From the AD Home Show: Snug Furniture and Black Crow Studios

quintessence, blog, interior design, maybelline te, tracy hiner, wallpaper, black crow studios, snug furniture, architectural digest, home show, interior design

Maybelline Te of Snug Furniture and Tracy Hiner of Black Crow Studios collaborated to create this amazing custom wallpaper for the backdrop to the Snug Furniture booth at the Architectural Digest Home Show. They met on Twitter and have been friends ever since.

Eye-catching and effective, the wallpaper not only exhibits Tracy Hiner’s tremendous talent for translating a unique subject to paper but also beautifully showcases the design process for many of the furniture pieces that were not shown in the booth.

Maybelline Te describes the Snug Furniture line as “furnishings for the modern urban lifestyle”. See more at Snug Furniture

Tracy Hiner states that Black Crow Studios “pushes the traditional idea of wallpaper into the realm of Art”.  For more see Black Crow Studios

Fortunately, Stacy of Quintessence and Carmen of The Decorating Diva took great photos of the Snug booth. I was far too busy catching up with Tracy and May to remember to take out my camera. We were “air” designing a custom wallpaper for a girl’s bedroom. I will let you know when it comes to fruition.

I love to hear from you. If you could design your own wallpaper that expresses who you are, what would it look like?


Interior Design Furnishings: The New Traditionalists

Another Wordless Wednesday here at Avery Design Interiors. From the people who brought you ducduc, there is now a sophisticated furniture line for grown-ups: The New Traditionalists. Fortunately, it is nearly impossible to find words to describe their furnishings, which makes my Wordless Wednesday task a bit easier. Who am I kidding?

I visited the showroom in a fantastic loft in Soho (NYC) a few weeks ago and had the great pleasure of meeting Philip Erdoes (@CEO_TheNewTrad) and  David Harris in person. Philip and I had already been in touch through the suggestion of Leslie Carothers (@tkpleslie) of The Kaleidoscope Partnership. Philip and the others were setting up for an event, yet provided incredible customized personal service. What a pleasure! No doubt I will be taking my clients to their showroom.

Their message is fantastic – a real throwback to the manufacturing of traditional furniture. The furniture is made here to ensure the finest quality. It is completely custom-made with minimal environmental impact. In the words of their website:

We believe that being responsible for your environment means taking care of yourself, those around you, and your world. By manufacturing here, we can assure you that we use sustainably harvested hardwoods and non-toxic finishes, and, of course, no MDF.

We also support the communities where we live and work through charitable donations and volunteered time.

Take a look.

Cabinet, New Traditionalists, dining, furniture, interior design

Cabinet Seventy Two

Every finish on this cabinet, every piece of hardware, the interior can all be custom finished.

drawer, interior design, lacquer, custom, finish, furniture

Cabinet Seventy Two Drawers

Interior design, cabinet, detail, furniture, new traditionalists

Cabinet Seventy Two Interior Detail

The back is mirrored and there is the traditional notch shelf support instead of those cheap plastic or metal pieces you stick in holes. Check your grandmother’s antique china cabinet – this is how furniture was made in the old days. What bliss…

chair, custom, new traditionalists, detail, interior design, furniture

Chair Sixty Six


bed, furniture, custom, horsehair, new traditionalists, interior design

Bed Ten Forty

console, traditional, finish, interior design, furniture, drawer pulls

Console Thirty One

desk, color, finish, furniture, new traditionalists, interior design

Desk Two


New Traditionalists, finishes, furniture, wood grain, lacquer

Finish Samples

Thanks to the inspiration of Amy Dragoo (@abcddesigns) and Jonathan Legate (@jonathanlegate), co-creators of #DesignTV, I will be going to a fun party tomorrow night at The New Traditionalists. I am so looking forward to spending time with dear friends met on Twitter but now IRL. And of course the setting at their Soho Showroom amongst all of the beautiful furnishings can not be beat.

It does not get any better than this…

I love to hear from you. Which of the furnishings from the New Traditionalists would you like for your home?

(Photos are mine or from The New Traditionalists website)

Mayhem and Multimedia

It was an off week for blogging in my world, as our daughter got sick and we had the mad dash with balancing sitters, work and every day life.  Such is the life of a working mom.  In spite of the mayhem on the home front, it was a productive work week finishing off with an amazing day in New York City.  My favorite part of my job is researching new and innovative finishes and furnishings for my clients.  I carve out a day per month  just for industry ‘learning’ and this was one of the best yet!

One meeting was with Joe Ginsberg, a multi-media designer who specializes in custom fabrications and finishes.  His work is greatly influenced by his travels and the natural world all around us.  His list of design services is too long to enumerate here, so I will just show some of the wonderful furnishings that he has created.


Book shelves

This is a hand carved  mahogany bookshelf system set against Ginsberg’s gorgeous encaustic wall.  I love the Asian feel of the design–it really brings out the richness of the wood.


Steel Railing

Imagine walking up the stairs alongside this hand forged and hammered iron railing in your Soho loft.


Custom Carved Bed

This custom carved bed made of custom carved cherry and African mahogany has  such simple lines yet such weight–a bold statement for the bedroom!


Glass Letters

What could be a more personalized gift than your own set of cast amber tinted glass letters?

jg karoo


Ginsberg calls this piece “playful and elegant”.  They are 4 inch thick aged oak planks that you can reconfigure to customize your coffee table.  I call them Lincoln Logs, all grown up…


Entertainment Center

Last but not least, this unusual, functional and great looking Entertainment Center.  Ginsberg is not only a master of woods–in this case mahogany, but of metals–here, blackened steel.

Not only is Ginsberg vastly talented and believe me, this is just a small sampling of his work, but he is truly one of the most delightful people I have met.  What a pleasure to have spent a few fascinating hours in the world of Joe Ginsberg.

Monkeying Around

With High Point Market being all the talk in the interior design world right now, it is only fitting to be thinking about furniture (and lighting).  I love the designs from Clayton Oxford, not only because they are beautiful and influenced by Clayton’s global travels, but also because they are sustainable.  Open year round in Dallas, Texas, the North Carolina showroom was open this past week during High Point Market.

Clayton Oxford Table

Clayton Oxford Table

I can imagine this table in a contemporary dining room.  Hand crafted of recycled plantation hardwoods and stainless steel legs, it has great contemporary lines and is rich in its simplicity.

Clayton Oxford Monkey Chandelier

Clayton Oxford Monkey Chandelier

How much fun is this Monkey Chandelier hand crafted with various types of shell inlays?  I know you’re thinking this is perfect in the corner of a little boy’s room, but wouldn’t it be cheeky in your front Foyer?  What a great cocktail party talking point!

Island Light

Clayton Oxford Island Light

Another great ceiling fixture, this Island Light made of shell inlay and stainless steel would look super sleek over a pool table.

Clayton Oxford Monkey Pod Wood Barstool

Clayton Oxford Monkey Pod Wood Barstool

Fact is I just love the idea of saying Monkey Pod Wood.  This barstool has such contemporary lines while being organic and handcrafted.  I see these barstools warming up to a cool and sleek gleaming stainless steel bar.

Clayton Oxford Stainless Steel Chair

Clayton Oxford Stainless Steel Chair

Speaking of sleek modern stainless steel, this accent chair is handcrafted and hand polished.  It’s not every day you can see your reflection in a chair.  I see this pulled up next to a black velvet sofa in an ultra modern gentleman’s library where the bookcases are backed in leather.

Hope you enjoyed this tour through one of High Point’s many showrooms.

(all photos courtesy of Clayton Oxford website)

Seeing the light

Aquila Chandelier

Aquila Chandelier

Have you ever had one of those incredible spontaneous experiences–the kind where after you have it, you just know it was meant to be?  A few weeks ago when I was at the NYDC (200 Lex) for What’s New What’s Next, a woman in the elevator said “I am so glad to meet you.”  Who me?  So I said who I was and asked why.  She said that she liked what I said in our Blogging seminar.  I was leaving the event headed to the first floor after 7 hours of schmoozing, looking and learning and I was beat.  But I decided to flow with the moment and I got off the elevator with her at the Third Floor.

In progress was a party at Baker and the introduction of the lighting product line from Pagani Studio.  It was absolutely breath-taking.  Then just in case it wasn’t enough to enjoy the beautiful lighting, showroom and tasty hors d’oeuvres, my new elevator friend, Carolyn Sollis, introduced me to Stephane and Frouwkje Pagani.  We were given the full personalized tour and inspiration behind their various pieces.  The Paganis have an amazing sense of how to mix different materials with the expected to create something entirely new and refreshing.

The Aquila Chandelier, above, is how, in retrospect, I knew that this moment was meant to be.  It’s a chandelier that I saw several years ago and used for a school project–a commercial design retail space.  I have always loved this chandelier and of course, it comes from Pagani Studio.  I was so thrilled that after all of this time, I was not only able to meet these brilliant artists, but to share in the excitement of their evening.  Their lighting speaks for itself…

Mode Floor Lamp

Mode Floor Lamp

Don’t hide this behind the sofa.  It’s out in all it’s sculptural glory next to a comfortable chair in the Family Room.

Noir Sculpture Table Lamp

Noir Sculpture Table Lamp

In a master bedroom, because it’s so soothing as though you are looking up to a shadow of the moon through outer space.

Linea Sconce

Linea Sconce

I can just see these sconces in a Gentleman’s Library–his masculine, understated hideaway where he retreats to smoke his cigar and read the newspaper in the evening.

Perla Chandelier

Perla Chandelier

Last but not least, I saved my favorite for the Powder Room.  This chandelier is a statement piece, balancing a touch of feminine with a touch of whimsy.

(photos from Pagani Studios and Baker websites)

Treasures of Afghanistan

Thursday, a group of art lovers from Trinity Episcopal Church in Southport had the pleasure of visiting the ‘Treasures of Afghanistan’ exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Afghan map 2008

Afghanistan lies at the crossroads between East and West on the Great Silk Route which runs roughly from Xian in China to Byzantium (Constantinople) in Turkey.  As such it was cross-cultural in nature.

Afghanistan was rich in the precious stone lapis lazuli, which was traded for silk, gold and other precious stones.  The treasures shown below (and in the exhibit) come from sites at Fullol, Ai Khanum, Begram and Tillya Tepe and range from the third century BC to the first century AD.

The history of this exhibit is unbelievable.  In a land torn by decades of war and strife, some quick thinking government and museum officials were able to hide away some of the greatest handiwork of the ages.  “Workers involved in the transfer swore secrecy and designated ‘key holders’ for the vaults. They kept their covenant through civil war and Taliban rule at enormous personal risk”. (National Geographic)

Afghan Folding Crown

I think this gold folding crown was my favorite.  I love the intricacy of the design and the folding functionality.  Many of the peoples along the Silk Route were nomadic and they carried their fortunes with them in gold jewelry inlaid with precious stones.

Afghan Gold Jewelry

More examples of the gold jewelry.  I would wear those bracelets! Just imagine wearing all of the wealth that you own-no savings accounts or safety deposit boxes…

Afghan lionheadbracelets

The level of detail on these lion heads is mind boggling.

Afghan Cybele Disc

This disc with Cybele is fascinating because it combines symbols of so many different religious and cultural beliefs in one item.

Afghan Painted Goblet of Achilles and Hector

First of all note that this is painted glass.  I still can’t believe that it survived at all.  It tells the Greek story of Achilles and Hector but is painted in the Roman style.

Afghan Blue Glass Vessel

The detail on this blue glass vessel is simply amazing.  The curlicues are added by dripping hot glass on to the vessel to form the design.

Afghan Ivory Carvings for Furniture

These ivory carvings again show elements from several cultures.  The design of the architecture reminds me of Hindu temples that I saw in Indonesia.

The Treasures of Afghanistan leaves the Metropolitan Museum of Art on September 20th.  It is well worth a special trip to enjoy this breath-taking exhibit.

(all images from websites of National Geographic, Flickr and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Now you’re Cooking

Kitchens are my favorite room to design. Maybe because I love to cook (and eat).  I have an obsession with making kitchens functional. Nothing drives me more crazy than not having the pots and pans near the stove or the dishwasher out of reach of the dishes. Kitchens should make cooking easier and more fun.

Recently, I was in Kitchen nirvana. I attended a professional cooking demonstration at Miele. And yes, we did eat food cooked right there in their kitchen-in a word-yum!

First of all how much fun is the architecture of the cooking demonstration room-the floating ceiling with Ingo Maurer Birdie hanging lights, ovens backlit with color changing LED light, large tables and Verner Panton chairs.   See how all of the ovens are the same size in each column so that you can custom design your oven and warming drawer layout.  I could not live without my warming drawer!

miele nyc showroom kitchen

Miele NYC Showroom Kitchen

While we noshed on Steamed Shrimp, Lynn Anne and Barbara demonstrated the many features of the Master Chef Oven. You can cook pretty much anything in this oven and use Convection to speed the cooking time for your Thanksgiving turkey.  But the more important feature is that because of the dual fans there is no flavor transference.  You can cook salmon and cookies at the same time and the cookies will not taste like the salmon.  I know because I ate the sugar cookies–and they tasted like sugar, delicious!  The Master Chef Oven is like having a chef in your Kitchen: just enter the type of food and the oven will give you suggestions on cooking time.  The other great feature is that the oven has a Sabbath feature which will keep the oven on for 72 hours–unbelievable.

miele speed and convection ovens

Miele Speed and Master Chef Ovens

Then we ate Roasted Salmon on Mixed Baby Greens prepared  in the Master Chef Oven on Convection Mode while we learned about the virtues of the Speed Oven.  The Speed Oven can be used as a microwave, convection oven, traditional second oven.  The most amazing thing about the speed oven is cooking baked potatoes.  They bake on convection with occasional bursts of microwave to speed cooking, so the microwave doesn’t change the texture of the potato. If you have ever microwaved a potato to speed things up, you know how it just does not taste or feel the same…  I definitely have a Speed Oven in my future.

miele steam oven

Miele Steam Oven

There are no words to describe the Beef Tenderloin cooked in the Master Chef Oven on AutoRoast with sides of Corn in Cilantro Lime Butter, Spinach cooked with gorgonzola and pine nuts and Focaccia Bread cooked in the Master Chef Oven with a Miele Pizza Stone.  A veritable feast for the eyes, nose and tastebuds, while Lynn Anne demonstrated all of the features of the Steam Oven. You can cook four different dishes in this oven simultaneously with no flavor transfer. You could not find more perfectly cooked vegetables-divine.

miele built in capsule coffee

Miele Built in Coffee System

Dessert was a Key Lime pie — the crust was cooked in the oven and the key lime filling in the steam oven–it could not have been any better.   Cappuccino served from the Miele Built In Single Cup Coffee System was one of the best cups I have ever had–strong with a great foamy head…delicious…  If my husband finds out about this, we will have to lose precious kitchen storage space to the Coffee System. He is a cappuccino fanatic.  Move over Starbucks…

I could continue on for hours about the fantastic features of the Miele refrigerator, freezer and wine storage, but then you would have no reason to join me at Miele for a product demonstration. And you wouldn’t want to miss out on that great meal, would you?

(All photos from Miele USA website)

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