When furniture is art it rocks my world!

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC happened over the weekend.  I was fortunate to be there.  It was a place where interior design is at its cutting edge. Every item I saw was not only a highly functional piece of furniture or fixture but a piece of art.  When furniture and fixtures also function as art it rocks my world! Many of the pieces I saw come from people who are clearly innovators but still building their brand so their pricing is more accessible.  I’m glad to be able to catch them on their way up and talk about some pieces that really caught my eye. First is a chandelier from Studio Bel Vetro in Brockton, MA.  They make each piece by hand and specialize in blown glass, but incorporate other techniques such as casting, fusing, and cold fabrication.  The handmade quality is highly refined.  It’s evident in every piece. I was surprised when I saw the hand made wall paper from Lori Carroll & Associates but astounded to learn the material used was bark skin. Lori has never been bound by limitation and has an uncanny sense for balancing casual comfort and refinement.  Needless to say, she understands “green” and environmentally friendly products. This wall sconce is from Jeremy Cole.  It’s handmade out of porcelain. Jeremy’s ideology is to challenge the mediums of ceramic and light by exploring their relationship with flora and art. I am in awe of Jeremy’s work.  I only hope he can help explain to me how to change the light bulbs. A side table can be an underestimated piece of furniture in terms of stopping power, but not when it comes from Hellman-Chang. His Omni Side Table certainly stopped me. It was sleek, white and spectacularly lined with thousands of precious, loose and eye catching crystal.  It looked as much like a piece of sculpture as it did a side table. Speaking of sculpture, I’ll leave you (although I could go on and just might in another post with more) with this stunning, translucent porcelain lamp from Bespoke Global.  It’s hand formed and carved with an undulating hole and line decorative motif. All of the these pieces are important to me because they balance art and function perfectly and, when that occurs, it takes interior design to a next level and that makes me proud of what I do for my clients every day. For example of how I balance art and function, click here. Would you like to see more...
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How to transform a small room into a show stopper

From May 8th, through June 12th, you should stop by the Designer Showhouse of Westchester in Bedford Corners, NY.  22 interior designers decorated the interior of a spectacular house.  All proceeds benefit Cerebral Palsy of Westchester.   The 22 interior designers chosen were “by invitation only.”  I was fortunate to be one of them so, in addition to this event being for a very good cause, this was a big deal for me.  I had one of the bedrooms to redesign and it was a small bedroom.  But that only made me want to do a spectacular job even more. To show you just how an interior designer works and where she gets her ideas and inspiration, I thought I’d show you in pictures how the room was transformed from start to finish on the right. It starts with sketches because you need a vision.  That’s because what you first see when you enter a room begins with white walls – an interior designer’s blank canvas. Since it was a small space, I wanted to make everything in the room have impact.  The room had great window and this gave me a lot to work with. Then, I focused on the walls.  Indigo Blue is a hot color these days so I thought I’d work with that.  If you want to know how colors get trendy, you should read my blog on Pantone.  The Ikat pattern on the walls was hand painted by Floe Painting. Then, I went to work from the ground up starting with Stark Carpets. We used the pattern in the rug on the floor to create the pattern for the fret work and the custom made bed, desk and nightstand (ALL three custom designed by us & manufactured by Sterling Custom Cabinetry).  The fabrics are fromSchumacher & Company. The Lucite desk chair and bench by Spectrum and the metal framed chairs in front of the windows are by Schumacher & Company.  They are visually light and open so that the room does not feel crowded. The fish prints by J. Pocker & Son, pick up the blues in the room. The crystal ball lamps by Decorative Crafts continue the appearance of light and airy. The lamp between the windows by LCRwestport provides a sculptural profile. Triple S made the window treatments and upholstered all of the furniture pieces. The bed linens are custom made by Casa Del Bianco to reflect the colors in the room. LCRwestport provided just the right balance of accessories. Diane James Home provided silk flower arrangements which, by the way, you can’t tell from the real thing. I am going...
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Want to go on an exclusive house tour?

Nothing thrills an interior designer more than going on a house tour of a home they designed.  Nothing, that is, except when a magazine writes a story and displays a full pictorial of it. That’s what happened to me this month in the March addition of atHome magazine with a beautiful Sasco Hill home overlooking Long Island Sound.  The house belongs to Joe and Barbara Pierce. The Sasco Hill home is not the biggest house I’ve done, but it’s one of my favorites.  Each window presents a panoramic view of the Sound, a river, a rolling meadow and the opportunity for creating seating arrangements around another lovely vista. Let’s take a tour starting at the foyer, where a 20+ foot ceiling is grounded with curvy furniture and a mirror that reflects a dramatic staircase.  Bibelots sit atop the Decorative Crafts console I found at the Wakefield Design Center. The open arrangement of the first floor, with its high ceilings and simple, strong architectural detail, offer plenty of gathering space.  In the living room, we selected classic furniture with clean lines to create a serene atmosphere. The kitchen free flows to the other rooms, with expansive built-in surfaces for setting out buffets and snacks, perfect for an easygoing style.  Joe Pierce said “everyone loves to congregate in the kitchen,” so we created an environment that’s perfect for a crowd. In the dining room, we went for a circular theme from the table by Erika Brunsen, the chairs from Decorative Crafts, to the pendant chandelier by John Rosselli.  For a punch of bright color, we chose aubergine with accessories and painted shelf interiors, but if Barbara and Joe ever decided to change the color palette, they can do it in the blink of an eye. As many ideas as I came up with for this house, they all played a supporting role to the beauty around it.  A house like this on Sasco Hill should never be over-decorated, you need room to exhale and take in all the beauty that surrounds it. To read the atHome article, click here.  To see more examples of the interiors of homes I’ve designed, click here. Did you enjoy the house...
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