How to Fight Cold and Flu Season in Your Home

Cold and flu season is right around the corner and there’s a lot that can be done to prevent invasive germs from entering your home. Here are a few things you can do to safeguard yourself and home.

1. Go to bed early. The easiest and most enjoyable cold and flu prevention tip is sleep. The human immune system needs plenty of sleep to stay in shape and ready to fight off any cold and flu bugs that are floating around. Sleep is vital but some people find getting to sleep or staying asleep challenging. We’ve created the Ultimate Bedtime Routine for those who need help getting more healthy sleep.

If your mattress is over 8 years old, it’s time for a much needed upgrade. Daily oils and dead skin cells accumulate in your mattress and help to harbor mites. Dust mites contribute to allergies and can trigger unwanted sinus issues during all seasons. Take the Denver Mattress Sleep Test to find the perfect new mattress for your unique sleep style.

2. Double up on laundry. One of the not-so-enjoyable cold and flu prevention tips is increasing your laundry load. There are plenty of germs floating around in public spaces during cold and flu season. Make sure to wash clothes including outerwear like coats and scarves as often as possible. If you like to relax on the sofa right after getting home, be sure to add your pillow covers and throw blankets in the wash at least once a week to make sure outside dust and germs don’t linger in the home too long.

3. Work out at home. Another way to prevent cold and flu in your home is to add a workout to your daily (or weekly) routine. Staying active during the season helps your immune system ward off illnesses by increasing blood flow throughout the body. Increased blood flow helps prevent the spread of many illnesses including colds and influenza. Try this all-level Daily Exercise Schedule easily done from the comfort of your home.

4. Eat the rainbow. Have you heard of eating the rainbow? The basic idea is to eat all the colors of the rainbow in your daily diet. You can find virtually any color in the produce section of your local grocery store. The reason this is such a great cold and flu prevention tip is the variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables. These key nutrients will aid your immune system in fighting off invaders during cold and flu season.

5. Stay home. If you feel your immune system has been compromised from the cold or flu, stay home. It’s the easiest and most effective way to keep your community safe from whatever you may have picked up. Medicine.Net reports the common cold is contagious from one day before symptoms settle in and continues to be contagious until about five to seven days afterwards. Staying home and getting plenty of rest will help your body heal and get the TLC it needs to recover. Complications such as respiratory symptoms extend the contagion even longer. Simply stay home to keep others safe.

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The Ultimate Bedtime Routine For Sleeping Healthier

If you’ve been craving better sleep, this blog post on setting up a lasting bedtime routine is for you. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about 35% of US adults experience “short sleep duration.” Whether it’s full-blown insomnia, or just trouble falling asleep— it’s no secret adults have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. Luckily, there are some very simple and enjoyable things you can do to make a drastic change in your sleep health. Sleeping on a mattress that fits your sleep position can make a huge difference in both sleep quality and duration. Take the short but effective sleep test at your local Denver Mattress to find the right mattress for your sleep style. Along with the right mattress, setting up a bedtime routine to prepare the mind and body for sleep can be both enjoyable and effective. We’ve created a simple but powerful sleep guide to help establish a healthy and long-lasting sleep routine.

Ultimate Bedroom Routine

2 hours before bed: Unplug from work and cool down house between 65°-68°

It’s impossible to relax while you still have work and projects on the brain. Unplug from work around 2 hours before bed and begin settling in for the night. Lower the temperature to somewhere between 65° and 68° to bring your core temperature down to the ideal sleeping environment.

1.5 hours before bed: Start powering down electronics (TV, phone, tablets, etc.)

Our everyday life is filled with screens emitting blue light. Blue light may not sound like such a bad thing, but this type of light actually has its own frequency and wavelength. Blue light wavelength is energizing and boosts attention because it is similar to early morning light. If you’re scrolling through your phone before bed, you’re sending your brain signals to stay up and pay attention. The same goes for TV screens and other devices. Combine those energizing wavelengths with sound and images, and you’re setting yourself up to stay up much longer than when you finally put the phone down. This may be the hardest habit to break when creating your new bedtime routine, but it’s well worth the investment.

1 hour before bed: Take a bath or shower (light some candles for ambiance to create a relaxing mood)

After you’ve powered down the screens, go somewhere where it’s impossible to take electronic devices— the shower or tub. Dim the lights or light some candles to create a relaxing ambiance for bedtime. Bathing is a great way to wash the stress of the day away, as well as saving some time for yourself in the morning.

45 minutes before bed: Put on some comfortable pajamas and socks

Comfortable pajamas might be underestimated but very important detail for healthy sleep is comfortable pajamas. A lot of people tend to wear workout clothes to bed because they are breathable and stretchy. This actually isn’t ideal as they can be too tight and subconsciously remind you of an energizing workout. Opt for the loose-fitting and soft fabrics. Try to keep your workout clothes and pajamas completely separate. It’s an odd trick, but many sleep influencers like Ariana Huffington swear by it.

40 minutes before bed: Make some tea or a warm drink like golden turmeric milk

Relax with a cup of chamomile tea to continue the evening wind-down. This recipe for turmeric milk has anti-inflammatory properties as well as sleep-inducing properties. It’s also commonly known as “golden milk,” and has gained tons of popularity over the past few years for its healing and relaxing properties.

We didn’t include brushing teeth as part of the bedtime routine, but it’s very important! A good time to fit dental hygiene into your bedtime routine is right after bedtime tea.

30 minutes before bed: Settle into bed with a book and place your cell phone out of arm’s reach

The time has arrived for actual bed in your bedtime routine. Grab a book and place your cell phone out of arm’s reach. This will eliminate the impulse to grab your phone when you get bored. If your bed is more than 8 years old, it’s probably time for an upgrade. The amount of dead skin cells and body oils adds up over the years. If that’s not enough to bug you, consider the quality of sleep you could be getting by sleeping on a bed that is fit for your unique sleep style. Stomach sleepers or side sleepers need a different level of support than back sleepers. The experts at Denver Mattress can identify the right mattress with their in-store sleep test. Find a Denver Mattress location nearest to you.

10 minutes before bed: Journal, do bedtime yoga, or meditate to clear your mind for peaceful sleep

The final piece in your bedtime routine is completely unwinding your mind for sleep. Journaling, doing bedtime yoga, or meditating can be extremely helpful in relaxing the mind. Try our bedtime yoga routine tonight.

Create a Budget-Friendly Home Gym

You don’t need a lot of room to add a home gym workout space to your abode. They say half the battle to working out is actually getting to the gym. Bring the gym to you by creating a workout space personalized for your unique workouts. Many home furniture items can easily be transformed into a versatile workout tool. Your home gym could simply be using furniture and body weight, or you could add weights, tension bands, and items like yoga balls to complete your idea workout space. If you need to pick up a few versatile items, head to Furniture Row for a large selection of the latest home furnishing and styles.

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We’ve gathered a list of furniture essentials for your home gym, which may already be in your home! Start with choosing the scenery for your home gym. Perhaps there’s an area near a window with a view, or an accent wall? A great way to get inspired is to add artwork like the the Atlantic Waves Framed Print and Buddha Gold Foil Lacquer Print. Next, decide on how you would like to store your equipment and gear. Smaller workout equipment can be stored in a basket like the Rattan Trim Baskets. Larger items and clothing fit perfectly in the Chantilly Wardrobe Chest. Use a bench like the Bombay for weightlifting and some body weight exercises. A high back chair like the Fabulishish Accent Chair can be used for standing stability exercises such as barre. Protect your knees and elbows with an soft, yet easy-to-clean rug like the Antiquity Grey Rug. The goal is to establish a place you feel comfortable and motivated to work out. Have fun with colors, design, and layout. As long as you utilize the space, you can’t go wrong!

Guest Post: Sherry Pollex’s Favorite Wellness Smoothie

Wellness plays a huge part of Ovarian Cancer survivor Sherry Pollex’s life. Along with practices like meditation, yoga, and exercise, Sherry also places a large emphasis on diet and nutrition. Today we’re sharing one of Sherry’s favorite smoothie recipes. Smoothies are a great way to easily pack in vitamins, calories, and healthy fats into an on-the-go recipe. You can find more wellness tips and inspiration on Sherry’s website, SherryStrong.Org. Along with her site, Sherry is a founder of the MTJ Foundation, where she focuses on “supporting underfunded cancer initiatives specific to ovarian and childhood cancers, and assisting the individuals and families affected by them.”

From Sherry Pollex:

“I make a green smoothie with fruit in the morning for it’s amazing nutritional punch! The berries and kale/spinach provide lot of beneficial antioxidants, fiber and Vitamin A and K for everyone, not just cancer survivors! I always use unsweetened coconut or almond milk since my diet is dairy free. I often add hemp seeds, chia seeds and pea protein for their incredible health benefits!”

“Nutrition is the single most important aspect of our lives when it comes to taking care of our bodies. Would you feed your car old, expired oil to keep it running in top condition?! Most would say No! Then why would you feed your body processed junk food that has a shelf life of 75 days! Eating fresh fruits and vegetables and organic, grass fed animal proteins is the basis of my diet. It’s what keeps me feeling well everyday and helps fight my cancer. I chose to eat diary-free, refined sugar free and gluten free because that is what makes me feel best. Everyone’s body is different. Find what’s right for your body and stick to it! You will thank me later, I promise!”

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Try this delicious and nutritious smoothie created by Sherry Pollex the next time you’re on the run or craving something cool this summer.

Toss in:

  • 1 cup spinach
  • Handful of kale
  • 1 avocado or banana
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • Ginger root (size of thumb)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup coconut water

Ab Workout: Exercises for a Summer-Ready Stomach

It’s always hard to get that stomach toned right before swimsuit season, so make sure that you work those abs before summer hits! Sit-ups are a thing of the past. Instead, try these easy floor exercises to help strengthen your core and flatten excess tummy fat. Your ab workout has never been so easy! Use a timer to complete each exercise for 50 seconds and rotate for a total ab, lower ab, and oblique workout.

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Lower Ab Workouts

Leg Raises

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Get those lower abs energized with leg raises. This exercise is simple to do, but offers a great workout for your core and helps to realign your spine.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs extended in front of you.
  2. Place your arms down beside your hips with your palms flat.
  3. As you keep your legs extended, lift them up to a 90°angle.
  4. Lower your legs to hover just above the floor and repeat this cycle.

Scissor Kicks

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Increase your lower ab workout with power-pumping scissor kicks. This exercise will definitely get you sweating quickly.

  1. Lie on your back with your legs extended side by side.
  2. Lift your shoulder blades and head and hover your heels slightly above the ground.
  3. Press your lower back into the mat.
  4. Alternate lifting your legs back and forth to create a scissor movement. As your right leg lifts, your left leg falls and vice versa.

Reverse Crunches

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To finish your lower ab workout, keep those core muscles active with reverse crunches.

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Stretch out your arms beside you to support yourself as you lift off.
  2. While keeping your feet together and your legs straight, bring your legs up to a 90° angle.
  3. Keeping your abs active, push feet up toward the ceiling, lifting lower back off the ground.
  4. Lower back down to starting position. Repeat.

Total Ab Workouts

Modified V Crunches:

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Similar to a regular crunch, a modified V crunch is intended to get your core warm! V crunches are great for working your rectus abdominis, external oblique, and internal oblique muscles—the perfect total ab workout.

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Engage your core to lift your feet and shoulders an inch off the floor.
  3. Straighten your arms forward and imagine you’re holding tight to something in front of you.
  4. Lift your torso in an upright position as you bend your knees into your chest.
  5. Repeat.

Cross-Body Mountain Climber Crunches

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Elevate your total ab workout with a variation of the mountain climber exercise. In addition to working your entire core, the cross-body mountain climber crunch will also work your upper arms.

  1. Start in a plank position and keep your arms straight beneath your shoulders as you engage your core.
  2. Pull your left knee as close as you can to your right elbow and keep your hips level.
  3. Move your left knee back to starting plank position.
  4. Repeat this movement using your right knee and left elbow.
  5. Continue to alternate sides.

Hundreds

hundreds-01Finish your total ab workout with hundreds! This simple exercise is nicknamed for the amount of beats you’re supposed to do it for in Pilates. Holding this position will make your whole body warm and allow you to feel the burn in your abs.

  1. Sit up with your knees bent to a 90° angle and bring your arms up to be parallel to the floor in front of you.
  2. Engage your core as flutter your arms up and down at a moderate pace.
  3. Continue for 50 seconds.

Oblique Workouts

Russian Twists

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Work those oblique muscles with Russian twists! Building your obliques using this exercise will help rotate your torso and slim down your waist.

  1. Sit upright with your legs bent at a 90º angle the knees and your feet together and parallel to the ground.
  2. Twist your entire torso to the right, bringing your left elbow to your right knee while keeping your legs still.
  3. Twist your entire torso to the left, bringing your right elbow to your left knee.
  4. Continue to alternate for 50 seconds.

Side Hip Raises

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For the final oblique workout exercise, make sure you save your core strength! For this exercise, make sure you do two repetitions for 50 seconds each—once on the left side and once on the right.

  1. Start in a side plank position using your left or right forearm as balance.
  2. Engage your core and keep your feet stacked on top of one another with your opposite arm on your hip.
  3. Raise your torso off the ground, keeping your core strong.
  4. Repeat for 50 seconds and then switch sides.

Reaching Oblique Crunches

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Modify your basic crunch to strengthen your oblique muscles with reaching oblique crunches.

  1. Lie on the ground with your knees bent slightly.
  2. Place your hands behind your head to cradle it
  3. Reach your left arm up while squeezing your abs in to lift and touch your right knee.
  4. Lower and do the reverse side using the right hand and left knee.
  5. Cycle through from side to side for 50 seconds.

For more simple workout exercises, be sure to also check out the Daily At Home Workout Schedule.

10 Foods to Avoid Before Bed and Healthy Alternatives

It’s late at night and you’re about to go to sleep, but a snack before bed just sounds so good. Studies have proven that munching before bed can cause weight gain and restlessness, but don’t lose hope! Don’t go to bed hungry anymore. The Front Door has compiled a list of the delicious foods to avoid before bed as well as a healthier alternative. Happy snacking!

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1. Wine and Alcohol

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A glass of red wine before bed might seem like it can help you relax and fall asleep faster, but it actually will prevent your body from experiencing REM. Alcohol can cause you to wake up multiple times throughout the night, so skip the drinking!

Instead: Drink skim milk. Milk contains an amino acid called tryptophan and the hormone melatonin that induce sleep.

2. Coffee and Soda

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It’s no surprise that caffeinated drinks are bad before bedtime, and for good reason. Caffeine can stimulate the central nervous system for hours after consumption and leave you wide awake and restless.

Instead: Drink tea. Teas like valerian tea, hop tea, and lemon balm tea act as sedatives that will make you drowsy and calm before drifting off. Tea also helps combat anxiety and reduces levels of sleeping disorders. But stay away from green tea! Green tea can give you an energy boost and make it difficult to lower your heart rate before resting.

3. Ice Cream

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Late-night ice cream in bed is always a favorite, but ice cream is loaded with fat, making it one of the top foods to avoid before bed. You’re not going to burn any of it off before you fall asleep and all the excess sugar is going to give you energy.

Instead: Eat cottage cheese or low-fat Greek yogurt for your dairy fix. Cottage cheese is rich in protein that will keep hunger from striking throughout the night while low-fat Greek yogurt is great for settling your stomach and isn’t high in calories.

4. High-Sugar Cereals

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A bowl of cereal is an easy meal, but your favorite brands will make your blood sugar spike and crash—making it hard to sleep.

Instead: Don’t skip out on cereal; just choose something healthier. Fortified cereal like granola and brands with whole-grain along with skim milk will satisfy your hunger without being unhealthy.

5. Spicy Foods and Hot Peppers

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Spicy food and hot peppers are good for getting your metabolism pumping, but they won’t do much good for helping you fall asleep. Spicy foods can also trigger heartburn and increase body temperature, making it hard to stay asleep.

Instead: Enjoy a bowl of vegetable soup. Vegetables like carrots and cauliflower are full of healthy plant chemicals and low in carbohydrates, making soup a great alternative.

6. Cheeseburger or Steak

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You might think a high-protein dinner will keep you full at night, but it can actually lead to sleep disturbances. Heavy meats are one of the main foods to avoid before bed because they can cause you indigestion and acid reflux since you’ll be lying down with a full stomach.

Instead: Eat turkey. Turkey meat is a good source of tryptophan, which makes you sleepy and is a much leaner meat that will be a healthier source of protein before bed.

7. Pretzels and Chips

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Skip the salty snacks! Pretzels and chips are full of salt and carbohydrates and the calories won’t be burned off right before bed.

Instead: Snack on sweet potato fries or lightly salted popcorn. These low-calorie snacks will give you your salt fix and fill up your stomach without providing excess carbohydrates.

8. Chocolate

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Just like coffee, chocolate contains caffeine that will keep you up at night. Chocolate can increase arousal and decrease your ability to develop and sustain stages of sleep.

Instead: Eat an apple with peanut butter. This delicious snack is nutritious and full of protein that will fill you up before bed and satisfy that sweet tooth craving you have.

9. Fruit Juice

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It doesn’t matter what flavor, fruit juice contains a lot of sugars with no fiber to allow for an insulin release. By drinking juice, you might cause your blood sugar to spike during the night or give yourself heartburn due to the acidity.

Instead: Munch on cherries, bananas, or apricots. Natural fruits such as these are full of melatonin that will put you to sleep and contain natural sugars that will digest better in your body.

10. Pasta or Pizza

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Pasta and pizza might be one of the most craved nighttime foods, but don’t indulge on Italian, as these are foods to avoid before bed. If you are going to enjoy pasta or pizza, make sure you eat them earlier in the day since they are full of calories, carbohydrates, and saturated fats that your body won’t be able to digest before bed.

Instead: Have a couple of hard-boiled eggs. These are full of protein that will fill you up without a ton of excess calories.

Daily Exercise Schedule: Working out at Home

It’s the start of a new year and a new you! With 2017 here, gyms might get a little crowded with people trying to get in shape as part of their new year’s resolution, so save yourself some gym membership money, and try working out at home instead! The Front Door has put together some quick and easy workouts for your abdominals, arms, and legs that you can do in the comfort of your own home without weights or equipment. Follow our schedule for your daily exercise routine to keep you toned!

Depending on the day of the week, cycle through each workout for arms, legs, or abs. Within each category, rotate between exercises to avoid overexertion. Remember to take a 30-second break between each set to relax your body before the next workout.

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Abs

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Bicycle Crunches: 3 Sets of 25

Time to work on those abdominals! Start out your ab workout with bicycle crunches to strengthen your core.

  1. Lie flat on the floor with your lower back pressed to the ground.
  1. Place your hands behind your head and keep your knees in towards your chest as you lift your shoulders off the ground.
  1. Straighten your right leg and keep it slightly raised above the ground as you turn your upper body to the left. Bring your right elbow in towards the left knee.
  1. Switch sides and repeat this motion.

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Plank Taps: 3 Sets of 25

Next, intensify your ab workout by toning your core and shoulders with plank taps.

  1. Begin in a plank position. Keep your hips and shoulders square to the ground and your back straight. Try to keep to still.
  1. Lift your left hand off the ground to tap your right shoulder then place it back on the ground.
  1. Lift your right hand off the ground to tap your left shoulder then place it back on the ground.
  1. Repeat until 25 total repetitions have been reached!
  2. The most important thing to remember in this exercise is to engage your core and try not to let your hips dip from side to side. Keep them square with your shoulders.

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Reverse Crunches: 3 Sets of 25

To finish your ab workout, keep those core muscles active with reverse crunches.

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. Stretch out your arms beside you to support yourself as you lift off.
  1. Bend your knees and lift your feet. Your legs should create a 90-degree angle. Keep your feet together.
  1. Inhale and pull your legs toward your chest, keeping your abs active. Rock your knees toward your face and point your feet toward the ceiling.
  1. Exhale and lower your legs back to starting position. Repeat.

Arms

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Elbows-In Push-Ups: 3 Sets of 25

Start working out your arms with the correct type of push-up! Elbows-in push-ups will give you defined arms, a strong chest, and toned shoulders while reducing the chance of serious injury.

  1. Get into a high plank position. Keep your back straight and place your hands firmly on the ground beneath your shoulders.
  1. Lower your body to the floor still keeping your back flat and your elbows firmly beside your torso.
  1. Push back up and repeat.

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Tricep Dips: 3 Sets of 15

Next, work out your triceps to easily tone your arms with triceps dips. You can do this workout routine with a bench or a chair.

  1. Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a securely placed chair or bench.
  1. Sit in front of the chair or bench on the ground with your legs extended in front of you
  1. Slightly straighten your arms as your lift your body off the ground.
  1. Slowly lower your body back down to the ground until your shoulder joints are below your elbows.
  1. Repeat.

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Burpee with Push-Up: 3 Sets of 10

For the last leg of your workout, do sets of burpees with push-ups for some intense arm toning.

  1. Bend over or squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you outside your feet.
  1. Jump both feet back into a plank position.
  1. Do a push-up with your chest just barely touching the floor.
  1. Push-up to return to a plank position.
  1. Jump your feet in towards your hands and step into a jump with your arms reaching out overhead.
  1. Squat down and repeat.

Legs

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Lunges: 3 Sets of 25

Start out your leg routine with lunges to get those leg muscles stretched out! Lunges are a good for strengthening and sculpting your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings.

  1. For a proper lunge, first stand with your upper body straight with your shoulders back.
  1. Position your chin up and pick a point to stare at in front of you and engage your core as you step forward with one leg.
  1. Lower your hips until both knees are bent at a 90-degree angle and make sure your knee doesn’t touch the floor and your front knee is positioned above your ankle.
  1. Keep the weight in your heels as you rise up to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg forward.
  2. Continue to switch back and fourth between legs until 25 total reps have been completed.

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Cossack Squats: 3 Sets of 20

Next, work your inner leg muscles, glutes, and groin muscles with Cossack squats for more intense leg toning.

  1. Begin with a wide stance.
  1. Keep your right foot flat on the ground and your hip and knee aligned overtop.
  1. Point your left toe upward with the heel down and rotate your left knee straight up.
  1. Sit down into your hips and keep your back flat.
  1. Push up to a standing position using your legs as you move to repeat the workout on your left side.

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Jump Squats: 3 Sets of 20

Lastly, elevate the intensity of your leg routine with jump squats to condition your leg muscles and joints.

  1. Get into a normal standing position with your feet parallel and your body facing forward. Your feet should be positioned under your shoulders.
  1. Slide your toes a couple inches apart and turn them slightly outward.
  1. Lower into a squat by moving your hips back and down and bending your knees. Keep your arms at your sides for support
  1. Jump as forcefully and high as you can while reaching your arms above your head. The balls in your feet should be the last part of your body to leave the ground.
  1. Land feet first and bend your knees to brace the impact. Try to land as softly and smoothly as possible before jumping again.

DISCLAIMER: The authors of this blog have based these writings upon their own experiences, beliefs, and research regarding the topics covered. However, the authors are not medical doctors, nurses, professional trainers, or otherwise formally qualified in this subject matter. The information contained in this blog is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical or health advice and does not represent the opinions of Furniture Row, Denver Mattress, or any of its affiliates. All exercise and health decisions should be made with approval of your healthcare provider. This blog post is a labor of love intended to motivate and encourage readers to make healthy decisions after consulting with a qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, please read this blog and use the information that you derive from it appropriately and at your own risk.

How to Choose the Perfect Pillow to Sleep Better

Better sleep equals better health, and finding the perfect pillow can help you get your much-needed zzzs. The wrong pillow can cause and worsen many ailments including neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and overall mental disorientation. Overall, there are several main things to consider when choosing the perfect pillow. We’ve outlined the main options to get maximum rest and offer some of our favorite pillows for each sleeper type.pillow-sleep-position

What Perfect Pillow Does Your Sleeping Position Need?

Consider what sleeping position you tend to prefer. Do you like to sleep on your stomach, side, or back? Take a few nights to figure out which sleeping position fits you best. This step is important because it determines which perfect pillow is right for you.

You want to make sure that you have a straight line from neck to spine when laying down in your preferred sleep position on the pillow. You may want to think about your body frame during this process. Having a bigger frame could bump you up to a thicker pillow, while being more petite could require a thinner pillow. Denver Mattress offers free fittings for both mattress and pillows. Their experts can help you find the perfect pillow so your spine is in alignment while sleeping. Schedule a fitting at your location here.

Side Sleeper

If you are a side sleeper, your perfect pillow will be thicker. It will offer support for the area between your neck and shoulder.

Back Sleeper

If you are a back sleeper, your perfect pillow will have medium plumpness. It will be able to support the area under your neck so your head isn’t propped too far forward or too far backward.

Stomach Sleeper

If you are a stomach sleeper, your perfect pillow will be thin and soft. It will cushion the head and neck at a comfortable angle.

What Are You Looking for in Perfect Pillow?

Now that you have you sleep position figured out, there are many options for the perfect pillow. What specific sleep problems do you encounter? Maybe you suffer from asthma or allergies and want a hypoallergenic pillow. Or perhaps you get hot at night and want a plump head cushion that will moderate your temperature.

Value

Many sleep experts recommend replacing your pillow every twelve to eighteen months. With this schedule, value is often an important consideration to avoid breaking the bank. BedWorks Grand Vitae is a great line of pillows offered at an affordable price, ranging from $40-$50 depending on the size. All of these pillows are stuffed with a hypoallergenic microfiber down alternative. Also, they are washable and fluffy, extending the life of your perfect pillow.

  • Bedworks Grand Vitae Ultimate: Great for side sleepers and/or larger body frames, this pillow has a 2″ gusset for maximum support and increased surface area.
  • Bedworks Grand Vitae Luxury: Perfect for back sleepers, combo sleepers, and/or medium body frames, this pillow has a 1″ gusset to keep your spine in perfect alignment.
  • Bedworks Grand Vitae Select: This pillow is the thinnest pillow in the line. It is great for stomach sleepers, small body frames, and/or children.

Temperature Control

If you aren’t sleeping well due to feeling hot at night, your perfect pillow should be able to regulate your temperature. Bedgear’s Balance Self-Leveling Pillow features Dri-Tec® Performance Fabric. This fabric wicks away heat and moisture to help you sleep cool and dry. Reducing heat trapped next to your body helps you sleep more restfully and achieve recovery. Moreover, they have Air-X® Technology Ventilated Panels to keep air flowing, moving heat away from your head, neck, and shoulders. This maintains ambient temperatures in the pillow core. Boost Foam™ is made from the milk sap of rubber trees, nature’s most durable support material. Blended with silk-feel microfibers, this product has a hypoallergenic, breathable, and soft foam fill with exceptional conforming traits.

  • Balance 3.0 Self Leveling Pillow: Sleep tested for side sleepers and broad body types, this pillow uses shock absorbing technology to alleviate pressure points.
  • Balance 2.0 Self Leveling Pillow: Sleep tested for back sleepers and medium body types, this pillow uses shock absorbing technology to alleviate pressure points.
  • Balance 1.0 Self Leveling Pillow: Sleep tested for stomach sleepers and small body types, this pillow uses shock absorbing technology to alleviate pressure points.

Hypoallergenic

Although all the pillows we have mentioned today are hypoallergenic, if you suffer from asthma or allergies, you may want your perfect pillow to have extra protection.

  • Bedworks HeveaPUR Organic Pillow: Natural and certified organic, this is the perfect pillow for side sleepers. Allergen-free and dust mite resistant, this latex pillow has a washable, 100% organic cotton cover.
  • SleepAngel Anti-Allergy Filter Pillow: This pillow is clinically proven to block germs, allergens, dustmites, and dander. It is made of MicroFibre to provide a down-like, soft, medium support for back sleepers. If you like the idea of this pillow but prefer a foam pillow, try the Sleep Angel HeaveaPUR Foam Pillow.
  • Mist 0.0 Performance Pillow: This pillow fits people who often sleep without a pillow, love a cuddle pillow, or want a down-like feel of soft cushioning. This hypoallergenic pillow will keep you sleeping healthy if you are a stomach sleeper or have a small body frame.

Overall, it’s important to find the perfect pillow that’s right for you. After figuring out your preferred sleep position and the qualities you are seeking, we’ve got you covered to help find the perfect pillow.

Still confused? Schedule a pillow fitting at your local Denver Mattress Store.

Need the perfect mattress? Read about how to choose a mattress here.

3 Detoxifying Juice Recipes for 2017

A new year often makes us think about our health and how we can achieve maximum wellness. One way to rejuvenate your body for 2017 is to consume cleansing foods. Even though it can be tough to eat healthy throughout the day, it’s quite easy (and delicious) to drink your daily dose of positive energy. We’ve outlined three detoxifying juice recipes, each with their own health-promoting agendas, that will get you through 2017 at your body’s best!

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Detoxifying Juice Recipes #1: Rise and Shine
Energize your body and brighten up your skin

This reddish-purple juice is just the thing your mind and body needs first thing in the morning. Beet juice has been known to lower blood pressure in healthy adults, and can also increase your and stamina, giving you the energy you need to get through your day. Also, the natural nitrates in beets can boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance. Made 95% out of water, the cucumber juice rehydrates the body. When held in the mouth for thirty seconds, it also can eliminate the microorganism that causes the bad breath that many of us wake up to. Bursting with vitamin C, the orange and apple juices unite to produce collagen to keep your skin healthy and glowing!

  • 1/2 of one beet
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/2 of a cucumber
  • 1/2 of an apple
  • 1 stalk kale
  • 10 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice*
  • 1 carrot

Detoxifying Juice Recipes #2: Total Body Defense
Ward off seasonal sickness

When everyone in the office is sick or you feel an illness coming on, this orange-colored juice is the perfect elixir to keep you healthy! The pineapple juice contains bromelain enzyme, which is beneficial in preventing coughs and colds. To reduce the risk of various forms of temporary illnesses, this detoxifying juice recipe contains a carrot. Like most orange vegetables, carrots are rich with carotenoids, potent antioxidants which defend the body from free radical damage, harmful bacteria, viruses, and inflammation. The lemon and orange juice are excellent sources of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies. Finally, the teaspoon of immune-boosting honey has a wide range of therapeutic effects, including soothing a cough or throat irritation.

  • 1/4 of a pineapple
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1 carrot
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 small finger of ginger
  • 10 oz. fresh-squeezed orange juice*
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Detoxifying Juice Recipes #3: Antioxidant Booster
Protect against chronic illness for maximum health

Rich in antioxidants, this is one of the most important of our detoxifying juice recipes. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, by using its antioxidants to increase the flow of fresh blood and removing harmful impurities from the body. Kale not only is packed with vitamins and minerals, but it also flushes out the kidneys, so you can achieve the maximum detox effect. We’ve also added spinach in this juice, which contains a good amount of flavonoids, lution, and chlorophyll. This can prevent and combat the formation of cancerous cells in your body. Last, blueberry juice is healthy for your heart, can lower cholesterol levels, and has been linked to the prevention brain degeneration. Known to help prevent diabetes, blueberries can also aid in improving insulin sensitivity for those who already have the disease. This green machine is sure to do the job to help you stay healthy!

  • 1 stalk kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/4 large lemon or 1/2 small
  • 1 small finger of ginger
  • 1/2 green apple
  • 10 oz fresh squeezed orange juice or no added sugar orange juice
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

All of these recipes can be made by blending all ingredients in a juicer or blender and mixing until smooth. For our recipes we used a nutrient extractor blender. Feel free to mix and match ingredients to achieve the health benefits you desire!

*Fresh-squeezed orange juice can be substituted with store-bought orange juice. Just be sure to get 100% orange juice with no added sugars. 

DISCLAIMER: The authors of this blog have based these writings upon their own experiences, beliefs, and research regarding the topics covered. However, the authors are not medical doctors, nurses, professional nutritionists, or otherwise formally qualified in this subject matter. The information contained in this blog is not intended to be construed in any manner as medical or health advice and does not represent the opinions of Furniture Row, Denver Mattress, or any of its affiliates. All diet decisions should be made with approval of your healthcare provider. This blog post is a labor of love intended to motivate and encourage readers to make healthy decisions after consulting with a qualified healthcare professional. Therefore, please read this blog and use the information that you derive from it appropriately and at your own risk.

Low-Maintenance House Plants That Purify the Air

As the months start to get colder, one way to satisfy your green thumb is to bring a little bit of the outdoors inside. House plants can make any space feel cheerier, and with these low-maintenance solutions, caring for your new botanical friends shouldn’t be too difficult. The added bonus? These thriving home accessories also will make your space feel fresh and rejuvenated, as they all have the ability to purify the air. NASA suggests that every household have 10-15 plants for air purification, so let the search begin!

We’ve compiled ten of the best house plants to try out as the outdoor trees start to lose their leaves and as snow begins to fall. You’ll love them so much that they are sure to become year-round staples to make your space more inviting and your oxygen cleaner.

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Icon Key for House Plants

As you explore the house plants below, be sure to consider what each icon means to describe the plants. The exclamation point means that the plant is harmful for cats and dogs, so if you decide on these varieties, be sure that it is placed where your furry friends can’t reach them. Please note, that this symbol can also mean that the plant is toxic to humans if ingested or can cause irritation for skin, so if you have little ones around, this plant might not be ideal for your family. The tear drop signifies how much water each of the house plants needs. The windmill will inform you of the air purification level, or the level of the plant’s ability to clear the air. Finally, the sunshine and clouds will tell you the best environment for the plant to thrive, or in other words, how much sunlight it should be exposed to.

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English Ivy

  • Sunlight: Partial sun to partial shade
  • Water: 1/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

This vining plant is best known for its evergreen foliage that is often used as a ground covering or as it climbs up brick walls or fences. When you care for the English ivy, be sure to water it fully, but infrequently. This means water the plant until water comes out of the bottom, but then wait until the soil is almost completely dry to water it again. In regards to sunlight, the English ivy should avoid direct sunlight, and also responds well to florescent light. Nasa scientists listed the English ivy as the number one air-filtering plant, and it is most effective for absorbing formaldehyde.

Rubber Plant

  • Sunlight: Partial sun to partial shade
  • Water: 3/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

The rubber plant is one of the most common types of house plants, and it requires moderate attention. When watering this plant, water it with lukewarm (not cold, as this can shock the plant). These house plants thrive in humid, moist environments, so in between waterings, you may want to spray the leaves. If you start to notice the leaves turning yellow, cut back on watering, because this means that the plant has too much water.

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Peace Lilly

  • Sunlight: Full shade
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 5/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

Peace lillies, also known as closet plants, are a popular type of house plant because they are relatively easy to care for and their pure white blossoms are pretty to look at. Try not to expose your peace lilly to direct sun or cold temperatures, or it can develop brown, shriveled leaves. You’ll want to water this house plant about once a week, but only enough to make the soil damp. Watering too little will make the plant droop, but watering too much will cause the roots to rot, which could kill the plant. The peace lilly is good at removing toxins from the air.

Aloe Plant

  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Water: 1/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

Aloe plants are native to tropical regions, but can be one of the best house plants for indoors as well. The soothing aloe vera gel found inside the plant can heal burns, and when the “babies” sprout off the main plant, you can break them, repot, and give to a friend. The Aloe plant prefers an area where they receive direct sunlight at least part of the day, so place this home accent near a window, where it can soak in the rays. This plant is great at clearing the air of pollutants caused by chemical cleaning products, and when the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive, the plant’s leaves will display brown spots.

Spider Plant

  • Sunlight: Partial sun
  • Water: 3/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

The easy-to-grow spider plant produces curved green and light yellow leaves and looks especially pretty in a hanging basket. This plant requires moderate watering, so be sure to not let the soil get dry. The spider appreciates partial sun, but not direct sunlight. Like the aloe plant, once the spider plant has “babies,” you can replant them to grow a new plant. Spider plants are effective at fighting pollutants commonly found in the home such as benzene, formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and xylene.

Bamboo Palm

  • Sunlight: Partial shade to full shade
  • Water: 4/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

Potted bamboo palm house plants bring color and warmth to any room in the home. They also made NASA’s list of top clean-air plants with a purifying score of 8.4. It’s also particularly effective at clearing out benzene and trichloroethylene. These need to be well-watered and live in shade or indirect sunlight.

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Florist Chrysanthemum

  • Sunlight: Full sun
  • Water: 4/4
  • Air Purification: 5/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: No

The potted mum has a incredible transpiration rate, which makes it effective at cleaning the air. You should water these house plants about twice a week, always keeping the soil moist. You also will need to allow the florist chrysanthemum to get plenty of bright light. Usually only used as a temporary plant in our homes, your mum will most likely stick around for 6-8 weeks.

Red-Edged Dracaena

  • Sunlight: Partial sun
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

Dragon trees need moderate to bright indirect sunlight to thrive. A sure way to kill one of these house plants is to over water it, so let water go through the bottom of the pot, but drain excess so it isn’t sitting in standing water. Make sure to wait until the soil is dry to the touch to water it again. The red-edged dracaena starts as a table plant, but it will grow quickly to become a floor plant that effectively purifies your air from toxins. Fifteen foot dracaenas are common, but you can control their height by cutting of the top at the desired tallness.

Snake Plant

  • Sunlight: Partial sun, partial shade, or full shade
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 4/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

A snake plant has upright leaves with light, wavy, crossing lines that give it its name. It will survive in a variety of sunlight conditions, but will continue to grow in moderate or indirect sunlight. You’ll want to make sure these house plants are quite dry before watering. Be sure to water on the outside edges of the pot, and don’t put water directly into the roots of the plant. The snake plant is special because it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen during the night (while most house plants do this during the day). Place one in your bedroom for a fresh and clean nighttime slumber.

Fiddle Leaf Fig

  • Sunlight: Full sun to partial sun
  • Water: 2/4
  • Air Purification: 2/5
  • Dangerous for Pets/Kids: Yes

The fiddle leaf fig is one of the most “it” house plants of the moment. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, the fiddle leaf fig isn’t difficult to care for. You can water the plant about once a week, or when the soil starts to look dry. Try to keep the plant in an area where it will get ample sunlight to thrive. When the leaves get dusty, be sure to give them a good wipe-down with a wet cloth.

Download the full plant guide in one easy printable.

Want new house plants but have no open surface space to place them? Try Furniture Row’s Galvanized Plant Stands to fix the problem!

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Or do you want to display your house plants in a more mobile setting? Try placing your pots in the Galvanized Trolley, to make sure that your plants are getting the sunlight they need all day.

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Best Lighting: A Room-by-Room Guide

Finding the best lighting for each room in your home can be difficult when there are so many options to choose from. Different types, bulbs, brightnesses, and colors of lighting all can affect a person’s mental health, sleep patterns, and overall well being, especially for those that are sensitive to light. It’s important to find the best lighting that caters to each room of your home, so we’ve made a guide to make navigating the ropes of lighting a little bit easier.

Lights

Types of Lighting

Ambient or General Lighting: This typically is the main source of lighting for a room, and creates a comfortable level of brightness at a room’s “resting” level. Think of this uniform lighting as when you walk into a room and flip a switch. You should be able to easily see the entire space, walk around easily, and there shouldn’t be much glare or excessive brightness. Ambient lighting can be accomplished with wall and ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, lanterns, and recessed or track lighting.

Task Lighting: Task Lighting is usually brighter than ambient lighting, as it is allows you to do specific tasks such as food preparation, facial hygiene and makeup, reading or writing, and working on hobbies. This type of lighting is targeted to a particular space and includes recessed or track lighting, pendant lighting, floor or table lamps, and under-cabinet lighting.

Accent Lighting: This lighting highlights certain areas of your home and creates visual interest by drawing your eye to an accent of a room such as paintings, sculptures, wall textures, or window treatments. It usually should be at least three times brighter than the ambient light around it to be effective. Accent lighting is usually provided by spotlights, recessed or track lighting, and wall-mounted fixtures.

Living Room: Use ambient lighting to create your desired brightness, and then use accent lighting to create visual interest on a wall or in a corner. Task lighting such as a table lamp also could be present if you use the space to read.

Kitchen: In addition to ambient lighting, you’ll need a strong source of task lighting for preparing food. Consider adding dimmers so you can have brightness when cooking and are able to turn the lights down a notch to enjoy your meal or socialize with loved ones.

Bedroom: Create your own sleepy-time haven with ambient lighting, and add task lighting to areas such as a nightstand where you read or a dressing area.

Bathroom: Like laundry rooms, bathrooms usually have ambient lighting that is used as task lighting. Bring brightness to areas like your sink and mirror. You can also use candles as accent lighting to add depth to your bathroom.

Best LightingTypes of Bulbs

Incandescent: These are the bulbs that have been around the longest and are probably the most traditional of all bulbs. Incandescent bulbs use a filament that is heated to the point of glowing, which is used to produce a warm light. Incandescent bulbs last about one year and do not contain mercury.

LEDs: Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs use an electrical current passed through a semiconductor material to illuminate the tiny light sources called LEDs. These bulbs stay cool to the touch because the heat is produced in a heat sink inside the bulb. LEDs produce a variety of brightnesses and tones. These bulbs are much more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs and can last up to twenty years.

CFLs: An electric current flows between electrodes at each end of a tube containing gases, producing ultraviolet (UV) heat and light. A phosphor coating on the inside of the bulb strikes against the UV light, transforming it into visible light. Like LEDs, these bulbs come in a variety of light brightnesses and tones. These bulbs can last about nine years, however they do contain mercury so more care is required for disposal.

Halogen: Halogen bulbs use the same method as incandescent bulbs to produce light, but they use less energy. They last one year and do not contain mercury.

Fluorescent: Fluorescent bulbs are tubes filled with mercury vapor that emits UV light when electricity is applied. The tubes have an inside coating that turns the UV light into visible light. Like the CFLs, fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which needs to be carefully disposed.

Reading a Bulb’s Label

The FTC requires bulb packaging to include a label, similar to a nutrition label on a package of food, that includes information about how long the bulb will last, how much energy it uses, whether it meets Energy Star requirements, brightness levels, and light appearance (warm or cool). This label holds key information on how to find the best lighting for each room in your home.

Brightness: Lumens are the measure of brightness for light bulbs. The more lumens the bulb has, the brighter the light is. A typical home bulb produces about 800 lumens, which is the equivalent of 60 watts.

Living Room: 1,500 – 3,000 total lumens

Kitchen: 5,000 – 10,000 total lumens

Dining Room: 3,000 – 6,000 total lumens

Bedroom: 2,000 – 4,000 total lumens

Bathroom: 4,000 – 6,000 total lumens

Correlated Color Temperature: Kelvins are the units of measurement of a bulb’s color temperature or how warm or cool the light that it emits is. The higher the Kelvins, the cooler the light is. Studies have found that warmer light makes you feel more relaxed, while cooler light makes you feel more alert. Consider the color temperature measured by Kelvins when you are trying to find the best lighting for your home.

Warm (orange/red) bulbs are usually between 2,700K and 3,000K.

Medium white bulbs are usually between 3,000K and 4,100K.

Cool (blue) bulbs are usually 4,100K and higher.

Living Room: Choose a warm white bulb around 2,700K for an inviting feel, or if you prefer things a little brighter, go with a soft white bulb around 3,000K.

Kitchen: Kitchens should be light and bright, so look for bulbs around 3,500K – 4,100K.

Dining Room: Choose a bulb around 3,000K for a pleasing ambiance.

Bedroom: You don’t want a lot of bright, blue light before you go to sleep, so opt for a warm and cozy bulb around 2,700K.

Bathroom: Create a clean and neat feel with bulbs from 3,500K – 4,100K.

Types of Light Fixtures

Table Lamps: This is one of the most decorative types of lighting. Sit an accent lamp on an end table, desk, nightstand, or dresser to light up your room.

Floor Lamps: Floor lamps give off light around standing eye-level and don’t take up tabletop space.

Ceiling Mount Lighting: Often built-in to your home, these lights are controlled by a switch and send light downward.

Chandeliers/Pendant Lighting: This Lighting hangs from the ceiling and often makes a room have a put-together feel.

Sconce: Sconces are attached to the wall and cascade lighting outward.

Recessed/Track Lighting: This type of light sheds light across an entire room.

Living Room: table lamps, floor lamps, ceiling lighting, sconces

Kitchen: ceiling lighting, recessed/track lighting

Dining Room: chandeliers, pendant lighting

Bedroom: table lamps, floor lamps, ceiling lighting

Bathroom: ceiling lighting, recessed/track lighting, sconces

FR Lighting


SHOP THE LOOK: On table, left to right: Turned Finial LampChatham Table Lamp, Rockport Table Lamp, Quarterfoil Uplight in Silver, Caged Urn Black Table LampQuartrefoil Uplight GoldSegovia Table Lamp, Borreze Console Lamp, Antiqued Mercury Glass Table Lamp


Overall, finding the best lighting for your home is a long process, but it doesn’t have to be difficult with this guide. Once you are done, you will be happy that you took the time to find the best lighting for each room, as light truly affects your mental and physical health.