At Home in Fairfield County: Get Fresh

At Home in Fairfield County Magazine asked forty designers, including me, to pick tried and true colors for a fresh spring look.

At Home in Fairfield County Magazine asked twenty designers, including me, to pick tried and true colors for a fresh spring look.  My choices are Steep Cliff Gray and French Lilac from Benjamin Moore.  Pick up a copy of the March/April issue to see all of the top color choices!

Amy Aidinis Hirsch At Home Color

Quilted Pieces in Design and Fashion

I’ve been seeing a lot of great design elements that incorporate quilting.

I’ve been seeing a lot of great design elements that incorporate quilting.  I’m not talking about your granny’s quilt, but about using this look in unexpected places.  Quilted pieces add texture to a room without competing with existing patterns.  Combined with modern materials and colors, quilting becomes a great addition to a space.  It can be used in many different mediums such as leather, stone, and fabric.  It brings a layered pattern to the interior without being overly graphic.

Quilted leather wall panels from Spinneybeck.
Quilted leather wall panels from Spinneybeck.
Established & Sons Quilt Ottoman
Established & Sons Quilt Chair
Quilted Paisley from Pollack Fabrics.
Quilted Paisley from Pollack Fabrics.
Sofa no. Two Twenty. Two from The New Traditionalists.
Sofa no. Two Twenty. Two from The New Traditionalists.
Mini Quilted Mosaic Tile from Complete Tile Collection
Mini Quilted Mosaic Tile from Complete Tile Collection

Like other design trends, quilted elements are also making their way into fashion.  As an accent or large pattern, quilting takes a traditional element and elevates it to create a modern, chic look, especially when used in surprising ways.

Quilted Fin Choker from Net-A-Porter.
Quilted Fin Choker from Net-A-Porter.
Roberto Cavalli Quilted Stretch Leather Skirt
Roberto Cavalli Quilted Stretch Leather Skirt
Jimmy Choo Brixton Quilted Leather Belt
Jimmy Choo Brixton Quilted Leather Belt
Gianvito Rossi Quilted Leather Biker Boots
Gianvito Rossi Quilted Leather Biker Boots
Jason Wu Daphne Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag
Jason Wu Daphne Quilted Leather Shoulder Bag

What do you think of this modern take on quilted pieces?

Color Obsession: Black and White

The combination of black and white in both fashion and design is always very graphic.

The combination of black and white in both fashion and design is always very graphic.  You have two strong elements that are not at all subtle.  People shy away from using it in interiors, especially those clients with families, but a black and white color scheme makes for a striking environment.  On their own, each color evokes its own singular response (mysterious black, pure white) but when used together, the results are quite stunning.

1.  Painting by artist Renato Freitas

2.  Zebra Cube, Design Within Reach

3.  Oscar de la Renta

4.  Madeline Weinrib Carpet

5.  Black Satin from Benjamin Moore

6.  Alexander McQueen

7.  Platinum, Diamond and Onyx Ring from Tiffany & Co., circa 1925.

8.  Wallpaper by Osborne and Little

9.  Sorenson 18 Pendant from Remains

10.  Black and white foyer, design by Rob Southern

Favorite Things: Chevron

One of my favorite go-to designs, chevron’s classic herringbone pattern never goes out of style.

One of my favorite go-to designs, chevron’s classic herringbone pattern never goes out of style.  It’s a great graphic whether you go with a large, medium, or small style.  A chevron pattern has a subtle or bold impact depending on the color or scale.  I love this pattern on an entryway’s wood floor, but you can implement a chevron design in many other ways.  Here are some chevron examples I love!

1.  Antique French oak floor in a chevron pattern, from Exquisite Surfaces:

2.  Photography by Pattie Boyd:3.  ZigZag Ginger Jar by Emilia Ceramics:

4.  David Hicks Chevron Rug from One Kings Lane

5.  Judith Leiber Chevron Swarovski Clutch

6.  Colorful chevron accents:

7.  Zig Zag Chair from Urban Outfitters

8.  Herringbone Cool by Arjumand

9.  Even in a shoe!  By Fendi

10.  Chevron Floor, design by Merrilee McGehee

11.  Missoni Jarris Fabric from Safari Living

12.  Great painted floor with two tones and alternating size.  Design by Mary McDonald.

Menswear Fabrics

Conveying a sense of luxury and a gentleman’s lifestyle of elegance and leisure, this “old is new again” trend has plenty of appeal.

Holland & Sherry Fabrics

Perhaps inspired by the popularity of television shows like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, the use of traditional menswear fabrics on furnishings has become an extremely popular idea.  Conveying a sense of luxury and a gentleman’s lifestyle of elegance and leisure, this “old is new again” trend has plenty of appeal.  Drawing on classic film icons and fine clothiers like Holland & Sherry, we can see why this timeless look has such appeal.

Armani Suit
Fred Astaire

Interior design with a Savile Row flair imparts a room with a sense of permanence.  Pinstripes, leathers, tweed, flannels, houndstooth checks, and colors such as camel and cigar brown all evoke the image of a stylish, well-dressed, confident man from romantic days-gone-by.

Handsomely Structured - David Kleinberg
Great combination using Holland & Sherry
Courtesy of blog 2Modern
Hudson Street Lounge by Ralph Lauren
The warmth of wool suit! by David Kleinburg

cover image via Vogue UK and Holland & Sherry

 

 

Greek Keys

Simple and versatile, the Greek key as a design element can be implemented in any color or scale

Also known as meanders, what we today call the Greek key design appeared in ancient friezes and on pottery from Greece’s Geometric Period onward.  Most likely a symbol of eternity and unity, Greek keys are an easily recognizable pattern.

I like to use Greek keys as trim.  It brings a touch of classicism to a room whether the pattern is part of a window treatment or piece of furniture.  Simple and versatile, the Greek key as a design element can be implemented in any color or scale.  It can be paired with other patterns or used alone for maximum impact.  With so many possibilities, it’s no wonder the Greek key has endured for millennia.

When you start to look for it, you find Greek keys in all kinds of places.  It’s amazing to think how long this element has been part of architecture and design!

Tortoise Shell Boxes

I love tortoise shell boxes. When placed around a room, these beautiful accessories add warmth and richness to the environment.

I love tortoise shell boxes.  When placed around a room, these beautiful accessories add warmth and richness to the environment.  They seem to absorb light and exude their own golden glow.  Tortoise shell boxes come in many shapes and sizes and may have elaborate ivory, silvery or gold decorations.

I’d suggest looking for these pieces with your favorite antique dealer.  True tortoise shell was primarily produced from the shell of the hawksbill turtle.  Prized for it’s beauty and durability, this material hasn’t legally been available since the 1970’s when worldwide trade of tortoise shell was banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.  Real shell is naturally able to command a higher price than imitation shell, but both can give a space the same look.

Tortoise shell, ivory, and mother of pearl

 

Set of nesting tortoise shell boxes
Carved bone and tortoise shell box
Indo-Portuguese tortoise shell and ebony table box

 

Mah Jong tile storage box