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 Fresh Take on Traditional Interior Design

    Traditional interior design need not be stuffy! While this living room is certainly not modern, it exhibits a fresh take on traditional rooms. Here are some ideas on how to transform your classic interiors into something thoroughly updated.

    An Updated Traditional Living Room

    At first glance you may think this living room is stuck in the past. I think a second look is required to accurately see what’s happening here. This elegant living room has timeless traditional architecture including paneled walls and Tudor, leaded windows.

    While it could have been stuck in the past, it’s been brought back to life with a simple and fresh color scheme. The pale blue walls keeps things cheerful and simple, neutral curtains modernize the windows. Notice there are no swags, fringe or frills that would turn the space into a super-gran situation.

    Simple furniture also modernizes the room. While the argument could be made that the elegant wall mirrors flanked by ceramic table lamps and sideboard are old fashioned, I think they give the room a touch of history and interest that is critical in keeping the eye interested.

    Here are some pieces that can freshen up a traditional interior design:

    Modern Versions of Traditional Lighting and Accessories from Lamps Plus

    1. While this 6-light iron pendant may seem fancy, this gold leaf beauty has a modern aesthetic because of its open design and flat, wide frame.

    2. Pillows are always a staple in a traditional home but the cool geometric pattern on this stylish pillow by Surya makes it an “on point” accessory.

    3. Cool geometry makes this oil-rubbed bronze sconce look fresh but rooted in timeless sconce design.

    4. This modern armchair by Uttermost is a new twist on the classic wing back chair. The rich gray finish pops against the crisp neutral upholstery.

    5. Ornate gilt mirrors are the mainstay of a traditional house. Keep the class but clean it up with this gold rectangle wall mirror.

    6. The Polistena white ribbed ceramic gourd table tamp would be a crisp pop of light in a living room, family room or master bedroom.

  • Create the Perfect Ladies Lounge

    If you are sick of hearing about man cave after man cave you are not alone. Why don't we talk about a retreat for us ladies as often as we discuss how to create the perfect man cave? 

    I say - no more! Lets create the perfect ladies lounge today, complete with feminine details and delicate touches that any woman would love to have in their own home. A serene escape that is just for us ladies.

    Check out the gorgeous inspiration images below as we discuss how to create the perfect ladies lounge.

    Ladies lounge featuring velvet chaise and decorative wall mirrors

    Are you a girly-girl? If so, a ladies lounge with vintage flair is perfect for you. Pale pink hues mix seamlessly with silver and gold tones, delicate details and soft textures to round out the space.

    Lets break down the major players in this whimsical space. The chaise sofa serves a multitude of function: comfortable seating space, possible nap area, and open space for laying out clothing options and laying down your purse. The brass side table allows for a space for your phone, tea, glass of wine, what have you.

    A small mirrored desk and beautiful decorative wall mirror reflect the natural light around the room and give it a bright glow. This is a great way to achieve even natural lighting in your ladies lounge.

    To accompany the natural light, a mirrored table lamp and small crystal pendant illuminate with a soft light that again is bounced around the space.

    Elegant tufted white chaise with crystal floor lamp and glass accent table

    For the more contemporary woman, a modern ladies lounge has a bit of edge and is jam packed with style. 

    Graphic wall art becomes the focal point for this space, and is feminine without being overtly girly.

    Again you have a multi-functional chaise, a ladies best friend. An abundance of fluffy throw pillows both on the chaise as well as on the floor make the chaise, and the space, more approachable yet still extremely stylish.

    Crystal home decor accessories achieve a light, delicate look without a lot of fussy detail. They are perfect for a strong statement with a feminine sentiment. You cant go wrong with a glass table and stylish floor lamps paired with the perfectly placed whiskey decanter.

  • Creating Ambiance with Party Lights

    I have a confession.
    I love entertaining. From a simple brunch with a friend to an evening with a few friends to a huge celebration - throwing a party is a favorite thing to do. And my favorite part is the planning.


    String lights above a seating area in the woods
    When planning an event, my mind first goes to the table settings, the location in the yard, the music and the all-important lighting. The 'ambiance' of those elements mingling together are what creates a party that is inspiring and memorable for your guests. And a key element to consider - party lights.

    #1. String Lighting


    There are a ton of varieties of string lights - but a classic favorite is something simple that does the trick like these clear bulb lights. In the branches of a tree, across the top of the patio or even along a fence - simple lighting adds a ton of ambiance.


    Classic style party string light
    #2. Rope Lighting

    Rope lighting

    Versatile rope lighting is amazing for wrapping around tree bases, light poles and stringing along the edge of a pergola. Think about those areas in your yard that need a little boost of warm lighting - and wrap away.

    #3. Candles

    Of course you always need to be careful with candles  - but especially outdoors during a party. They have a way of being overlooked which could be disastrous.


    Virtual Flame LED Candle
    So - use realistic faux candles and forget about worrying about them.


    #4. Novelty Lighting

    Micro Bulb Grapevine String Lights

    These are new to me - but how fun would 'grapevine' lights be for a wine tasting party outdoors? Strung along the fence or even light up down the center of the table with the wine selections - might be a great topic of conversations too. Along those same lines - for kids birthday parties, themed events or anything like that - there are a ton of novelty type lighting for parties available.

    #5. Lanterns

    Don't overlook steps and pathways and the chance to light them up - or even those spots under trees and in flower beds around your yard that may need a little bit of dazzle with lighting.

    Mesh candle lanterns

    Something like candle-lit lanterns on the ground, on the table top, hanging from strings in tree branches - they all create a charming ambiance. From elegant to rustic to mason jars - the possibilities for the style you choose are endless.


    Worn metal and glass lanterns
    Whatever style of party lights you choose - keep it simple and don't forget to mix and mingle several types for a wonderful enchanting effect. And remember to use the faux candles when using them - so you don't worry about them glowing away all night - and enjoy the ambiance!

    What about you? Do you have a favorite tip for lighting up parties and events? Which is your favorite style light that I shared?

    Images via French Country Cottage

  • Stylish Outdoor Dining

    Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about outdoor entertaining and creating a stylish outdoor dining space. Al fresco dining is the epitome of summer fun.

    An Elegant Veranda with Classic Transitional Lighting and Furniture

    To me, outdoor dining can be just as fun while eating on ones lap as at a grand wisteria covered veranda but somewhere in the middle is probably the best. If you have a patio or deck large enough to support an outdoor dining set, you have a perfect foundation. I always make sure that  outdoor dining chairs have a cushion so that guests linger and feel as comfortable outside as they do in.

    Also, some of you may think I’m picky, but, make sure your table has a solid and smooth surface. While I like wicker, if you don’t have a glass topper dishes and glassware have a tricky time staying upright.

    Another practical and functional aspect to the well appointed outdoor dining space is good light. This outdoor veranda dining space has ample lighting. From wall sconces to lit ceiling fans, this space allows the host to entertain after dark as well as in hot weather.

    If you are able I would also install subtle deck lighting so that people can see patio edges, steps and other potential hazards.

    A Selection of Craftsman Style Outdoor Lighting and Seating  from Lamps Plus

    1. The Mission Lodge hanging outdoor light by Feiss is great for over table illumination.

    2. I love the simplicity of this transitional style outdoor ceiling fan by Casablanca.

    3. Create an instant dining room with this fresh and modern 5-piece gray wicker patio dining set.

    4. This bronze wall mount lantern by Feiss matches the hanging version above and is idea for mounting on a wall or post.

  • Sit for a Spell on an Outdoor Bench

    With warmer weather upon us, we all seek to spend more time outdoors and the perfect place to sit down for a spell is on an outdoor bench. A bench that can live outdoors in all kinds of weather relieves your troubled mind from the worries of too much weather damaging the surface.

    An outdoor bench is a fabulous accent that can sit anywhere on a rear patio or deck. It also can squeeze into all sorts of small spaces and provides a place to relax with a beverage or a good book.


    Teak outdoor bench with drinks tray on seat

    Large yards that include pathways entice you to meander, and an outdoor bench is that accent that gives permission to pause. Whether you’re alone or with a friend, an outdoor bench presents a place to ponder or share ideas.


    Weathered outdoor bench in garden among potted plants

    No porch is complete without a bench, it makes a space welcoming and allows one a place to take in the view or invite a neighbor to chat. Add to the mix outdoor accent pillows, container plants, and stylish outdoor rugs to bring the feel of the indoors outside.


    Teak outdoor bench with matching rocking chair and indoor/outdoor rug

    Capture the casual look of the ocean side setting above with the universally appealing Henley Acacia Wood Folding Bench also available in white.

    The elegant details of the Romance Outdoor Bench in black and gold with a bonus nesting table is the perfect place for resting a beverage or book.

    The swirls along the back of the Sculpture Garden Antique Steel Bench in gray reminds you of the benches situated among formal European gardens.

    The beauty of the Karoo Garden Bench in teak wood is undeniable and its longer frame makes it useful, perhaps in an entry, mudroom, or bedroom.

    Both the Romeo Ashfield Bench with a pop-up table and the antiqued Concorde White Outdoor Bench are transitional in style and will look fantastic in any outdoor space from contemporary to traditional.


    An assortment of outdoor benches available from Lamps Plus

    Look to Lamps Plus for a wide variety of outdoor benches and patio furniture for sprucing up your decks, balconies, and patios this spring and summer.

  • Green Decorative Accents

    Green is the color of nature, so technically it should go with everything, thus adding green decorative accents throughout your house will create a touch of springtime all year long.

    A Loft Style Room with Green Decor

    I chose this picture of a loft-style living room because it features several green decorative items that are scattered throughout the urban space. I also liked this image because it shows that a room does not need to be too “matchy” to be successful.

    Green is not the dominant color but works beautifully with the warm browns and blues. Artful green table lamps, like in this room, can subtly infuse a space with sculptural qualities. Exotic and elegant shaped lighting will be both functional and will keep the eye interested.

    Regardless of the accent color you choose, be sure to use it in several places to keep the color story consistent and intentional. For example, the subtle green in this room is found in not only the lamp, but found in the decorative throw pillows, book spines and artwork.

    Here are some examples of green decorative accents that I've put together:

    The Wide Range of Green Colored Lighting and Decor from Lamps Plus

    1. A green mini pendant would work perfectly over kitchen islands.

    2. This green outdoor pillow is the perfect pop of color on sofas and chairs inside or out.

    3. I like the look of this striped Giclee glow plug-in swag pendant for a Mid Century style dining nook or bedroom.

    4. If you are strapped on space, this brushed steel floor lamp with an olive colored shade would be ideal for brightening corners.

    5. I love the fresh and new take on the classic porcelain table lamp. The apple green color really shines.

  • "Ask the Expert" Lighting Workshops

    We are excited to announce our upcoming series of "Ask the Expert" workshops that will offer attendees tips and guidance on how to maximize their indoor and outdoor spaces through proper lighting and furnishings.

     Lamps Plus' Ask the Experts Lighting Workshops

    All workshops are led by industry professionals, are complimentary and open to the public across California, Colorado, Washington, Texas, Nevada, Arizona and Oregon.

    Each session is an hour long and will help you determine your lighting and home decor needs. Attendees are encouraged to bring plans or photos of their space(s) for a free evaluation and will also have the opportunity to schedule an in-home consultation. 

    "Our 'Ask the Expert' workshops are the heart of Lamps Plus' mission - to be the trusted resource for interior lighting and decor. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet more of our customers and work with people across the country to open up a world of possibilities for transforming their spaces."

    - Michael Murphy, Interior Design and Trends Producer at Lamps Plus

    The first workshop, "Kitchen & Bath Lighting Basics" will be held on Saturdays at various store locations from April 2 through June 25, 2016. Topics include:

    * The three fundamental types of lighting

    * What you need to know about lighting styles and controls

    * Choosing the proper lighting source: measurement and energy-efficiency

    * Finding the right lighting design for your kitchen and bath

    The next series titled "Outdoor Lighting and Home Decor Basics" comes just in time for summer and will educate guests on outdoor lighting, creating atmosphere in outdoor dining areas, outdoor lounge spaces, and upping curb appeal. This workshop will be offered from July - September 2016.

    Autumn gets a special festive focus as experts share tips related to holiday lighting and home design in October - December 2016's "Getting Ready for the Holidays" workshop.

    To RSVP for the complimentary workshops or find out more about the 2016 schedule, visit the Lamps Plus Ask the Expert Decor and Lighting Workshops page.

  • Creating an Outdoor Oasis with Fire Pits

    I can remember sitting around a campfire in the woods roasting marshmallows and sipping hot cocoa when I was a child. And I remember thinking that those evenings under the stars with family and friends were some of the best evenings during summer vacation.


    Copper fire pit with wicker chair in the woods
    Even now, you will find me outdoors in the evenings reading, working or simply relaxing fireside. It is a favorite thing to do - and enjoying the charm of a crackling fire outdoors is something you can do whether you live in the city or the country.

    There are many wonderful styles and elements that you can include to create your very own 'camping' experience right in your backyard.

    Like classic Adirondack chairs, several wood stumps for seating and charming outdoor fire pits.

    Fire in a copper fire pit with roasted marshmallowsFire pits come in all shapes and sizes - from small versions that are perfect for using in a smaller area:

    Small glass fire pit in seating area
    To modern renditions made out of glass - which I am really loving the look of:
    Glass fire pit with fire and clear glass rocks insideTo a classic and beautiful look with scrolly detailed metal:

    Metal wood burning fire pit near pool
    or a gorgeous large mission style fire pit:

    Mission style fire pit on stone patio
    Paired with a couple of chairs or wood stumps - fire pits are perfect for adding hours of enjoyment and lots of memory making to your summers for years to come.

  • The Stylish Outdoor Entertaining Space

    Spring has sprung, and the time to plan your summer social calendar is upon us. If you love to entertain, there is nothing better than having friends and family over during the warm summer months with a beautifully crafted outdoor space to while away the hours.

    Whether its a small patio, elevated wooden deck or expansive backyard with barbecue area, your outdoors should reflect your personal style. Here are some tips on how to create the perfectly stylish outdoor entertaining space.

    Modern outdoor barbecue area with wall and deck lighting

    Creating height variation in your outdoor space can make a space feel larger than it actually is. The beautiful inspiration image above demonstrates that If you can build up and create a separate barbecue and deck space, it brings weight and variation to an otherwise normal backyard.

    As you can see, ample lighting is essential for the perfect entertaining space, however its very important what type of lighting you choose.

    Directional deck lighting provides an important light source for your guests and highlights your flower beds while outdoor wall lighting sheds light on your surface area and illuminates the space enough that you don't feel like you are stuck outside in the dark.

    If you don't want to hardwire the lighting in your space, attractive outdoor table lamps are a great option to create a nice glow once the sun has set.

    A variation in material can also designate one space from the other. The mix of hardwood, concrete and pebbles gives the outdoor area above a ton of visual variation and has as much thought and style behind it as any indoor space.

    Outdoor entertaining space with modern wall lights and fountain

    Furniture and accessories for your outdoor entertaining space are also very important because, after all, you want your guests to be as comfortable outside as they would be inside. Think of your patio/deck/backyard as your outdoor living room and you're off to a great start.

    Your outdoor seating choices should be in scale with the space you have, and not overwhelmingly large or uselessly dinky. If you don't have the space for a table of eight and a lounge area don't push it.

    Accessories like tranquil outdoor fountains can help to create a calm atmosphere as well as drown out any unwanted noises from neighbors or street traffic.

    And finally, finishing touches like decorative outdoor pillows are a perfect way to bring in color, texture and your own personal style to the space.

  • Appealing Front Porch Design

    Spring is here and it's time to stop turning our attention inward to warm fireplaces and look outward towards our outdoor areas. You can start by paying attention to your front porch design.

    Appealing front porch design with teak outdoor furniture and outdoor ceiling fan

    When it comes to designing an appealing front porch, you need to approach the design in the same way you would when you design your family or living room. You want to create a space that will not only be functional, but be a reflection of you and your home's design style. 

    Here are three categories to focus on when coming up with your front porch design:

    Outdoor furniture and lighting for your front porch from Lamps Plus

    Outdoor Lighting and Ceiling Fans:

    Outdoor lighting is key for three reasons. It allows you to enjoy your front porch long after the sun has gone down, helps light up the front of your own home AND it increases curb appeal. Use a combination of outdoor pendants, ceiling lights and coordinating wall lights to light up your front porch.

    Energy efficient outdoor LED lighting is growing in popularity and it's easy to transform your existing fixtures into LED lights. Swap your incandescent bulbs for long-lasting LED bulbs and watch your energy bill drop!

    Ceiling fans aren't just for the indoors, there are stylish outdoor ceiling fans that are perfect for keeping a breeze flowing in outdoor living areas when the mercury creeps higher and there is no natural breeze.

    Outdoor Furniture

    Create your perfect front porch sitting area with beautiful and functional outdoor furniture. Outdoor furniture ranges from traditional to modern silhouettes, so you are sure to find pieces that match your personal design style.

    Mirror your indoor seating arrangement on the front porch by combining sofas, accent chairs, coffee tables, and side tables.

    Outdoor Accessories

    Accessories are like the icing on the cake in any design. Incorporate a range of outdoor accessories into your design to give it a polished look.

    Outdoor decorative pillows are the perfect way to bring color and pattern into your design. Then add an outdoor area rug to visually pull together your seating group bring in a fun garden stool or two to act as additional seating or tables.

    Pick elements from each of these three categories to design a front porch so appealing that you don't ever want to go inside.

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