Style Illuminated

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

  • Vertigo in South Beach

    The Tides Hotel in South Beach

    Writer Kelley Stratton at 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

    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.

  • The Magic of Wall Mirrors - Make a Small Space Big!

    Wall Mirrors at LampsPlus.comIt may seem obvious, but wall mirrors can really help a small apartment or room space look bigger and more spacious.

    Some ideas to try are placing a mirror over a sofa or buffet table to reflect the room space. 

    This trick can make even the smallest room feel deeper and lighter. 

    You can also position mirrors to reflect the view from outside a window or balcony.

    This strategy also has the added advantage of bringing light and sky into a space that might otherwise be dark.

    For long dark hallways, position a tall skinny mirror to bring in light and air. 

    Give these a try.

    The results can be dramatic!

  • New - Jamie Young Table Lamps

    Jamie Young Natural Wood Acacia Table Lamp

    We love the fresh table lamp designs from L.A. artists Jamie Young Jeter and David Jeter.

    They've just released a new batch of designs that have turned our heads.

    My fave: this natural wood table lamp that features a sophisticated, organic look.

    View 'em all: Jamie Young table lamps.

  • Brief History of the Pineapple

    Solid brass pineapple table lamp at LAMPS PLUSWe just added a great collection of pineapple table lamps. Out of curiousity, I learned we have nearly 100 pineapple-themed items on our site. And Google returns nearly 60,000 results for "pineapple table lamp"!

    I had to ask, "Why pineapples?" Turns out there's a rich history behind this common decor theme.

    Columbus and his crew were the first to taste the fabulous fruit when they landed in the Caribbean.

    It quickly became a delicacy in the old world due to the difficulty of transporting it back home.

    In Colonial America, pineapples were still a rare treat.

    Only the most wealthy and well-connected could offer dinner guests this highly regarded fruit.

    The pineapple soon symbolized status and hospitality becoming a favorite motif for artisans and architects.

    Now that you know, highlight the hospitality of your home with one of our new solid brass pineapple table lamps.

    And browse our other pineapple-themed items.

    Read a more complete pineapple history here.

  • An Energy Efficient Space Age Design

    Possini Euro Planetarium Energy Saving Pendant Chandelier

    When was the last time you went to the planetarium?

    Now you can enjoy the atmosphere at home without the Pink Floyd and neck ache.

    Planetarium Pendant Chandelier in a Living Room

    Introducing the energy efficient Planetarium Pendant Light whose bold looks were inspired by the shape of a planetarium viewing dome.

    And just in case this post got you fired up for a field trip to the planetarium, check out this international list of the world's planetariums.

    For more contemporary design, browse the entire Possini Euro Design lighting collection.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Mini Lamps, More to Love

    Black Mini Gourd Table LampWhite Mini Gourd Table LampWe liked the red mini accent table lamp that we recently posted about so much (see A Red Mini with Big Style) that we've added two new colors: a Black Mini Gourd Table Lamp and a White Mini Gourd Table Lamp.

    Both are big on style, light on the pocket-book and great for bedrooms or side accent tables. I think I'm leaning towards the white!

    Post Update: these designs are sold out, but if you are looking for mini, check out our selection of small table lamp designs.

  • LEDs on Interstate 35

    I-35 Bridge with LED Lights

    LEDs have been used to illuminate the reconstructed Interstate-35W bridge in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

    This is the first interstate highway to be lit using LED lighting.

    From an article about the project in the Star Tribune newspaper article: "Lighting still accounts for as much as 20 percent of electricity used around the world, so improving lighting technology by even a little bit can lead to great savings in energy and reductions in greenhouse gases."

    And the costs?

    The article goes on to note that,  "For large projects like these, the long-run savings in energy and maintenance, as well as the environmental concerns, generally outweigh the short-run costs."

    It looks very cool. I can't wait to see it in person! Read the entire article on the website: LED Lighting: A Bright Idea.

    Photo thanks to Wikipedia.

  • 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.


August, 2009