Top picks on West Elm's On Sale lighting

Industrial Pendant - Glass $79 from $99

Lamps are one of those house-hold items I didn't get into until just recently or more specifically, until I became old enough to appreciate beautiful lighting, realizing that these accessories however normal and everyday they may be can certainly do a lot to lend character to a room if chosen with some thought.  Like with all other material goods in life lighting can be pretty expensive, hence I bring to you today Top Picks on West Elm's collection of lighting that are ON SALE.

Starting with my favorite (pictured at top) the Industrial Pendant (in glass), where I can easily picture in dining room or kitchen for a clean look that would go most charmingly with a rustic inspired decor.   Be a little daring and try the Industrial Pendant in multiples with layered lengths to create more of a mood.  10.5" in diameter and 11"h. 

I always like to use warm, large shaded, crystal bodied lamps for office decor but even so always have trouble NOT looking through task table lamps such as West Elm's Industrial Task Table Lamp (picture below).  I've always been intrigued by the looks and usability of the task table lamps but have never really found one that looked  just right, however West Elm's Industrial Task Table Lamp comes pretty close with it's multiple choice of colors, high sheen and joint detailing.  7" in diameter and 33" h.

Industrial Task Table Lamp $55 from $69

Mia Table Lamp $103 from $129

I saw the Mia Table Lamp (pictured above) in person and immediately stopped in my tracks.  I have to admit that the Mia Table Lamp is much more catching in person as the picture does not give the full detail and texture of the lamp as it really is, the body has the appearance of crackled pieces glazed together, a very subtle yet beautiful and eye-catching detail which cannot be seen in pictures.  The red glazed ceramic body is especially beautiful with the texture of the linen shade, and the clean modern lines created by the round shade and the symmetrically angled body lends a modern style to what could be otherwise have been a rustic vintage piece.  The Mia Table Lamp would be a beautiful accompaniment to any room that needs a pop of color or has red accents.  14.5" in diameter and 9.8" h.

My second favorite out of the On Sale selections of lighting at West Elm is the turning Pendant Lamp in wood and white (pictured below).  The potential that this lamp has to turn a room into something spectacular is what sells me.  Two of these Turning Pendant lamps on each side of a large bed in a minimal styled bedroom would be breath-taking, the wood detailing would give off a rustic vibe to an otherwise rather modern looking bedroom, I am especially taken with twists, turns and intrigues when it comes to decorating, hence my love for this Turning Pendant which is modern and minimal yet warm and rustic.  19" in diameter and 20"h.

Turning Pendant - Wood/White $119 from $149

The potential of a small space: True Value @ Dwell

Many get disheartened when a small space is all they can afford, I on the other hand, get really excited.  Small spaces are a fun challenge, and, takes much less to decorate.  Small spaces allows the interior designer in you to shine your brightest.  How can I arrange furniture to allow roomy-ness?  What unique smart ideas do I have up my sleeve to create more storage?  How can I allow a small space to portray a mood of country-comfort without overcrowding?

I often peruse the Dwell website to get my fill of pictures and ideas, here's one article that I think every interior lover can appreciate, "True Value" of a small space, an article by Aaron Britt regarding a small  516-square foot studio apartment located in the Slovak Republic, which was renovated for roughly $23,000, into this rather charming bachelor-style flat.

Pictures from Dwell, read the full article here as well.

Open shelving adds an extra charm and gives the area an open feel while at the same time smartly doubling as a wall
divider, a great way to create the feeling that there are separate rooms when dealing with one large space.

The use of sheer light friendly window coverings is a big plus as darkness isn't very friendly to small spaces and has a
tendency to make spaces feel smaller.

The hanging pots and pans is a great storage alternative but also lends height.

Adding greenery is a great way to add freshness.  Though I would have gone with a couple of larger potted tree plants
keeping the window sill clear and clean, this will do in the meantime.

I Stand Behind: Books, Domino and Design Sponge at Home

My husband and I recently purchased our first home and though we dream of living in the country far from the city we all have to start somewhere.  This three bedroom one and a half bathroom home with spacious front and backyard with a variety fruit trees is nestled in the heart of a residential neighborhood in LA's Korea Town.  The street is wide and clean, there is minimal traffic on the block and it is quiet, a middle-school sits 5 blocks away.  This home was practically a steal, the reason?  It will need some care.

Two months and counting to the day we move, the house will be renovated upon moving in.  The dinghy carpet that lay above the original wooden floors will be torn away.  The walls will be freshly painted.  The existing full bathroom will be redone and a master bathroom connected directly to the master bedroom will be installed.  The mudroom will be made smaller in order to enlarge the kitchen.  The first bedroom will be made into a library/office with a futon couch, this can double as a second guest bedroom.  

Needless to say we are very excited.

In my lasting "first home" excitement constant visions of what the place will look like when I'm done with it goes round and round in my head.  However somewhat understanding that decorating a one bedroom apartment is probably much easier than a three bedroom home has gotten me feeling a little overwhelmed.  There is much to be considered afterall, money/budget being the utmost, will the look I'm going for in each room turn out the way I want?  Is the second quandary, if not, how do I achieve what I am envisioning?

I am a big believer in the idea that anyone's design is a beautiful design, it is a form of expression- and therefor has no proper answer, there is no wrong way or right way when it comes to design and style.  A part of me has faith in how I feel and what I think is beautiful to guide me through this challenge of decorating and designing my first home, but then a part of me tells me to be at least well informed of the basic rules, norms and standards.  So I ordered two books, two books which I find so far to be very helpful.

Design Sponge at Home
Domino the Book of Decorating


Design Sponge at Home is probably my favorite design/decor book to turn to, with its many pictured examples of people's homes around the world it's a bit hard to beat, Domino, is a close second.  The layout of the book is simple, turn the pages and in the left upper corner you can find names and the location of the homes pictured on the following pages.  The book has more pictures than words, and even though I hate to read about design there is no denying that the side notes are interesting, both the visuals and the side notes gives me ideas of what I can do.

DIY Projects is the second chapter of the book (otherwise known as Do It Yourself Projects), I think this portion is just fantastic.  Want to press botanical specimens but don't know how?  Simply flip to page 190!  How about a rolling storage bench?  Page 210!  Chair bench, recycled wine bottle torch, a butterfly dome- you got it!  It's all here, and more.  This chapter is then followed by DIY Basics, another really great chapter that made me really happy and proud of myself that I bought this book.  DIY Basics discloses information such as, how to strip wooden furniture, how to paint furniture, how to staple-gun upholstery, how to choose fabrics for upholstery amongst other things.  

And then comes the Flower Workshop chapter, so if you have a garden of flowers you can learn a thing or two from this chapter, the basics, tricks and different designs of making arrangements.  And if you don't have a garden of beautiful flowers?  You can probably still learn a thing or two.

The book is closed with Before & After, here, refurbished material is transformed all accompanied with before and after pictures, of course.  Warning:  it may create the urge in you to begin refurbishing everything you own.

And like any great decor/design books last pages are a Resource Guide, where specific or general supplies can be gotten.


Domino begins the book with a chapter titled:  Getting Started.  In this chapter the book takes you step by step on how to begin to bring your decor idea for a room and/or your home to realization.  

1. Find Inspiration
2. Determine your style
3. Consider how you'll use the room
4. Assess your stuff
5. Draw up a floor plan
6. Set a budget
7. Research, research, research
8. Create a design scheme
9. Make a decorating schedule

To a few the thoroughness of the chapter may seem a bit much, but I like to think that I would much rather have too much information than too little.

Each chapter from there on goes room by room, beginning most appropriately at The Entryway and then to The Living Room, The Dining Room, The Kitchen, The Bedroom, The Bathroom, The Office, The Kids' Room.  Each of the rooms studied are presented with a number of beautiful and interesting examples, followed by a page titled The Big Piece, where different varieties of the main piece of furniture in that given room are listed, pictured and described.  The Big Piece is followed by a page How To Mix and Match which then is followed by a page titled, Very Important Tips, interesting information about dimensions and picking the right shapes amongst many other things are disclosed on this page- I found it rather interesting read.  Each of the rooms studied is then followed by short pages of Decorating Tricks, Small-Space Solutions for those living in less than roomy square-footage, Finishing Touches that covers how to hang pictures and place plants and etcetera, then finally closed with The Domino Effect, how an individual changed his or her room based off of an inspiration or a focal point.

Domino has numerous amounts of pictures which I absolutely love about it, you can't go wrong with a decor book full of pictures, the side notes for each picture were helpful and interesting as they had many tips and ideas.  The cherry on top?  As if the book alone thus far isn't reason enough to purchase it, the last two chapters of the book:  The Decorators' Handbook, which contains almost all you need to know about window coverings and upholstery, and, The Big Black Book, a guide to the best decorating resources.

Perfect 2012 Gift for those the Year of the Dragon

From Herend

You don't have to be Chinese to enjoy Chinese New Years.  For those of your close friends and family who are born the year of the dragon a most excellent gift can be given on their birthday, a beautiful porcelain, hand-painted dragon!  But pick that one special person because these porcelain beauties will put quite a dent in your wallet.

Home of: Vera Wang

Name:  Vera Wang
AKA:  Vera Ellen Wang
Date of birth:  June 27, 1949
From:  New York City
Specialty:  Fashion designer

*Pictures from Harper's Bazaar

Pool with a LA view

Back yard with pool

Living room

Dining Room


Screening room

Walk-in closet

Item of Note: Heavy-Weight Tape Dispenser

Heavy-Weight Tape Dispenser @ Design Within Reach

No more ugly plastic tape dispensers from your local drug store.  Very often, mostly during Christmas time, I have thought to myself how ugly the scotch tape dispenser was.  Very often, mostly during Christmas time I have struggled to wrap gifts simply because the tape dispenser need two hands to be dealt with, it is with this bitter spirit that I bring to you today's Beautiful Abodes' Item of Note.

  • 3lb cast zinc body that's heavy enough to permit single-handed use.
  • The forged stainless steel blade cuts effectively over years of use.
  • Now $45.00 from $60.00.   
  • Dimensions:  2"h x 4"w x 3"d
  • And... beautiful enough to keep on your desk.

Item of Note: Chroma Armoire & Console

We are of course familiar with the term "color-blocking" when it comes to fashion, but furnishings?!  C'mon!  It really makes me wonder why I hadn't seen this sooner.  Anthropologie takes color-blocking to a whole new level with it's newly out Chroma Armoire and Chroma Console, the vintage and retro choice of colors with a modern twist makes for one... strike that- two, very lovely pieces.

Chroma Armoire

Chroma Console

The Nest Learning Thermostat

Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought the home thermostat was unappealing to the eye.  Thankfully, the former Apple senior VP Tony Fadell thought so too, and then there was Nest!  Not only is it chic as hell, beautiful as hell, and very much for the 21st century... but naturally, it's smart as hell too!  

The Nest has a built-in sensor that knows when you are home.  It senses patterns in your schedule and adapts to your routine.  A leaf shows up when you are conserving energy; turning the heat down one degree can save up to 5 percent of your energy costs.  And you can control it from anywhere in the world with your phone or tablet.  -Tony Fadell on Elle Decor


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