Style Illuminated

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

  • Pastels For Spring

    Whether the following images give you a toothache or not, these sweeter-than-can-be pastel interiors give me warm feelings inside. Pastels have been trendy again for a few years, and these candy-coated spaces make me want to embrace spring and also possibly go on an easter egg hunt! Red Magazine's cheery spaces will inspire you to embrace pastels for spring in your interior decorating.

    Pastel colored kitchens, living rooms, and dining rooms

    In the above images you get a glimpse of just how versatile pastels for spring can be. From the kitchen to the home office to the bedroom, any space in your home will brighten up with the injection of some cheery pastel hues.

    Pastel Pink & Purple:

    Pink and purple pastels have a very vintage, feminine feel, but as you can see above, the application can work just about anywhere. Using white as a base, and pops of red or deeper purple as an accent make these pale, muted hues sparkle.

    The Candycane Stripe Taupe Cylinder Ottoman is a modern, graphic way to bring the vintage color palette to life.

    Candycane Stripe Taupe Cylinder Ottoman

    Pastel Blue & Green:

    Pastel blues and greens also have a vintage feel, but can read both masculine or feminine, and really encapsulate an Old English countryside feeling. Pairing natural woods and brighter blues and greens with the light base allows these soft colors to feel bold and beautiful.

    Adding a pop of pastel blue with a wall mirror is the perfect way to introduce pastels into your home. The Vast Sky 30" High Oval Twist Wall Mirror is a beautiful transitional piece.

    Vast Sky 30" High Oval Twist Wall Mirror

    Pastel Yellow & Multi-Color:

    Pastel yellow definitely speaks for itself and is the boldest of the pastels for spring. What I love most about yellow is that it pairs with other pastels so beautifully and seamlessly. If you have eclectic taste and want to mix pastels, having a yellow base and adding pops of blues, pinks, greens and purples gives you a bright, candy-colored space that is happy and fun.

    This Light Blue and Yellow 18" Square Floral Decorative Pillow is a great mix of two complimentary pastel colors to bring a punch of spring into your home.

    Light Blue and Yellow 18" Square Floral Decorative Pillow

    Come on spring, we're ready for you and your pretty pastel colors!

    Image Source: Red

  • An Easy Kitchen Update with Pendant Track Lights

    Modern kitchen with pendant track lights

    Hands up if your kitchen came equipped with good ol' kitchen track lighting.

    *waves hands in the air*

    While super functional and flexible, it's not the most exciting design choice. The awesome thing is that there's an easy way to update this basic fixture - with pendant track lights.  By replacing your standard track lights with hanging pendants, you can bring new life to a basic track and totally transform the look of your kitchen, as shown in these images from JMSmith Photography (above) and HGTV (below). 

    Vibrant orange kitchen with pendant track lights

    Here's a designer tip to get your started on this easy kitchen update: pendant track lights look best hung in odd numbers, typically as a grouping of three. If your kitchen is on the more generous side, you may want five pendants to give more visual oomph. Happy decorating! 

    Image credit: JMSmith Photography via Houzz, HGTV.

  • LED Brightness & Lumens

     LED chandelier

    “LEDs are too bright,” some skeptics say. And they are, but they aren’t. They are both.

    So before you start your search for a new LED (Light Emitting Diode) light fixture or light bulb, let’s talk about brightness.

    When you are shopping for LED lighting, look at the product description for the word ‘lumens.’ A lumen is the amount of visible light. The higher the number, the brighter the light you’ll see.

    Product Description with Lumens

    If you are thinking that lumens are the same as watts, it’s not. Watts are how much energy is needed to create lumens. A 60-watt incandescent light bulb can create about 800 lumens. A 10-watt LED light bulb will create about the same about of lumens. The reason? LEDs are more efficient than incandescent light bulbs, so they need fewer watts to create the same brightness.

    LED light bulbs can create light from 50 lumens to more than 2600 lumens, which means LED light bulbs aren’t just for holiday string lights, work lights, and security lights. They can produce a giant range of brightness.

    While lumens can help you compare brightness between light bulb types, there are also factors like the color of the light that can affect our perception of the brightness. If the color is on the warm end, it can seem less bright than if it’s on the cooler side of color temperature. For more details about color, check out this blog post on LED color temperature.

    Watts to Lumens Chart


    If you are more familiar with brightness based on incandescent watts, check out the conversion chart from Energy Star. It will give you the lumen number to look for in the lighting descriptions.

    Just for fun, here are a few products and their lumens. 

     LED Products with Lumens

    Like one, or all of the products in the lumen round up? Use the links below to find out more information.

    Mushroom LED path light

    LED desk lamp

    White under cabinet light

    Bronze LED outdoor light 

    Chrome LED chandelier


    So LED brightness can be too bright and not. The choice is yours.  

  • Industrial Bar Stools for Inspired Interiors

     Industrial Bar Stools

    If you're looking to add a touch of industrial style to your space without changing your interior completely, a wood and iron bar stools can be a great way to get the look. Stools are versatile and easy to incorporate into your interior. In the kitchen, they provide extra seating at the counter as seen on The Design Files.

    As well, Domino shows how industrial finishes such as weathered metal offer a welcome contrast to clean, modern surfaces and fixtures.

    Industrial Style Bar Stools

    In a home office, a bar stool can be a fun alternative to a desk chair, and an adjustable model like this one on Lushlee allows for the height to be raised and lowered throughout the workday. For a jolt of energy, try a galvanized aluminum construction as on Seventeen Doors.

    The simple, utilitarian style of these industrial also works well as an accent table, just as spotted on sfgirlbybay. And one more thing a stool can provide? A chance to practice perfect posture! 

     Industrial Bar Stools from Lamps Plus

    Here is a few industrial bar stools that will inspire any interior:

    1. Not only do its hairpin legs give this distressed stool a slim silhouette, they also make it stackable!

    2. A square industrial stool makes an edgy statement with its rivet details.

    3. A slim brass base lends an elegant finish to this wood counter stool.

    4. Take this classic adjustable stool from dining to counter height with a few quick swivels!

    5. Get a vintage look with the subtle weathered finish on this metal stool

    Images: 1. The Design Files 2. Domino 3. Lushlee 4. Seventeen Doors 5. sfgirlbybay

  • Small Home Office Inspiration

     Small Home Office

    Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to home offices. Last year, I turned a guest bedroom into my small home office and while it was beautiful and well organized, I never used it because it was so out of the way.

    My guest room is back and now my office resides in a corner of my sunroom. What it lacks in space it more than makes up for with a great view and close proximity to all of the action going on in my house.

    Don’t think you have enough space for a home office? Here are some small home office inspirations that will change your mind.

     Small Home Closet Office

    Turn a seldom used closet into an organized office, otherwise known as a cloffice,  is a great solution for making every square foot count.But make sure to include a lighting solution, otherwise it’s going to be dark in there.

    If you have the budget splurge and have recessed lighting installed. That way if you ever convert it back to a closet, you only increase the home value.

    For those of us on a budget, consider an accent lamp. They are portable and can be move with you to that large corner office once you make your first million. 

     Small Home Office Nook  

    Study your home to determine where you can fit a desk.This tiny nook in a bedroom is now a functional home office work space and crafting area. I love the plug-in light. It is a great solution. 

    Small Home Office in the Bedroom  

    Make your rooms perform double duty. The key is to incorporate the same design style as the rest of the room like this pretty bedroom office. The space flows seamlessly. 

    Stylish Small Home Office

    This long, narrow area between a bedroom and a closet could have been wasted space but with the addition of a built in desk, it’s now the perfect place to work.

    This is definitely small home office space living, and working, at it’s best.


    Image Sources: 

    Eclectically Vintage, The Old Painted Cottage, Assortment BlogRooms to Rent, Go Haus Go 

  • Stylish and Sophisticated Nurseries

     Baby NurseryWith the clocks changing this weekend I am in full spring mode and nothing screams spring like bring new life into the world. Here we take the concept of the traditional nursery and turn it on its head to fit today's design tendencies.

    Design savvy parents with access to amazing inspiration photos are taking the tried and true concept of pink and blue nurseries and adding in character, personality and sophistication.

    An amazing round up from Domaine Home offers us new ways to think about and design our little one's nursery in a stylish and sophisticated ways.  

    Pink Nursery

    This blush pink space features soft green, blue and gold accents that bring the neutral tones to life. Light blond woods pair perfectly with pink and champagne accents to create a space that is clearly feminine but also definitely sophisticated and chic.

    This nursery is so grounded but I love the pop of glam with the single pendant light. Get the look with the Besa Brio Gold Foil Pendant that is just the right amount of understated glam.

    Modern Gold Pendant Lamp in Nursery

     Creative Baby Nursery

    The above nursery is a creativity dream come true. Patterns are mixed so beautifully to create a space that is stimulating, engaging but above all else, oh so cool. Don't be afraid to take a leap with design for your youngsters room.

    This room takes the black and white trend we have seen in nurseries and injects fun and an eclectic, modern sensibility.

     Nursery with Sophisticated Yellow Wall Paper

     Whimsical Nursery with Animials

    The two nurseries above are some of my favorite I have seen lately. The use of sophisticated wallpaper that has whimsical, approachable undertones is perfect for creating a chic nurser space.

    Both spaces pull an accent color from the wallpaper to feature through out the rest of the space that ties everything together, whether with an accent rug or a fun magenta throw pillow.

     Boho Nursery

    Vintage textiles are a big trend in the modern nursery these days. The above space lets these amazing vintage patterns speak while keeping a very minimal backdrop. This nursery is a great example of pattern mixing that totally works.

    Sophisticated nurseries are also ditching the swirly animal doodles for real life photographs of baby animals that are cute and cuddly while elevated and refined.

     Neutral Nursery

    One trend that will never go away but will always continue to be reinvented is the neutral nursery. It takes some confident parents to put their baby in a nursery screaming out for a stain, but alas it happens time and time again.

    This is the ultimate sophisticated baby's space with clean lines and mature applications with a touch of whimsy.

    Image Source:Domaine Home

  • Kitchen Seating for Every Style

    The kitchen is the heart of the home (because, let's be honest, who doesn't want to gather in the room where the food is?) so it's important to create a space that's welcoming, comfortable, and of course, beautiful. There's kitchen seating out there for every style, from traditional to modern to eclectic and everything in between. 

    Let's take a look at kitchen bar stools and dining chairs in some of this year's most popular design styles.

    Kitchen Bar Stools

    Luxe Living: If you love all things glam, look for kitchen stools with designer details like nailheads and decorative hardware. These metallic accents act like jewelry and add a little bling to the humble barstool. Dark-stained legs and lush fabric upholstery also lend upscale style, as shown in this gorgeous glamorous kitchen featured in Lonny magazine.

     French Style Dining Room

    French Inspired: Get the oh-so-chic French flea market look with weathered wood frames in classic shapes paired with rustic upholstery like linen. It's okay to mix and match styles - just make sure that there's a cohesive element to tie them all together. In the photo above from Dear Lillie, it's the plain neutral upholstery that acts as a common thread (pun intended) between these French dining chairs.

    Global Dining Room

    Global Decor: Global style seeks influences from cultures and countries around the world, and becomes a curated collection of color, texture, and pattern. These vibrant dining chairs showcased in Country Living magazine capture the colorful excitement of the global look. 

     Modern Dining Room

    Modern Mix: The combination of an industrial dining table and Midcentury dining chairs is dynamite. Throw in the traditional mirrored frames, luxe gold garden stool, and oversize modern art and then entire space is a chic mix of styles that shouldn't work together - but do. If you're going for a Modern Mix look in your kitchen or dining room, like this room featured in Domaine, make sure that there's an element that ties your table and chairs together. In this case, it's the reclaimed wood tabletop and the light legs of the chairs that provides a common thread.

     Industrial Kitchen

    Industrial Chic: The key to industrial style seating in the kitchen is to balance out the cold metallic finishes with some warmth. The soft off-white cabinetry in this kitchen in Atlanta Homes magazine offsets the hard industrial styling of the counter stools and pendant lights.

    Cottage Kitchen

    Cottage Retreat:  The cottage look is all about weathered textures - think distressed paint, rattan, and weathered fabric upholstery. These rustic woven barstools from The Lettered Cottage are a great example of what to look for in cottage style kitchen seating

    Eclectic Chic Dining Room

    Eclectic Chic: A farmhouse-style dining table provides the perfect backdrop for an eclectic mix of dining chairs. Be bold with color - but be sure to balance out the brights with neutrals so things don't get too crazy. This inspiration image from 55 Downing Street captures the Eclectic Chic look. 

     Kitchen in a Modern Bungalow

    Modern Bungalow: Consider handsome and smart Mission-style kitchen chairs and barstools. Troy Mock Architects used classic Mission style counter stools in this kitchen renovation, and the stained wood and leather finishes pair beautifully with the handsome kitchen island.

    There really is kitchen seating out there for every style. Chairs and barstools are a opportunity to communicate your design sense and bring personality to your space. Happy shopping! 

    Image credits: Lonny, Dear Lillie, Country Living, Domaine, Atlanta Homes, The Lettered Cottage, 55 Downing StreetTroy Mock Architects via Houzz

  • Stylish Ceiling Fans

    Stylish Ceiling Fans

    Stylish ceiling fans could be considered an oxymoron by design snobs, but I've come to love the functionality and finally, the style, of these oft-overlooked design elements.

    Lonny generally would come calling when it comes to finding high-style room shots, but I noticed some great looking rooms with ceiling fans that needed more than a once-over! Come hither and realize that whether you are looking for a modern 3-blade ceiling fan or traditional ceiling fan with light, you have come to right place.

    Contemporary Ceiling Fans

    Modern ceiling fans are a designer’s best friend. Let’s face it, ceiling fans can look dated depending upon the overall look of a room. Newer fans are sleek, can disappear up into the ceiling and yet still cool a room or terrace on a hot day. Don’t be scared to embrace a brushed steel look if you have been a classicist as the cool industrial vibe is fabulous in lofts or smaller rooms.

    1. The 44" Casa Vieja Trifecta™ White Ceiling Fan is the most simple way to go modern and not loose functionality and light.

    Tropical Ceiling Fans

    Tropical style ceiling fans are timeless in warm climates, on terraces and generate a serious Hemingway vibe. Whether you choose a tan or a white rattan version, the look exudes a fuss-free and relaxed aesthetic, perfect for people who entertain and live for the ease of outdoor living.

    2. I like the modern twist to antique cage lighting on the 52" Minka Shangri La Vintage Rust Ceiling Fan.

    Traditional Home Decor

    If you can't make up your mind and you are generally traditional when decorating, I would stick with the classic white ceiling fan. Because most ceilings tend to be painted white this lower-cost fan is the most common for a reason.

    It cools, fades into the background and goes with virtually all transitional and traditional decor. Unless you have a very specialized design scheme, you cant go wrong with this version.

    3. Tried and true defines the 52" Casa Supremacy™ ENERGY STAR® White Ceiling Fan.

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Trend Alert: Neutral Outdoor Seating

    Outdoor Seating in Neutral Colors

    It's time to start looking at the back porch again.

    You know....the one that's been covered in snow and ice. The one you haven't really seen since December.

    Spring is in the air and that means green grass and flowers and sunshine and back porches getting ready to serve sweet tea.

    So shake off the winter doldrums, sweep off the snow, throw back the curtains and decorate.

    Need some inspiration?  Here are some great neutral outdoor seating options that are trending. 

    Adirondack Chair

    This chair is my favorite go-to for back porches.

    The standard by which all other outdoor seating should be measured.

    The basic white adirondack chair.

    Pair the chair with black striped cushions or bright floral cushions or simple gray cushions with white piping for the perfect accent piece for your back porch.

     Outdoor Metal Chair in White

    Back porch staple number 2.

    Same song second stylish verse.

    These classic metal chairs have been around since Grace Kelly.

    Perfect as a stand alone piece on the back porch or paired with a glider for maximum sweet tea conversation.

     White washed outdoor glider

    Here's an option for outdoor seating with farmhouse flair.

    This shabby chic outdoor white washed farmhouse glider creates instant charm and character.

    Just add sweet tea.

    Add barn wood accents and a vintage coffee table to complete the farmhouse look.

    Woven Outdoor Chair

    This woven aluminum chair is both stylish and functional.

    Make a bold graphic statement on your back porch with its clean lines and contemporary appeal.

    Finish off the look with bold patterns and colors in accent pillows and an outdoor fabric pouf to use as an ottoman.

     White Outdoor Dining Chairs

    Need dining chairs with a modern edge?

    These plastic (can you even believe it) side chairs look perfect pulled up to a table or standing alone as additional seating.

    Inexpensive and durable, these chairs pairs perfectly with an old farmhouse table or more of a contemporary piece.

    Adding a new accent chair is the perfect way to greet the changing of the seasons.

    Are you ready?

    Spring is finally here and your back porch has been patiently waiting.

    Photo credit:  Thistlewood Farms

  • Best Bar Stool Styles

    Bar Stools

    Bar stools have become a design staple in most homes and for good reason. Bar stools are multi-functioning pieces of furniture. They can become your dining room chair, home office work chair or a place to sit for your children while they do their homework.

    My favorite, however, is what they were originally meant to be...a bar stool...make mine a double! Design Manifest was a surprise spot to find some great images of the wide variety of bar stool styles.

    Stylish Bar Stools

    Arteriors Home Calvin Chestnut Barstool.

    Bar stools don’t need to be uncomfortable wooden perches, rather, they can be comfortable and stylish. Modern glamour can be reflected not only in lighting and decor but also in bar stools. I love the introduction of brass detailing on these stools as it has become the hottest metal finish these days.

    Rattan Bar Stools

    Set of 2 Vera Havana Bonded Leather Counter Stools.

    Classic bar stools tend to be leather, but you can lighten the look by finding a style that also incorporates rattan. This more casual version looks great in warmer climates and keeps your kitchen looking less fussy.

    Industrial Style Bar Stools

    Arteriors Home Wyndham Black Stain Swivel Counter Stool

    City dwellers tend to go for the urban industrial look bar stool that usually incorporates metal and/or some type of reclaimed wood. I love the oversized metal pendants over the island in this picture. Most bar stools are at kitchen counters or islands so remember the right kitchen pendant lighting will compliment the right stools!

    Elegant Bar Stools

    Maison Linen 29 1/2" High Armless Bar Stool

    Are the kids out of the house or are you single? You may want to consider a more formal look and even go for a light colored linen. This formal bar stool is enhanced by the addition of nail heads, just like jewelry adds bling to an outfit. There is a “Hollywood Glamour” feel to this stool and would be made a tad more perfect if it was paired with a classic cocktail.

    Lucite Bar Stools

    Viva Contemporary Clear Acrylic Barstool.

    Acrylic or Lucite bar stools are the height of contemporary kitchen design. I think using a light and clear material works well in smaller or tight spaces. Keep in mind that these are probably not the best choice if there are children in the house...hard plastic is not as forgiving as upholstery! Even before you decide on which style you prefer make sure you get the proper height. Counter height bar stools will be shorter than traditional bar stools.

    Photos: Design Manifest.

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog