Style Illuminated

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

  • Name That Blog Contest: Win $250 Shopping Spree!

    Good with words? Got mad wit skills?

    Show us what you've got in our "Name That Blog" contest for a chance to win a $250 Lamps Plus online shopping spree.

    We've refreshed our blog here at LampsPlus.com as a place for fresh and creative ideas in home decorating. Our goal is to provide our readers with inspiration, resources and affordable design solutions. Now we need a new name to match our new attitude!

    We're taking submissions now through May 31st. Feel free to submit as many ideas as you wish, but only one idea per day during the submission period.

    Submit your blog name suggestions via:

    Be sure to leave a valid email address or Twitter handle with your entry so we can contact you.

    In case of the same name being submitted, we'll take the first submission, so get your ideas in early!

    We'll put the best user-submitted names up against our own faves for public voting on Facebook from June 2-8. 

    The name with the most votes on June 8th will become the official Lamps Plus blog name.

    The creative genius whose user-submitted name receives the most votes will win the $250 prize and some serious bragging rights, even if it's not chosen as the official name. Ready, set, show off your creative prowess!

    View complete contest rules (PDF file; requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader).

     

    **This contest has officially ended. Thank you for entering.**

    Post Addendum:

    We are pleased to announce that Vicky from Alabama has named our blog! 

     

  • Candice Olson: Divine Design

    Candice Olson Photo

    We blogged about the debut of our new line of Candice Olson lighting last week. Candice is a fixture on HGTV with her show Divine Design, and we found these videos from her show online at the HGTV website. You can see the way she uses lighting in her rooms and check out her unique sense of style.

    POST UPDATE: We've got a lot more about Candice Olson and Divine Design. If you liked this, you might enjoy some of our more recent posts. You can find them here: http://www.lampsplus.com/Info-Center/b/blog/archive/tags/candice+olson/default.aspx 

    Happy reading!

     

  • How Dimmers Save Energy

    Do dimmers really save on energy use?

    Key to answering this question is understanding how dimmers really work.

    Many consumers, and even a few electricians, think that dimmers work by converting unused electricity to heat at the dimmer switch.

    It's true that many old rotary dimmers worked this way; they were rheostats that took the excess energy when dimmed and converted it to heat.

    Today's dimmers use a "Triac Switch". When dimmed, these switches cut the flow of power to a light fixture up to 120 times a second.

    While the circuit is switched on and off many times a second, the human eye and brain doesn't register this flickering. What we see is a constant light output.

    And dimmers do save. Dimming your lights an average of 50 percent can cut your electric use a whopping 40 percent over time and make your bulbs last 20 times longer!

  • Meghan Carter Contest: Win a Design Consultation, $250 Shopping Spree and a Signed Book

    Megahn Carter

     

    Do you need help discovering your interior design style or guidance on selecting the perfect color for your space? Well, now is your chance to win the perfect Lamps Plus Home Decor Trifecta! Simply enter the Meghan Carter Contest. The winner will receive a personal design consultation with Meghan Carter, author of The Meghan Method, a $250 online Lamps Plus shopping spree to implement Meghan’s advice into your home, and a signed copy of Meghan’s book.

    Enter now through August 16, 2011. Only one entry per day please.

    It is easy to enter! There are three ways-
    • Leave a comment on this blog post explaining why you deserve to have your room redone with help from Meghan (my favs!)


    • Follow Lamps Plus and tweet... " @MeghanCarter I should win the @LampsPlus redo because:” ( Lamps Plus Twitter page)


    • Email us at community@lampsplus.com explaining why you deserve to have your room redone with help from Meghan

    Be sure to leave a valid email address or Twitter handle with your entry so we can contact you.

    View the complete contest rules (PDF file; requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader).

    Connect with Meghan on Facebook to get more decorating tips and helpful home advice.

    Images courtesy of Meghan Carter 

    ** 8-17-11 This contest has officially closed.**

    Post Addendum 9-2-11:
    We are pleased to announce that Lauren W. from Richmond Hill, Georgia, is the winner. She will be getting a Meghan Carter Design Consultation, Signed Book and a $250 Shopping Spree.  Congratulations to Lauren and thank you all for entering!

  • Candice Olson Tells All

    Candice Olson Tells All Photo

    The new TV show from Candice Olson promises something different from the famed designer. According to the show website, Candice's new show will reveal more of the behind-the-scenes design process. "This is Candice unplugged, as she deconstructs the design process and teaches us her rules in a fun, irreverent way." It airs Saturdays on HGTV. More details here. In addition to her show, fresh designs from Candice Olson lighting are also on the way.

    Photo thanks to HGTV.

  • Fashion + Decor Mood Boards with Olioboard

    Fashion and decor mood boards created with Olioboard

    Decor mood boards have been popular for a while, but thanks to the creative folks at Olioboard, there's now an easy easy to make mood boards with your favorite home decor products on the web! Browse products by brand (including more than 14,000 Lamps Plus products) and drag-and-drop them to create 2-D or 3-D design boards that help you visualise how furniture, lighting, and accessories will look in your home.

    One great feature of Olioboard that I love is the ability to upload your own images. You could take a photo of your room, upload it, and virtually arrange everything in the space before lifting a finger. I imagine this will save much heavy furniture lifting, and unnecessary holes pounded in the walls!

    Olioboard Mood Boards

    Today we're taking part in an "Oliohop" about fashion and decor, and I've created the mood board above after being inspired by this fantastic fashion photo. I love the simple color palette of nude and white, along with mixed metallic finishes and simple, angular shapes.

    Using Olioboard, I browsed their product selction to find pieces that had a similar look and feel to the inspiration outfit. Very quickly, I had pulled together a room design that I know would be successful if implemented in real life.

    There are 9 other blogs taking part in today's Oliohop:  Apartment 34; Material Girls; Selma HammerLife in a Venti Cup; Euro Style Lighting; Embrace Your Inner Snob; Design Magnifique; Focal Point; and Pocket Full of Colors. Visit Lamps Plus on Olioboard to find out how to get the look above, and made sure to "hop" on over to each of the blogs above to be inspired by their fashion + decor mood boards!

  • 14 Guest Room Essentials

    Table Lamps - Guest Room Essentials

    For some, the holidays mean a ton of travel. For others, it’s prime time for entertaining out-of-towners. Unfortunately we can’t offer tips for navigating congested highways and overstuffed airports but we can help you create an incredibly gracious guest room. We’ve collected eight rooms that showcase the must-have elements of a good guest bedroom.

    First, there should be good lighting on both sides of the bed, so invest in new bedroom lamps if need be. Avoid spindly or fussy designs that tip too easily, and if they’re on a dimmer, even better. Bedside tables should be sturdy and uncluttered. (Nobody needs to stare at snapshots of your long dead gerbil.) While a display of beautiful objects is lovely to look at, it’s more thoughtful to leave enough clear space for guests’ reading materials, cell phones, and such. Fresh flowers are almost always welcome (assuming an absence of allergies), so use one or two small decorative vases to dress up the area.

    Reading Lights in a Guest Room 


    If you have the luxury of having dedicated guest accommodations, decorate with a subtle scheme. Fun colors and playful details are certainly fine, but refrain from jarring combo, overly feminine or fussy designs, and in-your-face art that might make friends or family uncomfortable. Interior designers Michael Bechara (right) and Maria Lladro (left) used neutral palettes in these rooms but they’re not at all boring. Maps, abstract artwork, and landscapes are safe bets. Hang them up rather than leaning them on the nightstand or dresser where they’re a hindrance. If the floors are bare, add a throw rug by the bedside, especially in winter. Not everyone remembers to pack slippers!

    Wall Sconces for a Guest Room

    A bench, ottoman, or luggage stand placed at the foot of the bed is useful and keeps things clean. A suitcase that’s just been thrown around a tarmac doesn’t belong atop pristine sheets. Like the previous pair of rooms, designer Nicole Hollis went neutral. The minimalist aesthetic has a spa-like feel. Incorporating wall mounted light fixtures keeps things clean and clear, and a candle adds ambience.

    Bedside Carafe for a Guest Room


    The bedside tables here are perfect because guests can see how everything you stocked them with. A bar cart is a fun idea too. Notice the cozy throw blankets on the bottom shelf. Carafe and drinking glass sets are a considerate touch so your houseguests needn’t wander through the house at night. And while most folks use their phones to tell time, a clock might help them achieve a holiday unplugged.

    Guest Room Throw Blanket Ideas


    This bedroom designed by Palmer Weiss is perfection. The elegant bedroom lamps are a matched pair, the bedding is crisp and fluffy, and there’s even a loveseat in the bay window. Note the heavy draperies—don’t make your guests get up with the sun.

    Be a considerate host - provide your weary houseguests with a few guest room essentials to ensure a pleasant visit for all involved! For more guest bedroom accessory ideas, click on over to StyleCarrot.

    Shopping guide: 1. Purple Lines Clear Glass Vase Table Lamp  2. Large Diana Matte White Ceramic Vase  3. Lola Collection Mirror Accent Chest  4. Light Precipitation IV 40" Square Wall Art  5. Maple Brown Indoor Outdoor Rug  6. Brushed Brass Holtkoetter Pharmacy Desk Lamp  7. Dimmable Espresso Bronze Swing Arm Wall Lamp  8. Zuo Heywood Triple Natural Wood Bench  9. Chesapeake Bay 8 Oz. Thyme Verbena Candle 10. Connaught Polished Nickel Bar Cart  11. Beveled Glass and Metal Serving Tray  12. Pick-Me-Up Chartreuse Alarm Clock  13. Trace Lagoon Armless Loveseat  14. Chesterfield Teal Ocean Decorative Throw Blanket

    Image credits: Rachel Reider / Rue Magazine, Chris Barrett Design, Michael Bechara, Maria Llado, Nicole Hollis, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and Palmer Weiss.

  • Four Unique Window Treatments

    Unique Window Treatments

    I think that window treatments are a lot like jewelry.

    Some are subtle and serene.

    Some are simple and classic.

    And some are colorful and full-of-life.

    I'm an over-the-top jewelry wearer.  I never met a pair of blingy, sparkly earrings I didn't like.  I'm drawn to the unique, the one-of-a kind, the unusual and the interesting......

    .....just like my window treatments.

    So whether you like your jewelry classic or dramatic.....or fun or quirky, here are four fun ideas to create unique window treatments for your home.

     

    Window Treament Ideas That Are Unique

    1. Visit your linen closet

    There are a host of possibilities behind the doors of your linen closet.

    Create a fresh look with tablecloths or dishtowels or sheets or even a decorative throw.

    Or why not repurpose netting designed for the bed over a window?

    Add personality and dramatic interest with linens at about half the price of traditional curtains.

    Add Architectural Interest to a Window

    2. Who needs fabric?

    Let a little light in when you forgo traditional curtains for a dramatic valance made from decorative scrollwork.

    Or metal ironwork?

    Or a piece of barn wood or a garden gate?

    It's easy. Architectural elements add the perfect streamlined look for any window.

    Frame A Window With Prints for a Unique Window Treatment

    3. Frame it

    Let the sunshine and enjoy the view by adding visual interest around the windows with a collection of prints. 

    Why not frame fun family recipes?

    Or print out your children's artwork and frame it around the kitchen window.

    Looking for a little whimsy? Introduce a little fun with colorful framed wall art.

    What To Do With A Blank Wall 

    4. Create a faux window

    Have a large blank wall to fill?

    Why not create the illusion of a window? Hang curtains and hardware and paint your view.

    You could add a simple geometric pattern or a landscape or even painted window frames. Then add a stylish decorative mirror to reflect light and truly showcase your creativity.    

    Unique Window Treatments for a Kitchen

    Whether simple and classic or colorful and full of bling.....your window jewelry reflects you.

    So have a little fun and try something unique with your window treatments for a creative addition to any room.

    Let your windows truly reflect your personality and your style.....

    ......and let the sun shine in!

    photo credit: Photo 1: Martha Stewart Photo 2: bhg Photo 3: Midwest Living Photo 4: bhg Photo 5: bhg Photo 6: Martha Stewart

  • Moonlight Wall Mirror Lights Up Living Room Decor

    Living Room Mirror Idea Photo

    Our new friend Lynda got our attention recently by posting pictures on our Facebook page. Lynda owns Focal Point, a growing interior design firm in Florida.

    The pictures are from a recent project where Lynda completely refurbished the common areas of a small townhouse. As you can see above, our Moonlight wall mirror takes center stage in the living room. Thanks for uploading the pics, Lynda!

    Read more about this project including lots of before and after pictures at Lynda's blog: Focal Point: Client Project.

    We love seeing our products "in the wild." Upload your pictures to Facebook.com/LampsPlus or email them to community@lampsplus.com and we'll do our best to feature them!

    Here's another look at our Moonlight mirror:

    Mirror Frame Wall Mirror

     

  • A Divine Design Master Bedroom

    Candice Olson Bedroom Design

    Designer Candice Olson tackles a bland master bedroom in this Minneapolis Star Tribune article.

    The room is in a renovated 1926 home. For the wall color, Candice went with a creamy white and a darker blue grey, colors that play well with the dark hardwood flooring.

    A subtle world-traveler theme prevails, with a zebra-striped rug on the floor an exotic tropical ceiling fan overhead, and other tropical home decor accents.

    Zebra Stripe Rug

    Above is a close match for the zebra rug from our rug collection.

    Tropical Rattan Ceiling Fan

    The ceiling fan is pretty blurry! After squinting at it for a bit, I think this fan model is a good match for it: the Casa Vieja Rattan Ceiling Fan.

    I also love the typographical lettering on the wall over the bed. For more typographic decor, see my recent post.

    Photo thanks to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

    Post Update 1-5-11: For more designer starpower, check out our series of designer interviews, where we chat with everyone from David Bromstead to Sandra Espinet!

     

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog