Style Illuminated

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

  • Stylish Dinner Party Tips

    Stylish Dinner Party Tips

    Stylish dinner party tablescape.

    The key to a successful dinner party is a relaxed host and a beautiful table like this one from Celebrations at Home. With these tips, you’ll be the stress free hostess with the mostest.

    The most important thing to do, besides stock up on your home bar accessories, is to relax. Your mood sets the tone for the party. If you’re stressed, your guests will feel it. Here are some more tips:

    Music 

    Make sure the music is pumping before your guests arrive and plays during the entire party. Turn the volume just loud enough so people don’t have to shout.

    Bar Carts Are Perfect For A Cocktail Station

    Bar carts are perfect for a cocktail station.

    Cocktails

    Get your guests involved in the fun by setting up a do-it-yourself cocktail bar, like this one from A Life Worth Living. Print out recipes on index cards so guests can mix up their own masterpiece and make sure to have the right home bar accessories to make your party complete.

    Connaught Antique Brass Bar Cart

    Connaught Antique Brass Bar Cart

    Table

    Set the table the day before and lay out all of the bowls and platters you plan on using (label each one with whatever dish it will hold). Get creative and go with a seasonal theme like a rustic wine and cheese dinner.

    Ambiance

    Whichever stylish pendant lighting you have hanging above, dim the lights and provide lots of non-scented candles to create a party atmosphere. Everyone looks better by candlelight after all.

    Food

    Cook tried and true recipes and prep what you can ahead of time – now is not the time to whip up something you’ve never made before. Try some comfort food like a simple roasted chicken and little red potatoes.

    Pretty Party Favors Win Over Guests

    Pretty Party Favors Win Over Guests

    Favors

    Guests love leaving with a little memory of the night so send them home with something as simple as a potted herb with a favorite recipe attached, like these pretty ones from After Orange County.

    Most importantly, remember that if you’re enjoying yourself, so will your guests. Cheers!

    Image credits: Celebrations at HomeA Life Worth LivingAfter Orange County

  • Black and Yellow Decor and Design

    As we slowly saunter into the Fall months, warmer and richer colors start to flood my consciousness. I love black in interiors and I love yellow in just about anything, so I thought - Why not find some stunningly gorgeous black and yellow interiors to feature for today's post.

    These gorgeous spaces from Houzz have a Fall warmth with a bit of lingering Summer fun in their black and yellow decor and design.

    In the Bedroom

    Black And Yellow Decor And Home Design

    Black and yellow decor and home design.

    This funky, eclectic bedroom is black and yellow gone so right! With a crisp white room to work with, the addition of the bold yellow accents really grab your attention, while a sprinkling of black grounds the space.

    The patterned stool and sheepskin chairs with black peg legs add the perfect amount of black to accent the space. Also, interesting table lamps make every space better than it was before.

    In the Kitchen

    Modern Kitchen With Black And Yellow Accents

    Modern kitchen with black and yellow accents.

    This modern kitchen is every cook's dream. However, without the pop of yellow art on the wall this kitchen would seem almost unapproachable. Adding one, monochromatic pop of color to a modern space can transform it, as you see above.

    Installing an airy, beautiful crystal chandelier over the darker spaces, and bold pendants over the dining area can bring a space together seamlessly.

    In the Living Room

    Living Room Design With Yellow Wall Art And Black Accents

    Living room design with yellow wall art and black accents.

    If yellow is one of your favorite colors, this living room will certainly be inspiration worthy for you! The commitment to yellow in this space is admirable, but it's done so well you almost want to melt away in here.

    The yellow, black and white room would feel a little flat if it weren't for the amazing, patterned yellow wallpaper that becomes the focal point for this space. Adding pattern and graphic prints helps to break up monochromatic spaces and brings depth and dimension where it's needed.

    In the Library

    Elegant Home Decor With Pops Of Color

    Elegant home decor with pops of color.

    This mature and sophisticated library is so calming.  The addition of the yellow vases and yellow accent chair don't detract from the peaceful nature of the room but rather give it that little punch of life and fun that it would otherwise be lacking.  Making sure the shade of yellow is not too bright is key for a room like this, while painting the walls black feels modern yet timeless against the traditional furniture.

    In the Playroom

    Black And Yellow Playroom Design

    Black and yellow playroom design.

    How amazing is this playroom? If you have the courage and the space I say, go for it!. The bold and graphic black and white wallpaper is such a fun, punchy focal point for this space. While the yellow walls actually serve to tone down the loudness of the wallpaper.

    However, this room truly would not be complete without the charming black crystal chandelier and perfect vintage yellow rocking horse.

    Have I convinced you to add some black and yellow decor to your home design?

    Image credits: Houzz

  • Fall Outdoor Decorating and Lighting Ideas

    Fall Outdoor Decorating and Lighting Ideas

    Decorate your outdoor spaces and enjoy them this Fall.

    Just because the weather is cooling off doesn't mean you can't enjoy your outdoor spaces in the Fall! While I happen to live in sunny California, I come from Canada - so I get the cold. Here are a few Fall outdoor decorating and lighting ideas that will grant you some extra opportunities to spend time outdoors before the snow falls. 

    Fall Outdoor Decorating and Lighting Ideas - Fire Pit

    An outdoor fire pit provides warmth and light for use in the Fall. 

    Build a Fire Pit

    Aaah, warmth. Nothing makes cold Autumn evenings better than a toasty fire, as you can tell in this gorgeous outdoor design by Linda McCalla Interiors found on Houzz.

    Well, nothing except for roasted marshmallows.  

    Fall Outdoor Lighting Ideas - Tall Landscape Lights from Lamps Plus

    Tall landscape lights make a stylish addition to your yard. 

    Install Landscape Lights

    The sun goes down way too early, so light up your yard with tall landscape lights - perhaps to illuminate the path to your new fire pit? Cast aluminum lighting is both stylish and durable. 

    Fall Outdoor Decorating Ideas - Pretty Autumn Tabletop Vignette with Pumpkins

    Pretty fall decorating will make your outdoor spaces more enticing! 

    Decorate for the Season

    Spend as much effort decorating outside as you do inside, and you're far more likely to grab those scarves and mittens to bundle up and enjoy your handiwork. You'll find inspiring ideas, like this one from Better Homes and Gardens, on our Outdoor Decorating board on Pinterest.

    Photo credits: Better Homes and Gardens, Linda McCalla Interiors via Houzz, Lamps Plus,  Better Homes and Gardens.

  • Stylish Black Lighting For The October Home

    Stylish Black Lighting For The October Home

    A modernist and simple bulb pendant.

    Embracing black lighting seems so perfect for the weeks leading Halloween. While black lighting can be interpreted as moody, and sometimes sinister, they are also timeless and add that punch of color which can ground a room.

    Escapadeblog has some cool images that includes some with hanging pendant lights that put me in that ghoulish mood!

    Black Interior Lights

    Contemporary lights for traditional rooms.

    From contemporary black kitchen lighting to designer table lamps, black hued lights take on a sculptural quality that begs a closer look. I love a neutral wall color or window treatment as a backdrop for black.

    Whether you choose stark white walls or a creamy curtain, the lighter and more monochromatic the space the more your lighting will pop. Keep in mind that black lamp shades are beautiful, but should only be used if maximum illumination is not the goal.

    Contemporary Black Lighting

    Sculptural style lighting for monochromatic spaces.

    Large, black swing arm lamps are truly on point these days and have the decided look of a contemporary mobile. While they might be a cheaper option than a Calder sculpture, make sure you have plenty of other task lighting especially if it’s in the kitchen, office or bedside. They may not be the most practical but they certainly are the most chic!

    Modern Home Lighting

    The many design styles of black lights.

    1. The Jonathan Adler Black and Brass Antwerp Floor Lamp is great besides or near an arm chair.

    2. Try the Sonneman Orb Satin Black Chandelier for mid-century style in the dining room.

    3. The Piquito Black Mini Pendant Light would be stylish above a kitchen island or for a moody look in a powder room.

    4. Nothing defines “of the moment” like the Robert Abbey Albert Patina Bronze Wall Mounted Boom Lamp.

    5. The Currey and Company Whitton Black Wall Sconce is ideal in a hallway or flanking a fireplace.

    Photo credits: Escapade

  • Going Beyond Style For Outdoor LED Lighting

    Going Beyond Style For Outdoor LED Lighting

    Fall is finally here, but that doesn't mean our outdoor spaces cease to exist. Many of us still use different areas of our outdoors, especially if you're in areas with a mild Winter.

    As a follow up to my last post, Makeover Your Entryway With LED Lighting, today we'll go beyond selecting outdoor LED lighting by style and color temperature. I want to share a few more categories that you can use to help you select the best lighting for your home.

    Security Lighting

    Security lights no longer look like the typical security light. Fixtures are offered in new shapes and finishes. When shopping for outdoor security lights, look for a cooler temperature because a warmer light creates a more welcoming feel.

     Cliffwood White 11" Wide LED Security Floodlight

    Cliffwood White 11" Wide LED Security Floodlight

    This 11-inch wide sleek-looking security light fixture has a color temperature of 5700K, comparable to daylight from the sun. The output is 1400 lumens, which is comparable to a 100 watt incandescent light bulb.

    Up and Down Lighting

    An outdoor wall light can be uneasy on the eyes, especially if it’s at eye-level. An up-and-down light can help light the area, but without directing the light directly at faces. 

    Up And Down LED Lighting

    With a sleek body, this aluminum LED light fixture directs light up and down with a 3000k warm color temperature and 420 lumens.

     Wynnsboro 7 3/4" High Silver LED Outdoor Up and Downlight

    Wynnsboro 7 3/4" High Silver LED Outdoor Up and Downlight

    Wet Rated Lighting

    If you live near the ocean or you know that your entryway is going to be in frequent direct contact with fog, rain, or snow, you might want to look for a wet rating on an outdoor light fixture.

    A damp rating means that the fixture can resist moisture in the air, but not direct contact with water. Still, this doesn’t mean you should install them in your outdoor shower.

    Hatteras Bay 9 1/2" High Bronze LED Outdoor Wall Light

    Hatteras Bay 9 1/2" High Bronze LED Outdoor Wall Light

    This LED outdoor wall lantern light is wet rated. It has a 3000K color temperature, with 485 lumens output (comparable to a 40-watt incandescent light bulb.)

    Solar Lighting

    For entryways that receive direct sunlight during the day, a solar-powered LED light fixture might be a perfect choice.

    Flora Antique Bronze 13" High Solar LED Wall Light

    Flora Antique Bronze 13" High Solar LED Wall Light

    Outdoor solar LED light fixtures often have a lithium ion (Li-ion) battery like in your phone or laptop that can power the light for up to 10 hours!

    Dark Sky Lighting

    Dark sky lights are designed to help preserve the night sky, so the light is usually pointed to what you want to light without disrupting the view of the stars.

    Dark Sky LED Lighting


    This bronze outdoor LED wall light fixture is a ‘dark sky’ light with its bent arm directing the light downward. The 10-watt LED light is comparable to a 15-watt incandescent bulb.

     Kirkham Bronze 8 1/2" Wide Dark Sky LED Outdoor Wall Light

    Kirkham Bronze 8 1/2" Wide Dark Sky LED Outdoor Wall Light

    Dimmable Lighting

    Dimming is a feature that I love in a light fixture. And there are LED light fixtures that offer this feature.

    But make sure to read the specifications of the fixture, because not all LED light fixtures dim. Also, you might need a specific dimmer to pair with it.

     LBL Upstate 18" High Silver LED Outdoor Wall Light

    LBL Upstate 18" High Silver LED Outdoor Wall Light

    The sleek silver finish of this outdoor wall light is a statement light. This dimmable outdoor LED light has a color temperature of 3000K and a CRI of 80.

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Lighting Ideas For a Spanish Style Home

    Modern Spanish Revival traces its influences to the California mission churches that were built in the 18th century by early Spanish settlers and missionaries. The architecture is recognizable by its signature elements which include smooth stucco exteriors, tile roofs, arched doorways and casement windows plus beautiful balconies with decorative iron railings.

    Spanish Style Home Furnishings

    Spanish style homes provide the perfect backdrop to classic style home furnishings.

    Indoors and out you’ll find carved stonework or cast ornaments, as well as patterned tiles on staircases and walls or inset in stucco as accents. Courtyards and balconies are a common feature in Spanish Revival homes.

    Outdoor fountains act as focal points and gardens include urns filled with cascading botanicals, succulents or blooming annuals. Landscaping can also include bougainvillea, roses, and olive trees to add to the Mediterranean inspired aesthetic.

    Bronze Wall Sconces

    A. Crystorama Ashton Bronze 18 1/2" High Crystal Wall Sconce B. Laura Lee Jasmine 2-Light 29" High Wall Sconce C. Feiss Aliya 12" Wide Rustic Iron Wall Sconce D. Kathy Ireland Latin Palace 18" High Wall Sconce

    In this Spanish Revival interior, cast stone pilasters support a dramatic arcade (succession of arches). Bronze sconces illuminate the hallways, a large scale carved wood mirror reflects light, and arched black casement doors lead to the outdoor areas. Note the mixture of tile and wood to add interest at the floor level.

    Spanish Style Interior Architecture

    Bronze and iron wall lights paired with high, ribbed ceilings are typical in Spanish style homes.

    Exposed wood beams paired with white troweled walls are also common in Spanish Revival homes as are wood doors and floors. The wood and white combination adds inviting contrast.

    Bronze or iron finishes on lanterns, sconces, and chandeliers complement this architectural style. Arched passageways and niches, without any crown molding, are classic elements.

    Bronze Lantern Pendants

    A. Hinkley Plymouth 24" Wide Olde Bronze 8-Light Chandelier B. Traditional Curves 17" Wide Iron Foyer Pendant Light C. Windsor Collection Vintage Bronze 18" Wide Pendant Light D. Hudson Valley Larchmont 16 1/2" Wide Bronze Pendant Light

    Bronze lantern pendants are ideal for this style kitchen. Hang more than one over the island and you will instantly dress up your space.

    Classic Kitchen Design

    Iron lantern pendants are perfect for a Spanish style kitchen.

    Get the look for Spanish Revival design beyond just lighting with these beautiful home furnishings and accents:

    Introduce drama to a living room with the Bronze Finish Iron Fireplace Screen. Dress up your outdoor area with the Pina Escada Fountain. For a Spanish touch to your interiors, pick up a pair of the Marni Carved Driftwood Accent Chair or the Terrace Carved Wood Bench. Get the look of beautiful Spanish tile with the Safavieh Capri Area Rug.

    Spanish Style Furnishings

    While your home may not be Spanish Revival in its architectural style, you can still incorporate elements you love into your home, and remember, mixing styles always keeps it interesting!

    Image credits: James Glover Design; SoCal Contractors via Houzz; Frantoni EstatesLindsey Adams Construction

  • Announcing Seedling Collection by Thomas Paul

    We are so excited to unveil a collection of six new lamp shade patterns from Seedling, created by acclaimed textile designer Thomas Paul and inspired by vintage fabrics and motifs.

    The Seedling collection was created to bring the Thomas Paul look to a broader audience. Maintaining the bold color combinations and pattering of the original collection, the seedling brand aims to offer well designed lighting at a price that everyone can love.

    "This collection features some of our most popular designs from the past few years.  Some are in the original colors and others have been reinterpreted in fresh new color ways that are only available in this collection," explains Paul.

    Thomas Paul Seedling Collection

    Designer Thomas Paul launches a new partnership with Lamps Plus

    Thomas Paul was born and raised in New York City. He got his start in the fashion business, which eventually led to the creation of his own collection in the late 90s. From this was born the start of the Thomas Paul pillow collection, launched in 2001.

    Since then the line has steadily expanded into other categories to include tabletop, stationery, and lamp shades. 

    "My inspiration comes from many places. It is not exactly about vintage fabrics, it is more about classic design motifs from the history of textiles. The idea being to reinterpret those motifs in updated scales and color combinations. I think the patterns name themselves, once a design is done it seems obvious what the name should be. Sometimes it is a literal reference-like the bird pattern is called Aviary, sometimes it comes from a feeling or mood the pattern connotes, such as the pattern Stockholm, which has the mood of a Scandinavian modern type of design." - Thomas Paul

    Designer Light Fixtures

    Unique designs from the Seedling collection, by Thomas Paul

    Each of these exquisite designs from the Seedling collection is available in sixteen different palettes on a variety of wall, floor and table lamps and ceiling fixtures, for a total of more than 2,500 different combinations! So, depending on which pattern you love most or which type of fixture you need most, there's an option for you in this beautiful collection.

    Paul explains, "One of the advantages of working with Lamps Plus is the fact that all of the shades are printed on demand. I like this model because it allows us to experiment more in terms of color and design, to match virtually anything a customer may request." 

    Seedling by thomaspaul Stockholm Shade

    Seedling by thomaspaul Stockholm Shade

    In closing, when asked how he find inspiration, "It can come from anyplace, usually I have a feeling of what is happening that season, for example, lately ethnic looks have been strong-like Ikats or African prints-so I will do my version of an Ikat or African type pattern, but then think of other things that might be more unexpected to mix in with that, like say a geometric herringbone and then an animal motif like an owl or horse-tying them all together by color." -Thomas Paul

    Images: Thomas Paul

  • Tips For Birthday Entertaining at Home

    Aren't I the luckiest girl that I get to post here on my 30th birthday! In honor of this big milestone I wanted to focus on entertaining at home for a birthday, or any type of party. The key to getting it right are small details that make a big impact.

    Below you will find some amazingly inspiring images from Style Me Pretty and some great tips for throwing a super chic party at home.

    Tips For Birthday Entertaining at Home

    Inspiration for birthday entertaining at home.

    The focal point for this effortlessly chic dinner party is the elegant chandelier. With a feature like this, keeping the table simple and understated makes the chandelier shine that much more.

    If you don't have a showstopper chandelier in your home, try hanging a cluster of paper lanterns to add volume and drama above your table.

    Colorful Entertaining At Home

    Colorful entertaining ideas for the home.

    If color is your thing, don't be afraid to have a color explosion for your birthday dinner party. Mixing bold blooms and accents gives off a fun, laid back vibe, perfect for an outdoor soiree.

    If you are having a party that will transition to nighttime, then make sure to have stylish candle holders on the table to add glowing light as the sun goes down.

    Mixed Seating Styles

    Try mixed seating to add interest to your dining furnishings.

    A gorgeous and intimate dinner party like the one above includes a few tricks. First, the addition of acrylic ghost chairs takes this otherwise sweet and rustic setting to a modern, fun level.

    Secondly, you can keep your flowers clustered in monochromatic groupings as a stylish and modern way to add color without being too eclectic, if that's not what you're going for with mixed seating.

    Entertaining At Home With Gorgeous Glassware

    Glassware is key to gorgeous entertaining at home.

    Taking the time to select beautiful glassware, or collect vintage glassware, can make any party stylish and fun. I love keeping it all clear, but feel free to take the collection to another level - there are beautiful glasses in a wide variety of colors.

    You and your guests will feel special drinking from beautiful glasses for any celebration.

    Entertain At Home With Great Cake

    Great cakes are key to successful birthday entertaining at home.

    Last but certainly not least, a perfect cake makes the best party. This cake is incredibly simple but oh so chic. If you are more skilled than I am you can make a more formal cake, then adorn it with flowers from your own backyard.

    Fresh blooms add a perfectly feminine and whimsical touch to any type of cake, formal or casual, and it will cap off your special night.

    Image ccredits: Style Me Pretty Living

  • Campsite Chic For Your Home

    Campsite Chic

    A sophisticated and cozy campsite.

    I’ve never been a lover of camping, however I could be persuaded if campsite chic were the overall theme... Also, running water and bathrooms would be an enticement! The sophisticated camping look can be achieved both in the wild and at home.

    A Perfect Gray featured some picnics, but I was mostly captivated by the images that I thought could translate to home and home furnishings. 

    Camping Accessories

    Camping materials feature a rustic charm.

    What’s so wonderful about the basic elements of campsite decor is the hearty nature of the materials, like how humble canvas can take on a decadent feel within a rough and tumble landscape.

    Along with canvas, think about rope details and portable, light wood furniture, also known as “Campaign.” Campaign furniture was named for the furniture used by military men who needed functionality on the go.

    Rustic, wood chandeliers can also infuse your home with the “idea” of campsite chic.

    Picnic Ideas

    There's an elegant look to casual tented campsites and picnics.

    Who doesn’t love the movie “Out of Africa”? The cool, white linen frocks and civilized living are chic anywhere, but turning all of that into an interior design scheme can be divine. Simple linen shades on decorative lamps, or no-fuss creamy curtains that echo the look of a tent can be very stylish.

    The benefit of creating this look indoors is the elimination of bugs, ants and bears of course.

    Enjoy!

    Camping Decor

    1. The Globe Lantern With Rope And Stainless Steel Accents offers on the go light anywhere.

    2. Bring the outside in with the Uttermost Corda Textured Black Rust Pendant.

    3. From your kitchen to Yosemite, store anything in this Set of 3 Oval Canvas Lined Baskets.

    4. I love the “Out of Africa” look of the Crestview Collection Set of 2 Lenox Storage Trunk Coffee Tables.

    5. The Jamie Young Large Barrel Table Lamp has a great “Campaign” look.

    6. Function and form on the go...the Jamie Young Campaign Folding Side Table.

    Photos: A Perfect Gray.

  • Transform Your Home with Decorative Wall Mirrors

    While you may think that mirrors only serve a utilitarian use in your interiors, decorative wall mirrors can set the tone and reflect your personal style.

    Do you like the sophistication of the Hollywood Regency style with mirrored decorative accents? Maybe country-inspired natural wood and Craftsman style accents are more your style?

    Decorative wall mirrors help to bring your interiors together with a cohesive theme while adding depth and reflection to your room. Take a look at these creative ways to transform your interiors with mirrors that reflect your designer style.

    Transform Your Home with Decorative Wall Mirrors

    Let your personal style reflect in your mirrors.

    Mirrors have always been used in bathrooms to help us through our morning and evening rituals, but what about mirrors that exude their own personality for decorative purposes? The driftwood mirror above from ADL III Architecture adds a rustic coastal presence to this bathroom beautifully.

    While mirrors can inject life into your interiors, the shape, style, and materials can set the stage for your personal style as well. You can refer to the Lamps Plus "Shop By Trend" page for help picking the style and mirror that fits your decor preference.

    These are just a few of the decorative themes you can introduce into your home and find matching mirrors to compliment your comfortable interiors:

    Luxe Living: Gorgeous metallics, along with bold colors provide a sophisticated Hollywood Regency Style and add glam appeal.

    Global Decor: Natural and organic materials reflect a well-traveled lifestyle, featuring beautiful textures and robust colors.

    Cottage Chic: Brings the laid back comfort of the country to your home with rough-hewn wood and soft colors.

    Wood Framed Wall Mirror

    Wood framed wall mirror in a rustic style home.

    To add some Global Decor style into your home look to the Shiloh stained wood mirror. Its warm wood frame and raw stained finish give a weathered texture that blends perfectly with a worldly interior design aesthetic. With its center mirror and beveled glass edge, it will beautifully grace your walls.

    Mirror Wall Gallery

    Create a stylish gallery wall with decorative mirrors.

    Mirrors hung individually can give a room a new look, but if you’d like to create a dynamic focal point in your interiors try adding a mirrored gallery wall.

    I love how Bright Design Lab used varying sized framed mirrors but carried through with the white color theme throughout the gallery. Try a similar layout in your home and see how much mirrors can give your room dimension with an artistic touch.

    So, the next time you're trying to include more personality in your interiors don’t forget about decorative wall mirrors. They offer the versatility of complimenting your favorite decor style but they also provide a bit of light in their reflections. 

    Photo credits: ADL III Architecture, Lamps PlusBright DesignLab

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog