Archive for 2017


Entertaining Family and Friends for the Holidays

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Now is the time to get a jump on holiday hosting preparations!  When hosting friends and family, it is important to be an organized and welcoming host.  Advance planning allows you to relax and enjoy the company of your guests, rather than focusing on forgotten last-minute details. 

morrow2  candles
Light a fire!
A fire burning in the fireplace is one of the nicest things about winter. Candles can also add a warm glow to your home.  Use generously!  Place scented or unscented candles in a variety of containers all over the house for a beautiful effect. 

Having enough firewood at hand and the right fireplace accessories is important to facilitate the smooth procession of the evening.  Wood can be stored in baskets on the hearth so that you are not interrupted by trips to the patio for more wood.

fabrics  collection-laurel-brown
Show your colors!
Autumnal colors aren’t all browns. Don’t be afraid to add a pop of color to your home.  Make a seasonal change in your décor without a complete overhaul by replacing your throw pillows with pillows in seasonal colors.  This year’s trending colors include rich reds, such as Caliente from Benjamin Moore.  You can incorporate rich shades of leather and wood into your décor, or bring in a new texture such as faux fur or sheepskin.  This palette of Pollack fabrics evokes a cozy seasonal aesthetic.  This approach is not limited to pillows! Accessories of all types can be replaced seasonally.  A beautiful handmade ceramic vase or dish is a one-of-a-kind accent that adds interest to your home.

Your dining table presents another opportunity to create a seasonal color story for your home.  This palette can be seasonal, yet not be overly holiday.  Incorporate new colors with napkins, table runners, dishes and floral arrangements. 

 rh  lornop3
Cozy up!
Cozying up your space for the holidays can be as easy as adding warm throws in convenient locations.  Adding an extra throw in your guest room is essential for colder winter nights.  Don’t forget one for your own bedroom!  We find that we are always returning to cashmere and alpaca throws for their soft texture and incredible warmth.  The throws above are available from Restoration Hardware and Loro Piana.  Johanna Howard makes beautiful alpaca throws.  There are also many great looking faux fur options on the market too!

levydishware  glass2
Shimmer and sparkle!
Hosting friends and family for the holidays means unpacking the fine china and crystal.  Now is also the time to consider adding some sparkle to your table.  Gold accents are on-trend this season!  This beautiful porcelain tableware is hand made by Daniel Levy.  For a different twist on traditional crystal, set your table with colored glassware, such as these vintage American wine glasses.

January Woman & Home   cider
Warm beverages are a lovely way to celebrate the season! Greet your guests with warm cider, mulled wine or a hot toddy.  They are not only delicious, but their aroma will drift through the house.  It almost goes without saying that fresh baked cookies right out of the oven are one of the most welcoming scents to encounter!

hyacinth  paperwhites
Bring nature in!
For those of us in the northeast, autumn and the onset of winter means fresh cut flowers from our own gardens are no longer an option.  Fall foliage branches add an exquisite seasonal feel in the autumn months.  In December, evergreen branches are handsome and the aroma is synonymous with the holidays.  Magnolia and princess pine branches are beautiful on the mantle.  It requires some planning ahead, but forced bulbs are attractive and smell great!  While the tendency is to only place floral arrangements in public spaces, a small arrangement in the guest room is a welcoming detail for your overnight guests.

Up next…
Last, but perhaps most important, think ahead for next year.  Did you find that your table is too short to accommodate your family? Does your guest bathroom need upgrades? Plan now to improve your home for the holidays next year so that your projects can be completed well in advance of the arrival of guests.

Six Home Decor Trends

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Early fall is a great time of year to see new design trends in New York.  Two notable events that we recently attended were NY Now (aka “the gift show”) at the Javitz Center, and What’s New, What’s Next at the New York Design Center.  Here are our trend takeaways for the upcoming season.

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Finishes: Brass is back
A change we have noticed lately is the shift from cool metallic finishes, such as brushed nickel, to warmer tones.  Last year, we started seeing a good amount of copper, which was a huge contrast to the trends from the past few years.  This year, we have seen more brass, particularly brushed brass.  We have also noticed more mixing of different metals.  Some of our favorites are cabinet hardware from Buster & Punch (above, right) and we love this tableware from Tina Frey (above, left).

Sherwin_Williams_COTY_Eclectic_Home_OA_02  40ClintonIsland15238

Paint Colors: Bold is new
While Renae loves to use light and airy colors, we have been seeing bold, rich paint colors in many places.  Sherwin-Williams paints just announced their color of the year for 2018: Oceanside (above, left).  If you don’t wish to commit to such dark colors on your walls, you can still integrate them into your design in smaller ways.  Renae designed the kitchen pictured above that features an island painted in Deep Space from Benjamin Moore.  Another option is to integrate color with accessories.  Blue Pheasant debuted a stunning line of tableware in matte navy blue at NY Now.  


Pendleton   Stockholm-Closeup_large

Fabrics and Patterns: Cozy is in
It’s time to cozy up for fall, so blankets are on trend!  We are seeing many lovely blankets and throws.  A few textile designers have taken this to the next level and incorporated blanket patterns into other textiles and upholsteries.   One of our favorite examples is the collaboration between Pendelton, a classic American blanket manufacturer, and Sunbrella, a leading manufacturer of weather-proof upholstery (above, left). 

As for blankets, we always love to see what Johanna Howard has to offer.  Baby alpacas are certainly the softest animal on the planet, and Johanna Howard has spun up some truly lovely new designs with their wool. Renae has used Johanna’s Reversible Throw in several clients’ apartments, but we are also fans of her graphic patterns, such as the Stockholm Throw (above, right).

Photographer  concretewallpaper

Wallcoverings: Fall for Faux
Wallpaper has been making a comeback, and why not with so many fantastic options?  Borrowing from traditional styles, many manufacturers are offering hand-printed and painted wallpapers.  The amazing faux concrete wallpaper from NLXL (above, right) is incredibly realistic.  They also offer faux wood, faux pressed tin and an array of bold graphic patterns. 

There are many beautiful metallic wallcoverings on the market now, including options from Phillip Jeffries and Donghia.  Renae chose to use the Mirage wallpaper from Robert Crowder in the powder room pictured above.  Another interesting and unique option is block-printed wallpaper from Farrow & Ball, or even hand-painted wallpaper from Gracie.

PowderRoom82069  DiningRoom82024

Mixing styles and eras: Opt for quality
The traditional styles we are seeing in wallcoverings brings us to another trend we have noticed, and one that, considering Renae’s beginnings in the antique business, we are big fans of: mixing the old with the new.  Sometimes it is better to opt for quality collectibles from a bygone era than something newer that may not have the staying power that a classic piece can offer.  For example, there are many beautiful antique light fixtures available.  Renae has incorporated vintage Murano glass chandeliers and Baccarat crystal lighting in many of her projects.  Mixing these older items with more modern selections allows you to create a look that is uniquely yours!

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Lighting trends: The artisan touch
A trend that we have noticed in lighting is bespoke fixtures.  We have recently seen some beautiful designs from Apparatus Studio (above, left) and Alison Berger (above, right).  As with hardware, we have been seeing mixed metal finishes.





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