Thursday Treasure of Interior Design

Look Book

I took last night off.  Our schedules have been so busy that my husband and I have hardly seen each other all week.  Tuesday night, I taught my Room Redesign course at Staples High School in Westport and then tonight I was invited to an event at David Yurman at the Westchester for Go Red.

I have more than one Thursday Treasure this week, because I highlighted several for my Look Book on the Decorating Diva’s website.  A Look Book is the decorating diva’s concept.  Since I have been asked by several of my friends how I chose the items, I thought I would take you through the process.  So in a way, this is yesterday’s Wednesday Word wrapped into Thursday Treasure.

First I read and reread the Decorating Diva site.  I have been following them for quite some time now.  Then I looked over the other Look Books to get a sense of how it’s done.  I noticed that there were many living rooms and a few bedrooms already.

I decided to mix it up and go with a dining room concept.  Then I started perusing my photo files for appropriate furnishings.  I fell in love with the Mandarin Bench by Christian Liaigre for Holly Hunt, so that was my first selection.  It has those wonderful clean lines with a hint of Asian style, which set the theme for the room.  I love red – another theme in my life.  When I found Christian Liaigre’s Saigon Bookcase, I knew that rusty red would be the accent color against the dark woods.  The rusty red chairs from A. Rudin were a great match to the room not only because of the color but the shape of the chairs.

Next I looked for lighting that would offset the circular Savuti Table by Jiun Ho – I love dining at circular tables because more people can be included in the conversation.  Pagani Studio is my go to for great and unusual lighting.  I was looking for a square fixture with an asian feel but not too dramatic and the Aquila fit the bill.

In a rare twist for me, I picked the rug near the end.  I love the serene look of New Moon rugs.  I wanted something Eastern in feel but not too Asian, because I don’t like to take a theme too far either.  I am far more eclectic and I am definitely not the matching furniture type!

The bright Grand Jewel Mirror was to add a light element on another wall for contrast with the heavy bookcase.  Finally, I chose the J. Chew dishes because I can’t imagine designing a dining room without choosing the china!  But that’s the entertainer in me.

So seven Thursday Treasures and a look at how an interior designer makes decisions and brings a room design together.  Over the next few weeks, I will feature all of the beautiful treasures that did not make the cut.  They are all equally as lovely, but one of the most important parts of interior design is to not over-design or fill up the room with too many treasures.

We will have to save some for one of your rooms!

Love to hear from you.  Which dream room would you design?


Sneak Peek

Here’s a sneak peek at my Look Book for  It will debut on March 10th.

Look Book

Thanks Carmen!  Can’t wait to see it.

Breaking News: Twitter and Interior Design

Today, I was honored to be listed amongst 12 Interior Designers to follow on Twitter by  The article  by Rob Jones on BuildDirect’s blog follows in its entirety – mostly because I still haven’t learned trackbacks.  Any experts out there?  Please let me know!  I have also attached the original link at the end.

This great group of women tweeters includes many with whom I have built relationships over the last year via social media.  We are from all over the country and not only do we tweet, but also we are fans on each other’s Facebook pages and follow (and comment) on each other’s blogs.   Most of us participated in #IDzinechat last month with another one coming soon.   These women below are reinventing interior design via social media.  Stay tuned…we are shakin’ things up!

12 Interior Design Gurus You Should Follow on Twitter

by Rob Jones on March 8, 2010

Twitter has been a powerful tool for us here at BuildDirect.  It’s allowed us to invite people into our world here a bit, give away some advice, and get some advice back in return about the world of building projects and DIY renos. There are lots of people out there who are just as eager to share their expertise as we are.

In this first official addition of our Gurus to Follow on Twitter series, we’re going to take a look at 12 interior designers on Twitter who are not only thought-leaders and innovators in their industry, but are also highly personable people too who are actively creating useful content, and are likely to follow back.   Take a look.

1. @Debbie_Travis


Interior designer, entrepreneur,  speaker, author, charity advocate, and TV presenter (among many other things), Debbie Travis is the trusted, go-to voice for stylish interior design ideas for the average person.  Oprah Winfrey calls her ‘the master of paint and plaster’.  Visit to find out more.

2. @DebbieWiener


Debbie is author of the book Slob Proof, which is a guide to pet and family-friendly interior designs.   Her no-nonsense and realistic approach to interior design is matched in appeal only to her sense of humor.  Debbie has been featured in national newspapers and magazines (USAToday, Washington Post) and on nationally syndicated television and radio shows, too.

3. @WandaSHorton


Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Wanda is a sought-after interior designer who believes in adding the best experience of design, no matter what kind of space you’ve got.  She’s also an active blogger.  You can read and subscribe to (or subscribe to and read, if you will) her blog at

4. @KimberleySeldon


Filling out her interests in design, Kimberley is a speaker, journalist, and broadcast personality, operating in both the United States and Canada.  Kimberley is Decorating Editor of Canada’s Style at Home magazine and author of the book 500 Ideas for Small Spaces.

5. @AveryDesign (Catherine J Avery)


Catherine sees the interior design process as collaborative, a philosophy which is at the forefront of her company Avery Design.  A former Wall Street marketing executive, she discovered her flair and passion for interior design was her true calling.  Visit Catherine’s website at

6. @HomeWorkshop (Kathy Barlow)


Not only is Kathy a self-professed ‘design junkie’, she’s also a passionate community builder, taking her own love for creative interiors and inviting others of the same persuasion to add to her vision.  You can visit her blog to view a list of designer contributors, all experts in their fields.

7. @Radecor (Rosyln Ashford)


Rosyln is a designer and a home stager, using her designer’s eye to help homeowners sell their homes faster, and for a better return.  Rosyln (or ‘Ra’) has taken her skill for fabric and furniture placement it put it to work for a goal-oriented approach to interior design. Visit her website at

8. @UrbanDecorSue (Susan Rapp)


Coming out of a merchandising and display background, Susan Rapp harnesses the power of tasteful furniture in a space to bring interiors to life.  Her talents in this field are matched only for her passion for social media, like Twitter, and her blog,

9. @PGraceDesigns (Paula Grace Halewski)


With her background in psychotherapy, Paula brings her keen understanding of human psychology into her work as an interior designer who incorporates “timeless attraction of beautiful, classic design married with contemporary elements”.  Read her blog at

10. @Barbara_Miller


Barbara’s dedication to family-friendly spaces in residences and businesses is rivaled only by her dedication as a parent.  But, these two loves feed each other, creating “functional design that will withstand the daily use of homeowner’s children, pets, friends, or customers”.  Read Barbara’s blog at

11. @GreenYourDecor (Jennae Petersen)


Jennae’s frustration with her struggles in finding eco-friendly products while designing inspired her to create her own design company and blog with eco-friendly design in mind on behalf of clients.  She delivers on style, and on sustainable materials and practices.  Visit her website at

12. @StarrMiller


President and Principle at her boutique interior design company, Starr has helmed projects featured on HGTV’s Save My Bath.  Her keen understanding of design principles, and her ability to really listen to what her clients are asking for have been the keys to her success.  Visit her website at

Read more: 12 Interior Design Gurus You Should Follow on Twitter | BuildDirect Building Materials Blog

I love to hear from you.  Please let me know how social media is affecting your business.

Magical Monday: Yacht Interior Design

Wow!  I was browsing through on of my all time favorite interior design magazines, Objekt International, when I came across this stunning yacht by Bannenberg and Rouwell.  Built in 2009 by Baglietto in Italy, the 137 ft. Natori houses not only a grand salon, luxurious master suite and a gym but also five guest suites.

Grand Salon

Where does one start?  I love the stark contrast of the glossy black floors and the reflections of the glass, mirror and polished stainless steel warmed up by the creamy walls with the subtle horizontal detail.  The coppery pillows in that lush velvet add that tiny bit of color to warm up the space and make it feel even more luxurious.  There are more references to art deco (one of my all time favorite design periods) than I can count, but balanced with the contemporary so that it does not feel like a “period” room.

Living Area Detail

Another view of the living area where you can get a close-up view of so sleek and oh so contemporary details like the nailheads on the modern black and white bench, the dark blinds in the background, the polished stainless steel legs of the coffee table, the black and white greek key pillow (another fave design motif!).

Dining Area

It is clear that the interior designers referenced elements from the client’s existing art collection in the design of the interiors.  See how they reflect the beautiful colors found in this jazz piece above the table.  Again the gloss of the table is offset by the soft chairs that beckon you to enjoy a sumptuous five course meal.  I love how if you look very closely there are also occasional jazz references in keeping with the time period of Art Deco – a very subtle detail.


Speaking of detail, it abounds in this staircase.  The circle motif of the staircase repeated everywhere.  And I love the dark wood handrailing against the fabric covered walls in alternating bands of cream and grey.

This is luxury redefined – magic!

Your comments are always welcome.  I would love to hear what your favorite elements are in a room.

(photos from Objekt International)

Thursday Treasure of Interior Design

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape…

Pablo Picasso

Tree # 14 Myoung Ho Lee

Great Interior Designers have to be experts in so many areas: space planning, furnishings, colors, draperies…  And if we are not experts in a particular area, we are tapped into that person who is.  Sometimes, interior design can be an unglamorous job of making sure that the plumber checked that the rough-in matches the fixture.  And then there are other times when we do exciting things like help our clients purchase art.

So today’s Thursday Treasure is art.

Late yesterday afternoon, I had the great fortune to attend a fascinating private art tour of the Armory Show here in New York.  It was hosted  by 85 Broads and the tour was led by art consultant, Heather Dell of Cristin Tierney Fine Art Advisory Services.  I learned more about the process of buying art from Heather than I had ever known.  Not to mention, she showed us some fascinating works of art along the way.  That’s what I love about my job – I am constantly learning!

The Armory Show is so big it takes up two piers.  It is still going on all weekend, so if you are any where near Manhattan, it is a must see.  Pier 92 is primarily Modern Art, art from the approximately the 1870s through the 1950s.  The art is characterized by experimentation, in which figurative art is deconstructed and there is a tendency toward abstraction.

Pier 94 was primarily Contemporary or Post-Modern Art, which is roughly post-1950s.  The two areas can overlap a bit, so it’s not a hard and fast rule.  And I could not find a really great definition of Contemporary Art.  So you are up my readers, please let me know a better definition than what follows from Wikepedia regarding post-modernism:  “Salient features of postmodernism are normally thought to include the ironic play with styles, citations and narrative levels, a metaphysical skepticism or nihilism towards a “grand narrative” of Western culture, a preference for the virtual at the expense of the real, and a “waning of affect” on the part of the subject…”  Sounds a bit as pompous and far-fetched as my college dissertation.  Does anyone even speak that way any more?

Bottom line: I saw many interesting pieces of post-modern art.  Some were my taste.  Many were not.  My dad would say that’s what makes buyers and sellers.  My favorite by far was the photograph shown above by Myoung Ho Lee.

It spoke to me.  But if you already know me well then you know I am crazy about the Tree of Life as a motif.  So of course it would.  I love the idea of placing an artificial canvas as a back drop to the tree.  It makes the beauty of the tree pop against the background and yet Lee does not let us forget that the background, aka our planet earth, is still there.

Tree #12

From Yossi Milo Gallery:  “Myoung Ho Lee is the recipient of awards including the first Young Photographer’s Award from the Photo Artist’s Society of Korea in 2005, Korea’s Photography Critics Award in 2006 and a grant from the Culture and Art Fund from the Arts Council of Korea in 2007. Mr. Lee was born in Daejon, South Korea in 1975 and currently lives and works in Seoul, South Korea.”

Tree # 11

According to the press release from Yossi Milo Gallery:  “Mr. Lee allows the tree’s natural surroundings to fill the frame around the canvas, transforming the backdrop into an integral part of the subject. Centered in the graphic compositions, the canvas defines the form of the tree and separates it from the environment. By creating a partial, temporary outdoor studio for each tree, Mr. Lee’s “portraits” of trees play with ideas of scale and perception while referencing traditional painting and the history of photography.”

Tree #5

Tree # 5

This last photo is my favorite.  Simply breathtaking – every single thing about this photo is beautiful – the simplicity of the foreground, the majestic mountains in the distance, the contrast of the small delicate bright red tree.

Serene. Sublime. Spiritual.  Art by Myoung Ho Lee is my Thursday Treasure.

Your thoughts are always welcome. I hope you will share with me your favorite work of art!

Wednesday Word on Interior Design

So this is the big reveal of the new post as I promised to social media friend, Melissa Galt @ProsperbyDesign.  Every Wednesday, I will explain some of the confusing concepts of interior design and slowly build a design vocabulary list!

This week is all about color.  After all, what could be more fun than color?  You may not know that in order to be an Allied Member of the American Society of Designers (ASID), I was required to go back to school.  And our most fun, though occasionally daunting, class was color.  Color is not just an art but a science called color theory.  So here goes a short bit of the science.

Depending on whose scientific color wheel you want to follow, the primary colors are red, blue and yellow.  All colors (also known as hues) are made up of combinations of primary colors.  Adding white creates tints.  Adding black creates shades.  Also, adding a complementary color can shade or tint the original color.  That’s about as far as I will go with the theory and how to part!

The psychology of color is fascinating.  Colors can be warm – red, yellow, orange, or cool – blue, green, violet.  Warm colors tend to make spaces feel cozy and to bring them closer in while cool colors tend to be calming and make spaces recede.  So if you have a very high ceiling and you want to make it look lower use a very dark color on it.

Reds tend to be considered exciting and stimulating, with oranges being similar but a bit less so.  Yellows are cheerful and give brightness.  Greens are associated with being calm and restful.  Blues are the coolest color suggesting rest and calm, but too much and it can go depressing, hence the phrase ‘having the blues’.  Violets can be seen as artistic and ambiguous.

Color Schemes

Monotone Interior

Monotone or Neutral schemes use a single color and while are easy on the eye run the risk of becoming monotonous.  This entry works because of the interplay of light and shadow and the stark contrast of the branches.  The eye knows exactly where to land in this room and then the table in the next room beckons you in – what treasures lie behind that wall? (photo from Zen Interiors)

Monochromatic Scheme

Monochromatic schemes are also easy on the eye, but include a wider range of a particular hue.  I deliberately chose a color for the monochromatic scheme, because we often think that these schemes have to be varying shades of beige.  This room is simultaneously restful, dreamy and elegant. (from Nancy Corzine’s Glamour at Home)

Complementary Scheme

Complementary color schemes use contrasting colors from opposite sides of the color wheel – orange with blue for example.  Usually, an interior designer will use one color as the main color and then the opposite color for accents. This is a really tough look to pull off and do it well.  The whisper of violet on the walls with the pop of yellow in the art, pillows and legs (look again – cheeky, huh!) make this room sublime. I won’t mention how many photos I looked through to find a great example of a complementary color scheme.  (photo from Decorology)

There are a variety of other color schemes as well.  One last hint: if you can’t decide if two colors work together, set the samples on a piece of gray paper.  Gray is a truer neutral than white.  And if you are still confused about color, because there are just so many to choose from, contact me and I’ll meet you for a color consultation.

Here’s to color in your world!

Stay tuned for Wednesday Word on Interior Design

Tomorrow starts Wednesday Word on Interior Design.  A new weekly post, at the suggestion of Melissa Galt, that will enhance your interior design vocabulary.  I’ll dangle just a little visual hint…

Can you guess?

(Photo from via Decorology)

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