Style Illuminated

Our home decorating blog offers interior design tips and lighting ideas for today's home! Enjoy professional interior design advice, home decor ideas and inspiration.

  • How To Clean A Crystal Chandelier

    A Close Up of a Crystal Chandelier
    To keep a crystal chandelier shining its brightest, give it a good cleaning once a year or so.

    Most chandeliers can be handled by the weekend do-it-yourselfer, but if your fixture is hung too high or is just too elaborate, call in a professional cleaning service to handle the job.

    Many chandeliers are rather complex, so always make note of how your design goes together before you begin cleaning. Make a quick drawing, or get out the camera and take some snapshots.

    Extreme care must be taken around any electrical fixture, so work slowly and follow basic safety precautions. To be completely safe, turn off the power at the breaker box. You'll need to set up alternative lighting; otherwise you'll be working in the dark!

    Taking all crystal and glass off is a more complete cleaning process, allowing you to reach each nook and cranny of the frame. Leaving the crystal or glass attached is a much faster process.

    Never twirl or rotate your crystal chandelier. Walk or move your ladder around the chandelier and clean in sections. By rotating a chandelier, you risk loosening its support. If the chandelier is difficult to reach, you should replace the bulbs while you're at it.

    Prepare a cleaning solution of one part isopropyl alcohol to four parts distilled water in a spray bottle. Spray a small amount of the solution on a white cotton glove or lint free cloth. Wipe the crystal or glass with the damp cloth, and then dry it immediately with another glove or cloth.

    For chandeliers with more dirt and grime build-up, you can also try hand-washing the glass in lukewarm sudsy water, using a mild dish soap.

    To stretch the time between cleanings, dust your chandelier lightly every two or three months with a feather duster or lambs wool duster. Follow these directions and your chandelier will have that special sparkle all year long!

    View our selection of chandeliers and crystal chandeliers for a look you'll love.

    And if you'd like to see our cleaning tips in action, check out our YouTube video below.


  • Lighting by the Stars -- Astrology for Aquarius

    Happy birthday Aquarius! Now through mid-February is party time for our visionary friends (this blogger included!). The original Aquarian was Ganymede, a fetching young Trojan prince who caught the eye of Zeus. The king of gods made Ganymede royal cup-bearer. In that spirit, let us fill your cup with birthday gift ideas for the Aquarian in your life.

    Dear Aquarius: Sure, many astrologers agree that you have a "look of nobility suggestive of the classic Greek or Roman models." Yes, yes, you've mentioned more than a few times astrologers also agree Aquarians are "considered stunning individuals." This month, set aside your striking good-looks for just a moment and put your innovative abilities to good use. This credit crisis thing is a real bummer, and we could use some original ideas. Got anything?

    George Kovacs Second Marriage Wall Light

    Aquarius is blessed with objectivity, the ability to see both sides of an argument. For example, I'm ready to turn in and my wife wants to read. What if we each had our own reading light? Bingo! Thank you George Kovacs!





    Amethyst Mini Pendant Light at LAMPS PLUSBirthstones for Aquarians are garnet (January) and amethyst (February). Garnet is hard to pin down since it comes in a bunch of colors. So, let's go with this contemporary mini pendant light with hand-crafted amethyst colored glass.







    Rose Motif Wall Mirror at LAMPS PLUSAquarius has a tendency to be conceited. Lest we judge, recall that visionary thinkers years ahead of their time are often misunderstood. Still, grab your favorite Aquarius this mirror so they'll always look their best. The charming rose motif may remind them to see beauty elsewhere.

    Next month ... gentle, good-natured Pisces!

  • Fanimation Ceiling Fans in Action

    Fanimation Windpointe Antique Brass 5-Blade Ceiling Fan

    The American Lighting Association and Fanimation ceiling fans have posted a YouTube video interview with Fanimation's national sales manager Tom Underwood. In the video,

    Tom talks about the company's history and highlights designs from the Fanimation line of ceiling fans like fans with palm leaf blades. Click on the video below to view.

     **Update to this post:  The video is no longer available, but check here for more information about the Fanimation line of ceiling fans.

  • New! Mid-Century Clocks with Contemporary Cool

    We just added a fabulous new selection of contemporary clocks, with wall clock and desk clock designs. Turn back time with these retro designs that offer the best in mid-century modern chic. Which look strikes your fancy?

    Contemporary Wall Clock at LAMPS PLUSContemporary Wall Clock at LAMPS PLUS

  • Take Flight with the Monte Carlo Airlift Ceiling Fan

    Monte Carlo Airlift Ceiling Fan

    This is one of the more unusual and innovative ceiling fans we've seen in some time.

    Close Up View - Monte Carlo Airlift Fan

    The contemporary design features fan blades that hang down when the fan is not in motion.

    In this mode, the fan looks like a decorative ceiling light (click on any of the images below for more product pics). 

    Hit the power and the blades lift as the motor spins.

    Monte Carlo Airlift Ceiling Fan in a Living Room

    Centrifugal force creates the lift and the breeze.

    Pretty neat! View more details here: The Monte Carlo Airlift Ceiling Fan, or view all Monte Carlo fans at Lamps Plus.


  • Functional Floor Lamps

    Jonathan Adler Tray Table Floor LampDavid Easton Tray Table Floor LampRobert Abbey Collin Black Shade Tray Floor LampDick Idol Mission Valley Del Rey Tray Floor LampThese floor lamps come with a handy tray table built right in, just the thing for holding the remote or that cold beverage. These are great for reducing clutter in a seating area; you can also use them in the bedroom as a bedside table. We especially like the mod Jonathan Adler designs! Tray Table Floor Lamps.

  • LAMPS PLUS in the News -- Trends in Kids Furniture

    The AP published a wonderful article yesterday about how designers are embracing decor aimed at children. "Designers of kids' furniture are letting their imaginations run away with them, and that's great news for hip parents looking for fun, exuberant decor." Read the entire article here at MSNBC: current trends in children's furniture. The article mentions two imaginative pendant light designs featured at LAMPS PLUS, the Prop Plane Pendant and the Planet and Stars Pendant.

    Planet and Stars Pendant Chandelier at LAMPS PLUSProp Plane Pendant Chandelier at LAMPS PLUS

  • Nesting Tables - Small Tables, Big Space Savers

    Georgia Collection Chocolate Finish Nesting Tables

    What's a nesting table? It's a series of side tables (usually three) that neatly store one under another when not in use. Very versatile, they can be used as end tables, serving tables, drink tables and more. The space-saving design allows them to be easily stored away when not in use.

    When placing a nesting table by a chair or sofa, look for design that's sized even with or an inch or so taller or shorter than the chair arm. We're showing one of our favorites, or browse all of our LAMPS PLUS nesting tables to find a look that's right for you.


  • Bulbs are Beautiful

    Check out these light bulb still life photographs taken by Catharine Wagner, an artist based in San Francisco. 

    While on a residency at the Baltimore Museum of Industry she artfully arranged portions of their historic light bulb collection and photographed them. The results are surprisingly engaging!

    Photograph from A Narrative History of the Light Bulb Exhibit

  • Questions With: Haeger Potteries

    Haeger Pottereis Company Logo

    Haeger Potteries has been producing classic American ceramics and pottery for over one hundred and thirty years. We spoke with Gene McGahan, Vice President of Merchandising and Marketing, about the company's storied past and wonderful line of ceramic products.

    Q: Tell us a little bit about the company and its history.

    The Haeger Potteries Factory

    A: Haeger Potteries is headquartered just 45 minutes northwest of Chicago in Dundee, Illinois. It was originally founded as the Dundee Brickyard by a young German immigrant named David H. Haeger.

    This was in 1871, the same year as the great Chicago fire. The company first produced the millions of bricks needed to help rebuild the Chicago metropolis after the fire.

    Q: But the company quickly began making fine ceramic pottery.

    A: That's right. Over the next 130 plus years, under four generations of family leadership, this small town brick maker was to become America?s oldest and largest production pottery company. 2009 marks the 138th year of production in the United States.

    Q: Which family member is in charge today?

    A: Alexandra Haeger Estes, the great-granddaughter of founder David H. Haeger. She continues the family tradition that was started four generations ago. We are one of the few and the very proud ceramic manufacturers left producing products in the U.S.A.

    Q: Many of the workers have been with you for many years as well.

    A: Yes. We have a very dedicated team that works at Haeger. What company in today's market has at least 20 plus employees that have been with the company more then 25 years, and have some that have been with the company 40-plus years?

    We have several artists that have spent their entire 30-plus years working for Haeger.

    I'm the new guy on the block and I am constantly reminded how many changes the firm has gone through and how the workers here have embraced change to assure the company continues to grow and be a part of American history.

    Q: What are some of your classic designs from the past?

    Haeger Potteries Black Panther Ceramic Sculpture

    A: We continue to produce historic pieces such as the Haeger Potteries Panther, which was originally done in 1940 by Royal Hickman at The Haeger Potteries. This was a signature piece in many a home back then. We're also proud to manufacture some Frank Lloyd Wright ceramics licensed original designs.

    Q: What are some of your more recent designs?

    A: Well, while  Haeger has not forgotten the past, we embrace the future with great new designs from transitional to soft, clean contemporary lines. We offer a large selection of decorative ceramics in great colors to compliment any decor.

    We have added a large selection of unique glaze techniques like the Gray Cloth and the Red Cloth that you can see on the Bristol lamps.

    Q: Most people aren't aware the incredible amount of detail and work that goes into creating pieces like these. Can you describe the process for us?

    A: The Gray Cloth and Red Cloth glazes are applied by hand in a series of steps. A hand brushing technique is applied after the glaze is applied giving this unique technique a one-of-a-kind quality.

    We spend countless hours designing new glazes and techniques that are fashion forward. As a CMG member (Color Marketing Group) I understand the importance of having the best and the most fashion forward colors available for our customers. We take great pride in our quality and selection and hope you enjoy a piece of Haeger today!

January, 2009