I was so impressed with the makeover featured in the Times today. The owner purchased a house on a lake in the Catskills but wanted to stay true to her style. But how do you have a more modern, clean-lined look in a setting that generally lends itself to a more rustic, country look? Like this.
Image courtesy NY Times
It's Thursday which means Home and Garden day in the Times. This week brought a couple of interesting bits. First off, a full listing of house tours available this spring throughout the city. You mean I can pay to snoop? Sign me up for that! The voyeur in all of us wants to take a peek into strangers' houses,right? Come on, you know when you're walking the dog, you love it when the neighbors leave the blinds open. Now I just need to filter through the list and pick the top 2 or 3 contenders.
I read an interesting article in the NY Times the other day about the trend towards standing while working. For us creative types, sometimes moving around helps get the good ideas flowing. That's a lot easier to do while standing. I can tell you from my experience that I am totally unable to hand draft a floor plan while seated. For years, I used my standing ironing board with a drafting board on top to get it at just the right height. The best choice is an adjustable desk like what's featured here for the times you just want to park it and surf the web.
As more of us work from home (or bring work home after doing it all day) it's important to carve out a space that answers our work needs. This usually includes a comfortable chair, a reasonably sized work surface and perhaps some storage. For the lucky ones, an extra bedroom can serve as the perfect home office. The rest of us need to figure out a way to integrate a home office into the general living space without detracting from it. I think this article in the NY Times does a great job of offering smart solutions.
No, this is not an April Fool's joke. I read an article in the Times today that showcased wallpapers from York Wallcovering inspired by Disney's Fantasia. You remember that one, right? Old Walt's acid trip movie? Anyway, the designers used original artwork from the film to create some really beautiful papers.
The Times had another article in their "On the Cheap" series in today's paper. This one featured a man in his late 20's moving into his first apartment with no roommates. The design services were free but the client had about $8000 to spend on furnishings and minor construction. This sounds like a lot, but you'd be surprised how fast that money can go.
There are many schools of thought on what makes for tasteful design. At either end of the spectrum is the "less is more" and the "more is more". Today's NY Times features the home of a young designer who clearly subscribes to the latter school of thought. It's a tiny apartment in Brooklyn that is chock full of collectibles, books and assorted items. Here's my issue--there's virtually nowhere for the eye to rest--especially in the living area. My eye went straight from the plaid throw on the chair to the simple (and quite lovely) white bedding. Why? Because that sofa pattern hurt my eyes! The room, in my opinion would be much more appealing with either a charcoal grey sofa, perhaps in a wool or linen or something in leather.
I look forward to the NY Times articles that feature room redos done on a budget. They are much more like the projects I work on with my clients. Also, so many of them have the train wreck drama that makes me cringe. This week's article was a welcome change of pace. The clients in the article wanted a Parisian inspired bedroom on a $1500 budget. One sentence that caught my attention and made so much sense: [The] ideas were offered as suggestions rather than directives, and were accompanied by lengthy explanations.
There's a sign in the staff kitchen at one of the other retail locations for the day job that says something to the effect of, "Treat every customer as if they will repeat their experience here to all of their friends. And exaggerate every detail. Because they will." And I can pretty much say with full assurance that statement is true. If you choose to work in the service industry (and since those are most of the jobs available in the U.S., you probably already are), you need to put customer service at the top of the priority list. So imagine my shock when I read this article in the Times the other day.
I wrote a little while back about the (expected) return of the conversation sofa after all the swooning over the one featured in "A Single Man". Well, is it any surprise that the Times had an article the other day about the newfound popularity of bar carts. After all, they do make quite the swingin' pair. Martinis anyone? Bar carts ideal for gatherings because they force mingling--instead of a traffic glut in the kitchen. Which is usually what happens at most parties. Just put the food and booze on opposite ends of the space and trust me, people will mill about.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in Los Angeles. 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.