As the weather gets warmer, I can’t help thinking about warm summer nights on the porch. One of the best parts of summer is that we aren’t confined to being indoors all of the time. Outside we can grill, garden, and most importantly, relax. A porch can function as an outdoor living room, dining room, or kitchen just for the summer or for all seasons. Alternatively, a porch can function as an entrance to your home, setting the tone for the design and feel of the entire property.
Before moving to New York City, this is the all-season porch I created for my home in Southern Connecticut. One of the few drawbacks to living in the city is not having this anymore! Below, I compiled a series of porches that I think really take advantage of the concept and that show how diverse they can be in style and in function.
This past weekend, we traveled down to beautiful New Orleans to attend the annual Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. It is always fun to see all of the new innovations in kitchen and bathroom design. Below are a few of our favorites. These are especially applicable to apartments in New York City, where being creative with space is everything.
These sliding barn doors from Hafele are finally available at a reasonable pricepoint. They are amazing because you can hide anything behind them. I especially like using them to hide the washer and dryer.
This was definitely the best thing we saw! It is a counter top than can be pulled out to make a dinner table.
We loved these new blind cabinets! When you open the door, everything comes out and is visible – no dead spaces!
This is such a great solution for shoes! All you need is a tall thin cabinet. Putting a spinning shoe rack within allows for a large volume of shoes.
Creating a metallic surface has always been especially difficult. These six new Benjamin Moore colors are going to be a game changer.
When it comes to conceptualizing a room, I always think about lines first. At the very base of conceiving the design of a room is the white box, completely geometric. Therefore, I think that being conscious of lines in furnishing it often creates a more cohesive design. Clean lines also give a room an effortlessly modern look and on a more practical level, they make cleaning and keeping things tidy a lot easier.
As a strong believer in the importance of the arts, I believe that all children should be exposed to it. Unfortunately, many kids don’t get that opportunity. I want to change that, and have created Holzman Happenenings to do so. In partnership with Hartley House, Holzman Happenings was created to “Spoil a Child,” exposing underprivileged kids to art they wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to see. Hartley House was created in the 1800′s as a safe haven for the youths in Hell’s Kitchen, and has been helping children in New York City ever since. Over 400 children and now numerous seniors pass through the doors of this facility. They are the perfect partner for this program. On March 16th, 12 teenagers who won the first lottery drawing went for lunch and saw the awesome new Broadway Musical “Kinky Boots.” Here’s a photo of the lucky winners!
Lighting changes everything in a room, bringing out the colors in upholstery and making hardware and wood shine. Getting creative with your lighting can change the whole feeling of a room, and what better than a chandelier to accomplish that. Chandeliers are essentially illuminated sculptures, effectively functioning as a work of art in the space. They can add some color, some sparkle, and even can set the tone for a room. The possibilities are endless. Below are two examples of how I have used chandeliers in two very different contexts and two examples of how other designers have done the same. You can see what a large influence each chandelier has on the overall feeling of the room, even to the point of setting its tone.
Crisp is a great word to describe this bedroom. crisp pleats, crisp folds, crisp lines. A bedroom of like would be comfortable for the manliest of men.
Pleating and plaid is a unique blend and the result is something to admire. I am not a huge fan of plaid but I believe it illustrates it’s timelessness with its neutral colors and masculinity.
Contemporary, yet rusticity refined. Even men love to curl up to something cozy, as long as its the right color. And with the contrast in the hanging shaply and edgy art really creates a spectacular master for any man.
The framed blue-tainted leather art acts as a headboard. A very masculine headboard. It’s also very interesting how literal the designer took the color blue. Accompanied by simple blue straight-lined furniture and you have established a very well dressed masculine bedroom.
Blue can be feminine too….like this shabby chic bedroom desk.
The black leather headboard is masculine, yet soft enough to pair with pastels as shown. The combination of the black bed and the high gloss white tables is versatile and elegant. Yet this bedroom screams a feminine touch.
It’s the softness of white that compliments the feminine side. Warm light shines through the translucent drapes to add a glow to the room. And just like that you have created a safe haven for any woman.
This classic design shows how’s you don’t need to over do it. Featuring calm color scheme and attention to small detail, you can hint to your femininity without overwhelming your girly senses.
Ruffles. Ruffles. Ruffles. This ditsy shabby-chic bedroom defines what it means to be a little girl especially with its whimsical attic ceiling and fantasy like accessories.
A more serious design doesn’t have to be masculine. Strong feminine points in this home office make for a fantastic final look. Love it.
All this room is missing is some antique dolls and a late feline friend taxidermy collecting dust to make this super feminine living room to be over the top. But alas, these designs exist. The point is that there is a balance of gender that needs to be met so your home doesn’t turn for the worst.
With temperatures reaching in the teens these days, it was no surprise people wanted to stay in and cozy up on the couch. Therefore it’s important to make your home as intimate and comfy as possible with soft delicious fabrics like cashmere, mohair, and velvets. This week we dive into the world of luxurious fabrics and how to convert your house into a home.
Curtain’s need to feel luxurious and these certainly do. Made from cashmere, these curtains reach to the top of the 25 feet floor to ceiling windows. The look is compelling and sophisticated.
These wall coverings are simply decadent.
this room defines cozy with the oversized headboard that acts like a wall texture and matching curtains.
Stop wasting your time deliberating over the finishing touches in our homes. The answer is easy: cashmere. Its the perfect fabrics for your sofas lovely throws.
Here is another couch that resembles a cloud. The designer layered the couch with plump pillows and fabrics so curl up into and relax.
These curtains look Burlap but they are actually weaved out of cashmere/mohair. The rustic look combined with the soft touchable fabric makes this bedroom special.
Don’t forget to treat your feet as well. Combining soft threads to your carpet will convince yourself to shed the shoes and socks and enjoy the lavish texture of the rug.
Loved these velvet umber entrance curtains. The pleating at the bottom sophisticated as well as intimate.
This Velvet headboard speaks luxury to this contemporary earthy bedroom. The added texture looks fabulous with the rest of the bedding.
The entire wall is silk velvet and the power it brings to the room is tremendous. Not only that, it almost imitates wood paneling which parallels its actually soft, luxurious texture.
This custom couch really plays up the playful aspects of the rooms design but adds a sophisticated ambiance to the space.
Same goes with this one……
Love the color and small details of the studded trim in this modern children’s headboard. With matching color curtains to bring it all together, I think Velvet would be the only way to go when designing the headboard.
This footrest is amazing with its real dear fur upholstered cushion. Love it!
More soft, comfy fabrics then you could ask for. Love the look of the eclectic room. Its a mixture of shabby chic and art-deco….very innovative.
A major dilemma these days is that many home-owners overlook the importance of lighting in their home. They spend their time, and money, on fixing up a space and are disappointed with the results because of poor lighting. But the fact is, lighting is one of the, if not the MOST, important aspect in your design. I mean, God did create the Sun on the first day. And poor lighting is easy to come by whether it’s too little light, too much, or just wrong all together, like evil florescent lighting, as a designer you must be careful when installing the rooms brilliance.
Which is why there is all this hype over recessed lighting. But what is it? Recessed lighting is installed within the ceiling rather than on the ceiling’s surface. There are several different varieties such as Downlight’s which provide light straight downward and Eyeball-Style fixtures which pivot in their ‘housing.’
I found these examples of recessed lighting from Element by Light Tech, a company based out of Illinois with a reputation for timeless designs. Here is an example of Downlight recessed lighting, excellent for Kitchens, hallways and other areas where a more general light is needed.
Most recessed lighting was used as focal point light but now designers are taking advantage of this and using it for large spaces. The benefit to recessed lighting is not only does it create a clean sleek look, but you can also control each individual light, install them on a dimmer and have more control. Your home transforms into a cozy space by dimming the living room for warmth and brightening the kitchen when cooking.
Here is an example of how recessed lighting creates a very clean, contemporary and minimalist interior. The designer not only used this type of lighting to brighten the main area of the kitchen but also used eyeball-style lights at the right to focus on the floating glass shelves and the decroative pieces displayed on them.
I love how versatile recessed lighting can be. This designer created a space where the lighting would be directed upwards and create a controlled light boarder around the ceiling. Very contemporary and very cool.
Recessed lighting, although a modern feature, is suited for all styles. Take this white ultra polished white large living space equipped with two seating areas and a bar. Here the designer used Downlight recessed lighting to add to its super clean look.
And here you have the same lighting, a bit smaller in size, in a more timeless all wood cabin-like finish. The recessed lighting fits well with the warmth of the wood, especially with a dimmer for the later hours of the evening.
I couldn’t get enough of this ceiling lighting design. What a challenge it must have been to conceptualize and then construct but the end result is fantastic. A masterpiece in design.
Here you can see how recessed lighting creates the best results for rooms of all purposes. Fact, this home theater is spectacular. I love the dark wood beams with the vertical lighting stretching up the parallel walls, very “movie-theater-esk.” But the recessed lighting really makes this room work because of its sleek look and your added ability of control. Very cool.
The first thing that comes to mind when designing your home office is Functionality. Without it, all you have is a dust-collecting space that teases you every time you walk by. By what is also important is making this utilitarian space sleek, beautiful and a great fit in your home.
This home-owner requested a work space with a lot of desk space. Her day to day involved looking over blueprints, therefore her desk needed to be large enough to multitask. What’s Key: Your desk needs to serve practical purpose and should represent the type of work you will be doing. No reason to invest in a desk that doesn’t fit your needs.
Love this piece, timeless and sophisticated with both masculine and feminine qualities. Many times its not about the location of the “home office” but just picking out pieces that speak to your inner interior.
Looking for something sleek, modern and versatile? A Parsons desk is a perfect addition to your home. What makes it a desk a Parsons desk? The depth and width of its square legs are the same thickness of the top. According to legend, it was created by students at the Paris branch of The Parsons School of Design, and very chic.
A petite desk works well in any bedroom, anything larger would be too aggressive for the relaxation of what should be a place of rest.
Add a cork-board back-splash around your kitchen desk! It creates a space you can really work with, helps keep your recipe ideas in one place and easily organizes your families activities.
Look at this piece.
Paint your desk for a pop of color. A fun trick is to paint a sophisticated desk a bright color. You can dress your desk down and install it in your child’s bedroom.
Pulling the desk away from the wall allows you to add some extra shelving for your books and supplies, and also makes the desk a focal point of the room. Helpful Tip: position the desk at an angle and make sure you take the time picking a desk that you love.
Talk about a custom fit! Helpful tip: avoid desks that are fussy with design and poor quality- you will spend more time mending your drawers and space then getting work done.
LOVE this design. The organic triangular shape with its Scandinavian bones contrasts nicely with the formal Edwardian features of the bay windows and fits perfectly in the nook. This office just screams urban-funk with its major mid-century modern points.
Love this unique secretary desk…..A great way to mold your space for all situations. When guests arrive, tuck your stationary away to open up the room.
Take advantage of the view by adding a desk in front of a large window
A room of our own! I love how built in shelves adds personality to the room and lets your display all your souvenirs. Your office should be a place that inspires so don’t forget to allow some space of items that do just that.
Large Room, Large Desk!
Some desks are better off as a writing table so you can highlight the legs of your table and avoid cluttering the space with wires and cords.
This custom desk is perfect for large families who tend to jump into a work space and make a mess. These clever fold away desks hide the eye soar of piled work, chaotic papers and laptop wires.
This great work space was created by setting up two tables against each other. The large courter-top is perfect for kids to sit around and help with homework and such.
Tis’ the season to throw a party! Sometimes looking around your apartment you realize how unprepared you are for the Holiday…Here are a few helpful tips to get yourself geared up for welcoming family and friends into your home so you are not forced into a impromptu party.
What to cook is not the only burden with preparing to have holiday dinner at your house, especially if you live in NYC. Where to put your guests can be the biggest dilemma. A great solution: extendable dining tables. Not only are the functional, maybe architects have created beautiful art pieces out of these tables.
Here is an extenidible table one of my clients HAD to have in thier Connecticut home. This masterpiece is the Amboise Table by Jiun Ho and it fits wonderfully in this large dining room regardless of how many are sitting for dinner.
Make sure to keep inventory of your serveware. If you live to use your wedding silver, make sure its polished. If you are planning of serving your wine in crystal? Be sure to check each piece for chips. Sharpen your knives, count your bowls, just be sure you are ready for the big day, whenever that may be. And maybe a few unexpected plus ones.
Most importantly, display your pieces around your house. Its a great way to get your creative juices flowing when planning a big dinner. I absolutely LOVE the look of these dim-lit pantries.