SPRING Is Around The Corner – and so are the AUCTIONS!

This will be my third year participating in the Salmagundi Art Club auctions – starting next week on Thursday, March 16 will be the first of three! I spent most of yesterday down at the Club hanging the artwork that will be going under the bang of the gavel!

As Vice Chair of the Art Committee I am thrilled to be part of this organization and participating in the auctions. Whether you are looking to purchase, or to start a collection, this is the place to do it – our auctions represent all media – oil, watercolor, pastel, linoblock, woodblock, monotypes, as well as sculpture and wonderful photography.
We have this year, three distinguished auctioneers to lead the event:

Auction 1 – March 16 – Nichaolas Dawes, Heritage Auctions
Auction 2 – March 24 – Alasdaire Nichol, Freeman’s Auction House
Auction 3 – March 31 – Nicholas Lowry, Swann Auction Galleries

You can take a peek of the artwork at WWW.salmagundi.org

And it is a fun evening, grab a cocktail, grab a gavel and enjoy the evening.

SEE YOU AT THE CLUB!

Cheers to the New Diner

My latest project was a really fun one. I redesigned my neighborhood diner – “My Cheers”. You know- where everyone knows your name. Murray Hill Diner Proprietor Christo and his manager, Tony, always welcome me whether I am there for my morning coffee or a late dinner. It has been much more often in the past 6 weeks as the gas in my building has been turned off due to construction in my building. What I have been eating is quite another story!
Restaurant Design can be creative but it takes a lot of time and thought on the space planning and how it affects the function. Small business owners can find the thought of reworking an already successful business anxiety provoking. It can take a long time to make decisions, many are resistant to change and the costs are especially anxiety ridden. Demographics change in neighborhoods and businesses need to evolve with the changes to stay relevant.
Restaurants dining should not be like eating at home. Every restaurant has the opportunity to create an experience customers will want to return to again. Whether it is a friendly and comfortable one, like at the Murray Hill Diner, or dazzling and exciting at an upscale Hotel, each business should offer something uniquely their own.
Spaces should be more vibrant, in color, texture and pattern, than you would have in your home. Customers will spend limited amounts of time there and can be invigorated by the space the around them as well as the menu. Stimulating environments, per medical research, can increase the appetite.
The Murray Hill Diner is now fun, bright and cheerful. I’ve selected a thin and sophisticated stripe to bring a new color palette to the space. Red and turquoise are the featured hues and are complemented by a coordinating pattern on the seating that features a circle pattern. Wood trim details add to the polished styling. New roller shades create a glare free meal at the end of the day, while new lighting brightened the place as well as saving money by using LED blubs.
The chairs at the counter are two tone, pattern and turquoise which bring the color story together even more dramatically. The whole space is now more pleasing and fits in with the neighborhood’s new demographics which caters to a younger hipper crowd.
Drop in on Christo and Tony, try their CHRIS’ Salad, my personal favorite, and tell them I sent you!

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Before Renovation . . . 

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The new booths!

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Before Renovation . . . . 

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The new Dining Room!

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Before Renovation . .  .

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The New Seating Counter!

 

 

 

The current world through a Designer’s eyes

It’s the first week of August – where did this year go???

You have to admit it’s been an unusual one – with its good and bad.  . .

We had an interesting year with politics and the up and coming Election – we started with the “entertainment “of Donald Trump – which is no longer entertaining but concerning.

We saw the Democrats really bringing a force to reckon with – perhaps to open up our way of thinking, questioning the democratic way in this country. Could Bernie have raised the consciousness of the American people?

And was there was the bright side of my year – my interior design practice was busier than ever with interesting projects with good clients.  I had my first stab at revamping the neighborhood coffee shop,  The Murray Hill Diner – using fun products from Wolf-Gordon, Arc-Com and Metropolitan Lighting.
They should be reopening within the week – I’d love to treat you to a cup of coffee!!!  Next Blog see the finished project and we’ll talk about restaurant design.

 

In late Spring I joined my friend and colleague Jane to visit the Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum – The Manus X Machina exhibit. We both were surprised with the exhibit – it wasn’t what we had expected – but it was fascinating to see the development and evolution  of materials such as lace, plastic, folds of fabrics , some printed on a 3D printer.  Really exciting new technology that opens up a whole new frontier in design. – It is there until Sept. 5 – it’s something that should not be missed – They got my brain to look at materials in an all new way.
unnamedMet Manus Machina

Met Machina 3 d Printed dresses

In May, I visited the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens with friends including our friend from New Zealand!  We were there in time to see the last of the tulips but greeted with the fresh blooms of Cherry Blossoms, Lilacs and the start of Peonies. The brilliance in the flower colors inspires me to think of the textures of fabrics. Ruffles, pleating, satin and velvet come to mind immediately!

Cherry Blossoms at Brooklyn Bot Garden20160424_14501720160424_144332

 

What does this all mean?  That life is about participating.  Finding the best in people, enjoying the simple scent of a new bud.  We need to make intelligent choices that will affect not only us directly but how it affects others, the environment, and the earth at risk.  Our immediate participation and responsibility is to do the best we can. For me, it’s to understand my clients immediate needs, address both their needs and desires – to create environments that will bring them peace, offer them security and calm.

A well designed space will  open the opportunity to appreciate the simplest things in life

and to offer the security to  endure the worst that surrounds us

so that we can look to the future with a positive attitude.  

Do You Consider the Whole of Your Space?

Wonderment at Macy's

Wonderment at Macy’s

What do I mean the “Whole of Your Space?”

Here are some thoughts to ponder:

Comfort – Are all the seats comfortable and appropriate of your function, not the SEAT, but YOU.

Light –  The right lighting in the interior but are you capturing as much of the natural space from the outside.

Air – I know you are questioning this – but a space needs to breathe just as you do –  this means not every wall needs something on or against it – float a chair or sofa away from the wall.   Not every corner needs to be filled –  by leaving areas open – not only are you allowing a breathe to be taken, but your eyes can rest and appreciate what’s there.

Expansion –   I’ve addressed this on several occasions –  you can create visually more space simply by creating volume by grabbing outdoors –  How?

By taking one of the colors outside your window and using it as a wall color or an accent color;  By incorporating plants and flower arrangements into the space;

By  laying out the outdoor space as a “room” and becoming part of your interior!      By using holidays to express  what these events and occasions mean to you.

Whether its for my clients or for myself,  I bring a piece of all these elements into my designs.     Since I’m traveling this holiday, a tall glass cylinder fills with glass decorations and small gift boxes offered a festive lift for the short time I am in the City.      Wandering the City during this time of year, experiencing the stores decorated interiors and festive windows,  offers us all a great uplift and joy in the moment.

While we all anticipate the coming New Year – lets find time to reflect what this past year has brought – and just maybe the New Year will bring us Peace on Earth and in our Hearts.;

WISHING YOU ALL THE VERY BEST AND LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU IN THE NEW YEAR!

A simple DYI touch in your home!

A simple DYI touch in your home!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen of the Future in time for the holidays!!!

I recently attended a symposium regarding the kitchen of the Future offered by NKBA at the Hafele showroom here in NYC.

As this is the week before Thanksgiving and we all are looking forward to be with family and friends and share this day. It is a time to reflect on this year coming to an end and appreciate what we have. Sometimes, the little things bring us more acknowledgment of our gratitude – the sunshine that greets us every morning, the falling leaf that offers us simple beauty in its shape and golden colors. A simple walk in the park and watching children frolic gleefully.

So since the kitchen is the heart of the home and will no doubt be the center of hustle and bustle, laughter and comradery, I would like to share with you the future of the kitchen. The design triangle of the layout is no longer valid – the stove refrigerator and sink making a triangle was developed when the kitchen was used by one person, our mother, our grandmother. Today the preparation of food has become the social center – the open plan so that no one is left out of the fun and laughter.

Technology not only has entered our lives through ipads, iphones, social media – but it has come into the kitchen!!! We can look forward to back splashes that will be our communication center – bring up favorite holiday recipes – connect with relatives who are preparing dishes to add to your menu – get the weather report, traffic for guests who are traveling – this instead of tile, stone or paint! Cooktops will become additional working surfaces as the heating coils will be hidden below the surface and will be activated by the placement of a pot! Sinks will become bigger to be used by more than one person – no more crowding the water! Cooktops will be able to be linear with burners in a row rather than stacked as shown by one of the panelists, Ray K Mann of RK Studios. She left a 9″ space in front of the burners to be used for chopping, utensils for stirring – everything immediately in front of the booking process. Cabinetry emphasizes the use of drawers over doors – which I’ve been doing in my designs for clients – Having drawers allows you to see everything before you, rather than digging out items that creep to the back of the cabinets!

                              Technology is here to stay and we should be open to it and embrace it!!! There is a whole new world before us.

With or without all the horns and whistles, I wish you and yours a wonderful and spirited Thanksgiving and find joy in the smile of your elders,
the laughter of your children and be grateful for the freedoms and blessings we have as Americans as so many live with fear and poverty
who run from those who live and instill hate for the sake of hate.

                                                                                                                 HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

 

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