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.

  • Quick and Easy Kitchen Decorating Ideas

     5 home decor products that transform a kitchen

    1. Venti Adjustable Height Bar Stool 2. Jane Seymour 19" Three Hydrangeas in Clay Pot

    If you want to transform your kitchen without a costly demo here are 5 quick and easy kitchen decorating ideas that will help you achieve an updated look. (Plus, if you’re anything like me in the kitchen, dazzling your guests with updated decor may be much more successful than what comes out of the oven!)

    Make sure to think about all the layers that comprise the room, from ceiling to floor and everything in between. Let’s assume you have some of the basics like kitchen recessed lights and custom pendants over an island or breakfast bar, start filling in with some decor heavy-hitters. The tight center island in this image screams for chic clear bar stools that look almost transparent but remain totally functional. Your eyes will then naturally gravitate to table tops and counters where decorative items like trays, bowls, and flowers fill-in the middle layer of your room.

    Home Furnishings

    3. Surya 18" Square Ivory Blue Haze Throw Pillow 4. Dolce Capiz Shell 7" Wide Mini Pendant Light 5. Dimension Collection Sky Blue Area Rug

    I love the breakfast nook area because it’s a space that allows you to add soft furnishings like a tufted banquette, decorative pillows and stylish area rugs to a room that is usually all about hard materials. I also like the addition of the shell chandelier which is a much-needed contrast to the harder materials found in the adjacent pendant lighting, not to mention the shells give off a softer glow over the table. 

    Remember, makeovers need not be expensive, although they should take into account every layer of the room your eye will rest upon. Keep an eye out for easy kitchen decorating ideas and home decor products that can transform a kitchen beyond the obvious tile and counters!

    Photos: House of Turquoise.

  • Crystal Chandeliers Everywhere!

    crystal chandeliers everywhere in the dining room

    Crystal chandeliers are typically reserved for a formal dining room or foyer - so I love when homeowners "break out of the box" and introduce a little bling in unexpected places! Even though the chandeliers above are in dining rooms, each room has an eclectic vibe (along with some iconic clear chairs) which lends a quirky, not stuffy look to the sparkling light fixtures.

    crystal chandeliers in the bedroom

    I'm totally smitten with the idea of a chandelier in the bedroom - it brings a certain sense of romance and drama, don't you think? Especially the one on the left - the proportions are so grand that one must feel like royalty when sleeping in that bed.

    outdoor crystal chandeliers

    And heck, why not try a chandelier outdoors? The rustic barn on the left looks so lovely and charming for a wedding reception. (Getting married in a barn doesn't seem so bad.) And I love love LOVE this covered outdoor dining area that's highlighted by a classic crystal chandelier. When a designer can make two seemingly unrelated things (a patio set and crystal chandelier) work together, I consider that a huge decorating success.

    We hope you have a fantastic long weekend that's full of rest and relaxation - and of course, design daydreaming!

    Images via: Captivating Crystal Chandeliers on Pinterest.

  • Get the Look: Modern Baroque Decor

    get the modern baroque look at home

    Today Jerome Abecassis, founder of Divano Designs, and Feng Shui Professional Brigitte Beltran are sharing their tips to get the look of Modern Baroque decor at home.

    So, what is Modern Baroque? It is the marriage of Old-World with the New World design. This redefined design trend mixes baroque patterns that are of gold and silver ornaments and crystal chandeliers. Baroque furnishes include modern elements of contemporary architecture and design. It is now becoming a popular choice for homeowners who like the opulence of the classical baroque but in a more toned-down style. Looking to create the look in your own home? The look works best if you keep in mind the following steps:

    modern baroque design inspiration

    Pictured: Zuo Goth White Dining Chairs and Black Glass Turret Chandelier.

    1. Build the Foundation Colors: Start with black, grey and white as your foundation colors and build from there. Incorporate metallic (either silver or gold – NOT BOTH) and/or mirrored surfaces, crystal (like a simple but elegant crystal ceiling light) or acrylic. This step must be done tastefully. Be careful not to overdo it. Add more than two colors and stick to romantic hues.

    2. Furnishings: Invest in pieces that glam up the space such as an ornate mirror, headboard or chair. You can find such items in antique stores, auctions, and estate sales. Even inexpensive reproductions can be easily found. These statement pieces should be in high gloss black or a soft white. Damask upholstery is wonderful and if your home is pet-free, opt for sexy blue velvet.

    modern baroque interior design

    Pictured: Clear French Candlestick Lamp, Zuo Aristocrat Sofa,  Derry Street Crystal Arms Chandelier, and Emblem Area Rug.

    3. Avoid Excessiveness: Avoid going over the top, unless you want your home to resemble Versailles. You do not need five statement pieces in a single room. Sometimes, just a few pieces that are carefully placed will give a room that “it” factor you seek. Think of a focal point piece (perhaps an old world dining room chandelier), and a “surprise” piece is always a must.

    4. Bring “Yesterday and Today” Together: Give the space a contemporary spin. Mix patterned fabric with bold striped wallpaper in similar colors. Vertical Stripes are classic and pick up clean lines of modern furniture, giving the room height and creating a sense of spaciousness.

    Thanks to Jerome Abecassis and Brigitte Beltran for their step-by-step directions to get the look! Modern Baroque decor adds glamour and drama to any interior - so be bold and start decorating with confidence.

    Image credits: Interior Trends, ZaInteriora.

    PS. We've announced the winners of our What's Your Style Pinterest contest! Check to see if you've won!

  • 5 Sophisticated Back-to-School Desk Accessories

    back to school desk accessories

    If you're going to be sitting at your desk for hours a day, shouldn't your space look stylish? Here's our round-up of 5 sophisticated back to school desk accessories that are sure to add wit and charm to your workspace:

    1. Sculptured iron spectacles. Even if you don't need glasses to see, having a decorative pair to use as a paperweight is the next best thing.

    2. Brass and horn letter opener and magnifying glass.You'll feel like a true gentleman (or a lovely lady) with these classic desktop accoutrements. Horn and brass adds instant class.

    3. BOOK bookends. You'll never forget what's in between those bookends - these playful pieces simply spell it out!

    4. Cast iron ruled tape dispenser. You can always count on this sturdy tape dispenser to measure up. It's perfect for those who like tape and puns!

    5. Black leather and red mock croc desk set. Make organizing homework or sorting bills a little more chic. Writing checks just feels more bearable with stylish mock croc, doesn't it?

    Since it's just around the corner, I have to ask - what do you do to make back to school a little more bearable? (Clearly, I decorate!)


  • Dorm Room Decorating Basics

    Dorm Room Decorating Basics

    Sorry to say, but it’s that time of year. Let’s face it, dorm rooms are usually hideous and spartan so here are dorm room decorating basics that will hopefully help personalize and spruce up your scholar’s space. I know college can drain the wallet but a few well chosen designer touches will not only be functional, but will create an environment better suited to study. What I like about the room above is that it is real, not a fully designed and unrealistic view of college living.

    A contemporary area rug is a necessity. Not only will it soften the floor and muffle sound, it adds personality to the bare room. Adding just one or two decorative accent pillows will also make the room more homey as they did here on the bed and floor. Extra pillows are also great for friends to have a soft place to lean while studying together. Think about adding decorative wall mirrors so that your kids don’t need to always use the shared bathroom when getting ready.

    Here is what I think will help a dorm room come alive: 

    College Dorm Room Design

    1. Cameron Terra Cotta Faux Leather Highback Desk Chair: A proper desk chair that is comfortable for hours of study, not the milk-crate styled standard issue that leaves you hunched over.

    2. White Moderne Droplet Table Lamp: A cute desk lamp.

    3. Astral Collection Chrome Robe Hook: Hooks to keep clothing and mess off the floor.

    4. Coral Area Rug: A cute and colorful rug for softness, soundproofing and to add personality.

    Naturally dorm room decorating basics should include books and computers, but I will let mom and dad have that conversation, for me, it’s all about the cute and functional seating, storage, light and softness.

    Image credit: Apartment Therapy.


  • Ask the Expert - Designer Tips for a Long Narrow Living Room

    ask the expert - designer tips for a long narrow living room

    If your house has an awkward layout (like this long, narrow living room with only one ceiling fixture), what's the best way to decorate it? Reader Caitlin asked us for expert designer tips for her new home:

    I have a long and narrow living and dining room with angled French doors in one corner. I want to get a very basic couch to replace the one I have (preferably grey). Eventually the floors will be hardwood. I just want the finished space to be clean, warm, and inviting. My questions are:

    1. What accent colours go with dark grey, and what colour should I paint the walls?
    2. Should I use a patterned wallpaper behind the couch or should the walls all stay one colour? 
    3. What kind of lighting should I get? We want to replace the track light above the dining table with a chandelier. Also, We will need lamps - but what sort of lamps are good for lighting a room with only one overhead fixture?

    Designer tips for a modern living room

    I used Olioboard to visually create a design plan for Caitlin's room. Here are my decorating ideas and answers to her questions:

    1. What accent colours go with dark grey? The dark grey curtains and medium grey sofa will look great when layered with other shades of grey! Paint the walls a light, soft grey with warm undertones - this will help the new warm oak hardwood blend in, and a light wall color will also help brighten up the space.

    For an accent color, shades of blue pair well with grey - especially teal and aqua tones. Don't be afraid to add some contrasting color with accessories too. The orange dots on the colorful accent pillow complement the blue and give the room personality.

    2. Should I use a patterned wallpaper? Patterned wallpaper is a great idea for adding interest to a long, narrow living room wall! I chose this large-scale floral paper because it beautifully layers warm shades of grey, and the pattern is playful yet sophisticated. Normally I don't love the idea of an accent wall, but in this case I think it will give the bowling-alley layout some visual interest.

    3. What kind of lighting should I get? Since the dining room chandelier is one of the first things your guests will see when they come through the French doors, wow them with something stunning! This contemporary chandelier in an antique brass finish is modern with a bit of traditional warmth. A pharmacy floor lamp next to the sofa is great for direct reading light, and a couple of table lamps in the room will help brighten the space. I would also suggest using an elegant torchiere floor lamp to cast light upwards towards the ceiling, like this:

    designer lighting tips for a long narrow living room

    Have a design problem? Ask the expert and your question could be featured on our blog! And if you're feeling creative and want to try out Olioboard (it's fun and easy to design a room like the one above!), enter the Lamps Plus Living Room Design Contest on Olioboard for your chance to win one of 3 online shopping sprees.

  • 5 Runway Fashion Looks for Home Decor

    runway fashion and home decor

    If you're looking for decorating inspiration, look no further than runway fashion! Home decor and fashion have always gone hand-in-hand, and these gorgeous pairings created by the team at Fashion + Decor beautifully illustrate this connection.

    One thing in common with almost every one of these interiors is that they feature dramatic and gorgeous chandeliers - a chandelier is to a room what great jewelry is to an outfit! 

    1. I've Got the Blues (above): Layered cool blue hues create a fresh family dining space.

    runway fashion translates to home decor

    2. All That Glitters: Gold is eternally elegant, whether in fashion or the home.

    home decor inspired by runway fashion

    3. 50 Shades of Grey: Layering shades of the same color creates a look with depth and richness.

    neutral fashion meets home decor

    4. Neutral Appeal: Neutrals need not be boring. A mix of textures makes all the difference.

    dramatic fashion meets home decor

    5. It's Easy Being Green: Earthy green goes dramatic with intricate detailing.

    Some of these pairings are subtle, and some are so outrageously over the top (like this last image)! Do you find your fashion sense inspires your home decor? Or are your personal style and interior style completely different?

    Image credits: Fashion + Decor

  • Mid-Century Interiors: Design Basics

    Mid-Century Interiors

    Do you feel bombarded with Mid-Century interiors lately? Yes, we all love Mad Men, but Mid-Century design doesn’t need to be all glitz and no guts. The core to this design aesthetic is not about Martinis and loose morals, rather a pared-down approach to furniture and embracing new materials in home decor such as plastic and ceramics.

    When “doing-up” a Mid-Century home, I like to think of channeling Rob and Laura Petrie’s house on the Dick VanDyke show. Think sleek and cutting-edge, but still warm and welcoming. As in any home decor makeover, remember to balance hard and soft elements as well as layers of lighting. 

    Contemporary Mid-Century Decor

    Because of low ceilings in the classic Mid Century ranch bedroom, ceiling-hugging flush-mount lighting became a must, while vaulted living rooms became the ideal spot for bold Sputnik-style chandeliers. Post war homeowners also experimented with modern ceramic lamps and moved away from displaying flowered plates, favoring more abstract and organic pottery and glass. Check out some of what I think would look great if you wanted to infuse your home with postwar panache:

    Mid-Century Teal Ceramic Gourd Table Lamp like the one found in the room above.

    Sputnik-Style Opal Glass Pendant that looks as sexy today as it did 50 years ago.

    Azzo White Plastic Side Chairs (set of two) that embrace the use of molded plastic but still incorporates warm woods.

    Amber Art Glass Basket Vase. Perfect for a decorative accent on a sideboard or end table. 

    Glenarden Round Accent Table. This warm and supple looking table exudes the Mid-Century aesthetic.    

    Jewel Collection Turquoise Shade. Replacement shades are a great way to change the look of an existing lamp.

    Photos: Bright Bazaar.

  • Botanical Print Inspirations and Matching Home Decor

    Botanical Print Inspirations

    Botanical prints, along with vintage botanical prints and educational charts are very popular right now. I love seeing all the creative ways people use them as decorations in their home. They are fun, a little quirky, and a new way to express nature. I especially love the idea of using botanical prints as wallpaper in a powder bathroom - what a fun idea!

    Botanical Home Decor

    (Top Row: Stacy Garcia Seafan Lamp Shade, Varaluz Banana Leaf SconceLights Up! Weegee Mango Leaf Paper Table Lamp)

    (Bottom Row: Copper Real Leaf Night Light, Willow Wide Green and Black Vase, Sea Fan Framed Wall Art)


    Check out our selection of botanical prints and also botanical inspired home decor, lighting and chic living room lamps. You have to admit, there is just something really charming about the maple leaf night light. If you are looking for nature inspired artwork, then the sea fan framed wall art is a great option. If you really want to get wild with color and pattern, the willow wide green and black glass vase will definitely fit the bill. Also, don't forget the natural style lamp shades to get the look.

    I am loving this hot trend and hope it sticks around for a while!

    Images: Poppytalk, Elle Decor, Oh joy!, Design Sponge, Casasugar

  • Home Decor iPhone Wallpapers!

    Home decor iphone wallpapers - free downloads

    You decorate your home - why not decorate your tech too? Here's a round up of some fun home decor iPhone wallpapers to give your cell phone a little more style. Many of these wallpapers are also available for the iPad too, if you really like to coordinate. I sure do! (The patterned ones above are my favorite - don't they look like decorative area rugs?)

    iphone wallapers with mid-century chairs

    You really can't go wrong with classic chair designs, from the iconic Wishbone to the mid-century Grand Confort armchair that's still in style today. And having them front and center on your phone makes for a perfect conversation starter. ("Oh, that? Why, that's a classic Le Corbusier!")

    Find all of these free home decor iPhone wallpapers (and more!) on Poolga.

August, 2012