Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Come On Baby Light My “Fire”: A Guide to Sexy Lighting in the Bedroom

Setting the right mood is all about ambient lighting, but getting romantic makes mood lighting all that more complicated because... well, people are naked! At least two people, (in most cases) anyway. We all know that different lighting can cause different moods and behavior, like the way natural light is connected to depression. So it goes without saying, if you want to feel relaxed and sexy... “light” the fire so-to-speak.
Not only is sexy bedroom lighting important because you want to set the right mood, but you also want to look the best you can naked, and turning off the light is not always the answer, in fact leaving the lights on can be a big turn-on (no pun intended).
First and foremost, overhead lighting casts direct downward light that creates terrible and harsh shadows and highlights, with the highlights always highlighting your worst features. So rid your evening of the overhead lights unless you decide to install a dimmer switch. If you have a dimmer switch, experiment with the lighting levels for different times of day.
Overhead lighting also tends to be bright, and can have an unflattering tone. Remember this: There is nothing, I repeat, nothing sexy about a well lit room. Lighting should instead, be soft and filtered, casting gentle shadows, softening harsh features and highlighting all the right curves. Although everyone looks their best against the glow of candlelight, it is not only an inconvenient option, but depending on the activity level, can become a fire hazard. For your side table lights, the next best option is to ditch the everyday 60 watt incandescent bulbs and opt for a lower watt soft pink bulb. Almost everyone and every skin and body type looks better under a soft pink glow. Never ever use fluorescents in the bedroom. Not only are they unreliable, flicker, and give off harsh light, they are obtrusive and offensive.
Use cream colored or darker colored paper or material lamp shades for a warm glow.  Create beautiful color shadows and patterns on the wall by using glass lamp shades, or even warm-colored stained glass or Tiffany style lamp shades. Speaking of shadows cast of the walls, placing a lamp or light just right, can cast the silhouettes of you and your playmate onto the wall, adding to the ambience and mood even more. 
The last thing to consider: What type of mood are you going for? Naughty, sweet, sultry, bold and daring? Whether you’re going for romantic cottage or bawdy bordello, lighting can make the difference. Think about the direction you want your “escapades” to head and light the scene accordingly.
Other sexy bedroom tips:
  • Keep the room clean and uncluttered, free of laundry, dishes and the occasional pizza box, eliminating being distracted by the thought of chores that need to be done.
  • Turn off the T.V. unless there is “mood appropriate” content.
  • Set-the mood with romantic or relaxing scents, such as jasmine, lavender, a clean scent, or something with a soft vanilla note.
  • Make sure it has not been more than a day without showering or bathing.
  • Wear sexy lingerie or your birthday suit with confidence.
  • Moisturize your skin and take care of any hair stubble or necessary plucking.
  • A strategically placed mirror can not only add to the mood, but also reflect light, adding to the romance of your bedroom. Remember though, a mirror on your ceiling is a bit tacky and at first glance, may come across as a bit creepy or pervish.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ceiling Lights: Determining The Right Size And Height

By Nicole Maddox
Choosing the lighting type and style for your decor is hard enough, but making sure the size of your lighting fixture is right for your room is an important factor in bringing it all together.
Although there are some rules to determining size, they are not hard fast, stringent rules, as other factors apply to choosing the right size and height to hang your ceiling fixture.
One popular rule that designers and decorators use for hanging fixtures over tables is start by measuring the diameter or width of the table. Then select a fixture that measures half of the total diameter or width of the table top. For example, if you have a table that measures 64” in diameter, you will look for a fixture that is 32” in diameter. 
The first thing to consider when selecting a ceiling fixture, however, is the visual heaviness or weight of your selected light fixture. For example, a crystal chandelier is visually heavy and therefore will lend itself to a smaller diameter or width, while a ceiling light with thin wrought iron branches can more easily fill a larger diameter with it’s lighter feel.
 The size of a fixture that will be hung over a table depends on the table and not the room size. This is the case when it comes to the hanging height over a table as well. Lights hung over tables should be centered in the middle of the table (unless two fixtures are hung over an extremely long table) and the bottom of the fixture should hang at least 30” above the table.
When you are hanging a ceiling light and there is no table to help you determine the correct size, you must consider the size of the room as well as the ceiling height. The guideline to follow for hanging height is to allow 2 1/2 to 3” per foot of ceiling height. So, if you have a 12 foot ceiling, (12 ft x 2.5”) your light would hang approximately 30” from your ceiling. Lights should never hang lower than 7 feet from the floor for clearance purposes. To determine the correct width of your fixture, determine the room dimensions. Add the width of your room to the length of the room. For example, if your entry way is 8 feet wide and 14 feet long, this equals 22 feet. Convert this number to inches, and viola, this is the approximate width of the needed light fixture for this room; 22 inches. 
So now that you know how to make sure the width and hanging height of a ceiling light are proportionate for your room, there is one more thing to consider when it comes to ceiling height. Understandably, if your ceiling is very high, although you may make sure that your width and hanging height are correct, if the light is too short, it will look silly. So, what to do...although common sense may be the simple answer, there is a formula or rule that is often followed in the design world for this too. The height of the actual fixture should be approximately 2 1/2” for every foot high the room is. If your room has 8 foot ceilings, the fixture height should be a minimum of 20” in height.
These tips should help you find the perfect ceiling light size for any room. For more helpful tips/information and/or to find the right lighting fixture for you, visit

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Decorating Victorian Style Defined

by Nicole Maddox

The Victorian era was a period of prosperity, optimism and richness. Named due to Victoria occupying the throne during this time, England experienced a huge amount of growth and increase in wealth as did the surrounding areas. This richness inspired an elegant and ornamental decorating style that aimed to boast ones wealth. As Britain experienced the industrial revolution, Victorian style and decor became more accessible to the middle class.
If you’re looking to decorate your home or a room in the Victorian style or add a Victorian flourish or accent, but don’t know where to start, don’t fret...some helpful tips are listed below:
- Colors: Victorian colors can include light colors, however, most Victorian decor includes very rich colors, although subdued and warm.  Colors may include shades like forest greens, wine colors, rust, purples, browns and golds. 
  • Start with a flooring that that represents the ornate look of the Victorian Era. If you opt for hardwood flooring, most traditional wood will work well (as long as you stick to darker or richer colors such as cherry) with the overall look once the room is complete, however, true Victorian style would dictate a hardwood pattern such as a checkerboard or diamond pattern. If you go with a carpet, stay away from really light colors and use a  cut pile carpet or dense, thick carpeting. Oriental carpets/rugs are perfect additions to your Victorian Flooring. A popular Victorian option for wet areas such as a kitchen or bathroom may include black and white tile patterns.
  • Hand-carved ornate dark wood furniture, such as cherry with fabrics such as velvets and embroidered materials are perfect for a Victorian room. Credenzas, side tables and coffee tables with marble tops or accents are also nice additions to this style of decor. Victorian Era furniture was/is often completed with details such as lace doilies, and embellished accent pillows.
  • Wall and window coverings are also very important elements of the Victorian Decor. If you are using paint, be sure to use a Victorian color, but also add a faux pattern or texture, as texture was a very important part of Victorian decor in general. If you decide on a wall paper, pick a floral pattern that also fits the Victorian color palette. A Victorian room should be finished with a crown molding. Window coverings can be fashioned from an embroidered fabric or velvet material. These fabrics may be too heavy depending on selected wall covering and furniture. If this is the case a lighter material such as silk or lace may be used. Braided rope, or embellished ribbon should be used as a tie back.
  • Accent pieces used to finish your Victorian Style Room may include artwork, such as oil paintings of the era (maidens, children, landscapes) framed in dark wood or gold, tapestries, and sculptures. Crystal pieces, ornate candles/candle holders and ambient lighting/lamps with beaded shades and Tiffany style or stained glass lamps will finish the room with an added richness completing your Victorian Look.
As an added word of caution, although the Victorian look is one that includes rich colors, texture and pattern, which creates a beautiful look, beware that you can easily overdo this look and end up with a room that is gaudy and overdone.
Use your own taste and instincts with what works together and you will have a room or house that will be enjoyed for years to come. Good luck and happy decorating!

Nicole Maddox is a Freelance writer, passionate about retro design/decor and is currently the Managing Member of, a division of Mad Market, LLC.

Monday, February 21, 2011

History of Louis C. Tiffany and The Tiffany Lamp

By Nicole Maddox

The last part of the 19th century was a period of time when an artistic movement took place, where decorative arts were integrated and included in architecture, and classic arts such as painting and sculpting.
Louis Comfort Tiffany grew-up during this time and was heavily influenced by this movement. He started his career in painting, studying art in Paris then traveling to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt where these cultures ultimately had a prevalent affect on Tiffany’s artwork. Louis C. Tiffany exhibited his work regularly and owned an art studio in New York City. His interests also included architecture and decor, but Tiffany solidified himself as an artist after joining many New York art organizations and being elected to the Century Club, a cultural Center in New York City. At 22 years old, Louis C. Tiffany was the youngest elected member and he remained a member until his death in 1933. This club included many influential people, including the 21st President of the United States, Chester Arthur, who commissioned Tiffany to redecorate the White House while he was in office.
Becoming more skilled at water color than he was at oil painting, Tiffany began exhibiting his water color art and receiving attention for it. As a member of the National Academy of Design along with the development of a passion for interior decorating, Louis Comfort Tiffany began to participate New York’s Society of Decorative Art. This committee and additional interests lead Tiffany down a separate path from the painter he had always intended to be, despite the fact that he had been exposed to this sort of art his whole life; being the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, who owned a successful business selling luxury items and decorative art objects under the name Tiffany & Co. Tiffany & Co. is still known today for their fine goods and exquisite silver jewelry.
Although Louis C. Tiffany separated himself from his father’s business by becoming an established painter, he benefitted from the business relationships and ties his father established, as well as the financial support needed for him to pursue new endeavors. 
Eventually turning his interests to glass work and design, Tiffany began to experiment and Tiffany & Co. in New York began to sell and display Louis C. Tiffany’s glass vases, which helped his work gain notoriety. Overall, this work ended up contributing much recognition to the family name as well.
As Louis C. Tiffany began experimenting with glass making, he also was heavily commissioned as an interior designer. Many of his designs included leaded glass windows and glass tiles that gained much attention. 
As popularity in mural painting grew, along with stained glass windows, Tiffany began to focus on the creation of large pictorial windows and glass murals. His artistic training allowed Tiffany to appreciate the color balance, textures and the different effects of light that are associated with glass art.
Tiffany established his own glass production shop in late 1892 and as the popularity of his glass work grew, Tiffany hired skilled craftsmen to create glass pieces, encouraging them to experiment with color and techniques, including glass blowing, layering glass and carrying out chemical experiments with the glass creations. 
In 1900, Tiffany decided to launch a commercial line featuring lamps based on the knowledge and expertise that he and his staff of artisans had gained from window design and creation.
These lamps are coveted pieces of art today, and an original Tiffany Lamp is a rare and valuable find. Few companies still employ the original techniques developed by Louis Comfort Tiffany when creating Tiffany-Style Lamps, however, you can find original and quality reproduction Tiffany Lamps made by skilled artisans in the United States by visiting
Sources: The Montreal Museum Of Fine Arts and Skira Rizzoli New York. Tiffany Glass - A Passion For Colour. Printed in Italy by Geca, 2009.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The World’s Most Expensive Lamp Is Worth 3.5 Million Dollars- Written by Nicole Maddox

What would you buy with 3 and a half million dollars? Drive a fancy car? Buy your dream home? Travel the world? Although they say money can’t keep you warm at night, how about the warm glow from an original Tiffany Lamp that can be yours for...yep, you guessed it,$ 3.5 million dollars.
Tiffany Lamps are considered to be very special as well as rare and are revered for their beauty. The first glass art lamp created by Tiffany Glass Company (A.K.A Tiffany Studios), started by Louis Comfort Tiffany, was made in 1865. The lamps are gorgeous pieces of art made with an average of 2000 separate glass pieces, all hand-cut, wrapped using the copper foil technique and then leaded and soldered together, an all-in-all pain staking process taking many hours to complete.
The Art Nouveau style of Tiffany Lamps is still very popular and many reproductions of Tiffany Studios masterpieces can be found on the market today, made of quality products and by skilled artisans that have studied the craft extensively.
Recently (2010), an extremely rare Tiffany Table Lamp has been available for purchase from the Macklowe Gallery for the record breaking price of $3.5 million dollars. This stained glass beauty is one of seven of these lamps in the world today. The other six all belong to museums and private collectors, unavailable for purchase. With vibrant hues of pinks and greens the blooming water lilies flow down the shade that sits atop a bronze lotus leaf base that features a lovely patina. This lamp would have cost an exorbitant $400 in 1906.
Until this unprecedented price was set, the record of “most expensive lamp in the world” was set at a Christie’s Auction in 1997 when a favrile lotus lamp made by Tiffany’s sold for an extraordinary $2.8 million dollars.
Most Expensive Lamp in the World
Find Beautiful Tiffany Lamp reproductions at

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How Do You Know If Your Tiffany Lamp Is Authentic?

Nowadays, the term “Tiffany Lamp” is a more generic term, describing any stained glass lamp, but how do you know if your lamp is a genuine Tiffany Lamp, made by Tiffany Studios? It’s not always easy.
Tiffany Studios, established by Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, owner of Tiffany & Co. (renowned for  jewelry, fine silver and luxury goods), produced Tiffany Lamps from the 1890’s through the 1930’s, when Louis C. Tiffany died. These lamps are very rare and valuable, ranging anywhere from $3,500 to over $2 million dollars, with a gallery in New York (Macklowe Gallery) recently placing the price tag of $3.5 million dollars on a lamp in their collection.
These lamps were all custom-made, with no two exactly alike. The lamps that demand a higher price tag tend to be the lamps that feature an array of vibrant colors and ornate patterns, especially those with intricate floral designs. The simpler the lines and patterns, the less the lamp is worth. This is very much in part because the more complicated the patterns and colors were,  the many more hours of work it took to complete.
Although this article can help you come closer to a definitive answer as to whether or not you have an authentic Tiffany Lamp, you will still need to take your lamp to an expert, as there are many forgeries out there that can even give the most educated antique expert a run for their money so-to-speak.
So what can you do to help determine if you should take your lamp to an expert? Here are some easy things to look for:
  • Look closely at the shade. An original Tiffany Lamp will most likely have suffered at the very least a few fractures or cracks and if you tap the shade, you should hear the glass rattle. If each pane of glass is securely in place and there are no noticeable cracks, although not impossible, it is pretty safe to say that you do not have an original Tiffany.
  • Tiffany Lamps should almost always have a base that is stamped. Often the shade is also stamped and numbered. The stamp should read: TIFFANY STUDIOS in all caps and in a very basic font. If the font has any sort of flourish, like the small lines that come off of the sides of the horizontal line of the “T”, this is a forgery. This is also true if the lamp is stamped “Tiffany & Co.” as there were no lamps produced under this name.
  • Inspect the base. Most all Tiffany Lamp bases were made from bronze and because of the high price of bronze, the bases were made hollow with a lead ring in the base added for extra support. The bronze base will most likely also have experienced some color change over the years, namely a patina, but remember that this look is something that counterfeiters can easily reproduce. In addition, the on/off switch will most likely be a turnable paddle design or a small pull chain.
  • Light the lamp and look at the glass. One of the appealing qualities of an original Tiffany is the glass quality and type. The colors of the glass should appear as different colors when the lamp is turned on. If you have a legitimate Tiffany Lamp, you should also notice that there will be random panes of glass on your lamp that have specs of different colors on them. This is called confetti glass.
More Tips: If you are thinking of buying a lamp because you suspect it is an authentic Tiffany Lamp or are told it is a Tiffany Lamp, do your due diligence and ask a ton of questions about it’s history and how the dealer obtained the lamp. If the person you are buying the lamp from is selling it as an authentic, be sure to get a written guarantee. If you are unable to get one, think twice about the purchase.
Tiffany Lamps are revered for their beauty, and although owning an authentic Tiffany Lamp may be an impossibility for the majority of us, we can still enjoy their beauty by finding quality made reproductions as well as original designs created by skilled artisans that practice the hand-made craft using Louis Comfort Tiffany's original methods of construction. If you are looking for a beautiful Tiffany-Style Lamp made by such artisans in the United States, visit