Ready for yet another "green" resource that has a fantastic (and rare) combination of interesting items and good prices? I thought so. Furnish Green, located in Herald Square, is a furniture showroom by day and dance studio by night. The owner Nathan Hescock rescues furniture and refurbishes it, saving it from a sad fate in a landfill somewhere. You can find listings for items like coffee tables, end tables and chairs on craigslist by searching "furnish green". As an added bonus, for every $100 you spend on merchandise, you get a $50 credit to use at the dance studio.
One of my favorite sources in Manhattan is Pearl River Mart, located in SoHo. They have a ridiculous amount of product there. Three floors filled rather neatly with everything from clothing to dishes to snacks. I love going there and just brainstorm ideas. A while back, when my best friend was getting married, I thought it would be fun to do decorations from here. A combination of brightly colored lanterns and parasols (a play on the whole "showers of happiness") as sort of a nod to her Karate black belt status. Alas, this did not work for the Italian restaurant where the event was held.
Perhaps it's because of the recent project I completed, but I'm noticing more grey being used by designers. And not just with pale blue as part of that "icy chic" look--which, frankly, is overdone at this point. In this picture it's mixed with chartreuse (that's the fancy way to say bright green) for a fresh look. Over the summer, I stopped into Lignet Roset's showroom where they had grey paired beautifully with lilac, orchid and some white lacquer pieces.
An easy way to make your space feel larger is to design using a more monochromatic color palatte. This picture shows a skirted table in front of drapery made from the same fabric. The table blends into the drapery seamlessly, making the space feel larger. The shape of the table, a demilune, also contributes to a more open feel. This idea would also work in a living room for a sofa--match it to the wall color so that the sofa fades back. It's important to note that you don't need to stick with light colors to make this work. The fabric in this photo is a medium tan and works really well. You'll notice, too that the designer used several elements to give the room more height: drapery mounted right at the ceiling, pinch pleat drapery (no fussy tieback), and a dramatic floral.
Since winter has decided to officially arrive (even though it unofficially arrived two days earlier with a foot of snow), it's a good time to stay in and cozy up with some movies. I'll admit that I don't watch movies like a regular person. Sure, I care about plot and character development and all that stuff; but what I really want to know is where did the set designer find that awesome lamp.
Tom Ford's new film A Single Man is getting a lot of buzz--and not just for the acting performances. This film (with some help from Mad Men) may bring back the conversation sofa. And not just to the Mid Century Modern hipsters who already found one on craigslist.
As promised, I wanted to do an entry that went through the 2nd new vignette I added to the Portfolio section last week. This one is also adapted from a stunning showhouse room put together by the very talented design team in my corporate office. Again, they were working in a much larger space (5x what you see here) so I was tasked to pick the right pieces that would both suit the space and appeal to clients.
As open floor plans become even more popular, homeowners are faced with the question of how to paint more than one color on the walls. Very frequently, there is no clear break between, let's say, a living room and a dining room. Your best bet is to work with an existing architectural element like a doorway to provide a more natural break. But even if there is a doorway, that leads either down a hall or to another room, it most likely doesn't extend up to the ceiling. What I do here in the showroom is paint the area directly above the door going all the way to ceiling the same color as the trim. It provides the necessary visual separation without drawing too much attention. Keep in mind this works best when the two paint colors are comparable in intensity and/or hue.
I received a question the other day that I thought would be helpful to share with you all. Most of us have those random spaces in our homes--they're too big to leave empty but too small for a piece of furniture.
I had a question for you about some shelving options for the new apartment. We have a small unused area of wall about 4 feet wide running between the corner of a room and a window. There is a radiator at the base of the wall, and so we can't just put a book shelf there, so we were thinking of doing some silhoutte shelves for some display items.
The stuff I saw from Bed Bath and Beyond looks a bit thick (I used to have Lack shelves from IKEA, and I didn't like how thick the shelves were). They also look a little mod, which is not precisely our style. I like the sort of non-traditional layout we could do with something like that. I don't really want to just blandly center three shelves on the wall. I didn't know if you had any suggestions for places to look for something like this, or interesting way to layout these types of shelves is would be a great help.
I just finished reading an article in the NY Times about a couple who basically gut renovated an apartment in Brooklyn. An apartment they rent, not own. They are knowledgeable about how to renovate and worked out an arrangement with the landlord to take money off the rent for the 4 years they originally agreed to stay. They get a nicer place to live, the landlord's investment increases dramatically. Great for everyone, right?
This room setting was originally in a showhouse on Long Island. There were 2 of each chair instead of one, square end tables and 4 large leather ottomans grouped together as the coffee table. Obviously that would be way too much furniture for this space. Working with the sofa and one of each chair, I added appropriately sized items to finish off the room.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in NYC. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.