Lighting from the 2016 ICFF

Andrea Brooklyn

This week we attended the International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York which happily led us to some new and exciting lighting sources.  Global artists and manufacturers from places as far as Milan, Amsterdam, Spain, Philippines and Finland and as near as Seattle and Brooklyn exhibited their designs.  Pieces combined modern forms crafted from unexpected materials, many responsibly produced.  At almost every turn large globes suspended from the ceiling constructed with elements of bamboo, birch, cloth, cardboard, steel or mouth blown glass appeared in both neutral earthy colors or explosive teal, petrol blue, petal pinks.  Ceiling fixtures, sconces or LED task lights in counterbalanced lithe lines were clearly architecturally influenced, and shone both warm and cool lights.  Z bar lamps with charging bases, angular illuminated wall pieces, printed plexiglass pendants to resemble ceramic tiles – there were intriguing bright spots throughout.  Below are our favorite finds:




Dome Milano 2


Spanish lights






You will find many of these lights on our site in the future or contact us now for buying information: or 203-524-3232.



Planning a Kitchen? See our Essential Kitchen Lighting Guide


Lauren Deloach InteriorsIdeally, kitchen lighting is balanced in levels so the heart of your home will both look beautiful and function practically.  The key is to start by planning light in layers.   Here are six designer tips for perfect kitchen lighting:

Nam Dang Mitchell 4
Nam Dang Mitchell
  1. General ceiling lighting  should be used to provide even ambient light and prevent shadowy corners.  Recessed lights are especially valuable to brighten pathways or functional areas around the room’s perimeter, but be judicious using recessed lights and don’t be too generous peppering the ceiling with them.  Using too many will make a kitchen feel more institutional and less friendly.  Center them symmetrically in the middle of walkways or at the edge of  counter tops in work spaces.  Of course always, always put them on dimmers!
nashville symphony showhouse
Nashville Symphony Showhouse

2. The island light is probably the most notable design accessory in the kitchen.  As people enter,  the island is typically the first place they are drawn and here is the chance to make a strong design statement.  Today there are great possibilities with gorgeous pendants, lanterns or chandeliers.  Go for what you love and think big!  Using larger scale lights visually balances the weight of the island.

Nam Dang Mitchell 5
Nam Dang Mitchell

3. The dining table light is another place to show your style spirit.  To bust a myth, the table light fixture doesn’t need to match the island light but the two will play off each other.  Find something that suits your scheme and is pleasing to the eye, be it transitional, modern, or classic.Atlanta Home & Lifestyle 34. Placing sconces on either side of the sink or a mounting a pendant above it will illuminate this important work station.  More noticeable at night, sconces cast a welcome even glow and help center the area, or similarly, a pendant hanging over the sink creates a nice nook.

Transitional Kitchen Houzz Currey Tartufo Chandelier

5) Lighting inside glass front cabinets or under cabinets is an easy way to cast ambient light.  Directional lights are always an option to highlight art, architectural details, or high ceilings.

SF Today
SF Gate; The Enchanted Home

6) Table lamps play a supporting role for mood lighting. When the sun goes down, few things are as charming as a simple lamp glowing on a counter or in a window.  A table lamp here feels unexpected and homey.

For more free design tips, and opinions call us at 203-524-3232 or email  If you send us your project pictures we’ll give you style ideas.  It’s best to contact us directly as we carry all lighting lines, and many not appear on our site.

Design Inspiration


We are back from the High Point Furniture Show after spending four days with America’s lighting and home furnishings manufacturers housed in showrooms covering 12 million square feet.   We make the trip yearly to personally see merchandise up close before we consider offering it to our clients.  No matter what the product category, we are sticklers for beautiful design, quality materials, craftsmanship, and ultimately value.  Because even though Teal Door Decor shows just lighting on our web site, our clients buy everything from beds, upholstery, tables, art, rugs, accessories and more from us.  We are very grateful for that kind of trust.  With that, our mission is to make sure our clients are completely satisfied with every purchase from Teal Door.

For information on the products above or to speak with us about what you’re looking for, please contact us at or 203-524-3232.

5 Easy Design Ideas for a Spring Mini Makeover

Orange Lamp Katie Rosenfeld Design
Katie Rosenfeld


Signal Spring with little touches and simple home furnishing changes.  Here are five easy ways to transform any room with fresh, young style.  Teal Door Decor’s makeover ideas are easy on your wallet.


1.  Change your linens to crisp white bedding.  Vary textures to keep things interesting and add color with new pillows or window panels.  Here using grass green infuses the room with vitality.  With the addition of a floor tree this pretty room now has a close connection with nature and provides a sense of well being.  Design trick:  Home centers and supermarkets  sell floor plants that are inexpensive and about 4′ tall.  Pop one in a good looking basket and put it on top of a small table to elevate it to 6-7′ for more visual impact

Amanda Nisbet
Timothy Whealon
Timothy Whealon

2.  A skirted table in a graphic print or punchy color is chic, practical, and very in style.  For the cost of a couple of yards of fabric and with a little creativity you can make everything from entry tables, consoles, or vanities.  Todays skirted tables are more tailored and have inverted pleats rather than being gathered.  To get more style bang for your buck look for remnants in high quality fabrics, and add trim.


Jennifer Worts

3. Spring Clean and de-clutter.   Then scatter flowering branches, little pots of flowers, or natural elements throughout the house.  The effect is profound.  Every room benefits with a touch of natural beauty.


Amanda Nisbet

4. Create an outdoor seating area.  If you’re lucky enough to have a screened in porch, start treating it as special living space with new lamps, plush throws, and tasteful accessories.  No porch?  No problem.  Any outdoor area can be transformed with comfortable seating and bright weather proof pillows.  Again, home centers sell inexpensive fire pits or Tiki torches that will have you yearning for fireside chats outside on cool nights.

Houzz: Glass Bedside Lamp


Jamie Young Jardin
Pinterest: Jamie Young Jardin Table Lamp
Katie Rosenfeld Turquoise lamp
Katie Rosenfeld


5. Choose lamps to complete your design story.  Interior decorators consider lamps one of the best tools in their kits.  They know lamps play an important role – from potentially informing the color palette with desired pops of fresh color, or alternatively balancing a room with finishes like clear glass, gold, silver, ceramic or metals.  Relative to other furnishings, lamps can be switched out inexpensively with the seasons to change the look of a room.    Get inspired by checking out our new collection of table lamps below (and on in shocks of color from chartreuse green, butter yellow, peacock blue, and obviously orange.  Winter’s over – this Spring be anything but dull!


Visit Teal Door Decor for more beautiful, colorful lamps at

How to Clean Lampshades

Benjamin Dhong

It’s easy to keep your lampshades looking beautiful for years with a few simple steps.  Teal Door Decor consulted our lamp manufacturers, as well as a large commercial cleaning business and here are their cleaning tips:

 How to Clean Paper or Parchment Lampshades:

* Dust every few months with either a soft dry microfiber cloth, duster, or a lint brush.

* For spots try gently rubbing with a baby wipe.  First, test an inconspicuous area to make sure it won’t leave a mark.  Be careful not to over saturate the shade so that it will not pucker as it dries.  Use a cool blow dryer if needed.

How to Clean Silk or Fabric Lampshades:

* First remove loose dry particles and dust by using a vacuum with a round upholstery tool.

* If the shade is dirty try a dry cleaning or “soot sponge” which can be found in hardware stores or online.  These sponges are made from vulcanized rubber just like pencil erasers, and they function the same way.  As dirt is transferred, shave or rub off the surface of the sponge so that it stays clean when in contact with the lampshade.  The sponge won’t remove stains that have been absorbed into the fabric or fibers.

*If you need to spot clean an oily or greasy stain you need a dry solvent cleaner like K2R.  Make sure to use in a well ventilated area and again, try a small inconspicuous area first.

* For cleaning dust from shades with pleats try using a can of compressed air.  These are sold in hardware or office supply  stores since they are handy for cleaning keyboards or hard to reach areas.  A clean 4″ paintbrush is also very useful.

5 Currey Pendants Designers Love

Designers know the right pendant or chandelier will take a basic room to extraordinary.  It is often the feature people remember about a room, and visually portrays it’s mood.  Currey is a go to source in the industry because of their distinctive designs and rich finishes.   What follows are beautiful choices shown in room settings, all available through Teal Door Decor.

Currey, Dream House Studios, Inc
Axel Pendant, Dream House Studios, I

Here the stunning Axel chandelier echoes the round motif of the chairs and table beneath, while it’s open and spirited shape casts an airy, captivating spell above.


Salvage Pendant, P[Four]
Salvage Pendant, P[Four]

 Using these wiry, cage framed Salvage pendants against the ancient timber beams give this hallway intrigue.  This passageway becomes a stage, and the contrast of crisp white long paneled curtains strike a pleasing rough lux mood.

Salvage Pendant

Beach House Chandelier Currey Gale Michaud Interiors
Beach House Chandelier, Gale Michaud Interiors

Simply put, this Beach House chandelier looks like it belongs in this room.  It’s unfussy nature lets an honest, uncluttered feeling shine through.  This is a versatile chandelier and works well in many settings.


Corsica, Donna Benedetto Designs, LLC
Corsica, Donna Benedetto Designs, LLC

These glimmering Corsica lanterns bump up the glam factor and give this pretty silver and blue kitchen the sparkle it deserves.  Mirrored facets encase a silver leaf frame with curved seeded glass panels – the opulence here is right at home!


currey protocol platinum series by mark molthan
Currey Protocol, Mark Molthan

Here’s another pendant designers love – and it’s easy to see why in this picture.  The curves of the Protocol pendant replicate the architectural elements of this hall, the arched door openings and the rounded ceiling, while the linear frame helps direct our eyes down all the way down the long view of the hall and into what looks like a welcoming room at it’s end.  Since the Protocol has an open shape, using three together isn’t overpowering, and in fact is in perfect proportion for the space.


Are you trying to find the perfect pendant?  We have more choices than are shown on and we can offer suggestions specifically for your home.  Please contact us at or call 203-524-3232.  By contacting us we can give you special promotions and buying information.

Spotlight on San Francisco Interior Designer Benjamin Dhong

dec showhouse bathroom 21-505x675

On a recent blustery December day we received a phone call from Benjamin Dhong, the masterful and talented San Francisco interior designer, who at the time was vacationing in Kauai.  When we pointed out that he was very kind to call us but probably should be relaxing instead, he laughed and admitted “I love what I do, so it’s never really work.”  So from our office in New England as we poured more cups of hot tea (and he possibly a Mai Tai?) we chatted about lighting, his philosophy on the beauty it creates, what he absolutely loves and what he positively dreads in a room.

long shot of living room fp convex mirrorsTeal Door Decor:  Your rooms are a study in serenity.  They all have such a sense of peace and yet come off as fresh and classic.  How does that happen?

Benjamin:  I prefer rooms to evoke a sense of history, to create a feeling they’re almost from another time and not to feel too extravagant or modern.  I strive for the ethereal which requires a lot of editing.  To start I might mix in old pieces with new, and then ask myself if they relate well to each other.  I spend a lot of time doing that.  The best rooms combine a lot of ingredients the same way as in cooking.  But just like cooking all the unique ingredients can have powerful flavors and the challenge is balancing things.  I put an item in and then think, “What would feel good with this?”  Just the same way some flavors go well together, so it is in composing a room.  For example, I personally love the combination of velvet and linen, and I almost always use them together.

Teal Door Decor:  How do you think lighting enhances the design process?

Benjamin:  Good lighting is critically important.  To make lighting beautiful it needs to be soft and fit the mood.  I use it in many ways- it can add calm to a room, or it can act as sculpture, or it can give a contemporary air – I use it to add character.  But absolutely no harsh light or glare!  I prefer a variety of lights and I really don’t care for lights from above.  I don’t depend on chandeliers for light and I love the indirect glow of lamp shades.

Dhong_Hirai_MasterBed-0033-Edit (1)Teal Door Decor:  At what point do you plan the lighting scheme?

Benjamin:  I plan the lighting toward the end of the design process.  First I determine the room’s activities and come up with a furniture plan.  Lighting comes in once I know that and then I figure out what to use.  For example, would a floor lamp or a table lamp work better?  What will the space allow – would sconces be the better fit?

mirrored vanity iron and silver 42-505x675

Teal Door Decor:  We notice you are not shy about varying finishes, especially in bathrooms.  We see you use iron lights or gold mirrors together with silver or polished nickel faucets.  Many people are afraid to do that and want their fixtures to coordinate.

Benjamin:  You don’t want things to be too homogeneous!  I have no problem mixing things.  In Europe they do that much more freely than here and you’ll see many different materials in a room.  The result is a more layered, collected look – like things evolved over time.  Light with dark, silver and gold, old and new, etc.  It gives richness and depth.


horizontal shot of globe over island 17-705x527Teal Door Decor:  You sound like you have definite feelings about using chandeliers too.  How do you choose them?

Benjamin:  When I pick a chandelier I think about how I want it to float in a room.  The best chandeliers make a playful dance in the air.  Other times though I’m looking for restraint.  Lately I find myself using lanterns a lot.  They’re a great way to add that traditional element and yet come off with a modern graphic feel and are never pretentious.  I see them being really at home, especially with young families.  My other favorites are schoolhouse pendants or library lights because their look is so restful.

Dhong_Hirai_GuestBed1-0038 (1)Teal Door Decor:  Any thoughts on bedside lamps?

Benjamin:  My pet peeve is little dinky bedside lamps!  I like big beautiful lamps on a night table and I love lamp shades and really opaque shades.  Also, I’m not a fan of cylinder or drum shades.  To me classic coolie or empire shades are more stylized and give a room flourish and personality.  [A coolie shade has a sharp pitched shape from the top to the bottom and tend to look more A-lined].

masculine powder room Dhong_Bathroom-0012-558x675Teal Door Decor:  How you placed the sconces in this powder room caught our attention.  What was your motive?

Benjamin:  This was in a single man’s house.  The mirror and the vanity were fairly elaborate and unique.  It didn’t make sense to me to have the sconces on the same wall as the mirror, so I put them on the flanking walls.  Since the mirror was strong and the lion on it gave it sort of a male reference, I wanted the sconces to be clean, restrained, and again, more masculine.  So I chose these art deco like sconces.  Lately I’m drawn to brass. I love the warmth of gold and the old patina, it seems humble.

Dhong_Hirai_Breakfast-0038-Edit (1)

 Teal Door Decor:  It sounds like you’re very aware how lighting conveys or reinforces emotion in your designs – mystery, drama, comfort, harmony, happiness.  Thank you for sharing that with us.

 Benjamin:  You are very welcome.

Benjamin Dhong can be reached at 415-595-2582 or

All images used with kind permission from Benjamin Dhong.

For more information about this post and buying lighting contact –

Dhong_Hirai_Portrait-0359 (1)
Benjamin Dhong

Dec showhouse her study111-505x675

silver and gold pedestal sink 52-505x675


vendome bath 122-505x675










Trudy Dujardin ~ Finding Your “Comfort Zone” with Green Design


Trudy Dujardin has a easy message for those who want to surround themselves with a healthy environment.  Long considered a national expert in the field, Trudy, an adjunct professor at Fairfield University and an accredited LEED AP + ID + C designer ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), believes we can all choose our own level of green living – gentle, moderate or deeply green.  “Think of it as we live in containers.  We go from our home, to our car, to our offices.  If we just focus on making those environments healthier we’ll be way ahead of the game.”  By being conscious how we treat our spaces, our ceilings, walls, floors, furnishings and our lawns,  according to Trudy, there are simple ways to approach sustainable design without sacrificing an ounce of style.  Usually it’s just a matter of paying attention to our product choices.

A home designed by Trudy Dujardin includes abundant light and natural materials

At an event sponsored by the Fairfield University College Interior Design Program, Trudy spoke to a group at the Fairfield Bookstore this week and gave her thoughtful remarks about the elements of green design that can be easily used in new construction or redecorating our homes and why it’s something we should all be considering.  Since World War II there have been over 80,000 chemicals introduced and many of them are untested for toxicity in children while now being used extensively in our environment as pesticides or additives to products we use often.

The Comfort Zone by Trudy Dujardin

Trudy said she became aware of the impact chemicals have had after a lifetime of observing the deleterious changes in the fragile eco systems of Long Island Sound and Nantucket, as well as personally suffering from her own health issues resulting from a childhood exposure to DDT when living on her family farm.  In her new book The Comfort Zone: Creating the Eco-Elegant Interior, Trudy explains there are a myriad of great options for eco-friendly building materials and home furnishings.  The book serves as a step by step resource for products and providers in the quest for a healthy home.  “I love beautiful places and beautiful things.  I am ultimately an optimist… We can make choices that will result in healthier lives for ourselves, our families and our friends.”

rob and trudy at book signing
Trudy Dujardin with Rob Hardy, Director of Interior Design Fairfield University

Trudy had many ideas on how to select the healthiest products and materials for our environment.  What follows is a partial list, her book offers a wealth of sources.  In her own words, Trudy believes “A healthy home is the ultimate luxury.”


Clockwise from Top Right:

Cree LED Lightbulbs – More energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, their light is very good and they have come down in price quite a bit recently.  Unlike Compact Fluorescent bulbs, they do not contain mercury, which needs to be dropped at a recycle collection box at stores like Home Depot or IKEA.  CFL’s also present concerns about releasing mercury into a room if they are broken.

Use natural fiber rugs or select rugs without chemical additives like Scotch guard or flame retardants.  Photo :

Houseplants offer environmental benefits.  NASA studies show that many houseplants naturally remove toxic agents from the air, as well as remove carbon and replace oxygen.  For a list of which plants are effective see

Choose paints and wood sealers that are LEED certified or have low or no VOC ratings. Trudy likes Enviro Safe Paints and the  AFM products.  Companies like Benjamin Moore have made a big effort to develop more eco friendly paints, including their Natura line.  Most of Benjamin Moore’s premium interior latex paints are zero VOC.  For exterior paint, Benjamin Moore’s Aura has a very low VOC rating.  For wood sealer try Basic Coatings Street Shoes.

Try to use wood from responsibly managed forests.  Trudy supports FSC products, the Forestry Stewardship Council.

There are more insulation products other than fiberglass.  Bonded Logic is a cotton batting product made from recycled denim which is used as a natural fiber duct insulation system.  Ultra Touch is a similar product used for sound insulation.

Sleep on mattresses made from cotton or wool.  Many manufactured mattresses are made with petroleum based chemicals, requiring large amounts of flame retardant chemicals and have PVC mattress covers.  These things should be avoided.  Wool is inherently more flame resistant and requires fewer chemicals.

Opt for locally made furniture using solid wood rather than plywood, particle board or MDF, all of which contain formaldehyde.  New furniture can emit vapors for at least five years releasing toxins into your home.  Second hand or antique furniture has completed off gassing.  Trudy stated that historic preservation is a part of sustainable design.   photo:

The beautiful home at the center of the picture was used with kind permission from Michael Davis Design and Construction (

Trudy Dujardin is a LEED AP – ID + C -Accredited Professional with a specialty in Interior Design and Construction and is also an ASID professional. She is based in Westport, CT and Nantucket, MA and can be reached by email at or 203-838-8100.