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

Interior Design Trends for 2013

I’ve seen quite a few lists of design trends to watch for in 2013, and several of them really resonate with me.

I’ve seen quite a few lists of design trends to watch for in 2013, and several of them really resonate with me.  Some appeal to the traditionalist in me, while others are a bit riskier.  It will be interesting to see which of these trends get the most attention over the upcoming year or beyond, and which turn out to be more short-lived.  Here are the predicted trends I am most excited about!

1.  Brass:  This is a metal I’ve seen come up on more than one list.  This warm, ’70s inspired finish is something I’m already in love with.

Brass staircase designed by Kelly Wearstler.

2.  High Gloss:  Nothing compares to the shine and polish of a high gloss lacquer!  Lacquered walls really stand out and, when thoughtfully combined with more traditional elements in a room, create an unforgettable look.

Incredible lacquer walls, design by Jeffrey Bilhuber.

3.  Art:  Selecting just the right piece of art for a client’s space is one of my favorite things about designing.  I am always on the look out for an artist whose work appeals to me and fits perfectly with one of my projects.   I love that this is a trend for 2013.

Octopus sketch by artist Tierra Connor.

4.  Antique Furniture:  The trend here lies in mixing antique furniture with more modern elements, something I always enjoy doing.  In fact, hunting for just the right piece until I find exactly what I’m looking for is so exciting.

This gorgeous antique piece I found for a client’s entry used to be part of an 1800’s bar in the south of France.

5.  Embellished Walls:  I have long been a fan of custom wall coverings.  There are so many amazing options available to suit the needs of nearly any client in nearly any space.  From grass cloth and linen to hand painted and beaded, wall coverings are as varied and unique as the spaces they decorate.

For this client, I covered the walls of their home theater in Ralph Lauren Mahogany Yacare Crocodile.

6.  Lace:  If the word lace makes you think of your grandmother’s doilies, think again.  Like other old-is-new trends, using lace in unexpected ways can bring a lot of beauty and character to a room.  Think of combining it with more contemporary designs or using it in small, non-traditional ways.

This pillow features black lace accents. From the Jason Wu/Canvas line.

Which trends for 2013 are you most excited about?



I love leather. It has a masculine, tailored feeling and grounds everything around it when you put it into an environment.

I love leather.  It has a masculine, tailored feeling and grounds everything around it when you put it into an environment.  I like to use it in unexpected ways, not just on your typical desk chair.  On surfaces, walls, pillows, and doors, as well as couches, leather imparts a rich, sumptuous look. There are so many colors and finishes available now, such as ostrich, python, and larger etchings, there’s no end to the possible uses of leather in interior design.

Starflower Engraved Belting Leather Tiles
Genevieve Bennett – Leather laser cut tiles. Totally off the wall!

There are many great sources of beautiful, quality leather.  One of my favorites is Edelman Leather.  They have a huge variety of colors and styles of leathers, each more gorgeous than the last.

Edelman Leather’s Ostrich in Grey Slate
Shagreen City Lights in Smoke, also from Edelman.
Edelman Leather’s Rose Petal City Lights in Smoke.

I find myself drawn to leather with a lot of tooling, unexpected details, and customization.  It looks old, but is done in new ways, leading to some amazing products.  Leather gets better as it ages, like a great pair of jeans.  It can be expensive and you need to be smart about how you use it, but the results can be stunning.

Holland & Sherry Interiors, Birdseye leather rug.
Samuel and Sons Passementerie Woven Italian Leather Braid. Makes a great detail trim!
3D leather wallpaper by Genevieve Bennett.

Macassa Leather in Cote D’Ivoire from Rose Tarlow. I upholstered the interior of library bookcases in this leather. Totally luscious in an inky blue color.

One of my favorite projects involved this leather door with nailhead trim.  When I first presented the idea to the client, their reaction was “It might look too S&M!”   However, once the door was installed, they loved it.  It gave the interior an unexpected aspect and grounded the rest of the space.  They had to see it in place to fully appreciate the effect of this amazing door.

Leather door with nailhead trim.

The look of leather is so attractive, but not suited to every room in the home.  If you want this look without the upkeep or possibility of damage in an area such as the kitchen or bath, take a look at these tiles from Walker Zanger.  They look so much like leather, you have to touch them to convince yourself they are really porcelain tiles!

Matouche Design by Walker Zanger
Another example of Walker Zanger’s Martouche Design

Have you, or would you, use leather in your home?