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.

  • Questions With: Allison West of Thumprints Lighting

    Thumprints Lighting


    Allison West is the artist-designer behind the chic Thumprints collection of lighting. Thumprints table lamps offer unique, artistic looks with mouth-blown glass, ceramic bases, and sumptuous fabrics.

    We recently chatted with Allison about her collection, and her design philosophy.

    Q: We love the free-flowing profiles and contemporary looks of the collection. What are some of your favorite design inspirations?

    A: My underlining inspiration for each Thumprints lamp design is to achieve a distinct balance of select high end materials, creatively assembled to yield unique and artistic lighting that is functional art.  I am also inspired by the medium with which I am working. 

    In Thumprints most recent collection, Precious Gemstones, the main medium is plated steel.  The simple, symmetrical shaped steel bodies dictated a sleek, sophisticated design.  I paired the steel forms with natural stone sub-bases and chose shade fabrics that would dress the lights up a bit to go with the marble and granite accents, while maintaining a clean, sleek style.

    I have always been intrigued by the art of glass blowing.  Thus, I use a lot of art glass in the line.  This medium typically inspires more artistically-styled lamps, like Thumprints Pisa table lamp, which boasts a multicolored glass bodice topped with a triple stack black silk shade and glass finial. 

    Photo of Allison Davis of Thumprints Lighting

    Q: You're based in Little Rock. Does that sense of place work its way into your designs?

     A: In a way, I am sure it does, because individuals are constantly learning new things from daily experiences and are inevitably inspired by their environment.  It is funny, though, because people often look shocked when tell them that Thumprints is based in Little Rock.  Its kind of like, "Something this contemporary came out of Arkansas?" 

    Q: Describe some of the unique craftsmanship that goes into a typical Thumprints lamp.

    A: One of the beauties of Thumprints products is that they are all hand-made and no two are exactly alike. 

    Thus, each one is as distinctive and personal as your "thumprint". 

    The design and production process varies from one lamp to the next and can be quite complex.  I work with artisans and manufacturers of glass, wood, pottery, porcelain, iron, metal and textiles around the world. 

    Often, one lamp is assembled from works by three or four different artisans to achieve the best possible mixture of product and quality.

    Thumprints Ceramic Table Lamps

    Q: What?s the hot design trend of the moment?

    A: One trend that I really appreciate is the trend of lamps as functional art.  The possibilities of useable mediums for lamps are endless, making them fun and exciting accessories.  I incorporate a variety of hand-blown glass into my designs (such as the Thumprints Glitz table lamp), which is art itself. 

    I also enjoy working with wood, because the material?s rich wood grain is beautiful in its natural state and can be highlighted and enhanced by stains, paint and various design techniques.  

    Lighting is continually steering away from the "norm" and becoming more creative and artistically-styled.  Lamp shades are "upside down", asymmetrical, and sometimes larger than the entire body of the lamp. 

    Thumprints has a popular series of pendant lights that are basically upside down lamps (Hot Tamale, Sunny Side Up, Moondust, Jack, Obsidien-Pendant, Tiger's Eye Pendant and Citrine Pendant).  Consumers are appreciating the trend of lamps as functional art more and more and are seeking unique lighting to be statement pieces and focal points of their rooms.

    Another big trend is "going green".  The lighting industry is seeking ways to produce products that are eco-friendly in design and more energy efficient in function.  The move towards green has increased the number of products in the marketplace made from recycled materials and renewable or sustainable resources. 

    Some lighting manufacturers are even moving to the production of lamps with LED lights.  

    The application of LEDs is limited and very expensive at this time, however. 

    At Thumprints, we encourage customers to use energy efficient compact florescent lamps (CFLs) in all of our products.  Today, CFLs can be found almost anywhere you can purchase a light bulb and they work with the majority of lamps made for incandescent bulbs. 

    It is easy for consumers to acquire CFLs, though they are pricey.  It will take time for everyone to realize the true benefits of energy efficient lighting, for both long term financial savings and, most importantly, to help save our environment.

    Q: What's next for you and the Thumprints line?

    A: I am constantly looking for and experimenting with new mediums and applications to incorporate into Thumprints designs.  I have a few things in progress, but am not sure exactly what is next.  It is important to me to make sure that I maintain my individuality and fresh perspective and continue introducing innovative and creative products. 

    Thanks, Allison! Make sure you browse the entire line of Thumprints from our complete collection of table lamps.

  • Vertigo in South Beach

    The Tides Hotel in South Beach


    Writer Kelley Stratton at Examiner.com praises the work of designer Kelly Wearstler at the Tides Hotel in South Beach. Many of you may know Wearstler as a judge on
    Bravo’s Top Design TV show.

    She's also a top designer, and for the chic hotel lobby she made a unique design statement by using the Vertigo chandelier, which you can find at LampsPlus.com.

    If you don't have a hotel-sized lobby in your home don't worry; the Vertigo comes in three sizes, including a relatively pint-sized 18 inch high version.

    From the article: "The fascinating thing about this project is the fact that the color palette is completely neutral and the details so simple that at first you skim over them.But at second glance you notice so much depth, texture and materials, you wonder how it can possibly all work together."

    Read the entire piece here: Get the look: The Tides Hotel by Kelly Wearstler

    And make sure you browse our site to find more chandelier designs to love.

    Hotel lobby photo thanks to the Tides Hotel.

  • Pure Country Weavers

    Decorative Pillow with a Green Bird

    Everyone loves an accent pillow! These beautifully colorful designs come from the North Carolina workshops of Pure Country Weavers.

    All of the company's product is woven on a jacquard loom for an heirloom quality finished product.

    The loomed warp and weft threadwork achieves a stunning range of colors that makes these accent pieces as vibrant as any oil painting.

    Pictured on the left is the Umber Gold Tree of Life Accent Pillow; on the right is the Red and Yellow Tulip pillow. Or view all the Pure Country Weavers accent pillows.

    Post Update: the collection mentioned above is no longer available, but we have a wide range of new decorative pillows (like the one seen above) for you to choose from.

  • Ultra-Adjustable Holtkoetter Task Lighting

    Dual Brass Bernie Turbo Halogen Tilt Holtkoetter Desk Lamp

    New to Lamps Plus ... another superbly-engineered lamp design from Holtkoetter.

    The Bedside Reading collection features a special adjustable lens that allows you to intensify the halogen light to a smaller point, or widen the spread for more diffuse illumination.

    The collection includes small and large desk lamps, plus a gorgeous floor lamp.

    All of them feature full-range dimmers and a gooseneck.

    See the whole Bedside Reading Collection here.

    Don't miss our other world-class task lighting and floor lamps from the Holtkoetter lighting collection

  • Questions With: Minka-Lavery

    Lineage Collection Three Tiered Chandelier

    One of the most respected names in the lighting industry, Minka-Lavery is part of the Minka Group of companies (which also includes Minka Aire ceiling fans).

    The Minka-Lavery lighting collection centers on ceiling lighting and wall lights featuring strong, elegant designs.

    We spoke with company rep Tim Titus about the company's line and some of their new designs.

    Minka Aston Court Chandelier

    Q: Minka-Lavery product is known for its exciting finishes and details. Describe some of the workmanship that Minka-Lavery offers. 

    A: At Minka Lavery, we've long taken a leadership role in exploring multi-step finish accents.

    For example, we are very proud of our hand-applied finish process.

    The process accentuates a base color with subtle highlights and accents. We then customize unique glass treatments for each and every fixture to complete the look.

    Raiden Collection Chandelier by Minka in a Dining Room

    Q: What’s a hot look for you right now in home lighting?

    A: We are finding that design styles are trending towards clean, transitional lines.

    This is accomplished with sophisticated, delicate lines accentuated by graceful transitions and soft silhouettes.

    While dark finishes dominate our offerings, we see a trend towards lighter, more subtle styles.

    Minka Knotted Iron Wall Sconce

    Q: Which of your new designs do you think captures this look?

    A: The trend toward graceful lines and clean profiles can be seen in pieces from the Knotted Iron collection.  

    The Aston Court ceiling light designs are a good example of the lighter, more graceful styles customers are looking for.

    Q: What’s next for the Minka Lavery lighting collection? 

    A: At Minka Lavery, we continue to challenge our design team to be imaginative and creative.

    We are dedicated to listening to our customer's wishes for cutting edge design with unique and artful finishes that compliment today's homes.

    Look for more innovative transitional designs, as well as energy efficient looks from us in the near future!

    -----------------

    Thanks, Tim!

    You can view more trendsetting designs by browsing our collection of Minka Lavery lighting.

     

  • Premium Tropical Florals from Kathy Ireland

    Florals at LAMPS PLUSNothing breathes life into a space like greenery!

    The Kathy Ireland Home Collection now includes a range of gorgeous potted floral arrangements including stunning species like amaryllis, callas, colorful orchids, Phoenix palms and more.

    Hand-crafted with premium materials, these high-quality faux florals will enhance your home for years to come.

    See the all the floral arrangements we carry to find a bit of green for your home. 

  • Interactive LED Wall in Montreal

    In addition to being long-lasting and energy efficient, LEDs can clearly be considered cool.

    Check out this incredible interactive installation illuminating a sidewalk in Montreal.

    We offer a large selection of progressive products with energy-sipping LED technology.

    Learn more about our LED products here.

    For more LEDs in action, don't miss John's recent post about the new LED bridge on I-35 in Minneapolis.

  • Tips for Saving Money on a Home Remodel

    A Remodeled Bathroom

    Reader's Digest recently posted 10 tips for saving money on your home remodel.

    In addition to good advice like installing energy efficient features and planning ahead for future upgrades, we like tip #10:

    10. Order over the Internet
    Can't find a nice-looking low-voltage light fixture at a nearby home center? The Internet puts a wide selection of products at your fingertips. Even better, it gives you access to hard-to-find specialty items at competitive prices. Often you can save 40 to 50 percent over the list price.

    We couldn't agree more! LampsPlus.com offers unmatched quality and value and a huge selection.

    Plus, visit our Open Box Outlet site for extra deep discounts.

    Read the rest of the tips from Reader's Digest, and then head over to LampsPlusOpenBox.com for one-of-a-kind deals.

  • Sconces for Home Theaters

    Home Theater Track Style Lighting

    Lighting a room for home theater use can be challenging since you want some light but indirectly so it won't interfere with the light of the screen.

    Sconces are a great solution.

    You can either use low wattage bulbs or, even better, install a dimmer switch.

    You'll be able to move around the room and avoid straining your eyes.

    View more options by browsing our collection of home theater sconces.

    If sconces don't work for your home entertainment space then try our broader assortment of home theater lighting for ideas.



  • Kathy Ireland on Dancing With the Stars

    Kathy Ireland Photograph


    Network ABC has announced the line-up for this season's Dancing With the Stars and supermodel, super-designer Kathy Ireland is among them.

    Other stars include Donny Osmond, singer Macy Gray, former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin and actresses Melissa Joan Hart. 

    Tune in for all the fun starting September 21st.

    Read all about it on CNN: 'Dancing With the Stars' announces new lineup

    in case you didn't know, Kathy has her own line of lighting, including chandeliers, table lamps and floor lamps.

    Check out Kathy's newest lighting designs,Kathy Ireland lighting collection, or view her line of Kathy Ireland air purifiers.

     

August, 2009