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Posts Tagged ‘Interior Decorator Albany NY’

Holiday Shopping has started, well it’s really in full swing! Looking for the perfect gift for friends and relatives this year? Gift giving is a tricky task, especially for friends. With so many ideas on what to get, I thought we would give you a few ideas to get your holiday shopping started, and Santa a run for his money.

holiday-shopping

Share some happiness – Surprise them with a family day or evening out, purchase tickets to a local show or concert. Admission to the Museum or Ice skating. Locally we have the Times Union Center or the Palace Theater, Proctors… you’ll be giving a memory that will last much longer than that sweater or pair of boots.

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Light Up Their Holiday – Candles are always a great gift for anyone, the ambiance created by candles makes a home warm and welcoming for holiday. Candles also promote a feeling of relaxation during the stressful holiday season. Seven out of 10 households use candles as a focal point for their home décor, says The National Candle Association, and candles inspire aromatherapy-like relaxation and stress reduction. Who can’t use that this time of the year?

holiday-candle

Size, Shmize – Skip the sizeable items this year. Not only does receiving the wrong size gift mean an annoying trip back to the mall to exchange it, you can also end up hurting someone’s feelings. Wrap up a pretty Scarf around some movie tickets for your BFF!movie-tickets-in-scarf-wrapping

When it comes to gift giving, it really is the thought that counts. So this season, be thoughtful. Reflect on the past year and what your friends and family need, what will make them happy, and the sort of thing that will make their lives easier.

home-made-christmas-gifts

If you’re really drawing a blank, do something homemade. Lottery tickets in a clear Christmas ball…Cookies, candies.. homemade wine???  Homemade gifts that are sure to put a smile on someone’s face, and actually tend to be the biggest hit.

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I hope these ideas will help you get your holiday shopping/baking started…hmmm…I can smell the cookies!

Stay Tuned for more Adventures in Styleland.

 

XOXO

M

 

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This recently completed master bath renovation was in a newly built home. The owners were happy with the layout of the bathroom but, wanted to punch it up a bit! The master bathroom should be your sanctuary, as stylish as it is soothing. We wanted to turn the existing bath into something unique.

I’ve rounded up a stunning way to create the dream bath that they would love being in. This bathroom was to be transformed into a peaceful escape reserved for the masters of the house.  With stunning tile work, soft fabrics and a calming color palette blend to form a decadent space designed for relaxation.

I started wall a gorgeous tile, the moment I saw this glass tile I knew.. this was perfect. And I was right, the owners squealed with excitement when I presented my ideas and finishes.

We chose a white glass tile, Jeweled j-603 in diamond white: The combination of finishes on the sheet of tile are clear glass,  wavy glass, frosted glass and marble,  it is exquisite.Jewel tile

The countertop, I used is  Cambria: Berwyn, this silver flecked stone adds a soft yet glamorous touch to this master bath.

Cambria-Berwyn

The Delta Vero Lavatory Faucets with waterfall spout, gives the right touch of sophistication to this charming master bath without breaking the budget.

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I took the bathroom mirror and lighting under the microscope to show how this bath accessory can change the ambience of your bathroom. Remember the main task of lighting in the bath, both direct and indirect is to caress and compliment you.

What do you think about illuminated mirrors? I used the LED Strip lights to back light the mirrors in this design, providing illumination as well as visual style above the vanity’s white under-mount sinks and quartz countertops.

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Two glass jeweled pendants hang above the double vanity adding a bit more interest and an elegant look.  Its tailored, not to girly for a man, and has a upscale feel in a restrained way.

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The lighted mirrors are remote controlled to fade to different colors and also soften or brighten with a touch.  The darker wood cabinets provide a subtle contrast with the lighter tiled floor.

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“It is a very luxurious spa like experience in this bathroom” the homeowners said when the project was completed.

It’s the details that give this Master suite a luxurious touch. I was hoping to create the sense of a 5 star hotel, it’s very important I think, that is  the experience you have when you walk into this space. This space is serene and peaceful, you have the same experience in the master bedroom.


To visually connect the master suite each room plays off the colors and fabrics of the last space. Though they’re usually hidden behind closed doors, master bathrooms deserve to be as thoughtfully decorated as your home’s living spaces.

 

As always, stay tuned for more Adventures in Styleland!

 

XOXO

M

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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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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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The Interior Designers that I have had the pleasure of working with approach their work with enthusiasm and discrimination, seeking out fine craftsmen, choice shops and journeying to inspiring destinations just to feed their aesthetic appetites (and sometimes find and item of choice for their clients). Always searching with a keen eye, as they see what becomes part of their design plan, shaping the structures and spaces they devise.

Observations and obsessions lead us as we travel. Wherever we are design is always on our mind. We take inspiration from public places looking at the use of mill work, tile, architecture and substrates that we are exposed to. Hotels are one of my favorite places for inspiration, from the flooring to lighting, so much to take in. Color, texture and of course the architecture of some of the most spectacular buildings. The Waldorf Astoria has to be one of my favorites (I’m a New York City girl).

Waldorf Astoria

Waldorf Astoria

I remember looking into the entry to see this great sight!! I was a little girl and still could see the Waldorf’s opulence and ingenuity in design.

 

Waldorf Astoria 1

Whenever I travel I seek out every building I’ve heard or read about. Always looking for Architecture,  local Artists and Interior Designers that have their works available to the public, whether they are minimalist or collectors of fine furnishing you can usually see their inspiration in their work. As William T Georgis has said ” I go to London for eccentricity, Los Angeles for Clarity, and Paris for Paris.”

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Bunny Williams says “Inspiration can come from many places. Attend a lecture given by someone you admire. Go on local house or garden tours. Watch Ina Garten on the Food Network. Subscribe to magazines; I can not wait for mine to arrive each month. Buy as many books as you can-a library is always a great source of inspiration.  And travel, travel, travel; the world offers so many treasures.”

 

 

As for me I get a healthy dose of inspiration every Wednesday.  I mentor with Denise Maurer of Maurer Interiors. Denise Maurer  is a talented interior designer who shares a strategy of success as well as her secrets for great design. I’ve been invited several times to accompany her on various projects, to watch and learn. She’s always so generous with my endless question . I enjoy being in her office when the phone rings so I can just listen to her talk to potential clients. It’s always an education, from handling paper work to the latest software for design, this is my go to place for inspiration! I have been very fortunate to find such generous woman to mentor me. She gives me her time, knowledge, and energy and I have been very blessed to know her. Here is some of her work:

 

Showhouse Kitchen

Showhouse Kitchen

 

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Where can you find inspiration? Begin your search for the perfect pieces by starting in your home. What do you cherish the most? Inspiration for decorating your home may come from something you already have: a cherished piece of artwork or maybe some beautiful china.  Perhaps a favorite piece of upholstery fabric can reveal your colour palette preferences as well as your taste for either formal or casual styles.

Whatever your style preference, be creative, let your inspiration move you. As always stay tuned….

 

XOXO

 

M

 

 

 

 

 

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This year I was totally out of my realm. Perfect is how I always do a holiday!!! This year was more relaxed to say the least. but my home (as a designer is usually over the top)  this year….Not so much… Clearly not a sign of things to come I can assure you, but phrases like “less is more”  and words like “thrifty” were our motto as we attempted to finish a huge project (painting the livingroom, dining room and kitchen) we took on a week before Thanksgiving! OH MY DEAR LORD! What in heaven’s name was I thinking. This ment exhaustion, stress and I have to say, my home was not ready for entertaining and no window treatments (hence the “Less is more” phrase came into play here!!!) Some Pictures of the before and after…

Before

Before

After

After

So here I am New Years Day ! Reflecting on all I have accomplished  during the holidays, our home was crazy busy!!!! Working, caring for our children, baking, shopping, taking care of Mother Theresa, Decorating, Thanksgiving, Christmas and finally New Year!!!!!!!   Yay, whew……we made it.. and in the midst of all of the holiday rush and the busyness I had to admit to myself that I was addicted to Creating and Decorating. Yes My Name is Michele and I’m a Designaholic!!! This realization came when I  somehow volunteered my time to paint eighteen panels of scenery for the Sand Lake Center for the Arts Theater,  “The Secret Garden” play.  I must say that although I was feeling a bit pressed for time when the panels that were suppose to arrive the beginning of November, came December 2nd but, we quickly settled into a routine (far from a schedule) my two partners in this project Betsy, Rae and I. All at once we were just rolling them out! I must say most of the time (although chaotic in my household,)  it was absolutely wonderful, and  it was very fulfilling .

A different time long ago,  we were “busy” with daily living needs. Cooking and cleaning took time, as in serious time. We really appreciated the product of our labor. This year my girls Giovanna

The 1st honey bunny

The 1st honey bunny

and Rosaria

The 2nd honey bunny

The 2nd honey bunny

realized,  that the baking our family (Aunt Carol, Mother Theresa aka “Grandmother”, cousin Stefanie and our newest addition Lydia)

Mother Theresa and Lydia

Mother Theresa and Lydia

do each year, taking the better part of a day, would  give them a  such a sense pride and fulfillment because of the effort it took. Try getting that feeling from the cookies purchased at the grocery store. How many of us can say we feel fulfilled by running errands, answering emails or sitting  alone searching the internet for something to purchase for a christmas gift ?

Sometimes I wonder, this lovely life, with a husband, and two teenage girls and a great family how could I ever forget whats important?????

Our home with the Conti's and Mother Theresa

I have a feeling this is going to be Delicious!!

So through it all, I seemed to have maintained some sort of clarity. I know, I know,  although I want to sometimes use duck tape on my children, disown my husband, pretend I have lost Mother Theresa at the Feast of San Gennaro and escape to Margaritaville with a large glass,  I  truly love my life, my work and my wonderful family. Hope you all enjoyed the holidays as much as I did!!!!

As Always, stay tuned for more adventures!!!!

XOXO

M

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Even if you don’t know the name, chances are you’ll have at some point seen de Gournay’s fabulous wallpapers. Perhaps it was a striking backdrop in some glossy fashion shoot, in the luxury penthouses of some of the worlds most high-end hotels.

Since it’s founding back in 1986, De Gournay’s exquisite wallpapers have been hand painted in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. The company specializes in creating wallpapers inspired by 18th century Chinoiserie, all adhering to traditional methods. Literally meaning ‘Chinese-esque’, the style was popular in Europe and was a true fusion of East and West: designers would create their own interpretations of Chinese compositions, and stately homes, palaces and castles across Europe would invariably have at least one room entirely decked out with Chinese mirrors, lacquer furniture, and, of course, wallpaper.

 

Recently someone asked if I could identify the wallpaper in these Miles Redd designed rooms which I posted here on the blog …of course I said it’s de Gournay , one of my favorites!  This exquisite hand painted wall covering costs around $650 and up per panel, is truly a luxury. . Here are a few other example of genuine de Gournay goodness:

The hand painted papers of de Gournay stand at the pinnacle of interior design.

Although an investment, a room done in de Gournay certainly does not need artwork or much embellishment.

 

 

Painted Panels
The London-based firm De Gournay specializes in 18th- and 19th-century chinoiserie and neoclassical French designs. The Papiers Peints Panoramiques are particularly remarkable. These are made of block-printed sheets with panoramic landscapes and historical and mythical scenes meant to re-create the spectacle in a wraparound fashion. Some designs are more than 200 years old. Prices vary widely. $ By appointment only. At 143 W. 29th St., New York; 212-564-9750; www.degournay.com.

How decadent! If money were no object, I would love to swathe my dining room in a beautiful Chinoiserie de Gournay design. Chinoiserie designs are so timeless to me and depending on what you pair them with they can look so fresh and modern. They’re rather versatile and truly classic.

Here is another Miles Redd, this rich chocolate is exquisite!!!

To quote Martyn Lawrence Bullard, I have to say that de Gournay’s line of hand-painted wallpapers is absolutely “delicious”.

Maria Christofilis, founder and creative director of the Anthousa collection, loved her custom-made peony and cherry blossom silk panels by de Gournay that they inspired her new  home fragrance, De Gournay Jardinieres and Citrus Trees, and the beautiful fabric swatch became the packaging.

Do you have any favorites?

 

Hope you enjoyed today’s adventure, its always nice to see you here again, stay tuned ….

 

XOXO

 

M

 

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