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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
The report is out from this year’s High Point Market. Top trends found at market this Fall – is an emphasis on chains – this motif was found in wallcoverings, area rugs and accessories – whether it was table lamps or table accessories. Chain links were and still are popular in jewelry as a necklace, bracket or even a ring. They have continually been used as a classic border in carpets and area rugs – now they are turning whimsical as bent floating chains on wallpaper and fabrics.
Hermes orange is popping up everywhere – an accent wall, leather boxes for keeping keys at the entry way; lacquered furniture to add a punch of color to an interior. Orange mums in a vase is the first sign of Fall!
Now I’m not one to follow trends – and I know I’m dating myself – but even as a teenager I refused to wear Jordache jeans – no one was going to get free advertising on my butt! No thank you, Jordache and Calvin Klein! I recently whined down from an interior for a couple who had demanding requirements and were a little insecure with using color. But the apartment had good bones, fabulous light and they were excited to break out of their usual palette. As we shopped for furniture we were both immediately drawn to a beautiful Hermes orange leather cabinet that was perfect for their needs. We immediately fell in love with it at Lexington Home Brands. From that one piece I created a little drama to a otherwise small entryway by painting the walls a deep eggplant purple!
This color combination was done this early Spring – way before this Fall Market – Was I ahead of the curve?, maybe – but then, look further back, and you’ll find those colors in Royal robes, sports teams – its been done before! So my question to you – are these “trends” that are popping up now – do trends come and go – or is it good design that is always here – but sometimes needs to be revisited?
GOOD DESIGN NEVER DIES – GOOD DESIGN IS ALWAYS HERE.
With the crisp air arriving in the City, so did Design Week at the D&D Building this week for 3 days. I attended yesterday to see the new products and sat in on some of the exciting lectures and discussion offered during the day. So this is what’s new or being re-discovered. At Innovations we were presented with thought provoking ideas about vintage mixed with contemporary design – and yes, the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s influences are still alive and well. Innovations also gave us a sneak preview of their latest wallcoverings – there are beautiful offerings from around the Globe. Wrapping tables in vinyl, leather, linen, raffia still makes a unique statement!
Visting the Edward Ferrell and Lewis Mittman new showroom to listen to a panel discussion moderated by the Editorial Director DJ Carey of Cottages and Gardens Publications was quite insightful. What are some of the basic differences between American Design and design abroad. Simply put – Americans want comfort, they like the feel of openness, furniture layouts define the rooms, they want their technology versus abroad where their rooms are smaller in scale, their furniture is used from one generation to the next, so there is an abundance in all the rooms without any defined layout. BUT they applaud the American use of color!
Some interesting pieces that caught my was a grouping of accent tables at EF&LM with a beautiful wood top that I took as the modrn version of marquetry – there was a slight tint of color to define the wood grain.
Edward-Ferrell Lewis Mittman Table
At Kravet, they offered a reasonably priced console table wrapped in one of their wonderful faux leather vinyls accented by nailheads.
They also offer a wonderful concrete-topped lamp table with a simple flared base.
I can’t wait to adapt some of these good finds on my next project!!!
Last week I spent a full day in seminars on Universal Design at the new Daltile Showroom. Most of us are familiar with ADA which is American with Disabilities Act mandated by the Federal Government. This was established with persons with physical disabilities, i.e, wheelchairs, vision impaired to be able to maintain their livelihoods in the workplace.
Universal design takes it further – universal design is for everyone – design should NOT be limited to a handful. I as a designer I believe that without function or need to everyone there is no GOOD design. A pretty room alone does not offer GOOD DESIGN.
Here are some food for thought when considering your workplace or your home –
Is it comfortable.
Is there quality and clarity in both product and intent of use.
Is there a sense of security.
Here are some ideas that were discussed that may be helpful –
Drawers are more useful and adaptable than doors
Eliminate sharp edges at corners or turn points
Use of Contrast in finishes – especially at counter edges.
Lets all think about how we can all enjoy and reap the benefits of GOOD DESIGN.
I would be happy to discuss this important element in design with you – reach out to me to continue the dialogue.