Style Illuminated

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

  • Kitchen Seating for Every Style

    The kitchen is the heart of the home (because, let's be honest, who doesn't want to gather in the room where the food is?) so it's important to create a space that's welcoming, comfortable, and of course, beautiful. There's kitchen seating out there for every style, from traditional to modern to eclectic and everything in between. 

    Let's take a look at kitchen bar stools and dining chairs in some of this year's most popular design styles.

    Kitchen Bar Stools

    Luxe Living: If you love all things glam, look for kitchen stools with designer details like nailheads and decorative hardware. These metallic accents act like jewelry and add a little bling to the humble barstool. Dark-stained legs and lush fabric upholstery also lend upscale style, as shown in this gorgeous glamorous kitchen featured in Lonny magazine.

     French Style Dining Room

    French Inspired: Get the oh-so-chic French flea market look with weathered wood frames in classic shapes paired with rustic upholstery like linen. It's okay to mix and match styles - just make sure that there's a cohesive element to tie them all together. In the photo above from Dear Lillie, it's the plain neutral upholstery that acts as a common thread (pun intended) between these French dining chairs.

    Global Dining Room

    Global Decor: Global style seeks influences from cultures and countries around the world, and becomes a curated collection of color, texture, and pattern. These vibrant dining chairs showcased in Country Living magazine capture the colorful excitement of the global look. 

     Modern Dining Room

    Modern Mix: The combination of an industrial dining table and Midcentury dining chairs is dynamite. Throw in the traditional mirrored frames, luxe gold garden stool, and oversize modern art and then entire space is a chic mix of styles that shouldn't work together - but do. If you're going for a Modern Mix look in your kitchen or dining room, like this room featured in Domaine, make sure that there's an element that ties your table and chairs together. In this case, it's the reclaimed wood tabletop and the light legs of the chairs that provides a common thread.

     Industrial Kitchen

    Industrial Chic: The key to industrial style seating in the kitchen is to balance out the cold metallic finishes with some warmth. The soft off-white cabinetry in this kitchen in Atlanta Homes magazine offsets the hard industrial styling of the counter stools and pendant lights.

    Cottage Kitchen

    Cottage Retreat:  The cottage look is all about weathered textures - think distressed paint, rattan, and weathered fabric upholstery. These rustic woven barstools from The Lettered Cottage are a great example of what to look for in cottage style kitchen seating

    Eclectic Chic Dining Room

    Eclectic Chic: A farmhouse-style dining table provides the perfect backdrop for an eclectic mix of dining chairs. Be bold with color - but be sure to balance out the brights with neutrals so things don't get too crazy. This inspiration image from 55 Downing Street captures the Eclectic Chic look. 

     Kitchen in a Modern Bungalow

    Modern Bungalow: Consider handsome and smart Mission-style kitchen chairs and barstools. Troy Mock Architects used classic Mission style counter stools in this kitchen renovation, and the stained wood and leather finishes pair beautifully with the handsome kitchen island.

    There really is kitchen seating out there for every style. Chairs and barstools are a opportunity to communicate your design sense and bring personality to your space. Happy shopping! 

    Image credits: Lonny, Dear Lillie, Country Living, Domaine, Atlanta Homes, The Lettered Cottage, 55 Downing StreetTroy Mock Architects via Houzz

  • Stylish Ceiling Fans

    Stylish Ceiling Fans

    Stylish ceiling fans could be considered an oxymoron by design snobs, but I've come to love the functionality and finally, the style, of these oft-overlooked design elements.

    Lonny generally would come calling when it comes to finding high-style room shots, but I noticed some great looking rooms with ceiling fans that needed more than a once-over! Come hither and realize that whether you are looking for a modern 3-blade ceiling fan or traditional ceiling fan with light, you have come to right place.

    Contemporary Ceiling Fans

    Modern ceiling fans are a designer’s best friend. Let’s face it, ceiling fans can look dated depending upon the overall look of a room. Newer fans are sleek, can disappear up into the ceiling and yet still cool a room or terrace on a hot day. Don’t be scared to embrace a brushed steel look if you have been a classicist as the cool industrial vibe is fabulous in lofts or smaller rooms.

    1. The 44" Casa Vieja Trifecta™ White Ceiling Fan is the most simple way to go modern and not loose functionality and light.

    Tropical Ceiling Fans

    Tropical style ceiling fans are timeless in warm climates, on terraces and generate a serious Hemingway vibe. Whether you choose a tan or a white rattan version, the look exudes a fuss-free and relaxed aesthetic, perfect for people who entertain and live for the ease of outdoor living.

    2. I like the modern twist to antique cage lighting on the 52" Minka Shangri La Vintage Rust Ceiling Fan.

    Traditional Home Decor

    If you can't make up your mind and you are generally traditional when decorating, I would stick with the classic white ceiling fan. Because most ceilings tend to be painted white this lower-cost fan is the most common for a reason.

    It cools, fades into the background and goes with virtually all transitional and traditional decor. Unless you have a very specialized design scheme, you cant go wrong with this version.

    3. Tried and true defines the 52" Casa Supremacy™ ENERGY STAR® White Ceiling Fan.

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Trend Alert: Neutral Outdoor Seating

    Outdoor Seating in Neutral Colors

    It's time to start looking at the back porch again.

    You know....the one that's been covered in snow and ice. The one you haven't really seen since December.

    Spring is in the air and that means green grass and flowers and sunshine and back porches getting ready to serve sweet tea.

    So shake off the winter doldrums, sweep off the snow, throw back the curtains and decorate.

    Need some inspiration?  Here are some great neutral outdoor seating options that are trending. 

    Adirondack Chair

    This chair is my favorite go-to for back porches.

    The standard by which all other outdoor seating should be measured.

    The basic white adirondack chair.

    Pair the chair with black striped cushions or bright floral cushions or simple gray cushions with white piping for the perfect accent piece for your back porch.

     Outdoor Metal Chair in White

    Back porch staple number 2.

    Same song second stylish verse.

    These classic metal chairs have been around since Grace Kelly.

    Perfect as a stand alone piece on the back porch or paired with a glider for maximum sweet tea conversation.

     White washed outdoor glider

    Here's an option for outdoor seating with farmhouse flair.

    This shabby chic outdoor white washed farmhouse glider creates instant charm and character.

    Just add sweet tea.

    Add barn wood accents and a vintage coffee table to complete the farmhouse look.

    Woven Outdoor Chair

    This woven aluminum chair is both stylish and functional.

    Make a bold graphic statement on your back porch with its clean lines and contemporary appeal.

    Finish off the look with bold patterns and colors in accent pillows and an outdoor fabric pouf to use as an ottoman.

     White Outdoor Dining Chairs

    Need dining chairs with a modern edge?

    These plastic (can you even believe it) side chairs look perfect pulled up to a table or standing alone as additional seating.

    Inexpensive and durable, these chairs pairs perfectly with an old farmhouse table or more of a contemporary piece.

    Adding a new accent chair is the perfect way to greet the changing of the seasons.

    Are you ready?

    Spring is finally here and your back porch has been patiently waiting.

    Photo credit:  Thistlewood Farms

  • Best Bar Stool Styles

    Bar Stools

    Bar stools have become a design staple in most homes and for good reason. Bar stools are multi-functioning pieces of furniture. They can become your dining room chair, home office work chair or a place to sit for your children while they do their homework.

    My favorite, however, is what they were originally meant to be...a bar stool...make mine a double! Design Manifest was a surprise spot to find some great images of the wide variety of bar stool styles.

    Stylish Bar Stools

    Arteriors Home Calvin Chestnut Barstool.

    Bar stools don’t need to be uncomfortable wooden perches, rather, they can be comfortable and stylish. Modern glamour can be reflected not only in lighting and decor but also in bar stools. I love the introduction of brass detailing on these stools as it has become the hottest metal finish these days.

    Rattan Bar Stools

    Set of 2 Vera Havana Bonded Leather Counter Stools.

    Classic bar stools tend to be leather, but you can lighten the look by finding a style that also incorporates rattan. This more casual version looks great in warmer climates and keeps your kitchen looking less fussy.

    Industrial Style Bar Stools

    Arteriors Home Wyndham Black Stain Swivel Counter Stool

    City dwellers tend to go for the urban industrial look bar stool that usually incorporates metal and/or some type of reclaimed wood. I love the oversized metal pendants over the island in this picture. Most bar stools are at kitchen counters or islands so remember the right kitchen pendant lighting will compliment the right stools!

    Elegant Bar Stools

    Maison Linen 29 1/2" High Armless Bar Stool

    Are the kids out of the house or are you single? You may want to consider a more formal look and even go for a light colored linen. This formal bar stool is enhanced by the addition of nail heads, just like jewelry adds bling to an outfit. There is a “Hollywood Glamour” feel to this stool and would be made a tad more perfect if it was paired with a classic cocktail.

    Lucite Bar Stools

    Viva Contemporary Clear Acrylic Barstool.

    Acrylic or Lucite bar stools are the height of contemporary kitchen design. I think using a light and clear material works well in smaller or tight spaces. Keep in mind that these are probably not the best choice if there are children in the house...hard plastic is not as forgiving as upholstery! Even before you decide on which style you prefer make sure you get the proper height. Counter height bar stools will be shorter than traditional bar stools.

    Photos: Design Manifest.

  • Home Decor Inspired by Winter Flowers

    Believe it or not there are some species of flowers that thrive in the cooler months. Whether or not they would survive the polar vortex and arctic chill going on now across the country is debatable - and by debatable I mean a definite NO NO NO while still trying to be nice to those freezing out there.

    None the less there is a way, once the thaw melts, to have beautiful flowering plants before spring has sprung. With the help of beautiful floral images from Sunset Magazine and interior design inspiration from Elle Decor and Lonny we douse your screens with winter floral home decor inspiration.

     Peach and Coral Home Decor

    Snapdragons are every child's favorite flower. Aside from being extremely fun to play with, Snapdragons mix pinks, oranges and pops of yellow seamlessly. Incorporating these colors into home decor gives you a feminine and bold look that embraces color from ceiling to floor and can easily translate into any room in your house as you see above.

    Whether you take inspiration and make it a focal point with paint or large drapery, or stick to accessories with throw pillows and accent lamps, this spring-inspired color palette will surely give you motivation to see the sunlight at the end of the wintry tunnel.

     Purple and Violet Home Decor

    Violas to me seem like the kind of flower that would pop up in colder months. The deep purples and silvery whites speak to the chill of winter and translate into interior design that is modern, sleek and mature. As you will notice in our inspiration, accenting this deep purple with a 'clear' surface like a glass coffee table or lucite based desk really allows the color to shine. Another accessory that pairs perfectly with deep mauves and silvery textures is crystal lighting. Similar to glass accent pieces, crystal lighting will reflect the colors rather than detract and distract from them.

     Gold and Yellow Home Decor

    Nemesia has a vibrant orange flower with a dark black center - a color combination that we seem time and again in interior design. Orange really is the star color of Nemesia, and we have found inspiration that embrace the orange and let it shine. Almost like a winter sunset, the warmness and rich hue feels comforting in the winter months. Both solid and patterned, in textiles and wallpaper, accessories and accents, this bold color has no intention of going anywhere soon.

    Images: Sunset Magazine, Lonny Magazine, Elle Decor

  • Tropical Ceiling Fans

    Tropical Living Room

    I love this tropical ceiling fan that is featured in the living room designer by Brielle M. Ferreira.


    I wish I could be on one 365 days a year.

    That’s why I love filling my home with things that remind of my favorite vacation destinations. Bowls and glass jars are filled with shells and coral and sea fans are framed in the bathroom.

    Another way to get the feeling of being on permanent vacation is by adding a tropical style ceiling fan to your home. Hang one up, close your eyes and you can almost feel the balmy ocean breezes.

    Here are some of my favorite Lamps Plus ceiling fans that take me away to the tropics…

    Double Ceiling Fan  Double Tropical Fan

    This double ceiling fan would make a huge statement in a room with high ceilings.

     Koa Wood Ceiling Fan

    Koa Wood Fan  

    Koa wood can be found all over Hawaii and I love the combo of contemporary with a touch of the tropics in this koa wood fan.

     Palm Leaf Ceiling Fan

     Palm Leaf Fan  

    I love using natural elements indoors and the color and texture of the natural palm leaves on this fan add just the right touch of the outdoors.

     White Tropical Ceiling Fan

    White Tropical Fan  

    Linger longer on porches and patios with a cooling breeze from this white ceiling fan that can be used outdoors.

    Here’s to filling our homes with things that remind us of our favorite places to visit.


    Image sources: Brielle M. Ferreira  and Lamps Plus

  • Have a bathroom romance with the perfect LED light fixture

    Bathrooms can be one of the most sensual rooms in a home.

    Just like everything else in your home and in your life, planning and effort are essential to make sure you achieve your ideal romantic bathroom.

    For my lighting 'romance' meter to register, LED bathroom lighting should be dimmable, have interesting shape, and visual texture. Here's why:

    Romantic Bathroom

    Image: Artistic Tile

    Divine Dimmability

    Bright lights in a bathroom are fundamental for the grooming parts of bathroom use, but when it’s time to relax, those bright lights can harsh the mood. And mood lighting is essential when it comes to romance. When shopping for a new bathroom light, look for LED light fixtures and light bulbs that can dim. While you are shopping for dimmability, consider stocking-up on battery-powered LED candles. Before kids and cats, I’d have crinkled my nose at the thought of a battery fueling my candles. As a busy mom who likes the soothing mood a candle creates, those battery-candles are fast and easy to turn on in a pinch.

    Sensual shapes.

    It may be what’s inside the light fixture that really matters, but there’s no denying shape registers a fast reaction. Shapes that allow the eye to graze over a surface in a few different ways will hold a gaze, keeping eyes mesmerized with the curves or angles on a fixture. Just like with color, shapes appeal to each of us in different ways. If the shape doesn’t catch your eye and hold your gaze while you are shopping, it won’t be a light that can keep you enchanted during a long bathtub soak in your bathroom.

    Tempting textures.

    More than just a way to filter the light, the texture of a light fixture can create interesting patterns, shadows, and shimmer in a space. Silk screening, frosted glass, applied patterns, and metallics are just a few of the textural options available in LED light fixtures. As the technology continues to evolve and designers keep pushing the boundaries for LED light fixture design, the options will become limitless. So if you don’t fall in love today, your dream fixture could be introduced very soon.

    Here are some great examples of how-to achieve a romantic LED lighting look in your bathroom:

      Black and White Bathroom

    Image: Southern Living

     Dark paneled wood, brass, and a bathtub designed for two may be your version of a bathroom romance.


     Modern LED ceiling light Shop the look in LED lighting: The Tech Lighting Renata adds a touch of an architectural paneled look through the delicate silk-screening pattern in sterling silver.


    Elegant Ivory Bathroom

    Image: Southern Living

     If a rustic dreamy farmhouse style takes your breath away, this simple, oversized, and visually calm bathroom design was created for you.


    Elan Sava Dimmable LED Light

    Shop the look in LED lighting: Taking the simple ease of the farmhouse modern look further into a contemporary interpretation, this Elan Sava dimmable LED light is slender elegance.


    Traditional Bathroom Lighting

    Image: HGTV Dream Home 2015

     Sumptuous fabrics with warmer lighting tones and peaceful views of nature give this bathroom-designed-for-two a cozy elegant atmosphere.


     WAC Haven LEDme Pendant


    Shop the look in LED lighting: The amber tones of the WAC Haven LEDme pendant balances the warm views of nature, offering stimulating hints of glamour in an otherwise peacefully calm space.  

    Bathroom with LED Lighting  

    Image: HGTV  

    If you are looking for drama out of your bathroom lighting romance, this bathroom look from HGTV’s 2012 Urban Oasis might be perfect.


     Kovacs Bathroom Light

    Shop the look in LED lighting: The simple delicate yet bold George Kovacs Saber 21-inch wide chrome LED offers a sleek style in a dimmable etched opal glass.

    Classic Bathroom Design

    Image: Traditional Home

    If your idea of romance is an unfussy nurturing bathroom interior, you might fall for this sleek white-on-white look.


      Kovac Wall Sconce

    Shop the LED lighting look: This 12-inch high wall sconce from George Kovacs might not be a show-stopper light fixture, but a simple dimmable wall sconce can be perfection in a bathroom. 


     Bathroom with Wood

     Image: Better Homes & Gardens

    There’s nothing to hide with the romance in this bathroom. Open shelves, glass shower enclosure, and a large mirror provide immediate simple intimacy in this bathroom.

     Sonneman C-Shell LED Light

    Shop the LED lighting look: If you like uncomplicated romance, and fall for lighting that blends into the scene, this Sonneman C-Shell LED lighting fixture  might be your bathroom’s dream date.

    All product images are from Lamps Plus.

  • Modern Home Decor

    Tulip Chair

    Modern Tulip Chair 

    Modern home decor has taken on cult status and is now considered a serious genre for collecting. The great thing about this style is the ability to mix a wide range of decades together, including current, contemporary pieces.

    It’s amazing to see people embrace what was once considered junky, elevating it now to “high style.” These images from Lonny was a great representation of the modernist movement. 

    Rooms Decorated with Modernist 1950's, 1960's and 1970's Decor

    Modern Interior Inspiration 

    It has often been said that everything old is new again, and that is true with home decor. From groovy globe metal and iron floor lamps to hooked rugs and mid century furniture, modernism encompasses decor from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

    Contemporary reproductions also work well if the real thing just cannot be found. One of the more frustrating aspects of collecting this style is that prices have already begun to inch up in price, even at flea markets, so less expensive reproductions can be your friend when styling your home.

    Modern Rooms in the Modernist Style

    Modern Eclectic Style

    While mixing the decades can be fun and whimsical, some people are purists and will only collect a specific decade. Staying true to your convictions can result in beautiful time capsules. I’m even becoming a convert to contemporary track lighting that has the modern 70s look!

    Whether your home becomes an homage to the Palm Springs Rat Pack, or a worshipping of the Halston-era Smokey-mirrored condo, modern home decor is specific, stylish and finally chic. 

    Modern Lighting and Accessories

    Top Modern Picks 

    Here are some of my top picks in modern home decor that are available from Lamps Plus: 

    1. The Blink Cottage Bronze Wall Sconce reminds me of something you might find on the Dick Van *** Show!

    2. Keep your walls groovy with the Secret Abstraction Modernist Giclee Wall Art.

    3. You can’t go wrong with a classic mid century light like the Jonathan Adler Sputnik 18-Light Antique Brass Pendant Light.

    4. The Zoltar Antique Brass Floor Lamp by Robert Abbey creates a super 1970s vibe and I’m obsessed.

    5. A classic mid century interior should have tables with a boomerang or kidney shape similar to the Lunar Landing Oak Veneer Side Table.

    6. Can’t you see Doris Day picking this out for a Tony Randall office in some 1960s era film? Kathy Ireland Reflections Table Lamp.

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Romantic Crystal Chandeliers

    Bedroom with Chandelier

    The word crystal originated in the mid 18th century from the Latin candela meaning to glisten and from the French chandelle meaning candle. Traditionally when we think of crystal chandeliers we imagine just that, glistening lights that sparkle and possess classic elegance.

    Dining Room with Cystal Chandelier

    Today’s crystal chandeliers are inspired by their European predecessors. The classic shape mimics the upside down umbrella, the curved candelabra extending out in tiers, each arm embellished with cut crystal teardrops, pendalogues, or prisms.

    Together, natural light and the glow of its bulbs adds Old World romance and sophisticated glamour.

    Crystal Chandelier in Bedroom

    In past decades, crystal chandeliers have been reinvented in new and inspiring ways. Transitional chandeliers draw upon the traditional design but take on a different look. You’ll see classically shaped crystal pendalogues fashioned into modern geometric shapes, or the addition of a drum shade to the traditional candelabra with the cut crystal drops enjoying a peekaboo effect. 

    Contemporary Crystal Island Lighting Fixture

    Contemporary chandelier lighting designs have evolved  as well. Bubble and cascading round crystals add a falling water effect, beautiful when suspended over a kitchen island or dining table. A modern crystal chandelier can complement a contemporary space or bring contrast to more traditional one.

    Crystal Chandeliers

    Lamps Plus offers a great selection of romantic crystal chandeliers and more, no matter what your style.

    Find the traditional shape of the classic Venezia Bronze chandelier, the elegant Stefana White Chandelier, or the Empire gold chandelier.

    Capture transitional appeal with the antique brass Wallingford chandelier, the beautiful Hampton chandelier, or the nickel Feiss Malia chandelier.

    Make a statement with more contemporary choices such as the Pouring Crystal Aida chandelier, the glamorous Adali chandelier, or the Metropolitan chandelier.

    Image sources: Lewis & Weldon, Style at Home, New England Home Magazine, Emily Griffen Design

  • Wild About Walnut - Lighting & Home Decor

    Walnut Desk in a Home Office

    As per the post title, at the moment I am Wild about Walnut! No the but, but the finish, especially in lighting and home decor.I just love how warm the tonality is, how much movement exists in the graining and how versatile it is between different design styles.

    Walnut can translate from vintage to modern to traditional at the drop of a hat, making it one of the most versatile wood species and finishes. Adding natural woods to your home design also brings an interesting texture to the layers of your look.

    Serving as my inspiration, the beautiful home office image from Ultralinx shows up how walnut can be both the focal point as well as the accent. Delve into the below round-up for furniture, lighting and accessories that celebrate all the beauty of walnut.

     Walnut Products

    1. I am kicking off the round up with possible the most perfect walnut bed on the planet! This walnut Madison Upholstered Bed is an example of just how versatile this material can be. This bed is all at once modern, vintage, transitional and timeless.

    2. A beautiful walnut mirror like the Excalibur 34 3/4" Round Large Sunburst Wall Mirror is a great piece to hand in an entry or powder room. Let the warmth and shape of this sunburst mirror become the focal point of a smaller space in your home.

    3. If you want to take your walnut accent furniture to a more rustic place, the Set of 3 Wood and Iron Jules Nesting Tables are the perfect thing. Alongside a shabby chic linen sofa these nesting tables are the perfect warm, wooden touch.

    4. Nightstand, accent table or hallway piece, the Madison Walnut Bachelors Chest has beautiful woodgrain patterns, modern metal hardware and a contemporary shape that will allow this piece to live a long life among your home decor.

    5. The strong angles of the Cerno Mica 9" Wide Oiled Walnut LED Pendant Light will make for a beautiful kitchen island pendant or entry way light.

    6. The masculine John Timberland Wooden Candlestick Buffet Lamp is a beautiful walnut table lamp that can be utilized anywhere, but would fit in perfectly in a masculine home office or man cave.

    7. Anyone who wants to embrace accent lighting rather than overhead lighting will love the Possini Euro Design Deco Style Walnut Column Floor Lamp. The art deco lines of the walnut accent make this new floor lamp feel retro-chic yet contemporary at the same time.

    8. A pair of Yohkoh 30" Faux Leather Ivory Barstools bring the perfect midcentury vibes to any kitchen island.

    9. If you want to really get the 'outdoors inside' look the Summer Swirl Walnut Natural Wood Stool is the perfect piece. A solid walnut stool that embraces geometry as well as natural elements will make a beautiful accent piece to just about any interior design.

    10. Turn your home office into a Don Draper style getaway with the Zuo Linea Walnut Desk, which embraces midcentury walnut applications in a beautiful, balanced way.

    Image Source: Ultralinx

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog