Style Illuminated

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

  • Lamps Plus Pinterest Contest - What's Your Style?

    Lamps Plus pinterest contest winners

    UPDATE #2: We're pleased to announce the winners of our Pinterest contest: Jacqueline Taylor Griffin (French Market); Dawn Shelton (Hollywood Luxe); Quincey Shelton (Global Style); Joyce Moore (City Chic); and Renee Scott (Natural Inspirations). Thanks to all who entered and voted!

    UPDATE #1: The contest entry period has now expired. Congrats to all the finalists in the Lamps Plus Pinterest contest. Head on over to the Pinterest contest board to see all the finalists and help us chose the winners by voting for your favorites. Remember the finalists' boards with the most repins will win. Good luck to all!

    Now is a chance to show off your design skills and put together an inspiration board reflecting your style in our Pinterest contest. Are you more of a naturalist or do you find yourself leaning toward global influenced design? Let us know!

    We are giving away a total of five $500 online shopping sprees. Below are the details of how to enter.

     To Enter:

    1. Follow @LampsPlus on Pinterest
    2. Pick One of 5 Styles - Choose from Natural Inspirations, Hollywood Luxe, French Market, Global Style or City Chic
    3. Create a Board with the chosen style name in the board title and include at least 3 products from one lighting, one furniture, and one home decor
    4. Tag It - Include the hashtags #lampsplus and #mystyle under each pin
    5. Comment on Contest Pin to Enter Your Board - When you're done, comment on the contest pin with a link to your board or e-mail us your link to Enter as many times and as many styles as you want

    We will select the boards with the most creative flair as FINALISTS. The WINNERS will be chosen by YOU. So Find Your Favorite Style and Start Pinning It to Win It!

      Inspirational Pinterest Boards


    • July 6 - 23: Create and submit your boards
    • July 24: Finalists announced
    • July 24-31: Vote for your favorite boards
    • First week of August: Winners announced

    Contest Process:

    • After the submission period, we will select the finalists 
      • Boards will be judged by Lamps Plus
      • Criteria is best epitomizing the style and adherence to the entry guidelines
      • Finalists are encouraged to solicit repins
    • The top 5 finalist boards with the highest number of repins during the voting period will win!
    • In the event of a tie, Lamps Plus will determine the winning board(s)
    • Winners will be announced on our blog and also as comments on the Main Contest Pin and Finalist Pins

    For more information about the design styles, check out our Hot Trends Pinterest board. Need an invite to Pinterest? Send your e-mail address to (subject Pinterest Contest Invite) and we will try to invite you. To learn more about Pinterest and how to get started, check out the Pinterest About page.

    Note: Contest open to US residents only. Residents of Rhode Island are unable to enter the contest. Read our complete contest rules here.

  • Top 5 Favorite Home Design Blogs

    5 Favorite Home Design Blogs

    I have my favorite home design blogs (besides our own blog of course). I am constantly venturing around the web to see what other people are inspired by and what projects designers are currently working on. Each blog on my list is very different than the next with its own unique voice. So... let's talk about the list!

    My Marrakesh: Yes yes yes! For everyone and anyone that is obsessed with Moroccan inspirations, then this is the place you need to be. The author of the blog, Maryam, lives in Marrakesh and owns a stylish boutique guest house and is the author of the inspirational picture book, Marrakesh by Design. I visit her blog (often) for decorative accent pillow and rug ideas from Morocco.

    Stylelist Home: Stylelist Home is AOL's design blog. It is the "something for everyone" blog with house tours, craft projects, entertaining tips, etc. I love visiting their blog for trending design topics. I also write for AOL Stylelist Home, so of course it had to make the list.

    aBLOOMSBURYlife: aBLOOMSBURYlife is the end result of a stylish mom, who is also an embroidery artist, is passionate about interior design, and loves to travel the Globe. Her own personal home is quite amazing and she often shares new projects around the house. Her blog is a one woman shop, so I love the personal/diary-like tone of the content.

    maison21: Christian May (interior designer and blogger behind maison21) is the most social person I know! If you want to know what is happening at ALL the design events in Los Angeles, check into the maison21 blog often. There isn't a design event invitation that he doesn't turn down. So I love to stay home and check in on his blog for the party recap!

    the Real Estalker: If you must have your celebrity gossip in the world of real estate and design, this is the place for you! I have been quite addicted to the Real Estalker for many years. It reports on celebrity real estate purchases and homes on the market. I love the voyeuristic nature of seeing how celebrities really live. Bring on the over the top chandeliers, bold color choices, and overall luxury living!

    Image: Inslee

  • Beach House Design Ideas - From Malibu to the Hamptons


    Malibu Beach Houses

    Regardless of the coast I’m mad for beach house design ideas. Today we're going to take a look at two homes. One in the Hamptons, the other Malibu. Many people do play favorites and can’t understand why anybody would visit the other...snobs! I like the overall informality of both spots and am here to show you some looks and differences found in each design.

    The Malibu beach house above is classsic. Simple white slipcovers and natural wood accents reflect the white sandy beach and driftwood. The Malibu lifestyle embraces natural and neutral tones, crisp lines and can borrow sllightly from California’s Spanish ancestry with the use of terra cotta on occassion and warm dark woods. The Hamptons have a more traditional New England bent, with an emphasis on nautical and preppy interiors.

    Hamptons Beach House Bedroom

    The Hamptons bedroom, while fresh and bright, incorporates design touches like whitewashed floors, heirloom-style furniture and decorative area rugs that could be generations old.

    Malibu Beach House Bedroom Design

    The Malibu bedroom has a modern, Spanish Colonial vibe. Earthy colors and textures play beautifully with the contemporary lines of the architecture and furniture.

    Hamptons Bathroom

    The Hamptons bath has classic beadboard walls, farmhouse sinks and antique-style bathroom wall mirrors. School house lighting completes the “East Coast” look.

    Bathroom Wall Lights

    Want to re-create this look? The Sussex bathroom light is a great place to start.

    Beach House Bathrooms

    The Malibu beach house bathroom has a similar color palate but is much more contemporary with its treatment of the vanity, mirrors and lighting. All of these elements are modern and more geometric.     

    Contemporary Wall Sconces

    This rectangular nickel wall sconce oozes Malibu chic.

    There you have it.  A  few beach house design ideas without leaving the comfort of your home.


    Images: Coastal Living, Cottages-Gardens.

  • About Iceland: Design and Architecture in Reykjavik

    About Iceland: Reykjavik-Iceland-Skyline-Travel

    A coffee and sit down with Icelandic designer Helga Guðrún, owner of Stáss Design and one of four companies in the artistic collective Netagerðin, to learn about Iceland opened my eyes to everything design and architecture in Reykjavik, Iceland. We talked about everything from Reykjavik's turf house beginnings to the cities love of modern, new products with traditional influences.


    At first glance, Reykjavik seems like a New England coastal town. I was interested to learn that up until the early 1900's most of the home and buildings in Reykjavik were turf buildings, made out of stone and turf material like matted grasses. The first permanent stone structure was their parliament building, built in 1881, and the oldest areas of the city only date back to the 1930's.



    Icelandic people love new design; they always want to be up-to-date, sometimes even to a fault. In the 1990's and early 2000's, as the country's economy thrived, there was a craze to remodel and update. Sadly, as they did this, they would tear out and tear down the old designs and literally throw out old furniture and home decor. When the economy crashed in 2008, people in Reykjavik modified the way in which they remodeled their homes and became much less frivolous about their previous possessions.  



    Places such as Netagerðin have tried to incorporate Icelandic antiques as well as local materials and traditions into their design. Their shop was once a warehouse in the 1960's that was shut down for years before they bought it. When they opened the doors, it was filled with vintage ceramics, furniture and appliances, some of which Helga incorporated in the design of the attached restaurant, Forrétta. The modern sleek mini-pendant lights mixes it up and gives the design a modern look. And note the nod to Bjork in the form of the stork pouf...


    Helga went on to tell me that all the artists in the collective at Netagerðin focus on using local materials, local traditions and traditional Icelandic patterns in their design. She tells me that there is always a story behind the product that ties in with the country. One significant design inspiration in Iceland has always been the sea as the country, especially Reykjavik, is surrounded by it and it is such a big part of their history.


    Until recently, Helga tells me, there were not any monumental structures in the city. Thankfully the construction of the Harpa concert hall survived the economic crash and is now a gorgeous structure on the edge of the coast. It was a collaboration between design firms Henning Larsen Architects and Batteríið Architects and artist Ólafur Elíasson to create a beautiful, interesting, monumental space. Harpa was awarded the World Architecture Award in 2011. The building is a cultural icon reflecting the sea and the city, and glows like a jewel box through the summer nights as the sun coasts along the horizon.


    Another significant building in the city center is the Hallgrímskirkja church. The style of the building is supposed to resemble the lava flows of the Icelandic landscape. Taking over 38 years to build and only being completed in 1986, the church stands as the tallest building in Reykjavik. It is beautiful to see how it is illuminated in the midnight light during the summer.

    Icelandic design in Reykjavik is still quite young, but I have a feeling that it will soon be a city to watch in the design world.

    Images: Allison Rosenberg, Harpa Press

  • Moroccan Design Inspirations

    Lately, I have had the travel bug and have been paying attention to Moroccan design inspirations. The style has been popular for a while and is really catching on in interior trends. I can see why with the style's bright, saturated colors and interesting and distinct patterns. I am sure you have probably seen Morrocan inspired decorative accent pillows being used in both interior and exterior designs.

    Marrakech is the capital of Morocco and is known for their traditional Berber market, so when we think of Morroco, decorative wool area rugs come to mind. Marrakech Moroccan design also consists of antique bronze lanterns, red and orange throw pillows, and arched doors with nailhead detail. I have been browsing through the Lamps Plus catalog and rounded up some of my favorite Morrocan inspired home decor products below.

    (Top Row: Jaime Young Brown Moroccan Lantern, Tannez Marrakesh Rustic Wood Table)

    (Middle Row: Purple Moroccan Canvas Drum Shade, Voltare Collection Rust Moroccan Area Rug)

    (Bottom Row: Taza Paprika Tone Moroccan Throw Pillow, Moroccan Indoor Fountain)

    The bronze lantern is perfect for an outdoor design, but I can also see it as a centerpiece on a long dining room table. I recently saw the distressed wood side tables used as nightstands in a bedroom. For not a huge money commitment, you can switch out your current lamp shade for one with a Moroccan flair. Of course, adding a fun rug and pillows freshes up any room. Lastly, I love how outdoor fountains really help you relax on warm summer days.

    Images: Be Fair Be Funky, My Marrakesh

  • Tips for Designing a Functional Office with the Office Stylist

    Designing a Functional Office

    Sayeh Pezeshki is the office design expert behind The Office Stylist blog. Designing both a functional and stylish office can be a challenge, so we asked Sayeh for a few tips. She even shares a few of her favorite task lights for all different types of offices.

    LAMPS PLUS: What are 3 of the most important elements when designing an office?

    SAYEH PEZESHKI: A great desk, office chair, and good lighting. I always say the desk and chair is the foundation of an office space; it's where you are spending most of your time so investing in these two items is important. I always like to use tham as a focal point too, so I pick the desk and chair out for clients and work around them in the theme of the space. Of course, lighting is SO important in a workspace and vital depending on what you do for work.

    LAMPS PLUS: What makes up your dream office?

    SAYEH PEZESHKI: It is hard to say! I come by so many offices that we interview for the Office Stylist and they are all very dreamy. If I had to choose I would say a great view, bright bold colors, and stylish furniture is what would make up my dream office. I'm lucky that I have all of those things in my office.

    Modern shared office space

    LAMPS PLUS: What are a few tips for designing a shared space?

    SAYEH PEZESHKI: Before designing any workspace, you need to know the function of the space. If you have an open office that will have shared spaces, it might not work for certain jobs/positions. If you have your sales team constantly on the phone then you will need to factor in dividers to decrease the noise. After you know the function of the workspace you need to then look at your possible growth. Can you add on to the furniture you are selecting or will you need to purchase a new set if you add to your team?

    LAMPS PLUS: What type of lighting is ideal in a workspace.

    SAYEH PEZESHKI: If you can have the most natural light that is the best kind of lighting you have. If your workspace doesn't have windows, then I would suggest area lighting to light up the whole room and task lighting for your desk.

    LAMPS PLUS: What are your favorite Lamps Plus task lights?

    industrial desk lamp

    Arteriors Home Fraiser Antique Silver Adjustable Desk Lamp

    This lamps is just plain awesome! I love any lamp that can offer a unique feel while being functional at the same time. This is what I would deem "industrial chic" and fits into a lot of great offices.

    green bankers lamp

    Green Glass Shade Bankers Lamp

    I love this lamp because it reminds me of old bank lamps and lawyers' lamps - it really has a lot of character.

    Mid-Century Modern Desk Lamp

    Draper Mid-Century Modern Desk Lamp

    Mid-Century pieces are great for the office and provide a nice "Mad Men" feel to them as well.

    Thanks Sayeh!

    Images: The Office Stylist

  • Get the Look: Tropical Bedroom Design

    Tropical Bedroom Decor

    Sultry summer days make me think of how welcome stylish tropical bedrooms would be at night. Now, I’m not professing the “tropical” look of the old Three’s Company, TV set, but rather a design that is timeless and saturated with color. If you think about the bedroom above, everything is neutral except for the shell print and shell encrusted night stand. Trust me, the nightstand is not kitsch, rather, it reminds me of classic Palm Beach decoration. The clear glass lamp has the quality of water and clearly can work in any color scheme.

    Clear Glass Table Lamps

    This clear glass lamp is similar in style. Elegant and unobtrusive, it’s the ultimate decor chameleon.     

    Casual Tropical Rooms

    Yes, this room offers the full tropical experience, however the basics are classic no-fuss design at its best. This is the kind of relaxed design that you can’t destroy. An outdoor ceiling fan is the perfect touch to get those gauzy curtains to flutter like the trade winds.  

    Coastal Style Bedrooms

    Welcome to the Bahamas - at least that’s how it looks. I’m a huge fan of using the same fabric all over a guest room. Everything here speaks tropical bedroom from the bright colors to the use of a bamboo theme in the furniture as well as fabric.

    Tropical Colored Table Lamps

    This yellow ceramic table lamp echoes the lamps in the bedroom above. Yellow would work with most other colors in the tropical color palette, so it’s a safe choice.

    Aqua Blue Bedrooms

    I thought I would show you that even a high rise condo can achieve the tropical bedroom look. Mix some crisp whites, bold color, trellis and bamboo styled fabric and voila, a trip to the tropics. Naturally it doesn’t hurt that the bedroom has a balcony so that the introduction of outdoor space and outdoor furniture outdoor light fixtures adds to the allure of a vacation getaway. 

    Images: Coastal Living

  • Unexpected Beach Color - Decorating with Orange and Blue

    When we think of a beach color scheme, we typically think of white and blue hues. However, a few weeks ago I was hanging out at the beach when the sun set, which inspired a new unexpected color combination - bright orange and deep blue. Decorating with orange and blue can create an eclectic color scheme. I rounded up a handful of contemporary table lamps as an example of how to incorporate this look.

    (Top Row: Sedona Mosaic Fiberglass Table Lamp,  Possini Euro Design Blue Art Glass Table Lamp, Lamp Works Fluted Recycled Orange Glass Table Lamp)

    (Bottom Row: Blue Bubble Glass Jug Table Lamp, Lights Up! Devo Oval Carrot Table Lamp, Haeger Potteries Blue Ceramic Egg Table Lamp)

    You can use both hues in the same room for a more dramatic effect or you can sprinkle the colors throughout the home for a subtle look. I am really drawn to the orange glass table lamps for bedside lighting. They would look great paired with blue accents such as drapery or accessories. Or... how about the blue table lamps on a living room side table paired with orange decorative accent pillows or an orange throw.

    What do you think about this unexpected coastal color combination?


  • Interior Lighting and Photography Tips with Karyn Millet

    Photographer Karyn Millet

    I can’t get enough of photographer Karyn Millet's work. While she is brilliant with any subject matter, she has been very successful at photographing interiors for some of the best shelter magazines around. I was lucky enough to sit down with her, dish on what she loves, get a handful of interior lighting and photography tips, and get a glimpse into her own home. 

    Karyn Millet Photography

    LAMPS PLUS: How is your own home decorated?

    KARYN MILLET: I've started with a color theme for each room - beige and baby blue for the dining room, grey and tangerine color scheme for the living room, and blue and white for the master bedroom. I like to tell stories through "color" rather than specific styles that might limit your imagination.  

    Karyn Millet Interior

    LAMPS PLUS: What designers do you most admire?

    KARYN MILLET: For me, it doesn't get any better than Nancy Lancaster. So ahead of her times. I often hear her voice in my head about adding a little zebra into a room, letting the drapes slightly puddle, etc. 

    LAMPS PLUS: What is one “trick of the trade” that you have learned photographing interiors?

    Karyn Millet's Home

    KARYN MILLET: Move furniture if it's not working. My photo crew carries furniture moving disks that let us easily push furniture around on either carpet of hard floors. I got them out at home just yesterday and starting pushing all my heavy living room furniture around the room effortlessly into an entirely new layout. Let's see if it doesn't change again soon!

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

    KARYN MILLET: Don't simply look at a room from a standing position, sit down. Typically, that's how you'll be experiencing it in real life and it's important to try out vantage points personally so you don't end up with having a conversation with a friend while the whole time you're thinking (while sitting), "why did I put that picture there?"

    Nancy Mitford

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

    KARYN MILLET: Reading in bed in the morning, even on a week day! I'm currently reading Nancy Mitford's biography on Madame de Pompadour and it's fun to wake up and be taken to Versailles in the morning!

    LAMPS PLUS: What are you obsessed with right now?

    KARYN MILLET: My great, great uncle Francis Davis Millet. He was an amazing artist who perished on the Titanic 100 years ago. I'm about to go to Broadway, England, where he lived with his wife Lily. I'm staying in a country house hotel that used to be his studio. The Tate Museum is also getting one of his pieces out of storage for me to privately view. Yes, I'm pretty much obsessed. His artistry and heroism are borderline epic and I can't get enough!

    Karyn Millet Photographs

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite type of interior photoshoot?

    KARYN MILLET: I like to shoot houses with magical natural light. Typically these have high ceilings and are south facing with beautiful windows. It's not so much the view outside (no matter how beautiful), but the light that is being "painted" into the room that makes my camera sing.  

    Karyn Millet Head Shot

    LAMPS PLUS: How did you get started?

    KARYN MILLET: After several years in PR and publishing I wanted to do something creative and honestly, photography "found me." I took some classes at the local college and then started shooting. I'd been on 100s of photoshoots in the past but never thought I could ever be the one creating the photos. It was truly a liberating feeling to be able to find and capture amazing moments. 

    Karyn Millet Interior Photographs

    LAMPS PLUS: How important is lighting in an interior?

    KARYN MILLET: Lighting and composition go hand in hand. It's critical and it's best to wait for the right light than take a picture when it's too overwhelming. Interestingly enough, the less light the better for interiors. It gives you an opportunity to have a longer exposure so the light can gently sink into the shot.  

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your favorite chic living room lamp from Lamps Plus?

    KARYN MILLET: My favorite table lamp is the Brushed Steel Open Window Table Lamp.

    Brushed Steel Table Lamps

    Brushed Steel Open Window Table Lamp

    LAMPS PLUS: When should you splurge?

    KARYN MILLET: After you've made your mortgage payment and you've got several future payments in the bank … oh, and on your birthday for sure!

    Karyn Millet Photograph in Versailles

    LAMPS PLUS: What is your dream photo shoot?

    KARYN MILLET: Versailles with zero people. Just me and my camera.

    LAMPS PLUS: Has there ever been a time when an interior has inspired you personally? An unexpected interior that has shifted your aesthetic?

    KARYN MILLET: Yes, nearly every shoot! I shoot for so many incredible designers and I tend to fall in love with whatever I'm shooting for them. It leads to my pondering changes in my own home's look time and time again!

    Images: Karyn Millet

  • Inspired by Iceland: Home Decor to Match the Landscape

    Reykjavik Iceland Coastline Landscape

    After spending some time in the majestic landscape of Reykjavik, Iceland, and the surrounding countryside I felt inspired by Iceland, rejuvenated, relaxed and ready to bring some Icelandic inspiration home. From the bright hues of the local wild flower and the Blue Lagoon to the stark, volcanic coastline and open plains, to the near 24 hours of sunlight during summer, there are many ways in which you can incorporate the beauty of Iceland in your own home.

    Nootka Alaskan Lupine Wildflower Iceland Reykjavik

    Purple Felt Pillow

    Fontella Square Hand Sewn Felt Rose Pillow

    Nootka, the local wildflower in Iceland, was introduced to the region in 1945 as a means to bringing nutrients back to the volcanic soil.  While some are critics of the flower due to its inedibility, it has become an icon for the country side. Its beautiful shade of purple inspires local artists and designers to incorporate the bright color in their designs.

    Midnight in Reykjavik Iceland Travel

    During the summer in Iceland, the sun never sets, but rather coasts across the skyline all through the night creating a beautiful dusk lighting that lasts until dawn. Implementing outdoor lighting can bring this "bright at night" feeling to your own home.

    Blue Lagoon Reykjavik Iceland Travel

    Blue Glass Table Lamp

    Uttermost Reena Blue Glass Table Lamp

    One of Iceland's most famous sights is the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa in a lava field that is rich in minerals and nutrients. Visitors can come to the spa and bathe in the waters, which are famous for beautifying your skin and even curing some skin diseases such as psoriasis. While it would be ideal to have your own little Blue Lagoon in your home, you can bring home the beautiful icy, electric blue hue.

    Iceland Reykjavik Coastline Shore Travel

    Since Iceland is an island, there are miles and miles of vast and open coastline. Unlike the beaches of Southern California where I am from, the coast in Iceland reminds me of New England with overgrown reeds and stone beaches. It is this laid back beach environment that can easily be translated to home decor with beautiful accessories, ceiling light fixtures, and wall lights.

    Nickel Wall Sconce

    Eco Botanico Nickel Wall Sconce

    When you drive inland, the mossy, volcanic landscape can take your breath away. The lack of inhabitants has allowed the land to remain untouched for the most part, yet with excellent infrastructure, tourists and travelers can drive through the region and experience all the beauty.

    Volcanic landscape Iceland Travel

    Volcanic crater in Iceland Reykjavik

    While in Iceland, the overall feeling was one of open calm and beauty. While I was only able to see a small part of the large island, being only in and around Reykjavik in the South West region, I would highly recommend a visit to anyone who loves adventure, nature and serenity. And if that hasn't quite gotten you to visit, the local Icelandic lobster is the best I have ever eaten!

    Images: Allison Rosenberg

July, 2012