Style Illuminated

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

  • Interior Design Inspiration with Design Milk

     Designer Interview with Design Milk

    Jaime Derringer, founder of Design Milk, started her design inspiration blog on a whim and it has definitely grown over the years and become a favorite resource among design enthusiasts. I was so excited to have the opportunity to chat with Jaime about her personal design inspirations and her must-have Lamps Plus light fixures!

    LAMPS PLUS: What was the inspiration behind creating Design Milk?

    JAIME DERRINGER: I had recently bought a townhouse and was looking for the perfect sofa. Then I realized I needed a place to bookmark all the cool stuff I started finding. I was surprised to discover people were actually reading it!

    Design Milk and most popular post

    LAMPS PLUS: What has been your most popular post to-date?

    JAIME DERRINGER: ZNAK's tear off wallpaper has gotten the most views according to our statistics: It's a fun one!

    LAMPS PLUS: Who is your favorite artist?

    JAIME DERRINGER: I can't answer that!

    Colorful flowering pots and Design Milk

    LAMPS PLUS: What international design trend would you love to see more of in the United States?

    JAIME DERRINGER: More pieces that blur the line between art and design. I don't see enough of it here in the US as I do in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. I would love to see us push the limits of design more frequently. The photo featured above is a ceramic piece by Ayala Sol-Fridman from the Ceramic & Glass Design Department, Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Israel.

    The Saguaro Hotel and Palm Springs

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite color combination for interiors?

    JAIME DERRINGER: Black, white, gray, and wood. What else is there? I think you can pull off any color combination in a room when it's well designed. I think that Stamberg-Aferiat proves that to us in just about every project that they do.

    LAMPS PLUS: What are some tips for making the kitchen the heart of the home?

    JAIME DERRINGER: Make sure to always keep your wine fridge stocked! More seriously though, create a place where your family can spend time together. Now that I have a family of my own, I understand the importance of eating a meal together. Preparing it together, however, can be just as bonding.

    LAMPS PLUS: In a kitchen, do you prefer recessed ligths, a ceiling light, a hanging pendant, or a chandelier?

    JAIME DERRINGER: We are in the process of finalizing a kitchen renovation and we installed track lighting because we don't have an attic space to run wires. We really love our track lighting, but I would also love to have pendants in the kitchen hanging over our island and a large chandelier over our eating area. Chandeliers are no longer reserved for grand entryways or dining rooms anymore! Under- or over-cabinet lighting as well as dimmers should be considered to create a special mood.

    LAMPS PLUS: What are your all-time favorite Lamps Plus light fixtures that you are currently craving?

    JAIME DERRINGER:

    Architect Style Black Finish Adjustable Halogen Desk Lamp at Lamps Plus

    Architect Syle Black Finish Adjustable Halogen Desk Lamp 

    Gen 2 Z-Bar Metallic Black Daylight LED Mini Desk Lamp at Lamps Plus

     Gen 2 Z-Bar Metallic Black Daylight LED Mini Desk Lamp 

    I love a traditional architect style lamp, but I also love the modern sleek lines of the Gen 2 Z-Bar Desk Lamp... It would be a difficult decision trying to choose between these two.

    George Kovacs Polished Chrome Arc Floor Lamp at Lamps Plus 

    George Kovacs Polished Chrome Arc Floor Lamp

    I love a good arc lamp, it still feels so current.

    Lite Source Cristallo Square Egyptian Crystal Pendant at Lamps Plus

    Lite Source Cristallo Square Egyptian Crystal Pendant

    If you are going to go dramatic, go all out and do something like this Crystal drop chandelier - not only is it gorgeous, but it's also unexpected.

    Thank you Jaime!

    Images: Design Milk

  • Impressive Interior Lighting: Bedroom Chandeliers

    Crystal Chandeliers

    Bedroom lighting can evoke any type of mood you want, provided you know how and what to choose. Bedroom chandeliers can create an impressive interior lighting scheme if the style and scale work in harmony with the room. Elegant crystal chandeliers look romantic, feminine and create a glittering dance of shine and sparkle. Because they pack so much punch, make sure the scale is right for the size of the room. The last thing you want is for your significant other to bang their head or pull out their extensions on a low hanging light!

    Romantic Bedroom Ideas

    Romance can also be achieved in a simpler design as well. This crystal globe shaped fixture is a successful choice for the room. The round shape echoes the feminine, round window in the distance, the curve of the chair and softness of the color choice. The mirrored furniture acts like crystals in that they will reflect the light thrown from the chandelier.

    Country Bedroom Design

    This light and airy chandelier reflects the openness of the room and its soothing colors. This room can take a larger scale fixture because the ceiling is vaulted and there is minimal mass within the light.     

    Beach Style Bedrooms

    This sophisticated beach-inspired bedroom combines the best of modern and traditional. Though the furniture is primarily traditional, the white color scheme keeps it fresh and current. To that end, this room uses an all-white scalloped drum chandelier to reinforce the idea of “new.” The shade’s softness and undulating form counterbalance the hard wood walls and ceiling most successfully. 

    Ceiling Lights

    Contemporary drum shade ceiling lights are always a chic and soothing choice.

    Bedroom Lighting Ideas

    Bedroom chandeliers can also be an opportunity to display one-of-a-kind works of art, but make sure your chandelier fits the style of your decor. This wrought iron and glass ceiling light works harmoniously with the wrought iron four-post bed frame. The subtle milk glass dome and white bedding balances the more saturated walls and flooring.

    Art Deco Bedrooms

    Sometimes taking a risk can work. This Art Deco Style gold chandelier would normally be a good choice for a dining room, but works in this bedroom because it compliments the gold curtain rods and has a simple, crisp geometric form like the bed, night stand and table lamp.

    Master Bedroom Decor

    Like the image above, this Sputnik-Style ceiling light is pure geometry like the balance of this room. The convex mirrors above the bed act to reflect the light, much like crystals of a more traditional fixture.

    Country Bedroom Design Ideas

    This eclectic bedroom has an interesting chandelier. Not that its form or materials are special, rather, the designer has taken what looks to be an older, out-of-date dining room light and painted it to match the color scheme of this bedroom. This a good example of how you can repurpose lighting from other areas in your house.    

    Vintage Light Fixtures

    Sometimes mixing it up works. From a style standpoint, much of this room seems disjointed. However, if you look closely and you can see why it works. The old school floral chandelier is the same color as the walls, headboard and curtains. Sometimes you can build your entire room around a great ceiling light like they have done here.

    Floral Style Chandelier

    Give it a try with this timeless floral chandelier.  

    Teen Bedrooms

    Don’t be unfair to the teen. If you take the time to give your kids a creative space that they can enjoy, it will probably give them a love of design to last a lifetime.

    Lantern Lighting

    Loving this room. Don’t think that because something is meant to be used outdoors that you can’t make it work inside. This bold lantern ceiling light is genius in a bedroom. The high vaulted space can take this large scale light and the beamed ceiling has an outdoor feeling that mirrors the roof-shaped canopy of the light.

    Photos courtesy of House of Turquoise, VT Interiors, The Zhush, Paloma81, Elements of Style

  • Custom Lamp Shades On The TODAY Show

    Tangier White Giclee Shade on Today Show

    There is a little buzz around the Lamps Plus office today... perhaps it is because our giclee custom lamp shades were featured this morning on The TODAY Show! During the "Hot Spring Trends for the Home" segment hosted by uber-fashionista and Lifestyle Editor for Gilt.com, Chassie Post, Lamps Plus' Tangier White Giclee Lamp Shade was showcased in a collection of fresh and inspiring black and white decor items for the home. 

     

    Close up of Tangier Shade

    Tangier White Giclee Lamp Shade on Lamps Plus

    Check out the full clip, and fast forward to 3:08 to see how switching out a lamp shade can revitalize your living space. 

    POST UPDATE: We have some new custom lighting solutions!

    Images courtesy of: The TODAY Show

  • Design Flourishes: Monograms in the Home

    Monogrammed Shoes

    In a world excessively concerned with labels, it’s nice when your own is just enough. Well-designed rooms are a study in texture and scale but most importantly layering. The layering aspect is all about balancing the basics like furniture with design flourishes such as trims, lighting, pillows and decorative objects. Embellishing items in your home with your monogram is a personal way to add decorative interest.

    Decorating with Monograms

    Bedrooms seem to be the happiest recipient of monograms. Pillows and duvets are a perfect place to add monograms. Colorful embroidery on white bedding makes a bold statement. Don’t forget to tie-in all the designer touches. I love how the bed’s color scheme is carried throughout the room. Coordinating a table lamp with the color palette puts the design over the top.  

    Pale Blue Bedrooms

    Here is another, more casual, bedroom that uses monograms to make a personal design statement. Keep in mind that monogrammed pillows are a great wedding present, an item that newlyweds tend not to buy but are always a welcomed gift.

    Decorating with Bold Pattern

    While the last two bedrooms were somewhat traditional, including monogrammed bedding need not be fussy. This bold, coastal style bedroom is a sea of pattern and monograms take their rightful place. This room calls for one-of-a-kind choices and the bedding is no exception. The colorful and tiered glass chandelier draws you in and forces your eyes down to notice the crisp bed that balances the many patterns.

    Masculine Bedroom Design

    Men like monograms too! 

    Preppy Design Ideas

    Monograms are making their way out of the bedroom. I’m crazy for the monograms on the back of these card table chairs. They are playful, personal and liven up what is usually a dull chair back. I think monograms are welcoming and create instant-heirloom appeal.

    Coastal Design Ideas

    This casual dining room has monogrammed slip-covered chairs. Monogrammed slipcovers are an easy and somewhat inexpensive way to personalize any room. However, I would avoid monograms on a slipcovered sofa. I daresay, that’s a tad too much.  

    Painted Tables

    Tired of an old dull coffee table? Why not paint it out and add your monogram? Cute and preppy.

    Teenage Bedroom Decorating Ideas

    Certainly not for everyone, but how perfect for a young teenage girl? The monogrammed pillows pick up all the other colors in the room, including the playful and feminine ceiling light.

    Nursery Design Ideas

    Another interesting place for a monogram is on a window treatment or a valance. Baby rooms tend to go overboard with giant baby names plastered to walls. A simple and subtle way to personalize the space is through a monogram. This eclectic and quirky nursery is the perfect breeding ground for artistic thinking, n’est pas?

    Vintage Style Bathrooms

    Bathrooms can certainly join in the monogram fun as well. From towels to shower curtains, monograms are always stylish. The old-school cursive monogram in stylistically in line with the vintage feel of the room. Vintage style bathroom lighting is the perfect choice to highlight your precious namesake. 

    Images: Tartan Scot, Elle Decor, House of Turquoise, Habitually Chic, VT Interiors

  • Designer Hilary Sessions Dishes Design with Lamps Plus

    Hilary Sessions and Quarry Hill Design

    I recently had a chance to sit down with San Francisco based designer and founder of Quarry Hill Design, Hilary Sessions, to chat about what drives her passion for design, what is most inspiring to her and naturally, her latest obsession. 

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

    HILARY: Less is more!

    LAMPS PLUS: Where do you splurge?

    HILARY: On good quality upholstered pieces. They will look better, be more comfortable and can be recovered to last a lifetime.

    LAMPS PLUS: OK, it’s time to offer up your favorite four. Color?

    HILARY: Blue – It is so versatile. I love classic navy and white for a nautical feel. I also adore the variety of watery blues. You can pair them with cream and chocolate or pop them with a punch of orange.

    Quarry Hill Design Interiors

    LAMPS PLUS: Furniture piece?

    HILARY: Julian Chichester Dakota pedestal table.

    Dakota Pedestal Table

    LAMPS PLUS: Lighting?

    HILARY: I love a lot of the pieces by Robert Abbey like the Robert Abbey Wavy Collection Mercury Glass Table Lamp.

    Robert Abbey Lamps

    LAMPS PLUS: Accessory?

    HILARY: Pillows! I’m obsessed with throw pillows. They are simply the easiest way to dress up a room. I love them so much I started my own line called Quarry Hill Pillows. It’s an excuse to play with my favorite fabrics.

    Quarry Hill Design Pillows

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your most recent obsession?

    HILARY: Right now, I am obsessed with: Mohair – I love the rich, subtle texture. It is so luxurious. I’m doing a large Serpentine sofa for a client, inspired by Vladimir Kagan’s classic design. It is going to be amazing!

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

    HILARY: I like to play with texture to add dimension to a space. Even if we are working with a very limited palette we can achieve incredible depth by adding texture to each element of the design. I’ve done grasscloth on the walls, Belgian linen on the upholstery, seagrass floor covering and industrial metal accent pieces. It draws you into the space and makes you want to touch everything.

    Designer Living Rooms

    LAMPS PLUS: How important is lighting to your design? 

    HILARY: Extremely. It can take a room to a whole new level. Giving each room a variety of lighting options changes the mood and tone of the space. You need options.

    LAMPS PLUS: What are your top lighting items from Lamps Plus?

    Floor Lamps

     

    Jumbo Architect Floor Lamp

    Medal Wall Sconces

    Silver Medal-Shaded Two-Light Wall Sconce

    Wall Sconce

    Jonathan Adler High Lantern Wall Sconce

    Pendant Chandelier

    Alita Collection Champagne Hanging Pendant Chandelier

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

    HILARY: An artist – I loved to paint. Mixing and playing with colors has always been one of my favorite things to do.

    LAMPS PLUS: Your home is?

    HILARY: It is a bit East Coast Cottage. I have a lot of family heirlooms and carpets that I’ve pulled together with an updated palette of oranges, pinks and creams. It is timeless look and it feels like home to me.

    Transitional Living Room Design

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

    HILARY: Pastels. They are so big on the Spring Runway Collections. I think we’ll start seeing more washed out pastels for the home. They are elegant and soothing.

    LAMPS PLUS: What’s the most asked question by fans? 

    HILARY: How did you develop such a great eye for color?

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite guilty pleasure that might surprise people? 

    HILARY: I’m addicted to Pinterest!

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite thing at home that you didn’t design? 

    HILARY: An oil painting may parents gave me – an abstract of a woman seated in a chair wearing a large hat. It reminds me of summers as a child.

    Dining Room Design Ideas

    LAMPS PLUS: What would be your dream project? 

    HILARY: A classic shingled oceanfront beach house in the Hamptons. I love doing nautical, coastal chic.

    Nursey Room Decor

    LAMPS PLUS: What designers do you most admire?

    HILARY: I love Mark Hampton’s classic style. It is timeless. I went to school with his daughter Alexa. She has done an amazing job of carrying on his vision and infusing it with her own personal style.

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

    HILARY: Traveling. I studied in Paris when I was quite young and it had a big influence on my personal design aesthetic. I was very impressed by the history, architecture and art as well as the casual elegance of French style. I love the idea of mixing old and new – a vintage Mid-Century piece of furniture in a classic Parisian apartment with floor to ceiling windows, an ornate marble fireplace and worn parquet floors.

    LAMPS PLUS: Who are your style icons? 

    HILARY: Coco Chanel, Diana Vreeland and Sister Parish – they are the grand dames of style!

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite luxury in life? 

    HILARY: Traveling. My husband’s dream is to sail around the world one day. As long as we can stop in all my favorite destinations along the way – I’m game: St Barts, Corsica, Capri, and Bali.

    LAMPS PLUS: What do you consider your must-have classic design books? 

    HILARY: Terence Conran On Design & Victoria Hagan Interior Portraits

    Terence Conran's On Design Book

    Photos courtesy of Hilary Sessions-Quarry Hill Design

  • Outdoor Entertaining with String Lights

    Outdoor Entertaining and String Lights

    As the days grow longer and the weather gets warmer, I can't help longing for those warm summer nights when a pitcher of sparkling lemonade, blankets in the grass, and some mood-setting string lights are all it takes to strike up a memorable outdoor get together.

    It is no surprise that string lights have been used time and time again to create a romantic ambience, but did you also know that they can be used to frame and define your outdoor entertaining area as well as tie your decor together? Not to mention, they are a simple, inexpensive, and a non-permanent solution for outdoor lighting. Whether you opt for a subtle or dramatic display, there is no better way to sprinkle a little light into your outdoor celebration!

    Mini globes

    I love the way these mini globes look like fireflies buzzing through the trees...

    Dripping string lights

    ... and the way these lights appear to be dripping from the trees.

    DIY string light posts

    If your home is anything like mine - lacking in the large tree and patio cover department - you can still beautifully incorporate string lights into your decor while adding a wee bit of garden charm, to boot. All you need are 6- to 8-foot wooden poles, flower buckets, and garden gravel. Simply place the wooden pole upright in the center of the bucket, and then fill with garden gravel. I just adore the way the flower bucket was painted to match the sky blue folding chairs! To safely attach the mini lanterns to the poles, like in the photo above, try looping a plastic fastener strip through a screw eye inserted at the top of the pole, or attaching small hooks near the top.

    DIY string lights and paper cups

    Another great way to show off your style and creativity, while adding the perfect finishing touch to your decor, is to create your own party lights! Cut a small "X" in the center of a paper cup, wrap with your favorite craft paper, and pull the bulbs through the centers until the sockets are all the way through. Voilà! A simple and fun project with a ton of charm! 

    Paper bag string lights

    Here is another playful and simple DIY string light project with colorful paper bags by Martha Stewart.

    Dramatic string light display

    Which string lights are your favorite for entertaining?

    Images: Apartment Therapy, OnceWed, StyleMePretty, Martha Stewart, Hey Gorgeous,  Pretty Stuff

  • Life's Aglow with Hinkley Indoor and Outdoor Lights

    I think it's pretty obvious that at Lamps Plus, we love lighting. And not only do we love light fixtures themselves, but also how lighting lights up our lives (yes, pun intended). Personally, I'm always wandering around my apartment at night turning overhead lights off and table lamps on to create the perfect atmosphere! As Hinkley Lighting quotes, "Light creates different perspectives, rekindles emotions and provides protection. It makes us joyous, rejuvenated, relaxed and celebratory. Light inspires our outlook and our lives, brightening each moment spent with family and friends."

    We love the above video from Hinkley Lighting that captures the richness that great lighting brings. After all, "From the first glimmer of light across the morning sky to the soothing dusk that envelops us at the close of another day, our lives are made richer by the radiance of light."

    Looking for the lighting featured in the video? Browse our selection of more than 300 indoor and outdoor Hinkley lighting products .

     

  • Unique Mirrors for the Bathroom

    hand mirrors

    The days of yawn-inducing mirrors for the bathroom are over! With so many unique mirror options available, it is almost effortless to revitalize your bathroom vanity area without breaking the bank. This phenomenal concept in the photo above, by California-based interior designer Faith Blakeney, relies primarily on flea market hand mirrors and velcro, and can be shuffled around as often as your mood changes. With such a small investment making a dramatic impact, you won't feel guilty splurging on a couple of modern wall sconces and hanging mirrors to complete the look.

    white mirrors

    Rather than fill your blank wall space with canvas or art prints, (which can mold and warp from the humidity) why not opt for an eclectic collection of romantic mirrors that double as artwork! Can you imagine seeing the reflection of that breathtaking chandelier in all those mirrors?

    Mirrored vanity

    Mirrored tub

    Mirrors don't have to be limited to eye-level in the bathroom. Try accenting your bathroom furniture and fixtures with mirrored tiles for a chic and glamourous look.

    coral mirror

    Don't forget about your kid's bathroom... look at the way this oversized vintage mirror brings this otherwise snoring bathroom to life. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to incorporate that bursting peach hue into my decor!

    unique bathroom mirror

    For the truly daring, go ahead and nix the mirror altogether. Opt for an inspirational message board instead! Not ready to ditch your reflection just yet? A glass writing pen lets you leave yourself a love note any day of the week without the committment.

    large bathroom window

    You might think that it takes a major, gut-wrenching home renovation to create a dream bathroom with an oversized window like the photo above, but guess again! A large, oversized window-style mirror can give you the look you desire - without breaking through your walls (and wallet!) 

    These are some of my favorite mirrors from Lamps Plus. Which are your faves?

    lamps plus mirrors 1

    Left: Greenbriar Hardwood 35" Round Wall Mirror,  Right: Ivory and Gold Mosaic 32" Round Wall Mirror

    Lamps Plus mirrors 2

    Left: Uttermost Perching Birds Small 39 1/4" High Wall Mirror, Right: Howard Elliott Courtney 39" High Rectangular Hanging Mirror

    Lamps Plus mirrors 3

    Left: Uttermost Spring Branches 49" Round Wall Mirror, Right: Uttermost St. Stephan Distressed Wood 48" High Wall Mirror

    Lamps Plus mirrors 4  

    Left: Uttermost Ablenay Hand Forged Frame 37" High Mirror, Right: Howard Elliott Orleans 47" High Arched Wall Mirror

    Images: Design Sponge, After Dinner Design, The Lettered Cottage, 6th Street Design School, My Revelment, Mark Williams Design Associates

  • Tips for Using Pinterest to Organize Your Decorating Projects

    Organize home decor projects with Pinterest

    If you're a home decorating enthusiast or a DIY aficionado, chances are that you're familiar with the visual bookmarking site Pinterest. It's not only a great place to bookmark, or "pin" photos and images you like (perhaps of cats doing funny things, or cupcake recipes you're dying to try), but it can also be a practical place for visually planning and organizing your decor ideas. As an interior designer and avid pinner, here are my top tips for using Pinterest to organize your decorating projects:

    Gather inspiration images that capture the general look and feel you want for your space(s). Start broad, and pin whatever you're attracted to. After a while you should notice patterns emerging that will help you define your style. (For example, the Interior Interest board above by design blogger and HGTV personality Erin Loechner has a consistent theme of white walls, light colored woods, and graphic black accents. Yours might not be so clear, so look carefully for themes and elements that tie your images together.

    Pinterest boards for design inspiration

    Create a separate pinboard for each room. Define each space that you want to decorate, and create a new pinboard for each one. This will help keep your ideas clear and separate, since your baby's room will probably have a much different look than your formal dining room.

    Pin directly from the source. I can't emphasize the importance of this enough! When you're visiting a store's website, click through to a specific product page so that you're also capturing the direct link of the item you're after - this ensures that you have a link back to the original product when it comes time to purchase. Knowing where to find the product you've pinned will avoid the headache of searching for hours for "that cool end table I found that day on that one site". Make sure that the URL for that specific project is in your browser's URL bar (see below) - not just the URL of the website's homepage or product sort page. (Also, install Pinterest's Pin It bookmarklet in your web browser to make pinning super easy!)

    Pinning a product from a website

    Make notes on your pins to keep your ideas organized. Pinterest allows you to add a description on your pins, and a comment on everything you re-pin - use this space not only to tag your pins with helpful search information for other pinners (ie. "blue lamp") but also to make notes or reminders for yourself. For example, "This blue and white table lamp is perfect for the dining room sideboard! Buy 2" or, "Get 4 of these white photo frames and group them above the sofa".

    Follow pinboards of stores, interior designers, and magazines that fit with the vibe you're after. You might discover products and ideas that you wouldn't have otherwise found on your own. On the Lamps Plus Pinterest page, we pin inspiring interiors, some of our favorite products, interviews with interior designers, and current design trends to inspire and encourage your decorating projects.

    How to search on Pinterest

    Take advantage of Pinterest's search and sort features.Type your keywords into the search bar to find specifically what you're looking for (like "modern chair", above), or use the drop-down menu at the top of the page (it's the little down arrow next to the word "Everything" on the Pinterest homepage) to sort pins into categories like Home Decor, Art, Design, etc.

    Don't be afraid to edit your boards. Don't like that sofa you pinned anymore? Delete it! (Or if you're on the fence about it, perhaps move it to a new board titled "Alternative Options".) Keep your boards clean and uncluttered, with only necessary pins to avoid the dreaded "re-decorating overwhelm". This will help keep your focused when making decorating decisions.

    Readers - what are your tips for using Pinterest to organize your decorating projects?

    Images via Lamps Plus, Erin Loechner, and Lesley Myrick on Pinterest

  • Oasis Club House Owner Chats About Argentina and Apartment Design

     

    South America Luxury Travel and Design

    Help me welcome our new traveling blogger, Allison! She will be visiting many different countries over the next few months and documenting the best designs from each location. Today she is interviewing the owner of the Oasis Club House in Buenos Aires. Take it away Allison...

    When I found out I would be returning to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with my husband for work, I could not pass up the opportunity to catch up with my friend, and founder of Oasis Collections, Parker Stanberry. We chatted about everything from designing South American vacation properties to the ultra chic, members only Oasis Club House.

    LAMPS PLUS: What brought you to Argentina in the first place?

    PARKER STANBERRY: I had been in New York for 8 years and I felt I should go live internationally at some point in my life. I was planning on staying for 6 months, like a lot of people say when they first come down here… 

    LAMPS PLUS: How did the conception of a design-centric vacation rental agency come about?

    PARKER STANBERRY: Along with investors, we purchased about 15 units and restored and decorated those units. After a few years of exploring the market, I began to reach out to existing property owners to create a network of individually owned properties that were exceptionally designed. We thought there was a market for a boutique hotel chain-like portfolio of rental properties around South America.  

    South America Vacation Rentals

    LAMPS PLUS: How would you characterize your design aesthetic?

    PARKER STANBERRY: I think I could characterize my aesthetic as taking a cue from the uses of the property, what was it before, and what it has going for it. If there is a place that has exposed brick walls and is on the darker side, and it is never going to feel bright and modern, then go with that. I never come into a place and say this is exactly what I want, it's about working with what is there.  

    LAMPS PLUS: What would you say would be your design "calling card"?

    PARKER STANBERRY: I like to include one bright pop of color, either through a painted wall or a large piece of art. I generally like to keep the furniture and the flooring in a muted, neutral palette so I bring character through the accent color.

    South America and Modern Design

    LAMPS PLUS: What was the biggest design challenge with the Club House?

    PARKER STANBERRY: We had to completely remodel the outdoor space. It was a gently rolling grass backyard, so, along with LA based designer Jon Padgett, we added in multiple levels to create more separation between the areas. We built the pool so that you could see across the top when seated below. We added in the tile flooring and steps, built the bar, carved out the shelving for the back bar, built the parilla (a staple in Argentina, it means barbecue) and built outdoor bathrooms from a storage room.

    South America and Luxury Pool

    LAMPS PLUS: I notice a pop of burgundy around the Club House. What was the inspiration behind that color choice?

    PARKER STANBERRY: A lot of times white and dark colors, like black or blue, are standard so we wanted to do something a little different. We used burgundy on the bar stools and the sofas on the terrace are in a burgundy velvet. The terrace is a transitional room, it is an outside space but the furniture is typically indoor furniture, so we used the burgundy to tie the spaces all together.

    Red and White Outdoor Area

    South America Vacation Rentals and Modern Room

    LAMPS PLUS: I love how you converted the garage into a warm and comfortable bar, will you tell me a little bit about the renovation of this space?

    PARKER STANBERRY: The other big project aside from the outdoor space was the garage, which we use as our wintertime bar area. We had to build out the floor, ceiling and walls and we covered the walls in velvet curtains. We found the bar at the Mercado de Pulgas (Flea Market) and customized it to the space.  

    LAMPS PLUS: I notice the lighting of the converted garage bar is different from the rest of the house.

    PARKER STANBERRY: We chose to have the space dimly lit, with recessed lighting around the edges and drum pendants over the pool table. We further accented the dimly lit space by picking out vintage furniture and accents and mixing them with custom pieces.

    South America Luxury Travel and Moody Lounge

    LAMPS PLUS: Why did you choose to decorate the Club House in the style that you did?

    PARKER STANBERRY: One of the things I don't like about design in Buenos Aires is the idea that anything "high end" needs to be ultra modern and minimalist. Since the club house used to be a home, we wanted a more comfortable, vintage feel with polish.

    South America and Oasis Club House

    LAMPS PLUS: How did you address lighting in the Club House?

    PARKER STANBERRY: There is a different feel in the Club House than in a home. You are going for softer, mood lighting. We have all the lights on dimmer, so we can turn them down at night and outside we utilize candlelight and hanging string lights. We added all the hanging lights and floor lamps inside, but the track spotlights were already here. The owners of the property hang their Warhol series here, so they had the lights installed to accent the paintings. We are also working with a couple of local art galleries to have rotating paintings featured as well. It's a great way to incorporate local artists into the design.

    South America Luxury Travel and Design

    South America and Modern Outdoor Design

    Keep an eye out for Oasis Collections properties coming to Miami and New York within the next few months. If you have vacation plans in the future, it is an excellent, ultra design-conscious alternative to a hotel.

    Thanks Parker!

    Images courtesy of Adrien de Bontin, Esteban Lobo, Oasis Collections

April, 2012