If you are looking to buy handmade goods, Etsy is a great place to shop. There's a lot of good stuff on Etsy, but there's also a lot of random and not so great stuff too. The site is growing every day, and new shops pop up all the time. You can find a little bit of everything on Etsy - from dining tables made with reclaimed wood to fabulous leather poufs. Today I wanted to highlight a few shops that caught my eye - selling really cool furniture and home decor items made right here in New York City. Keep reading for more details about each of these 4 shops:Read More
I can't believe this November marks my 11th year living in the Financial District of Manhattan! I've been here so long, I sometimes forget how crazy city life can be. I was born in New Jersey, and grew up in Minnesota - spending most of my life in spacious suburban homes. Now I share a 2-bedroom apartment with a roommate, and I have about 8 million neighbors. It's funny how people live in cities - stacked on top of each other in little boxes piled high into the sky. While New York is a complex city with challenging problems, it's still one of the most incredible places on earth, and I'm grateful to call it home.
The new transportation hub at Fulton Center opened recently, and it's just one of many new futuristic development projects that are changing the landscape of lower Manhattan. With the the 76-story Gehry skyscraper at 8 Spruce St, the PATH Pedestrian Tunnel, and the recently opened One World Trade Center, the "new" New York is starting to look like something out of The Jetsons. It's both exhilarating and terrifying. Personally, I find the gleaming new architecture to be out-of-this-world, and awe-inspiring. It feels like the future is unfolding, and I'm lucky to have a front row seat.
In contrast to New York's new space-age developments, this is the suburban house in New Jersey where I was born. I loved growing up in the suburbs, but I'm not sure where I see my own family in the future. While I dream of having a big yard and ample space for messy projects, I can't imagine life outside of a big city. I love the density, diversity, and excitement of urban life. I love the energy of 8 million people packed into 300 square miles.
As the world population increases, I see more and more people moving into urban areas. And like it or not, if we are going to fit more people on this planet, we'll have to get accustomed to living with less space. But that doesn't have to be a bad thing. We all need to let go of some of the "stuff" that clutters our minds and homes.
One major drawback of high-rise living is the lack of greenery when you look outside. I can see why many people find the matrix of glass and steel to be cold and soulless. From my 7-story window, the seasons look more or less the same - like bricks and concrete covered in soot. But I like to imagine that the cities of our future will get greener, with integral parks and gardens built all around the sides of buildings. Check out the jaw-dropping renderings below, designed by WOHA architects, for the Vertical Cities Asia International Design Competition. Even though these are just imagined views, they make me optimistic and excited about all the possibilities. While I can't say for sure what the future will look like, I'm pretty sure it will be nothing like the past.
Did you know that November is Native American Heritage Month? Before European settlers arrived in the 15th century, North America was home to a rich and culturally diverse population of indigenous people. Today, although Native Americans make up only 1.7% of the US population, there are over 500 federally-recognized tribes, each with its own unique culture and heritage. Although I am not of Native American ancestry, I wanted to celebrate this month by featuring some beautifully crafted items made by Native artists. While there is a lot of Native American "inspired" stuff out there, authentic work by Native American artists is much harder to find. Thankfully, Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe, author of the blog "Beyond Buckskin" has compiled a list of resources where you can buy products that support economic development in Native American communities. I checked out some of her recommendations, and highlighted a few of my favorite items that would make a great addition to any home.
1. Awoken Loon and Moon - $132.35
I love the crisp lines and colors on this woodland style painting by artist Derek Harper, who is Oji-Cree from Keewaywin First Nation in Ontario. The loon is a really cool bird with a hauntingly beautiful call, and it's also the state bird of Minnesota, my home state. This framed painting is 8.5"W x 11"H.
2. Arctic Flower Birch Bark Drum - $85
This lovely birch bark drum was made by Dolly Metchooyeah, a Dene from Chateh, AB. The gorgeous flowers are made of moose hair tufting, an intricate decorative technique used for centuries by the Dene people.
3. Cedar Basket w/Canoe - $200
Hand-woven by Violet Riebe, of the Hoh tribe from the Pacific Northwest, this basket depicts four canoes with four birds flying above.
4. Hand Coiled Acoma Pottery - $650
The Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico is known for its distinctive, geometric-patterned pottery. This beautiful vase was made by award-winning potter, Shawna Garcia-Rustin. The black-and-white design is a great complement to any color scheme.
5. Di Dream Catcher - $130
Dreamcatchers have a sculptural beauty that adds three-dimensionality to a space, and they look great on the wall or over your bed. Plus, they filter out nightmares while you're sleeping! This caribou-hide piece was made by George Chocolate, Tlicho from Behchoko, NT.
6. Eagle and Bear Paddle - $352.12
Hand-carved paddle by Gelineau Fisher, an Ojibwe artist from the Longlac 58 First Nation. This paddle would look awesome displayed on the wall horizontally or vertically. It is decorated with a painted eagle and black bear.
If you aren't familiar with Chairish yet, then I definitely recommend you take a look! Chairish is a really great website that makes it super easy to buy and sell vintage and used furniture. It's kinda like Craigslist, but without the hassle. The website is very easy to search and shop, and they have a well-curated selection of vintage furniture and decor - so you don't have to search through a bunch of junk. You can find some really great deals, especially since many interior designers use Chairish to unload high-quality furnishings. If you're looking to update your home, be sure to check out the site before you buy new. Vintage furniture adds richness and character to a space that you can't get with all-new everything. Plus, buying pre-loved items helps to keep perfectly nice furniture out of the landfill. For today's post, I've pulled together some items for a classy-chic bedroom that's fit for a queen! Keep reading for more details:Read More
Halloween is right around the corner, and it's my favorite holiday of the year! This year I'm dressing up as the demon-possessed girl from the Exorcist - it's gonna be super scary. Since I'm feeling a little goth lately, today's post is all about black kitchens. From classic and elegant, to hip and modern, there are so many ways to rock a black kitchen. Keep reading to see some more examples of this super sophisticated style.Read More
There's nothing quite like fall in New England, when the leaves turn gold and the hilly landscape becomes a fiery blaze of autumnal color. I enjoyed a hike along the Appalachian Trail with some friends this weekend, and felt so inspired by the magnificent beauty of this season. Several months ago, in the heat of summer, I designed a living room inspired by A Day at The Beach. My how things have changed since then! This week I'm creating a room inspired by this gorgeous photo by my sister Lisa. It really captures the magical air of a New England fall - the bright and joyful array of colors combined with a hint of melancholy - a reminder of the winter to come. I love the natural, golden color palette, and I'm obsessed with that rich patch of deep green on the left! Let's see how we can use these colors to design a room:Read More
A few weeks ago I told you I signed up for the Awaken Your Health cleanse by my friends Amanda and Jackie of Crafted Wellness. Well it's been a little over a week since I completed the cleanse, and I wanted to tell you how much I loved it! This cleanse totally changed the way I eat, and think about food. I felt nourished and energized throughout the cleanse, and I really noticed a difference in the way my body felt after eating healthy foods. I was surprised to discover how tasty healthy foods can be, and I had a lot of fun shopping for and preparing wholesome, nutritious meals. I highly recommend this cleanse to any friends looking to feel good and give their eating habits a boost! Making a commitment to the cleanse really helped me stick to it, and the daily support from Amanda and Jackie made it feel communal and fun. This cleanse changed my eating habits for life, and I'm so glad I tried it. Keep reading to learn more, and see pics of some of the foods I ate.Read More
I went to a family wedding in Pennsylvania this weekend, and on the drive back to NYC we discovered this amazing historic pottery studio - The Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. The sprawling concrete structure was designed in the style of a Spanish Mission, and stands out dramatically against the backdrop of country barns and farmhouses in the area. When I spotted this unusual structure on the side of the road, I definitely had to stop and check it out. As it turns out, the building is a National Historic Landmark built in 1898 by Henry Mercer, a wealthy artist, writer, and leader in the turn-of-the-20th-century Arts and Crafts movement. This working history museum is open daily for tours, and it's definitely worth checking out if you are in the area. Keep reading to learn more, and see pictures of this incredible space.Read More
Tufted back sofas have become increasingly popular lately, and there are so many variations on this traditional look. I love the drama and elegance they bring to a room. While a tufted back sofa can be quite comfortable, they are generally not as comfy as a typical sofa. But the advantage to the tight back is that it doesn't get slouchy with use like many sofas with back cushions - so it always looks crisp and pulled together. This style sofa works great in any living room, and is also nice for entries, waiting areas, or dressing rooms. Simple, streamlined tufting has more of a mid-century modern vibe while lots of deep tufting feels old-world fancy. Go with an off-white linen for a light and airy feeling, or dark blue velvet for something rich and luxurious.
1. Chairish - Custom-Made Hand-Tufted Chesterfield Sofa $7,250 (Previously owned)
2. West Elm - Ainslie Sofa $1,299
3. Restoration Hardware - Savoy Upholstered Sofa $1,865-$4,160
4. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams - Barrymore Sofa $2,495
5. ABC Carpet & Home - Cameron Leather Sofa $1,499
6. Crate & Barrel - Camilla 2-Seat Sofa $1,599
7. Wayfair.com - Bauhaus South Street Sofa $793.53
8. Pottery Barn - Clara Apartment Sofa $1,699-$2,799
My 33rd (!) birthday is coming up next week, and in an effort to start taking better care of myself, I signed up for a 5-day, gentle cleanse organized by Crafted Wellness. My friend Amanda Carney (who is one half of Crafted Wellness) is a holistic health and nutrition coach, and author of the blog, My Edible Sunshine. Her passion for healthy eating and living is an inspiration to me, and I'm excited to give this a try. When it comes to healthy eating, I am literally THE WORST. I'm a cheeseburger lovin', Cheeto-aholic, cake-and-ice cream for breakfast kind of gal. Every once in a while, I'll buy a bag of salad in an effort to eat healthier, but it usually goes bad before I finish it. I fantasize about being a better eater "someday", but I never manage to get around to it. Clearly, I need some help!
That's why I signed up for the "Awaken Your Health" cleanse Sep. 29th-Oct. 3rd. Don't worry, this isn't one of those cleanses where you only drink lemon water for 5 days. It's based on a balanced diet of whole foods with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, whole grains, healthy fats, nuts, seeds, and a few high-quality animal proteins. It only costs $40 (if you sign up before Sep. 24th) and you get a list of allowed and restricted foods, shopping lists, recipes, meal options, supplement recommendations, and tips to guide you during the cleanse. Best of all, you get 1-on-1 email support from the organizers, Amanda and Jackie, and you can also join the private Facebook group to connect with other cleansers for additional motivation and support. So basically, you won't have to do it alone!
For more details and to sign up for the cleanse, check out Crafted Wellness.
September has arrived, and the cooler weather has got me feeling purple! From lavender to plum and eggplant, there are so many beautiful shades of this regal color. It's rich and inviting, luxurious and unique! Here are just a few ways to bring a pop of purple into your life:
Keep reading for more details.
The Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York are one of my favorite places to visit for a weekend getaway from NYC. This beautiful mountainous region is located about 2 hours outside of the city. With a rich and interesting history, it's a great place to get in touch with nature. There are plenty of scenic hikes and charming towns to explore. Every season I love to rent a house with friends, and escape busy city life for a relaxing weekend upstate.
There are hundreds of houses you can rent on Airbnb for a getaway in the Catskills. Here are just a few that caught my eye! Which one is your favorite? Keep reading to see full details, pics, and pricing for 4 unique homes available to rent.Read More
I hope you all had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend and got to spend some time outdoors enjoying this beautiful weather. I've been savoring every minute of summer, and got to visit some pretty amazing places these past few months. Check out the rest of the post to see a few of my favorite places to see and explore here in New York, and also in my hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota.Read More
If you want to care for your furniture like a pro, I recommend using the all-natural, nontoxic furniture care products hand mixed in Brooklyn by Christophe Pourny Studio. Christophe is an expert in furniture restoration and custom finishes. He grew up in the South of France, honing his skills at his parents antique shop. For nearly 20 years he has been working out of his studio in Dumbo, Brooklyn along with his partner Jason Jobson. Several years ago they started mixing and selling their own line of high-quality furniture care products. Not only will these products leave your furniture with a rich, lustrous finish, but they smell great too! I love the attention to detail, and simple, artisanal packaging. If you have open shelves in your kitchen or pantry, you can keep these items on display and they will look great and add style to your home. Keep reading to learn more about the range of products available.Read More
We've had a beautiful August here in New York City, but September is right around the corner and it's time to start getting busy. While I hate to say goodbye to the lazy days of summer, I do get excited about reimagining my workspace this fall. I love classic, elegant style with a pop of pink. What does your dream desktop look like? Keep reading to get some desktop style inspirationRead More
There are so many wonderful things happening in kitchen design lately, and one of my favorite looks is the growing trend of painted cabinets and brass hardware. This works great with a range of grays, and navy blue is really hot right now as well. Painted base cabinets are often paired with light and airy upper cabinets to keep the kitchen from becoming overwhelmingly dark and heavy. White marble countertops and subway tile backsplash are great classic finishes to complete the look. This style is very versatile because you can always repaint the cabinets and change the hardware down the line if you grow tired of the color scheme.
In the Navy
Navy blue is having a major moment right now. It looks great with both brass and silver hardware. Open shelving or upper cabinets with glass windows keep the look fresh and contemporary. If you're afraid of committing to navy blue for the whole kitchen, you can also just paint the island!
Shades of Gray
Gray cabinets are a really versatile and classic look. There are so many variations on the color gray, and each shade evokes a slightly different feel.
A medium-tone cool gray is very elegant and inviting:
A darker gray is more forgiving of stains and spills, and makes the kitchen feel contemporary and grounded:
A warm grey combined with chrome and brass mixed metal hardware is a subtle and sophisticated twist on the typical look:
I absolutely adore this kitchen by the very talented Sarah Sherman Samuel of Smitten Studio. The light gray base cabinets have just a hint of mint to them, which works fantastically well with the brass hardware and dark wood floors.
In this Brooklyn townhouse, interior designer Blair Harris has created a relaxed, yet rich and sophisticated look with black cabinetry.
Go Big or Go Home
Last but not least, I wanted to show you this stunner of a kitchen designed by Kelly Wearstler for actress Cameron Diaz. While this look is definitely not for everyone, it takes the trend to a bold new level. The jade green cabinets with brass accents are movie-star glamorous while the copper backsplash and dramatic light fixture kick things up a notch.
If you are looking to buy or sell lightly used and vintage designer furniture, then you should definitely check out Chairish.com. Chairish is an online marketplace that makes it really easy to buy and sell pre-loved, curator-approved furniture. If you want to sell an item, all you need to do is submit the photos and description to create a listing. You set the price, but Chairish recommends you list an item for 25-30% of it's estimated retail value. Once the item sells, Chairish will collect payment and arrange for delivery to the customer. You keep 80% of the sale price, and Chairish takes 20%. It's that simple. Co-founder and Chief Curator Anna Brockway describes it as "a curated Craigslist with a style editor, a delivery van, and a cash register!".
As an interior designer, I love shopping on the Chairish website because you can find some really nice pieces for a reasonable price. They do a great job of curating the selection, so you don't have to weed through a bunch of junk to find the good stuff. Plus the website is very easy to navigate, and you can search for items based on category, price, style, and location. There is even room to do some bargaining since you can make offers starting at 70% of the listed price. For today's blog post, I put together a classic, mid-century modern living room filled with vintage treasure from Chairish. Check it out:
1. Modernist Abstract Painting ($725) - I love the dynamic, yet simplistic style of this piece. The neutral tones will work with a wide range of colors, and it's a good size (40" wide x 30" high) to fill a wall and make a statement.
2. Gaetano Sciolari Chandelier ($3,500) - Gaetano Sciolari is an iconic Italian lighting designer who became very popular in the 1950's and 1960's. His designs combine futuristic lines with traditional chandelier forms and materials. This brass and crystal chandelier is a total stunner, and will add a rich history to your space.
3. Adrian Pearsall Green Sofa ($2,200) - Adrian Pearsall is one of the lesser-known mid-century modern furniture designers, but his pieces have all the style and sophistication of his more famous counterparts. This tufted green sofa features beautiful lines and the original fabric. And don't be afraid of the color - light green actually works really well with a lot of colors, and almost acts as a neutral!
4. Poul Jensen for Selig "Z" Lounge Chair in Teak ($895) - This iconic mid-century chair features amazing lines and brand new upholstery. This piece is in excellent condition, and will add major style points to any home.
5. Italian Blown Glass Female Figural Decanter ($150) - This whimsical little number is an early example of the type of figural decanters that became popular in the mid-century. The jewel-toned green glass adds a pop of color to the room, and is a great complement to all the brass details.
6. Mid-Century Modern Marble Side Table ($895) - With a tulip style base and marble top, this little accent table is simple, sophisticated, and classic - a great addition to any room.
7. Mid-Century Modern Glass and Brass Coffee Table ($1,425) - Brass is having a major comeback right now. I love how this table features a burnished brass with a warm patina, rather than the shiny brass that was popular in the 80's. The smoked glass top is super chic.
8. Brindle Cowhide ($396) - Cowhide rugs have a timeless appeal, and are a mid-century modern fixture. This is an authentic Colombian cowhide with a good mix of white, and light and dark brown.
A few weeks ago I shared pictures of Awadh, the latest restaurant I designed. You can read more about it here, and check out all the pretty pics of the finished project. Today, I'm going to show you some before-and-after shots of the space, and give you a behind-the-scenes scoop on the design process.
Before 2588 Broadway became Awadh, it was home to a French restaurant called Alouette. While Alouette was a charming and cozy spot, the decor was drab and dated, and badly in need of a refresh. The combination of bright yellow walls and burgundy curtains felt old-fashioned and heavy-handed, and the bar was busy and cluttered.Read More
This past Saturday I attended a DIY Workshop at The Home Depot on installing hardwood and laminate flooring. To be honest, I was rather disappointed with the "workshop". We got a short lecture on wood flooring basics, and then were advised to hire a professional to handle the hard labor. The Home Depot advertises DIY workshops every Saturday, so I will be sure to check out some more and let you know if they are any better.
Anyways, I want to share with you some tips on hardwood flooring that we learned, and then I highlighted a few of my favorite options available at The Home Depot. I also stopped by another store, Green Depot, to compare the selection. Both locations have a wide range of flooring options, so this blog is by no means a comprehensive round-up. I just picked a few of my favorites that have a classic, timeless appeal and would look great in many homes.Read More
Happy Monday everyone! I'm excited to share these photos of the latest restaurant I designed, Awadh, located on the Upper West Side at 98th Street and Broadway. Awadh specializes in slow-cooking dum pukht-style cuisine, which is spicy, rich and delicious. Be sure to check it out for some of the tastiest Indian food in Manhattan.
This is the 4th and largest project I have collaborated on with Chef/Owner Gaurav Anand. Several years ago he hired me to design his first NYC restaurant, Bhatti Indian Grill, and it was a dream come true! Since then I've also worked with Gaurav on the now closed Kathi Rolls by Kabab Factory, and Moti Mahal Delux, which received rave reviews in The New York Times.
Gothamist recently described the decor at Awadh as "sleek but understated, with a monochrome style of beiges and pale golds." I'm planning another post in the next few weeks where I'll show some before-and-after pics, and talk about the design process of how the space came together. But for now, check out these lovely photos taken by my talented sister, Lisa Weatherbee.