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.
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Meet Sergio Orozco, an award winning furniture and lighting designer based in New York City whose designs are inspired by his international travel experiences.
Recently we had the chance to interview him about the effect lighting has on our mood and how to select lighting for every room.
The Theater Row Chandelier by Sergio Orozco
In an interview you mentioned that lighting is the most powerful element of this century.
Yes, lighting is the most powerful element in the world, the one that will last the longest in the trendy markets of the universe, as it has to do with life itself.
What does lighting mean to you?
Lighting means to me harmony, prosperity, luxury... it means the re-birth of our existence every day; it visually validates the gift of living.
The Seaport Wall Sconce by Sergio Orozco
On many occasions you have defended lighting as the creator of moods.
Lighting has a very close influence with our emotions/state of mind that is a subject in itself.
Nature is the best source of inspiration, just embrace lighting in nature... just imagine a glorious sunset where all the senses are caressed by a soft and skin-tanning light, painting our habitat and ourselves in hues that are reminiscent of candle light, inviting us to relax and enjoy the moment, that is lighting at it best.
In this sense, how does lighting help us to create different atmospheres and environments that reflect the mood in a home?
The key is to light up your interiors properly, not like a showroom, not like commercial space, not like a museum but like a home and the secret is the “eye level” from where light emanates, creating a nest, a refuge where we human beings feel in harmony with their home, with their furnishings and with themselves.
And, to what extent does lighting affect our mood?
I can subdue a ferocious Bengal tiger just by using candle lighting (do not try this at home) and I can for sure upset Tibetan monks just by showering them with colossal amounts of lights that affect their senses and their emotions.
We human beings relate to lighting in ways we do not even understand, light pollution should be a crime!!!
Home lighting is not an indulgence but an art and a science. A well lit home is nirvana for us human beings as the essence of life begins with lighting.
The Carnegie Chandelier by Sergio Orozco
What kind of lighting is best suited for each room?
As you transition from a standing posture to a seating and/or sleeping posture, the eye level of your home lighting should be lower. The lower the light source the more opaque the shade or glass diffusing the light source should be.
Good lighting will allow you to create islands of light, wash walls, accent artifacts/furnishings, frame paintings, highlight the architecture and sculpture and paint your rooms with lighting.
Lighting is like great music and delicious food; it must be soothing to your eyes and to your soul.
The East Village Chandelier by Sergio Orozco
It is impressive the awards you have achieved during your career:
What are the most important ingredients for a unique design?
When designing, you must always think of the human being; it must begin with a desire to please the body, reward the senses and allow a hint of poetry and emotions... everything else will fall into place, unless you are designing for robots.
The best award ever given to me as a designer is the privilege to light up the interiors and furnishings/landscapes of unknown people’s homes.
The Sutton Place Chandelier by Sergio Orozco
What elements are common in your designs?
Timeless elements of art, design and architecture, a reverence for history… and a tablespoon of romance.
The Madison Manor Chandelier by Sergio Orozco
What do you have in mind when designing a product?
Nothing, I try hard to have a blank page and an open mind... and as soon as the ideas star to take shape in my mind, I tango with them until they can dance on their own.
The Williamsburg Chandelier
How is your creative process?
Very solitary (very)... at least in the beginning... but the true fun of the process is the editing, the refinement and the struggle to leave it alone... you need to know when to stop or you will never finish it.
To learn more about Sergio Orozco and his designs, please read these other posts from Lamps Plus' Style Illuminated blog:
Meet Award-Winning Furniture & Lighting Designer Sergio Orozco
An Insider Look at the Hong Kong Lighting Fair from Sergio Orozco
Layering lighting is one of the most important things you can do to make your space feel warm, cozy, complex and correct!
If you are lucky you have some recessed lighting in your home that can serve to blanket the space with light when need be. But it is the accent lighting that really works in your favor to create the right, human feel.
Floor lamps serve many purposes. One, they actually function as a piece of furniture if you have a space that needs to be filled. They can cast light both down as well as up and are a perfect accessory piece to an oversized reading chair.
When picking a floor lamp, decide on what you want to accomplish, whether its ambient light or direct task lighting, and then select your style from there.
Table lamps and desk lighting are oh so important in any home space.
Whether you need a task light on your desk or gorgeous, artistic table lamps flanking your credenza or buffet you can not go wrong incorporating some table top lighting into your home.
The range of the light is not too large so these pieces really serve to accent a particular section of your space and create a moody feel. They are best utilized for evening get togethers with soft lighting.
When I say ceiling lighting, I am encompassing everything from pendants to chandeliers, however I am not including flush mount lighting. After all in this post we are talking about layering light, and flush mounts function very similarly to recessed lighting.
The ceiling fixtures I am talking about make a statement and cast light like nothing else can. Choosing a ceiling light can be a little overwhelming because there are so many options out there, but here are some tips to help you out.
First, determine how much height you have. If you have lower ceilings stick to something that utilizes width vs length. If you have lots of room to work with, find a fixture that hangs dramatically and fills the open space with lots of volume.
Second, make sure the scale is appropriate. Pair big light fixtures with big furniture pieces in a big room and vice versa with a small room. Every now and again you can get away with an amazingly over-sized piece in a smaller space, but its not likely.
Layer lighting is accomplished with a combination of floor lamps, table lamps and ceiling lights in a room. When choosing from the wide variety of lighting online, narrow your selections by size and style preference to match your home's existing interior design theme. Without layers of light, the interior design of a room will fall flat. Using these three types of lighting will guarantee your room is anything but!
Image Source: My Domaine
Let's talk about LED outdoor lighting...
An outdoor room deserves the same kind of design attention as any other room in your home. Layering is not a new concept. Whether you are putting together an outfit or your living room, a much-talked-about technique to achieve a sophisticated look is through smart layering.
Using texture, pattern, and shine is almost essential to have a rich-looking wardrobe or home.
Yet, our outdoor spaces used to be often overlooked as worthy of such a layering effort. Yes, it takes effort. But if you look at your patio, deck, yard, or porch as just another room in your home, you'll better be able to frame your design approach in a way that's more comfortable.
I gathered a few outdoor rooms that showcase a few of my favorite LED outdoor lighting ideas.
Using the space created by a generous layout of seating that's expanded around the central coffee table, allows the vertical space to open up.
By lowering that chandelier, the lighting helps to create an intimate, yet open, conversation area.
The chandelier. The Hubbardton Forge New Town chandelier is the drama in this outdoor space. With its dark smoke finish and seedy clear glass, it is definitely a light made for an time are gathering of nighttime conversation.
This chandelier doesn't come with energy-efficient LED light bulbs,so make sure you put the perfect light bulbs in your online shopping basket.
The wall light. Made by the same company who created the chandelier, this Sea Coast wall light in 18 3/4" tall. It has the same seedy glass and an opaque dark smoke finish.
The company, Hubbardton Forge tests all of its outdoor fixtures so that they pass rigorous salt spray tests to replicate extreme weather conditions and UV exposures.
The fountain. While it's not a bold player in this outdoor space, in real life the sound of the Asian Garden Tiered Fountain’s water flow along the faux stone and the LED light cluster at night are definite mood enhancers.
Look at fireplaces and candles as ways to develop a lighting experience. If you have little ones, or are cautious about open flames, there are always battery and electric options for both. And they are just as charming and create that cozy atmosphere you are looking for.
The chandelier. The Onyx Faux Stone Candle actually consists of faux candles arranged in a 30-inch wide configuration with an espresso-colored ironwork. A rich look that works for indoor and outdoor, it is suitable for damp locations.
With any light fixture,like this that doesn't come with light bulbs, go ahead and take advantage of the LampsPlus.com online chat to find out the exact LED light bulb that works. Click the "Online Chat" button on any product page to start the conversation.
The wall light. A perfect companion in this lighting layering scheme, the Franklin Iron Works wall light looks like a candle, but is made of onyx stone. Just like its layering partner chandelier, this 15-inch tall wall light can be used in outdoor and indoor spaces.
The candle. In this outdoor room, an LED flameless candle works perfectly on the mantel, the table, or even on the coffee table. While there are several choices when it comes to a flameless candle, the Solare Collection’s pearl mosaic fits the earthy upscale vibe of this particular outdoor room.
As a mom who has cats, I often use a grouping of flameless candles as part of a tablescape.
They are easy to find, use, and move to wherever you want to create a little nighttime oasis. But why not use that firepit for a nomadic place-making element to a more refined place-made space.
Sconces melt into the background, create a sensual mood and outdoor room atmosphere around this firepit.
The wall light. This bronze downlight from Franklin Iron Works could be perfect as path lighting or helping to create an intimate mood, like in this outdoor room example. The ADA compliant wall light is a natural textural joy with its slate and bronze combination.
The fountain. The faux stone floor fountain has a two-tiered basin design with three small spouts that curve water from one tier to the next. Constructed from lightweight polyresin, the Mason Faux Stone fountain includes two halogen lightbulbs.
The firepit. The all-weather black powdercoated Glendale Tuscan Slate Round Steel Outdoor Firepit has a deep 40-inch deep bowl and comes with a steel fire poker.
Just like sconces and chandelier, ceiling fans are often overlooked as chosen members of an outdoor lighting team.
I've had an outdoor ceiling fan on both my porch and pergola for years, and I delight in the added visual texture and dimmable light every summer.
The ceiling fan. Just like you wouldn’t settle on a chandelier, don’t just ‘it’ll do for now’ settle on a ceiling fan.Whether indoor or outdoor, the ceiling fan and the chandelier can both be true power statements in a light layering design.
This Casa Largo ceiling fan has an oil-brushed bronze finish and dark walnut blades. Frosted white painted glass contains the lightbulbs. While it comes with CFL lightbulbs, I recommend trying out an LED option. Just ask the online help at LampsPlus.com for the perfect equivalent.
The wall light. This LED outdoor wall light is called the Park View. The clear seedy glass has a diffuser inside to eliminate glare, and the light is framed in oil-rubbed bronze.
The fountain. This 50-inch tall faux slate fountain has textured leaf edging and a bottom reservoir for a calm sound. Designed for placement inside or outside, the water pump and a 5-foot cord is included.
What do you think about layering LED outdoor lighting? Share your ideas below in the comments. -T
All images courtesy of Lamps Plus
Today I'm turning the light on sconces - from what they are and how to use them, to upcoming trends.
A sconce is a light fixture which attached directly to a wall instead of hanging from the ceiling or supporting itself with its own base.
Sconces can be placed in any room and provide both lighting and points of interest. The most popular placement is in the bathroom on each side of the mirror. This helps create even more lighting for grooming.
Sconces are generally placed 3/4 of the distance up the wall as measured from the floor to the ceiling. So if your measurement is 8 feet, you would place your sconce at 6 feet.
Trends in sconces include energy efficient and led style, while brushed steel and chrome continue to be popular finishes.
With styles ranging from modern and transitional to industrial and country, there is something for every style at Lamps Plus.
So, now that you have all this new-found knowledge on sconces, how will you be using them in your home? Leave a comment below to let me know!
Well-planned outdoor lighting is essential to curb appeal. The right combination of outdoor lighting fixtures highlights architecture and showcases landscaping, creating an appealing and welcoming sight to both passersby and guests alike.
Besides being attractive, outdoor lighting fixtures provide light for security and safety purposes as they protect against intruders and falls.
A combination of pathway, landscaping and entry way lighting is the recipe for a perfectly lit exterior with a lot of curb appeal.
Outdoor path lighting is an excellent way to increase your home's curb appeal and will make your home look welcoming and is important for safety reasons (no tripping and falling!)
If you can't use hardwired lights, solar path lights are available, but they aren't as bright as their hard-wired brethren.
Post lights are great for creating curb appeal as well. Place a pair at the end of your walkway near the street to create a visual gateway.
For the energy conscious, both path and post lights come in LED versions as well. LED lights have come a long way from their cold, bluish light of the past. LED lights can now cast a soft, warm glow, which is exactly what you want for your outdoor lighting fixtures.
Outdoor LED lighting is fast becoming the light of choice for lighting designers and homeowners because of their long lives. LED bulbs generally last approximately 18,000 hours (about 18 years)!
1. 18-1/2" high Bronze LED Landscape Path Light 2. Casa Sorrento Bronze LED Post Light
3. Mission Hill LED Path Light
4. Solar LED Garden Light, Set of 2 5. Hinkley Harbor Collection Bronze Low-Voltage Path Light
Landscaping lights are used to showcase architecture and landscaping - two important components of curb appeal. Landscape lighting also comes in LED versions, a wise investment.
1. Eastham Bronze LED Landscape Flood Light 2. 9" High Bronze LED Spot Light
3. Bronze LED 35 degree Landscape Accent Light
4. Hooded Low Voltage Bronze LED Landscape Spot Light 5.10 Degree LED Beach Spot Light
The front door is the final ingredient in the recipe for perfect outdoor lighting and increased curb appeal. It is also your last chance to make a good impression (from the outside, at least.)
A pair of stylish wall lights on either side of the front door and a pretty lantern above create a welcoming place to pause as your guests wait to cross the threshold into your home.
Like the other two types of outdoor lighting fixtures, entry way lighting is important for safety and security reasons. You definitely want to be able to see who comes-a-knockin'!
1. Hickory Point 12" High Outdoor Wall Light; Hickory Point 15" Wide LED Outdoor Ceiling Light
2. Vintage Metal Cage Bronze Ceiling Light; Vintage Metal Cage Bronze Wall Light
3. Rockford Collection Bronze Outdoor Hanging Light; Rockford Collection Bronze Outdoor Wall Sconce
4. Mossoro Indoor/Outdoor Hanging Light; Mossoro Outdoor Wall Light
5. Bowen Bronze Outdoor Pendant Light; Bowen Bronze Outdoor Wall Light
Mood lighting in dining room design can be achieved in a multitude of ways, but I’m loving the effect certain drum shade chandeliers have on these rooms.
Images from Remodelista show that drum shades are as varied as people and that the basic cream shade is not the only game in town. Take red for instance!
Let’s start with the basics. The cream or white drum shade has become a classic in dining room design. It’s clean, minimal and always looks good.
If you are unsure of what to do, try this style. You will be able to get a soft, even light with this color and can even use smaller versions in bathrooms and halls.
The drum shade can still be neutral even if you opt for a darker color or textured shade. As long as the balance of your decor reads somewhat monochromatic, you can experiment with the look of your lighting.
I think you could create a more moody affect with a darker shade and reflective interior surface like the image on the lower left.
New versions of the drum shade are popping up with fabulous sheer metal shades as well as glass and crystal detailing.
The bedazzled mini pendant drum shade would look great in a tricked out closet or highly styled powder room if you had already filled your quota of drum shades in the dining room.
1. The Danube Crystal and White Shade Pendant Chandelier adds a touch of Hollywood glamour to the stylized dining room.
2. Warmer toned dining rooms would pair beautifully with the Jeweled Golden Bronze Pendant Light.
3. Keep your dining space timeless with the Mini Mulberry Desert Clay Tech Lighting Pendant Light.
4. If you feel you can go bold, try the China Red Textured Silk Double Shade Swag Pendant.
5. I love the modern lodge feel of the Hubbardton Forge Beacon Hall Chandelier.
What do you think about drum shade chandeliers?
Big, bold wallpaper design has made a comeback in a powerful way, especially embracing large scale, foliage prints in gorgeous hues and bright patterns.
Decorating around such a bold wallpaper can sometimes be a bit tricky, but with the right eye for editing it can be done thoughtfully and oh so chic.
Take a look below at some colorful and smart room designs based around bold foliage wallpaper.
This image from Completely Coastal captures perfectly the loud and proud nature of such a bold foliage wallpaper and plays to its strengths.
Classic outdoor chairs with a complimentary green cushion blend smartly, while a cluster of small brass frames give the wall extra depth without becoming distracting.
This sitting room really lets the wallpaper do the talking while the furnishings give perfect support.
This powder room from Decor Pad is not for the faint of heart. Brightly multicolored foliage wallpaper with birds actually pairs nicely with the vintage accent rug and modern, asian inspired furniture and accents.
Making sure the hues are cohesive is key to not overwhelming the small space. Utilizing black and white accents tones down what could potentially be a color explosion gone wrong.
This gorgeous bedroom vignette from Alamodeus is an incredibly chic installation of foliage wallpaper with high design furnishings.
Because the wallpaper design is not too busy, adding in accent colors adds dimension and depth. A bright yellow table lamp and peacock colored wing back chair make this room really pop and shine.
The more modern, minimal person will have to swoon over this image above from Design Love Fest. High ceilings, vintage furnishings and architectural details and one large wall of foliage photo art is all this room needs to be spectacular.
And last but not least, this glamorous, decadent entryway from The Decorista is over the top in all the best ways.
The wallpaper is so bold and punchy that most accessories would fade behind it rather than stand up to it.
Adding in beautiful antiques in a rich gold tones and a showstopper crystal ceiling light makes a brilliant first impression into what I am sure is a quirky, beautiful home.
Image Sources: Completely Coastal, Decor Pad, Alamodeus, Design Love Fest, The Decorista
If I could have my very own hall of mirrors, I’d be happier than Marie Antoinette.
Since I rarely meet a mirror I don’t love, I’ve amassed quite the collection and have plans to create a gallery wall of mirrors.
Here are some of my favorites:
A tight grouping of glamorous gilded mirrors looks dramatic against a richly colored wall. They key to this style of gallery wall is to take the mirrors from floor to ceiling.
An empty staircase wall turns into a gallery showcasing a unique array of vintage mirrors. Oval mirrors in various finishes mix with round and square and frameless mirrors blend with different frame finishes for a truly eclectic look.
A variety of gold mirrors mix with a few architectural pieces to provide a beautiful focal point over a sofa.
Show off your favorite mirrors in one grouping to create a statement wall.
Image Sources: HGTV; Traditional Home; Funky Junk Interiors; Lamps Plus
Your bedroom is a sanctuary, a respite from the sometimes chaotic outside world. Your bedroom design should focus on creating a space where you can curl up and shut out the cacophony of the world, we do spend 1/3 of our lives there after all.
Here is a recipe for a beautiful bedroom design:
Headboards, like this tailored navy linen headboard with nailhead trim, make a bedroom look more finished. Plus, upholstered headboards provide a nice cushy place to lean on while reading in bed.
Bedside tables are necessary to hold anything you may need during the night (or lazy Sundays spent lounging in bed!) close at hand, like a lamp, reading material, remotes (although I am not a fan of TVs in the bedroom, but that's a different topic entirely,) reading material, a glass of water or a beautiful bouquet of flowers
I love mixing it up with two different accent tables by the bed, like this mirrored chest with plenty of storage and a white x-based table with a drawer and silver hardware.
Lamps on either side of the bed provide light while you're reading and make it so you don't have to rely on overhead lighting to provide all the light in the room; only having overhead lighting in any room is too one-dimensional and can make a room fall flat.
Not to mention the fact that a lamp next to your bed saves you a trip to the light switch when it comes time to travel to the land of nod.
Matching table lamps, like these elegant antiqued mercury glass table lamps, help visually balance the room.
Decorative pillows are a great way to bring color and pattern into a room.
In this case I chose a pale pink pin-tucked pillow that picks up the pale pink of the area rug. I also selected a pillow with a silver gray greek key border that plays off the bench and mercury glass table lamps.
If you have room, I highly recommend a love seat or bench at the end of the bed like this classic gray, tufted bench. It provides a great place to relax when you're not quite ready to crawl under the covers yet.
Put your decorative pillows and any extra bedding on the bench when it's time to pull down the covers.
Last, but not least, we come to the area rug. Actually, I rarely leave the area rug selection to the end as I often will use it as inspiration for a room's color palette, as I've done here with this pink and ivory geometric print area rug. Area rugs are important to pull together the look of your bedroom.
Area rugs in the bedroom should extend to the outer edges of your bedside tables and at least 18" from the foot of the bed.
You can also place a smaller rug at the foot of the bed, but make sure it's wider than the bed and have a few inches of the bed on the rug so it doesn't look like the rug is floating, which will make the room look unbalanced.
Check out Lamp Plus' Shop-by-Room section for more bedroom inspiration!
'Tis the season for grilling and outside dining on the back deck and listening to the crickets chirp in the early evening.
Summer is here.
Make your outdoor patio or space an inviting place for guests and family alike with some easy stair lighting ideas that also work for your walkway.
Stairs are an often overlooked, but necessary place to install some much needed lighting.
Listen to the crickets in style with these stylish options for outdoor stair lighting:
Light the way with this stylish lighting option.
Featured in the photograph above, these low voltage lights come with a textured bronze finish.
The lights only extend about 2" from the wall and offer a warm, inviting glow to help illuminate the stairs.
1. Hello shiny, beautiful copper.
This light is constructed of solid copper with an angled faceplate that allows light to be directed downward.
It's the perfect accessory to accent steps or a walkway and pairs with existing low-voltage lighting systems.
2. Both functional and beautiful, this step light is constructed of stainless steel featuring LED lighting.
The light is 5" wide and 3" high and is perfect for back deck or stair lighting.
The LED light averages 40,000 hours, providing a long-lasting alternative to traditional bulbs.
3. The brilliance of this hardscape deck and bench lightlight is its ability to be installed directly under the stair tread.
The light is 13" long and 3/4" deep and features an architectural bronze finish.
It works well with existing landscape lighting and comes with a long-lasting LED bulb.
4. Sometimes all you need is a mini light and this one fits the bill perfectly.
This fixture features an architectural bronze finish and comes with a white acrylic diffuser for brilliant, white light.
Perfect for spaces in your landscape design that need a little extra light, like walkways and stairs.
5. Looking for an inexpensive alternative for stair lighting?
This solar power cap light fits easily on the top of a fence post and harnesses the power of the sun.
It doesn't need wiring and comes with an automatic dusk to dawn photocell.
Whether solar or LED, clear bright light or a warm golden glow, stainless steel or copper, these outdoor stair lighting options provide a solution to many lighting challenges.
Here's to letting your next get-together shine a little brighter.
Image Source: Lamps Plus