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.

  • 5 Tips to Style Your Bookshelves like the Pros

    Here are 5 tips to style your bookshelves like the pros.

    Not only will they be organized, but you’ll have that sought after designer look in no time.

    1. Bookcases are not just for books.

    Create your own style with designer inspired home accessories. Add layers such as artwork, ceramics and stylish lighting to your bookcase shelves.

    Bookshelves come in all shapes and sizes so there is a perfect bookshelf for every style of decor.

    Consider framed photographs and interesting knick-knacks picked up on your travels. This will add tremendous visual interest, and make for interesting conversation starters.

    White monochromatic living room design with tufted sofa and slipper chairs

    2. Make room for negative space, the space around or between objects, on your bookcase.

    If your bookshelves are painted a contrasting color from your walls, let this color pop by leaving ample negative space for it to shine through.

    Glamorous living room with black and gold furnishings and a crystal chandelier

    3. Create the illusion of a higher ceiling by creating extra-long visual lines to your bookcase.

    Keep on stacking on top of the bookcase.In other words don’t stop at the last shelf.

    If possible, keep it going until you’re almost at the ceiling. This will help give the illusion that your ceilings are much higher than they really are.

    4. For a clean streamlined look, keep all spines at the same depth.

    So if you were to look at your bookcase from a side angle the spines would all be lined up in a neat straight line towards the front of the shelf.

    Having a similar book height and consistent color scheme will only accentuate this look.

    Soft Industrial-style living room with industrial floor lamp and distressed wood coffee table

    5. To create extra visual interest choose bookshelves with multiple shelves at varying heights.

    Alternatively, treat each bookcase cube like its own design scheme, alternating the color, size and orientation of the books.

    Home office design with gold etagere and shagreen desk with brass pharmacy floor lamp

    Ultimately, have fun with your bookshelves.

    They should tell a story about your life and be an expression of who you are.

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Style and Comfort with an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

    It is summer- which means- it is hot. And in some places - it is really hot. And when the heat index gets too high to even enjoy the evenings outdoors - you definitely need to find a way to cool down.

    Since running air conditioning outdoors on your patio is not the ideal way to go - a ceiling fan that looks as good as it works and does double duty might be.

     Outdoor room with ceiling fan, brick wall and lions head fountain
    Ceiling fans have definitely changed over the years - and when I think of outdoor ceiling fans, I think of those romantic southern homes with big porches and ceiling fans running all down the length of them.  I love the look - and love that those fans are also bringing a burst of a breeze to an otherwise hot hot hot spot. 

    But how to choose the right style when there are so many amazing options for outdoor ceiling fans now? Sharing a few tips and favorites today:

    Outdoor seating area with outdoor ceiling fan
    #1. Light and Airy

    I am loving light and airy looks in outdoor living rooms. From fabrics to light woods - a ceiling fan that is neutral blends in with the overall look and feel of your outdoor space.

    The Cool Vista Ceiling Fan in an oil-rubbed bronze finish has canvas blades to really bring that light feeling to the room.

    Ceiling fan with canvas blades
    #2. Go Tropical

    I love tropical style outdoors. It just makes you feel like you are on vacation all year long. And adding a tropical touch with this Minka Aire Gaugin Outdoor Ceiling Fan with those pretty palm leaf inspired blades does the trick.

    Tropical style ceiling fan in entry of yellow and white home
    #3.  Go Retro

    Maybe vintage modern industrial style is the one that fits your home to a T - so some of the more traditional ceiling fans just don't fit. 

    Industrial style cage ceiling fan
    You don't have to go with a ceiling fan style that you see every day. Be unique and choose the one that fits you.

    Going retro and a little more unique is easier than ever - and this Casa Vestige Cage Ceiling Fan is a vintage industrial aviator lovers dream.  

    But what if none of these fits and you need more options?

    Well, Lamps Plus has you covered.
    Build your own ceiling fan at Lamps Plus
     You can use their Build Your Own Ceiling Fan feature - and design a more custom look for your fan. Choose the elements you are looking for from the options, from motor size to blade style - and they will create it. Pretty awesome right?

     So with all the options for outdoor ceiling fans  what does your perfect one look like?

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Creating a French Style Bathroom

    Feeling fancy and formal? Instead of an entire house remodel what about creating a French style bathroom? Bathrooms tend to be small so you can create a total fantasy jewel box that is private and just for you.

     Bathroom Fixtures in the French Style

    A French style bathroom should incorporate reflective surfaces like ornate mirrors and lots of crystal. When in doubt, add more to achieve this look.

    That goes for bathroom pendant light fixtures. Crystals on pendants will create shimmer and opulence.

    Now, while the glam squad would give you an A for decor, make sure you also have practical lighting to ensure functionality.

    You can find beautiful lighting fixtures online like the sconce above. There may be mirror and crystals, but the bulbs are clear and will offer you great light.

    Mirror can also be found on accessories and sink vanities. Any way you slice the baguette, remember to amp up the shine and gold to ensure an ooh la la moment in the loo.

    1. This ornate wall mirror by Uttermost has classic scrolling details that make it just fancy enough for a jewel-box style powder room.

    2. If you have the room, why not consider crystal pendants on either side of your bathroom mirror. This olive bronze crystal chandelier will certainly add drama.

    3. I always like having a spot to drop a watch and other small items. The Les Cartes vintage style gold script mirrored tray would look chic on a bathroom counter.

    4. Nothing looks more French than the Maison de Ville 3-light wall sconce by Feiss.

    5. This mirrored single sink vanity has French sophistication written all over it. While it might not replace the hall of mirrors at Versailles, it does impress.

    6. I like the classic beauty of this crystal ceiling light by Schonbek. It’s not only great in the bath, but would look just as special in a hall or dressing room.

  • French Charm - 5 Must Have Pieces to Add a Touch of Elegance

    What is it about a French room that feels so absolutely charming and inviting - and classically elegant at the same time?

    French style office with gray and gold desk and gold mirror
    Maybe it is the way that the pieces all feel as if they are important. From the exquisite velvet loveseat to the hand me down table next to the flea market threadbare ottoman.

    No matter the pedigree or age, the French room makes those pieces feel as if they are all telling a story and are a must have piece in the picture.

    Patio with vintage french style carved coffee table
    It is no secret how much I am in love with French style - and I definitely am drawn to the vintage pieces and the new reproduction pieces alike. 

    I have been perusing the French style furniture over at Lamps Plus and making a must have list for an upcoming makeover - and thought I would share a few ideas with you today.

    #1. Elegant Velvet Sofa

    Glamorous taupe velvet sofa with elegant curves
    Seriously glam and gorgeous - this Jennifer Taylor Legacy Taupe Velvet Sofa is the epitome of classic, elegant. and glamorous style. 

    I love the simple smooth lines, detailed trim and of course - the creamy velvet fabric. Definitely a win.

    #2. Go Tufted

    The other popular style sofa that I am swooning over? Tufted roll arm sofas. Especially if they are in linen and are as gorgeous as the French-style Tessa Tufted Sofa.  

    Note the arms that fall ever so softly to the sides to create that elegant feeling. I could see two of these flanking a fireplace and creating a most charming seating area.

    Creamy linen color tufted roll arm sofa in living room

    #3. Slipper Chair

    A slipper chair is a small chair that doesn't usually have any arms. It is a simple sweet style that is perfect for adding as accent seating or for rooms where space is at a premium - but you want to bring in big style.

    This clean-lined Caelie Slipper Chair is a perfect example of delicious details making all the difference. Think one for an accent chair or double up the charm and bring in pairs for a seating area.

    Living room with blue walls and neutral furniture #4. French Porters Chair

    French style hooded chair with exposed frame

    Pretty much the epitome of French elegance - the Ellis Balloon Chair is a showstopper. Balloon or hooded chairs were once used by hall porters in France, and their shape with the dramatic hood and sides were there to help protect the porter from drafts.

    They have become a classic piece that has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

    #5. A Beautiful Bench

    French style bench and charcoal tufted sofa in living room with area rug

    You can't go wrong with adding a charming and beautiful bench to a room - especially when it is one that is tufted and sitting atop a gorgeous carved frame.

    This Athena Tufted Bench will be perfect used as extra seating - or even as a coffee table in the living room.  And it is even at home at the foot of the bed for a sprinkling of French charm.

    French bench at foot of bed with faux fur throw

    No matter what French style furniture you choose - bringing in a bit of that elegant charm and classic styling will add beauty and that certain je ne sais quoi to your home. Do you have a favorite piece from what I shared?

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • Big Bathroom Updates on a Small Scale

    Do you have a bathroom that needs major personality but you're afraid to go too big because the space is so small?

    There are ways to make big bathroom updates that ooze personality while maintaining the small scale of the space and not overwhelming the eye.

    Check out how we can inject some big style elements on a small scale below.

    Mirrored bathroom vanity with crystal mini pendants instead of sconces

    When you want to make a major splash without throwing design elements in your face, adding an accent color will do the trick!

    While a white bathroom is all the rage at the moment, a pop of calming color like the blue tile above really makes the space feel grandiose without much effort.

    The beautiful bathroom vanity reflects the colored tiles, making the accent wall seem larger and more prominent than it really is.

    Mirrored bathroom vanity with mini crystal swag chandeliers

    Again we see a mirrored vanity that reflects he beautiful pattern of the wallpaper in this bathroom space.

    Adding a graphic wallpaper to the walls in a neutral tone brings life and movement without feeling cluttered and messy.

    Elegant pendant lighting is a great replacement to standard bathroom sconces and wall fixtures to bring a special, unique element to the space.

    If you are looking to light either side of a mirror, choose mini pendant lights.

    So you see, by changing one or two design elements, your small scale bathroom update can make a big bathroom impact!

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • How To Style Your Nesting Tables

    There's one piece of furniture that makes styling your home like a pro so much easier. Nesting tables are a unique addition to any room. They're also very functional because of their multi-part design. They can be compact when needed or spread out when you need more surface space.

    Modern living room with chrome and glass multi-pendant over sideboard

    Nesting tables are great as side tables, especially in their compact position, like in this space above. You can use more than one level if you have the need or just leave them stacked, they look great both ways.

    Contemporary living room with nesting tables as a coffee table

    You can also use nesting tables as coffee tables.

    Some are meant to be coffee tables, like the Newell Nesting Cocktail Table, but you can turn any nesting table into a coffee table just by spreading out the different sizes/pieces.

    It's ideal for smaller spaces that don't always have room for a traditionally-sized coffee table.

    Do you use this style of side table in your home? Tell us how in the comments!

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Good Things Come in Small Packages

    In my home - I have this little thing that you might notice as you go room to room. Sure, it could be the white and mostly neutral color scheme, or the pops of gold and floral painted pieces that appear - or it could be the slight obsession I have with chandeliers.

    Close up of crystal covered chandelier with mirror in background

    I have them in nearly every room. And yes, there is even one in my closet. I am a big believer in the power that a chandelier brings to a space.

     Small crystal chandelier in closet with clothes and hat boxes

    On their own, they look simply amazing in a room - and when the sun shines through them - they cast those magical rainbows reflecting all around the room.  And you don't have to go big or go home to add that sprinkling of magic - small chandeliers that are big on style can bring just as much to a space as a large one. Let's talk about those power-packed dainty lights today.  Crystal chandeliers in a blue paneled room with a cream sofa

    #1. A Drop Chandelier

    Love a lot of bling but in a small package? Me too. And this Wallingford Antique Brass and Crystal Drop Chandelier is one big powerhouse of charm. I am loving the simple antique style and shape - and that it is completely covered in crystals.

    crystal covered drop chandelier with gold accents
     #2.  For the Bedroom

    Swap out those traditional lamps in the bedroom - and bring in a burst of vintage charm.
    Small iron and crystal chandelier
    Dainty and elegant chandeliers, such as the Feiss Valentina Oxidized Bronze Chandelier, are perfect for using above the nightstands in the bedroom.  An added bonus - they keep the nightstand more usable without a lamp taking up space.

    #3. Go Modern

    ,Modern and minimalist design is all the rage - and when you find something that is modern and unique and looks like a pretty cloud - well, it is definitely something that makes a statement in a room, no matter how small it is.

    White Cloud shaped light
     This White Cloud Chandelier from Possini Euro Design is definitely going to be one that is a conversation starter. If unique is your thing - this might be perfect.

    #4. Vintage Modern

    Maybe modern is your favorite style - but more as in vintage modern. Vintage modern is a mix of minimalist type finishes and looks - but with a decidedly vintage inspired twist. Think old barn style light fixtures that are simple in construction, galvanized metal everything and Edison style fixtures such as this Hansel Swag Chandelier with Edison bulbs.
     Industrial style cage chandelier with Edison bulbsWhat I am loving about this one is the rustic reclaimed lampshade look. So simple and charming.

    #5. Polished Brass Beauty

    I think anytime you have a light that has an abundance of brass - you have a winner. The Robert Abbey Porter Antique Brass Pendant is a top choice for elegance and style in a beautiful simple design.
     Polished brass pendant light

    Think of doubling these above an island in the kitchen, or above a dining table. Definitely proves that big style can come in small packages.

     Did I pick any of your favorite small chandeliers to share?  Just remember that no matter which style fits you and your home - it doesn't have to be huge to make a design impact. Good things come in small packages.

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • 5 Key Pieces to Get the French Refined Look

    The French Refined Look is a home decor style that I just love. It's romantic, elegant, and timeless. Although this look definitely leans more traditional, a classic French-inspired piece can be the perfect contrast in a more contemporary space.

    These are 5 key pieces to get the French Refined look at home - no European passport needed!

    French Refined Home Decor


    1: A Stunning Chandelier. Look for delicate scrollwork and a rich, luxurious finish. Whether you choose a deep, classic iron finish or a more subtle painted finish, a chandelier definitely says "French".

    2: An Ornate Mirror. Carved wood frames look beautiful in both natural wood finishes and ornate gilding. 

    3: Something with Crystals. A little sparkle brings a luxurious touch to French style decor. Whether on a chandelier or a cake stand (as pictured), crystal details are essential to the look.

    4: A Dynamite Pillow. Look for couture dressmaker details like ruching, pleating, rosettes, or beading. Fabrics can range from soft linens to shimmering satins.

    5: A Classic Chair. A show wood chair (that's a designer term for a chair with an exposed wood frame) lends a distinctly European look. Turned legs, X-block corner details, and reeding or fluting make a plain frame more interesting.

    I hope this list is useful for you to put together a French-inspired space of your own!

  • The Magic of Designer Lighting in a Room

    Have I ever mentioned how much I fall for details? I do. Over and over again.Details are the icing on the cake. They are that thing that wraps up a look - kind of like jewelry but in a room. The details are what take an ordinary space and make it extraordinary.

    Sometimes it is the architectural details in a room that speak to you - and yes, I am a huge fan of architectural details.
    Traditional style living room with chairs and bench ottoman  But sometimes, it is more about the sprinkling of character in the accents, and that all important lighting, that makes the space light up amazingly. And it is something that you notice that the room just wouldn't feel the same without.
    Floral wallpapered room with chest and french style chairI am talking all about designer lighting and the thousands of styles that are available at Lamps Plus. And that means that from classic table lamps to eye-catching chandeliers - finding the right lighting for your home and style just got a whole lot easier.

    Today, I am sharing five gorgeous favorites that caught my eye and ran away with my detail-loving heart.

    #1. John-Richard Boheme Black and Gold Table Lamp

    Black and gold carved lamp with black gold embossed shadeSeriously stunning - I don't even know where to start! Black and gold? Yes, please. The hand carved frame? So gorgeous. The gold trimmed shade? Well, this designer light knocks my socks off.

    This Boheme Table Lamp from John-Richard  is an absolute stunner and I can imagine it in a living room setting or even an entry or den to set the stage with perfect softly diffused mood lighting.

    #2. Arteriors Home Mildred Table Lamp

    Sometimes you just need a little bit of simple beauty in your space. With clean lines and a gorgeous gold finish and a simple box shade, the Arteriors Mildred Antique Brass Table Lamp will be one that fits in with a modern space or a traditional space perfectly.

    Modern style gold lamp with rectangular shade

    #3. Schonbek Crystal Covered Madison Chandelier

    A crystal covered chandelier is always a good idea in my book. Whether you love chandeliers that are dripping with crystals or merely dotted with just enough to add that magic to a room - Schonbek Lighting has so many beautiful ones to offer.

    It was hard to choose a favorite, but the Madison 12 Light Chandelier that is covered in gorgeous crystals with delicate wire construction and a vintage French feeling is a winning designer light. 

    Crystal covered chandelier in a dark bronze finish

    #4.  Robert Abbey Kinetic Pharmacy Desk Lamp & Annika Table Lamp

    Speaking my language with the beautiful brass and golds - Robert Abbey Brass Kinetic Pharmacy Desk Lamp is a perfect choice. I am loving the idea of this on my gray and gold French desk to light up work and play in progress perfectly - but it would also be ideal for a small bedroom lamp.
    Brass pharmacy lamp on a desk with computer

    And you might remember the blush and gold lamp I shared last month? This is the Annika from Mary McDonald for Robert Abbey Close up of blush lamp with vase of peonies on side table

    #5.  Tilde Crystal Urn Lamp

    Ah, Vienna Full Spectrum - there are so many gorgeous crystal lamps to choose from but the Tilde Crystal Clear Table Lamp definitely caught my eye with that beautiful classic shape. 

    I think this would be stunning in a bedroom on the nightstand - and a crystal lamp is perfect for a space where you want to add lighting but you don't want the lamp to overwhelm the overall look and design - and they can be dressed up or down as you like.
    Classic urn shaped crystal table lamp No matter what style, size, shape or color lighting you are looking for to make your room beautiful and complete - putting designer lighting touch in a room has never been easier. 

    Though, with thousands of  choices - the hardest part may be deciding which of  Lamps Plus' designer lighting is perfect for you.  Which style is your favorite?

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • The Perfect Outdoor Dining Sets for Summer Entertaining

    In summer, we spend more time outdoors eating and lounging, and to entertain well so you can linger longer you need a good dining set!

    Wood and metal are wonderful options for outdoor dining sets, however if your outdoor scene is one that is predominately neutral, one design trick to add interest to your outdoor space is to infuse it with texture.

    Woven materials like rattan, seagrass, and wicker do just that!
     Outdoor wicker bar-height dining set on stone patio  
    Once you have your dining set in place, create a welcoming scene by laying down an outdoor rug and hanging string lights for evening ambiance.
     Bar-height outdoor table and chairs in seagrass
    Most rattan, wicker, and seagrass pieces are neutral, so boost the appeal of your dining set with colorful cushions and decorative pillows in outdoor materials.

    Layer with glassware and dishes in vibrant hues and surround the scene with potted plants in bloom and there you have it: a welcoming outdoor dining space where you can enjoy the bliss of summer for months to come.
     Traditional rattan outdoor dining set under outdoor ceiling fan
    Beautiful wicker outdoor tables and chairs are available in a variety of styles at Lamps Plus.

    The Antigua Natural Rattan 5 Piece Dining Set captures the allure of tropical climates, while the Atlantic Monza Wicker Bar Set sets up a sophisticated scene where you can serve exotic cocktails.

    The Dann Foley Rodeo Round Wicker 7 Piece Dining Set is a showstopper with its modern table and espresso woven geometric shaped chairs.

    If simple and sweet is more appealing to you, consider the Avalon Wicker 5 Piece Round Patio Set for setting up a casual space on a deck or patio.
    Wicker outdoor tables and chairs from Lamps Plus

    What type of outdoor dining sets are your favorite? Wood? Metal? Wicker? Leave a comment below!
     Images: Lamps Plus

July, 2016