A bit of flair for the entry way Photography Qixotic Imagery
In the past few years, wallpaper has had a renaissance; a number of well-known designers have launched their own lines and the technology for custom designs has skyrocketed.
Serene New York City dining alcove: before
….and after (guest appearance by Gus) Photography Qixotic Imagery
I am happy about this flurry of activity: an exquisite wallpaper not only brings a wonderful touch to one’s home, it can transform an ordinary little space into something that looks like a lavish present waiting to be opened.
Classic black and white style with feminine floral
Often I seem to work with wallpapers in smaller rooms that need a bit of livening up, like a beautiful powder room, dining alcove or entryway.
A pretty print as final destination
I like the idea, too, of a wallpapered room pulling you toward a distant happy surprise.
Gianbattista Valli can’t live without Isola Bella “it’s like living in a landscape”
My dream is to use Zuber’s Isola Bella magical landscape for a master bedroom suite. Any takers?
Some of my favorites are in these photographs: Osborne & Little and Harlequin, to name a few. I always love to see what Timorous Beasties are up to in the UK. They give a fun unexpected twist to classic styles. Closer to home in Brooklyn, the amazing Flavor Paper can produce ANYTHING from a personal blown up photograph to images pulled from Andy Warhol’s work http://www.flavorpaper.com/collections
And if you haven’t seen the film “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” go see it. I stumbled onto it almost accidentally. An endearing coming-of-age story with a terrific cast. Ezra Miller steals the screen with his charismatic performance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5rh7O4IDc0
Posted in It's all in the details, Uncategorized | Tagged Andy Warhol, Ezra Miller, Flavor Paper, Gianbattista Valli, Harlequin, Isola Bella, Osborne & Little, The Perks of being a Wallflower, Timorous Beasties, Wallpaper, Zuber | 3 Comments »
Late last Fall my client and I stopped into the Kartell showroom in Soho to look at lighting fixtures; we instantly fell for Ferruccio Laviani’s “Bloom” displayed in a couple of styles and colors at the front of the store. They resembled huge futuristic bouquets of sparkling flowers. But, would they work in a doctors’ office waiting room? We debated and measured and questioned and agreed to take the leap and got two of them in the transparent crystal finish. I am quite sure there isn’t another doctors’ office anywhere that showcases these wonderful Blooms for lighting!
It wasn’t until they were installed that I realized how extraordinary these lights are, the structural design is remarkable and ingeniously devised. Even my favorite handyman, Andy, was impressed … as we laboriously clicked each and every “flower” to the delicate armature. I quickly discovered they are quite tricky to photograph; when they are lit they glow beautifully but the detail of each flower can be difficult to visualize.
Here’s a photo of Andy installing one:
Also this detail of two of the flowers, aren’t they wonderful?
Up close: they look like the real thing
Posted in It's all in the details | Tagged Andy Alilovic, Bloom, chandelier, Cristina Hadzi Interiors, doctor's waiting room, Doctors offices interior designer, Ferruccio Laviani, Kartell, Light fixture, New York City Interior Design firm, Soho | Leave a Comment »
Cleaned up and Organized!
I recently worked with a wonderful couple in Brooklyn that moved into a large brand new 2 bedroom apartment in Brooklyn; it needed to accommodate an entire house-full of belongings. A good deal of this project focused on storage options and finding a proper place for everything from books to running shoes. I re-configured the interiors of all the closets and designed a custom bookcase in the dining area as well as additional storage for the living room.
Many other customizable details presented themselves throughout their new home, for instance both bathrooms had vanities that were completely impractical. I am not a huge fan of “vessel” style sinks but – that aside – in both cases there was room to spare on either side so why not go larger? When Steve Boyd built the bookcase and storage unit for the other rooms we discussed brand new vanities. (The other units I mentioned came out beautifully so I will be writing and including photos in my next post). I selected the other components to got with the existing sink : larger counter tops and new hardware. The top is Corian and and the slightly over-scale Rocky Mountain drawer pulls complements the hardware throughout the rest of the apartment. The wood is a beautiful warm cherry, moving away from ubiquitous mocha finishes. For the master bath vanity we added a set of drawers to the right side which makes all the difference for storage.
Very happy results! Those myriad odds and ends that accumulate in a bathroom at last have a home AND going with a larger design did not affect the integrity and flow of the overall space!
Posted in It's all in the details, Personalized Interiors | Tagged Brooklyn apartment, cherry wood, closets, Corian, Counter top, Interior designer New York City, master bathrooms, Rocky Mountain Hardware, Steve Boyd, storage, vanities, Walton Stairs | 1 Comment »
Clean lines, inviting and stylish
Springtime is all about big windows opening wide and a blast of fresh air as if for the first time in what seems like forever. I think about lighter fabrics and easier day-to-day routines. The beautiful Paul McCobb armchairs pictured here, from a house I designed in Candlewood Lake, Connecticut, are good examples of this casual-chic, springtime vibe.
Designed by Paul McCobb in the 1950’s
My clients’ directive initially puzzled me: they wanted the feeling of visiting their grandparents’ bright and sunny summer house, of camping out, but with a twist of Beverly Hills Hotel glamour for good measure! I think ultimately we got there. The wall surfaces are a happy mix of different grass cloths, lively 70s floral wallpaper from Second Hand Rose, and vibrant paint colors.
The clients had recently been to Australia and picked up a few pieces of furniture made from the rich native Jarrah wood; I had no idea what the furniture looked like and was building my design scheme around these pieces sight unseen! We found another few beautiful pieces at Lobel Modern and reupholstered them. I designed custom sofas, headboards, draperies, and window-seat cushions. The fabrics for the most part are solid cottons in really clear pastels from Osborne & Little, with a few nature inspired prints as well. For that “grandma” touch, I had a few of the sofa throw pillows monogrammed.
The house is furnished and each piece lovingly installed, the lake’s sparkling surface reflects inside on the walls and warm weather fun begins!
- Here and there some nature-inspired prints – love the butterflies!
Posted in Inspiration | Tagged Beverly Hills Hotel, Candlewood Lake Ct., Fabrics, grass cloth, Jarrah wood, Lobel Modern, mid-century furniture, nature inspired printed fabrics, New York Interior design firm, Osborne & Little, paint colors, Paul McCobb, Second Hand Rose, weekend homes | 1 Comment »
Rome Ah the Eternal City! I was very fortunate to have been born and raised in Rome; its extraordinary layers of history, grand architecture, lyrical fountains, and incandescent quality of light touch me in one way or another every day.
Kinokuniya This bookstore in New York and Singapore is a lot of fun to visit: great selection (aside from books!) fashion magazines, ideas for clever gifts, a small café upstairs. I go for the luxurious wrapping papers, pens, extensive playful stationary department.
Chanel nail polish – the intense and edgy colors that morph into cult classics; with names like Malice, Pirate, or Vendetta how can you possibly go wrong?
Coffee Always on the hunt for a new favorite, currently addicted to Yirgacheffe from Gimme Coffee.
The Odeon a downtown New York classic that despite the bustle is always cozy and welcoming with a terrific bistro menu. I love their steak au poivre and decadent profiteroles!
Jean Paul Hevin chocolate, Paris. The selection of dark chocolate bars is staggering and truly mouthwatering. As a birthday gift I once received a chocolate high heel shoe! What a wonderful treat!
The courtyard’s salmon/burnt orange colored walls Photo:
Hotel Costes This luxuriously over the top hotel designed by Jacques Garcia makes me feel cosseted and well cared for after a long day of running around Paris. The intensely lavish interiors, excellent food, background DJ music, and intoxicating fragrances are a feast for the senses. Beauty secret: in the winter I wear their room freshener as a fragrance.
Loulou and Otis
My cats Loulou and Otis, both darling strays that found their way into my life. Otis is a street kid from Harlem and Princess Loulou leapt into my arms at the Humane Society, where they mistakenly asserted that she was not an Alpha female – ha! They are generously allowing me to live in their apartment.
J.M.W. Turner His classical landscapes pull me into their world. As his career progressed his works became more and more abstract, his colors more luminescent, the imagery haunting. The painting above is called “Sky”
Manuel Canovas fabrics I love many, many different fabrics but I find these color and pattern combinations unusual, vibrant, and fresh. In my interiors projects I am often interested in conveying luxury, relaxed comfort, and originality; Canovas’ designs do just that.
Posted in Inspiration | Tagged bookstores, cats, Chanel, chocolate, coffee, color, comfort, Fabrics, fragrances, Gimme Coffee, Hotel Costes, Humane Society, interior design, J.M.W.Turner, Jean Paul Hevin, Kinokuniya, landscape paintings, luxury, Manuel Canovas, nail polish, New York City, New York City Interior Design firm, Rome, Singapore, The Odeon, Yirgacheffe | 2 Comments »
A new project
This past winter my good friend and colleague, the architect Wade Johnson, invited me to design the interiors for a home he is building on the north shore of Long Island. His hugely successful firm is best known for its creative and innovative brand of architecture and interiors for residential, commercial, and hospitality projects. Wade’s enthusiasm and input are invaluable and more importantly he is a lot of fun to work with.
Rather than wait until the house is “photo ready” I have been pulling together vignettes or little stories about what goes into each room; the overall look of the house will evolve from them. Richard Haber and Linda Furlong, my wonderful photography team, have come up with beautiful still lives depicting the elements selected thus far. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting these stories and hope you will tune in as well!
A hole in the ground
As I write, the house is being built on a spectacular site overlooking Long Island Sound in the small town of Poquott; apart from the stunning wraparound vistas it has a very romantic feeling to it. I am thinking of Wuthering Heights. The house is a shingle style design in keeping with the Long Island mansions by the sea that were the spirit and cultural heritage of architectural firm McKim, Mead and White at the turn of the century. From every vantage point inside, the house takes advantage of the views of the Sound; I trust my contributions will highlight and direct attention to the scenic outdoors as well.
After reviewing the plans, I met with the clients at Wade’s office and got my first notes for the project: they are an outgoing couple with an extended family that visits often, they travel the world and have a great love for animals and nature. Although they want a beautiful home, comfort is also key. I got a sense of the colors they like, their day to day lifestyle requirements, and the architectural detailing that is important to them.
The house is spacious and although not “open plan” has that feeling and takes advantage of its location with large windows, French doors, and balconies that face the Sound. It has wonderful classic architectural details and I am interested in creating within that context a relaxed sense of comfort to each room through the use of fabric textures, furnishings and the overall color schemes.
More to come, stay tuned.
- First Impressions: The Family Room
- The Library
- Transition Space
Posted in Dispatches From Work Sites, Long Island home | Tagged architect, color schemes, Fabrics, furnishings, new house | Leave a Comment »
One could argue that this is simply a large bed….
Valentino Fall Winter 2012
I had been searching online for good interior images of the baroque Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi in Sicily, specifically the Galleria Degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors). Lo and behold, every chic magazine is running dreamily opulent and gorgeous advertisements shot in that very ballroom. Valentino’s Fall/Winter 2012 campaign has artfully re-created the era of Sicilian royalty lounging in all their finery. One could argue that this is simply a large bed but I choose to see it as a luxurious and over scaled ottoman, probably the largest ever!
You may recognize the highly decorated interiors from the extraordinary ballroom sequence in “The Leopard”, Luchino Visconti’s celebrated 1963 film whose mood, colors, and sweeping imagery have been a huge inspiration in my work. Looking at this photograph I like to think the models are waiting for Alain Delon to ask them to dance…
I love a beautiful and generously proportioned ottoman; often it can replace the ubiquitous coffee table. An ottoman can be so cozy and inviting, a resting place for weary feet, additional seating at a party. Add an interesting tray and it’s a coffee table! If needed, it provides additional storage: once I designed an oval shaped one with a top that flipped open and stored a cashmere blanket for chilly winter nights.
Photography: Cristina Hadzi
Here is a detail shot of one of the more flamboyant ottomans I’ve designed – it’s like a yummy giant cupcake! Love that rug too. When it was delivered, the clients’ daughter immediately sprawled on it and rolled across the room. I had a quiet moment of satisfaction knowing this household would not be treating the furnishings as it they were museum treasures.
Posted in Inspiration | Tagged custom furnishings, design inspiration, Luchino Visconti, Ottomans, palaces, Palazzo Valguarnera Gangi, Sicily, storage, The Leopard, Valentino | 1 Comment »