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.


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.;


A simple DYI touch in your home!

A simple DYI touch in your home!








Saturday in the City

A last minute invite to join friends at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was an inspirational afternoon.    We went to see the costume exhibit:   China:   Through the Looking Glass.

If you haven’t seen it – its a must for everyone.   From Yves Saint Laurent to Alexander McQueen,  Chanel to Tom Ford – all of their collections throughout the years have been greatly influenced by China – starting with Mao’s rule.    After seeing this, I know what fashion era I should have lived in!!!   How about you?     As an interior designer, the textiles, textures and colors opened up a new palette to be used in future projects.

As a painter, I left my friends who needed to leave the City and wandered to two other exhibits:  John Singer Sargent:  Artists and Friends –  In my opinion no one can do fabric drapery and folds like he can;  his use of variations of whites for exploring  satins and lace???   I can stare at them for hours.

And finally, one of my favorite painters:   Van Gogh – Irises and Roses.     This was not just about the flowers – an interesting slideshow examined the colors that Vincent used in these famous paintings compared to how they are seen today.   The soft whites of his roses were really striking pinks with a background of green.   His original colors were so vibrant using pigments that all these masters had – that in today’s manufacturing cannot duplicate.     This exhibition brought me to tears – I can’t wait to get back to my paint brushes.

I recommend all three exhibitions highly – they are not to be missed.

Attendance at the Summer Social of NKBA Manhattan Chapter

KB Grohe Faucet Filter 2Fun was had by all while catching up with colleagues I’ve missed with our busy summer schedules.   The annual summer social of the Manhattan Chapter of NKBA was held at the beautiful Grohe showroom on Fifth Avenue. At the party Grohe introduced their latest product which we had a chance to partake!  

The advanced faucet with the dual lever of providing tap water, filtered water and various degrees of sparkling water, all with a turn of a dial.

This is a faucet truly designed for the home entertainer – and no more bottles to deliver and store!!!  

KB Grohe New Faucet Filter System

Ways to Green Your Home – A Look At Eco-Friendly Textiles

There is so much talk about eco friendly and green products.  Even with the best of intentions, they can be challenging to buy, as there are many factors to consider, and all products are not labeled the same way, making them hard to compare attributes.  You may also hear different words used to describe them like organic or sustainable, however all these terms don’t always mean the same thing.

Let’s look at the various options for greening your home and office with fabrics, as well as the many considerations.


When a product is labeled eco, green, sustainable, or recycled it may mean that all or only some of it contains those properties. Here are some of the ways in which a product can be eco friendly:

  • Created from recycled or renewable materials
  • Sourced or manufactured locally
  • Uses less electricity or materials to manufacture or operate
  • Manufactured without the use of chemicals or toxins

Eco Textile Options

When it comes to furniture and accessories, there currently are a lot of options in eco friendly fabrics from organic cottons, linens, hemps and recycled polyesters and microfibers.

The origin of the fiber, surprisingly, doesn’t tell the whole story when it comes to how environmentally friendly it is. Here are a few types of fabrics and their attributes:

Natural Fibers – these include Cotton, Linen, Hemp, Bamboo, Silk and Wool.

Cotton, for example, is a natural plant fiber which comes in different weights from lightweight for curtains and linens to heavier weight upholstery fabric. Surprisingly, cotton uses a lot of pesticides and a huge amount of water to process it and turn it into a fabric. With water becoming a more precious resource this can be considered an environmental concern.  Organic cotton is grown without the pesticides, but requires just as much water.

Regenerated Natural Fibers – these include Rayon and Bamboo

Cellulose from the pulp of the wood is a very tough fiber; when softened by chemicals it can be turned into a very soft and attractive fabric.

Regenerated fibers are not considered environmentally friendly, even with the advancements that have been made over time as they use a range of polluting chemicals and heavy metals. There is one company manufacturing under the brand Tencel® that uses an extremely environmentally friendly process.

Synthetic Fabrics – these include polyester, microfibers and ultra-suede

Fabrics like polyester, microfibers [a finer strand polyester] and ultra suedes are fabrics made from a synthetic fiber derived from coal, air, water, and petroleum.  While the origin and processing of these fabrics may not be very environmentally friendly, there are many fabrics made from reclaimed and recycled polyesters in what is called a close loop cycle that helps the environment by keeping them from landfills.

Other environmental considerations of are whether chemicals and finishes are used on them in manufacturing, and if so, how toxic or environmentally friendly they are. Some textiles have an organic or eco label certifying them. This can be helpful in evaluating a fabric for your home or office, however the lack of a certification doesn’t mean ruling out a fabric; the certification process can be lengthy and expensive. Then again, a fabric may not be eligible for labeling if it doesn’t meet environmental standards

Fabric Choice Pros and Cons

While natural fabrics are appealing from both an environmental perspective, but also because they often have an appealing look and texture, they also have drawbacks as compared with some of the eco friendly options like polyester.

Fading – natural fabrics often fade from exposure to sunlight over time. Their synthetic counterparts are often color fast for their lifetime.

Stain Resistance – natural fabrics may stain easily, but also releases soil when properly cleaned.  Most synthetic fabrics can be stain resistant.

Durability – Natural fabrics may stretch out over time, whereas synthetic ones have more stable and consistent fibers that hold their shape as well as having a higher wearability factor over time.

When it comes to decorating and fabrics, I recommend weighing your options and considering the look and feel of a fabric, its eco factors as well as your lifestyle before making any decision.

If you have children and pets in your home, synthetics may be a better option to preserve your investment in your furniture and design choices. Imagine your children or grand children jumping on your lovely sofa or chairs. With natural fabric upholstery this may result in sagging and discoloration over time, and should be a contributing factor in your design decisions. While you may prefer natural fabrics, in this example, going with a synthetic fabric, while not your ideal aesthetic is a small price to pay to keep your home looking good for as long as you want to enjoy the décor and your investment.

It can be confusing to try and decipher how green a product is, or to compare two different products against each other. A trained interior designer, such as myself can help you make selections that fit with your environmental concerns, design aesthetic and budget.   Please feel free to reach out to me with any of your concerns.




Your Outdoor Space – A Bonus Room

Almost any outdoor space can  be transformed into an outdoor room that reflects your style; the choice is yours whether to use the style you have created inside your home, punch it up a bit, or change style completely!

The obvious choice would be to extend the style of your home right into the outdoor area. You are already comfortable with this design mode, and by keeping it consistent, the transition between spaces will be effortless.    If your color palette is subdued or pastel, consider punching it up with bolder colors and accents.   It actually will visually enlarge your interior space by drawing the eye outdoors!
Your outdoor space also offers a way to experiment with and experience a new style of decor, one that differs from your home’s interior. Walking through the doorway between the interior and exterior offers a natural feeling of transition, allowing a different style outdoors to work. To add some continuity and connection to your interior space, keep a few common elements such as one of your interior colors. That way, there is something that stays familiar and creates a bridge between the two environments.

Landscaping can become part of the outdoor design, defining both the physical space as well as composing part of the color palette. Consider shape and size, color and blooming time when selecting your plants and flowers. Keep in mind scent – a strongly scented flower may not be appealing right next to your seating area or dining table. It may also attract more bugs than a less fragrant plant.

There are many ways to add more color or accents to your outdoor room:

Landscaping – include flowers, bushes and trees. Plan for the entire lifespan of the space and vegetation – keeping in mind that the sapling you plant will grow, and may not enhance your space the same way in 5 years. Consider the blooming season; plants may only bloom for part of your outdoor season, so you will want to plan to have different plants flowering throughout the entire season.20150520_101121

Furniture –  Outdoor furniture comes in a variety of colors and textures which can add color to your outdoor space. You can also repaint most furniture to the color of your liking; just make sure you use a paint that is specifically created for outdoor use. Wrought iron furniture can be completely transformed in a half hour using a can of spray paint!                                                                                                                                                  KIPS BAY Showhouse – Rich Heller .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   for Greener by Design.

20150517_155432   Mill Neck Manor Showhouse, Long Island.

Be creative with furniture also – with wood and bricks or old metal carts repainted can become your beverage center – or old columns or fencing can create a defined seating or dining area – with outdoor drapery and lighting – you have now created a dining room!   No longer stop at candles – use chandeliers hung from tall tree branches!

Accessories and Accents – flower pots and planters can add bold color splashes to accent and add a finished look to your outdoor decor.  Pillows can add both color and patternern, as well as a sense of comfort to your room.   Bring some of the accessories that you have used inside your home and repeat that theme outdoors!

Your outdoor space should be a wonderful addition to your home. Well designed it is a reflection of you, and a sanctuary to be enjoyed – differently and in addition to your interior space. 


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