Archives for November 2016

11/28/2016

Decorate Your Holiday Home like a Pro

An opulent, painterly floral centerpiece can cause the kind of lust associated with Italian men and chocolate. If you have the right arrangement even the addition of paper plates won’t compromise the setting. As with design or fashion, by centering the theme on one statement piece and all other accents fall into place.

A dramatic floral arrangement sets the tone of this buffet.

A dramatic floral arrangement sets the tone of this buffet.

DeJuan Stroud is an expert in the art of floral design, and it was only natural that his New York City business bloomed into events and a new book Designing Life’s Celebrations (Rizzoli).

DeJuan Stroud's Designing Life's Celebrations showcase his attention to drama and detail.

DeJuan Stroud’s Designing Life’s Celebrations features events with dramatic details.

Once the holiday season hits DeJuan is attune to tradition and family. Heirloom china, glassware and linens are the representative pieces that weave in family history.

A centerpiece made with dusty miller leaves, gray green deer moss and eucalyptus leaves are given a wintry celestial glow with the addition of candles and votives floating in the center.

A centerpiece made with dusty miller leaves, gray green deer moss and eucalyptus leaves are given a wintry celestial glow with the addition of candles and votives floating in the center.

In his own gatherings he chooses a theme, such as a Flemish still life or Provence. Taking the dual role of creator and curator, DeJuan thoughtfully approaches an event with spectacular results.

DeJuan’s tips to composing an event:

Conversation Pieces: Choose tableware that will not only add sparkle to your table and inspire your arrangements but also tell a story to share with guests.

Creating the Buffet: When styling a buffet choose one focal point with additional pieces that bring in beauty other than the food.

Moonlighting Tableware: Use pieces in innovative ways, such as an ice bucket to hold flatware rolled within linens.

Provencal Style: Decorative elements associated with southern France, such as lavender wands, lemons, pomegranates, bundles of cinnamon and herbs, compose his entryway. Stroud made garlands from cedar, fir and rosemary to the banister. A garland of lemons and bunched salal leaves add texture and color.

Manicure the Tree: DeJuan trimmed a Christmas tree into a topiary and planted it in a terracotta pot for a clever holiday Provencal look.

Natural Decor: Greenery and natural elements like herbs and fruit can set your scheme as effectively as flowers.

A dramatic floral arrangement sets the tone of this buffet.

An abundance of fresh greens, fruit and natural elements command the setting.

Photography by Monica Buck

11/20/2016

Ultimate Gift Guide – Classic Patterns

Bookmark this gift guide and you can use it again next year. In fact, one of these items I gave on Christmas decades ago and he still wears it. (Hint: the L.L. Bean staple seen on every New England campus). Classic prints will remain in the lexicon of style because they have enduring appeal. From hostess gifts to what you wrap it up in, present something that the receiver will actually want and keep for years to come.

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  1. Teepee 2. Reusable Giftwrap 3. Paul Smith Scarf 4. Liberty of London Tote 5. Baker’s Twine 6. Lem Lem Espadrilles 7. Kiel James Patrick Watch Strap 8. Pendleton Throw 9. Trapper Hats 10. Uncle Goose Blocks 11. Plaid Pants 12. Dumye Doll 13. L.L. Bean Sweater 14. Erin Fleet Pillow 15. Burberry Umbrella 16. Orvis Cabin Bottle Bag
11/18/2016

Simple Holiday Tabletop Ideas

When hosting our annual Thanksgiving dinner I tend to channel those Oscar winning actresses who decide hours before the event on what they will wear. While I am not on a designer coveted-one-to-dress-list, a girl can dream, I play dress up on the tablescape.

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A soup tureen and its accompanying pieces set the theme of this holiday celebration. Guess I will be making soup.

Over the years I have acquired a variety of tabletop pieces, either from pestering family members who retired their holiday hostess post or scouring thrift stores. As with dressing for an event, have fun by falling into the caprice of the moment.

Ways to simplify a memorable holiday table:

  1. Linchpin: Select your tabletop collection and create the theme around those pieces.
  2. Simplify: Restrain from pulling out all your trusted entertaining wares, which only adds chaos, and highlight your quality pieces.
  3. Mix: Weave in traditional with newer pieces for an updated look that shows a signature look.
  4. Natural: Save on pricey floral arrangements that will crowd the table over natural elements that add to the decor. Fruit, leaves and candles bring in color and warmth.
  5. Linens: Keep it simple, and fuss free, by eschewing a tablecloth for a runner, table mats or simply napkins nestled within a holder.

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11/17/2016

Little King Restaurant Opens in Williamsburg

Dining out may be the ultimate bargain, especially if the restaurant delivers an international experience without the overseas expenses. Little King in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, takes the concept even further by offering time travel. Master that Sir Richard Branson! The recently opened bistro, designed by Christina Salway, deftly melds Art Deco and European influences.

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Little King’s front entrance with dramatic Art Deco doors salvaged from a Manhattan skyscraper.

A visit is literally an opening-the-wardrobe experience from its imposing Art Deco doors the designer salvaged from a skyscraper in lower Manhattan. “I basically said, ‘This is happening!’” explains Salway. “And from then on we looked to the doors for scale, inspiration, and ambiance.”

Hand-painted checkerboard floors play on the whimsical yet Old World theme.

Hand-painted checkerboard floors play on the whimsical yet Old World theme.

Salway brought in other Old World details such as the metallic wallpapered ceiling and hand painted checkerboard floor, which is both playful and sophisticated. “And then truly the fact that almost every piece is vintage or antique, creates a comfortable lived-in quality, like a good pair of jeans,” she says.

Bar lighting, sourced from Craigs List, blends with vintage finds.

Bar lighting, sourced from Craigs List, blends with vintage finds.

For a recent opening Little King has created the feeling of a favored local spot more endemic to Paris or an English pub. Though pub fare this is not with an inspired menu that includes brioche grilled cheese to accompany drinks made with artisanal ingredients.

The bar offers such drinks as the John Henry and Big Queen.

The bar offers such drinks as the John Henry and Big Queen.

“What you’re eating has to feel appropriate to the environment and vice versa. For Little King our primary goal was to create a space that was both refined and rowdy so that our guests would feel comfortable getting a little loud, but also know they could count on us for a higher quality of food and drinks than your typical bar,” says Salway.

A delicious mix of pork belly beignets, scallop crudo and house cut fries with infused drinks.

A delicious mix of pork belly beignets, scallop crudo and house cut fries with infused drinks.

Salway’s design process:

  • We only used a few colors throughout Little King and used them frequently. Benjamin Moore‘s Black Jack and Farrow & Ball‘s Old White are our two primary colors. They manifest on the walls, in the checkerboard floor, in the bathroom tile and wallpaper, and even in our logo.
Bathroom wallpaper by Cole & Son connect to the interior design.

Bathroom wallpaper by Cole & Son connect to the interior design.

  • Brass details added throughout the restaurant draw attention to the brass wrapped bar and metallic paper ceiling, warm wood tones on the bar counter (also an antique deco piece), tabletops and stained wood doors.
  • Throw in a splash of deep turquoise on the banquettes to keep things from getting too serious.
Neighborhood atmosphere achieved via a smoky color palette, touches of blue, and vintage details.

Neighborhood atmosphere achieved via a smoky color palette, touches of blue, and vintage details.

  • The design of Little King incorporated many bold decisions: checkerboard floor, wall papered ceiling, detailed beadboard throughout–so keeping our palette simple keeps the space from feeling overly cluttered or busy.

For more information please visit Little King.

Photography by Jane Beiles

Christina Salway Design

Resources:

Bathroom wallpaper: Cole & Son. Ceiling wallpaper: Stark. Pendant lights: Craig’s List. Similar fixtures found on rejuvenation.com. Local auctions.

 

 

11/15/2016

Shape Up with Appliances

Design confession: the idea of relocating while my home hosts contractors for a never-to-be-determined amount of time is akin to being given livestock to make a meal. Shortcuts are an easy way to upgrade a look without the household upheaval. Simply add innovative appliances in your decor scheme. The product’s clean designs, available in current colors, will improve your life and add design interest.

1. Toaster 2. Vacuum 3. Drinks Mixer 4. Hot Wok Pro 5. Dishwasher 6. Coffee Maker 7. Pro Hair Dryer 8. Food Storage 9. Refrigerator 10. Max Heater 11. Microwave 12. Kettle 13. Washing Machine 14. Citrus Juicer 15. Blender 16. Wall Mount Hood 17. Range 18. Espresso Maker

11/10/2016

Ultimate Cottage Kitchen

For those who cook by spattering their apron and liberating the spice rack for an improvisational recipe, a cottage kitchen is the ideal venue. You could say that such a kitchen improves your cooking over a fussy space that would be in design disarray if you left a box of Raisin Bran on the counter. In the kitchen of my former Laguna Beach home, cottage charm blends with updated accents that secured it as the most popular place in the house.

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Cottage details abound in the kitchen.

Creating the design followed a low maintenance approach where small details added impact. Just steps from the front entry that leads to the beach, sandy dwellers is a frequent occurrence here.

Cottage Kitchen Design Process:

We kept the hardwood pine floors that flow throughout the home and installed a quick drying cement countertop.

Cabinets were given oomph with a sage green paint selected after testing a few samples and a few glasses of wine.

Open glass shelving showcases worthy pieces that support the kitchen’s look.

The farm style table was customized for the space. Since this is a smaller kitchen it accommodates a variety of functions.

Overhead pan rack adds to the kitchen’s needs in a small space.

Bring in personal collections for a signature touch, such as an arrangement of antique seltzer bottles that fit the scheme. Just be sure to use earthquake glue if you live in California.

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Live with your collections.

11/09/2016

Imagining the Trump White House – A Décor Story

The only cabinet reviewed for this Trump piece is connected to the kitchen. Once the future First Family moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue its interior may forego traditional floral patterns and heavy draperies for a gilded take. The White House could very well become The Gold House.

1. Rush Gold Flatware Set 2. 17-Month Agenda Book 3. Dahlia Gold Coasters 4. Guest Towels 5. Doublewall Drinkware 6. Form Teapot 7. Aquamar Split Finish Tub 8. Star Tiger Wallpaper 9. GE Suspension Lamp 9. Purist Drawer Pull 10. Purist Drawer Pull 11. Gold Pineapple. 12. Charger Plate

 

11/07/2016

Office that Works

While working at &co may not be a home office where you can wear slippers to work, it delivers on personalized appeal. Gone are the days of Office Depot desks adorned with stackable files that have the charm of an airport terminal. Designer Rebecca Johnson transformed this 20,000 square foot space into a destination so employees can be inspired and enthused in a styled workplace. “The aim was to create a space where modern thinkers dwell, a sun filled oversized loft, with clean lines for focus in harmony with objects of curiosity to ignite the imagination,” says Johnson.

Xray boxes is one of the many vintage design elements to characterize &co's office space with signature appeal.

Xray boxes showcasing art is one of the vintage design elements that characterize &co’s office space with signature appeal.

&co is a work and cultural space in downtown Jersey City created as a hub for young local talent, creatives and entrepreneurs. Johnson, also an upcoming professional, treated the space with a mix of classic, vintage and modern pieces. Highlights include x-ray viewing boxes, chairs, clocks, cabinets and salvaged fire alarms. Finnish lighting by Muuto, and a living green wall give the offices a green, artistic appeal. Johnson’s home design approach to professional environs seeps into office culture, which builds on &co’s mission. She blurs the boundaries between office and home design by bringing in customary elements when creating a home. Wallpaper, wood floors, wall treatments, bright paint, tile and art are all incorporated in the office. “Surround yourself with items that inspire you, display your favorite books, frame artwork and always, add plants!” says Johnson.

A relaxed space may be the answer to productivity and better work. “A great office creates an atmosphere that allows people to focus, yet energizes. Using primarily neutral grays with blue and green hues reduce stress and create an atmosphere of calm that is easy for communication,” Johnson says.

Accessories customary in the home extend to the office. Potted plants cater to the calming atmosphere of the Wellness Room.

Accessories customary in the home extend to the office. Potted plants cater to the calming atmosphere of the Wellness Room.

Johnson’s Principals to a Styled Space

Style with Accents:

Unexpected details make a workspace engaging, as seen in the rug, vintage furnishings, accessories and lighting.

Unexpected details make a workspace engaging, as seen in the rug, vintage furnishings, accessories and lighting.

  • Upgrade to a stylish task chair to brighten a room.
  • Swap the dull side chair for a lush accent seat.
    Add an eccentric throw pillow.
  • Eccentric details charge the space with imagination; like the intricate patterned wallpaper, and modern light fixtures.
  • 1950’s re-purposed antiques and artifacts have become unique conversation pieces and aid the natural flow of conversation.
  • Chairs that are equal parts stylish and comfortable are key to plugging in for a long day or work or casual conversation.

Light Approach:

The work bar is given added atmosphere with a variety of light sources.

The work bar is given added atmosphere with a variety of light sources. A lush Chiavi Segrete Fornasetti motif wallpaper pattern adorns the walls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Task lighting is necessary but can be cool and harsh, warm up your space with a modern floor or desk lamp.
  • Give due notice to your overhead lights as a way to bring in design and function.

Warm Up Practices:

An attention to lighting creates a mood with a shared style of the space.

An attention to lighting creates a mood with a shared style of the space.

  • Increase warmth by bringing in a vintage or colorful patterned rug.

Customize for Personality:

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Scandinavian brand Muuto, deriving its name from the Finnish word “new perspective,” represents the majority of lighting fixtures.

  • Custom made elements in the space include millwork for bar, banquettes and benches, reception desk, steel and glass facades and mirrors.

Mixing Work and Pleasure:

Conferences may go over time in a space that caters to the worker with cozy touches.

Conferences may go over time in a space that caters to the worker with cozy touches.

  • A space can both polished and playful simultaneously. Seeking a balance with traditional and modern shapes, organic and synthetic material, neutral and charged hues. Finding harmony amongst color and texture is important—if you want to incorporate a bright hue use it as a compliment to a neutral base palette. Organization of elements in your space is key.

Synergize Function and Design:

A playful approach to an office gathering place through zozy furnishings and bamboo swing chair.

A playful approach to an office gathering place through zozy furnishings and bamboo swing chair.

  • The only seat in the space that is not within a few inches of a power source is the lounge and wellness room, which was intentional. Conversation is promoted in the lounge while in the wellness room members are encouraged to disconnect and recharge. In our current screen obsessed worlds it is important to remember to nurture relationships with clients and oneself.

Photography by Patrick McLain and Corey Melton for Gamut Photos

Resources:

Chiavi Segrete Fornasetti wallpaper: http://www.fornasetti.com/collection/living-category/wallpapers/wallpaper-chiavi-segrete

Kate Deedy tile: http://growhousegrow.com/product-category/tiles/

Custom work by Real Antique Wood: http://www.realantiquewood.com/

Photographer Tatsuro Nishimura: http://www.tatsuronishimura.com/

Carlosa Ponte art: http://www.carlosaponte.com/about.html

Kirland Bray art: http://kirklandbray.com/

The Posters Co.: http://theposters.co/collections/all

Poster Child Prints: http://posterchildprints.com/pages/press

Vintage furniture: http://www.kanibalhome.com/

Muuto lighting: http://www.muuto.com/

Smeg refrigerator: http://www.smeg.com/

11/03/2016

Coloring Books for All Ages

Give a kid a coloring book and you may have given yourself 20 minutes of childcare without having to turn on Nickelodeon. Though coloring need not end once you hit middle school. There are books available for all ages and interests. It’s a classic way to calm the senses and release your artistic itch without having to live the life of a starving artist.

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A clever offering ranges from fantastical stories where the child advances the storyline to more grownup books that are so detailed they could add style to your home. It’s a unique gift that will be appreciated for not needing batteries and fosters creativity and quiet.

 

The Little Prince Coloring Book: http://hmhbooks.com/thelittleprince/books.html

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Doodle Adventures Slimy Space Slugs: https://www.workman.com/products/doodle-adventures-the-search-for-the-slimy-space-slugs

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Paint by Sticker Zoo Animals: https://www.workman.com/products/paint-by-sticker-kids-zoo-animals

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Boss Babes: https://www.workman.com/products/boss-babes

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Color Me Jane: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/543944/color-me-jane-by-jacqui-oakley/9780451496560/

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Colored Pencils: http://shop.eeboo.com/c/arts-crafts_colored-pencils-pastels-and-watercolors