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.

  • A British Pub in Your Kitchen

    London pub exterior

    Walking around London, there is absolutely no shortage of corner pubs. Some of them even date back to the 1600s and have been serving food and drink steadily for decades. 

    The classic british pub is an inviting, warm place to duck into when the grey clouds and drizzle of London roll in, and the design and decor demonstrates that. They feature warm, rich materials with approachable and comfortable furniture that functions well for long stays.

    If you have an eat-in kitchen and have always wondered what exactly to do with that space, why not turn it into a mini pub?! Using the color palette and materials of a classic british pub, turn your breakfast nook into a comfortable, inviting space with these easy tips and tricks.

    Interior of a British pub with built-in banquette and brass lighting

    Color Palette

    Classic pubs often feature dark colors like hunter green, burgundy and black. These warm colors trigger our eyes to allow ourselves to feel warm and cozy. Additionally, they are classically British in heritage and style. Mixing up these dark, rich colors with chic textiles and stylish decorative pillows lets you find the perfect blend for your space.

    Exterior of a British pub in London

    Brass Accents

    Most classic pubs I have come across all use brass as their metal accent of choice. Brass hardware and lighting has a vintage feel, while also having an expensive, regal feel. Choose dining chairs with brass nailheads and install a brass pendant light over your table to get that perfect, brass pub look.

    Exterior of a London pub

    Rich Woods

    Whether you already have warm wood floors, or want to incorporate wood furniture, this is a staple of any classic pub. From medium to dark brown, warm woods bring a comfortable, approachable feel to the space. 

    Dark wood-paneled London pub with a series of pendants over the bar

    Old World Detailing

    The options are endless to add in old world detailing to top off your at-home british pub. From wainscoting to carved detailing to stained glass to accessorizing - adding in that antique element completes the space, and brings history to your contemporary design. 

    How will you turn your kitchen dining nook into a classic british pub?

    Image Sources: Allison Rosenberg

  • Welcome Guests with Perfect Outdoor Lighting

    You know how they say that your entry is the first impression that guests have of just what might be behind that front door?

    Holiday front door with greens and lanterns glowing

    It's true. And whether your home has a grand entrance or a humble one, your entry is the first thing that guests see when arriving for a visit.

    And it isn't just all about the front door and the color or style of it - the outdoor lighting you choose plays an important part in saying "hello" and "welcome."

    No one relishes the idea of approaching a front door that is dark and dreary, but one that is well light and polished looking?

    Yes, please.

    Close up holiday front door with carriage style lantern and wreath

    Today I am sharing a few of my favorite outdoor lighting styles for making a wonderful first impression and for lighting the way to your home.

    Whether you have a large porch or a simple stoop - you probably have an outdoor light by the door.

    And no matter what your favorite finish or style is, choose something that fits your home's style and era for a cohesive look.

    Something simple and classic like this elegant carriage house style light would be perfect for a traditional style home:

    Bronze carriage house-style LED outdoor wall light

    I love the detail work on the iron scroll light below.

    This would be perfect flanking both sides of a traditional door, or maybe one that doesn't have as much charm or detail as you would like.

    Intricate bronze outdoor light with pounded glass in a champagne color

    And a fixture with a vintage modern industrial vibe for those vintage cottage style homes is always charming and definitely on-trend.

    Industrial/barn style bronze outdoor wall light

    If you are looking for something with a bit more vintage charm, the seeded glass and clean lines in this traditional bronze light is perfect.

    Lantern-style bronze outdoor light with clear seeded glass

    Of course when talking about outdoor lights and lighting the way to the front door don't forget path lighting along the walkway.

    Not only is it a charming look to see lights all the way down the walkway but it is also a safety feature to keep steps well lit.

    You can find all types of outdoor lighting - and more importantly, the perfect outdoor lighting for you, at Lamps Plus.

    What is your favorite style of outdoor light?

    Are you traditional or modern or somewhere in between?

    Image sources: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • Classic Library Lighting

    Chic Aged Brass Lights by Hudson Valley Lighting from Lamps Plus

    Nothing is more cozy in the winter than a library. Classic library lighting is key to creating this warm and welcoming design scheme. For me, aged brass is the right finish and pairs beautifully with richly hued woods and darker fabrics found in libraries or dens.

    Hudson Valley Lighting has a great array of timeless lighting and I found some brass lights that would compliment these rooms, highlight bookcases and offer great overall and task lighting.

    Library lighting can be different than general lighting throughout the house. Oftentimes, libraries are used for working as well as reading and watching television. While they can be multipurpose, they need to be ready for quiet time.

    A classic floor lamp is perfect beside a chair and traditional picture lights are stylishly on-point when mounted to the top of bookcases, highlighting books and collectibles.

    These distinctive fixtures from Hudson Valley Lighting will always be in style in a traditional room.

    1. The adjustable Marshall Floor Lamp in vintage brass  is an updated classic that is a wing back chair’s best friend.

    2. This aged brass ceiling light looks amazing when installed in the recesses of a coffered ceiling.

    3. If your library has the ceiling height, I would choose the Lambert aged brass mini pendant for general lighting.

    4. The Merrick aged brass picture light would look chic mounted above art or bookcases.

    5. Wall sconces like the Malibu in brass are great flanking a sofa or a fireplace. You can always swap out shades to compliment your decor or color scheme.

  • Four Designer Finishes for a Luxe Look

    Different surfaces and furnishings will create different moods in spaces. You'll achieve warmth with wood tones and add sophistication with metallic sheens. There are four designer finishes that will guarantee a luxurious feeling in any living or bedroom space, they are crystal, fur, acrylic, and mirrored surfaces.

    Lamps Plus has a vast collection of gorgeous crystal lamps and chandeliers in contemporary and traditional styles to fit your space. Mirrored surfaces add a dose of glamour, look to mirrored console tables and nightstands as pieces that act just like wall mirrors to reflect light around the room.

    Elegant bedroom including a mirrored vanity table, beige velvet chaise, and gold and glass side table

    Add a luxe touch to your bedroom with the popular MacKenzie Mirrored Accent Table, (shown below) a glamorous petite piece equally at home next to a sofa.

    Introduce a contemporary look with the clean-lined Welsey Wood and Mirror Cabinet. A Greek key motif embellishes the mirrored Kellie Gold Leaf Table; imagine it next to a reading chair or as a place to hold bath or beauty products in a bathroom.

    The rectangular shape of the modern Vienna Crystal Table Lamp adds sophistication to a nightstand or desk.

    Hang the Malia Nickel Pendant Light from Feiss over a bed or dining room table for a luxurious look and watch the smoked crystal beads dance in the light. Drop a pair of the geometric Linares Platinum Pendants over a vanity in a master bathroom as a conversation piece.

    Mirrored and crystal lighting and furniture from Lamps PlusNo animals are harmed in the creation of faux fur and the reproductions are just as soft as the real thing! Eye-catching acrylic furniture has been a popular detail for years, designers know just a touch is all you need to add an upscale vibe.

    Stylish chair and sheepskin bench with acrylic legs near an acrylic magazine holder and flower burst chandelier

    To introduce faux fur, toss a pillow like this Silver Fox Pillow on an accent chair, or drape the cozy Linn Gray Faux Fur Throw over a sofa or on the end of a bed. Also shown is the luxe beige Sheepskin Bench (also available in white), perfect for sitting in front of the fire or at the end of a bed.

    Introduce posh pieces with acrylic details, like the legs on the Stella Velvet Bench. Include this ceramic table lamp from Robert Abbey in emerald green that features bold color and contains an acrylic base, or dress up your dining room with a pair of the Homebelle Transparent Chairs.

    Acrylic and faux fur styles from Lamps Plus

    Including designer finishes like acrylic, mirrored surfaces, crystal and fur in your designs will help you create interiors with an incredibly luxe look.

    Image source: Lamps Plus

  • Romantic Bathroom Decor

    Glamorous Bathroom Lighting and Accessories from Lamps Plus

    February always seems to be about Valentines and secret admirers, but I say forget the candy and flowers, and opt for something a touch more permanent and stylish. Installing romantic bathroom decor is one way to infuse glamour and much needed self indulgence into your winter bathroom.

    Bathroom decor updates are usually any easy and inexpensive affair, provided you are leaving existing plumbing fixtures. Swapping out lights, adding a mirror and paint may be all you need to create an alluring "salle de bain."

    Try crystal bathroom ceiling lights that will add sparkle and glimmer around the entire room, while decorative mirrors will freshen up plain walls...

    I love the idea of playing this mother-of-pearl mirror off glass fixtures and the matte, upholstered make-up stool. Mixing textures is as important in the bath as it is throughout the rest of the house.

    Here are some feminine touches you can add to create a more long-lasting romance with your home.

    1. This mother of pearl mirror by Jamie Young adds shimmer against a plain wall.

    2. Crystal bath lights like the Regina in nickel and crystal will amp up over the mirror lighting and is super chic for powder rooms.

    3. This flush mount crystal ceiling light is perfect for rooms with low ceilings that need some pizzazz.

    4. An upholstered vanity stool exudes luxury and privilege, and who better than you deserves that?

    5. The Feiss Lucia crystal wall sconce has Hollywood Glamour and can work in both bathrooms or tight hallways.

    6. Just for over-the-top fun and function, try this pink chandelier night light.

  • Inspired by London - Old World Decor

    Images of London architecture

    Who said that London in the winter time was gloomy and grey?! 

    Having the opportunity to spend some time in London recently has really opened my eyes to just how beautiful architectural details and elements can be. While our country has gorgeous architectural history, there is no comparison with structures that have outlasted over 500 years and still stand proud and tall today.

    I have been so inspired by these aged, Gothic buildings with their ornate accents and extreme attention paid to detail. I have rounded up some furniture pieces from Lamps Plus that I think would capture the essence of this old world style but still be relatable to today.

    Brick red oriental-inspired area rug

    As you can clearly see above, brick buildings are very prominent in London. We rarely see them anymore in California because of earthquakes, so my eye has been drawn to these wonderful red beauties. I think the brick red color is regal and warm and exudes classic age.

    A traditional brick red wool area rug captures the essence of an old brick building, while still having the capability to be paired with contemporary furniture.

    Ornately carved oak trestle dining table

    Detail, detail, detail. Every inch of these antique buildings has been meticulously thought out, so they appear grander than life, from the steeples of the abbeys right down to street level, and the more flourish the better.

    One place in the home where I think a little extra flourish can go a long way is in the dining room, which naturally is a more formal room in your house. With an oak trestle dining table like the one above, you make a grand statement that is ripe with detail and design.

    Wood carved barrel back chair with chartreuse tufted upholstery

    Beautiful brightly colored interiors perfectly pair with the ornate exteriors of these old buildings. Hundreds of years ago no one could imagine all white walls and ceilings, the more color the better! Vibrant Old World decor is stunning to look at and they style translates very well into contemporary design sensibilities.

    Pieces like this lemon upholstered accent chair or beautiful decorative pillows and accessories in bright pops of color can work in just about any setting.

    Traditional crystal chandelier with crystal pendants and bobeches

    Last but certainly not least, stunning crystal chandeliers have been a staple of design and are not going anywhere any time soon. These gorgeous, striking fixtures cascade light and twinkle amongst the decadence, making them the perfect element to complete the old world space.

    This Schonbek crystal chandelier will melt the hearts of anyone who comes across it.

    What are your thoughts on Old World decor? Is it a style you can see yourself adopting for your interiors?

    Image Sources: Allison Rosenberg 

  • A Perfect Bar Stool

    vintage style wood stool with flowers in kitchen

    Is there such a thing as a perfect bar stool?

    Most definitely.

    I will admit that I was a little bar stool-afraid a few years ago. We have an island in our kitchen and we needed an area for guests to plop down and visit while working but it seemed every bar stool I found wasn't quite right. In size, style, or finish.

    But when I found these two styles I knew that I had winners with both. And guess what - I use them both all the time.

    Vintage style wood stool in kitchen

    The backless stool fits just perfectly as an extra place to prop your foot on while working, while the French-style caned bar stools add the charm and a spot to sit at the island.

    Cane back barstool at kitchen islandSo how do you choose which one is right for you and your space?

    Think about how you will use it. Every day? On occasion?

    Do you use the computer in the kitchen, or watch television while prepping food? Do you want a backless bar stool or one with a back?

    And what look you like - a bar stool that stands out, or one that fits in without taking center stage?  All things to consider when choosing the perfect one for you.

    I am sharing my top 3 in both styles of bar stools today and you can find them all right here at Lamps Plus.

    Simple Vintage - When you want something that is there when you need it but that doesn't take up a lot of visual space - a low and simple style, like this hammered bronze bar stool is ideal.

    vintage style backless barstool with hammered bronze finish
    Classic in Form and backless at the same time? Yes please. These cream-colored backless bar stools have definite details that say elegant but are a smaller size that will fit most spaces perfectly.

    Cream barstool with traditional detailand another favorite classic style that I love...

    Classic lines and simple upholstery - I love that these beige linen bar stools will blend perfectly with more elegant and simpler style kitchens.

    Wood barstool in a medium finish with linen seat and nail head trim

    But what about a bar stool with a back?

    Bar stools with backs are generally thought to be more comfortable for long conversations and relaxing while in the kitchen, and some like to have bar stools play a much bigger part in the decor. Then these might be perfect for you.

    Classic Louis style with a modern twist in croc upholstery. Love. This is much like the style I chose for our island- but with a modern twist.

    Barstool in the classic Louis style with faux croc leather seat and back

    Something more modern and that seem to float in your space?

    Acrylic bar stools are classic vintage-modern - and without a lot of structure with metal and framing for their backs - they will take up much less "visual' space". 

    These Chloe bar stools are perfect to get the look.

    modern acrylic and chrome barstools

    And though they might not fit every space, I am loving the light and beachy vibe with these bamboo bar stools. 

    And better yet - bamboo construction is a classic look - so these Hillsdale Islands stools would be beautiful from the back as well.

    Traditional bamboo barstool with swivelWhat about you? Do you have a favorite?

    Shop for many more bar stool style, size and color options at Lamps Plus and make your bar stool dreams come true.

    Image sources: The French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • Get the Look: Lake Bell’s Living Room

    Lake Bell at the Fireplace in her Stylish Living Room

    How would you like to play "Get the Look"? Lake Bell’s living room is the perfect place to start. Eclectic wonderment abounds, yet it has elements and items that many of us already have which could make your personal transformation much cheaper and easier to achieve. featured Bell’s home and I instantly felt it was a great home to emulate as it has style but is not precious nor appear too fancy. Needless to say, Lake Bell’s beauty mirrors the beauty in which she lives.

    Shopping Lamps Plus' Shop by Room may also spark the design bug and get your creative juices flowing.

    Lake Bell's Eclectic and Chic Living Room

    To begin with, there are interesting architectural elements that make the space unique. However, strip away the moldings and beams and you basically have a warm, white box. Visual interest comes in the form of interesting pattern, a wide selection of furniture and mismatched lighting styles.

    Classic table lamps share the room with a 1970s inspired arc floor lamp and outdoor wall lights in a classic Nantucket design.

    Pops of color keeps the room playful. I especially like the tufted blue chair and bold green pillows that enliven the overall space as well as the neutral sofa-a sofa type that most of us already have!

    Jacobean style table legs live harmoniously with a Moroccan style side table all the while being enveloped by mod-patterned curtains.

    If somebody tried to describe what they were planning to do I would have thought the plan outrageous. As I see it here today, I am awed.

    Here are some items to help you get the look above.

    Lighting and Home Accessories that Captures the Look of Lake Bell's Living Room from Lamps Plus

    1. Like Lake Bell’s fireplace sconces, choosing an outdoor wall light , like this outdoor wall light from the Nantucket collection, indoors is a daring design choice, and one that works.

    2. I love the pop of color that you can create with this moss velvet throw pillow by Howard Elliott.

    3. A dark mahogany wall mirror will stand out and reflect light around the room regardless of whatever style room you prefer.

    4. I like using an arc floor lamp when there is no ability to install a ceiling light. The Murrillo matte white adjustable version is a great option.

    5. A blue tufted chair, like the Maxwell Lillian tufted armchair has visual energy and spices up a monochromatic room.

    6. An ivory ceramic table lamp is timeless and adds texture especially if the surface is rough hewn, like the Isabella lamp.

    Photography: Claiborne Swanson Frank,

  • 5 Easy Kitchen Update Ideas

    All-white kitchen with glass and chrome pendants and French bistro-style bar stools

    Is your kitchen looking dated, but a full renovation isn’t exactly in the budget? It is possible to shake things up a bit in your kitchen without breaking the bank.

    Here are 5 ideas for a quick kitchen update:

    Change the Lighting

    A great way to update the look of your kitchen is to swap out the lighting. Be adventurous with your lighting choices, like the fun pendant lighting in the kitchen below. The pendants look like the type of lighting you would typically see in an entryway, but they look right at home over the kitchen island.

    Contemporary kitchen with marble backsplash and geometric pendant lighting

    Change Your Barstools

    Changing out your bar stools will bring a breath of fresh air into your kitchen. There are many stand-out styles of bar stools out there and you can choose to keep to the original design of the kitchen or mix it up and choose a stool that is a bit more unexpected, like a modern wire bar stool in a more traditional style kitchen.

    Glass and brass globe pendants over kitchen island with leather and brass bar stools in front

    Add a Rug or a Runner

    Bring color and texture into your kitchen with either a colorful or neutral area rug (depending on your style) or a narrow runner style. Kitchens are so full of hard edges and surfaces that the addition of a little softness is a nice change.

    Kitchen featuring brass and glass geometric pendant, modern bar stools and oriental runner

    Paint the Cabinets

    A little paint goes a long way when it comes to changing the look of your kitchen. It’s becoming very popular to have the upper cabinets a different color or finish than the lower cabinets and it brings a nice bit of contrast to the design.

    If you’re feeling bold, go all out with a bright color on both the upper and lower cabinets like this kitchen with bright coral cabinets and contrasting molding.

    Kitchens with painted cabinets

    Take Off the Cabinet Doors

    Open shelving in kitchens has steadily been gaining popularity over the last few years. Rather than tearing out your current built-in cabinets to achieve this look, try taking the doors off instead. A little trim applied to the front of the cabinets will cover up the holes left by the hinges and you’re good to go.

    In this kitchen, the backs and insides of the cabinet were painted a brilliant teal color to provide some contrast in an all-white kitchen.

    Coastal-style kitchen with teal paint on inside of cabinets
    Have you recently given your kitchen a little facelift? How did you do it? Did you use any of the kitchen update tricks mentioned above? Give me the scoop in a comment below.

    Image sources: Photos 1-4, Domino ; Apartment Therapy; Domino; Coastal Living

  • Undecorating Your Home

    A Minimalist Bedroom

    After the abundance of holiday decorating, you may want to consider undecorating your home. In other words, why not think about a minimalist approach to the look and design of your space.

    If you are like me after the month long bombardment of evergreen swags, holiday cards tumbling off the mantle and nutcrackers on every tabletop, I yearn for the uncluttered and clean. Perusing Remodelista slowed my heart rate and inspired this very post.

    Traditional Homes with Modern Interior Decor

    I love convincing people that they can have a clean and minimal space even in a traditional home. These images show how it can be accomplished.

    Clean white walls will automatically make things feel fresh and modern. Unadorned stone and wood walls, if left alone can look almost industrial.

    Keep lighting simple, like contemporary pendant lights, or bare bulb fixtures to really stay monastic! 

    Minimalist Homes with Warm and Richly Hued Surfaces

    Many people fear that an un-decorated or minimalist house can feel cold. Here I have shown that is simply not true. Deeply saturated hues like chocolate or black can warm-up a room, and if left alone, still appear clean and modern.

    Whether you mix in mid-century pieces or even arts and crafts, as long as you don’t over-adorn, you can create the serenity you crave. I ask you, besides a functional desk lamp and a book, what else does your nightstand need? 

    Here are some ideas for creating simplicity among the chaos.

    Lighting and Decor for the Undecorated Home from Lamps Plus

    1. This clamp-on desk lamp in white metal is all your desk or nightstand really needs.

    2. Keep your dining room fresh and modern with this wire chrome dining chair by Zuo.

    3. The Klohe oil rubbed bronze LED globe pendant by Feiss will pop against simple white dining room walls.

    4. A polished nickel floor lamp by Robert Abbey is all any club chair could want.

    5. Mix in a mid century piece like this bronze patina oval end table to add warmth to a minimalist room.

    Photos: Remodelista.

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