Style Illuminated

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

  • Sexy Kitchens: Lighting and Design

    The quickest way to my heart is through my stomach... So to celebrate a day meant to tug on our heartstrings(Yep, Valentine's Day is tomorrow), I figured I have a great excuse to swoon over some of the sexiest kitchens I could find. These stunners from Lonny Mag will get your heart pumping in all the right way

    Kitchen Design

    If you find yourself on Valentine's Day with a mate to share your time with, what better way to spend it than coupled up in this kitchen above! Crisp blacks and whites mix modernism with classic, traditional lines. Small brass details accented by the most amazing kitchen island lights take this kitchen design from beautiful to sexy.

    Gray Kitchen Design

    Dark wood floors, brass accents and an all black kitchen ooze sexy design to me. Add in a slab backsplash and vintage cowhide bar stools and I am officially ready to move it! Keeping the cabinets matte makes this monochrome kitchen work so well.

    Masculine Kitchen

    Sexy kitchens don't have to err on the masculine side. This stunning, minimalist kitchen is the perfect blend of traditional and modern detailing. And nothing is sexier to me than waterfalling marble islands. Popping with crystal lighting is the perfect finishing touch.

    Outdoor Kitchen

    Taking the sex appeal to a whole new level is this amazing outdoor kitchen. Cooking in the yard, amidst nature, with your most intimate friends or family is so chic and sexy. The oversized woven pendants add the sultry glow necessary for the dinner to continue on into the wee hours of the night.

    Contemporary Kitchen

    Maybe it's the timing of this post, but is it too much to call this sexy kitchen '50 Shades Chic'. All jokes aside, the swag pendants are an amazing detail of this kitchen and bring so much style and fun into the minimalist space.

    Image Source: Lonny Mag

  • Get the Look: A Colorful and Eclectic Living Room

    A Colorful and Eclectic Living Room by Gary Spain

    Thank you, Pinterest, for your abundance of gorgeous interiors that inspire me. My jaw dropped when I discovered this colorful and eclectic living room by San Francisco designer Gary Spain. It's weird and wonderful, with layer upon layer of color and pattern that totally works. (Throw some deer antlers and a zebra rug in any room and you know I'm sold.)

    Betcha didn't think this was a look you could get at Lamps Plus, huh? The key is having an eye for mixing traditional with contemporary, color with neutrals, and exotic accents with natural details. And of course, include a crystal chandelier. Individually each of the elements of this space aren't too crazy, but layered together they are unexpected and SO. GOOD.

    Here's how to get the look in two easy steps:

    First, begin with a bright and airy Mediterranean-style home with stunning architecture. (Don't have that? Don't worry, just skip to step 2.)

    Second, go shopping. I've got a plan for you:

    Furniture, Lighting, and Decor to Create an Eclectic Living Room Design

    Start with good basic furniture pieces like a tailored sofa and a timeless coffee table. Layer in black and white area rugs and framed giclee print artwork. Introduce colorful throw blankets and accent pillows. Finish the look with quirky accent pieces that exude a not-too-perfect collected vibe.  

    Get the look: Ceramic Antelope Head / Aluminum Antlers Wall Art / Portrait of a Young Woman Framed Art / Natural Museum of History Framed Wall Art / Starburst Wall Mirror / Gold and Crystal Chandelier / Black Table Lamp / Female Bust SculptureServing Tray Side Table / Chesterfield Sofa / Black Diamonds Accent Pillow / Pink Throw Blanket / Green Ceramic Accent / Cowhide Accent Chair / Floral Print Pillow / White and Walnut Coffee Table / Zebra Faux Fur Rug / Black and White Wool Rug

    I know this colorful and eclectic look isn't for everyone, so I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments. What do you love - or hate - about this living room? 

    Image credit: Gary Spain.

  • LED Lighting: Backlighting Basics

    Lighting is my favorite way to change the mood in a room. Unlike fabrics, furniture, plants, and anything else that you have to actually carry into a space and arrange, lighting can always be there ready for you to turn it on. While dimmers and programmable lighting seems to be gaining popularity, I’ve noticed that one underused way to light a home interior is with LED backlighting.

    Bathroom Backlighting

    Image from FurnitureFashion.com

    Designer Tip: Backlighting a mirror creates drama in the bath and it also can serve up a mood changer for evening baths. And, even serve as a stylish way to light it as a night light.  

    Backlighting is what it sounds like: it’s lighting that illuminates objects from behind. When you light from behind-- a mirror, bed, artwork or TV---the object looks like it’s glowing. It’s lighting for big drama and a cool-feeling. And backlighting is a sneaky way that easily helps create modern mood lighting without having to spend a ton of money, or time, to make it happen.

    If you are new to backlighting, there are a few basics you’ll want to know about before filling up your shopping cart.

    1. Which objects to backlight?

    Selective backlighting involves planning. Backlighting doesn’t mean that you have to outline everything in the room. It can look a little ‘Star Trek’ if you outline every picture, shelf, etc., in a room. And it can get a little visually frenetic. Your eyes will be in lighting overload and it will look more like a kid’s party place at the local bouncy-bowling-party place than your slick living room. Focus on the TV or the mantel or that treasured wall art you created with your family.

    TV backlighting

    Image: LampsPlus.com

     Backlighting a TV with tape lighting can be a fun way to add a modern the feel to your media room .

     

    2. What kind of light?

    So, most of us immediately jump to LED tape lights as the ideal way to ‘outline’ an object, it doesn’t mean that they are the only product you can use.Try it out and see if you like the look because LED tape lights offers the most consistent glow along the entire length.

    LED Rope Light

    This indoor-outdoor LED rope light uses just 8 watts of power and can be connected to create longer lengths.

     Backlit Mirror

    Image: LampsPlus.com

     Backlighting a mirror can be a perfect way to have a stylish night light in the bathroom.

     3. How bright is the light?

    Like anything in home design, it always settles on what you love. If you want a super-modern bright space-ship feel for your bedroom, you’ll want to have a cool light that’s super bright.

    Brightness is measured in lumens. The higher the lumens, the brighter the light. If you want a your LED backlighting to be comparable to a 60-watt incandescent, go for an 800 lumen light.

    One of the best features of backlighting is that if you use lighting that’s battery operated or plug-ins, it will be easy to experiment and change the mood depending on the season and the reason.

     

    Bedroom with Backlighting

    Image: Fanelis

    The warm wood becomes super modern with backlighting with underlighting techniques.


    In any space you want to make sure you cover the lighting basics: ambient, task and accent. In the bedroom above, ambient or overall lighting , task lighting is achieved with the table lamps and the underlighting serves as accent lighting drawing your eyes to the bed details as well as the backlighting in the alcove.

    Which of these LED backlighting techniques can you use in your home? Leave me a comment below.

    For more ways to incorporate LED into your home take a read through Kitchen Design With LED Tape Lights and LED Lighting: Debunking the Myths.

  • Sophia Bush’s Hollywood Home

    Sophia Bush's Hollywood Home

    Sophia Bush’s Hollywood home is stunningly eclectic. Domain Home had a fabulous spread of her relaxed yet high-styled home in Los Angeles. It’s truly a testament how good design need not follow a specific style and that a home should ultimately reflect the person who lives there.

    Eclectic Home Interiors

    Some people have an amazing knack when it comes to putting together a home filled with what outwardly appears mismatched. Take some of these rooms for example.

    Normally, most people would think you were insane if you told them you were planning to mix mid-century and 19th century furniture and toss in some tribal, Native American followed by a light dusting of contemporary accents.

    Huh? Somehow it truly works. In order for it to look chic there are some takeaways from this house. Most of the wood tones and leather have a warm hue, and perch beautifully on Oriental and Tribal rugs that are found throughout the home. The soft touches are balanced by some metal like iron floor lamps and crisp dark frames.

    Dining Room Design

    The soft wood tones are carried into the dining room and essentially throughout. Contemporary and quirky lighting are a counterpoint to the overall design scheme and keeps things visually interesting.

    Comfortable Modern Interiors

    Organic elements abound in this home which could result in something a tad too hippie, however, this space is truly elegant. The modern kitchen ceiling lights and bedside swing arms are coupled with warm toned, simple woods to create balance and harmony, as does pairing a Mission-style stool with a clean coffee table and minimalist artwork. Sheer genius.

    Modern Decorative Accessories

    Here are some ideas on how to get the electric LA look:

    1. Keep things visually interesting with the Set of 2 Bedouin Textural Red and Ochre Throw Pillows.

    2. Create a modernist pop with the Jonathan Adler Rio Patina Bronze Pendant Light over your kitchen island.

    3. A touch of the 50s can be easily had with the Jonathan Adler Ventana Collection Floor Lamp.

    4. I want the Robert Abbey Rico Espinet Buster Globe Brass Table Lamp on every table in my house.

    5. The Jamie Young Large Square Buff Leather Ottoman is funky and functional.

    6. The Berrenger Adjustable Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp is timeless and is the perfect reading light.

    Photos: Domaine.

  • Luxurious Crystal Lighting

    Crystal Lighting

    Luxurious crystal lighting is no longer a design necessity for Grandmother’s dining rooms. Posh living is back and crystal, might I add, embodies luxe living to the max. I love the fact that crystal lights can be traditional as well as contemporary...thank heaven for lighting designers who have turned this genre into something au courant. While crystal is timeless, The Paris Apartment blog had images that show how crystal lighting can be aesthetically appropriate in a variety of settings and styles.

    Antique Crystal Lighting

    Yes, there is something quite decadent about classic crystal chandeliers that exude the glamour of a Parisian boudoir or formal living room. I had to bundle these close-up pictures of crystal. It’s over-the-top and I love it.

    Crystal Chandeliers

    Any way you slice it, classic crystal chandeliers are here to stay. From traditional styled rooms, to gallery spaces and back hall mud rooms, there is something to said about a lighting style that has never gone out of style. I find it interesting that chandeliers can be a sculptural element in a sparse and modern room, and the same fixture can exist as one of the many elements in a shabby, eclectic room. Fascinating, n’est pas?

    Crystal Sconces

    For those of you who are short on space but want the crystal look, I suggest crystal wall lights. The are ideal when ceiling heights are lower but the glam factor needs to be high.   

    Traditional Crystal Lighting

    Traditional Crystal Lights

    1. The Schonbek Bordeaux Collection Bronze Chandelier works in every room if classic elegance is your goal.

    2. Medium height rooms can handle the Crystorama Chloe Brass Ceiling Light Fixture without being over-the-top.

    3. The Feiss Dutchess Silver Wall Sconce adds formality to halls, dining rooms or flanking a fireplace.

    Modern Crystal Lighting

    Contemporary Crystal Lights

    1. Add pizzazz to a stairwell with the Vandalia Clear Crystal Drops Pendant Light.

    2. I never thought a crystal sconce could be so modern until I saw the Vermeer Chrome Firenze Crystal Wall Sconce...glamour and sparkle all the way.

    3. The Maxim Symmetry Polished Nickel Ceiling Light has a wonderful industrial elegance that could be really chic in a bedroom, dressing room or hall.

    Photos: The Paris Apartment.

  • Blue Kitchens to Beat the Winter Blues

    The winter blues can really effect your livelihood and wellbeing, so I am using this forum to bring you wintery blue kitchens in order to cure all your winter blues! As the snow blows in, let these gorgeous kitchen images from Architectural Digest warm your mind, heart and body.

    Blue and White Kitchen

    This first kitchen utilized blue as a chic, classic accent. Vintage inspired tiles with a blue floral pattern and a deep blue vintage inspired stove are just the right amount of blue for this rustic farmhouse kitchen. The furniture, cabinets and ceiling all remain in neutral, earthy tones which perfectly compliment the rich blues. The icing on the cake is the perfect pendant light that ties the entire space together.

    Open concept kitchen

    An open, modern space with clean lines and fresh materials can handle a lot of creativity. The navy blue window frames in this linear kitchen make the space unique, contemporary and fun.

    Dark Navy Kitchen

    Anyone with dramatic taste and a vintage sensibility will slip for the kitchen above. Deep deep blue tones, column details, antique flow blue style plates and a truly amazing themed chandelier make this space incredibly unique.

    Red, White and Blue Kitchen

    The kitchen above is red, white and blue done right! The slight pop of blue for the counters and the back splash let the white cabinets and the red stools make an equally bold statement.

    Glam Modern Kitchen

    Glam glam and more glam. Oh and did I say glam?! This kitchen is so cool, chic and modern and features a beautiful blue ceiling that is exciting and fresh.

     Lavender-Blue Kitchen

    The subtle lavender-blues of this monochrome kitchen are so serene and peaceful I think anyone would feel comfortable and confident to tackle any recipe in here. With a monochrome kitchen, making a statement with pattern is key - the herringbone floor gives this space dimension and depth.

    Blue Kitchen Fixtures and Accessories

    This traditional kitchen makes blue a feature not only in the permanent fixtures but the furniture and accessories. The mix of blue tones with soft and hard application let this traditional kitchen feel contemporary and fresh.

    Dark Blue Kitchen Cabinets

    I admit I saved my favorite for last - the juxtaposition of light and dark blue cabinets makes me weak in the knees and so happy and warm inside. The pots are even in a dark blue hue to go with the island cabinetry. The island light reflects the color of the cabinetry instead of competing with it.

    Image Sources: Architectural Digest

  • 1 Room 4 Ways with Ceiling Lights

    1 Room 4 Ways with Ceiling Lights

    The transformative power of ceiling lighting is pretty amazing.  It can either be a subtle design element that recedes into the background, or a statement-making centerpiece that garners mega-attention. Take a look below at how 1 room can have 4 different looks with ceiling lights.

    Possini Euro Design Glass Orbs Ceiling Light

    Pictured: Possini Euro Design Glass Orbs Ceiling Light

    If the word 'flushmount' makes you think of boring builders basic fixtures, it's time for me to change your mind! Close to ceiling lights don't need to be boring. The Sputnik-inspired glass orb fixture above brings some hip retro styling to this eclectic living room. It makes a statement without dominating the design. It's kind of like wearing wacky socks that peek out just a bit from above your shoes. People notice and smile but you're not that crazy person wearing pattern from head-to-toe.

    Lamps Plus Vienna Full Spectrum Covelo Crystal Chandelier

    Pictured: Vienna Full Spectrum Covelo Crystal Chandelier

    I'm a firm believer that a crystal chandelier is appropriate in any room. Living rooms? Sure. Powder rooms? Naturally. Kids rooms? As long as they're out of reach! Introducing a traditional crystal chandelier in a more modern space is a bold move that shows you've got serious design confidence. It shouts, "LOOK AT ME I'M AWESOME" in the most chic way. It's unexpected and so hip.

    Possini Euro Design White Cloud Pendant Light

    Pictured: Possini Euro Design White Cloud Pendant

    Maybe a glitzy crystal chandelier isn't your jam. How about considering pendant lighting instead? A pendant hung above the sofa still commands attention, but doesn't shout as much as a crystal chandelier. I love this cloud pendant because the texture adds a tactile design element. It's simple, but certainly not boring. It looks like you know what you're doing, design-wise. Good for you. 

    indutrail multiple mini pendant lights

    Pictured: Quoizel Laila Mini Pendant


    Here's a cool option for living room ceiling lights that will bring a casual, eclectic vibe: mini pendant lights hung in multiples. (You're welcome.) These industrial-style mini pendants contrast with the sleek lines of the coffee table and accent tables in the room and are SO RAD I can hardly handle it. Use Edison-style bulbs inside the cages and your hipster loft look is complete. (And I'd like to come over and visit, please.)

    Which of these 4 ceiling lighting options speaks to you? Do you prefer your lighting to blend in or stand out?

  • Tuscan Decor Style: Get the Look

    The rustic beauty of Italian living is fully captured in romantic Tuscan decor. While Italy is vast and varied, Tuscany always seems to tug at the heart strings and is a favorite to visit and emulate. Habitually Chic as well as Better Homes and Gardens had some wonderful pictures that capture the beauty of this timeless style and make me yearn for lazy Italian afternoons.

    Tuscan Style Living Rooms

    Warm and Traditional Tuscan Decor Make These Quintessentially Italian Style Living Rooms.

    The vernacular of Tuscan design and decor is quite interesting as it embraces earthy textures like stone, tile and iron with warm colors of yellow, blue and red. Design flourishes such as carved wooden bases and legs with feminine and curvilinear detail work make it one of the more dreamy looks and perfect for true romantics. Ornate candelabras and iron floor lamps can ground a room but make sure the architectural backdrop is simple and monochromatic. White or buttery yellow walls look best. 

    Italian Interiors

    Elegant Italian-Influenced Bedrooms and Bath

    Traditional chandeliers can beautifully anchor larger Tuscan-style rooms and similarly, ornate sconces can do the same for smaller rooms or bathrooms. Make sure your furniture has carvings and flourishes for a great 18th and 19th century feel. The beds in the images above are so inviting and the old-school elegance has everything to do with it! I wouldn't mind having my morning cappuccino in those beds.

    Here are a few key Tuscan Decor products to help you achieve this romantic look. 

    Italian Style Home Decor

    1. The Rialto Aged Patina Iron Floor Candelabra would look smashing besides a larger scale stone fireplace.

    2. Elegant bathrooms, halls or dining rooms will have Tuscan charm with the Uttermost Alenya 4-Light Burnished Gold Sconce.

    3. Consider the Jessica McClintock Provence Chandelier for larger dining rooms and romantic bedrooms.

    4. I think a pair of the Crestview Collection Villa Table Lamps would look amazing on a draped sofa table.

    5. The Howard Elliott Larson Square Wall Mirror features Florentine style flourishes which would warm-up a front hall or bedroom.

    Photos: Habitually Chic, Better Homes and Gardens.

  • The Rustic Dining Table

    Rustic Dining Table

    This is my dining room.

    And this is my dining room table.

    I bought it at a yard sale years ago and it has seen hundreds of parties and celebrations and scrabble games and puzzles and dinners....

    ....and dozens of Thanksgiving turkeys.

    Over the years it has even distressed itself and become somewhat rustic in personality.

    And as amazing as this table is, the time has come for a new chapter in the dining table story and I'm looking for it's replacement.  

    Just between us....it's going to be a hard act to follow.

    So I searched through all the Lamps Plus rustic dining tables and whittled them down. 

    Here are the contenders for my new rustic dining table.

    Rustic White Dining Table

    Option 1:  This table, the windsor distressed white dining table doesn't need to distress itself.

    It comes with an amazing patina and finish and looks like it was hand-carved by the pilgrims as they traveled the seas in the Mayflower.

    I love the double chunky pedestals used as table legs and the actual length of the table top.

    Extendable  CherryDining Table

    Option 2:  This rustic extendable dining table celebrates all that is right and good with its simple clean lines.

    It looks like it would hold up to years of parties and celebrations.

    And it's extendable.

    Double the guests....yes, please.

    Rectangular Wood Dining Table

    Option 3:  This rectangular carved wood dining table is probably the closet to the current dining room table.

    Except better.

    It's the fancy cousin with its carved legs and farmhouse board top and classic attitude.

    It would look right at home in my dining room with faded gray textured chairs and a burlap runner.

    Rectangular Extension Dining Table

    Option 4:  This Astor Dutch Brown Extension Table is the perfect combination of option 2 and option 3.

    It has the worn patina and character and its extendable, too.

    I see it with antique benches filled with pillows and a throw.

    Pine Dining Table with Nail-head Trim

    Option 5:  This Maddox Antique Pine Dining Table combines so many of the features from the options above.

    And it has nail-head trim.

    I know you're not supposed to have rustic dining table favorites.  

    I know I'm suppose to be impartial.

    But I can't help it.....

    .....I think this one is the winner.

     

    Photo Credit:  Photo 1:  Thistlewood Farms

  • Bright Lighting For Gray Home Style

    Bright Lighting For Gray Interior Design

    Here's some tips for how to light gray interior design.

    While Marsala may be the color of the year, gray is still hot and lighting gray rooms can be tricky.

    Naturally, A Prefect Gray had perfect pictures for us to enjoy. I’m crazy for gray in its many forms and think of it as a neutral albeit tricky when implemented in already dark or quirky spaces. Gray can be moody or bright and crisp...it all depends on shade and lighting (pun intended).

    Crystal Chandelier

    The Chrome and Crystal 12-Light Chandelier is a timeless choice.

    Hanging crystal chandeliers can without a doubt brighten up a gray room and can look fabulous in an industrial room like the one above. The formality of the light fixture against the gray metal doors is quite inventive.

    Designer Wall Lights

    Looking for a modern version of an Art Decor light? Consider the Robert Abbey Antique Brass Alice Plug-In Double Wall Sconce.

    Tight gray spaces like a hall or nook can always benefit from beautiful wall sconces. I happen to love antique brass against gray walls like in these pictures.

    Lighter shades will naturally cast more light in a space and the addition of wall mirrors will reflect that light in smaller spaces. 

    Kitchen Lighting

    Keep things simple with the Pele White Glass Satin Nickel Tech Lighting Mini Pendant.

    Gray kitchens are still novel, but can look smashing if done right. If I design a gray kitchen I make sure there is plenty of natural light streaming in to offset the deep hue.

    Also, bright counters will help tame the richness of walls and cabinets and simple contemporary pendants or kitchen track lighting will create proper work and task lighting.

    Traditional Table Lamps

    The Couture Etienne Old World Gold Table Lamp is formal but can be sculptural in a contemporary room. 

    Not all table lamps are created equal, but all are totally useful. An eclectic gray space would benefit from decorative lamps.

    I love this gallery/bar vignette. It’s clearly a more formal spot intended to be enjoyed at night and thus the dark shade works perfectly while it balances the crisp black and white pictures.

    Photo credits: A Perfect Gray

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog