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.

  • Making Room - Stylish Loft Beds

    A stylish loft bed above built-in bookshelves in a contemporary apartment

    The holiday season is all about making room for those who will inevitably be staying over.

    From a long night turned into a sleepover to relatives staying long weekends, having space for the additional guests from time to time comes in very handy. Not everyone has an extra bedroom to utilize, so often other solutions need to be made.

    Let me tell you, loft beds are back baby, in a major way and are a great way to add an extra sleeping space without compromising common space.

    These modern, cool loft beds from Apartment Therapy will whet your appetite and more.

    A bohemian-style bedroom with loft bed above a closet

    The beautiful bohemian bedroom above has an extra deep closet, so someone brilliantly created a loft bed above the closet.

    This is the perfect guest bedroom because you can accommodate two people who will have their own sleeping space without being in each other's way.

    The vintage ladder is perfect for entry to the loft, and the tapestry that serves double duty as headboard and closet door brings texture and character to the space.

    What I love the most about this space is the use of accent pillows that make the small space feel warm, cozy and inviting.

    This feminine space takes the concept of the loft bed and combines it with something no lady would say no to - a walk in closet.

    Raise the bed above a makeshift closet space and use a fabulous fabric to take it from makeshift to stylish. Best for kids, this space is a great, simple solution for maximizing the space you have.

    A loft bed built into a modern living room accessed by a ladder

    For an urban setting, its hard to find the space for an extra bedroom let alone an extra bed.

    Raising a loft above the living area, especially when you have high ceiling is a great way to create a separate guest quarter.

    Keeping everything white, bright and clean helps this space feel open and uncluttered although there are plenty of accessories to warm up the space.

    Stacks of books to give some privacy to the loft, vintage ceramic pottery and a gallery wall of framed prints bring character without clutter to this masculine loft space.

    A small apartment with architecturally detailed ceiling features a loft bed above the front door

    If drawing attention to your loft is on your mind, I can think of no better way than with a powerful ceiling like the one above.

    The awesome teal loft actually sits atop the entry to this small apartment space, and not only serves as a functional sleeping space for your holiday guests, but is a stylish and cool design element in your space.

    A small modern apartment that incorporates storage and a sink area under the loft bed

    This last loft space truly is an apartment all rolled in to one - well almost.

    The lofted sleeping space also has a tiny built-in desk area, while the wall used to raise the loft functions as closet, storage and mini bathroom.

    While this isn't the quickest of changes to your existing space, if you have the time and the vision, it shows that anything is really possible these days when talking about a stylish loft bed.

    Image Source: Apartment Therapy

  • Cozy Fall Kitchen Design Inspiration

    Fall Kitchen Design Inspiration - A Warm and Welcoming Pantry

    There is something about cozy fall kitchens that make me want to bake and eat, bake and eat. What is it about this time of year that makes me want to throw caution to the wind and not worry whether everything is put away or bleach clean?

    House and Home as well as Mix and Chic transported me to autumnal interior bliss through beautiful pictures of welcoming kitchen design inspiration. A place where cast iron and cookery rule the roost.

    Traditional Kitchens with Warm Woods and Rustic Lights

    The hallmark of the cozy kitchen is an abundance of deep and rich hues. Richly colored cabinets set the tone while, natural wood or patterned tile floors will ground the space.

    As with any kitchen, the right lighting is critical. Dark iron or bronze pendant lighting creates a warm glow on counters, while ceiling lights and sconces can help with tasks.

    I love counters and tables brimming with rough hewn wood or ceramic bowls filled to the brim with produce, pumpkins and gourds. Can’t you smell the cinnamon and cider? 

    Classic and Timeless Kitchens with Autumnal Touches

    The traditional kitchen looks great with a chunky wood table or island. Classic Windsor chairs or upholstered counter stools are perfect places to work or enjoy a meal.

    Accessories are also important in keeping a homey atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to display copper pots and pans or other cookware. Now might be the time to invest in a timeless pot rack.

    Regardless, don’t be afraid to use your kitchen, it is, after all, the heart of the home.

    Kitchen Lighting and Furniture with a Fall Flair from Lamps Plus

    1. The classic Baker Collection chandelier that also acts as a pot rack adds extra storage and lights to cramped kitchens.

    2. Industrial styling defines the Uttermost Barnstead Antique Copper Pendant.

    3. The Telegraph Hill Collection Aged Pewter Pendant has a Steam Punk look but still works well in an old school kitchen.

    4. I like the quirky Shohan Copper Top Iron Crank Table as an accent in a loft or industrial space.

    5. The George Kovacs Loupe Bronze LED Ceiling Light has a nautical aesthetic that works in a classic kitchen.

    6. The rustic Roark Hammered Bronze Adjustable Height Barstool introduces texture to traditional kitchen islands.

    What kind of photos do you use for kitchen design inspiration? Are you more inspired by cozy designs like these or is your style a bit different? Leave your comments below!

    Photos: Mix and ChicHouse and Home.

  • The Many Styles of Wall Sconces

    Lighting should always be layered within a room, and the many styles of wall sconces in particular are an ideal way to add that layering with style.

    Decorative wall sconces are functional and offer different kinds of light depending upon the type of shades, bulbs and materials you choose. 

    Crystal Swing Arm Wall Lamp Above a Mirrored Nightstand

    Wall sconces are an appropriate lighting choice for virtually every application both inside and outside your home. I love the sheer volume of  wall sconce choices!

    From glamorous crystal wall sconces dripping in artisan style, the options are endless.

    Bronze Industrial Wall Sconce with an Edison Bulb Above a Console Table

    A hot trend in lighting is exposed filament bulbs (also known as Edison bulbs) that have an old-school industrial feel.

    While they are chic, they are best used as ambient lighting since they will not offer much direct light.

    Furthermore, darker shades on sconces will also limit the light. Those choices are great for additional mood lighting in halls and living rooms.

    Wall Sconces with Dangling Crystals Above a Mirrored Sink Vanity

     A key spot for much needed wall sconce lights is in the bathroom.

    Beautiful bathroom wall  lights are a necessity and are something you will use every day so be mindful of picking a great style that functions well.

    Contemporary Bedroom with Silver Wall Sconces on Either Side of the Bed

    Classic sconces are elegant choices for bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. Look for finishes like brass, crystal, and chrome.

    Hot trends in lighting, like industrial and minimally-styled sconces, are just a couple of the many styles of wall sconces available.

    Remember, a sconce is the perfect opportunity to make a unique design statement.

  • Festive Holiday Mantels

    Bold Branches Decorated For the Holidays

    It may seem too early to write about creating festive holiday mantels but I hate to break the news to you that we only have about eight weeks to decorate!

    Domino had images that made me rethink the way mantels can be stylish and fun.

    Instead of just throwing everything you have that shines and sparkles and hoping it sticks, think about the bones of your fireplace and some key basics that will make the actual decorations stand out.

    Mantels Adorned for Christmas with Flowers and Greens

    A simple backdrop seems best if you want your decor to stand out.

    Besides your mantel, make sure you have a great mirror. Decorative mirrors visually enlarge your space and will reflect twinkling holiday lights.

    In addition, sconces will brighten your walls and offer a place to hang more decorations and greens.

    Simple Holiday Decorations on Basic Fireplace Mantels

    If you have a shallow mantel, I would suggest draping your decor in thin strands or using small side tables pulled up besides your fireplace like in the very first image.

    I rather like the idea of abundantly decorated accent tables flanking the fire. Not only can you create beautiful holiday designs, it’s a handy spot for presents for family that no longer wants to bend down under a tree.

    See below for some ideas for your holiday mantels:

    Clean and Simple Decor for a Modern Holiday Mantel from Lamps Plus

    1. Instead of classic sconces, the modern holiday fireplace would look “on point” with the George Kovacs Chrome Plug-In Swing Arm Wall Light.

    2. Reflect your festive decorations in this timeless silver beaded beveled wall mirror.

    3. Red flowers would really pop in this modern white glass vase with an abstract design.

    4. Add warmth to your mantel with the Deer Antler Polished Nickel Pillar Candle Holder Set of 2.

    5. The whimsical deer bust wall decal is an easy on, easy off decoration that creates a contemporary rustic holiday look.

    Photos: Domino

  • Simple Welcoming Front Entry Decor Ideas

    Welcoming fall-themed front entry decor

    A visit to the home starts at the front door.

    It's the first impression a home creates and the first place to create a warm and welcoming greeting for your guests.

    Greet visitors to your home in style from the first moment they arrive.

    Looking for inspiration and ideas to get started?

    Here's a few simple ideas for  welcoming front entry decor.

    Outdoor display using dried plants and a pumpkin made of straw

    1.  Create an outdoor display

    Begin with a pair of outdoor planters or urns.

    Next, layer in the colors and textures of the season.

    Add pumpkins and dried hydrangea for fall, evergreens for winter or fresh flowers for spring.

    Front entry decorated for fall with swags of dried leaves and hydrangeas

    2.  Add lighting

    Outdoor lighting creates a welcoming first impression.

    Warm, soft light adds drama and visual interest to your space.

    An outdoor overhead light, wall lights, or even simple sconces just inside the door are a perfect way to accent your entryway.

     Closeup of a fall-themed swag of dried leaves and hydrangeas

    3.  Add natural elements

    Sometimes decorating an entry can be as simple as shopping the yard, as well as adding in natural textiles to your outdoor display.

    Decorate with twigs or magnolia leaves or create a wreath from dried boxwood.  

    One simple tips is to begin with a simple swag and layer in dried hydrangea or other florals.

    Arrangement of dried plants and pumpkins made of wicker and straw in outdoor urns

    4.  Continue the welcome

    When you open the door to the home, make sure the welcome continues.

    Have a place for guests to hang coats or place umbrellas.

    In addition, add a small entry table with a catch-all basket for keys, a small table  clock and pen and paper for notes.

    Creating warm and welcoming entry decor is as simple as adding lighting and interesting displays and continuing the welcome through the front door.

    Get your home ready to welcome guests in style.

    Photo credits:  Thistlewood Farm

  • Winter-Inspired Rustic Interior Design

    A Cozy Fur Throw Adorning a Rustic Wood Bench

    Embracing winter-inspired rustic interior design means you have a secret or not so secret love of a Nordic aesthetic.

    Room decor ideas can come from just about anywhere, but this particular craze has an ease and comfort that is quite appealing.

    The New Victorian Ruralist is masterful when it comes to featuring chic and rustic interiors, so much so that I am far too anxious for winter to arrive. 

    Stark Yet Stylish Foyers

    A particular hallmark of winter-inspired rustic interior design look would be bare, wooden floors. Whether natural, white washed or gray washed, these floors have a monastic feel but at the same time exude warmth.

    Rustic Living Rooms with Abundant Soft Furnishings

    While floors and walls may be stark, the introduction of furry accents like throws and pillows naturally cozy-up the rooms. Again, warm white and grays are the classic color scheme however a light dusting of natural linen and brown are always welcome.

    No Fuss Bedrooms with Natural Fabric Bedding

    The rustic winter bed is soft and adorned with natural fabrics. No polyblend duvets need apply. The common thread here, no pun intended, is a no-fuss, relaxed look. Simple accent tables make wonderful night stands in this type of room, and are the perfect surface for reading lamps, books and other winter essentials. 

    A Rough Hewn Kitchen and Dining Rooms Embracing Natural Woods

    Rarely does one see such rough hewn kitchens and dining rooms unless you are in some small fishing village in rural Norway. However, how freeing would it be to not care whether we had quartz counters or a built in fridge?

    Like the textiles in the images above, the dining room also sports natural fibers such as seen in the rugs and table linens.

    Stylish and Relaxed Winter-Inspired Rustic Home Accents from Lamps Plus

    1. I think the Heirloom Historic Nickel Wall Sconce would be amazing in a kitchen or hallway. A similar sconce is the Downtown Edison Brushed Nickel sconce.

    2. The set of three white-washed tray tables would work beautifully in a living space or as a bedside table.

    3. I love the Fredrick Ramond Emilie Iron Rust Mini Pendant for over a kitchen island.

    4. There is nothing more cozy and perfect for winter than a silver Tibetan sheepskin pillow.

    5. The timeless urn design of the Currey and Company Greta Washed Buff Urn Table Lamp makes it a favorite of mine for traditional yet casual rooms.

    Photos: New Victorian Ruralist.

  • Get the Look: Fabulous Fall Mantel Decor

    OK its finally safe to bust out your fall mantel decor, I give you permission!

    While it still doesn't feel quite like fall on the west coast where I am from, its late enough in the year where you can pretend, even if the outside doesn't quite match up.

    The perfect fall mantel for me celebrates the changing seasons, and can function through halloween, thanksgiving and even up until the December holiday season.

    This means its not overtly halloween or thanksgiving themed, but hints at both and remains general, beautiful and fabulous.

    Here I show you how to get the look of this amazing fall mantel from The Frugal Homemaker.

    Fabulous fall mantel decor with a mantel clock, candle holders, seagrass baskets and autumn foliage

    Clustering objects and using a fall themed color palette is the first thing you need to start thinking about when you begin to put together your mantel decor.

    A set of four Madlyn seagrass baskets is great for beneath the mantel or even on top. Clustering odds and ends into the baskets, and using larger baskets for spare cozy throw blankets or holiday themed magazines on the floor by the fire is cute and convenient.

    Topping off your mantel with a decorative wall mirror brings style as well as light to the space.

    If you don't have electricity over your mantel, a mirror will reflect natural light and help to illuminate all the hard work you've done. A white oval mirror by Howard Elliott Suzanne is the perfect, detailed mirror for the space.

    There are lots of candleholders in this beautiful mantel inspiration image. I chose to highlight the floor candleholders.

    Selecting taller pillars like the Golden Highlight set of two allows you to bring height to the space, and give visual emphasis to all levels of your fireplace.

    To balance with the low height, a tall vase on the mantel is the way to go. The hand-blown glass bottle vase sits over two feet high and gives height variation to your decor.

    A nice pairing with the vintage inspired mirror is a stylish mantel clock. Not only is it functional, but it also adds to the design of the space without distracting the eye.

    I love the Clifton clock made of steel and wood because it mixed materials and has contrasting colors that make it pop against the space.

    And finally the most fun part! There are so many amazing faux foliage options available to you. If you don't have those beautiful orange leaves in your front yard, fear not, you can find these readily available and they won't crumble or deteriorate.

    The uniqueness of the mixed feather and greenery assortment in a ceramic planter elevates a standard arrangement with the fun of the feathers while still being on trend for fall with the color palette.

    How will you update your mantel for fall this year?

    Image source: The Frugal Homemaker

  • Drum Pendant Lighting Can Be Breathtakingly Glamorous

    Living room and dining room featuring luxury pendant drum lighting

    I’d venture to guess that there’s still the knee-jerk thought when someone says drum pendant lighting: unimpressive, white, and utilitarian.

    Yes, drum pendant lighting used to not be considered a luxurious ceiling light fixture.

    And in my brain, it used to live in the workhorse category of lighting, alongside track lighting and recessed lighting. But, no more. Even those workhorse lighting fixtures have blossomed into wide-eyed stunners, thanks to the creativity of lighting designers.

    While the ‘impress-your-friends’ envy is a feature we eye-candy connoisseurs delight in, there is the important detail of where to use these beauties.

    It’s not just in a living room, it’s the home office, the dining room, and with smaller sizes they are perfect as a group of three over a kitchen counter.

    I’ve collected a few of my favorite luxe living drum pendant lighting options, and I dare you to disagree that these defy the workhorse category. Beauty and brains can exist in the same lighting option.

    A selection of luxe drum pendant lighting from Lamps Plus

    1. The Euro Farina organza covered drum light from Possini is a current favorite look for me. I’m drawn to anything with layers of textures, especially with surprising combinations.

    This drum light with the crystal pendants that dangle below the drum can be installed as a swag or hardwired. A two-in-one, twice over.

    2. Brass and gold are reigning supreme in design lately, and this smooth modern antique brass metal pendant delivers the look with perfection.

    The drum pendant includes a white interior finish and diffuser, and 3 feet of chain.

    3. The jeweled golden bronze drum pendant light is everything I imagine when I think classic luxe living in this type of light fixture.

    Combining the fabric drum shade, a delicate crisscross design that’s studded with clear crystals, the 18 ½ inch wide drum pendant light has spot-on style.

    4. Luxe living does give my brain glimpses at images filed away of Art Deco and Art Nouveau living from early last century. And this drum pendant light offers a nickel design that shows a modern take on Art Deco style.

    The Jennings pendant light has a white linen shade and a glass diffuser. It’s also available in aged brass.

    Image source: Lamps Plus

  • World Lighting Appreciation Day in Honor of Thomas Alva Edison

    An Old Style Adjustable Wall Light

    Today we celebrate World Lighting Appreciation Day as it is the anniversary of Thomas Alva Edison’s successful 1879 test of the first practical commercial light bulb.

    It’s hard to tell what Edison would think of the amazing strides that have been made in lighting and the global influence of his invention, but for us, it’s a necessity that we cannot live without.

    I chose to honor his genius with lighting that is thoroughly modern but looks vintage. I could bombard you with Edison lights which are very popular these days, but a little goes a long way.

    Savvy Home was the perfect site to help me find chic interiors with a nice selection of classic styled lighting that embraces the past.

    Bathrooms that Feature Updated Versions of Traditional Wall Lights

    Bathrooms are a great place to play with classic lighting. Because we need proper lighting to get ready at all hours of the day, bathroom lights can and should go just about anywhere in this room.

    From sconces that flank mirrors and under-cabinet night lights to overhead fixtures and recessed cans, let your imagination go wild and try to honor historical lighting.

    Country Style Interior Ceiling Light Fixtures in Traditional Rooms

    Classic overhead lighting can go anywhere. Like bathrooms, though, kitchens always need ceiling lights. Task lighting is critical to cooking so I would consider pendants and bright ceiling lights that can be both functional and fabulous. 

    Timeless Outdoor Lights on Crisp White Homes

    Classically styled outdoor lights create a sense of style and security. Remember the exterior of your home is the first thing guests see, so dazzle them with lights worthy of all the hard work of Thomas Alva Edison.

    A Wide Selection of Updated Lighting Styled from Traditional Designs

    1. The Hudson Valley Stanley Wall Lamp with an antique nickel finish marries classic commercial lighting with “on point” interior lighting.

    2. The Widefield Antique Brass Ceiling Light embodies true Edison style.

    3. Classic kitchen islands would be quite stylish with the Quoizel Seaford Outdoor Hanging Light in a bronze finish.

    4. If you want timeless lighting, opt for the Tamber Bronze Adjustable Pharmacy Floor Lamp.

    5. I love the Hudson Valley Lowell 2-Light Antique Sconce because it’s a totally modern version of a classic carriage wall light.

    Think about how necessary lighting is in our everyday lives and thank Thomas Alva Edison again for his amazing invention.

    Photos: Savvy Home.

  • Quick and Easy Bathroom Updates

    Does your bathroom feel special? When you think about design do you include your bathroom design?

    A quick bathroom update might change your mind. Often times, people think they can only decorate their bathroom with a major renovation, not a few quite facelifts, which couldn't be father from the truth.

    While the materials in your bathroom are certainly important, there are plenty of things you can do to update the space without investing a ton of money or creating a dusty work zone.

    Glamorous and chic bathroom images from Harpers Bazaar give us amazing inspiration to start getting the wheels turning on what you can do for some quick and easy bathroom updates.

    Bathrooms featuring crystal chandeliers

    1. Lighting

    As you'll clearly notice above, What mini crystal chandelier doesn't look perfect in a master bedroom?  From over the tub, to over the sink, to smack dab in the middle of the room, anywhere is a good spot to install a mini crystal chandelier.

    Most bathrooms already have some sort of existing lighting in the ceiling, so adding additional bathroom lighting is a quick change that has a major impact.

    2. Furniture

    If you have a large bathroom space, make sure to fill it with some utilitarian but super chic furniture. An ottoman or stylish accent chair works wonderfully as extra seating or an additional space to throw your clothes or towel.

    Baskets double as storage space as well as a usable platform for extra hand towels or candles.

    3. Window Treatments

    Don't forget about your windows! Privacy is key, especially if you have neighbors close by. This is a great place to make major impact with minimal additional cost. While window treatments have the potential to get extremely expensive, there are good affordable options out there that pack a big punch.

    Stripes, sheers and everything in between can work, so use your imagination.

    4. Towels and Bathmats

    Fresh towels are so amazing and underrated. A nice fluffy towel will make the space feel shiny and new with almost no time investment.

    Classic white is always a hit, but if you have a very white and bright bathroom why not bring a little depth to the space with a rich sage or navy color that pops off the light space.

    5. Fresh Flowers

    It seems like whenever I see a styled bathroom in a photo shoot or magazine there are fresh flowers in the bathroom and I think to myself "Who in their right mind tkeeps flowers in their bathroom other than to style the shoot?!"

    However, if you do have some fresh blooms in the yard, a nice bunch of flowers on your sink basin can really brighten the space and bring some literal and metaphorical life to your bathroom, not to mention some super sweet scents.

    Image Source: Harpers Bazaar

October, 2015