Style Illuminated

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Shades of Grey Interiors

    Painting Bookshelves

    Who needs 50 when the perfect shade is all you need. Do you like my literary reference? I always knew that fashion could influence home interiors, but it’s refreshing that books can do the same. Shades of grey are the new neutral and allow you to do so much with accent colors or you can simply leave it as a soothing monochromatic backdrop in your calming abode. Speaking of backdrop, the first way to incorporate grey into your home is with paint. Look how the simple act of painting the back wall of this bookshelf helps to make the decorative objects pop. It’s so much more chic than white or cream.

    Home Office Design

    This study is a washed-down version of grey. The pale wood tones and cream marry harmoniously with the pale grey linen sofa and chalky grey table lamp. This room is a perfect example to show how grey has become a standard neutral color in interior furnishings and home decor.

    Slender Buffet Lamps

    Table lamps need not always be chrome or ceramic. This grey leather buffet lamp is amazingly beautiful. It’s sleek and modern and the nickel finish makes the simple design shine.

    Art Deco Styled Rooms

    Grey or monochromatic artwork can also be a way to make a pale grey room more interesting and give it motion. Photographs can work wonders. This large scale image of horses balances the simple deco design scheme. It also makes the Jean Harlow inspired room totally up-to-date.

    Decorating with Wallpaper

    What about a bold but still subtle wallpaper? Although this leaf pattern wallpaper is busy in design, the soothing grey color turns it into a simple and almost monochromatic backdrop for the series of drawings.

    Dining Room Design

    Could these simple grey traditional dining chairs be more understated? Pale grey is the order of the day throughout this room. From the simple paint to the charcoal grey lamp shades.The unadorned windows let in light to counter the deeper tones.

    Decorating Bedroom Nooks

    This Belgian still life is harmony and simplicity at its best. Could anything ever go wrong in a room like this?

    Gray Replacement Lamp Shades

    Lamp shades can change the look of any room. This classic trellis pattern would look great on white or clear Lucite lamps.

    Decorating a Dressing Room

    Grey leather? Why not. Consider the glamour grey can add when paired with chrome, white lacquer and Lucite.

    Bedroom Decor

    Of course my literary referenced post must end with a luxurious bedroom shot, n’est pas? While I have yet to read the 50 Shades of Grey, based on what I have heard, I throught it was a fitting end.

    Photos courtesy of The Zhush, Belgian Pearls

  • DIY: Designer Decoupage and Beyond

    Decoupaged Armoire

    Who says the best designs require an unlimited budget? Some of my favorite looks are actually DIY design ideas! It's all about rolling up your sleeves, getting creative, and finding the hidden potential in an old piece. Not sure where to begin? Try decoupage!

    Decoupaged Cabinet

    I love decoupage because it allows me to bring in so much self expressionism and personality! Whether you're using fabulous wallpapers, old playing cards, or even sheets of music, you can showcase your vibe and what matters to you most with the material you choose to cover your furniture. Best of all, it's eco-friendly, budget friendly DIY design, and makes something old new again.

    Flavor Paper

    Do you love a wild wallpaper print but don't feel ready to commit to using it on an entire wall? Incorporate the look with decoupage. All you need is white glue or decoupage medium (available at any craft store) and a paint brush or cotton swabs. Tips: start from the center and work out, pressing out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go.

    Wall Sconce

    Are you bored with your old lamps, candlesticks, or door knobs? Try having them plated in nickel or white brass for a sleek and chic makeover. I especially love white brass and have been using it in clients' homes for a while now. It's a great middle ground between gold and silver and having old pieces dipped in white brass will create a major transformation for little money. White brass works especially well in a bathroom, but to really reinvent your look throughout your home, try plating your hinges and hardware, too!

    Drum Shade at Lamps Plus

    Lighting illuminates your home, but it can also illuminate your mood. Covering an old lampshade in a fresh, new fabric is another one of my favorite DIY design ideas. Find a swatch of fabric that puts a smile on your face or spices up your interior and recover an existing shade with a little patience and a good old fashioned glue gun. Or, skip the hard labor entirely and just design your own art shade light.

    Lamps Shade at Lamps Plus

    Lamps Plus custom art shades are not only made just for you, but you can also change the colors in any lamp shade pattern to perfectly match your personal decor. I promise you'll love unleashing your inner interior designer and letting your imagination fly with custom shades of all shapes, sizes, and colors. DIY design ideas should ideally incorporate an element of fun and these custom shades most definitely deliver.

    Images: Kari Whitman Interiors,,, and Flavor Paper

  • 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

    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

  • 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.

    architecture construction buenos aires argentina

    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.

    Neoclassical residence buenos aires argentina architecture

    Neocalssical architecture argentina back buenos aires

    architecture buenos aires moulding detail neoclassical

    Lighting home decor neoclassical buenos aires

    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

    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.

    art nouveau cement detail buenos aires argentina

    art nouveau architecture iron work buenos aires argentina

    art nouveau nature iron work buenos aires argentina

    art nouveau home decor lighting argentina

    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

    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).

    art deco argentina construction buenos aires

    art deco iron door buenos aires argentina

    art deco building santa fe boulevard buenos aires

    art deco home decor lighting argentina

    1. Bronze Finish Fan Fire Screen  2. Period Arts Paris Bronze Ceiling Fan with Light Kit  3. Kathy Ireland Espresso Deco Trophy Floor Lamp  4. Set of Two Art Deco Lady Candleholders

    All Images: Allison Rosenberg

  • Summer Destinations: The Hamptons

    Hamptons Yard

    One of my favorite summer destinations is the Hamptons. The eastern tip of Long Island is home to an extremely wide array of diversions from the beach and fishing to sailing and antiquing. While homes in the Hamptons can range from traditional colonial and farmhouse to sleek modern, they all have one thing in common, comfort and ease with a sophisticated beach feel. Think white slipcovers, nautical blues and many shingled houses. Natural fabrics and fibers rule design and a classic old school house and lighting is the norm. Getting the quintessential “Hamptons Look” is easier than you think and here are some Hamptons eye candy to get you geared up for summer. 


    Backyard Pools

    Blue stone pools sunk into green grass lawns... simple and elegant.

    Hamptons-Style Pool Design

    Don’t forget clean and tall hedges.

    Pool House Design

    Pool houses as big as normal homes!


    Outdoor Entertaining


    Busy New Yorkers finally get to slow down at the beach and love to entertain outdoors not only by the pool, but on porches and terraces as well. How great are oversized outdoor hanging lights? The overall design doesn’t try too hard and for that reason it’s timeless.

    Decorating a Classic Front Porch

    Simple and natural furniture equates to an unfussy lunch on the porch.

    Outdoor Rooms

    This outdoor room is as sumptuous as indoors. Naturally the fireplace makes it cozy for night, but outdoor ceiling fans make an outdoor area cool and comfortable for a hot and sunny afternoon.

    The Maidstone Arms East Hampton New York

    The historic Maidstone Arms Inn, East Hampton.

    The American Hotel Sag Harbor New York

    The American Hotel, Sag Harbor.


    Pool House Interiors

    Filled with nautical accessories, this casual Hamptons room is the epitome of summer.  

    Beach Inspired Living Rooms

    I love this living room. It’s beautiful, but not intimidating. The walls are a simple white, which allow the other colors to pop. 

    Designing for Beach Homes

    Here is another detail of the room.

    Restaurant Interior Design

    Even restaurants take advantage of the beach environment, but retain an air of style. The decorative lighting fixtures almost look like fishing nets without being too literal.

    Hallway Lighting Ideas

    This hallway is clearly inspired by the sand. The runners and wallpaper have a decidedly beach feel. Traditional wall scones are placed high on the wall, which is very smart in such a narrow space - no bumping heads! Again, crisp white paint is all that’s needed for the woodwork.

    Decorating with Slipcovers

    Easy breezy slipcovers.

    Country Master Bedrooms

    A modern country bedroom. 

    Guest Room Decor

    Don’t neglect the summer guest room. Keep the look and color scheme coherent. Welcoming bedding, flowers, books and a reading lamp are basic.

    Country Bathrooms

    The Hamptons bathroom is chic in its simplicity. You will never go wrong with all white.

    Images: Elle Decor, Style at Home, KD Hamptons

  • Get The Look: Modern Monochromatic Rooms

    Modern Room Design

    Modern monochromatic rooms don’t need to be cold and sterile. I think this decorative play between an older room and modern furnishings is beautiful. One way this type of room stays comfortable is that it is filled with soft furnishings and curved lines. Avoiding sharp corners and edges makes a room soothing and feminine. The color scheme makes it more masculine and zen-like. While we can help you achieve a similar look, naturally, it’s your job to find the right room!   

    Decorating in Older Homes

    This is a similar room, with some variation. The room has a much more ornate ceiling which makes the contrast between the room and furnishings even more noticeable. One way you can “cheat” this look would be to have ornate and very large chandeliers in lieu of an ornate ceiling.

    Chrome Floor Lamps

    Both rooms use a large scale chrome floor lamp. Having chrome lighting offsets the plush furnishings and flooring. A nice contrast, don’t you think? Also, it mimics the lines of the curved seating.

    Round White Tables

    Both rooms also have a mid-century influenced, white round tables. Whether they are dining or side tables, they reinforce the overall design.

    Swivel Chairs

    This white swivel chair envelopes you like a space-age wing back chair. The timeless Mid-Century design is very “of the moment.”

    White Slipper Chairs

    This is a more basic white slipper chair. It’s not as stylized as the swivel chair above, but does replicate and is reminiscent of the room above.

    Small Accent Tables

    Small Ottomans

    A wonderful and inexpensive way to fill a space along these monochromatic rooms is through the use and placement of small round tables and ottomans.     

    Kitchen Barstools

    There are ways in which you can infuse modern white elements in your home assuming you don’t want to commit to an entire room like the one above. What about white kitchen bar stools?

    White Ceiling Fans

    Or, how about updating your ceiling with modern white ceiling fans with lights?

    Regardless of how you go about doing it, the modern white room can still be a place of rest and relaxation.

    Images: EclecChic

  • Lighting Tips with House Flipper Steve Jones

    Steve Jones of Bettershelter

    Steve Jones of bettershelter is a well known house flipper in Los Angeles. He finds a house that is a "hot mess" (as he calls it) and completely rehabs the home while staying on a tight budget. His method for investing in homes is simple - buy it for a good price, renovate it on a budget, and sell it for a resonable price. As long as he can keep the cost down on all levels of the project, everyone wins (his design team and the future buyer). 

    Steve has developed a bettershelter look over the years and many potential buyers stalk his properties that most often end up in a bidding war. Keep reading for inside tips from the designer himself...

    Eclectic and Vintage Living Room Design

    LAMPS PLUS: How would you define your style in 3 words?

    STEVE JONES: Modern Vintage Surf

    LAMPS PLUS: You get a lot of flack for being a house flipper in a down market. However, your renovation and design expertise actually helps the local community.

    STEVE JONES: We buy many homes that would not qualify for a typical home mortgage because they are in such terrible shape. Our homes improve communities and neighborhoods and nearby home prices. Who would not want that? We try to preserve the authenticity and integrity of the homes that we renovate; we strive to fit in rather than stand out. McMansions these are not!

    Bettershelter and Dining Room Design

    LAMPS PLUS: Many of your homes utilize wall light fixtures and chandeliers versus recessed lights as the primary light source. Why do you prefer to use a more focused light versus overall lighting?

    STEVE JONES: I like indirect lighting as opposed to recessed can lights; the light is much more flattering on a person's face. I also like dimmers for the same reason.

    LAMPS PLUS: You have a fantastic outdoor area for your own home. What are 3 basic tips for outdoor lighting?

    STEVE JONES: I use old school colored bulbs - I prefer blue and green bulbs. I like to project the light up through the trees and branches; the effect is magical. I use solar light stakes for my pathways; they are easy and effective.

    LAMPS PLUS: What is on your current Lamps Plus wish list?

    Astro and Schoolhouse Ceiling Lights

    Crystorama Astro Bronze Ceiling Light Fixture (left), Hudson Valley Petersburg Nickel Semi-Flush Ceiling Mount (right)

    Thanks Steve! And... if you love Steve's bright orange outdoor chairs, check out our Zuo Anime Transparent Chairs.

May, 2012