Style Illuminated

Our home decorating blog offers interior design tips and lighting ideas for today's home! Enjoy professional interior design advice, home decor ideas and inspiration.

  • Front Yard Fixes

    By now everything has thawed and it’s time to honestly assess the front of your house. Did everything survive winter? Do things look shabby? If so, front yard fixes are in order and don’t need to break the bank.

    A Classic Front Walk with Pathway Lights

    I fell in love with this pathway for a few reasons. First, it reminds me of summer in the country and second, it’s the epitome of a casual and elegant landscape design. Nothing says summer like the crunch of gravel under foot. Now, women who favor heels will probably argue, and I don’t blame them, but wispy grass, gravel paths and a white picket gate is the most welcoming summer entrance, ever.

    I also happen to love how this front yard is not too fussy. Simple with just a few natural elements are really all you need. The purist might push back on the lighting but I think chic pathway lights are critical for practical and aesthetic reasons. Naturally you need to find your way in the dark, and why not highlight your beautiful landscaping and hardscaping with subtle LED lights? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Modern Exterior Lighting and Accents in Black and White from Lamps Plus

    1. This bold, black LED downlight is ideal flanking front doors and truly pops on white wood, shingles or stucco.

    2. The traditional style black outdoor armchair is timeless on a front stoop or porch or nestled in a gravel patch leading up to your door.

    3. Light your path with this sleek landscape LED black dome path light by Kichler.

    4. I like the cheerful look to the Dann Foley Pacific metallic wicker square outdoor planter. It’s classic and fresh at the same time.

    5. Create a pathway focal point with this bronze landscape light by Hinkley.

    6. You can’t go wrong with garden stools, especially this high-energy white glaze cut-out version.

    Image: Lamps Plus

  • Bright Colorful Spring Interiors

    By this time of year, spring has definitely began to show it's beautiful, colorful face. I personally am a big fan of colorful, eclectic interiors that celebrate and embrace all the colorful options there are in interior design.

    There are so many smart, chic ways to incorporate bright. colorful spring interiors into your own home that are within your personal aesthetic. Let's take a look at some beautiful, inspiration images below.

    Colorful boho-style designed space

    This eclectic living room has a bohemian vibe with subtle nods to vintage and mid century lines. One way to bring a bright, spring feeling to your space is to embrace pattern, especially floral patterns.

    Finding a few beautiful lamp shades that you can swap out at a moment's notice injects life into your room with full gusto. Having solid walls and furniture really lets these fun, floral lamp shades become a playful focal point of the room.

    Light and airy entry/living room with midcentury style light fixture

    If you have a bit more of a contemporary aesthetic, injecting bright spring colors is easy to do with modern, abstract art. There are so many interesting art pieces available to the consumer these days.

    Choose a large wall art piece with lots of color and an abstract subject and it immediately brings your space to life, full of color and brightness.

    Industrial living room with bright pops of color

    To inject color without pattern think about mixing bright bold solids all around your space. This industrial space embraces bright greens, blues and reds beautifully without being overwhelming colorful.

    The base of the room is quite subtle, but the clever addition of the brightly colored upholstered ottoman, accent pillows and area rug as well as the painted accent wall transform this room into a fun, spring-inspired space.

    Neutral grey sofa with traditional crystal chandelier above

    The last living room above, to me, is a mix of all the previous styles. You see colorful, abstract patterns paired with bright solids in a very interesting yet mature and stylish way.

    Bookcases are a great space to inject some color if you are wary of a full commitment as you can mix and match colorful books and collectibles easily.

    How will you inject some bright color into your spring interiors?

  • The Perfect Outdoor Table

    If you have read my blog for any length of time, then you already know that I am *mildly* obsessed with outdoor living. From hosting simple dinners in the garden to enjoying evenings by the fire on the patio - entertaining and relaxing outdoors enjoying the beauty of nature all around is one of my favorite things. 

    Outdoor table setting with different chairs and ruffled cloth and flowers
    And this month, I am excited to be bringing you several posts that are all about outdoor living and getting ready for spring and summer entertaining.

    Today - we are talking about finding the perfect outdoor table. There are so many different styles of  outdoor tables to choose from.

    From a bistro set in warm wood...


    Simple wood bistro table sitting by pool


    to  a classic bistro dining set with detailed metalwork and charming wicker chairs...

    Woven wicker bistro chairs on wood porch
    So how do you choose the best one for your space?

    There are 3 things I consider when deciding on a table for the patio that may help.

    Cross back style chairs at outdoor table

    1. The Look

    I love natural woods, vintage look and old world styling. So something simple and classic, such as this acacia wood outdoor table, speaks to me. Plus - some of the woods will weather to a wonderful soft silvery gray as well - which is beautiful.


    Classic wood patio table and chair set with colorful rug and flowers


    2. Is it Made for Outdoor Use?

    Though I love farmhouse tables out in a field of flowers - the simple fact is outdoor furniture has to be able to stand up to the elements if you plan to leave it outdoors. So make sure that it is made for outdoor use - and that it is sealed. This cast aluminum outdoor furniture set is great for being outdoors.


    Metal patio table and chairs on a stone patio


    3. Does it Fit My Space?

    Sure you can find outdoor tables that will weather well and have a gorgeous look - but if the color and size is wrong - it won't be something you will enjoy. So find something that is your style and that fits your space. I have a huge crush on wicker outdoor furniture - and for outdoor wear and tear - faux wicker is perfect.


    Woven wicker patio chairs and table set
    What ever your favorite style and look is - when searching for the perfect outdoor table keep those three things in mind to make sure that you find one that steals your heart and that will bring you years of enjoyment.

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • 5 Ideas to Make Your Outdoor Living Space the Place to Be

    Beautiful summer days are knocking on our door, so it's time to start thinking about what you need to do to design the perfect outdoor living space!

    Here are 5 ideas to help you design an outdoor space to enjoy morning to night.

    Outdoor living area on front porch with outdoor ceiling fan

    1. A Space to Relax

    Whether it's a complete outdoor furniture set or a sitting area you designed a la carte, a place to kick back is a necessity for you to enjoy the lazy, hazy days (and nights) of summer. Today's outdoor furniture ranges from modern to traditional, so there is something for every taste and style.

    Modern faux wicker outdoor sectional and cocktail table overlooking the ocean

    #2 Outdoor Lighting

    Are you looking to continue to enjoy your outdoor living space after the sun sets? Then you need the right outdoor lighting. There are plenty of stylish outdoor lighting options like eye-catching outdoor pendant lights or wall lights designed for the outdoors (or both) to light your outdoor living space.

    Festive party lights look great wrapped around tree trunks, strung overhead from tree branches or tiki torches, or woven through the beams of a pergola. You should also have deck lighting as a safety precaution so you don't trip on stairs or, god forbid, walk off the edge of the deck!

    Veranda with faux wicker outdoor seating and outdoor pendant and outdoor wall lights

    #3 Have Fun with Color

    Visual texture is as important outside as it is in your interiors. Bring color, pattern and texture outdoors with a mix of colorful outdoor decorative pillows and fun patterned indoor/outdoor area rugs.

    Rattan outdoor dining set with ceiling fan and indoor/outdoor area rug

    #4. Take Advantage of ALL Your Outdoor Space

    Don't be afraid of extending your outdoor living space beyond your patio, terrace or deck! Place a weatherproof table and chairs on the grass or in the middle of your garden to make the perfect place to enjoy your morning coffee and newspaper.

    Create a whimsical setting for an outdoor dinner party by moving off the patio into the greenery and string some party lights above to make it feel festive.

    Outdoor dinner party set-up with series of bistro tables, party lights and tiki torches

    #5. Add an Outdoor Fire Pit

    A wood-burning or gas-powered outdoor fire pit definitely draws you in once the sun has set and the temps start to cool down. It's the perfect place to gather around for a lively fireside chat or even roast some marshmallows for s'mores!

    Some fire pits have a built-in table surface so it can double as a cocktail table. By adding a fire pit you can extend your outdoor living season into the fall (or later, depending on your climate.)

    Poolside outdoor sitting area with outdoor fire pit

    Use some or all of these ideas to design an outdoor living space that will make you never want to go inside!

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Reflecting on Mirrored Furniture

    One of my favorite things in any room is a mirror. They bounce light - from a window or even from the lamp down the hall. They make a room feel bigger with their seemingly endless repetition on reflections- and depending on their style- they add flavor and architectural interest.

    Mirrored console with gold cake stands and lamps
    Large and small mirrors and even eye-catching mirrored furniture is something that any room can benefit from - and since they come in so many styles - it is easy to bring them in and make them work for your space.

    Mirrored furniture is particularly a favorite - it exudes an elegance and classic charm that makes a room feel light and airy. And with so many styles to choose from- it is easy to bring a piece in to any style home or space.

    A few favorites of mine?

    #1. A Cocktail Table

    A cocktail table with a mirrored top? Yes, please.

    I am in love with the elegance that this piece has and how it almost seems to float in the space. This would fit right into traditional & modern rooms.


    Cocktail table with mirrored top and gold metal frame

    #2. Etagere

    Can you imagine this gorgeousness covered with vases and books? A mirrored etagere is always an elegant and refined addition to a room - and I love the gold metal with this one as well.


    Mirrored etagere with gold metal frame


    #3. A Mirrored Screen

    So perfect for using behind a chair or sofa in a living room - or even in a bedroom for a seating area - an antiqued mirrored screen is a charming and vintage style way to enjoy mirrored furniture - and I love the antique styling of this one.


    Room divider with antique mirror and gold frame


    #4. You're So Vain

    Bathroom vanities and even make up stations are a perfect way to add a touch of glam to your space.

    I am in love with the pieces that are modeled after an elegant piece of furniture such as this mirrored bathroom vanity. Such a beautiful way to add reflective beauty to a small space.


    Mirrored bathroom vanity with neoclassical details and black granite top
    #5. Statement piece

    Sometimes you want a bit bigger presence in your room with mirrored furniture. Think large and elegant with something like this armoire with mirrored doors. The mirrors reflect the light all while doing double duty of hiding bits or even a television.


    Distressed wood armoire with mirrored doors
    These are just a few of my favorites - but what about you? Do you have a favorite style or piece of mirrored furniture in your home?

  • Eco-Friendly Decor

    I think most people have become aware about the state of our planet and how we can be more sensitive to recycling, reusing and being more eco-friendly. Eco-friendly decor is a new realm of consciousness that can transcend thinking just about bottles and paper.

    An Eco Friendly Living Room with Natural Accents

    Eco-friendly decor can mean many things. I chose this living room picture because it displays some classic eco-style elements that are both eclectic and cozy.

    Warm, reclaimed wood decor balances beautifully with natural fibers as in the eco-style rug and pillows. The lighting is both metal, which could have come from other metal items like rebar or rods, and ceramic which may have started its life as a jar or pitcher.

    Reusing items in a new way is key to embracing this movement in your eco home decor. Simply trading something you have for something somebody else has is another way to create a smaller carbon footprint. Recycled pendants or turning old jackets into pillows...it’s all a small step to making consumption smaller in scale, yet remain stylish.

    Eco-Conscious Lighting and Home Accents from Lamps Plus

    1. This natural walnut LED wall sconce has a greater life span than the ordinary bulb and has a chic modern look. It’s great for a hallway.

    2. I like the playful recycled mirror set of 2 for a teen bedroom or eclectic style hall or bedroom.

    3. This reclaimed glass chandelier by Veraluz captures the sophistication of a classic Mid Century pendant with jewel tones that sparkle.

    4. I love the Coastal feel of this recycled glass table lamp by Regina Andrew.

    5. Looking for a renewable material source for flooring? I would consider this tan bamboo area rug.

    6. The exotic and spa like vibe of this teak enhanced LED solar lantern is great for a deck, patio or terrace.

  • 10 Questions for Green Builder Media on Green Building and Sustainability

    Lamps Plus recently announced a partnership with Green Builder Media as a sponsor of the VISION House at Mariposa Meadows that is nestled in the picturesque Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

    The VISION House at Mariposa Meadows

    The VISION House at Mariposa Meadows’s goal is to create a self-sufficient, carbon neutral development that will eventually include other low-impact residencies, a corporate campus and research center that will host environmental testing, training, and leadership summits.

    The project will operate off the grid by employing renewable energy sources like solar power. The project will also use a selection of lighting designs with low environmental impact from Lamps Plus. We have a deep commitment to advancing sustainability and offer thousands of energy-efficient or LED designs!

    We were lucky enough to ask Sara Gutterman, CEO, and Ron Jones, President, of Green Builder Media several questions about green building and sustainable design:

    1. What is so beneficial about green building?
    Green building helps to reconcile the relationship between the natural and built environments by allowing us to provide the built spaces we need while reducing our footprint and demand on resources.

    2. Why should someone build green?
    It is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. For too long the construction industry, both residential and commercial, have used the metric of first cost to evaluate a project but we have come to understand that first cost is not full cost and that the true value can only be determined by taking the long view.

    3. Have you seen an increase in interest in sustainable design?
    Interest in sustainable design has grown at a significant rate ever since the last quarter of the 20th century, capturing the attention of producers and users alike.

    4. What is the most misunderstood aspect of green building?
    Many people still operate under the misconception that green building and sustainable development are too expensive to accomplish, thus unaffordable, a fallacy that is easily debunked when performance, durability and resiliency are factored in.

    5. What is the biggest trend you see coming in green design today?
    There is definitely more interest in downsizing many types of buildings, reflecting a desire to be more efficient in how we build and how we occupy the built space.

    6. In sustainable design, you should splurge on:
    Quality over quantity.

    7. How important is lighting in sustainable design?
    Long overlooked in the grand scheme of building design, the immense value of careful, intelligent lighting design and strategies and the resulting benefits to occupants has finally gained the stature it deserves.

    8. How large a role does LED technology play in sustainable design?
    LED technology has opened an immense set of new solutions to lighting challenges that could not be addressed by earlier lighting options, allowing for creative, efficient responses to the desires of the modern client.

    9. What sustainable building tip can you share about lighting?
    Use lighting not only for basic illumination but also an essential design element that can vastly increase the enjoyment of spaces and enhance the quality of our lives.

    10. What is a good DIY project people can do to make their homes more green?
    There are many steps people can take to make their homes more green. Obviously, upgrading to more energy efficient products is a big step. People can also do small things like composting or working with neighbors to create community gardens.

  • A Grey London Color Palette

    While I have had the honor of one of the mildest winters in recent history here in London, I must say that overall it is significantly more grey than what I am used to in sunny Southern California.  

    However, there is something a bit magical, mysterious and engulfing about a cold grey day that feels special. It makes you want to cuddle up with your loved ones, dive into a warm nook, or curl up with a good book and a big cup of tea.

    I wanted to explore achieving this same feeling with interior design, so here we have some beautiful and inspiring London grey interiors to spark your creative juices.

    English brick architecture in London

    The light grey skies almost allow the other colors around them to have their own voice. Sometimes when the sun is shining so bright, the beauty of architecture, landscaping and other details get lost due to the harshness of the sunshine. With a solid grey sky, the focus shifts back to the small things that they shroud. 

    Elegant home office with shagreen desk and white leather accent chair

    The same can be said for interiors. When you create an interior in a grey color palette, often times it can feel cold, but not necessarily in a bad way. The coldness you feel actually can work to your favor to inspire within the room. Solid grey painted walls do the same for the furniture as the grey skies do for the architecture. 

    Grey washed woods work really well in monochrome grey interiors as well. Smart wood desks and cabinets make this home office above a place that is cold and comforting at the same time.

    Living room with cream tufted sofa with nail heads and industrial lighting

    In your living room, utilizing an all grey palette can make the space somewhere that more intimate conversations and engagements can happen. The living room above does an excellent job of mixing textures as well as grey tones so the room feels monochromatic yet not boring or flat.

    The pop of the sheepskin rug is cleverly reminiscent of fluffy clouds, while the harder edges of the floor and table lamps contrast this nicely.

    White quatrefoil mirror over accessorized white mantel piece

    A little reminder of spring, green days never hurts in a London grey color palette. A pop of fresh flowers or beautiful potted faux grass reminds the senses that the looming grey days are not permanent and for that reason they can be savored and enjoyed while they linger.

    Grey stone paired with a monochromatic grey pattern fabric adds interest to the space, again giving what could be a flat, boring room immense interest and character.

    Image Source: Lamps Plus, Allison Rosenberg

  • Spring Decor Inspiration

    Decorating for spring is all about keeping things fresh and embracing nature. As a result spring decor should include natural elements like flowers and foliage showcased within a bright palette.

    A Cheerful Floral Wall with Formal yet Monochromatic Furnishings

    I love this image because it shows how to balance florals with other decor and furniture. If you choose to use large scale florals, try to stay neutral with other elements in the room. Notice the contemporary table lamp does not fight with the wall covering and upholstery is a simple, creamy white.

    Soft furnishings like throws and pillows can have bold patterns if your furniture is simple, but I would avoid floral on floral.

    If your lighting like a formal chandelier is ornate, polychromed or has floral decorative elements, keep the shades monochromatic for better balance.

    One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to embrace spring is buying a simple arrangement of flowers. Sometimes cheap and cheerful is all you need.

    Here are some examples of spring decor:

    Spring Inspired Home Lighting and Accessories from Lamps Plus

    1. This pink bone inlay wall mirror would add an exotic, Eastern design to walls in front halls and dressing rooms.

    2. Add a feminine touch to sconces and chandeliers with this rose print lamp shade.

    3. I like the light and airy feel of this formal pink chandelier. It would look great in a girl’s bedroom.

    4. There is nothing more timeless in a traditional home than a lamp like this floral designed, porcelain scalloped tea jar table lamp.

    5. This floral throw pillow featuring a large rose is a cheerful reminder of spring for a sofa or arm chair.

    6. Keep spring lasting even longer with this floral arrangement of peonies, roses and hydrangeas in a Mercury Glass vase.

  • The Modern Mix Living Room

    You might be scratching your head and asking "What does modern mix mean?". Its a relatively new term that signifies a mix of mid-century modern lines with our contemporary style. 

    Midcentury modern furniture has been quite popular for a while now, so its no wonder a new term was created to describe the look of a retro/contemporary room that celebrates the past but is pushing boundaries in the present.

    Here we will give you a few tips on how to achieve the perfect modern mix living room through various style and design elements.

    Sleek modern mix style living room

    COLOR PALETTE

    As you can see, the color palette of a modern mix living room draws heavily on the past with warm walnut, light heather grey and sunny yellow dominating. Its up to you how you incorporate this color mix into your living room.

    Luckily light grey and walnut are so versatile that they can be incorporated in a number of ways, from eye-catching upholstered seating to stylish cabinets to accent tables.

    If you don't want to commit to a large amount of yellow, try incorporating it with colorful table lamps or accent pillows - both of which add that color pop without becoming a major focal point.

    TEXTURE

    Something you may have heard your parents say is "not another shag rug!". Well I am here to tell you funky shag rugs are back in a big way, and they are perfect in a modern mix living room.

    Shag rugs today come in so many interesting colors, patterns and materials that there is a shag rug out there for everyone and every style. They are so comfortable and add that bit of chaos to an otherwise streamlined space.

    Corner of a modern living room with group of chrome and glass globe pendants

    FURNITURE

    Modern mix furniture typically has a small frame and low lines (Not for those super tall readers out there!).

    Sofas and chairs are minimal and simple yet it is exactly these reasons that make this style so desirable. The 'no clutter, no fuss' look of a modern mix is calming and streamlined.

    Peg or splayed legs on modern mix seating is a staple of the look, and interacts well with other accents in the room like tables and consoles that imitate the same shape.

    PATTERN

    Lastly, pattern is very important in a Modern Mix space. The subtle color palette that makes up the base of the room would fall a little flat if not for the bold 1960s patterns at play.

    Very much reminiscent of the past, these bright, cheerfully floral and geometric patterns add the depth and character to the space that was so prevalent in the past and enjoyed in the present.

    For more modern mix inspiration, check out Lamp Plus' Shop-by-Trend section.

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