Drapery hardware is a finishing touch on a space that has a lot of potential to add interest to window treatments.
Navy and plum make a deep, sultry combo.
A bar cart is a great addition to your home furnishings.
Custom pillows are a need in a room.
I love adding to my collection of interior design books
One of my favorite parts of the design process is getting to the stage where I choose final details for a room. Drapery hardware is a finishing touch on a space that has a lot of potential to add interest to window treatments. The hardware is like jewelry for the window, complementing the room or adding ornamentation.
There are so many styles of rods and rings available, from contemporary elements to more traditional styles and everything in between. You can really customize the look of drapery hardware by thoughtful choice of materials, finishes, and accessories. The hardware can be sleek and minimal or make a bigger visual impact. Using contrasting rings with a bar is one way to achieve a memorable look. You can also mix darks and lights or use varying materials for an unexpected twist on drapery hardware.
In some cases, having simple hardware that is recessed allows the window treatments to be the focus. Hardware that doesn’t dominate the look of the windows is sometimes a better choice for a room.
Which look do you prefer?
Beautiful lighting is jewelry for a room.
Navy and plum make a deep, sultry combo. What I love about them is how they are such a saturated. So many people want blue or navy for their interiors which is so typical to see paired with white or red — things that are basic. I want to be able to counteract with something else, and plum does that. It doesn’t create a high contrast, but the two colors pair well because they are on the same level of saturation. Part of my obsession is my serious desire to get away from what everyone else is doing. Yes, an interior is an investment, and some people are braver than others. I see so much similarity and safeness as a designer, so when I am working on projects with repetitive palettes, it is nice to jump outside the box. With a color like blue that everyone loves, I like the idea of being original and pairing it with something that isn’t the norm. Add a little spice!
1. Purple Ocean, oil on canvas, by Lynn Grayson
2. Fragile, photography by Cathleen Naundorf
3. 1950s Lounge Chair from Michel Contessa
4. Valentino Spring 2015
5. Galata Pumps by Louboutin
6. Tablecloth from My World Bazaar — fabric would make amazing pillows!
7. Hughes Upholstered Velvet Sofa
8. Over Dyed Vintage by Sacco Carpet
Classic and elegant.
A bar cart is a great addition to your home furnishings. They are versatile, compact, and mobile, letting you set up the party in any room of the home — or even outdoors. It can find a spot in unexpected places, such as a console in the entry. Pretty decanters are one thing, but I think it’s cooler when it’s just dressed with bottles. The upside to that is, it’s constantly changing! The bar cart is an elegant reminder of the glamorous past, a throwback to an era of sophistication. Here are some of my favorite examples of bar carts. Which would you like to wheel out at your next party?
1. This bar cart features a chic geode knob. (Image via The Decorista)
2. Expandable Rolling Server from 1st Dibs
3. Vince SS Bar Cart from Worlds Away
5. Console Cart, a more rustic bar cart.
6. 1930s Industrial Steel Bar Cart from Restoration Hardware
7. Roland N Bar Cart, nickel plated with mirrored shelf.
8. Nero Bar Cabinet from Williams-Sonoma Home
10. Bar Cart no. One from The New Traditionalists
Custom pillows are a need in a room. The moment someone wants to take them out of a design, my heart starts to palpitate. Pillows are the icing on a cake, finishing a sofa or chair and pulling the room together. I actually feel unsettled if custom pillows aren’t part of a design.
Additional details such as the edging or embellishments provide further ways to individualize each pillow. They don’t have to all match each other, the upholstery, the window treatments, and the rugs. Pillows let you mix things up, soften an area, or influence the mood of a room. Here are some custom pillows I’ve designed for clients, each one designed specifically for a certain space.
Create a favorite spot.
I love adding to my collection of interior design books. There’s so much inspiration in all of these pages! Seeing what iconic designers are doing really makes me want to be a better designer myself. Books like these are an invaluable resource, allowing us glimpses at a wider world than we would normally see in our day to day lives and opening our minds to new possibilities. Here are some design books that would make a great addition to any design enthusiast’s home library.
As you all know, books are a passion of mine. Here are some recent ones that I’ve been exploring.
I was so happy to participate in the 2014 Pink Aid Fashion Show and Luncheon by Connecticut Cottages and Gardens at Mitchells of Westport. The event, which raises money for the fight against breast cancer, includes an auction of pink chairs and other pink items donated by designers. I contributed a chair, which you can see in the November 2014 issue of CTC&G, along with all of the other pink items created by some very talented designers.
With the start of the holidays a few weeks away, I am always brought back to the many traditions that were handed down through the generations in my family.
We lived next door to my grandparents, so I was very fortunate to have been able to watch my grandmother as she would cook and bake. We were quite a large family, so when the holidays came she would start to prepare days in advance by baking cookies and storing them until she was ready to use them. Her pastas were made fresh; I remember her cutting the raviolis on the kitchen table.
Everything was homemade. She would can and jar the vegetables and fruits from the garden that my grandfather grew to enjoy them throughout the year. Of course, at the time I was too young to realize this was the way she was taught by her mother.
She made so many great meals and desserts, so I thought I would share her recipe for one of my favorite cookies that she baked, her melt-in-your-mouth Walnut Sticks.
I try to keep with tradition, though unlike my grandmother, I may not cook or bake everything from scratch. One of the desserts I bake every Thanksgiving is Pumpkin Pie. This is a favorite in my house and I always make sure I bake enough of them so there is plenty to go around.
I hope you enjoy these desserts. It’s never too late to start a tradition of your own to pass down in your family!
2 cups all purpose flour
1 ½ cup of dark brown sugar
1 cup Crisco or 2 sticks margarine or butter
1 cup chopped nuts
Use a quarter sheet cookie baking pan. If using a full half sheet, you will need to double recipe and cooking time.
Makes approximately 2 dozen.
Mix together the flour, 1 cup brown sugar, Crisco or butter, and 1 egg. Mix until soft enough to spread onto a cookie sheet pan. Spread evenly, making sure it is not too thick or the cookies will be doughy and heavy; they need to be thin and crispy. Beat the other egg slightly and spread on top of the batter. Sprinkle the ½ cup of brown sugar on top of the batter, then spread the nuts on top.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into 1 ¼” wide and 2 ½” long cookies.
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 ½ tsp. ground cloves
4 large eggs
1 can (29oz.) Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
2 cans (12 fl.oz. each) Carnation Evaporated Milk
2 unbaked 9-inch (4 cup volume) deep-dish pie shells
8 to 16oz heavy cream for whipping
Makes 2 pies.
Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a small bowl. Beat eggs in a large bowl. Stir pumpkin and sugar mixture into eggs. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shells and bake in preheated oven at 425F for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F and bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until knife or toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a wire rack for 2 hours, then serve immediately or refrigerate.
I usually make these pies the night before. Just be careful not to touch the top of the pies when storing them.
Whip the cream just before serving pies; I usually add some sugar to the cream while whipping. Enjoy!