Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

The phrase “shabby elegance” might sound like an oxymoron, but the term actually describes the interior design style it represents pretty accurately. Shabby elegance is a style characterized by distressed, antique-looking furniture, soft colors and romantic touches. Here’s how to get the look in your home.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Refurbished ideas

Tip #1: Find ways to recycle and repurpose old furniture

Shabby elegance is all about giving new life to old furniture pieces. Use reclaimed wood to create a fashionably worn dining table or use vintage suitcases as décor. Repurposing will give your home the character and personality that’s been missing.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #2: Add elegance with a chandelier

Repurposing furniture will help create a shabby appearance, but the room needs a touch of elegance, too. Create a nice balance of the two elements by hanging up a beautiful crystal chandelier. Crystal chandeliers will complement your antique-style furniture nicely and give the room a more sophisticated appearance overall.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Photo credit: Savor Home

Tip #3: Use white as a background

White is the perfect starting color for shabby elegant spaces and will give your home a refreshed look. Start by mixing bright whites with antique whites for variety and depth, and then mix in light colors such as rose or sage green.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #4: Avoid being too matchy-matchy

Shabby elegance is not about looking perfect. It’s about character and comfort! Instead of buying furniture in a set, bring in different pieces that complement each other for a more visually interesting room.

Shabby Elegance: How to get the look in your home

Tip #5: Accessorize to complete the look

Add a touch of romance here and there with accessories that complete the style you’re trying to achieve. Accessories like antique picture frames, flower vases, artwork and rugs can all be used to create a shabby elegant space. They will also make your room feel cozier.

Shabby elegance is the perfect combination of cozy and sophisticated. Use these tips to create this look in your home and enjoy the warmth and beauty it provides.

By Wendy Weinert

Ideas for using modern light fixtures in traditional spaces

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Worried your style is becoming too predictable? Do the unexpected and transform your traditional space with a modern light fixture. When used appropriately, modern lights can kick your home’s traditional interior up a notch for a style that is truly unique. Here are three different ideas for making it work.

Ideas for using modern light fixtures in traditional spaces

Add a whimsical touch

Traditional spaces tend to have a serious appearance, but you can change all that with a modern light fixture. Choose a pendant or chandelier that is playful and fun to lighten the mood and help your room feel more relaxed. This will also help you hit that perfect sweet spot between formal and casual.

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Repeat shapes and finishes

The easiest way to find a modern light fixture that will work in your traditional space is to find elements in the room and then repeat them. Identify the various finishes and shapes in a room and find a light fixture to match. If your room has brass accents, for example, then hang up a brass fixture to tie the look together.

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Bring a room into the present

Sometimes a modern light fixture is the only way to keep a room from feeling outdated. If you live in an older home with lots of traditional detailing, help bring it into the present era with modern lighting that both complements your interior and updates the look, too. Be sure to match your fixture to existing elements in the room so it doesn’t look out of place.Ideas for using modern light fixtures in traditional spaces

Who says you have to go all modern or only traditional? Adding a modern light fixture in a traditional space allows you to combine the best characteristics of each style to achieve the exact look you want in your home.

By Wendy Weinert

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

With so many styles, designs and types of light fixtures to choose from, picking out the right one for your space is not always an obvious or easy choice. You can, however, improve your chances of finding lighting success by avoiding these three common mistakes:

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #1: Choosing a light fixture based on style over functionality

There are many beautiful and stylish light fixtures available that will improve your space’s appearance and enhance the overall look. Choosing a light fixture solely on its appearance, however, could leave you with less than optimal light output. The right fixture should be both stylish and functional, so consider your desired light output and keep it in mind when searching for a new light fixture.

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #2: Selecting a light fixture without considering ceiling height

It’s important that your family and guests can walk around your home comfortably without needing to duck to avoid hitting their head. Keep these rules of thumb in mind when choosing a ceiling light (these rules only apply when hanging light fixtures over walking spaces):

  • Ceilings below eight feet: If you have a low ceiling and are not planning to install the light over a table or counter, it’s best to choose a flush-mount light fixture so taller people can walk around safely.
  • Ceilings between eight and ten feet: If your ceiling is slightly higher, choose either a flush-mount light or a semi-flush lights, which typically hang just a foot away from the ceiling.
  • Ceilings over ten feet: For high ceilings, it is often best to install a pendant or chandelier to light up your space more effectively.

3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing light fixtures

Mistake #3: Relying too much on overhead lighting

Every room is different, but generally you’ll want to have a combination of task, accent and general ambient lighting to create a well-lit space. While you can install ceiling lights to provide the general overall lighting, be sure to also incorporate other types of light fixtures such as lamps or wall sconces.

Choosing a light fixture isn’t always easy, but avoiding these three mistakes will help you choose better lighting solutions so you can enjoy a home that is both stylish and functional.

By Wendy Weinert

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

In interior design there are trends and guidelines that homeowners can follow, but trends change and guidelines are only guidelines. There are no hard-fast rules to dictate how people should decorate their home. So then why are there are all of these unwritten rules hindering us from designing the home that we really want? It’s time to debunk some of those common interior design myths and start breaking the so-called “rules.”

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Photo Credit: Parade

1. Everything has to match

While you want your room to look cohesive and put-together, that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate different prints, patterns and textures. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Mindy Kaling’s home for proof! If you’re worried about overwhelming the room, just stay within the same color palette to pull the look together.

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Photo credit: Imgfave

2. Every room needs color

If you want an all-white room, then go for it! There are other ways, besides decorating with colorful pieces, to add dimension to one’s space. Use texture as a way to liven up the room and decorate with different shades and tones of the same color.

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

3. Chandeliers belong in formal spaces

Chandeliers may have belonged in the sophisticated dining room or the grand foyer in the past, but not anymore! With recent design trends and the shift toward trendier, more casual designs, a chandelier can now be used in any room of the home – formal or casual.

4. Area rugs are only for hardwood floors

Area rugs are in fact a great way to cozy up a hardwood floor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use a rug in a carpeted room as well. If you have a neutral carpet, a textured rug featuring a bold color or print is a great way to add some visual excitement to your space.

It’s okay to break the rules: 5 Interior design myths debunked

Photo credit: Cheesy Chic

5. Decorating “rules” must be followed

There’s no harm in following decorating guidelines, but don’t be afraid to break the rules to create a space that is truly you! All-in-all, your home should reflect your personality and style, rather than be a representation of how you think your space should look.

By Wendy Weinert

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

On March 2, millions of viewers will tune in to the 86th Academy Awards ceremony, some hoping to see their favorite actor or actress win an award, others mainly interested in the gorgeous ball gowns and handsome tuxes. Unfortunately, however, viewers miss the most captivating part of the night – the Governors Ball. While beautiful people, designer dresses and stunning jewelry make up most of the eye-candy during the awards ceremony, it’s the custom-designed light fixtures that steal the show at the Oscars after party.

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

You’ve been to parties, and maybe even a fancy gala or two, but nothing quite compares to the Governors Ball. Only 1,500 people are invited, many of them the Oscar winners, nominees and show presenters. As you’ve probably already guessed (just from the guest list alone), the Governors Ball is no ordinary after party and a couple of hanging lights would never do it justice.

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

The Governors Ball is an event for the best of the best, and the party’s decor, therefore, has to rise to the occasion. For the past 24 years, event producer Cheryl Cecchetto has been in charge of decorating the Governors Ball and along with her Sequoia Productions team has been breaking new ground in lighting and design.

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

Photo credit: Daily Life

Just to give you an example of her incredible work, at last year’s 2013 Governors Ball, Cecchetto had a 120-foot chandelier custom-made specifically for the big night. It was an elliptical, six-tiered chandelier with 18,000 LED points of light that changed colors throughout the evening – talk about extreme mood lighting. The chandelier was so big that it actually broke the Guinness Book of World Records for largest chandelier and covered 25 percent of the ballroom!

Mood lighting at its finest: Inside the Governors Ball and its impressive lighting display

Nadine Froger Photography

That was last year and we can’t wait to see what Cecchetto and her team does next! The transcendent wonder of nature will be this year’s theme, and it has been said that the ball will feature lush vertical gardens where the guests can mingle under the stars.

By Wendy Weinert

Why pineapples are popular in interior design

Have you ever asked yourself why pineapples are so popular in interior design? Sure it’s a delightful and fun design trend, but what makes this fruit so special?

Pineapple Medley, Set of Three #612962

Pineapple Medley, Set of Three #612962

Pineapples have been showing up in American interior design for years now and it’s not just because they add a cute design element to one’s home. The reason for this fruit being a popular decorating choice has a lot to do with history and goes way back to the time of Christopher Columbus.

Christopher Columbus
Pineapples originated in South America, but once they were “discovered” by Christopher Columbus in 1493, the fruit made its way to Europe and became an instant hit. By the 17th century, this sweet fruit made its way to America – and design enthusiasts are grateful that it did! What started out as a delicious piece of fruit eventually became a stylish symbol for hospitality in people’s homes.
In early America, colonists had to import pineapples from the Caribbean and this made the fruit a rare commodity. Those who were lucky – or wealthy enough – to get a pineapple would show it off and use it to adorn their dining table. Since this fruit was so hard to come by, people who were visiting saw a pineapple centerpiece as a compliment and a welcoming gesture. The popular fruit then became symbolic and was more than just a tasty treat. It became a sign of neighborliness and was used to show friendliness toward guests.

It didn’t take long before pineapples moved from the dining table and started showing up in one’s interior design. People would welcome guests into their home with pineapples featured in light fixtures, doors, shutters, bedposts and even wallpaper!

Ellington by Craftmade Pineapple Matte White 52 Inch Blade Span Outdoor Ceiling Fan And Blades #827446

Ellington by Craftmade Pineapple Matte White 52 Inch Blade Span Outdoor Ceiling Fan And Blades #827446

Antique Gold Pineapple Table Lamp #444211

Antique Gold Pineapple Table Lamp #444211

Castilian Trading Acanthus Leaves and Pineapple Six-Light Chandelier #475198

Castilian Trading Acanthus Leaves and Pineapple Six-Light Chandelier #475198

Whitehall Products Pewter Silver Pineapple Aluminum Welcome Mat #132922

Whitehall Products Pewter Silver Pineapple Aluminum Welcome Mat #132922

If you love the look of pineapple designs and want to incorporate some historic symbolism into your home’s interior design, show off your hospitality with a stylish pineapple lamp or throw pillow in the living room. Guests will be intrigued by your new décor and be impressed with your welcoming taste.

By Wendy Weinert

Formal vs. Casual Chandeliers: What’s the Difference?

It’s hard to imagine a chandelier as being “casual.” You probably imagine most chandeliers to be large and ornate, decorated with beautiful crystals and many light bulbs. While these formal chandeliers are still popular, the trend in chandelier styles has changed drastically. Now designers create chandeliers to meet our contemporary needs, and they’re still just as stylish!

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When picking out a chandelier, it is important that the design of the chandelier matches the style of the room. You don’t want a formal chandelier installed in a casual area. Most of the time, just looking at a chandelier will tell you what style it is, but it’s also helpful to have an idea of what characteristics make a chandelier formal or casual.

Photo Credit: Beautiful Things

Photo Credit: Beautiful Things

Formal Chandeliers

Rarely do we find the large crystal chandeliers you see in old movies, but crystal chandeliers don’t have to be quite as large to be considered formal. They don’t even need to be crystal! Brass or iron chandeliers also present an elegant, formal style that instantly makes a room look more sophisticated. Sometimes it’s even the design of the chandelier that lends a classy appearance. The more graceful tiers and bulb or candle holders the chandelier has, the dressier it tends to look.

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Casual Chandeliers

Casual chandeliers come in a variety of styles, shapes and materials. Generally though, casual fixtures are created with simpler lines and less-over-the-top designs than a formal chandelier would have. If you have a room that would benefit from a chandelier (and what room wouldn’t?), but needs a more laid-back design, try hanging up a wooden chandelier or one that has smaller covered lamps. Simple chandeliers can still look unique and add style to any room, but won’t look out of place in a casual and relaxed environment.

What room in your home could use a chandelier? Browse through our selection of chandeliers and find the perfect level of simplicity or complexity that looks best in your room.

5 Places you can now Install a Chandelier

If you love chandeliers, but feel you don’t have the “proper” place to install one, then we have good news for you. Thanks to recent design trends and the fact that many of today’s homes are less formal than before, chandeliers can be used in any room of the house. That’s right – no longer are chandeliers reserved just for the dining room or the foyer. Now there are casual, elegant, and modern designs to fit in with any style of room. Here are just 5 unique places you can now install a chandelier:

Elk Lighting chandelier

1. Over the bed: Want to give your master bedroom a more romantic and elegant feel? Well, one of the simplest ways to transform the look of the bedroom is to install a chandelier right above the bed. Depending on your bedroom’s design, there are many styles of chandeliers that could work including crystal chandeliers or fixtures with soft-glow bulbs.

Trans Globe Lighting

2. Outdoors: Out of all the places you might have considered installing a chandelier, you probably never thought of outside! With a chandelier hung up on your patio, you can enjoy a nice meal and a glass of wine with family or friends. If you have a front porch with a couch or chairs, create a relaxing atmosphere by installing a casual chandelier. If you have to use a chandelier that operates on candles, use flameless candles for better safety.

Classic Lighting Via Firenze Silver Plate Four-Light Mini-Chandelier with Sapphire Crystal Accents

3. Walk-in closet: A walk-in closet has a way of making a room feel luxurious and now you can make it appear even more lavish by hanging up an elegant chandelier. While you might choose to install an elegant and classy chandelier, make sure it isn’t too big so that it gets in the way. A walk-in closet may be bigger than your average sized closet, but it still isn’t as large as most rooms.

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4. In the bathroom: Create a relaxed atmosphere in the bathroom by installing a chandelier above the bathtub. The soft glow of the chandelier will make long, hot baths even more enjoyable and you’ll come out feeling refreshed.

Photo credit: Geuhne-Made

Photo credit: Geuhne-Made

5. Over the kitchen island: Just because the kitchen is a highly functional room, doesn’t mean you can’t make it stylish! Try installing several mini chandeliers over the kitchen island or just one large chandelier to give the kitchen a more unique look. Friends and family will be more drawn to the island countertop and it will become the heart of the kitchen.

Where in your home can you install a chandelier? Try out one or more of these ideas and add some style to your home!

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