Style Illuminated

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

  • 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...)

  • 14 Guest Room Essentials

    Table Lamps - Guest Room Essentials

    For some, the holidays mean a ton of travel. For others, it’s prime time for entertaining out-of-towners. Unfortunately we can’t offer tips for navigating congested highways and overstuffed airports but we can help you create an incredibly gracious guest room. We’ve collected eight rooms that showcase the must-have elements of a good guest bedroom.

    First, there should be good lighting on both sides of the bed, so invest in new bedroom lamps if need be. Avoid spindly or fussy designs that tip too easily, and if they’re on a dimmer, even better. Bedside tables should be sturdy and uncluttered. (Nobody needs to stare at snapshots of your long dead gerbil.) While a display of beautiful objects is lovely to look at, it’s more thoughtful to leave enough clear space for guests’ reading materials, cell phones, and such. Fresh flowers are almost always welcome (assuming an absence of allergies), so use one or two small decorative vases to dress up the area.

    Reading Lights in a Guest Room 

    If you have the luxury of having dedicated guest accommodations, decorate with a subtle scheme. Fun colors and playful details are certainly fine, but refrain from jarring combo, overly feminine or fussy designs, and in-your-face art that might make friends or family uncomfortable. Interior designers Michael Bechara (right) and Maria Lladro (left) used neutral palettes in these rooms but they’re not at all boring. Maps, abstract artwork, and landscapes are safe bets. Hang them up rather than leaning them on the nightstand or dresser where they’re a hindrance. If the floors are bare, add a throw rug by the bedside, especially in winter. Not everyone remembers to pack slippers!

    Wall Sconces for a Guest Room

    A bench, ottoman, or luggage stand placed at the foot of the bed is useful and keeps things clean. A suitcase that’s just been thrown around a tarmac doesn’t belong atop pristine sheets. Like the previous pair of rooms, designer Nicole Hollis went neutral. The minimalist aesthetic has a spa-like feel. Incorporating wall mounted light fixtures keeps things clean and clear, and a candle adds ambience.

    Bedside Carafe for a Guest Room

    The bedside tables here are perfect because guests can see how everything you stocked them with. A bar cart is a fun idea too. Notice the cozy throw blankets on the bottom shelf. Carafe and drinking glass sets are a considerate touch so your houseguests needn’t wander through the house at night. And while most folks use their phones to tell time, a clock might help them achieve a holiday unplugged.

    Guest Room Throw Blanket Ideas

    This bedroom designed by Palmer Weiss is perfection. The elegant bedroom lamps are a matched pair, the bedding is crisp and fluffy, and there’s even a loveseat in the bay window. Note the heavy draperies—don’t make your guests get up with the sun.

    Be a considerate host - provide your weary houseguests with a few guest room essentials to ensure a pleasant visit for all involved! For more guest bedroom accessory ideas, click on over to StyleCarrot.

    Shopping guide: 1. Purple Lines Clear Glass Vase Table Lamp  2. Large Diana Matte White Ceramic Vase  3. Lola Collection Mirror Accent Chest  4. Light Precipitation IV 40" Square Wall Art  5. Maple Brown Indoor Outdoor Rug  6. Brushed Brass Holtkoetter Pharmacy Desk Lamp  7. Dimmable Espresso Bronze Swing Arm Wall Lamp  8. Zuo Heywood Triple Natural Wood Bench  9. Chesapeake Bay 8 Oz. Thyme Verbena Candle 10. Connaught Polished Nickel Bar Cart  11. Beveled Glass and Metal Serving Tray  12. Pick-Me-Up Chartreuse Alarm Clock  13. Trace Lagoon Armless Loveseat  14. Chesterfield Teal Ocean Decorative Throw Blanket

    Image credits: Rachel Reider / Rue Magazine, Chris Barrett Design, Michael Bechara, Maria Llado, Nicole Hollis, Better Homes and Gardens, Elle Decor, and Palmer Weiss.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Modern & Classic Office Decorating Ideas

    When decorating my own office, I turned to my Office Space Pinterest board for inspiration. I knew I wanted something modern but with classic items that will last through the years. Here are two office spaces — one modern, one classic. I could see myself in both! What about you? You can get the look from each space all with items I've found for you on Lamps Plus!

    The Classic Office

    Office Design by Christina Murphy Interiors

    I love the black furniture and bamboo accents in this office space designed by Christina Murphy Interiors. The items as classic, but not in the way that seems old. The black gourd lamp can be taken from room to room and never go out of style. I love having a regular lamp in an office, makes it feel more like home.

    Office Essentials

    The Staples: Use a turquoise gourd lamp to get a punch of color on top of a black table with a clear yet classic chair.

    The Accessories: Zebra vases and a beautiful work of art accent the room, and a gray rug will give you a good base for the space. 

    The Modern Office

    Jenny Wolf Interiors

    This modern office by Jenny Wolf Interiors is right up my alley; dark walls, a white desk, and eclectic accents. The red accents warm up the contrast between the dark and light. This office also has one of my favorite lamp — a brass pharmacy desk lamp.  

    Office Decor Ideas

    The Staples: A modern white desk will stay with you for years, add a white chair and you have the perfect "blank canvas" to add lighting and accessories. A personal favorite — the brass pharmacy desk lamp — makes the space feel established and not overly modern.

    The Accessories: The red vase adds a bold pop of color, and the wood sculpture and ikat pillow make it feel collected.

    There you have it, two office decorating ideas-Modern & Classic. 

  • 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


  • 3 Simple Holiday Decorating Ideas

    Simple Holiday Decorating Ideas

    The holidays are some of the most beautiful months of the year.  And yes, even here in sunny California, we love to decorate for the holidays.  From sprucing up the house to a holiday dinner party tablescape, decorating for the holidays can range from simple and classic to boldly celebratory.  Adding small touches can make these get-togethers stand out and truly feel special for you and your guests.  Here we will let you in on three simple ways to inspire you to decorate for the holidays.

    Holiday Decor Candles Festive Entertaining

    CANDLES: Adding candles to your table and around your home during the holiday season is so easy, and really adds to the feel of the holidays. With the sun setting earlier during the winter, there is no more magical lighting than a sprinkling of candles.  From an intimate dinner party to a big holiday celebration, the beautifully glowing candle light really defines the mood of the holidays. Another lovely touch is to have a delicious smelling scented candle burning in your home, making the whole place smell like the holidays (just don't burn a scented candle on your dinner table as it will throw off the aroma of the food).

    Flower Centerpiece Holiday Entertaining Decorating

    FLOWERS: Entertaining throughout the year, it is not often that I will adorn the table with flower arrangements unless it is a very special evening.  During the holidays, adding arrangements not only to your dinner table but around the house really elevates the feeling of holiday time.  If you don't already have decorative vases for your flower arrangements, here is a little tip: any jar you by at the supermarket - jam, pickles, pasta sauce - can be washed out, the label can be steamed off, and these make excellent, rustic-chic flower vases. 

    Thanksgiving Hanukkah Christmas Decorating Entertaining Holiday

    COLORED ACCENTS: Certain colors are associated with the holidays.  Browns, ambers and sages for Thanksgiving; Reds and greens for Christmas; Blues, silvers and golds for Hanukkah.  Accenting your table and your home with holiday colors is a wonderful way to really embrace the holiday spirit.  You can use colorful dinnerware or napkins, get flowers in the colors of the holiday you are celebrating, or buy or make paper pom poms in specific colors, string them together and drape them throughout the house. No matter what accent you choose, it will make the gathering that much more special and meaningful during the holiday season.  

    Any decorating you chose to do can be simple and fun, and I guarantee that both you and your guests will feel emerged in the holiday feel of this magical time of year.

    Images: House Beautiful, Martha Stewart, Pintrest, Better Homes and Gardens

  • First Impressions: Foyer Lighting Ideas

    First Impressions for Foyer Lighting Ideas

    First impressions matter: here are three stylish foyer lighting ideas to dress up your entry. No foyer is complete without a console, a place to throw your keys, and of course the right lighting.

    This chic foyer by stylist Nicola Marc, reflects light throughout a narrow entry by using a mirror. The vignette is anchored with a slim console flanked by two tall lamps. Get the look with a matte black mirror with gold trim, a square base antique brass table lamp by Robert Abbey, and a glass Zuo Mecca Console Table.

    A Cozy Foyer with Great Lighting

    This cozy entry is in the home of Julie from Milk & Honey Home. Using beautiful wallpaper and a hint of green, this entry makes you feel at home. The two silver lamps make a huge statement as you walk in. Get the look with the Mackenzie expandable sofa table, a Mercury glass triple gourd lamp, and a versatile jute area rug.

     Feminine Foyer Lighting Ideas

    This feminine entry is that of blogger Apollinas. Making use of her small space with a dresser in place a console, she uses two table lamps and black and white art to give her home a chic yet comforting feel. Get the look with a hammered antique silver lamp, a framed art print, and a little candle lantern for decoration.

    There you have it! Three foyer lighting ideas for great first impressions.

    Image credits: Style at Home; Milk and Honey Home via Young House Love; Apollinas via High Fashion 4 Less.

November, 2012