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Manja Swanson
Manja Swanson drives the creative direction of the growing Lamps Plus brand, overseeing the company’s design and buying departments. From an early age, Manja was interested in all aspects of the arts, from dance to theatre productions. After graduating from UCLA with a fine arts degree, she worked as a teacher for several years, but remained interested in the creative process.

In partnership with her husband and Lamps Plus CEO, Dennis Swanson, she started a company in the 1970s to manufacture lamps and lighting designs. Out of this venture more than 35 years ago, Lamps Plus was born. In fact, that original storefront is still open for business today, one of dozens of locations throughout the Western United States! In the ensuing years, Manja and her husband have built Lamps Plus into the nation’s largest specialty lighting retailer by creating a multi-channel shopping experience for in-store and online retail customers.  

At Lamps Plus, Manja created a unique shopping experience offering great value and an exciting way to shop for products by displaying the merchandise around a certain look. Under her guidance, she started an in-house program that created innovative custom store displays for lighting and home décor products. To show online customers what some of the Lamps Plus products would look like in an actual space, Manja created room scenes as a backdrop to photograph the products.

Manja attends numerous trade and fabric shows to stay current on the latest trends and designs. She works with the buyers to keep them up-to-date and make sure they are staying competitive with the products they are buying. Manja incorporates trends into the Lamps Plus product assortment that are easy for the consumer to incorporate into their current décor. Today is the largest specialty lighting retailer in the United States and the premier source for designers, builders and consumers alike.  

Entries by Manja Swanson

5 Decorating Tips to Add Color Into Your Home

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 6:17 PM

5 Decorating Tips to Add Color into Your Home - Add a colorful mirror
Add a colorful mirror.

I am going to share some tried and true decorating advice with you-invest in high ticket classic furnishings and have fun with colorful home accessories. The...

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Trend Report: French Décor Gets a Fresh Look for Fall

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2014 | 6:17 PM

French-inspired living room

French-inspired living room/office

French-inspired home décor has been a strong design trend in recent years. Richly distressed and patinated finishes lent a rustic flea market look to European-influenced finds. However, this fall, we're seeing a fresh look for French...

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Easy, Breezy Tips for Decorating a Coastal Style Home

(1) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 3:29 PM

Easy, Breezy Tips for Decorating a Coastal Style Home

Whether you live by the beach or inland, the coastal look provides the perfect environment for a relaxing summer. Here are a few tips for decorating a coastal style home, both inside and out.

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Decorating With Summer Floral Decor

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Decorating with Summer Floral Decor

Here's a quick designer tip when decorating with florals this summer: In your home décor patterns and prints, seek out summer flowers (like roses, freesia, gladiolus, and hydrangea), and avoid decorating with spring flowers (like pansies, tulips, and daffodils)....

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Set the Mood for Summer Outdoor Entertaining

(1) Comments | Posted May 12, 2014 | 3:42 PM

Spring is in full swing and summer is just around the corner. Aren't you just longing for relaxed evenings on the deck with good friends, good food, and good drinks? Here's how to set the mood for summer outdoor entertaining and host a smashing soiree.

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Outdoor Lighting Tips: How to Layer Lighting

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 1:42 PM

Just like layering clothes and accessories makes an outfit feel more complete and personalized, the same goes for layering lighting. My favorite outdoor lighting tips involve thoughtfully layering 3 types of lighting to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Here's how to layer lighting outdoors -- just in time for...

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5 Spring Home Decor Updates Under $100

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2014 | 1:38 PM


Spring is officially here and it is time to beat cabin fever with some simple home decor updates under $100 that will breathe new life into your space until the warm weather arrives:

1. Open the curtains. Let the light...

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How to Get Organized at Home in 2014

(0) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 3:12 PM

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time for a fresh start around the house. Here's how to get organized at home in 2014:


Step 1: Sort. Create 3 piles -- Keep, Toss, and Donate. Those in the keep...

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How to Decorate a Console Table

(0) Comments | Posted December 16, 2013 | 2:59 PM

How to Decorate a Console Table

A console table is a versatile piece of furniture -- it can serve as a surface in the entryway to collect keys and coins; as a petite desk when you're short on workspace; or as a focal point in an...

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Easy Decorating Ideas Under $100 to Get Your Home Ready for the Holidays

(1) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 4:33 PM

The cold weather is upon us, Thanksgiving has just passed, and the festive season is in full swing! Here are a few of my favorite easy decorating ideas under $100 that will get your home ready for the holidays quickly and inexpensively:

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Fall Home Decor Trend: Geometric Patterns on Lighting and Furniture

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 6:53 PM

Fall Home Decor Trend: Geometric Patterns on Lighting and Home Decor

One of my favorite home decor trends this fall is geometric patterns. From lighting to accessories to furniture, it's everywhere -- and with good reason. Geometric patterns are a sophisticated way to add visual...

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A Colorful Living Room Decorating Idea: One Room, Three Ways

(0) Comments | Posted October 4, 2013 | 1:12 PM

A Colorful Living Room Decorating Idea: One Room, Three Ways

Want to change the look of your space on a budget? Here's a simple and colorful living room decorating idea -- keep your essential pieces neutral, and customize your lighting and décor for the seasons.

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4 Tips to Create a Beautiful and Functional Back to School Workspace

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2013 | 3:34 PM

Whether you're a student heading back to school, a freelancer who works from home, or an employee with a dedicated office, having a workspace that both functions well and feels good is essential to your productivity and well-being. (Don't believe me? Try sitting in an uncomfortable desk chair for eight...

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8 Design Trends Spotted at the Las Vegas Market

(0) Comments | Posted August 2, 2013 | 1:38 PM

The Las Vegas Furniture Market is the place to scope out design trends and innovations, and my bi-annual trip is always a visual feast. Having just returned from the July market, I thought I'd share some of the more prominent home decor trends that caught my eye:

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5 Small Space Solutions

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2013 | 3:28 PM

Back-to-school season is just around the corner, and small space decorating is a hot topic that's on everyone's mind. With a few tips and tricks, a small space can be just as stylish and functional as one with far more square footage.

Here are five small space solutions that will...

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10 Quick and Easy Home Décor Ideas to Update Your Space

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 2:08 PM

Summer is just around the corner, and now is the perfect time to update your space for the season! Here are 10 quick and easy home décor updates that will enliven your home for the warm months ahead.

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Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Every Room in the House

(1) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 11:04 AM

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Every Room in the House

Mother's Day is on Sunday May 12th this year -- so you've still got time to get the perfect gift! Whether your mom prefers chats over tea in the kitchen or movie nights on the...

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5 Outdoor Living Ideas for Spring and Summer

(2) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 5:07 PM

Outdoor Living Ideas From Lamps Plus

Despite what the weather may look like today, spring is coming! Outdoor living is something that I truly adore, and I spend as much time outdoors as possible when the weather allows. Much to my delight, outdoor...

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Now Trending: French-Inspired Decor

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2013 | 5:25 PM


Subtle, muted cool tones, the charm of carved details, foreign language script on fabrics and the romance of a by-gone era -- all of these details express the charm of French-inspired decor.

Being in the design business, I get to travel to a lot...

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Getting Your Outdoor Area Ready for Spring

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2012 | 12:07 PM


We are now a few weeks into spring and I am sure many of you are like me and are ready to spend more time outdoors. The flowers are blooming and the weather is warmer -- let's spring into action! Here are a few...

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