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.

  • 5 Tips to Style Your Bookshelves like the Pros

    Here are 5 tips to style your bookshelves like the pros.

    Not only will they be organized, but you’ll have that sought after designer look in no time.

    1. Bookcases are not just for books.

    Create your own style with designer inspired home accessories. Add layers such as artwork, ceramics and stylish lighting to your bookcase shelves.

    Bookshelves come in all shapes and sizes so there is a perfect bookshelf for every style of decor.

    Consider framed photographs and interesting knick-knacks picked up on your travels. This will add tremendous visual interest, and make for interesting conversation starters.

    White monochromatic living room design with tufted sofa and slipper chairs

    2. Make room for negative space, the space around or between objects, on your bookcase.

    If your bookshelves are painted a contrasting color from your walls, let this color pop by leaving ample negative space for it to shine through.

    Glamorous living room with black and gold furnishings and a crystal chandelier

    3. Create the illusion of a higher ceiling by creating extra-long visual lines to your bookcase.

    Keep on stacking on top of the bookcase.In other words don’t stop at the last shelf.

    If possible, keep it going until you’re almost at the ceiling. This will help give the illusion that your ceilings are much higher than they really are.

    4. For a clean streamlined look, keep all spines at the same depth.

    So if you were to look at your bookcase from a side angle the spines would all be lined up in a neat straight line towards the front of the shelf.

    Having a similar book height and consistent color scheme will only accentuate this look.

    Soft Industrial-style living room with industrial floor lamp and distressed wood coffee table

    5. To create extra visual interest choose bookshelves with multiple shelves at varying heights.

    Alternatively, treat each bookcase cube like its own design scheme, alternating the color, size and orientation of the books.

    Home office design with gold etagere and shagreen desk with brass pharmacy floor lamp

    Ultimately, have fun with your bookshelves.

    They should tell a story about your life and be an expression of who you are.

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Budget Friendly Wall Mirrors

    It’s no secret that a great wall mirror can make a space, their reflective qualities help to both make a room feel larger and bounce light to illuminate the additional furnishings and accents.

    There isn’t a room that can’t benefit from a beautiful wall mirror; dining rooms, bedrooms, and bathrooms are primary candidates for a statement piece.

    Transitional dining room with gold chandelier with fabric shades
    At Lamps Plus, stylish wall mirrors are available in hundreds of styles and a wide variety of shapes. Gold is still going strong as a metal of choice in interior design, but copper, bronze, and chrome are equally alluring.

    A gallery wall of round mirrors over a mirrored gold console table
    You don’t need to spend a fortune to make a statement with a stunning wall mirror. Below you’ll find a dozen budget beauties under $200!

    The Tenney Antiqued Gold Crown Top Mirror is regal, yet modern with its curved detail and inner border.

    The Andreva Smoked Glass Mirror is eye-catching with its unique shape and glass tile border.

    Make a statement with the tinted gold glass framed Tamaro Sunburst Mirror or the more delicate Villarasca Sunburst Mirror with its woven gold wire frame.

    The Calverton Silver Octagon Mirror is a classic with its octagon shape and beveled mirror panels. The Cordele Beaded Wall Mirror is the most eye catching of all with its asymmetrical form and beautiful beaded border.

    A selection of budget-friendly wall mirrors available from Lamps Plus

    Add the warmth of wood with reclaimed wood frame found in the Howard Elliot Square Wall Mirror, or a dash of glam with the dimensional golden layered leaves of the Capestrano Gold Metal Leaves Wall Mirror.

    Your wall becomes more interesting when you hang the Cibola Gold Sunburst Mirror with its looped and layered golden rays. The Shawnee Silver Openwork Wall Mirror features an eye-catching openwork orbit in an offset design.

    Elongate a space with either of these shapely rectangular mirrors: the Cooper Classics Lowell Wall Mirror shows off a metal verdigris finish, while the Art Deco inspired scalloped shape of the Esbon Double Crown Mirror adds elegance - perfect for a foyer or dining room.

    A selection of wall mirrors available from Lamps Plus

    Find hundreds more wall mirrors at Lamps Plus where you’re sure to find one perfect for your space!

    Image: Lamps Plus

  • Style and Comfort with an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

    It is summer- which means- it is hot. And in some places - it is really hot. And when the heat index gets too high to even enjoy the evenings outdoors - you definitely need to find a way to cool down.

    Since running air conditioning outdoors on your patio is not the ideal way to go - a ceiling fan that looks as good as it works and does double duty might be.

     Outdoor room with ceiling fan, brick wall and lions head fountain
    Ceiling fans have definitely changed over the years - and when I think of outdoor ceiling fans, I think of those romantic southern homes with big porches and ceiling fans running all down the length of them.  I love the look - and love that those fans are also bringing a burst of a breeze to an otherwise hot hot hot spot. 

    But how to choose the right style when there are so many amazing options for outdoor ceiling fans now? Sharing a few tips and favorites today:

    Outdoor seating area with outdoor ceiling fan
    #1. Light and Airy

    I am loving light and airy looks in outdoor living rooms. From fabrics to light woods - a ceiling fan that is neutral blends in with the overall look and feel of your outdoor space.

    The Cool Vista Ceiling Fan in an oil-rubbed bronze finish has canvas blades to really bring that light feeling to the room.

    Ceiling fan with canvas blades
    #2. Go Tropical

    I love tropical style outdoors. It just makes you feel like you are on vacation all year long. And adding a tropical touch with this Minka Aire Gaugin Outdoor Ceiling Fan with those pretty palm leaf inspired blades does the trick.

    Tropical style ceiling fan in entry of yellow and white home
    #3.  Go Retro

    Maybe vintage modern industrial style is the one that fits your home to a T - so some of the more traditional ceiling fans just don't fit. 

    Industrial style cage ceiling fan
    You don't have to go with a ceiling fan style that you see every day. Be unique and choose the one that fits you.

    Going retro and a little more unique is easier than ever - and this Casa Vestige Cage Ceiling Fan is a vintage industrial aviator lovers dream.  

    But what if none of these fits and you need more options?

    Well, Lamps Plus has you covered.
    Build your own ceiling fan at Lamps Plus
     You can use their Build Your Own Ceiling Fan feature - and design a more custom look for your fan. Choose the elements you are looking for from the options, from motor size to blade style - and they will create it. Pretty awesome right?

     So with all the options for outdoor ceiling fans  what does your perfect one look like?

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • French Charm - 5 Must Have Pieces to Add a Touch of Elegance

    What is it about a French room that feels so absolutely charming and inviting - and classically elegant at the same time?

    French style office with gray and gold desk and gold mirror
    Maybe it is the way that the pieces all feel as if they are important. From the exquisite velvet loveseat to the hand me down table next to the flea market threadbare ottoman.

    No matter the pedigree or age, the French room makes those pieces feel as if they are all telling a story and are a must have piece in the picture.

    Patio with vintage french style carved coffee table
    It is no secret how much I am in love with French style - and I definitely am drawn to the vintage pieces and the new reproduction pieces alike. 

    I have been perusing the French style furniture over at Lamps Plus and making a must have list for an upcoming makeover - and thought I would share a few ideas with you today.

    #1. Elegant Velvet Sofa

    Glamorous taupe velvet sofa with elegant curves
    Seriously glam and gorgeous - this Jennifer Taylor Legacy Taupe Velvet Sofa is the epitome of classic, elegant. and glamorous style. 

    I love the simple smooth lines, detailed trim and of course - the creamy velvet fabric. Definitely a win.

    #2. Go Tufted

    The other popular style sofa that I am swooning over? Tufted roll arm sofas. Especially if they are in linen and are as gorgeous as the French-style Tessa Tufted Sofa.  

    Note the arms that fall ever so softly to the sides to create that elegant feeling. I could see two of these flanking a fireplace and creating a most charming seating area.

    Creamy linen color tufted roll arm sofa in living room

    #3. Slipper Chair

    A slipper chair is a small chair that doesn't usually have any arms. It is a simple sweet style that is perfect for adding as accent seating or for rooms where space is at a premium - but you want to bring in big style.

    This clean-lined Caelie Slipper Chair is a perfect example of delicious details making all the difference. Think one for an accent chair or double up the charm and bring in pairs for a seating area.

    Living room with blue walls and neutral furniture #4. French Porters Chair

    French style hooded chair with exposed frame

    Pretty much the epitome of French elegance - the Ellis Balloon Chair is a showstopper. Balloon or hooded chairs were once used by hall porters in France, and their shape with the dramatic hood and sides were there to help protect the porter from drafts.

    They have become a classic piece that has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

    #5. A Beautiful Bench

    French style bench and charcoal tufted sofa in living room with area rug

    You can't go wrong with adding a charming and beautiful bench to a room - especially when it is one that is tufted and sitting atop a gorgeous carved frame.

    This Athena Tufted Bench will be perfect used as extra seating - or even as a coffee table in the living room.  And it is even at home at the foot of the bed for a sprinkling of French charm.

    French bench at foot of bed with faux fur throw

    No matter what French style furniture you choose - bringing in a bit of that elegant charm and classic styling will add beauty and that certain je ne sais quoi to your home. Do you have a favorite piece from what I shared?

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • Creating a French Style Bathroom

    Feeling fancy and formal? Instead of an entire house remodel what about creating a French style bathroom? Bathrooms tend to be small so you can create a total fantasy jewel box that is private and just for you.

     Bathroom Fixtures in the French Style

    A French style bathroom should incorporate reflective surfaces like ornate mirrors and lots of crystal. When in doubt, add more to achieve this look.

    That goes for bathroom pendant light fixtures. Crystals on pendants will create shimmer and opulence.

    Now, while the glam squad would give you an A for decor, make sure you also have practical lighting to ensure functionality.

    You can find beautiful lighting fixtures online like the sconce above. There may be mirror and crystals, but the bulbs are clear and will offer you great light.

    Mirror can also be found on accessories and sink vanities. Any way you slice the baguette, remember to amp up the shine and gold to ensure an ooh la la moment in the loo.

    1. This ornate wall mirror by Uttermost has classic scrolling details that make it just fancy enough for a jewel-box style powder room.

    2. If you have the room, why not consider crystal pendants on either side of your bathroom mirror. This olive bronze crystal chandelier will certainly add drama.

    3. I always like having a spot to drop a watch and other small items. The Les Cartes vintage style gold script mirrored tray would look chic on a bathroom counter.

    4. Nothing looks more French than the Maison de Ville 3-light wall sconce by Feiss.

    5. This mirrored single sink vanity has French sophistication written all over it. While it might not replace the hall of mirrors at Versailles, it does impress.

    6. I like the classic beauty of this crystal ceiling light by Schonbek. It’s not only great in the bath, but would look just as special in a hall or dressing room.

  • Big Bathroom Updates on a Small Scale

    Do you have a bathroom that needs major personality but you're afraid to go too big because the space is so small?

    There are ways to make big bathroom updates that ooze personality while maintaining the small scale of the space and not overwhelming the eye.

    Check out how we can inject some big style elements on a small scale below.

    Mirrored bathroom vanity with crystal mini pendants instead of sconces

    When you want to make a major splash without throwing design elements in your face, adding an accent color will do the trick!

    While a white bathroom is all the rage at the moment, a pop of calming color like the blue tile above really makes the space feel grandiose without much effort.

    The beautiful bathroom vanity reflects the colored tiles, making the accent wall seem larger and more prominent than it really is.

    Mirrored bathroom vanity with mini crystal swag chandeliers

    Again we see a mirrored vanity that reflects he beautiful pattern of the wallpaper in this bathroom space.

    Adding a graphic wallpaper to the walls in a neutral tone brings life and movement without feeling cluttered and messy.

    Elegant pendant lighting is a great replacement to standard bathroom sconces and wall fixtures to bring a special, unique element to the space.

    If you are looking to light either side of a mirror, choose mini pendant lights.

    So you see, by changing one or two design elements, your small scale bathroom update can make a big bathroom impact!

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Adding Ambiance with the Perfect Outdoor Lighting

    Outdoor lighting plays a huge part in how much time you spend outdoors after nightfall and how much ambiance comes with it.

    Outdoor living room with wicker furniture and outdoor chandelier and wall lightThat evening glow means that your patio and outdoor living areas take on a whole new look. Today I am sharing a few inspiration photos of some of my favorite stylish outdoor lighting - and showing you just which lights you can use to get the look at your home.

    #1. Simple Style and an Abundance of Charm

    What I love:

    The simplicity in size and style of the wall lights and the way that the glow casts across the brick - a perfect amount of ambiance and charm.

     Patio with brick walls, chairs and outdoor wall fountain and bougainvilleaGet the Look:

    This Irvington Manor Wall Light from Minka Lavery will light up your entry or backyard entertaining areas perfectly. Pair them for a beautiful glow on a patio wall.

    Black lanterns with seeded glass on brick wall with vining plants

    #2. An Open Lantern with Candles

    What I love:

    The airy feeling that this lantern has with the open cage design and the soft glow from the candles.

    Bistro set on brick patio with hanging outdoor lantern surrounded by fresh potted plantsGet the Look:

    The Song Birds Indoor/Outdoor Chandelier comes complete with a few little birds and a whole lot of charm - and those candles will add a soft breezy glow to your patio.

     Cast metal outdoor chandelier with birds and candles
    #3. Set the Stage with Pathway Lights

    What I love:

    The elegant look of the taller lights that are a welcome change from ground level lighting and allow you to see more of the yard around you.

    Outdoor tiered fountain with tall path lightsGet the Look:

    This Franklin Iron Works Hickory Post Light is perfect. With classic wrought iron design - it is sure to light up your walkway along with adding charm. Think about lining your walkway or flanking a pair of stairs with the beautiful lantern style lights.

    Bronze post light on green lawn lining path
    #4. Vintage Style Wall Lanterns

    What I love:

    The vintage scrolly romantic style of these lanterns plays up the charm of yesteryear while lighting up the night.

     Outdoor bistro set with vintage style outdoor pendant and wall lights and flowersGet the look:

    The Hinkley Trellis Bronze Lantern is delightful and a perfect addition to light your patio with that vintage charm. What is not to love about lights with curly scrolling details? They are a beautiful and elegant addition that also brings a touch of romantic charm.

    Classic style outdoor wall lantern with scrolling metal arm in a bronze finish among roses
    There are so many inspiration images that you can use to find your perfect style, size, shape and look in outdoor lighting. And when you are ready to light up your evenings outdoors - Lamps Plus is a perfect spot to find your perfect lights.

    Which one of these styles is your favorite?

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Good Things Come in Small Packages

    In my home - I have this little thing that you might notice as you go room to room. Sure, it could be the white and mostly neutral color scheme, or the pops of gold and floral painted pieces that appear - or it could be the slight obsession I have with chandeliers.

    Close up of crystal covered chandelier with mirror in background

    I have them in nearly every room. And yes, there is even one in my closet. I am a big believer in the power that a chandelier brings to a space.

     Small crystal chandelier in closet with clothes and hat boxes

    On their own, they look simply amazing in a room - and when the sun shines through them - they cast those magical rainbows reflecting all around the room.  And you don't have to go big or go home to add that sprinkling of magic - small chandeliers that are big on style can bring just as much to a space as a large one. Let's talk about those power-packed dainty lights today.  Crystal chandeliers in a blue paneled room with a cream sofa

    #1. A Drop Chandelier

    Love a lot of bling but in a small package? Me too. And this Wallingford Antique Brass and Crystal Drop Chandelier is one big powerhouse of charm. I am loving the simple antique style and shape - and that it is completely covered in crystals.

    crystal covered drop chandelier with gold accents
     #2.  For the Bedroom

    Swap out those traditional lamps in the bedroom - and bring in a burst of vintage charm.
    Small iron and crystal chandelier
    Dainty and elegant chandeliers, such as the Feiss Valentina Oxidized Bronze Chandelier, are perfect for using above the nightstands in the bedroom.  An added bonus - they keep the nightstand more usable without a lamp taking up space.

    #3. Go Modern

    ,Modern and minimalist design is all the rage - and when you find something that is modern and unique and looks like a pretty cloud - well, it is definitely something that makes a statement in a room, no matter how small it is.

    White Cloud shaped light
     This White Cloud Chandelier from Possini Euro Design is definitely going to be one that is a conversation starter. If unique is your thing - this might be perfect.

    #4. Vintage Modern

    Maybe modern is your favorite style - but more as in vintage modern. Vintage modern is a mix of minimalist type finishes and looks - but with a decidedly vintage inspired twist. Think old barn style light fixtures that are simple in construction, galvanized metal everything and Edison style fixtures such as this Hansel Swag Chandelier with Edison bulbs.
     Industrial style cage chandelier with Edison bulbsWhat I am loving about this one is the rustic reclaimed lampshade look. So simple and charming.

    #5. Polished Brass Beauty

    I think anytime you have a light that has an abundance of brass - you have a winner. The Robert Abbey Porter Antique Brass Pendant is a top choice for elegance and style in a beautiful simple design.
     Polished brass pendant light

    Think of doubling these above an island in the kitchen, or above a dining table. Definitely proves that big style can come in small packages.

     Did I pick any of your favorite small chandeliers to share?  Just remember that no matter which style fits you and your home - it doesn't have to be huge to make a design impact. Good things come in small packages.

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • A Chic and Unique Vanity Brings Charm to Your Bathroom

    Did you know that I am a huge fan of rustic chic in a room?

    That piece that looks like it is 100 years old or that it once had a different purpose than it is being used for now just brings a huge amount of charm into an otherwise ordinary space.

    For example - an old farmhouse bench that becomes a lightly shabby, and yet chic, coffee table or an old work bench in the barn that was turned into a vanity in the bathroom.

    Rustic vanity created from antique sideboard with rolled towels and flowers
    We have a rustic vanity in our guest cottage bathroom. It started out as a sideboard found at a yard sale for about $15. It was missing a door and needed a lot of work - but when I saw it, I knew it would be a delightful and charming vanity.

    But you don't have to wait to find the perfect vintage piece to get that rustic chic look today - there are a ton of beautiful brand new, yet classic and rustic, style bathroom vanities available. And today, I am sharing the top 5 favorites that say a big 'yes, please' to that irresistible rustic chic charm.

    #1. Open Shelves

    This beautiful open shelving clean-lined Elizabeth Vanity in Sapphire Gray takes the cake for being vintage, modern, rustic, and oh so chic all in one.

    Streamlined bathroom vanity with open bottom shelf and marble top in sophisticated bathroom
    Details to Note: One of my favorite things about this is the amount of storage it offers while staying simple and clean in the way it looks. A perfect addition to a bathroom where you need storage, but also want something that isn't too big and bulky visually to do the job.

    Open drawers on a bathroom vanity with marble top and chrome faucets
    #2. Rustic Chic Barn Wood

    I am in love with the unique details this Crosett Cayhill Vanity has. Those drawer pulls, that creamy white top and the rustic wood look that it has? Well, it is pretty much perfection for those looking for a more vintage and rustic looking piece that functions like a brand new one.

    Distressed wood bathroom vanity with white marble top and industrial drawer pulls

    Details to note: A weathered plank look makes this piece look like it is 100 years old.

    #3. A French Country Touch

    Looking for something a little more elegant with a French Country look? The Avanity Kelly Vanity with a Carrara marble top and undermount sink has the perfect mix of rustic charm, detailing, and simple elegance.

    Gray French Country style vanity with coordinating bathroom mirror
    Details to note: I love the soft color and finish - the marble top and the carved details that remind me of an antique piece of furniture.

    French Country bathroom vanity with marble top and backsplash
    #4. Simple & Distressed

    Maybe something that is more on the simple side - the Emerson Distressed Black Vanity from Cuomo might be perfect. With classic and simple lines - it will fit perfectly in a vintage house or a brand new home.

    Black distressed wood vanity with white top and lower cabinet
    Details to note: Clean lines and minimal hardware make this a winner for any style bathroom.

    #5. Chest of Drawers Style

    Looking for something that looks like it once began as a piece of furniture and is now a stylish vanity? The Elizabeth Vanity in an espresso finish is perfect. With a style and design that looks like a piece of furniture but with the functionality of a sink - it packs a lot of power and charm in the design.

    Dark wood vanity with turned legs and white top

    Details to note: Those turned legs and stacks of drawers makes this piece look like an heirloom chest of drawers that you re-purposed.

    No matter what color, style or size vanity you are looking for - getting that chic, charming look with a little bit of a rustic twist is easy with these bathroom vanities that are full of style at Lamps Plus.

    Do you have a favorite style or finish that brings the look you love?

    Images: French Country CottageLamps Plus

  • Backyard Design Ideas to Create Your Own Oasis

    What better way to spend the early evening hours than in an outdoor oasis in your own home. And just how to create that perfect backyard design?

    Well, you need a few key elements that will transform any space into a magical getaway that is as much vacation-worthy as it is practical for every day.

    Stylish outdoor wicker chairs below an outdoor ceiling fan in an alcove

    Comfortable Furniture

    A chair, sofa or comfortable chaise lounge that you can flop down on is of the utmost importance. Being able to stay put and stay comfortable through the dusk hours and into the evening means extra hours can be spent outside without having to relocate.

    In order to do this, make sure you also have an outdoor accent table and possibly storage furniture for your outdoor accents like a throw blanket or extra pillow.


    Throw blankets or decorative outdoor pillows or whatever you think you might need to keep you comfortable and cozy is essential for the perfect outdoor oasis.

    Keep them at hand or close by so you never have to remember you're just in your own backyard.

    Wall Fountain

    Silence can be deafening, so a little bit of subtle white noise can be just the thing to allow you to escape the daily grind in your own backyard.

    decorative patio wall fountain brings in a gorgeous style element and adds the right amount of white noise to drown out any traffic, phone, or neighbor noises that are definitely not welcome in your private oasis.

    What other backyard design ideas do you have? Leave them below in the comments!

    Image: Lamps Plus

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