December 11, 2009

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

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

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

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

silver plated hurricanes pott barn

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

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

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

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

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

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

YOU DESERVE IT!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

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 (www.urbandictionary.com) 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”.

Mixy

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.

mixy3

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!

-Caitlin

October 29, 2009

First Guest Blog: Bargains from eBay

Filed under: Furniture, Interior Design, etageres — Tags: , , — michaeldelicio @ 10:54 AM

I’m no Leona when it comes to design, style, knowledge, verve…I could go on. But I DO know a bargain when I see one. I decided to hop onto eBay and see what bargains lurk there, being as though I’m searching just now for a pair of nice chairs and some occasional tables. Searching on eBay this way can be tedious, yes, but remember: all the professionals do it too!

First, the chairs. Searching for “bergère” used to offer up some great finds but now everyone’s onto it. You can’t find a nice pair of bergères for a decent price anymore. So instead, I searched “pair chairs”. This time I got over 400 “hits”, and then – as at Loehmann’s or TJMaxx – I had to pick through the morass to find the jewels. Here’s my first cut; the prices underneath reflect the starting bids unless otherwise noted:

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Danish Chairs w/o cushions - $120.00

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Lucite Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Leopard Occasional Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Red Velvet Pair - $599.00 or best offer (OBO)

Wassily Pair - $980.00

Wassily Pair - $980.00

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Now for the tables. I’m looking both for single tables and pairs, and when I typed “side table” I got 4,365 hits. Too many and mostly not what I’m looking for anyway. So I refined the search by choosing only the 738 items categorized as Antiques>Furniture. Here’s what I got:

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Chrome Walnut Set - $675.00 or best offer (OBO)

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Flame Mahogany Pair - $485.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00

Biedermeier Single - $590.00

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There are a few things to bear in mind when shopping for household bargains this way, however. The first, most obvious hurdle is that because you can’t ogle – or touch – the pieces in person you’ll have to be very careful about measuring the destination in your space against the measurements provided for the piece. I have a friend who finds cushions in her home and puts them together in the room destination to approximate the size of items she’s considering. I use newspaper. The point is that, like at Loehmann’s, just because something’s a bargain doesn’t mean you should buy it if it doesn’t fit or isn’t flattering!

While we’re on the subject of fit, another important thing to keep in mind is that when buying furniture on eBay it’s helpful to have a local discount fabric store AND an upholsterer you trust and who makes it easy. My upholsterer is someone I’d definitely have a cup of tea with any time – he’s adorable. But he’s also willing to pick up and deliver anything, and he’ll go to the fabric store on the way. His prices are exceedingly reasonable and he does great work.

The final considerations with eBay bargain hunting have to do with calculating in shipping fees and evaluating the seller. To ensure you’re really getting a bargain, you’ll need to add in the shipping charges when determining your top bid. Some sellers offer flat shipping fees; some ship only via Greyhound for station pick-up; some require the buyer to make her/his own arrangements. Whatever the terms, the fees involved can be substantial, so calculate them up front before starting to bid. Regarding ease and comfort of buying, my policy is to shop only with top-rated sellers, and to check buyer comments before bidding.

It just takes a little time and research, but you too can find great pieces for your home online. You’re helping the environment – “reduce, reuse, recycle” – and joining the ranks of proud design aficionados everywhere who are loath to pay retail.

Happy shopping!

Caitlin

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

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surya fallon grey $655 Rugstudiolaszlo pendant smokeroomandboard Seville chair

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larabie clear kravet

Avec Sofa GREYSOFAABOVEPLUSSTUFFslieusldjfoieuhsjlawie093r7uefhaledjw09yfhskhfowe8rywvskuyhw98eyfofhkjdfhoqw98

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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 Fur-Throws.com.
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Throw Silver Cheetah Large
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pjatteryd Ikea $79.99
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ikea 79.99

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

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roomandboard hubbard rocker
isabella chandelier kravet

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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 www.pillowsuperstore.com. 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”

GET COOL WITH SOME SOFT,GLAMOROUS,TRANQUIL,FEMININE, MASCULINE,CLASSIC, TIMELESS GREY.

October 12, 2009

Autumn in Vermont: Interior Inspiration

Filed under: Color usage, Fabric Usage, Interior Design, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — michaeldelicio @ 4:44 PM

In my work, I spend many hours looking at, and thinking about the work of other designers, artists, textile designers, furniture makers and craft people of every ilk. But whenever I can, I turn my focus to NATURE, the original, fundamental, and primary source of all inspiration!

October in Vermont is perfect for this kind of creative refreshment.  It’s no wonder Vermont is known for it’s crafts and artists! I just spent a couple of days there taking pictures. Here’s a very small example of what I saw, and the direct inspiration for interior design that I took from it.

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This incredible fuchsia foliage is the aptly named Flame Bush.  I love it at this stage, half green, half fuchsia.

…And, I love it as a color scheme.  Green and pink are natural companions.  At this depth of saturation, they bring  earthiness, glamour and passion. The combination amps up the exotic feel of these Moroccan inspired patterns.

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27148_430  kravet

marmag_180949H-299W3080_630  karvet
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Fabrics: Top row-  All three are from HIGHLAND COURT 180933H-298, 180939-298 and 180944H-338.   Second Row- KRAVET 27148-430, Highland Court 180949H-299, Kravet (wallcovering) W3080-630.   Third Row-Highland Court 180934H-298,  Kravet (wallcovering) W3093-640, Highland Court 180954H-298  All fabrics are available through Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282.

madeline weinrib hot pink songcentralglassworks.net

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Carpet- Hot Pink Song from Madeline Weinrib,  hand blown vase from www.glassworkscentral.net , green Moroccan Pouf from http://moroccanprestige.com/leather_poufs.html, Moroccan Lantern from www.gifts.freemarkits.com Fuchsia Moroccan Pouf from www.tazidesigns.com

The Real Vermont, Why I Keep Going Back: I took this shot on the edge of a quiet country road, on a cloudy afternoon in Ludlow, Vermont.  To me in exemplifies all that is lovely about Vermont in the Autumn.  The shady old tree, the stone wall, the mix of reds, greens, and yellows.  Too bad you can’t smell the pines!  Pines smell best in Vermont, in the crisp air of Fall.

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We can call this the Harvest Palette,and for many it is the only color scheme necessary…EVER!! (Blue need not apply!)  It offers a generous helping of warmth and cheer to carry you through the coldest winter.

I like my Harvest Palette on the light side, with lots of orangy reds and yellows,  and low notes of clean, deep greens.  This  combination lends itself to a range of settings from a casual  farm house kitchen, to the most formal Manhattan townhouse, and everything in between.  It works beautifully with classic chinoiserie details.

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Fabrics: Top row- KRAVET Fendton D-420, Kravet 27772-640, Kravet 31786-21  Second Row- HIGHLAND COURT 180664H-268,  Kravet 22302-24. Kravet Holistic-16  Third row- ROBERT ALLEN Atlas Peak citrus mango, THIBAUT Alder Damask green wallcovering.  All fabrics are available through Gaita Interiors (914)834-8282

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openwork square garden stoolgumps handpainted chrysanthemum screenshanghai lacquer storage boxes gumps
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Rug from Safavieh Heirloom Collection, the following items are all from Gump’s- Hand Painted Lotus Vase, Open Work Green Garden Stool, Hand Painted Chrysanthemum Screen, Shanghai Red Lacquer Boxes.

I recommend photography as a way of developing a deeper enjoyment of the outdoors. When you decide to photograph something, you’re forced to REALLY look at it, with a concentration you may never have used for JUST LOOKING.  You don’t have to be a great photographer (eg:  ME!)  Any old camera will do. The photographs are not the point.  They’re just a means to an end; a new way to see.

I hope you find:

CREATIVE REPLENISHMENT, IN THIS AND EVERY SEASON.

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!

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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.

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Home of Dedar Fabrizio from Veranda, September 2009

Home of Dedar Fabrizio from Veranda, September 2009

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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.

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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.

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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  www.bohlertmassey.com The article is from Southern Accents

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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

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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.”

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Miles Redd

Designed by Miles Redd

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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:

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The Mod look:
25245-98 DuraleeLe Corbusier white leather chairgrahamandgreen.co.ukGOODELL!D_819 kravet


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

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The Warm Traditionalist:

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

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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:

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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…..um, not really.

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

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