Style Illuminated

Interior design tips and lighting ideas for today's home! Providing professional interior design advice, home decor ideas and inspiration.

  • Timeless Water Features

    A Timeless Water Feature in a shallow pool

    Timeless water features can enhance both exterior as well as interior spaces, creating domestic harmony and peace.

    I enjoyed the variety of fountains featured in Lonny and came to the conclusion that I think I may need to get one for my own home.

    Charming Water fountains for home need not be elaborate or require major construction. Some fountains can even simply plug in and become tabletop design features.

    A Variety of Asian Style Fountains

    Contemporary fountains such as the example above, seem to have their roots based on simple, Asian design. I love the clean aesthetic, almost invisible nature of these water features. It’s Zen living at its best.

    Personally, I love when fountains are lit at night, so make sure you are near a power source that can support not only the fountain but some form of outdoor landscape lighting.

    Examples of Timeless Traditional Fountains

    Mediterranean style fountains are a timeless look and can enhance both large and small outdoor spaces. Water features have long been the hallmark of Spanish style homes and keeps terraces and courtyards visually cool and tranquil.

    Organic Style Fountains in a Garden Setting

    Another form of popular fountains are those that have a craft or “repurposed” quality. Using old pots, urns and sculpture to create a home fountain is the essence of living green. Creating a calm outdoor environment with water can be funky, quirky and echo your personality and the soul of your home.

    A Selection of Water Fountains For Home

    1. The nature inspired Oakley Metal Tiering Leaf Fountain has a great handmade, craft feel and would be great in a lush shade garden.

    2. The Magma Natural Rock Floor Fountain has a simple and organic feel.

    3. A great option for a contemporary water feature would be the sleek Orbital Pedestal Floor Fountain with LED Light.

    4. The Classic Three-Tier Reconstituted Granite Fountain is a classic and looks perfect in Mediterranean style homes and courtyards.

    5. Minimalists will love the simple lines of the Gardenfall Black Oxide 72" High Fountain with Light.

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Beautiful Blues - Outdoor Style Inspiration

    I'm really inspired by beautiful blues, especially when it comes to outdoor style.

    Anytime I see bright, vibrant blue hues in outdoor styling I think of the mediterranean; The blue rooftops of Greece, the gorgeous ocean color, Blue shutters in the south of France.

    Blue naturally fits outdoors, and enhances the greens of your foliage as well as serving as a punchy accent against whites and creams.

    Here we explore some amazing outdoor living ideas that both star as well as give a supporting role to gorgeous bright blues.

    Beautiful shades of blue take center stage in these outdoor rooms

    This first batch of inspiration imagery from Sunset Magazine makes blue the star player in the outdoor game. If you love the color, don't be shy about implementing it.

    As you can see, a secret color blocked fire pit in blue can make a big statement, while an ombre blue stylish outdoor area rug creates a dramatic look for any patio or deck.

    Bold chevron stripes look great in bright mediterranean blue and white, and a solitary ceramic blue pot against a beautiful blue house couldn't be a more beautiful, simple outdoor style moment. 

    Outdoor spaces with blue accents through outdoor pillows and additional seating

    If the bold blue invasion above is too much to commit to, why not try accenting your already stylish outdoor living space with the beautiful color. Outdoor throw pillows are a great way to do that, with great patterns, shapes and sizes there are wonderful options for a wide variety of styles and tastes.

    If additional seating is what you're in the market for, why not opt for a swinging cocoon chair that is bursting with blue beauty. Or try mixing colors with vintage metal chairs in complimentary colors.

    However you style it, you can not go wrong when adding gorgeous mediterranean blue tones to your outdoor living spaces.

    Go to the Shop by Room section of this website for more great outdoor living ideas.

    Image Source: Sunset Magazine

  • Glam Mirrored Furniture

    Glamorous mirrored furniture looks great in a bathroom with crystal pendant lighting

    I think every room needs a bit of bling and mirrored furniture definitely brings it.

    One of my favorite ways to add shimmer and reflect light is by hanging mirrors.

    Why stop at the walls when there are so many great pieces of mirrored furniture available to glam up any space.  There are choices galore -- from a glam mirrored dresser to a more subtle mirrored bench.

    Here are some of my faves:

    A selection of favorite glam mirrored furniture

    1 – The antiqued mirrored top of this gold leaf coffee table adds character and the clear glass bottom shelf means extra storage space for your favorite knick knacks.

    2 – The heavily antiqued mirrored panels of this room divider will reflect light wherever you put it.

    3 – Glam up a master closet or a foyer with a mirrored bench with tufted upholstery.

    4 – Real crystal knobs adorn this mirrored dresser that would be perfect in any glamour girl's bedroom.

    5 – Getting ready for a night on the town will be even more fun in front of this luxurious mirrored bathroom sink vanity with black granite top.

    6 – The perfect mix of old world style and updated glamour combine to create this antique mirrored chest.

    7 – Add style and storage to your bedside, not to mention a little faux croc leather with this nightstand.

    8 – Add sparkle where you entertain by displaying this mirrored cabinet in the dining room.

    9 – Light and curvy legs add whimsy and a mirrored top adds sparkle to this little accent table.

    Mirrored dresser with oval mirror above

    What room in your house could use a little sparkle?

    Image Sources: Lamps Plus; Better Homes & Gardens

  • How to Find the Perfect Table Lamp

    Living room with blue gourd table lamp on side table

    Table lamps play two different roles in your home: functional and decorative, so when it comes time to select a table lamp there are several things you need to consider.

    Both shape and style need to be taken into account when choosing table lamps that will fulfill your lighting needs and work with your decor.

    Size is also incredibly important.  Problems can occur when a table lamp is too tall or too short -- you will either be blinded by the glare of a too-tall lamp, or the light coming from the lamp is too low to be of any use as task or ambient lighting.

    Living room in a light color palette with a daybed and brass side, coffee and console table

    On a side table in a living room, the base of the lampshade shouldn't be higher than your eye-level when you're sitting down.

    Mirrored beside table with chrome swing arm lamp near tufted gray headboard with nailheads

    For bedside table lamps the base of the shade should be about 20" above the top of the mattress.  A table lamp that's 26"-28" tall (including the shade) usually fits the bill perfectly.

    No matter if you are sitting or standing, you should never be able to see the neck of the lamp or the bulb, if you can, you have the wrong lamp and lampshade combination.

    Living room with grasscloth walls, teal sofa and brass table lamp on side table with a medium-dark finish

    The scale of the lamp is another important thing to keep in mind.  A small table lamp will be lost in a large room with appropriately scaled furniture.  At the same time, you don't want to put a large lamp on a small, delicate piece of furniture - it will look totally out of balance.

    Hollywood Regency style entryway with high gloss black and white chest in front of black and white striped walls

    Large table lamps look fabulous on a console in an entryway. They also work well on a sideboard in a dining room when there are no sconces on the wall above it.

    An important thing to remember is that statement-making large table lamps create distinct focal points, so make sure you want to draw attention to where you put them.

    To learn more about how to choose the perfect table lamp, in addition to learning about finding the right size lampshade and light bulb, watch the video below:

  • Designing with Bright, Fun Pops of Color

    Designing with pops of color makes me a happier person. I love mixing color and pattern whenever possible. I also appreciate a lovely minimalist space with monochromatic drama, but at the end of the day, give me some color, add in a splash of pattern and top it off with a touch of texture and you've won my heart over.

    So lets take a look at some beautiful rooms from Entirely Eventful Day to hopefully inspire you to start designing with bright, fun pops of color.

    There are so many ways to bring color in: fabric, paint, accessories, furniture, rugs, drapery... I am here to say that bringing in some color in all these areas can work, and can be beautiful. You don't need to limit the application to only one area.

    A living room with pops of color via pillows, furniture and a rug

    Funky armchairs and stylish sofas are a great starting off place to inject some color, pattern or texture to your room.

    The mixed floral patterns on the accent chair are accentuated by a bold graphic pillow, while the solid blue sofa carries mixed patterned pillows that bring in the style of the chair.

    Even with everything going on in this space, it all works because it is all happy, bright and fun, and utilizes red as an underlying common thread.

    Makeshift home office with a mid century modern vibe

    In this makeshift home office, it's the accessories that bring the punctuation to the design sentence. Bold, patterned bags layer on top of inspiration boards and a big bunch of wildflowers.

    The white background for this fresh color explosion makes this mid-century modern space feel all at once vintage and contemporary.

    Bright turquoise hutch displaying white plates and cups

    Choosing one bold color per room can also make a big, bold statement. This hutch is painted the most amazing shade of blue, and takes center stage in the design.

    However, a small peek of sunshine yellow, patterned drapery sneaks in from the next room, and is perfectly complimented with the bright yellow flowers and candies on the shelf.

    Image Source: Entirely Eventful Day

  • Interior Design Style - Industrial Chic

    Beautiful industrial chic loft with wrought iron and exposed beams
    The industrial chic style is very popular now as more and more people are converting former warehouses and factories into homes and lofts.  

    Interiors in this style often feature wide, open spaces and leave structural elements and raw materials exposed. Industrial chic celebrates the combination of form and function and does so with very little embellishment.

    The industrial chic palette is pretty neutral, so texture is extremely important.  Bring in texture by layering different finishes and materials like steel, cast iron, exposed brick and stone, and reclaimed or distressed wood.  

    Textiles made of different materials with different patterns and textures is another technique to layer in visual and tactile interest into your space.

    Industrial-style kitchen with pendant lighting, adjustable metal barstools and reclaimed wood island

    Industrial chic doesn't require steel columns, exposed beams and bricks to work.  Any space can take on the industrial chic look with the right combination of lighting, furniture and home decor

    Here's how to get the look:

    Lighting

    Utilitarian-looking industrial-style pendants or close-to-ceiling lights for lower ceilings are one way to bring the industrial chic style into your home.

    Industrial ceiling fans in varying finishes will bring in the look as well while increasing air flow.

    Industrial chic table lamps are great on side tables and consoles, while floor lamps with an industrial look are great for lighting up dark corners or a seating area where there is no side table.

    Industrial chic lighting for your home

    Lattice Vintage Style Bronze Ceiling Light - Brinley Bronze 8-Light PendantIrondale Bronze Pendant Light

    Farmhouse Bellwether Copper Table Lamp - Backstage Black and Nickel Adjustable Floor Lamp

     

    Furniture

    Furniture with an industrial vibe or simple lines are the right pieces for this look.  Pieces made of rough or salvaged wood work perfectly when decorating in this style.  Matte metal finishes are also an important component of industrial chic.  It's a bonus if the piece has nailheads or exposed rivets.

    When decorating with industrial furniture, bring in some traditional and softer silhouettes to keep the space from looking too cold, vintage pieces like traveler's trunks work especially well.  As far as upholstered pieces go, leather furniture with a lived-in look or other similarly worn or simple-lined pieces are best.

    No room is complete without an area rug -- an area rug brings another layer of texture and is an opportunity to add some organic lines and shapes to balance the hard edges of the furniture.

    Furniture ideas to create an industrial-looking space

    Elio Rusty Elm Wood Dining Chairs - Rose of Lebanon Copper Area Rug -

    Hammary Studio Gray Oak Bookcase

    Tyler Cognac Leather Sofa - Lyon Linen Trunks - Cranfill Aged Pine Adjustable Height Cocktail Table

    Accessories

    It's all in the details, right?  The right collection of accessories will really pull a room together.  Look for items that can be conversation pieces like items that are inspired by old factory and laboratory pieces.  

    Incorporate antique (or antique-looking) items that fit in with the overall look of the space too. Wall art will bring in another layer of visual interest and texture.  

    Stylish decorative pillows are another way to bring a layer of softness to a hard-edged space.  Pillows are an opportunity to introduce a little color into an industrial space, but keep the colors muted.

    Accessories to add the final touch to an industrial-style interior

    Butterscotch Caramel Abstract Wall Art - Grand Hotel Decorative Burlap Pillow - Kathy Ireland Heritage Pillow

    Caldwell Wall Mirror - Antique Bronze Collectors Compass - Crestview Collection Rustic Metal Clock

    Utilitarian, simple and natural are words that perfectly describe this style.  It's a simple and clean look with a focus on function. 

    Look at the Shop-by-Trend section of the website for more industrial chic inspiration.

    Image Sources: Planète Deco; Love Chic Living

  • Small Bathroom Solutions

    Small Bathroom Solutions

    Most of us have basic bathrooms yearning for a little style. Fret not, there are small bathroom solutions that will add not only style, but serious functionality to the most micro loo.

    I went over to Lonny as they do a great job in featuring beautiful pictures broken down by room. While I have some specific tips that require some renovation, there are other, less expensive ways to make your bathroom feel and appear larger.

    Large mirrors and improved lighting such as hanging bathroom pendants are simple fixes that will visually expand your space.

    Contemporary Bathroom Sinks

    Savvy bathroom design ideas come in many forms and I think a great idea is the use of shallow counters and sink basins. Trough sinks are perfect if you want the ability to have two people use the sink but don’t have room for a large double vanity.

    The sleek look is very contemporary and makes a bathroom look much larger.

    Modern Bathrooms with Wall Mounted Fixtures

    Another great space saving idea is to mount faucets and toilets on the wall. You can save inches by having your plumbing use the unseen vertical space versus counter and tub decking.

    I also love how the lower right image has designed the sink to hover over the radiator. Talk about getting yourself into hot water!

    Modern Wall Mounted Sink Vanities

    Exposing more floor has always been a designer trick to create the illusion of more space than actually exists in a room. Wall mounted and floating sinks will create that look.

    While you may not end up with the same amount of counter space found in traditional bathrooms, your room will appear more spacious. This is a great solution for powder rooms or secondary bathrooms.

    The clear Lucite counter is an even more fabulous way to open up the bathroom.

    Sleek Space Saving Bathroom Accessories

    1. The CFL-lit Kichler Rectangular Wall Mirror combines the most critical elements of a bathroom, light and reflection.

    2. Taking advantage of the ceiling for lighting like the simple Possini Euro Design Clear Glass Tube Mini Pendant Light will free up wall space for additional storage and mirrors.

    3. Floating vanities like the streamlined Avanity Sonoma 31" White Top Glossy White Vanity creates more floor space which will make your bathroom appear larger.

    4. Over-mirror lights like the WAC Elemental Brushed Nickel LED Bath Bar are a necessity.

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Adding Vintage Style To Your Home

    Vintage style table with rustic wood planter and baskets for storage

    What is it about vintage style that tugs at our heartstrings?

    The familiar?

    The age-old pieces that tell a story?

    The unique perspective vintage brings?

    Exactly.

    Many times vintage style combines the old with the new and layers in years of texture and patina and weathered wood.  

    You can find vintage items at thrift stores and estate sales and auctions.  You can also purchase vintage reproduction items to recreate the look as well.

    Here's some easy tips for adding  classic romantic vintage decor to your home for less:

    1.  Repurpose

    Think outside the box.  A vintage tool box becomes a side table.  A basket becomes a catch-all.  A metal gutter becomes a planter.

    2.  Collect

    Sometimes the power of vintage can be found in more than one.  Start a collection and group the collection together for display.

    3.  Texture

    Many times vintage items are a great way to add texture and depth to a space with mismatched pieces and layers of color.

    4.  Rethink

    Sometimes we think vintage items can only be for display.  Use teacups for scoops and easels for display and architectural pieces for hooks.

    Here are some more ideas of how to get that vintage style look:

    Romantic vintage decor pieces for your home

    Patterned Coffee Table

    Layer a patterned coffee table into your space like this option with its geometric pattern and white washed patina.

    You could add baskets underneath and a flat tray on top filled with books.

    Traditional Carved Mirror - Fill up a blank wall with a stylish option like this ornately carved mirror.

    Add two side-by-side in a bathroom or fill a vertical space with a row of creamy white plates above the mirror.

    Wood Pendant Light with Metal Details- Never underestimate the difference a unique light fixture can make in a space.

    This pendant was inspired by vintage wine barrels and adds a bit of sophistication to any room.

     A Classic Cashmere Throw - Ahhhh....cashmere.  Wrap yourself and your room in warmth with the texture of cashmere.

    Layer the throw with textured pillows and drape over a patterned couch or chair.

    Weathered Wood Lamp - Mimicking a balustrade style pole, this weathered wood lamp is topped off with a warm oatmeal linen shade.

    Perfect alone on a side table or in groups of two on a mantle or hutch, this lamp adds vintage style to your space.

    Stylish Tufted Upholstery

    Nothing says vintage like tufting and nothing says tufting like a pair of side chairs.

    Add the chairs to a formal dining room setting or group them around an antique table for a game of cards.

    Vintage style combines the old and the new in perfect harmony.

    Why not add a little vintage to your world today?

    Photo credits:  Photo 1;  Thistlewood Farms  Photo 2:  Thistlewood Farms

  • Small Kitchen Lighting Ideas

    Do you need kitchen lighting ideas to make your small space look larger? Let’s talk LED lighting tips.

    It’s a myth that only recessed lighting is the perfect pick for a small space.

    Lighting can become your best friend in a small kitchen. When I’m choosing lighting for a small space, I don’t immediately think recessed lighting.

    But I do think about using your light fixtures as décor, since a small kitchen is typically lacking available wall or counter space.

    It doesn’t matter if your kitchen just seems small or actually is ‘square-footage-challenged,’ I’ve got a few tricks to make small spaces look larger.

    Let’s talk light fixture type, and how each can be used in a small kitchen. Oh, and all of these can use LED light bulbs.

    Under-cabinet

    Before we talk ceiling fixtures, let’s talk about the double-duty functional mood changer power of under cabinet lighting. These little lights are space-conscious, not taking up any additional space.

    No matter the size of a kitchen, under cabinet lights can become the most used lighting, especially if you make sure they are dimmable. It certainly is the first switch I touch when I go in my kitchen.

    Under cabinet lighting is a great kitchen ideaI love my under-cabinet lighting. Typically it’s the only light on in our small kitchen because of it’s task lighting power plus the calm mood it creates

    Flushmount

    If low ceiling height is an issue for your small kitchen, flushmount lighting can be a perfect way to keep a small space looking polished without compromising on introducing a bit of shine and style with a light fixture.

    Mounted directly to the ceiling, these fixtures can keep the kitchen visually open, yet still add a bit of design focus in a smaller space. This streamlined 17-inch wide brushed steel light fixture has an etched white glass cover.

    A streamlined flushmount ceiling fixture in the kitchen

    Close-to-Ceiling

    If you have the height available, you may want to consider flushmount’s first cousin, semi-flushmount. Both kinds are called ‘close to ceiling’ lights in the design world.

    This sharp looking Possini Euro Design semi-flushmount ceiling light fixture has a brushed nickel finish and can use two LED light bulbs.

    Semi-flushmount light fixture in a light-filled kitchen



    Pendants

    Stylish pendant lighting is another option. You can make a series of pendants work in a small kitchen if you go with a delicate look like these Lite Source Schale Mini Pendants.

    They have a natural iridescence from the shell mosaic shades. If you are truly limited on space, a small sized pendant over the sink might give just enough texture and shine in a space.

    Translucent mosaic shell pendants hang over a kitchen island

    Chandelier

    Yes, an eye-catching chandelier can work in a small kitchen. It may be the most challenging category to incorporate, but with a keen eye on selecting a fixture that is scaled to the space, has sleek style and smart placement, you can enjoy a chandelier like this retro-chic Jonathan Adler Havana chandelier.

    A jonathan Adler retro-chic chandelier in a modern kitchen

    Recessed lighting

    Even though it’s not my go-to light fixture, traditional recessed lighting still works in a small kitchen or other small spaces. It provides a smooth ceiling profile, and can light any space efficiently.

    A contemporary kitchen featuring traditional recessed lighting


    And honestly, it’s your kitchen. So if you accept the size, could not care less about making it look larger, and want to play with scale and add whimsy into your small space, go ahead. There’s a light for every taste.

    I think this fanciful Florence Pink Glass light fixture at 33 ½ inches tall proves that.

    A great kitchen idea is to include a whimsical chandelier

    I’d love to know what you think about these small kitchen lighting ideas. Share them in the comments below. –T

    PS There are lots of other kitchen ideas in the Shop by Room section of this site.  Check them out for some more design and lighting ideas!

  • Contemporary Bar Stools for Today's Modern Kitchen

    Stylish Contemporary Bar Stools in a Clean and Modern Gray and White Kitchen

    The modern kitchen is not complete without contemporary bar stools. As kitchens evolve, it seems like we are drawn to the communal kitchen island and no island, in my humble opinion, is complete without chic stools.

    Desire to Inspire was a great place to get wonderful images of the modern kitchen...it was hard to limit myself. The nice thing about bar and counter stools is that they take up very little room and can be tucked away.

    Also, stylish contemporary bar stools can have a wide range of looks depending upon the material you choose.

    Organic-Style Kitchen with Wood Bar Stools

    Just because a kitchen is contemporary doesn’t mean you can’t have natural materials that embrace the great outdoors. Burnished surfaces and architectural shapes can transform basic wood into something worthy of today’s modern kitchen aesthetic.

    Monochromatic Kitchens in Black and White

    Black and white is often considered a contemporary color combination and that holds true for stools. These colors are timeless and echo true modernity.

    The black and white stool is perfect for a monochromatic color scheme. When it comes to lighting your island or peninsula, think simple pendant lights, but make sure the shapes are geometric.

    Contemporary Kitchens with Industrial Style Bar Stools

    The industrial style kitchen has a modern bent all its own. It’s more factory-chic than minimal, embracing rough metals, gears and man-made materials. I always think hipster urbanites when contemplating this look for clients.

    Selection of Contemporary Bar Stools for a Kitchen Island

    1. The Arteriors Home Wyndham Natural Wax Swivel Counter Stool is the most on point stool with the interesting metal base.

    2. Clean and simple yet elegantly feminine defines the Balboa Midnight Gray 30" Backless Barstool.

    3. I like the no fuss look of the Set of 2 Zuo Modern Marius Gunmetal Counter Stools.

    4. The Architect 30" White Faux Leather Barstool is minimalism at its best.

    5. Warm woods can also be contemporary as seen in the Mid-Century Modern Wishbone Natural Wood Y Stool.

    Photos: Desire To Inspire.

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