Style Illuminated

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

  • DIY Holiday Decor: Alternative Christmas Trees

    Alternative Christmas Trees Cupcakes

    Who says a Christmas tree has to be a...tree? For the apartment-dweller, holiday traveller, or pine-hater, pulling up your sleeves and making alternative Christmas trees can work wonders in making the season more personalized. These DIY holiday decor ideas are a fresh take on the traditional Christmas tree.

    Styrofoam Cone Alternative Christmas Trees

    If you don't have space in your place for a full 7' Douglas Fir, why not take a trio of Styrofoam cones (available at any craft store) and transform them into trees? Cupcake liners have been craftily used on the left, while some colored yarn and a hot glue gun is all you'll need to create the trees on the right. Top them with pompoms for bonus cuteness points!

    Holiday Tree Desserts

    For the foodie, make a tree you can eat! Holiday entertaining and dining has never been so sweet. Martha Stewart's gingerbread cookie tree on the left looks positively scrumptious, and the red velvet cupcake on the right would be the perfect way to spread a little Christmas cheer to the kids. (Kids? How about me? I love red velvet!)

    Alternative Christmas Trees for the Wall

    If you're tight on floor and table space, perhaps a DIY tree on the wall is more your style? An array of wall decals creates the illusion of a perfectly-shaped pine, while clear removable wall clips and string combine into a stylish tree that doubles as a Christmas card holder (just clip 'em on with clothespins!).

    Recycled Wood Holiday Decor

    If you're feeling extra-handy (or if you're allergic to a real tree), these two alternative Christmas trees made from vintage shipping pallets and driftwood are an eco-friendly option that you can use year after year. An imperfect Charlie Brown-style tree will definitely make your holiday decor fun, personalized, and memorable.

    Image credits: Sweet Cupcakes and Treats; A Spoonful of Sugar Designs; Margot Potter; Martha Stewart; Cupcakes Garden; Wall Dressed Up; My Poppet; Monk and Honey; All Driftwood Furniture.

  • Get The Look: Chalet Style

    Chalet Style

    Chalet Style reflects an ease and comfort unique to alpine living. Not that you need to live near the slopes to achieve the look, rather, a few key design elements are all you need to create this warm and cozy look. 

    Chalet inspired interiors all share similar design motifs whether they are aesthetically traditional or modern. Because chalets tend to be in colder climates, you will generally find warm fireplaces inside as well as fire pits outside; ample amounts of fur or faux fur in rugs, pillows, and blankets; antler or iron lighting in the form of rustic chandeliers and animal themed table lamps; rustic wood walls, ceilings and accessories.

    Finally, you will generally see loads of plaid featured on bedding, on window coverings, and on lamp shades. 

    Chalet Decor

    Regardless of how it is put together, these interiors are always warm and inviting. To me, they beckon with the knowledge that hot toddies are close at hand, a good book has been left close to the fire and that warm socks will thaw my frigid toes after a day on the slopes. 

    Yes, the classic chalet has a specific Tyrollean charm that may not be appropriate for all homes. That said, most of us do want an element of warmth in our homes throughout the winter and for that reason alone you may wish to consider some aspects of Chalet style.       

    Rustic Accessories

    Shopping Guide: Faux Deer Antlers Candle Glass 2-Light Sconce; Pacific Merchants Set of 4 Acaciaware® Wood Appetizer Trays; Brown and Tan Plaid Lamp Shade; Howard Elliott Pod Tall Luscious Natural Faux Fur Ottoman

    Photos: Belgian Pearls.

     

  • Affordable Holiday Table Decorating Ideas

    Paper Flowers as Affordable Holiday Table Decorating

    I have fond memories of preparing for holiday meals with my mother. We'd go to the flower market and gather pine boughs, tulips, and roses. Then we'd return home and arrange our bounty in antique silver vases that she'd acquired over the years.

    Now I'm on a single girl's budget, so armloads of blossoms aren't an option for me—and in any case, I love the creative challenge of affordable holiday table decorating. Ideas come to mind with things I already have on hand.

    Christmas Decorations

    For the abundant look of floral arrangements without the cost, paper flowers are a surprisingly easy and eye-catching option. They do require time and patience, however, so plan ahead. Depending on your desired effect you can use colored tissue, brown craft, or even newspaper, and if you store them carefully they'll last for holidays to come!

    Also in the realm of paper goods, black and white photos have a charming effect on the table. As a runner and place cards; hung from the chandelier; or slipped into vintage bottles; they're not only aesthetically pleasing but also a reminder of the family and friendship we value this time of year.

    Christmas Decorations

    Finally, when all else fails, raid the rest of the house! You'd be amazed at the tablescape you can build with odds and ends from your bookshelves, china cabinet, coffee table, and nightstands. Group your collection of vintage matchbooks with those garage sale tea tins you bought for no apparent reason. Add your grandmother's porcelain cream and sugar set to the mix. Your brass owls from Etsy? They're just the finishing touch you need.

    The holidays are about celebrating what you have--and what better way to celebrate it than to use what you have to create an affordable holiday table?

    Images: Lamps Plus Guest Blogging Pinterest

     

  • I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

    White Christmas Living Room

    Christmas is full to the brim of hustle and bustle. Everyone is hurrying and rushing and shopping and scurrying hither and thither.

    It can be exhausting.

    And overwhelming.  

    White Christmas Centerpiece

     And it makes me long for the simplicity of a white Christmas.

    Whites and neutrals and creams with Christmas decorating are simple and elegant and timeless and a wonderful contrast to the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.

    Longing for simple?  And elegant?  And timeless?

    Here's a little white inspiration just for you.

    White Christmas Inspiration

    1. Choose a neutral color pallet of whites and creams and grays and introduce a few natural elements for texture and visual interest.  

    2. A cream and white table scape is the perfect backdrop for a holiday party. Add vintage white linens and sparkling silver to make your table shine.  

    3. Shop the house for whiteware and white accent pieces and combine with a little glitter for an inexpensive way to decorate a sideboard or Christmas table.  

    4. Reflect your unique table setting with an antique mirror to fill the room with holiday cheer. Silver chargers, white candles and a simple white tablecloth complete your holiday table.

     

    How to Get the Look for White Christmas

    Want the look?

    Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

    Combine a few of these suggestions with some neutrals, a little texture and a steaming cup of hot cocoa with tiny marshmallows.....

    .....and watch all the hustle and bustle melt away.

    Shopping Guide: 1. Haeger Potteries 10" High Empire White Ceramic Pitcher  2. Apothecary Glass Drink Dispenser   3. Set of 3 White Lacquer Candlesticks 4. North Adams 32" High Rectangular Wall Mirror  5. Beveled Block 13 " Wide Mirror Charger Plate 6. Reed and Barton Andover Pearl 65-piece flatware set

    Photo Credit: 1. Country Living  2. Country Living  (from collage) 1. Country Living 2. Via HWTM Daily Blog from Domino Magazine 3. Thistlewood Farm 4. Via Bright Bazaar featuring the The White Company.

  • Lamps Plus 2012 Top 10 Home Blogs

    Lamps Plus 2012 Top 10 Home Blogs List

    You've told us your favorite home decorating blogs, family blogs, and DIY blogs, and after tallying up the votes, we're pleased to announce the Lamps Plus 2012 Best Home Blog Top 10 List! (Not sure what this is all about? Click here to check out all the details.)

    1st PLACE: Coupon Cousins! Congratulations to our winner! You voted this budget-savvy site as your favorite blog. New coupons are posted daily (often many, many times per day!), and if you're looking for deals on home decor, lighting, furniture, and more, Coupon Cousins is definitely the blog to follow.

    Coupon Cousins Blog

    2nd PLACE: DIY Showoff. Don't be afraid to tackle home decorating projects on your own! On DIY Showoff, Roeshel features plenty of DIY inspiration along with detailed tutorials to help you create these projects yourself. Many of the projects on DIY showoff are submitted by readers, so if you have a great DIY under your belt make sure to send it her way!

    DIY Showoff Blog

    3rd PLACE: Young House Love.  What started as a DIY diary that John and Sherry Petersik created to share the renovation process on their first house has blossomed into an incredibly successful decorating blog (and now Young House Love has become their full-time gig!). We love following along with their home decor adventures - and also the antics of 2 year-old Clara and their dog, Hamburger.

    Young House Love Blog

    4th PLACE: The Inspired Room.  Melissa's blog is all about sharing simple, inspiring ideas for loving the home you have. Her blog is abundant with wallet-friendly decorating ideas and beautiful design inspiration. Featured on HGTV, Apartment Therapy, and numerous other media outlets, The Inspired Room is a must-read for home decor ideas on a budget.

    The Inspired Room Blog

    5th PLACE: Design Thoughts. Interior designer Kim shares thoughts on balancing "mommy, money, and [her] love for all things design". Living in NYC in a rented duplex, Kim's "Design Thoughts" are incredibly helpful for anyone who rents and is seeking creative (and non-permanent) ways to make their home their own.

    Design Thoughts Blog

    6th PLACE: Apartment Therapy. This international mega-blog has it all - house tours, product roundups,  DIY inspiration, design trends, giveaways, and endless inspiration. If you live near a major city, check out the "local" section of the blog to view posts and products catered to your locale.

     Apartment Therapy Blog

    7th PLACE (tie): Thrifty Decor Chick. Money doesn't buy style, and Thrifty Decor Chick knows that! Find great ideas for decorating on a budget on Sarah's blog. Her decorating style is transitional and charming - very beautiful and livable.

    Thrifty Decor Chick Blog

    7th PLACE (tie): Miss Mustard Seed. Marian (aka. Miss Mustard Seed) belives  that "your home's potential is waiting to be realized and you're the one who is going to discover it!". Living in a "real" home on a thrift-store budget,  Marian's blog features decorating ideas and inspiration to create a great look for your home that's both affordable and attainable.

    Miss Mustard Seed Blog

    9th PLACE: Aphro Chic. Originally started as an interior design blog created by founder Jeanine Hays to escape the stress of her career as an attorney, Aphro Chic has evolved into a blog and home decor business. Jeanine's distinct "Modern, Soulful Style" is evident in her carefully curated blog posts.

    Aphro Chic Blog 

    10th PLACE (tie): Pretty Handy Girl. Brittany of Pretty Handy Girl has set out to educate and empower women to tackle their own DIY projects. Refusing to bow to the stereotype that "women aren't handy", her blog de-mistyfies power tools and home decorating projects, and presents them in a way that makes them manageable and attainable.

    Pretty Handy Girl Blog

    10th PLACE (tie): Room Fu. Think of Room Fu as Kung Fu for your home! Austin, TX interior designer Robin Callan shares peeks into her design projects (alongside a healthy dose of design inspiration). Her bold and colorful style is a serious design knockout.

    Room Fu Blog 

    Thanks for entering the 2012 Best Home Blog Sweepstakes and telling us your favorite design blogs! We're thrilled to award these fabulous blogs with an array of great prizes. (And if you entered our sweepstakes by nominating a blog, you could be a winner too! Check your email...)

  • A Merry and Bright DIY Chandelier

    Today I'm thrilled to share a little DIY project from my very own home with you! We recently moved into a new San Francisco loft and wanted a statement-making chandelier. But between renting {and therefore not able to do anything too permanent} and having nothing but track lighting on our 20 foot ceilings to work with, we felt pretty stuck.

    Then we discovered a Glass Mini Pendant and an idea sprouted...

     

    DIY Chandelier from a Glass Pendant

    By bundling half a dozen pendants together we could create a modern and eye-catching DIY chandelier! It was a quick, easy and cost effective way to add a great design element and create the balance in our wide-open space that I was looking for. The only tools required were track light converters for each pendant and a really tall ladder.

    Each pendant clicked right in as if plugging in a light bulb. A simple twist tie was used to gather the cords together in an organically formed bundle. We're just thrilled with the results!

    DIY Chandelier

    Glowing Pendant Lights

    If you're looking for a little added glow in your home this holiday season, try thinking outside the regular lighting box. Your only limitation is your imagination. And perhaps how tall your ladder is!

    Images: Erin Hiemstra.

  • Home Accessories for a Scandinavian Style Christmas

    Home Accessories for a Scandinavian Style Christmas

    Last year I visited Copenhagen during the holiday season. Already smitten with Danish furniture and lighting design, the trip cemented my obsession with Scandinavian style, especially in wintertime. Early sunsets make for long dark days, hence the practice of washing everything in white and light. Unlike Americans' obsessions with red, green, and gold. Nordic merrymakers stick to neutral palettes, with an abundance of sheepskin, tree branches, and candlelight.

    This white paneled living room's contemporary sectional sofa is scattered with accent pillows aplenty, including styles with a bit of shimmer. Tree trunk coffee tables bring the outdoors in.
     
    Shopping guide: 1. Sonnet 6" Wide Winding Globe Chrome Pendant Light 2. Set of 2 Paillette Floral 18" Embroidered Throw Pillows  3. Simon Tree Stump White Table Lamp  4. Set of 3 Distressed White Rectangular Wood Trays  5. Knots Pastel 22" Square Hand-Made Accent Pillow  6. Reef Black 22" Square Hand-Made Accent Pillow

    How to Decorate for a Scandanavian Christmas


    Swedish designer Yifa Skarp decorated for Christmas with charming paper trees atop the industrial-style coffee tables. The gray, textured throw blanket on the sofa seems to be sheepskin, and a cozy bedside lamp perched on the windowsill acts as an extra light source for dark days.

    Shopping guide: 1. Draper Mid-Century Modern Desk Lamp  2. Gaucho Charcoal 18" Square Down Throw Pillow   3. Tobias Collection Gray Throw  4. Pinebrook Rectangular Rolling Table  5. Zuo Carnival White Modular Loveseat

    Scandinavian Style Candelabra for the Holidays

    An intimate wooden dining table and chairs hosts simple glasses, plates, and bowls. The  rustic yet dramatic chandelier, made from antlers, is an outdoorsy touch, especially alongside the towering bare evergreen.

    Shopping guide: 1. Cast Iron White Pinecone Stocking Holder  2. Big Sky Twelve Light Elk Antler Chandelier  3. Jane Seymour 22" Five Hydrangeas in Clay Pot  4. Set of 2 Wishbone Y Natural Wood Side Chairs

    Nordic Christmas Home Accessories


    A wintry vignette in a hotel at Tivoli Gardens in downtown Copenhagen, shows off white flowers, pine tree garlands, wicker-covered hurricane lamps, and of course, a lush sheepskin throw. The candles will definitely cast a gorgeous glow against the rich woods. Can't get enough of this chic, neutral holiday decor? Head over to StyleCarrot for 22 more rooms with inspiring Scandinavian style.

    Shopping guide: 1. Small Bach Antique White 23 1/4" High Wood Candlestick  2. Twig and Leaf Votive Candelabra Candle Holder  3. White Sheepskin Rug  4. Rojo 16 Snow White Large Glass Votive or Tea Light Holder  5. Bell Jar Terrarium III

    Image credits: Norwegian photographer Sandra Aslaksen / via Emmas Designblogg, Kool and Kreativ, The Essence of the Good Life, StyleCarrot.

  • Cozy Fall Decorating Ideas

    Home Decor Ideas for Autumn

    Happy Thanksgiving. For me, today is about being cozy. Fall decorating plays a big role in that agenda. Let others break limbs at turkey bowls, I want to savor the end of fall by helping mom mix some stuffing, curl up on the sofa with a throw and soft pillows and then gorge on gravy and sweets. Don’t forget, we are hours away from the frenzy of holiday shopping and drained bank accounts...let’s make these autumnal moments last a few moments more.

    Dark Lamp Shades

    Basking in the glow of warm lamp light is quintessentially cozy. The right mood can be achieved by choosing the perfect traditional table lamp and shade. Replacement shades are a great way to update a lamp for less. Shopping list: Rust Shirred Bell Lamp Shade.

    Candle Lanterns

    Speaking of a warm glow, candles are here to stay so why not give them a home of their own. Hurricanes and lanterns make sure your flame never falters. Not only will they look good on winter mantles, but they can ways be moved outside in better weather to dress up a deck. Shopping list: Mason Rustic Patina Pillar Candle Lantern.

    Pharmacy Floor Lamps

    Give me a warm fire and book and you can stick a fork in it...I’m done. Naturally firelight was fine for settlers, but I need a proper floor lamp to peruse the pages of my favorite decorating magazine. Shopping list: Robert Abbey Rutherford Tripod Pharmacy Floor Lamp.

    Colorful Throw Blankets

    Throws may look pretty draped over a chair but they certainly come in handy when you don’t have the energy to pull yourself up off the sofa and turn on the heat. Throws are totally practical and make a perfect cozy gift for the holidays. Shopping list: Surya Tian Tian Plum Throw Blanket.

    So know matter what your plans are this holiday, I hope you find some time for some cozy fall decorating.

    Photos: The Enchanted Home, My Notting Hill, Belgian Pearls.

     

  • Living Room Decor Ideas

    modern living room

    ‘Tis the busiest time of the year-Is your living room decor ready to see the action of the season? By taking a few simple steps with a minimal investment, you can create a rich new look in your space. These living room decor ideas are great for the holidays or everyday living.

    Colorful Pillows


    One of the tried and true designer touches are decorative sofa pillows. They allow you to bring in the latest pattern or color trend without having to change the entire room.

    Decorative Mirrors


    Reflect the positive. Decorative mirrors with rich details placed across from a window will double your view and help bounce nature light around the living room.

    Modern Living Room Decor


    Replace your traditional coffee table with a pair of ottomans. They provide extra seating, a place to put your feet while watching those nostalgic holiday movies and of course a place for your snack or beverage.

    Decorative Vases

    Adding a touch of nature always brings life to any space. A branch of colorful leaves placed in decorative vases will update your living room decor with a touch of the season.

    Image resouce: Better Homes and Gardens, Shop By Room

  • Home Decorating Ideas Under $50

    Metallic Lighting

    Major redecorating can get expensive, so I have 5 home decorating idea for under $50. Impossible you say? Have faith! 

    Home Decorating Idea 1. Add metallics. From gold and silver to warm bronze, metallics will add much needed texture and weight to a space. This designer sconce costs under $50 and looks like it costs hundreds. Whether they flank a sofa, sideboard or bedside, the materials are timeless and the design totally current when it comes to contemporary lighting. Shopping list: Brushed-bronze Hand-crafted Shade Wall Sconce

    Patterned Lamp Shades

    Home Decorating Idea 2. Add Pattern. Monochromatic rooms can get stale, so try incorporating pattern to give the eye something interesting to absorb. Something as simple as replacing lamp shades with a funky design can instantly change a room. I say, pop these orange beauties on bedside swing arm lamps. Shopping list: Orange Floral Drum Lamp Shade.

    Yellow Home Decor

    Home Decorating Idea 3. Add color. This is becoming my favorite hall ever. It’s so crisp, cheerful yet still classic. The narrow, white space pops because of the unobtrusive recessed lights and bold choice of color on the runner. The two chevron pillows can act in the same way when used on a plain white sofa or chair. Shopping list Accent Pillows.

    Rustic Home Decor

    Home Decorating Idea 4. Add something rustic. Even contemporary spaces need something rustic and worn to feel human and lived-in. Natural woods are fascinating to look and especially to touch. In a world that has evolved into swiping slick tablets and phones, why not get your Abraham Lincoln on and go split rail fence for a change. Shopping list: Large Natural Teakwood Stump Candle.

    Schoolhouse Lighting

    Home Decorating Idea 5. Add something nostalgic. Stay true to the architecture of a room, so if a fixture doesn’t look right, swap it out. This schoolhouse light is under $50 and is amazingly popular in traditional kitchens, back halls or mudrooms. Shopping list: Schoolhouse Brushed Steel Ceiling Light Fixture.

    Photos: Cove and Grey, Savvy Home Blog.

     

November, 2012