Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ready for Spring

Modern Lounging Deck

A cluster of low teak sofas and cement-topped tables forms a central outdoor lounge.

Built of Mangaris (a dark, eco-friendly hardwood also known as red balau), the deck of this 1954 house in the Hollywood Hills spans the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom.

Worthless to Wonderful

The porch is the hub of life at this house. The mix of antiques and junk-store finds creates a comfortable atmosphere.

Dream Garden

The perfect garden for entertaining can also work for quiet relaxation -- even in a small space. The designers organized the yard into zones that correspond to the home's interior: large patios for group activities, intimate spaces for relaxing.

Perfect Porch

Porches can be enjoyed year-round in some places, especially when screening is used to keep mosquitoes at bay.

The homeowner opted to screen in the section of the porch that's adjacent to the kitchen and chose all-weather wicker furniture for this area -- two comfy sofas, a stately chair, and an ottoman that doubles as a coffee table. The cushions are covered with durable yellow-and-white striped fabric.

Just Hanging Out

A covered porch off the master bedroom provides a comfortable vantage point for watching boats come and go in the harbor. The interior decorator treated the private space as an open-air sitting room, complete with area rug, table lamps, and cozy seating.

Dramatic Flair

A curving seat wall defines an 8-foot-wide elevated patio in front of this distinctive stone fireplace. (The stone is made of sedimentary clay from Arizona.)

Granite boulders edge the entrance and serve as a stationary coffee table. The fireplace is part of a stuccoed retaining wall set into a hill at the rear of the property.

When planning an outdoor room, choose materials carefully. And opt for all-weather furnishings and fabrics.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pattern Mix

“It’s a contemporary home with strong Moorish influences,” project architect Matthew Stratton, of Bender & Associates Architects, says of a Key West, Florida, house he designed for model, actress and writer Veronica Webb and her husband, George Robb. “It’s like looking into a kaleidoscope,” Webb observes of the rooms. “You have enough pattern and color to keep you entertained: Veronica feels that it all weaves together all of her husband George’s shipwreck culture with her fashion and crafts culture. The dome ceiling was produced in Morocco. Shade trim, Samuel & Sons. (March 2009)

John and Jana Scarpa, the owners of a Palm Beach, Florida, house, hired interior designer Scott Snyder, who had decorated the house for another client years earlier. Above: The lanai. Wallcovering and carpets, Stark. Floral fabric on chairs, ottoman and pillows, Lee Jofa. (November 2007)

A 19th-century Italian Neoclassical parcel-gilt bed dominates the guest room, which serves as “a retreat from the brightness of the rest of the apartment,” says designer Michael Smith of a Manhattan pied-à-terre in The Carlyle. “It intensifies the colors of the other rooms and has an old-European feeling.” Wallcovering from Brunschwig & Fils. (April 2002)

Designer Alexa Hampton transformed this library of a New York apartment with a “nice muddy Edwardian green”, accented with reds. (February 2000).

Mixing patterns, as you can see, works if you stay in the same color tones, adding a pop accent color is the fun!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

San Francisco Design Project

My son has a condominim in the heart of San Franciso, he is currently in the process of purchasing furniture and designing it around the space. He is dealing with a long retangular space which can be a difficult design process. Although, he has asked my opinons and some guidance, I am so proud of him for his own creativity in the project. These are pictures of the process and his statements. As you follow this process, we will share the final design when completed. I have made recommdations on artwork and other accessories which he liked, I am sure the final pictures will be dramatic.

His comments on the the picture above:

"I took some time tonight to model out the kitchen fixtures, the actual placement of the windows, the balcony, the grating on the balcony, and the dining room table. Doing this and rendering it in 3D showed me some things about the space that were important. The furniture and my apartment walls and fixtures are all drawn to scale. I have used purple-gray for the sofa's, but that's just so they're easier to see in these renderings. I'm still thinking about going with black for the sofas and chairs, maintaining the contemporary color scheme of blacks, greys and chrome. The cats won't destroy leather, and it would match the other sofa, so I'd go with that design."

"Above is the chaise lounge option. There is room for an end table or bookshelf to the right of the chaise. It does make a nice separate sofa area, but also constricts the passage to the space unpleasantly and feels kind of like a barrier."

"The two images above show that I can't get away with putting a love seat or anything longer than the 59" sofa in the space before it becomes a similar barrier. So I can't really put the focus on the sliding glass door. (Which is OK,  because of the grating there's not much to see until you stand up anyway.) Plus two 59" love seats aren't really satisfying for the amount of seating I'd like."

"This is sofa config #1 from the original doc. I think I like this one the best. I'll have to find a new smaller coffee table, but that's OK. This gives me loads of seating (6), has visual interest, and does a nice job of dilineating the space without looking like a barrier. I know it covers the window and restricts the sliding glass door quite a bit, but I think I'm OK with that design. Mom had noted that this felt like too many pieces, so I'm thinking about that, too. I could replace the corner and armless chair with another left-hand 59" sofa, but that becomes less configurable."

BRAVO!!!! Great job Son.....I'm happy we agree on this final seating arrangement, the angle of the chair adds interest yet doesn't isolate the two areas, as my son mentioned, it also gives him more seating for entertaining. 
I felt that this four piece art work arrangement would work well behind his dinette table because it is a long wall and works well with the chrome in his kitchen appliances. The pop of color brighten's the black and greys in the space.
I love this large piece for behind his sofa due to the tall ceilings and again add that dramatic pop of color.

Cortina's architectural design features a simple, cast iron base and translucent diffuser that shields the dimmable light source.

■by Pablo Pardo

■cast iron base; translucent diffuser

■two halogen bulbs included, wattage varies by size

This is the accent floor lamp he will use in the room, I love the contemporary style and the dimmable option for atmosphere.

As a final touch I recommended this great leather rug, it would add warmth to the room and help soften noises in the room due to the high ceilings and concrete walls.
These are the overstuffed furniture examples I feel he should use and choose black leather. The large ottomans act as extra seating. I also recommend he purchase 2, one being for seating and the other as a coffee table.

Exotic Entertaining

Grounded by neutral colors and natural fibers, bold coral and turquoise are allowed to shine. "Dinnerware is like jewelry," says designer Jaime Rummerfield of Woodson and Rummerfield's House of Design. "Summer is the time to go big with striking patterns."

For a Look Like This:

Design Your Own Plates
Available at Freddy & Ma
Water Hyacinth Pillows
$29 to $99
Available at West Elm

"It's great to have a signature style as a hostess, but I always add a surprise or twist. In this case, I added a punch of color. Yellow is a popular color to mix with blue, and it adds warmth."

Peggy Sewell, Contributing Editor, Southern Accents

Classic Menu: A Homey Brunch

For a Look Like This:

Bergamote Blue Tablecloth
Available at DeVries & Dornbos
Rutherford Circle Plates by Kate Spade for Lenox
$17 to $26
Available at Dillard's

Natural fibers and textures -- from the wicker chairs to the woven placemats -- lend a cozy feel to this cottage dining area. The iron lantern overhead is a rustic substitute for the standard chandelier.

For a Look Like This:

Lloyd/Flanders Three-Season Vintage Armchair
Available at L.L. Bean
Round Rattan Placemats
Available at Sur La Table

Just because a get-together is laidback doesn't mean it can't be beautiful. Seasonal herbs and flowers, quaint table linens, and soft candlelight set the scene for an intimate gathering.

For a Look Like This:

Tate Lemon Placemats and Napkins
$4.95 (placemat), $3.95 (napkin)
Available at Crate & Barrel
Enchanted Forest Chandelier
Available at Illuminations

Make a large dining room feel more intimate with a warm and inviting tablescape. Rich colors mixed with sterling silver pieces give the setting an aged patina.

Elegant Couples' Party

For a Look Like This:

Ivy Garland Dinner Plates by Anna Weatherly
Available at Neiman Marcus
Fluted Cachepot
Available at Charlotte Moss

This elegant mirrored table sets off the pinks, greens, and golds of the setting. New glassware and placemats are mixed with traditional china and silver for a glamorous vintage feel.

Glamorous Hearty Hors d'Oeuvres Affair

For a Look Like This:

"Indents" Glassware
$65 to $98
Available at Horchow
Crystal Beaded Napkin Rings
Available at Linens N Things


Monday, March 22, 2010

High Point Furniture Mart 2010

The city of High Point, North Carolina bears the moniker “Furniture Capital of the World”. Barbara Taylor, President of High Point Museum, in a speech she delivered August 17, 2005, explained how High Point got this name. In 1919, The Southern Furniture Exposition Company built a showroom specifically for furniture manufacturers to have a place to display their creations. This showroom was 10 stories and cost over a million dollars to build. This was the first furniture market of its kind.

Building on their past with furniture, the city of High Point has become the premier destination for furniture buyers. According to the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau, there are more than 50 discount furniture stores in and around the area. These stores offer home furnishings at near wholesale prices and ship to any point in the United States. The Bureau even offers a “passport to savings”. The passport offers hotel discounts to anyone traveling to the city to buy furniture and includes a guide to local stores. High Point also boasts the largest furniture store in the nation and the world’s largest Chest of Drawers, all fitting and proper for the Furniture Capital of the World.

The High Point Market

In 1909, when the first High Point Market was hosted at the Southern Furniture Exposition Company showroom, the focus was on showcasing regional furniture manufacturers and their goods. The show has grown to incorporate manufacturers from all areas of the home trade, including textiles, lighting, and accessories to name a few. According to the High Point Market Authority, there are over 2,000 exhibitors representing 110 countries. The 12 million square feet of show space is spread across 188 buildings.

Keeping track of this many exhibitors and this much building space is a demanding task. In 2001, The High Point International Home Furnishings Market Authority Corporation was established to handle the nuts and bolts of the twice yearly shows. Through them, exhibitors may register for space and attendees may obtain passes. The Market Authority also provides the transportation between buildings, hotel accommodations for those attending and all aspects of pulling the show together.

According to the High Point Market website, highpointmarket.org, the market is the only place to experience so many of the home industry suppliers in one place. These are the industry leaders in their respective fields, the companies who make the designs and set the trends. According to the website, each new show features a place to “connect to the hottest home trends and business best practices with leading researchers and industry experts”.

Hickory Furniture Mart is one example of the furniture lines that will be represented at the 2010 Mart.
Hickory Furniture Mart, a unique mix of nearly 100 furniture outlet stores, shops and galleries. Within this four-story complex, you’ll find home furnishings, accessories, lighting, art, fine rugs, fabrics and much more – all with discounts up to 80% off retail. Over 500,000 visitors travel to the Mart every year to visit some of the best discounted furniture showrooms in NC.

2220 US Highway 70 SE # 253
Hickory, NC 28602-5192
(828) 322-3510


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Asian Embrace

A Manhattan couple turned to Paul Vincent Wiseman’s firm, The Wiseman Group, to design their secondary residence in San Francisco. Wiseman and senior designer Judy McBride kept the living room clutter-free to accommodate visiting grandchildren. The wife found the Chinese figures, from the Han Dynasty, in a New York shop. McGuire rattan lounge chair.

“It’s warm and serene,” McBride says of the living room, which features an oil by Robert Ogata. Sofa fabric, Cowtan & Tout. Corner pillow fabric, Clarence House. Green pillow silk, Donghia. Hokanson carpet. McGuire low table.

The designers continued the “simple, slightly Asian aesthetic” with translucent screens that separate the kitchen from the dining area. The collage is by Dennis Parante. Holly Hunt chairs, with Edelman leather. Poggenpohl cabinets.

Wood-paneled doors connect the den and the master bedroom. Edelman leather on lounge chair and ottoman. Kano school screen in den, Naga Antiques. Henry Calvin sofa fabric. Glant floral on pillows.

Diverse art offsets the consistent theme of the rooms. A work by Jessica Martin hangs above the bed. Atop the dresser are 12th-century Cambodian bronze mirrors, a Manuel Neri maquette and a photograph by Jess Johnston. Larsen fabric on bed frame.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Classical Epihifany

A couple bought the deconsecrated church and an adjacent apartment in La Convertoie, a fortress in Italy’s Chianti region that dates to the 11th century, and asked Siena architect Marco Vidotto and Vero Beach, Florida, designer Susan Schuyler Smith to fuse them into a single residence.

The nave—now the living room—was restored to reflect its original design. The 16th-century oil depicts Christ’s presentation at the temple.

Restoration of the church was done under the direction of the institution charged with preserving Italy’s cultural heritage. Smith’s goal was to “create a warm and cozy space with the use of lighting, furnishings and color,” while honoring the structure’s rich history. Vidotto brought the fresco above the altar’s replastered arch back to life.

Converted to a study, the sacristy had been added in the 1800s; Smith chose a wainscot chair and trestle table from that period. Kravet sofa fabric.

The dining room, with its original beams, previously served as a loggia connecting the apartment to the church. Lounge chair fabric, Kravet.

Smith installed the center island and cabinetry in the kitchen. The mid-19th-century fireplace “was kept as the focal point,” says the designer.

In the terrace garden, Chianti-based landscape architect Nancy Leszczynski planted Italian sage, rosemary, a pomegranate tree and assorted other flora.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Digital Wallpaper

Big Impressions

In a downstairs bath, a digital image of a green-and-white botanical evokes spa serenity. Though this Graham and Brown wallpaper mural is discontinued, there's plenty more to choose from on their site.  "It's a fun way to get a great splash for about $120." I love this digital wallpaper, so sad they discontinued the green and white botanical.

Monday, March 15, 2010

High Rise Architecture

The well-guarded little secret of recently built New York apartments at swank addresses is that the interiors are often banal and the construction iffy, the result of developers designing buildings with their calculators. The apartments coast on drop-dead views. Here on the Upper West Side, a hop, skip and a jump from Lincoln Center, the clients wanted to reset the equation so that the interiors matched the views in quality and drama as they achieved a higher environmental IQ. An energy-consuming Manhattan apartment could go green.

New Yorkers called on Hariri & Hariri Architecture to design a Modernist apartment on the 45th floor of a Manhattan tower, the clients asked for environmental intelligence. Collectors and travelers, the couple brought a sophisticated eye to the commission, matched by elevated environmental expectations. They had stayed in many hotels wired to optimize comfort and minimize energy consumption.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Home Ideas

Spice up an all-white den with tangerine accents. A Moroccan floor cushion and cozy throw blanket become statement pieces in this simple, symmetrical living room.

A wash of pastels brings this coastal living room together. Promote conversation with four chairs instead of the traditional sofa, anchored by round ottoman.

In recent years, pretty much the only place you could spot a beverage cart was in black-and-white movies. But recently, the wheeled, multitrayed carts have been appearing in stores. "Entertaining at home is hot right now, and people have rediscovered the utility cart.
 If you're unsure where to go first in this Abilene, Texas, home, just follow the cat tracks. From the front door, tiny feline footprints lead toward the open living area. Guests frequently comment on them, not because the homeowners refuse to clean the floor, but because the footprints are the only reminder of a cat who long ago stepped across the terra-cotta tiles while they were drying in the sun in Mexico, leaving his mark forever.

It's a quarter to five and here's a country kitchen, modern in every way, where hearty meals are prepared for big appetites. There is a two-oven stove, a warming oven across the way, a wine cooler and no-worry concrete countertops. The kitchen has easy access to the family room and to a very large dining room.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Vintage Bathroom Suites

These vintage bathroom suites by Regia are sweet indeed! The combination of their contemporary, clean lines and throwback silhouettes make these vintage suites a bathroom essential that’ll lead you into the future in style. The timeless and classic combinations of black / white and red / white make these sinks, tubs and toilets pop. Just splash your favorite color on the walls or by way of towels and accessories, top it off with some artwork or a large mirror, and you’ve got a trendy look that’s easy to change when the “it” color turns from turquoise to… whatever it’ll be next year! Making the old new again, this chic vintage bathroom collection works well with both modern and traditional designs. Check it out at Regia.