Monday, July 15, 2013


silver leaf

My design confidant, Nicole, is in the process of redesigning her bedroom. I love watching her imagination run wild as she comes up with incredible design concepts. She has a nice large collection of accessories that I like to "rent out," sometimes she comes over and notices a piece and asks "Is this mine?" and I of course try to convince her that it is mine or that she had gifted it to me months ago..  
Last week Nicole asked me what I thought about her wrapping a dresser in a metallic silver wallpaper, which of course if done correctly would look ridiculously sexy.. but the cost of materials and labor would end up costing more than the dresser itself. I suggested possibly silver leafing the dresser instead. After some research, I saw that silver leafing was cost effective, time consuming but easy to apply, and the end result is almost identical to the original concept.

Silver Leaf Dresser
DIY Mirrored (silver leaf) Cabinet
Champagne Silver Leaf Boxes
i adore silver leaf
Sette Design: Silver Leaf Doors
Silver leaf walls and a lovely orchid
silver leaf

silver leaf sideboard - OKL

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Does your idea of watching TV include a built-in unit to accommodate books and media equipment, equipped with a fireplace and adorned with sparkling hardware or is it more of a minimal freestanding console. Either way you prefer spectating, there's one here for you. 

For mwah, if I wasn't renting I would probably choose a built in like the smartly designed space of Frank Cafaro, the owner of soho based Desiron furniture. Clean, dark and handsome, my favorite part is the EcoSmart fireplace and antique mirror backed shelves.  

If I were renting a loft, perhaps this freestanding unit that can be used as a desk would fit my style best. The Mad Men like piece by 7th & Seventh Design can be completely custom designed to any size, but I'm keeping the brass metal details. 

Remember, glass front doors can keep your accessories dust free, and proper interior lighting works best with glass shelves. 
7th & Seventh

This piece, by Redford House Furniture, is one of the best sellers I know when it comes to media consoles. It comes in over 15 different wood and paint finishes and the hardware pulls can come in brass or polished nickel.

I admire anyone who is willing to paint their units a bold color. Check out this old post.

If you have the means and you like the mid century look, I'd suggest an upscale veneer. Such as macassar ebony, rosewood or zebrawood. 

If you have a ton of books, interior lighting may not be the best way to go. In that case I would suggest picture lighting. Some really great options can be found at Restoration Hardware for an unbeatable price. 

Vanguard furniture

Old Biscayne custom unit. I've seen this in person, It's absolutely gorgeous. 

And last but not least the stainless steel leather steamer trunk by Restoration Hardware. The price can't be beat and it's got a ton of character.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


Would you believe that any of the kitchens pictured below were bought at IKEA? Well not all of the components are from Ikea, just some. Thanks to Semihandmade, you can now buy gorgeous solid wood doors and drawers for your IKEA kitchen. Customizing where it counts allows you to create a seriously high end look without emptying your bank account. 

According to Semihandmade,
"Depending on your kitchen’s size and design, most clients typically spend between $4,000 and $8,000 on our doors, panels, drawer faces and custom components. When you add the cost of standard IKEA cabinets and hardware ($1,000-$3,000) plus assembly and installation ($1,500-$2,500), you come up with a range of $8,000-$13,000 – considerably less than most custom kitchens."

Yea I'd say! Being a NJ designer I've seen some seriously high end kitchens, easily costing over 50 grand. This is easily the best way to cut down on your budget and splurge on the eye-catching elements that are going to make your neighbors jealous. You know I'll be keeping this trick in my back pocket for future use!

Monday, July 8, 2013


I'm totally loving the neon art I have been seeing in residential design lately. Typically we see these signs at cheesy bars but keeping the lettering white will keep it from seeming too over the top. The piece will also look a lot cleaner if you can have an electrician hardwire it so you don't have any messy wires showing. I haven't seen many opportunities to create some custom neon signs, but I'm sure the trend will show up somewhere like Etsy soon enough. 

Elizabeth Stanley Design

J. Crew Headquarters via Habitually Chic

Sketch 42 Blog 

Lucite and Lavendar Blog 



The Peak of Tres Chic



Via Miss Design

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I will always love a classic white kitchen, but interior design wouldn't be fun for me if we didn't mix it up once and awhile with color. Obviously you don't have to make a huge commitment to color, but if you do go bold on your cabinets it's JUST paint. 

Can't fully commit? Keep the cabinets above your counters white and only paint the lower half or island a vibrant shade. 

House Beautiful 

House to Home

Chicago Tribune

Jeffrey Bilhuber
Jonas Ingerstedt

The Cottage Market