Style Illuminated

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

  • How to Freshen Up Your Living Room Décor

    How to Freshen Up Your Living Room Décor

    Small changes can make big impressions, so there is no need to break the bank when it comes to freshening up your living room décor.

    Here are some ideas to bring a new look to your living space:

    Swap Out/Bring in New Accessories

     Stylish Accessories on a Coffee Table
    Swapping out or bringing in new accessories is a really fast way to breathe new life into your space. Add or change out books that you have styled on various surfaces and create vignettes with pieces from a collection you may have and remember to follow the Rule of Three.

    The Rule of Three says that three (or any odd number, really) objects placed together make it easier for the eye to find the center of a composition, which creates a sense of balance and makes them more visually appealing.

    Two items look out of balance and one object looks kind of lonely but,as with most things, there are exceptions. Always vary the shape and height of the objects to provide more visual interest.

    Add Throws and Decorative Pillows

    Decorative Pillows and Throws make Great Living Room Decor
    Bringing in new throws and decorative pillows allows you to introduce new colors and or color combinations to your living room décor. Decorative pillows are also a great, and non-permanent, way to bring in pattern for you patternphobes out there!

    Light it Up

    Living Room with Several Types of Lighting

    Update your living room’s look with lighting. Lighting can make or break a room, so make sure you mix up the types of lighting in your space to create visual interest.

    A mix of lighting types gives you more options when it comes to setting the ambiance of a room.

    You can create vignettes with the aforementioned accessories around table lamps. Floor lamps are great for filling in both visual and lighting gaps between table lamps and ceiling fixtures. Plug-in sconces are another great design move and don’t require electrical know-how.

    Change Up the Paint

    Monochromatic Lilac Living Room

    If you want to take your living room décor update a step further, consider painting the room a new color, one of the colors present in your new throw pillows, perhaps?

    Move it Around

    A Thom Filicia-designed Living Room

    Possibly the fastest (and free!) ways to freshen up the look of your living room is to move around your furniture. Swap out a piece or two of furniture from another room to up the change quotient.

    Giving your living space a new look definitely doesn’t require a complete remodel – just follow the tips above and see what a difference a little tweak here and there can make!

    Image Sources: 1st image: Domino Magazine 2nd image: The Design Daredevil 3rd image: Better Homes & Gardens 4th image: Lamps Plus 5th image: House Beautiful UK 6th image: Design: Thom Filicia, seen in House Beautiful

  • 5 Family-Friendly Sofa Choices

     5 Family-Friendly Sofa Choices

    An example of a family-friendly sofa

    The family room is the heart of the home.  

    It's the perfect spot for conversation and homework and relaxing and enjoying family time after a busy day at work.

    And every family room design starts with a really good sofa.

    The key is selecting one that will hold up to wear and tear and the challenges of every day life.

    You want to select affordable options without sacrificing quality and stylish design.

    Here are my favorite five sofa choices for a busy family.

    Tight-Backed Sofa with Hand Tufting

    1.  Hand tufted sofa

    This sofa is under $700.  I know....right?

    And the material is both stylish and so family friendly.  Can you see the tiny-nail heads along the arms?

    And the espresso legs and the square back?

    The best part?  It's 92" wide which makes it perfect for watching a family movie marathon.

    Sofa with Wood Trim

    2.  Intrigue Harper Mineral Upholstered Sofa

    Doesn't this sofa remind you of Don Draper and Mad Men?

    I could see it in a Fifth Avenue Penthouse or my farmhouse.  It's design is both classic and timeless and transcends a particular design style, allowing it to blend seamlessly with different designs.

    It comes family-proof with no-sag springs and a dirt-hiding mineral colored upholstery.

    Rust-Colored Family-Friendly Sofa

    3.  Parisian Rust Autumn Sofa

    This one is for everyone who loves a little color at an affordable price.  This sofa is priced at under $600.

    I love the rounded back and stylish legs and the nailheads that cover the front of the sofa.

    But it really won my heart with those tiny brass piano casters on the front.

    Gray Sectional with Tufted Back

    4.  Landry Light Gray Left Hand-Facing Sectional Sofa

    Have you ever seen a sectional look so stylish?

    The gray fabric. The large overall tufting. The versatility of a sectional with the style of a classic sofa.

    And the material is family-friendly, too.


    Linen Sofa with Nailhead Detail

    5.  Mckenna Beige Linen Sofa

    Okay.  I know what you're thinking.  This doesn't appear to be the most family-friendly sofa.

    I chose it because it resembles the sofas we have in our family room that have held up well for over five years.

    Welcome to pretty and comfortable meets timeless appeal.

    Sofas can add so much to a space.

    Affordability. Style. Design.  

    You can have it all.

    A sofa that fits your budget, and still manages to make your heart go pitter-patter.

    Photo Credit:  Thistlewood Farms

  • Summer Bungalow Design

    Summer Bungalow Design

    Summer bungalow design is breezy, casual and easy to create. Think about walks on the beach, natural fibers and straight forward lighting. You can’t go wrong if you look to Lonny for great design pictures, and today’s post is proof.

    Beach Interiors

    To me, summer decorating assumes floors and furniture will see many bare feet and casual clothes. That said, I’m a fan of sisal rugs and rattan furniture in combination with white walls, shell-inspired chandeliers and clear glass table lamps. There is something so clean and fresh about this look especially if you are in a smaller bungalow style home. Simple hues work best here and I must admit I love the feel of the coarse sisal on post beach feet.

    Bohemian Bungalow Interiors

    Casual bungalow homes can also get away with a more bohemian, live and let live aesthetic. Antiques can be thrown together with modern lights and somehow work as seen in these images. If you are not by water, summer interiors can become stifling, so consider a traditional ceiling fan to create a cool breeze, and add to that eclectic vibe.

    Guest Room Design

    Summer bungalows are also the place friends and family gather, so keep things simple for you sake. White bedding and slipcovers throughout the house can make laundry easier and always look inviting in the summer months.

    Beach Style Home Accessories

    1. The Avenel Industrial Edison Bronze Wall Sconce looks great on bead-board and I love them mounted down long halls.

    2. The Jamie Young Clear Cut Glass Jar Table Lamp has the luminosity of beach glass.

    3. Adorn a classic kitchen island with the Robert Abbey Albert Bronze and Glass Pendant.

    4. The simple Oak 29" High Bar Stool is great if you know there will be wet bathing suits heading into the kitchen.

    5. I love to use the Surya Sesame 18" Square Jute Pouf Ottoman for bungalow design indoors or out. It's the perfect no-fuss spot for feet.

    6. Stay stylish and cool with the Fanimation Arden Oiled-Rubbed Bronze Floor Fan.

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Bringing the Beach Indoors - Decorating with Seashells

    Decorating with seashells is a great way to bring the beach inside. Whether collected and configured, or reproduced and purchased, bringing the essence of the beach indoors is the best way to decorate your seaside home.

    Decorating your home with natural elements is a lovely way to incorporate your surroundings while introducing colors and textures that are native to your location.

    Beautiful seashell covered mirrors like the one below from Brabourne Farm is glamorous and chic, while keeping an approachable, natural feel.

    The starfish mirror on the right from Centsational Girl is the perfect creamy neutral color to pair with seaside blues and ivories for that peaceful, breezy look. 

    Beautiful tabletop collections of antiquities, shells and accessories are also a great way to bring in natural elements without overly committing to the look.

    Martha Stewart and TG Interiors show us two amazing inspiration images for a styling vignette that is beautiful, easy and chic.

    What pairs better with ocean objects than beautiful ocean blue? The book nook below from Completely Coastal is the perfect hidden hallway moment in your seaside home.

    And what better way to decorate a guest bathroom than having your guests help design the space with what they've found during their stay?! This amazing bathroom from Apartment Therapy is a beach-dwellers dream.

     Bringing the Beach Indoors - Decorating with Seashells

    If you want to get the look of decorating with seashells in your coastal getaway its easier than you think. Firstly simply take a walk down the beach and see what you can find.

    Make sure not to take anything from an area that is protected or has endangered species, and only take minimally.

    However, if you're looking for maximum seaside punch with minimal effort there are some amazing products that deliver.

    Try hanging the Sepia Seashells II 26 1/2" High Giclee Wall Art in your gallery wall or adding a Couture Abaco Gold Seashell Table Lamp to your living room or library.

    The Currey And Company Abalone 34" High Shell Wall Mirror will have maximum impact in your entryway, while adding a few ocean themed throw pillows like the Sheldon Surf 24" Square Decorative Pillow is a quick and easy way to accomplish the look you want.

    Image Sources: 1st imageBrabourne Farm, 2nd image: Centsational Girl, 3rd image: Martha Stewart, 4th imageTG Interiors, 5th image: Completely Coastal, 6th image: Apartment Therapy

  • LED Wall Sconces in Red, White and Blue

    LED wall sconces can elevate your room’s style.

    Is this an off the wall idea? No way.

     LED Wall Sconces in Red, White and Blue

    Easily add some razzle dazzle to your wall with a plug-in wall light.

    This Possini Euro Glitz 9-inch wide sconce has a chrome finish and an adjustable swing arm.

    Sconces can be mysterious, yet a delightfully satisfying part of a lighting plan.

    Unlike many other kinds of lights, a sconce can be functional or just a fun decorative element depending on the room size and placement.


    A sconce can offer task lighting, like next to your bathroom mirror or by a bed or cozy chair for reading. Along a hallway inside or along a wall outside, a sconce can help illuminate your path.


    There’s an inherent sophistication when a well-executed lighting plan includes sconces as part of the recipe. It’s like the crown molding of lighting. Sconces give that polishing finishing touch that your friends and family will marvel over.

    And if you are thinking that there aren’t tons of options in wall lighting, check out these red, white, and blue beauties that include a wide variety of style.

    Some of these sconces have an LED light bulb already, and some you can use an LED or another light. Just remember to match the recommended wattage on the light bulb package or online description.

    I’d love to know what you think about my picks and LED wall sconces. Share your comments below. –T :)

     A Selection of Red, White and Blue LED Wall Sconces

    1. The Islet Clear Glass and Red Wall Sconce has twisted, clear rods with tendril accents. At 44 ¾-inches tall with a 100 watt maximum, it’s a show-stopper in any large room.

    2. The creator of this light says the satin nickel Besa Chelsea Garnet Sconce’s color palette is inspired by semi-precious stones.

    I’m thinking it has the visual energy of hot lava. This is the kind of light that has maximum eye-mesmerizing potential. It’s ADA compliant and 11 inches tall.

    3. The Elan Fornello LED wall sconce is one of the reasons I’m an LED lighting fan. An incandescent light fixture probably wouldn’t be able to achieve this feat of design.

    The light shines out the back of the 9 1/2-inch diameter red circle through etched glass.

    4. Sconces do come in many different materials. This ceramic wall sconce from Feiss named Azalea is made with a hand-carved floral pattern and uses two 75 watt LED bulbs.

    5. So my current LED sconce crush is the Elan Javan. At 7 3/4" tall this sconce plays with geometric creation is illuminated from inside by LEDs diffused by etched acrylic panels located throughout the design.

    6. With an Art Deco appeal, the Walt Disney Signature Storyboard Collection Wall Sconce was inspired by Disney's classic films. A chrome finish frame with etched white glass casts a soft glow. At 9 ½ inches high, it takes one 100-watt light bulb.

    7. Talk about a fun pop of color. This plug-in from the House of Troy Scatchard has a glossy stoneware blue stoneware backplate. A cream linen lamp shade tops of the fixture that uses a maximum 100-watt lightbulb.

    8. Drama with a strip of blue acrylic shade give this LED wall sconce a futuristic science-fiction appeal. Perfect for any room that exudes sleek style, the 10-inch tall Sail from Access Lighting includes two 5-watt LEDs and one 2 watt LED lighting elements. 

    9. If you like the look of this plug-in, you are in luck. This Blue Lattice Giclee LED reading light with a brushed steel finish has many siblings in a variety of patterns and colors. This one features brushed steel finish. And if you are new to sconces, a plug-in like this little gem might be the perfect way to get addicted. 

    Image Source: Lamps Plus

  • The 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in NYC

     The 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in NYC

    This year the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse is celebrating its 43rd year. 43!

    I have wonderful memories of my mother taking me to the showhouse every year. I would insist on keeping the program to myself and would pore over it in my bedroom for days after. I guess I caught the interior design bug early on!

    22 top designers and architects participate in the showhouse which benefits the Boys and Girls Club of Kips Bay. Each designer has approximately eight weeks to transform their space in the legendary Arthur Sachs mansion.

    They estimate that 20,000 people will cross the threshold of the manse to see the show this year!

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t lucky enough to attend the show this year, but thankfully Architectural Digest has a series of images for us to collectively drool over:

    The 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in NYC

    Nearly 300 works of art line the walls of this gorgeous elliptical staircase designed by Philip Mitchell Design. The artwork is an eclectic mix of sketches, photographs, watercolors, and paintings.

    Flea market finds blend seamlessly with the fine art on the gallery wall, which is also studded with plaster medallions as well as vases and other objets d’art sitting atop wall-mounted brackets.

     Voile-Lined Walls in Alessandra Branca's Living Room Design

    This cheerful living room designed by Alessandra Branca has voile covered walls with flat trim highlighting the room’s architecture, a favorite technique of famed interior decorator David Hicks.

     A Masculine Retreat by Alan Tanksley at the 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

    The man cave goes sophisticated in Alan Tanksley’s retreat. The color palette, grass cloth walls and walnut millwork keep this room feeling masculine.

     A Wet Bar with Blue Lacquered Walls and Cabinets by Alan Tanksley

    What’s a man cave without a bar? The mirror-lined walls and glass shelves give the illusion that the room is larger than the closet it once was. I’m positively swooning over the blue lacquer walls and cabinets!

     A Monochromatic Living Room Designed by Thom Filicia

    Thom Filicia’s living room is dotted with gold metallic accents, a major trend for 2015. All the different patterns and finishes add dimension and visual interest in this silver-gray monochromatic room.

    I’m think I'm going to continue living vicariously through these images of the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse for a while…

    Image Sources: 1st image: Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse 2nd-4th image: Architectural Digest 5th image: The Well Appointed House 6th image: Architectural Digest

  • Stylish Indoor and Outdoor Planters

    Summer has arrived and what a great time of year to add greenery to your home with indoor and outdoor planters. Surrounding yourself with living plants not only enhances the beauty of your home but breathes relaxation into your spaces.

    Large scale planters near entries and walkways have big impact when layered with tall plants combined with trailing vines, place one by your front door for a welcoming entry.

     Stylish Indoor and Outdoor Planters

    Add drama to your entry with an Antique Gold Statement Planter or a touch of tropical with the Square Bronze Pineapple Planter. Woven outdoor planters like the Cancun Short Planter work in any space from coastal to modern, or add a dose of Italian flair with the Williamsburg Tuscan Urn.

     A Selection of Outdoor Planters

    Indoors or out create mini forest or desert landscapes in terrariums by combining ferns or succulents under glass, place them around the house and watch them grow all summer long as you spend more time relaxing with friends and family.

     Veranda with Living and Dining Area

    Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes, choose one that complements your home. Will it be the narrow Bell Jar Terrarium or the Pierre Faceted Terrarium? Also consider the tall and angular Clear Glass Hexagon Terrarium or the wider Bell Jar Terrarium.

     Selection of Terrariums from Lamps Plus

    Exotic or tropical plants are showstoppers when placed in intricate cachepots or planters. The light on a sunny day highlights their motifs, place them in an entry or in a vignette to add a sophisticated touch to your home.

     Foyer with Large Arrangement of Orchids in a Chinoiserie Cachepot

    To achieve a similar look, place an orchid in the Hand Painted Bird Cachepot on a stack of books or in the Lemon Square Floral Cachepot. The Coral Floral Cachepot adds a fiery dose of color, the Floral Porcelain Footbath allows you to gather several plants together for a lush display.

     Chinoiserie-Inspired Cachepots

    Take the opportunity this time of year to layer your home inside and out with stylish planters you’ll enjoy all season long.

    image sources: 1st image: cuppett architects 2nd image: highgate house third image: rikki snyder

  • Modern Kitchen Light Fixtures

    Modern Kitchen Light Fixtures

    There is no need to do a full gut renovation to infuse a touch of contemporary design into your kitchen.Modern kitchen light fixtures are a way to update the look of your kitchen.

    Kitchens offer many opportunities for lighting and the ability to use it in varied applications. Remodelista was a great place to find uber-modern kitchens that show a wide range of modern kitchen lights that are nothing if not inspiring.

    Kitchen Pendant Lights

    There are some basic requirements for kitchen lighting which include, task and general.

    Modern pendant lights are a great look over an island or peninsula.  Timeless design style would include either a globe or teardrop shape.

    If your kitchen is small and you are going to install pendants, you may wish to do the rest of your lighting scheme with recessed lights and under cabinet lighting.

    Contemporary Kitchens

    Keeping your look contemporary means staying true to a simple, linear look. You can achieve this with retro tube ceiling lights or plain white sconces as featured on the bottom right image.

    Ceiling lights will give you the overall general lighting you need and the sconces a more direct illumination. 

    Kitchen Design Ideas

    If you are lucky enough to have a breakfast room, you have the opportunity to hang more lighting such as a sleek chandelier or ceiling light. One of the more inexpensive fixtures to use is the basic drum shade chandelier. 

    Here are some ideas to create a completely new look with modern kitchen light fixtures:

    Kitchen Lights

    1. If you want simplicity, look no further than the George Kovacs Twist and Shout Chrome LED Island Pendant.

    2. I love the Sonneman Connetix LED Ceiling Pendant for over a dining table.

    3. The timeless teardrop shaped Jonathan Adler Capri White Pendant Chandelier is perfect for over an island.

    4. If you want precision in-ceiling lighting, the Nora 4" Low Voltage Adjustable Angle Recessed Light Trim is a beautiful choice.

    5. Consider the Elan Follen White LED Wall Sconce if you have some spare wall space in the kitchen.

    Photos: Remodelista.

  • Drought Friendly Outdoor Design

    For a while now, when it comes to outdoor design, succulents have been majorly in style, but for some reason people have not been able to give up the 'traditional' sense of a yard for a more drought friendly, low water alternative.

    Well I am here to show you some heart stopping images from Sunset Magazine that will have you running to your local nursery.

    These beautiful front yards, back yards, gardens and patios are so simple, chic and cool that you'll forget all about your obsession with grass and opt for drought friendly outdoor design.

     Drought Friendly Outdoor Design

    The whimsical walkways show you how pathways can be beautiful and manicured while still feeling outdoorsy and chic.

    Pebbles and pavers are great because they create pathways that intrigue the eye create direction.

    Whether a more modern application or a truly organic and wild feel, these yards are not only ruggedly cool, they are globally conscious.

     Lounge Areas in Drought-Friendly Outdoor Spaces

    Here we look at two very different ways to create lounge seating amongst your new low-flow patio.  

    On the left you'll see the ground is actually poured concrete, but you'd never know it with al the greenery.

    Potted drought friendly plants, cacti and succulents are in such abundance that lounging here you'll forget you're on a cement slab. This is perfect if you have a small patio or balcony as you can add on or subtract potted plants based on the space you have.

    On the right we have two cozy outdoor patio chairs tucked behind an expanse of wild brush, wood chips and drought friendly viney ground cover. You would never guess that this yard is not only massively cute, but drought friendly.

     Outdoor Fountains for Low-Water Outdoor Designs

    Two more beautiful backyards above show us that low-water installations certainly don't have to lack on design.

    Outdoor garden water fountains like the one on the left actually serve double duty. It's a beautiful feature that also uses the run-off to water the plants as the water circulates from the fountain to the plants.

    Brightly colored pots, a vintage-inspired rug and bright greens with a pop of color makes the yard on the right feel lush and relaxing like a spa retreat.

     A Traditional Take on Drought-Resistant Outdoor Design

    For those who favor a more traditional look and fear drought resistant landscaping won't work with your style, look no further.

    These traditional homes have seamlessly incorporated low-water plants and pebbles into their outdoor design and the results couldn't be more beautiful.

    It takes the traditional home and brings in a touch of wild and organic whimsy.

    What will you do to make your yard more drought friendly this summer?

    Image Source: Sunset Magazine

  • Red, White, and Blue Decor

     Red, White, and Blue Decor

     Here are some updated ways to do red, white, and blue decor.

    There’s nothing like the classic, all American appeal of a room decked out in shades of red, white and blue.

     Decorating with this classic color combination doesn’t have to mean stars, stripes and patriotic flags.  See for yourself in the below images:

     Blue Sofa with White Contrast Welt and Red Leather Ottoman

    Neutral walls let the blue sofa take center stage.  Red striped rugs and colorful pillows are supporting characters.

     A Study with a Mix of Red, White, and Blue Patterns

    Bold patterns in the drapes and rug dominate this room where the sofa takes a back seat in a neutral color.

      Red, White, and Blue Decor with a Splash of YellowThe three primary colors go bold with lots of vibrant red furniture against dramatic blue walls and a touch of cheery yellow.

      Living Room with a Piece of Red, White and Blue Statement ArtSometimes, all a neutral room needs is a commanding piece of art to take center stage. 

     Pale Blue Bedroom with a Gallery Wall and Exposed Wood Siding This updated take on a nautical bedroom uses pale ocean blue paint with just a tiny hint of red from an accent pillow.

      All White Room with a Bright Red Adirondack Chair

    This dreamy white sun porch lets a red Adirondack chair and cozy blue pillows take center stage.

      Beautiful Red and White Floral Wallpaper with Blue Chinoiserie Vases

    Try switching out accessories like these Chinese porcelain urns if you don’t want to commit to more permanent red, white, and blue decor.

    Here’s to the red, white and blue ...

    with an updated twist on tradition.

    Image Sources: 1st image: Eclectically Vintage 2nd image: Better Homes & Gardens 3rd image: Elle Decor 4th image: Better Homes & Gardens 5th image: Elle Decor 6th image: Better Homes & Gardens 7th image: Better Homes & Gardens 8th image: Traditional Home

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