July 28, 2011

Cape Cod Cottage Rescue

This is why you buy a dilapidated 700 square foot cottage…..It’s the View, the Location and the Ocean Breezes….did I mention the VIEW?

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Here’s what we started with: Heavy low support beams, 40 year old linoleum flooring (and everything else!), and NO ACCESS TO THE WATERFRONT DECK FROM THE LIVING ROOM!
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Here’s the design concept: Vibrant, colorful, cheerful and casual…a slice of beach heaven!
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Here’s how it turned out:
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This is the master bedroom.  Not a bad place to wake up, don’t you agree?
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You can rent this cottage at www.homeaway.com

For fabric and furniture sourcing, email us at info@gaitainteriors.com


June 1, 2010

The Chic Swivel Chair: a key to the multi-function room

Is the formal living room a thing of the past? My clients want to get as much use as possible out of every corner of their homes.  So, why save prime interior real estate for “special occasions”?

More than ever, I’m mixing functions in what is often the roomiest, prettiest and most comfortable space in the house.  The old idea of setting aside a formal living room, and having a little TV room somewhere is getting pretty old!

The flat TV has been instrumental in pushing this trend forward. But there’s been a less conspicuous player that is …shall we say,  PIVOTAL in making this type of room work…The  fun – beautiful – versatile – functional 

SWIVEL CHAIR!

This is the Orion Swivel, from KCC Modern Living.  Jensen Lewis carries this style.  I like the mix of straight and curved lines.  The size is ample for sitting, and yet compact.orion swivel kccmodernlivingORANGEORIONCHAIRSlkrutjpj0w39476gpnw9485n48o56ngv93845mf;e94tunvp9w867gb48y

Interior Design 101:

A room  designed strictly for television viewing, will have all of the seating oriented toward the TV.

If a room is meant to be used for socializing, then the goal is to create cozy inward facing conversation areas.

If you’re trying to mix it up, most likely, you will need a swivel chair or two, so you can go from inward facing socializing, to outward facing TV watching, without a neck injury!

Here are a few modern swivels. Some are very charming, some are modern classics, some are just oh-so comfy.   One thing they have in common, is that in keeping with the philosophy behind most modern design..”form follows function”  In other words, they LOOK like swivel chairs.

This is a swivel that’s big enough for two (51″ round!), which I think makes it pretty unique.  It’s called the Eos, and it’s from Room and Board.

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The stylish swivel chairs below are (clockwise) from Room Room and Board the Sutro, from Knoll, the Durso,  from Ikea the Karlstad, and from Design Within Reach the Egg Chair.

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Aren’t these fun? They’re The Question Mark Chair from Tonon Italia.  If they don’t work out inside, you can always plant them in the garden, and see if they grow!tononitalia-chair-question-mark-1 trendir
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A little history, just for the fun of it!

The Eames Lounger, introduced in 1958, has been in production, and selling well ever since.  Since the television was not a major factor in home planning at the time, I suppose the new open floor plan concept in residential design may have been the impetus for putting a swivel on this gorgeous comfortable chair.

If you can get your hands on an old one in decent condition, go for it!  New ones are available through Room and Board.

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Here’s the 1966 brochure for the Time Life Executive Chair from Hermann Miller.  The only major change on the current model is that it has five feet on the swivel base, instead of four (more stable)  Now, as then, this chair is a symbol of power, high status and gravitas in the the world of business.

I for one, would love to have four of them around a game table!  You can see that I’m just not that serious!! ( I got no gravitas!) I’d rather play games, than do business…in a really comfortable, supportive modern classic chair.

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Where would interior design be today without these two geniuses of modern furniture design? Below is the Eames Soft Pad (so comfy and elegant) and the lovely Saarinen Tulip Chair. Both swivel, both look great in almost any setting.
Eames EA208 Softpad Swivel Chair 1969saarinen_tulip_chair

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Okay, we’ve got an American! And a genius of twentieth century modern furniture design! Milo Baughman spent most of his career designing for Thayer-Coggin (from 1953 to 2003)  Among his many iconic, (very often copied) designs is  this classic modern take on a swivel tub chair. This is VERY close to the chairs my Mom had in our living room in the 1970’s, earth tone stripe and all! What a trip!
Milo Baughman forThayer Coggin Inc.
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Montgomery Ward, 1975, The Gyro Chair! This one tickles my memory (and my funny bone!) too. I’m pretty sure one of my hipper friends had this in her bedroom. So cool!  I suddenly feel like listening to my old Neil Diamond records…weird.   If anyone still has one of these, I’d love to know about it!
Gyrochair mont ward 1975

Secret Swivels

Modern isn’t for everyone.  This makes my job so much fun, as I’m a design omnivore!

Here are some very classic, traditional chairs that HIDE their swivels.  They disguise themselves as mere objects of luxury, but are in fact eminently practical.

This perfectly proportioned tufted chair from Duralee (available from GaitaInteriors) would feel right at home in the most formal room imaginable, but is SO COMFORTABLE, and of course, swivel-able.

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The four swivel chairs below are from (clockwise) Pearson, Kravet, Pearson and Kravet.  All are available through Gaita Interiors.

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This is personal favorite of mine from Kravet. It could double as a game chair, and a lounge chair. I think the transitional lines are very beautiful, the proportions are just right, and it’s very comfortable.  It could take almost any fabric treatment, and fit into almost any setting.. Just great!tarragone skirted shair

So get yourself out of that tiny TV nook, (turn it into a pantry!)  get rid of the velvet rope, and start using your LIVING ROOM to live in!

GO DECORATE,
AND HAVE FUN!

March 17, 2010

Get a Blast of Spring into Your Home Right Now!

First, get a slip cover made for your sofa out of this joyous floral from Robert Allen, Kiki-color pinata. Don’t be afraid, you’re going to love it, I promise! And this fabric is super sturdy, with a 30,000 double rub rating. That means you can let the monkeys jump on the sofa, no problem!

Fabric and custom slipcovers are available at Gaita Interiors.

Rob Allen Kiki pinata

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Then add a couple of cheerful pieces from Maine CottageThe look is whimsical, but the quality is very serious. This is some solid furniture, and the paint finishes are as tough as they are beautiful.  In my neighborhood, we get our Maine Cottage fix from Wendy Gee! right on Boston Post Rd, in Larchmont, NY.  At Wendy Gee! it’s spring all year round.  I highly recommend a visit.  Just browsing there always cheers me up!

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Wendy Gee! also sells these rugs from Dash and Albert.  This particular one is an indoor-outdoor rug. That means you can take it outside and hose it down, no worries!

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For the table top, check out these floral plates and towels  from Crate and Barrel. They do spring right! I guess somebody there knows that we need a little cheering up, and beige just wont do!  What could be nicer, first thing in the morning, than a bagel with flowers!
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So it seems, AS USUAL, in spite of everything, SPRING HAS SPRUNG!

CELEBRATE!

March 2, 2010

Your House, My Haus, BAUHAUS

The Museum of Modern Art in New York recently closed it’s astonishing show Bauhaus: Workshops for Modernity. That’s the bad news.  The good news, is that among the 400 pieces featured were a number of styles that are still being manufactured, and still going strong in the home furnishings market. So you can add a little Bauhaus to Your-House, and I recommend that you do! Anything from this school of design will look just as fresh in another twenty, thirty or fifty years, as it does today.

The Bauhaus German school for modern art and design existed for a mere 14 years (1919-1933).  Yet in that brief time it’s students and instructors  revolutionized the world of design, bringing it out of the Victorian period and irrevocably into the modern era.

It’s a testament to the foresight and aesthetic of the designers of the Bauhaus movement that ninety years later, our 21st century eye still reads the pieces as very modern, and not at all dated or old fashioned. In fact, almost everything in design that we think of as modern today, springs directly from this incredibly creative, prolific, influential period.
nesting tables josef albers 1926-27

The Nesting Tables above, by Josef Albers 1926-27 are available through the MoMA shop.

The lighting pieces below are all original Bauhaus designs.  The ceiling fixtures to the right and center are Marianne Brandt designs. The one in the center is available through Technolumen.com. The weighted pendant lamp is available through Bonluxat.com.   The table lamp, designed by Wagenfeld and Junker, is available from the MoMA Store.

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Don’t be afraid to mix modern classics from the Bauhaus period with classics from earlier periods.  This cabriole leg table from Kravet works beautifully with the Eames Molded Plastic Chair, because they both share many of the same elegant timeless qualities: clean lines, beautiful curves.  I would do six of the Eames Chairs  around this table. The table is available through Gaita Interiors.  The Eames Chair is available through the MoMA shop.

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This white chaise by Eames with it’s floating organic form is very incredibly current looking, and as good as adding a piece of sculpture to your home. It’s hard to believe that it was conceived over sixty years ago! It’s available through the MoMa Store
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Below is a period photo of Marcel Breuer with his ubiquitous design, the Wassily Chair.

The chair is manufactured by Hermann Miller, and is available through Gaita Interiors.
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December 2, 2009

Guest Blog: Why We Don’t Like Matchy Matchy

Filed under: Color usage, Fabric Usage, Furniture, Interior Design, Paint, Wall Decoration — michaeldelicio @ 1:48 PM

By Caitlin Pitt

Pick up any of the hipper (or recherché, depending on your viewpoint) design rags and you’ll see at lot of looks. What used to be called “eclectic” is “classic” now; combining periods is the baseline. Elements of glamour (eg ormoulu and brass) that used to be old are new again. Corian is the new marble. Colors that once ‘clashed’ now ‘sizzle’.

You’ve seen everything, and you’ll see everything. But the one thing you won’t see is “matchy matchy”. At least not in this decade.

First, the definition. The Urban Dictionary (www.urbandictionary.com) defines “matchy matchy” as, “…used to describe an outfit that is too coordinated and consists of too many of the same types of colours [sic], patterns, fabrics, accessories, designer pieces, thematic elements, etc. Can also be used in reference to interior design…”

The expression itself embodies a mild though mocking rebuke of the old aesthetic. Even if you don’t fully understand the concept you can tell there’s something undesirable going on here. But matching is a hard habit to break! Nevertheless, when you let go of the compulsion, you’ll be surprised to find that a whole new dimension of beauty and richness awaits.

Here’s what I mean. Take, for example, this nice room here. Nothing bad one can say. It’s a comfortably appointed, calming, traditional room. I have seen this room, or a close cousin, in a thousand homes. I’ve seen this room in every city in the US. Even in the homes of very-this-century people.

Traditional Matchy

It’s certainly lovely…but is it interesting? Stimulating? Enlivening?? There is little or no acknowledgment of the intervening 150 years of design history and innovation anywhere here. Edith Wharton likely would be as comfortable in this room as my grandmother would’ve been.

Now let’s look at these rooms.

Are they transitional? postmodern? what? To say they’re “eclectic” sounds quaint, or maybe ironic, kind of like calling large item collection day at the dump “a hodgepodge”.

Mixy

One common feature of these rooms is that the scale of the elements is similar to classical decorating. You’ll note that the stone sculpture above is nearly the scale of a painting that might hang over the bed in a modern room. The bronze silk upholstered X bench at the foot of the bed is a common enough item, albeit one with more “pop”. But five or ten years ago, would one have seen this bronze paired with the yellow lacquer nightstands? And stones above the bed? No, this is definitely a new way of putting things together.

Mixy 1

Here, there are lots of different colors, periods and styles, but no over-sized pieces or oddly mismatched items, such as a cherry Queen Anne stool or a 70s redwood tree stump coffee table. This room also has pairs of items that do match, lending the room a pleasing symmetricality. Would we have seen this room in the 70s or even the 90s? Likely not.

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In this room, there’s very little to match – another great strategy. All-one-hue rooms with different components in various tones or values is another, more subtle, way to avoid matching too much. This room encompasses traditional, classic, modern and contemporary elements with a minimalist aesthetic and looks “mixed” rather than “matched”, but quietly so.

The point is, in this day and age there are so many ways to achieve stylishness living, and only a tiny subset of these requires that all of the elements match. Today, “go together” can mean combining similar elements in unanticipated ways just as easily as it can mean containing disparate elements within a classical framework. Whichever way one wants it, the result is distinct, crisp, provocative – and new.

Happy Decorating!

-Caitlin

October 29, 2009

First Guest Blog: Bargains from eBay

Filed under: Furniture, Interior Design, etageres — Tags: , , — michaeldelicio @ 10:54 AM

I’m no Leona when it comes to design, style, knowledge, verve…I could go on. But I DO know a bargain when I see one. I decided to hop onto eBay and see what bargains lurk there, being as though I’m searching just now for a pair of nice chairs and some occasional tables. Searching on eBay this way can be tedious, yes, but remember: all the professionals do it too!

First, the chairs. Searching for “bergère” used to offer up some great finds but now everyone’s onto it. You can’t find a nice pair of bergères for a decent price anymore. So instead, I searched “pair chairs”. This time I got over 400 “hits”, and then – as at Loehmann’s or TJMaxx – I had to pick through the morass to find the jewels. Here’s my first cut; the prices underneath reflect the starting bids unless otherwise noted:

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Wassily Pair - $980.00

Wassily Pair - $980.00

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Now for the tables. I’m looking both for single tables and pairs, and when I typed “side table” I got 4,365 hits. Too many and mostly not what I’m looking for anyway. So I refined the search by choosing only the 738 items categorized as Antiques>Furniture. Here’s what I got:

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00

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There are a few things to bear in mind when shopping for household bargains this way, however. The first, most obvious hurdle is that because you can’t ogle – or touch – the pieces in person you’ll have to be very careful about measuring the destination in your space against the measurements provided for the piece. I have a friend who finds cushions in her home and puts them together in the room destination to approximate the size of items she’s considering. I use newspaper. The point is that, like at Loehmann’s, just because something’s a bargain doesn’t mean you should buy it if it doesn’t fit or isn’t flattering!

While we’re on the subject of fit, another important thing to keep in mind is that when buying furniture on eBay it’s helpful to have a local discount fabric store AND an upholsterer you trust and who makes it easy. My upholsterer is someone I’d definitely have a cup of tea with any time – he’s adorable. But he’s also willing to pick up and deliver anything, and he’ll go to the fabric store on the way. His prices are exceedingly reasonable and he does great work.

The final considerations with eBay bargain hunting have to do with calculating in shipping fees and evaluating the seller. To ensure you’re really getting a bargain, you’ll need to add in the shipping charges when determining your top bid. Some sellers offer flat shipping fees; some ship only via Greyhound for station pick-up; some require the buyer to make her/his own arrangements. Whatever the terms, the fees involved can be substantial, so calculate them up front before starting to bid. Regarding ease and comfort of buying, my policy is to shop only with top-rated sellers, and to check buyer comments before bidding.

It just takes a little time and research, but you too can find great pieces for your home online. You’re helping the environment – “reduce, reuse, recycle” – and joining the ranks of proud design aficionados everywhere who are loath to pay retail.

Happy shopping!

Caitlin

August 11, 2009

The Cool Brilliance of Chrome in Interior Design

Nickel is nice, but chrome is cooler! Nickel has a high end cache.  It’s true that in general nickel is more expensive, and has a softer  warmer glow.  But I guess I’m an all or nothing kind of designer.  If metal is going to be bright and shiny, I prefer it VERY bright , VERY shiny and VERY cool in tone.  That’s why I LOVE chrome, and of course, I’m not alone.

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Chrome has been the favored metal finish for furniture, ever since Marcel Breuer first fashioned the Wassily Chair in 1925, and continues to be so in the new century. The development of chrome in furniture runs parallel, and has often been reflective of  its use in the car and motorcycle industries. Above and beyond its obvious practical applications, chrome denotes speed, modernity,technology, and a forward looking optimism.
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Design by David Jimenez

This bedroom by David Jimenez uses generous doses of chrome, and is nothing if not cheerful and optimistic!  Wouldn’t you love to wake up in a room like this?5-21-platner-tableThe Platner Table (above) is available through Design Within Reach

I love the relationship here, between the spiroscope patterns in the art, and the similar effect in the chrome table base

Image via designsponge

Image via designsponge

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Here’s a question I’m often asked:  Is it OK to mix styles and periods? Let this eclectic, pretty room be the final answer to that question!  What could provide a more elegant, yet neutral link between the wide ranging looks in this room, than the classic chrome Brno Chair,(1930) by Mies Van der Rohe.

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The Brno Chair is available through Knoll Studio

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I can’t resist comparing the chairs in this airy inviting dining room to good old fashioned diner chairs like this one from americanchairs.com Why not use diner chairs with a light neutral covering, in a slightly more formal way?  The cost is low,  the comfort is excellent, and the look would be very original.

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Here the chrome of the classic Wassily chair mixes beautifully with a warm earthy color scheme, adding a little glitter and shine.  The Wassily Chair is available through Knoll Studio Designed in the Bauhaus Studio in 1925 by Marcel Breuer, then only an apprentice, it was the very first steel tubular chair.
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Here are some of my favorite interior design CHROME INSPIRATIONS:
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LAMP: furnitureinfashion.net, FABBIAN EDGE 5 LIGHT TABLE LAMP: YLighting, BARCELONA PAVILION TABLE: classicsinstock.com ,CHROME BAR STOOL: AmericanChairs.com, DESK: Sam Flax, FURNITURE HARDWARE: mylivingspaceco.uk, MARTINI END TABLE: Kravet Furniture
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candice Olsen

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chista-natural-wood-coffee-tables-1Designed by Candace Olsen, this room has both a modern sensibility and a warm rusticity.  This approach is embodied in the coffee table which  combines a hand hewn rugged wood top, with machine age chrome legs.  The open leg notches on the top enhance the effect of nature-plus-technology.  It’s almost sculptural, and very forward looking.  The table to the left from Chista, and the others below from Century and Hudson Furniture Inc. are very much in the same vein.  In fact, once I started looking around, I saw enough in this general style to pronounce it a trend! These furnishings display a reverence for the beauty of the natural world, combined with a use of high tech man made materials.  What a great metaphor for the future, if you’re an optimist, like me!

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Century Furniture

Century Furniture

Hudson Furniture Inc.

Hudson Furniture Inc.

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We have enough history with chrome interior furnishings to look back on some of it with affectionate nostalgia. Meanwhile, many early examples remain as relevant and cutting edge as ever, and far more popular and available than when they were first created…And, the market place is filled with current, new examples of beautiful chrome furniture, from the innovators of today. It will be very exciting to see what  forms in chromed metal will appear next!

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Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes have come
With your chrome heart shining in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young

July 17, 2009

HOW TO: Design a Glamorous Movie Bedroom for Your Home

One of the great traditions of Hollywood cinema is the creation of dreamy set designs. Why would we pay good money to go to a movie, just to see our favorite stars living lives in settings that are mundane? Even if the plot is in no way dependent on gorgeous interior design, seeing the interiors of beautiful homes is a big part of the escapism of the movies, and always has been.

Well my philosophy is: No home should be mundane. Each one should be as special as the individuals who dwell there. Whatever the available budget there’s always a way. The bedroom in particular is a personal sanctuary. Here are two beautiful,very different examples of glamorous movie bedrooms, and how YOU can get that glamour into your life.

CARRIE BRADSHAW’S CHIC, URBANE BEDROOM from “Sex and the City

Here’s what Carrie’s got going on in her “newly renovated apartment”, and a  few elements you can use to get the look:

Carrie Bradshaw's glam bedroom

Carrie Bradshaw's glam bedroom

Carrie Bradshaw is my friend! OK, don’t send the paddy wagon, I know she’s not real! But I feel like we’ve been through a lot together! Romantic ups and downs, career stalls and triumphs, keeping friendships alive through it all. I want to congratulate her for finally getting her act together in her apartment. Why wait for prince charming to come along to live in a chic environment? When she graduated from the small screen to the silver screen,thanks to set designer Jeremy Conway, my fictional friend stepped up to an elegant, modern and oh so urbane Manhattan apartment.

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West Elm Zebra Rug 9'x12' $749.00

West Elm Zebra Rug 9'x12' $749.00

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Benjamin Moore -Clearest Ocean Blue 2064-40. White Dove would be nice on the trim and ceiling.

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Wallace Upholstered Headboard from Restoration Hardware $1495.00 for king

Wallace Upholstered Headboard from Restoration Hardware $1495.00 for king

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Harriet White Glass Table Lamp from Barnes & Noble $179.00

Harriet White Glass Table Lamp from Barnes & Noble $179.00

Table from Target $229.00

Table from Target $229.00

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West Elm Desk, $329.00

West Elm Desk, $329.00

Excaliber Collection from The Door Store, $169.99

Excaliber Collection from The Door Store, $169.99

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Carrie and her vanity

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Paris Apartment MirroredVanity $7,800.00

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As always with Sex and the City, there is a strong blend of true-to-life reality, (the relationships) and pure fantasy (how could a journalist afford all those designer clothes?) That's why we love it! The mirrored vanity pictured above is a case in point. The one in Carrie's bedroom is comparable to this drop-dead-gorgeous seven drawered beauty from Paris Apartment (go to the site and drool) It retails for $7,800.00! That's equal to 19 pairs of Manolos! I doubt Carrie would make the sacrifice.

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Horchow $699.00

Horchow $699.00

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I wouldn’t call this pretty mirrored vanity from Horchow a sacrifice!  The curves are graceful, and it has the critical drawer for a blow dryer, and plenty of room for make-up and other necessities.

Gaita Interiors can make custom cream silk dupioni drapes for about $500 per pair.

West Elm Upholstered Slipper Chair $429.00

West Elm Upholstered Slipper Chair $429.00

Ikea 30" round mirror $19.99

Ikea 30" round mirror $19.99 for over the vanity.

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Behind Carrie’s bed is a melange of framed wall art. West Elm has all you need, for the right prices. You can get that “collector’s look” in one fell swoop. I would install them in a random mix of black and white frames.
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west elmAAAADDKlPkAAAAAAAAxdUgwest elm wall art $19 pillows and throws Connor pillow $60
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The pillows are from www.pillowsandthrows.com The bedding is from Crate and Barrel.
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Oh Carrie!  I wish you and Big SO MUCH LUCK! But just in case, maybe you should keep the lease on your perfectly elegant little  nest… Big’s a tricky guy! You never know.

ART DECO 1930′S ALL- OUT GLAMOUR ” Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

The plot is thin, but the performers are all pros, and the eye candy can’t be beat! Sets, costumes and the art direction are fabulous and flawless.  Here the set designer, Katie Spencer, expertly recreated a high end Art Deco interior complete with a few anachronisms (which add to the authenticity) from earlier periods such as old fashioned ruffled sheers, and a slightly frumpy dated looking slipper chair, and practically Victorian table lamps.  Let’s keep the Art Deco elegance, but update the look a little:

bedroom

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Satin bedding from Speigel.com

Satin bedding from Speigel.com

From HomeDecorators.com Standing mirrored Room Divider $699.00

From HomeDecorators.com Standing mirrored Room Divider $699.00

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Seville Headboard at Target.com $409.99

Seville Headboard at Target.com $409.99

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Sheer Curtains

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The sheers above are from Country Curtains.  You would need to triple up on them to get that full look.  Gaita Interiors can make very full custom sheer drapes (no ruffles!) for  about $300 per pair.

Schumacher Wallpaper Imperial Trellis-alabaster

Schumacher Wallpaper Imperial Trellis-alabaster, for behind the bed

Thibaut Cantonese, pearl

Thibaut Cantonese, pearl, for an accent wall.

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Horchow Crystal Ball Table Lamp $155

Horchow Crystal Ball Table Lamp $155

Horchow Mirrored End Table $269.00

Horchow Mirrored End Table $269.00

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Venetian Mirror from www.theMirrorLady.com $341.00

Venetian Mirror from www.theMirrorLady.com $341.00

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I wouldn’t build a bedroom with a platform.  To me, it’s a tripping hazard. I’m getting on in years, you know! But you can add the curve and some luxury with a round white shag rug.  This one from Crate and Barrel is quite nice.  If you have enough room, Home Decorators makes one up to 10′ round for the same price!

6 foot round rug from Crate and Barrel

6 foot round rug from Crate and Barrel

Crate and Barrel Petrie Chair $899.00

Crate and Barrel Petrie Chair $899.00

Pale Gold Metallic Paint from Modern Masters

Pale Gold Metallic Paint from Modern Masters

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If your ceiling is in very good condition, you can add another layer of glam with a couple of coats of gold metallic paint.  Modern Masters does a great job, with the paint, and advice on technique. Benjamin Moore Bone White would be nice on the walls where there's no wallpaper.  White Dove for the trim.

Vanity Dreassing Table from ReadyToCover.com

Vanity Dreassing Table from ReadyToCover.com

From Wisteria.com , vaniy stool $249

From Wisteria.com , vaniy stool $249

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If your space is small, this  dressing table (delivered unfinished) from ReadyToCover is surprisingly practical, with plenty of hidden storage below.  The kidney shape works well with the Art Deco look.

Miss P

The vanity is just a dressed up shelf in a bay window. Great idea!

At the end of this fluffy romp, our charming leading lady, Delysia, chooses love over riches, with her poor but sincere (sexy) musician boyfriend Michael.  I’m afraid she may have to say goodbye to the deluxe digs she was accustomed to.  Oh well… C’est L’amour!

BE A STAR! ….and GO DECORATE!

July 13, 2009

Gothic Revival: IT’S ALIVE! In Westchester County, New York

It’s time for a Gothic Revival-Revival! Do you have a tendency toward romanticism and flights of fancy? Are you fond of pointed arches, deep carvings, curvaceous tracery?  Are you a secret lover of vampire literature, television and cinema? Guess what: YOU’RE  GOTH!  No, I don’t mean you have to go out and get body piercings and buy lots of black clothes!  I mean you should look at this gorgeous, influential movement in American design.

In Tarrytown, New York (in the southern part of Westchester County,a little north of New York City) is Lyndhurst Castle, one of the finest, extravagantly beautiful OPEN TO THE PUBLIC examples of Gothic Revival architecture and interiors in America.

Lyndhurst_Tarrytown_NY_-_front_facade

Lyndhurst Castle Tarrytown, NY

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In the mid 18th century, with the rise of Romanticism, an increased interest and awareness of the Middle Ages among some influential connoisseurs created a more appreciative approach to selected medieval arts, beginning with church architecture, the tomb monuments of nobility, stained glass, and late Gothic illuminated manuscripts. The movement quickly swept through Europe, finally taking deep root in America, becoming the style of choice for the newly wealthy industrialist class, and infamous robber barons!

Lyndhurst Ent Hall

Lyndhurst Entry Hall

Lynd art gallery

Lyndhurst Art Gallery

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Lyndhurst was designed in 1838 by Andrew Jackson Davis, for William Paulding, a former mayor of New York and merchant.  The house, as it stands today, was further formed by the Merrit Family and the famous railroad tycoon, Jay Gould.

In person, Lyndhurst Castle is both more impressive, and less daunting than the photography suggests.  Many children grew up in Lyndhurst, and the little nursery rooms,( quite near to the Master Bedroom) are on display, complete with a pair of old fashioned little girl's button up boots.  Within sight of the main house, is a perfect play house called Rose Cottage.

The rooms are large and filled with beautiful detail of the Gothic Revival period, but not heavy or oppressive.  Though spacious, the brilliant architecture of A.J. Davis  manages to keep it on a human scale.  Faux finishes became quite the fashion out of Europe in the later Gothic period, and Lyndhurst is filled with the finest examples I've ever seen of faux limestone and marble, and other forms of decorative painted surfaces.  Really, the only word is INCREDIBLE!  This is decorative painting elevated to the level of fine art.

dining room Lynd

Dining Room, Lyndhurst

Dutchess Guest Room, Lyndhurst

Dutchess Guest Room, Lyndhurst

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wheel-back-chair-color alexander jackson davis

Restored Wheel Back Chair designed for Lyndhurst by it's celebrated architect Alexander Jackson Davis, one of the many exquisite authentic pieces to be seen at the mansion.

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Hey, did you know that Lyndhurst Mansion was used as the house set for the classic TV series from the late 60’s-early 70’s “Dark Shadows”? I was strangely drawn to watch it, but my Mom wouldn’t let me because it gave me nightmares!  Boo Hoo!!

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There's Lyndhurst in the background. I promise, during the day it's not scary at all!

scarie!

Lyndhurst as seen in "Dark Shadows" Oooooo, spookey!

But really, Lyndhurst is no vampire’s lair, nor maker of nightmares.  It’s much more like something from a fairy tale, an enchanted castle from a little girls’ favorite story book.

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Exterior window detail. If I'd known I was taking my own picture, I would have said "cheese".

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Rose Garden

A detail from a large planter near the Rose Garden

I can’t resist including this  heartbreakingly beautiful painting  by my favorite artist of the Gothic Revival era,  Sir Edward Burne-Jones.  This piece is NOT at Lyndhurst.  It’s at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  I’m showing it here, because it embodies so much of the dreamy romantic quality of the Gothic Revival movement…and I LOVE IT!

 Sir Edward Burne-Jones

"The Love Song" by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

American Gothic Revival Rocks On…..!

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Like the iconic painting “American Gothic” (1930) by Grant Wood,(titled for the  pointed arch window depicted in the farm house) Gothic Revival just keeps on going!
Is Gothic Revival still relevant? Yes it is, and guess what. Far from being relegated to Grandma’s attic, it’s influences are all around us and have never really gone out of style or usage. They’ve just evolved. You don’t have to be a wealthy robber baron to take part.  Here are some examples of Gothic Revival today:

Gothic Revival printed fabric form the period.

Gothic Revival printed fabric form the period.

Kravet

Kravet #28247-613

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More beautiful fabrics that display the Gothic influence:

Kravet  #23089-540

Kravet #23089-540

Kravet 25841-319

Kravet 25841-319

Highland Court #180933H-298

Highland Court #180933H-298

Highland Court #180906-533

Highland Court #180906-533

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Whimsical, dreamy, fanciful; Mackenzie Childs has built a whole sub-category and career on elaborating on these qualities (already present) in Gothic Revival, to create something new and current, built on design of the past.  Fabulous!!

Mackenzie Childs

Mackenzie Childs at Neiman Marcus

Mackenzie Childs at Nieman Marcus

Mackenzie Childs: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll was published in 1865 at the height of the Gothic Revival. Alice is the only thing missing from this fantastical display!

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Architectural touches from the period you can add to even the most contemporary setting:

These beauties are available from www.bygones.net

These reclaimed beauties are available from www.bygones.net

www.jmjoinery.com

From www.jmjoinery.com,brand new Gothic windows ready for installation.

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Here are some current furnishings that  bear the unmistakable influence of the Gothic Revival period:

Yep, this is Gothic Revival

Yep, this is Gothic Revival!

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www.gothic-furniture.co.uk

www.gothic-furniture.co.uk So modern, but very Goth!

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Antique fixture at Lyndhurst Castle

Gothic Revival reproduction lantern from www.thegreenhead.com  Well done!

Gothic Revival reproduction lantern from www.thegreenhead.com Well done!

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Cabinets from Walz Craft

Cabinets from Walz Craft

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Walz Craft is wonderful!  Any door style you can think of, they’ve got it.  And they’re terrific to work with.  Their interpretation of a Gothic cabinet door has the beauty and grace of the past, combined with unsurpassed function.

This would make a great hallway piece.  From www.pine-on-line.com

This would make a great hallway piece. From www.pine-on-line.com

Here are some decorative touches you can use that will add some of the old world beauty of Gothic Revival to your home:

oneofakindantiques

This piece is available from www.oneofakindantiques.com

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From www.taleriaenterprises.com

From www.taleriaenterprises.com

Scroll work wall art from Pier 1

Scroll work wall art from Pier1, little $'s, lots of Goth!

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This piece will be auctioned at clark Auction on June 13th .  The estimated sale price is $150!

This piece will be auctioned at clark Auction on June 13th . The estimated sale price is $150! Needs a little love.

www.andythornton.com

www.andythornton.com

From Horchow.com Four Point Mirror

From Horchow.com Four Point Mirror

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Susand and Russell's new house 003 The print on my outdoor pillows from Restoration Hardware (2 or 3 years old) is pure Gothic Revival.  Their current prints are too!

Lyndhurst is one of five exquisite historical mansion museums in the Lower Westchester area of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, NY. The Lower Hudson River Valley region is rich with history on display.  It’s the best way I know to time travel, and get a shot of inspiration from the past.

So, if you’re coming around, I wouldn’t worry too much about vampires, but you better watch out for a HEADLESS HORSEMAN! I hear he’s still running around these parts!

ahead

The Headless Horseman from Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

For more of the fascinating history of Lyndhurst Castle and the other historical mansion museums, as well as their hours directions etc : www.hudsonvalley.org and www.lyndhurst.org

GO GOTHIC! and HAVE FUN!

July 3, 2009

Let’s Copy a Deluxe Room on the Cheap! III

Deluxe living room from the 2009 Kip's Bay Show House by Drake

Deluxe Library from the 2009 Kip's Bay Show House by Jamie Drake

The Kip’s Bay Decorator’s Show House was fabulous this year! This library-sitting room by Jamie Drake in particular really turned my head. I love the relaxed yet glamorous blend of textures and the free use of lush sexy colors.  Every piece in this room is top shelf.  Typically a professionally designed room of this caliber will cost in the range of $50,000.00 to $80,000.00.  Let’s see if we can get this look for under $15,000.00.

Here we go!

We’ll need some basic but classy furniture.  The pieces shown below fit the bill.  They’re not as high-end as the furniture in the show house (nor anywhere near as costly!), but you’ll be able to put your feet up on the coffee table without a worry!

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sofa

eclipse nesting tables

cole chair $749 R&Bimfors coffee table Ikea $129Hahn Sofa $1899  R&BTLG6675.fpxmercer square ottoman mg&bw

MixSdTblW2Shelves3QS9 $250

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Gray Sofa-Room and Board Hutton Sofa $1799.00; Nesting Tables-Design Within Reach Eclipse Nesting Tables $398.00; Club Chair-Room and Board Cole Chair $749.00; White table- Ikea Imfors @129.00;  Chaise-Room and Board Hahn Sofa $1899.00; Lamp- shoptablelamps.com #TLG667 $189.91; Ottoman-Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams Mercer Square Ottoman in leather about $1400.00; End table- Crate and Barrel, Mix Side Table $249.00
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We'll need floor, wall and window treatments:

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Purple Jute Rug-HomeDecorators.com Premium Tile Jute Rug eggplant 12' x15' $699.00;  Linen Drapes-Gaita Interiors $199.00 per panel;  Trim for Drapes- Kravet TA5151-10 $35.00 per yard;  Wall covering - DL Couch Riptide color metal JA11-561

Here are some affordable ideas that pack a punch for wall art.  Marimekko sells kits for stretching their gorgeous large scale prints to be used as wall art.  The one below, Pythagoras, hangs in the United Nations in the orange version.  It's sold by the panel $750 per panel.

Marimekko, Pythagoras-blue

Marimekko, Pythagoras-blue

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I’d use this pretty square print on stretched canvas from Ikea in multiples (Pljatteryd $79.99 each), tightly spaced, and create a Do-It-Yourself Andy Warhole.  They’re 36″ x36″ each, so that would give you a lot of impact for the money!  I LOVE purple flowers!

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Now we need some brilliant accessories:

The glass pieces are all from Pier 1 Imports.  They range in price from $16.00 to $35.00 each.   Fresh flowers, supplied by you!

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decorative glass bowland vase $30 and $35Italian glass vase $35thumb_0_1231173170_30tulipsMykonosVasesSmS9 $12.95 C&B
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yhst-81115173642111_2061_118007181roco pillow $65yhst-81115173642111_2061_165004316yhst-81115173642111_2061_157908166
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The pillows are all from www.pillowsandthrows.com. They range in price from $36.00 to $65.00 each.

So, including a generous budget for wallovering and installation, rug, window treatments and hardware, TWO full size sofas, chair, large ottoman, multiple coffee tables, a pair of end tables,lamps, pillows, decorative glass pieces, and BIG art, I come up with a grand total of….

$12,500.00

So, you see, it can be done! We need super-high-end interior design for INSPIRATION!  For our everyday real lives, we can keep it real, and still have our own very personalized and luxurious sanctuary.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO MIX IT UP, AND HAVE FUN!!!

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