May 7, 2010

Mother’s Day, In a Hurry!

In case you are not prepared for the big day  yet, (shame on you!) I’ve conducted a very serious study, to learn what the perfect Mother’s Day Gift for the Home is.

What is that quintessential THING, that all mothers want MORE THAN  ANYTHING? (besides a day at the spa,…no kids invited?)

Well here it is…based on months of research, extensive polls, laboratory testing…..

JUST KIDDING!  The only  search I’ve done is based on my own personal WISHES.  Here’s something I’d really love to receive, and it’s not too late to run out and get it!:

An assortment of cheerful floral cotton pillows-for the traditional Mom

pottery barn

These are from Pottery Barn, and they do a great job of making several very carefully chosen prints look as if they’ve been casually thrown together. the price is right, and the feather fillings are very good.

Or for the Mod Mom, Balanced Design makes these very beautiful, very eco friendly pillows: Green, organic and oh so modern!


Just the thing to add cheer and freshness to my house, and make me love being at home even more than I already do!

Happy Mother’s Day!

February 12, 2010

2 Day’s Till Valentine’s: You Better Be Ready!

Gift Idea of the Day:

botanica magnifica

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Flowers will always make a fabulous, romantic Valentine’s Day gift. Especially the kind that last forever, like the ones in this outstanding, gigantic book of gorgeous  botanical photography by award winning photographer Jonathan M. Singer.

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Botanica Magnifica is available through the New York Botanical Garden.

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!



eclipse nesting tables

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

MixSdTblW2Shelves3QS9 $250


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- #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:


l71882740loft_linenTA5151_10JA11-561 riptide joseph aboud
Purple Jute 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!



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!


decorative glass bowland vase $30 and $35Italian glass vase $35thumb_0_1231173170_30tulipsMykonosVasesSmS9 $12.95 C&B

yhst-81115173642111_2061_118007181roco pillow $65yhst-81115173642111_2061_165004316yhst-81115173642111_2061_157908166
The pillows are all from 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….


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.


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.


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.

Framed tiles from

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.


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)


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.


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.

Nice horsey

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.


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:


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

May 8, 2009

Orange Flip! A Strong Warming Trend in Interior Design

Orange is everywhere this spring! Warm as a summer sunset, fruity, upbeat, alive and energetic. Here are 3 good ways to use this delicious color in your home.


Nature does orange, full saturation!


Boldly done

Boldly done by Sara Bengur Interiors

Orange Combined with Blue, it’s opposite on the color wheel.

I was thrilled to see this orange and turquoise room by designer Sara Bengur at the Kip’s Bay Show House in New York. These colors are natural companions, each bringing out the best in the other. The blue cools down the intensity of the orange, the orange lends warmth. I love the free use of accent colors, like the hot pink and lime green. The neutral white table keeps the whole thing grounded.

Tiles by Ann Saks

Tiles by Ann Saks


Hable Construction

Orange Mum Pillow from Hable Construction

Macy's Alexandra Sofa

Macy's Alexandra Sofa

Duralee 180940h-652

This Duralee fabric (180940H-652r)would make a great ottoman or throw pillow.



Karlstad swivel chair from Ikea

Bulokku Bedoire Pillow,

Bulokku Bedoire Pillow,


same principle

Same principle, warm orange, cooled down with doses of turquiose blue.

Orange as a Sassy Brightener in a Neutral Setting.


Mmmm, good!

If Orange Flip isn’t your flavor, maybe you should consider Creamsicle. Remember that creamy/juicy combo of orange sherbert and vanilla icecream on a stick? If Creamsicle were a room, this is what it would look like:



A little sherbert orange goes a long way.

Room and Board

Room and Board



Room and Board

Smokebush Pendant Light from Room and Board

Mitchell Gold Avery Sofa

Mitchell Gold Avery Sofa


Indoor/outdoor pillows from


Duralee 180934H-36r

Duralee 180934H-36r


Vivid Oranges,Lemons and Limes.

Cheerful, upbeat, tropical, endless summer! If you like your life intense and juicy, this color palette will suit you to a T !


Pretty birdie, chic birdie!



A collection of vintage vases. Get me to the flea market!!

Never a dull moment!

Never a dull moment!


Duralee 180943H-35r

Duralee 180943H-35r



Ikea's Tylosand Sofa in an intense orange

I saw this on

I saw this on




Green Skittles Lamp from Lum

Green Skittles Lamp from Lum

Pierre Bonnard

One of the masters of color,Pierre Bonnard -Dining Room in the Country 1913

Cheerful, lively, warm, assertive, uplifting…Have an Orangey Day!!

May 1, 2009

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


This room knocks my socks off! I saw it at HGTV



Rug from Ikea, Stockholm Rand 8'2" x11'6" for $299.00

OK, we won’t COPY it, let’s just be INSPIRED by it.

I would estimate that the room above cost about $50,000.00 fully furnished (without fine art), which is about average for a deluxe, top shelf, professionally designed room. I propose that we can get this look for under $10,000.00.

First things first, we’ll start from the floor up. Instead of wall to wall wool needlepoint carpeting which will cost buckets of money, lets use this black and white rug from Ikea.

Next we need a brilliant rich green backdrop for the walls, something not too blue and not too yellow, like this Benjamin Moore #566 Bunker Hill Green from the Classics Collections. Benjamin Moore has a color selector that allows you to test a color in a virtual room.


Benjamin Moore Classic #566 Bunker Hill Green

The shimmery gold ceiling can be achieved with metallic paint from Modern Masters. I buy it at my neighborhood paint store, in Larchmont, NY

This is Pale Gold Metallic from Modern Masters for the ceiling.

This is Pale Gold Metallic from Modern Masters for the ceiling.

I will add later

The Miramar in Graphite, from Crate and Barrel

At $1199.00, the Miramar Armless Loveseat from Crate and Barrel is about half the price of a similar custom piece. I would like to see two of these ganged together in a row to form an extra long four seat sofa. If space is an issue, at 63″ one of these used alone could solve your problemlskjfsdf;sdfj;sdjf;sdjfs;dlfjs;dljf;sdjfs;kdjfs;lkdjflskdjflskdhfkhskjdhsk

Margarita Pillow from Crate and Barrel $19.95

Margarita Pillow from Crate and Barrel $19.95

branch-home makes this elegant pillow for $64.00


Pellicia Pillow from Crate and Barrel $79.95 $34.95 $34.95

An assortment of fun throw pillows for the sofas ranging from $20.00 to $80.00 each. A free mix of patterns and textures lends an arty feel, while sticking with the black-white-green theme keeps it grounded.


Horchow does a great job with mirrors. They’ve got one for every occasion! This one is on the cheap side, for them, at $319.90. I just think it’s very pretty and dramatic, and the right size for over a fireplace.

The Clairemont Coffee Table from Crate and Barrel has antiqued mirrored surfaces and a soft gold wrought iron finish to pick up the warmth of the gold ceiling. It looks much more expensive than it’s price of $699.00


The Clairemont form Crate and Barrel $699.00


From Horchow $319.90


Add a touch of something wild with this Zebra chair from Macy’s. It’s a steal at $399.00. Use two of them, if you have the space.

The palm green Allegro Ottoman from Crate and Barrel adds another touch of green over the black and white rug. For $149.00, how can you lose!

Allegro Ottoman fron Crate and Barrel for $149.00!

Allegro Ottoman fron Crate and Barrel for $149.00!

Zebra Accent Chair from Macy's $399.00

Zebra Accent Chair from Macy's $399.00

;sldf;sldkf;sldkfs;ldkfs;ldkfs;ldkfs;ldkf;sldkf;sdkfs;ldkf;sskdfjlsdkjflskdjflskdjflskdjkjhkjhkjhkjhkjhhgfyhtyoeiruoidufsldkf;sldkfs;ldkfs;ldkfs;lsdfs;djfs;ldjf;sldjf;sldldkfs;ldNow Now we come to a sensitive subject: How to get a custom look window treatment, without going for custom bucks. We interior designers are a bit fussy about window treatments, believing that custom is always best! (and of course Gaita Interiors custom treatments are the best of the best!) Although it hurts to admit it, Restoration Hardware does a very good job with their ready made Textured Belgian Linen Drapery Panels. The rod pocket style is well priced at $199.00 per panel. My photo below shows the french pleat style (only photo available) which at $459.oo per panel are no bargain! For our our purposes, the white rod pocket will do very well. But how to add that graphic finishing touch? I recommend adding your own trim, such as this Greek Key from Fabricut ($25.00 per yard). If you’re handy, you can sew it on 1″ away from the leading edge. If you’re NOT handy, you apply iot with no-sew fabric gluegluapplylskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflsslkdjflskdjflkjhslfjsjflskdjflskdjflskddnslkdfjlskdjfsldkjfls

Greek Key

This trim added to the edge of white linen drapes would be very graphic.

Belgian Linen

Textured Belgian Linen from Restoration Hardware in white



Here are some pretty accessories that we can’t do without.


Don't forget the flowers. Hydrangeas in season, so fresh!!

White ceramic garden stool to use as and end table

White ceramic garden stool to use as and end table from West Elm.


I’d love to have my very own Georgia O’keefe to hang over my sofa, but since that would really blow my budget, I’ll go for a couple of the pretty things from Pier 1 and Ikea



Pier 1 Organic Squares $350.00 for the set.

Pier 1

Pier 1 36"x36" wall art for $185.00

Pier 1 Scroll Wall Decor $99.95

Pier 1 Scroll Wall Decor $99.95

From Ikea, Pjatteryd  $79.99

From Ikea, Pjatteryd $79.99



West Elm has this pretty assortment of white ceramic to display on your rattan etagere, for around $100.00


A richly stained rattan etagere adds a bit of the exotic and tropical, retails for around $500.00


If your room needs to serve double duty, this rattan etagere from Rattan Interiors will hold a TV. I like these modern ceramic vases for display against the dark finish of the etagere. They’re from West Elm

So, if you do your own painting, I figure you can do this whole room, including a budget for accessories, wall art, and drapery hardware for about $9,000.

In the original room, the carpet and sofas alone cost more!!

Remember, you can use the black/white/neutral/plus one color formula with ANY color you like! If green isn’t your thing, you can do it with red, turquiose, orange, whatever you like. Just stick with the black/white/neutral base,and add your own favorite hue!


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.



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!



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

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. has a huge selection, they custom frame, and they’re fast!


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!


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!


A beautifully framed , current photograph of the kids.


Blue Cupcake Frame

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


This pretty thing, is from Madison Ave Gifts.

A cozy luxurious cashmere throw in her favorite color. From

These are from  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 UNDERSTAND HER          Happy Mother’s Day!

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!


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.


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

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.

These tiles made of recycled materials are from Bedrock Industries.

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

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.


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

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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