Style Illuminated

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

  • A Plug-In Outdoor Landscape Light


    Need light for your garden landscape? Try this portable, plug-in landscape lamp

    Standing at nearly six feet high, you can use it to highlight garden plantings or to create a garden sitting "room" for parties and events. It's also great on a patio for after-dark BBQ feasts.


    If you get so comfy in that hammock that you fall asleep, it even has a built-in sensor for auto on-off operation at sunrise and dusk.

    Pair it with more landscape lighting and BBQ lights for a complete party package.


  • Mini Chandelier Hanging Tips

    Mini Chandelier Decorating Photo

    On a previous post, reader Karen asked this about mini chandeliers: "Question about appropriate height for mini chandeliers...for over bed in bedroom?  Any tips?"

    It's a good question, so we thought we'd share some of our response.

    For starters, mini-chandeliers are a great idea for the bedroom. They offer glamour and glitz (see our crystal mini chandeliers for extra bling), but on an intimate scale appropriate for the bedroom space.

    Mini chandeliers are commonly installed to the overhead junction box of the bedroom. This box is normally located in the center of the room where a flushmount ceiling light would go.

    Bedroom Lighting Idea

    The problem is, this location is dead center in the bedroom. So if you use this spot, go with a mini-chandelier that's not too high, something around the neighborhood of 15 to 22 inches. Leave a foot or so of hang height so you don't bonk your head.  

    To hang a mini-chandelier centered over the bed, I’d suggest using a swag chandelier instead. They install on hooks, can be easily adjusted for height, plug into any wall outlet (no wiring hassles!), and can also be used over a bedside table in place of a table lamp. 

    Thanks for the question, Karen! See this post for the full reply.


  • Paradoxymoron Wall Art

    Something fun for Wednesday! This fascinating piece is the work of British artist Patrick Hughes, and hangs in the lower reaches of the British Library, in London. It's a regular wall painting, but a trick in perspective makes it appear 3D as you move around it.

    Click the image above or this link to view a Flicker video clip of the 3D perspective trick in action; it's pretty wicked! (Warning: the camera work is pretty shaky!)

    You can read more about the artist on his website. For a fresh perspective for your home, browse our wall art product sort.

  • Get Inspired: Big Style from a Small Home

    This Sunset Magazine photo feature proves that you don't need to have a big home to have big style.

    The home in question is a tiny, cottage-style 900-square-foot home in Santa Monica. Starting with the 1930s floorplan, owner Julie Hart raised the roof, added new windows and created bright, loft-like rooms.

    The white-themed living room looks open and bright. It's anchored by an colorful floor rug and has leather ottomans scattered about for extra seating.

    Barstools and recessed lighting streamlines the kitchen's style.

    A contemporary swing arm wall light beside the bed makes the most of the small bedroom space. We like it all!

    Photos thanks to Sunset Magazine. Photography by Lisa Romerein.



  • Three for Thursday: Googie Inspired Lighting

    Here in Los Angeles, we are surrounded by Googie style architecture. Googie buildings have a space age, futuristic swoop, upswept roofs, boomerangs and other geometric shapes. The Theme Building at LAX and numerous motel and coffee shop signs are all great examples of the style.

    Here are three lights that express this opulent, jet set look.

    This pendant chandelier would look right at home in a Googie diner. It has eighteen opal glass globes and a sleek brushed nickel finish. It's from the Possini Euro Design lighting collection, the Opal Glass Pendant Chandelier


    The arc floor lamp perfectly captures the freedom of line and pop-art spirit of the Googie style. This stylish example has a wood and brushed steel base topped by an oversized fabric shade. The Arc Steel and Wood Floor Lamp.

    And finally, that icon of 1950s style, the lava lamp. This one has purple liquid and yellow lava, and is an original Lava brand lamp.

    To learn more about the Googie style, track down Googie: Fifties Coffee Shop Architecture by Alan Hess. It may be out of print; look for it here at Amazon.


  • Do Dimmers Save Energy?

    We've blogged about this topic before (see How Dimmers Save Energy), but we're asked about it all the time:

    Does using a dimmer really save energy? The short answer is, yes!

    Here's how: A modern dimmer uses what is called a "Triac Switch".

    Depending on the dimmer settting, these switches turn on and off many times a second.

    Unlike old wall and line dimmers, the unneeded electrical current is not dissipated as heat, it's simply not used at all because the switch is not on.

    The human eye doesn't register this on-off process; what we see is a steady light output.

    How much can installing a dimmer save you? Dimming a light by half can trim electric use by 40 percent over time.

    And, as a side bonus, your incandescent and halogen bulbs can last up to 20 times longer. So it really does pay to dim!

    Image thanks to Lutron Dimmers.


  • An LED Banker's Lamp

    The banker's style desk lamp is a classic of form and function. It's been a mainstay in banks, offices and public buildings for a century or more.

    Now it gets a high-tech makeover!

    This new design, the LED Banker's Desk Lamp, comes with energy efficient, long-lasting LEDs.

    It has the same line and profile, however, of the classic banker's lamp. Like older designs, the top light bar swivels and can be easily positioned to shield your eyes from the light throw. 

    It's a great choice for energy efficient lighting, and can be used to replace an older halogen desk lamp on your office desk.


  • Three for Thursday: New Art Shade Lighting

    Art Shade Table Lamp

    We are constantly adding to our giclee art shade lighting collection. Here are a couple of my favorite new shade patterns.

    Go mod with this 1960s inspired pattern by interior designer Stacy Garcia (see above). Stacy Garcia Rain Table Lamp. The pattern is also available on this swag style chandelier. Stacy Garcia Rain Swag Chandelier.

    Custom Lamp Shade

    For a bold black and white look, try this vine and leaf pattern ceiling pendant (below). Swirling Vines 4-Light Pendant.

    Modern Drum Chandelier

    Finally, I love the look of the giclee printed shade below. It has the look of natural materials and fabric, but is actually a giclee print shade. Woven Tapered Lamp Shade.

    Faux Wicker Lamp Shade

    Some of our art shades can be customized with your own color choices. Take a visit to our Design Your Own Custom Lighting page for more details. 


  • Color Chart: Sensational White

    The color white offers a refreshing, simple and smart decorating accent.

    Lighting fixtures and home decor in classic white show off their basic forms and profiles in a crisp and clean manner. They speak for themselves, without having to rely on color to make a statement.

    With that said, here are a few white furnishings that offer elegant freshness!

    Up first, a white chandelier (see above) with a lovely shape and form. White Flower Pendant Chandelier.

    Next, a neat, fluid-shaped white table lamp. White Moderne Droplet Table Lamp. Find more to love in our contemporary white table lamp collection.

    A contemporary chair, such as this Zuo White and Chrome Frame Chair, offers white freshness with playful geometry.

    Pair the chair with these snow white finish nesting tables

    White finish home decor items offer graceful room accents. Try this White Floral Vase for a touch of the traditional...

    ...or go with this classic Ivory Gazelle Ceramic Sculpture from the Haeger Potteries ceramics collection.

    And finally, the Raganoodle White Shag Rug adds softness underfoot. Find more rugs to love in our complete area rug collection.

    Looking for more color? Take a look at some of our older Color Chart blog posts.


  • Get Inspired: 2010 Louisiana Idea House

    Get some design inspiration with these beautiful photos from the 2010 Louisiana Idea House in Southern Living magazine.

    The first thing I noticed is that it has a very traditional look on the outside, but inside it's an artful blend of the traditional, relaxed transitional, and contemporary design ideas.

    For example, the dining room sports a multi-level, art glass chandelier with contemporary wall art as a backdrop.

    The den has a wonderful transitional feel, with bright throw pillows, decor accents and a mirror set into the shelving unitcreating the comfortable look. And I love the functional swing arm wall lamps set into the seating nook.

    It's a beautiful home that's well worth a look. Photos thanks to Southern Living. Photography by Laurey W. Glenn.


August, 2010