May 2017 Show house – Alnwick Hall

May is always show house month. A grand estate or historic home and property that is generally in a distressed state is chosen to be redecorated and restored to its previous grandeur by interior designers who bid for the chance to do a room.  This year the “Mansion in May” in New Jersey was Alnwick Hall – the Abbey at Morris Township and there were 41 interior spaces plus several garden areas.  So many were so beautiful, it was hard to pick a favorite.  The ceilings, too, were jaw-dropping!  What do you think?

 

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Your Environment has an Impact on your Health

I recently was interviewed by Remya Warrior on her internet show, Koffee Break. The topic was how important your environment is in the role of healing. I spoke about two clients that were greatly affected by their updated colors and surroundings and how it helped them heal.

 

One client had received a heart transplant and he told me repeatedly that their newly decorated family room gave him total peace. He spent a lot of time resting on the sofa and enjoying the aqua, teal and rust tones in the room.

 

The second client was from a year ago and was on oxygen waiting for a lung transplant. Her walls were a soft blush but her curtains really needed to be replaced.  New swag treatments with a soft pattern were added to the living room and dining room and they brought her immense joy.

 

This is what makes all that I do worthwhile. It’s all about creating the look you love to live with and that makes you happy in your surroundings.

I was interviewed on a program called “Koffee Break”, a 20-minute program where we talked about healing environments.  Here is the link.

Healing Environments

 

 

New Hunter Douglas features

Last week I attended a day-long series of educational seminars given by Hunter Douglas along with an exhibit hall displaying every product. Each year there are new product introductions and enhancements and it always amazes me how innovative the product engineers are.

 

The Silhouette shading has a new clear sheer as an option for those who want a clearer view from their home. You can see the difference in this display.  The clear sheer, however, has no UV protection like the standard sheer.

 

There is a new shade that was introduced called the Sonnette, which you can see below.  It is a roller shade with honeycombs and provides energy efficiency similar to the duette honeycomb.  This shade is cordless and is also available with soft touch motorization, which is a wand that you gently pull or push to raise or lower.

 

The Power View motorization has a brand new sleeker hub and new options for the pebble. The connected home is here and now.  Connect all of your shades through the Power View hub and schedule when you want to raise and lower your shades each day.

 

The duette honeycomb duolite shade has always been one of my favorites and was in my previous master bedroom for years. I loved the option that I could have a sheer shade to filter light during the daytime, and then have the blackout shade at night for privacy as well as blocking my morning sun.  (I have a large window now with a large blackout motorized shade).

 

New fabrics are always added to the collections each year, and Hunter Douglas stays in the forefront of window shading products in a variety of ways.

 

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Architectural Digest Show

A few weeks ago I once again attended the annual Architectural Digest Home Show at the Piers in NY.

The large manufacturers are always in attendance, including Miele, Wolf, Viking, Kohler, Delta, Benjamin Moore, Farrow & Ball, and many more. Other products include lighting, tile, furniture, wallcoverings, pillows, rugs, accessories and more. It always provides inspiration, and this year was no exception.

The ovens were front and center, and the colors continue to wow. Ovens from several manufacturers were seen in red, turquoise, Kelly green, and one in a two-tone of gold and green. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to see a return to the old days of harvest gold and avocado.

Bathroom vanities in various shades of gray, taupe, driftwood and espresso tones were dominating at the vanity companies, and options include cabinets or wall-hung.

Tiles continue to evolve and the patterns are incredibly complex. Many are dimensional and the pattern repeats are becoming larger and larger.

Swarovski crystal provided some bling in many areas. There was a range hood with Swarovski crystals on a section of the hood. At one of the lighting booths, there was a fixture that looked like an eye and the crystals were the center of the eye.

Knobs and cabinet hardware is another category that you can see at the show. Using unique hardware allows you to bring your own creative expression to your special piece.

There is also a section known as DIFFA by Design, which are tablescapes designed by design students. The vignettes are always fascinating to see, as they are unusual and very creative.

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Biltmore Estate in all its Grandeur

We recently visited the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, which has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I was not disappointed. I especially love seeing all the fabrics and window treatments of the rich and famous from that era of long ago. The ceilings are also a work of art in many of the rooms, as seen here. The first photo is of the grand dining room. Here are a few photos of some of the treatments.

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Window Coverings Expo 2017

Last week I attended the International Window coverings expo in Charlotte for the first time in a few years. It was a busy show and many of the attendees were optimistic about their businesses and the economy.

A big highlight of the show was motorization as well as new and innovative child-safe cords on shades. One innovation was a wand similar to the wands on a blind that you can give a slight tug and the shade slowly goes up. This will be introduced to the marketplace in the next six months. You can see this on my YouTube channel.

Another company introduced their line of motors and remotes which were smaller and sleeker than other ones currently available. And they are much easier to operate, as seen here. They can also be operable with an iPhone.

Roman and roller shades are increasingly popular as the fabrics have become more beautiful. These are not your grandmother’s roller shades!

Everyone was wowed by a new introduction of wood drapery poles trimmed in leather. There are several leather samples and colors to choose from along with many wood samples. This would be a very classy touch to a home office, a den, or even a man cave.

Large wide bands were seen at one of the vendors and would be a fabulous addition to a solid or textured fabric on a long drapery.

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Rugs – Comfort or Wow

Many of my clients of late have been finishing off their rooms and adding area rugs. Before you rush out to buy a rug, think about the following questions:

 

Are you trying to protect your floor, muffle sound, or add comfort to your feet? Do you need a rug to stand up to children and heavy traffic, or is this rug mostly for show?  Have you thought about adding a rug to your outdoor spaces, such as a porch or patio?

 

Do you need a specific style of rug based on the room décor? Geometric, paisley, solid, floral are just a few of the thousands of designs available.

 

What size would work best? Do you want to highlight a sitting area, or do you want to cover much of the wood in the room?  And yes, your furniture can be placed partially on the rug.

 

What color palette are you working with? Are you looking to create a focal point?

 

Finally, what is your budget? There is a wide range in quality and price from flat weaves, machine made, hand loomed, hand tufted up to hand knotted.  This sometimes goes hand in hand with the room location of the rug.

 

There are so many factors to consider when choosing a rug. We can help you decide what’s best for your room.

Here are a few new designs from Jaipur, one of our suppliers.

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Blue, Blue, My World is Blue

Who remembers this famous song back from the 1960’s? Oh well, now I am dating myself.

 

That is what came to my mind color-wise when I was at the gift and home furnishings show yesterday at the Javits Center in NY. Blue is the color of the moment.

 

I was taken by the glamorous vignettes displayed by Bungalow 5, Worlds Away, and Jonathan Adler and wanted to share some of their beautiful furnishings.  Which piece do you like best for your home?

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Any Drapery Rod will be fine…or is it?

Sometimes when I am with a client planning drapery panels or valances for their windows, they will usually tell me that any rod would be fine. They are always surprised by the vast array of choices.  My role is to ensure that the selection is chosen based on function and their furnishings and what would look and work best.  There are wood rods, metal, hammered, acrylic, resin, and more.  So what’s the trend for 2017?

According to a recent report in Vision magazine, experts say that simple traditional looks seem to have returned.

Companies are reporting that finials have returned to a simple look after years of elaborate finials. Round glass and geometric designs are becoming more popular in the finial category.  Rods are sleek and minimalist, with 5/8″ or 3/4″ rods becoming more popular.  With urban living on the rise, interest continues to grow in the industrial look in decorative hardware.  Outdoor decorative hardware also has increased.  Gold finishes are gaining in popularity, but satin nickel and chrome are two of the most popular.  Square rods and square rings work well in a contemporary setting if the panels will be stationary.

Here are a few samples from Rowley Company, Horizons and Helser Brothers.

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Pantone 2017 color of the year

Wow – bold bright green “Greenery” has been selected as the 2017 color of the year.  Seen as a color that will help us take a deep breath and rejuvenate during tumultuous times.  It will help us yearn for new beginnings and reconnections – with nature and with one another.

 

Pantone 2017 Color of the Year

 

Here are a few fabrics from Kravet and Stout that represent this bold new color.  How about adding a new pillow or two to brighten up your room?  Or maybe a new vase?

 

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citrine

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