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.

  • 4 Trends to Watch in 2016

    Naturally, trends come and go, and while some actually become lasting design standards they are all “hot” at some point and fun to consider. Here are four trends to watch.

    Trendy Lighting and Furniture from Lamps Plus

    1970s design is having a moment. Designer Kelly Wearstler started infusing this trend into her projects a few years back and it’s still going strong. While we may not love all of the clothes from this era, the shapes and aesthetic found in decorative items and furniture are great. 

    This Tuscan Gold Mid-Century ceramic table lamp captures the colors of the 1970s to a tee.

    Brass is the metal du jour and I love it. I was actually torn with what this trend should be. I originally thought the trend was metal lamp shades, but thought it really needed to be brass.

    Aged brass has visual weight and gravitas. It’s amazing on everything from bathroom fixtures to classic wall lights.

    Before I get too far down the road with this material, please make sure it’s not polished brass. While I would never stand between you and your chosen materials, it’s aged brass that is the trend!

    The Aiden Aged Brass Wall Sconce by lighting designer Robert Abbey is warm and would be perfect in a traditional living room, study, or powder room.

    Where has walnut been? Come hither! Throw it down on the floor or buy a chair made of the stuff, whatever you do, get it. The warmth of walnut is here to stay. The Lamps Plus Modern Mix section in the useful Shop by Trend area is a great place to see decorative items in this Mid Century style material.

    This brown upholstered club chair with walnut frame is as inviting as a piece of chocolate but with none of the guilt!

    I suppose acrylic styles could be part of the whole 1970s thing, but they really should stand on its own. The fact that this material can basically be turned into anything is reason enough to fall in love with it. Visually it takes up no space so is great for cramped quarters or for anybody who just likes beautiful furniture.

    The Port 68 Benton Gold Lucite Accent Table is genius. It’s glamorous, perfect as a pair in front of a sofa, and embodies the best of modern design.

  • Happy Memorial Day 2016!

  • Art Inspiration Series - Monet's Colorful Spring Gardens

    For my last installment of the art inspiration series we are hitting it hard with the master of the garden, Claude Monet. His depictions of gardens stemmed from his love of gardening himself  and the expressive, moving pieces he created are an easy inspiration point for interior design.

    Interiors, like fine art, balance color, composition and perception to create a visually pleasing final product. Using Monet's Water Lilies (1914-1915) as our inspiration today we get to dive into deep, rich colors and subtle, reflective surfaces as we use this piece for our home design inspiration.

    Monet's Water Lilies

    Some of Monet's most famous subjects were the now infamous water lilies he painted over and over again. They float freely with no constraints, appearing as being both present and reflections all at once. The deep, dark color palette magically intoxicating, with hints of bright, light pops.

    Creating this look in your home design means injecting rich hues, powerful color choices and soft lines. 

    Furniture, lighting and wall art inspired by Monet's Water Lilies from Lamps Plus

    True to Monet's piece, the major elements of your room should pack the most colorful, rich punch. A teal nailhead accent chair makes a strong statement in your room, while simultaneously being an approachable, comparable color. 

    The swirling aqua glass pendant light not only flows and floats like water, but the aqua color is so rich and vibrant. Beautiful glass pendant lights are an excellent way to bring a soft, flowing glow into a space.

    The faint hints of white and red flowers atop the lilies are small but utterly important. They inject contrast and depth to the image, and the same can be done for your interior design.

    Sophisticated mirrored wall sconces like the polished nickel double wall sconce hint at contrast while also having that reflective quality you see in Monet's piece. And the final addition of floral canvas wall art brings subtle, soft color contrast to your overall design.

    Be sure to check out my other posts from the Art Inspiration Series about Caillebotte's Colorful Spring Gardens and Parson's Colorful Spring Gardens

    Image Source: Allison Rosenberg

  • Lighting Up Your Outdoor Living Room

    I am a big believer in the idea that an outdoor patio space should be considered an outdoor room. A place where lazy summer days and warm summer nights are spent with family and friends. And that outdoor living room should be as comfortable and welcoming as any other room in your home. Complete with a sofa and comfy chairs and even outdoor floor lamps.

    Year round outdoor floor lamp glowing on patio
    All-weather outdoor floor lamps provide light of course, but they also bring a lot of charm and definitely make your outdoor living room feel more 'lived in'. If you aren't sure what the perfect type of outdoor floor lamp might be - I am sharing a few unique and fun ideas that you can find right here at Lamps Plus.

    Light Up the Night with a Tree

    Something fun that also provides a little light and definitely a lot of ambiance - how about this fun Cherry Blossom LED Tree?

    LED tree outdoor floor lamp
    Much easier to place this light on your patio than to spend hours stringing lights while on a ladder - and this one is easy to tuck in spots where you may not have a tree to light up.

    Bringing the Indoors OUT

    I am totally in love with lighting outdoors that makes it feel like your patio is a room - and the Phoebe Al Fresco Outdoor Floor Lamp from the Robert Abbey floor lamp collection does just that. The size and shape will make your patio feel like an outdoor oasis - and the shade is available in a variety of colors to match whatever style and color theme your patio has going on.

    Stately column outdoor floor lamp with coral shadeSun Powered

    Something that may be a concern for you when it comes to outdoor lighting - a lack of outdoor outlets. So in the case that you do not want to run oodles of extension cords from the house to your patio - think solar. Sun power is good - and it is definitely good for lighting up the patio with a bamboo look solar powered floor lamp.

    Bamboo look solar powered outdoor floor lamp
    And that very first lamp that I shared - that is the all year long Beach Outdoor Floor Lamp is a lamp that can withstand all kinds of weather - including rain and snow. And that definitely makes it a favorite for those open air patios and for enjoying year round.

    Year-round outdoor floor lamp with aluminum base

    No matter if your patio is covered or open to the stars - or if you have power available - there is an outdoor floor lamp that is perfect for you and your outdoor living room. Which one is your favorite?

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Art Inspiration Series - Parsons' Colorful Spring Gardens

    For the second piece in the Art inspiration series I chose a beautiful spring garden that has hints of both a spring and fall color palette.

    I love orange and salmon florals, and when I saw Alfred Parsons' piece Orange Lilies, Broadway, Worcestershire, c 1911, I knew immediately I wanted to take this piece and turn it into a beautiful interior design space

    Alfred Parsons' painting titled Orange Lilies, Broadway Worcestershire

    While this is clearly a beautiful, blooming spring garden,Parsons' color palette has a subtle sepia tone that feels both spring and fall at the same time. When translating this to home design, it means you can chose pieces that invoke a year round style.

    Bright orange hued flowers aren't a common sight, but they make a seriously wonderful visual impact against lush leaves and a bright blue sky. Playing on this contrast I created a living room that evokes fresh young growth as well as a timeless, classic garden palette.

    A Spring Garden Living Room with Style from Lamps Plus

    The contrast of the beautiful blue sky with the bright orange lilies immediately made me think of a graphic area rug. I was inspired by this beautiful Marrakesh Orange and Sky Blue Doormat that shows how colors that you wouldn't necessarily put together can compliment each other wonderfully. A rug with an unexpected color combination can become the statement piece in the room.

    Once we have decided that the rug makes the statement, a beautiful, neutral sofa builds upon the look. This Art Deco-inspired Cream Sofa is feminine and striking without competing with the graphic pattern of the area rug. The channel tufting mimics the layering lines of the petals amongst all the flowers in our inspiration image. Pair the sofa with a green shag throw pillow to bring in the presence of rich spring foliage.

    Finally, choosing a lighting option that fits in this interior garden scene is important. A soft yet structured fixture like the Planetarium Ceiling Light from Possini Euro imitates the movement of the clouds in our inspiration piece as well as the lines in the sofa. 

    Be sure to check out my previous post in the Art Inspiration Series about Caillebotte's Colorful Spring Gardens!

    Images: Allison Rosenberg

  • Styling A Modern Bath

    I’m a fan of a modern bathroom, even in an older home. Styling a modern bath is pretty easy and worth a splurge if you can swing it. Don’t forget, most bathrooms are small so the investment will generally not be too high, but the payoff huge.

    A Contemporary Bathroom with Modern Accents

    I went super subtle with this bathroom image. You are only able to tell it’s a bathroom through the reflection in the simple, contemporary mirror which reflects just a hint of glass from a shower. I think this highlights how bathrooms can be not only functional but chic.

    However, you can’t altogether forget functionality. Storage, surface space and light is still addressed here, but with a twist. The storage comes from a long sideboard and lighting through classic table lamps. I suppose this is a great idea if you rent and there are not enough hard wired lights in your existing space.

    Regardless, keep accents in your modern bath crisp and white and you can’t go wrong. 

    Clean and Simple Contemporary Bathroom Lighting and Accessories from Lamps Plus

    1. I love the simplicity of this polished chrome LED bath light which would be super chic in a tight spot.

    2. The futuristic lines of this textured white LED sconce by Sonneman would not only look great in a bathroom but would be very cool in a sleek hall.

    3. I’m starting to like the look of a table lamp on a powder room vanity and this Malibu Glossy White Table Lamp fits the bill. It’s like creating an old world dressing room vibe but re-imagined for today.

    4. Totally recreate the look of your bathroom with this glossy white vanity. The simple and clean lines define modern at its most basic level.

    5. I tried to find a similar mirror as in the room shot and I think this frameless rectangular beveled mirror could be the one. If there is no room for a medicine chest in your bath, you may want to consider this simple version.

    Image: Lamps Plus

  • Art Inspiration Series - Caillebotte's Colorful Spring Gardens

    When I heard about an art exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts in London that focused on spring garden depictions, I knew I had to visit. The pieces were so inspiring because of their bright colors, beautiful subject matter and stunning interpretations. 

    Some amazing artists were featured in the exhibit and I chose three of my favorites for an Art Inspiration Series taking these pieces and translating them into beautiful interior design that anyone can achieve in their own home. For the first installation we take a look at Gustave Caillebotte's Nasturtiums, 1892

    Gustave Caillebotte's Nasturiums painting in a carved gold picture frame

    Caillebotte's piece caught my eye because of the brilliant, pink background. It almost feels like pop art way before its time intermixed with soft, swirling floral features. The vines pop off the pink background and become the focal point. The soft pink background feels ethereal, and the little orange flowers add depth and contrast.

    When translating this into interior design, you have to make sure not to make too many bold color statements. Choosing the green color to make the statement with a beautiful fabric sofa and allowing the other colors to round out the accents makes this beautiful spring-inspired living room come together beautifully.

    Spring-inspired living room design scheme with styles from Lamps Plus

    Choosing your sofa first sets the stage for creating the rest of the room. This green velvet button tufted sofa is so striking, yet the velvet texture allows it to have the same soft feel as the vines in the painting.

    Contrasting the leaves in the piece are little stems that help to offset the power green color. Just the same, this jute and wool area rug lays a base for your design that is neutral yet still has depth and texture.

    There is no denying the importance of the pink background in our inspiration image. Hanging a detailed wall mirror against a white wall is unusual and interesting, just like our art piece. This pink bone inlay mirror is delicate yet full of intricacies.

    And in a final nod to a slight feel of early pop art in this piece, I decided to let the orange flowers translate into a funky orange owl table lamp. The lamp doesn't become a focal point, but rather adds an important layer to the overall color palette.

    Images: Allison Rosenberg

  • Bringing in a Water Feature with a Tiered Outdoor Fountain

    There is nothing like listening to the soft sound of water while enjoying an evening outdoors. Whether it is a trickle of water or a more robust running sound like a small creek - there is just something about a water feature in your yard that invites you to sit for awhile.

    Water dripping off a stone tiered fountain
    I have a huge love of serenity-bringing tiered outdoor fountains - and actually I have one in my backyard for adding that soft ambiance while sitting outdoors. It is something that we turn on and enjoy in the evenings while relaxing outdoors and even from inside the house, you can hear the soft trickling of the water through the windows.

    If you are revamping a garden area or just considering adding a new element to your garden or patio, I thought I would share a few of my favorite fountains for adding an abundance of charm to your backyard this season and for years to come.

    Stone Beauty

    The Browning Three-Tier Fountain is a perfect example of a traditional tiered outdoor fountain. Try placing it in a corner of a patio or terrace - or let it take center stage in either in the front or back of your house!

    Stone look tiered fountain

    Wall Fountain Love

    A lovely wall fountain is a perfect piece to bring big charm into a small garden space. They are easy to tuck in against the house or a fence and create a water feature to enjoy. I love the classic style of this wall fountain featuring a lion's head - the lion is a classic motif seen in outdoor fountains. 

    Traditional outdoor wall fountain featuring a lion's head spigot

    Go Big

    For big impact - go big. I am in love with over-sized fountains that really make a statement with their sheer size like this Montreux Fountain that is 36" wide.

    Large round fountain in garden near brick wall
    Tuck it In

    For a fountain that is easy to tuck right into a spot in your flower beds, or maybe to welcome guests as they make their way to the front door - a smaller scale fountain that is big on style is perfect. I love this Patella Three-Tier Fountain and the huge amount of details it has in the pineapple finial.

    Pineapple topped tiered water fountain in garden bed
    Whatever size or style of the one that catches your eye - adding a water feature with a tiered outdoor fountain is a perfect way to add an abundance of charm and style and ambiance to your yard. Do you have a favorite?

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • Outdoor Fire Pits for Every Style

    If you're on the hunt for the quickest and easiest update to your outdoor space for the warmer months, look no further than an outdoor fire pit.

    Whether or not you need it, a fire pit serves so many purposes to elevate your space. It creates a focal point and anchor for your outdoor furniture. It adds glowing light without having to wire any lighting. It also adds warmth if the night breezes act up. And finally, it's a great conversation point and perfect for that spontaneous marshmallow roasting moment.

    Here we take a look at wood-burning or gas outdoor fire pits for every style, and show you how to incorporate each into your backyard.

    Steel outdoor fire pit with copper ring on a stone patio


    This contemporary outdoor fire pit is a classic mix of texture with simple lines that are interesting but not overwhelming. The Steel Fire Pit with a Copper Ring can be mixed in seamlessly with any existing rattan patio furniture set for a flawless look. The contrasting copper ring gives the fire pit character while still staying contemporary and classic.

    Indoor-outdoor fire column with a clear glass flame protector


    If you like a more modern look, look no further than the streamlined Modesto Fire Column. Glass is an important factor in any modern fire pit; it adds an ethereal, floating element to the fire pit that is so common amongst modern design. The strong concrete base is powerful yet extremely minimal, the perfect combination for your modern outdoor design.

    Outdoor fire pit in a rustic kettle design in a garden setting


    The Durango Natural Clay Outdoor Fire Pit adorned with wildlife shapes is perfect for your wooded cabin. A nature lover's backyard wouldn't be complete until this compact fire pit becomes part of the permanent design. It mixes together rustic materials, animal motifs and an approachable size and shape that all add up to one super-cute conversation starter.

    Black steel standing outdoor fire pit on stone patio with faux wicker furniture


    For the traditionalist, this Monticello Black Steel Fire Pit is everything you've been looking for. From the classically traditional materials to the multi-use functionality, it adds a major wow factor to your outdoor design. The all black steel compliments any outdoor furniture, and will age extremely well, allowing you to enjoy this outdoor fire pit for years to come.

    Cast iron fire pit on pool deck


    For the vintage lovers out there, a fire pit that has character, retro lines and style is a must. This Cast Iron Outdoor Fire Pit is not distinctively from a particular era, but rather evokes a flea market, found sentiment. The bowl shape of the pit is minimal and unfussy, while the thin, curving frame has mid-century character.

    Which outdoor fire pit suits you best?

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Quick and Modern Decor Updates

    As they say, the devil is in the details and if you want your details to shine there are quick and modern decor updates that you can do to create an entirely new look in your home.

    A Contemporary Living Room with Modern Accents

    This vignette caught my eye. At first it was the fabulous lamp that seemed to steal the show and then I picked up on the decorative objects as a whole that completed the look to this room. If a full redecoration to your home is out of the question, the right modern decor, well placed, will give you and your home a little lift.

    Modern and colorful table lamps in conjunction with freshly painted walls may be the perfect tonic for a quick fix.

    Another quick and easy design fix is hanging a modern wall mirror over a fireplace or in a hall. Mirrors are generally cheaper than art, will reflect light and can introduce architectural interest if the frame is dynamic. All in all, well chosen decorative items can truly revive the tired.

    Modern Lighting and Interior Accessories from Lamps Plus

    1. The sensuous lines of this brass ceramic table lamp makes it ideal to use on nightstands in the bedroom or in a dark library where the brass will pop.

    2. Add pizzazz over your fireplace with the Vector Antiqued Gold Openwork Wall Mirror.

    3. The modern lines of this rectangular white marble lidded box will add some updated Deco style to a front hall table, dressing table or coffee table.

    4. I love the geometry of this mirrored gold accent table by Newco.

    5. These faux branch gold leaf candle holders by Uttermost would add visual interest on a mantle or coffee table.

    Image: Lamps Plus

May, 2016