With so many different shapes, materials, colors, and finishes, you have endless options with table lamps!
The finished potting shed gave my client the ideal space for spending time on his favorite hobby.
When I recently worked with a family to turn their architecturally overdone Greenwich townhouse into more natural, pared down interior, I was thrilled with the result.
Beautiful books are decorative and say something about your interests.
Celadon is a great color for spring!
A night table is a piece of furniture whose use and appearance depends on your habits. For example, my own night table has so much stuff on it! It’s usually covered with magazines that I never quite seem to finish reading. For you, the night table might be a place to store things, display things, or simply keep certain items within easy reach. The style of your night table can also be a reflection of the rest of the bedroom, using different materials to create an overall mood. The night table can be sexy with a glossy coat of lacquer or serene when layered with an ottoman. Or, it can be a simple, understated table! Here are some examples of great night tables in a variety of styles.
1. Astro Bedside Table by Oly. This table presents a lighter feeling when storage isn’t required.
2. Custom St. Tropez Nightstand with marble top.
3. Julien Chichester night table I installed in a client’s bedroom.
4. Jet Setter side tables by Room Service
5. Weems Table by David Iatesta
7. Eve Table from Dering Hall: I love the combination of nail heads, wood, and fabric.
8. Frances 2-Drawer Side Table from Bungalow 5
9. DL Marie Side Table from Profiles: Old world glam inspired.
10. Another custom night table for one of my clients.
11. VH Jeffrey Side Table from Profiles
12. Olin table from Dering Hall
One of the things I love about having my office in Greenwich is the great shopping. Greenwich has become something of a shopping mecca for designers with some fantastic storefronts. It’s so nice to have the option of shopping right here and supporting the community that supports my own business. Along the center of town and down a couple of side streets, you can find these places that aren’t always your typical, mainstream store. Here are some of my favorites:
Greenwich Tile: This is my go-to source for tile in any size. Vita, the owner, is creative and innovative. Greenwich Tile isn’t just a supply house; they love design and will mix materials to create an energizing, unique palette. You can visit them at 402 W Putnam Ave or call (203) 869-4773.
Mark Inc.: I’ve known Mark for a while now and he is such a great guy. He does custom mohair rugs in hundreds of designs. The level of capability that goes into his products in unbelievable! The classical thinking behind his rugs is evident. I love that you can even see progress photos of your rugs on the loom! Mark Inc. is located at 34 E Putnam Ave.
Exquisite Surfaces: Amazing source for flooring, including salvaged and reclaimed options. Visit them at 11 E Putnam Ave.
C. Parker Gallery: The gallery’s storefront opens at 17 E Putnam Ave with the holiday season, but this year has remained open. With an extensive collection of impressionist paintings, the gallery is a wonderful source of art close to home. I love the concept of C. Parker Gallery; they host events, are available for private consultations, and install purchased artwork.
Trovare Home: They have a great knack for mixing vintage items and reproductions with modern pieces. The accessories are great, and you can really tell the owner has a clever eye. Trovare Home, at 245 E Putnam Ave, also has good sized abstract art that’s well priced. The store consists of such charming vignettes that you want to scoop them up and install them just the way they are.
Room: With a showroom in NYC as well, Room is a great addition to Greenwich shopping. They feature custom crafted pieces by a variety of artisans and designers, but what I really like is their lighting. I was once working on a project here in Greenwich with a short lead time. Their bocce lamps were perfect — like jewelry for a room. Everything is customizable too, making their pieces suitable for almost any decor. You can find Room at 36 E. Putnam Ave.
What kind of local shopping do you like to do?
The arrival of spring and (hopefully!) warmer temperatures often inspires people to start thinking about gardening and landscaping. I believe the outside of a home always has to relate to the inside — ideally, the interior designer and landscape architect will speak to each other to ensure the interior and exterior layouts relate to each other. Even though they are the domains of two different artists, the interior and exterior should be respectful to each other. I’m always aware of exterior elements when designing someone’s interior.
Landscape architecture books are a great source of inspiration when planning your exterior, whether you prefer a serene escape or a gathering place for friends and family. I highly recommend these six books as inspiration!
1. The Private Oasis: The Landscape Architecture of Edmund Hollander Design by Phillip Langdon
2. In the Garden by Stacy Bass
3. The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City by Patrick Blanc
4. Landprints: The Landscape Design of Bernard Trainor by Susan Heeger and Bernard Trainor
5. Private Paradise: Contemporary American Gardens by Charlotte M. Frieze
6. The Landscape Designs of Doyle Herman Design Associates by Kathryn Herman and James Doyle. This one hasn’t been released yet, but it’s on my much-anticipated summer reading list!
Do you have any favorite landscape design books?
Blue is a safe color that a lot of people gravitate toward. With so many different shades of blue, it can be bright, serene, bold, subtle, or dramatic. You can drench a room in blue or use it as a strong accent color. In fashion, blue looks good on almost anyone and pairs well with a lot of other hues. What do you think of blue?
1. Blue Living Room via Home Ideas Mag
2. Blue Agate from Concetto
5. Custom chair in a client’s home.
6. Christian Louboutin Lady Highness
8. June Short Pleated Peplum Dress by Alice and Olivia
9. Ornate blue door, image via W5RAn
I recently had dinner at Morello Italian Bistro on Greenwich Ave in Greenwich for a friend’s birthday and was reminded why it’s one of my favorite local restaurants!
I remember the firs time I visited the building now occupied by Morello. The dome ceiling has a big brick pattern that I loved looking at. The beautiful atmosphere is still the same. Morello has a really cool bar and the set up of the restaurant is great. It’s just the kind of place where you can relax, feel catered to, and know you are about to take in an outstanding meal!
One menu item I just love is the Butternut Squash Ravioli. It is so light and healthy tasting with the best flavors. Some of my other favorite menu items are Baked Mac & Cheese and Chicken Breast Piccata, but you really can’t go wrong. Morello’s food is always fresh and very well prepared. For dessert, you must try the Bomboloni. These fresh doughnuts with orange-vanilla cream and chocolate sauce are to die for!
I was first introduced to Ben Ham‘s photography when three large pieces of his work were installed in a client’s double story entry. Ben himself traveled from South Carolina to supervise the installation and I am so glad I had the chance to meet him. Not only is his work stunning, but he is such a likeable and down to earth guy. It’s amazing to meet an artist who is clearly not only gifted, but really loves his craft.
My clients found Ben’s work while visiting South Carolina and fell in love with a series of photos of Live Oaks in sepia tones. They hung three enormous pieces in their entry. The frames on these large scale photos are so thick, each one weighs over 100 pounds.
Ben now lives in Hilton Head, South Carolina, but often travels out West to explore and search for compositions. His highly collected work includes subjects like South Carolina’s Low Country, the Rockies, the Southwest, and the Pacific Coast. His art has been featured in numerous magazines, events, and shows and been added to private collections around the world. I feel so honored to now have a signed copy of his book Vanishing Light.
I love the dramatic landscapes Ben chooses as his subjects and the amount of patience it must take to create such artwork. Ben’s photographs aren’t digital; they’re taken with a wooden field camera and printed on black and white sheet film. The patience and passion that go into these breathtaking, large scale images is incredible. He seems to capture the light at just the right time.
It really is a gift to me when clients find an artist like Ben Ham. I can add this work to my repertoire and introduce it to other clients!
Brass was a popular finish in the 1970s on furniture and accessories, and in the 1980s brass fittings, plumbing, and hardware were mainstream choices until the clean look of polished nickel edged it out of common use. Lately brass has made a comeback, and not in an over-the-top, opulent manner. Brass can be tactfully done to add warmth and elegance to a space. It can be chic, lend an art deco feel to a room, and have a visually grounding effect. Similar to using gold accessories, brass can be that pop of something extra in a beautiful interior. Here are some of my favorite examples of using brass in interior design!
3. Brass Coffee Table by Mastercraft
5. Brass Console Table by Taylor Llorente
7. Brass Sink
8. Iacoli & McAllister Brass Pendant Lamp
9. Brass Door, image via Fffound
10. Folded Brass Wall Decor from Dwell Studio
11. Lumiere Chandelier by Jean de Merry
12. Brass Door Handle, image via Dwell
Cover image: Steampunk Panel from Spoonflower
Years ago I found an article on risotto, which described step by step how to prepare this delicious dish. Risotto is an Italian dish that developed in the regions between the Alps and Tuscany, and is now appreciated all over the world.
The type of rice best suited for cooking a good risotto is the Carnaroli, but Vialone Nano and Arborio are good choices as well. Depending on the ingredients used, risotto can be a first course, a complete meal, or a dessert. It can easily be prepared in about 30 minutes.
The base for a risotto is made using one of the three types of rice mentioned above, oil or butter, and a battulo, which is an ingredient used t0 flavor a recipe and can include chopped onion, garlic, celery and/or carrot. You also need a cooking liquid and one or more types of cheese.
With this base you can make many different risotto dishes depending on your choice of ingredients such as beef, chicken or pork, fish or seafood, vegetables, legumes, or truffles.
Making a risotto is as easy as following six simple steps. I like to make risotto with seafood. The following recipe also includes one of my favorite vegetables, asparagus.
1 1/2 cups of rice
1 lb of large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup white wine
4 cups seafood stock
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 cup finely chopped basil and parsley
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the shrimp by removing the shell and deveining, if necessary. Rinse under cold water, pat dry, and set aside.
Set a few asparagus stalks aside to use as a garnish. Cut the rest of the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal, discarding the bottoms. Steam all of the asparagus for 5 minutes, then place under cold water to stop cooking. Pat dry and set aside.
Place the seafood stock in a saucepan and heat, keeping it warm while you begin the risotto.
In a deep skillet, warm the olive oil. Add the onion (which is the battulo in this recipe) and sauté till translucent.
Add the rice and toast for 3 minutes .
Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the warmed stock in 1/2 cup increments, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. Continue to cook, stirring, until the rice is tender and creamy, about 20 minutes in total.
Add the shrimp and cook till pink. Add the cut asparagus.
Add finishing ingredients, including the butter, cheese, basil, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Place the few whole asparagus on top of the dish with some parsley sprigs for garnish.
Serve this dish with your favorite crusty bread and a salad. Enjoy!
As a design resource, 1stdibs is a treasure trove of inspiration. I love being able to shop sources all over the world for everything from furniture and jewelry to fashion and lighting. When shopping for clients, I can focus on specific categories, like antiques. In addition to everything you can put in a home, 1stdibs features homes themselves. Looking for an estate in the French countryside or a luxury high rise apartment in the city? You can find it on 1stdibs! There are so many unique and beautiful things from a huge variety of dealers. I never get tired of browsing this site.
With the site’s latest updates, it has become even more interactive, making it an incredible tool. When you create an account with 1stdibs, you can save items to your virtual portfolio to make them easy to find for future reference. Even if the items in your portfolio are purchased, they stay there for you to refer to, be inspired by, or simply covet.
Shopping online isn’t always the best option. Being able to see an object in person, touch it, and get a truly accurate idea of colors and textures can be an important part of finding just the right piece. The 1stdibs New York Design Center, located at 200 Lexington Ave., is a mecca of design, filled with curated booths and the opportunity to check things out in person.
If you’re not already using 1stdibs, you won’t regret setting up an account now. You can also find them on Facebook, where they feature specific objects, hold giveaways, and highlight designers.
One of my clients is in the process of adding a wine cellar to their home. While they are working with a wine cellar professional on this project, they have consulted with me on architectural elements like flooring, paint, and lighting. With a 10,000 bottle capacity, this wine cellar is no small undertaking! I find their plans for the wine cellar really interesting and inspiring.
As I watched their excitement over the design of the wine cellar, I thought of my ideal vision for such a space. I like the idea of incorporating traditional wine cellar materials like wood and stone, while adapting these things for a more modern look. A wine cellar doesn’t have to be obvious, with grape vines on the walls or wine barrel tables.
I also like the idea of making the wine cellar more than just a storage space. Rather than keeping the wine out of sight in a place where the host or hostess retrieves it alone, why not incorporate some seating to turn the area into a gathering place? Being able to sit with a a friend or two (or several!) surrounded by great wine sounds like such a relaxing way to socialize.
If you like the idea of making the wine cellar a place to spend time with friends and family, it’s not much of a stretch to take the entire place out of the cellar. With modern technology making climate control possible in any part of the home, there’s no reason to confine a beautiful wine cellar to the basement. You can capture the wine cellar look and feel in a not-so-obvious spot, such as a room divider or a nook you aren’t really using. It’s an appealing and practical approach to create a usable wine area in a more accessible part of the home.
What would your ideal wine cellar (or room!) look like?