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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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:

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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

May 28, 2009

Let’s Copy a Deluxe Room on the Cheap II

Here’s another installation on how to get a rich chic look with out spending a big bundle (only a little bundle).

I was very impressed with the eclectic elegance of this family room in the Georgetown home of George Stephanopoulos and Ali Wentworth. The interior designer, Elizabeth Martin did wonderful work here, incorporating a feeling of rich elegance with sumptuous comfort and ease.

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George and Ali's beautifully designed, very inviting family room.

I would guess that this huge double size room cost, conservatively, about $90,000 to furnish (without art) including custom wood work, window treatments and professional paint work. Most of us don’t have double size rooms, so I’m NOT going to figure on 3 sofas or 3 area rugs. I will include plenty of small tables and three club chairs, just because there’s so much great stuff out there! Let’s do this look for under $12,000. Here we go:

From Horchow Faux Zebra rug on cowhide $689.00

From Horchow Faux Zebra rug on cowhide $689.00

Helsingor Rug from Ikea $199

Helsingor Rug from Ikea $199

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I like to start from the floor up. These two rugs make a great foundation for our eclectic interior, and combined the cost is under $1000.

Benjamin Moore Bird of Paradise, Linen White and Char Brown

Benjamin Moore Bird of Paradise, Linen White and Char Brown

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Here are your paint colors. DON’T BE AFRAID OF DARK COLORS! Remember, the ceiling is WHITE! And there are lots of other light elements. The dark walls will recede, making the room look larger!!

The Carter Chair from Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams runs about $2000.00 depending on the fabric. That makes it the biggest ticket item in the room, but worth it for the dramatic impact.

The Carter Chair from Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams runs about $2000.00 depending on the fabric. That makes it the biggest ticket item in the room, but worth it for the dramatic impact.

Devin Square Leather Ottoman from Crate and Barrel $899.00

Devin Square Leather Ottoman from Crate and Barrel $899.00

Macy's Cappuccino Money Plant Accent Chair $699.00

Macy's Cappuccino Money Plant Accent Chair $699.00

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A pair of tall bookcases from highlanddesigns.com $978 for 2.

A pair of tall bookcases $916 for 2.

One tall wing chair, plus two club chairs around a square leather ottoman makes a great conversation area.

Paint the bookcases (from highlansddesigns.com)the Char Brown, just like the walls to mimic the look of custom built-ins. The Bird of Paradise coral peaking out from the interior of the bookcases, adds a surprising punch. Linen White on the ceiling will avoid a too harsh contrast with the dark walls.

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Tava Coffee Table from Crate and Barrel $599.00

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Tyler Sofa from Macy's $699.00

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The Tava Coffee Table is slightly rustic and exotic. The Tyler Sofa in chocolate brown velvet keeps the luxury going, for the right price.

Accessories, lots of them:

Crate and Barrel Tempo Pillow $32.95

Crate and Barrel Tempo Pillow $32.95

Gump's Orange Dragon Garden Stool $195.00

Gump's Orange Dragon Garden Stool $195.00

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Durham Pillow

Durham Pillow fr0m CB2 $129.00

Thomas Paul Flock Silk Pillow from Moderndesires.com $78.00

Thomas Paul Flock Silk Pillow from Modern Desires $74.00

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Crate and Barrel Firenze pillow $79.00

Firenze Pillow from Crate and Barrel $79.00

Moroccan Pouf from tazidesigns.com

Moroccan Pouf from Tazi Designs $199.00

Eggshell Lacquer Nesting Tables from Gump's $499.00

Eggshell Lacquer Nesting Tables from Gump's $499.00

Lamps plus $495

Babette Holland Ostrich Rust Table Lamp from Lamps Plus $495

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Wild Walnut Serving Tray lampsplus.com $149.00

Wild Walnut Serving Tray lampsplus.com $149.00

Pier 1 Elephant Teapot $19.99

Pier 1 Elephant Teapot $15.95

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I guess the portrait over the fireplace is one of George and Ali’s ancestors. Hey, I GOT ANCESTORS TOO! My husband comes from a VERY old Italian family. Here’s one of our ancestors. You can borrow her, if you want to! She looks great over our fireplace.

I got my pretty ancestor at allposters.com for $49.99 framed

I got my pretty ancestor at allposters.com for $49.99 framed

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Pottery barn Rustic Bench $250.00

Large Rustic Bench from Pottery Barn $250.00

Peyton Grommet Drapery Panels in color from Pottery Barn $89.00 per panel

Peyton Grommet Drapery Panels in Chestnut from Pottery Barn $89.00 per panel

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Here's the other half of this LARGE, beautiful room.

So, if my math is right,and you do your own paint work, I come up with about $10,000 for the whole room, IF you have a big enough room to hold it all!

HAVE FUN!!

May 19, 2009

Wildly Creative Ways to Use Plates as Wall Decoration

I’m so impressed with the creativity people are using in their approach to plates as wall hangings. There’s whole new spin on this time honored method of decoration. Some use plates that seem to be out of Grandma’s old cupboard, some straight from the store. Either way, the results are beautiful, and sometimes astonishing.

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This is the G rated version of Vintage Vandal's work. She's a wild woman!

Traditional, even old fashioned, these plates are given a whole new existence with a little tinkering from Trixie Delicious at Vintage Vandal. She’s brilliant! I LOVE to see something old used in a whole new way. Very exciting!

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Here, a gorgeous free form display of an array of plates gives a traditional dining room a modern, arty twist!

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This clean dramatic design makes maximal use of the contrast between the deep red and the white of the dishes. The installation is beautifully executed, with careful attention given to balance and proportions.

Venice Bieannel

From theVenice Biennale, The Collectors by Eastman & Dragset

Part of the installation”The Collectors”  by Eastman & Dragset at the 2009 Venice Biennale, a kitchen housing an eerily disturbed collection of Weimer-like plates tells a tale of turbulent family relationships.

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Black and white fabric from Marimekko

This arrangement seems almost accidental, but the careful selection of black, white and primaries belies that. The apparently random, loose installation keeps the space open, uncluttered, and modern. Which came first, the gorgeous black and white cloth, or the wall arrangement?

Lily dishes from Room Service Home, turned into art.

Lily dishes from Room Service Home, turned into art.

This goes beyond decoration, and into the realm of art. The Lily dishes are from the extraordinary catalog Room Service Home. I’m strongly reminded of the glass art of Dale Chihuly. Perhaps inspiration was taken from there.

Chihuly Dragonfly

Dale Chihuly -Dragonfly

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There’s nothing stuffy about these more traditional plate displays . There’s something fresh, unique and even extravagant in the style of each one.

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It's the teal paint against the lime color of the plates that makes this very special

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The organized arrangement keeps the vibrant colors in check.

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Stunning polychrome plates on a red wall.  The three white plates anchor the whole composition

Stunning polychrome plates on a red wall. The three white plates anchor the whole composition

A very fresh, yet traditional approach

A very fresh, yet traditional approach

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In this case, MORE IS MORE!

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Very traditional, but just perfect, from Martha Stewart.

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Fish and citris, mmm, I'm hungry!

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Vintage all the way!

Vintage all the way, and as charming as can be.

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SO LET’S DO IT! If you don’t have cupboards full of Grandma’s old dishes, here are some plates and bowls I would love to see used as wall decoration. The plates from New York Botanical Garden are truly exquisite in person. Pier 1 has a HUGE assortment of decorative plates starting at $2.00!! This is a GREAT do-it-yourself project! Click here for directions about how to hang plates.

Flower side plates from the New York Botanical Gardens

Flower side plates from the New York Botanical Garden

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Pier 1 Paisley Dinnerware

Pier 1 Paisley Dinnerware

Botanical Plate Set

Pier 1 Botanical Plate Set

Pier 1 Fish Shaped Platters

Pier 1 Fish Shaped Platters

Blue and White Rectangular Dishes

Pier 1 Blue and White Rectangular Dishes

  • There are no strict rules about plate hanging. Really anything goes. But here are a couple of tips:
  • Don’t be afraid to GO BIG! Fill the space you have.
  • Lay it out on the floor first to make sure you like it.
  • You can tape paper cut outs to the wall to mimic the plates before you hang them, so you can make sure to do it just right.
  • Have fun!!

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Plate Sources in Larchmont and Mamaroneck:


Chatsworth Auction House in Mamaroneck is a great place to dig a round for unique finds. It’s right in Mamaroneck Village, on Mamaroneck Ave. The plates are in singles and sets, mostly on the first floor, but once you get there, you’ll be drawn in. With four large floors to explore, give yourself plenty of time! More photos on the web site. Take a walk on Mamaroneck Harbor while you’re there.

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A tiny sample of what you can find at Chatworth's, in Mamaroneck, NY

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Pier 1 Imports in Larchmont, is right on Boston Post Rd. Their collection is large , and inexpensive. Buy three of each of the Fish Shaped Platters (shown above) and put up a whole school of fish in the kitchen or dining room. I had fun making a Polyvore set showing this idea. Check it out: School of Fish Dining Room

Wendy Gee’s in Larchmont, has very pretty plates, and all kinds of fresh, upbeat home accessories. Unfortunately, their web site doesn’t sell them, but if you’re in the area, it’s worth a stop. They’re located right in the heart of Larchmont, on Palmer Ave. and it’s one of the most charming spots in town!

Plates Restaurant, Larchmont,….OK, they don’t sell PLATES, they sell very delicious food ON plates (Really delicious!) However they like plates a lot, they named themselves Plates, and they own and display the most unique collection in Larchmont. The owner has collected plates from restaurants all over the world. There all on the web site, each with a little backstory. The variety alone is amazing, and lots of fun to look at. It’s a great place to eat too!

Dumpling forming plate, from Babushka's Reataurant, Moscow, Russia

Plates' Dumpling forming plate, from Babushka's Restaurant, Moscow, Russia

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So now you have lots of ways to GET plates, but don’t hide them in the cupboard!

March 6, 2009

A Fabric Draped Passageway-The Portiere

Filed under: Color usage, Fabric Usage, Holidays, Wall Decoration — Tags: , , — Leona Gaita @ 2:07 PM

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The draped interior passageway, also known as a portiere (french for door) first came to Europe from Asia in the fourth century. Made of heavy tapestry, or velvet, in was introduced to mitigate drafts.  It was used extensively in wealthier Victorian homes, for both practical and decorative purposes.

Velvets, and heavy damasks were the preferred  fabrics for the Victorians, due to their heat retaining qualities.  In our modern heated homes, we can consider the use of lighter fabrics.  A portiere can be made of silk, sheer organza, or a cotton print, as well as traditional heavier fabrics.

as seen in Metropolitan Home
A lush silk portiere defines the space in a Master Bedroom suite.  Interior design by Joy Meek, as seen in Metropolitan Home.

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A Dining Room Portiere (Dream Windows, Kathleen S. Stoehr)
A Dining Room Portiere (Dream Windows, Kathleen S. Stoehr)

In “Gone With the Wind“, Scarlett famously uses her mother’s old green velvet portieres to make herself a beautiful dress, in order to impress Rhett Butler.  Rhett’s no help, but she does come home with a new wealthy husband!

One of my favorite films (not the least because of the exquisite interior set design by Dante Ferretti and Robert J. Franco) is “The Age of Innocence” based on the novel by Edith Wharton.  There we can observe, in beautiful reproduction, the Victorian use of richly draped passageways, creating a sense of sumptuous glamour.

In one of the early scenes, shot from the point of view of the main character Archer, we go with him from one beautiful drawing room to another.  As he approaches each partially obscured  draped passageway, for a moment we are kept in suspense as to what lies beyond in the next perfectly appointed room…….the plot thickens, I’m inspired!

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A full width portiere creates two distinct spaces in an open floor plan

I love the sheer portiere I have on a gapingly wide opening in my design studio.  It really softens the space, and even absorbs some unwanted surrounding sounds, and it’s just so pretty!

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Cheerfull print portiere helps to define a space at the end of a long hallway.
Cheerful print portiere helps to define a space at the end of a long hallway.
A beautiful portiere in a fabulous bathroom.
A beautiful portiere in a fabulous bathroom.

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Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating and installing a portiere:

Excellent places to use a portiere:  between a dining room and a living

Domino
A perfect nook for sleeping and reading Domino Magazine

room, between a vestibule and a living room, between a master bedroom dressing room and bedroom etc.

  • A portiere can be used to improve the proportions of a long narrow room by sectioning off the far end and creating a windowed sitting area.
  • If you’re using a sheer fabric, neatly finished edges are all that’s required.  However, for most other fabrics you’ll want to self-line, or use a contrasting fabric to line your portiere, since both sides will be fully visible.  If you’re using ready made panels, you’ll want to double the quantity, and hang them back to back on a double rod.
  • Tie backs are an important element of a portiere.  They can be made of matching fabric, or a passementerie tie back with tassles, or even a beautiful piece of ribbon with a bow.
  • A portiere can be simple, clean and modern, or elaborate and traditional.  For a very traditional look, use a damask and add a swagged valance, and tassle fringe.  To keep it contemporary, use a sheer, a solid silk or velvet, plain and simple.
  • A portiere can installed either inside the door jamb, or on the outside wall above the passage way.  I tend to prefer to install above the opening, for a sense of height.
  • A single panel can be installed in a smaller opening and tied back to one side for an asymmetrical portiere.   A pair of panels can be used on a wider opening  and both tied back for a symetrical  effect.
  • 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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