November 4, 2010

Kips Bay Showhouse 2010:The Drama is in the Details

Filed under: Interior Design, Uncategorized, Wall Decoration, design trends — Tags: , , — michaeldelicio @ 8:31 PM

This year’s Kips Bay Showhouse, (to benefit The Kips Bay Boy’s and Girl’s Club), was filled with big, grand design. But what turned my head, was the exquisite attention to detail found in almost all of the beautifully appointed rooms.

Here are a few shots from my visit there, of Delicate and Dramatic Design Details I just couldn’t resist.

In this room titled “Room for a Daydream”, Elizabeth Pyne for McMillen Plus, started with a small focal point, and built on that.  Inspired by a treasured childhood portrait of her grandmother, the rest of the design unfurled.

A gorgeously hand painted wood floor adds opulence to a dressing room by
Darren Henault. Why settle for plain, when you can have fancy!

A brilliant new wallpaper product developed by Brett
Design, allows you to add a clear design layer over your own painted finish. The possibilities are endless! This lacy floral can lend a feminine touch. The walls of the Lounge in the showhouse executed by Brett Design, are done in a clear snake overlay. Very sexy!



Here’s a drapery detail I’ve never seen before. Inset jewel toned glass stones with embroidery detail on the leading edge of an otherwise understated window treatment, in this beautifully detailed  dining room by Cullman & Kravis. So fabulous!
A vignette from this truly glamorous Hollywood inspired  boudoir by The Jeffrey Design Group, proves that Accessories Matter! And perhaps also, that minimalism Is a Drag!

For the BIG PICTURE,  I highly recommend a visit to the showhouse.  It’s open through November 11th.

Here’s the link for more info :

Have fun!

December 2, 2009

Guest Blog: Why We Don’t Like Matchy Matchy

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

By Caitlin Pitt

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

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

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

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

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

Traditional Matchy

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

Now let’s look at these rooms.

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


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

Mixy 1

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


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

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

Happy Decorating!


October 19, 2009

GOING GREY…silver, white and black

Lately the elegant trend toward greys and silvers, mixed with black and white, has been picking up speed in the market place. There’s a new wealth of available  fabrics, furniture, rugs and lighting in this color family, and at every price point.

Furthermore, this is a trend that is versatile, and has lasting power. Since grey is the “new neutral”, I can happily recommend jumping aboard, if the look appeals to you. You’ll never regret buying a grey sofa, or a classic Carrara marble table. Such pieces are timeless, and can easily translate into new looks, and work with new color palettes in years to come.

by Jennie Abbott for Monique Lhuillier

When you bring greys and silvers into your home, you introduce a sense of calm, cool tranquility, and order. Soft greys lend a subtle femininity, while deep greys indicate a masculine presence.

This beautiful room, by interior designer Jennie Abbott, is the epitome of glamour, with deep rich grey upholstered pieces, against pale wall and floor treatments. The strong black and white art and black fireplace surround, bring some weightiness up to the walls. Without those touches, the strong furniture pieces would appear to float in their cloud-like surroundings. Here the feminine and masculine are expertly balanced. The results are DREAMY!!

This is one of the few situations where I can recommend plain white walls. (OMG!)  This silvery pale grey palette gives white walls a reason to exist!  In fact it’s the ideal backdrop for it.  Here are a few things I put together to help you create this look:

Items below: Surya Fallon Grey Rug from www.RugStudio, Laszlo Pendant  Light and Larabie Clear Table Lamp are from Kravet Lighting (available through Gaita Interiors), Seville Chair from Room and Board, Avec Sofa from CB2

surya fallon grey $655 Rugstudiolaszlo pendant smokeroomandboard Seville chair

larabie clear kravet

Avec Sofa GREYSOFAABOVEPLUSSTUFFslieusldjfoieuhsjlawie093r7uefhaledjw09yfhskhfowe8rywvskuyhw98eyfofhkjdfhoqw98

duralee15145-562duralee 15165-248duralee 180872H-118

Duralee 20954-248duralee14994-18Duralee 20897-362
THREEFABRICSABOVEHERElsiueslhvos9ufslkvhosdivhzlkvhs;odvskjzdhc.;osilefuero8fxjchoawud0weyfsku dlhvlse9fysdivhlks

Every one of the gorgeous fabrics in this post is from Duralee.  The coffee table is the Smart Round Marble Table from CB2.  The Silver Cheetah Faux Fur Throw is from

Throw Silver Cheetah Large
pjatteryd Ikea $79.99
AUDREYABOVElseuslnmpsoefujspjdvps9efjpsdfnpse9fjpsodfjope9uteoighslkdn;saodjfpwhsdihvoweiufosidhopihduralee 20917-174durlalee180831H-79duralee180832H-362


ikea 79.99


The art: Both the piece above, and the Audrey Hepburn piece are prints on stretched canvas from Ikea, each $79.99

duralee 32038-562duralee 180855H-296duralee 15102-562

roomandboard hubbard rocker
isabella chandelier kravet


FrostPillow CB2ShaggyPillowGreyCB2
PILLOWSABOVEANDPILLOWSBLEOWlijgldndlrig dhnbgldgjm;svm nc,ifghbln .rope09udhbnldfvpotuhdlknldkdlorutkksjshfksksbvksd fihf ksdhksi hfksjxhvbk sudf hkbbjv
ZigZagPillow pebbles

The pieces above are: The Hubbard Rocker from Room and Board, and the Isabella Chandelier from Kravet Lighting (available through Gaita Interiors) The grey silk pebble pillow (lower right) is from The other three pillows are all from Cb2

Greys also mix well with warm neutrals.  So if you already have some of the “old neutral” (beige, tan, taupe)you don’t have to start from scratch to go ahead and add some of the “new neutral”


September 24, 2009

Red and White and Pretty All Over

Filed under: Color usage, Interior Design, Paint, Wall Decoration — Tags: , , , , , , , — michaeldelicio @ 4:25 PM

Red is warm, vibrant, sexy and exciting. White is fresh, pure and bright. Together they make a great base for almost any style of interior design. Just add the color or neutral of your choice. You can’t go wrong!

By Amanda Kyser

Interior design by Amanda Kyser

I love the modern rusticity of this foyer with a brick red accent wall in a white setting.  The use of the same color on a mid-century chair with great bones is just brilliant!


Todd Romano used Farrow and Ball color Blaxer

Interior design by Todd Romano, The walls are Farrow and Ball, color Blazer

Did I mention COZY?  This traditional room makes the most of red’s cozy factor.  the red and white plaid, rich jewel toned oriental and soft plush furnishings make this a great room to curl up in with a good book.


Home of Dedar Fabrizio from Veranda, September 2009

Home of Dedar Fabrizio from Veranda, September 2009


Red walls make everything pop!  Your art and furniture will look better, more important.  I can’t think of any color that looks bad against red.  If you own neutrals, they’ll show up like they never have before. The bold backdrop will make a disparate collection of objects look related and integrated.

From Elle Decor, October 2009, designed by Bibi Monnahan

From Elle Decor, October 2009, designed by Bibi Monahan

This is the quintessential transitional living room.  The feel is very up to date. The furnishings are a gorgeous blend of the traditional and the contemporary.  The red backdrop with white matted art keeps it all beautifully pulled together.


Red and white mod

Red and white mod

Oh, this is so groovey!  Get me my go-go boots!  But seriously, it’s the the simple color scheme, red combined with soft silvery whites that keep this room firmly planted in the 21st century.


Stunning chinese red kitchen cabinets.

Stunning Chinese red kitchen cabinets.

If anyone dares to paint their kitchen cabinets this color, I’d love to see photos.  The results are stunning, and in fact, very livable.  Red is so versatile!

This daring and unusual kitchen is by Susan Massey The article is from Southern Accents


red curtains, grey sofa

The red curtains and other touches of red make the room.

I love lots of red, but here are some examples showing how a little red can go a long way.  It’s like wearing a little black dress, and then finishing off the look with bright red lipstick.

T. Keller Donovan

Kitchen design by T. Keller Donovan


Stephen Shubel

Interior design by Stephen Shubel

If I woke up in a bedroom like this, I might get confused and think I’m a movie star! 

“Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for close-up.”


Miles Redd

Designed by Miles Redd


By Eldon Wong Rosenthal china service.

Design by Eldon Wong, with Rosenthal China Service.

Here’s a  great way to add a little red and white-  paint the interior of a china cabinet red, then display classic white china in it.  Your china will look better than ever!

Here’s  some great stuff out there that can bring some of this warm-sexy-cool-bright-vivid prettiness into your home:

The Mod look:
25245-98 DuraleeLe Corbusier white leather!D_819 kravet

The above items are:
Red Fabric (Duralee 25245-98), White Leather Chair (Le Corbusier), Red Lamp (Graham and Green), Black Fabric (Kravet Goodell-819)


The Warm Traditionalist:

30369_19 kravetgumps white garden stoolgump's openwork chair redGILAD_910 kravet


The above items are:
Red Fabric (Kravet 30369-19), White Garden Stool (Gumps), Open Works Red Chair (Gumps), Stripe Fabric (Kravet Gilad-910)

Eclectic Transitional:


9781588167392_int_116-133Mizoram ThibautGingerSideTableS9145720_WH09_W_hs

The above items are:
Red Paint (Benjamin Moore -Ravishing Red 2008-10), Red Fabric (Thibaut -Mizoram), Ginger Side Table (Crate and Barrel), White Lamp (Williamsburg Market Place)

All fabrics are available through Gaita Interiors.  For pricing and availability, call (914)834-8282

So maybe you’re thinking you’d have to think a lot, ruminate, spend hours at the paint store before making the drastic decision to paint your walls red…, not really.

Just choose a red you love, and a fresh bright white, get the room painted, and move your stuff in!

September 4, 2009

Beautiful Art I’ve Seen in Larchmont, NY

The Mamaroneck Artist’s Guild, known as MAG does a great job representing artist’s from the Lower Westchester area.  Everything they show is of the highest quality.  Here are some pieces from their collection I put together to “art up” a prospective sophisticated living room in a cool modern palette with splashes of hot color.  I dipped into photography, painting, sculpture and woodcuts.  What Fun!!


"Roman Vine" by Aida Krgin


"Tom" by Suzanne Bohrer Ashley

"Tree of Life III" by Gerda Rose

"Tree of Life III" by Gerda Rose


"Conversation" Stoneware sculpture by Sybil Maimin

"Conversation" Stoneware sculpture by Sybil Maimin



"Calligraphy" by Carol Watnick



"Hopewell Farmhouse" by Tanya Schlick



"Urban Landscape" by Lynne Lederman


"Doorway" by Aida Krgin


This just a tiny smattering of the gorgeous art represented by MAG.  I’m so proud to have an art gallery with such a broad and eclectic collection, right here in my little town of Larchmont New York!  Click here to get a peek at what they’re showing right now.  If you’re thinking of coming from Manhattan, it’s just a ten minute walk from Larchmont Train Station.

Which comes first, the art or the fabrics? In this case the art came first, and I was inspired by it to create a collection of coordinating fabrics.  Here’s what I came up with  for our proposed living room:

adelle graphiteamazing maze tulipaerial leaves iced celadonorator nightfall
beach life sangrianeivre noirebetwixt grey opalansonia fleur caviar

Fabrics: All from Robert Allen- Adelle Graphite, Amazing Maze Tulip, Aerial Leaves Iced Celadon, Orator Nightfall, Beach Life Sangria, Neivre Noire, Betwixt Grey Opal, Ansonia Fleur Caviar.

For pricing and availability of fabrics, call Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282


July 25, 2009

“First Responders of Larchmont and Mamaroneck: A Tribute

The Mamaroneck Artists Guild, at 126 Larchmont Ave, Larchmont, NY are showing (through July 25th) a remarkable, graphic and moving display of full life size, high resolution portraits of  Mamaroneck and Larchmont’s indispensable first responders: police, firefighters and EMTs.  The artist photographer of this striking collection of portraits is Robert P. Fine.

Mr. Fine, shown here with his work, gives you an idea of the scale of the pieces.  The effect is very dramatic.

Mr. Fine, shown here with his work, gives you an idea of the scale of the pieces. The effect is very dramatic.

Each of the First Responders is identified by name, retaining the importance of the individual, as well as the necessity of team work depicted by the collection as a whole.


On viewing the diverse group of men and women represented here, I’m struck by their  cheer and openness, as well as the obvious pride these individuals take in their chosen professions.

The gallery is an open, airy light filled space, painted pure white, creating an excellent stark backdrop for the dark uniforms worn by the subjects.


In addition to Mr. Fine’s compelling approach to photographic portraiture, he is also an accomplished landscape photographer. On his two web sites you can see ample examples of his impressive work in both areas. and

The pieces currently shown will continue to be available for purchase through Mamaroneck Artists Guild (MAG) for $225 each

MAG rotates shows every three weeks, which gives us all plenty to see.  Visit their web site to see what’s coming up next!

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.


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.


West Elm Zebra Rug 9'x12' $749.00

West Elm Zebra Rug 9'x12' $749.00


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


Wallace Upholstered Headboard from Restoration Hardware $1495.00 for king

Wallace Upholstered Headboard from Restoration Hardware $1495.00 for king


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


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



Carrie and her vanity


Paris Apartment MirroredVanity $7,800.00


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.


Horchow $699.00

Horchow $699.00


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.

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.

west elmAAAADDKlPkAAAAAAAAxdUgwest elm wall art $19 pillows and throws Connor pillow $60

The pillows are from The bedding is from Crate and Barrel.


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:



Satin bedding from

Satin bedding from

From Standing mirrored Room Divider $699.00

From Standing mirrored Room Divider $699.00


Seville Headboard at $409.99

Seville Headboard at $409.99


Sheer Curtains


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.


Horchow Crystal Ball Table Lamp $155

Horchow Crystal Ball Table Lamp $155

Horchow Mirrored End Table $269.00

Horchow Mirrored End Table $269.00


Venetian Mirror from $341.00

Venetian Mirror from $341.00


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


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

Vanity Dreassing Table from

From , vaniy stool $249

From , vaniy stool $249


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

Miss P

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

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


July 13, 2009

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

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

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


Lyndhurst Castle Tarrytown, NY

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

Lyndhurst Ent Hall

Lyndhurst Entry Hall

Lynd art gallery

Lyndhurst Art Gallery


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

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

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

dining room Lynd

Dining Room, Lyndhurst

Dutchess Guest Room, Lyndhurst

Dutchess Guest Room, Lyndhurst

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wheel-back-chair-color alexander jackson davis

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

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



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


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

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



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

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Rose Garden

A detail from a large planter near the Rose Garden

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

 Sir Edward Burne-Jones

"The Love Song" by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

American Gothic Revival Rocks On…..!

american-gothic-large4amer.gothic_dmartin.lgGoth-American-Gothic--28842AmericanGothicPieimage_american-gothicamerican-gothic-by-grant-wood-1930-iiAmerican Gothic Parodyobama clintonAmericanGothicSpoofAmerican-GothicAmerican-Gothic-Soldiers--31308American Gothic3


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

Gothic Revival printed fabric form the period.

Gothic Revival printed fabric form the period.


Kravet #28247-613

More beautiful fabrics that display the Gothic influence:

Kravet  #23089-540

Kravet #23089-540

Kravet 25841-319

Kravet 25841-319

Highland Court #180933H-298

Highland Court #180933H-298

Highland Court #180906-533

Highland Court #180906-533


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

Mackenzie Childs

Mackenzie Childs at Neiman Marcus

Mackenzie Childs at Nieman Marcus

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

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

These beauties are available from

These reclaimed beauties are available from

From,brand new Gothic windows ready for installation.

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

Yep, this is Gothic Revival

Yep, this is Gothic Revival!

;dlf;sldf;sldjf;sdjf;sldjf;sldgsdjg;sldkf;sldjg;dskfhg;sldfk’s;dk;ljg;j;sl;lj;jl So modern, but very Goth!



Antique fixture at Lyndhurst Castle

Gothic Revival reproduction lantern from  Well done!

Gothic Revival reproduction lantern from Well done!


Cabinets from Walz Craft

Cabinets from Walz Craft


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

This would make a great hallway piece.  From

This would make a great hallway piece. From

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


This piece is available from




Scroll work wall art from Pier 1

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


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

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

From Four Point Mirror

From Four Point Mirror

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

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

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


The Headless Horseman from Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

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


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
;sldkf;ldskf;sldkf;dlfkg;dlfkg;dlfkg;dlfkg;dlfkg;dlfkg;dlfkg;dlfkg Rug and Curtains Below dfkdjhlsehlsdhflhlshkdhl[dpfo[dpfog[dpfog[pfog[dpfog[dpf

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 26, 2009

Chinoiserie Screen: A Timeless Interior Design Classic


The folding Chinoiserie Screen has been a classic piece in interior design for centuries for several good reasons. First and foremost, they’re beautiful. They add an exotic Eastern flavor to any room. Lately I’ve noticed a trend among designers toward the use of this decorative staple, as part of an elegant yet unpretentious approach to the design of comfortable living spaces.

chinese screen

This beautiful room is by Alessandra Branca, via

The look is dramatic, and can serve as a focal point, setting the tone of the room. Serving as both furniture and art, a Chinoiserie screen works beautifully in a traditional or contemporary setting. The practical side of the folding screen is not to be overlooked. Interior designers and home owners have used them to define and divide spaces, and to hide an array of necessary evils, from an unfortunately placed powder room door, to a messy pile of toys, to an undesirable view. All while adding miles of style, pattern and color!

Michael S. Smith

By Michael S. Smith

lkjlskdjflskdjflskdjfsldkfjlskdjflskdjflskdfj Smith’s Bedroom above lkdjfl

From the June House Beautiful, by Meg Braff

From the June House Beautiful, by Meg Braff. This small set can serve as wall art, or be used on a table top.

lsdkjflskdjflskdjflskdjlskdjflskdj June House Beautiful above skdjflskdfj

English leather screens, via Decorati

English leather screens, via Decorati

lsfjlskdjflsdkjflskdjflskdjlskd English Leather Screens above lskdjfls


By Michael S. Smith

s;dl;sldkf;sldkf;sldkf;sldfk Smith Room with Fireplace above lskdjfhlj

An open kitchen is given privacy with a pair of decorative screens

The home chef is given the option of privacy in an open kitchen, using a pair of decorative screens.

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Decorative screens separated and installed as wall art.

Decorative screens separated and installed as wall art.

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Alexandria driuk

A great use of a Chinoiserie screen set in a beautiful room by Kim Alexandriuk

A matching pair of Chinoiserie sreens in a sitting room at the Kip's Bay Show House, design by Charlotte Moss.

A matching pair of Chinoiserie sreens in a sitting room at the Kip's Bay Show House, design by Charlotte Moss.


If you don’t have it in your budget to spend between $1,500.oo (for a new folding screen set from China) and… well the sky’s the limit for antique screens (depending on the age, condition and rarity) then you can do this project and get the Chinoise look, and practical function of a Chinoiserie folding screen set:

I would start by buying this unfinished screen set from ReadyToCover. They’ll make any size , shape and number of panels you desire. There are several top styles. I’m choosing the plain square top, to better mimic the look of an authentic Chinese screen.

Ready for paint and wallpaper, standing screens from

Ready for paint and wallpaper, standing screens from


Then choose a gorgeous Chinoiserie wallpaper. I recommend painting the back and frame in a color that closely matches the background color of the wallpaper. Your paint store should be able to match the color very closely. Once you’ve wallpapered the main panels, add a coat of satin polyurethane for finish and protection.

Here are some of my favorite Chinoiserie wallpapers that would work very well for this, along with a few fabrics I picked to go with them:


grainnes-charm-blue-terrakazvin-scarlettra-baby-cheetah-mustardtrilogy stripe capri;lfjdlfjldfjlkfjlkfrodilkksdfksld red wallpaper above
Wallpaper: (right )Thibaut, Meridian-red
Red satin: Robert Allen, Kazvin-scarlett
Stripe: Beacon Hill, Trilogy Stripe- capri
Skin print: Robert Allen, Baby Cheetah- mustard
Multi jacguard: Beacon Hill, Grainnes Charm- blue terra

fishing-village-black129437_616detail-of-ven-plaster123157_3232jinan noir
ldklskdjlskdjflsdkjfldkfjgldkfjgdlfgjujp Black wallpaper with co-ordinates oufoiuoiudfjgdlfgjdpfugdpofugdoifugdoifugoilkdlskdjflskdjlskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjflskdjlkjlkk
Wallpaper (right): Thibaut, Fishing Village-black
Rust textured wallpaper: Thibaut, Venetian Plaster, pumpkin
Green velvet: Kravet 23157-323
Black Leopard: Kravet 29437-616
Black damask: Beacon Hill, Jinan-noir

cantonese-brown1_pics_imag-220_22404_16martan_180936h-351cheetah-skin-praline1coulthard oro
Wallpaper (right): Thibaut, Cantonese-brown
Gold chennille: Kravet, 22404-16
Stripe: Beacon Hill, Coulthard-oro
Orange geometric: Highland Court, 180936H-35
Skin pattern:Beacon Hill, Cheetah Skin-praline

For pricing and availability on the various wallpapers and fabrics, call Gaita Interiors at (914)834-8282

AIN'T NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING! Here are some authentic hand painted Chinese screens that are out there, new and antique.

Antique Fujin Screen Set from

Antique Fujin Screen Set from , $2500.00

These two exquisite screen sets (above and below) are from Antiques by Zaar, an excellent dealer in Chinese antique decorative arts and furnishings. Their huge warehouse is in Highpoint, N.C., but the web site is wonderful too.

Antique Chinese Screens circa 1890 for antiquesbyzaar, $4675.00

Antique Chinese Screens circa 1890 for antiquesbyzaar, $4675.00

chinesefurnitureonline $2300

Newly made hand painted from chinesefurnitureonline $1800.00


Rare anitque pair of Chinoiserie Screen sets valued at about $60,000.00

Rare antique pair of Chinoiserie Screen sets from valued at about $60,000.00


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