stuff here for you.

  • Have a specific lighting plan for each room you plan to renovate. It might be tempting to install a single ceiling light and be done with it, but putting serious thought in a room’s lighting arrangement will yield much better results.
  • Find a good place to buy new fixtures, if you need them. There are plenty of stores and websites to peruse, so ideally you can find one that not only has a wide selection, but are experts that can help with your specific situation. One example that might be helpful to you is a company called Valley Lighting, a Lighting Store, CT.
  • Utilize different lighting types and angles. Aside from the classic, “Variety is the spice of life” reason, varying lights create a more dynamic atmosphere in the room. Just make sure you’re have a plan, and not putting up lights haphazardly.
  • Focus on light output before fixture appearance. This might be a little obvious, but when you’re planning to renovate, get a solid grasp on the light you want to set up for a room. A stylish fixture doesn’t mean much if it produces poor lighting for the rest of the room.

Finally, this is one video that might help. It’s basically a little slideshow with many different lighting examples if you’re not sure which direction you should go in.

How to Create an Effective Employee Recognition Program

An employee recognition program is essentially a planned communication strategy between management and employees. Leaders in every company, big or small, should implement some kind of recognition program to show acknowledgement and appreciation to deserving workers. An employee recognition program is considered to be on the human-side of business, being that the program is overall aimed at encouraging and reinforcing good behavior in the workplace. Having a specific program in place helps to make sure those who are doing right by the company are being rewarded.

A successful employee recognition program not only leads to employee rewards, but company rewards, such as profit. When employees are shown how much of a valuable component they are, they’re motivated to continue working hard, if not harder than before. Happy and determined employees can most certainly benefit the company as a whole, so get on board with creating an employee recognition program!


Create a Focused Purpose

A focused purpose is an important factor for everyone involved. Deciding what is deserving of recognition reduces the chances of confusion and disappointment. All who participate in the program should have a clear understanding of what’s recognition worthy and how to earn it. Examples of what can be recognition worthy for many companies include innovative actions, displaying development, and leadership skills.

Frequency is also worth considering, don’t make unattainable promises. This can sometimes depend on the company’s budget and number of workers. If the program isn’t well-planned and focused, it could negatively impact leadership. Employees may view the leaders as unfair for recognizing one individual for something one day, but failing to recognize a different individual for the same thing the next day. Make sure that this purpose has positive intentions, such as increasing motivation, involvement or company potential.

Consider Other Opinions

Avoid the risk of favoritism and bias by allowing voices to be heard. Set up a committee that’s in charge of overseeing the program, and allow employees to share what they would like to get out of it. This can also serve as a chance to allow creativity. Depending on how involved the program is, there’s opportunity for the creation of a program name, logo, blog, etc. Employees can each have their own role. This will make them feel like a valuable part of the process, and less like a competitor.

Make it Official

Once an official plan is put into place, it’s easier to keep up. Create a document stating all the facts of the program. This includes the focus, requirements, frequency, rules, and more. If this document clearly maps out everything that every manager and employee should be aware of, then it’s time to generate excitement. According to Employee Benefit News, “marketing” internally is crucial. It’s said that it “requires more than an occasional communication.” Keep the staff updated with email blasts and newsletters, and recognize winning individuals through these as well, but do so in a timely fashion. That’s why it’s a good idea to have some sort of calendar organized for assistance. Recognition doesn’t always have to include a physical award. Recognition could include a celebration or ceremony. Sometimes just acknowledging someone in the proper way can make all the difference. Huemor, a web design agency, uses its blog to highlight work anniversaries and other special work events!

Final Evaluations

After utilizing the employee recognition program numerous times and in numerous ways, it’s important to evaluate it. This can be done by measuring how much has or hasn’t changed. For many companies, small changes are still progress, and as years go on, these changes can continue to grow. Look for changes within work ethic, attitude, productivity, and employee presence. These are all helpful indicators. Sales is a potential indicator as well, but employees come first in employee recognition.

There are various ways to practice recognition, but choosing the most suitable way depends on the details and impact of the accomplishment. Whether recognition is being given to an individual or group, there’s a high chance of increased morale and retention throughout the office, most likely followed by positive changes for the company.

Vintage Furniture Decorating Ideas

vintage furnitureGreetings, everyone. I was recently redecorating my living room, and frankly, I had no clue where to start. I was mostly concerned with our furniture; I had previously relied on IKEA items. Basically, there was a strong desire to get something with a bit more style. Given the space I had already, it felt natural to go look for some vintage furniture (this is one page that helped convince me). So in the process, I learned a couple things about vintage furniture, both from experience and from the web, that I think might be helpful for you. That is, if you’re looking for some vintage furniture of your own.

For starters, make sure that the furniture you’re looking at is sturdy. That’s typically not a problem with a lot of old-school, dense wood furniture, but it’s the baseline for your purchase. It shouldn’t get a pass just because it’s old and it looks pretty. First and foremost, it should be fully functional.

The other major thing I learned is to not underestimate the work that you’ll need to put in to get it up to your stylistic standards. There are plenty of places online that have different tutorials for this sort of thing, but not all of them clarify the amount of time and effort it’ll take to do it. They don’t typically account for amateur mistakes either, so be patient and accommodating of any unforeseen challenges.

After I finished my shopping, there was nothing really left to do. Except for one thing: I never got a rug for the room! I have some (not that pretty) wood flooring, so I needed an area rug to fit with the room and the furniture. Fortunately enough, after some perusing on the web, I came across a company called Rug and Home, who happen to have a vintage rug collection with items that match the style I was going for.

Well, that’s just about it. Before I hit that “publish” button,  here’s a video that has even more tips and facts about vintage furniture:

Air Conditioning Tips for the Summer

air conditioning
With the summer heat already upon us–and still intensifying–I, like many of you, will flock to the nearest air conditioner available to survive. Unfortunately, the summer heat can hurt you where you might not expect it: your wallet. Those ever-present AC systems that we cling to can use a lot of energy, and therefore, money. I put together a list of ideas that I found around the web that I found useful to help cut down on air conditioning costs this summer. Below are some of the most important tips that I’ve found. Other than the ones below, I found that energy.gov is good for general energy-saving guidelines. [Some tips came specifically from their page on AC energy saving]

Air Conditioning Energy Savings

  • As often as you have your AC going at full blast, turn it up at night or when you’re simply not at home. You’ll (obviously) save energy and money if it’s not running while you’re not around to bask in it.
  • Support your AC system with a fan or two. The circulation of air indoors can go a long way towards cooling it down.
  • Limit how much you use your stove-top. They introduce a lot of heat into your kitchen when you use it. If you must use it, try using it in the evening when the room will be naturally cooler.
  • If you have had the same AC system for awhile, it may be worthwhile to either replace it or make sure its properly maintained. If it’s working at a less-than-optimal efficiency, then it has to be active for that much longer, and therefore consume that much more energy.
  • Similarly, if you find your workplace sweltering, there are companies that specialize in commercial HVAC systems. If it does need to be maintained, then I know that the BP Group is one company that specializes in HVAC repair.

That does it for this post. Below, I shared another video I found for you to watch. It has some additional tips to try out!

Spring Award Highlights

This spring has been full of glamorous award shows including the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, and the Tony Awards. Talk of who was the best dressed, predictions of who would win which awards, and other show-biz talk took over mainstream media. Here are some highlights from this spring’s shows:


The Academy of Country Music Awards: From Katy Perry and Dolly Parton’s duet, to Nick Jonas joining Kelsea Ballerini on stage to sing her hit song “Peter Pan,” to the tribute to Joey Feek, this year’s ACMs was a night to remember. Breakout artist Chris Stapleton took home 4 awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year for “Traveller.”

The Billboard Music Awards: With a lineup including Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, P!nk, and more, we knew the BBMAs would be a hit. The Weeknd won the most trophies of the night, in 8 categories including Top R&B artist and Top R&B album. The night was full of crazy and wonderful moments, including the debut of Adele’s new music video and a beautiful, tear-jerking tribute to Prince performed by Madonna and Stevie Wonder.

The Tony Awards: Hamilton was the talk of the town this year, taking over the Tonys with a record-breaking 16 nominations. It won 11 categories including best musical and best score. Host James Corden was charming and hilarious, performing his own mashup of a number of famous Broadway songs as part of his opening skit. There were lively, dance-filled performances from the cast of School of Rock, She Loves Me, Fiddler on the Roof, and others.

The celebrations are not over yet. We still have the MTV Video Music Awards to look forward to on August 28th, and the Emmys later on in September. If you can’t wait that long for the excitement that award shows bring, then host your own! You can make it as extravagant or low-key as you want. Invite your friends, order trophies online, and have the time of your life!

3 Ways to Preserve the Resale Value of Your Phone

There is a large market for the buying and selling of used phones. If you are looking to sell your old phone, don’t worry. There are plenty of people who want to save money and avoid any hassle by making a quick trade of cash for phones. Here are some tips that will help you preserve the resale value of your phone in case you plan to sell it in the future:

cash for phones

1. Protect Your Phone. While there are many people interested in buying used phones, nobody wants to buy a phone that looks like its been used. Invest in a strong and durable case to avoid the scratches and dents that will take away from the appeal of your cell phone. Don’t be distracted by the cases with the cool designs that are flimsy and do little to protect your phone from damage. Screen protectors are also helpful tools that prevent the nasty cracks that may appear on your phone’s screen if you drop it too hard. Accidents happen, so it is important that you invest in the cases and protectors that will keep you covered.

2. Pick the Right Time to Sell. If you put your two-year-old iPhone 6 on the market the same week that the iPhone 7 comes out, you probably won’t get much interest from potential buyers. There is something about having the latest version of any device that appeals to people, so selling your phone while it is still the most current existing model is a better idea if you want to make a decent profit.

3. Maintain the Battery Life. Battery life is one of the most important qualities people consider when purchasing a phone. Everyone is always on the go, and they need to make sure their phones can keep up with them. Things like keeping your battery cool and not running it down to empty all the time make a big difference in the long run.