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I was lucky enough to visit Ireland not too long ago and get priceless lesson in classic Irish Country House style. It’s really no different than what you might find in an English country house, but this manor was smack in the middle of the Emerald Isle.
While these images make the house feel like Downton Abbey, I was struck how the house, though large, seems intimate, and I think that is because of the furniture and decor.
The classic carpets immediately warm-up the spaces, and deeply colored and heavily upholstered furniture makes the rooms cozy.
As you can see there is an abundance of table lamps with warm shades, timeless crystal chandeliers and traditional floor lamps bellied up to welcoming arm chairs.
Velvets and silks share space with tapestry and gold. A true melange of decor that reinforces the notion that Irish Country House style homes on this grand scale may have been in a single family for generations, each adding their own mark on the manor. This was truly a decadent yet welcoming estate.
1. This gold wrought iron wall sconce would add sophistication and atmosphere to a formal dining or living room.
2. I love the idea of putting this an embroidered decorative pillow on a slipper chair, or to anchor the center of a sofa with either solid or geometric decorative pillows on either end.
3. Create instant old world elegance with the clear crystal 8-Light chrome chandelier by Genovo.
4. Nothing will make a den, library or living room look more homey than this antique style brass floor lamp.
5. This velvet berry colored tufted accent chair has a rich hue like the soft seating in the country house images above. A perfect place to perch by a fire or read a book.
6. Every country house seems to have some touch of Chinoiserie like the Famille Scalloped Porcelain Table Lamp.
Photos: Rob Levine
Guess what I haven’t discussed in a very long time? Earth tone design! It seems like there is so much happening in design these days that we forget about revisiting classic decoration that appeals to the largest amount of people.
I think we have been so focused on gray, which I still love, that earth tone colors have been neglected. Is beige the new Cinderella? I hope not, because I always feel a neutral room is calming, relaxing and stands the test of time. I think most people gravitate to earth tone hues because it’s safe. I would agree, but these tones can be nuanced, textural and elegant.
Placing an area rug with an earth tone on wood floors will add instant warmth and the simple act of putting a neutral linen replacement shade on an old lamp will introduce a new texture to the space. Also, a warm-tone lamp shade will soften harsh lamp light, especially if you had bright white.
The living room above shows how to mix and match earth tone colors and textures so that your eye stays interested. Notice the balance of wood, linen, wood and fur? It just doesn’t get better than that.
Here are 5 earth tone designs that are sure to inspire.
1. This taupe ceramic table lamp by Jamie Young reminds me of the simplicity of a desert landscape.
2. The diamond patterned beige leather pillow by Nourison will add a unique texture to a simple sofa or bed. Whoever said beige was boring never saw this design gem.
3. I love this beige polished stone mini pendant for over a kitchen island or bar. It would work with simple white cabinetry or a dark walnut. Voila, the versatility of earth tones.
4. I get a Malibu vibe whenever I see this distressed oak wood side table. It has a classic beach feel and pairs beautifully with simple white slipcovered furniture.
5. This jute and wool, beige and ivory area rug is a classic casual floor covering. It can be dressed up or down and looks great when layered with a wool or cotton rug on top of it. Think of it as the perfect base to start layering your room.
As a designer I am always looking for reasons to redesign my own spaces, including bathrooms. I know, it’s a problem, but better bathrooms than kitchens, right? Here are tips to create a classic bath.
Let’s say you have a basic bathroom that includes the standard tub/shower combo which means it’s not too large. If that’s the case, think mirrors. Mirrors in all forms will expand the visual footprint of the bathroom and also offer you functional surfaces for getting ready.
Classic bathroom mirrors are not very expensive and cover a good amount of wall space, which means you won’t need to fret about the cost of paint or wallpaper.
Mirrors can also be an integrated part of the design of your sink vanities as seen in the round-up image above. It’s a nod to Hollywood, don’t you think? Assuming that was on your design list of things to do.
Another small way to introduce mirror is through lighting. Beautiful mirrored wall sconces, pendants and bath bars can add a zing of shimmer which is always welcome. I’m also having an antiqued mirror moment...if you couldn’t tell from the wall sconce above. Shhhh.
1. This polished nickel LED bath bar is a subtle way to add classic style above a mirror.
2. The brushed nickel wall mirror by Kichler is a modern interpretation of a traditional mirror. The chrome makes it pop and the double-frame adds interest.
3. I’m in love with the Coolidge 3-light ribbed glass pendant by Hudson Valley. The design is a new take on vintage lighting. I want this everywhere including halls and over kitchen islands.
4. Are you forcing me to express my love for antiqued mirror again? Fine, the Lowell Polished Nickel Sconce by Hudson Valley has just been added to my Christmas Card list.
5. Va Va Voom describes the chic mirrored Camille Sink Vanity with a silver finish.
Looking for a little pop of pink in your room? Maybe something oh so barely blushing to bring a sprinkling of romantic charm? Or maybe a walk on the wild side with a burst of color in bold pink?Pink isn't just for little girls rooms anymore. From electric pink to flamingo pink to barely there pink - those pretty shades have moved on into the beautiful for any age and any style category.
And better yet, it is on trend and classic at the same time - which make pink table lamps a perfect choice - and those rosy shades are sure to add a touch of warmth to your room.
With something like a classic Dale Tiffany Downbridge Desk Lamp in pink or with something a little more bold for a touch of whimsy.
Today, I am going to share some of the most beautiful shades in pink table lamps - starting with blush, which is my favorite. Blush is subtle and warm without being too sweet or overpowering in tone. It mixes with other colors easily and definitely adds charm to a room.This gorgeous Diamond Abbey Lane Table Lamp in blush pink has a white shade to keep it from being too sweet - and a very on trend simple design. Which makes it perfect for living rooms and bedrooms.Another subtle beauty is this gorgeous girl - Vapor Medium Pink Ombre Table Lamp from Jamie Young. It feels so elegant and sophisticated with that touch of gold - and soft and romantic at the same time. I can definitely see this one on the nightstand in the bedroom.
Probably my absolute favorite in the blush category- this barely blushing Annika Table Lamp from Mary McDonald.
This lamp has the perfect color- and a simple classic styling. Add in the blush gold lined shade and it is absolutely gorgeous. But what about if you want something with a bit more pizzazz? Maybe a pop of bold and beautiful to stand out and make a statement. Like this Ovo Table Lamp in the shade Vivacious with a pink giclee lamp shade in the pattern Aviary.This table lamp base from the Color Plus collection has so many options in shades of pink. and shade options to - from a simple white shade, to stripes to damask - you choose the flavor and shape you would like to bring in.For something on the smaller, yet no less bold and beautiful side - choose something like this Fuchsia Apothecary Table Lamp.
The Apothecary Table Lamp is another one that has shade options that really let you customize it - and I love the classic simple base it has. For on trend styling - this Robert Abbey Harvey Schiaparelli Table Lamp is perfection.
And for double the impact - choose a pair of bold beauties like this Set of 2 Steel Droplet Accent Lamps in fuchsia. Paired with white or gray - they are a perfect finishing touch.
Whatever your favorite shade of pink might be - there is a lamp at Lamps Plus that will be the perfect compliment to your bold and beautiful or more subtle style.
You can browse the huge selection of pink table lamps here - and don't forget to use Color Plus' Shop by Product tool to find your perfect shade to go along with your perfect lamp.
Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus
'Tis the season for hosting outdoor dinner parties! I can't think of a better way to enjoy a balmy summer night with family and friends than dining under the stars.
To make your dinner party a memorable one, create a unique setup that is both festive and magical. A setting like the one above will make your guests want to linger, talk and laugh over glasses of wine long after the dessert has been cleared.
Here are the elements you'll need to create a beautiful outdoor dinner party that is brimming with ambiance:
First and foremost, a stylish outdoor dining set is in order, your guests need a place to sit, right? I particularly like the Monterey Table and Chairs 3-Piece Set, which comes in turquoise, navy and white.
The small size makes it perfect for creating different configurations - you can create a long line of tables as seen in the first image, or group them together to create a square or rectangle.
The best part about this set is that the tables and chairs fold, so you can tuck them away when not in use.
The next most important thing is lighting; not only does it make it possible to spend time with your guests into the wee hours, it's one of the easiest ways to create ambiance.
Fun party lights are an obvious first choice. I'm a fan of these lantern-like string lights - they give a casual look to your setting and act as a design element as well.
If you are having your dinner party in more of a garden setting instead of on a patio, Choose pathway lights to lead your guests to the table as well as delineate the perimeter of the setting.
Easy-to-use solar pathway lights like the Mei LED path lights are a terrific option - they don't require hard-wiring and therefore are easily moved around.
If you want to create a more permanent dining area in a garden or on a patio, outdoor planters are a fabulous option. Place them along the perimeter of your outdoor dining area to create a defined space.
I like the Vito Planter from Uttermost - the clean and simple lines of the concrete planter will allow it to work with just about any style of outdoor decor.
If the plantings are on the higher side, like bamboo, they will make the space seem cozy and private. Use planters with fragrant herbs like rosemary or basil to add another layer of ambiance to the space.
The icing on the cake of your magical dinner party set up is the center piece. You need to jazz up your table a bit, because, let's face it, an empty table is just blah.
Group LED candles along the center of the table(s). You can find LED candles that flicker just like real candles - you will never have to dig out a recalcitrant wick ever again!
Small lanterns like this solar powered LED lantern would also look beautiful evenly spaced along a table.
To finish the look of your table, intersperse beautiful florals among the candles or lanterns. Faux florals are always in bloom and are a great option if you run out of time to pick up flowers/make arrangements.
I like the look of this mix of flowers in a mercury glass vase that includes peonies (my favorite!), roses and hydrangeas - it is short enough so that it won't block the view of the person sitting across from you.
What is your favorite way to create a memorable outdoor dinner party? Leave a comment below!
Image: Lamps Plus
Going green isn’t always about being eco-friendly or embracing a compost heap. Sometimes you need to be a little more literal and define going green as your love of the color and using it throughout your house.
I chose to do a round-up of green home decor that expresses the freshness of summer. I was thinking about cut grass, blooming trees and long, lazy nights. This cheerful, soft green pops beautifully against white walls and crisp slipcovers. I also like this shade because it pairs wonderfully with light blue which is another of my favorite color combinations for summer decorating.
I may start to sound like a broken record, but I have mentioned before that green is the color of nature, so it generally goes with a wide array of home decor. You may not have thought about using fresh green table lamps before, but if you have a simple, monochromatic room, they would break-up the simplicity of the space and add pizzazz.
Green lighting could also look fresh and new in a pure white kitchen. Contemporary green pendant lights, as seen above, will keep the eye interested without being “in your face.” In the end, green is playful, and makes a space feel young...and who doesn’t want to feel young?
1. I love this Beaded Dragonfly Pillow by Nourison for its whimsical design.
2. This oval twist wall mirror would be fantastic on white walls paired with acrylic furniture or even in an outdoor room.
3. Swapping out lighting is a sure fire way for a quick and successful kitchen update, especially with the River Rock Mini-Pendant in green.
4. The Phinnaeus Rocker is a fun addition to a mid-century style home.
5. The ceramic Jasmine Table Lamp in Apple Green by Robert Abbey is perfect flanking a white sofa.
6. The green shade of this basic polished steel swing-arm wall lamp by Lite Source is a playful look in a kids bedroom or den.
Most people design their backyards and patios around an open space, usually leaving the outdoor barbecue area to itself.
However, if you think about designing your outdoor dining area around the barbecue, ultimately you are creating an eat-in kitchen in your very own backyard. Doing this can make your outdoor space feel cozy and intimate, just as your kitchen does. And an added bonus is that your guests get to drool over the smells going on in your barbecue all night long!
I love the look of this outdoor dining area design. The furniture, lighting, accessories and florals work together as individual elements as well as a cohesive, polished, overall design.
Bright pink flowers both cut in vases on the table as well as planted in classic outdoor planters, work perfectly with the brick patio and white walls. And I love how interior wainscoting is mimicked outside with brick along the side of the house, making the barbecue area seem even more built-in.
Bright white outdoor dinnerware pops off the table and creates a pristine, clean surface to deface with ketchup, mustard and juicy burgers.
Now lets talk about the major elements in the space:
This classic acacia wood dining set is traditional wood dining furniture at its best. Folding chairs allow you to keep extras on hand if you have more guests over, while the arms and pads make the chairs feel substantial and sturdy. The extendable table is perfect for a last minute addition or an intimate set up.
One of the best colors to pair with red brick and crisp white is aqua blue. The color contrasts so perfectly and adds so much character to the space, I could not imagine anything else working so well. This graphic indoor outdoor chevron rug works perfectly with the traditional surrounding to make the space feel cool and contemporary.
One of the biggest additions to your outdoor barbecue space that will make it feel homey and stylish is outdoor wall lighting. Silver outdoor wall lights are a great choice to create an outdoor space that fits in with your indoor style. Instead of opting for the usual black steel, choose a silver finish to create an elevated look.
One of the best things about entertaining outdoors is using the abundance of charm that nature provides to bring ambiance. With the backdrop of crickets in the background and the stars twinkling above - guests can't help but enjoy the evening.
One thing that plays a huge part in the ambiance of any space outdoors is lighting - and when it comes to decks - effective deck lighting. It's is a perfect way to light up the evening.
Today I am sharing a few ways that you can light up your deck and do it with style with outdoor lighting from Lamps Plus.Decks usually have at least a few steps- and those steps can be much more than a way to get back up into the house. Steps are often overlooked from an ambiance standpoint - but they really are a good way to add lighting for charm and also safety - and the Hinkley Bronze LED Eyebrow Light is perfect for that job.
When it comes to styles of deck lighting - the sky is the limit - and the places where you can use those lights is up to your imagination. The Kichler Bronze LED Deck and Step Light is perfect for unobtrusively lighting steps
and also for lighting flower bed areas.Another place to consider adding lighting is on the top of the posts on a deck. Deck posts are a perfect spot for adding a touch of warmth with a light like this Solar and LED Post Cap Light.
Solar lighted caps are charged up by the sun during the day and then are ready to get to work when the sun sets.Plus they come in a variety of styles to match your deck and fit in perfectly with your home's architecture. A favorite look is this Copper Plated Solar Powered and LED Fence Cap Light that will be right at home on pretty painted decks or natural stained wood finishes.
In my opinion you can't have too much deck lighting for ambiance. So light up those steps, those fence posts and even place a few lanterns here and there and get ready to enjoy evenings out under the stars.
I would love to know if you have a favorite style deck light as well- leave me a comment below!
Images: Lamps Plus
It’s true that July 4 is right around the corner, and so, patriotic decor should be something to think about...at least in the U.S. Patriotism aside, red, white and blue is a classic color combination and does not need to be too kitschy if used sparingly.
I think of this color combination as essentially fresh and evoking the joy of summer. They are happy colors and play nicely with other colors as well.
Obviously white is a neutral that needs no introduction. A rich cobalt blue is the ultimate summer color and not only reminds me of the Mediterranean, but pops perfectly off of bright white. I think a beautiful blue pillow on a whitewash bench or white Adirondack chair is the perfect summer perch.
To me, red signifies strength and vitality. Unlike blue, I think committing to red takes more guts. The payoff can be worth it in so many ways. Red lighting, like the sconce above looks chic against white, or a pale blue or turquoise wall.
Any way you dissect our country’s colors, the sheer abundance of choices we have is something to celebrate all year long.
1. I love the deeply hued navy blue jar table lamp by Jamie Young. I love the look in a den or bedroom.
2. Nothing is more “Contemporary American” than this “Colorful Lines II” framed canvas wall art.
3. The simplicity of the Mercer Street Modern Pendant Light in white pendant light by Artcraft allows it to work in most interiors. I personally like it for a breakfast room or casual dining room.
4. This red pouf with nautical knot detail by Surya is young, playful and ideal for summer romps. I would bring it outdoors for extra lounge seating if the weather is good.
5. As hot as a firecracker, this red glass wall sconce in a nickel finish is actually red-hot. The bold color is a real show stopper in a hall or interior that favors primary color.
Do you incorporate a patriotic decor scheme into your interiors? If so, how? Leave a comment below!
Have a touch of wanderlust? If you like the idea of scouring the globe looking for one-of-a-kind decor but an “around the world” trip is not in the cards, get a funky global style for your home with styles from Lamps Plus.
The Global Mix section in Lamps Plus' Shop by Trend section is a treasure trove of items that are a international feast of home decor.
There is something so liberating about a global style as there doesn't seem to be any rules in putting together a cohesive, bohemian look. The natural designer in me, of course, selected a scheme that tends to match much more than a haphazard collection of world travel treasures would usually reflect. What can I say?
When trying to capture the look, make sure you mix interesting patterns with unique textures. Take for example the blue batik pattern pillow in conjunction with the rustic iron tables.
While timeless or modern blue floor lamps may not be a traditional choice, a blue lampshade like this Indian pattern shade adds a bit of pop against the beautifully tactile floor lamp. All of these material do work harmoniously and evoke the feeling of a lifetime worth of travel. Go forth and design with travel in mind.
1. Pretend you are in the tropics with this walnut and bronze LED ceiling fan by Matthews.
2. I think this indigo print linen pillow has an exotic batik look, like something you might find in Indonesia or India.
3. The highly textured gunmetal ceramic table lamp by Robert Abbey has a decidedly modern Chinese look.
4. I like the safari vibe you get from this gray and black hair on hide wall mirror.
5. The unique look of the tripod accent table in iron in with tree branch details evokes the feeling of the Amazon or the Adirondacks if you’re feeling a touch more American at heart.
6. The Luna Lamp from Jamie Young has a chocolate brown metal base with a batik lampshade and has a fresh and modern take on Island design.