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In honour of mothers on their special day, I asked myself what decorating secrets did I learn from my Mom…

mom carol and I

She made our home beautiful, chic and inspiring while juggling both a full-time job and being a mother. I learned about fabrics and sewing from my mom. She was an extraordinary seamstress. When I was little, I loved going to the fabric store with her — it was a world of imagination and creativity. She taught me to appreciate quality, natural fibers like wools, silks and fine cotton. Now working with fabrics is one of my favorite parts of decorating.

Another important lesson she taught me,  never to buy what I don’t need: a bargain is only a bargain if it’s something important. I also learned all about color selection and furniture arranging from her. We lived in Brooklyn NY in a 6 room apartment, she always kept it fresh, ever changing.. and I firmly believe that had this wonderful woman been any less interested in our family home as I grew up, I might not be where I am today.

My mother taught me that it’s important to develop personal style,  buy the best quality you can afford and mix family pieces, antiques and comfortable upholstered furniture– eat in the dining room, use your china or better dishes on Sundays.. I learned to respect our home and everything within it, including my mother.

My mom used to rearrange the furniture a lot — it’s surprising how furnishings can look completely new when viewed from a different angle or in a different room. She also taught me that every window looks empty and cold unless softened by a window treatment, she changed hers often.

She was never afraid of bold patterns, I remember her sewing room or the SPARE ROOM, we had large orange and yellow wall paper, and smaller floral wall paper on the ceiling.. It was cutting edge at the time..

When I was little, my mother always dressed — she was glammed up even when cleaning the house. From her, I learned to dress and decorate with the intent to be gorgeous, having no fear of color.

I will end here with a couple of ideas for what to do for your mom..

Source and pay for a house cleaning service for a few months. A house cleaning every two weeks, I’m sure all moms would appreciate the break. That being said, do not buy her a vacuum, cleaning supplies, or tools unless she specifically asks for them. I’m looking at you Dad.

Brunch was always a favorite of mine.. I loved to go to a special Italian place locally that served cured meats..fresh fruits..baked delights and my family would all laugh and enjoy the meal together…

table scape

Spend time, yes…time… take the day and pull out pictures, family vacations reminisce with her, make cookies sit and have a cup of coffee.. Love her and let her know that she is the most important women in your life.

Mom and Dad

 

Miss you Mother Theresa…All my love

 

XOXO

 

M

 

 

 

 

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I was at Denise Maurer Interiors on Wednesday and a colleague,  Besty Mattice was doing an interview on ceilings for a local paper. She came into the office where we were sitting and said “What is the color of the Year?”,  Denise says “Tangerine!” and I thought okay, lets talk about the color of the year Pantone says its called Tango Tangerine.

Exotic and Sultry Tango Tangerine is Color of the Year

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

Jackie Jordan who is Sherwin Williams color expert always puts together a 2012 palette although her forecast seems to always be inspired by “Mother Earth” this is what she said this year about Reds “You were the first pigments we brushed on the cave wall, ground from the earth, an ancient hand print, a hunter’s arrow still chasing its target. You precede the words we’re left with to describe you: aboriginal, neolithic, blood and fire, danger and victory. You’re our past made suddenly present and the warm heat of the transformation: the V on a Masai warrior’s chest, the kiss left by a Hollywood starlet. We’ll never solve your eternal mystery: how the easiest pigment to make remains the hardest to forget, from the images our young eyes first imagined flickering in the firelight to the walls that now warm this room.” In her pallet of Reds, she lists a color named “Daredevil” sw 6882, this  spirited orangey Red is a high impact hue that would energize and add spice to any room.

This color manages to fuse happy-go-lucky warmth with sultry exoticism!( Pillow fabric, Trina Turk Santorini Persimmon $96.00 Per yd)

Dura Lee Fabric Walton Collection book # 2765
Pattern/Color: 20994-107, TERRACOTTA

I would like to say, this great color can quickly get out of control, I would tread lightly at first.  Start small, this color has a lot of energy, pair it with neutrals like grey’s and taupe’s, add in some great patterns!

I love this color in Fashion also,  this rich color goes on anything! Loved the OPI nail color as well as the lip colors that are out this year,  spring is a great time to pop some color into your wardrobe! A little inspiration for you….

Celebrity Fashion in this energetic bright!!

My Cousin Donna always says ” Accessorize, your outfit is never complete without it”

This group of accessories really shows all the options for this color, Love the chunky bracelet and earings!

This room was done by a client of mine and the shade is a flat roman I sold to her on Etsy!!

 

 

So there is our color choice for 2012, Pantone’s official color for 2012, “Tango Tangerine,” is a much brighter and more cheerful shade of orange than last year’s reigning “Honeysuckle,” but its coronation confirms that the vibrant hue—already a cosmetics mainstay—has been fully embraced throughout the worlds of fashion and design. Stimulating to the senses and considered to have an uplifting effect, tangerine is also highly valued for its invigorating scent. And in terms of color cosmetics, it is more flattering on a larger variety of skin-tones and also serves as a great transitional shade from the vibrant reds or pinks that have been so popular recently.

 

As always stay tuned…..

 

XOXO

M

 

 

 

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Quatrefoil in design is basically a four-lobed shape and is usually a symmetrical pattern that repeats itself. It is classic with religious and architectural history.   My wonderful daughter Rosaria is just smitten with this design, our next project for her room will have to start shortly (she is still dealing with Aqua and Brown Damask, soooo done with that!!) so we are looking for a design we like. I thought I would do the quatrefoil on her ceiling in metallic silver over a  pale gray?? That’s were we are starting, she also would like to incorporate some purple in to this design.

So starting with inspiration…This great wall covering I found at our local Lowes I am so excited!!!! I would like to do the larger damask on her ceiling and maybe the back of her book shelf in the smaller pattern!!!

Of course I love this ceiling!!! this architectural product is purchased in tiles and installed as ceiling tiles. This product is on  Jay Haon Art and Design website.

This master sweet uses a strong yellow to balance out the grey. The quatrefoil mirror is one of my favorites, used with this wall paper and layering the quatrefoil design in this space, creates a great mix of patterns.

                                                                                               This Seabrook Wallcovering used here gives depth and color to this wall.                         Grey is one of the colors that we have worked with recently, in feng shui this color represents the metal element which brings sharpness, precision, clarity and efficiency!This armoire is so pretty, and with the mercury glass doors it adds that touch of WOW to any space! Quatrefoil is so prevalent in furniture design, from wood to fabric this timeless design is sure to stay!

Stay tuned…….

XOXO

M

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Design legend Elsie de Wolfe

Elsie de Wolf was an american actress and interior decorator, in 1913 she wrote an influential book “The House in Good Taste”according to some the interior design profession was invented by Elsie de Wolfe. Among her clients were, Anne Vanderbilt, Anne Morgan, The Duke and Duchess of Windsor to name few. Though dead for half a century, Elsie de Wolfe remains an  icon to this day, revered as America’s first decorator. The key elements of her  style are as fresh as ever, and the aura of celebrity she brought to her  profession has been passed on from one to another of her successors.

Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/architects/legends/archive/dewolfe_article_012000

Bunny Williams

This is dedicated to the Great Ladies of decorating. Two years ago I had the great privilege of hearing Bunny Williams speak at the D&D building in New York City. It was Market Week, October 6, 2010. My friend Mary Korzinski (another incredible Design Diva) and I took the ride down to spend a couple of days scoping out what was new on the design scene. Up on the fifteenth floor in the Vaughn Lighting hear Bunny . Her book Bunny’s Scrapbook for Living was on sale and being signed.

We enjoyed the event, I have always admired her, she truly is one of the current pioneers of the Interior Design world.

Dorothy Draper

A quote from the late Dorothy Draper “It is just as disastrous to have the wrong accessories in your room as it is to wear sport shoes with an evening dress.” her designs were filled with upper crust refinement. She was truly and iconic designer.

Dorothy Draper was to decorating,” says interior designer Carleton Varney, “what  Chanel was to fashion. The woman was a genius; there’d be no professional  decorating business without her.
Read more: http://www.architecturaldigest.com/architects/legends/archive/draper_article_052006#ixzz1pepInrvZ

Eleanor Brown

Design legend Eleanor Brown, the founder of McMillen Inc.

Eleanor's Oval Dining Room

The famed New York design firm that was established in 1924 and is still in business today. Brown achieved recognition by designing the most prestigious homes in the country. She operated out of her townhouse at 148 East 55th Street in New York City, selling 18th century furniture sent to her from Europe by William Odom, who was then the head of the Paris Atelier of the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts.

Forever in Vogue is the neoclassical oval diningroom that brightens Eleanor’s Manhattan apartment.

I would like to just mention a few other pioneers that have made our industry what it is today, Ruby Ross Wood (Atlanta’s Swan House), Madeleine Castaing, Sister Parish, Rose Cumming, Marian Hall and Nancy Lancaster. I know, I know there are so many others worth mentioning!!!
I am so grateful to all these great women who have inspired the interior design world and given me an insider’s  perspective. As we continue to navigate thru these economic dog days, relaxing moments for me are created in the interiors of homes we continue to create!! As always stay tuned……
XOXO
M

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