Style Illuminated

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

  • Trend Alert: Bar Stool Style

    A group of industrial looking barstools

    I remember when I was younger coming home from school, dropping my backpack beside the front door, perching on a stool at our kitchen island and drinking milk and dipping Oreos.

    I was bursting at the seams to tell my mother about the day.

    And she would pause what she was doing and lean over the counter and make me feel like I was the most important person on earth.

    The kitchen is, was and always will be the heart of the home.

    The place where stories are told and algebra problems are solved and the challenges and triumphs of the day are discussed in great detail.

    Need an easy kitchen furniture update?

    Here's some fun, unique and creative suggestions for both standard height bar stools and stylish counter bar stools in a variety of decorating styles.

    Adjustable industrial wood barstool with metal base

    1.  Farmhouse Style

    This industrial wood bar stool is a the perfect balance of industrial style and farmhouse utility.

    Pair this piece with a barn wood table and a pitcher of sweet tea.

    Enjoy the laid-back comfort and effortless style that is all things farmhouse.

    Contemporary adjustable acrylic barstool

    2.  Contemporary Style

    This clear acrylic bar stool with it's sleek lines and contemporary styling is the perfect accent for a contemporary kitchen or space.

    It's an inexpensive design option that packs style along with a clear, acrylic seat and shiny chrome base.

    Add it to a space with a furry white rug, chrome fixtures and white leather seats for a classic contemporary space.

    Adjustable walnut bentwood barstool with faux leather seat

    3.  Transitional Style

    The gleaming silver base and unique wood cut-out back of this adjustable bar stool are at home in a variety of decor and design styles.

    The faux black leather seat combines effortlessly with the rich tones of the walnut wood and an adjustable base.

    This bar stool is the perfect transitional piece for contemporary, as well as more traditional spaces.

    Traditional barstool of warm wood with a vintage metal reproduction base

    4.  Traditional Style

    The clean lines of this traditional bar stool combines warm wood with a vintage metal reproduction base.

    The piece is bar stool height, swivels and features a contoured back for comfort and usability.

    This stool would pair perfectly with a vintage oak counter and grain sack pillows.

    Brown linen upholstered tufted barstool with distressed legs

    5.  Upholstered Style

    This tufted, brown, linen upholstered stool has tiny buttons and slightly curved arms and distressed wood legs.

    Add upholstered style to your space with the clean, traditional lines of this bar stool.

    This stool would be the perfect accompaniment for a bar or table in a great room or game room in a home.

    So gather the scrabble board, grab the homework and put the oreos and milk on the counter.

    The bar stool is ready to take its place at the table.

    Whether farmhouse, traditional, upholstered, contemporary or transitional, a bar stool is an easy, inexpensive option to add style to your space.

    Photo Credit:  Photo 1:  HGTV

  • Find Room Design Ideas on LampsPlus.com!

    Lamps Plus website feature called Shop by Room

    Have you ever decided to design or re-design a room and felt stumped and can't figure out where to start? Shop by Room may be the help you've been looking for!

    Urban living room design ideas with items available for purchase from Lamps Plus

    Lamps Plus has hundreds of inspiring room design ideas for you to peruse. Shop by Room is broken down into the following categories:

    • Bathrooms
    • Bedrooms
    • Dining Rooms
    • Entryways
    • Hallways
    • Kitchens
    • Living Rooms/Great Rooms
    • Offices
    • Outdoor Living

    We also include a breakdown of the items that are featured in the rooms that are available for purchase.

    Shop by Room regularly adds new images and products to inspire you, and the best part is that we do all the work and you get all the credit!

    Be sure to check out the Lamps Plus YouTube channel for more design tips and ideas.

  • 5 Tips on How to Style Bookshelves

    Bookshelves have universal appeal, necessary for storing books, of course, but also a place to display art and collected things.

    Bookshelves are more stylish when the arrangement is considered and not just an afterthought.

    Make the most use of your bookshelves as a practical storage solution, but also visually appealing with these five tips:


    1. Allow for white space:

    Bookshelves look best when they're not overcrowded. Resist the temptation to overfill them for the sake of convenience and instead allow for purposeful gaps in order to create a more attractive arrangement and to give the eye a place to rest.

    White built-in bookshelves with colorful books and objects



    2. Include Artwork

    Bookshelves aren't just for books! Take the opportunity to include favorite framed works of art or photographs and vary the size and placement.

    Dove gray built-in bookshelves displaying framed artwork


    3. Color it Up:

    Bookshelves are another opportunity to introduce color into your home, painting the backs transforms the ordinary shelving unit into something special and provides a focal point for your favorite things on display.

    White bookshelf with brightly painted backs



    4. Hang Mirrors or Artwork:

    The frames of your bookshelves are not to be ignored. Consider a unique work of art or mirror to suspend on your bookshelves for added dimension and another layer of interest.

    Brown and red ikat chairs in front of white bookshelf with basket storage underneath

    5. Be Wild & Free:

    There's no requirement that you need built-ins to have stylish bookshelves. As an alternative, consider a freestanding unit and style it with the same design principles. Balance your display with a mixture of books, collectibles, and artwork in interesting balanced arrangements.

    Gray-green chaise in front of industrial-style free-standing wood and iron etagere

    Find a wide variety of living room bookshelves for your home at Lamps Plus. These four wood versions will add warmth to your abode and can be tucked anywhere along a wall for added style and storage.

    Selection of free-standing wood bookcases from Lamps Plus


    Pictured: Carmeno 3 Shelf Espresso Bookcase; Stratford Weathered Wood Etagere; Pemberton Barnside 5 Shelf Bookcase; Uttermost Silver and Walnut Etagere.

    Books and things collected over time add personality and charm to any home. With a little thought and careful placement, your bookshelves will serve your storage needs and also be attractive to all those who visit!

    Image sources: My Domaine; Better Homes and Gardens; VT Wonen; Better Homes and Gardens; My Domaine.

  • Lighting in Small Bedroom Design

    A Narrow Bedroom with Modern Wall Lights

    Lighting in small bedroom design is one of the easiest design projects, ever. My new obsession is Remodelista which had fabulous pictures of smaller scale bedrooms that showed a wide array of lighting options that could be applied to your own home.

    Smaller Bedrooms with Small Scale Lighting

    Let’s face it, bedrooms can serve a multitude of functions and having the right lighting is key. Small bedrooms with small nightstands should naturally have beautiful table lamps that don't take up much space. But, if you have a super wee bedroom, you may wish to think outside the box.

    If surface space is scarce try hanging modern pendant lights from the ceiling. Not only is it unexpected, it’s a good way to light the room and take up very little space.

    Various Ligthing Solutions for Small Bedrooms

    Two other options are space savers as well as functional. Floor lamps are a great option in small bedroom design if you don’t have room for bedside tables, as are swing arm lamps. Floor lamps take up virtually no room and will offer better overall lighting, while the wall lights will create better task and reading light.

    After making sure the room is super stylish, your overall goal should be a combination of various light sources which is very easy to make happen even if your bedroom is short on space.

    Modern Lights for Bedrooms

    1. Whether on a desk or nightstand the contemporary Lite Source Halogen Counter-Balance Arm Desk Lamp is modern yet timeless.

    2. No worries if you have no room for bedside tables, look up with the George Kovacs Clear Glass Mini Pendant Light.

    3. Try the sleek Sputnik White Reader Touch LED Floor Lamp in lieu of bedside tables and lamps.

    4. A bedside table lamp like the classic Arteriors Home Kristie White Glass Bottle Table Lamp is a good looking basic.

    5. Free up nightstand surface space if you mount the plug-in Regina-Andrew Arc 21" Metal Wall Sconce.

    Photos: Remodelista.

  • Unique Kitchen Island Design

    Kitchen island design with bar height stools and glass pendants

    A vital part of  the design plan when it comes to your kitchen is the kitchen island design. When I renovated my old house, the number one thing on my wish list was creating my dream kitchen.

    To me, that meant classic style including marble counters, wood floors and a farmhouse sink, all centered around an island where my friends and family could gather.

    Almost anything goes when designing a kitchen island. Whether you decide to go with classic materials or a taller island where you can gather lots of bar height stools there is something for everyone.

    An antique chest of drawers converted into a kitchen island

    An antique chest of drawers adds character to this white kitchen as well as extra storage.

    A double-sided kitchen island with chrome and wood bar height stools

    A double-sided island allows for an easy flow of conversation and can replace the need for a kitchen table.

    A portable stainless steel cart used as a kitchen island

    Don’t think you have enough space for an island? A stainless steel cart on wheels can be moved in and out of the kitchen as needed and the open shelves are perfect for storing everyday items.

    Unique kitchen island design with a live-edge wooden counter and turquoise base

    The kitchen island design above is the focal point of the kitchen with a live edge counter and a pop of fun color.

    A square, white-washed kitchen island with extra-large scale linen pendant above

    Islands can take on any shape to fit the space, as can be seen from this small square island with a dramatic light fixture centered above.

    A narrow white table-like kitchen island with turned legs and lower shelf for storage

    Can’t find it? DIY it and build your dream island to perfectly suit your needs.

    How would you design your dream kitchen island?

    Image Sources: Eclectically Vintage; DIY Showoff; Better Homes & Gardens; Dear Lillie; The White Buffalo Styling Co.; Country Living; Rain on a Tin Roof

  • 6 Small Living Room Design Tips

    Just because your living room is on the small side doesn't mean you have to sacrifice style. Here are some small living room design tips to help your small room be big on style:

    Color

    A tangerine colored living room with large graphic patterned sofa

    You don't have to stick to a neutral color palette just because your living room is small. Use bright color and interesting patterns to liven up a room.  Keep your palette limited or else it can become a bit overwhelming.

    Seating

    A modular sectional sofa works well in a small living room design

    Many people believe that a small living room should stick to small furniture. This isn't always the case! The right modular sectional sofa can accommodate all your seating needs and will eliminate the need for multiple pieces of small furniture, which can make a room feel crowded.

    Multi-Purpose Furniture

    Glam living room with mirrored nesting tables and coffee table with an intricate chrome base

    Multipurpose furniture is another key component of small living room design. Items like storage ottomans are great because they provide all-important storage space as well as additional seating.

    Nesting tables are also perfect in a small space. The nested tables can move around when and where you need them and can be put back when you're done.

    Area Rugs

    A small living room with simple furnishings and a light colored area rug

    A pretty area rug helps define a space and make it feel larger and a light colored area rug will really open up a room. It's important to make sure the area rug is the right size. A too-small area rug will actually make a room visually contract. A good rule of thumb is that at least the front feet of your furniture is on the rug.

    Mirrors

    A small living room with dark teal walls and a series of round antiqued mirrors over a blue velvet sofa

    Mirrors are a fantastic way to make a small room seem larger. Place a mirror behind a light source like a stylish pendant - not only does it look pretty, but it helps bounce more light around the room.

    Hang a mirror across from a window if you can - it creates the illusion of another window while maximizing the available natural light.

    You can never go wrong with a great big mirror, especially in a small living room. A large mirror, like a floor mirror, will magnify the beneficial effects of a mirror.

    Think Vertical

    A chartreuse green living room with crystal chandelier

    In a small room, it is important to draw the eye upward to give the illusion of a larger space.This can easily be achieved by hanging an eye-catching chandelier.

    Hanging window treatments as close to the ceiling as possible (instead of just above the window) also gives the illusion of extra space.

    Follow these six simple tips to design a small living room that feels anything but diminutive!

    Image Sources: HGTV; Forbes; Lamps Plus; Lamps Plus; House & Garden UK; Lamps Plus

  • Updating Your Home Office

    A Stylish Book Filled Home Office

    Most of us have some form of home office, but do you love it? Updating your home office will make working from home much more pleasurable assuming your choices are not only functional but attractive.

    Lonny’s home office pictures are a study in style. I chose mostly clean and modern images because I think we are more productive with less clutter around our work zone.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love a mood board and fabric swatches, but it still must be orderly.

    Simple and Contemporary Home Offices

    There are three basic requirements for a home office, a proper working surface, a comfortable chair and good lighting. Home office lamps can come in many forms, from classic ceramic to shiny chrome swing arms. The key is to make sure it’s bright and keeps you from straining to see.

    Home Offices with Bold Artwork and Patterned Walls

    Just because I like things clean and simple doesn’t mean you can’t infuse your office with personality. Brightly colored walls or patterned fabric seating can keep things lively and express your personality.

    Sophisticated Offices with Richly Burnished Wood Details

    Some home offices need to be carved out of unsuspected places, such as closets and under stairs.

    If space is tight or your office is part of your living or dining space, consider a pair of floor lamps to flank your work surface. Contemporary floor lamps will offer you light but are easily moved around a room and don’t require any additional tables to aid in their functionality.

    Home Office Design Elements and Lighting

    1. I love the Art Deco inspired Jamie Young Steam Punk Table Lamp.

    2. Task lighting can be very chic with the stylish Uttermost Fabbrico Polished Chrome Desk Lamp.

    3. No room for a desk lamp? Opt for the slim Robert Abbey Bruno White 2-Arm Pharmacy Floor Lamp which offers task and overall lighting.

    4. The contemporary Fortino Contemporary High Gloss White Desk is clean, modern yet still domestic in style.

    5. Comfort is key when sitting at a desk. Do it in style with the Medina Low Back Gray Faux Leather Office Chair.

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Interior Design Fun with Stripes

    Nursery interior design featuring a yellow and white striped ceiling

    Stripes, Stripes everywhere, the more the merrier! There is nothing that combines fun, sophistication and style like a good stripe in interior design. As you can see here, you can put stripes just about anywhere and they will hit big and make a great statement.

    Apartment Therapy images help inspire us to explore the wonderful world of stripes, and will hopefully inspire you to stripe up your decor!

    A hallway, bathroom and nook that incorporate striped into their design

    One of the most common places you will see a stripe accent in interior design is on the wall. The images above however, take it one small step forward in terms of design and application.

    Varying the widths of the stripes make for a big graphic impact and feel quote modern.

    Tiling your powder room with a stripe that is perfectly in line the vanity is elegant, slightly vintage and totally beautiful.

    Have an extra closet in the house you're not using? Remove the doors and tuck a twin mattress inside hidden by a thick pair of drapes. Accent the small space with light stripes to add visual impact without shrinking the space for the perfect getaway nook.

    Outdoor spaces with striped floors

    Ready for the ultimate visual impact? Striped floors welcome people into your home with gusto and character. Whether you actually lay varying wood planks, or tape off the floors and add stripes with paint, the end result is immensely graphic and attention grabbing.

    From rustic to modern, almost any design style will be amplified with a pop of stripe.

    Chic home decor featuring stripes, including window and wall treatments

    Chic home decor in a stripe pattern brings an amazing graphic punch to any room you style. From the area rugs on the floor up to the striped roman shades hanging just under the ceiling, stripes can be applied anywhere.

    Want to do something a little out of the box? Make your stripes out of two complimentary colors instead of the classic mixture of color plus white. A beautiful blue and green area rug and wall treatment feels so perfectly dainty yet designed.

    Image Source: Apartment Therapy

  • Fabulous Foyer Design

    A bright foyer design with white lacquer console table and large wall mirror

    How does the saying go?  You only get one chance to make a first impression?  This idea totally applies to foyer design.  

    Your foyer is the first thing your guests will see when they come into your home, so don't ignore it or have it be an after-thought when designing your home.

    If you live in a house you may use the door to the garage for your everyday comings and goings, but if you're an apartment dweller, a beautiful foyer will allow you to enjoy your comings and goings that much more.

    A well-designed foyer is a great opportunity to display your personality or give a little taste of what's to come in the rest of the home.

    A foyer with grasscloth-covered walls, mirrored console and a pair of glass table lamps

    Mirrors are a great addition to a foyer - they open up a space and add a luxurious feel. Beautiful wall mirrors create the illusion of extra space and reflect natural light, which is great if your entry is on the small side.  

    Make sure the size of the mirror is in proportion to the space or the piece of furniture it is hanging above. 

    Hanging a mirror in your foyer is also perfect for an outfit and make-up check before heading out the door (or upon arrivals for your guests!)

    A bold foyer design from Miles Redd with large-scale patterned wallpaper and black and white chevron floor

    Foyers are a great place to play with color and pattern, try a bold color or a large-scale patterned wallpaper for example.  

    A foyer is a great opportunity to flex your creative muscles and take design risks that you might not be ready to try in the rest of your home.

    Designer Miles Redd goes big, both literally and figuratively, in this gorgeous foyer. The wallpaper, bold black and white chevron floor and tortoise shell mirror just work. The wallpaper on the soffit is another great touch.

    A Steven Gambrel-designed foyer with dramatic modern chandelier and tufted upholstered bench

    Lighting is one of the easiest ways to update your foyer design.  A dramatic chandelier (like the one in the Steven Gambrel-designed foyer above,) a pair of unique sconces or eye-catching table lamps on a console will upgrade the look of your space and make it look more finished.

    I love how the calming palette of the foyer allows you to take a deep breath before entering the bold and energizing room with purple lacquered walls just through the arched opening.

    A large foyer with modern brass chandelier and eye-catching brass table and snakeskin upholstered bench

    Add a statement piece like this dramatic table seen in the foyer of Ashley Stark's (as in Stark Carpet) home. An eye-catching piece creates a focal point for the room and can be anything from an interesting console table to an upholstered bench to a wall mirror with an interesting finish or a lot of detail.

    A Saarinen table in front of a colorful gallery wall

    A foyer is an excellent opportunity to display art. An attention-grabbing large-scale piece of art or well-thought-out gallery wall are the perfect finishing touch in a well-designed foyer.

    A white lacquer room divider defines an entryway in an apartment

    If you don't have an entry that is separate from the main area of your apartment, a room divider can quickly solve the problem.  The wall divider visually sets the space apart from the rest of the larger room.  The console table and wall mirror give the space the feel of a traditional foyer.

    Image Sources: House Beautiful; domino; Miles Redd; Elle Decor; Elle Decor; Lonny; domino

  • 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

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