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.

  • How to Hang Pictures & Wall Art Like a Pro

    Hanging Pictures and Wall Art

    So, you have viewed the vast array of pictures and hand painted wall art and selected the perfect piece. Now you need to know how-to hang the picture or wall art on the wall. 

    Ever wonder how the pros seem to hang pictures or wall art the very first time and without making the wall look like swiss cheese?  Well, worry know longer. This video will show you how-to pictures or wall art like a pro.


    To get started, gather your supplies.  For this project you will need:

    Picture or Wall Art
    Craft Paper (I have even used left over holiday paper)
    Writing Instrustment (Pen, Pencil)
    Ruler or Tape Measure
    Painters Tape
    Hanging Supplies (Picture Hook, Nail)

    Follow these easy steps:

    Wall Art on Top of Paper

    A great way to test the placement of the picture or wall art before putting hammer to nail is by laying everything out on a table or on the floor.

    Outline Tracing

    Trace around the picture or wall art and mark the hanging points.

    Tape Paper On Wall 

    Then, tape the paper to the wall and hammer in the nail.

    Remove the paper, and voila! Now you know how-to hang your favoite picture or wall art like a pro.

    For more how-to ideas, tips and inspiration, visit the Lamps Plus YouTube channel.

  • Touring the 2012 Pasadena Show House

    Spanish Colonial Homes

    Who doesn’t love a showcase house? It’s great to see what designers are doing, the latest trends and the ability to go into homes that are rarely open to the public. Of course not everybody has time to visit these houses, so I am bringing the house to you! The 2012 Pasadena Showcase House is a 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival in La Canada Flintridge, California. It was originally designed by John Winford Byers and retains much of its original charm. 

    Antique Spanish Colonial Doors

    Take a step through this original massive wood door. Clearly there was a time before ADT! The details and craftsmanship is fabulous.

    Painted Ceilings

    Exterior breezeways are painted to resemble exotic oriental carpets. Stunning. 

    Spanish Style Interiors

    The main staircase is a study in classic Spanish style simplicity. The cool terra cotta floors balance harmoniously with the simple walls, heavy timber beams and a classic wrought iron chandelier.

    Reading Nooks

    Another authentic Spanish Revival feature is this charming reading nook by Kelly McLeod. Classic wall light fixtures are a must when it comes to lighting in a home such as this. Navajo rugs complete the look.

    Displaying Art

    I love this clever way to display art prints in a long hall. Designed by Paul Devine, the layering of pictures on a standard curtain rod is a great way to create an instant gallery. Notice the woven hemp twine that covers the rod? Do I hear a DIY project brewing?

    Designing a Study

    The gentleman’s study by Jon Jahr has a fresh and modern look albeit still traditional. I must find that metal coated stump table.

    Sitting Room Decor

    This soothing reading room by Traci Larsen lightens the darker tones found throughout the house, although the pale green and cream color scheme still compliment the lush surroundings and work well with the plein air painting featured above. 

    Breakfast Room Design

    The breakfast room by Karina Oldemans features upholstered dining chairs and a wood floor that resembles the terra cotta floor design found in the entry. Upholstered dining room chairs are an elegant and beautiful touch in any home!

    Family Room Design

    The family room by Designs of the Interiors features comfort first. Rustic lighting keeps things earthy.

    Guest Room Design

    I love how the guest room by Cooper Gyer introduces some more modern elements like the beveled mirror and sputnik ceiling light. Heaven know the house is close enough to Hollywood to give the touches of glam a hall pass. The chevron pattern on the pillows are a really popular pattern now... take note.

    Master Bedroom Decorating

    The master bedroom by Kathryne Dahlman marries a fresh Hamptons style with traditional Spanish. 

    Bathroom Tile

    The master bathroom by KMNelson Design is freshly current, but retains traditional details in keeping with the house. The heavy use of tile is classic Spanish Colonial, but the crisp pattern is totally modern.

    Contemporary Guest Cottages

    Talk about modern, the guest cottage by Mark Cutler is bright, cheerful and up-to-date. A few clues let us know it’s still found within a traditional home such as the heavy timber table that is so similar to the beams in the front hall.

    Pool Design and Tile

    A trip to Southern California would not be complete without a dip in the pool. This scene is as refreshing as some of the design takeaways in the pictures above.

    Images: LA Times, Columns From Stauffer

  • Beautifully Renovated Apartment in San Telmo, Argentina

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment San Telmo

    I had the pleasure to tour a beautifully renovated, turn of the century apartment in the San Telmo area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Owner Stephen Woods moved to Argentina from the UK almost ten years ago with a background in historical property renovation. He now lives in this gorgeous apartment with his girlfriend Eloisa and their daughter Katia. The renovations lasted approximately four months with meticulous planning ahead of time, including making silicone molds of the original rosette moulding detail and reproducing and installing them around the apartment. Stephen focused on maintaining the integrity of the apartment and honoring the era in which it was built, yet upgrading the space to be livable in this day and age.

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Living Room

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Fireplace

    The apartment is hidden at the back of a spacious, French-style Neoclassical building, built in 1904, in San Telmo, Buenos Aires' notorious antiques and art district. With the exception of the two back rooms, the apartment has impressively high ceilings, measuring a little over 13 feet in the hallway and 11.5 feet in the rooms. The sitting room and piano room make up the two common areas of the apartment. These spaces are decorated with the period of the apartment in mind, yet with a designer's eye as well. The doors and windows were all fitted with antique hardware and the antique-style radiators were installed to solve the problem of the lack of central heating. These two rooms are accessorized beautifully with antiques and artwork from varying periods of the 20th century that play off each other beautifully. Antique siphons are a cultural touch, as these are hugely popular across the flea markets in the city.

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Grand Piano

    Grand Piano in Argentina Apartment

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Living Room Accessories

    The layout of the apartment remains exactly as it was built, no walls were knocked out or added, however the functions of each room were changed to work best for their family. The original kitchen was located at the back of the apartment, along with the maid's quarters. They were quite small and not centrally located, so Stephen decided to transform them into his daughter’s bedroom and an in-home office. He took up the floorboards from the front bedroom and turned this space into the kitchen. Stephen wanted the kitchen to function in the modern world yet still tie-in with the period-style of the apartment. He found an antique carpenters table at a flea market and sized the stainless countertops to fit its dimensions. Well designed wall light fixtures and ceiling lights are also what defines the period design; the chandelier and sconces were also found at a local flea market.  

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Modern Kitchen

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Kitchen Design

    The hallway features a large, stained glass window or "ventanal" as it is called in Argentina. The frame is original to the apartment, but Stephen found antique glass to set in the frame. Light blue is a very common color to be featured in stained glass windows in Argentina as a patriotic touch and the corner pieces of the ventanal are typically a different color to the boarder of the window. The window openings are characteristic of the original frame, with a hook and chain mechanism to hold the windows at an angle. A classic chandelier defines the hallway with high ceilings. The chandelier that hangs in the hallway is an antique, again found in a flea market in Buenos Aires, that Stephen had deconstructed from one chandelier with eight arms to two matching chandeliers of four arms. An extra large chandelier would have also looked fantastic with the tall ceilings. The mosaic flooring is characteristic of the period, but was laid during the renovation.

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Hallways

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Floor-to-Ceiling Windows

    The closet off the bathroom was originally the maid’s "prep" area and was open. Stephen found 100-year old pine wood and had custom doors made to close off the space and create a storage closet and laundry room. Facing the closet is the original wall-mounted lighting outlet, but to accentuate the height of the space, Stephen added a hook to the ceiling and hung an antique chandelier. The bathroom is outfitted with antique fixtures found at a demolition warehouse in Argentina. The matte dark grey color of the wainscoting and fixtures was a unifying design decision. The radiators were made in that color and finish, so Stephen decided to use that color for select hard surfaces throughout the apartment.

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Bathroom

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Powder Bathroom

    The back part of the apartment consists of their daughter’s bedroom and Stephen's office. The marble staircase had to be removed and re-polished, possibly the most arduous process of the entire renovation, and the original pine stairs had to be stripped of their awkward shade of green paint. The plaster ceiling from both rooms was removed to show the original brick and oxidized beams, a very common ceiling treatment and look in Buenos Aires.  

    Argentina Historical Restored Apartment and Office Design

    Stephen’s advice to anyone looking to restore a historic property is to not get caught up with making everything 100% historically accurate, but to have a coherence and unity throughout the property that speaks the language of the period. The attention to detail has lent itself to a beautifully restored, historic apartment. With another upcoming restoration project in the city, I can not wait to see what Stephen will create.

    All Images: Allison Rosenberg

  • Escape: Beach Inspired Rooms

    Cheryl Maeder Photography

    Getting away from it all doesn’t mean you have to leave home, especially if you want to create beach inspired rooms. Too often people are far too literal when designing with a theme in mind, so please don’t toss a few seahorse prints on the mantle and think you have created a beachside getaway... yikes. I was totally enraptured with the beach photographs by Cheryl Maeder, who captures the essence of what a day at the beach is really about: color, shapes and mood. I thought it would be an interesting idea to find rooms that mirror her images.

    Coastal Dining Room Design

    This dining room captures the serene and uncluttered feeling from the beach scene above, pale blues and pale sandy colors keep it simple. Matchstick window treatments, a natural wood table and wicker style parsons dining room chairs maintain a link to nature. Genius how the drum ceiling light is in a pale, sky blue.

    Coastal Interior Design

    Here is a living room that combines the sandy tones of the beach with the pale blues of the sky. Notice how the designer has mixed up the use of a hanging curtain at the French door and uses a contrasting roman shade on the double-hung window? Don’t be afraid to add variety. Cute tripod table lamp!

    Sunroom Interior Design

    A serene corner of this sunroom captures the feel of a deserted, pale and sandy beach.       

    Blue Master Bedrooms

    This bedroom also echoes the serenity of a relaxing and pristine beach. Remember to keep the color scheme watered-down, just shy of pastel. Even a remote control ceiling fan has an easy-going, island feel.

    Cheryl Maeder Photography and Beach Photographs

    The bold colors of this image feels more like an island beach, but can easily be adapted to interior design without looking too Caribbean-kitsch.

    Blue Painted Furniture

    Look Ma, no papier mache birds! Bold ocean colors without looking cheesy. No doubt that after a trip to the flea market to find the right chest or buffet, coupled with a few coats of paint could result in something similar. 

    Stylish Home Offices

    Seriously? The bold blue desk is so chic. I love this home office. Please try this at home!

    Beach House Interiors

    This coastal living room screams beach. Am I insane, but I actually think this fish tank works in the room, and I never think they do. The nod to the great outdoors is also accomplished by using the large-scale, lantern-style ceiling light.   

    Decorating with Blue

    A tale of two blues. Does this capture the photograph or what? Simple, beachy and yet the space remains elegant.

    Beach Photography

    This final image captures a busy day at the beach, which from a distance is a cacophony of color dotting the landscape. Not serene, but joyful.

    Summer House Guest Rooms

    The summer getaway bunkhouse captures the mood of the busy beach. Vibrant color and pattern punctuate the simple pale cream walls and watery blue of the floor. The tongue and groove wood, bunk beds and retro metal ceiling fan are a nod to lazy summer days and summer camp. Summer escapes, why must they ever end?

    Images: House of Turquoise and Cheryl Maeder Photography

  • Jessica from Black.White.Yellow Discusses Design

    Black.White.Yellow Design Blog

    We were so excited to interview Jessica of Black.White.Yellow. Jessica is no ordinary design blogger, she is also an architect! Therefore, she has a unique point of view and as you can see, she is inspired by black, white, and yellow hues.

    LAMPS PLUS: What was the inspiration behind your blog, Black.White.Yellow?

    JESSICA: I started {Black.White.Yellow} in 2007 when there was far fewer design blogs, no Pinterest, and it was more challenging to share and find inspiration. I wanted a place to share my projects and designs as well as things that I find inspiring.

    Modern Black Bedroom

    LAMPS PLUS: What makes you love the hues black, white, and yellow so much?

    JESSICA: I have ALWAYS loved the crisp contrast of black and white. The combination is so modern and clean. One day it occurred to me how often the color yellow appeared in images and designs that I liked, almost always in small doses and in combination with black and white. I love a bright pop of color to add a focal point to a clean black and white palette.

    Modern White Kitchen

    LAMPS PLUS: Being an architect, how do you differentiate your content compared to other design blogs?

    JESSICA: I try to include inspiration from all sectors of design: architecture, interiors, art, fashion, and nature. I honestly don't intentionally make an attempt to distinguish the content of my blog, but we all have our unique perspective and put our own spin on things.

    LAMPS PLUS: You went to school in New Orleans, but now live in Los Angeles. What do you love most about Southern California architecture and design?

    JESSICA: I absolutely love the indoor/outdoor living aspect of Los Angeles.

    Modern Home in Venice

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite home in Los Angeles?

    JESSICA: One of my favorites is definitely the Stahl House, or Case Study House #22, designed by Pierre Koenig. It is such a perfect example of minimalist, modern architecture so perfectly suited for LA.

    Stahl House by Pierre Koenig

    LAMPS PLUS: What is one trend that you wish would go away and one trend that you would like to last forever?

    JESSICA: I LOVE real flowers and try to have fresh flowers in my house as often as possible. Floral inspired graphics are good, but generally speaking I'm not a fan of floral prints that are popular right now.

    I have really embraced this neon pink trend and I kind of really don't want it to go away! It looks good with black, white, and yellow too!

    Neon Pink Accessories

    LAMPS PLUS: What are 3 tips for making your house a home?


    • Personal items: Incorporate personal items. It doesn't matter if the items are new or old (a combination is best), but they should be things that make you happy.
    • Art: Display art. It's easy to find great affordable art these days.
    • Texture: Include a mix of textures and materials.

    LAMPS PLUS: How do you create dramatic lighting in a home?

    JESSICA: It's important to strategically place lighting throughout your home and make sure it's the right intensity for the area.

    LAMPS PLUS: What are your favorite architectural light fixtures from Lamps Plus?


    Jonathan Adler Floor Lamp at Lamps Plus

    Jonathan Adler Black and Brass Antwerp Floor Lamp

    I love the lines and shapes of this lamp, so modern yet timeless.

    Jonathan Adler Chandelier at Lamps Plus

    Jonathan Adler Meurice Collection 30-Light Nickel Chandelier (no longer available)

    I really love a modern take on Hollywood Regency, this chandelier would look good in so many rooms.

    Clear Globe Pendant Light at Lamps Plus

    LBL Isla Clear with Satin Nickel Pendant Light

    I also love clean and simple designs. Several of these pendant lamps would look great hanging together.

    Thanks Jessica!

    Images: Courtesy of Black.White.Yellow, Ehrlich Architects, Arch Daily

  • Renovation Ideas - Historical Craftsman Project Part 1

    Renovation Ideas and Remodeling a Historical Craftsman

    I was talking to interior designer, Karen Vidal of Design Vidal, a few weeks back about remodeling ideas for a historical craftsman home. She is an expert at restoring historical homes and has many years experience working in design and construction. Her latest project is a charming craftsman house in Los Feliz (Los Angeles), California, that needs a handful of updates to bring it back to its original glory.

    Over the next few months, we are going to document the progression of the remodel and Karen is going to be offering remodel and design tips for specific rooms in the home. Today we are sharing the before pictures for the first post in the Renovation Ideas series with Design Vidal.

    Renovation Ideas and Remodeling a Historical Craftsman Living Room

    LAMPS PLUS: You have designed quite a few historical and Craftsman homes in Los Angeles, but really fell in love with this Los Feliz Craftsman. What makes this home so unique and special?

    KAREN VIDAL: I think I fall in love with all the homes I design! The more I see the potential - that it's a place that I can truly transform - the better. This project is that kind of project; it feels like a home from back east with funny angles, the wide front porch, and the upstairs sleeping porch. It just sucks you in with its charm.

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your vision for the design of the home?

    KAREN VIDAL: I see it as a family home with a farmhouse vibe. I am opening the kitchen up to the dining room and creating a counter between the two spaces so when someone is cooking they are not cut off from everything else that is happening. That's a big difference from how it was when we started.

    The other radical re-do is the upstairs bathroom; I am still in the same footprint, but I have moved everything around. We built a large separate shower and am putting in a double sink. It's the only bathroom for the 3 bedrooms upstairs, so it really has to work!

    Both spaces will showcase lovely tile with quite a bit of added detail - deco liners, quarter round trim - details that will give it a vintage vibe and of course amazing bathroom and kitchen lighting fixtures.

    Meanwhile, in terms of function everything will be totally updated - all new plumbing valves and fixtures, lighting with lots of separate switching and dimmers, lots of outlets - so it's the best of vintage charm blended with modern functionality.

    Renovation Ideas and Remodeling a Historical Craftsman Dining Room

    LAMPS PLUS: When remodeling Craftsman style homes, what special considerations do you make for this particular architectural style?

    KAREN VIDAL: The finish choices are key: color, tile material, light fixtures, the style of moulding around doors and windows. These are the elements that are really going to establish the "Craftsman" look.

    Renovation Ideas and Remodeling a Historical Craftsman Kitchen

    LAMPS PLUS: What is the general rule of thumb for knowing when building permits are required during a remodel?

    KAREN VIDAL: Generally, in Los Angeles, you need a permit for everything that isn't just cosmetic. They have some general "remodel" permit designations if you are designing a kitchen or bathroom and only changing out finishes. More extensive work requires drawings to be submitted and reviewed in order to get the permit. The City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) website has all the information on permits. If you live outside Los Angeles, check with your local city agency regarding permits.

    Renovation Ideas and Remodeling a Historical Craftsman Office

    LAMPS PLUS: Developing a budget for a complete home remodel can seem very overwhelming. How do you approach the budgeting process?

    KAREN VIDAL: Experience! We have done this so much we have it down, but there was a huge learning curve. Now we have a budget form that we have developed and we keep a running job actual so we know where we are at all times.

    Renovation Ideas and Remodeling a Historical Craftsman Guest Bedroom

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your advice for hiring and working with contractors?

    KAREN VIDAL: Make sure you go and see finished jobs, talk to previous clients, check out their license online with the Contractor's Board, make sure you can communicate easily and share a vision - you will be working together for some time and it's always easier to work with someone you like.

    Also, consider working with a designer! We are not a luxury, but a necessity! I know that I save my clients time and money by knowing what they need to provide the contractor and when. I also establish the look of the job and make sure everything is conforming during the renovation. I am able to purchase materials at a discounted price. I talk to the contractor about any issues that arise - aesthetic or budgetary.

    Renovation Ideas and Remodeling a Historical Craftsman Bathroom

    LAMPS PLUS: Are all contractors required to have a license for their particular trade? If not, what types of construction professionals must have a license to perform their trade?

    KAREN VIDAL: General contractors have a General license, bond and worker's comp. Depending on the general contractor, he may also work with subcontractors who have their own license for their trade - commonly plumbers and electricians. But the general contractor is ultimately responsible for the work of everyone on the job.

    Renovation Ideas and Designing a Historical Craftsman Backyard

    LAMPS PLUS: What is the next step in the renovation process?

    KAREN VIDAL: Things will start to close up. I will finish all of my rough work, framing electrical, plumbing, and start to put up drywall. We will begin prepping the bathroom for the tile, and the cabinets will start getting fabricated.

    Thanks Karen! Stay tuned for tips on remodeling the bathroom next and also be sure to check out her prior interview, Tips for Remodeling and Restoring Historical Homes with Design Vidal.


  • Get the look: Shabby Chic, Eclectic Style

    Shabby chic lighting and style Argentina

    Page after page of wedding blogs and magazines across the globe feature gorgeous weddings with shabby chic touches, like pendant banners, tiny pastel accessories and paper-cut flowers. However, when it comes to our homes and businesses, currently we are crushing on a Mid-Century look a'la Mad Men. In Buenos Aires, however, the shabby chic, DIY look has never been hotter, with no shortage of cafes, restaurants and clothing and decor stores designed in this style. Below is a guide in how to achieve this eclectic look.

    Shabby chic lighting and Argentina

    Shabby chic style and Argentina

    The key element of this look is mixing together contemporary home decor and vintage pieces in an "elegantly disheveled" way. None of the spaces appear cluttered, but if you take a closer look there are things everywhere. A tip to achieve this look is to make sure that everything is extremely organized. While there are a lot of accessories, as you can see, they are all placed with precision and spaced evenly.

    Shabby chic lighting and eclectic design

    Another key element of this look is scouring flea markets for the best vintage "everything" you can find. Picture frames, plates, cutlery, artwork and especially furniture can all be found with a good amount of time and effort spent at the flea market - or online thanks to sites like eBay. If the things you find have an endearing amount of wear, this only adds to the charm of the look. If you find a great piece that is a bit too tattered, remember that you can always repaint or reupholster anything as long as the bones of the piece are in good condition.

    Shabby chic lighting and eclectic style in Argentina

    Lighting fixtures are often rustic and charming and give off a lot of light. There are no dark corners or mood lighting involved with achieving this look. Here you see vintage baskets that have been painted and strung upside down: instant chandeliers. Simple globe pendants offer a huge amount of light and don't detract from the details and accessories. Large windows let in a lot of natural light, which is important to the organic, rustic style.

    Shabby chic and eclectic design in Argentina

    Color is very important in achieving this look as well; those who are intimidated by color need not apply. Bright, bold primaries and pastels dominate, usually with a crisp white base. Feel free to mix as many colors as your heart desires, as you can see the more color, the more successful the look. Just make sure that you are within the same color temperature, don't use a maroon when a violet will serve better.

    Shabby chic design and pastry display

    Even if you are not a DIY maven, you can easily find DIY-style accessories to complete your look. Handwritten notes for freshly baked pastries can easily be translated to the home; adding handwritten labels to storage jars in the kitchen, or cheeky quotes as wall art achieve this look. Using chalkboards and writing out notes is another way to personalize the look. Take an old frame, spray the glass with black matte spray paint and, voila, you have a repurposed chalkboard that you can use for reminders, shopping lists, to-dos and much more.

    Shabby chic lighting and eclectic cafe design

    Don't be afraid to infuse this style into your life. It is very home friendly as the major characteristics of the look are rustic comfort and vintage charm, something that almost everyone can relate to on some level.  And if all else fails, find some attractive Latin men and put them in vintage, eclectic aprons and you're good to go!

    Shabby chic style and waiters in Argentina

    All Images: Allison Rosenberg

  • Top Five Decor Updates for Summer

    Summer Decorating

    My top five decor updates for summer are inspired by the interchange between indoors and out. Yes, it might be a tad too chilly to lay in the sun, and yes, it’s not quite Memorial Day, but it’s never too soon to dream of lazy days and a sun-kissed glow on your cheeks. That said, nothing says summer more to me than boldly striped awnings on an old fashioned porch. You can bring that lemonade-hazed feeling indoors with a variety of decor tricks. From simple striped cotton rugs and slipcovers to lighting, stripes add a bold and summery feel to interiors.

    Flush Mount Ceiling Lights

    Fun flush mount striped kitchen ceiling lights like this giclee ceiling light might be the way to make a simple update to your home. Rest assured you can find similar flush mounts in a variety of other colors and patterns.  Unlike the basic choices of the past, you can find a wide range of styles in ceiling lights today for kitchens, bathrooms, halls and bathrooms.

    Home Office Ideas

    Obviously florals are a classic summer design theme. There is good reason that the British use floral chintz in their homes... the dreary English weather forces them indoors where they can only dream of summer days. Flowered fabric and accents keep an interior cheerful all year round.

    Ceramic Table Lamps

    Of course while floral fabric is a sure fire way to brighten a space, why not try something a tad more unexpected. This floral jar porcelain table lamp is a touch of the English Countryside without enduring jet lag. Because it is a bold choice for lighting, it will probably look good against and near simple, monochromatic walls and furniture.

    Decorating with Green

    Incorporating garden green is another way of bringing nature indoors. While applying a bold green trellis wallpaper may be way too much for you, including green as an accent in your home will instantly bring summer inside. After all, green is the color of nature. 

    Master Bedroom Decor

    I love fun accent tables in the “style of” garden seats. Personally I can’t get enough of small accent tables. They fit everywhere, from next to chairs and sofas to chaise lounges and desks. You name it, you will always have a need for these little rascals. The nice thing about small accent tables is that they are extremely portable. From moving them around the house to outside in the yard or on a balcony, they are the perfect piece of furniture.

    End Tables

    While I would ever leave this chic polished nickel accent table outside, it does resembles a glamorous version of a rustic outdoor table. 

    Coastal Interiors

    Anything woven gives off a casual, almost island feel when brought indoors. Casual elegance is how most people want to live, so I think contemplating woven or rattan materials is “of the moment.”

    Woven Stools

    Hello rattan-style poof! This woven cylinder stool is great for weary feet and extra seating for the kids. I suppose the only thing missing after you implement summer decor at home is the official start of summer.

    Images: Bogle Street, House of Turquoise

  • Decorating the Outdoor Terrace

    Front Porch Design

    I suppose you can gather from the past few posts that I am itching for summer. That said, I have put together some musings on outdoor terrace must-haves. Please pardon me if you are an apartment dweller with no outdoor space, but I hope to offer you some inspiring posts soon. From the smallest front porch to the wide covered veranda, there are easy ways to make your outdoor space comfortable, inviting and stylish. It doesn’t cost much to design a chic space, just imagination and having a few key items.

    Outdoor Wall Lights

    Budapest Galvanized Outdoor Wall Light

    Like the image above that features a simplistically designed front porch, retro outdoor wall lights play a key role and make enjoying your outdoor space welcoming at night.

    Outdoor Dining

    Another important element for a successful outdoor terrace is a place for dining. There is nothing more fun than dining al fresco on a summer night. As you can see, you don’t need a large and a sweeping yard to enjoy a meal outside. In fact, this homeowner has created a space right in front of the front door! When there’s a will, there’s a way. A quick note, if your terrace lacks trees and plants, potted boxwood, as seen in the terra cotta pots, are low maintenance and offer a major pop of greenery.

    Tropical Home Decor

    This tropical terrace dining space is calm, cool and collected, don’t you think? I can almost feel the trade winds. A coat of white paint can freshen up old and outdated furniture. If you have room, a side table to hold buffet items and hurricane lanterns will come in handy. A clever design touch in this image is the mirror placed on the wall. Using mirrors outside reflect the greenery of the landscape beyond.      

    Outdoor Dining Chairs

    Set of 2 Cambria Black with Taupe Cushion Outdoor Arm Chairs

    Outdoor dining chairs are a must-have this summer. Not only will they stand up to the elements, they are easy to move around the yard, deck or terrace and can always be brought inside for additional seating. You can always keep folding chairs handy if you need extra seating and don’t want to commit to “official” outdoor furniture. 

    Decorating Outdoor Terraces

    Along with dining chairs, soft, club chairs and lounges are key when it comes to lazy summer entertaining. How cute are the rolled towels as make shift pillows? If you have power outside, placing a glass outdoor lantern will make entertaining at night that much more enjoyable.

    Country Porch Design

    Fun in the sun, or at least in a porch. Some say if you paint the ceiling of a porch in pale blue it will keep bugs away. I’m not so sure about that, but it looks great.

    Summer Decorating

    Cheerful fabrics and pillows makes everything comfortable. Soft furnishings are a must if you want to infuse personality into your outdoor space.

    Flowered Pillows

    Bouquet 18" Square Floral Print Decorative Throw Pillow

    If the weather is fine, don’t be afraid to bring pillows outside. Cheerful accent pillows can add just as much sunshine to a space without the hazardous rays.

    Images: House of Fifty, Oliveaux

  • Historic Architecture of a Bustling South American City

    Architecture south america neoclassical

    Many people who have not traveled to South America do not know what to expect when they arrive in Buenos Aires. The massive city has an immensely European feel and an incredible energy. Many say it is the New York or Paris of South America. It is a stunning city, made only more so by the beautifully maintained historic architecture and interior home decor. A great number of buildings have been preserved, restored and repurposed which adds to the charm of Buenos Aires and gives us glimpse back in time to the origins of this metropolitan city. There are so many great design styles that make up the city's diverse style. Play close attention to the indoor wall lights and other lighting fixtures as a clue to the design style of the various historical buildings in the city.

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    The most formative years of construction in Buenos Aires were between the 1880s and 1920s, when many immigrants were coming to live in this newly established, wealthy and rapidly growing city. Three dominant architectural styles emerged during this time: Neoclassical, Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Each style is clearly depicted throughout the construction, iron work and detailing of the buildings. These architectural styles reflect the utopian ambitions of the designers as well as their immigrant heritage. They now serve as a marker of the thriving, cultural melting pot that was and still is Buenos Aires.

    Neoclassical architecture is very hard to miss as you wander the streets of Buenos Aires. With strong Italian and French influences, neoclassical construction is very dominant throughout the city. Classical Greek architectural markers are strewn across these buildings: think columns, goddesses and classical ornamental detailing such as laurels, wreaths and cartouches. From large-scale government buildings to neighborhood homes, you can still see many well maintained examples of this impressive architectural style.

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    1. Imperial Iris Bookends  2. Mary McDonald Josephine Brass Crystal Black Shade Table Lamp  3. Murray Feiss Bellini Collection Wall Sconce  4. Carving with Gold Paint Four Panel Screen Room Divider (Items no longer available.)

    Art Nouveau was prominent in all major cities at the turn of the century, including Buenos Aires. Curving, asymmetrical lines, feminine figures and nature inspired motifs dominated this style, a rejection of the rigidity of the neoclassical aesthetic. There are some beautiful examples of art nouveau construction across the city. From designs imprinted into the facade of a building to the intricate ironwork, this immensely detailed architectural style remains beautifully displayed throughout Buenos Aires.

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    1. Metal 3-Bud Vase Holder  2. Flower Flute Double Necked Accent Lamp  3. Metropolitan Amber Murano Glass Wall Sconce  4. Momeni Nouveau Area Rug (Items no longer available.)

    Art Deco was an extremely popular architectural style in Buenos Aires, as its world debut in France correlated with the construction boom in Buenos Aires. All the aesthetic signifiers of the art deco period are beautifully preserved in the architecture in Buenos Aires such as intricate geometric shapes, hard running lines and influences from archeological discoveries of Ancient Egyptian style and design. Can you believe that you can even see examples of Art Deco styling in ceiling fans with lights (see below).

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    1. Bronze Finish Fan Fire Screen (no longer available)  2. Period Arts Paris Bronze Ceiling Fan with Light Kit (no longer available) 3. Kathy Ireland Espresso Deco Trophy Floor Lamp  4. Set of Two Art Deco Lady Candleholders

    All Images: Allison Rosenberg

May, 2012