Monday, October 27, 2014

Equestrian Chic

Eques­trian chic décor has been in vogue for cen­turies! Even if you are not an eques­trian your­self, you can incor­po­rate the beauty of horses and horse sports into your home in sub­tle ways.

equestrian decor

for your farm­house, go all out with eques­trian décor

horse pillows

lovely eques­trian pil­lows to enhance your sofa

horse doorknob

jump­ing horse doorknob

horse mane photo

over­sized photo of a braided horse mane

horse photo

over­sized horse photo as wall art

driftwood horse head

drift­wood horse head

horse shower curtain

fun horse shower cur­tain from ThomasPaul

equestrian photo

a photo of your favorite equine!


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

cmi in the news — New England Home May/June 2012

I am so excited to be included in the May/June issue of New Eng­land Home Mag­a­zine! The "Per­spec­tives" sec­tion offers design­ers a chance to share some of their favorites — in this issue, it is light­ing. My smil­ing face is on page 144, and my light­ing picks are on 144, 146 and 148. If you don't have the mag­a­zine, go get it (and really, frame those pages…)

Or, check out my light­ing picks below:

Niven table lamp from Salgado Saucier

Niven table lamp from Sal­gado Saucier

With its delight­fully Gaudi-esque style, I would use this lamp to add a dose of whimsy to a tra­di­tional liv­ing room.

Chatham floor lamp from Currey and Company

Chatham floor lamp from Cur­rey and Company

This qui­etly styl­ish floor lamp would be equally at home in a tra­di­tional or more mod­ern home. It’s the per­fect com­pan­ion piece that attracts the eye with­out yelling “look at me!”


Brass and chrome Sputnik chandelier from Irwin Feld Design

Brass and chrome Sput­nik chan­de­lier from Irwin Feld Design

This mid-century fix­ture is one of my favorites, here updated with a mix of brass and chrome arms. I would hang it in a small foyer over an antique pedestal table for a vibrant counterpoint.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

before & after: bathtastic! powder room renovation

Pow­der rooms are usu­ally the small­est rooms in any house. Given that, ren­o­vat­ing or sim­ply redec­o­rat­ing the pow­der room can often be accom­plished on a rea­son­able bud­get and deliver impact far beyond than the expense involved.

How many of you have this exact con­fig­u­ra­tion in one of your pow­der rooms?  The light and mir­ror — seri­ously, who made these choices?

powder room before

pow­der room before

Builders are often afraid to add any sort of per­son­al­ity lest they offend a poten­tial buyer. Home­own­ers are like­wise wary of changes that might impact the dreaded "resale value". This pow­der room puts me to sleep! At the min­i­mum, a home­owner could add some color on the walls with­out much expense, then switch back to beige before sell­ing. But they did not, and this is what my client had to see beyond.

Notice in this pic­ture, the mar­ble floor is actu­ally the most inter­est­ing fea­ture in the room. The "art" slays me. From look­ing at this house, you would not think a young fam­ily lived here.

powder room before

pow­der room before

The charge from my clients after pur­chas­ing the house was to cre­ate a mas­cu­line pow­der room suit­able for the tall hus­band. The mini toi­let and low pedestal sink were not get­ting it done.

First step, replace the toi­let with a stream­lined Toto ADA-compliant model. The higher seat height is per­fect for taller peo­ple and the water-saving flush options is great for the envi­ron­ment. Next, choose a wall-mounted faucet and counter-mounted sink. Design and install a new wall-mounted counter to suit the pri­mary user. This route allows the height of every­thing to be cus­tomized — no set­tling for the stan­dard height van­ity or pedestal lavatory.

We chose a Duravit sink in tra­di­tional white ceramic — it's the shape and instal­la­tion that cre­ate the inter­est. I love all wall-mounted faucets. The sim­plic­ity of the one selected for this pow­der room is per­fec­tion. We replaced the over-the-mirror granny lights with a pair of sleek sconces. The mir­ror itself, a custom-sized beveled sheet, is under­stated. The counter is mahogany, built by Steve's Fine Wood­work­ing and stained and sealed by Sabino's Paint­ing and Wall­pa­per. A wood coun­ter­top is per­haps unex­pected, but in a pow­der room, with the proper seal­ing, it works fantastically!

The pièce de résis­tance in this small space is the wall­pa­per. Hand-painted, it's from Vahal­lan Papers. Each sheet is cus­tom made to order and fea­tures lay­ers of color and tex­ture. Adding to the tex­tural effect is the "torn" instal­la­tion (also by Sabino) , where each sheet is torn into ran­dom sec­tions and applied. This par­tic­u­lar paper has a dark core, so vein­ing appears through­out the appli­ca­tion. 

The final touch is the over-scale ante­lope wall sculp­ture. Mas­cu­line, yes?

Here is the after:

powder room renovation after

pow­der room ren­o­va­tion — after photo credit: Michael Partenio

Sim­ple, clean lines with neu­tral col­ors and a vari­ety of tex­tural mate­ri­als = not bor­ing! This space now fits the home­owner to a T, and still wows guests with its rich min­i­mal­ism. What more can any­one ask from a tiny lit­tle pow­der room?

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spaces & Places 2011 — the frenzy begins

Designer Spaces and Mar­ket Places starts on Sep­tem­ber 23rd, but our spaces need to be fin­ished this week, ahead of the Bet­ter Con­necti­cut TV crew due to film on Fri­day! The frenzy began Mon­day as design­ers and con­trac­tors started to whip their spaces into shape. Just a tiny pre­view here, because your REALLY need to buy a ticket and sup­port the impor­tant mis­sions of two won­der­ful Hart­ford non-profit orga­ni­za­tions — Rebuild­ing Together Hart­ford and The Hart­ford Preser­va­tion Alliance!

The loose theme this year is Inte­rior Inspi­ra­tions from around the world. I chose British Inva­sion and so am fea­tur­ing a mid-century pop mélange with a dash of British Empire. Intrigued?

Here is the space I was assigned, after the old wall­pa­per was removed but before the new paint:

Spaces and Places after old wallpaper before paint

bare walls at Spaces & Places after the old wall­pa­per was removed

Can't find the acces­sory you need in the color you want? Paint to the rescue!

Spaces and Places

paint to the rescue!

In need of an accent wall, but haven't found wall­pa­per that com­bines the col­ors you love? Try a sten­cil. Some might think it's 'old school' but with a rockin' retro pat­tern like this, you will shock the nay-sayers! This pic­ture is cell-phone dim. The true col­ors: base coat is Ben­jamin Moore's HC-143 Wyeth Blue and the over­lay color is HC-154 Hale Navy.

. Spaces and Places stencil

accent wall underway

And that's all for the pre­view! Stop by on Sep­tem­ber 23rd, 24th or 25th to view the ter­rific spaces from CT's best design­ers. Don't for­get the Pass­port Party on Fri­day Sep­tem­ber 23rd at 6pm. Guar­an­teed fun!

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