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.

  • 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

  • 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 (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.

    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 (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).

    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 (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

  • 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.