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.

  • Modern Options Do Exist for Tall Landscape Lights

    ….aka Sometimes size really does matter. (Like with tall landscape lights, for example.)

    Landscape lighting can completely transform the look of your home’s façade and yardscape beyond what is possible during the daylight hours.

    Depending on what kinds of landscape lights you include in your exterior lighting plans, you can control the tone of your nighttime outdoor experience in a way that only strategically planned lighting can do.

    It can be romantic. It can be mysterious. It can be high-drama. And landscape lighting can be purely functional as a security element to keeping your family safe at home.

    With gardens growing this time of year, let’s talk about tall LED landscape lighting. There are more options than the traditional black carriage light that we all grew up with.

     Young Theresa Clement with Tall Landscape Light

    We had a light like this 60-inch tall landscape light when I was little. If I was a taller 3-year-old, you’d totally spot it. The big difference, of course, is that we didn’t have the option of an LED

     Lantern-Style Tall Landscape light

    Bellagio Tall Bronze LED Landscape Light

    Landscape lights can be used to light pathways, driveways, and visually demarcate gardens. While those are the functional and easily justifiable reasons to shop for tall landscape lighting, there are more.

    Taller landscape lights are easier to mow around, and if you want to let your grass grow a little taller to conserve water and energy, taller pathway lights can be a perfect choice.

    For gardens that are  blooming with sunflowers, other flowering plants and bushes that are bigger than a tulip, this kind of landscape light directs the light downward and shows off those beauties at night.

    It can be a perfect romantic view for a cocktail on the deck.

    And as an added bonus mature plants or snow won't cover these tall landscape lights.

     31"h Path Light from Hinkley

    1. The Hinkley Nexus bronze LED path light is 31 inches tall and swivels 90 degrees.

     Craftsmen-Style Lantern Tall Landscape LED Light


    2. This mission-style landscape light from Kathy Ireland Home’s collection from J du J is just under 30 inches tall.

     Organic-Shaped Bronze Pathway Light

    3. The Sheperd’s Crook design adds an organic element to a lighting plan.

    After all is said and done, I tend to shop for lighting fixtures like some of my friends shop for shoes.

    While some others may say, ‘That’s just another pair of black heels,’ it’s so not true to the shoe aficionado. Same goes for lighting geeks like me.

    It’s not just another pathway light. There are nuances in the visual and technical details that can completely change the overall cohesion, comfort, and style statement, whether it’s a shoe or a light.

    I hope you’ll find your perfect landscape light here at LampsPlus.com. Let me know what you find. –T 

    Image Sources: Theresa Clement - MyFixitUpLife, Outdoor Landscape Lighting by Lamps Plus

  • Modern Ceiling Fans (That Actually Look Good)

     Lime Green-Painted Transitional Living Room with Ceiling Fan in a Koa Finish

    Rejoice - there are beautiful modern ceiling fans out there!

    As with energy efficient lighting, ceiling fans have sometimes left  a little to be desired in the design department.

    I'm happy to see the trend leaning towards beautiful forms and sophisticated finishes. Ceiling fans are evolving into truly beautiful centerpieces for your room.

    Casual and chic modern ceiling fans, like the beautifully contoured koa finish fan above are proof that fans are moving in a stylish direction.

    Living Room with Teal Sofa and Yellow Accents and Modern Ceiling Fan from Lamps Plus

    The modern lines and rounded blades of this fan don't take up too much visual space in this living room as it blends into the ceiling color.

     Walnut-Veneered Modern Ceiling Fan from Lamps Plus in Traditional Living Room

    Modern ceiling fans can work well in traditional spaces too, as you can see above.  The maple veneer blades of the stylish, and sleek fan pick up the cream tones in the room.

     Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan Looks Great in a Modern Living Room with Pops of Yellow

    A brushed nickel finish on a contemporary fan looks great in a modern room.  This clean-lined fan also comes with an energy-efficient light for the environmentally conscious.

    Image Sources: Lamps Plus

  • Where to Place Landscape Lighting

    Landscape lighting is essential to curb appeal - how can you impress your friends and neighbors with your beautiful home at night if it's not lit up to highlight its best features?

    Although it might not be the first thing to come to mind when thinking about landscape lighting, safety is also a really important aspect to keep in mind when coming up with your outdoor lighting plan.

    Traditional 3-tiered fountain surrounded by outdoor post lights at night.The most important areas to consider when placing outdoor lights for curb appeal and safety are paths, entries, driveways and steps.

    Driveways & Pathways

    Traditional lantern-style path lights lining a flower bed.

    Create a welcoming feel for all those that arrive and depart with beautifully lit driveways and pathways.You want to light these areas well for safety reasons too - like making sure people stick to the driveway and don't drive onto the grass or trample your well-tended flower beds as they pull up to your home.

    Low-voltage, LED or solar landscape lights are great options for lighting the way. Read our 3 Must-Haves for Installing Low Voltage Landscape Lighting for more information.

    Same goes for pathways... adding path lights not only adds a beautiful landscaping element to your home, they also keep people on the, ahem, beaten path and prevent them from rolling their ankles in the aforementioned well-tended flower beds.

    Entries

    Exterior of a Tuscan-style at home with traditional outdoor wall lights and lantern style pathway lights.

    Your front entry is your chance to make a great first impression. A combination of hanging lanterns and outdoor wall lights will light your entryway beautifully and will look inviting as you approach.

    Put lights above or to the the side of all doors, e.g. the front door, side door, and back door -- lights positioned at all the doors help you see your way up the steps (if there are any) and allow you to identify who is at your door when looking out from the inside (light helps you get that pesky key in the lock too.). Add motion sensor lights for an added layer of security.

    Steps

    Step lights highlight a cut stone staircase in a garden.

    Stairs are often beautiful architectural elements that deserve to be highlighted at night. And you can keep you and your guests from missing a step at the same time with well-placed step lights

    With this information you are ready to start putting together a landscape lighting plan. Read Landscape Lighting - Tips for Getting Started for help coming up with a successful plan.

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Organic Interior Design in the Greek Isles

    Organic Interior Design in the Greek Isles

    An organic island home is just the thing to fantasize about as we near the toasty warm summer months.

    Domaine Home featured a beautiful home in the Greek isles in the organic interior design style that had my heart racing and was a fabulous example of elegant ease and charm.

    Organic Interiors

    Organic interior design usually exhibits a more casual design aesthetic.

    Because these interiors embrace natural materials and form they are instantly relaxed and are more tactile. Don’t these cool, concrete floors yearn for bare feet?

    I also like the play between hard and soft, smooth and rough. Remember balance is still important in a no-fuss environment. Rope pendant lights and rough hewn wood balance the stone details and soft linen furnishings.  

    Because it’s island living, even the most eco-designed home can do with a cool breeze provided by a classic ceiling fan.

    Island Hideaway Interior Design

    It’s amazing that beautifully situated homes don’t need much in the way of decorating to seem special.

    Amazing views preclude the need for window treatments and a monochromatic color scheme ensures that you focus on the environment...another way nature and organic elements win the day.

    Organic Furniture and Accessories

    1. The Crestview Collection Twisted Rope Table Lamp begs to be touched!

    2. Simple white walls can only be enhanced by the subtle Quoizel Sheath Fresco Wall Sconce.

    3. The organic home should have plenty of linen or at least linen shades like the one found on the Hinkley Hampton Collection Pendant Light.

    4. I love small tables like the Priestly Distressed White Rectangular End Table. You always need a spot to place a drink or pair of glasses.

    5. The organic kitchen would look even better with one or more of the Harper Stone Wash Barstool.

    You don't need to have breathtaking views in the Greek isles to enjoy the organic design style.  You can create the style's casual design aesthetic anywhere from urban settings to the countryside.

    Photos: Domaine Home.

  • Outdoor Porch Design

    With spring in full bloom and summer around the corner, lets discuss your outdoor porch space. Everyone loves an indoor/outdoor space that feels more like a part of the house than a separate entity. 

    Whether you have a full on outdoor porch or a sunroom with large windows this space is about to become the number one spot for the season. 

    Casual Outdoor Porch Design

    Grand views are always a plus for your outdoor space, but definitely not necessary. Above we see beautiful lake views as well as residential street views and both are equally dreamy.

    These spaces opt for comfort and family time without being too 'designed' or too 'country'.

    They are contemporary and clean with attention to details like color coordinated outdoor pillows and stylish outdoor lighting.

     Spend Summer Nights with the Family on These Porches

    These country cabins are the epitome of long summer nights with family. The muted tones perfectly compliment the natural surroundings.

    Above everything, the furniture and space planning is perfect for game night with the whole family.

     Traditional Mixed with Modern Style Porches

    The two sunrooms above take elements of the traditional home and intermix them with modern sensibility and design.

    Bright white walls feel fresh and current while pops of oranges and reds ground and unify the space.

    In a sunroom adding a casual and chic modern ceiling fan can bring the feel of the outdoors in, even when it may be too hot or too cold to open the windows.

     Your Outdoor Porch Can Become a Second Living Room

    If details are your thing, these last two porches are for you. Every detail is meticulously thought through as the space is created so that the outdoor porch becomes a second living room.

    Both even feature a grand outdoor fireplace to keep warm on cool spring nights.

    Image Source: Midwest Living

  • Outdoor Patio Fountains

      A Beautiful Three-Tiered Outdoor Patio Fountain

    Outdoor patio fountains can transform backyards into works of art with the beauty of a sculpture combined with the calming effects of a waterfall.

    With a range of styles and materials, there’s a fountain for everyone.

    Here are some of my favorite peaceful outdoor patio fountains.

      A Selection of Outdoor Patio Fountains from Lamps Plus

    1 – A tabletop fountain is perfect when you’re short on space, and this Buddha has the added benefit of color changing LED lights.

    2 – Water cascades down this fountain's copper leaves creating a restful sound.

    3 – A bed of river rocks are the backdrop on this urban style fountain.

    4 – Water flows from the mouths of three lions on this whimsical metal fountain.

    5 – I love the lion’s head and the classic design of this two-tiered fountain.

    6 –  The three dramatic tiers on this fountain would make an impressive focal point in any traditional garden.

    7 – This contemporary copper fountain stands an impressive 7 ½ feet tall and is calming in it’s understated simplicity.

    Choose a fountain to fit your taste and budget then sit back, close your eyes and enjoy the serenity that a patio fountain brings to any space.

    Source Image: Better Homes & Gardens 

  • Energy Efficient Lighting (That Actually Looks Good)

    We all know energy efficient lighting is a good thing. But sometimes the designs are just...

    so...

    ugly.

    (There. I  said it.)

    Thankfully as technology advances, so do the looks of these energy efficient fixtures. In honor of Earth Day, I've rounded up a few of my favorite light fixtures and lamps that are good for the environment. Plus - they're not ugly! In fact, they're gorgeous

    Energy efficient chandeliers, ceiling lights, and lamps from Lamps Plus

    Shop these styles, clockwise from top left:  

    Black Diamonds Giclee Glow Pendant

    Mr. N Accent Lamp

    Walnut LED Pendant;Railways Crisscross Pendant

    Contemporary Brushed Nickel Ceiling Light

    LED Brass Swing Arm Wall Lamp

    White Flower Arc Floor Lamp

    Leather and Chrome Desk Lamp

    Walnut and Beech Desk Lamp

     

    If you like what you see, there's more: Lamps Plus carries 5000+ energy efficient products.

    Happy Earth Day!

  • Creating a Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

    distressed bench with decorative pillows and shelf above with flowers

    Gone are the days of ordinary kitchens and boring design.  Even the farmhouse kitchen has taken on a modern flair with style.

    In most houses, the kitchen is the heart of the home.

    It's where homework is done and stories are shared and families gather around the table for a meal full of laughter and a day well-lived.

    Need a little decorating pick-me-up for spring?

    Here are a few tips for creating modern farmhouse kitchen style.

    farmhouse-style-hutch-with-milk-glass-flatware-and-accessories

    1.  Dress it Up

    It's a fact.  Kitchens aren't just for cooking anymore.  Kitchens are for conversation and gathering and celebrating the day.

    Introduce a little modern style into your kitchen with tufted ottomans and a pair of linen chairs lined with nail heads.

    Then finish off the space with a distressed hutch filled with milk glass and white dishes.

     drum-shade-chandelier-over-rustic-kitchen-table

    2.  Light it Up

    Toss out the boring utilitarian lighting and think outside the box when it comes to lighting for a space.

    Choose drum shade chandeliers with sparkling crystals or a unique table lamp with a one-of-a-kind shade.

    Lighting is an easy place to have fun and introduce a modern edge to your space.

    how-to-add-modern-style-to-your-space-with-accessories

    3.  Details, Details

    Creating a warm and welcoming space is all in the details.

    Introduce personality and character with unique accessories like these distressed metals leaves arranged in a vintage wooden box.

    Add a little personality.  Stack vintage cookbooks and add family photos or mementos to create a space uniquely designed for your family.

    farmhouse-kitchen-table-with-linen-covered-armchair-and-linen-slipcovered-side-chairs

    4.  It's All in the Furniture

    Sometimes modern farmhouse style starts with something as simple as a classic farmhouse kitchen table.

    Next, layer in vintage monogram linens, striped upholstered chairs and a patterned rug to add warmth and texture.

    Finish off the space with a contemporary light fixture and classic accessories.

    Whatever the space.....whatever your design aesthetic.....creating a warm and welcoming space is what makes a home a home.

    It's always important to remember, combining a little bit of old with a little bit of new....

    ....never goes out of style.

    Photo Credits:  Thistlewood Farms

  • The Outdoor Living Room

    Outdoor Living Room

    The weather is finally nice and we are ready to spend more time outside. You don’t really need much outdoor space to make it stylish, just the right decor and lighting.

    Lonny has a wonderful category of beautifully decorated patios and yards that will be complete springtime inspiration.

    It’s amazing how you can create a beautiful outdoor living room with specially made decor that can withstand the rigors of the elements.

    Outdoor Fabrics

    Never sacrifice style, even outside! Inspired by striped awnings of old, bold striped outdoor fabrics and cushions are great for the outdoor living room. The look is fresh and cheerful, and almost glows at night.

    Speaking of night, make sure you have plenty of outdoor lighting for after the sun sets. Everybody should be able to enjoy your space long into the night, and with a combination of outdoor lights and candles, the party need not end.

    Outdoor Patio Design

    I’m a huge fan of a built-in banquette sofa for outdoor living rooms. Here are some wonderful examples.

    The trend these days is to arrange seating around a feature such as a toasty warm fire pit. If you create a fire or water feature, people will be tempted to stay long and feel quite relaxed.

    Make sure your cushions are soft and that there are plenty of decorative pillows. If you had to choose between either an outdoor dining or sofa configuration, choose the sofa...people can always eat on their lap!

    Outdoor Home Decor

    1. The Kichler Elba LED Bronze Outdoor Wall Light has been a timeless design style since the 1970s.

    2. You can’t go wrong with the Sunbrella Striped Black 18" Square Outdoor Decorative Pillow.

    3. If you have a covered patio, consider the simple, transitional styling of the Camden Energy Efficient 19" High Outdoor Hanging Light.

    4. The Tassi White Ceramic Garden Stool can function as seating or surface space for a drink, dish or candle.

    5. I love the modern take on the classic outdoor chair with the Alyso Cove Woven White Outdoor Chair Set of 2.

    6. Whether placed on the ground or on a table the Zeke Small Wood Steel and Glass Candle Lantern is a fresh take on classic candle lanterns.

    There are so many fantastic furniture and home decor options made specifically for outdoor living that you can find pieces that will go with just about any design style!

    Photos: Lonny.

  • Beautiful Floral Living Rooms

    I have always and will always love bright color combinations, layered patterns and bold statements. While it's not everyone's cup of tea, it brings joy to my life and a smile to my face.

    With spring peeking in, I thought I would embrace my true love and feature some beautiful floral living rooms from House & Garden. These spaces will hopefully convert anyone reading into color-loving 'bold-ist' like me!

    beautiful floral living rooms

    The jewel tones of the two living rooms above pull at my heart strings. Yet its the mix of amazing floral patterns that I really love.

    As you will notice in both living rooms, the floral patterns are at the forefront and every other accent is a solid color. This will help to make keep the room looking chic and not make you and your guests dizzy.

    I love the addition of the floral accent rug in the image on the right. Make sure when you are layering floral patterns you switch up scale - the large scale of the rug works perfectly with the smaller scale floral pattern on the sofa and the throw pillows.

    On the left, that beautiful, bold wallpaper breathes life into the room, while the fuchsia drapes and jewel-tone accents bring fun and femininity to the space.

     room with floral accent rug

    These next two floral living rooms are a more simplistic application of this beautiful look. Again the large scale area rug makes a lovely feature, while the creamy walls subdue the space.

    Small decorative vases filled with wild flowers and antique floral paintings complete the look for a space that exudes a wonderful, vintage softness.

    Another way to incorporate a beautiful, understated floral pattern is to repeat the same pattern in different applications.

    As you see in the bottom image above, this modern take on shabby chic style is beautiful and approachable. Wallpaper, drapery and accent pillows in the same fabric really tie the room together and create a whimsically floral living room space.

     living rooms with chaises

    These vignettes of chaises are the perfect way to end the round-up. They really show the many ways you can introduce the floral look in your space.

    On the left we have a mid-century inspired look while on the right we have an antique-inspired and feminine style. Both layer pattern, color, texture and style in the best ways, and both truly speak to the innate sense of spring.

    How will you include spring florals in your living room?

    Images: House & Garden

April, 2015