let there be light…

January 31, 2018

…and let it make a statement.  Your light fixtures are the right place to take a risk, make a point, and inject some personality.  Yes, they can be expensive but they truly are the jewelry of a room (and who wants cheap jewelry?) Now thats not to say something inexpensive but fun and whimsical or creative, or unique isn’t a great idea… I’d celebrate that.  Typically though, you get what you pay for with light fixtures.

Two points I’d like to make are 1. your light fixtures don’t have to match, in fact they shouldn’t (unless were talking about scones in a space, a long hall, or pendants over an island or other instances like that) Mix it up from room to room, and have some fun with not doing everything in a certain genre, you can have an old crusty lantern in one room and a modern saucer in another. BUT the finishes must speak to each other.  Lighting is no different than any other detail on your home.  Windows, masonry, woodwork to create cohesiveness those details have to tell a story through color, texture, shape or style.  And if you’re mixing up style, focus on the finishes telling the same story.


The other point is you can change a light when it falls out of fashion, but you have to rip out that backsplash accent you couldn’t live without, and trust me… you will get sick of the over designed backsplash.  Or the niche detail you think is a good idea now.  There is no harder job what it comes to good design than restraint.  Thats why i started by suggesting you put the “risk” into light fixtures, they really are easy to change out.


Parting thoughts… use light fixtures to enhance a space, not just light it.. places like the top of bookcases or over your favorite painting (but not if it has glass please). Add sconces down a boring hallway or up a staircase.  Don’t think about them just providing light, make them a point of interest, design them into your space and for pets sake PLEASE put them ALL on dimmers.  Unless your pulling out a splinter or reading the dictionary, I’m pretty certain you need to dim your lights down.


The End.




A Dash of Brass

January 25, 2014

I thought I’d make my point by posting this the day after I suggested brass if you’re thinking about going grey…


The timelessness of a white kitchen is not lost on me, it’s something that will NEVER feels dated, or a relic of a time-capsule from days (or years ) gone by.  Brass on the other hand has had its heyday and has been out of favor for some time.. but “it’s back”!  The younger set who didn’t live through the last go around have discovered the warmth and beauty of brass and other warm finish metals are showing up everywhere. Show here with White and Grey, the brass is the perfect complement to the cool crisp aesthetic these kitchens possess.  And, yeah… sure, brass could fall out of fashion again too, but remember it’s a lot easier and cheaper to change than countertops, cabinets and other major kitchen items.

acc2e44594088a0d4f185be7004d5271 Fearful of taking the plunge but love the look?  Add some accessories to your countertops or swap out a light fixture to update your kitchens look.  Mixed metals is OK, trust me.  Gone are the days of matching dining room sets, and matching metals… you just have to do it in a way that feels thought out, designed.


I’ll be honest it took me a while to get on this train.  I have disliked brass for many, many years… but to be honest now that the market is so oversaturated with nickel, pewter, stainless and chrome a dash of brass really feels special.




May 19, 2013


There are a hand full of companies that produce a line of furniture that offers so much good and pretty furniture.  Oly consistently delivers on quality, design and updatedness without feeling like their pieces have a history.  The styles tell a story and what you choose basically creates the ending, your beautiful room.  I find their pieces also mix well with many other styles, pieces  add an updated and glamorous touch and depending on what you choose to mix together to possibilities are endless.    inspiration_3You know how much I love white on white.  well this livingroom grouping delivers on.  The woven raffia side panels on the settees adds depth and texture, and is a good foil for the polished metallic framework on the coffee table and sideboard.   They had me with that chandelier.


I’m ordering this bed for the shop.  I love it.  this is the type of piece you make room for.  Maybe I need it in my life?  someone needs to get this bed asap.  I really even like the pale pink they show it with.  inspiration_4

TARGET’s Look-A-Likes

March 18, 2013

I slipped in to our local Target store yesterday to buy some Champion brand gym clothes that they have on sale.  I needed more high performance clothing now that I’m performing at a higher level ; )  My trainer and gym membership have been working – even with an occasional, ok frequent, cheat.  Since I was already there, of course I had to see what they were pedaling in the house-wear and garden centers.  Now you might not be quite as shocked as I was to see these cute little side tables but let me tell you after having sold this table to a client I WAS SHOCKED to see a look-a-like in Target of all places.

fakeoomphThis little table is a design from OOMPH, and is clearly a knockoff.  I’m a bit torn about this.  On one hand I love that the masses get this great design for a fraction of the better made side table from Oomph… good design for all!  But, It makes me sad that with all the resources Target has, they couldn’t have designed their own cool table and not taken design ($) from a small company like Oomph.  The bottom line is it’s good for you.  This table is 39.99 and available at Target.  It is a chic little table that would look great next to a slip-covered swivel chair, and the end of a sexy settee or even alongside your bathtub holding am iPad and glass of wine. fakeadlerJonathan Adler has become a household name in recent years.  We went from obscure pottery artist to world-class decorator and retail giant but marketing a look we really haven’t embraced since the days of Merimeko, Vera and other 60’s Modish designs.  And, do you know how you can tell when someone has made it really big?  They get knocked off by a big box chain like Target ( and in this case Nate Burkus ).  Yeah, Yeah tortoise shells have been used in interior design for decades but this white version I’d something Adler has really made iconic.  Bad for Adler… diluting the market and creating a trend so strong it’s bound to be over-played, but great for you because it’s only $19.99 at Target.  fakeglobalNow I may be wrong here but I’m 99% sure this is an Arteriors original design.  And yep, you guessed it… now available at your local Target.   It’s nearly $800.00 from online retailer Zincdoor.com  was it really only $24.99 at Target?  Wow, crazy cheap.  This table is not as well made and they changed the proportion of it a bit from the original – taller and a bit more delicate looking – but come on it is so a copy.
fakejamieJamie Young is my “go-to” lighting resource.  They have up to the minute, white-hot lighting at prices that are fair for the well made and well designed quality products they produce.  This white floor lamp from Target is so a Jamie Young KNOCK-OFF.  Bad for Jamie Young… Great for you.  I don’t think it’s nearly as pretty as one of Jamie’s – the high gloss looks cheap and this lamp isn’t made nearly as well – but for the cheap price $69.00? I might be able to live with it.  click here to see the Jamie young version.


I think I’m a modern-kinda-guy but sometimes I find comfort in tradition.  The designers over at Ralph Lauren know how to put out the classics but give them a twist…  Like the collection for Visual Comfort.  These table lamps are a small sampling of the brass, glass, ceramic, nickel  and other great materials that are employed in the traditional yet up-dated collection.  These lights are easy to place, work into may different looks and have a high-end quality look to them.
RL15004PO-PI have a great client (who I have a small crush on) up in Newton, MA and this look will be perfect for her.  We are reusing some blue and white buffalo plaid silk drapes from her previous home and I’m thinking that these lamps will layer up the look nicely with a camel sofa and perhaps a pair of chairs in cream.  We have a small pair of occasional chairs to recover too, I think those would look great in a leopard but that might be too wild for her.  Stay tuned for up-dates on that project. RL3465ZB-SThis zebra lamp would look best in a room filled with cream-colored upholstery and dark wood floors.  I like the idea of making this lamp one of the only patterns in the room vs mixing it with color and pattern… That might just be a tad OTT (over the top) for yours truly.  Maybe the space could support a modern wickerish coffee table and a leather chair, but this with too much else is just too much.  Bottom line: careful how you use this light.RL13170BLU-LI prefer Navy and Chocolate as my dark tones in color palettes.  Navy mixes with so much, it looks good with almost every other color AND it plays well with other blues & blues are notorious for not  being easy to mix.  Soft wall colors or a white room would benefit from the visual strength of this solid blue lamp.  And, if you’re feeling more than a bit wild perhaps a leopard based lamp will feel right at home at your house.  

the New York Gift Show

January 29, 2013

I got back late last night from the New York Gift Show. We’re talking acres and acres of home accessories, tabletop, jewelry & bags, and plenty of crazy randomness in between to keep it comical. There was much to see and I managed to see a lot ( enough ) in the one full day I was there. Buying for the store is like decorating for a dozen clients or more, all at once. You have to think about crafting a vision for merchandising when things arrive, buying “whats next” while buying what feels clients will be comfortable with and you have to cater those tastes to as many potential buyers as possible… After all selling your wares is the name of the game.


I expected to be buying hot bright colors for Spring/Summer, Dash & Albert rugs, indoor-outdoor ottomans, Sunbrella throws and the like but as you will see, my heart, my style and my gut all lead me back to rich and subtle tans, greys, aqua and navy. Always in my comfort zone and always in good taste.20130129-080618.jpg

We bought tables full of Chinese ceramics, blue and white pots, vases and bowls. Beautiful Tibetan rugs in pale heathered hues in (what else) tans greys and aquas. As well as deep colbalt table lamps, burnished brass decorotive mirrors and chandeliers made of hemp and beads of glass or stone… AMAZING!20130129-080627.jpg

So there are some of the Navy treasures, and here are some pretty aqua inspired finds I couldn’t live without…





December 7, 2012

1015Um, YES PLEASE!  do you love this sconce as much as I do?

William Haines designed the original “Ice Crystals” Sconces for the May house in 1953, using faceted pieces of acrylic material. This limited edition is offered as an exact opposing pair. Reflecting the sparkling glamour of Hollywood , the sconces are a brilliant accessory to traditional or contemporary interiors.  As modern as they were in the 50’s these would look amazing in a urban loft, organic beach house or a traditional home.  That speaks to the quality of design and the timelessness of these beautiful lights.


Designed for the Haines studio in 1951, the Bel-Air sofa exemplifies the essence of the Haines look – restrained modernism and glamorous scale. The back supports and legs are wrapped in leather and frame the deeply tufted upholstery. Originally made ten feet wide, the sofa is available in custom sizes.  I love that the sofa has both the glam of hollywood in its heyday and the quintessential details of a mid-century piece.  

William Haines Designs, located in Los Angeles, California is carrying on the Haines legacy by faithfully reproducing the original Haines furniture designs with great accuracy and penchant for this style known as Hollywood Glamour. Peter Schifando and J. Jonathan Joseph are extending the Haines aesthetic with painstaking accuracy and fulfilling the current demand for Hollywood Regency design. With an A-List clientele, which includes Nancy Reagan and Betsy Bloomingdale, it is only befitting that these iconic, classic designs from William Haines grace their homes.

The Elbow Chair, the Brentwood Chair, Conference Chair and Pull Up Chair are among the glamorous classics that comprise the William Haines Collection. These are authentically produced by the same California manufacturer for the last fifty years. The current Haines furniture collection are re-issued Haines Originals. They are available through William Haines Designs and select dealers throughout the United States.

William Haines Designs