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Green Interiors

Green Interiors

This life is short, but very, very sweet. I’ve been dealing with a couple issues in my life recently, Mother Theresa passing, my daughter Giovanna leaving for college and taking on a job in an office, to help with college tuition for Gi. The office is nice, the girls are so sweet, (well, most of them) and the Gentleman who owns the business is young , good-looking, a talanted surgeon and a great guy!

But I’m missing my design friends! well to be quite honest, I miss being up on the ladder, in the middle of my designs, with the noisy construction workers that I just can’t leave alone,because I constantly have to put my 2 cents in !!  I miss Wednesdays at Denise Maurer Interiors, with Betsy Mattice and Patty Miller, but most of all I miss sitting at my computer during the day and taking a few minutes to blog to you and share my projects, ideas and news about whats got my attention in the Design World!!

I’m rethinking taking on this extra job, its taking me away from my first love, Design so maybe just working harder at my current business will bring in the extra cash for Giovanna’s education! Some new ventures have come my way, one is a great women I met through the internet. I am looking forward to meeting Carol from Green Interiors in person. She is a client that has opened a Green Design store in MA. The name is Green Interiors! She is coming to my neck of the woods for a couple of hours to meet with me and see my workroom (which is pretty impressive if I say so myself) .  We have been talking by phone for a couple of months and I have enjoyed our early morning conversations, starting our days off sharing ideas and working together to get projects on track,  and collaborating on designs. I can’t wait to meet her, I know we’ll hug and get right down to business.  No chatting about the weather and good local shopping.  We’ll get straight to the heart of things…our faith, our businesses, our families, our journeys, our struggles, our dreams for the future.   Conversations like that are good for the soul.  It’s amazing the kind of connections that are formed through this crazy social media and blog world.

Well, I’ve learned that when you meet internet friends, you bring a gift, so I’m bringing her one of my amazing bags made of vintage fabric. that my friend Kitty makes. I can’t wait to see if this Adventure will bring me back to Styleland full-time!

As Always, Stay tuned….

XOXO

M

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My Mothers 1st Home.

My Mothers 1st Home.

Design was a natural calling for me, the daughter of an italian seamstress from Brooklyn, I learned at an early age the profound effect space and surroundings can have on your thoughts, your moods and your life. I feel my creativity is a God-given gift – one that flowes from my Mother. Our home was always a place of inspiration and beauty.

Sundays with Mother Theresa were a day set aside from others.  On Sunday, when the table was set,  it was like a journey back to a dinning hall from centuries ago, with candles burning in sconces, or candelabra’s on the table and a beautiful chandelier overhead (which still hangs above my sisters dining room table today). China and crystal  adorn the table. The waft of the freshly made sauce hung in the air, as the dinner course emerges, the freshly baked panettone with raisins, oranges and nuts was kept warm in the oven for desert.

At Holidays my mother would decorate, with simple boughs decorated with fruit slices, cinnamon sticks and glass ornaments that were handed down from our Grandmother. Our gifts were wrapped in neutral colored paper that was used to make sewing patterns, and decorated with fabric rosettes and tassels from drapery tie backs. She had a box of ribbons that she would reuse, gorgeous organza and beautiful soft colored silks. Our presents were gifts themselves, a gift of love and her time. She made our clothing, draperies and upholstered our furniture in exquisite fabrics. Her handmade clothing and furnishings had such a strong influence on me. I’m honored to be part of a legacy that embraces the imaginative spirit and creates beauty for the enjoyment of others – this is what I truly love doing.

To me, interior design is about uncovering the heart and soul of a person, a family, and then reinterpreting that essence in tangible, creative ways. I believe the aesthetics and emotional feel of a space are just as important as the functionality. Your  environment should provide inspiration and comfort, while supporting and facilitating your daily routine.

Enjoy some pictures from my past.. This is the world I came from..

 

Beautiful Damask walls, Curtains made by Mom, She also made our dresses!!

Beautiful Damask walls, Curtains made by Mom, She also made our dresses!!

Wow looking at this picture, really tells me why I love damask!!! My mothers dress was so pretty,  love the ruffles around the neck and down the front, I would wear this today!! She always had such vision!!

 

One of her clothing designs, my sister wore to a wedding!!

One of her clothing designs, my sister wore to a family wedding!!

 

I remember coming home and my sister modeling this!! The chiffon blouse and silk pants that matched!!! What a creative design.. My mother was always on the cutting edge!!! I loved this so much, she made me an outfit too, in a powder blue and white!!

In the background on the walls is a stencil that my mother found. It was a roller and the design was applied vertically. I found a link to these rollers on Apartment Therapy. They are still sold on Etsy from The Painted House.

 

My father was our handyman, he was amazing by himself but, together they were a design team!! He always helped my Mother, he was a upholsterer, painter, carpenter and just a loving, devoted husband!! Together they created my world, and impacted my life as a designer.  I believe your interiors should be an accurate reflection of you – your individuality, your personality, your life. I uphold authenticity and simplicity as guide posts – two qualities I find to be intimately connected.

 

As always stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland….

 

XOXO

 

M

 

 

 

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2012 Prom Princess

Prom Princess 2012

The day had arrived, in the morning our little princess Giovanna slept in. This was going to be a day to remember, she was already well into her time as a young lady but, today she would morph into a graceful and elegant princess. We had been anticipating this day with great joy. I had attended all of the parent information meetings and been informed of all the dangers, read all the blogs, paid all the expenses.  This is how Giovanna’s day went… She planned everything from her dress, (even with some alteration issues), shoes, jewelry, nails, toes, limo, hair and makeup, all set to go. The excitement and joy of the occasion was in her heart, and she was ready to start her day! A light breakfast and Shower and the Day had finally began!

We had Amanda (the owner of Switch Salon) with her makeup artist, come to the house at one o’clock. Giovanna was able to get ready, stress free in her home with three of her good friends. No extra charge from the salon, only requirement was to have at least 4 girls participate, and our family could be here to celebrate and watch the transformation take place , we also would not be rushing from place to place it really cut down on stress. Nails and Toes were done earlier to avoid pressure the day of the prom.

Mother Theresa, Cousin Stefanie, Aunt Carol and Uncle Lou, (who owns Soto Studios, how great to have a photographer in the family!) were at our home for this auspicious occasion. Pictures started at 4:30,  She was a vision to her Dad and I. We could not be any more proud of the beautiful person she has grown into.

The Limo was to arrive at 5:00 at Mr. & Mrs Litz’s home, (More Photo’s!!!!) and the evening began……  the Prom Walk at her school, than off to the Marriott for the Prom, fun and dinner then dancing. But the night didn’t end their in our school district the young men and women are invited to an after prom. The venue was a historic theater in Schenectady NY, Proctor’s!! They had a hypnotist and more food and fun!! Here are Giovanna’s friends that were with her for the day and the handsome young man who escorted our young lady! Enjoy!!!

Almost Ready!!

Thank you to all who made this night a great success!!

As always stay tuned…..

XOXO

M

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Carol, Mom and Me

As you may already know, La mia famiglia (both my husband and I) e’ italiano!!! We have great tradition in our home. Our girls Giovanna and Rosaria have come to terms with being italian. I use to think…  well we never really watched the Soprano’s but we have spent many holidays with my family and my in-laws, so my girls have a good idea of what life was suppose to be like, ya know .  They always enjoy when Grandma Theresa is home on Sundays,  the never-ending meal( that comes after mass of course) and the great deserts that end our day late in the evening.  When we get together its always chaos and there is always laughter, a story or two and a huge meal.

Cuisine is definitely a very important aspect of Italian culture. Italian food is highly famed: greatly loved and tirelessly imitated the world over, it has been a source of endless pleasure. My mother (aka Mother Theresa)  as everyone knows is a great influence on our whole family especially when it comes to The Sunday Dinner.

Here is a little excerpt from my darling niece Lauren’s blog about my mother,  her grandmother, daughter to my sister, my mothers other daughter from the same mother (did you follow that??)  which is just hysterical, (dinner at my house with Mother Theresa and Lauren Summer of 2010):

Lauren Mom and I

“This lady could out cook, clean and guilt you into submission before you even had a chance to move! Martha Stewart wishes she was half the lady my grammy is! This past sunday we had “Sunday Dinner” at my Aunt’s house.  For all you non-Italians out there that means you settle in for a 5 hour, non-stop eat and yenta-fest! Husbands beware! We began the meal with a fresh zucchini and black olive pizza, followed by a spinach and artichoke dip with garlic herb pita bread (and yes these are all homemade, nothing store-bought or frozen here!) then we had some grilled pineapples and peaches with balsamic vinegar. Oh, I’m sorry, did you think that was it? Ha! That was just the appetizers!

After a light respite from eating and a short dip in the pool and a nap for Gram(we ate outside and after 2 hours who couldn’t slip right into a food coma?) it was time for the main courses! Eggplant Parmesan, grilled corn on the cob, fresh garlic and cheese sausage and salad. Now comes the good stuff! Coffee and pastry from Villa Italia!

My grandmother’s favorite is the chocolate cannoli and a little bit Sfogliatel. I guess I inherited my sweet tooth from her! It musta been at the Nutatella sandwiches! And yes, I know it’s Nutella but at 15 when I tried to tell Theresa that, (after finally reading it on the label) she replied, “yeah, that’s what I said Nutatella!”  And really, who could argue with that!”

That’s my mom!! She is always tired, and always has an ache somewhere, she has been old since she was in her 40’s. We use to hear her coming up the stairs in our third floor apartment in Brooklyn, she was like a train.. “oh, ahh, oh mio dio”, and the ever popular ” oy”, but whatever she cooked our hearts would quite simply glow!

Italian cookery is exceptionally varied, nutritious and healthy; traditions have been handed down from one family to the next over the centuries, and are associated mainly with country life in that dishes are directly linked to what the Earth produces over the changing seasons: in other words, wholesome cooking whose goodness depends on all-natural ingredients. Italian cooking is full of marvellous single pasta dishes made with all types of vegetables and pulses. These are also the prime ingredients for many local specialities though countless types of meat dishes abound, as well as fine fish from the plentiful seas around the peninsula, fragrant cheeses and exceptional desserts. But the undisputed star of Italian dining is the famous “first course”, in all its many varieties.

It must always be remembered that generally speaking, the origins of the most widely known traditional dishes derive from humble peasant cooking and from what was eaten by the poorer classes, which over the years have transformed into veritable “specialities”. All of this goes to show that the goodness of any dish depends above all on the magical combination (always “unique”) achieved through an unrepeatable fusion of flavours and aroma, cooking times and the balancing of single ingredients, individual “creative” skills and care taken over all stages of preparation. We lived in Brooklyn where we had every ingredient at our finger tips,herbs on the fire escape, fresh vegetables, fish and of course Joe and Tony’s  the butcher on the corner of  Gates Avenue where any cut of meat or mutton was available (even the lamb’s head!).  The stories of my Great Aunt Katie, the lamb in the basement, the chickens on the fire escape and the wine make from the grapes in the yard, we will save for another time.  At times all that’s needed in italian cookery is a single detail or a tiny touch to transform an ordinary dish by “normal” standards into a veritable triumph of taste. Passion therefore is a fundamental requisite of Italian cooking and without it, as with life in general, not much can be achieved.

I will end here for now. Enjoy the Classics and invent some new ones with your family, Cioa for now!

XOXO

M

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Yesterday was Sunday, our day with Mother Theresa. As Mother Theresa would say “the age is there” because on Saturday we had a little visit to the emergency room, she is having some difficulty with her hip and is not able to move her leg. We will have to wait till Monday to talk with the Orthopedic doctor before we know what is going on, but as always it was my sister Carol her husband Louie and myself who rush to her side whenever there is an issue. Louie’s sister Sonia who has been with us since the beginning of time also came yesterday, we as usual kept Mom laughing the whole time, discussing such topics as Louie’s visit for testing to the hospital (Barium Enema story) and other family favorites that kept us in stitches. Mother Theresa was totally coherent  through the whole day, (even on morphine at 87 years young) she kept her sense of humor and told us that we missed our weekly visits this week so she had to do something dramatic to get us all together on a Saturday, ( we knew she was just looking for handsome doctors). She did return to her home on Saturday afternoon, so on Sunday not to take her out we just went up to the home and brought Penne Alla Vodka and octopus salad (Mother Theresa’s favorite) with a great loaf of italian bread. Here is our recipe and a picture for you!!!~

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
  • 4 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans crushed whole tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 11/2 cups grated mozzarella
  • Crusty bread, for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat. Add the sausages and cook, stirring, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are just soft, about 4 minutes. Add the basil and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the vodka and tomatoes; reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 40 minutes. Add the Essence and heavy cream, stir to mix, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

To cook the pasta, combine 4 quarts water, the 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well. Combine half of the ricotta cheese and half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano with the remaining 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta and toss to coat evenly. Add the sausage mixture and mix well. Add the remaining ricotta cheese and the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano and mix well.

Transfer the mixture to a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve warm with crusty bread.

This is Emeril’s Seasoning recipe, makes a lot but you will use it in many other dishes. Save the rest in a baggie and label it.

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Enjoy!!!

XOXO

M

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Well it’s been a while since we’ve visited with Mother Theresa!! Sooooooo my sister Carol Ann (as Mother Theresa calls her) is my mother’s life line, I mean Mother Theresa cannot function if she doesn’t speak to my sister Carol Ann. Recently, Carol Ann had minor surgery on her knee, Well you would have thought it was a triple bypass . My poor mother was in tears!! At the hospital for her surgery the cast of family members was…. Carol’s daughter’s Lauren (my 1st niece, daughter to Carol, granddaughter to Mother Theresa, cousin to Giovanna and Rosaria, sister to two siblings Stefanie and Elizabeth, wife to Brian Draus) , my 2nd niece Stefanie (daughter to Carol, granddaughter to Mother Theresa, cousin to Giovanna and Rosaria, sister of two siblings Lauren and Elizabeth) Mother Theresa and yours truly Me, the other daughter from the same mother!!

We followed Carol Ann around from admission to recovery!! All of us, we support each other thru every moment of life no matter how monumental or insignificant. We are family (and Italian to boot). We sat we laughed, we waited and we went home. (Of course we ate and visited a wonderful new pastry shop in downtown Amsterdam called Dolci, for some cannolli and sfogliatelle in the interim!)

She was over my house Sunday, Dinner of course was wonderful!!  We did her laundry (an every Sunday chore) and washed set and placed her hair!!! Another every Sunday must!! Don’t you just love the white tear drop earings (probably Monet) !!! She is the greatest!!! So cute and Italian!!!

The newest contraption in Mother Theresa’s life is the Cellaphone, for all of us Americans its a cell phone but for Mother Theresa it’s a CELLAPHONE, you know, cousin to the Telephone!!Well as the story goes, the nursing home Mother Theresa just moved into, wanted a absorbent amount for a phone line so we just decided that we would give Mother Theresa a cell. She has poor eyesight so we programmed everyone’s number in 2-8 so she would have us all on speed dial. That is just the seven immediate people she needs to keep track of. This worked for a while, until from holding the phone in her hands she had pressed the function button on the side. The function that is assigned to the button is, The Verbal Command function!! Well this was an adventure that we will laugh about for many years, When she opens the flip phone it says “Say a command” well, lol, Mother Theresa was so upset, she calls me and says “What command does it want???, Every time I open this cellaphone its asking me for a command, what does it want from me!!”Well we were rolling on the ground! This is only the beginning of the story, I call Verizon and ask them if there is anyway she can use her home phonewith the large number pad? They were very helpful and gave me a device called “Verizon home phone connect”

This was great! I thought…….But nooooo!!!! she now says” I think I want the cellaphone back!”,  she likes the fact that the screen changes when she gets a phone call so she can tell if someone has called her! Another reason she wants to switch back to the CELLAPHONE is that she cannot work the speed dial on her home phone she keeps erasing the numbers OMMMMGGGG!!!! It’s always an adventure with Mother Theresa stay tuned to find out whether we keep the home phone or go back to the CELLAPHONE!

XOXO

M

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While looking through pictures for last years showhouse room, I pulled out some favorite projects. There are some before and after shots (wishing I had a great camera), also a couple of murals that were my favorites. Mother Theresa is sitting beside me and commenting on her favorites as well. My mother has always supported me in whatever I’ve choosen to do, she is my biggest fan. Mother Theresa gave me passion, strength and the ability to cook a great meal. We have chatted many times about these projects, and she has always given her opinion to me when I am looking for one (and sometimes when I’m not), Here are some of our favorites:

The mural that we picked, was this serene and peaceful, Ocean view! The coastal trend has really taken off. We see this in furniture, textiles and carpeting. You don’t have to live on the beach to design a room with coastal flair. This theme is inspired by sandy feet on a worn path… filtered sunlight dancing on the water… and would give any room a simple, elegant, and inviting Seacoast Cottage look.

 Moving on…. This country re-do gone Tuscan was of course one of Mother Theresa’s picks:

Before

During

Custom Hood

 
Removing the small cabinet and hood, made way for this fabulous hand panted custom hood and mantle! 
 
 
 
 
This project was so much fun, this client really made a dramatic difference in her space, we added a dramatic custom hood and tiled the back splash in tumbled travertine, with accent tiles, here are some additional pictures:

during

after

The living room ceiling had multiple fans, a header that was left when a wall was removed and pendant lighting over the sink. We removed the fans and the header, installed recessed lighting and unified the space, adding warm color to the walls was key to the tuscan atmosphere we created!

before

after

 
 
 

Birch Tree Mural

Red Cardinal

Full view

This mural was done for the same client in their Lake George summer home!!

I worked on this mural with a friend Nancy Narcavage, we had a great time creating this for a anniversary gift for the clients husband!!

I will post more make overs soon, but for now I would like to move on to current projects. This year I am doing another space in Vanguard Showhouse I have posted some information about this project and would like to continue sharing some of the current updates on this space.

This year I am working with a talented artisan, she is Mary Beth Johnson,  decorative painting is only one of Mary Beth’s many talants and interests. I met Mary Beth through showhouse and also the local IDAL chapter NEDA (Northeast Decorative Artisans). She’s an RN with a passion for  health and wellness, her website is BetterBoomerBodies.biz, Mary Beth is also involved with Isagenix and Asea.  As professional Health Coach and Cancer Coach, her up beat, bubbly personality makes her a great ambassador for health. Well I could go on but, I would like to share some of Mary Beth’s decorative work with you also.

Designed by Michel Patterson Hudson River Fine Interiors, Decorative Painting by Mary Beth Johnson

Wall Finish by Mary Beth Johnson design by Michel Patterson Hudson River Fine Interiors

Radall Perry Photography

Beautiful Faux in Showhouse

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Decorative painting done by Mary Beth Johnson, rooms designed by Michel Patterson of Hudson River Fine Interiors. 
Mary Beth is doing Luster Stone in my room this year in a beautiful coral color. Lunch Bag,  from the Martha Stewart Living pallet, is the color I chose for the walls, On the ceiling, Ben Moore Gray Cashmere, Mary Beth is going to give the medallion a custom finish  that will give it an extraordinary life of its own.
 
 A decorative finish is the perfect accent to create another level of depth in an environment.  Whether you are looking to enhance a ceiling, visually re-shape a room with an accent wall, or an entire room to transport the senses, decorative finishes will create an inspirational setting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Stay tuned as always for more inspirational  and luxurious spaces…
 
XOXO
 
M

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