Style Illuminated

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

  • Modern Christmas Decor Ideas

    Christmas Decontructed

    Modern Christmas trees for the minimal home.

    How do you define your home at Christmas? Modern? Deconstructed? Abundant? Old School red and green? Let’s backtrack and revisit what it means to pare-back decorations and reduce the overuse of holiday clutter.

    If keeping it simple is something you would like to explore, Desire to Inspire has some great pictures for you. I had never thought about this rather avant-garde look, but it’s growing on me. There is something so fresh and modern about it, but most importantly it looks like it would take next to no time to put it up and take it down.

    Garland Christmas Decor

    Holiday garland pops against white home decor.

    I am in love with the black and white pictures taped to the wall in the shape of a tree and  totally obsessed with this clear glass vase look with simple evergreen sprigs. You could achieve very budget-friendly decor by picking up scrap twigs at the tree lot instead of a massive tree.

    These simple sprigs could also be hung from decorative wall lamps or hang mistletoe from hanging pendant lights over the dining table. How fun would that be for dinner guests? 

    Modern Christmas Accessories

    White and green make a beautiful Christmas color palette.

    If the traditionalist in you must have a tree, try a miniature version. These mini trees are super cute, will cost less and pose no real cleanup problems.

    I must say all of these ideas tend to work best in clean and rather stark white spaces. It’s not to say you can’t create a version of this deconstructed look, but consider it, it could be liberating!

    Winter White Decor

    1. The Tarryton Industrial Chrome Mini-Pendant is simple and stylishly industrial.

    2. Banish swags with red velvet bows for the simplicity of the Silver Tin Stars Wall Decor Set of 3.

    3. The Possini Euro Design White Flower Pendant Chandelier is a Modernism classic.

    4. Uplight your tree with the LED Pro Track® White 50 Watt Accent Spot Light.

    5. The modern Christmas dinner could seem even more chic if enjoyed on the Set of 2 Pascal White Plastic Side Chairs.

    6. Tired of the traditional tree? The Uttermost Preserved Boxwood Tree Topiary with simple decorations could be a mess-free way to do Christmas.

    Photos: Desire to Inspire.

  • Gifts for History Buffs

    Gifts For History Buffs With Style

    Gifts for history buffs can come in a wide variety of home accessories.

    Know someone who can't be beat at a game of Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit? Someone whose book collection rivals that of the extensive library seen above via Domaine Home? Whose walls are lined with ancient artwork as in the below space spotted on Little Green Notebook?

    Then you've got a history buff on your hands! This holiday season, when shopping for the history buff in your life, look for objects that appeal to his or her inquisitive nature.

    Here's some fun ideas...

    Stylish Gifts For the History Buff In Your Life

    Stylish objects with a historic aesthetic will make your history buff happy this season.

    Fortunately, the landscape of history is a vast one, so there's no shortage of gift inspiration to be found in the annals of time! Ideas include museum quality model ships, vintage wall artdecorative world globes, and countless other history gifts to pique your recipient's curiosity.

    This is a great opportunity to get to know them a little better by asking about their interests and passions, then choosing a gift that thoughtfully reflects exactly that.

    Unique Gifts For The History Lover

    Here are some of my favorite gifts for history buffs:

    1. A chalkboard globe strikes an eye-catching silhouette and can also be used to engage budding young history enthusiasts.

    2. For the art aficionado, a framed Parisian illustration recalls the early days of graphic design.

    3. Win the heart of the interiors history enthusiast with a Tiffany style lamp.

    4. If music history is your recipient's area of interest, a model phonograph makes a playful gift—pun intended!

    Who knows, maybe you'll learn a factoid or two yourself while shopping for the history buff!

    Images: Domaine HomeLittle Green Notebook 

  • LED Light Bulbs Offer a Warm Glow

    If you love a warm light, you’ll love these LED lighting options.

    ‘Those lights make everything look blue.” Ugh.

    I’ve heard that remark about LED lighting too many times to count. For me, as a designer (aka home-problem-solver), it’s frustrating to hear friends reminisce about how the glow from 60-watt incandescent light bulbs would make their homes look and ‘feel’ so warm.

    Well, LED light bulbs can make your home look and ‘feel’ equally as warm as those 60-watt incandescent lights. True story.

    LED Lighting Bulbs Don't Have To Be Blue

    LED light bulbs don't have to be blue, there's lots of choices.

    It’s like everything else in the world of technology, there's lots of options with LEDS: variety of color temperatures, dimmability and brightness. There also are more tech specs you’ll want to know about in order to achieve the desired color of light in your home.

    This Tiffany styled art glass floor lamp (above) has a color temperature of 3000k, which is similar to the temperature of the 60-watt bulb.

    The Higher Temperature Means Cooler Light

    For any type of light, the higher the temperature, the cooler the light.

    LED lighting is available in a variety of color temperatures. I think that one of the best parts about LED light bulbs is that they have a wide range of color temperature possibilities. And it’s probably the easiest part of tech specs to remember.

    If you want the inside of your home to look like it ‘used to look’ with incandescent light bulbs, you like the warmer light look, you’ll want to look for an LED that has a color temperature around 2700K to 3000K.

    LED Pendant Lights

    1. Corbett Harlow 34" Wide Silver Leaf Pendant LED Light: The color temperature of this silver lead pendant LED light is 2900k

    2. Bento Collection 33" Wide Brushed Steel LED Pendant Light: This LED pendant light has a color temperature of about 3000k, which is within the expected color range of incandescent bulbs.

    LED Clip On Light

    LED Pro Track® Black Mini Accent Headboard Clip Light: Fun little LED headboard clip light has a color temperature of 2700K.

    LED light bulbs can be used in a variety of fixtures.

    So if you prefer the warmer colors of lighting, you’ll love that these warmer versions are available in a variety of LED lighting options, from floor lights to pendants. And LED lighting designers are creating these fixtures in so many finishes, sizes, and every style from traditional to modern.

    LED Light Bulbs

    LED light bulbs can be used in many different fixtures.

    If you’ve shopped for LED lighting, you might start wondering if the fixture has to be under the ‘LED lighting’ category in order for you to use LED light bulbs. Not true.

    You can update lighting in your home with LED light bulbs. But, before you click on the link and start shopping, keep in mind the color temperature range that you desire. So if you like a warm light like an incandescent, look for 2700K to 3000K. If you want a daylight look, which can be perfect for your Instagram photos, look for 3500 to 4100K, which is in the color neutral zone.

    1. LED 7 Watt A19 Non Dimmable Bulb: This little LED light bulb has a color temperature of 2700K and is comparable to a 40-watt incandescent bulb.

    2. 12 Watt Dimmable LED Omni Directional Light Bulb: This dimmable LED bulb is comparable to the color temperature a 60 watt incandescent. And it lasts about 25,000 hours.

    3. LED 12 Watts BR30 Light Bulb: This dimmable LED 12-watt light bulb is also comparable to a 60-watt incandescent, with a color temperature of 2700K.

  • Gifts for College Students - Creature Comforts

    Gifts For College Students With Practical Style

    Gift ideas for the college student in your family.

    Once your kids are away at college, their Christmas list changes drastically. We're here to help you fulfill it.

    The best gifts for college students are things they can actually use in their dorm room. Meaning, stuff they really need that they don't necessarily want to spend their part-time paycheck on. Re-energizing their dorm room with color and creature comforts will make them feel a bit pampered and comfy, especially during those marathon study sessions.

    We suggest stylish essentials like gift mugs, LED desk lamps or unique conversation starters like college lighting and other collegiate logo décor to show-off some school spirit!

    Gift Ideas For College Students

    One of the hottest trends is re-usable wallpaper in on-trend colors and patterns - create a new look for one wall or an entire room!  Check out these awesome gifts for college students:

    LED Desk Lamps

    Jarrett Satin Nickel Contemporary Adjustable LED Desk Lamp

    LED Adjustable Gooseneck Energy Efficient Black Clip Light

    Gen 2 Z-Bar Red Daylight High Power LED Desk Lamp


    "On Color!" Porcelain Mugs Set of 2

    Cafe Latte Writing on White Travel Mug Set of 2

    Black and White High Tech Carbon 3-Piece Porcelain Mug Set

    Set of 4 Porcelain Math Mugs

    College Gear

    NCAA Louisiana State Tigers Sidelines Pillow

    University of Wisconsin Steel Swing Arm Wall Light

    NCAA Michigan Wolverines Micro Fiber Sheet Set

    Stanford University Brushed Nickel Floor Lamp

    * Check out our blog post with gift ideas for your favorite hostess...

    Image credit: William & Marry

  • Tastemakers' Response to Pantone's Marsala

    Pantone announced their color of the year for 2015 last week and the decision was MARSALA.

    While we were busy finding all our on-trend products, we were also curious about the design world's response to Pantone's selection. So, we asked around and got some input from some of the top tastemaker's around.


    Pantone Color Of The Year

    1.  Vanessa DeLeon, Interior Designer and Owner Vanessa DeLeon Associates

    "Marsala strikes me as having a sophisticated appeal. In 2015, I visualize seeing the color in formal living rooms on accent chairs, throw pillows and area rugs. Marsala is the perfect accent color to warm up a space in the master bedroom or to use as in a bedding ensemble."

    2. Nicole Gibbons, Interior Designer & Founder of So Haute

    “I am naturally drawn to warmer colors from pinks to shades of red. The Marsala color is very sophisticated, and it is a sexy color. We’ve gone through a period of neutrals like gray and beige, and also blues having a moment, but I think it is great to see a warmer color on trend. I hope to see more Marsala in the home in 2015.”

    3. Krissa Rossbund, Senior Style Editor at Traditional Home

    “Marsala makes no apologies, and it is not for the color shy. It puts itself out there as a fierce player in the world of color. Reminiscent of wine, the heart, romance, love, and passion, Marsala comes with confidence and value. The dosage of this color doesn't matter. Charged with intensity, Marsala will command attention in any application.”

    4. Allan DallaTorre, Designer, HINGE DÉCOR

    “Are you ready to get tipsy with Marsala? The color of the year is a rich wine tone that can be both stimulating and calming. We forecast that it will be used in low doses to create pops of interest in the world of interiors. Decorate with Marsala by way of bath towels, bedding, lampshades, pillows and window treatments; add polished-chrome or brushed-brass metal accents to be trending 2015 color and style!”

    Headshot photo credit: Amy Benton Photography

    5. Laurel Bern, Interior Designer and Founder of Laurel Bern Interiors

    “Pantone’s color of the year 2015 is a disappointment. It’s not as bad as last year’s so-called “radiant orchid,” but it needs to be paired with hues that have more chromatic intensity, warmth and saturation to keep the color looking fresh. Otherwise, it feels too much like a revisit to the late 80’s gray and mauve era. I like the idea of Marsala, but I would’ve gone redder and deeper with the hue and then I think it’s a better color and worthy of the appellation.”

    6. Dee Murphy, Interior Designer and Blogger, Murphy Deesign

    “For such a mellow hue, 2015's Pantone Color of the Year, Marsala, has elicited a vibrant (and polarizing reaction)! Now I like a great glass of wine anytime, but this color could skew muddy and earthy in certain light and against certain fabrics. I believe that designers (in both fashion and home) are going to either amp up or deepen the stain, and call it the same. I'll be guilty... and pair it with corals and bright pinks, add some brass accents, and toast to 2015 with a glass of sparkly champagne!”

    Image credits: Pantone, Amy Benton Photography

  • Gifts For Entertaining That Are Unique & Fun

    Unique Gifts For Entertaining

    Beautiful table decor for the holidays, but don't forget the gifts!

    My number one tip for all your holiday parties is, never show up empty handed!

    While party season is in full swing, chances are, if you're at someone's home for a holiday party they love to entertain... I've decided to round up some great gifts for entertaining to surprise that special host or hostess in your life. 

    You cannot go wrong gifting a friend with something as simple as decorative coasters or something a little more special, like serveware.

    Unique Gifts For The Entertainer

    Entertaining gift ideas from Lamps Plus.

    Here are some of my favorite gifts for entertaining:

    1) What’s better than a board piled high with amazing cheeses? This beautiful bamboo tray swivels to uncover a set of serving knives.

    2) Perfect for holding cocktail glasses, the mirrored bottom on this silver serving tray adds festive sparkle.

    3) Lettuce has never tasted as good as when it’s served with this two-tone salad set.

    4) Why hide wine in the cellar when you can display your favorites on this rustic wine rack. I love the wood base with a drawer for holding corkscrews and coasters.

    5) Lace details on these sandstone coasters go well with any style.

    6) Alfresco wine tasting trips have never looked this good as when carrying this portable wine and cheese tote.

    7) Everything your favorite wine connoisseur needs is stored in this wine accessory box.

    8) This shot glass darts game is sure to be a hit with your friends that like to party like it’s 1999!

    9) Everyone looks better by candlelight and this hand poured soy wax candle comes complete with it’s own little gift box.

    10) The perfect place setting combines a tiny vase for a favorite bud plus a place to write your guests name or place a photo.

    11) Three tiers of fine bone china are the perfect place for serving sweet confections.

    12) The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and what’s more hospitable than serving wine in these stylish wine tumblers.

    Happy Holidays!

    Image credit: Yellow Bliss Road

  • How to Design a Guest Room for a Warm Holiday Welcome

     How to Design a Guest Room for a Warm Holiday Welcome

    Help your guests feel welcome with these bedroom design tips.

    The holidays are upon us, which means it's officially the busiest travel season of the year! If you're staying home and playing host to visitors this winter, there are several quick and easy design ideas you can include in your guestroom that says, 'Come in and stay awhile.'

    After all, when your guests arrive to celebrate the holidays with you, you want them to feel relaxed and rested after their time traveling. A nightstand flower arrangement as seen on Whitney Lee Morris sends a stylish welcome, while soft pillows and the glow of candlelight foster a soothing atmosphere. Make sure to also include sufficient bedside lighting in case your guests want to do a little reading in bed.

    Ideas For A Stylish And Functional Guestroom

    The best way to create an inviting guest room is to consider the small but comforting touches that make a hotel stay so special, then echo them in your own space.

    Crisp sheets, fluffy towels, and cozy slippers all go a long ways towards helping your visitors settle in and start making themselves at home. And a serving tray with breakfast in bed (spotted via Whitney Lee Morris) is the ultimate indulgence. Here are a few more ways to pamper your guests:

    1. Keep midnight thirst at bay with a pitcher and glass next to the bed.

    2. Furnish your guest room with a wood nightstand that contains a drawer to keep small belongings in order.

    3. Provide a wintry welcome that appeals to the senses with a pine scented candle.

    4. With all the dinners and other events your guests may attend, a gold wall mirror helps them ensure their outfits are looking party ready!

    5. At the end of a long evening your guests may want to unwind with a book in bed; a crystal vase table lamp illuminates their R&R.

    Treat your guests like royalty and they'll do the same when it's your turn to visit them!

    Image credits: Whitney Leigh Morris

  • Decorating With Poufs


    Decorating with poufs can be both helpful and stylish.

    Can you spot the pouf in this picture?

    It's tucked in between the chairs next to the fireplace and it's my new favorite place to sit.

    You know when you decorate a room and you add the major pieces of furniture like the chairs and sofa and a few random tables and an ottoman. And then you have a few blank spaces left over that you have absolutely no idea what to do with...?

    Now you do.

    Meet the pouf.

    It's the perfect I-have-a-space-to-fill-and-I-have-no-idea-what-to-add-to-the-room piece of furniture.

    Tuck it under tables for extra seating.

    Let it work double duty as an ottoman.

    Place it beside a chair as a side table.

    It's the chameleon of the furniture world. They're comfortable enough to sit for a while. Just be sure to provide some stylish lighting and voila, a comfortable reading corner.

    Want a few suggestions on fun poufs to add to your home.... In no particular order here are some of my favorite poufs.

    Yes, please.

    Do I even need to explain why this pouf is perfection?

    Did you fall in love at first sight like I did?

    Nothing says fun like a pouf covered in flowers.

    How do I love you?  Let me count the ways.

    The only thing better than a burlap pouf is a pouf covered with numbers.

    The shape and size are perfect for the space next to a chair or in front of a bookshelf.

    This fun pouf has the same color pallet, but a different silhouette.

    I love the trellis pattern and the width of this piece.

    It would be perfect pulled up to a coffee table or used as an ottoman in a space.

    The pattern on this leather pouf is amazing.

    It's neutral and texture and pattern all combined together.

    This pouf would be perfect to accessorize the space next to a side table or sofa.

    And now my pouf.

    This is the pouf I added to the space between the chairs in the picture above.

    The pouf is rustic meets industrial meets farmhouse meets classic design.... hello beautiful.

    It's right at home in my living room and I'm about to introduce it to a cup of hot tea and present wrapping.

    Happy pouf shopping!

    Photo credits: Thistlewood FarmsThistlewood Farms

  • The Christmas Cottage

    The Christmas Cottage

    The Christmas cottage should be filled with warmth, character, comfort and ease. In other words there should be no fear of glass rings on tables, fallen pine needles and a bit of dog hair!

    Atlanta Homes had some charming pictures of traditional homes and their images of this Christmas cottage were superb. Consider these rooms when trying to capture the essence of timeless holiday charm.

    Cottage Interiors

    Cottage style homes tend to be finished with warm woods, stone and brick. While these natural elements create the “bones” of the house, it’s the decor and stylish lighting that offers that cozy essence of the space.

    I would opt for some antique pieces, plush upholstered seating and beds. Lantern style ceiling lights are a classic for cottage dining rooms, while weathered brass picture lights add a glow to paintings and are the perfect resting place for holiday garland.

    Traditional Christmas Decorations

    Cottages are ideal for holiday accessories. Deep fireplace mantles are perfect for sprigs, stockings and ornaments. You can also keep costs down by filling your log holder with birch branches that are seasonally festive as well as functional...although the wonderful smell of mulled wine or oranges stuck with cloves could also add holiday charm for next to nothing.

    Cottage Decor

    1. The classic Kichler Mt. Vernon Black Outdoor Hanging Light is as time-honored as Colonial design.

    2. Warm up any picture on a wall with the House of Troy Satin Brass Plug-in Picture Light.

    3. Nothing says Christmas like the BonJour Yuletide Garland 4-Piece Salad Plate Set.

    4. Cute and warm like a cottage...the Favorite Finds Medium Oak Finish Petite Console Table.

    5. This Antique Brass Black Shade Tall Candlestick Table Lamp is perfect for a traditional dining room sideboard.

    Photo credits: Atlanta Homes

  • Cozy Fireplace Designs for Winter

    Cozy Fireplaces for Winter

    Alright folks, time to snuggle up in front of your computer and dream about that amazing fireplace you always wanted.

    There is no better way to spend a cold, snowy sunday evening than in front of your perfect cozy fireplace. Check out some toasty and inspiring images from Lonny Magazine below, and float away into fireplace dreamland.

    Stylish Reading Corners With A Fireplace

    If you gravitate towards a rustic vibe, these two fireplaces are right up your alley. Vintage furniture, reclaimed wood and woven accents top the look for this perfectly cozy, country vignette. Complete the look with a vintage horned skull or delicate crystal chandelier to add the final punch of design.

    Stylish White Fireplace Ideas

    Modern, minimal, white and oh so lovely. These two looks exude chic simplicity in the most perfect way by keeping the vibe open and sleek. Pair the white expanse of your fireplace with metal fireplace tools and a hint of graphic art to sneak in a touch of fun.

    Eclectic Fireplace Styling Ideas

    OK if you loved the above this is not for you and vice a versa. These fun, eclectic fireplaces leave nothing on the table. Mixing patterns, colors and textures brings a huge wave of excitement and comfort into your fireplace look and immediately induces you into a cozy coma. If you're going to have fun with design, why not with your fireplace - clearly the results are worth it.

    Non Working Fireplace Design Ideas

    Just because your fireplace no longer functions as it should doesn't mean it should be ignored. These fireplace alternatives can easily exude that cozy vibe as long as you know what to do. Potted plants or a collection of candleholders work perfectly in this framed space.

    Using your imagination - the options are endless to keep your fireplace the focal point of your room. 

    Image credits: Lonny Mag

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog