March 17, 2010

Get a Blast of Spring into Your Home Right Now!

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

Fabric and custom slipcovers are available at Gaita Interiors.

Rob Allen Kiki pinata

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

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

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

CELEBRATE!

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!!

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"Roman Vine" by Aida Krgin

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"Tom" by Suzanne Bohrer Ashley

"Tree of Life III" by Gerda Rose

"Tree of Life III" by Gerda Rose

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"Conversation" Stoneware sculpture by Sybil Maimin

"Conversation" Stoneware sculpture by Sybil Maimin

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"Calligraphy" by Carol Watnick

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"Hopewell Farmhouse" by Tanya Schlick

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"Urban Landscape" by Lynne Lederman

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"Doorway" by Aida Krgin

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

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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

SO ART UP!  and HAVE FUN!!





June 11, 2009

Hanging Art: 3 Approaches Prefered by Interior Designers

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

1) NEAT and GEOMETRIC…the grid:

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

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

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

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

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

Gilded botanicals

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

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

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

lindapaul.com

Framed tiles from www.lindapaul.com

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

Neat and calming, but not dull.

A restful and elegant dining room.

White dining room

White dining room from Better Homes and Gardens

 a bedroom.

A pretty bedroom in neutral tones. Very tranquil.

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

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

2) WILD ABANDON, or….more is more

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

By Thomas Jayne

By Thomas Jayne via House Beautiful

Framed vintage wallpapers via Apartment Therapy

Framed vintage wallpapers via Apartment Therapy

Domino Magazine

Artistic collection via Domino Magazine

A sprawling collage made of art.

A sprawling collage made of art. Very Bohemian.

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

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

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

Thomas Jayne

By Thomas Jayne via House Beautiful

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A comfy living room is personalized by

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

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

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

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

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

3) ONE IMPORTANT STATEMENT PIECE

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

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

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

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

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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

June 5, 2009

Larchmont-Mamaroneck is a Gold Mine for Vintage Lovers!

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

Cobalt Net

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

Lumonosov Set

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

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

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

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

Teacups and saucers

A pretty collecton of teacups and saucers.

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

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

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

Chatworth's

OK, I need the pair of flame stitch Bergere Chairs

Oh, where to begin!

Oh, where to begin! Dishes anyone?

More stuff

I have just the spot for the blanket chest.

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

The vintage jewelry eye candy!

Vintage eye candy!

mirror

Vintage mirror, pristine, and ready to hang.

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

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

Turquoise glass vintage chandelier

Turquoise glass vintage chandelier

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sconce

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

Blue

This vintage blue lamp is very on-trend.

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

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

HAVE FUN!

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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