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.

  • The Perfect Outdoor Dining Set

    When it comes to finding the perfect outdoor table and chair... and sifting and sorting through option after option... you may find yourself asking... does the perfect one exist?

    Charming outdoor dining area under the trees

    Well, today I am going to delve into the world of outdoor tables and talk about some of my favorite options for them.

    From things like gorgeous acacia wood... to modern wicker all the way to gorgeous retro style - because somewhere out there you will find some of THE most perfect outdoor dining sets.

    One of my favorite looks on the patio is gorgeous detailed metal table and chairs, like the Floral Blossom Dining Set. They have some of the most intricate and delicate details with scrolls and flowers often times molded into the frames. And metal sets can evoke English Cottage style on a patio with a charming elegant look and feeling.

    Metal dining set with intricate details on slate patio

    They come in all shapes and sizes - from seating for 8 to seating for 2 with a bistro set, like the La Fleur Bronze Outdoor Bistro Set below.

    Metal bistro set on brick patio surrounded by plants

    I am a huge fan of vintage style furniture - and Orson Outdoor Dining Set is retro perfection. I love the bold green and white - but it is available in a variety of colors to add your perfect vintage flair to your yard.

    Retro dining set in bright green in a backyard

    And for another option- wooden table and folding chairs

    Outdoor dining set with folding wood chairs on stone patio

    The Amazonian Milano Patio Dining Set will add charm to patios of all shapes and sizes. A favorite look is this style on simple pea gravel for a European elegance.

    Wood patio outdoor dining sets, like the DeAngelo Extendable Table Dining Set, are another one of my favorite styles. I love the classic feeling they have - and they are at home on a formal patio or an informal patio style - which makes them perfect for nearly any style.

    Eucalyptus wood 11-piece outdoor dining set

    Of course with so many choices, I would be forgetting a huge option if I left out all-weather wicker chairs and tables. A modern and yet classic style that is perfect for so many styles - from coastal to traditional.

    All-weather wicker outdoor dining set poolsideAnd I have to be honest, this might be a new favorite- this very classic Antigua Rattan Patio Dining Set.

    So charming and so many beachy possibilities. Paired with  a tropical look -  it is a little slice of beach side dining right in your backyard.

    Tropical rattan dining set under outdoor ceiling fan

    Add a stylish and functional outdoor patio umbrella - to provide some pleasant shade - so you can enjoy dining outdoors even when the sun is at its strongest.

    No matter what your favorite look or style is - there is a ton of options for finding the perfect outdoor dining set for you over at Lamps Plus. What is your favorite style?

    Image source: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • 5 Questions for Pasadena Showcase House Designer Jason Lai

    This year's Pasadena Showcase House of Design is from April 17th to May 15th and Lamps Plus was very excited to provide lighting to LA-based  L2 Interiors  for their two spaces in the showcase's location in La Canada Flintridge, CA.

    Jason Lai and interiors from the Pasadena Showcase House

    We were able to ask Jason Lai, one of the principals of L2 Interiors, some interior design questions, and here's what he said:

    1. The best design advice I ever received is:

    - Always hire a designer.

    2. When decorating, you should splurge on:

    - I always splurge on staple furniture, typically choosing traditional neutral pieces that will age timelessly while still moving with trends.

    3. Favorite Four:

    - Color: Grey
    - Furniture Piece: Arm chair
    - Lighting: Chandeliers and pendants, the arch light
    - Accessory: Pillow

    4. How important is lighting to your designs?

    -  Very important, it sets the mood for the entire space.

    5. What is one “trick of the trade” that you implement in your designs?

    -  Accessories make the room; they are the finishing touch that spruce up any space.

    Read our post on the 2016 Pasadena Showcase House to see L2 Interiors' beautiful bedroom and bathroom designs!

    Room Photography: Jason Melcher

  • Lamps Plus and the Pasadena Showcase House 2016

    Lamps Plus was excited by the opportunity to  provide lighting fixtures to L2 Interiors for their rooms in the Pasadena Showcase House of Design this year.

    The showcase house is an annual event for interior designers to show off their talent in an architecturally significant home; proceeds from the Pasadena Showcase House go towards music education in local schools.

    This year, L2 Interiors designed both a young adult's bedroom and a Jack and Jill bathroom; a Jack and Jill bathroom is a bathroom with two doors that is shared by two adjoining bedrooms.

    Bedroom designed by Jason Lai featuring a contemporary crystal chandelier

    The bedroom is full of whimsy, style and luxury - a gorgeous 4-poster bed anchors the room that is designed in a timeless color palette of calming blue, taupe and cream. Decorative touches like the organic ceramic sculpture over the bed give the room a masculine feel.

    The traditional 4-poster bed is flanked by dark wood console tables that act as bedside tables. Deborah Clear Art Glass Table Lamps rest on top of the consoles to provide warm, ambient light.

    The eye-catching Mulina Crystal Pendant from Possini Euro hangs over the bed and brings some sparkle to the room.

    Contemporary bathroom featuring a circular fluted glass pendant over a free-standing tub

    The bathroom is designed in the same color palette of blue, taupe and cream as the bedroom, which ties the design of both rooms together. The same organic ceramic sculpture that hangs over the bed in the adjoining bedroom hangs over the free-standing tub, further reinforcing the connection.

    Not to be outdone by the bedroom, the bathroom also sports a contemporary crystal chandelier. The Modern Fluted Glass Chandelier adds finesse to the already stylish space.

    The dual vanities are flanked by two Chrome Sconces with a Textured Fabric Shades to ensure your face is evenly lit from the sides while grooming; there's nothing worse than unflattering shadows cast across your face from above!

    Lighting is such an important component of a space's design and Lamps Plus is so happy to have been able to work with L2 Interiors on their Pasadena Showcase House of Design project!

    To learn more about Jason Lai and L2 Interiors, read 5 Questions for Pasadena Showcase House Designer Jason Lai.

    Photo Credit:Jason Melcher

  • A Ladylike Dressing Room

    Men have their dark leather and wood man caves complete with gargantuan flat screen TVs, so it only makes sense that those of the fairer sex get their own space too! Enter the dressing room.

    A ladylike dressing room

    When I think of a dressing room, I have visions of Daisy Buchanan laying languorously on a chaise, enjoying a dressing drink while deciding what beautiful dress to wear as her dinner guests wait impatiently downstairs.

    Luckily, dressing rooms aren't reserved for Hemingway's heroines. It only takes a few pieces to create a beautifyl dressing room of your own.

    If you don't have a whole room to dedicate to a dream room like this, you can incorporate some of the elements into your bedroom, like a small vanity and a stylish chair with some feminine flair, or a luxurious bench at the end of the bed.

    A selection of styles from Lamps Plus to create a ladylike dressing room

    A great place to start designing your dressing room is by choosing a stylish chaise, like the Patterson Chaise Lounge in taupe. Not only is it a great place to relax and take stock of your day, it also is the perfect spot to lay out your outfit for the next day.

    Add some texture or pattern to the design with a luxe decorative pillow. This Gold Velvet Pillow is perfect for this soothing, neutral design scheme.

    Add a chic side table  like the Spike Antique Brass Accent Table near the chaise as a place to rest the aforementioned dressing drink, or to display some flowers. If fresh flowers aren't in your budget, beautiful faux florals are a good option.

    Next up? A vanity table. You can use a desk or stylish console table as a vanity, just make sure the depth of the console isn't too shallow. The Daenillia Console Table has three drawers, perfect for holding your makeup when not in use.

    You need a place to perch while you primp and a fabulous dining chair or stool is perfect for the job. I love the playful nature of the Zelda Stool.

    Let's not forget to include  fab decorative wall mirrors! The Devoll Classical Gold Wall Mirror is perfect for over a vanity.  Add in a tall mirror so you can see yourself in all your sartorial glory.

    Light up the space with a glamorous crystal table lamp like the Spindle Mercury Glass Table Lamp from the Crestview Collection. Make sure the lamp is tall enough to properly light your face from the side while grooming.

    And last, but certainly not least, add an eye-catching crystal chandelier to bring in even more sparkle to the space. The design of this Chrome and Crystal Chandelier is delicate and elegant, perfect for a ladylike dressing room.

    Style the space with some home accessories to add more personal flair to the space so you can truly call it your own.

    Image: Lamps Plus

  • Outdoor Porch Basics

    It’s that time of year again to focus on your home’s exterior. Outdoor porch basics should be top of the list because the front of your home is the first thing guests will see. Assuming you have a porch, there are a few simple and inexpensive ways to make it more welcoming. 

    A Traditional Porch with Timeless Wicker Decor

    I love this outdoor porch. It has all of the key elements that make it storybook cute. For starters, and even before you accessorize, you need to make sure your woodwork and trim is freshly painted and the general maintenance is in order.

    Once that is done, the next item on the list should be lighting. Lighting is key on a front porch as it is basically the beacon for your home.  Outdoor wall lights are ideal by the front door.

    I happen to think, if you have the room, a classic outdoor ceiling fan with a light is a welcome addition. The fan will keep you and guests cool and the light will allow you to use the space all night long.

    Wicker outdoor furniture is timeless on a porch, as seen above, but I also like a classic wood rocker like the one below. Think southern charm, not Granny for The Beverly Hillbillies!  

    Finally, and as I have said many times over in my posts, make sure you have cushions and pillows for outdoor seating to ensure everybody is comfortable.

    Timess Lighting and Decor for Front Porches and Covered Patios from Lamps Plus

    1. The Industrial Bronze Outdoor Ceiling Fan by Casa Solera has a cool retro feel but will also go with any other bronze fixtures on your porch.

    2. This colorful Green Butterfly Outdoor Pillow will add a pop of color to outdoor sofas and chairs.

    3. I like the industrial look of the Marlowe Bronze Metal Cage Outdoor Wall Light. It’s great by a door or even on a garage.

    4. You can’t get more classic than the moss colored Acacia Wood Outdoor Rocking Chair.

    5. If you need extra soft seating, or a casual spot for the kids to lounge on, I’d consider this green colored Wavy Stripe Square Pouf.

    6. This Adirondack Style Moss Green Acacia Wood Outdoor Side Table would look great with the rocker. It will never go out of style and embodies the color of nature.

    Image: Lamps Plus

  • Quick and Easy Alfresco Dining

    The season of outdoor living is finally upon us!

    From coast to coast May signifies the start of outdoor indulgences and fun al fresco parties that last long into the night.

    While some may be put off by having to decorate their patio in order to dine outside, it's much easier than you think.

    Here we look at some great inspiration images that will inspire you to create both daytime and nighttime al fresco dining areas.

    Red retro-style outdoor dining set under party lights strung between trees

    One of the best ways to set up an al fresco dining area is to consider that it can and will be used once the sun sets. Since warm nights beckon us outside, it's great if you can have somewhere to dine and linger long into the night.

    Outdoor party lights are reminiscent of your favorite parisian cafe and give the most beautiful glow to any outdoor space. They are fun, cool and casual all at once and require very little in the way of labor and installation.

    To match the playful nature of the party lights, an equally fun dining set is the perfect thing to complete the scene. Opting for a bright red, mid-century inspired set makes the set up feel fresh, cool and unique.

    This al fresco vignette feels like a secret cafe where you and your friends and family can escape and spend the warm summer nights.

    Two outdoor bistro sets, one round, one square, on a patio

    During the hot summer days nothing is better than a cold glass of sangria in your own backyard. Setting up an al fresco dining area, even if you can't light it up, is so useful and will quickly become your favorite chill spot. 

    The outdoor dining vignette above is classic and approachable and is able to adapt to just about any personal style.

    The classic bistro lines of these outdoor patio furniture sets will age very well season after season.

    I love how the table shapes vary, creating the illusion of a small cafe setup which is also easily pushed together to create a larger dining space.

    If you're dining outdoors during the day, the sun can get pretty intense. Add a colorful outdoor patio umbrella to provide some much needed shade.

    As you can see, these bistro sets take up such a little amount of room, they are a quick and easy way to create an al fresco dining area just about anywhere - the options are endless!

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Find a Quiet Spot to Sit on an Outdoor Bench

    One of my favorite spots to create in a yard is a spot with an outdoor bench tucked into a garden full of wildflowers, or nestled up against a backdrop of greenery.

    A bunch of purple flowers on a wooden outdoor bench
    An outdoor bench is a perfect plac for small yards and front patios - as well as for large spaces. They are versatile and easy to incorporate nearly anywhere - and create a charming spot to sit and enjoy nature.

    I have a huge love of simplicity when it comes to charming outdoor benches. Classic lines, clean stylings, and a cushion that makes lingering longer more enjoyable - they are all things to look for when looking for a perfect bench.

    Here are 5 things to consider about outdoor benches - that might help you choose the right one for you.

    1. Weathered Patina

    I am a huge fan of patina - so a bench with a worn and weathered gray finish is one that catches my eye every time. This Gray Acacia Wood Bench is beautiful - and looks like a perfect size for a smaller area.

    A grey Acacia wood outdoor bench in a garden

    2. It's All in the Details

    Details, details, details... it is all in the details. From turned legs to a classic design like the one on the back of this Folding Outdoor Bench - I am all about the details and this bench - is talking to me.

    A folding bench on the edge of a patio

    3. Classic Style

    A metal bench is always a perfect option. Metal benches tend to have a lot of scrolls and cutout details that are absolutely charming - especially with an abundance of plants all around. I love the simple, almost Gothic-style detailing on this Outdoor Antique Steel Bench - so pretty right down to the finials.

    Metal outdoor bench with intricate Gothic-style details4. Vintage Style Porch Swing

    I am in love with vintage style as you probably already know - and what better way to evoke thoughts of evenings wrapped up in warm summer air and a blanket while listening to the crickets chirp away than this X-Back Porch Swing? Classic.Vintage. Charming. I love the idea of them - and if you don't have a porch - you can create a spot in your yard for a swing.
    An outdoor wood swing with lattice detail on the back

    5. Clean Lines

    If you have a more modern than vintage style - and prefer something with a very clean lined appearance - this simple Brushed Aluminum Bench might be perfect for you.

    Modern brushed aluminum outdoor benchNo matter what your style preference is - outdoor benches are always a charming and inviting spot in your garden or yard. I think the detailed wood bench might be my favorite of the ones I shared - which one is yours?

    Images: French Country Cottage; Lamps Plus

  • Modern Mirrors and Accents

    Modern mirrors have come a long way since Versailles and now can impact the look of just not wall mirrors but furniture and home decor. I guess people have realized that casting shimmering light around a room from many perspectives can add glamour from any angle.

    A Glamorous Master Bedroom with Highly Stylish Mirrored Decor

    I loved this image because it captures the corner of a master bedroom outfitted with modern mirrored accents. Stylish decorative mirrors become wall art in a space like this and beautifully balance the elegant mirrored furniture like the desk.

    If you are strapped for space in the bedroom or bathroom, a mirrored desk like this can also do double duty as a highly styled dressing table!

    While I’m crazy for a mirrored lamp, there are times to hold back. Because there are mirrors on the wall and furniture, I would opt for a non-reflective light, such as the ceramic lamp on the desk.

    Balance is always key. Remember, too much of a good thing is probably too much.

    Contemporary Mirrored Lighting and Home Accents from Lamps Plus

    1. This textured silver wall mirror has a subtle relief pattern which makes it perfect for transitional designed spaces.

    2. Foyers beware. This chrome mirror-frost LED wall sconce is uber-contemporary and has the wow factor that is ideal for a modern front hall.

    3. I love the pizzazz of this three stacked rods ceiling light fixture by Possini. It packs design flair but does not take up much room if you have lower ceilings.

    4. The geometric mirrored glass table lamp is thoroughly modern and would be amazing in a living room or master bedroom.

    5. Don’t forget to include mirrored furniture in your home like this stylish rectangle pattern side table which would be very chic in a sophisticated master bedroom or as an occasional table in a highly styled living room.

    What are your thoughts on modern mirrors and accents?

    Image: Lamps Plus

  • Get Your Outdoor Spaces Ready for Summer

    The quest for beautifying outdoor spaces is heightened at this time of year when we’re spending more time outdoors in warm weather, so now is the time to consider replacing or upgrading your outdoor lighting.

    Attractive sconces, pendants, and ceiling fans are an investment, but also one that pays off by adding value to your home.

    Bronze is a finish that dates back centuries but still remains one of the most desirable looks in lighting. Oil rubbed bronze weathers well and offers a desirable contrast to pale tones. When suspended in natural light, the bronze shapes are more readily visible than chrome or white.

    Outdoor bistro set in a bronze finish on a stone patio

    Capture the look of a classic outdoor barn light with the curvaceous Feiss Redding Bronze Barn Light; or illuminate your home with the Nuage Vintage Bronze Sconce, its round shape offers a nice contrast to the angular lines of a rectangular doorway.

    The European-inspired Maxim Dover Outdoor Wall Light reminds one of the Mediterranean while the shapely Quoizel Seaford Wall Light is reminiscent of coastal memories spent on the boardwalk.

    A selection of bronze outdoor sconces from Lamps PlusThe energy-efficient Bellagio Hanging Light is alluring with its hammered glass shape, and the traditional style of the Kichler Mount Vernon LED Pendant makes it one that works in any outdoor space.

    The Kichler Lyndon Pendant is streamlined but has an industrial vibe, suspend it over an outdoor bar or kitchen. Consider the classic Hinkley Barrington Pendant Light with its candelabra and seedy glass for a porch or outdoor dining space.

    Bronze outdoor pendants from Lamps PlusMany outdoor spaces in warmer climates demand air circulation, so look to outdoor ceiling fans for keeping the air flowing. A cool breeze is far better than stagnant air, and if you install an all-weather fan there’s no need to worry about it in cold or warm temperatures, it’s designed to stand the test of time.

    Wicker rocking chairs on front porch under outdoor ceiling fan

    Mimic the look of the Hermitage Forged Outdoor Ceiling Fan pictured above, the caged glass and walnut blades make it a timeless design. The contemporary look of the streamlined Casa Vieja Oil Rubbed Bronze Ceiling Fan will be one that complements any modern covered porch.

    Make a statement with the all-weather blades and opal glass found in the Minka Aire Slipstream Fan. If you have a more compact or narrow space, consider the Emerson Curval Fan in oil-rubbed bronze.

    Outdoor ceiling fans in bronze from Lamps Plus

    Thousands of fixtures in multiple finishes are available at Lamps Plus but you can never go wrong with the beauty of bronze, indoors or out!

    Images: Lamps Plus

  • Front Yard Fixes

    By now everything has thawed and it’s time to honestly assess the front of your house. Did everything survive winter? Do things look shabby? If so, front yard fixes are in order and don’t need to break the bank.

    A Classic Front Walk with Pathway Lights

    I fell in love with this pathway for a few reasons. First, it reminds me of summer in the country and second, it’s the epitome of a casual and elegant landscape design. Nothing says summer like the crunch of gravel under foot. Now, women who favor heels will probably argue, and I don’t blame them, but wispy grass, gravel paths and a white picket gate is the most welcoming summer entrance, ever.

    I also happen to love how this front yard is not too fussy. Simple with just a few natural elements are really all you need. The purist might push back on the lighting but I think chic pathway lights are critical for practical and aesthetic reasons. Naturally you need to find your way in the dark, and why not highlight your beautiful landscaping and hardscaping with subtle LED lights? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    Modern Exterior Lighting and Accents in Black and White from Lamps Plus

    1. This bold, black LED downlight is ideal flanking front doors and truly pops on white wood, shingles or stucco.

    2. The traditional style black outdoor armchair is timeless on a front stoop or porch or nestled in a gravel patch leading up to your door.

    3. Light your path with this sleek landscape LED black dome path light by Kichler.

    4. I like the cheerful look to the Dann Foley Pacific metallic wicker square outdoor planter. It’s classic and fresh at the same time.

    5. Create a pathway focal point with this bronze landscape light by Hinkley.

    6. You can’t go wrong with garden stools, especially this high-energy white glaze cut-out version.

    Image: Lamps Plus

Home Decorating Blog