Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movin' on up

In an effort to consolidate all of my CSD stuff to one location, I've added a page to my site with my updates. Please visit me there!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Updated website

Stop by my updated website to see new projects listed under "Redesign Projects on my portfolio page. You can access them quickly by clicking here.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Great things, great cause

This year, I did a lot of my Christmas shopping at a fantastic website called The Hunger Site. They sell all sorts of beautiful items from housewares to jewelry to clothing. The site offers a large selection of fair trade items (which means the person who made that item was paid a sustainable wage--no sweatshop labor) at very reasonable prices. In addition to bettering the lives of the communities that produce these products, most purchases also include a donation of food. If you're looking for a special accent for your home, this is a great site to check out. It would also be a fantastic place to find a hostess gift for those of you visiting friends this summer. Here are a few favorites I found while browsing online.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thumbs down-Ikat fabric

There's a phrase used to describe TV shows that are past their prime known as "jumping the shark". It's a reference to a Happy Days episode where Fonzie jumps over a shark tank on waterskiis wearing his de rigeur leather jacket. Sometimes people take a good idea and push it just a bit too far.

That's how I feel about ikat--it has jumped the shark. I liked it well enough on outdoor furniture. It was fine on a pillow or two. But now I see sofas like the one above in full on ikat and my reaction is not, "oohhh, ikat" but more like, "ewwww, ick."

I know, it's the height of fashion right now. And while it makes sense on this season's ubiquitous maxi dress, I would not recommend investing $2000 in a Bergere chair with fuschia and purple ikat fabric, as seen in this month's House Beautiful. I wouldn't recommend the $200 maxi dress either.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chair makeover-update

How exciting! The chair makeover I recently did (scroll down for pictures) was featured on a favorite website of mine,
Here's a link to the post.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Get on it-lacquer accents

When I worked in Queens it was not uncommon to have customers come in looking for lacquer furniture. And I don't mean some funky little accent table, I mean a full dining room in black lacquer. With gold trim. And sometimes mirrors. I still shudder at the thought.

Unfortunately, this put me off lacquer as a category for a while. But I've found some very fun accents that are the perfect foil for just about any room. Designers tend to use the phrase "a pop of color" a bit too much, but these trays and vases provide just that. It's the same idea as adding a necklace or purse in the season's "it" color--you're fashion forward without going bankrupt. I found these items on and

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Who doesn't love a good makeover?

I've always been a bit suspicious when I read stories about people finding these great furniture pieces "just sitting on the curb" that they've managed to scoop up and work into their homes beautifully. Where do these people live? And are there available apartments there? Yes, I was a doubter until sometime last October when, after leaving my friends' apartment one night, I found this chair sitting on the curb.
I heard a voice in my head that sounded a lot like Linus' in A Charlie Brown Christmas saying, "all it needed was a little love." I put the chair in the back of my car and brought it home. And there is sat, looking at me forlornly, until last weekend when I finally made good on my promise to make the chair cool again.

The best part? This chair cost me under $5 to redo. The fabric was left over from a client's project and they graciously let me keep it. The cushion was actually from an old sofa cushion sample we had at the store that I cut down. The only thing I actually paid for was the stain to redo the finish.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Identity crisis

I've been working recently on the logo for my website. I am trying to create something sharp and fun that captures my personality. It's a tiny snapshot of me that will be on every page and all of my paperwork. This is proving to be quite difficult.
I imagine that many of you face the same challenge while trying to put together your home. You want something that makes you smile when you see it but also showcases your style in the best way possible to those that visit.
What I've figured out so far is that simple, crisp and a little playful is probably the way I'll go for the logo. I like to think that's a good reflection of me. Those of you working on your home, focus on what makes you smile. You're not marketing your home (well, unless you're selling....that's a whole different ballgame). Focus on what makes you smile when you walk in the door and you're already on the right track.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thumbs down-giant coffee tables

They say "no man is an island unto himself, " but I've seen quite a few coffee tables lately that would definitely qualify as islands. I'm not talking about oversized, I mean huge--over 50 inches wide and 35 inches deep. I saw one in House Beautiful this month that had a previous life as a daybed.

Even if you have the room, it just seems silly. It makes it much harder to build a comfortable conversation area since the size of the table forces your seating to be much further apart than it should be.

There's also the issue of how to dress the table once you've got it in the room. Such a large surface invites clutter-the sworn enemy of good design. And yet, a simple arrangement of 3 items (of varying heights, of course), looks sparse on such a large table.

So trade in your huge table, downgrading is the chic thing to do these days, or haven't you heard? Unless, of course, you're living in a 5,000 sq. ft. home with lofted ceilings. Then, you need to call me so I can help you furnish it beautifully.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Get on it-navy with brights

Every year there's talk about what the "it" color is going to be. Remember when robin's egg blue was a huge deal? And then a year or two later it was pink? Last fall it was purple--purple was everywhere!

Now I'm seeing a lot of navy blue with bright accents, in both home design and fashion. It's a great look because navy is a lot less harsh than black and is a perfect foil for it's compliment on the color wheel, orange. Navy blue with tangerine, lime, sunflower yellow, aqua and/or violet make for a beautiful palatte. Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams put together a beautiful vignette at the Architectural Digest show that's currently featured in their catalogue. The picture above is from the Washington Spaces home show, showing this look.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Smart solution-night table

Have you ever been in a bedroom with a king sized bed and wondered, "What is this giant bed doing in this tiny room?" For whatever reason, people insist on putting a king sized bed in room that would be much better served with a queen or even a full sized bed. I know, it's more comfortable, there's more room--I get it. And fortunately, furniture companies are starting to get it, too. I found a fantastic night table that manages to incorporate surface area, a shelf and even a drawer for bedside storage--at less than 12 inches wide. I still advocate furnishing bedrooms with appropriate sized beds, but I am definitely a fan of this narrow table.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Get on it-red coral

Don't wait for summer to get into the beach mindset. I've already seen red coral as an accent in both fashion and home design. Here's a small sampling.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kick the bucket

I had to post this one because I just thought it was such a cool idea. Admit it, you've never looked at a pile of beach buckets and thought "Fabulous light fixture". Me neither. But voila--fun, playful and most likely on sale now at your local dollar store.

Friday, April 10, 2009

More harbingers of spring

In addition to cherry blossoms and dogwood blooms, butterflies make an appearance in design and fashion. Van Cleef and Arpels featured an ad in Architectural Digest with the most fantastic butterfly bracelet and necklace. After that, I kept finding butterflies everywhere! In the window display at Ann Taylor Loft, Coach handbags, even on my own weekend tote bag.
There are some people who have had a long time love affair with butterflies (Mariah Carey, you know you have) and then there are some who jump on the seasonal bandwagon.
A fun idea for a little girl's room would be to use mosquito netting over the bed like a corona and attach small butterflies from the craft store. Cheerful sheets, maybe in a stripe, would pop against the colorful butterflies. A great way to add some spring flavor without a big investment.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Floral arranging for dummies

One of the best parts about spring is seeing barren trees and shrubs begin to flower. It's the subtle reminder that yes, it's almost time to put those coats away. Another benefit is the access to easy florals for arranging. So many of the exhibits at the Architectural Digest show featured beautiful arrangements with cherry blossoms, pussy willow, curly willow, forsythia and dogwood. Tall, sculptural arrangments that require very little actual foliage. Just choose a container with tall enough sides to support the weight of the branches and you're set. If it flops to the side, that's fine.

Every morning on my commute to work, I drive past Corona Park in Queens and I have taken to slowing down as I pass the cherry blossom trees. Elegant branches with cheerful pink flowers. One of these mornings I may be forced to pull over and sneak a few to enjoy.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Get on it-garden stools

A trend that I've seen in all sorts of magazines that I just love is the use of garden stools as both end tables and grouped together as a coffee table. Theres so many diverse styles that they can fit into just about any decor.

This picture shows a pair of cobalt glazed ceramic garden stools in a living room. It repeats the same color used on the pillows and the rug. But you can easily find these garden stools in a host of colors, patterns (such as a blue delft) and fretwork design to coordinate with your style. And they come in just as wide a range for pricing. Antiques, of course, will set you back a bit but you can find inexpensive ones at Pearl River Mart for about $150.


Welcome and thanks for checking in. This blog is an extension of my website There, you can find samples of my work and more information how to contact me. This space will be used for sharing ideas, trends and things that you will hopefully find useful as you design your home. Your feedback is welcome and encouraged.