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.

  • Look! Food Inspired Wall Clocks

    Fun wall clocks and tomato 12" wide wall clock

    Everytime I look at our food inspired wall clocks, I am immediately reminded that my belly is growling. The clocks are so fun and playful and are offered in a few different color and produce options. For an added touch, the traditional clock hands are replaced with a fork and knife.

    Green wall clock and asparagus 12" wide wall clock

    Need a reminder to eat your vegetables? Every time you look up to check the time, you will see the picture of asparagus.

    Yellow wall clock and lemons 12" wide wall clock

    Lemons are refreshing and aesthetically, images of lemons look great in a kitchen. Incorporating the yellow clock into the kichen is a great way to add color into the space. Which food inspired wall clock is your favorite?

  • Granny Chic Style: Definition and Product Roundup

    Kitchen and Granny Chic

    When I first heard about the design style, granny chic, I was hesitant to explore it. Now, I am in love with the style, which focuses on botanicals and soft colors. Think an updated, more youthful version of your grandmother's Americana cottage. It reminds me of home cooking, sunflower bouquets, and knitted blankets. The aesthetic is very warm, welcoming, and handmade.

    Granny Chic Elements:

    • Botanicial motifs
    • Soft, muted colors
    • Wire baskets and trays
    • Knitted textiles
    • Curved lines
    • Warm woods

    Products for the Granny Chic Style

    Left to Right: Masterpiece Collection Olive Ash Burl Accent Table,  Butterfly Decoupage Metal Tray, Flower Botanical Shade, Blue and White Porcelain Hexagonal Gourd Table Lamp

    The burl accent table would look great in the kitchen as a place to show off cookbooks and a bowl of fruit. The butterfly tray can be incorporated into the dining room or living room decor.

    Adding granny chic style to your decor can be as easy as replacing a lamp shade with the botanical shade. The blue and white porcelain table lamp sets the tone for granny chic style in the bedroom. Mix the table lamp with other granny chic decor items such as a quilt and knitted throws.

    Image: SF Girl By Bay


  • Creative Solutions for Bedside Lighting

    Architects lamps, chandeliers and modern desk lamps are excellent bedside lighting options.

    When you’re choosing bedside lighting, give form and function equal weight. Selecting a good reading light—and who doesn’t want one of those—doesn’t mean taking something discordantly industrial into your home’s most personal space, so long as you’re careful to pick a lamp with the right shade and material.  

    Vintage scones and hanging pendants can create the relaxing mood you’ll appreciate, while traditional table lamps and salvaged pieces lend the air of romance nobody wants to do without.

    Why not try something unexpected, like a mini chandelier, or ultra functional, like an adjustable architect's desk lamp? They offer creative solutions for bedside lighting. 

    Functional pharmacy lamps and vintage-inspired gooseneck lights bring elegance and function to a bedside table.

    We usually think of “task lighting” as something for the kitchen counter or home office, but your bedroom lighting has jobs to do, too—and creating beauty is one of them. It wasn’t all that long ago that choosing a serviceable reading light for your night table meant importing something designed for a drafting table or the office desk. In recent years, designers have adapted the oh-so-functional pharmacy lamps and vintage-inspired gooseneck lights with a variety of materials, shades and elegant configurations.

    They bring the best of both worlds to a bedside table. Don’t be afraid to set a mood with table lamps and wall pieces that let you set just the mood you want in a room of your own.  


    Photos via Red and Lonny Magazine.


  • Maggie Morgan on Decorating in Threes, Kayne West, Plus...

    Maggie Rose Design Blog


    Maggie Morgan is an Interior Decorator in Seattle, Washington. Since childhood she’s been rearranging rooms, styling bookshelves, and obsessing over fabrics (she had a very thoughtfully decorated dollhouse!).  Since starting the Maggie Rose design blog in 2008, she began decorating rooms for readers who became clients. In 2011 she launched Maggie Rose Interiors full-time. Recently she made some time to chat.  This is what transpired-



    What is the best design advice you ever received?

    William Morris said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

    When decorating, what item(s) should you invest or splurge on?

    Definitely invest in a great sofa for the room you spend the most time in, preferably with clean, simple lines and a neutral fabric.  And great drapes can make a room.

    What would be your dream project?

    A client who loves to entertain and wants guests to say “WOW” when they walk in the room. Freedom to be creative. And any project that requires lots of fabrics (my weakness!).

    Brass Table Lamp

    How important is lighting to your design?

    Extremely so. I’ll bring in several table lamps and lighting sources. Rooms look better with many sources of soft (under 60 watt) lighting rather than one or two sources of harsh light.

    What is one “trick of the trade” that you implement in your designs? 

    I group decorative objects in threes. Usually with staggering heights to create a triangle. It’s a great way to display a small collection without it feeling cluttered.

     What is your favorite style? 

    Is that how your home is decorated? Traditional with a twist. Love classic furniture shapes that never go out of style paired with modern pieces and textiles from around the world. I’m getting there with my own place , but that’s the vision!

    Red Wall

    What do you see as the next design trend? 

    I think mid century modern design will continue to be popular for a while, but I think a return to post-modernism may be after that. Trends are cyclical after all! Or maybe it’s something we’ve never seen before! I think red will make a comeback next year though.

    What is your favorite guilty pleasure that might surprise people?

    I like to sing along with a lot of Kanye West’s latest album. Best in the car! 

    Can you tell us about your goals or any projects in the works that you are excited about? 

    I have some fun things in store for Spring, but my lips are sealed! Currently working on a bachelor pad that has a ton of potential to be amazing.

    Well Maggie when you are ready to unseal your lips, let us know.  Thanks for your time!


     Resources: Maggie Rose Interiors and Lonny Magazine


  • Dressing Up the Draped Table

    Foyer Ideas

    I think many people look at the draped table as a cop-out. To quote Elle Woods, “I Object!” Now, I hardly condone taking an old sheet and tossing it over a fiberboard table round and calling it a day. Rather, by dressing up the draped table you can have a stunning show stopper that looks custom and totally intentional. This hallway draped table is super chic. You can literally buy a folding table at a big box store and have a cover like this made. The box pleating is clean and crisp and the contrasting border a must for making this piece pop. The subtle nod to empire style works without being de trop.

    Living Room Side Tables

    This draped side table is a modern classic. The simple round shape will never go out of style and the glass topper will ensure that the fabric stays clean. By using fabric to drape the table you give yourself flexibility. You can change the look of the room inexpensively by simply using different fabrics. I also love the pop of orange. 

    Orange Ceramic Lamps

    Did somebody mention using a hot orange lamp to add interest? 

    Masculine Bedroom Ideas

    I could live in this bedroom. It cozy, moody, eclectic and ticks all the right boxes. There is a big, comfortable bed, ample shelves for books, reading lights, and a variety of chairs for both work and relaxation. I love the use of the draped table here as both a desk and room divider. The mossy brown/green fabric is decidedly masculine yet remains true to the romantic soft furnishings that abound. 

    Lamps with Mica Shades

    This mica-topped lamp adds that certain masculine vibe to any desk.

    Home Office Ideas

    Another draped desk option is this crisp white version. The oval shad makes this desk a little more custom and unique. Additionally, the trimmed pleats and custom glass topper introduce design touches that are far from run-of-the-mill. The simple white lamp keeps the aesthetic light and bright.

    Romantic Dining Room Ideas

    Feeling romantic with a light dusting of country? This patchwork draped table is not for everybody but works within the context of country elegance. The monochromatic color scheme allows this topper to not scream Holly Hobby. 

    Asian Style Dining Rooms

    For a true 180, take a look at this Asian-inspired draped dining table. The clean, square design works beautifully with the room. Notice the peek-a-boo green fabric in the pleats? Genius. The balance of traditional and modern are truly harmonious here and the modern lines of the table allows the contemporary chandelier to work in a room with classic crown moldings.

    Mid Century Style Chandelier

    Want one for yourself?

    Draped Nightstand Ideas

    Draped tables also look great as a bedside table. The simple pleating here keeps the table neat, while the silk fabric keeps is feminine.

    Traditional Bathroom Ideas

    It’s clear that draped tables can look great in most every room and in most every application, even the bathroom. This bathroom vanity exudes an updated version of 1930s glamour. I suppose the point I am trying to make is that draped tables can be a wonderful addition to home decor, just don’t let me see on old trunk underneath the fortuny fabric!

    Photos courtesy of thesummerhouse,,,

  • Instagram Inspiration from Design Experts

    Erin Loechner Instagram

    Instagram pictures, taken with an iPhone and then posted online though a series of photo filters, have become the modern-day version of the Polaroid. Artists and designers have embraced the application as a way to uniquely record the things that inspire them. Here are some of the Instagram photos of five top design and decor bloggers:

    Erin Loechner Instagrams

     Erin Loechner, Design for Mankind

    Loechner's  blog, Design for Mankind, is known for its clean lines and neutral colors.  Her Instagram photos show her love for contemporary decor mixed with vintage touches,  like an old neon hotel sign and metal chandelier.  She took the photos (above) at her home, featuring a bedroom with a white bed and Eames-inspired chair, an old typewriter and a chrome desk lamp.



    Grace Bonney, Design*Sponge

    Now on tour with her new book, Design*Sponge Home, Bonney stays grounded by taking time to enjoy nature.  Green is the theme of her Instagram photos these days.


     Instagram by SF Girl By Bay

    Victoria Smith, SF Girl By Bay

    With Autumn in the air in her hometown of San Francisco, Smith's Instagrams (above) are infused with auburn and cobalt hues. She often photographs modern seating, like the black one in the photo above, paired with an oversized, upholstered  furniture. 


    Swiss Miss Instagram

    Tina Roth Eisenberg, Swiss Miss

    Originally from Switzerland, Roth Eisenberg is now living in New York City, where she finds constant inspiration.  She joked on her Instagram page recently that she picked her dentist simply because she liked his sign. It turns out that other one of her doctors has a very stylish Eames-era hatrack.


    Instagrams by Decor8

    Holly Becker, Decor8

    A Boston girl now living in Germany, Becker has been on tour promoting her book Decorate.  During her down time, she posts Instagram photos of her trips to flower stands, flea markets and thirft stores.


  • Switch to LEDs with New LED Recessed Lighting Retrofit Downlights

    Have a lot of recessed lighting in your home? It's time for a style update that will give you better lighting and save you money at the same time.

    Cree's LED recessed lighting retrofit modules offer a soft white downlight and low wattage, but deliver the same amount of light as a higher wattage incandescent bulbs.

    Designed for use with new and existing cans, LED retrofit kits are available in a variety of trim choices. One of the most popular choices for the reflector and trim is a subtle white finish, which gives the module a soft glow in the ceiling. Other choices include bronze, nickel and black trim.

    Best of all, these LED lamps have a life expectancy of some 50,000 hours, meaning they will last you up to 25 years before you need to replace them, virtually eliminating any bulb maintenance issues.

    The screw-in base allows for a simple and easy installation process. Click the video above to see installation details and learn more, or shop below.

    Browse Retrofit Recessed Lighting

  • Lamps Plus Talks to Interior Designer Tom Boland

    Tom Boland

    Master of the clean line and warm tones, I had the great pleasure of chatting with LA based designer Tom Boland of Tom Boland Inc. His projects span from New York and Virginia to the Midwest and Los Angeles.  

    LAMPS PLUS: What was the best design advice you ever received?

    Antique Chest

    TOM BOLAND: Formulating an overall design concept and budget before you begin a project that will ideally manage your overall expectations and ideally create an amazing final product.

    LAMPS PLUS: What are your  favorite colors, pieces of furniture, lighting and accessories?

    Traditional Red Dining Room

    TOM BOLAND: Grey and red are my two favorites as they both have a varied range and when use appropriately you can create a great background with grey and add vibrant reds in key elements such as abstract artwork or a unique accessory. For furniture I like the style of vintage pieces by Jaques Adnet as it typically will have great aged leather components on wood or metal. For lighting I'm a fan of unique bronze column lamps that have a weight to them as they mix well in any interior. On accessories I run the gamet on all styles and time periods, they just need to have some history or uniqueness such as a period leather or silver box.

     LAMPS PLUS: What is one “trick of the trade” that you implement in each job?

     TOM BOLAND: Purchasing a relatively inexpensive furniture piece such as a cabinet or a chest of drawers and changing the finish and the hardware creating what appears to be a more significant piece of furniture.

     LAMPS PLUS: How important is lighting in your design?

    Sophisticated Living Room

    TOM BOLAND: Lighting is probably one of  the most important elements in design. It creates the overall mood of a space and makes a space more unique by importing various styles in the same room such as sconces, pendants, and floor lamps.

     LAMPS PLUS: When growing up, what did you want to be?

    TOM BOLAND: I always knew I would do something in the design world, from my first LEGO set, to an obession with car design, it all makes sense in the end.

     LAMPS PLUS: Your home is?

    TOM BOLAND: An eclectic mix of styles, predominantly modern in a 1940's Paul Williams, architect designed building.

     LAMPS PLUS: What do you see as the next design trend?

    Contemporary Stairwell

    TOM BOLAND: A return to a more Bauhaus or refined Art Deco like streamlined style, a greater appreciation for materials and elements used in a simplistic but well made way.

     LAMPS PLUS: What is the most asked question by clients?

    TOM BOLAND: Usually it relates to what is the overall space going to look like, in another words what are the most important elements to create the overall look, whether it be furniture, paint, fabrics, artwork etc.

     LAMPS PLUS: What is your dream project?

    Traditional Front Hall

    TOM BOLAND: Converting an older Georgian or Greek Revival style smaller scaled bank building into a single family home.

     LAMPS PLUS: Can you tell us about your goals or any projects in the works that you are excited about?

    TOM BOLAND: I have several that are exciting, an International Style beachfront home that we are building from the ground up in here in Santa Monica and two restoration projects one is a 1910 Craftsman in the Upper Peninsula in Michigan where the client was a more eclectic modern interior and a Gerard Colcord home in Pasadena. They are all completely different aesthetic which keeps it interesting.

    LAMPS PLUS: What designers do you most admire?

    Contemporary White Living Room

    TOM BOLAND: Jean- Michel Frank and Andre Arbus.

    LAMPS PLUS: What or who has most influenced your own design aesthetic?

    TOM BOLAND: I would say travel to different parts of the world, from Italy to China, the South of France, it opens your eyes to many different cultures and styles of architecture and design.

    LAMPS PLUS: Who are your style icons?

    Traditional Kitchen Design

    TOM BOLAND: They would range from Coco Chanel, Georg Jensen, to Jil Sander as they all have a unique design aesthetic.

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite luxury in life?

    TOM BOLAND: That would go right back to travel.

    LAMPS PLUS: Thanks for the inspiration and your time!

     Photos courtesy of


  • Belgian Style

     Axel Vervoordt

    I don’t know what it is about fall and the nearing winter that gets my heart racing about Belgian Style. Most people probably never think twice about Belgium, that is unless you are Belgian. While they are quite well known for lace and dipping their frites in mayo, they are also masters in combining natural, organic fabrics within the context of ancient and antique spaces. Think of it as a floral-free and modern view of shabby chic.

    Belgian Style has been elevated by master designer Axel Vervoordt but can be achieved in your own home if you keep your color palate muted, incorporate lots of linen, make use of wood and toss in one or two unexpected modern touches.

    Belgian Style Living Room

    Haunting yet beautiful describes this simple interior space. Although the walls seem bare and cold, the roaring fire and soft linen make it inviting. Notice the oversized woven basket for firewood. Stylishly Monastic!

    Linen Sofa Ideas

    Recurring themes...soft linen and wooden accents. Harmonious and natural.

    Dining Chair

    A simple and affordable way to introduce this design style is through this Belgian-style slipcovered chair that adds the Northern European look to dining room design, to your office or in the corner of a bedroom. 

    Contemporary Kitchen Design

    The same muted tones work beautifully in this contemporary kitchen that reads soft and inviting. 

    Kitchen Display Ideas

    Thankfully this kitchen is nowhere near earthquake country. I just love it. Dishes as design-it’s almost an art installation. Gorgeous, but heaven help the hostess who needs to retrieve something from the top shelf.

    White Sofa Ideas

    This look is easily achieved in your own home. Simple pieces with a wow factor. It’s an easy and inexpensive color scheme.

    Wood Coffee Table

    This rough-hewn coffee table mimics the aesthetic. 

    Loft Bedroom Ideas

    Again, we see the recurring use of linen and wood. I love this introduction of super-modern lighting against the backdrop of the heavy old timbers of the loft.

    Contemporary Lighting

    Clean and contemporary lighting adds just the right amount of counter-balance to the older, more natural elements.

    Cozy Livingroom Ideas

    Here is an example of a more traditional way to interpret Belgian Design, though slightly more refined with the introduction of the Aubusson carpet. Designer Karen Draaijer still manages to use simple linens and casual wood accents.

    Grand Home Ideas

    Another moody space. Aren’t they ideal interiors for fall and winter? Belgian Style seems so effortless yet so chic. It’s the kind of high-impact design tailor-made for a small budget.


    Photos courtesy of,,,,,,,



  • Affordable Bathroom Solutions with Style and Charm

    Moroccan Lantern

    You don't have to break the bank to turn your bathroom into an inviting retreat. A host of affordable solutions can give your bathroom charm and style. It's important to maximize what you have. In this case, the homeowner takes advantage of a floor and backsplash lined with earth-toned subway tiles, picking up the hues in the pale taupe sponged-painted walls.

    A hanging lantern lends an exotic air and carefully edited accessories, like the white vase and clear bottle of bath gel help create a restful atmosphere. A weekend of painting, a trip to a flea market or lamp store was all that was required for this make over.

    Red Bathroom

    Don't be afraid to pump energy into a bath that's going to be shared by others. Remember, too, that there are two kinds of lighting in a good bathroom: Ambient wall lighting creates a mood and the other, task lighting, helps you shave or put on make up.

    The swing arm lamp over this period vanity is a great example of the latter. The red wainscoting is a daring but successful choice and what pulls it all together is the north African rug on the tile floor. Don't settle for your mother's white bath mat!

    Vintage Bathroom

    There's no reason to stick to things that gleam when you're rethinking your bathroom. Vintage and recycled pieces in the right combination create a relaxed romance that really can't be beat. In this bath, the look starts with the distressed wide-planked floors.

    A recycled cast iron tub that looks made for soaking, a highboy with an original finish, and an array of gorgeous glass bottles that might have come from an Edwardian apothecary can be collected at any flea-market or second-hand store. The battered white chair looks chic when it's staked with fluffy and inviting white towels. The lesson here is imperfection equals charm.

    Bathroom Accessories

    Spend a bit from your budget on private luxuries and just the right accessories. They'll not only give your bath a personal look, they'll raise your spirits every day when you're getting ready for work.

    Luxury Bathrooms

    A little glitz goes a long way toward turning any bath into a private retreat. In these examples the decorator has chosen ceiling lights that most people would expect to find in a dining room or stairwell. But in a high-ceiling room, even a small one, they become a dramatic element.

    The silver mirror over the tined soaking tub pulls everything together in the left photo. And the woven rug echos the wood floor. It all works together. 

    PHOTO CREDITS:  Design*Sponge, New York Social Diary, Desire to Inspire,  1st Option, Lonny Magazine.  


October, 2011