How to Properly Light Your Home

Properly lighting your home can be tricky business.  We have all walked into someone’s house and thought that a room was maybe too dark or perhaps far too bright to be comfortable, and this post is to help you eliminate that problem in your own home.  Creating the right lighting can seem difficult, but this handy blog should break it down to make it seem much more manageable.

There are three main types of lighting – ambient, task, and accent.  Ambient lighting is used for the overall lighting of a room, task lighting functions so you can complete certain tasks, and accent lighting is more for show and decoration.  Of course, the amount of lighting you need can also be affected by the amount of natural light each room has, so consider that as well.  If there’s a room you primarily use during the day with plenty of natural light, you may not need as much artificial lighting as you otherwise would.  Additionally, having great natural lighting can really cut down on the electricity you’d use to artificially light your home, so take advantage of big windows when you can.

Ambient lighting, or indirect lighting, is often thought of as the first layer of lighting and comes from a more “hidden” source, such as recessed cans.  It will give rooms a soft glow, but additional lighting maybe be needed.  Dimmer switches can be very helpful to adjust the brightness and darkness of your ambient lighting.

Task lighting, as explained earlier, functions to assist in lighting for specific tasks.  For example, lights may be used next to a chair for reading, on an office desk for doing work, over a dining table for eating, or over an island in the kitchen to make preparing meals easier (that’s not something you want to do in the dark!).  Our Pharmacy Desk and Floor Lamps are the perfect reading lamp for bedside, in your office, or next to your favorite chair in the living room.

Accent lighting is more decorative and adds a nice layer of light.  Its main purpose is to enhance the lighting and look of a room but shouldn’t be relied on as the main source of light.  Add something bold and stylish for a decorative look, or classic and elegant to add a note of subtle refinement.  We love our Strap Iron Table Lamp for its timeless design and versatility.

Other lighting options that I wanted to take note of are sconces and undermount lighting.  Sconces can create beautiful soft lighting in many rooms, such as bedrooms and bathrooms.  They don’t usually provide a lot of light though, so they should be supplemented with ambient lighting to ensure the room doesn’t stay too dark.  Another lighting option I love for kitchens, bathrooms, and any area with cabinets or shelving is undermount lighting.  This is great to highlight a beautiful backsplash in the kitchen, fine china in a dining room, or even to bring light to the floor in a bathroom so you know where you’re stepping.

What lighting do you use most in your house?  Is there a certain type of lighting you need more of?

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Inspiring Lighting

It’s finally Friday, and this has been one busy week!  Rather than writing a lengthy DIY blog about how to properly light your home, I decided to save that for next week when my mind is once again fresh after the weekend.  Instead, please treat yourself to this blog of simply stunning lighting!  From funky black chandeliers to clusters of drop pendants to LED lighting installed into bamboo walls, you’ll love the bold and beautiful images below.  Enjoy!

What’s  your favorite photo of inspirational lighting?

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How to Make Your Bedroom a Peaceful Place

We spend about a third of our life sleeping and additional time in our bedrooms reading, getting dressed, and relaxing, but far too often, this room doesn’t measure up to the peaceful, happy haven it should be.  Here are some quick, easy tips to make this important room be the warmest and most comfortable space in your home.

First and foremost, invest in a great mattress and comfortable pillows.  A good mattress is a must for great sleep, and the right pillows will be the perfect complement.  Since mattresses are generally kept for a lengthy period of time, invest in something you’ll want to spend years sleeping on.  Pillows are also something that people tend to hold onto, so purchase pillows you’ll want to use every night.  Visit Furniture Connexion for great deals on exceptional mattresses!

Now that you’ve got the mattress, it’s time to think about the sheets!  Your bedding is another place to spend a little money since nice sheets can make such a difference.  However, if you can’t afford luxury sheeting for all the items on your bed, spend less money on the duvet cover and decorative shams since they won’t actually be against your skin, and the most money on your flat and fitted sheets and pillowcases.  The general rule is that if it touches your skin, you can spend a little more money.  Depending on where you live, you may want to buy a few sets of sheets – heavier flannel ones for cold winters, and lighter cotton ones for hot summers.  In addition, you may need an extra blanket for winter as well.  We love the classic look of a white, fluffy bed, but like to dress it up with decorative pillows and a throw at the end.  Just remember to pick bedding that will coordinate well with the rest of your room and that you’ll enjoy for a long time. People tend to keep their sheets for years, so you won’t want to buy a busy print you might easily tire of.

Make sure your furniture is perfect for you.  Buy a bed you’ll love!  If you’ve been wanting an upholstered headboard, don’t settle for a slat-back one just because it’s on sale.  Make sure you buy the exact thing you’ve been wanting and consider how it will work for you.  If you’re tall, you may not want a low platform bed that will be hard for you to get in and out of.  Also consider storage: If you like to keep books, magazines, medicine, and other items near your bed, you’ll probably want a nightstand with storage to keep the area clean and organized.

Now that you’ve got the furniture, mattress, and bedding sorted out, it’s time to think about your more sentimental items.  Keep photos of loved ones in your bedroom. Have a piece of artwork you adore?  Hang it up for you to see and enjoy first thing when you wake up in the morning.  If you’re going to keep knickknacks in your bedroom, store them on a tray to keep everything contained and give a sense of order.

Perfect your lighting.  Your bedroom lighting should be soft, so stay away from harsh lights that are too bright.  In addition to an overhead light, you should have a light on either side of the bed, preferably with lighting that’s adjustable so that if you stay up reading, your partner won’t be bothered with a bright light.  If you can, have at least one stylish lighting choice, either bedside lamps or overhead, to make a beautiful statement.

Inject your style!  For a bedroom that’s soft and romantic, add a canopy or drape mosquito netting around it. For a glamorous look, mix in some mirrored or lacquered furniture, a dazzling tray to hold perfumes and lotions, or hang some framed vintage fashion prints. For an ethnic spin, add some ikat or kilim prints and pillows.  Put at least one bold element in your room to give a stronger sense of the style you’re going for. Have fun with your bedroom and make it unique – this is the one space in your home that is just for you!

Don’t forget color!  One of the most basic ways to create a particular feeling in a room is to change the backdrop.  Yellow walls can be cheerful, cool blue walls give a sense of calm, deep brown or even black walls can be dramatic and sophisticated, and pink gives off a soft, feminine vibe. Just remember that since it’s a bedroom, you’ll want to choose a color that is flattering (which is why green isn’t the best option) and calming (this may not be the best place for neon geometric wallpaper).

Remember the little touches. Keep your bedroom smelling fresh and feeling cozy and clean!  A vase of flowers will look lovely and may give your room a soft fragrance, or consider using a linen spray to lightly scent your sheets.  The first thing you do once you wake up is get out of bed, so have a soft rug for your feet when they hit the ground.  And don’t forget to make  your bed – it only takes a couple minutes, and it immediately makes your room look fresh and clean.

What’s your favorite thing about your bedroom?

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Adding Artwork to Your Walls

When decorating a home, it seems that rooms are often filled with furniture and accessories, but the walls can long remain empty.  Figuring out the right way to display artwork can seem like a difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be!  Here are some tips on how to add artwork to your walls in a way that is stylish, practical, and perfect for YOU.

Do you tend to be an organized, type A personality?  If so, you’ll probably want order and organization in your home, and that will include how things are hung on a wall.  Hanging a collection of artwork in a grid on the wall will look lovely and professional.  Whether you are framing and hanging professional artwork, vintage prints from the flea market, or even home photos, arranging it in a grouping with the edges lining up will give a polished look.

If you’re serious about your artwork, you’ll want to measure it out so that the center is at 57″ (the average person’s eye height).  This is how galleries and museums hang their artwork, and that way your pieces will all line up with the center at the same height.  Of course, if you are much taller or shorter, you can adjust so the center of the art is at your eye level.

Can’t commit to what you want to display?  Then shelves may be your best bet.  Installing shallow shelves on a wall makes it easy to change up your artwork displays.

Do you like a little chaos and have a large collection of artwork?  If you’re more on the free spirited side, try hanging your artwork in a large cluster on the wall. There should still be some loose organization if you choose this method, but it will give more of a funky, boho vibe.  Have your artwork start and end at around the same point, and have the space between artwork similar in size so there is some consistency in the look.

If you have a large piece of art, you may not even have to hang it!  This colorful abstract painting looks great simply propped against the wall.

Don’t have any art, but still want something interesting on your walls?  Try this idea and hang a group of empty frames instead!  Since the frames are so ornately designed but match the color of the wall, they add a whimsical touch and texture for a unique look.

If you want your walls to feel decorative but don’t want or have artwork, consider wallpapering them instead.  There’s a huge array of wallpaper styles and prints you can buy, from graphic patterns to elegant chinoiserie to photographic digital prints.

Adding decals to your walls can be another fun, easy way to dress them up!  As a bonus, they’re usually made from vinyl and easily removable, so you can switch them out without hassle when you’re ready for a change.

Think outside the box and do something completely different!  Here, unable to decide on a color to paint her walls, a woman ended up covering her walls with paint chips for a vibrant, one-of-a-kind look and her very own artistic collage!  If you don’t have artwork you love, visit Furniture Connexion to check out some fun prints for your home!

How do you display your artwork?

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10 Cozy Cabin Ideas

As much as we love trips to the beach, we are equally fond of trips to the mountains during the summer, especially with so many great destinations nearby. Being up in the fresh mountain air with clear skies and beautiful scenery is one of our favorite things about summer. Here are some inspiring images of cozy cabins with a unique twist, complete with tips to make your home feel a little more rustic as well.  One of the first things we suggest doing is to take a cue from the photo above and open up your home to warm summer breezes!  Make a comfy place to lay down, and try setting up a temporary canopy with some mosquito netting for a dreamy area to relax.

Being on vacation in a mountain setting is all about relaxation and having your home blend with the natural settings.  The same can apply to the interior!  A densely cushioned leather sofa, such as ours above, is a great choice when you want comfort and luxury combined.

We adore this covered dining area and how it’s enclosed enough that you can use indoor furniture even though it’s outside.  The fireplace makes the space especially inviting!  I love the idea of putting this reclaimed chest on a covered porch to use as a coffee table around some comfortable chairs.  Inside the chest you could store blankets to keep handy for chilly summer nights.

Think outside the box and try something different!  Because of the large beams in this airy cabin, the owners were able to hang a swing in their bedroom for a fun place to sit and sway inside.

The rustic dining area above is so warm and welcoming, it looks like the perfect place for a dinner party or family meal.  Our Tahoe dining set offers the same rustic appeal with the beautifully handcarved Sheesham wood construction and timeless design.

If you have the space and are a frequent entertainer, then we love the idea of having two (or in the photo above, maybe even three) sofas instead of the typical sofa and two chairs!  It allows for a lot more seating and is a great way to fill a large space.  Our Alexandra Sofa looks incredibly similar to the sofas pictured above to create that look at home!

Give your home a Navajo meets ethnic twist with some beautiful wool kilim throw pillows.

Give your bedroom a woodsy, homespun look with some heavier wood furniture.  Furniture Connexion’s solid Sheesham bedroom collection is an ideal choice!

A sectional sofa is a great way to make the most of your space, and our Burlington Sectional has a similar look to the pictured above for a comfortable but still sophisticated look.

Mixing in some wooden occasional chairs is a great way to add interest to your home.  This chair would look great inside, or on a screened porch as pictured above.

This rustic dining room is absolutely stunning with the high ceilings, massive beams, large chandelier, and dark stained bookcases.  If you need storage but don’t have built-ins like this house does, our sideboard is a great option. The glass panes allow you to display the items you’re storing, and the solid Sheesham handcrafted construction ensures that it’s not only attractive, but also durable and one-of-a-kind.

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Favorite French Interiors

In honor of Bastille Day this weekend, we thought it was a great excuse to post some of our favorite images of French interiors (and a few others of gardens – we couldn’t resist!).  The French are known for their exceptional wine and cuisine, amazing artists, and tres chic style, so scroll through to see some inspiring photos of why we should all be celebrating French culture this weekend!

What’s your favorite thing about French design?

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Famously Frumpy TV Sets

Although there are some set design gems where the furniture and overall decor are stunning, there are also those sets that are a little more familiar and less awe-inspiring.  For every set that takes place in a glamorous New York penthouse or Los Angeles mansion with high-tech gadgets, panoramic views, and extravagant furniture, there is a set that takes place in a modest home or apartment where design isn’t a priority and the character could stand to replace a few pieces.  Scroll down to see some of the sets from shows we’ve known and loved, and the furniture in them that may not be high-end, but will always be remembered.

Who could forget the retro couch from Married with Children (top photo), or Seinfelds bachelor pad teal sofa and chair?

These chairs are now in the Smithsonian, but were originally Edith and Archie’s favorite place to sit and talk in All in the Family.

This plaid sofa in Roseanne’s living room always had the crochet blanket on the back and was a place for the family to gather (or mope, if you’re Darlene).

Although much of Friends took place in Monica’s apartment or at Central Perk, these recliners were Joey and Chandler’s favorite place to eat, sleep, relax, watch TV, socialize… You name it.

Who could forget Martin Crane’s ever-so-ugly striped green recliner?  It was an eyesore in Frasier’s otherwise stylish Seattle condo, but you could tell it was also the most loved piece of furniture there.

Do you have an unattractive piece of furniture you just can’t let go of?

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10 Hot Hotels Worth Visiting

Going on a vacation this summer?  Still stuck trying to make plans?  Drop what you’re doing and check out these amazing hotels to help you decide where to go on your next trip.  From Sonoma to Santorini, here are ten great options for a stylish summer holiday!

If you want a low-key and relaxing beach vacation, try something different and head to Vietnam (first photo)!  More into vino than Vietnam?  Then I suggest the Napa/Sonoma area, and specifically H2Hotel in Healdsburg, shown above.

The eco-friendly Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali is perched above the Indian Ocean on a limestone cliff for breathtaking tranquility, and the funky modern furniture is the perfect place to lounge and take in the views.

For romance and relaxation, it doesn’t get much better than at the Grace Santorini hotel.  We love the all-white interior and the stunning ocean views!

If you’re more in the mood for lounging by the pool in a desert oasis, the Saguaro Palm Springs is the perfect place for your vacation with its colorful, modern design.

Serious about style?  Then you simply must stay at the luxurious Armani Hotel in Milan.

Want to feel like a princess (or a prince) in an exotic destination?   The Taj Lake Palace in India is an actual palace built in the 18th century set on a private island with views of Lake Pichola.  Step inside this hotel and you’ll definitely get the royal treatment!

The Viceroy Hotel in Miami, decorated by design maven Kelly Wearstler, features bold color, graphic patterns, and eye-catching style sure to lift your spirits and awaken your senses.

For a truly exotic and lavish trip, head to Morocco to the Selman Marrakech Hotel.  With an exquisite Moorish redbrick exterior, an interior that is both elegant and awe-inspiring, and a nearby paddock with thoroughbred Arabian horses prancing around for guests to enjoy, this is a hotel unlike any other.

For quiet solitude in the tropics, the Petite St. Vincent Resort is the perfect choice.  Set on a private island in the Caribbean, this idyllic hotel was recently revamped and decorated in a beachy turquoise and white color palette.  With no TV or Wi-Fi, this hotel is your perfect beach vacation fantasy of truly getting away from it all!

Where would you go on your dream vacation?

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The Ultimate Chair Style Guide

With so many different styles of chairs, it can be pretty confusing figuring out exactly what to call all the different types.  From Bergere to balloon chairs, we’ll give you a rundown on all the basic styles.

Bergere Chair

Bergere chairs originated in France and are defined by an upholstered back and seat, usually with a loose, overstuffed cushion, on a carved wood frame. Their “bones” are curvey, and the extra padding in their soft cushions can make them comfortable reading chairs.

Chesterfield Chair

Like the chesterfield sofa, a chair of this style has arms as high as its back with tufting on both and a rolled arm.  Named in 1900 after Earl of Chesterfield, its inventor, a chesterfield chair is a handsome and stately design that will add sophistication to your home.  Although often thought of as a traditional piece, this style is being used more and more often in modern interiors.


Slipper Chair

A slipper chair is simply an armless upholstered chair that has short legs so you sit closer to the ground and can be used in any room.  Purchase a slipper chair in fun patterned fabric to add a whimsical touch.

Wingback Chair

A wingback chair is a type of upholstered easy chair, usually taller than it is wide, with two side panels or wings flanking the high back and closed panels under the arms, which are usually rolled.  The most familiar form of wingback chair was developed in late 17th-century England to protect sitters from drafts or an overly hot fire, flourishing there before becoming popular in the U.S.

Spool Chair

Spool chairs, also called “bobbin” or Carver” chairs, are a design classic that are striking to view from every angle and were named after John Carver, founder and first governor of the Plymouth colony in America.  They originated during the Arts and Crafts Movement and are still popular today with their turned wood legs, arms, and back, cushioned seat and back, and lightly upholstered arms.


Also called a reclining chair, a recliner is an easy chair (that is often thickly cushioned) with a back and foot rest adjustable up or down.  Because of the emphasis on comfort, recliners are great for use in family rooms for reading, watching TV, and relaxing.

Pub Back Chair

A pub back style chair has soft, overstuffed cushions that overlap for double layers of pill0w-like support that attach to the back of the upholstery.  This offers extra comfort for you to sit back and relax, and these chairs work well in any room of the house.

Balloon Chair

Inspired by antique design, balloon chairs, also known as domed chairs, were originally used to block drafts in European castles.  These statement-making chairs have recently regained popularity and are striking and elegant for use in a formal room.

Tub Chairs

Tub chairs incorporate elements of design from both the Arts and Crafts Movement and Art Deco.  This style of easy chair is usually low-backed with arms even with the back or sloping up to it in a continuous curve to create a semicircular form.

Club Chair

The word “club” in club chair harks back to the gentlemen’s clubs in 19th century England where a gentleman could go to get away from his household. Once there, he would sink into a well-upholstered leather chair and relax with a drink and perhaps a cigar.  Today, club chairs are enjoyed by men, women, and children of all ages and are frequently used in living and family rooms for socializing and relaxing.  This style of easy chair is heavily upholstered with arms and a low back.  The look can vary greatly depending on the shape of the arm, seat, and legs, but club chairs are often the go-to chair people buy for their living and family rooms.

What’s your favorite style of chair?

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Red, White, and Blue Interiors

In honor of the 4th of July, we thought it made sense to post photos of interiors with a red, white, and blue color scheme.  Normally we might consider this color scheme to look a little country and too Americana for our taste, but these photos prove that decorating with our nation’s colors can be sophisticated, modern, and even glamorous.  How do you incorporate red, white, and blue into your decor?

Which interior is your favorite?  Head over to Furniture Connexion’s website to see the fun red, white, and blue furniture pieces we have for your home!

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