Style Illuminated

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

  • Outdoor Lighting for Outdoor Entertaining

    Outdoor Lighting

    Summer is just around the corner, and brings with it a chance to fire up the barbecue and eat under the stars! When the sun goes down, proper outdoor lighting is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.

    Try multiple strings of party lights for a quick and easy outdoor lighting solution; they can span the entire patio as on Sweet Thing Blog or be suspended from an oversized umbrella like this image from Lamps Plus. 

     String Lights

    To take your outdoor lighting to the next level, combine strands of lights with other sources of illumination. My Paradissi illustrates the impact of candles on a dining table, while an arrangement of tiki torches sets the scene for dining al fresco on Lamps Plus.

    An arbor provides the perfect place to affix a hanging lantern like in the image from Domestically Speaking.

    Finally, a chandelier hanging from a tree on Bohemian Homes casts a romantic glow on an intimate evening for two. And no matter what combination of outdoor lighting you use, add a few citronella candles to the mix. You'll not only light up the night but also keep it mosquito free.

    Outdoor Lighting Ideas

    1. The tiki torch is classic for summer entertaining. This one features a solar powered LED to eliminate the mess of fuel and the risk of fire!

    2. Create subtle boundaries around your outdoor dining area by surrounding it with several recessed well lights.

    3. Easy to hang and appropriate for any style of decor, a string of white paper lanterns evokes an instant party vibe!

    4. For a more modern look, seek out clean lines like the ones in Jonathan Adler's glass table lamp.

    5. The shape of this bronze lantern has a summery, nautical feel, while the seeded glass provides a diffuse glow.

    6. Mimic the magic of starlight with a perforated hanging lantern.

    Image credits: Sweet Thing BlogLamps PlusMy ParadissiLamps PlusDomestically SpeakingBohemian Homes

  • Icons Collection Sweepstakes Week – Meet Mr. Kate

    As part of our Icons Collection designer sweepstakes week we are sitting down with Kate Albrecht from Mr. Kate and getting to know her better. We’ll find out what the inspiration was behind the Mr. Kate Icons Lighting Collection design and Kate’s favorite design rule she likes to break.

    The “Icons Collection” is comprised of an elite number of designers asked to design a shade pattern that is unique and available exclusively at Lamps Plus for a limited time.

    Each designer we have chosen is a true “Icon” in their own style. From eclectic to vintage inspired designs, each designer brings high end design, at an everyday value to Lamps Plus customers.

    Icons Collection Sweepstakes Week – Meet Mr. Kate
    What sparked your interest in interior design?
    I was always interested in decorating since I was little, I used to spend hours rearranging toys on my shelves and color coding my books. More recently I've been sparked by how interior design makes people feel, it is the ultimate mood lifter to live in a beautiful space.

    What are a few of your favorite textiles or materials?
    Linen is the ultimate in rustic elegance and I also love sparkle in anything, I'm a sucker for crystal and metallics.

    What is the one design resource you can’t live without?
    The flea market! I love browsing for inspiration and knowledge. I've learned so much from talking to flea market vendors about the antiques or finds they're offering. I love a thing with a story.

    What qualities do you admire in a room?
    Something surprising that is delightful in its uncanny-ness that expressed the personality of the person(s) inhabiting the space. Rooms should be a decorative, functional and alive.

    Mr. Kate Icons Lighting Collection
    If you could be a piece of furniture or object, what would it be?
    Ahhh that's so hard! I would change every day! Can I be a shape-shifter? If I had to choose it would some fantastic wall clock so at least I could move and tick all day.

    What design rule do you like to break?
    Every single one! I hate rules, they restrict creativity and make people feel like they are failing in an area that should only be a celebration. Design should be an expression of your inner self and everyone is unique so rules can't apply. If you like it and it makes you feel good, it's all good.

    What was your inspiration for the Icons collection design?
    I love to hand draw patterns because wavy lines are more interesting and calming to me than mechanical straight lines. I drew this pattern to mimic a tribal feel that could fit in with any design style, depending on your choice of color. I was inspired by how simple shapes like lines and circles when repeated and paired together create a complex yet organic look.

    Lamps Plus Icons Collection Sweepstakes

    We’re giving away five Icons Collection table lamps; you can win one of Mr Kate’s exclusive designs by entering our sweepstakes here!

    After you’ve entered, you will be prompted to earn extra entries by referring your friends and increase your odds of winning. Competition ends Sunday, April 20th at 11:59pm PST.

    Good Luck!

    By participating in this promotion you agree to the Official Rules.

    Check out the Lamps Plus You Tube video to see more top interior designers revealing the rules they love to break.

  • Home Decorating With Wicker


    It's the season.

    The season for winding garden paths and blooming flower beds and outdoor spaces full of charm and whimsy and pitchers of sweet tea.

    The season for brushing away the cobwebs and sweeping off layers of winter blahs and bringing color and pattern and texture to outdoor spaces.

    The season for porches and decks and verandas and patios and terraces.

    It's Spring.

    And here's a few home decorating ideas on getting your outdoor spaces ready for the season..... decorating with wicker.


    1.  Comfortable seating

    Comfortable wicker chairs are the perfect accent for an indoor/outdoor space like this beautiful terrace featured in Better Homes and Gardens.

    The combination of wicker and stone flooring creates an old world feeling of welcome and comfort.

    Add potted plants to bring in color and texture to the space.


    2.  Make a first impression

    Greet your guests with classic wicker choices for your front porch like this beautiful outdoor space from Southern Living.

    Add a wicker seating area and ceramic accent pieces for versatility.

    Complete the look with classic outdoor lighting options to add function and style to your front porch..


    3.  Go bold

    An over-sized wicker coffee table like the one on this colorful deck from Better Homes and Gardens fits the bill.

    A statement piece and vivid color choices bring an element of fun to any outdoor space.

    Add pops of color with outdoor pillows in bright patterns and textures.


    Have fun with your outdoor spaces. Wicker is such a great option because of it's versatility and design choices. So mix color and texture and pattern and vivid hues and top it off with a pitcher of sweet tea.....because after all.....'s the season.

    Photo credits:   Better Homes and Gardens,  Better Homes and GardensSouthern Living,  Better Homes and GardensSouthern Living

  • Icons Collection Sweepstakes Week – Meet Christopher Kennedy

    As part of our Icons Collection designer sweepstakes week we are sitting down with Christopher Kennedy and getting to know him better. We’ll find out what the inspiration was behind the Christopher Kennedy Icons Lighting Collection design and Christopher’s favorite design rule he likes to break.

    The “Icons Collection” is comprised of an elite number of designers asked to design a shade pattern that is unique and available exclusively at Lamps Plus for a limited time.

    Each designer we have chosen is a true “Icon” in their own style. From eclectic to vintage inspired designs, each designer brings high end design, at an everyday value to Lamps Plus customers.

    Icons Collection Sweepstakes Week – Meet Christopher Kennedy

    What sparked your interest in becoming an interior designer?
    I've dreamed, and drawn, design since as long as I can remember. I wanted to be an architect since I was seven or eight years old, and started drawing floor plans not long after.  My dad gave me books on Frank Lloyd Wright about that same time.  I received my professional degree in architecture, and after a brief stint in business, got back to my roots in design.

    What are a few of your favorite textiles or materials?
    I love all materials and textures! But I especially love beautiful walnut wood, gleaming terrazzo floors, solid brass finishes, and cozy fabrics.

    What is the one design resource you can’t live without?
    My imagination.

    What qualities do you admire in a room?
    I admire rooms that are dramatic but restful at the same time.  I think our built environments should inspire us; that our rooms should help us to be the best we can be.  I love creating a bedroom that inspires someone when they open their eyes in the morning, or a living room that embraces them after a long day at work.  At the same time that I believe our rooms should be vibrant and interesting, I want them to be comfortable and warm.  It's a difficult balance to achieve, and it's that balance that I admire.

    the Christopher Kennedy Icons Lighting Collection

    If you could be a piece of furniture or object, what would it be?
    A fabulous statement lamp, for sure! Preferably a vintage one.

    What design rule do you like to break?
    I like to have fun with “formal" dining rooms -- so few people use them anymore that I believe in re-purposing in a way that makes them useful on a daily basis.

    What was your inspiration for the Icons collection design?
    I was swimming in an "infinity" pool in Palm Springs, where the water drips over the edge into spaces unseen.  I began thinking about the infinite nature of the universe and the amazing nature of the Cosmic Wheel.  So I turned the infinity symbol into a simple but striking pattern.

    Lamps Plus Icons Collection Sweepstakes

    We’re giving away five Icons Collection table lamps; you can win one of Christopher Kennedy’s exclusive designs by entering our sweepstakes here!

    After you’ve entered, you will be prompted to earn extra entries by referring your friends and increase your odds of winning. Competition ends Sunday, April 20th at 11:59pm PST.

    Good Luck!

    By participating in this promotion you agree to the Official Rules.

    For more ideas and inspiration from Christopher check out the Lamps Pus YouTube interview.

  • Celebrity Interiors: Giuliana and Bill Rancic

    Giuliana and Bill Rancic

    I think it’s fun to look at celebrity interiors and get inspired for my own home. Giuliana and Bill Rancic have an extremely tasteful home and worth trying to emulate if you are a fan of traditional, crisp spaces.

    Traditional Home magazine did a fantastic spread on their home and I thought it was an fun space to replicate as the interiors are timeless yet up-to-date. It’s also nice to see great care given to stylish lighting throughout the home!

    Giuliana Rancic's House

    I love how fresh this house feels. Although some of the walls are covered in rich papers, the brightly painted moldings in white keeps things light. Additionally, many of the large scale pieces of furniture are upholstered in white or natural linens. Fear not, though, pops of blue keeps things light and playful.

    Dining Room Design

    When it comes to lighting in the house, they have chosen to include a wide variety of styles. From the elegant mirrored sconces in the living room to the metal and wood chandelier in the breakfast room, variety is clearly the spice of life. Remember, you don't need to match all of your lighting in either shape or finish, but do try to keep the style consistent.

    The Rancic home uses updated traditional lighting throughout...

    Traditional Interior Decor

    1. The Currey and Company Fitzjames Lantern Chandelier is similar to the open, cage look of the ceiling light found in the living room.

    2. Like the breakfast room design? Why not include the Powell Wood and Metal Side Chair?

    3. Kitchen lighting can also be large scale like the Currey and Company Hannah White Chandelier.

    4. Simple dining room chairs like the Zuo Dogpatch Beige Accent Chair are great for a Southern California vibe.

    5. Just like the blue poofs in the family room, the angelo:HOME Duncan Small Parisian Teal Blue Cube Ottoman will add just the right amount of pizzazz.

    6. A tufted sofa is timeless and the Carolyn Tufted French Sofa is quite similar to the one found in Giuliana’s living room.

    Photo credits: Traditional Home

  • Decorating with Driftwood


    Adding pieces of driftwood, either small or large, brings a natural, warm and rustic touch to any interior space. It is a great way to blend the interior with the exterior and soften harder, more formal spaces.  Whether you are looking to take on a DIY project or you want a ready-made piece, these driftwood design ideas are a beautiful, natural addition to any space.  

    Let's look at different ways to decorate with driftwood throughout your home with the help of lovely images from Architecture Art Design.


    Wood-framed mirrors are a gorgeous focal point for any room in the house. Larger solid planks make up a bold leaning floor mirror, while a play on a starburst mirror in driftwood is rustic and chic.  

    Because of the natural material, these mirrors can also be used outside to enhance any outdoor space.


    Without much work, driftwood planks can turn into beautiful lighting designs. Hanging Edison bulbs illuminate an untouched driftwood plank to, looking quite similar to other rustic dining room chandelier.

    On the right, cutting a single plank into smaller pieces and digging out a small hole turns this natural material into the perfect candle holder.  Cluster the candles around the house for romantic evening lighting with an outdoorsy feel.


    It seems instinctive to mix driftwood with live plants, creating an organic floral display.  Raw, knotty branches are wall mounted and adorned with glass bubbles filled with air plants. Air plants are extremely low maintenance, and the addition of glass holders add a bit of sparkle and modernity to the look.  

    Adding smaller, upright pieces of driftwood to floral arrangements for a centerpiece create a lovely juxtaposition between soft and hard and take after a wild, raw feel.

    How will you decorate with driftwood?

    Image Credits: Architecture Art Design

  • Industrial Pendant Lighting in the Kitchen

    Industrial pendant lights, which come in a variety of styles, from bold dome pendants in matte black or the shiniest chrome, to caged examples with a more plucked from the factory feel, are actually quite versatile. They can look just right in a cottage-y kitchen, add an element of funk to a classic suburban kitchen, and a bit of edge to a galley kitchen in the city. We pulled together six kitchens, all with different styles of industrial pendant lights.

    White Kitchen

    Jessica Helgerson, an interior designer based in Portland, Oregon, is known for her clean white aesthetic with vintage touches.

    Helgerson uses a few industrial-style elements in this kitchen, including Toledo drafting stools from the 1940s, which echo the color of the wood floor, and a pair of polished chrome pendants hanging from a breadboard ceiling.

    For similar lighting looks, try the Possini Euro Arlo Chrome Pendant Light, which has a true dome shape and link chain, the Quoizel Keaton Polished Chrome Mini Pendant, with glass shade, and Emery Silver Finish Rod Hung Mini Pendant Chandelier with a curvier silhouette.

    Modern Kitchen

    In this black and white Scandinavian kitchen, sleek lines are married with on-trend industrial-inspired elements. Black stained wood cabinetry, black quartz countertop and black gooseneck facet contrast sharply with the backsplash of glossy white tiles with beveled edges. And above, a series of bare bulbs are suspended by wire from a rod stretched across the length of the countertop.

    The Europa GE Clear Bulb Brushed Nickel Multi Light Pendant (currently not available) offers similarly-shaped bare bulbs, in shiny sockets, and the Europa 1910 Edison Bulb Bronze Multi Light Pendant uses a more vintage style Edison light bulb.

    Classic Kitchen

    The pair of dome pendants with dramatic wire cages and yellow cords turn this classic kitchen by Historical Concepts into a distinctive one. Quite possibly vintage pieces sprayed white, the color keeps things from looking to busy above the sleek black countertop.

    Caged lighting comes in various styles, like the brushed metal full cage look of the Metal Cage Brushed Nickel Industrial Pendant Light, the half milky glass, half cage style of the Possini Euro Industrial Open Cage Glass Pendant Light, and Franklin Park White Glass Pendant Light which has a Victorian feel.

    Kitchen Lab Design

    This charming kitchen, designed by Chicago-based Rebekah Zaveloff, is littered with lighting, from the sconces over the wood framed windows, the semi-flush mounts, and the matte black industrial style pendants. The black accents enhance the black grout of the subway tiled walls and echo the black cabinetry of the furniture-like island.  

    Similar lighting options include the Possini Euro Enzo Black Pendant Light, the Kichler Olde Bronze Fresnel Lens Pendant Light, which is a a rubbed bronze style with textured glass, and the Parker Place Mini Pendant Light if you’re looking for something more petite.

    Urban Kitchen

    In this city flat designed by London-base firm Mlinaric, Henry & Zervudachi, tight quarters are maximized for full use, with knives and utensils on the walls, along with a gallery of black and white photography. A crude plain metal mini cage pendant hangs in the center of the room, its utilitarian feel echoing that of the steel tools and appliances.

    For a similar effect, the Feiss Urban Renewal Bronze Industrial Pendant, which has an elongated silhouette that works best with  high ceilings, the Brewery Bronze Mini Pendant, which has a standout finish that would contrast nicely against crisp white tile, and the Bourret One Light Cage Pendant, a cage pennant with a curvy shape and Edison bulb.

    Cornwall Kitchen

    This Cornwall kitchen, designed by British interiors photographer Paul Massey, is rustic in the best way, with painted white surfaces, an old whitewashed china cabinet, glossy enamel appliances, worn wood counters, and beat up pendant lighting.

    You can get distinctive worn metal lighting looks with the Currey and Company Fenchurch Oyster Pendant, which has an interesting limed oak type of finish, the Earthshine Wrought Iron Dome Pendant Light, which has a Moroccan flavor in its lines, and the Raleigh Old Silver LED Pendant, which would like right at home in a kitchen like this one.

    Image credits: JH Interior Design, Skona Hem, Laurey Glenn for Southern Living/Historical Concepts, Kitchen Lab Design, Jan Baldwin/Marianne Haas for MHZ London, Paul Massey

  • Choosing the Perfect Counter Stools for your Home Style

    Seating your family at the counter as you prepare a delicious meal or entertaining friends on game day in your kitchen is always enjoyable. In recent years the kitchen has become more of a communal space that includes conversing, eating and taking part in the culinary experience of the cook.

    Bar stools and counter height stools are an important element to consider when planning your kitchen area. Depending on your lifestyle and decorative style, choosing the perfect counter stool doesn’t have to be such a challenge. Use these ideas to pick chairs that truly reflect you and you home’s hospitality.

    Your Home Style

    Assessing your decor style when choosing counter height stools:

    There are so many great styles of stools to choose from. Remember when bar stools used to be hard, round, and only came in a few colors? Long gone are those days and now stools are just as comfortable as your formal dining chairs or they can resemble a rustic mountain home like these stools from Wiley Design as you can see below.

    Decide if you want your stools to mimic the casual or formal style of your kitchen. Remember to look at the impact your kitchen has on the rest of your interiors. For open floor plan homes try and choose chairs that mimic the coloring in your adjacent rooms countertop, flooring, and any textiles in furniture or window treatments.

    Modern Kitchen

    Adding casual style to your kitchen counter with rattan counter stools:

    For many homes that are transitional style or have an eclectic mix of traditional and modern accents, it’s nice to add texture to your kitchen counter. These stylish rattan counter stools from Lamps Plus marry the best of both the natural fiber world with the modern. The natural rattan and Havana bycast leather blend beautifully in your interiors and come in a seat height of 26”. The rattan wrapped back makes it durable yet still light enough to easily pull out from the counter.

    Rattan Counter Stools

    Set of 2 Boston Havana Leather Rattan 26" Counter Stools

    Connecting your seating to your lifestyle:

    Every home is different and so should your choice of bar stool seating. If you entertain frequently and have a large kitchen consider high back upholstered chairs that will remain comfortable for guests. While if your home has children and teenagers and your kitchen is always a fast-paced room, opt for simplified seating with durable surfaces and skip the upholstery!

    Remember to consider the weight of the chairs for moving in and out to protect your kitchen wall from being scratched and helping your guest at the same time.

    Industrial Style

    Choosing the perfect counter stools can be challenging but using the tips should give you a head start.

    Remember to measure your countertop height from the floor to the top of the counter. Use this measurement to ensure your barstool seat height is approx. 10”-12” below the top of the countertop.

    Measurement differ depending on the style of stool but use this as a general guideline. These stools from Koo de Kir above don’t have upholstery so measuring the seat height can be easier. If all else fails, sample them in your home to ensure a perfect height fit.

    You will love how you just added a new seating area in your kitchen that you and your guests will love.

    Image credits: KannCept Design, Inc., Wiley Design LLC, Koo de Kir

  • Floor Lamp Ideas with Style

    Floor Lamp Ideas

    There are many instances where you might have several lighting options or very limited options, like with small spaces... Either way, floor lamps add light and style to any space like in this pretty modern space found on Decor8 Blog.

    I particularly think that using them in places where they aren't typically used makes for an interesting design. For example, are you the type of person who needs every inch of desk space? Your office is a great place for an unexpected floor lamp. Floor lamps seem to be most commonly used in reading nooks or living spaces, but they are also fun in an entryway or even a bedroom.

    Floor Lamps

    Shopping Guide:

    1. Rico Espinet Sawyer Patina Nickel Pharmacy Floor Lamp. I love the modern lines of this pharmacy lamp.

    2. Jonathan Adler Ohai Walnut and Brass Floor Lamp. A fun and unexpected design.

    3. Possini Euro Zodiac Open Cage Bronze Arc Floor Lamp. A cool option if you like the industrial look.

    4. Gossamer Clear Spun Acrylic Cylinder Floor Lamp. A great lamp for soft diffused lighting.

    5. Tripod Base Floor Lamp. I love the simple yet funky design in this all-black lamp.

    6. Arteriors Home Linden Tripod Wood Floor Lamp. Super throwback modern — this lamp will definitely start conversation.

    7. Doughnut Antique Brass Finish Angular Floor Lamp. For a classic look, this brass finish floor lamp is chic.

    8. Jonathan Adler Meurice Collection Brass Floor Lamp. Brass, black and bamboo — need we say more?!?

    9. Director's Chrome and Espresso Tripod Floor Lamp. This director's lamp makes a fun statement.

    10. Brass Finish Pharmacy Floor Lamp. This brass finish pharmacy lamp is so affordable!

    Image credit: Decor8

  • Decorating with Mirrors

    Decorating Your Home

    I have a mirror addiction.

    From new to vintage to a growing collection of old hand mirrors picked up on my flea market jaunts, I just can’t get enough.  

    Some of my favorite tips and tricks for making mirrors reflect your personality …

    Staircase Design

    1)    Reflect Light

    Stylish wall mirrors can brighten a room by bouncing light around. Consider placing one directly across from a window for maximum reflection.

    Leaning Mirror

    2)    Size Matters

    A huge mirror can stand alone as a statement piece of art like this stunning one reflecting the bed by Sarah Richardson Design.  

    Collections of smaller mirrors can work equally well if grouped together and can be customized with a can of vibrant spray paint like Dimples and Tangles did with her wall of emerald green.

    Colorful Mirrors

    3)    Frames

    Let your mirror choice reflect your personal style. It’s fun to juxtapose a vintage mirror over a modern console table or a sleek, chrome mirror over an antique settee. Don’t overlook the clean lines of frameless mirrors.

    Entryway Style

    4)    Don’t Forget the Entry

    Entries are the perfect place for a last minute hair and makeup check before you jauntily walk out the front door. Don’t be afraid to mix colors like Amanda Nisbet does with this sculptural white mirror paired with a sleek ebony table.

    Mirrored Chest

    5)    Not just for walls

    Consider a mirrored chest of drawers as a glam nightstand or a mirrored buffet to add sparkle to dinner parties.

    How will you choose to reflect your personality with mirrors?

    Images: Eclectically Vintage, Sarah Richardson Design on Decor Pad, Dimples & Tangles, Funky Junk Interiors, Amanda Nisbet Design on Decor Pad, Lamps Plus

Lighting & Interior Design Ideas Blog