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.
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You never get a second chance to make a first impression. No doubt you have heard that before when it comes to personal interactions, but it is also relevant when it comes to your home. Just like you want to dazzle folks at a cocktail party or on a job interview, you should want your foyer to dazzle as well. Creating amazing entryways starts with being practical and then making sure those basics are chic. Interior design rules apply to your halls as well so here are the four key things you need to know.
Every well-appointed entry should have a mirror. While I would never accuse you of vanity, mirrors can come in handy for guests needing to primp or to make sure one’s hat is on straight. From an aesthetic perspective, mirrors can be a perfect design choice for small spaces as they reflect light and expand narrow spaces.
Any way you slice it, lighting plays a key role in the success of any front hall. Most front halls have some form of ceiling light, but if you have room for a table or chest, adding a decorative table lamp will add warmth. This eclectic entry is large enough to offer guests ample seating, surface space for display, as well as high-styled wall sconces in an Art Deco design. Together, a winning combination.
Whether you need a spot to put on shoes, drop a handbag, or throw down your coat, seating or a bench is another key element needed for a well appointed entry. This minimalist entry knocks it out of the park. Simple overhead lighting, a large mirror, seating and baskets for storage. By creating a cohesive design style you set the stage for what your guests are likely to see. Here, there is an emphasis on earthy, simple and natural design.
This entry combines the best of traditional architecture with Mid-Century decoration. If you have room in your foyer, try to incorporate a chest. Not only will it provide a surface for everyday items such as keys, phones, and glasses, it will also provide extra storage for items you don’t want guests to see. In a small house or apartment you can use drawers for clothing, bedding, or linens. Don’t forget a chest of drawers can always be repurposed and used for store clothing in a bedroom later on.
This traditional entry hall bench above (currently unavailable) is a true multi-purpose piece of furniture. In one fell swoop, you can turn your foyer into a truly functional space. Offering storage, seating hooks and a mirror, the bench is the epitome of the amazing entry.
Photos courtesy of Pinterest
Interior designer Kimberley Seldon is a seasoned design pro who wears many hats. From full-service residential interior designer, to TV personality, to furniture designer, to magazine editor, to author, to business guru, Kimberley really does it all! We chatted with Kimberley to get her insider take on decorating, style, and the business side of design.
LAMPS PLUS: What or who has most influenced your own design aesthetic?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: Travel is my muse. I love the idea of great design as a universal language and I look for it wherever I travel - from Morocco to Arkansas. I'm never disappointed.
LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite style?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I couldn't possibly choose just one. I believe "style" must relate to location and architecture. So, a home that is appropriately designed and decorated is my favourite.
LAMPS PLUS: What designers do you most admire?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I'm spoiled for choice in this category because I have worked with so many fine designers throughout my career. I love John Saladino's masterful quiet. I think Vincente Wolf is a genius with floor plans. No one is having more fun than Kelly Wearstler who works with abandon. Too many great examples to choose from.
LAMPS PLUS: What do you see as the next design trend?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: Please god, let it be hiring a professional designer to complete your project!
LAMPS PLUS: What is one “trick of the trade” that you implement in your designs?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I love to line living room lamps with color to introduce more warmth into the room.
LAMPS PLUS: What is the best design advice you ever received?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: Professionals keep professional hours. Dentists don't come in on Sunday evening because that's convenient for the client and neither should professional interior designers.
LAMPS PLUS: When decorating, what items should you invest or splurge on?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: Invest in the most well-built,comfortable sofa and bed you can afford. Splurge on artwork because it tells the world who you are and is a great way to personalize a space.
LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite guilty pleasure that might surprise people?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I'm a huge Christina Aguilera fan. I watch Big Brother in the summer with my brother and kids. I occasionally buy something kitschy just because it makes me laugh and I love to see the reaction of others when they see something like that in my own home.
LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite object at home that you didn't design?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: My Jura coffee machine.
LAMPS PLUS: What would be your dream project?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I would love to design a Vegas casino.
LAMPS PLUS: Who are your style icons?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I love the thrown together ease of Katherine Hepburn and the precision of Audrey Hepburn. Must be that last name.
LAMPS PLUS: What do you consider your must-have classic design books?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I have a first edition of Elsie de Wolf's The House in Good Taste and I really treasure it. She came on the scene and said, "I don't care if it's popular, it's ugly. Out with it."
LAMPS PLUS: In addition to running a full-service interior design firm, you’re also the Editor in Chief of Dabble Magazine and Design Editor of Chatelaine magazine, you've created a successful furniture line, you've published two books, you teach Business of Design workshops and seminars all over the world, and you’re launching a new website this month catered to design professionals. What is your favorite part of owning and operating a business with so many facets?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I feel very fortunate to have found a hub I can successfully orbit around. Interior design is a vast category and even with all I do, I barely scratch the surface. I do feel very proud of my new site, Business of Design, because I can use it as a way to teach other professionals how to run their businesses. These are lessons I've learned in twenty years of working with clients and nearly a decade of working one-on-one with a business coach.
LAMPS PLUS: What is the most challenging part about these varied aspects of your business?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: By far, the most challenging part of interior design is educating the customer and the designer about the value of what we provide. TV makes it look easy. It's actually a complex, responsibility-laden career. I can't think of anything I'd rather do.
LAMPS PLUS: Can you tell us about your goals or any projects in the works that you are excited about?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: With the launch of Business of Design I hope to take my teaching to a new level. To really educate designers about what it takes to be successful in business. To work smarter and to be able to satisfy more clients.
LAMPS PLUS: How important is lighting to your design?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: Without great lighting…what design? Poor lighting single-handedly destroys a space. Function and form are improved with a flexible lighting plan.
LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite furniture piece and why?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: Chairs. They are as complex as architecture and equally thrilling to look at.
LAMPS PLUS: What are you obsessed with right now?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: Lamp shades and how to customize them to improve the living environment.
LAMPS PLUS: What are your favorite pieces from Lamps Plus?
KIMBERLEY SELDON: I love the Currey and Company Dante Blue Table Lamp (no longer available,) the Vertigo Small Pendant Light, and the Robert Abbey Odelia Night Light White Glass Table Lamp (no longer available.)
Thanks, Kimberley! To learn more about Kimberley and her work please visit her websites: Kimberley Seldon Design Group and Business of Design
Images courtesy of Kimberley Seldon Design Group.
It's a new year, full of new possibilities. So to give you some inspiration and get you started on the right foot, here are some of our favorite links and posts from this past month. Enjoy!
The SFGate liked our Big Sky Antler Chandelier (above) as part of their faux-antler chandelier trend article.
Did you see our friend Stacy Garcia's pillow in the recent episode of Bravo's The Real Housewives of New Jersey? We think it would go great with our colorful line of Stacy Garcia table lamps. What do you think?
Design blogger Holly Becker shares her design resolutions for 2012 and her list is full of great ideas to get your creative interior design juices flowing. We love her idea of making more mood boards, whether the old-fastioned way or digitally on Pinterest.
One of our favorite bloggers, Victoria Smith from SF Girl By Bay, included our Robert Abbey Delta Schiaparelli Pink Table Lamp in her Fab Friday picks.
We found one of our giclee pendant lights, Bold Pink Stripe 3-Light Pendant Chandelier (style no longer available), while browsing HGTV's Colorsplash page. Thanks David Bromstad for including one of our products in one of your fab designs!
Images: As credited above
The great English designer William Morris, who founded the world’s first home decorating firm, once wrote that we should have nothing around us that “is not useful and beautiful.”
Morris and his friends thought life simply was better lived according to those principles—and he was right, though sometimes all of us fall into a bit of a rut. Time is short, budgets are tight, our vision narrows, grows a bit stale and inspiration just seems to dry up. That’s precisely when you need to jump start your imagination. It will make you feel better and—in short order—have you back making your home a place of useful beauty.
Here are five practical tips to help you out of the decorating doldrums and keep you inspired:
1. Start a notebook of ideas. Jot down plans, places you can turn for ideas, ideas you’d like to try. If you already have a notebook, reread your old entries to see if inspiration still isn’t lurking there. Add new ideas and aspirations to the old and look for ideas in the remix.
2. Makeover your home office. There’s nothing like rearranging the place where you work to give yourself a fresh perspective and get yourself going again. It’s easy, inexpensive and has an immediate payoff. Put your supplies in interesting new containers, buy a new lamp or re-imagine the way your shelves or storage is set up.
3. You should have an idea board. If you don’t, start one. Pinterest is a great way to start. If you do, take down all but your very favorites and give your visual inspiration a fresh look with new clippings, vintage or contemporary postcards—always stimulating—and diagrams to keep your creative goals front and center before your eyes.
4. Comb the magazines and Internet for a new role model. She or he can be an historical figure, someone from the worlds of film or fashion whose style strikes you in a special way or a designer. Collect material and think about what it is that appeals to you about them. Look for ways to bring a touch of what inspires you into your own space.
5. Get out of your house or office and look around. Go to your local museums and spend some time with their design collections. Window shop the home décor and antiques shops in your town. Take a tour of a nearby historic home, no matter what the era. Even going to Sunday open houses is a great way to get inspired (or to get house envy.)
How do you stay inspired?
(The desk, above, belongs to artist and illustrator Lizzy Stewart.)
Keeping your kitchen organized does not mean a gut renovation. In fact, clever kitchen storage can be achieved inexpensively if you follow the three simple tips: reuse, repurpose and recycle. Normally, I am merrily talking about glorious interiors and how to achieve them, when you may be wanting some practical advice about home matters that don’t cost a thin dime. You’re in luck today because I love finding ways to feed my obsessive need for organization for next to pennies.
One easy way to stay organized for less is to use clear canisters. Not only are they easily washed and used for just about anything, they stack beautifully and allow you to see how much is left of a particular item. No more pulling out the old box of cereal to see that your teenager has left a meager amount of corn flakes. On a design note, I love the wallpaper on the back of the pantry. Why not keep things bright and breezy as well as organized. Make sure pantries are well lit. With kitchen lighting, it is critical to making sure you see what you have and need, not to mention to see when things get a tad dirty and need a good cleaning.
Did you ever think of the many uses for a tension rod? Forget about hanging a limp shower curtain from one of these beauties. I am in love with this idea...use them for vertical storage for trays, platters and cutting boards. Genius.
When was the last time you saw a pegboard outside of a garage or basement? Of course Julia Child used it in her own kitchen so it must be top drawer to use in ours. Funny enough, I’m not even discussing the pegboard, it’s the fisherman’s basket, a creel, that caught my eye. I love how they have used baskets on vertical space to add storage in this kitchen. Country, charming and totally functional.
Another great idea for maximizing kitchen storage is as basic as a nail and hook. If you are challenged with drawer and cabinet space, there is no shame in hanging pans. I also happen to think these wire baskets are so chic. To me, making merchandising your kitchen to look like a store brings me joy.
Country wire baskets are perfect to hold everything from fruits and veggies as well as napkins, silverware and dishtowels. The handle makes them perfect for transporting items from kitchen to dining room or outside.
We all have drawers that are filled with a jumbled assortment of random things including saran wrap and foil holders that can clean take off a digit if you’re not careful. One interesting idea is to take an old cereal box, cover it in decorative paper and use it to hold those kitchen essentials that usually take up valuable horizontal drawer space.
Another chic storage idea is to recycle old filing cabinets used in old print shops and general stores. As you can see, they make one-of-a-kind extra storage for those with limited space and budgets. Go forth and organize!
Photos courtesy of Pinterest, Martha Stewart.
With more than twenty years of experience as a buyer (in departments ranging from housewares to pool supplies to luggage), Sherri Peach is thrilled to be buying and designing products at Lamps Plus that are her passion - lights! Sherri specializes in bathroom lighting, close to ceiling lights, and outdoor lighting, and not only does she have an expert eye in sourcing lighting that's ahead of the trend, but she's also skilled in designing and customizing light fixtures to create the perfect fixtures that are both stylish and affordable.
LAMPS PLUS: What is the most interesting part of your job?
SHERRI PEACH: To be able to create wonderful and interesting products at great value.
LAMPS PLUS: What’s your favorite Lamps Plus product that you've had a hand in designing?
SHERRI PEACH: Currently, it would be the Possini Euro Lilypad Bath Light Fixture. A fun and unique contemporary light which adds flair to any bathroom.
LAMPS PLUS: How important is lighting in a bathroom?
SHERRI PEACH: Extremely! The right lighting can make a huge difference. Especially, when applying make up for women.
LAMPS PLUS: What’s the bathroom lighting like at your own home?
SHERRI PEACH:I have two side side sconces on both sides of the mirror, a bath bar above the mirror and a ceiling flush for general lighting. All of which are on a dimmer.
LAMPS PLUS: How would you create an “ideal” lighting scenario in a bathroom?
SHERRI PEACH: Definitely, side sconces to prevent shadows and a wall dimmer, which allows you to make the lighting as bright as you would like, or to just make the lighting low for a night light.
LAMPS PLUS: What trends do you see coming in bathroom lighting?
SHERRI PEACH: Chrome or Brushed Steel are the main finishes now. Contemporary, as well as, clean lines are the main trend now and will be for a few years.
LAMPS PLUS: What are your favorite contemporary bathroom lights from Lamps Plus?
SHERRI PEACH: Currently they are (clockwise from left): the Lighting on the Square Bronze Wall Sconce; the Lighting on the Square Bronze Bath Wall Light; and the Possini Euro Design Glass Bands Bath Light,
LAMPS PLUS: Thank you for shining some light on bathroom lighting trends.
Interior designer Lisa Ferguson is the founder of Decor Mentor, a "collaborative, educational online community for interior design pros and consumers". Lisa and her team of designer mentors are seasoned professionals who know the ins and outs of the design world, and have come together on Decor Mentor to share their expertise.
The Decor Mentor design experts have written dozens of blog posts answering homeowner questions and reader dilemmas, and one question that many readers ask is how to choose the correct size of area rug for a room. Choosing the right-sized area rug can be tricky, so Lisa has created these handy visuals to give homeowners a sense of how different sized area rugs will interact with their furniture and suit their spaces.
Before you go shopping, be sure to read (and memorize!) Lisa's Designer Tips to Remember:
+ 8-16″ of hardwood around perimeter of area rug is optimal+ Area rug edges and corners in major traffic flow areas will be annoying and dangerous+ A minimum of the front legs of furniture should be on the area rug, put preferably all furniture legs should be on the area rug for a more pulled together and professional look+ Measure your minimum and maximum sizes before you go sourcing+ If your optimal area rug size is not standard, consider having broadloom banded [it's affordable, with lots of choices!]
To view and download all of Lisa's area rug size guides, visit the following links: Living Room Area Rug Size Guide, Dining Room Area Rug Size Guide, Queen Bed Area Rug Size Guide, King Bed Area Rug Size Guide, Twin Bed Area Rug Size Guide, and Double/Full Bed Area Rug Size Guide
Images courtesy of Decor Mentor.
The words "Superbowl" and "home decor" aren't often paired together. But surprisingly, incorporating your favorite team's colors into your interior can be done with a little team pride and a lot of style! The New England Patriots and the New York Giants face off at Superbowl XLVI on February 5th, and between now and then it's easy to bring a little red, white, and blue into your home.
Are you a Patriots fan? Replace your dining room pendant with this glossy red shade; swap out your living room accent chairs for a pair of sleek armless slipper chairs in classic navy; update your kitchen with contemporary bar stools in red, and get comfy in bed on this Patriots bedrest pillow. Pictured above: Red Penelope Pendant Light, Navy Twill Armless Chair, Orbit Red Faux Leather Adjustable Stool, and New England Patriots NFL Bedrest Pillow (we apologize, but these items are no longer available.)
Or are you rooting for the Giants? A blue giclee ceiling light looks great over a plate of nachos on a kitchen table; add an extra red leather chair or two to seat your Superbowl fan friends; get festive with a string of red, white, and blue LED lights; replace your everyday white lampshades with unexpected red silk ones; and hang a graphic piece of appropriately-colored New York artwork. Pictured: Blue Giclee Ceiling Light, Maxfield Brick Red Bicast Leather Tub Chair (no longer available), LED Red White and Blue 12' Long Rope Light, Red Silk Dupioni Lamp Shade, and Woolworth Building Framed 29" High Wall Art. (We apologize that many of these items are no longer available.)
Mixing patterns in home decoration is easier than you think. I think most people are scared to mix patterns for fear that their home will end up looking like a gypsy caravan. Not to say that gypsy caravans can’t look interesting and while they have been around for centuries, it’s probably not your first choice in decorating. I also think people are intimidated by pattern and that’s why so many rooms end up being run-of-the-mill, safe beige. There are several rules when mixing pattern in one room, once mastered, you will be able to mix patterns to perfection.
Before you start throwing a multitude of patterns into a room, have an idea of a general color palate and theme. Here are the things you need to remember when mixing pattern:
Have a unified color scheme. Notice above there is a common use of a rusty orange and harvest yellow throughout most of the fabrics.
Balance scale and shapes. If you choose a large scale floral, you must balance that with complimenting fabrics like a small repeat pattern like the small leaf themed fabric, a striped patten or check, as well as solids.
This image shows a scheme in action. Large scale pattern on the chair, a tighter ikat pattern behind and solids to create a resting pace for the eye.
This vignette is all about using pattern to set a mood. The pattern here is less jarring because of the heavy use of solids. The solid walls, polished wood table lamp, and table reinforce the cozy atmosphere. The surprising orange fabric on the chair makes sense because of the orange undertones of the burled wood table and the flowers.
This blue bedroom mixes pattern beautifully. Again the grounding agents are the crisp white bedding and the nightstand. The tighter floral pattern wallpaper compliments the larger scale floral pillows and striped carpet. Keep in mind the unifying color scheme of blue and green.
Another example for a slightly more subdued version of the patterned bedroom. All the same rules apply here as well.
Wow. I know this one is off-the-charts, but it works. Although the wallpaper seems busy, its muted tones really act as a neutral backdrop for the bold pink. The solid black lamps are an anchor that offers a place for the eye to rest while taking in the bold color and pattern.
If you are willing to amp-up on the pattern, this sculptural black lamp is a good place to start. Of course you may wish to find a replacement lamp shade to work with your personal color scheme or start anew by browsing our large assortment of table lamps.
If you are a dyed-in-the-wool fan of neutrals, you can still infuse your home with pattern. The same rules apply when mixing and matching. This room has large scale curtain fabric, striped walls, and a tighter geometric fabric on the chairs. Solids are used on the floor, chair backs, pillows and table as a relaxing resting place for the eye. It is to be hoped that pattern will now seem less scary to you and remember the gypsy’s crystal ball cannot predict the outcome for you room, only you can make that happen with a little help from the design rules outlined above.
Photos courtesy of Mrsblandings, Chinoiseriechic, Boglestreet, Katiedid
Looking for home decorating ideas? Check out our very own gallery of room ideas! If it's been a while since you visited the Room Inspiration section of our website, we invite you to take another look. We've re-vamped our gallery of room scenes and you'll find new ideas and helpful design tips for your living room, dining room, bedroom, and other living spaces from our savvy team of interior designers. Ready? Here's a preview of what you can expect to find in our gallery:
Living Room Inspiration: From French Country to formal, from modern to traditional, our curated collection of living room decorating ideas is bound to inspire.
Dining Room Ideas: With our dining room decorating ideas you can create the dining room of your dreams - a space where you can't wait to gather with friends and family.
Foyer and Entryway Design Ideas: Your foyer is the first thing people see when they enter your home. Make your entrance a space to remember with our entryway decorating and design ideas.
Hallway Lighting and Design Ideas: Transform a narrow, small, long, or just plain awkward hallway into a stunning space with our collection of hallway lighting and design ideas.
Bathroom Design Ideas - Scenes to Inspire: Mirror, mirror on the wall, whose bathroom is the best of all? Why, yours will be! Whether for kids or teens, the master bathroom or powder room, our bathroom design ideas will give you great ideas to get started.
Bedroom Lighting and Decorating Ideas: Create a cozy retreat that captures your personality. For fantastic bedroom design ideas, be sure to view our bedroom gallery.
Kitchen Inspiration: The kitchen is the heart of the home, and our gallery of kitchen lighting ideas is full of fantastic inspiration for you to add heart (and style) to your space.
Home Office Lighting and Design Ideas: Your home office need not be boring! Escape from bland filing cabinets and dull desks with our inspiring home office lighting and design Ideas.
Head on over to our Room Inspiration section now and get great ides from our gallery of professionally decorated room scenes! (And to keep track of your favorite spaces, remember to bookmark your favorite rooms or visit Lamps Plus on Pinterest and pin your favorites today!)