PARISIAN PARADISE

_DSC0619I always try and write either to inspire or report on beautiful places or objects ,so how can I not report on my incredible vacation to France?  We began our trip by flying into Nice. We had reservations in a small town in a Bed & Breakfast  run by Lou Lou & Daniel . This old structure which was situated on a blooming flowered mountain in a small town called Gourdan was right next to St. Paul de Vence. The house was recently renovated with all the new technology that we are accustomed to, while keeping  the charm of old times alive. Our hosts were warm and sweet. Our view from this house was magical. From here we took day trips to the French Rivera. We visited St. Tropez, Cannes, Monaco and the Monte Carlo Casino. St. Tropez reminded of the Hamptons, Monaco had the Grand Prix which made me feel as though I were dreaming, and Monte Carlo was like being in an old movie. The opulence of Monte Carlo was fascinating . We actually drove right through Cannes while the film festival was in action. All through this area was the Cote Azure with the Yachts on one side & the most gorgeous snow capped mountains on the other.

Next we drove to Avignon. That is where the Pope was situated for a time in history. The streets were small and charming, the weather was getting chillier. We stayed at another Bed & Breakfast, this time run by a very charismatic lady ( with great taste ) and finesse named Marion Wagner. This townhouse was decorated in Mid Century modern furniture. Marion is an artist and her works of art graced the walls. She liked the finer things in life and shared this with her guests. The architecture in Avignon was just breath taking, with structures from the 15th century. The detail  on all the buildings was astounding.

We stopped next  in Aix en Provence. We had lunch on the main strip in the middle of town. Did I mention the food and wine yet? We enjoyed the most sumptuous meals I have ever eaten ( probably gained 10 lbs.) with the best wines ever…

What I started to notice about France and it’s differences to the U S is they really care about how EVERYThing looks. From The food which is displayed like a work of art on your plates, to how all the bathrooms in the most remote villages are up to date.  There is a very big fascination with the juxtaposition of things.  All decor is never just one way or another there is a very strong mixture about beauty and the imperfect way things all fall together.
Even in the best restaurants the French do not spend as much money as we do on decor. There is a definite way of just tossing opposites together that is very artful and intriguing.

Next we drove on to Camiran which was on dirt roads leading to the most glorious Vineyards. This small town only has 600 inhabitants right outside of St. Emilion  a famous town for fine wine. This bed and breakfast has a wonderful story. It was bought by two young newlyweds Venessa & Justin
about 4 years ago. They both were in very high powered banking jobs in Sidney Australia. After moving to New York and traveling through South America for a while they decided to change their lives forever and settle on a vineyard near Bordeaux . The amazing part was they had no prior knowledge of the French language.  They just renovated the old farmhouse which took almost two years and had a seven month old daughter. We felt so welcomed and cozy there. I will NEVER forget picking cherries off the cherry tree at 9:00 pm with the setting sun falling over the fig, walnut, pear and cherry orchards. This must have been a dream…

Bordeaux was next on our excursion. It is a gorgeous city which has a lot of Paris in it, on a much smaller scale. The sail boats & Yachts lined the Harbor , the winding roads and fascinating detail on all the buildings from the 1600’s were incredible.  There is such an old world feeling in this place with cobblestones and history. We had tea in the Grand Hotel of Bordeaux with all its old world charm.

Finally on to my most awaited place of all , Paris! There is nothing like this city of lights. Here it was all about history, culture and Napoleon. All the famous museums and streets, the bridges, the Louvre! All the amazing shopping!  We were lucky enough to stay in a small apartment which we rented out for 4 nights. There were courtyards and vaulted ceilings,  we took a boat ride up the Seine River.  The majestic buildings all tell a story. With four  days in Paris we could not even see much at all, but I certainly got a good taste. I loved St. Germain, and The winding streets and peddlers of cheese in Le Marais. Did I mention the cheese? The flavor of France is delicious, the color and style of the clothes, the  food, and wine, the cheese, the language of love , are all Magnifi!,,,

I just loved this place on earth where one bridge in Paris is covered in millions of locks. Locks of love, people have come from all over the world to write their names on the lock. Locked in love and throw the key in the River…for eternity….

Words that come to mind when I think of  France are…elegance, grace, charm, fashion , decor, the cornflower blue shutters, chateaus, castles, lush countryside , iron work on every  balcony, gilt covered cupolas and Joie de Vivre!  

MIRRORS AND MORE MIRRORS!

Through my travels as a designer, I have always had a love for mirrors. Some are so unique and brilliant I wish I could collect them all. I have always been in awe of what mirrors bring to a room. Sometimes a gorgeous mirror is exactly what your wall needs. Other times it can be a wall of mirrors, there I go with the clustering again:) It creates that focal point, that pop. From art deco to venetian, or wrought iron to blue glass, there are so may beautiful ones to choose from. Just take a look at a few…

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GIVING ME AS A GIFT

Tyler in the Patterson Flynn & Martain Showroom after selecting shag carpet.

Tyler in the Patterson Flynn & Martain Showroom after selecting shag carpet.

 Patterson Flynn & Martain Showroom .

Tyler in the Patterson Flynn & Martain Showroom .

 At the end of the day, Tyler in the Osborne & Little showroom

At the end of the day, Tyler in the Osborne & Little showroom

Wow, what a great idea. One of my oldest and dearest clients told me this past Christmas that they were giving their nine year old daughter a day with me to design her room as her holiday gift. We each waited a very long time until she had a day off from school. Finally yesterday was the day. She was dropped off at 10:00AM by her Mom in the D&D building into my hands. Her parents decided to take a former work out-room and redesign it for Tyler. The bathroom will now connect into her bedroom. We shopped for bathroom floor tile, wallpaper for her room, silky shag carpeting, tons of beautiful fabrics for her windows and pillows and furniture. I will be posting finished photos of this very grown up young lady’s room when it all comes together. After taking a break for lunch at Bloomies we ran around some more for bedding.. I can’t believe what a great client I had yesterday (she might be my best ever) Tyler is mature way beyond her years and SO decisive..I think I had as much fun as she did!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLATIRON FUN!

One of my favorite places to visit while in Manhattan is the Flatiron district. Especially since today really felt like spring, it was such a treat to stroll in this fantastic area. The architecture of the buildings in the Gramercy area are breathtaking. An adorable little place I run into whenever I am in the neighborhood is called “Fish’s Eddie”. It has amazingly unique household (mainly kitchen) items, I always manage snag something fabulous. So next time you are in the mood to experience a little flatiron energy, take a stroll down 5th Avenue downtown toward the 20’s and pop into the one and only Fish’s Eddie.

 

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THE BAL HARBOUR SHOPS

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One of my favorite things to do when I am lucky enough to get down to Miami is to visit the Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour Miami, Florida. http://balharbourshops.com/ I live in cold gray dreary New York in the winter. Just getting off the plane into the sun changes everything. Bal Harbour is rich in every sense of the word. For me it is rich in inspiration. Just when I think this winter is never going to end, there is color, beauty and shopping, shopping, shopping. I love looking into almost very shop. The Bal Harbour Shops are so bright and beautiful . Only the best lighting, flooring, and fixtures are used. I have always gotten great inspiration from fashion. Spring 2013 here we come!!!!

 

 

 

 

“BEFORE AND AFTER”

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Before                                                                                After

When I start a new project one of the first things I do is always take photographs of the “before” job site. The space the exact way it looks when I first see it. Before all the ideas start to form, while I am listening to my clients needs and wants and dreams, before the budgets and kids and dogs are all discussed   This is the raw space, the space that I will try my best to transform into a wonderful reality. A place where my clients will wake up everyday and hopefully have a smile on their face, because that is what it is all about for me. Here are some of my favorite “before and after” photos. Please give me some feedback, I would love to hear your thoughts!   ENJOY!!!

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Before                                                                                          After

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Before                                                                                           After

 

 

 

That’s all for now, more to come soon!!!

 

 

 

 

“THE DORILTON” BEAUX-ART AT ITS FINEST

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One of our favorite clients just moved from one apartment on the Upper West Side to a new apartment in the same area.  The Dorilton, wow what a building! It was built in 1902, restored in 1998, and the Beaux-Art style stands out in comparison to the minimalist style of later architecture.  In a Manhattan increasingly characterized by faceless skyscrapers, the Dorilton really makes a statement. The detail and durability of the materials used are exquisite.

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The interior of the building is just as extravagant as the exterior. The foyer holds angelic cherubs surrounded by carefully constructed framework that reads more like art. Upon turning the corner, you’re met with a unique railing that speaks to the structure’s French history. There was no holding back when it came to detailing the interior, and it makes an impression.

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The interior space has stained glass windows, very intricate crown moulding and heavy doors that are all solid wood. The interior wood floors are the finest walnut in a herringbone pattern. Once again, it is ALL IN THE DETAILS!!!! Now starts the fun part, making this new apartment feel like a warm and cozy home to our clients and their three children.

 

 

 

IT’S ALL IN THE LIGHTING!

As I was preparing my own home this New Year’s Eve for a small party, I knew I had to share my thoughts on lighting. Lighting an interior space might be the most important aspect of all.

I was having a small get together, I wanted to give my place an intimate , comfortable, and inviting feeling.. First I dimmed ALL the lights on the first floor of my house. Next I placed strategic up-lights in dark corners. Then, I lit my two fireplaces and crowned the space with candles. I had large sterling silver candelabras placed on the bar area. Then placed other candles ALL over the place. Large glassed inclosed candles, small water lights, and soft scented candles. Aside from always using my best china , silverware, and trying to make my food presentation beautiful, the lighting made all the difference . My space GLOWED.. Everything came to life. People also look better in soft glowing lights …

One of the biggest mistakes my clients make is to install recessed lights in a living room. I usually advise my clients to close them up.. Lights need to be AMBIENT. The light in a living room should be from table lamps,standing lamps or a soft light from a chandelier . The feeling at my house (I was told) was luxurious, cozy warm and inviting. We had a great time with all our close friends, and neighbors . My primary goal was to make  them feel special, I think that was  accomplished.. and that fact made me feel great !     Happy 2013!!! xoxo

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BRASS & GOLD “NEW” AGAIN

Whether you have noticed it or not, brass and gold have begun showing up within the design world once again. It is the “jewelry” of choice for interiors. It has been within the past few years that it has really become a must-have for some spaces. Gold and brass have been making their appearance as accents, furniture, hardware, lighting, and more. Kitchens and bathrooms are a great place to start when adding this metal into your home. For example, in an all white kitchen with gray finishes, having touches of gold or brass can really warm up this otherwise cool space, while adding interest and contrast. It can be displayed in the hardware on the cabinetry, or even in the hardware such as the faucet. When adding these metals it is wise to not to go overboard, since with any other trend, it goes in and out of style. That is why it makes it so important for the metals to make sense in the space and be carefully selected. If you are worried that the use of gold and brass is too traditional, think again! Designers are using these finishes with sleeker styles of fixtures to give the piece a more contemporary feel. Here are some examples of some spaces displaying the gold and brass metals. I love this new, cool look..Enjoy!

STORMY BLUES

Hello, all! It’s Mari here from Arcadian Home blog, a wonderful place to find beautiful and interesting home decor inspirations. I’m so happy to be visiting with you at New York Interior Design to share a guest post about winter dÈcor inspiration. I’ve chosen what I think is one of the loveliest of color palettesógorgeous stormy blues.

I’ve pulled together eight rooms that show how appealing moody hues can be, for both background colors and accents. As seen in the storms that inspired them, these palettes are created by a lovely†mix of blues, with green, gray and even purple undertones. Please enjoy!

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From pale blue gray to dark and mysterious navy, this living room is filled with stormy hues like clouds moving in from the ocean or rolling up over the mountains.

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This eclectic space is one of my favorite stormy looks. I adore the wall art above the fireplace and the dramatic architectural detailing at the ceiling.

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With red accents, this lovely home office is enveloped in a moody blue. The large painting adds a literal stormy element to the design

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Shades of watery blue are dramatic in an intimate sitting area. I love the textures on the velvet loveseat and the contrast of a brilliantly-hued Chanel poster.

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What a lovely mix of color we see in this space. Once again artwork is the focal point and literally interprets the stormy theme.

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A muted stormy palette is stunning in this inviting beach house living space. In the soft glow from the contemporary pendant light, it’s a lovely mix of colors.

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A single stormy shade of blue works beautifully in one of the Bellinter House bathrooms. The glossy dark wood flooring offers a lovely contrast.

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A moody tall watery blue tufted headboard looks stunning against a wall painted in a much paler blue hue.†Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of these stormy blue spaces? Leave your comments below and be sure to visit our website for more home decor, lighting, and inspirational interiors!