Style Illuminated

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

  • Home Style Reminicent of a Tropical Resort

    Tropical Resort Style

    Tropical resort style is nothing if not specific. If your goal is to feel like you are on permanent vacation and create a look worthy of the glorious trade winds, go for it!

    The House of Turquoise blog always has bright and breezy pictures that capture the essence of happy design and a “go to” when I need a dose of feel good design.

    Island Decor

    The great thing about tropical style are the hearty materials and easy fabrics that define this look. Rugged rattan and woven hemps coupled with white gauzy sheers and slipcovers are easy to maintain and always look fresh.

    Secretly I love to walk barefoot and there is nothing better than a wooden deck or teak flooring to make that sensation a reality, so make sure to banish the carpet if you take on this aesthetic.

    Another great design trick is to install a distinctive ceiling fan to imitate the warm breezes of the islands.

    Exotic Interior Design

    When I think of tropical design I also think of using colors that reflect the surrounding sea and palms. Blues and greens look fantastic and always work well with white sheets and slipcovers.

    When it comes to lighting, don’t forget candles in lanterns and whimsical table lamps with woven shades and rope covered bases.

    Tropical Accessories

    1. This Bamboo Natural Wall Mirror reminded me of the bamboo ceilings found in tropical huts.

    2. Lighten the mood of your lamps with this Woven Seagrass Drum Shade.

    3. The Casa Vieja Aerostat Wide Palm Blades Outdoor Ceiling Fan will keep things cool on steamy days and nights plus is looks great outside in a covered veranda.

    4. I like the Laguna Weave Pattern Navy Pouf Ottoman because it’s perfect for putting up those sun kissed bare feet.

    5. This Set of 2 Boston Havana Leather Rattan Counter Stools evokes the ever-popular holiday happy hour.

    6. The Rope and Glass Jug Table Lamp is funky and functional, how can you loose?

    Photos: House of Turquoise.

  • Decorating With Color & Shine

    This 1894 Victorian on the North Shore of Massachusetts gets a total decorating redo by a young family who spent years living around the world surrounded by lots of color.

    It was important to the homeowners, who did most of the interior decorating themselves, with advice from a local architectural color decider Kimberly Collins Jermain, to infuse their new (permanent) home with pieces of their global past.

    That included plenty of bold color, like the turquoise in their family room, a color they first used in a bathroom in Bangkok, back in 1998.

    Decorating Tips

    The living room sits off the home’s gracious foyer, which is done in a soft gray with a contemporary chandelier, introducing visitors to sparkle from the get go. In the living room, a polished chrome drum pendant hangs in the center of the seating area, echoed by other silvery touches, like a side table with a lattice design. A similar geometric patterned black and white rug is underfoot, anchoring the room.

    A series of circular mirrors found at a flea market hangs between the windows, providing not just extra shine, but a nice juxtaposition to all the angular geometrics. Rich jewel toned art and accessories are layered against the turquoise paneled walls. The collection of colored glass vases is comprised of pieces from their travels. Lastly, the painting, “Under the Sea” is by a Parisian artist.

    It’s a bold and happy room that reflects the homeowners’ desire that their place is “enduring, and alive, joyful, and fresh.”

    Home Furnishings

    Putting together a bright, bold room is easier than you think, especially if you follow the formula used here.

    Start with a dark, patterned rug, like the Comden Collection Westover Area Rug (5). Add lighting with a shimmery finish, like the tailored Eurofase Jura Silver Pendant (1) or the more dramatic Possini Euro Lucille Icicle Pendant (2). Add a series of mirrors, like the hammered metal Cooper Classics Cavallo Wall Mirrors (4) and a reflective accent piece, like the Clarence Textured Metal Nickel Stool (9), to bounce around light in the lower portion of the room.

    Use a color on the walls that make you happy, and don’t be afraid to go bold, whether it’s a small space or extra large. Add vibrant artwork, such as We Think We Know II Limited Edition Giclee (3) and dramatic accessories in multiples. Collections can be built over time. Start yours off with the likes of Red Lacquer Flame Vase, (6), Brin Glass Vase (7), a Turin Glass Vase (8) and the Blythe Silver Glass Decanters (10).

    Image: James R. Salomon for Boston Globe Magazine

  • Summer Inspired Lighting for your Pool Party

    Now that Memorial Day has officially passed we all have our minds on summertime entertaining right? From the pool parties you love to have with friends and family, to relaxing with your special someone on those cool summer evenings, lighting is essential in the evening hours.

    Whether you are looking to add extra lighting around your pool for safety or you’re wanting to add lighting fixtures in lounging areas, here are a few ways to bring summer into your pool area this summer!

     Summer Inspired Lighting

    Safety and ambiance at the pool:

    For many of you the thought of having friends and family around a dark backyard can be displeasing to your guests but also unsafe for them and you. Look to pool lighting inside your pool like in this image above from Land Water Design, but also landscape path lighting around plant beds, walkways and especially stairs and uneven terrain.

    Consider installing solar powered lighting stakes in areas that hard-wired lighting fixtures may not be practical – such as near ponds or if you have an extremely large yard. Also take a look at how you entertain and what areas of your pool area need more lighting at different times of the evening.

    For summer grilling and cookouts, lights around eating and summer kitchens could be essential, while late night swimming could need lanterns and dimmer ambiance lights near mingling and conversational seating areas.

    Outdoor Design Style

    Adding ambiance with string party lights:

    Can you really enjoy a pool party without festive string lights to add illumination and put you in the mood for a Hawaiian Luau?! These Tropical Bermuda Shorts String Party Lights are adorned with playful “shorts” motifs with palm trees can be used indoors or outdoors. Perfect for stringing around fences, hanging from tree limbs, like in the backyard above from Stewart Land Designs, or illuminating the underside of table umbrellas. Your guests will love the exotic feel they bring to your festivities. The 10 light string can add color and light to the darkest areas of your pool party while keeping the theme of your party going.

    String Lights

    Tropical Bermuda Shorts String Party Lights

    Marry the indoors with the outdoor pool area:

    If your home opens up to pool vista in the backyard like this home below from Urrutia Design, why not ‘borrow’ some of your interior lighting for the outdoor entertaining area as well? This residence by Urrutia Design has beautiful pendant lights that can spread light to the outdoor deck as well. While outdoor wall sconces and pool lighting is still essential, you will be surprised how borrow lighting can bring the indoors to your exterior home for a wonderful entertaining experience.

    Summer Outdoor Design

    This summer brighten your summer evenings with these creative lighting tips for your pool party. Keep the party going into the wee hours of the night with safety lighting that performs functionally but still casts an ambiance your guests won’t forget!

    Image credits: Land Water Design, Stewart Land Designs, Jason Wells for Urrutia Design

  • Get the Look: Industrial Chic

    Industrial Chic

    Are you wanting a look that works for both men and women? Something that feels like it's old and has a story behind it? You might be looking for something in the industrial chic category.

    What is industrial chic home style exactly? While there isn't really an exact definition of what the "industrial chic" look is, there are repeating materials that fall under the feel of industrial chic. Usually it's a mix of aged metals and iron with varying patinas. All types of wood, usually weathered or distressed in some way. Industrial chic colors are usually neutral browns, tans, grays and graphites. It combines utilitarian design with old world materials.

    I've found 10 items from Lamps Plus to help you achieve the Industrial Chic look in your own home.

    Industrial Home Furnishings

    If you are wanting something glamorous and industrial this brass chandelier is the perfect item.

    For something that will be sure to make a statement this circular bronze table lamp will do the trick.

    An easy way to add the industrial feel without being too committed is with a wood stool that can double as a side table.

    If you're needing a big piece of furniture, a wood and metal console table is understated industrial chic. Want to start using this trend in a small space? Install this bronze bath light fixture for bathroom lighting.

    I love all the different elements going on in this wall sconce — iron, wire, steel, brass, and glass.

    A wood mirror is an easy, non-committal way to introduce your space to the trend.

    The Edison Bulb is a big Industrial Chic item, and caged it takes the trend even deeper in this rust metal floor lamp.

    For nighttime reading this accordion wall lamp is perfect.

    Add the industrial chic look in your dining room chairs with these reclaimed pine wood side chairs.

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Interior Design Staple: Stylish Bookshelves

    The bookcase is a staple for good interior design, whether they are built in versions or freestanding ones. Time to ban the boring from your bookshelves and upgrade them with a few fresh ideas, these ideas are sure to add style and make them standout amidst as sea of plain and ordinary.

    Interior Design

    "Picture lights", pictured above from Fieldstone Hill Design, are intended for art but they're also just as useful in a library, office, bedroom, living room, or anywhere else bookcases are present and when mounted to the bookcase itself.

    Library lights are available in several styles, they can be hard wired or used as plugin versions just as long as the top of a bookcase has sufficient vertical space for the backplate. They add functionality and style, options for yours include the Wide Brass Picture Light, Wide Black Modern Picture Light, Slim Line Bronze Picture Light, and House of Troy Picture Light.

    Picture Lights

    Wallpaper will jazz up any bookcase, as seen in this image below from Meyer Interiors. Modern wall paper styles are removable so you need not fret about permanence or the use of glues or adhesives, remove or reposition with ease.

    Once installed, get busy styling as the new pattern provides a dramatic backdrop to your artwork, collectibles, and favorite reads like this stylish bookcase by Meyer Interiors.

    Wallpaper Pattern

    Embellish your own bookcases with these stylish wallpapers, consider geometric motifs like Honeycomb Citron or Gio Silver. Embrace your love of the outdoors with botanicals like Gold Leaf Peonies or Edie Frosted Teal.

    Wallpaper

    The outside frames of a bookcase offer an opportunity to break up the monotony of layers of books and shelves with a decorative mirror. Take a cue from this space featured in Better Homes & Gardens and use the vertical frame as a mount for a small eye catching mirror or layer one or two inside shelves displayed in an artistic way.

    Hanging Mirrors

    These decorative mirrors are smaller than two feet in diameter so they offer great potential for jazzing up a row of bookcases. The Sonrisa 22" Round Wood Sunburst and Ashbury 17" Square Gray Mirror both offer weathered wood tones for beautiful contrast against painted or laquered bookshelves; the dramatic shapes in the Dark Bronze Polaris and the Gaelic Round 20" Orange Mirror guarantee your bookcase will also be a focal point!

    Wall Mirrors

    Image credits: Fieldstone Hill Design, Meyer InteriorsBetter Homes & Gardens

  • Happy Memorial Day!

    Memorial Day

    Like this adorable sign says, wave on today!

    Happy Memorial Day!

    -Lamps Plus

    Image: Polka Dots on Parade

  • Interior Decor Inspired by Beautiful Spring Florals

    Interior decor and florals really do go hand-in-hand. Both are rich in color and vibrancy, both change with the season and most importantly, both can be absolutely beautiful and inspiring.

    Here's a round up some of my favorite House Beautiful interior images with equally beautiful floral closeups.

     Blue-Flowers-Floral-Kitchen-Design

    Blue on blue on blue, both in this peony close up as well as this Mid-Century Modern revival kitchen design.

     Green-White-Flowers-Bathroom-Design

    An antique-inpired floral arrangement inspires this classic powder room decor, featuring a bold green and white floral wallpaper. A beautiful vanity mirror is always perfect for reflecting fun design!

     Peach-Kitchen-Organic-Flowers-Design

    Free flowing poppies are organic and vibrant, just like this industrial yet rustic interior decor with a pop of poppy-peach wall.

     Turquoise-Kitchen-Flowers-Design

    Gorgeous turquoise poppies with rust colored pollen perfectly mirror this gorgeous turquoise and walnut kitchen vignette.

     Blush-Flowers-Living-Room-Sage-Design

    Delicate peach and sage are a winning combination not only with these florals but in this stunning, formal living room.

     Multicolor-Wildflowers-Bathroom-Design

    Wildflowers are as colorful and unpredictable as this funky powder room decor.

    Image credits: House Beautiful, Florals from Pinterest

  • Entertain At Home With Outdoor Dining

    Outdoor Dining

    To me, warmer weather means outdoor dining and relaxed entertaining. Who can resist the draw of a Summer breeze on a deck, patio or apartment balcony?! As long as you have some outdoor space you can enjoy stylish outdoor dining.

    Decor Pad pictures makes it so easy to fall in love with design and their outdoor dining pictures got me in the summer mood. Because dining outside is usually a more casual affair, the old rules of meals at a formal dining table need not apply. Whether you sit at a bar, coffee table or traditional dining table, it can all be done stylishly.

    Patio Design

    A key thing to remember is to make sure you have plenty of light if you entertain in the evening. LED landscape lighting in the yard coupled with hanging lanterns or wall lights will make your patio that much more functional and decorative.

    Also, just because it’s outside doesn’t mean you should skimp on comfort. Make sure to have cushions and pillows galore to make everybody comfortable and want to stay late into the night.

    Summer Entertaining

    Because you may be further away from the kitchen when entertaining outside, it’s great to have large trays at hand to carry more things out, avoiding many trips back and forth. Buckets filled with ice will also keep drinks cold so that guests need not get up for multiple trips inside.

    Outdoor Decor

    Whether you have a hippie or high brow aesthetic, outdoor dining is one of the joys of summer and should not be missed.

    Outdoor Accessories

    1. Keep guests comfortable with the Ikat Yellow Rectangular Outdoor Throw Pillow.

    2. The Large Oval Galvanized Steel Tub will ensure drinks stay cold while entertaining.

    3. The Stratus Collection Bronze Outdoor Hang Light is essential to keeping things bright on a dark night.

    4. I like the Amazonia Teak Dublin Outdoor Folding Chairs if your outdoor space is limited.

    5. Stay organized outside with the Estelle Orange Large Round Wood Tray.

    6. Mood lighting is ensured with the Salem Chrome Lantern Candleholder.

    Photo credits: Decor Pad

  • Get Ready for Summer with Modern Ceiling Fans

    Summer Ceiling Fans

    As the Summer nears and temperatures increase, a few simple changes around the house can make the difference between sweltering and weathering the summer in style. One of the quickest and easiest ways to update your space for summer is to install a ceiling fan.

    Not only will it keep you cool all season long, the right fan can also make a strong aesthetic statement. Whether you're looking to complement a modern rustic kitchen like this one on BlissfulB, move the air throughout a warm urban loft as on Lamps Plus, or keep an outdoor patio cool as seen on Inspired by This.

    There are countless ceiling fan options to augment your existing decor.

    Bedroom Design

    When selecting a ceiling fan, take into account the type and size of the space as well as the style of your decor. A ceiling with features such as ductwork (spotted on Mikroi Megaloi) might mean you need a fan that has a telescoping pole for safe height adjustment.

    A tall loft like this one on My Lookbook calls for a high-powered fan to ensure thorough air circulation, whereas an office (like this one on Beach Brights) and a bedroom (via Lamps Plus) may require an extra quiet fan to allow for study or sleep.

    Fortunately, there's no shortage of great-looking ceiling fans at Lamps Plus to suit your needs and keep you cool all summer long!

    Ceiling Fans

    1. A slim, simple brushed steel ceiling fan fits easily into any style of space.

    2. For a modern design effect, this white ceiling fan features an iconic light fixture.

    3. Add layers of texture and interest with the maple blades of a wood ceiling fan.

    4. Two blades and a spherical motor housing give this contemporary ceiling fan a space-aged vibe.

    5. The Minka Concept II fan hugs the ceiling, making it perfect for tight spaces.

    6. Canvas blades add to the airy sensibility of this brushed nickel ceiling fan.

    Image credits: BlissfulBLamps Plus, Inspired by This, Mikroi Megaloi, My Lookbook, Beach Brights, Lamps Plus

  • Ideas for Planning a Graduation Party

    planning-a-graduation-party

    Yesterday I did some decorating for a graduation party so I'd like to share some ideas with you, since it is the season after all.

    The party was fun and festive and full of color.....

    .....and such a wonderful reason to celebrate.

    We celebrated the ending of a chapter and celebrated the next step in the journey.

    A brand new chapter.

    A chapter that should be honored with festivities and laughter and joy.

    So if you are celebrating graduation.....

    .....here's a few ideas for planning a graduation party (starting with this fun row of patterned flags from Eddie Ross).

    graduation-party-ideas

    1.  Start Small

    A graduation party doesn't always have to be large and overwhelming.

    Sometimes the best celebrations are a small, intimate gathering for family and friends like this beautiful tablesetting from Architectural Digest.

    Set an outdoor table with crisp linens and simple party fare and let the conversation be the centerpiece.

    how-to-decorate-for-graduation-party

    2.  Keep it Simple

    On a porch or deck, place an outdoor rug and set a table close to the ground like this festive table setting from Better Homes and Gardens.

    Then toss colorful pillows and throws to create a retreat right at home.

    Next, ask guests to bring their favorite piece of advice for the graduate and take turns reading.

    3.  Creative Displays

    Make your party displays part of the fun.

    Ask guest to bring a photograph or quote for the graduate and then create a hanging display like this one from Better Homes and Gardens.

    After the party you can combine all the photos into an album for the perfect graduation gift.

    Graduation is a time for celebration. It's a time to remember and look to the future.

    And here's to the perfect party for the next chapter....

    Photo credits: Eddie Ross, Architectural Digest, Better Homes and Gardens, Better Homes and Gardens

May, 2014