Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Your personal shopper ~ Light fixtures under $100

With spring in the air, home decorating projects are on everyone's minds, from large scale renovations to small scale spruce ups. 
One of the most effective design change is lighting, switching up the tired chandelier over your dining table will change the whole look and feel of your room, just as new table lamps can bring new life to your bedroom.
With the multitude of online resources and special offers, narrowing down and selecting a new light fixture can be daunting. 
I have put together a selection of my favorite lamps, pendants and other light fittings for under $100, to suit most budgets and design styles.


Owl Table Lamp~ West Elm  $99.00

Flocked Lamp Shade ~ Target $19.99
Freeform LED Glowing desk lamp~ Lamps Plus $99.99

Medina Embroidered lamp shade ~ Pottery Barn $69.00


Jars ~ Glass Pendant Light ~ West Elm $99.00

Gicless Glow Mini  Pendant ~ Lamps Plus $99.99
Many color available , different  patterns and design your own pendant!

Harlowe Wire Pendant ~Pottery Barn $99.00

Hampton Bay brushed nickel pendant ~ Home Depot $24.88

Industrial Pendant Glass ~ West Elm $99.00

Hampton Bay 5 light brushed nickle chandelier ~ Home Depot $79.99

PS Maskros Pendant ~ Ikea $89.99


Vienna Full Spectrum Manhattan Wall  Sconce ~ Lamps Plus $99.99

Possini Euro Brushed Wall Light $89.99


Acrylic Floor Lamp by Lamps Plus  $99.95

Brass Finish Pharmacy  Floor Lamp ~ Lamps Plus $99.99

With these great light fittings at such an affordable prices, there is really no excuse. Take down your tired kitchen light and brighten up the breakfast area with a yellow shade or a brushed chrome pendant. Change up your bedroom color scheme by adding new bedside lamps, a matching throw and a couple of cushions for the bed. Place an architectural floor lamp to bring a dark corner to life, add a chair and a basket full of magazines and create a quiet reading spot. The Pharmacy Lamp would be a great option for the more traditional setting.

Brighten up your room today, with one of these affordable fixtures and happy shopping!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Ecuadorian Beauty ~ Flowers

Ecuadorian Rose, Image via

For those of you who follow my posts know that I am very inconsistent. I jump from highly detailed posts that I slave over for days ~ Bathroom Renovations  to a thought that I just need to share ~ All it Takes.

I went to Wegmans today to get inspiration for dinner, but instead of the healthy yummy ingredients I was imagining, I came home with a dozen photos of flowers... yep sorry honey!
I admit, with the Philadelphia International Flower Show around the corner and the crazy springish winter that we have been experiencing I've had flowers on my mind for a while.

The florist (Kevin) knew I was on a mission and was nice enough not to get me evicted for moving pots and flowers around so that I could get some light for my iPhone shot (aha...very professional I hear  you say). In fact he gave in to my curious looks, pokes and prods at these multicolored roses and came over to explain the process.

Ecuadorian Rose, Image via

The Ecuadorian Rainbow Rose is 'fed' different colored inks to create this fantastical flower.
The method exploits the rose's natural processes by which water is drawn up the stem. By splitting the stem and dipping each part in a different colored water, the colors are drawn into the petals resulting in a multicoloured rose. You can choose and order your own colors! 
Besides roses, other cut flowers like the chrysanthemum, carnation, hydrangea and some species of orchids can also be colored using the same method.

Ecuadorian Rose, Image via

Usually my taste in flowers is more reserved. I love the white Orchid I got for my birthday and my all time favorites have to be cream and white roses. However, I must say that these colorful flowers just make me smile, and that's got to be a good thing!

{Side note: If you happen to go to Wegmans, make sure you try their Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin ~ To die for!}

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Maltese Architecture ~ Details

Mix and Match of old doors, windows and balconies

Typical Street View ~ Valletta
Limestone House with double balcony and single windows with shutters in bright blue

Corner enclosed balcony on a Palazzo in Valletta, with ornate limestone corbels.

Triple balcony with columns, carved Maltese Cross details on the lower panels. Internal hessian blinds a typical window treatment.

The main door is usually left open and the glass 'anti-porta' is left unlocked, as you opened the glass door, a bell would chime to alert homeowners that a visitor had arrived. A lace curtain is common to keep out flies and let in the breeze. My childhood home had a similar arrangement.

Overly ornate hand carved limestone. Detailing armor wear from the Knights, a central urn and fruit. The marble steps make for a very formal entryway.
Maltese limestone facade with high contrast red painted windows and a row of 'pregnant' wrought iron windows.
Waterfront development project; restored facade of an entire street of old buildings. This is where the cruise liners dock for the day.
This very old entryway in Mdina has intricate wrought iron work. It is painted a crisp white which provides great contrast to the Mediterranean Blue paint chosen for the door. I love the bright brass fish knockers, hardware and letterbox.
Century old red door opening onto a courtyard. Maltese Cross on lower panels, black wrought iron work above, and even more detailed iron work on the arch above.

Regal entry to a Palazzo in the Old City of Mdina, flanked by over sized limestone columns. (All limestone is quarried on the Island) Glazed arch above provide natural light into the foyer. Brass knockers are hand forged and have acquired a great patina.
Old farmhouse door.

House front in Mdina, bouganvilla creeps over a new door, made in keeping with the age of the building probably over a 100 years old. The limestone facade has been cleaned up.

This is a small insight into my heritage, with her brave history, welcoming and smart people and rich architecture Malta should be on everyone's destination wish list!

Here is another post on a historical building Casa Rocca Piccola which is full of gorgeous interiors and architecture.

Bringing you all some mid week inspiration!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Japanese values translate directly to interiors.


Understanding some key principles of Japanese lifestyle will result in a better overall design. Notably their simplistic approach to function and form and their use of  Eco friendly and sustainable materials. Their reverence to nature is humbling and the result is peaceful and harmonious.

Image via AquaCreations
Simplicity in design; natural, earth friendly materials, Eco friendly bamboo Tatamy (mats) line floors, its texture creating pattern and depth. Shoji ~ Simple white paper screens within bamboo frames. Neutral calming colors in the paper 'panes' allow for a play of light and shadow, creating diffused soft lighting that follows the principle of the moonlight.

Origami Light by Llan Garibi  for AquaCreations
Flexibility of furniture seen in the Shoji screens, the ability to join spaces together or separate them by sliding the screens aside. To be able to open the screens and let the outside in whilst picture framing the ever changing landscape.

Function Change a sleeping area into a recreational area by simply rolling the futons away. Only the kitchen, bathroon & toilet are defined areas, all other areas are multi functional. Efficient use of resource and space is a fundamental part of Japanese culture.

Modesty & Respect Found in most homes a Genkad (entryway) is the place to leave your shoes  upon entering a Japanese abode and show respect for your hosts. Modest use of natures gifts and respect for the environment is clearly a part of their heritage.

Here are some modern day interiors with strong Japanese influence.

Japanese influence is very obvious in this dining room. The water feature creates a magnificent focal point, a clever twist on a Tokonoma (Japanese alcove where artistic items are displayed). The neutral rug imitates Tatamy, and hessian or bamboo panels line the rafters. Shoji screens divide the room in true Japanese style and paper globes chandeliers give off a diffused light.

A teak Japanese bath by William Garvey

 ARTechnic build a unique holiday villa which is in sync with, and not giving in to natures forms.

Photograph by Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Photographs by Nacasa & Partners Inc.

Looking at Japanese interiors always invokes a sense of peace in my mind. I don't like clutter. I am not a fan of over designing a space, and often choose to let individual pieces of furniture or art work stand out in their own right. In my kitchen designs, I allow for breathing space, even when storage is at a premium I believe that form and function should work together and I do not let one overpower the other.

Implementing any of the principles above  is possible in any style of interior design, showing empathy for materials and keeping simplicity in the forefront when designing can help create a pleasing and balanced room

Keep it simple & stylish!

Wishing you a great week ahead

Questions? Contact me at 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

All It Takes..

Do you know how sometimes everything seems blah

All energies spent seem in vain

You're confused right? Isn't this a design blog? Yes it is, but what is design without the people to inhabit it?
Aren't moods made and broken by their surroundings?
Don't we have happy colors and colors that make us sad, just like a gray day can take away your spirit before you even know it happened?

Then all it takes is a word

A sincere reminder of who you are, of what you have accomplished and where you need to go.

All it takes is a word to turn your day from black and white to technicolor.

All it takes is a word...

Thank you Judy


Sunday, February 12, 2012


I guess I couldn't pass up the opportunity to use Valentines Day as an excuse to dedicate an entire post to PINK interiors!

I absolutely LOVE pink, and it does not need to be limited to nurseries & teenage girls bedrooms!

Here are some pictures of grown up rooms for you to drool over!

Muted pinks work against a crisp white background.

 Not for the faint hearted!

Designed by Suzanne Kasler~ photo via House Beautiful
Peony Pink in this delicate dining room.

The darker pieces of furniture and mix of fabrics makes for a more serious pink in this older house.

Pinks teamed with gray is my my favorite combination, the gold touches finish this color scheme perfectly!

Pink in a contemporary setting.

Here are some winning combinations from Benjamin Moore.

Contemporary Palette 
crushed berries 2076-30
natural cream OC-14
kendall charcoal HC-166

Traditional Palette

pink begonia 2078-50
white dove OC-17
yarmouth blue HC-150
I have been known to slip in a pink interior or two in previous posts, go GETTING THE LOOK and also COMMIT TO COLOR to see  more!

If you want Dionne Designs to create a Pink~a~licious room for your home, contact me on

Happy Valentines Day!