February 2, 2010

12 Days Till Valentine’s!

Filed under: Art and Culture, Gifts, Holidays, Uncategorized — Tags: , — michaeldelicio @ 4:07 PM

Gift Idea of the Day:

I find art to be a very romantic gift. These charming upbeat prints by Romero  Britto, (allposters.com) are sweet, but not sticky!  I would LOVE to receive all four of these, framed,to hang in a grouping.

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December 11, 2009

Gifts for the Home: Too Good to Give Away!!

Filed under: Gifts, Holidays, Interior Design — Tags: — michaeldelicio @ 3:05 PM

When you’re shopping for holiday gifts, don’t forget that most wonderful, lovable, adorable  person of all…YOURSELF! OK, I guess you’re friends and relatives deserve a little love too.

Here are some gifts that are just too good to part with. Once you get them home, they may never get wrapped and delivered, unless your loved ones have been VERY,VERY GOOD!

silver plated hurricanes pott barn

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These Silver Edged Hurricane Lamps from Pottery Barn would look great in any setting, any time of year. During the dark winter months, they answer that need for a little extra sparkle.

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The Land of Warm and Cozy: Natural Birch Pillar Candles from Pottery barn.  The Alexis 18″ Pillow from Crate and Barrel feels as good as it looks.  I’d like two, please.

Nothing is richer, warmer or more of a classic than these Vintage Velvet Drapes from Restoration Hardware.  I LOVE this particular color (Birch). Drapes as a gift?  Sure, why not?  Especially if YOU”RE the recipient!  You’ll thank yourself, every day, all year round.restoration hardware vintage velvetRESTORATIONHARDWAREVELVETCURTAINSkdjfoirtje09tuwe89rtunw4589v7ytnq384t7rhn85ty7w894ythp9nv8e576n49586t7y

The Amberly Mirror from Home Decorator’s with it’s  golden accented antiqued mirror frame can fit in, and add a dash of glamour to any setting, modern or traditional. Throw a log on the fire, and wrap yourself (and a friend) in a luxurious cashmere throw. Restoration Hardware does an excellent job with this one in several great colors. GREAT GIFT!!
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cashmere throw, RestHard
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On long winter evenings, these amber and red tones will take the out the chill. Four or eight of these Mercury Tea Lights from Pottery Barn make a great gift.  And I’ll take a dozen of the Amber Goblets by Villeroy and Bosch from Macy’s.   They’ll add a pretty dose of color to my holiday table.
mercury tea light holder pottery barn
giftcollector.com villeroy and bosch

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I love these teal and brown espresso cups (Yedi House Classic from Amazon.com) with this teal blue single serve espresso maker form Nespresso. I have this coffee maker, and I love it. It was my present to myself, last year!
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So  when you’re making your holiday list, and checking to see whose been naughty, and whose been nice,  think of this: Who’s been nicer than YOU??

So put yourself on that list, and pick out something really special…one for them, one for you, one for them, one for you…

YOU DESERVE IT!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

October 3, 2009

Leafy Looks for Fall Tablesettings: from Zero $’s to Top Shelf

Filed under: Color usage, Gifts, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — michaeldelicio @ 2:21 PM

For many, Autumn is the favorite season of the year. The weather is crisp, but not frigid. The holiday bustle hasn’t quite set in yet. Summer’s green glory is being replaced with warm reds and golds.

Why wait for Thanksgiving to bring some of this beauty to your dinner table?

Zero $ Budget Fall Looks for the Table: Help yourself to Autumn’s natural decorations, artfully arranged.

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From littlefrenchgardenhouse.blogspot.com

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This simple look for the fall is from Martha Stewart.

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more leaves better homes

From Better Homes and Gardens

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A leafy bouquet from Better Homes and Gardens

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A single grape leaf on white china from Country Living

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interiordec.about.com plate

Navy blue and burgundy for fall from interiordec.about.com

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Small Investments: The marketplace is filled with pretty little things to add Fall’s special ambiance to your table.  The prices are  recession friendly, and you can use them year after year.  Here are a few I found.

Brownstone Table Linens, Modern Leaf from Macy’s, Acorn Plate from Crate and Barrel, Excel Antique copper Leaf Napkin Rings from Macy’s

I’d love to see the oak leaf napkin holders combined with the acorn dessert plates, over a fern green tablecloth.

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brownstone table linens, modern leaf, Macy's

acorn plate CandBexcel antique copper leaf napkin rings macys

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This Leaf Salad Plate from Pottery Barn is a great way to serve a green salad, any time of the year.

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Pier 1 Red Leaf Platters, Vera Turning Leaf Napkin from Macy’s, Margo Leaf Salad Plate from Crate and Barrel.

I think the Red Leaf Platters from Pier 1 just GLOW with the warmth of the season.

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Etienne Runner in Rust from Crate and Barrel, Recycled Glass Green Leaf Serving Bowl from Pier 1.
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EtienneRunnerRustF9recycled glass green leaf serving bowl pier1

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Heirlooms of the future: serious investments that your kids will fight over after you’re gone.

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m aram vegetable serveware horchowaram pmegranate salt and pepperhorchow michael aram gooseberry bowls

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All of these beautiful , nature inspired objects (above) are from the Michael Aram Collection from Horchow.
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frivole by brenardaud bloomies

marys-antiques
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This exquisite hand painted china from Bloomingdale’s, “Frivole” by Brenardaud  (left) has a leafy, whimsical pattern, that transcends the season, but can certainly be interpreted for Fall.  Truly a collectible heirloom pattern. It might be worth it to get married, and register at Bloomie’s,  JUST to obtain this stunning china!!

 The Majolica Overlapping Begonia Leaves Plate (right)
 is from Marys-Antiques.com and is a collectible antique pattern. Thanks to the internet, collecting old patterns is SO EASY and so much fun!

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This gorgeous photo from michpics.wordpress.com

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Autumn is fleeting.  I’m beginning to miss it already!  Soon winter will be setting in.  So make the most of it, indoors and out!

June 11, 2009

Hanging Art: 3 Approaches Prefered by Interior Designers

There are as many ways to hang and display art as there are artists and art lovers. But if we try, we can boil it down to 3 basic approaches, within which you can make your own rules.

1) NEAT and GEOMETRIC…the grid:

If you like your world visually neat and organized, this is your look.

In this case the vibrant energy of the strong color palette is kept in check by the geometric installation of the art.

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Neat, but far from dull! The geometry is further strengthened by the symmetrical portraits on each side.

I couldn't resist adding this similar image of Matisse's Red Studio

I couldn't resist adding this similar image of Matisse's Red Studio

Gilded botanicals

Gilded botanicals are installed with precision, and add just the right touch in this year round sun room. (Gaita Interiors)

A grouping of small framed art can take the place of a single larger piece, as in these examples, above and below.

These pretty framed tiles from Linda Paul could fill a whole wall in a kitchen or casual dining room.

lindapaul.com

Framed tiles from www.lindapaul.com

Life is messy! It’s nice to come home to a crisp, clean look in your personal sanctuary. The art installations below certainly add to a sense of calm and tranquility.

Neat and calming, but not dull.

A restful and elegant dining room.

White dining room

White dining room from Better Homes and Gardens

 a bedroom.

A pretty bedroom in neutral tones. Very tranquil.

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I love the calm, cool slate blue combined with a pop of bright red!

The key to this look is identical (or nearly so) frames. What’s inside the frames may be similar, related or vary wildly. It’s the frames that keep it together, and provide that clean, calm organized appearance. The only down side to this look is the installation. Precision is called for. If you’re going to do it yourself, here are some tips for getting it just right. You may consider hiring a pro for this. Many framers provide art hanging services. Or a good handy man/carpenter can do the job.

2) WILD ABANDON, or….more is more

It may be a lifetime’s collection of art and mementos, or just the result of a flea market spree… Or a little of both. There’s a fun free spirited trend toward wild, sprawling art installations for the home. Why interior designers love it? It gives the home instant and unique personality, the homeowner’s personality. You can finish a room in one big picture hanging marathon!

By Thomas Jayne

By Thomas Jayne via House Beautiful

Framed vintage wallpapers via Apartment Therapy

Framed vintage wallpapers via Apartment Therapy

Domino Magazine

Artistic collection via Domino Magazine

A sprawling collage made of art.

A sprawling collage made of art. Very Bohemian.

Tiffany Blue walls make a great backdrop for black and white photos in a variety of black frames.

Tiffany Blue walls make a great backdrop for black and white photos in a variety of black frames. (via Domino)

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I like the way the art picks up the black and white checkerboard floor.

Thomas Jayne

By Thomas Jayne via House Beautiful

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A comfy living room is personalized by

A comfy living room is personalized by a lifetime collection of art and mementos

I wouldn't call this sprawling. It's neatly organized, filling the space like wallpaper.

I wouldn't call this sprawling. It's neatly organized, filling every inch like wallpaper.

They could have just hung the orange painting over the sofa, but that wouldn't have been half as interesting.

They could have just hung the orange painting over the sofa, but that wouldn't have been half as interesting.

3) ONE IMPORTANT STATEMENT PIECE

If you’re lucky enough to own art that’s big and “important”, you can use the time honored approach of letting that piece stand alone, or even lead the design decisions for a whole space. Interior designers LOVE IT when a home owner has big art! It makes the rest of our job so easy!

The rooms below all appear to have been inspired by the one major art piece present.

Looks like this beautiful painting was the inspiration for the rest of the room, with excellent results.

Looks like this beautiful painting was the inspiration for the rest of the room, with excellent results.

green painting

Every detail falls in line behind the stunning contemporary painting.

Black and white

Here, even the almost-black wood floor follows suit.

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The oversized art photography sets not only the color scheme but the entire theme of the room.

Expertly modulated greys pick up the shades in the art, without overpowering it.

Expertly modulated grays pick up the shades in the art, without overpowering it.

A pinch of white in teh bold painting is picked up in the chair's slipcovers.

A pinch of white in the bold painting is picked up in the chair's slipcovers.

SOME PEOPLE JUST REFUSE TO FIT IN!…the hybrids

Here are some beautiful examples of art installations that combine some or all of the above methods…or just do their own thing:

A statement piece, surrounded by small satelights, on a neutral backdrop.

A statement piece, surrounded by small satelites, on a neutral backdrop.

Soothing classic color scheme is enlivened

The color scheme in the furnishings and paint is laid back, the art pops, all to great effect.

Wall art isn’t necessarily flat! This traditional living room by Mary Anne Smiley Interiors with stunning multi dimensional glass art, combined with contemporary painting, defies categorization. I love that!!

My favorite room at the Kip's Bay Showhouse by Bunny Williams.

Grid Interrupted: My favorite room at the Kip's Bay Showhouse by Bunny Williams.

Oops I forgot my art...very pretty!

Oops I forgot my art...very pretty!

Martha Stewart

A collection of various sizes is carefully arranged inside an imaginary box to create, in effect, a single piece. From Martha Stewart

This is known as The Paris Hang.

This is known as The Paris Hang; almost sculptural.

Got art, but now walls?  Here's a solution.

Got art, but no walls? Here's a solution.

Another one

Another one

Symetrical, but complex installation complimented by subtle paint and fabric selections.

Symmetrical, but complex installation, complimented by subtle paint and fabric selections.

Remember the most important things when you’re thinking about how to hang your art:

HAVE FUN and EXPRESS YOURSELF!

My friend Kelly from DesignTies suggested a style I missed: Art leaning on shelves. As she suggests, this gives you lots of flexibility. If you get bored, you can change things around, and never put a nail in the wall! I found this pretty image from DesignHoleOnLine.

A cozy niche with artistic flair.

A cozy niche with artistic flair.

From ED Custom Designs

From E Designs Custom Interiors

And this combo, hanging and leaning from E Designs Custom Interiors

June 5, 2009

Larchmont-Mamaroneck is a Gold Mine for Vintage Lovers!

If you love VINTAGE GOODIES and BARGAINS, you need to visit my charming Town of Mamaroneck and it’s equally charming Village of Larchmont. We have some real treasure troves here, and all are in walking distance to each other, or to the Larchmont or Mamaroneck train stations. (about 35 minutes from Grand Central) Hey, NEW YORK INTERIOR DESIGNERS, GET OVER HERE!

Cobalt Net

Lumonosov China pattern Cobalt Net, part of the June 15 auction to take place at the C&C Auction Gallery in Larchmont.

Lumonosov Set

This Lumonosov set is unbelievable! There are pieces of every description, napkin rings, soup tureens, coffee pot, tea pot etc, etc...It never ends!

Did you know we have our very own genuine auction house? C&C Auction Gallery, tucked away on North St in Larchmont, it’s an interior designer or collector’s HEAVEN! There are bargains galore on really beautiful pieces of every description, like this HUGE set of blue and white dishes to die for! If you’ve never participated in an auction, you’re in for a thrill. Over 150 pieces will be auctioned off at their upcoming event on June 15, 2009. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

OMG! The expected selling price for this classic piece is $300 to $500!!

OMG! The expected selling price for this classic piece is $300 to $500!!

Teacups and saucers

A pretty collecton of teacups and saucers.

This exquisite etagere is expected to sell for $200 to $300!!

This exquisite etagere is expected to sell for $200 to $300!!

Here in Lower Westchester and the Mamaroneck-Larchmont area, Chatsworth Used Furniture has been a well known and loved staple for generations. It’s been owned and run by the Lightbody Family, since 1924. Mamaroneck just wouldn’t be Mamaroneck without it! There are 4 huge floors to explore, so give yourself plenty of time! I’ve spent many happy hours wandering their aisles. If you’re an interior designer, you could really get stuff done here! Vintage dining sets, china, lighting, bedroom pieces,upholstery,rugs, the works! If you’re a collector of Vintage, you’ll have a blast! Just remember they’re closed on Sunday and Monday, and check for their week off in August.

Chatworth's

OK, I need the pair of flame stitch Bergere Chairs

Oh, where to begin!

Oh, where to begin! Dishes anyone?

More stuff

I have just the spot for the blanket chest.

In Larchmont,( just a few steps from Larchmont train station), at Carol Charney, you’ll find a very different experience. In her polished and perfumed showroom, Charney’s vintage pieces are lovingly restored and displayed. Here’s a small sampling:

The vintage jewelry eye candy!

Vintage eye candy!

mirror

Vintage mirror, pristine, and ready to hang.

Designer’s Corner in Larchmont is another one of those fun places for exploring. You never know what you’ll find! For me, it’s THE place for vintage light fixtures. Other Larchmont-Mamaroneck spots have them, but Designer’s Corner has their own on site lighting restoration specialist. And the collection is expansive. Here’s a small colorful selection:
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pink

They don't make 'em like this any more!

Turquoise glass vintage chandelier

Turquoise glass vintage chandelier

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sconce

I'd love to see this sconce in a powder room.

Blue

This vintage blue lamp is very on-trend.

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This is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s much more! In fact, Mamaroneck – Larchmont is a little hot-spot of vintage and antique resources.

There are LOTS of great restaurants too. Let me know when you’re coming, we’ll do lunch!

HAVE FUN!

April 23, 2009

Recession Sensitive Mother’s Day Gifts for the Home

Filed under: Fabric Usage, Flowers, Gifts, Holidays — Leona Gaita @ 4:01 PM

A woman’s home is her castle, and her sanctuary. Here are a few gift ideas for the home, that are also very personal, to make any woman feel like a beloved and honored queen on Mother’s Day.

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posey

Is this Posy beautiful? I'd like one for every room in the house.

Flowers, flowers every where! Whether hand picked from a meadow, or a hothouse arrangement delivered to her door, every woman loves to receive flowers. Large dramatic bouquets are lovely, or buy (or pick) a big bunch, and separate them into small posies one for every room for her to find as she moves through the house. Bring one to her, first thing in the morning with her coffee. What a nice way to start Mother’s Day!

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Beautiful wild flowers, picked just for her.

A pair of pretty outdoor pillows, for afternoon napping in the shade. Presumably someone is cooking and cleaning, while Mom is napping! Check out Restoration Hardware.

Restoration Hardware has these is several pretty colorways.

Restoration Hardware has these is several pretty colorways.

These flower ramekins from the New York Botanical Garden Gift Shop are exquisite. One alone makes a pretty ring holder for her vanity table. Several together are great for tabletop use, condiments, desserts. Each one is a work of art. How to choose?

These are from www.nybg.org

These are from The New York Botanical Garden.

A framed art print (something a little sentimental would be nice) Not too big, so it can be put up any where. Allposters.com has a huge selection, they custom frame, and they’re fast!

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Plant her a baby tree. A tree represents a long term commitment and is symbolic of your everlasting love. It’s wonderful to watch your baby tree grow, along with your children. A Purple Leafed Plum is a great choice because they don’t get too big, but they mature rather quickly. You’ll see big changes from year to year, just as you do with your children. My husband planted one for me five years ago, and it gives me joy everyday!

Such cute babies!  Don't you want to take one home?

Such cute babies! Don't you want to take one home?

Planted flowers in one or several ceramic pots. To be enjoyed all summer,a cluster of three pots in various shapes and sizes is enough to start a “patio garden” Or if you live in an apartment, a little indoor herb garden can bring the outdoors inside. And the aroma of herbs, growing indoors is wonderful!

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Terracotta pots come in all shapes and sizes, go with any style, and are not expensive

A dozen fresh fabric napkins in a spring color. Remember, fabric napkins are much greener than disposable paper napkins!

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A beautifully framed , current photograph of the kids.

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Blue Cupcake Frame

A small decorative framed mirror, so she can gaze at her loveliness. From www.madisonavegifts.com

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This pretty thing, is from Madison Ave Gifts.

A cozy luxurious cashmere throw in her favorite color. From www.opulenceofsouthernpines.com

These are from www.opulenceofsouthernpines.com  They have awide range of pretty throws

These are from Opulence of Southern Pines. They have a wide range of pretty throws.

A single serve espresso coffee maker. This is not about serving coffee. It’s about ONE cup of coffee, just for her, just the way she likes it, anytime!    Nespresso makes a great machine.  If you’re used to going out to buy coffee by the cup, the initial cost is quickly defrayed by the savings. And the pleasure is priceless!

I love these special edition Nespresso coffee makers.  Mine looks so plain Jane by comparison.

I love these special edition Nespresso coffee makers. Mine looks so plain Jane by comparison. But it makes great coffee!

So, what does a woman really want? A Mother’s Day gift doesn’t need to be expensive to make Mom happy. But it should demonstrate that:

YOU LOVE HER

YOU APPRECIATE HER

YOU UNDERSTAND HER          Happy Mother’s Day!
(more…)

April 20, 2009

It’s Easy to be Green! 9 Low Tech Ideas

I’ve got some low tech, time honored techniques for green interior design. Some of these methods would look very familiar to our grandmother’s, because they’re based on the old maxim “waste not, want not” Frugality is very green!

The french doors in this grand old home are probably poorly insulated.  Falnnel lined silk drapes go a long way to keep the heat in during winter, and the the hot sun out during the summer.  This is probably what drapes were invented for , way back when!

The french doors in this grand old home are poorly insulated. Flannel lined silk drapes go a long way to keep the heat in during winter, and the the hot sun out during the summer. This is probably what drapes were invented for.

1. Stop letting all that heat out through the windows by installing some flannel lined drapes. This is equally useful for keeping your house cool in the summer, because flannel lining is also blackout lining. Insulated drapes will help keep your energy usage down. Any style drape can be flannel lined. It has no effect on the appearance.

This is a sample of the goodies to be found at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market in New York, NY

This is a sample of the goodies to be found at the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market in New York, NY

2. Get to a flea market! Buy some cool old stuff to furnish and ornament your home, instead of newly manufactured stuff! Fabulous flea markets are popping up everywhere. Nothing adds interest and charm to your home faster than when you bring in something old. The Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market in New York is the king of flea markets. Make sure to get there early before all the good stuff goes!

An elegant washable napkin for special dinners.

An elegant washable napkin for special dinners.

Colorful "easy who cares" maintenance bandanasfor the kitchen, every day.

Colorful "easy who cares" maintenance bandanas for the kitchen, every day.

3. Stop using tons of paper napkins. Instead make the investment in fabric napkins that you can use over and over again. If you wash them in cold water, with eco-friendly detergent, the environmental impact is MUCH lower than paper napkins. And after all, don’t you love a fabric napkin? So much nicer than a crunchy, crumpled piece of paper! Consider using bandanas as napkins for everyday use in the kitchen. They’re cheap, colorful, soft and very washable. You can order a couple of dozen in assorted colors. They’ll last for years!

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This old bureau was about ready for the junkyard. Now it's beautiful, useful, and of course, green!

4. Paint or refinish some old furniture, instead of throwing it away, and buying newly manufactured furniture. You can check my earlier post about the joys of painted furniture, The bottom line is, it’s cheap, it’s gorgeous, and it’s green.

remanufactured-wood-flooring

This stunning example of reclaimed wood flooring is from The Mountain Lumber Company. www.mountainlumber.com

5. If you’re renovating, consider using reclaimed wood flooring. Made from antique flooring saved out of demolished homes, old doors and barns, the effect is like nothing else. New wood flooring can never have the patina, texture and color variation of reclaimed wood flooring. And by the way, it’s as green as can be. No trees were harmed in the making of this floor!

These tiles made of recucled materials are from Bedrock Industries.  www.bedrockindustries.com

These tiles made of recycled materials are from Bedrock Industries. www.bedrockindustries.com

6. Check out the array of gorgeous glass tiles made from recycled materials. If your bathroom is ready for an update, or you’re looking for a beautiful treatment for a kitchen backsplash, then you’re probably already looking at glass tiles. I came across these pretty mosaics from Bedrock Industries on www.alternativeconsumer.com.

This classic sofa will be better than new!

This classic sofa will be better than new!

7. It’s definitely less wasteful to reupholster or slipcover an old sofa or chair, than to throw it away, and buy new. Most used furniture stores have more upholstered furniture than they can handle, and in fact, turn a good deal of it away. There’s just too much! If you like the lines of an old upholstered piece, but the fabric is tatty, or you’re just tired of it, reupholster! Plus, you’ll be employing a small local business, and keeping old craft alive.

One of the beautiful colorways available in Kravetgreen.

One of the beautiful colorways available in Kravetgreen.

8. Use new fabrics, made from recycled materials. Kravet makes a beautiful line of upholstery weight, 100% recycled fabrics called Kravetgreen. I love it, and have used it in my interior design studio, in Larchmont.

second-line-frames1

9.These gorgeous frames from Second Line Frames are made of from re-claimed wood from New Orleans. I love the naturally weathered finish, and the soft colors. They look great used singely, or in groups. Since no two are exactly alike, you can use as many as you like wisthout repeating. I would fill them with old postcards, vintage family photos and other keepsakes in keeping with the vintage feel.

February 15, 2009

Home Decorating Tips For Mother’s Day

Filed under: Color usage, Fabric Usage, Flowers, Furniture, Gifts, Holidays, Larchmont — Leona Gaita @ 5:17 PM

Professional Interior Designer Leona Gaita of Gaita Interiors of Larchmont, New York provides gift ideas and home decorating advice for those who wish to thank that most special lady of all – Mom.

Larchmont, NY (PRWEB) May 4, 2009 — In the spirit of Mother’s Day, Westchester County-based interior designer Leona Gaita of Gaita Interiors presents several home decorating suggestions and gift ideas for those looking to show appreciation to the mother in their life.

“A woman’s home is her castle, and her favorite sanctuary,” explains Gaita. “These decorating tips and gifts are universal – while also very personal – ways to make any Mom feel like a well-loved and honored queen on Mother’s Day.”

* A new outdoor plant, like an azalea or hydrangea, or even a baby tree. Gaita: “I received a plum tree for Mother’s Day five years ago, and it makes me happy every day!”
* A glazed ceramic pot for the patio, filled with Mom’s favorite annuals, to be enjoyed all summer.
* A framed art print by a favorite artist – medium-sized, so that it can be hung anywhere. Gaita: “There are some great sites online that allow you to preview the art in the frame of your choice. The selection is huge, and they’re fast.”
* Plenty of cut flowers – old-fashioned, but always loved. Gaita: “Flowers from a florist shop are festive, but fresh picked from the garden are lovely too. Tie them up with a grograin ribbon for a pretty presentation. Put a small bouquet in every room, to make Mom feel very special!”
* A punch list of handy jobs around the house. Gaita: “Make sure this list has been completed! This a great gift that will make Mom very happy.”
* A dozen beautiful new fabric napkins, in a pretty spring color.
* A dozen place mats, the kind that can be wiped and put away. Crate and Barrel has a nice selection ranging from wood to woven vinyl to rattan.
* A pair of outdoor throw pillows in happy colors. Gaita: “All the better for afternoon napping under a shady tree!”
* A cozy soft cashmere throw in a fresh spring color.
* A good current picture of the kids in a beautiful frame.

Gaita concludes, “Remember, gifts don’t need to be expensive, to make Mom happy What a woman wants on Mother’s Day is for a gift to show that you know, appreciate, and understand her.”

Leona Gaita is a professional interior design specialist with over twenty-five years of experience, arranging residential spaces and beautifying homes in the greater New York metropolitan area. More tips from Leona can be found on her interior design blog at http://www.gaitainteriors.com/blog.

February 14, 2009

Love in the Time of Recession

Filed under: Color usage, Fabric Usage, Flowers, Furniture, Gifts, Holidays, Larchmont, Paint, Wall Decoration — Leona Gaita @ 5:41 PM

Long-time New York Interior Designer Leona Gaita offers cost-friendly decorating tips for turning your domicile into a romantic get-away, and celebrating at home this Valentine’s Day.

Larchmont, NY (PRWEB) February 13, 2009 — As the economic crisis grows more worrisome, more couples are hesitant to splurge on a night out, even on perennial date nights like Valentine’s Day. “Going out is not romantic – you’re going to a crowded noisy restaurant, you’re on a schedule, one of you has to be the designated driver, and so on” quips Leona Gaita, interior design specialist at Gaita Interiors of Larchmont, New York and Westchester County areas. “With the right atmosphere, a night at home can be far more intimate and memorable.”

How can one achieve this romantic environment? To spice up your home, and your love life, Leona suggests making some smart, mood-enhancing additions. Most will be small investments that you can continue to enjoy long after the holiday is over.

Lighting – It’s all about pleasing the senses. The first rule for creating a romantic environment – tone down the lighting! Every room should have dimmers installed. Bright, glaring overhead lights are not sexy; soft, ambient (not to mention energy-saving) lighting is key. This is a long term investment that is not costly: a dimmer will cost about $20 to $30, and it can install be installed by oneself. Another trick for romantic lighting – change from white lampshades to softly colored, earth-toned lamp shades for a more flattering illumination.

Living Room – For a more intimate and cozy Valentine’s dinner, make your living room into a dining room conducive to relaxation and romance. Place a faux fur throw on the floor next to a gaming table, and voila! Put it next to the fireplace and you’ve got a night to remember – try duplicating THAT in a restaurant!

Don’t have a fireplace? In the past, adding one was a major renovation, if even possible. Now there are many relatively inexpensive vent-less portable fireplaces available, as well as eco-friendly. It’s surprising how lovely many of them are, and there’s no surer way to add a romantic feel to a room than to light a roaring fire.

A cashmere throw is wonderful way to show your sweetheart how you feel. Sensual, cozy and luxurious, a high quality throw makes a lasting gift of love, while adding a splash of warm color to the room. Choose red, deep raspberry, or purple to stay in the spirit of Valentine’s Day. Another way to delight the sense of touch is to bring in some soft-filled velvet pillows, in a range of different colors. Try a cherry red and chocolate brown combination – very sexy, almost edible!

Bedroom – Try switching to lacy white bedding: it’s romantic while being practical, since white bedding is available at all price points, and easy to launder. Layer it with your cashmere throw and one crushed velvet heart-shaped pillow. A fabric canopy for the bed is easy to put up, using fabric panels and rods. An upholstered wall behind the bed makes a cushiony, luxurious substitute for a wood headboard.

For the big day, the traditional additions of flowers, scented candles, soft music, and a good bottle of wine will complete an intimate mini-staycation for two. Dim the lights…who cares about the recession!

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