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.

  • Crystal Accents Bring High Style to Unexpected Places

    It's the little design details that elevate something from the ordinary to extraordinary. Crystals are the accent du jour, and we see them being used in the most unexpected places to bring high style to everyday items.

    Mirrored accent chest with octagonal mirror and a pair of crystal table lamps

    Crystals are a luxe design detail that adds instant chic to your entertaining. Crystal accented cake stands will make your dessert spread extra sweet, as seen in the image above.

    Bathroom with mirrored sink vanity and mini crystal chandeliers

    In the powder room, your lighting becomes an opportunity to provide a sophisticated touch of sparkle. Impress your guests with glittering mini crystal chandeliers.

    Black velvet couch with diamond tufting and crystal details

    And in the living room, a crystal-accented sofa in plush velvet is an absolute showstopper. Don't be bashful with your bling - go ahead and sparkle this fall and winter!

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Choosing the Right Style of Bar Stool

    Bar stools are kind of like any other piece of furniture - they come in several sizes, several styles and several finishes. And choosing the right one can be a daunting task.

    Rustic wooden bar stool near counter with wicker storage basketsFrom backless to partial backs to full size upholstered chair styles. Simple or detailed, wood or iron,or upholstered and detailed, the list goes on and the options are seemingly endless.

    As you can see,  bar stools come in many shapes and sizes and when it comes to choosing the right one for your style - there are so many things to consider - and the overall style is just one of them.

    French-style bar stool in kitchen with crystal chandelierToday I am going to talk a little bit about two of the most popular styles of bar stools - a backless stool and a stool with a full back - and share a bit more about why each are fan favorites.

    Backless Bar Stools

    Backless bar stools might be my favorite.

    Why? Very simply because they can blend in seamlessly in so many spaces and styles.

    Without a back that is visible - their style plays the most important part in their look. And they are perfect for tucking into areas where a larger more prominent bar stool would take up too much room.

    On top of that, backless bar stools are easy to climb up onto so it makes them a perfect choice for island seating.

    1. I love the simple, classic construction and upholstered seat on this Harper Bar Stool.

     Simple whitewashed bar stool with upholstered seat
    It has the upholstered seat for comfort while keeping a rustic chic vibe and simple lines.

    2. Another classic backless favorite - the Zuo Anaheim Bar Stool. The attention to details is what caught my eye with this one. The carved frame and nail head accents are perfect and bring a bit of style while keeping a low profile.

    Backless bar stool in a cerused finish with a beige linen seat

    3. For simplicity - you cannot go wrong with an antiqued black wood saddle seat stool.

    Black antiqued bar stool with a saddle seat

    4. And for a more modern look - the California Adjustable Acrylic Bar Stool takes the cake while keeping a clean minimalist look.

    Adjustable acrylic bar stool with chrome base
    Bar Stools with Backs

    The other style of bar stool I wanted to delve into today is a bar stool with a tall back. These bar stools are made for comfort and are perfect for gathering around a bar where guest might gather, or for a home where breakfast at the kitchen island is common.

    Comfort is king with this style - and they are often upholstered, much like any other chair would be in your home.   And while bar stools with backs have been known to take up quite a bit more space visually - they don't have to with the huge amount of styles available today.

    1. The cousin to the acrylic backless stool is the  acrylic Malibu Counter Stool. With more functionality for sitting in and leaning back - while keeping a quiet presence.

    Clear acrylic counter stool with chrome base2. For gorgeous mid-century modern lines and appeal - you can't go wrong with a rounded streamlined bar stool like the Andre Bentwood Counter Stool.

    Bentwood Danish Modern-style counter height stool with cream seat and back
    3. For both a modern and traditional look - try an upholstered bar stool such as the Villa Avenue Belgian Linen Counter Stool. I love the nail head details on this one - but you can also find tufting, wing backs and all types of styles to fit you perfectly.

    Stonewashed counter stool with linen seat and back with nail head trim

    Another very popular style right now is the cross back chair - and it comes in bar stool height as well. The Powell counter Stool is ideal for adding a bit of vintage charm while giving you a comfortable place to sit.

    Industrial counter stool with metal frame and wood seat and back with crossed back detailAnother consideration when choosing a bar stool is height. They generally come in two height ranges, bar stool height and counter stool height, and when shopping for new stools, make sure to measure your existing ones first - or measure the counter height ahead of time. You need room for legs and knees to keep the comfort and conversation coming.  

    What style bar stool would you choose for your home?

    Images:French Country Cottage

  • Beautiful Floor Lamps Make a Style Statement in Your Home

    Sometimes you might want a lamp that can stand on it's own, while lighting up your room beautifully at the same time.

    Maybe you have a chair that is tucked in the corner with no side table, or maybe you just like the way the sofa floats in the center of the room and don't want to clutter it with too much stuff.

    Enter a floor lamp. Tall and stately,  a floor lamp can be placed anywhere you would like to illuminate a little more - and are also perfect for adding a splash of style to your home at the same time.

    Glamorous living room with peacock blue walls and crystal lighting

    Thankfully, for those who love floor lamps - they come in an abundance of styles and designs. From industrial to romantic to simple and traditional. And today, I am going to share several styles of floor lamps to fit your space.

    Industrial Love

    I am a huge fan of a little sprinkling of industrial in a room - and a little bit goes a long way. These floor lamps bring that slightly vintage and rustic vibe to a space and they also bring a lot of character and charm.

    The Ott Lite Provo Oil-Rubbed Bronze Adjustable Floor Lamp  is a favorite. That gorgeous muted oil rubbed bronze color and vintage style is perfect. Makes me think of wood plank floors and a comfy old squishy chair.

    Vintage-style oil-rubbed bronze adjustable floor lamp with bronze shade

    And the second choice - a slightly more rustic version. This one reminds me of an old cabin in the wood with a warm fire glowing in the fireplace. I love the simple vintage vibe the Downbridge Dark Rust Floor Lamp has - a winner in any decor for sure.

    Industrial-style rust floor lamp with arc neck and an industrial gear as a base


    For those looking for a floor lamp with a bit of crystal pizazz and glam - you are in luck. These next two lamps are covered in crystals and oozing with romantic charm.

    For something on the more simple side, this crystal floor lamp with an ivory shade is a perfect fit. Elegance, charm and simple style make it a gorgeous addition to your romantic-inspired home.

    Crystal floor lamp with dangling crystals and ivory lamp shade with gold trim

    And for something with just a little bit more bling - the Soft Silver Three-Light Crystal Floor Lamp will stop you in your tracks.

    Art Deco-influenced silver floor lamp with shade made of crystals

    The details on this one are amazing - and just look at the crystals covering the entire shade? Gorgeous for sure.

    Close-up of Art Deco-inspired cloverleaf shaped shade frame with crystals around the edges

    Traditional Charm

    Traditional floor lamps are always a good choice. And the best part is - they definitely do come in several shapes and styles all by themselves.

    From simple single lights to several lights- the traditional category is a great place to look if you are unsure of just what style you would like best.

    One of my favorites is a simple light with a detailed frame like the Hancock Downbridge Lamp.  It is classic in style which means it will fit in perfectly with several kinds of decor - and it is a charmer with that curvy frame.

    Traditional bronze floor lamp with a linen empire lamp shade

    And the retro style on this Cupola Brushed Brass Two Light Floor Lamp brings a vintage look and a lot of light to a room. I love the brass - and the fun look of this one.  I could see this working well in a corner as a reading light and also an accent light for a room.

    Retro brass floor lamp with 2 lights and brass dome shades

    As you can see, there are an abundance of styles of floor lamps to choose from and they are definitely stylish lighting elements to add to your home.

    From floor lamps with art shades, to vintage styles, to modern and unique - the perfect style for you and your home is out there waiting to be discovered.

    What do you think? Do you have a favorite style?

    Image: Lamps Plus

  • Traditional House Facades

    I was just in Sag Harbor, New York and was dazzled by the sheer volume of traditional house facades that capture the essence of early American architecture.

    Timeless Sag Harbor Homes

    Classic American domestic architecture is rooted in a design that heavily favors the Colonial and Federal Styles. Straightforward, sturdy and symmetrical is the basic formula and is in abundance on the East Coast.

    I think I was most taken by the attention to detail with regard to the exterior design elements. Classic outdoor benches flanking the front door of the lower right image was such a “throw back” and so unexpected that I had to pull over and take a snap.

    Another item that is never overlooked? Black outdoor lighting fixtures. Whether there were nautical Style wall lights or colonial style hanging lanterns, each house had some version, but were used sparingly as would have been the case 200 to 300 years ago.

    I loved my trip back in time and hope you are inspired by the time-honored look of these traditional house facades.

    Classic Colonial Style Lighting and Exterior Decor from Lamps Plus

    1. This colonial-style outdoor wall light captures the true nature of East Coast traditional architecture.

    2. The matching Henry Street Outdoor Hanging Light from Troy Lighting  above would be ideal if you have a covered porch, stoop or landing as seen in the Federal Style homes in the first image.

    3. I love this timeless ash gray outdoor wood bench inspired by the English landscaper Lutyens.

    4. Traditional homes generally have a welcoming vibe, so why not put it into writing with this Home Sweet Home Printed Coir Doormat.

    Images: Rob Levine

  • 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 (1) Tenney Antiqued Gold Crown Top Mirror is regal, yet modern with its curved detail and inner border.

    The (2) Andreva Smoked Glass Mirror is eye-catching with its unique shape and glass tile border.

    Make a statement with the tinted gold glass framed (3) Tamaro Sunburst Mirror 

    Or the more delicate (4) Villarasca Sunburst Mirror with its woven gold wire frame.

    The (5) Calverton Silver Octagon Mirror is a classic with its octagon shape and beveled mirror panels. 

    The most eye catching is (6) Cordele Beaded Wall Mirror with its asymmetrical form and beautiful beaded border.

    Wall Mirrors

    Add the warmth of wood with reclaimed wood frame found in the (7) Howard Elliot Square Wall Mirror.

    Or a dash of glam with the dimensional golden layered leaves of the (8) Capestrano Gold Metal Leaves Wall Mirror.

    Your wall becomes more interesting when you hang the (9)  Cibola Gold Sunburst Mirror with its looped and layered golden rays.

    The (10) 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 (11) Lowell Wall Mirror shows off a metal verdigris finish

    The Art Deco inspired scalloped shape of the (12) Esbon Double Crown Mirror adds elegance - perfect for a foyer or dining room.

     Wall Mirrors

    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

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