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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


  • 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

  • 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.

  • Six Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas

    Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece Ideas  

    Did you know that Thanksgiving is 9 days 17 hours and 56 minutes away?

    Right around the corner.

    Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and joy.

    It's a day of gratitude and thankfulness and friends and family.....bringing with it pumpkin pie and turkey and dressing and cranberry bread and sweet potato casserole and homemade bread.

    And a beautifully decorated Thanksgiving table.

    Thanksgiving Centerpiece Idea

    1.  Use a monochromatic color scheme with simple inspiration from nature. White pumpkins, an patterned orange runner and tiny votive candles as placeholders create a simple, yet elegant Thanksgiving table.

    2.  Create an easy centerpiece in five minutes by using artichokes as candle holders and grouping asparagus tied with ribbon around a pillar candle.

    3.  This trio of fun, floral covered pumpkins brings an easy carefree elegance to any table.  Combine with vegetables and fresh flowers to complete the look.

    4.  Nature is the inspiration for this rustic arrangement featuring an acorn covered basket filled with gilded fruit and fall foliage.

    5.  Last minute guests?  Simply carve apples and fill with tea lights to bring warmth and a little twist of the unexpected to this easy-to-make arrangement.

    6.  This unique centerpiece was created using a cabbage as a vase and filling it with fresh flowers. Complete the look with a stand for height and fresh spinach leaves for texture.

    Baskets for Thanksgiving Table

    Easy.  Simple.  Creative.

    Thanksgiving decor that is simply you.

    So begin with cabbage and apples and artichokes and candles and fresh's just a few basic container ideas to inspire you.

    Your centerpiece is going to be amazing.

    But you better hurry.

    I think now.....Thanksgiving is about 5 minutes closer!

    Shopping guide: 1. Aged Rust Iron Fruit Basket 2. Antique Silver Metal Dome on Tray 3. Set of 3 Distressed White Rectangular Wood Trays 4. Caged Metal Bowl with Scrolling Handles 5. Universal Global Rust Votive Candle Holder

    Image credits: First photo bhg 1. bhg 2. bhg 3. bhg  4. bhg  5. Finding Home 6.Thistlewood Farm

  • Modernizing Your Hanukkah Celebration

    Hanukkah Celebration Decor Tabletop

    For the most part, the Jewish holidays have had a hard time keeping up with the times. The pre-made decoration options are very dated, and without much DIY-inspiration focused on Hanukkah in particular, many are left using the same old gold and blue cardboard cut-outs. However, without much effort, it is very easy to modernize your Hanukkah celebration.

    Modern Vintage Hanukkah Color Decor Tabletop

    With pop songs and primetime television being very Christmas-heavy, decor ideas are often re-imagined year after year, giving way to a modern sense of how to decorate for Christmas. For those of us who are on team Hanukkah (with our team captain Adam Sandler slacking on his Hanukkah pop culture duties as of late) we are not often inundated with new, creative ways to decorate for our 8 days and nights.

    Gold Blue Hanukkah Vintage Decor Color

    What you need to focus on when modernizing your Hanukkah celebration is bringing in the traditional colors and symbols in a new and fresh way. Feel free to take creative license when picking your blue and gold accents, and don't be afraid to mix in other fabulous colors and patterns. Find a patterned fabric at your local store in a beautiful blue hue and use that as your tablecloth. Build up from there with vintage dinnerware. After dinner, serve tea and coffee in gold rimmed tea cups and bring out cream and sugar on a vintage-inspired plate set. These are all easily found at your local flea market.

    Hanukkah Celebration DIY Decor

    Instead of using the traditional menorah, try making one yourself. This DIY Manzanita branch menorah is super chic and unexpected. Your guests will be begging you to teach them how (you can learn now here). And if you are planning to use place cards, why not get crafty and make them!

    Modern Hanukkah Dessert Candy DIY

    Last but not least, who can resist these amazing bon bons from Ala Niki Handmade Desserts?

    With these great ideas modernizing your Hanukkah celebration is easier than ever.  


    Images: Martha Stewart, House Beautiful, Esty

  • 5 Ways To Change a Room for Under $100

    5 Ways To Change A Room For Under $100

    I took on the challenge to find 5 ways to change a room for under $100. My goal was to do the makeover for under $100, not simply to add one, $100 item. Tricky right? I started with the premise that I wanted a chic gray room. Gray rooms are “in” and can go from summer (with white slipcovers) to winter (with cozy throws and candles).

    The five ways to change a room include: Lighting, Soft Furnishings, Accessories, Paint, and Texture.

    The rooms above show the dramatic affect paint and lighting can make. From modern table lamps to discreet recessed lights, these rooms are well balanced. Also note the clever mix of accessories and textures, from woven baskets and iron to glass and wood. Furniture tends to remain neutral, and I recommend that if you have a tight budget.

    Decorating Gray Roooms

    These rooms emphasize the importance of varied accessories, texture and home textiles. Professionally designed rooms offer something interesting to view from floor to ceiling and everything in between. Hence, make sure your makeover considers everything from light switch plates to door knobs. Attention to detail makes a space feel "designer done". The dining room on the left can feel wintry with pussywillows and candles and summery with white roses and crisp white linens, while the bedroom can change seasons with light or darker bedding.        

    Gray Decor Items

    Here's what I used to change a room for under $100: Grey Curved Stripes Lamp Shade, Mandalay Brushed Nickel Single Rocker Wall Plate, Surya Charcoal Gray Throw Pillow, Circular 15" High Stone And Iron Candle Holder,and Small Bell Jar Glass Dome.

    Photos: The Zhush, Cove and Grey.

  • Introducing the Color Plus Collection at Lamps Plus!

    We're tickled pink (get it?) to introduce the Color Plus collection from Lamps Plus! Our Color Plus table lamps are available in 150+ designer colors, hand-crafted by our artisans in California. Each glossy glass lamp comes with a crisp white shade or striped shade in coordinating colors. With over 150 colors available, you're sure to find a lamp in the perfect hue for your home.

    Table Lamps in Designer Colors

    To make selecting your Color Plus lamp even easier, each lamp is showcased along with a paint color chip to give a more accurate representation of color. 

    Pink Table Lamp in Sherwin Williams Color

    Bring a little color into your life with Color Plus! (And until November 15th, enter our Facebook sweepstakes for the chance to win one of three $500 shopping sprees, or the $2500 grand prize. That'll buy a lot of colorful lamps!)

November, 2012