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.

  • New Year, New You, New Bathroom

    Happy new year readers! I hope you had a great celebration to ring in the new year, whatever you may have been up to!

    OK - now time to start thinking about the way you want to carry out the new year, and one way to start is with a design upgrade. What room in your home do you want to update the most?

    Making changes in your bathroom - whether it's your master bath or your powder room - can make your home and subsequently your self feel fresh, updated and different in the new year.

    Below we will look at some modern, interesting bathrooms that push the boundaries of traditional design without getting too over-the-top that will help nudge you out of your old 2015 self and into a new 2016!

    Bathroom with tumbling blocks pattern tile and modern wall sconces

    I am starting our round-up with a bang! Graphic tiles are so hip and their popularity is not dropping off any time soon. As you notice in this bathroom from Domaine, the elements surrounding the graphic tiles are kept extremely minimal and simple as to let the graphic tiles stand out as the focal point in this space.

    If you have a simple bathroom, updating the floor and wall tile is a way to embrace your fun side without having to update everything else in the room.

    Cobalt blue bathtub in front of eclectic and graphic tile wall

    Whomever dosent want a cobalt blue tub in their bathroom will change their mind after seeing this stunning design from Cote Maison. While you could let a bright blue tub stand on it's own as the focal point of the space, it's the feature wall that, when paired with the tub, really makes the statement. Mismatched graphic cement tiles create their own, cacophonous pattern that plays on vintage as well as modern design aesthetics.

    This design is perfect for a fun guest bathroom where you guests will be delighted and entertained every time they enter.

    A faux-recessed sink area with penny hexagon tiles

    If you're a minimalist, this next bathroom is perfect for you. Taking traditional materials like penny hex and creating a faux-recessed feature wall in a fun color immediately makes the common material seem fresh and new.

    Interiores Minimalistas shared this beautiful bathroom image where old is new again and application of materials is everything.

    Bathroom with blue fish scale tile, brass fixtures and modern brass wall lights

    Brass is back in a big way, and I am not mad about it. Emily Henderson's bathroom features beautiful vanity lights, bathroom hardware and a faucet, all in a gorgeous brass tone that pairs perfectly with the light blue tile. The contrast of the bold brass and the softer whites and blues in the bathroom space make it feel calm and cool all at once.

    Modern bathroom with walnut paneling and pendant lighting on either side of the vanity

    Our fina bathroom feature from Lonny is another modern twist on classic materials. Walnut is a very mid-century material, but the wall application of the walnut is so clean and modern that the space only hints at a vintage sentiment.

    Fresh white sink basins and mirrors paired with unique bathroom lighting creates a space that has fun with design while not overwhelming any one design choice or another.

    How will you update your self and your bathroom design for 2016?

    Image Sources: Domaine, Cote Maison, Interiores Minimalistas, Emily Henderson, Lonny

  • Fresh Shiplap Spaces

    A Bright Bathroom with Shiplap Walls

    I am falling hard for clean and fresh shiplap spaces. At first I thought it was mostly a warm weather look, however I am beginning to think the cottage vibe works well in all seasons and reminds me of a clean Nordic aesthetic which can evoke eternal winter.

    Marcus Design Inc. featured shiplap walls in a variety of applications and I felt it was a great look and fresh for a new start in the new year. 

    Shiplap Bathrooms Designed in both Casual and Formal Looks

    Country bathrooms seem like a natural for shiplap walls. Keep in mind that while the look can seem home spun, dressing up the loo with fancy finishes and bathroom mirrors with elegant frames will totally change the character of the bathroom. The bottom two images are evidence of that.

    Simple and Elegant Rooms Featuring Shiplap Walls

    I was amazed how shiplap walls add character to “non-wet” rooms. From bedrooms to dining rooms the freshly painted walls can be the perfect backdrop to exciting pendant lighting that can change the look of a space in an instant.

    I really like how you can create a muted and calming room with soft grays or go bold with black and white. It’s a great neutral to use as a jumping off point. Go cozy or cold. Either way it’s never a bore. 

    Clean and Functional Laundry and Mud Rooms

    If you are unsure of committing to shiplap walls in a main room why not start in the laundry or mud room? Back halls and laundry rooms tend to be depressing and dark; the simple act of adding this paneling will breathe new life into the space and may make you less hateful of chores or cleaning up after pets and little ones.

    Crisp Colored Lighting and Home Decor Ideal for White Rooms from Lamps Plus

    1. The Encircled Crystal Globe Pendant by Possini Euro Design will add a modern spin to dining or breakfast rooms.

    2. The Linn gray faux fur throw blanket will take any room from summer to winter in an instant.

    3. I like the updated traditional look of the Arlo pendant light from Possini Euro for a kitchen or laundry room.

    4. This vanity mirror with a chrome frame is timeless in the bathroom.

    5. The simplicity of the Baldwin wall sconce makes it ideal for any style bathroom or hall.

    6. Add design punch to white furniture with this striped Sunbrella outdoor pillow.

    Photos: Marcus Design Inc.

  • A Cozy Sunroom for the Winter

    The exterior of a sunroom surrounded by snow

    If you have been wondering how to utilize your sunroom during the long winter months, you're not alone! Often people think the sunroom is a place that has to be abandoned until the warmer months. Excessive windows can make the space feel cold both literally and metaphorically.

    However, with advances in technology for windows, you have no more excuses to ditch your gorgeous sunroom for an entire season! Just look at these gorgeous images from Stylish Eve and you will be gearing up to gather the family in your sunroom during the holiday season and throughout the winter.

    A midcentury modern style sunroom with modern chandelier

    A fireplace and some jaw dropping, twinkly lighting immediately transform the space. If you're going to embrace the winter season, elegant home lighting fixtures can bring a sparkle and sophistication to the space that translates throughout the year.

    This midcentury space has texture and layering that makes it feel cozy throughout the winter months, but is chic and modern enough that you don't feel bombarded with stuff during the warmer seasons.

    Traditional sunroom with shiplap ceiling and bronze ceiling fan

    This classic sunroom has a winter white feel that is especially accented by the snow-hewn yard outside. But the color palette and transitional aesthetic of the space can easily feel summery and light.

    Adding in dark woods and leathers to the space gives it that winter weight that allows it to be an all-seasons space. And I'm sure that casual storage basket next to the sofa is stuffed with cozy throw blankets at a moments notice.

    Grand piano in a sunroom that is flooded with natural light

    Making your sunroom a gathering spot by placing your piano in there can be another great way to keep this room occupied throughout the year. Typically over the holidays there is always that one uncle/cousin/friend who loves to tickle the ivories after a big meal, and with the piano in a space you usually wouldn't use it draws people in.

    Again make sure there are cozy accessories like pretty throw pillows and blankets easily accessible and your furniture is upholstered in inviting fabrics like velvet and brushed cotton.

    Sunroom with a vintage feel

    If you don't have a ton of room in your sunroom, but still want to enjoy it year round, layering and a selective eye are key. This vintage inspired space has so much going on visually that it appears warm and inviting without being overwhelming.

    Although it seems counterintuitive, layering textiles, pillows and small furniture pieces in the right proportions can make a small space feel bigger than it seems.

    Your holiday house guests will want to curl up in this space and enjoy the beautiful winter views.

    Image Source: Stylish Eve

  • New Year's Resolution - A Stylish Home Office

    Highly Styled Purple Office with Exotic Eastern Influences

    What’s your New Year's resolution? A stylish home office should be high on the list because a good looking office will entice you to work more and stay on top of your game as you head into the new year. Year end billing and the dreaded post holiday credit card bills will sting less if you are surrounded by style.

    House Crush captured what chic home offices are looking like these days, and some of the details might surprise you. Now, I’m not saying you embrace the super stylized purple office above, but try to see your home office as more than just a functional room.

    Crisp and Tailored Offices with Traditionally Styled Seating

    A new design trend in home office design is the use of occasional or dining chairs as your primary desk chair. I happen to love the juxtaposition of modern desks with traditional chairs.

    Lighting can take many forms and still look great. Pendant chandeliers will illuminate an overall work space while bright desk lamps are critical for tasks. The wide variety of lighting styles in these images should tell you that there are no longer any rules when it comes to what will work well together.

    Traditional side table lamps look great on desks and seem harmonious with classic kitchen pendants. Who knew? 

    Office Spaces with Brightly Colored Art

    Don’t forget about cheerful wall art in the office. If your office is a standard affair and you don’t want to spend too much, think about art to change the look of your space.

    If wall space is lacking, try to accessorize your bookcases so that it looks visually more interesting. Another trend that I happen to like is to hang pictures from book shelves. One caveat, make sure that you won’t need to access what’s behind the art!

    Modern Home Office Lighting and Furniture from Lamps Plus

    1. I like general lighting in an office like the Possini Euro Design White Flower pendant in conjunction with task lighting.

    2. Take task lighting to a stylish new level with the Fabbrico desk lamp in a polished chrome finish.

    3. The white Embassy desk offers a modern design as well as useful drawer storage.

    4. I like that the Louis XVI Collection side chair can be used for work or dining.

    Photos: House Crush.

  • Merry Christmas 2015!

    Wishing you and your family a very merry Christmas full of holiday cheer!

    Image source: Lamps Plus

  • How to Shop for Counter Stools

    Traditional style counter stools at a kitchen island

    Country or industrial, there’s a counter stool that’s perfect for your kitchen.

    Counter stools will have a seat height between 24 and 27 inches tall. It may sound arbitrary, but the standard size is to accommodate the space we typically need between the chair and the standard height counter to comfortably fit our bodies. A guideline we designers use is that people need about 12 inches between the chair and the surface above.

    If you’ve been shopping for a stool, you already know that there are so many shapes and styles when it comes to choosing the perfect counter stool. Where do you begin?

    Well, I like to look at two things. Shape and style.

    And I go through a list of questions. Do you want the stool to have a back? Do you want the stool to have armrests? Do you want the stool to have a place to tuck your feet? And what style are you looking for?

    In the spirit of style and shape, I decided to challenge my design eye to find the same shape stool in two very different styles: industrial and country.

    Yes, this blog is a little bit country, and a little bit rock ‘n roll. Thank you, Donny and Marie.

    Country and industrial-style counter stools from Lamps Plus

    1a. The round topped stool is a classic shape, and this antique black industrial stool with the round seat is adjustable.

    1b A very different look, this round top stool is luxe country. The counter stool swivels and features decorative lead and medallion casting with bronze over wrought iron.

    2a The square counter stool is striking in its industrial red look. The stainless steel backless counter stools have a leatherette seat.

    2b The Marrakesh stool is a country version of the square counter stool and features a weave and a white cushion. It would fit seamlessly in a country or a casual global styled room.

    3a A traditional-looking counter stool, the Powell stool has the classic dining chair back. The combination of wood and metal give it the industrial style.

    3b Antique white sanded and distressed is the classic finish of country style. This classic ‘tall chair’ counter stool look has an oak seat.

    4a Gunmetal is the power finish of the industrial stool, and this is a spot-on example. The backless stool has a square seat with legs that flare out, giving a larger rest for the feet of its sitter.

    4b Another stool with flared legs, the Gaby is a country chic version of a classic counter stool shape and has a natural finish and nailhead trim. The cream fabric and footrest adds to its comfort-appeal.

    Image source: Lamps Plus

  • Holiday House 2015

    A Christmas Inspired Living Room in the 2015 Holiday House

    Holiday House 2015 is a sophisticated designer showcase that benefits the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). In it’s eighth year, this annual fundraiser transforms amazing properties in New York City and allows designers to create fantastic interiors that inspire and let their imaginations run wild.

    There is no one particular aesthetic or intent to create a unified design scheme, rather, each designer can create a space that embraces the season and awes the public.

    Houzz had a tremendous amount of pictures by Rikki Snyder that feature the many styles found in the design house and while varied, they all share a common theme of sophisticated city style.

    Bold Patterned Rooms in the 2015 New York Holiday House

    Some of the Holiday House 2015 rooms are a riot of color and pattern. Beautiful wall mirrors reflect vibrant wallpaper and bold patterned walls, while contrasting patterned fabric somehow works in these highly stylized spaces.

    I love the use of wild lighting. Art Deco inspired sconces can look like sculptural artwork and chandeliers look like glistening Christmas decorations. 

    Soothing and Sophisticated Rooms in New York City's Holiday House

    The neutral designed rooms, while calming, still evoke an energy from the genius use of custom furnishings.

    Again, light fixtures are thoroughly unique while modern furniture lightens the mood of the traditional architecture.

    Glamorous Home Decor Inspired by the Holidays from Lamps Plus

    1. I like the shimmering snowflake affect of the Massena sunburst wall mirror.

    2. The Jonathan Adler Sputnik light in antique brass glitters like a beautiful holiday ornament.

    3. The  cantilevered Zemo Diamond chair in teal velvet embraces the glamorous side to the 1970s.

    4. I think the Harlequin floor lamp in antique brass by Jonathan Adler embraces geometry in a stylish way.

    5. Create sparkle on your walls with the Hudson Valley Bari polished nickel wall sconce.

    Photos: Rikki Snyder for Houzz.

  • Creative Organizing Solutions

    Vintage wire storage baskets on top of a mantel

    With the new year fast approaching, this is the time to start to think about de-cluttering and rearranging and cleaning and organizing.


    There’s just something about January that brings out the organizer in all of us.


    But organizing doesn’t have to be a chore.


    Why not think outside the box a little and have some fun?


    Here’s a few creative organizing ideas to get you started.

    Scissor hooks used for ribbon storage



    1. Repurpose


    One of the easiest ways to creatively organize is to look at standard household items in a new way.


    Why not use an outdoor urn to store garden tools or a small hose or transform a bookcase into an office supply center?


    Even everyday items like these scissor hooks can be used as a creative ribbon hanger.

    Built-in dish storage with white dishware and wicker baskets


    2. Embellish


    Baskets are a great storage option for everything from extra dishes to paperwork.


    Make your basket storage one-of-a-kind by stitching on ribbons and buttons to the front of the container.


    Crates and storage ottomans are also fun items for organization projects.

    Striped foyer with sisal rug and wrought iron lantern-style chandelier


    3. Build it


    If you can’t find the perfect organization piece, why not build your own to meet your needs.


    Start with a simple piece of stained plywood, then attach baskets for front door organization.


    Store keys, papers, letters and even a spare umbrella for a sudden rain storm.

    Homemade shelving made from a crate


    4. Reuse


    Sometimes the simplest of household items makes a wonderful storage caddy.


    This pallet was used to package chairs and now serves as a mini-over-the-desk storage.


    Create shelving out of repurposed wood or cubbies out of drawers.


    Don’t start off 2016 with boring organization ideas.


    Instead, repurpose, reuse, embellish and build your way to an organized new year.


    Photo Credit: Thistlewood Farms

  • Vintage Loft Style

    A Rustic Urban Apartment

    The vintage loft style allows you to infuse traditional, open concept spaces with tremendous warmth.

    Greige Design featured a chic loft that embodies this vibe and is one that can easily be replicated for less than you think.

    While you may not have massive old beams from a warehouse, or soaring ceilings and windows, there are some tricks to achieve the look.

    Deeply Painted Walls that Partition and Warm up a Loft Space

    Partition spaces off to create cozy nooks or rooms. This can be done with simple drywall, bookshelves or screens. I love how these partition walls were painted off in a gray/black and fitted with classic picture lights that illuminate deeply hued walls as well as lighting the loft’s artwork.

    Classic Vintage Furniture in an Urban Loft Home

    Play up your bare wood floors, especially if you lack beams or paneling. This loft only uses sparse rugs to warm up the wood.

    Again, rooms have been partitioned, but this time with curtains. This is even easier and cheaper that the aforementioned ideas. Fabric works for a bedroom space or alcove as it can appear cozier and more feminine.

    A Commercial Looking Kitchen, Bath and Closet within a Loft

    Who needs fancy closet systems or kitchens? Vintage loft style embraces a slightly worn aesthetic and here it is in abundance.

    Old industrial pipes and rolling carts double as the closet system, while bare bones cabinets define the kitchen.

    There is a wonderful nod to industrial pendant lights that play off a simple white wall. Another way to add warmth to a loft can be seen in the bathroom. An old dresser has been converted into the sink vanity. It’s a great way to reuse furniture in new ways and create vintage functionality.

    Vintage Style Interior Furniture, Lighting and Accessories from Lamps Plus

    1. Top classic bookcases with the this bronze picture light from House of Troy for a library look.

    2. Add unexpected texture to a bathroom with a round mirror with a leather strap.

    3. I like how the Miles Havana leather club chair looks like something you find in your grandfathers office from the 1930s.

    4. A brass lamp like this adjustable pharmacy desk lamp is a timeless fixture for traditional spaces.

    5. Go urban loft with the Garryton oil-rubbed bronze pendant light.

    Photos: Greige Design.

  • The Mature Transitional Dining Room

    I am a huge fan of formal dining room design. A mature space for you to entertain guests over the holidays really speaks to a complete home. I can also be quite content with a tv dinner on the sofa in front of the TV, but having the option for intimate family gatherings in a grown-up space makes the evening that much more special.

    Transitional dining room in pale blues and creams

    Transitional dining room design feels fresh, modern and quite mature, which is the perfect blend for a space that is mostly styled and sometimes utilized.

    The dining room above from Cad Interiors is a stunning representation of a dining room that is chic and stylish but also approachable and functional.

    The space beautifully utilizes light blue as a color thread and weaves it throughout the design of the space with pops of creams, rich browns, pattern and texture.

    Fear not design lovers, we will show you exactly how to get the flawless look for your own home so you too can have the perfect transitional, mature dining room.

    Get the look of a transitional dining room with styles from Lamps Plus

    Laying the base for your space is of the utmost importance. A vintage-inspired rug like the Delaney blue and silver area rug with a traditional pattern creates a base for the beautiful set up.

    To contrast with the light and airy feel of the rug, a heavy, strong table adds weight and depth to the space. The Marbella trestle wood dining table with studded edges and geometric pedestals is a strong statement, yet the table is versatile enough to pair with transitional, softer elements.

    Mixing dining chairs is a great way to bring a fresh, fun look to your formal dining room. Larger head chairs grab attention while side chairs fill in the space.

    Starting with the head chairs, upholstered armchairs in a chambray blue linen bring in the color palette of the space while adding contemporary patterns and lines.

    Softer leather side chairs in cream perfectly compliment the head chairs by adding style while not detracting from the drama of the head chair.

    In a transitional space, streamlined lighting is key. Fixtures that are streamlined and simple like a classic drum shade chandelier or stylish glass pendant add additional layers of lighting without being too showy or loud. A white Rondin pendant draws the eye up in the best way.

    Accessorizing the space is so important because there is a need for styling but you don't want anything that is too modern or eclectic in a mature, transitional space.

    Pairing items creates beautiful symmetry and is very visually appealing. A pair of white matte striped glass vases overflowing with flowers add texture and height to the dining space.

    Mirroring the design from the table, a pair of  framed prints of dandelions complete the look.

    Image Source: Cad Interiors

December, 2015