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.

  • An Interview with Lighting Designer Sergio Orozco

    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. 

    Turn-of-the-century bronze chandelier with a modern twist, featuring seven filament style bulbs

    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.

    Nautical-style bronze wall sconce with vintage bulb

    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.

    Retro chandelier in a bronze finish with filament-style light bulbs

    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.

    Bronze chandelier with clear glass shades and filament-style light bulbsThe East Village Chandelier by Sergio Orozco

      It is impressive the awards you have achieved during your career:

    • Winner of the Interior Design ROSCOE Award for residential furniture
    • Winner of Roscoe Certificate for Outstanding Achievement in Product Design
    • Winner of the 11TH ARTS AWARD and first ever Product Designer of The Year

    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.

    Elegant silver chandelier with white shades

    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.

    Elegant chandelier with 5 shaded lights with curved accents in a silver finish

    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.

    Traditional colonial-style chandelier with five candelabra lights

    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 with Lighting

    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. 

    Layering with Lighting - Examples

    Floor Lamps

    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

    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.

    Ceiling Lights

    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

  • LED Outdoor Lighting Can Be More Delightful with Layering

    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.

    1. A chandelier can dress up any space, even an outdoor room.

    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.

    An outdoor living room featuring an LED chandelier

    2. Layering with lighting doesn't stop at fixtures with light bulbs.

    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.

    A traditional outdoor furniture grouping features both a chandelier and wall lights

    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 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.

    3. Fire pits are unbelievably popular in many neighborhoods for good reason.

    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.

    Adirondack chairs around a 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.

    4. I'm a fan of outdoor LED ceiling fans. (pun is definitely intended) 

    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.

    A traditional outdoor dining room featuring an outdoor ceiling fan and wall lights

    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 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

  • Turn the Light on with Sconces

    Bronze wall sconce with frosted glass

    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.

    Transitional bathroom design with sconces on either side of the mirror

    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.

    Hollywood Regency hallway with black and white striped wallpaper and chrome sconces with black shades

    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.