Summer – Work and Play

This summer Comfortex, one of my shade vendors, hosted their dealers for a day at the races in Saratoga. It was a lot of fun sitting trackside in an air conditioned tent and being treated to a lavish buffet. The day was sunny and mild and so were the horses.   Downtown Saratoga is beautiful so it was a fun day.
The next day we visited Comfortex offices and took a very interesting factory tour. We also were able to see how each of the shades are manufactured and try every product and mechanism.  Their lift and lock system is great for little ones because you push the button and the shade locks into place
The new product line from Comfortex is a line of cellular and roller shades with over 800 colors to choose from and in both duck and linen textures.  I have all the samples and clients have been loving their new shades.

Report from Las Vegas Market

This summer I attended the Las Vegas design market for the first time.  I had never been, as my usual market trip is to High Point, NC. There were many similarities in the market itself; however, there is no comparison to the square footage and sprawling area that the High Point showrooms comprises.
I was on a “red carpet” tour with two designers who run the tour, and there were 30 of us from all over the US and Canada on the tour.  Not only was it fun, it was informational and I met new vendors along the way.  And it’s always productive because I usually shop for clients and found the perfect pieces for them.
As always, I look for trends and usually they become very obvious as you go through the different showrooms.
Blush and pink tones were seen on furnishings such as this beautiful vanity or these pretty jars.  Pumpkin, teal and navy continues to have a strong showing.
Agate was also a popular trend and seen in shadow boxes and as a stand-alone accessory.  Geometrics and the chain look are still seen on light fixtures, tables, cabinets, and many more furnishings.
Concrete table tops and even concrete as a lamp base are pertinent to the urban style that is still so prevalent.
Stay tuned for trend updates as we move closer towards 2018.

Master bath remodel

This was our recent master bath project and we assisted the client with all recommendations from start to finish.  All the finishes are marble.  We added a backsplash because she had three young children who like to splash in the tub.  We enlarged the shower by eliminating a linen closet, and then added the elegant touches like the chandelier, sconces, mirrors and silk folded valance.

Here are some before photos.

 

 

Here are the after photos.  It’s a dramatic improvement, don’t you agree?

 

 

 

 

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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