Style Illuminated

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

  • Small Space, Smart Style

    Smart Style

    Shop smarter for a new LED desk lamp by cutting through the tech talk, and looking at these six important tips that will make-or-break your relationship with your desk lamp.

    Wait... Relationship with your desk lamp? Yes, an LED reading lamps could be part of your desk-scape for 20 years or more. With decades of commitment ahead, it’s important to know what you are looking for from a lamp, and if the lamp has those features to offer you.

    So, whether it’s time to gear-up for back-to-school with new dorm décor or increase the quality of light at your workspace, here are some basics of buying an LED desk lamp, along with a couple pretty inspiration images from Houzz.

    Modern Home Office

    Light Quality

    The reason why a desk lamp is categorized as a ‘desk lamp’ is because it's a good source of direct task lighting on an elevated surface. Most tasks require quality light output to help us excel at our work, from crafting and sewing to typing and writing. So here are two acronyms to look for: CCT and CRI.

    CCT tells us the color temperature. It’s expressed in degrees Kelvin. Below 3000K, the color of light is considered warm. Above about 5000K, the color is described as cool, becoming more blue as the numbers increase.

    CRI is the color rendering index, which measures color accuracy and is on a scale from 0 to 100. Lighting with scores closest to 100 are better at reproducing colors in reference to an ideal source, like the sun. It means that the color looks like you would expect on a clear, sunny day.

    Crystal LED Desk Lamp

    The Kryss Beaded Crystal Shade LED Desk Lamp has a CRI of 80 and a color temperature of 5000K, meaning its light is clear and cool like a clear sunny day.

    Red LED Desk Lamp

    The Koncept Gen 3 Equo Warm Light LED Orange Desk Lamp has a color temperature of 3200 to 3700K and a CRI of 85, which means that it's a warmer light with a bit more accurate color rendering. This desk lamp also has the bonus feature of earning LEED credits.


    Although light quality may be the most important feature when considering a new lamp, when it’s Monday morning and I’m not quite ready for the workday,I like to use my desk lamp on a dimmer setting. Not all LED desk lamps can dim, so make sure to look for this spec in the description. Usually LED desk lamps dim by a touch sensor. 

    Wood LED Task Lamp

    The Cerno Silva Black Walnut and Beech LED Table Lamp is fully dimmable without any of the flicker that you may have experienced with dimming fluorescent lighting.


    LED desk lamps require less power (wattage) than incandescent desk lamps to create the same amount of light, so the wattage number will be lower for an LED desk lamp than an incandescent lamp that creates the same amount of light. The light output, called lumens, is the important number to look for in a lamp description.

    The more lumens, the more light output. 

    Bronze Desk Lamp

    The Theo Industrial Dark Bronze LED Desk Lamp has the traditional spring feature as the first desk lamp created in the 1930s by George Carwadine, but is way more efficient. Its 3-watt LED has a comparable output to the 35-watt incandescent at 320 lumens.


    Size can matter when it comes to a desk lamp. The base size, length of the extension arm and light area can vary widely. And so do the work surfaces where we place our desk lamps.

    When you are looking at LED desk lamps, keep in mind the amount of space you have for a lamp, the amount of extension you need, where your sightline may fall (if it’s not adjustable) and whether you want the light to be focused or spread out over a larger area. 

    Silver LED Light

    The Vusion2 Silver 6-LED Magnifying Craft Light has a magnifying light, which can be a helpful feature for making tiny crafts. But you’ll need to make sure you have the space for it.


    No matter the artistic interpretation, pretty much all desk lamps have the same arc shape, but that doesn’t mean that all are adjustable.

    Whether you're looking for a desk lamp that will be in a fixed position, or hoping to be able to use it in several positions, there is an LED lamp made for you. 

    LED Desk Lamp

    If you're looking for extreme adjustability or just an eyebrow-raising lamp, the Cameron Chrome LED Desk Lamp might be for you. It has two heads that are each adjustable in at least five different positions.

    LED Accent Desk Lamp

    This sleek LED desk lamp may not adjust, but the Element Arc Touch LED Accent Desk Lamp turns on-and-off by touching anywhere on the base!


    While all of the above is important, if the lamp doesn’t fit your style, it probably isn’t going in your shopping bag.

    So, while the practical side of me says to search for the other five features first, I know me. I shop style and see what has the best features to fit my needs. There are LED desk lamps that range from traditional to whimsical, and in materials from metals to wood.

    Bronze LED Desk Lamp

    The Maximize Your Potential LED Desk Lamp might be my favorite LED desk lamp design. It features a metal man pushing a spotlight on wheels.

    If you haven’t shopped for an LED desk lamp in a while, go ahead. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the options available.

    Image credits: Houzz

  • Choosing The Right Floor Lamps

    The Summer will be coming to a close soon and the back to school season is the best time to start thinking about illuminating your home for school work and general productivity in your home office.

    Floor lamps are ideal for college dorm rooms, reading nooks and study areas because they take up little room but offer an array of illumination options. Whether you have kids getting ready for school or you just want to be more productive in your reading and lounging areas, look at these helpful lighting tips.

    Floor Lamp Ideas

    Lighting your production spaces of your home

    Whether you’re a college student needing to light up your dorm room with light or you are parents trying to illuminate your kids’ desk study areas, choosing the right floor reading lamps shouldn't be a challenge.

    You'll need to decide if it will be used next to a bed, sofa, desk or lounging chair. This will help you determine the height that suits your needs. Many task floor lamps have adjustable columns to extend and collapse to a wide range of heights.

    If you need to use this same floor lamp for ambient lighting for the entire room, consider using 3-way light bulbs that give you more flexibility in wattage outputs. 

    Floor Lamp

    Clark Double Gooseneck Dark Bronze Floor Lamp

    Reading lamps are often some of the most neglected lighting fixtures in your home. Many homeowners use a table lamp or a makeshift light that doesn't illuminate the reading area well enough.

    The double goose neck floor lamp above is ideal for contemporary homes that need illumination between multiple chairs, sofas or even bedside. The dark bronze finish is perfect for your mid-century or modern home and features adjustable gooseneck arms for custom lighting needs. With its 4-position switch located on the column, it can be accessed while sitting or standing.

    Reading Corner

    Choose floor lamps that reflect your decorative style

    Once you have considered the function and where your floor lamp will be used, consider the decorative style that fits your room. Kids’ rooms may have a color or adolescent character theme you’d like the lamps to adhere to. While teenager’s rooms, home offices and reading nooks may opt for more sophisticated and refined metal finishes and contemporary shades. You will be surprised how many styles of floor lamps are available, from film director light reproductions to industrial throwbacks; there is a style for every taste.

    Floor Lamp

    This back to school season, ensure your home is ready for longer study hours, reading more books, and lounging and enjoying your favorite magazine. Just because school is starting back in session doesn’t mean your home has to reflect the chaos! Instead use these lighting tips to fit your busy family’s needs and enjoy the productive season.

    Image credits: Rivoli Interior Design, Ondine Karady DesignOptimise Design

  • Five Unique Headboard Ideas

    Headboard Design Ideas

    When I'm looking for an easy way to update a bedroom....

    ....I always start with unique headboard ideas.

    Changing or re-purposing a headboard is one of the simplest yet most dramatic changes you can make to transform a room.

    Start with something as simple and utilitarian as these vintage doors featured in Country Living via Apartment Therapy.

    The color and patina of the wood brings an element of vintage style to the bedroom when combined with grain sack pillows and fresh linens.

    Need more inspiration?

    Here's four more unique headboard ideas.

    DIY Headboards

    Wood Headboard DIY

    Here's a unique headboard Idea from Better Homes and Gardens created from paint sticks.

    Simply form squares from the paint sticks, then attach each square to a plywood sheet. Add a frame and you're done.

    This geometric design adds simplicity and a graphic element to any space.


    Padded Headboard DIY

    Wrap a plywood board with batting and cut a drop cloth to fit it, like this simple headboard from Better Homes and Gardens.

    Next, staple the drop cloth onto the headboard and then tape off stripes with painter's tape.

    Then, using the painter's tape as a guide....paint the red stripes with fabric medium and acrylic paint to create the look of grain cloth at a fraction of the price.


    Repurpose and Reuse

    Create a headboard wall with reclaimed wood like this rustic charmer featured in Remodelista.

    Attach 1" x 8" boards to the wall for a unique headboard idea.

    You can also add a built-in side table and bookshelf for storage and versatility.


    Create Your Own Canvas

    Here's a fun and easy and idea for a headboard from Better Homes and Gardens.

    Sketch a headboard on two large canvases with a sharpie or black paint pen. Next paint two large frames in a vibrant color and use to frame the canvases and hang on the wall for a one-of-a-kind addition to any room.

    Creating your own headboard is a fun and easy way to add a dramatic flair to a space, but if DIY isn't your thing you might want to consider two of my favorite headboard options for your next bedroom make-over.

    I love this tufted linen headboard with its classic lines and vintage look.


    This is farmhouse style with a modern flair. I would pair this with crisp white linens and distressed white side tables.


    Abigail Tan Linen Panel Headboard

    You know how much I love the industrial farmhouse look above and this headboard fits the bill.

    From the linen panel to the nailhead trim, this piece is one of my favorites.

    I would pair this with grain sack pillows and wood side tables with stained pattern tops.

    So whether you diy your own or select an affordable pre-made option.....

    .....adding a new headboard is a simple and easy way to transform your space.

    Sweet dreams.

    Photo credits: Apartment TherapyBetter Homes and GardensBetter Homes and Gardens, RemodelistaBetter Homes and Gardens

  • Create a Summer Vacation at Home

    Vacation At Home

    There’s nothing I love more than jumping in the car or boarding a plane and heading somewhere new. Whether it’s an exotic tropical island, a European city or a road trip, there’s nothing better than the unexpected.

    For those of us with no getaways on the horizon, we can create our own staycation right at home. Especially if your place looks as welcoming as this home from Better Homes & Gardens.

    Flower Decor

    Fresh Flower Decor

    Plucked from your garden or purchased from the grocery store, a few colorful stems in a colorful vase can instantly liven up your space.

    Outdoor Seating

    Backyard Escape

    Turn a neglected corner of your yard into a garden retreat with outdoor style. Try a few climbing vines, pots overflowing with color, a couple of Adirondack chairs, a good book and a cold drink.

    Bar Cart

    Cocktail Hour Style

    Stock a bar cart, like this one from A Beautiful Mess, with your favorites and go the extra mile with fresh fruit juices and herbs straight from your garden. Pour cocktails into vintage stemware for added flair.

    Outdoor Entertainment

    Outdoor Movie Entertainment

    Take a cue from this image from Prairie Hive... Rent a projector, string a drop cloth from a clothesline, set out comfy blankets and throw pillows then mix a signature cocktail, pop some popcorn and your yard will be transported into a retro movie theater.

    Re-imagine your home and create little indulgences that will have you counting down the days until your next staycation.

    Image credits: Better Homes and GardensBucket of BurlapEclectically VintageA Beautiful MessPrairie Hive

  • Making a Statement with Floor Lamps

    Lighting Statment

    Well, I said making a statement, didn't I?? This image above from Evan Sharp is taking floor lamp design to new heights, if you will...

    Now, down to business. Floor lamps are a fantastic way to make a bold statement in a room. Instead of relying on overhead and table lamps, making a statement with sensational floor lamps can bring the design of your space to another level.  And with a plethora of design styles, there are chic floor lamps options for all tastes.

    Floor Lamp Styles

    The tripod floor lamp has been around for a while, and has yet to go out of fashion. The top Image from Oliver Yaphe reflects how versatile yet modern a Cherry Finish Wood Surveyor Tripod Floor Lamp can be, making a bold statement.

    The DIY craze will always embrace the industrial floor lamp because it's so easy to D-I-Y. Amber Interiors demonstrate how this look can be achieved with weathered piping and an oversized light bulb. If you want to go retro with the look, the Rico Espinet Candela Circle Patina Bronze Floor Lamp mixes industrial with vanity bulbs for the perfect accent.

    Ever since the resurgence of midcentury style with the vast popularity of Mad Men, arc lamps have been all the rage. The clean minimal lines of the George Kovacs Dorian Bronze Arc Floor Lamp look great over a seating area, a kitchen table or even a quiet workspace vignette like the bottom image from Design Home.

    Image creidts: Evan Sharp, Oliver Yaphe, Amber Interiors, Design Home

  • Summer Style: Black and White Decor

    Black and White Decor

    What’s timeless when it comes to any seasonal style? Black and white decor is always a safe bet. I think there is nothing more chic than time-honored black and white awnings on a house or hotel terrace.

    That crisp design choice can be applied to a wide range of home-related decor if awnings are not an option. Something as simple as black and white beach towels can add elegance to the most mundane, what are you waiting for?

    Summer Decorating

    Black and white soft furnishings in bedding, decorative pillows and curtains are an easy way to infuse any home with a decorative punch.

    This strong color combination will never look dated and tends to work with most other colors. I happen to like the simplicity of this combination but including hot pinks and yellow in the mix can really amp up the wow factor.

    Black and White Cushions

    While cushions, towels and pillows are a simple way to start, the more adventurous homeowners may opt for a more permanent commitment to this color combo.

    Striped wallpaper as well as black and white Crystal chandeliers can create the visual affect designers would try to persuade you to adopt if you were in that league. Regardless of how far you take black and white decor, to me, it embodies the brightness of summer.


    1. The Robert Abbey Axis Blackened Nickel Wall Sconce is subtle but stylish.

    2. Crisp and modern describes the Thumprints Saturn Zinc Cast Glossy White Table Lamp.

    3. The Black Parallels on White Giclee Pendant Chandelier is an elegant but not stuffy way to brighten an island or dining space with a chandelier.

    4. A pair of Circle on Black Cotton Throw Pillows on a white chair or sofa? Done.

    5. This Horizontal Stripe Black and White Armless Accent Chair would look amazing in a covered outdoor space.

    6. Poolside or on a terrace, the Chohan Black and White Mosaic Accent Table is the perfect resting place for an ice cold summer drink.

    Photo credits: A Perfect Gray

  • Table Lamps for Bedside Style

    Bedside Style

    Looking for a creative way to illuminate the bedroom? If you don't want to use the traditional bedside lighting, then try the same style of lighting that works hard all day at your desk!

    Long, flexible construction allows you to direct a spotlight onto that novel you're reading, and a wide range of silhouettes and materials suit any interior.

    Remodelista demonstrates what an impact a matched pair of task lighting can be by the bed, while a subtle grey hue plays down the the oversized scale of an architect's lamp on My Paradissi.

    Meanwhile, Cassandra Ellis' black task lamp contrasts with the soft sensibility of a vintage-inspired bedroom, and a brushed nickel finish nicely accents the grey paint spotted on The Style Files.

    Finally, you can't go wrong with a clean, classic white lamp as part of a modern rustic mix like this one from Klikk.

    Table Lamps

    Whatever bedside table lamp you choose, select a bulb with a lower wattage to cast a soft, sleep-inducing glow.  

    1. The raw industrial vibe of this bronze task lamp makes it perfect for urban and rustic settings alike.

    2. Complement a modern interior with the strong lines of an architect's lamp.

    3. A traditional bedroom is the perfect home for this handsome black and brass table lamp.

    4. You can't go wrong with the simple sophistication of a pharmacy table lamp in polished nickel.

    5. A gooseneck lamp with a space-aged shape in white sets a retro mood.

    Sweet dreams!

    Image credits: Remodelista, My Paradissi, Cassandra Ellis, The Style Files, Klikk

  • Make a Design Statement With Lighting

    Design Statement

    I bought a ramshackle, run down, decrepit old house and renovated it from top to bottom.

    My top priority was great lighting so I made sure that every room had high end lighting fixtures (some even two or three)!

    I squirreled away my favorite finds in the basement of our rental house in anticipation of the day they could be installed!

    Kitchen Design

    Two demijohn pendants add drama to my white kitchen above.

    Capiz shells cast a warm glow in the center of my living room.

    Living Room Design

    Two glassless lanterns mix traditional and modern style in my dining room.

    Dining Room Design

    Here are some other high end lighting fixtures that I’m coveting.

    Lighting Fixtures

    1) The open wire work on this Quoizel Pendant Chandelier feels cool and airy.

    2) Swaying capiz shells add drama and movement to the Dolce Capiz Shell Island Light.

    3) Lanterns marry traditional and modern, like this Currey and Company Lantern Chandelier.

    4) Fifty two vintage glass bottles would add an eclectic touch to a dining room with this Arteriors Stedman Glass Chandelier.

    5) Mercury glass reflects candlelight, making this Currey and Company Small Pendant Light perfect for a dining room.

    6) The shape of this Arteriors Chandelier is traditional, but the rope feature is anything but.

    7) The gold discs on this Arteriors Three Light Chandelier add instant glam to any space.

    Have fun adding some drama to your home with a statement chandelier!

    Image credits: 2 Michaels Design (top image), Eclectically Vintage 

  • Colorful Kids Playrooms

    Colorful Kids Playrooms

    Colorful kids playrooms make for a creative space for young ones to let their imaginations run wild. Whether you carve out a portion of their bedrooms, convert a basement or use part of a family room, playrooms can become a place of wonder.

    Lonny Magazine posted inspiring and colorful playrooms that captured the essence of what it is to be a child. These juvenile boardroom designs are super cute and have several things in common...color, shape and texture.

    Decorating Childrens Rooms

    Bright and whimsical colors are key to kids playrooms. Not only do they grab a child’s attention but you can use the colors to help teach them new words and the joy of art.

    You can infuse a space with color using paint, graphic book design and basic toys... No need to have expensive murals painted to achieve this look! Selecting the right color of bedside lamps can also create wonder.

    For some DIY ideas... How simple would it be to hot glue colorful pom pom fringe to a plain lamp shade or apply stickers to a lamp base to jazz things up? The possibilities are endless.

    Kids Craft Spaces

    Interesting shapes that challenge young minds can come in the form of functional chairs and poofs, patterned wallpaper and even mini chandeliers that hang form the ceiling like a mobiles. Colorful rugs that are cut in unique shapes can also add interest.

    Regardless how you choose to decorate a child’s playroom, remember not to make it too precious. Over time paint, crayons and toys will bang up a space pretty fast, so durability and a good sense of humor...meaning key.

    Here's some fun kids decor ideas from Lamps Plus:

    Playroom Decor

    1. The Alien Invasion Children's Table Lamp makes me smile.

    2. Create extra storage and seating with the Avril Colorful Floral Storage Bench.

    3. Whimsical lighting is personified with the Ekko Reader Hot Pink Spotlight Floor Lamp.

    4. Offer kids hours of artistic fun with the Paul Frank Play Table Set.

    5. Create an amusement park feel with the Zuo Phante Red Kids Chair.

    Photo credits: Lonny

  • Stylish Closet Design Updates

    Our closet is a small space that might just be the most important nook in our home. Why not treat our closets like the jewel boxes they are dying to be?

    Let's check out some gorgeous closet designs from Elle Decor and we will talk about translating the look on any scale to make the dressing boudoir the most stylish small space in your home.

    Closet Design

    Organization and monochromatic style are the major elements to this polished look. Shoes are categorized and stored away in matching fabric boxes from ceiling to floor.

    Find a nook in your closet where you can organize your footwear, whether it's on beautiful shelving like this idea above or simply stacked against a wall. And, space permitting, no gorgeous shoe closet is complete without a pop of color using a modern upholstered chair.

    Closet Style

    For men who want a masculine space to dress should consider color palette and finishes. The gorgeous blue hue of the closet above, matched with leather ottomans and a striped rug, make this space perfectly masculine.  

    Apply this look to your closet space by simplifying the decor, adding edginess and utilizing a masculine color palette for the built-in storage and walls.

    Storage Ideas

    This modern, graphic closet is perfect if you share a space with your mate since it's gender neutral and oh, so cool.

    In your space, repainting door and drawer faces can make all the difference by adding a graphic pop. Chevron window panels and a stylish ceiling light finish off this gorgeous look.

    Whimsical Closet

    While most of us don't have the same amount of space as this stunning girly girls closet above, translating the look is easier than you think. Mix patterns and colors, new and old, and let your eclectic side shine. Paint or add wallpaper to your walls, find a vintage accent rug that fits your closet space to brighten up your floors and hang a stylish crystal light fixture to add sparkle and pop.

    No matter what size your closet is, you can apply these design updates to make your favorite small space shine with personality.  How will you do it?

    Image ciredits: Elle Decor

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog