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.

  • Inspired by London - Old World Decor

    Images of London architecture

    Who said that London in the winter time was gloomy and grey?! 

    Having the opportunity to spend some time in London recently has really opened my eyes to just how beautiful architectural details and elements can be. While our country has gorgeous architectural history, there is no comparison with structures that have outlasted over 500 years and still stand proud and tall today.

    I have been so inspired by these aged, Gothic buildings with their ornate accents and extreme attention paid to detail. I have rounded up some furniture pieces from Lamps Plus that I think would capture the essence of this old world style but still be relatable to today.

    Brick red oriental-inspired area rug

    As you can clearly see above, brick buildings are very prominent in London. We rarely see them anymore in California because of earthquakes, so my eye has been drawn to these wonderful red beauties. I think the brick red color is regal and warm and exudes classic age.

    A traditional brick red wool area rug captures the essence of an old brick building, while still having the capability to be paired with contemporary furniture.

    Ornately carved oak trestle dining table

    Detail, detail, detail. Every inch of these antique buildings has been meticulously thought out, so they appear grander than life, from the steeples of the abbeys right down to street level, and the more flourish the better.

    One place in the home where I think a little extra flourish can go a long way is in the dining room, which naturally is a more formal room in your house. With an oak trestle dining table like the one above, you make a grand statement that is ripe with detail and design.

    Wood carved barrel back chair with chartreuse tufted upholstery

    Beautiful brightly colored interiors perfectly pair with the ornate exteriors of these old buildings. Hundreds of years ago no one could imagine all white walls and ceilings, the more color the better! Vibrant Old World decor is stunning to look at and they style translates very well into contemporary design sensibilities.

    Pieces like this lemon upholstered accent chair or beautiful decorative pillows and accessories in bright pops of color can work in just about any setting.

    Traditional crystal chandelier with crystal pendants and bobeches

    Last but certainly not least, stunning crystal chandeliers have been a staple of design and are not going anywhere any time soon. These gorgeous, striking fixtures cascade light and twinkle amongst the decadence, making them the perfect element to complete the old world space.

    This Schonbek crystal chandelier will melt the hearts of anyone who comes across it.

    What are your thoughts on Old World decor? Is it a style you can see yourself adopting for your interiors?

    Image Sources: Allison Rosenberg 

  • A Perfect Bar Stool

    vintage style wood stool with flowers in kitchen

    Is there such a thing as a perfect bar stool?

    Most definitely.

    I will admit that I was a little bar stool-afraid a few years ago. We have an island in our kitchen and we needed an area for guests to plop down and visit while working but it seemed every bar stool I found wasn't quite right. In size, style, or finish.

    But when I found these two styles I knew that I had winners with both. And guess what - I use them both all the time.

    Vintage style wood stool in kitchen

    The backless stool fits just perfectly as an extra place to prop your foot on while working, while the French-style caned bar stools add the charm and a spot to sit at the island.

    Cane back barstool at kitchen islandSo how do you choose which one is right for you and your space?

    Think about how you will use it. Every day? On occasion?

    Do you use the computer in the kitchen, or watch television while prepping food? Do you want a backless bar stool or one with a back?

    And what look you like - a bar stool that stands out, or one that fits in without taking center stage?  All things to consider when choosing the perfect one for you.

    I am sharing my top 3 in both styles of bar stools today and you can find them all right here at Lamps Plus.

    Simple Vintage - When you want something that is there when you need it but that doesn't take up a lot of visual space - a low and simple style, like this hammered bronze bar stool is ideal.

    vintage style backless barstool with hammered bronze finish
    Classic in Form and backless at the same time? Yes please. These cream-colored backless bar stools have definite details that say elegant but are a smaller size that will fit most spaces perfectly.

    Cream barstool with traditional detailand another favorite classic style that I love...

    Classic lines and simple upholstery - I love that these beige linen bar stools will blend perfectly with more elegant and simpler style kitchens.

    Wood barstool in a medium finish with linen seat and nail head trim

    But what about a bar stool with a back?

    Bar stools with backs are generally thought to be more comfortable for long conversations and relaxing while in the kitchen, and some like to have bar stools play a much bigger part in the decor. Then these might be perfect for you.

    Classic Louis style with a modern twist in croc upholstery. Love. This is much like the style I chose for our island- but with a modern twist.

    Barstool in the classic Louis style with faux croc leather seat and back

    Something more modern and that seem to float in your space?

    Acrylic bar stools are classic vintage-modern - and without a lot of structure with metal and framing for their backs - they will take up much less "visual' space". 

    These Chloe bar stools are perfect to get the look.

    modern acrylic and chrome barstools

    And though they might not fit every space, I am loving the light and beachy vibe with these bamboo bar stools. 

    And better yet - bamboo construction is a classic look - so these Hillsdale Islands stools would be beautiful from the back as well.

    Traditional bamboo barstool with swivelWhat about you? Do you have a favorite?

    Shop for many more bar stool style, size and color options at Lamps Plus and make your bar stool dreams come true.

    Image sources: The French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • Get the Look: Lake Bell’s Living Room

    Lake Bell at the Fireplace in her Stylish Living Room

    How would you like to play "Get the Look"? Lake Bell’s living room is the perfect place to start. Eclectic wonderment abounds, yet it has elements and items that many of us already have which could make your personal transformation much cheaper and easier to achieve. featured Bell’s home and I instantly felt it was a great home to emulate as it has style but is not precious nor appear too fancy. Needless to say, Lake Bell’s beauty mirrors the beauty in which she lives.

    Shopping Lamps Plus' Shop by Room may also spark the design bug and get your creative juices flowing.

    Lake Bell's Eclectic and Chic Living Room

    To begin with, there are interesting architectural elements that make the space unique. However, strip away the moldings and beams and you basically have a warm, white box. Visual interest comes in the form of interesting pattern, a wide selection of furniture and mismatched lighting styles.

    Classic table lamps share the room with a 1970s inspired arc floor lamp and outdoor wall lights in a classic Nantucket design.

    Pops of color keeps the room playful. I especially like the tufted blue chair and bold green pillows that enliven the overall space as well as the neutral sofa-a sofa type that most of us already have!

    Jacobean style table legs live harmoniously with a Moroccan style side table all the while being enveloped by mod-patterned curtains.

    If somebody tried to describe what they were planning to do I would have thought the plan outrageous. As I see it here today, I am awed.

    Here are some items to help you get the look above.

    Lighting and Home Accessories that Captures the Look of Lake Bell's Living Room from Lamps Plus

    1. Like Lake Bell’s fireplace sconces, choosing an outdoor wall light , like this outdoor wall light from the Nantucket collection, indoors is a daring design choice, and one that works.

    2. I love the pop of color that you can create with this moss velvet throw pillow by Howard Elliott.

    3. A dark mahogany wall mirror will stand out and reflect light around the room regardless of whatever style room you prefer.

    4. I like using an arc floor lamp when there is no ability to install a ceiling light. The Murrillo matte white adjustable version is a great option.

    5. A blue tufted chair, like the Maxwell Lillian tufted armchair has visual energy and spices up a monochromatic room.

    6. An ivory ceramic table lamp is timeless and adds texture especially if the surface is rough hewn, like the Isabella lamp.

    Photography: Claiborne Swanson Frank,

  • 5 Easy Kitchen Update Ideas

    Glass and chrome pendant lights in an all-white kitchen with French bistro-style bar stools

    Is your kitchen looking dated, but a full renovation isn’t exactly in the budget? It is possible to shake things up a bit in your kitchen without breaking the bank.

    Here are 5 ideas for a quick kitchen update:

    Change the Lighting

    A great way to update the look of your kitchen is to swap out the lighting. With the wide range of styles in home lighting today, you can be adventurous with your choices. For example, the fun pendant lights in the kitchen below below look like the type of lighting you would typically see in an entryway - but look right at home over the kitchen island.

    Geometric pendant lights in a contemporary kitchen with marble backsplash

    Change Your Barstools

    In addition to new lighting, changing out your bar stools will bring a breath of fresh air into your kitchen. There are many stand-out styles of bar stools out there and you can choose to keep to the original design of the kitchen or mix it up and choose a stool that is a bit more unexpected, like a modern wire bar stool in a more traditional style kitchen.

    Globe pendants over a kitchen island with leather and brass bar stools

    Add a Rug or a Runner

    Bring color and texture into your kitchen with either a colorful or neutral indoor area rug (depending on your style) or a narrow runner rug. Kitchens are so full of hard edges and surfaces that the addition of a little softness offers a lovely contrast.

    Geometric pendant light in a kitchen featuring modern bar stools and an oriental runner rug

    Paint the Cabinets

    A little paint goes a long way when it comes to changing the look of your kitchen. It’s becoming very popular to have the upper cabinets a different color or finish than the lower cabinets and it brings a nice bit of contrast to the design.

    If you’re feeling bold, go all out with a bright color on both the upper and lower cabinets like this kitchen with bright coral cabinets and contrasting molding.

    Kitchens with painted cabinets

    Take Off the Cabinet Doors

    Open shelving in kitchens has steadily been gaining popularity over the last few years. Rather than tearing out your current built-in cabinets to achieve this look, try taking the doors off instead. A little trim applied to the front of the cabinets will cover up the holes left by the hinges and you’re good to go.

    In this kitchen, the backs and insides of the cabinet were painted a brilliant teal color to provide some contrast in an all-white kitchen.

    Coastal-style kitchen with teal paint on inside of cabinets
    Have you recently given your kitchen a little facelift? How did you do it? Did you swap out the lighting or use any of the kitchen update tricks mentioned above? Give me the scoop in a comment below.

    Image sources: Photos 1-4, Domino ; Apartment Therapy; Domino; Coastal Living

  • Undecorating Your Home

    A Minimalist Bedroom

    After the abundance of holiday decorating, you may want to consider undecorating your home. In other words, why not think about a minimalist approach to the look and design of your space.

    If you are like me after the month long bombardment of evergreen swags, holiday cards tumbling off the mantle and nutcrackers on every tabletop, I yearn for the uncluttered and clean. Perusing Remodelista slowed my heart rate and inspired this very post.

    Traditional Homes with Modern Interior Decor

    I love convincing people that they can have a clean and minimal space even in a traditional home. These images show how it can be accomplished.

    Clean white walls will automatically make things feel fresh and modern. Unadorned stone and wood walls, if left alone can look almost industrial.

    Keep lighting simple, like contemporary pendant lights, or bare bulb fixtures to really stay monastic! 

    Minimalist Homes with Warm and Richly Hued Surfaces

    Many people fear that an un-decorated or minimalist house can feel cold. Here I have shown that is simply not true. Deeply saturated hues like chocolate or black can warm-up a room, and if left alone, still appear clean and modern.

    Whether you mix in mid-century pieces or even arts and crafts, as long as you don’t over-adorn, you can create the serenity you crave. I ask you, besides a functional desk lamp and a book, what else does your nightstand need? 

    Here are some ideas for creating simplicity among the chaos.

    Lighting and Decor for the Undecorated Home from Lamps Plus

    1. This clamp-on desk lamp in white metal is all your desk or nightstand really needs.

    2. Keep your dining room fresh and modern with this wire chrome dining chair by Zuo.

    3. The Klohe oil rubbed bronze LED globe pendant by Feiss will pop against simple white dining room walls.

    4. A polished nickel floor lamp by Robert Abbey is all any club chair could want.

    5. Mix in a mid century piece like this bronze patina oval end table to add warmth to a minimalist room.

    Photos: Remodelista.

  • Chic and Functional Nightstand Styling

    Mirrored nightstand and wood table lamp next to bed with white tufted upholstered headboard

    If the windows are the eyes to the soul of your home, your nightstands could be considered the hands of your bedroom. Once you slip into bed you want all essentials within arms reach, and easily accessible for whatever may come up over the course of the next eight hours.

    Your nightstand primarily needs to be functional, but lets face it, we can also strive for uber stylish and chic while we are at it, like the one above from Style Me Pretty.

    Here we are going to show you how, with any personal aesthetic, you can style a functional, but more importantly, chic nightstand in your own home.

    Vintage-style bedroom with swing arm wall lamp


    If you have patience to sift through your local flea market, this nightstand look can be yours! Beautiful antique furniture and vintage art and collectables stack the side of this bedroom from Ginger Snapped.

    While it seems like there are a lot of individual items stacked on top of the nightstand, they are very organized, leaving enough room for a glass or water, a book and your cellphone to fit comfortably.

    And cleverly, the bedside lighting has been mounted to the wall so you can still read in bed without taking up too much space on your nightstand.

    Beautiful transitional bedroom with white wooden nightstand and brass and glass adjustable table lamp


    When your life revolves around styling and fashion, of course you are going to need elements of these things within arms reach at all times, even while you sleep.

    This super stylish nightstand from The Everygirl mixes fashion with function and adds in a heavy dash of interior design.

    Again, organization helps this bedside table to maintain its function with baskets and separate stacks of odds and ends rather than a miss-mosh of things.

    Black nightstand with silver table lamp with a square black shade in front of a gallery wall


    High contrast, like this nightstand vignette from Birch & Lily, can really make a powerful design statement in your bedroom.

    Making a statement with beautiful nightstands in a dark, glossy finish allows the room to feel bold and graphic and very high design. Paired with a white gallery wall, the photos pop against the black furniture, creating a cool and hip space.

    Feminine bedroom with pink glass table lamp on top of a white nightstand and upholstered gray wingback headboard


    If you have a feminine design sensibility, then you definitely need some pink at your bedside.

    Stylish pink table lamps add a major pop of girly color to your already very feminine bedroom in the most perfect way.

    Just like this image from The Decorista, if you make one big statement, have the other elements of your nightstand compliment it rather than fight it.

    Glam bedroom with modern crystal chandelier and mirrored nightstand with glass table lamp


    For the modern bedroom, like this one from Casa e Decor, its necessary that all the elements of the room be impeccable in style and design.

    One way to achieve this is with monochromatic coloring and mirror or glass accents that bounce off the light without attracting too much attention to one particular element.

    Pairing this striking mirrored nightstand with a sophisticated glass table lamp achieves a look that is soft yet mature all at once.

    Bohemian bedroom with single bulb modern pendant and lace curtains


    For all the quirky designers our there, this bedroom from Nicety mixes and matches to create an eclectic oasis.

    Repurposing vintage luggage, mounting a brightly painted shadow box and dangling a single bulb from the ceiling - this bedroom has so much going on, yet it all seems to work together in the best way.

    When going for this look don't forget that lots of color and texture work in your favor, and really push the boundaries of what you select. With the right eye, just about anything can be beautiful.

    Images: Style Me Pretty, Ginger Snapped, The Everygirl, Birch & Lily, The Decorista, Casa e Decor, Nicety

  • Lighting Up Your Bathroom Part 2

    In my latest post about bathroom lighting we chatted about sconces and some ideas for pretty lights around mirrors and above the sink. But there is much more to lighting up the bathroom than just that.

    crystal bathroom lighting with a traditional interior
    Bathroom lighting is key to making that small mostly utilitarian space beautiful. And the type of lighting you choose speaks volumes about the style of the space and adds an extra sprinkling of charm.

    From glam looks with crystal fixtures:

    Luxurious cut crystal ceiling light
    to vintage modern with a galvanized metal close to ceiling light:

    Industrial style galvanized metal ceiling light
    to something a little over the top like a chandelier:

    Bathroom with French toile wallpaper and a crystal chandelier

    When choosing new bathroom lighting, think of the style of your room and whether you want that light to be a focal point or merely something that 'works' by lighting up the space.

    A traditional bathroom with gray marble subway tile and crystal flushmount light fixture

    In our bathroom we chose an admittedly over the top chandelier for the space.The high ceilings and white plank boards begged for something a little elegant to mix with that rustic look.

    But if you don't have high ceilings or a love of extra bling like I do- there are still many wonderful bathroom ceiling lights to choose from.

    Here are 5 favorites that you can use to add style your bathroom right now:

    A Schoolhouse fixture- classic and simple in style:

    A schoolhouse-style close to ceiling light with etched opal glass
    A contemporary quatrefoil fixture, like this aged brass ceiling light from Hudson Valley (Style #5H073),  screams on-trend:

    Quatrefoil shaped close to ceiling light with opal glass and aged brass finish
    Love the bling? Loving this crystal option (Style#V8813) from Crystorama:

    Chrome finish flushmount fixture with drop crystals
    Something like this crystal ceiling light in a blush finish  with a vintage vibe that looks like it came right from a flea market?:

    French flea market-style chandelier/flushmount light with crystals in a blush pink finishOr something luxurious and classic - this is a favorite of mine:

    Glam black and gold close to ceiling light from Mary McDonald

    No matter what your style is, there are a ton of options to choose from when looking for the perfect flushmount light for your space. And with so many colors and types- you don't have to sacrifice style in order to have an abundance of light in the bathroom.

    For more bathroom lighting tips, read Lighting Up the Bathroom with Bathroom Vanity Lighting.

    Image Source: The French Country Cottage and Lamps Plus

  • Bohemian Dining Room Design

    A Comfortable Organic Style Dining Room

    Tired of playing by the rules and polishing grandma’s silver? Bohemian dining room design might be the perfect direction to take your dining space if you are thinking of a 2.0 for the family gathering spot.

    Images on My Domaine always tend to be trendy, on-point and make me feel like there is so much more I could be doing with my own home. Thus, pictures of bohemian dining rooms caught my eye and are making me question my more traditional dining room.

    Natural Wood Dining Room Furniture

    Without question, the bohemian dining room is casual, eclectic and whimsical...very un-Downton Abbey. A good way to look at this style is that the bohemian embraces organic as well as mismatched materials to create a cohesive space. There is no lack of comfort as is evidenced in the soft throws, warm woods and varied plant life.

    Novel lighting is another key component of  bohemian dining room design. Playful chandeliers become focal points and are just as interesting as the classic crystal variety found in a standard dining room design.

    Dining Rooms with Eclectic Art

    Bohemian dining spaces can also exhibit a depth of interest not found in a more conventional space. Mixing artwork from a variety of mediums works well. Also, combining different styles of unique dining chairs adds to the visual interest.

    I spied a common thread in these rooms, no pun intended, which are the colorful rugs on the floor. Bold patterns enliven monochromatic walls and are oh so forgiving in spaces where we eat, spill and live life.

    Exotic and Organic Style Lighting and Accessories from Lamps Plus

    1. I love sophisticated Hippie look of this “Rockstar” gold and agate wall sconce.

    2. Embrace earth elements with the rattan metal pendant light (Style #3K836) by Lite Source.

    3. Incorporate lighting that evokes world travel like this exotic black pendant.

    4. The Wishbone chair is already becoming a casual classic dining room fixture.

    5. Breathing some nature into the dining room is key like with this faux Yucca tree.

    6. An area rug like this paprika colored wool rug (Style #5N619) will add a touch of old world Middle Eastern flair underfoot.

    Photos: My Domaine.

  • Get the Look - Dreamy Home Office

    Do you want to freshen up your home office in the new year? Having a clean, organized workspace at home can make it easier to get stuff done efficiently.

    One of the best ways to create a clean feeling, organized home office is to keep to a very simple color palette. Take time selecting furniture and lighting that compliment each other and are the right size without being too big or bulky. Sticking with white and cream tones can always feel fresh and clean, inspiring you to get work done in a space that makes you feel calm and inspires you.

    A serene home office design with a palette of cream and white

    The beautiful home office above from Home Bunch is a perfect example of a neutral creamy color palette that is contemporary, clean and inspiring. When sticking with a neutral white and cream palette make sure you add depth and layers with patterns and textures so the space doesn't feel flat and sterile. 

    When you create a workspace that also feels so serene, it's easy to spend time in a space that serves double duty as home office and calm hideaway.

    Want to create this look in your home? Here are some quick and easy ways to get the look for your own home below:

    Get the look of a dreamy home office with these styles from Lamps Plus

    Starting with a beautiful, neutral graphic rug gives a big visual impact without distraction. A grey and ivory wool Dhurrie rug is the perfect base to build your dreamy home office on.

    A vintage-inspired white desk with drawer storage has interesting lines and accents and holds it's own floating in the center of the room.

    Pair this classic desk with a more minimal upholstered swivel office chair that is comfortable enough to sit in for long periods of time. A comfortable office chair can make working at your desk a joy rather than a choir.

    Accent lighting in your home office is so important in order to get work done. Overhead, a large polished nickel pendant casts bright light directly over the desk, providing ample lighting any time of day.

    Once the work is done, using accent lighting can make the mood more intimate and relaxing. Classic glass table lamps and ceramic lamps are beautiful yet subtle, and this white ceramic buffet lamp pairs perfectly with the rest of the pieces in the room.

    Once the work is done, having a comfortable place relax and unwind is definitely necessary. A pair of gray upholstered armchairs completes the space visually and provides additional seating for guests or simply for relaxing.

    Image Source: Home Bunch

  • Decorating Halls and Landings

    A Simple but Elegant Stairwell with Classic Architectural Details

    Decorating halls and landings should be addressed the same way you design your primary rooms, with thought and style. You may be tempted to think that halls, foyers and landings are too weirdly shaped to bother with, but that could actually be the reason you should add some pizzazz and be daring.

    Lonny had an entire section of images dedicated to decorating halls. So, if Lonny thinks they merit a shout out, shouldn’t you? If your halls don’t have fabulous architectural details like the one above, please read on.

    Chic Black and White Halls and Landings

    The black and white hall can be so much more than the decorative equivalent to music’s Ebony and Ivory. A simple color palette can be freeing and offer you a wonderful backdrop for black and white photography and simple lighting like the trendy globe pendant above or sleek flush mount lighting if your ceilings are low.

    Modern Hallways with Contemporary Art and Lighting

    Modern homes with stark architectural halls do not need to be warmed up. Embrace the simplicity! I love how those cylinder pendants echo the modern lines of the landing in the lower image and how boxy framed art mirrors the square lines of the walls.

    Bold Halls Decorated with Wallpaper, Bold Painting and Stylish Lights

    For those of you who are a touch more daring, halls are a great place to go “all out.” Wild painting techniques, wallpaper or mirrors can truly create a wow factor.

    I love the wide array of lighting in these halls. From elegant sconces and retro pendants to a decorative picture light, your choices can be limitless and should be visually bold.

    Here are some ideas for adding style to the often neglected hallway.

    Designer Lighting and Accessories to Refresh Halls, Foyers and Landings  from Lamps Plus

    1. Add visual interest to a hallway floor with the wool Kaleen Nomad Area Rug.

    2. I like the Hudson Valley Chandler Ceiling Light in Nickel for halls with low ceilings.

    3. The Lambert Polished Nickel Mini Pendant by Hudson Valley is crisp and On-point for landings or stairwells.

    4. Narrow halls and landings could use a demi-lune table like the black demilune with a mirrored top.

    5. Long halls need ample lighting in ceilings and on walls like the traditional Hudson Valley Abington Wall Sconce in polished nickel.

    Photos: Lonny.

January, 2016