Euro Style Home

modern living + innovative design + inspiring ideas

  • Showcase Your Art with Picture Lights


    A brushed nickel picture light illuminates a piece of artwork

    Picture lights are a great way to showcase your artwork and framed photos. You can also hang them on built-in bookcases to highlight your collection of tomes and favorite accessories.

    An important thing to know is how to select the right size picture light for what you are choosing to highlight.

    Here are 3 simple steps to finding the right light for you:

    1. Measure the width of your art. If framed, include the frame in your measurement.
    2. For best results, choose a picture light that is about 1/2 the width of your artwork
    3. If you are using a light with a slim, small profile, you may have to select a slightly larger light in order to illuminate the entire piece.

    Popular Features and Styles:

    Wall Mounted

    Wall mounted picture lights provide a clean and classic look and are mounted on the wall above your artwork and you can choose between a plug-in design or a hard-wired fixture.

    Plug-in picture lights will typically have the cord hanging down the wall. You can conceal the cords behind shelving or furniture.

    The hard-wired option has no visible cords or wires and is installed directly into a junction box and is controlled by a switch (with dimmers, please!)

    Frame Mounted

    This type, as the name suggests, mounts directly on the frame itself and is ideal for artwork that has a wide or large ornate frame.

    Like wall-mounted picture lights, there are plug-in and hard-wired options available.

    Battery Powered Picture Lights

    Battery powered picture lights are perfect for a clean and streamlined look, and, because there are no wires, they can be installed pretty much anywhere.

    Tip: Even the most efficient models need to have their batteries replaced from time to time, so if you plan on using the light a lot, you should opt for a plug-in or hard-wired design.

    Track Style Lighting

    Track lighting is usually mounted on a ceiling, but certain designs can also be hung on a wall.

    This type of lighting is hard-wired and needs to be installed in a ceiling or wall junction box.

    Track lighting is composed of a long bar with multiple lights that can be adjusted and aimed as needed; they are ideal for illuminating a large wall or gallery-style area.

    Plug-In Picture Lights

    As we mentioned above, plug-in picture lights mount to the wall and typically require brackets or mounting hardware, which is typically included with the fixture. Once mounted, the light plugs into a standard three-prong electrical outlet.

    Plug-in picture lights are very easy to install, and come in both halogen and LED designs, as well as your traditional incandescent.

    Bulb Types:

    After you've selected the size and features of a picture light, you need to consider the types of bulbs available for the fixture. There are a wide range of bulb types available, including energy-efficient LEDs.

    LED Picture Lights

    LED picture lights are some of the most energy-efficient lights you can buy. Remember to choose a bulb with a high CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 80+ are best, as they do not alter the color appearance of artwork.

    The new LED bulbs don't only come in the bright blue-tinged light of the past, there are warm LEDs available too, which resemble the light given off by incandescent bulbs.

    Remember to shop for LEDs based on lumens (light output), not the amount of watts/energy used.

    Incandescent Picture Lighting

    Incandescent picture lighting provides a warm, overall glow, but don't have the lifespan of other options, like LED or halogen bulbs.

    Halogen Bulbs

    Picture lights with halogen bulbs provide a bright, white light that is good for illuminating a broad range of colors.

    There are a lot of options for picture lights out there and now that you know how to calculate the proper size for a picture light and what features and bulb-types are available, you are all set to highlight your beautiful artwork and bookshelves!

  • Family Living in Modern Homes


    Modern Homes and Modern Kid's Designs

    Having kids doesn't mean having to throw in the towel and become a soccer mom. The modern family homes featured above set out to break the stereotype of family living. I personally love the idea of living in a modern home with a handful of kids running around. Growing up in a stylish enviroment exposes children to fashion, design, architecture, and other creative arts.

    Designing the main areas in a modern home can can sometimes be easier than decorating kid's rooms and spaces. When designing a modern nursery or kid's room there is a balance between modern furnishings and a kid-friendly, functional design.

    Need a few directional ideas for designing your modern nursery or kid's room?

    • Choose a classic or modern theme
    • A few different options for color schemes included neutrals, white and black with bright accents, and an all white space
    • Select furnishings that don't shout baby

    The light fixtures you select for the kid's space can make a big impact on the overall design. Below are a few modern table lamps for the kid's room or nursery. The lamps are modern and fun and will easily transition into a more grown up space as the child ages.

    Modern Kid's Table Lamps and Euro Style Lighting

    Lite Source Kito Blue Table Lamp (left), Chrome Stack Set of Two Table Lamps (right)

    * Post Update 10/24/12: Our Chrome Stack Table Lamps has been discontinued.

     Contemporary Kid's Table Lamps and Euro Style Lighting 

    Possini White Flower Acrylic Shade Table Lamp (left), Jonathan Adler Carlyle Slide Table Lamp (right)

    * Post Update 10/24/12: Our Jonathan Adler Carlyle Table Lmap has been discontinued.

    Images: emmas designblogg, Family Living, Apartment Therapy, Apartment Therapy

  • Unpredictable Design - Art in the Kitchen


    Contemporary kitchen with open-shelving that showcases home decor

    Be unpredictable with your kitchen design.

    Sure, we've seen art in the bathroom, dining room and every other room that's more predictable like the entryway, but we don't often use art in the kitchen... The kitchen is typically void of extra design elements like art and sculpture because it's such a functional space.

    Well, you can have style AND function... Here's some cool ideas. Starting with this cool kitchen above. The art is subtle, but pops agains that wood finish beautifully. The white pendant lighting is also a great pop of style.

    Contemporary kitchen with black island and bar-level eating area with wood and metal barstools

    Shelving in a modern kitchen.

    Shelving in the kitchen can be for more than just plates, pots and pans.

    The modern kitchen above keeps all the function behind cabinet doors and saves the open shelving for books and art. I love it. Modern swivel bar stools would be a great option in an open kitchen plan like this one.

    Kitchen with scalloped tile backsplash and contemporary kitchen island with copper column supporting the kitchen island extension

    Sculpture art in the kitchen.

    Don't limit yourself to books and canvas art, try some modern sculpture in the kitchen as well.

    As long as it doesn't interrupt the function of your kitchen by taking too much space, it can be a great design element!

    Images from Remodelista, Inside Out, Dust Jacket

  • Simply Modern Bathroom Design


    Modern white double sink vanity with glass wall lights over the mirrors

    Simple bathroom design with iron wall sconces.

    When it comes to interior design, it doesn't take a lot to make a big statement. Here's some simple, yet perfect designs for your bathroom.

    White walls paired with white marble and bronze details might be my favorite trio. This bathroom balances all three perfectly. You can always mix up the bronze with a darker finish too. Try stylish bronze wall mirrors with modern iron wall sconces...

    Bathroom with brass pedestal sink and marble basin,modern geometric floor tiles and brass and glass wall lights

    Patterned floor in a modern bathroom.

    Never underestimate the power of pattern! This bathroom design features simple, yet chic style and then the floors take it to the next level...

    Contemporary bathroom design with brass pendants hanging on either side of a round wall mirror

    Bathroom style with pendant lighting.

    You don't have to use sconces just because it's a bathroom, try small pendant lighting on either side of the vanity for a cool look.

    Images from Kate Monteith, My Domaine, Simply Grove

  • Some Seriously Gorgeous Modern Kitchen Islands


    Modern kitchen island with barstools underneath and chandelier above.

    In this day and age of open-plan living, the modern kitchen is even more of a hub of family activity.

    In many cases the modern kitchen island has taken the place of the breakfast table and the large-scaled islands have enough room to allow you to cook and have your kids do their homework at the island at the same time.  Once homework time is over, the kids can clear off the island to make room for dinner.

    Contemporary white kitchen with white marble countertops, black kitchen barstools and several black pendant lights.

    The larger modern kitchen islands aren't just for kiddie activities. Let's be honest here... everyone wants to be in the kitchen, even when you entertain. The extra room gives guests the opportunity to sit and enjoy a drink while the host prepares food, or chip in and help.

    Modern white kitchen with a white marble kitchen island and bleached floors.

    Some kitchens go beyond a simple ledge or projection to create a seating area at the kitchen island. The kitchen above created a table-like extension in the same marble as the countertops for a sleek, streamlined look. The space under the counter is the perfect place to stow several kitchen barstools.

    Kitchen with stainless steel kitchen island featuring open and closed storage.

     You can never have too much storage, and a kitchen island is a great place for storage, both open and closed.

    We love the look of a few modern pendant lights hung above an island -- not only are they pretty to look at, they provide task lighting while you're working, and, if they're on dimmers, can be turned up or down depending on your immediate needs.

    Sleek modern kitchen with a table height counter wrapped around island.

    Seating at a modern kitchen island doesn't have to be limited to bar height. The island in the kitchen above has an extension built in at table height, which is the perfect opportunity to get those great dining chairs you've had your eye on.

    The modern kitchen island is multi-functional -- it's a cook space, homework center, dining area, storage area and guest magnet, so pull up a barstool (or chair)!

    Image Sources: HGTV; homedit; My Domaine; House to Home UK; homedit

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