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.

  • Thanksgiving Table Decor

    A Sparse and Rustic Thanksgiving Table

    Thanksgiving is all about food unless you ask a designer. Designers will tell you it’s mostly Thanksgiving table decor that matters most.

    Style Carrot had great pictures of Thanksgiving table decor in a variety of styles. From rustic and sparse to abundant and monochromatic these pictures show the many ways we can design a table for friends and family to marvel and enjoy.

    One common thread I find in most tablescapes this time of year is the nod to nature and the bounty it provides. Thanksgiving centerpieces look best when you use organic fruits, vegetables, branches and flowers. Roughhewn wooden decor and linens can round out this theme.

    Classic Thanksgiving Centerpieces

    The classic tablescape uses autumnal colors such as orange, yellow and green. Regardless of how your table is set, don’t forget that overhead ceiling lights will brighten your entire dining room and create the overall mood for the festive night.

    If you prefer a buffet style Thanksgiving, buffet table lamps will create a soft glow on the holiday feast. Along with general lighting don’t forget candles on the table to add another layer of light and some serious atmosphere.

    Sophisticated Thanksgiving Table Decorations

    I’m starting to love the sophisticated, monochromatic tablescapes that use white pumpkins and decor in deeper and richer tones of brown, black and gold. These tables are truly dramatic but still capture the essence of Thanksgiving.

    Bold greens play beautifully with these schemes and remind us it’s ultimately all about nature and the gifts we get from the land.

    Earthy and Elegant Dining Room Design Basics from Lamps Plus

    1.  A two-piece leaf-shaped tray set in gold leaf adds major bling to the holiday table.

    2. Nature is the overall design theme in this beautiful wrought iron chandelier with a English Bronze finish.

    3. I love the autumnal form of the Treetop sconce by Currey and Company.

    4. The Orchard Harvest Platter has a homey and traditional feel.

    5. The earthy design of this set of three charred pine trays are great for carrying drinks and appetizers as well as for clearing the table.

    6. Add drama to your table with a candle holder like the Azalea Votive Candle Holder.

    Photos: Style Carrot.

  • Splurge vs Save - Dining Room Decor

    Rustic dining room with multi-light pendant chandelier

    OK everyone, if you're not scrambling to get your home ready for the holidays I am massively jealous!

    I find around this time every year I try to finish all the design updates and details Ive been putting off for the past 10 months all while preparing for hosting during the holidays. It's a hectic time, but every year I love it. I get to experiment with new looks and new pieces to update the space that surprise and delight my guests as well as myself.  

    However, design updates often are expensive and can make a dent in the bank account, especially at a time when we need not dent anything!

    Because of this I find myself often searching for thrifty replacements for often expensive items. More often than not, you and you alone are the only one who knows if its a splurge or a save, but the extra money you save can go towards other important things this holiday season.

    We are going to break down the beautiful dining room decor in the above image from the Architectural Design DC Design House and give you some splurge options on gorgeous dining room furniture and lighting, as well as some thrifty save pieces  are just as beautiful and functional.

    Rustic dining room furniture and lighting from Lamps Plus

    Let's start with the SPLURGE pieces!

    A gorgeous extendable, stone wash dining table with traditional trestle legs sets the perfect stage for a relaxed, rustic dining area. The extendable feature is perfect for the holidays since you may or may not have to squeeze in an extra few guests who show up without an rsvp...

    Tradiitonal linen antique pine dining chairs with nailhead detailing are always in style, and pair perfectly with this rustic modern look. Choosing chairs without arms can be helpful again when you might have an extra guest or two. 

    Finally choosing the right,  pendant chandelier can make or break the look. This bronze, multi light pendant with mason jar shades has tons of detail and style without taking over the entire space.

    Now let's check out the amazing SAVE options!

    This post and rail dining table is made of 100% reclaimed pine and is a great substitute for a more detailed table. The natural materials and finish of the table make it look rich and expensive while the simple shape and legs help shave off costs. 

    These beige chairs are almost a near match for our splurge option, but come with a price tag of about half. This may be due to durability, but if you're on a "save year" these chairs are going to be perfect for the few years they'll be used before they're swapped out again for a new design look.

    Finally, this bronze edison bulb multi light pendant is a streamlined and stripped down alternative to the splurge pendant, however the edison bulbs add character and give you a cool, fresh look for less.

    So - are you going to SPLURGE or SAVE on your dining room decor this holiday season? 

    Image Source: Architectural Digest

  • Mirror, Mirror on the Wall - The Stylish Bathroom Mirror

    You can achieve that luxe living look with a bathroom mirror that has that built-in light you desire.

    We all multi-task, all day long, so why can't our bathroom mirror?

    Bathroom with luxe bathroom mirror, small crystal chandeliers, and mirrored vanityy

    A mirror has become as essential in a bathroom as a sink or toilet. Even in the smallest bathroom, there’s usually a mirror. And when it’s not there, it feels odd.

    Mirrors in bathrooms have evolved past the basics of being the front-side of a medicine cabinet or a helper to show us that there is spinach in or lipstick on our teeth. You can make bathroom mirrors a focal point of a design, but, they can be uber functional with the bonus of a light.

    So when you are dreaming about that bathroom you want, the mirror should be part of those essential fixtures you are adding to your shopping cart online, or pinning to a board on Pinterest.

    Even if you swoon over the luxe living trend, and want to achieve mega-glamour like the sparkling bathroom in the photo above, it's within reach. Oh, and yes, you can get a luxe stylish mirror that lights up, too.

    I've gathered a few of my favorite stylish lighted vanity mirrors for you to peruse.

    An assortment of lighted vanity mirrors from Lamps Plus

    1. Standing tall as a self-standing 53 inches, and even taller if you want to extend it up to 72 inches, this satin nickel finish LED stand mirror can move wherever you need it. The little shelf is perfect for make-up, jewelry, or a bow tie to rest while you fuss-and-muss to look your best.

    2. I’m a fan of most everything that has the designer Jonathan Adler on it, and this round lighted mirror is definitely included. At 28 inches wide, the antique brass finish with the crystal accents put me in the mood to look my best.

    3. It might not be where you’d put your bathroom mirror, but it’s where my husband Mark likes to have his. He shaves in the shower, and an LED lighted mirror that is fogless and break-resistant is perfect functionality for many like-habited husbands. With its stainless steel finish, and curved design it could fit seamlessly into a luxe bathroom.

    4. In our family-shared bathroom, we have an adjustable mirror that swings. For families with small and tall members, the adjustability can be a smart solution to accommodate everyone. This brushed nickel LED vanity mirror also has a 3x magnification on one side. If you look good at that magnification, you are definitely ready to share a selfie on Instagram.

    5. A quiet style-stunner, this rectangular bathroom mirror is backlit, and is 36 inches tall by 24 inches wide. For most powder rooms, this lighted mirror would fit perfectly above a standard sized vanity cabinet.

    I’d love to know what you think of lighted bathroom mirrors. Please share your comments or ask me anything in the comments section below. -theresa

    Image source: Lamps Plus

  • Luxe Closet Design

    A Moody and Formal Closet

    We all have them, but do we love them? Closet design is usually basic, but luxe closet designs have serious personality and are spaces we wouldn’t mind spending more time in, even after we have dressed.

    My Domaine and The Paris Apartment always have the most elegant interior images and were the natural destination for my pictures. Let’s get this out of the way...the post may seem over the top and while it helps to have the space of a walk-in closet, it’s not critical to make your closet design luxurious.

    By simply adding a glamorous light fixture or wallpaper to the interior of a basic closet, you will have transformed the purely functional to fantastic.

    Feminine Closets with Traditional Decorative Touches

    Adding elegant decor will make your closet design special. Ornate wall mirrors add visual interest to an object we use every day and small touches like a padded bench and an accent table will create a homey feel, turning the space into your own private salon.

    If there is any wall space left over, hanging family photos or artwork would personalize your closet.

    Large Organized Closets with Focal Point Lighting

    Lighting is key to any closet, but the luxe closet makes lighting a priority. Ceiling lights create a focal point as well as being functional.

    If you have the height, a chandelier, pendant light or drum shade fixture would be perfect for general lighting. Rope lights or spots would be ideal for inside shelves to make sure you see exactly what you have.

    Speaking of seeing everything, while custom cabinets with doors can look beautiful, I’m a fan of having everything out in the open for full view similar to the images above.

    Luxurious Closet Decor from Lamps Plus

    1. The Chandler ceiling light has an aged brass finish and is great if you have low ceilings but crave high style.

    2. I like the Venetian styling of this  engraved wall mirror with gold leaf details.

    3.  This chocolate brown chandelier with draped crystals will add formal flair to a traditional closet.

    4. The Suffolk bench made of ash with a tufted beige cushion is a perfect spot to place a bag or to sit while putting on shoes.

    5. I'd like to see this aged brass wall sconce from Hudson Valley mounted on closet cabinetry if you choose not to have interior shelving light.

    6. If you have the room, a faux bamboo accent table is an elegant spot for accessories, candles and flowers.

    Photos: My Domaine, The Paris Apartment.

  • Fluffing the House for Thanksgiving Guests

    How to Fluff the House for Thanksgiving Guests

    Thanksgiving is so close you can almost taste the turkey and dressing.

    Pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn casserole, broccoli with cheese and cranberry bread are on the menu.

    If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year, getting the house ready can seem a little overwhelming.

    No worries.

    Here's a few simple tips for fluffing the house for Thanksgiving guests.

    Dining table dressed for Thanksgiving with natural elements

    1.  Shop the outside

    Nature has so much to offer in the fall.

    Collect leaves and twigs and pine cones and acorns and beautiful fall foliage and textures.

    Then create a centerpiece to display on a rustic farmhouse table or sideboard.

    A monogrammed linen napkin with dried hydrangeas on top

    2.  Add vintage linens

    Sometimes the smallest of details can make the biggest impact.

    You can find vintage linens in a variety of colors and styles and you can collect different patterns for different looks.

    Add a monogram to personalize your place settings at the Thanksgiving dinner table.

    A blue and white decorative pillow on a distressed white dining chair

    3.  Add an unexpected color

    Fall colors are typically reds and browns and oranges and cinnamon.

    Why not add a little unexpected color to your table?

    Here's an example of a blue fabric pillow added to the table setting.  Adding a colorful chair cover to your dining chairs or bar stools is another way to dress up the table for the holiday.

    A crystal chandelier with a drum shade over a dining table

    4.  Light it up

    Sometimes the easiest way to fluff your space is to change out lighting.

    Here, a chandelier with a drum shade is the perfect accent for the dining space.

    New lighting for your kitchen or dining room will truly make the holidays shine.

    Bring on the pumpkin pie.

    Thanksgiving is here.

    This year enjoy your guests and treat them to a warm and welcoming home.

    Photo credit:  Thistlewood Farms

  • Drum Shade Style

    A Sculptural Table Lamp with a Creamy Colored Drum Shade

    Drum shades have typically been used for lamps, however the drum shade style is now found all over the house and looks simply elegant in both traditional or contemporary interiors.

    I couldn’t decide which images to choose from Style Saloniste and Remodelista, so I used both.

    My feeling is that you can never go wrong with a creamy white shade and the fresh look will make any fixture look crisp and new.

    Dining Rooms with Elegant Drum Shade Chandeliers

    Simple drum shade chandeliers create a warm glow and are the new “go to” fixture for dining rooms and kitchens. I like the idea that there is no more endless cleaning of crystals when you switch over to a drum shade from a traditional chandelier.

    Also, drums can be much less expensive than intricate chandeliers. In the kitchen, drum pendant lights are great over kitchen islands. You may want to invest in a plastic shade which will be easier to clean than linen or fabric.

    Designer Styled Rooms with Chic Drum Shade Lighting

    A new trend that I happen to love is the metal drum shade. This aesthetic can be made to look either fancy and elegant or ruggedly industrial. Depending upon the application, a metal shade can add serious drama, as in the images above.

    Another thing I like about the drum shade is that they visually add great vertical height, especially on table lamps - old school flared shades, while appropriate on many fixtures, can draw your line of vision down.

    Contemporary Drum Shade Lights from Lamps Plus

    1. The gray silk mini pendant would add elegance to a powder room.

    2. I love the glamorous Porter Nickel Pendant Light by Robert Abbey for its reflective qualities.

    3. A tray table floor lamp offers dual functionality.

    4. The sculptural quality of the Uttermost Palos White Alabaster Buffet Table Lamp is perfect for creating a "wow" moment on foyer tables.

    5. I like the classic lines of the Colton bronze wall sconce for dining or living room walls.

    Photos: Remodelista, Style Saloniste.

  • Designing the Perfect Breakfast Nook

    I don't think there is anything I daydream more about than a breakfast nook. I feel like for some reason you have really grown up when you have an upholstered bench in your kitchen that is surrounded by beautiful furniture.

    The breakfast nook is the perfect gathering place, probably used more than any other spot in your house. When entertaining, everyone hangs out in the kitchen to chat with the hosts while they prepare dinner, and so the breakfast nook provides the perfect chilling spot. 

    When I came across this amazing image from Life on Virginia Street I knew it would serve as a great inspiration photo to re-create the look and capture the essence of the perfect breakfast nook.

    Transitional style breakfast nook with a combination of wall sconces and chandelier

    This breakfast nook has so many elements going on, but they all work so well together it seems effortless.

    First, storage is key here, as you gain massive amounts of kitchen storage with the large amount of built-ins.

    Second, there is such a great use of color but in a very subtle way with the slight cherry finish in the woods to the pop of blue on the wall and subtle browns in the wall art and upholstery.

    Third, the use of both task lighting and accent lighting is perfectly executed. The scrolling metal chandelier pairs greatly with the beautiful wall sconces that flank the bench seat.

    An assortment of lighting, furniture and accessories to design the perfect breakfast nook

    The good part about finding the perfect inspiration image is that it's that much easier to recreate the look in your own home!

    Let's start with lighting:

    Sticking with matching metals and minimal lines for both the striking Foxvale Chandelier and the pair of Lancaster Wall Sconces allow them to serve their purpose without distracting the eye.

    Next on to furniture:

    A round dining table is perfect for a breakfast nook because it immediately gives off a more casual vibe and is malleable to fit fewer or more people easier than a rectangular table.

    An extendable pedestal table in a cherry espresso finish paired with classic luxe dining chairs in almond fabric is the perfect base to build on with accessories, florals or platters upon platters of home made goodies.

    Finally let's talk about accessories:

    When dealing with pillows and bench cushions, a trick of the trade is to go with an outdoor fabric - It's much more forgiving for stains and spills and these days most people can't tell the difference.

    Outdoor Sunbrella Striped pillows in a buttery antique beige color look lovely against the powder blue wall. A pair of framed watercolor prints of a misty seaside tie in all the colors in the space seamlessly.

    Image Source: Life on Virginia Street

  • Creative Thanksgiving Tablescapes

    Creative Thanksgiving tablescape with pumpkins, hydrangea and antlers

    There’s nothing better than the smell of a turkey roasting in the oven, biscuits slathered with butter and a steaming bowl of mashed potatoes being passed around the table.

    Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family. You don’t have to spend a fortune to set the tone for a festive dinner. Here are some inspiring Thanksgiving tablescapes:

    Thanksgiving table decorated with mini pumpkins and pillar candles

    Bring a bottle of wine and you’re always welcome at my table, complete with a rustic dough bowl brimming with corks and vintage corkscrews. Herbs from the supermarket are dressed up in a vintage milk glass vase. A twig runner adds texture and mini pumpkins add a fun pop of color.

    Thanksgiving tablescape of fresh fruits and vegetables in bushels

    Bushel baskets brimming with seasonal veggies gives a farmer's market flair to this table.

    Dining table set with autumn leaves as a centerpiece

    A branch of colorful fall leaves is a free centerpiece. Add pomegranates and pears to mimic the red color palette.

    Cottage-style outdoor dining table with comfy throw

    Cozy throws add texture and warmth for a festive outdoor feast, and each place setting is topped with a pinecone gathered from the yard.

    Centerpiece in gold urn on top of stacked books

    A stack of books adds warmth and interest while elevating a stunning floral display.

    Outdoor dining table with dried wheat wreath on back of chair

    Mismatched seating and a textural wheat wreath hung from the hosts chair add rustic charm to this outdoor dining area complete with shimmering crystal chandelier.

    So go ahead and  set the mood with creative Thanksgiving tablescapes.

    Now, would someone please pass the green bean casserole?

    Image sources: Tone on Tone; Eclectically Vintage; Zevy Joy; Maison de Pax; Rooms for Rent; Shades of Blue Interiors; Jeanne Oliver Designs

  • Holiday Mantel Decor

    November has arrived, and with it comes the holiday season and the time to bring out your holiday mantel decor as well.

    Here in the States we celebrate so many in the coming weeks from Thanksgiving to Hannukah, and Christmas through New Year's Eve. It’s tradition to embellish the home with twinkle lights, evergreens, and ribbons, and also add a few elements that sparkle and shine.

    To follow you’ll find five different approaches to decorating your holiday mantel!

    1. Classic

    The traditional colors of Christmas are red and green, using them in a mantel display is a classic approach. Even with traditional colors, mantel decorating feels fresh with lighted fir garland and simple decorative elements found in the tartan fabrics and linen stockings. 

    A living room with traditional holiday mantel decor

    2. Rustic

    Organic elements add appealing layers of texture. To capture the rustic look, decorate with accents that incorporate weathered wood, burlap fabrics, and bronze or metal finishes. 

    A holiday mantel decorated in a Rustic style

    3. Glamorous

    "Silver and gold, silver and gold... everyone wishes for silver and gold!" Just like in the popular holiday song, filling your home with mixed metallics in both silver and gold will add desirable sparkle and glamour.

    Luxe touches like fur stockings layered with black and white textiles increase the sophistication of the space.

    Living room with modern holiday decor

    4. Colorful

    Seasonal decorating should not be restricted to silver and gold, or traditional red and green.

    Think outside the box when it comes to color. Mix pinks and purple ornaments with green and blue and nestle them among greenery.

    Add colorful candles too! A faceted decorative mirror sparkles in the center of the colorful display.

    A faceted decorative mirror hangs above a holiday mantel

    5. Unexpected

    Ignore rules of perfect symmetry and instead play with scale and proportion in an asymmetrical arrangement.

    Layer predictable holiday elements in unpredictable ways! Notice the cluster of ornaments on the left and stockings on the right anchored by a modern wood slice arrangement in the firebox.

    Dramatic decorative mirrors positioned above the mantel fill the vertical space and maintain the calm amid the creativity on display.

    A uniquely decorated holiday mantel with decorative mirror above

    Spend an hour or two getting creative with your holiday mantel decor this holiday season, one you'll enjoy looking at while you sip hot beverages and warm yourself by the fire!

    image sources: the lily pad cottage, tomkat studio, bliss at home, hi sugarplum, hunted interior

  • Oversized French Country Kitchens

    When the weather starts to turn, I find myself in the kitchen more often. The heat from the kitchen, along with the warmth of a home cooked meal can really warm you up when the nights are long, dark and cold.

    While my actual kitchen is teeny tiny, it doesn't hurt to imagine what my dream kitchen would look like - it would look a lot like these French-inspired kitchens below.

    Modern details mixed with rustic materials and oversized appliances fill out these gigantic kitchen spaces so well. These oversized French country kitchens become more than just an utilitarian cooking space, but a welcoming, gathering space for those cool fall and winter nights.

    French Country kitchen with recessed lighting and exposed wood beams

    Neutral tones are often found in French country kitchens. Warm and rich browns become the accent to a primarily creamy palette that seems to almost float amidst the heavy appliances. Utilitarian meets simple style in these wide open spaces.

    French country-inspired kitchen with bronze chandelier and counter height barstools

    Using materials that are original to the house can make the space really come alive and have great depth and character. The exposed brick backsplash and archway inject warmth into this kitchen space that also features more modern materials.

    French Country kitchen with pendant lanterns hanging over the island

    The height of this kitchen is so fantastic, the perfect pendant chandelier is the only way to highlight it. With an expansive height such as this, powerful lighting gets attention and becomes a focal point in an otherwise neutral kitchen. 

    French Country style kitchen with crystal and gold chandelier over the island

    One of the most contemporary kitchens in the round up, the detailing on the marble, both on the island as well as the backsplash, makes this kitchen inherently French.

    Another detail is the oversized zinc hood that is truly a focal point for the space.

    The chef who gets to preparer in this space definitely knows their way around the kitchen.

    Traditional all white kitchen inspired by the French Country style

    Anyone who doesn't look at this next kitchen and wish it upon themselves is crazy. This stunning space is rich with detail, but not gaudy thank again to the neutrality of the color story.

    The bright white kitchen gets a touch of depth with the vintage tile backsplash and dark cabinet hardware.

    Rustic French Country-inspired kitchen with lanterns hanging above the island and reclaimed exposed wood beams

    One final but very important detail in any French kitchen is the exposed rustic ceiling beam. These larger than life kitchens with gorgeous cabinetry, counters and appliances have such purpose, and capping the space off with exposed rustic beams completes the look, and is truly designed from ceiling to floor.

    Image Souces: L Kae Interiors, Providence DesignDust Jacket Attic, Decorpad, Better Homes and Gardens, Home Bunch

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