Style Illuminated

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

  • Contemporary Kitchen Seating

    Dark Mid Century Stools at a Bright Marble Kitchen Island

    I love the wide range of contemporary kitchen seating available these days. Not that I’m so old, but it’s fun to have options that didn’t exist a few decades back.

    In days of yore most of us only had a breakfast table surrounded by four basic wood or vinyl did we ever survive? Today, along with breakfast tables, many of us essentially live at the kitchen island which allows us more opportunity for additional seating like stylish counter barstools.

    Rue Magazine and Domino had some fun examples of kitchen seating, chic islands and modern pendant lighting.

    Different Size Counter Height Dining Stools

    Attractive seating is one thing, but functionality is still key when selecting kitchen seats and stools.

    If you or your family does work at the counter or table, you may want to consider chairs with backs or a cushion.

    If the perching spot is simply decorative or to be used as a gathering spot at parties, simple backless stools can look amazing. I love the sexy, sculptural qualities of the two wood versions above.

    No Fuss Kitchen Dining Stools

    If you want flexibility, why not try adjustable stools. That way you can use them at counters, table or taller bars. It’s one way to stay nimble in the ever changing designer world in which we live.

    Another consideration is sight-line. Make sure you chairs and stools don’t block critical views and sight lines, especially if you need to watch children in adjacent rooms. 

    Modern Kitchen Seating and Lighting from Lamps Plus

    1. Try this Micro cone black LED mini pendant from  Sonneman for tight spaces that need additional light.

    2. I like the Asian simplicity of this  saddle counter stool, which can be discreetly tucked under a counter.

    3. The Antwerp white pendant light with nickel details from Jonathan Adler is bold and timeless at the same time.

    4. I still like the classic lines and modern materials of these clear indoor or outdoor chairs (which comes in a set of 2.)

    5. The Mid Century wired dining chair set should be a “go to” chair for modern kitchens.

    6. Sleek lines and common sense functionality define this adjustable black leatherette counter or bar stool.

    This is but a sampling of the contemporary kitchen seating styles available out there, so have some fun exploring the different types available to match to your kitchen decor!

    Photos: Rue Magazine, Domino Magazine.

  • A Living Room with a View

    One thing people sometimes forget to take into consideration when designing their interiors are their exteriors.

    If you are lucky enough to have a home that is surrounded by lush vegetation, a vast lake, crashing waves or tall trees this should be celebrated and incorporated into your design. 

    Often times your living room is on the first or ground floor, but every now and again you get an elevated view with such spectacular visuals that can not be ignored.

    Dwell gives us some amazing living rooms that truly celebrate their exterior surroundings.

    Contemporary living rooms that take advantage of outdoor views

    OK now that you are drunk on amazingly beautiful design inspiration, here are some keys to create the perfect living room with a view:

    1. Minimalism with Furniture

    As you'll notice above, the furniture in a living room that celebrates the exterior views is very minimal. High quality, stylish sofas are paired with vintage-inspired accent chairs and minimal coffee tables to create a palette for the vistas to shine.

    2. Monochromatic Palette

    Whether its lush trees, vast lakes or a barren winter wonderland, your living room furniture and accessories should let the exteriors become the focal point.

    Who needs loud, vibrant art when you look out on the tops of bright green tress. Keeping the palette of your furniture clean and simple truly lets nature's palette come center stage.

    3. Streamlined Architecture

    While the architecture of the home is not always something you have control over, keep in mind that the less going on architecturally, the more the eye forgets its there and can truly see the outside as part of the inside design.

    Large windows uncluttered with decoration and detail simply frame the views you are lucky enough to have.

    4. Unobstructive Lighting

    You will notice in the living rooms above, there is almost no sign of dominant lighting. These rooms rely heavily on the large windows to drench the space with natural light for as many hours a day as possible.

    Even when the sun goes down, the lack of light helps to keep the space exuding that indoor/outdoor feel. Recessed lights or minimalist, well-designed pendant lights are your best bet to complete the space.

    Images: Dwell

  • Bathroom Vanities that Fit Perfectly with the Latest Design Trends

    Bathroom vanities come in all kinds of styles, from luxe living to vintage charm, so it's easy to find the perfect bathroom vanity for you.

    An elegant mirrored bathroom vanity with crystal sconces and bathbar

    It’s funny that the word ‘vanity’ is defined as displaying excessive pride in appearance, because where else do we spend more time primping than nestled in front of our bathroom vanities?

    So, for a part of our home that’s so essential and personal in our daily wake-up and get-ready-for-bed routines, it’s important to take care that the bathroom vanity you choose is the right size, height, and style for what makes you feel most like you.

    I’ve geeked-out while I’ve searched through the  vanity options, and am sharing why I think these bathroom vanities exemplify the current design trends. I’d love to know what you think. Share you thoughts in the comments below. –T

    1. Modern Bungalow

    Combining traditional artisan work in a soothing expression, the modern bungalow achieves a calm balance. This single sink vanity with an espresso finish delivers this look in an understated way. While its strong lines would harmoniously melt into an Arts & Crafts style bathroom, it provides the uncomplicated modern appeal that could work quietly with other trends.

    2. Luxe Living

    Defined by rich finishes and glamour-driven furniture, the luxe living trend also incorporates bold color and exotic accents. The sophisticated diamond detail and clean style lines of this mirrored and black granite bathroom vanity shares this design aesthetic.

    3. Vintage Charm

    While the essence of vintage charm is in its romantic sensibility, the design trend is not overdone and suits a more modern casual lifestyle. The Avanity Windsor bathroom vanity shares a marble countertop resting on its white delicately detailed cabinet. The brushed nickel hardware and white undermount sinks also give a delicate and refined look fitting of vintage charm.

    4. French Refined

    While the luxe living trend shares many of the same elements as the French Refined design trend, the French Refined style is more highly detailed and sumptuous with crystal, chandeliers, and soft furnishings. This mirrored bathroom vanity would fit this style with its mirrored finish on an articulated shape that would reflect light much in same way a crystal chandelier may. The cream granite top and porcelain oval sink add to the visual pleasure of this bathroom vanity.

    5. Global Decor

    We don’t have to travel the world, or even ever leave our country, to embrace the Global Décor design trend. If you love incorporating layers of unique-looking pieces in your home, love handcrafted and bold décor, and have an inner-world traveler, this might be a design trend that lasts a lifetime for you. This Legacy Golden Burl Finish sink vanity isn’t a typical-looking bathroom vanity. When I look at the shape of this vanity, I am reminded of a pagoda with its half-oval shape that reaches upward and is horizontally segmented. The overall simplicity, colors, bowl-style sink and asymmetry of the faucet placement, and wood-look, adds to the overall Asian charm.

    Image source: Lamps Plus

  • How to Select the Perfect Table Lamp - Size, Shade and Bulb

    How-to Select the Perfect Table Lamp

    How to select the perfect table lamp in four easy steps. 

    First, Made in the Shade

    To determine the perfect height range for your table lamp, sit in the space next to where you are going to place the lamp. Measure from the surface you are placing the lamp to eye level. This is your base measurement. To find the average height of the shade, divide the base measurement by three.

    For example let's use 18". Divide this number by three, which is 6". This is the average height of the shade.

    Second, It's All About the Base

    To determine the estimated table lamp height add 18", to the shade measurement, let's use a 6" shade for an example. In this case, the height of the lamp you'll want is 24".

    Third, Weighted Base

    The lamp shade depends on the use. If you will have the lamp on while watching TV, an opaque shade will minimize lighting glare. A semi-opaque paper shade provides a warm glow for reading.

    Fourth, The Bulb

    If the purpose of the table lamp is for reading, use at least an 8 ½ watt LED bulb (that's comparable to a 60 watt incandescent). For extra flexibility, choose a dimmable bulb.

    Find your perfect table lamps at Lamps Plus.

    Image Source: Lamps Plus

  • Modern Black Bathroom Accents

    A Bold and Contemporary Bathroom with Geometric Black Walls

    Classic white bathrooms are great but why not amp them up with modern black bathroom accents? We all know about bathrooms that sport black and white tile floors, but black as an intentional design accent can really pop. Now, I’m not so sure about black towels as a choice, but everything else is fair game.

    Naturally House Crush had fabulous pictures that feature exciting bathroom design ideas and especially black design touches at their best.

    Neutral Bathrooms with Contemporary Black Light Fixtures

    Neutral bathroom walls are a great backdrop for black bathroom light fixtures. My new obsession is pendant lights in the bathroom. I love these contemporary fixtures, especially as they almost become sculptural when placed in a small, minimalist space.

    I know it is unorthodox to have a black floor lamp in a bathroom like the one above, but in some quirky way, I think it works. Soapy suds, a good book and a chic floor lamp? Sign me up. 

    A Traditional Bathroom with Black Painted Details and Sconce Shades

    If you are unwilling to commit to black hardwired lighting, try putting new, crisp black shades on your chrome or brass sconces. Juxtaposed against a white wall, they just might be the designer touch you need. 

    Classic White Bathrooms with Pops of Black Design Elements

    There are other ways to infuse your bathroom with black accents besides lighting. I like a simple accent table or garden stool by a bathtub or a bold black sink vanity.

    Did you catch the sliver of the glossy black door in the image on the left? It’s Fantastic, and the perfect balancing act to the white walls and tub of that particular bathroom.

    Black Lighting and Accessories for the Modern Bathroom

    1. The Sonneman Soho Satin Black Wall Sconce will jump out against a stark white a good way.

    2. The Art Deco inspired Minka Camden Square Charcoal Bath Light is clean, streamlined and timeless.

    3. Try hanging two Mercer Street Black Mini Pendants with glass shades on either side of your bathroom mirror for a daring new approach to bathroom lighting.

    4. Because we all need a laundry basket, why not have it be chic like a folding laundry basket with a bold black and white chevron pattern?

    5. I love the modern simplicity of the Chelsea Single Sink Vanity with a black lacquer finish

    6. Try placing a fiberglass high-gloss black accent stool  by a tub or shower to hold a book towel or candle.

    Go to Lamps Plus' Shop-by-Room feature for more great bathroom design ideas!

    Photos: House Crush.

  • Unique Double Vanities for your Master Bathroom

    When you think of a master bathroom, you think of a double vanity. One in which you and your significant other can have your own space to carry out your daily routine.

    When most people think of a double vanity, they usually think of one furniture piece with two sinks and two bathroom mirrors above, however you have to free yourself of this traditional standard.

    Double vanities can be arranged in a number of ways, and these amazing inspiration images from Architectural Digest will inspire you to change up the way you think of a double vanity.

    master bathroom with two pedestal sinks and two mirrors in antique frames

    The antique-lover will surely swoon over the above image. Classic antique styling with the bathroom mirrors adds a fun, mismatched twist that makes this space so chic. Splitting the sinks awards you your own space, even when you don't have much space to spare.

    Vanity in bathroom with turquoise wallpaper

    Clean deco lines and a ridiculously cool teal wallpaper make this master bathroom a contender for one of the coolest I have seen lately. While these may be just decorative bowls on each side, imagine plumbing them as vessel sinks with a gorgeous, tall faucet. Anyone would want to freshen up in this beautiful space.

    luxurious master bathroom with soaking tub and large modern brass chandelier

    For a classic space that is equal parts masculine and feminine, contemporary and classic, look no further than this huge master bathroom above.

    If you have the space, and storage isn't a huge concern, consider splitting your sink areas with a petit built in bench. It can be used for styling as it is above, or a place to take a load off when you need a seat whilst staring out the window of your massively beautiful bathroom.

    Bathroom with wall treatment to resemble marble, two white pedestal sinks and antiqued wall sconces

    What better way to make a punch with your design style than to plaster your walls in amazing marble slabs. These walls do all the talking, while the rest of the bathroom is kept substantially subtle.

    Individual pedestal sinks float in front of the marble and offer separation while almost disappearing. The brass faucet accents make me immensely happy.

    Rustic bathroom with exposed wood beams and vintage-look double vanity

    This industrial, reclaimed bathroom makes me want to take a trip to the woods and never ever leave. You can tell that these vanities are custom made with the homeowners in mind as there is immense attention to detail.

    I love how each piece of the vanity is separate, from the sink to the faucet to the mirror and topped off with wall sconces.

    Rustic bathroom with exposed wood beams and ceiling, hand-carved wood vanities and soaking tub under lantern chandelier

    The classic country cottage master bathroom is a lesson in how to work with wood. The amazing, old roof served as inspiration for the hand carved vanities and beautiful, wide plank flooring. Reversing the direction of the flooring where the tub lies perfectly lines up with the separation of the vanities and adds a subtle design detail that is on point with the look of this space.

    Image Sources: Architectural Digest

  • Global Decor Inspiration

    My style is eclectic.

    It’s a mix of old and new, high and low, vintage finds, antiques and global décor that I’ve picked up in my travels.

    I love nothing better than surrounding myself with objects that have meaning and that means my home will never be cookie cutter.

    Here are some of my favorite ways to add unique personality to any room.

    Global decor in bedroom with multi-color intricately patterned area rug

    Intricately patterned rugs from the Middle East add color, pattern and personality to any room. Use the rug as a jumping off point for the color palette by choosing two or three colors to scatter around the room.

    Bedroom with a Suzani hanging on wall behind the bed

    In Persian, suzani means needle and they were typically made by Central Asian brides as part of their dowry. Today, vntage suzanis have a time worn character that is perfect for displaying on a wall or draping over a sofa or bed to add texture and color.

    African baskets form a gallery wall in a rustic dining room

    Hand woven African baskets create an interesting gallery wall full of texture. They also make an interesting conversation piece.

    Living room with global decor including a leather Moroccan pouf and Chinese-style coffee and side tables

    Sometimes a room just needs a fun finishing touch like a brightly colored Moroccan pouf.

    Try looking at your home in a new light to see where you can add an unexpected, one of a kind piece to add personality.

    For more inspiration, check out the Global Decor section of Lamps Plus' Shop-by-Trend feature.

    Image Sources: Better Homes & Gardens; Better Homes & Gardens; Martyn Lawrence Bullard; Jute Home; Better Homes & Gardens

  • How to Select the Perfect Dining Room Chandelier

    Transitional wood chandelier over dining table

    So, you're ready to buy a chandelier for your dining room. With 1000s of chandeliers to choose from, how do you know which one is right?

    There are a few steps to finding the perfect chandelier for your space. 

    Before you even start looking, decide on a style. Are you going for a more contemporary look? Possibly traditional? Somewhere in-between?

    Crystal chandeliers tend to be more traditional, while those made of chrome and glass will create a more modern vibe. Do you like the industrial look? Try a chandelier made of iron. These material suggestions aren't rules written in stone, there are always exceptions!

    Think your decision through and make sure you really like the chandelier - it's an extension of your style and lighting is an important detail in your design.

    Next up is the size. Scale is very important when it comes to chandeliers. A too-small chandelier will get lost in a large room, and a too-big chandelier will overpower the space.

    Watch the video for tips on how to buy the chandelier that is just right for your dining room:

    Here are two different ways to decide the correct size of your chandelier:

    How to measure for a chandelier using a room's dimensions

    How to choose a chandelier using your dining table size

    If you want to know more about choosing chandeliers and what to look for when picking one for a room other than the dining room, read our Tips for Buying Chandeliers.

    Image Source: Lamps Plus

  • Cottage Style Home Decor: Get the Look

    Cottage style home decor in a living room

    When you think of cottage style home decor what comes to mind?

    Chippy wood, farmhouse patterns, painted furniture, white ware platters, vintage wood floors, baskets and bins and grain sack fabrics are all staples of cottage style home decor.

    But it's so more than that.

    It's about scrabble games and baskets of fresh flowers and the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven and friends and family celebrating over a glass of sweet tea.

    Cottage style home decor is all about making a house into a home.

    Want to introduce a little cottage into your decor?

    Here's a few tips to get you started.

    Balls made of twine in a white ware bowl in a cottage style living room

    1.  Painted furniture

    Cottage style home decor is all about individuality and nothing is as unique as creating your own painted furniture masterpiece.

    Start with pieces from the thrift store or estate sales and paint a design to match your own decor.

    If painted furniture projects seem a little overwhelming, there are a great variety of painted furniture designs available in different patterns and colors. Like this beautiful antiqued console table with a hand-painted scrolling leaf motif.

    Re-purposed metal baskets used as storage and decor

    2.  Unusual storage options

    With cottage style home decor, storage can be fun and unique.

    Store office supplies in an old post office box or blankets in an over-sized basket or dishes stacked in a glass cloche next to an oval mirror.

    Repurpose and think outside the box when it comes to organization and storage for your home

    Antiqued breakfront displaying white dishware

    3.  Mix in the old with the new

    Cottage style home decor is a blending of the present with the past.

    Start with linen chairs with nail head trim and layer in a tufted ottoman and white ware dishes.

    Complete the look with a natural fiber rug and a little bit of history like vintage architectural pieces or even a stylish industrial ceiling fan.

    Wooden cottage-style love seat under shelf displaying flowers in mason jars

    4.  Finish the look with fresh flowers

    Nothing says cottage style home decor more than adding in fresh flowers.

    Fill urns, like this small urn in a distressed antique white finish, baskets and mason jars with the flowers of the season.

    You can also bring a little of the outside in with branches, leaves, grasses and reclaimed wood for a unique addition to any space.

    Whether it's chippy wood, painted furniture, woven baskets or vintage floors, cottage home decor creates a welcoming atmosphere.

    It's warm, inviting, goes perfectly with sweet tea.....

    .....and transforms a house into a home.

    Photo credits:  Thistlewood Farms

  • Glass Décor and Lighting

    A Selection of Sculptural Glass Decanters

    Glass décor has been around for hundreds of years, but today’s glass has been designed and manipulated into vanguard shapes that look great on table tops as well as on the ceiling.

    When it comes to glass décor and lighting, I’m a purist. Give me clear or nothing at all.

    Modern glass in its many forms has been beautifully captured in pictures on Remodelista which needed to be shared and mostly admired for their beauty.

    Modern Globe Ceiling Lights

    Clear glass may be the “go to” material for your morning juice glass, but it’s much more chic to consider clear glass for your modern ceiling lights. Clear glass globe chandeliers are the design darling du jour and for good reason. They are sculptural, offer bright light and play with volume in a very modern way.

    Traditional homes still look great when sporting classic crystal chandeliers, but globes are the way to go if you are starting from scratch.

    Decorative Glass Serving and Table Top Decor

    Classic glass containers, decanters and dishware are timeless. We all need these basics for daily use, so why not make them stylish?

    Like glass lighting, glass table top items can be sculptural and functional. Whether you line shelves or window sills with them, decorative glass objects are an inexpensive design element for any home.

    Modern Glass Table and Floor Lamps

    Glass table lamps are versatile as they work in both modern and traditional interiors. I love how some table and floor lamps are taking on the globe design we see in contemporary ceiling lights, and how a simple, minimalist globe bulb becomes the actual light fixture. Talk about getting back to basics!

    Glass Lighting and Decorative Objects

    1. Keep cocktail hour simple with this blown glass wine carafe with an oak stopper.

    2. This Sputnik-inspired black chandelier with orbital glass globes is the on-trend look for dining rooms.

    3. I like the simple, beach look of the Wonder Clear Glass Modern Table Lamp.

    4. A chandelier featuring cluster of clear, blown glass orbs offers great illumination for dining and breakfast rooms.

    5.  This set of decorative silver glass decanters is stylish and functional.

    Photos: Remodelista.

Home Decorating Blog