Saturday, March 24, 2018

Home mimics Fashion!

My life has been about noticing details, everywhere with everything.... there is beauty and inspiration all around us, we just have to open our eyes and notice. For me, I take photos of it all, even floor patterns and rod iron gates. While in Paris my charge was to "FIND THE TRENDS"
How to find the fashion and interpret it into the home market.. I had to post this perfect example: High Couture Fashion to High Fashion Lampshades!
So many amazing fabric techniques, trims and manipulations are interpreted in home textiles; ruffles on sleeves and dresses are used in bedding! In fact you will see a lot more of that in the stores moving forward! Look at this best selling bed from Amrapur Overseas! This is Antonella and one of the best beds we offer! Look at the ruffles, paired with pinch pleats and decorative trim as an accent.
Look at your favorite style, a belt, some pom poms or an old piece of jewelry or beads, see how you might add a spark to your home by interpreting it to fit your style
- buy trim at the fabric store and tie back your drapes to change up the look.
You could even sew a ruffle on to the edge of the panel for a softer more farmhouse touch!
Bring Fashion into your Home!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Last touch on the Laundry Room!

What helps create mood in a room? Color and lighting are a big factor when considering how a room "feels"!
When we renovated our Laundry Room (which was over 3 years ago.... as I said, it took me forever to write that post) we knew we wanted a feeling of fresh, clean and welcoming. After all, that is the room that has the door that leads to the backyard, the door that we come and go from all year long and most importantly as room where we do our laundry, lol, can't overlook that!
After the renovation, we looked around so happy and proud of the change! One thing stuck out... the terrible builders fixture.
And what made that worse, when we purchased the house, the builders fixture was here and the house was built in the 1970's- OH NO! A designer never keeps builder's fixtures! Not ever! Here I was the shoemaker.... (for all who get that reference, lol)
I wanted to do something creative and different here... I got this great idea from a dear friend; Emad.. thank you! I found a fun trash can one day at Home Goods, on sale with great lines and the perfect size.
I then went with my handy husband to Lowe's to buy a light kit. My handy husband drilled a hole (more like punched a hole) in the bottom of the trash can. This is no easy task; you need to be sure you find the center of the bottom, measure the item that needs to be inserted for the bulb and then proceed with caution... the right tools, protective eyewear & gloves. Next step was measuring how low you want the light to hang (our brothers are VERY tall so we needed to consider this) secure the wire at the right height, then proceed to turn off the power to the room before we (wrong pro-noun... before HE, lol) did the installation.
I could not be happier with the outcome! The design in the wire container gave off such great shadows, and added that perfect touch to my room! Funny thing was as I was tossing the tag to the trash can, the name of the item I noticed was "lantern"- how appropriate!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Laundry Room continued.... tub sink top

So my last post was about my new laundry room... not so new, it just took me forever to post it! I teased and told you that two special touches I added to this room made it mine.. I feel it is important to use the space you have in the best way possible.... today's key word would be small space living or small space solutions. With the popularity of the HGTV shows and booming thoughts of home renovations and "making the space your own" it was about time I got this into writing!
One of things we did in our renovation was to add a utility/ tub sink. I paint an awful lot, and my husband and I do many home renovation projects. We always found ourselves washing the paint brushes out in the kitchen sink and the mess it made, let alone the guilt that "we eat from this space" and paint does not mix with this thought.... I always wanted a "work sink"!
The issue was that I didn't want to store things IN the sink for everyone to see ... and saw this as a missed opportunity to use this space the best way I could. So I had my handy husband cut a piece of wood to fit the top. He did amazing cutting the top corners to best fit. I sanded the edges so they were rounded and he cut a hole where the faucet would sit over in case of dripping water.
Well I could not leave this white, oh no! I set out to figure what inspires me in this room... how can I express a message of fun and creativity?
I chose a theme that suits my family; Kody our family pup being washed in a tub, a tree of life framing the space with the leaves encompassing the entire work... musical notes as life is full of song and so is our home! I stole a few of the pieces of the art that lives on our daughters (in their tatoos- the butterfly, treble cleff and notes with the small 3) and a single sock on the line in honor of all those "lost socks" over the years!
I continued with some quirky messages that I found funny and appropo... Got Soap, Loads of Fun, Normal is just a setting, Check your pockets (for all the tissues that go thru the wash and litter my black clothes), Self Service Wash... a message to all, lol!
I coated the completed work of art with 10-12 coats of poly urethane allowing it to dry the required time in between... so as to have a hard finish and not to worry about chips and scratches. As you can see, I now have a practical surface space, and can hide all our rags and things in the sink under this top! So it worked for two things - storage and surface space! What could be better!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Updating a Laundry Room for Today's Living

Mud Rooms/ Utility Rooms - they are not just for laundry anymore!! Practical every day living includes the understanding that it is almost impossible to keep our homes in "model home" condition. That being said, I am a strong advocate for a central "dumping ground" if you will. Families, especially those raising kids, need a designated place for all of the shoes, coats, back packs, school papers, calendars, etc. (I could go on and on!) that find their way home during the school year and bathing suits, sandals, towels, etc. during the summer months. Our laundry room is off the kitchen, just inside the garage door entrance. This makes it conducive to being much more of a family space than just a room to do laundry!
Updating this room can mean a world of difference to the everyday clutter.
I want my laundry room to be a place that is clean and practical at the same time. Our renovation was small, with fantastic results!
Here is what we did:
- changed the flooring to a larger ceramic tile; better look and easy to clean
- added a utility tub sink; great for puppy baths, washing out paintbrushes, and all the messy jobs you don't want in your kitchen sink!
- added a cabinet to store all of the cleaners
- racks for towels, baskets and hanging all of those clothes that you fear will shrink in the dryer
- tore out the closet and made a "folding" station shelf with cubbies underneath and shelving above - added hooks for coats
.... a fresh coat of paint in a fun colors ( soft sunshine yellow) and a rug for feet wiping!
There are two special things I added to this renovation; my creative twist!
I had my very handy husband cut me a top for the utility tub sink... and painted it to create additional counter top space Last but not least a creative light for that final touch... but these projects deserve their very own blog post! STAY TUNED

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Trends.... what actually makes it a trend?

As I prepare to leave for a 16 day journey to Europe I am reflecting on what I learned last year, and wondering what fun inspirations are in store for me.
Everyone talks about "trend" but what is that exactly....
I would define this as a look or colors that are everywhere- in retail stores in all categories; apparel, bedding, candles, even nail polish colors - the way I see it, they are colors and ideas that are seen in stores, or online, that resonates with the majority. However... I am a realist and I ask myself, are they self fulfilling prophecies? Pantone along with Cotton Inc. (to name a few) and paint companies assign their "color of the year". Then everyone starts "pinning" their products available in these colors. If paint companies and color companies say it is so and manufacturers all follow these ideas, then products are made in these colors, to fit the idea of what is "on trend", and retail buyers then "see it everywhere" when shopping for the next season, and purchase it for their stores, so then that is what is available in the stores.... so that is what the consumers see, and so it is true, and so it becomes the trend!
Growing up I clearly remember when a true trend meant that something is "IN" or "OUT"
My clearest memory of this is skirt lengths - Mini was in... mini skirts, hot pants, the shorter the better. The next season... it was definitely OUT and Midi was in - calf length; culottes, gouchos ( crazy name for flaired capris!) .... the next year MAXI WAS IT! If you look at that trend, I would say that is the start of the Boho look that is "so on trend" now!
It seems to me for well over 15 years now, skirt lengths are "in" if they flatter your figure, look nice, are paired with the right shoes and are well pulled together.
Style Portobello has a great article on this exact topic! Fashion is cyclical
In apparel... looks and colors come and go and come back again - the exact reason I have always held on to my velvets! Same goes for our homes and how we decorate; the color we paint our house, the walls inside, the towels and bedding we buy. The same applies to kitchens and bathrooms; stainless appliances were the hottest thing, now black stainless is being introduced, darker woods in flooring and cabinetry are all "trending" right now! • New materials, new substrates, new colors Who will come up with the next great color combination and will it stick? Will it resonate at retail and add volume to sales?
Here is what I think... you can never go wrong with classic clean elegant colors in your home- vintage or antique white, greys, tans and flax hues with pops of the colors you are "feeling at the time.
My advice? look at what is being shown in the stores, on pinterest, online shopping.... then go with what resonates with you - nothing is "OUT"
Trends are in the "eye of the beholder"

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Freeeeezing Cold......

As I bundled up this morning for my daily commute from NJ to the beautiful isle of Manhattan I knew that I had to dress for the weather.... not forgoing fashion of course but definitely for warmth! Who knew I would come in to NO HEAT! So as I sat at my desk, overlooking Fifth Avenue in the heart of the Home Textiles district I could not help but to think..... ice cold blue!!! That led me to color and pattern and.... why not use this as another inspiration.
If a photograph or an image could conjure up a feeling, what would that look like? Here are three I found that express the extreme cold I am feeling as my frozen fingers dance across the keyboard this morning...
Then I started to think, hmmmm winter patterns, what would be "cool"... (every pun intended!) so here is the design I came up with! Will definitely add this to our throw and bath assortment for 2018
Baby it's color outside....Stay warm!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

What would my younger self think... hold on to your dreams!

What would my 25 year old self say.....
OMG!!!
FASHION AND COLOR TREND SHOPPING IN EUROPE????!!!! MY GOAL, MY DREAM JOB! and here I find myself packing for 16 days abroad!
I have to say, that as I work with students at FIT University, and wonder where they hope to be in say 10 - 15 years, I know I used to hate that question. Once I graduated, I set my course to work "in fashion", whatever that meant... with hopes to one day travel through Europe, looking at trends, shopping, exploring... a dream I was never sure I could realize. Life moved on and I started my career in fashion, at the "best" place to learn ... a better University that the one I left... Polo Ralph Lauren! Young and inspired I worked my way though the ranks, rather quickly I am told... Met really wonderful people along the way, some I still keep in touch with! Career, marriage, kids, a wonderful life! And here I find myself, kids grown, two of them married and starting their own journey... in a job that I love!
Often we do not look around and appreciate the path, the journey we have taken and where it has led us - closing on 2017, a very interesting year with some very high highs and low lows.... I stopped. I looked around. I looked back and realize I did it! I am doing what I love! Designing, planning, trending, directing, respected for what I do and know how to do .... being part of something bigger than myself!
In a week after the New Year I leave on a "journey" the one I always hoped I would take, one I took last year and now get to do it again - Travel Europe in search of and discovering new ideas, colors and trends!
FRANKFURT is the first stop • a HUGE trade show for Home textiles - where we talk to suppliers, meet new ones, and set plans in place for Home Fashion 2018-2019! There is an entire building with design studios! Some of the most creative, beautiful artwork you will ever see! For someone like me, it is like bringing a kid into a candy shop!
There are 11 buildings consisting of 2-4 floors each, filled with exhibitors from all over the world! I know one thing... I will definitely hit my 10K steps every day, probably by noon and ... I need to wear good shoes, comfortable shoes, as someone once told me... controlled "step management" you want to be sure to walk the floors methodically and not jump from one aisle to the other without a plan.
The next show I attend is about 5 days later, in Europe... so as not to waste time, miles and money I had to find something to do in those days between shows - not too shabby!
My plan this year is to visit a city I have longed to see - LONDON! for the weekend.. what could be bad?!
Really looking forward to a whirlwind tour through every single high end retailer and more, in search of new ideas! Marks & Spencer, Selfridges, Liberty of London, Debenhams, Oxford Street.... the list goes on and on!
Lastly and certainly the highlight of my trip..... PARIS!
My first time there was last year where I had the amazing advantage of having my husband join me on this adventure! We took 5 days vacation time to explore every single museum, in January with no lines! The next half of that trip was spent working; visiting retailers, and uncovering parts of the city including St. Germaine where we found Deco Off Paris, the market launch for all fabric textile houses from around the world! We traveled with amazing friends from Brooklyn; Alex, Danny, thoroughly enjoying the city, the trade show and each others company! Four design minded individuals, together, sharing this experience! This year will be different but exciting none the less! A dear friend, a Professor from FIT, my colleague from work and I will travel the city; explore Deco Off Paris and Maison & Objet - the premier design show for the home and so much more!
So..... looking back, and channeling my inner younger self.... I guess I have arrived! Always keep your goals and dreams in mind - you might look up and realize you achieved them! I did!