East Coast Home + Design

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The 2017 Designers Issue

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Photo by: © Sandro de Carvalho

Exceptional Products, Personal Service




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Design Defined

The 2017 Annual Designers Issue

100 Luxurious Comfort Robin Baron empowers client’s lives with adventurous interior design Story by Emily Ballard Photography by Rob Karosis

114 Adventure Awaits

Two Sisters Find a World of Treasure in a Penthouse Designed by Kati Curtis Story by Emily Ballard Photography by Eric Laignel


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Editors Letter Ask the Experts Events

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Melange Kitchens and Baths Profile

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HOME+DESIGN September / October 2017


Editor-in-Chief Matthew J. Kolk mattkolk@me.com 203-820-1092 Managing Editor James Eagen Contributing Writers Deborah Brannon, Lisa Gant, Susan Heller, Lollie Mathews, Jennifer Jackson-Outlaw, Jessica Rivest, Kait Shea Contributing Photographers Jane Beiles, Michael Biondo, Phillip Ennis, Tria Giovan, John Gruen, John Hannon, Paul Johnson, Neil Landino, Mark La Rosa, Tim Lee, Daniel Milstein, Janice Parker, Durston Saylor, Debra Somerville, Eric Striffler, Jonathan Wallen, Woodruff/Brown Photography Copy Editor Elena Serocki Graphic & Web Design East Coast Home Publishing

Publisher Shelley E. McCormick shelley_mccormick@yahoo.com 203-545-7091 Account Managers Alessandra Flanagan Patrick Giddings Lollie Mathews Business Development John Oleynick East Coast Home + Design 8158 Natures Way #23 Lakewood Ranch, Fl 34202 Fax: 203-286-1850

East Coast Home + Design is published six issues per year. To subscribe: www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com; Subscriptions: one year, $28; two years, $50. Back issues can be purchased at www.eastcoasthomepublishing.com. For editorial inquiries: Editor, East Coast Home + Design, 8158 Natures Way #23 Lakewood Ranch, Fl 34202 or e-mail: mattkolk@me.com. For advertising inquiries: Please call Shelley McCormick at 203-545-7091. Reproduction whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All projects described in this publication are for private, noncommercial use only. No rights for commercial use or exploitation are given or implied. The opinions expressed by writers for articles published by East Coast Home + Design are not necessarily those of the magazine.

www.homeworksny.com Home Works Interior Design 509 North Main Street Port Chester, NY

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hat a great issue. Asking 25 different designers how to define certain terms in design has resulted in some very interesting answers. How a designer looks at a project is very “left side of the brain”. As creatives, designers think in a very unique manner. I love hanging out with them, their ability to wrap their heads around very complex scenarios and have a mental picture of the end result is truly a gift. The myriad of different styles in this issue is something that I enjoy as well. As I have said many times in the past and continue to say when speaking to various individuals about our magazine is that as a larger regional, we feel that we must show all different styles of design. You may fall in love with some of our projects and not care for others, but our goal remains the same: great design is all around us in every style. It is our responsibility to share all of the different styles because in the end, it is all about us featuring great design. Next issue is another of my favorites: The Architects Issue. We have some fabulous projects coming in from our talented group of partners and we look forward to sharing them with you in November. Enjoy,

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Creative and Custom


Mabley Handler for Kravet Furniture Husband and wife design duo Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler of Mabley Handler Interior Design skillfully capture the essence of stylish coastal living. Together over the last decade, Mabley Handler Interior Design has grown to become one of the leading Hamptonsbased design firms, celebrated for their fresh, relaxing and beach-chic style. Their furniture collection for Kravet reflects a wide range of stylish, yet comfortable pieces designed for the sophisticated beach dweller in mind while still versatile enough for a city or country home. To complement the furniture offering, the Mabley Handler collection for Kravet will include by-the-yard grasscloth wallpaper and a curated selection of sophisticated fabrics in a harmonizing color palette.

Jan Showers Casual glamour defines the Jan Showers for Kravet lifestyle collection. Showers incorporated her signature style into a cohesive collection of furniture, fabrics, wallcoverings, and rugs that marry the charm and sophistication of Paris, Venice, and London with today’s desire for easy, translatable style. Drawing inspiration from vintage documents and European travels, the collection offers a beautiful array of sophisticated styles, and soft, serene color stories. The look of chic yet simple versatility seamlessly blends with any style or period.

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Barclay Butera, Lamour for Kravet Carpet Lamour, a new carpet design from Barclay Butera for Kravet Carpet features a subtle and delicate herringbone pattern, perfect for transitional and traditional interiors alike. The collection includes six versatile colorways including: Ash, Champagne, Sapphire, Sea Breeze, Star and Topaz. Search Lamour Carpet Collection “I wanted to create a collection of carpets that can be used throughout the home, in conjunction with one another, without the carpets competing or feeling forced. The slight sheen adds a hint of glamour while the subtle herringbone design keeps it casual and sophisticated.� - Barclay Butera

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Interior designer-owned and operated A.HOME is a specialty boutique featuring Fine Linens & Furnishings for the Bedroom, Bath & Home. Regarded for our well-curated selection of specialty goods of the FINEST QUALITY and in the BEST TASTE; we strive to help our clients create spaces with chic and timeless style. Bespoke is our specialty. We encourage clients to bring any fabric swatches and/or paint colors that they are working with and we’re happy to help customize their purchases. Our super-friendly and highly-specialized sales team and design studio are available to both retail customers & trade professionals. After all, Life IS in the details.

Villeneuve Blush Luxury Pillows expertly Tailored in the USA with exclusive designer fabrics.A.HOME EXCLUSIVE

Chippendale with lamp Chippendale and Pagoda styled rattan furnishings and seating that can be painted in 23 colors or COM. A.HOME EXCLUSIVE

Ming 4-drawer Textured Lacquered Grasscloth. Chowstyle feet, gold pulls. Available in 5 colors and as nightstand. Chambers in matte bronze Christopher Spitzmiller for VISUAL COMFORT iconic ceramic lamps drawing inspiration from classical forms and traditional gem like glazes. We proudly offer The entire VC collection.

Matouk Bespoke Bath Matouk’s Legendary assortment of terry in styles and colors begging to be personalized with your choice of monograms and/ or borders. We spend the time to make these personal for you.

Lydia Sofa Lydia by Vanguard Furniture. Refined and versatile with buton back and tapered feet give it a distinctive look. “conscience-driven company” known for environmentally responsible design, made in the USA

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D’ambrosio Stool Fresh transitional furnishings, made custom with 100+unique finishes. Environmentally conscious manufacturing made in the USA.

polished, supple, rustic, refined, easy, chic, comfortable, time-honored

Style for your entire home


Studio Drapery Panels Custom linen drapery panels in 8 styles (with banding, borders & fretwork), 5 header options in 50+ colors. A.HOME EXCLUSIVE


Malawi chair This retro classic becomes thoroughly modern Weave some of these wonders into your home to add a bit of chic. Palecek

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Charlotte Cosby Farrow & Ball us.farrow-ball.com


arrow & Ball is known for its clever paint names. What is the color-naming process at Farrow & Ball? Our individual names are just as much a part of the color as the colors themselves, and as a result the color-naming process is both timely and meticulous. A small team at Farrow & Ball works to develop new paint colors, and their names and stories are based off things close to us, like nature, historic houses, our surroundings in Dorset, England, and designers we have worked with in the past. Some names are even linked to friends of Farrow & Ball’s features. For example, Charlotte’s Locks is inspired by the color of my hair—although it’s not quite that bright! What are the most popular Farrow & Ball paint colors, and why? We are famous for our neutrals, and All White, Wimborne White and Pointing are all our most popular colors. Neutrals are always popular, as they can be used to provide a clean and inconspicuous backdrop to furniture, fabrics, artwork and accessories. Picking a color for your home can be daunting. How would you help a customer decide on a hue? There are three key things to consider when choosing a paint color: 20

the architectural elements of a room, the light and, of course, your personal style. Lighting is perhaps the main factor, as the color we see is entirely dependent on light. I advise people to test their color choice and look at it throughout the day to see if they’re happy with it in both natural and artificial light. How important is color to the design process? Super important—if you put a great design in the wrong color, it won’t sell. If you put a bad design in a good color, it will sell more than it should. Color helps communicate to the user what the product is about, and can help with the end purpose. For example, if you want a product to be discreet, you make it in a color that will blend into the surroundings, rather than one that screams, “I’M HERE!” Predicting color trends is a major aspect of the industry. What is your general process for predicting color trends? Is there a specific formula you use? There is no specific formula for predicting color trends; lots of different factors can and will influence a trend direction. Our instincts are our primary source, but we also spend a lot of time travelling and researching by attending trade fairs, exhibitions, graduate shows, etc.


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In the Fie

We predict the color trend for the year, which is Farrow & Ball’s take on a short-term trend, using the previous year’s research to inform our decision. We predict long-term trends for our new colors, which happen every two to three years, and this takes at least 18 months. It seems like wallpaper is growing in popularity again. How has the reputation of wallpaper changed in recent years, and what are your suggestions to avoid the “Grandma’s wallpaper” feel? It is so refreshing to see people turning to wallpaper to decorate their homes again. The trick is to start small so the stakes aren’t as high; for example, try wallpapering inside your closet or in a spare room so you can get used to it. You could also try an accent wall, which is a fun and creative way to update a room. After this, it is easy to see how wallpaper can transform a space and actually give it a more contemporary feel. Farrow & Ball launched a new wallpaper collection in September that included three new floral prints: Helleborus, Hegemone and Atacama. How do you envision the wallpapers being incorporated into the home? Do you recommend they be used as an accent wall, or around the entire room? All these designs can work in a whole room or as an accent. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference, the colorway and the shape of the space. If you’re using it as an accent wall, I would suggest picking out a color from the design for the other walls in the room—this helps seamlessly integrate the whole scheme. If you’re using it for the whole room, do the same with the trim. The peacock/graphite series

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Chris Hamalidis Chris Upholserty chrisupholstery.com


hortly after graduating from Fordham University in New York City[for clarity and to ID] with a business degree, Martha realized corporate life was not for her, and she joined the family business. Her father, Chris Hamalidis, had learned the upholstery trade in Greece, and Martha has added her business etiquette, sense of style, and passion for home décor to the business. Now, more than 24 years after it opened, Chris Upholstery’s workroom is a staple in the interior design community of Fairfield County, CT. Which piece of furniture should consumers splurge on? Your sofa is one of the most significant pieces you’ll need to buy for your home. We spend so much time in our living room, entertaining guests and catching up on reality TV. Make sure to pick a style and size that fit your space and lifestyle. A high-quality sofa will last for decades, and in the long run it will be worth every penny spent. Please explain the process of making custom furniture. It all starts with a picture or drawing. Our team meets with the customers to discuss their vision, and together we design their dream piece. We talk about the right dimensions to fit their space, and the style and finishes that will make it one of a kind. There are many options to make a piece unique: the shape and style of the legs, the material it’s made of, whether or not to use nailheads, the list goes on.

frames, which feature double-dowelled joints and corner blocks that are glued, stapled and screwed to the frames. Customers then choose the insert option that best meets their needs. Within three to four weeks, their vision is made into a reality. What type of fabric would you recommend for family life? When selecting upholstery fabric, always be aware of durability and resistance to soil. The last few years, the indoor/outdoor market has exploded. You no longer have to compromise style or comfort. With endless selections of designs and colors, you are sure to find a look you’ll love. We carry many collections in our workroom, including Duralee and Perennials. What are the benefits of getting custom window treatments? The difference between custom window treatments and the prefabricated ones you get from a large home improvement store is the difference that makes a room special. Customers looking to give their home a unique design can choose from drapery panels, roman shades, a cornice, a valance and much more. We custom-fit our drapes to the measurements of your specific windows, all to achieve the proper fullness for a luxurious look. You can decide which type of lining works best for your room, and choose your own fabric, trim or drapery hardware. Plus, you can opt to have custom blinds, solar/roller shades or shutters in your room. Together, we can help you choose the right option for your space.

All our frames are built on-site. We use the highest quality hardwood 22


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Heidi Holzer Heidi Holzer Design and Decorative Work heidiholzer.com


ow have decorative finishes changed over the years? Decorative finishes have long been associated with finishes like washes, ragging, textured plasters and others. Now the term encompasses much more, to include simulating textures and surfaces such as concrete, shagreen, crocodile and silk, to name just a few. Through innovative techniques and the use of an abundance of mediums, the possibilities for decorative finishes are endless. And a new freedom in design allows for traditional materials to be used in a new and creative way: Venetian plaster and metal leafing have been in existence for hundreds of years, for example, but their applications have expanded and evolved to suit traditional to contemporary homes. What are the advantages for a client of choosing decorative finishes over wallpaper? The most important distinction is the ability to customize the finish in color, scale and sheen, with a minimum lead time for each job. There are no seams, unless they are part of the design. Unlike wallpaper, decorative finishes can be applied seamlessly to wall plates, lighting rims, speakers and vents. They can be changed easily, compared to removing wallpaper, and their materials are not off-gassing into the client’s home.


What are the environmental benefits of working with decorative finishes? We are proud of the fact that our firm is constantly researching and sampling materials that are environmentally friendly. We have successfully converted to products for our finishes that have no volatile organic compounds. We recycle containers and dispose of all materials in an environmentally conscious manner. Also, because finishes are more durable than regular paint, there is a less of an impact on the environment. Less frequency of repeated work means less product, less packaging and less waste. What sets you apart from others in your field? We do a wide range of finishes very well, from traditional to contemporary. Our firm has created a variety of fine textural finishes, including Venetian plaster inlaid with abalone shell, and faux travertine mixed with faux concrete and highlighted by brass or stainless bands of metal. There is no limit to our imagination: we are constantly developing new finishes by incorporating new products, using new applications and mixing mediums. We are willing to travel, are prepared to handle large or small jobs, and always meet our deadlines. We enjoy the creative process and welcome collaboration. Even the most seasoned designers are surprised by our ability to uniquely combine textures and materials to create exclusive finishes.


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Bender Plumbing


An Organic Mix of Luxury and History at the Mill


here luxury meets history in architecture, it becomes a virtue to preserve the original materials and protect that nostalgia provoked by the elder structure. Authenticity is king—and new construction should seek to preserve or complement what has come before. That’s exactly the philosophy that Bender had in mind when the company was asked to design and install condominium kitchens for the Residences at 66 High Street in Guilford, CT. Bender provides extensive and customizable kitchen cabinetry solutions, among its many other select and attainable luxuries in plumbing, lighting, tile and stone. The Mill building, which houses the Residences, has a storied history in Guilford. Originally built in 1884, this structure has known a multitude of industries. From the beginning, the Guilford Enterprise Company had a short-lived business manufacturing buttons and other items from vegetable ivory. It has since seen the production of school furniture supplies (O. D. Case Company), carriage wheels (Archibald Wheel Company), ball bearings made by women for military equipment during World War II, and lollipops by Toy Pop—to name but a few of the endeavors undertaken in this handsome brick space. Now the Mill has become a


series of luxury condominiums, with the building’s original industrial facets and adjacent salt marshland carefully preserved. Moving past the desirability of historical preservation, the industrial setting is an attractive aesthetic for contemporary residents. The Mill’s main building is composed of two stories of gableroofed brick with understated corbeling, striking stone lintels and arched wooden trusses in the interior. Kristin Kureczka, Bender’s marketing director, spoke about the firm’s approach in integrating these elements into its kitchen designs. “The natural organic mixes are the focal points, so really we wanted to keep them,” she explains. This approach led to beautifully clean kitchen lines with clear sight lines that emphasize the interior exposed brick walls and wooden trusses. Bender designed a number of kitchen layouts for the Mill, all featuring islands. “The large islands that also accommodate seating are a great place for congregation in the kitchen,” Kristin points out. Throughout the project, Bender installed cabinetry from Medallion’s Gold product line, which offers seemingly endless personalization: clients can choose from a variety of cabinet and door styles, custom finishes and an extraordinary selection of colors in


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Treat each room individually, think about the activities and task you will be performing in each space so we can illuminate to your liking. Layer your lights in a space for example: in your kitchen, use Recessed lighting as your general light, under cabinet lights to illuminate the counters for prepping your meals or leave them on alone to give your kitchen a warm, soft glow when not occupying the space. Beautiful island lights and a decorative chandelier over the table to add glamour as well as light.


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Know your measurements! Ceiling height, room size, table size, etc. paints, stains and glazes. For its cabinetry, Medallion uses fine materials—including cherry, rustic maple, Resources quartersawn oak and more—and accommodates modern needsPereira with options for unique, integrated storage Candace solutions. Bender’s choices for the Mill’s kitchens Klaffs - Norwalk adroitly blend with the interiors of these industrial28 Washington Street flavored luxury condos, South Norwalk, CT 06850 organically playing off the building’s historic architecture. 203.866.1603

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“At Bender, we feel the heartbeat of the home is your Klaffs - Danbury kitchen,” Kristin 11 Newtown Road says. “We try to create purposeful and functional design.” In its approach to the Mill, Danbury, CT 06810 selecting and installing superb cabinetry to round off 203.792.3903 the building’s industrial authenticity, the company has certainly succeeded. Klaffs - Scarsdale

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341 Central Park Avenue Bender has NY 8 locations Scarsdale, 10583throughout Connectcitut. For locations, go to: benderplumbing.com 914.740.1800 klaffs.com

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DESIGN DEFINED Our favorite designers are assigned a term in design and asked how it integrates into their visions



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Sophisticated Modern

sked to choose an adjective to describe our design style, I wonder how I can find words that embody the breadth of our entire body of work. Our clients are so different, and their lifestyles and personalities are so individualistic, they give our creative energy and resources a workout as we develop distinct design styles from a blank canvas each time. But we wouldn’t ask for anything different. We love our clients just as they are, a unique group of diverse and beautiful people, each with their own likes and dislikes, no two the same. Whether it’s our client’s first home or one of their multiple residences, we work generously and tirelessly with them to develop their individual stamp, a mark on the world, their own special footprint. In the world in which we live, featuring “insta” picture, access to a continuous visual dictionary and a virtual overload of images and detail, it is difficult to strictly define East Coast Home + Design

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Photo credit: Lorin Klaris

design styles. What is contemporary to one is modern to another. But if I must describe our style, I would use the term ”sophisticated modern.” So phisticated means having a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture. Synonyms include enlightened, cosmopolitan, knowledgeable, urbane, cultured, polished, refined, elegant, stylish and cool. One might think of peo ple from the past, such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, beautifully poised, cosmopolitan and remarkably stylish in their wardrobe. Our clientele is made up of experienced, knowledgeable and cultural people. The kind of modern we are referring to is the present or current time, as opposed to the past. Synonyms would be present-day, contemporary, current, 21st-century, modern-day and recent. Our clientele knows the current state of design and understands trends versus a modern timeless feeling. “Sophisticated modern” is the adjective that best describes the important work we perform: work that is both stylish and current. We create our own path and define what is today. We respect the past but look with favor to the future. 30


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his is not the first design word to come to mind when we think about interior design. One might say a room is chic, cozy, classic, sexy, modern or minimalist, but “edited”? While it is not the term most would use off the cuff, editing is a constant part of any design process. Editing is most often associated with a magazine, newspaper or movie. If you dig deeper, however, “to edit” means to prepare, condense, modify, correct, improve, amend, polish, direct, run, manage, head, lead, supervise, oversee, choose material, select, assemble, organize and style. I am sure every designer reading this is thinking, “All of those terms define my every day!” or “Welcome to the world of interior design!” As humans, we relate to the color, texture, beauty and comfort of a home. When you enter a room, you should feel the harmony of the space 34


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and all the furnishings. A home or room that has been thoughtfully edited is a space where the design is well appointed, so that all the elements within the space have a reason and purpose for being there. And sometimes we have things just because we love them! Shelves or tabletops can be accessorized with books, family photos, collectibles and a children’s clay pot, but it can all be edited to look and feel organized and meaningful. The same goes for artwork, whether you have family photos, Picassos, a de Kooning or a combination of them all. Walls with art that are skillfully placed and layered will look and feel well executed—therefore, well edited. As designers, we are always editing. We edit plans and we edit research. We edit when we prepare to meet with our clients. We listen, take notes and inventory, all to be assembled and edited into an outline for the project. We have plans, sketches, piles of fabrics, photography, furniture cut sheets, decorative paint boards, wallpaper samples, lighting—you name it. Eventually, through the design process, all this work will be edited down to be the beginning of a room, an office or a whole house. Interior designer Grant Gibson once said, “The room was well edited, with every piece of furniture having a distinct purpose and meaning.” I think that is well stated and articulates what “edited” means in the interior design community. Edited in interiors says a room is styled, organized and meaningful. It is a space that is decorated and well thought out at first glance—however, no one knows just how well thought out it really is. An edited room to me is a room that has form and function. These are the rooms and homes we admire, want to spend time in, and want to live in!

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Swanky T

h e s e d a y s , there is little to be said about the aura and energy of an incredibly designed home. After we embarked on designing and building this new contemporary home, the interior needed to reflect the smart, slick exterior with a stylish, suave opposition. The sunken lounge room with monolithic steps opens down from either side of a linear fireplace that is mounted upon an absolute black granite platform. As swanky as the salons described by Ian Fleming for James Bond, the space is created from elementary associations translated into modern, sophisticated arrangements. The room exudes mystery and secre36

cy, with its dark, charcoal-blackstained white oak walls, with multiple seating areas in upholstery of geometric oversized proportions. It is strikingly fashionable and perfect for group gatherings or an intimate tête-àtête.. The freestanding bar of dark aquamarine onyx overlooking the reflecting pool just beyond the full height wall of glass is an ideal place for those private conversations or quiet thoughts while sipping martinis, shaken not stirred. The organic, bronze tabletops reference the black and white iceberg photo graph to the left of the bar, while the sensuous, sealed lips featured in the sofa niche effectuate a mission of ingenious accomplishment.


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ailored” can be defined as “having trim, simple lines.” In interior design, tailored evokes images of clean lines, crisp fabrics and knife-edged pleats. Connecticut-based designers Leslie Toran and Kimberly Harper of Leslie Toran Interiors are known for designing fresh spaces that embody this elegant aesthetic. But for Leslie and Kimberly, creating a tailored space means going beyond these typical images to create a space that truly captures the style—and lifestyle—of their clients. Understanding a client’s tastes is key to executing a perfectly tailored design; knowing how a client plans to use a space allows the designers to craft personalized recommendations for that use.


Thus, in a recent project for a large family that frequently entertains both adults and their children’s friends, Leslie and Kimberly incorporated an oversized dining table that easily accommodates 12 into the design of the family ’s kitchen. They chose crisply upholstered, stain-resistant linen chairs with simple lines punctuated by tufted backs to East Coast Home + Design

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line the sides of the table, and narrow, high-backed wing chairs with elegantly curving aprons to grace the ends. These choices allow the family to achieve the relaxed yet tailored style they wanted, without worrying about every potential spill in their active household. Backless counter-height stools with fitted upholstered seats provide even more seating without obstructing the view into the kitchen. An airy brass and glass étagère was added to showcase collectibles and add visual interest while still keeping the design light and uncluttered. For another project, Leslie and Kimberly tailored their design recommendations to be friendly to both children and fourlegged family members, while remaining chic and stylish. A busy family of four, the clients expressed the importance of having a space where the family could gather. At the same time, the family frequently entertains and needed an elevated design suitable for entertaining adults. Mindful of those requirements, the team specified an oversized sectional, large enough for all four family members and both dogs, with clean lines, upholstered in stain-resistant, heavy-wear ecru fabric with a soft, cozy hand. With the plethora of performance fabrics now available, even very active families can incorporate lighter fabrics into their designs. Two clean-lined end tables, a large round ottoman with a pleated skirt subtly accented with nailheads, and a console behind one side of the sectional ensure that everyone has a place to set a drink or a book. The incorporation of small boxes into the design provides the family with a place to stow small items, like remote controls or errant hair ties, without 40

cluttering the space. A chest of drawers tucked neatly into one corner was added to hold the family ’s collection of board games. Leslie and Kimberly also chose to incorporate several occasional chairs into the design, adding sumptuous texture and extra seating for larger gatherings. The result is a welcoming, yet still stylish, family room perfectly tailored for an active family. Children’s rooms also benefit from a tailored approach to design. In a third project, Kimberly and Leslie enjoyed creating a fun and functional bedroom designed to meet the needs of a stylish tween girl. The team specified furnishings with clean lines and made sure to include ample storage in the room. With input from their young client, they chose a simple color palette of gray, white and blush pink, punctuated by pops of gold and black. Kimberly and Leslie added youthful yet sophisticated visual interest by layering patterns and textures. A richly tactile, round shag rug grounds the room. A low, white leather-upholstered platform bed with subtle button tufting replaced a more ornate one, and the existing dresser was refinished in black and white to add a graphic punch to the room. Mirroring the shape of the rug, gold polka dots on crisp cotton bedding carry up a single, broad white stripe behind the bed. A desk fills out the corner opposite the dresser and provides ample space for homework and projects. And a dull, flush-mount light fixture was replaced with a funky black-and-gold round spoke chandelier with white glass globes.


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Kitchens Roundtab Ourdoor

Choice® selection provides an outstanding display of deep blue flowers through early fall, attracting pollinators of all types. The compact form of this sun-loving shrub mixes well with perennials and grasses. Hydrangea paniculata ‘Strawberry Sundae™’ (Dwarf Panicle Hydrangea): In coastal regions, our obsession with hydrangeas is hard to deny. Although not our first choice when selecting for dry sites, if you must have some hydrangeas in your xeriscape, the panicle form is most appropriate. Strawberry Sundae is a First Editions® Plant, its flowers beginning mid-summer as a creamy white, and transitioning to shades of deep pink. It is suitable for drying or fresh arrangements. Lavandula x intermedia ‘Phenomenal’ (Lavender): For the gardener who has struggled with overwintering lavender in New England, this recent introduction tolerates both extreme heat and humidity. The evArnold Karp and Robin Carroll ergreen silver foliage of this herb is deer-resistant; its prolific fragrant SCOTT HOBBS: flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. “When the regulatory process takes 6 months to a year, and is uncertain in terms of results, a lot of the fun goes outSky’ of it for client Panicum virgatum Prairie Winds® ‘Cheyenne (RedtheSwitch and for the architect. Sometimes I can’t even break ground for year Grass): This Proven Winners® nativar begins the season with blueto 18 months waiting for the various approval processes. If we could green foliage that transitions to a reddish purple in late summer. A figure outat we’d have better worth morewell money of midsizethat grass almost three feet houses, in height, it works in aand mixed greater value, but because of the regulatory environment people are border with perennials and shrubs, as well as an accent plant in conwalking away.” tainer gardens. STUART DISSTON: Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’ (Stonecrop): Although only a few inches “I have a client who is about to walk away from an 8 million dollar

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project of thesedum 2 yearprovides approvalyear-round beautiful process – his texture jobThe situation against has tall, thisbecause groundcover color. mid-sumchanged. Two years, that’s a long time.” the quartzite and lacquered mer yellow flowers pale in comparison with its foliage, which transicountertops.” tions from chartreuse in spring to shades of orange and red in the fall. It works well in the landscape as well as in containers and rock gardens. MATT KOLK: The culmination of this “Let me ask a question? Does the timing project forCranberrybush): is thea process kitchendiffer revitalfor Viburnum trilobum ‘Wentworth’ (American A large people building versus renovating?” ized, at last beating in time shrub, this American Beauties Native Plants® selection produces white homeowners’ lives. spring flowers that attract butterflies. with In latethe summer, the bright red A chorus of voices sounded most of which agreed that renovation berries provide food for songbirds, and its stunning red fall foliage is a could be the most arduous KITCHEN reconciling DESIGNa structure great alternative to the invasiveprocess burningbecause bush shrubs. that met code when originally built now Kerifaces McKay major uphill battles, sometimes insurmountable. That leaves Kerinot McKay only Interiors the architect and These are just a few of the many plants that, once established, can better builder, but the buyer and seller in a financial Fairfield, lurch. CT handle dry conditions. With our ever-changing weather patterns, it is important to make water-wise decisions203.414.0133 that reduce our impact on the ANN SELLARS: kerimckayinteriors.com environment while still creating aesthetically pleasing landscapes. “This is not just about Millennials. This is also about the regulatory process Resource itself and people wanting to renovate. I explain the whole approval process to clients and their reaction? “WHOA!” Then I get an email, and this has happened Eva Chiamulera, ASLA, PLA three times in the past four months. “We decided to bag this project.” Austin Ganim Landscape Design, LLC 320 Kings Highway Cutoff HOWARD LATHROP: Fairfield, CT 06824 “I was on the 203.333.2003 Westport Planning & Zoning Commission for 8 years. We tried desperately to change the regulations, make it easier, and AustinGanimLandscapeDesign.com we did improve it, but it’s still terrible. Clients have said, “We want Before to build or renovate but we don’t want to go through the Westport

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egan Wunderlich has put a new face on professional design. Utilizing today’s technology, Megan created DesignDot as an approachable resource providing efficient, accessible and quality design. It was this fresh, clientbased philosophy that drew the owner of a charming cape in Fairfield County, CT, to Megan and DesignDot. Having enjoyed the home for several years with her nowtween children, the homeowner was ready to freshen the entire space from the kitchen to the new master suite. A working mom, the client was looking for the project to be easy, turnkey and within budget without sacrificing style or innovation. She wanted a color scheme of blues, grays and whites and a design that complemented the lifestyle of her busy family. Megan guided the homeowner to an easy transitional look that was fully articulated to the client via DesignDot’s Style Diary. The Style Diary for the Blue Cape was a comprehensive, visual roadmap encompassing all aspects of the project. Inspiration boards were created in the palette and style envisioned by the homeowner. To-scale furniture layouts also included in the Style Diary gave the client a confident conceptual understanding. Every element of the project’s purchasing options—including fixtures, hardware, furniture and draperies—were specified by style, price and supplier information. The details Megan conceptualized were born from the first rule of her design process. “I really listen and synthesize what the client wants their house to be,” she says. In this case, the client wanted a refreshing update that would feel current for at least the next decade. Megan recognized that sterile grays were running out of the current trends, so she opted for grays with a more vibrant base. She even guided the homeowner to a wonderful, deep shade of gray with a violet undertone for the study. This instantly elevated the furnishings that the client had desired to keep. The result was a warm, inviting facelift without the expense of a complete refurnishing. In keeping with the spirit of the cozy-sized cape-style home, Megan kept things simple. She found a good, basic, quality subway tile that could be used throughout. Shaker-style trims and profiles allowed for a clean look that lent itself to be dressed up with fun, decorative details that reflect the homeowner’s tastes. One such detail, a chandelier for the dining area, was a welcome departure from Megan’s Style Diary for the Blue Cape. Though Megan had recommended a modern, streamlined casual fixture, the client had fallen in love with a more decorative, formal one. Megan was thrilled. “After all,” she says, “it’s the client’s home—it should be the client’s vision.” Seeing the project come to life so beautifully and quickly inspired the homeowner. Utilizing the Style Diary, she was able to fully and easily participate in the project. With a new confidence in her own vision, the client saw her inspiration come to fruition under Megan’s tutelage. East Coast Home + Design

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reat design feels collected. Whether it’s done all at once or over time, interior designers enjoy using the mementos that clients have collected of places they ’ve visited or of special events in their lives. These may be treasured items they ’ve acquired through travel, tokens representing their personal passions, photography, art, sentimental heirlooms, or pieces we source on their behalf. A collected style design principle transforms one’s home and outlook, thus creating a high-end personal lifestyle environment for our clientele. Beth Krupa Interiors (BKI) is a full-service interior design firm with a global perspective that comes from Beth’s experiences living in London, India, Hong Kong and New York City. She couples her past travels with her design expertise to target unique and highquality furnishings and finishes found at design markets throughout the year. These design markets provide inspiration for a more specific and collected style. At BKI, we get to know our clients and collaborate with them to design a place that will inspire, motivate and nurture them. With our knowledge from market trends and skilled trade artisans, we can find, build

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a n d design just about anything that can be dreamed up. And, indeed, over the past two years, the Interior Design Society has recognized Beth with three national design awards. A collected style doesn’t imply cluttered. There are times when a well-placed artifact can serve as a focal point to enhance the space and draw you in. To Beth and her team, a collected style is about editing to maximize impact—a concept Beth learned during the years she worked as a fashion buyer at Bergdorf Goodman, Henri Bendel and Calvin Klein. Here she experienced firsthand that what you’re not wearing can be as important as what you are wearing. At BKI, we apply those same principles, which suggest that every space is defined by its usefulness and beauty for the people living, visiting and working there. Beth believes that when you enter someone’s environment, you should instantly feel a connection to that space and those residing there. As long as you stay true to your client’s visions and desires, an interior designer can do absolutely anything. “Creating that sense of place unique to the individual or family,” she says, is what lies at the center of every BKI project. There’s a real specificity and timelessness to the collected spaces she designs, and every project we do at BKI represents the chance to capture the clients’ personalities and passions. 46


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alking into Bel Mondo in Westport, CT, is like entering another world, with its calm appearance that soothes and quiets the mind. Hence the name “Bel Mondo,” meaning “beautiful world,” fits perfectly. Interior designer and shop owner Heidi Thrun has created a space where people can step through the door and automatically feel at home. The shop is very airy, and the individual vignettes are created in such a way that visitors can see how beautifully things can be put together.

the foundation of good bones. It provides a pristine canvas on which colors dramatically come alive. White beautifully reflects natural light and emits a positive energy, creating an uplifting environment. For example, while using white sofas as the bones, you can bring color through pillows, accessories and artwork, and the colors will pop beautifully against the white.

White does not only have to be the bones of your space, it can also lighten up dark furniture. For example, if you have a gray sectional and it is overpowering the room, throw some As a designer and owner of the furniture and accessory store, pillows that have a predominantly white pattern and texture Heidi explains how white inspires her to come up with de- to transform the entire feeling of the room. To create a calmsigns that create calming spaces for her clients to come home ing space, use white fabrics and textures, and introduce some pastels with pillows and art. to and never want to leave: Putting it simply, white is a wonderful, fresh color to set out Enjoy white! You really can have some fun with it. 48


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Photo credit: Neil Landino

clectic style in luxury design is more than mixing the old with the new—it combines a variety of nuances from a broad and diverse range of sources. A skilled designer creates this effect by pulling together unique blends of textures, colors, finishes and shapes, while subtly enforcing harmony within a space. Pictured is a project in which I played an essential role while working with Robin McGarry Interior Design. The eclectic style here begins with a foundation of traditional elements within the room: a custom, tufted-back sofa; a neutral-patterned, hand-knotted, vintage-inspired Oushak rug; blue and white antique urn vases; and a wood side table with a warm

finish. These elements are simultaneously contradicted and complemented by the modern midnight blue flannel wingback chairs, black lacquer and bronze metal console tables, and deep red custom cowhide leather ottomans. The lighting featured here also explores a mix of lines with the smooth, translucent, smoke glass lamps in the modern, mutli-tonal gold geometric chandelier and wall sconces. This room is in no way limited to one single look or theme. Eclectic style has been achieved here by using design principles to leverage the collaboration of modern, traditional and antique elements, thereby producing a truly graceful composition and justifying some daring dashes of the unexpected. East Coast Home + Design

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lamour ” was my design concept with this client. Every project, designers will tell you, reflect the client’s wishes and how they live, and that is true with this young, energetic family.

with her choices a bit unexpected and just a shade from being over-the-top. In the master bedroom, for example, the custommade bed with the silhouette heads for lamps reflects old Hollywood glamour. Similar is the master bathroom with polished nickel faucets and sconces of gold and crystal. Mixing metals was not a design element at the time, but when it was sugThe mom was the driving force behind everything selected, gested to her, the client fearlessly agreed to these selections. East Coast Home + Design

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Manhattan With a chic, sophisticated aesthetic, our Manhattan Collection’s contemporary teak framing is defined by clean lines emphasized by horizontal slats. Beautiful teak wood is perfectly selected for outdoor gathering spaces, featuring rich coloring and naturally protective oils which resist the elements.

Bourdeaux Crafted by hand using reclaimed elm—salvaged from beams collected from centuries-old buildings—our Bourdeaux Collection will be the focal point of your outdoor space.

Lighting and accessories bring together all the elements in a room and separate what can become a ARCHITECTspace. In this dining space, the Niermann pedestrian Christopherchandelier, Pagliaro Weeks gold candlesticks and eglomise Nick Sajda bowl brimming with hydrangeas are all in keeping Pagliaroa Bartels Sajda Architects with beautifully appointed and glamorous dining 3room Pine Street for family and friends. Norwalk, CT 06854 203.838.5517 Glamour doesn’t have to stop when designing a young pbs-archs.com girl’s room. A crib studded with jewels, a whimsical table for afternoon tea, and beautiful window treatLANDSCAPE ARCHITECT ments in bright fuchsia are what a little girl’s dreams Tara Vincenta and fantasies are made of. ARTEMIS Landscape Architects Hamptons Seating 277design Avenue #4 AFairfield simplywith elegant design, ourdetails Hamptons Outdoor A glamorous is not for Dining every cliBridgeport, Collection inspiredwho by classic, English Thesethan ent, but CT foris06604 those appreciate it,gardens. I am more all-weather furnishings are artisan-crafted from natural teak 203.683.1808 willing to rise to the occasion! hardwood. Their beautiful frames are hand-finished to emartemisla.com phasize the wood’s coloring and unique, organic features.

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Individuality I


n an age where herd mentality is increasingly claiming our closets (black Lycra, anyone?), our modes of transport (black SUV, anyone?) and our decor, individuality is becoming somewhat of a risk. Standing out in a crowd may not be for everyone, but being comfortable in your own home should be. Your furnishings should be a representation of your life and loves, not that of trend forecasters or neighbors. That’s not to say you should actively avoid trends: after all, black Lycra is slimming, and black cars are chic! Moderation and motivation are key. My one true rule is to buy what you love. If you surround yourself with what makes you happy, you will be happy. When I approach a new client, one of my priorities is to ensure that his or her tastes are suitably represented in the design process. I also love to incorporate items they already own to add a sense of history to the space. When it comes to the overall scheme, I am happy to steer the ship, but in the end they have to live on it! These three dining rooms underscore these sentiments. One has a more traditional bent, one is more modern and one is somewhere in the middle. They

are reflective of the clients’ personal proclivities, but share a healthy dose of color and personality, which is where I came in. Wallpaper is a real kingmaker when it comes to showing individuality. It’s a bold statement and can act as both art installation and conversation starter. I used paper in all these rooms, and the effect is striking but in different ways. And if wallpaper is a kingmaker, then lighting is its crown. We have three totally different looks, all with similar impact. Lighting can either complement or act as a foil for the rest of the room’s furnishings. I love to play with genres and put something unexpected in every room I design. This creates interest and a break for the eye. It can be a big purchase, like custom wallpaper, or something simple, like an unusual fabric choice or accessory. You can still add whimsy and color to a room without a huge commitment. I think it’s a mistake for people to worry about things “matching.” Design is not a math equation, it’s a feeling. As long as you choose things because of how they make you feel, it’s a sound investment. East Coast Home + Design

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Photo credit: Chuan Ding


olor is one of the most important aspects of a room’s design. When color is properly coordinated in a room, it creates a sense of cohesion and eye-pleasing beauty. Color coordination and selection, an expertise of mine, is not something that can be taught, but is an innate talent. I love mixing new, interesting color combinations and palettes in my room designs. I use soft tones for more calming areas, and brighter tones for an upbeat, fun vibe. Typically, I do the large surfaces in the room in more neutral tones, and use bright pops of color in the artwork and accessories. At this home in Greenwich, CT, I chose bright pops of yellow, orange and blue in the throw pillows, art, accessories and area rugs. I utilized these wonderful, happy colors to complement and coordinate with the client’s large artwork in the foyer. This visually ties together the two open spaces, adds interest and finishes the room off beautifully. In a well-designed room, colorful items are not overused. The thoughtful room design incorporates colorful pieces in a carefully coordinated way. Too much color will result in a cluttered and confusing look. You also want to avoid the overly matching room, which ends up looking too cutesy and forced. Less is usually more when it comes to designing colorful rooms. 60


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Artistic Tile

tecture wasthelost.” homeowners decided oncrean as well as hope She of aand storythethat is not yet over—that elegant direction that would emphasize the stunning views ation and life continue. I’d like to acknowledge my collaboraof the Corey high Grant ceilings, the coffered and torsthe andwater, friends, Tippin and Kim ceilings Nelson, who all the other details of incredible architecture. They also have brought a whole lot ARTISTICTILE.COM of beauty into this world.” wanted to showcase the homeowners’ outstanding collection of pop art. “So, while they still wanted thisis home to feel In showcasing their creativity and compassion this powerful traditional, they were willing to explore transitional,” Linda window display project, these top designers each offer a unique adds, “and the juxtaposition of the modern art really gave it design but all convey the same message: spread the word, raise the twist I think we were all looking for.” The art collection awareness and promote care, compassion and hope in the fight set the HIV/AIDS. mood for each room, and the tropical environment against informed[OK as edited?] their choices among these pieces. In the library, the dramatic coffered ceiling and panel walls Resources are stained in warm wood tones, with a lowering [should Christopher Spitzmiller pair of wide zig zag lamps in this be “towering”?]crown of antique brass embodied by marigold christopherspitzmiller.com Farrow and Ball Designer Resources a Chameleon Fine Lighting chandelier. A incustom-designed “Yellow is the most luminous of all colors the with purchases and shipping, and can even suggest accommodations, Locations and Designers in almost culture represents sofa by spectrum, Paul Himber is every covered in ittaupe Silverton Weave ifus.farrow-ball.com needed. Alexander Doherty warmth” from Lee Jofa,sunshine,happiness, while the customand chairs were upholstered by Alexander Doherty Design Paul Himber in Osborne & Little Montacute Crosslee fabric We arrive Doherty at Antichita Trois, where I’m introduced to Alberto Alexander 71 W 85th Street #4A Anfoin aqua and white. A custom Amiel Medallion area rug from dillo. again I’m whisked away—indeed, my feet UpperOnce West Side New York, NY barely 10024 touch the Holland Sherry softens“All themy space, andhave Paul Himber ’s And cushave & aGypset habit ofTravel saying, clients taste.” ground!—to the interior ofwith a somber palazzo. Of good course, the ground 322 Columbus Avenue 212.390.1572 Acrylic bench Mongolian Fur Seat tomit’s valances and drapery panels in Zimmer & Rohde’s StanIn fact, allworlds-away.com myalta, clients great taste. They knowan assouline.com floor is true. reserved for acqua and have thus left vacant. We enter New York, NY 10023 alexanderdohertydesign.com morewhat Felt—Aari embroidery on a felted ground—introduce they like, but don’t possess the design skills to transelevator that is small even by European standards and are brought to 212.799.0900 morelatevibrant color. The Holmes table Ferrell Sodesign cozy - Worlds Away-into yetcocktail interesting in from their preferences a home that successfully the most spacious rooms ofany hisroom magnificent palazzo. Alberto guides Antonino Buzzetta Mittman and the Roman Thomas “Orbit” side tables conexpresses they are. us through hiswho treasure trove of antiqueAntonino paintings on reverse Antonino Buzzetta Buzzetta Design glass; trast beautifully with the contained softness of the room, aFlatiron collection of lions (the symbol of Venice); ancient 39 W 14th Streetboxes, #504some as PUZZLE CHANDELIER complementing the striking walls and moderntaste art.and distill My design approach is toPuzzle learn a Chandelier client’s beautiful the inside the outside; furniture; glass; and, 32 E.interior 22nd New York,paintings; NY 10011 Inspired byonaStreet house of as cards, our is made that understanding into a is design “vocabulary foralways their been project. of course, chandeliers (this Venice, after all). ”I’ve fond of sheets of solid brass layered into a dynamic composition. New York, NY 10010 917.971.0571 The clients wanted an open, free-flowing that of would Linda Ruderman transformed the house fullhouse interior thistake magWhen I use this approach, my client’s becomes a home thatadThe Architectural Modernist feel isand warmed by the luminous of212.334.8330 Venetian Murano chandeliers, now I’mup convinced that antique antoninobuzzetta.com Design by Sara Baldwin for New Ravenna, The Aurelia from Sam Gault vantage ofhome, aexpression dramatic location on a cove. Sellars Lathrop nificent but waterside hesitates when asked which aspect a Hang unique of who they are. Their interior becomes metal. your Chandelier above a circular like of isis the way to go.isPuzzle Delft Collection a modern American interpretation oftable, a cenArchitects and Artemis Landscape Architects were fortunate to colthe design is her favorite, since every part of the house is our Nixon, or in a here fabulous timeless. Carmina turies oldRoth craft, . Shown isCarmina a foyer. hand Roth cut jewel glass laborate on thisgrand classic modern home. special. “familiar The living room that connects to the newly jonathanadler.com David isLapis, a Venetian partialMica, Persian descent on hisand father’s hassle.” 32 EastRachtian Putnam Rothfinish. Interiors mosia shown inAvenue Lazuli,ofthem Lolite, Absolute White erie’s team decided to update to anCarmiña off-white Doing so built loggia was my favorite space,” Linda finally decides To be timeless requires confidence to know who side. At hisCT shop we findconfidence—the antique Persian rugs from Tabriz, Kashan, Greenwich, 06830 203.987.5961 Blue Spinel. not only helped lighten the rooms but also offered the enduring look While Howard Lathrop of Sellars Lathrop provided the overall deafter some thought. “It was challenging due to the size of Photo credit: Bing. you areand and whatChuan you like. Inimagesbychuan.com a one decade dominated by agray, it’sThis a Isfahan China, around which could easily build room. CHRIS PAGLIARO: 203.422.0990 carminarothinteriors.com jamieshop.com that the couple was seeking. Plus, the color helped provide a sense of sign direction for the house and the site, he knew it was important the space. The sunset with all its blazing sky already set the challenge to speak with color. In a way, “timeless” is the opposite Ibiza Lounge Collection thoughtfully arrangedapplicable and packed store also features glassThis is particularly for antique the Millennials because they do uniformity within home. to “trend.” bring infor Tara M.the Vincenta from Artemis, atofirm known for itsis exbackdrop the rooms would create.” Her design team restorationhardware.com of It’s difficult towe assign adevelopment decade an interior ware, silverware, jewelry and important, sought-after Jewishthat pieces. not have the patience to wait out the of a project. They Connie Cooper Connie Cooper pertise in coastal plants and sensitive ecological locations. Howard threw themselves wholeheartedly into the challenge, creatgrays,catches whites, silver, which “really makes the arttimeless; a timeless interior defies categorization. Itthat hasthey permaWhat mytaupes eyeapartment areand paperweights from the 1950s, decorated would rather rent an thanresults—a invest atimeless home don’t 396 Road East Connie Cooper The couple were thrilled with the home is saysaPost he and Tara “worked collaboratively toinmeld theDesigns interior of the ing refined, tranquil space from which to enjoy the that views. work stand out nicely,” she says. nence and legitimacy. It is ageless. with mythological creatures. know willexterior.” be or how much it will They Westport, CTit06880 58 Highcost. Point Road don’t want just aswhen welcoming toready their to their adult guests. house with the An intimate dining tablekids sitsasamid white-lacquered McGuire to hear, “Public hearing, appeals periods,Westport, Health CT Department 203.221.3117 06880 review, chairs Spinneybeck’s Acqua upholstery leather White covered was Chiara also inintegrated into sleeker modern powder Orseola and walk me back to the where the tour began, 5-6 weeks for a building permit and then 10 months tointerplay aand yearI am to 203.256.9183 “Hedgerows and stone walls work together to form the and Sunbrella fabric. A bronze fire screen made by Eric Velroom, which was long andmyself narrow, and needed its fixtures toofI pleasantly surprised to find in familiar surroundings. Then build.” They want answers, deadlines, and an end-game result of Caleb Anderson conniecooperdesigns.com INTERIOR DESIGNER planes and solids thata create the design aesthetic,” Theanpalleca stands before fireplace outfitted with he reclaimed be small and modern. Laracircle, believes aresays. important realize we havefinancial made a impact.” large and that theywhites have given me a lesson planning and D & D Building Valerie Grant etteuse oftiles hardscape materials is limited washed rock, tique from L’Antiquario. The to living room loggia space in smaller rooms thatriver have no narrow wininto getting around Venice, too.and dark rooms Suite 1519 Caleb Anderson Valerie Grant Interiors concrete pavers, Ipe wood deck tiles and native stone outcropping. features a custom banquette by Paul Himber, an Artifacts dows or don’t get much light. In this case, Lara “didn’t want CHUCK HILTON: 979 ThirdTuck Avenue Drake / Anderson 14 Friar Circle Retaining walls are natural concrete matching pavers. A native International glass top cocktail table, andthe a Ralph Lauren to clutter the wall artwork,” she to says, “soa Leaving Venice islong like empty parting with with aagencies lover; I and daydream linger “The problem is there are so many so many interest New York, NY 10022 67atIrving Place, 12th Floor Summit, NJ 07901 stone wall runs adjacent to the road and the parking area. Joshua Tree Chair in Woven Lampacanay. “I loved designing instead I chose a delicately patterned silver-white wallpaper little longer before we’re returning to reality. Visitors at least take groups. Currently, working on a waterfront project. Wecan have a 212.752.5544 New York can NY 10003 917.921.1916 the trelliage with thea antique mirror behind it,”ofLinda says. to fill the wall with bit of shimmer and tons interest.” comfort ina bringing something backagency, home—a beautiful lion, tree, box, historian, wetlands agency, coastal zoning, building, 212.754.3099 valeriegrantinteriors.com Tara white, provided a clean, simple landscape that keeps fits the architecture and “No matter where you sit in the scheme loggia, you have water views The silver and gray color the small room chandelier, a commissioned Luigi Bevilacqua fabric all forjust that very spebiologist, structural engineer, lighting consultant, to getI were apMichael Herold drakeanderson.com spectacular waterfront setting. As she explains, “Howard and that reflect everywhere.” light and bright evenunique thoughbag. it has no like windows. cial upholstery and/or Finds these add design sparklethe to proval for 17 a schematic so Ribbon we can was then begin 160 Route North The Jenning Brutalist in agreement that the landscape toactually be simple andtoarchitectural, interiors and wardrobe, lifting onetelling out of thejust sea of get sameness. house. And it’s two years they’re us, to through the Paramus, NJ 07652 Michael Herold Table will dazzle thethefor particularly atpick the entrance to home, thewith use aoftint clipped INTERIOR DESIGN Lara likesLamp to a whiteincolor wallwith paint of agencies.” 201.265.4030 Michael Herold Design and vermodern home with striking ilboxwood hedges, ivy groundcover, concrete plank walkways Linda Ruderman the color that will coordinate with any other colors in the Venice is a bewitching city that I can’t 287 waitS to getStreet back#8 to as soon Main lumination, simple geometric nacular stone site walls.” Linda Ruderman Interiors room. She uses brighter whiteAnd on itthe window trim, as possible. Itthen makes me ayearn for more. makes me wonder, Looking toward the future, one of the conundrums for residential Patrick Mele Lambertville, NJ 08530 designs and boldto metal done with the off-white color on the 74 Greenwich Avenue doors and ceilings contrast Cockatoo Wallcovering Scalamandre Spring 2016 fabric Where will The Antiques Diva takeIndoor/Outdoor me to travel and shop next? a towns with 2project acre zoning isfinish. the 22 of expanding Upper East Side 609.460.4763 BIZET TABLE inher aThe gold leafwas One of the goals tocombined extend theCatch direct coastal vegetation Greenwich, CT 06830 wall. Unless clients insist, she tries to steer them away osborneandlittle.com book. colors Linda has selected are the multiple downtown to attract new residents and/or allowing hous142 East 73rd Street mydesignermichael.com A stunning hand-wrought base is topped zincdoor.com into the house, all while becoming part of the shoreline. To achieve 203.552.9700 following: 27056-002 Surf, 27059-002 Surf,for 27058-002 from white fabrics on upholstered items, obvious practiThe Antiques &with Co ing toDiva be built. bucolic setting is what love New York, NY 10021 circular tempered glass. Distinctively Osborne Little -27067-003 fun in awhite/light-colored child’s room or perhaps amany mudSurf, Surf scalamandre.com thisunits theand team used aThe variety of ornamental grasses andpeople perennials, lindaruderman.com cal reasons. 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rtistic” is the word that best describes my approach to working with clients. A Fine Arts Major in college, I studied many aspects of the arts, including stage design, sculpture, painting, art history and jewelry design, to name a few. By definition, “artistic” means exhibiting taste and/or discriminating judgment. Making an artistic arrangement of flowers involves editing, and artistic handling of a delicate situation involves finesse and judgment. These skills apply to the work I do on so many levels. The first 25 years of my career as a designer, I worked in television on As the World Turns and The Guiding Light. We usually designed on average eight new rooms a week, creating the mood the writers intended and the setting for each of the characters. I’m grateful for that experience, as it made me more versatile for my clients. When I first see a room or an upholstered piece of furniture, it is like a blank canvas to me. The fabric and finishes are the foundation from which to build layer upon layer. For a current project involving a large family room, we had so many fabrics we wanted to use that we needed a way to marry them and edit as few as possible in a harmonious fashion. I love that I have the luxury of time to attend to these details, and I find the right workroom to execute each faction of the project and coordinate their assembly. Time

is usually one of the hardest things to communicate to clients: once they’ve made a decision about a project, most (though not all) want it done quickly. I understand their impatience, but when you’re purchasing something you’ll have forever, you need to be patient and be prepared to wait. The palette was inspired by this beautiful, handwoven 12- by 20-foot carpet that should arrive at the end of October, so the photo of this fabulous Yankee Spool chair was staged in our showroom. The room is sundrenched with large windows overlooking beautiful gardens and woodlands beyond. The desire was to bring some of the outside in. The fireplace (not shown) is the focal point of the room, with the goal of making the space warm, elegant, inviting and durable. The clients have a large family and dogs, and they love to entertain. The outdoor shower speaks for itself, with fun, playful and functional sculptures used as towel hooks. It is a delight to reimagine and repurpose things. For another client, the wine cellar, copper mantel and compass rose are all in the same room. Who wouldn’t want a wine cellar in their home office? (Though I’m not sure how much I would accomplish!) The residence on the water features a compass rose with exact location. It is a very subtle application with a mini spotlight right above it. The thrill of the hunt, the orchestration and the execution never get old. East Coast Home + Design

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taging a home is an opportunity to show potential buyers the lifestyle a particular property offers. While interior design and staging design have opposite goals—interior designers personalize a home to reflect the owners, staging designers depersonalize a home so it does not reflect the owners—there are many design elements that cross over. My personal favorite is the use of texture. Texture can be defined as the surface quality of a substance, such as the feel, consistency or appearance. It is a design element that can transform a room that would otherwise feel flat, or as though something is missing. Whether it be a knobby natural fiber area rug, a soft Mongolian fur pillow or a rough piece of driftwood, texture has the ability to add a subtle dimension and an inviting feeling of comfort to a space. When used correctly, varying textures spread throughout a room can add a powerful and intangible depth, especially when staging with neutral colors. As a staging designer, I prefer to keep the color palette soft and quiet so it doesn’t distract buyers, but instead evokes a relaxing sense of calm. Life is busy enough, and most buyers spend very little time viewing a home, and know very quickly if they like it or not. That’s why it is imperative to create a staging design with intention that will conjure up a lasting impression. Monochromatic rooms are appealing to buyers, and I like to use different East Coast Home + Design

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pops of texture to add interest and importance to a space. An example of this would be using accessories with coarse textures set on flat, shiny glass surfaces to create interest to the eye. My goal is for potential buyers to walk through a property, feel Monterey welcomed and have an emotional connection to the space. This Designed by Mark Tyrie, the awardis achieved by creating ”moments” with texture. For example, winning Monterey armchair and deep a large comfortable linen chaise with a smooth cashmere seating chair in new “Chalk” cording throw draped on it, next tojoins a mirrored and metal tablebywith an the Monterey range.side Inspired mid-century modern movement, open book, creates anthe alluring moment that buyers can imagine themselves enjoying. the chair features a teakwood frame and all-weather woven cord made from Textilene®/Olefin® fiber.

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here are so many elements when it comes to functional and beautiful design. It is a creative process that takes time and thought, with each element serving an important purpose. Romeo + Baglio Design believes layering does not mean being a maximalist and adorning the room with many objects and multiple decorative pieces. While this can be a part of it, layering a space is much, much more.

bring about and convey the mood you want for the space.

Layers create a depth that keeps a room from feeling flat. Romeo + Baglio likes to add contrasting elements for optimal impact: for example, a reclaimed wood base table with a sleek glass top. Natural elements like fresh flowers combined with a metal accent complete the layered look. Placing together pillows of different textures and patterns can make a space cozy, yet interesting. Leaning art against a wall—whether on the floor, mantel or The technique of layering is more about console—can give it on a new personality finishes, textures, colors, patterns and and add a collected vibe to the space. We textiles. Layering a space is how it is all find you can never go wrong with stacked pulled together with uniqueness to create one cohesive space. Layers are to a room what jewelry is to an outfit. books, candles or fun vases to display everyday objects like crayons, You don’t have to be covered in diamonds and gold to accessorize; markers or pencils. sometimes even the simplest piece of jewelry can add just enough to Romeo + Baglio Design believes that, whether the homeowner is a enhance the look. maximalist or a minimalist, layering is necessary. One of our favorite There are so many ways to layer: rugs, draperies, artwork, decorative quotes says it perfectly: “The details are not the details—they make objects, books, pillows, blankets and even wallcoverings. These touch- the design.” es create originality, personality and, most of all, interest. They help East Coast Home + Design

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omfort. The word itself brings so many images and feelings to mind. For me, it evokes memories of my children snuggling tightly into my chest, as we nestle deep under a down comforter on a cool morning. Then there’s my husband kissing

my forehead when he sees distress in my eyes, my mother ’s homemade bread pudding, and of course my yoga pants and white T-shirt. All these images put me at ease as I find peace and simple contentment within.


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Comfort Imagine if the design of a space could conjure such feelings. That would be nirvana! Well, it can and it does—when it’s well designed. This requires getting to the core of what “comfort” is to us. While we all have different ideas of what comfort is, we all experience design, we don’t just see it. Experiencing design means

it must appeal to all our senses. We need to enjoy the encounter of a space through seeing, touching, hearing, smelling and even tasting. Simply four of the five senses need to be heightened to achieve this ultimate success. It’s through a partnership with your designer that your perfect comfort space can be achieved. East Coast Home + Design

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with a rope at the threshold.” This philosophy, which Barbara also embraces, is embodied everywhere you look in this timeless interior that is refined without being a museum. Visual and tactile interest is brought into the living room in layers: an area rug softens the space among plush chairs from Wesley Hall and a sofa from Hickory Chair, all without hiding the luminous wood flooring. A dark cabinet with padded doors, the one heavy piece of furniture in the room, is balanced by the tall, wide windows opposite, with their attendant Pearson daybed. Barbara’s deliberate use of bold colors throughout achieves that ideal proportion that enlivens the room and breathes vitality into the space, rather than strangling the room’s atmosphere. She also created a focal point—missing from the architecture of this living room—by hanging three Osburn wall mirrors from Bassett side by side. The effect is beguiling, delightful and ultimately surprising, notes Barbara. “The room feels open yet grounded and absolutely pleasing,” she says. This sensational combination of room enough to spread your wings yet still stay down to Earth infuses the foyer as well. Here, the room’s bright airiness is grounded by the deep wood of a Regina consoledifferent table, which in turn counterbalanced lamps and the While simplicity of anpeople Ablenay Our ideas of iswhat comfort by is delicate make us unique. many mirror from Uttermost in an antiqued gold finish. Staggered photographs from the client’s personal align their ideas of comfortable spaces with those filled with plush furniture or collection add interest toany one’sspace journey up be the comfortable, stairs, like so many fascinating stepping cozy atmospheres, can even without thosestones. elements. For example, my comfortable kitchen is large, open and bright. It mixes highly Altogether, this collaboration between Fein and her captures home that polished modern elements withBarbara a spattering of clients rusticperfectly materials. It apushes theis meant to be lived in. “That sense of comfort and ease, that sense of home, was the goal for this space,” envelope and brings forth unexpected design components. It is easy to navigate Barbara explains.fresh They certainly achievingand that.a coffee pot with two cups ready and includes flowerssucceeded from myin garden to enjoy with a guest. The space wouldn’t be complete or comfortable without DESIGN aINTERIOR deep relaxed chair tucked into the corner, next to a full-length window overBarbara Feinstein looking the gardens. Add the scent of fresh apple pie drifting through the space B Fein Interiors while Motown plays softly in the background, and we’ve achieved my definition 51 Greenacres Avenue of comfort, or my signature style, Cashmere & Blue Jeans®. It’s a style that is Scarsdale, NY 10583 authentic, polished, supple, rustic, refined, easy, time-honored and, well, just 914.261.1114 plain comfortable. bfeininteriors.com

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oastal” is the light at sunrise and sunset. It is toes in the sand in July, and paws in the sand in November. It is the feeling of possibility that is inspired by an endless horizon. Coastal is tidal ponds filled with headhigh cattails, and salt air that makes you inhale deeply with every breath. It is seashells on the back steps and beach chairs slung over shoulders. It is light-filled rooms with a riot of color and surfboards as art.

Coastal is what inspires me to want things in my clients’ lives to be beautiful and diverse, just like the coast. It is rattan chairs three seasons old, with just the right patina. It is outdoor showers and sometimes sandy sheets. It is the bucket of flip-flops by the front door, and rain boots and waterproof coats in the imperfect mudroom. Coastal is pink and orange and soft one day, gray and green and hard the next, each equally beautiful and inspiring. But most of all, coastal is home.

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s both a designer and a student of yoga, I have learned that the feeling of Zen is not a luxury in life, but a necessity. Zen is a sense of peacefulness through which you can get away from the hustle and bustle of life and take time for yourself. By being present in the moment and not caught up in worries of the future or regrets of the past, we can focus on ourselves and take care of our own mental health. By reconnecting with ourselves, we regain the energy to give our time and attention to the people who matter in our lives. Everyone should have some sort of space to recharge and relax. A bedroom is a great place to create a space to help people experience Zen. Most clients want their bedroom to be a retreat: quiet, private and peaceful. A monochromatic palette of blues was used in this guest bedroom to engender a sense of quietness. It’s low contrast but runs the full spectrum, from crisp whites to dark, inky indigos. These different shades work together harmoniously to keep the space feeling relaxed without becoming sterile. Brass tones add warmth to metal finishes that are otherwise cool to the touch. Abstract patterns and artwork help quiet the mind because they aren’t provoking specific imagery or ideas. The Studio KC original ice dye throw pillow on the reading chair has a watercolor look that is soft and dreamlike, so you can let your mind disconnect from the worries of the world. Interior designers do so much more than make a room aesthetically pleasing—they design spaces that evoke feelings and create atmosphere. To achieve a feeling of Zen, you need to involve all the senses of the body. Soft and inviting textures like a velvet headboard, a fluffy Mongolian lamb pillow and a cashmere blanket make you want to curl up and relax. Visually, the grasscloth wallcovering creates a subtle strié that is relaxing to the eye. Simple, clean lines in furniture and patterns bring about a sense of calm. The acoustic properties of the soft surfaces and textiles help to make this bedroom quiet, so you can escape the world. The smells and flavors of a scented candle, fresh cut flowers or a plant can help relax the mind and body. Natural elements in your space like plant life can be transformative. If you don’t have a green thumb, try a low-maintenance plant like Tillandsia, or succulents. Having something natural indoors helps reconnect us with the Earth—and ourselves. Surrounding yourself with items of personal value brings you back to what truly matters in life. I keep small items from trips around the world nearby, to remind me of the people and cultures I’ve experienced, and to remember that we are all connected and what a beautiful world we live in. Zen is all about reconnecting with yourself, so whatever you have in your space should be something that truly speaks to you! East Coast Home + Design

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ne word that encapsulates a major influence in this design is “minimalism.”

Our clients needed help designing and custom manufacturing furniture for their new beach house in Norwalk, CT. When they mentioned “nautical,” we were sure we could help. But these clients also wanted an uncluttered home, something minimalist. The experience for us as a design shop and furniture workroom was exhilarating because the project’s focus aligned with our expertise: beautiful, superior-quality custom furniture. Minimalism is often misunderstood. It’s not about the quantity; the goal is quality. It’s about achieving your goals carefully, reducing baggage, encouraging motion. And there’s certainly room for beauty. It’s a battle for freedom from excess, but the enemy is not indulgence. Understanding our client’s vision of nautical was especially rewarding and interesting. Beach days are treats, but can often include spurts of chaos. Maybe this house is meant as a sanctuary amid a salty, sandy and, at times, stormy area. We used an abundance of blue, not necessarily because of the sea and sky, but because it promotes tranquility, depth and calmness. Our design process began while the existing house was still just a skeleton of its former self, awaiting rebuild. Because a walk-through wasn’t possible, our design resources were the architect’s plan, our clients’ vision and the reliable view of the sea. Our plans were to present to the clients our furniture and window treatment designs, select fabrics and finishes, build the area’s highest quality furniture, and mix in some reimagined vintage beauties. Our sweet spots! The family and dining rooms share an open space and an unforgettable view. We were asked to keep the view unobstructed. The furniture needed to serve family togetherness, but also an individual experience with the sea view from any seat. Everything in these rooms was custom-built new except for the buffet, a John Stuart dresser that we lacquered in high-gloss white dove and repurposed for the dining room. The dining table is a marvelous marriage of wood, lacquer and metal. The brass base and commanding circle pedestal design help establish the dining room as its own space, while the unique honey finish on top subtly contrasts against the light flooring. The custom chairs—requested specifically by the client—follow Scandinavian minimalism, feaEast Coast Home + Design

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turing walnut frames with luxurious ivory leather. It is simple and simply dazzling.

room is welcoming, stunning and entirely suited for family use and entertaining.

The family room is anchored by a custom blocky sofa that’s softened by bulging bellies in each of the cushions, with the nubby, sand-colored fabric mimicking the shores below. Broad arms double as additional seating or even headrests for lazy rainy days. Custom swivels ensure no seat is viewless. The swivels are covered in exquisite fabric resembling charcoal from last night’s beach bonfire. A series of custom, matching modern tables balance out the texture of the seating. A custom bench nods at nautical. White embroidered sheers provide just the right balance of privacy and transparency to the surrounds. The

An original console design by Jhon is the focus in the foyer. Electric blueberry “gator” leather sits atop a “bird in flight” frame. The custom master bed is nautical and minimal all at once: channeled and with curved wings, covered in crushed rain-cloud colored velvet. The bed resembles a flat sea with ripples from drops of rain. Custom bedside tables are simple and functional. The room has direct, Imax-like views to the sea. Very little is needed—just superior-quality, beautiful, locallymade furniture. It’st enough to allow a minimalist to chase important dreams while also living well.



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olors may be associated with spring, summer, autumn and winter. Or colors may be categorized as warm or cool. For many people, selecting and combining colors is intimidating. Color is one of the most effective decorating tools you can use to make your home comfortable and beautiful. It has the power to cheer, invigorate, soothe or relax. This room Is all about using a touch of lavender. Soft splashes of lavender make a statement that says “fun, sexy, lighthearted.” It doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s relaxed. My clients wanted to bring a feel of Italy to their family room. The lavender brings out elements of my clients’ favorite mural of a Tuscan valley, and it also serves as an unexpected accent color in their new family room. Color accents were incorporated in a quiet and restrained way, using that warm lavender for the fine-textured pattern in the ottoman, throw pillows and love seat. The lavender draws your attention to the mural. It’s a soothing color that allows you to unwind while gazing at the art, inspired by faraway places.

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When Julianne Stirling reno vates a child’s room, the parent often has a theme in mind. For this room, however, the client’s only directive was to put a favorite pink and white wallpaper on the ceiling. The little girl was too old for a nursery and too young for anything serious, but it wasn’t hard to figure out what kind of room would suit her. She is a precocious four-year- old whose face lights up when she describes whatever catches her attention. Her stories are fanciful, playful and sometimes droll. She is often mischievous with her little brother. She whirls from room to room, spreading joy and whimsy. Stirling Design Associates gave the room structure with the built-ins, so the room can change easily as she grows: stuffed toys and dolls East Coast Home + Design

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now, serious books and trophies later. It doesn’t have to be a child’s room for you to add a little whimsy. A touch of humor makes a space personable and relatable. It could be in art or sculpture. Think of how an oversized pair of dice on a coffee table or a color-related stuffed animal among serious throw pillows would make a space more interesting. Andy Warhol’s art and today ’s zebra rugs and animal-print pillows were once thought whimsical, but by virtue of popularity are now common. Note that in this child’s room, some of the stuffed animals are falling off the shelves. Even if you didn’t notice this at first, it subconsciously gives the space movement and energy. It is also “ whimsical in reverse” to have a serious piece of art—in this case, Trashed – I Dare You, by Janet Lage—in the bathroom, instead of over a mantel.

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his 18th-century farmhouse in Litchfield County, CT, is a perfect example of a reimagined space. The challenge was converting this dark, low-ceilinged, extremely traditional structure into the fun, bright home the clients wanted. We accomplished this by mixing bright colors with whites. We also turned the narrow front porch into a dining area that seats 12 people, while scaling down the formal dining room into an entry and cozy dining space painted a bright orange/red. We used this color throughout the home sparingly, and combined it with primary colors. Folk-art animals and art objects provide whimsy, painted floors add some pop, and bare wood floors keep the space open. The overall effect of a reimagined space is to respect the past by enhancing it with a fresh, new look. The original 18th-century walnut beams now pop against the mix of antiques of Asian abstract art and sculpture. Most importantly, the clients are happy!

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he variety of personal styles and elements of design are as countless as the stars in the sky. Most people would agree that taste is one of the most subjective points of discussion, and there are certain rules that apply—but these are made to be broken, especially when it comes to a highly personal, well-curated space.

ed by pieces that mean something to you, that have a sense of history or connote a special time or place. Whether it is a piece of art, furniture or accessory, the object sometimes signifies a moment in time that continues to create a happy memory for the homeowner, as well as an inviting, dynamic environment for a guest. A well-curated space gives equal measure to both—and that is the greatest style of all

The most personal spaces are those in which you are surround-

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o evolve in design means to be open to inspiration and information. I strive to create environments that are clean, calm and current, but a bit out of the ordinary. I design spaces that are fresh, yet will last for generations. I make rooms that are beautiful, have design integrity and introduce something new and unique. I like to make spatial changes that inform a home or office with design, sound, lighting and the most updated, seamless technology. It should be a place that delights the senses and delivers updated design without overwhelming the senses. Architectural design, furniture layouts, elevations and floor plans begin the process of interior design. Accessories, art, whimsical fabrics, fresh paints, wallpaper and furniture then stimulate the senses and create a room that feels alive. Everything must be refined, comfortable and functional. The process is a collaborative experience with my clients. All projects are unique and fluid, and will evolve and improve along the way. My client’s space is always in motion, and my job is to make it a happy place. What could be better! I love what I do and how my clients enjoy their newly decorated spaces.


Evolve My interior design showroom and retail shop in Westport, CT, opened four years ago in a railroad-style building, with its focal point a view of the Saugatuck River. The showroom has evolved tremendously from its original state of bare white walls and cold cement floors to a space with modern Italian porcelain floors, wool and silk custom handmade rugs, and custom cabinets and built-ins. Each room is a different vignette: The front room of the shop is filled with home furnishings and one-of-a-kind objects and art— a collector’s sanctuary. The middle room features blue and white built-ins that house my tools of the trade, and also exhibit one-ofkind pieces of jewelry and accessories. The back room is my kitchen showroom. On display are sinks, faucets and some natural stone and quartz. Here, international organic foods are kept and then cooked in my kitchen on state-of-the-art appliances from Aitoro Appliance & Electronics and Clarke Kitchen Appliances, both in Norwalk. Brands include Gaggenau, Miele, Wolf and Sub-Zero. Each month we hold catered art openings and events in my showroom, and demonstrate new trends in design. My neighbor is an art gallery called X.PO.ZUR. I helped in its design, and the owner and artist Mark Krueger helps me find one-of-a-kind pieces of art to include in my design clients’ spaces.


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LUXURIOUS COMFORT Robin Baron empowers client’s lives with adventurous interior design Story by Emily Ballard | Photography by Rob Karosis

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he saying “don’t mix business with pleasure” certainly does not apply to the owners of this Upper East Side New York apartment. With kids who have grown and moved out, this couple was looking for a home base in the city that could be used for entertaining as well as business. Although this space is not intended as a full-time residence, the owners wanted to ensure a level of comfort and warmth for their visits to the city, as well as an inviting and exciting ambience for their guests. To achieve the multipurpose functionality of the space, they turned to Robin Baron Designs to oversee the in-depth process of transforming this post-war condominium. The project involved a full-scale construction renovation of every room, and a detailed interior design with a unique perspective. Robin Baron stood at the helm and guided the process to create a luxurious final product with an artistic style that no one could replicate. It is difficult to define the aesthetic of Robin Baron Designs. Each project she undertakes is a culmination of intricate and customized details that journeys into the unexpected. Yet one thing is always a

constant when it comes to her work: her client’s needs. Robin operates a client-centric business that focuses on collaboration and trust. I pride myself on the fact that I don’t have one set look,” she explains. “There is no ‘Robin Baron look.’ It really is about the client, and I always keep an open eye and an open mind, and encourage my clients to do so as well.”

Forging an Eclectic Path

Before starting her interior design business more than 20 years ago, Robin studied both fashion and interior design, and created her own fashion label and retail store in Los Angeles. But she found that the demands of the fashion industry were detracting from the genuine enjoyment that got her started in the business. So she gravitated toward interior design, a passion she’d had her entire life. Robin moved to New York and began exploring antique dealing. Before long, people knew her name and asked her to design for them. She was exhilarated by this new adventure, and the Robin Baron Design business started to bloom. Robin was deeply inspired by the power that interior design has on affecting people’s lives and impacting their homes. Her tagline became “Confidence begins at home,” with the focus of her design business on empowering her clients. She doesn’t design with any set rules or preexisting notions. In fact, if you visit her office, you won’t find East Coast Home + Design

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libraries of fabrics and wallcoverings, which she believes can hinder a designer’s perspective and even make her lazy. Instead, she looks at each project with a fresh eye, collaborating with the client to find and design one-of-a-kind items to create a unique look. “My goal, obviously, is to make a space beautiful,” she says, “but also to make it an environment that inspires my clients every morning when they get up—a place that makes them feel good about their lives when they leave their home, and healed when they walk in the door after a long, hard day.”

Creating Space

Most if not all of Robin’s design work is full service, meaning everything from pre-construction to decorating and finishing touches. This is a hefty undertaking when factoring in contractors, designs, plans, permits, demolition, construction and so forth. Robin’s goal is to alleviate stress for the client by managing the construction aspect of the project.

The marble textured wall in the living room is an attention grabber as you enter the home.

This Upper East Side project was a major renovation, and Robin was tasked with creating a feeling of more space and height in the low-ceilinged apartment. She achieved this by essentially gutting almost every East Coast Home + Design

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The lighting fixtures were designed by Robin to enhance the eclectic ambience.

single room and implementing tray ceilings to add more depth. “I wanted it to be a gracious-looking apartment,” Robin reflects. “Doing this level and scope of work is definitely a commitment on both the client’s part and the designer’s part.” The renovation took the better part of two years from start to finish. The overall concept for the home was a combination of warmth, luxe and glamour, and as you travel from room to room, the rich textures and deliberate colors reflect the desired atmosphere. One of the first things you see when you enter the home is the “stepped” White Thassos marble textured wall. Robin enjoys playing with architectural elements, as demonstrated by the curved corner cabinets in the dining room. These unique pieces create an interesting visual with the practicality of additional storage. She continues her distinct design aesthetic with a different look for each bathroom, with customdesigned vanities, tiles and wallcoverings. The master bathroom is adorned with white onyx throughout, and the powder room incorporates mother of pearl, Maya Romanoff wood wallcovering and mica wallcovering on the ceiling. The mix of light and dark evokes a feeling of old world meets modern world. The living area resembles a swanky lounge sprinkled with artistic and vintage pieces. The finishing touches combine shine with cozy comforts of home, the perfect permutation for conducting business, relaxing or entertaining. “I love doing texture blocking instead of color blocking—doing texture on texture,” explains Robin. “And I also love doing tone on tone with pops of color.” This technique provides the illusion of lots of color without being East Coast Home + Design

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overwhelming, and can be seen throughout the apartment with moments of magenta. By strategically placing key pieces throughout the space, Robin achieves an essential balance of a warm, peaceful environment, but with drama, pizzazz and luxury. All in the Details Almost everything in the apartment is custom and designed specifically for this project. Equipped with lighting specially designed by Robin, each room is adorned with unique fixtures that complement the space and décor, a testament to her innovative eye. The fixtures themselves are works of art, and the light that emanates from them expertly showcases the carefully selected and placed artwork. In true Robin Baron form, the artwork is chosen with a deep intention. She explores her client’s aesthetic and individually picks pieces that coincide with her design. “Even though it might be one of multiple homes,” she says, “I like to have my clients’ taste and lifestyle infused into the project, so I try to get them involved as much as I can.” For this project, she found artist Alice Hope and brought her clients to meet her. Together they collaborated on what the room looked like and what the client envisioned, and commissioned a magenta and silver three-dimensional piece that reaches almost from floor to ceiling. This attention to detail delineates the relationship between Robin and her clients. “I always find that if you allow yourself to be inspired in the beginning of the project, then it starts to take on a life of its own. All of a sudden you see things you wouldn’t have, had East Coast Home + Design

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Textures and architectural elements produce a luxurious, worldly feeling in the bedrooms. White oak ceiling panels and a polished brass mandala chandelier from John Salibello enliven the salon’s dining area.

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you not allowed yourself that initial inspiration,” Robin says, revealing her intimate connection to each project. Art is tremendously important to Robin—she does not see it as just decoration, but as inspiration that adds layers to a home. This zeal for fine art is fully realized in her designs, and lends to her unique perspective. Much as you take your time to appreciate the details at an art museum, this New York apartment prompts a similar reaction. From the vintage Lucite coffee table in the living room to the textured walls, a feeling of approachable richness emanates from the space. “I am not an intellectually based designer in that I don’t overthink things,” says Robin. “I am very visceral, I go with my gut, and that allows me to take a lot of risks in design. I think that responding viscerally makes the work much more exciting and every project unique.” For Robin, the most important part of any project is gaining the client’s trust. The best results come when a client takes a leap of faith and trusts Robin to execute the design of their dreams with features and components they never would have imagined. By building a trusted relationship with her clients, Robin is able to bring this to fruition. The owners of this renovated apartment envisioned a luxurious space they could come to for entertaining, business or simple relaxation. Robin did not East Coast Home + Design

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disappoint with a stunning and glamorous design built with comfort and functionality in mind. She says that her business has three prongs: her high-end interior design; her newly launched product line of furniture, upholstery, rugs and hardware for industry professionals; and her passion for spreading her message of empowerment as a spokesperson on television and other media outlets. “I want people to be happy and confident and feel

good about their lives,� she says with genuine enthusiasm. For this project, Robin found the perfect balance of client involvement and trust, so she could take the artistic liberties for which she is known. Class and sophistication are terms that have become synonymous with the Upper East Side neighborhood. This home certainly nods in that direction, but with a flare that epitomizes Robin Baron’s personality and design. East Coast Home + Design

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The La Cornue kitchen island invites culinary adventurers to prepare food in tandem; Karen Williams’s “pretty open, pretty closed” cabinet surprises with chartreuse.

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Resources Interior Designer and Interior Architectural Design Robin Baron Robin Baron Design Inc. 2472 Broadway #261 New York, NY 10025 212.262.1110 robinbarondesign.com Artist Alice Hope alicehope.com East Coast Home + Design

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Sparkle and light are added to the space with 112 individual raindrops featuring LED lights.

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Adventure Awaits Two Sisters Find a World of Treasure in a Penthouse Designed by Kati Curtis Story by Emily Ballard Photography by Eric Laignel

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The standout sofa in the living room was inherited from the clients’ grandmother and is nicknamed “The Tigress.”

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hen two y o u n g sisters approached Kati Curtis for help with the design of their new residence, they had not yet actually found the apartment they would call home. The sisters were in their 20s, vibrant and full of adventure. They loved travelling, entertaining and fashion. They also had another special consideration when it came to finding the perfect home: one of the sisters had chemical sensitivities, so they required a space that fit their needs on a comfort and style level, as well as from a healthy living perspective. The artistic flare and sustainability needs of these clients were a perfect match for Kati Curtis Design. A certified Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design (LEED) professional, Kati was able to give them pointers in their search for a healthy home. She explained the differences between a pre-war home versus new construction, and the challenges and advantages of both. The sisters eventually found what they were looking for in a new construction penthouse in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. For the siblings, this top-floor apartment would be the perfect place for their socially active lifestyle, and for Kati, it was a blank slate for her to create a visual story. That story would reflect Kati’s classic but global design aesthetic, but most importantly it would reveal her clients’ unique style in a fun and exciting way, with an overall emphasis on healthy living and sustainability.

An Early Start

Kati Curtis went to school for interior design at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, but the creative bug was in her blood from an early age. Her father was a contractor and her uncle was an architect, and she recalls spending much time on job sites during her childhood. She even has a picture of East Coast Home + Design

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herself at around two years old, surrounded by her books and wearing a hardhat. So you could say she comes by the profession honestly. After graduating from her design program in Savannah, she moved to Washington, D.C., and worked for a few large commercial architecture and interior design firms there, and later in San Francisco and Los Angeles. With her education and some heavyduty design experience under her belt, she moved to New York City and in 2005 started Kati Curtis Design. Over the years, the business has grown and evolved with bigger and more exciting, in-depth projects. Kati revels in the long-term relationships she has built with her clients. In addition to interior design, Kati is passionate about travel. She believes that the influence of her globe-trotting is what sets her apart from other designers and draws clients to her. She is always in search of unique pieces that are not only one-of-a-kind, but also have a meaningful story behind them. “I think the attention we give to where things are from, how they are made, who is making them, what is different about them, and why you will never see them anywhere else is what makes our work so exciting,” Kati says. As she travels and experiences other cultures, she is always on the lookout for items that will not only enhance the design

of her client’s space, but will support and celebrate its place of origin and the people who made it. As she wove her design story for the owners of this penthouse, she blended these worldly design elements with the ideas and tastes of her clients to build a serene environment with a sense of adventure. “This is one of my all-time favorite projects,” she says. A journey through the space offers a story of adventure and intrigue, and reveals why she carries a special place in her heart for it.

Transforming a White Box

The apartment would be a full-time residence for the sisters, and with four bedrooms they also planned on having roommates. The elevator opens right into the living space, and a rooftop terrace, also designed by Kati, adds even more room for relaxing and entertaining. The overall concept is creativity and femininity, but with a long-term vision of the future. “I wanted to keep it feminine, but also neutral and sophisticated enough so they could grow with it and eventually start a family in the space,” Kati explains. Although it was new construction, Kati still had to do quite a bit of work to make it what she and her clients envisioned. She describes

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Kati spotted these vibrant doors while travelling in Bali and had them shipped to NY.

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it as a “soup to nuts” process, adding the entire audiovisual, shade control, lighting, reconfiguring for storage, finishes and accessories. All these elements were designed with efforts of creating a healthy home. To achieve this, Kati custom designed almost every piece of furniture and mixed in antiques, which she considers the most sustainable products you can find. “It is difficult to find products I feel comfortable with from a nontoxic standpoint,” says Kati. “We designed almost everything from scratch so we could have that control in the pieces themselves.” The end result is definitely a collaboration between Kati and her clients. One of the sisters is an artist, and it was important to create a space for her to work in, which was incorporated into the common area. When one sister asked for a red bedroom during the design process, Kati approached this request with trepidation, as she found the color too stimulating for a bedroom. After going back and forth about this, she and the sister settled on a red wall covering that not only satisfied the client’s desires, but surprised Kati with its beautiful effect on the space. For Kati, it is important that her clients participate in the design process. So when the sisters couldn’t find drapery fabric they liked from the swatches presented to them, Kati steered them to a resource they could explore to find something they wanted. And they did— picking one of Kati’s all-time favorite

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patterns. Indeed, these draperies along the wall of windows would become the color inspiration for the rest of the room. There is a boldness to the design of this airy space that makes a statement without being overwhelming. The mix of art and antiques with the custom pieces creates a necessary balance. One of Kati’s favorite pieces is the tiger-striped sofa in the living room, an antique inherited from the clients’ grandmother and nicknamed “The Tigress.” One of Kati’s favorite things to do is to incorporate these personal pieces into her designs. It is impossible to enter this space without noticing the distinct chandelier above the dining room table. Because the clients enjoy entertaining so much, Kati believed it was important to have a piece that was proportionate for a long table and really sparkled. During the day, the beautiful shapes add a floating texture to the space, and at night the LED lights in each raindrop create a dazzling illumination.

Every intricate piece in Kati’s designs is chosen with genuine intention. As she was travelling in Bali, she came across a set of beautiful, brightly colored double doors. They were unique and certainly one-of-a-kind, and Kati immediately thought of her clients. The sisters had been struggling with inadequate closet space in the entrance of the apartment, and Kati felt these could be the perfect solution for a creative and functional fix. She texted the sisters from Indonesia for approval, and then set about logistically planning how to ship them on a container to New York. Back at the apartment, Kati scooped out space under the stairwell to install the new closet space with a creative flare and a burst of color. These types of choices in the design process are what Kati dreams of: starting with a white box and letting her imagination run wild. This was a contemporary construct with no moldings or trim and relatively low ceilings. “I am usually inspired by the architecture and the surroundings,” she says as she recalls her design process. “I felt very inspired by the clean palate and, even though we injected a lot of color

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and pattern and textures, I think overall it has a serene feel to it.” Throughout the apartment are interesting furniture pieces eloquently placed. The small flower side tables are from India, with a semiprecious stone inlay of malachite and mother of pearl, and they rest upon a Moroccan rug. The powder room and bathrooms offer an element of surprise, with intricate patterns and colors. The art adorning the walls are pieces by family friends. “What I love so much is when you bring in your social circle and friendship network, and every piece has a meaning and something you love about it,” Kati says. Kati’s company is a full-service design firm that works with both residential and commercial clients. She is happy to embrace historic and contemporary renovation, but Kati most loves diving into new construction, as it gives her a chance to start from scratch and capture the true essence of her clients. “We do have a pretty distinct style, and I hope people come to us for that. But how do we take that style and have it reflect who the person is?” Kati ponders. “I tell potential clients they have to be so comfortable with who they are hiring, because for the long term it is a very intimate relationship.” Kati Curtis Design also has an office in Los Angeles, and her designs reach around the globe, with a big project currently underway in Beijing. She is interested in sustaining the size of her company to best serve her clients and take on the projects that most inspire her. She will continue to travel the world for herself and for her clients, finding interesting design pieces along the way. Resources Interior Design Kati Curtis Kati Curtis Design 1133 Broadway, Suite 1201 New York, NY 10010 800.611.6976 katicurtisdesign.com General Contractor Best & Company 44-61 11th Street, 3rd Floor Long Island City, NY 11101 (212)776-1111 bestandcompanynyc.com Chandelier Ochre 46-47 Britton Street London EC1M 5UJ +44 (0)20 7096 7372 ochre.net

The goal for this bedroom was to create warmth and style with bright colors and patterns.

Drapery and Fabrics Studio Four NYC 00 Broadway Suite 201 New York, NY 10003 (212)475-4414 studiofournyc.com East Coast Home + Design

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3 FOR 3 ON THE 3RD AT KLAFFS Great food, an educational experience and a wonderful time networking were the trifecta for our breakfast event at Klaffs Scarsdale showroom. Sponsored By East Coast Home + Design, Klaffs and Advanced Home Audio, Designers were treated to a trio of learning opportunities. Presentation included a discussion on East Coast Home + Designs Annual Interior Design Issue by Matthew Kolk, ECH+D’s Editor-in-Chief. A CEU presentation on Sustainability and Eco Initiatives separating “fact from fiction” as well as a third presentation from Bill Charney, President of Advanced Home Audio of the subject of “New Technologies for the Home.” 126

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W2W Magazine

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ision and value are two defining elements that enhance the customer experience at Ring’s End. As the company celebrates the four-year anniversary of its successful Design and Décor division, it continues to hold true to its core values of service, with an impressive spectrum of new products for homebuilders, contractors and homeowners. Ring’s End is certainly not a new face on the scene. Founded in 1902 on Long Island Sound in Darien, CT, the family-owned business originally supplied the area with coal, grain, hay, feed and flour. Over the years, the company has grown and evolved to focus on materials for the building trade, and has positioned itself as one of Connecticut’s premier building resources. As a company with a customer-centric business model, it was natural for Ring’s End to add Design and Décor services to further meet their client’s needs. Presenting consumers and professionals with a comprehensive design resource facilitates a one-stop shopping experience. Frank Cohen, Manager of Design & Décor was hired to expand design products within the existing paint stores. Ring’s End had been offering in-store Color Consulting services, but it wanted to introduce a collection of design products. Frank immediately began launching new products and services, such as Hunter Douglas Window Treatments, rugs, high-end wallpapers, custom window treatments, and reupholstery services. “Ring’s End is a Connecticut institution,” says Frank. “We have great customer service and design products. We sell the best and the finest.” He believes that a significant advantage to utilizing Ring’s End design services is that it streamlines the shop-


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ping process. Customers no longer have to go to multiple locations, scouting for products—they can find what they’re looking for in one location, with the guidance and expertise of trained professionals. Whitney Jennison is a member of the design team in the Darien location. Whitney has been with Ring’s End for two years, and loves that it is a family-run company with tight-knit, experienced staff members. The full-service aspect of the business is what sets it apart in this competitive industry. “We can get our hands on anything,” says Whitney. “We can have someone outfit your home with windows and lumber, design your kitchen, or help you find anything from wallpaper to paint to upholstery.” All of Ring’s End’s stores that offer design services have a trained professional with knowledge and an eye for detail to assist customers. “It’s so nice to go to a store and have someone there who is willing and eager to help,” says Whitney. The largest Benjamin Moore paint retailer in Connecticut, Ring’s End also offers other quality brands, such as Farrow & Ball, Fine Paints of Europe, Hunter Douglas and many more. After 115 years of service, the Design and Décor niche is a welcome addition to the Ring’s End business model and customer culture. . Ring’s End Frank Cohen Whitney Jennison 181 West Avenue Darien, CT 06820 203.202.8651 ringsend.com


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