How to get ready for the Summer Season?

While walking my two lovely dogs, Casey and Nola, I noticed the trees down Lexington have bloomed and are now shading the streets with luscious green leaves. Yes, Spring is here and now is the time to start focusing your home design with warm-weather inspirations. Whether you have a home with a large outdoor space or a small NYC apartment and a fire escape, nows the time to make the most of the sunshine. Here are some tips in transforming your space into a summer-soaked home.

Use bright, bold and cheerful colors when designing your space. Here, the style mimics the red brick color in the hanging bed with the clay roof tiles you find in tropical hot-spots.

Tower Escape tropical patio

Spruce up your porch with plants and patio furniture. A wicker set is perfect for outdoors and has a very traditional look. Hanging plants turn your patio space into a garden. Notice the sliding gate, very chic.

A GARDEN THAT TELLS A STORY traditional porch

You dont need a lot of outdoor space to enjoy the sunlight. This small balcony is a perfect example of how to appreciate the fresh air with just a few signature pieces. A small colorful outdoor rug, an exotic vintage chair, and some waterproof pillows makes this space inviting. Add a sheer neutral toned curtain for some privacy.

Outdoor reading balcony eclectic porch

With the warmer weather upon us, its a nice touch to change your bed linens to cool light tones for a beach cottage look. This Cape Cod bedroom uses bright whites on the walls and furniture to clean and freshen up the room.  The nightstand holds an old Cape-related book, a fun idea for your home.

The Little House on Cape Cod traditional bedroom
“Summerizing” your home may be just what your space needs to reclaim life.  The mint color on the accent wall is a beautiful touch with the amount of natural light that comes in through the floor to ceiling window. The idea is bringing outdoor colors inside as you can see in the paintings hanging on the wall and tree motif on the duvet.
Bedroom Retreat modern bedroom

Energy, time, and space are all necessities for a summer garden but there are still plenty of easy and beautiful ways to merge plants into your life. This room proves how container gardens revolutionize the room. All you need to do is find large pots or vases and fill them with your favorite fauna.

Gallery Loft modern patio

Seagrass or sisal carpet is a quick way to turn this modern home into a summer beach getaway. The best part of this tip is its practicality for the whole year. Other benefits of sisal is its extreme durability, its ability to absorb sound and although it may seem rough to the touch, it holds a natural warm cozy temperature.

Guest Room eclectic bedroom
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How To Decorate For NY’s Red Hot Rental Market?

This Sunday’s NYT’s Real Estate section gave tribute to  New York’s Rental Market stating,”the average rent in Manhattan surpassed the all-time high set in 2007.”  Even with such expensive rental averages, people from all over the world are looking for a place to call home amongst this iconic cement playground. Tenants are finding tricky ways to save by sharing smaller apartments or forfeiting a living room for a bedroom. But these sacrifices should not apply to the interior design of the space; rather authorize its importance.
With so many rental rules and landlord laws, its hard to turn your classic model apartment into something warm, comfortable and homy. With a designers eye, the small necessary touches to turn your cold white walls into something extraordinary can be attained. By covering your walls with knick-knacks you have collected over time makes this living room looked “lived-in.”
living room eclectic living room

This narrow space was transformed into a modern sophisticated living room by adding simple clean window treatments and standard furniture. By keeping your sofa and bed classic sizes, it is easy to create the similar look in your next rental when you choose to move. Note: the ‘floating’ furniture is smart in diving the room into sections and makes a great floor plan.

Lincoln Park Master Suite modern bedroom

Area rugs and art can instantly transform a bland box and give your apartment pleasant atmosphere. Not only do these adjustments add bright colors, they also have mobility. Things that you can take with you once you leave your rental are conducive for renters who tend to move more often.

ABC Dragoo eclectic living room

Typically, property owners do not allow renters to paint their apartments. Even in situation where you are allowed to paint, the room must be painted back which can be daunting. An easy fix is to paint just one accent wall. By painting the wall behind the bed, color is added to this all white room and it also takes the place of a headboard.

Stylish Apartment Living eclectic bedroom

Sleek is key with New York rentals. The designer here accented this barren room with a small but effective art installation against the longest wall. Simple sheer curtains finish the look while the clean lines of the coffee table and sofa make for a comfortable sitting area.

Brooklyn Apartment contemporary living room

Another view of the same room.

Brooklyn Apartment contemporary living room

Again, small painting projects are the way to go with rentals. This apartment in Greenwich Village brings the small built in shelves to life by painting the interior of the shelves a dark taupe.

Abelow Sherman Architects LLC eclectic living room

Simple clean and neutral curtains accent these large floor to ceiling windows, and can easily be used in many situations after your lease is done.

Central Park West Apartment modern living room
Dont ignore the hideous overhead lighting you find in most rented apartments. They cast a very unattractive stark lighting and makes any room uncomfortable. Simple, inexpensive lighting installations can be added. Put up a chandelier or any fixture that expresses your own style.
Stand By Light by Aqua Creations eclectic ceiling lighting

How to Decorate using Ethnic Patterns?

While strolling through Mood Fabrics, it is hard not to LOVE every luxurious pattern that leaps out at you with bright colors and fashionable designs. Unfortunately, putting all these assorted fabrics in your home just creates a cluttered mess.  That is, unless, you find a pattern amongst the patterns. Ethnic and Tribal decorations is the perfect approach to bring these diverse designs together.

The wall tile in this Kitchen really brings out the dark navy cabinets and beautiful gold hardware. The detail in the tile repeat is endless while the rest of the room is simple both in color and set up. But, keep in mind the size of the wall you are decorating. The space relationship of this Kitchen is what makes such a crazed wall work.

apartamento residencial l vila olimpia eclectic kitchen

Here is a  Colonial Home decorated in beautiful Ikat fabrics. The Ikat material is a very ancient dyeing process that produces very iconic patterns. Love the warm lived in feel that comes from the orange palette and the artsy piece that hangs above the bed.

Antique wood details traditional bedroom

Found this eclectic curated look with the hodge-podge of mixed patterned pillows very interesting. When designing a room with ethnic colors and patterns, be sure to include accessories that match, such as the iron candle holder sitting on the coffee table and the hand woven rug it sits upon.

Sarah Greenman eclectic living room

This black and yellow private outdoor space really makes a statement with its abundance in unique accessories, complimenting colors and bright seasonal flowers and fauna. The bamboo shade is functional in making the space intimate and also keeps with the ethnic-tribal theme.

oceandesigner contemporary landscape

The tablescape here is supurb. Absolutely include animal prints with your ethnic patterns like the gray zebra book stacked on the bedside table. The warn finish on the mirrors frame fits with the “lived -in” look that ties everything together.

Domicile id contemporary bedroom

Safari Fusion is a brilliant way to incorporate your tribal quality. The hanging piece here is a Bamileke Feather Headdress, also known as a Juju hat. The fluffy feathered piece adds texture to your design while the bright blue and black beaded vases add authenticity to the room.

Contemporary safari style | Inspiration for your walls | Feathers eclectic

HOW TO DECORATE WITH LIGHTING THAT POPS?

The affects of illumination in a room can either make or break a space. Since this Springs most obvious trend is bright neon colors, it is easy to see how lighting that pops is what’s hot this season as well. Bursts of color on upholstered chandeliers or ultra modern lighting center pieces is what seems to catch the eye of designers and well versed home-owners alike. Here are a few example of lighting that really works.

This type of color effected lighting is perfect in playful rooms around the house. The odd shape of the hanging light in the room stands out and parallels the ingenuity of the bright pinkish hue to the fabric.

Pacific Heights Residence traditional closet

Elegance and industrial meet with this iron chandelier. The large Edison light bulbs are seriously in this year and give the room an old New York feel. This one of a kind fixture is easily incorporated with a decorators touch.

Noe Valley Entry contemporary entry

We know how much I love metallic and metals so when I saw these amazing hanging stainless steel light fixtures I almost purchased a set for every hallway in my house. The warm light reflects every edge of the metal shade increasing the comfortably of the room and its ambiance.

T Eatons Loft Entrance contemporary entry

Add art into the home by adding refined artistic lamps or hanging chandeliers. The room can be decorated with simple furniture and pick a lighting fixture that screams for attention. Talk about beautiful functionality.

Living Room modern living room

Here in this formal dining space with a playful touch is a set of 3 Capiz shell chandeliers. The idea is childlike but sophisticated. They act as an excellent conversation piece in a room focused on good conversation.

axis mundi modern dining room

Love the base of these hanging lights. They introduce a very masculine feel to the vanity. A spectacular effect from these lamps is the spotlight it leaves on the countertops. Excellent touch

Ana Williamson Architect contemporary bathroom

Here are some unique lamp fixtures I installed into my Living Room in Manhattan. Love the soft feel of the draped silk.  When they are on the warm light is soft yet dramatic.


How to make your Dining Room the Most Exciting Room in the House?

Cuisine and conversation is the focal point of the Dining room so it is important to make this space special. Over time, these uncommonly used rooms can lose their luster but now is the time to breath new life into your Dining room.  Although formal can sometimes be mundane or frigid,  I like to keep with tradition and have the dining room be the most polished room in the house. Fill it with your most luxurious furniture and drape with the walls with grand mirrors or paintings. It is this conventional design attitude that inspires this weeks blog!

The patterned area rug guides your eye right to the center of the room with a sleek and simple set up on top of a large circular table. The dark wood side and matching center table stand out against the dark blue colors. Classic black lamp shades address the unique stripe on the upholstered chair set.

The two large upholstered chairs at the end of the table make this design stand out. Love the chandeliers, love the simple but elegant table setting.

Style On a Shoestring contemporary bedroom

Silver, Silver Silver. The designer made metallic work in this dining room by consistently using the same shades of gray and silver throughout. The mono-toned theme goes beautifully with the dark wood floor.

Amoroso Design contemporary dining room

Neutral Colors are successful in contemporary dining rooms. This textured taupe wall really sets the mood with amazing accent chairs. The turquoise keeps up with Springs neon color theme but has a very traditional, sophisticated fabric.

Tyrol Hills Modern modern dining room

The Dining room should be independent from the rest of the house so that family and friends can get caught up in good conversation. The large Crown lit fixture brings exclusivity to the room.

Dining Room contemporary dining room

This thick bold wood table has attitude.  Again, LOVE the wood finish with the dark gray tones. The mirror against the modest dark black wall paper really adds adventure into the room.

Willowgrove Dining Room contemporary dining room

This year, like every year, I had the chance to go to the DIFFA Dining by Design at the Architectural Digest Show. Here are a few room designs that I loved.

This one really stood out because of its theme. Love the firewood detailing on the back wall and the western fabric used on the banquet cushion.

Bright colors cascade across this larger dining table. Perfect from a Dinner party for both a younger or older crowd.

Here is a simple table top for everyday or a playful dinner party. The accent colors for the room are on the table therefore can be changed easily with different set ups.