Monthly Archives: May 2012

Trends Spotted at ICFF (Part I): PAPER

This past weekend was the ICFF, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair, a yearly furnishings extravaganza at the Jacob Javits Center. It’s an amazing maze of newly released designs from around the world. I’ll be doing a couple of segments on trends we spotted there, starting with… stuff made out of paper/cardboard! Now this trend isn’t exactly new… my fave architect and designer, Frank Gehry, introduced his Wiggle Chair several years ago, a series of cardboard swoops that can be thrown straight into the recycling bin after you’re through with it:

But this year, paper was popping up EVERYWHERE. This awesome display from Canadian company molo is actually completely comprised of paper!

Molo has an expandable paper product that can be made into space partitions or even furniture:

Here’s Susan sitting on top of one of their stools, which is a wheel of paper with a felt top.

Next up, we saw this display of pendant lights, also made of cardboard, from New Jersey-based Carton Planet (well-priced at $50-60).

I loved this display of cardboard figures from Japanese designer d-torso…I think they would be a great arts & crafts project for kids to build, color or paint, decorate, and then recycle when they’ve had their day. What child doesn’t want a 7′ tall horse?

OK, so this was not actually a product for sale, but I thought that the backlit wall of this display booth looked really awesome, and was delighted upon closer inspection to find that it was made of crumpled strips of paper. I thought it was cool-looking maybe for a DIY to add texture to a space on a budget.

This clever table lamp is actually a light within a notebook…
You can flip the page for a different background…
Or even create your own…
at the designboom mart.

So then after I left the fair, I was shopping with a friend at cb2 when what did we stumble upon…

Their ‘upcycle’ pendant lamp, made of circular discs of cardboard (currently on sale for $99). I think it has a cool industrial look…


Stay tuned for more from ICFF…


Nursery Safety Tips

Nursery design goes way beyond the gender and theme you decide on.  You need to take into consideration safety measures, lighting schemes and organizational systems, all in which will help your every day crazy life a little bit easier.  Here’s a few important steps you need to take to ensure a safe environment of the newest member of your family.

Safety is always the number one priority, especially in a nursery.  When planning the lay out of your nursery keep the crib away from a window to keep window treatments, which can be a choking hazard, away from the child.  It’s best to keep the crib against the wall or centered in the room as in the floor plan from Rock-A-Bye Nursery.

Around kids it’s especially important to use VOC-free paint (VOCs are Volatile Organic Compounds, which have adverse health effects, especially on children whose membranes are more sensitive, as noted by the EPA here).  Almost all paint brands offer a VOC-free line (one of our favorites is Benjamin Moore).

In terms of window treatments, blackout shades that block out sunlight so  your baby can nap are most ideal.  I like  the Hunter Douglas Duette Architella Honeycomb shade, available in almost any color you can think of.

If shades are not in your design plan for your nursery (which I totally understand) then you can always add drapes in front like the image below (so long as your crib is placed where the drapes are outside of the child’s reach).  Courtesy of Little Inspirations blog.

You might want to hang something above the crib, but be careful with what you select–you do not want a heavy piece of art or something with glass in the case it may fall.  We like the option of a wall decal, like this one:

This adorable customized Owl decal is from Pottery Barn for $69.  I found a number of different vendors on Etsy who also sell wall decals.  Here is this cute tree decal with birds, a squirrel and birdhouse helping to create a whole scene in your nursery.

This decal is also customizable for any color scheme.

I wish all the Mothers out there a very Happy Mothers Day!

WestChester Kitchen — ALMOST DONE! — with full materials list for copycats :)

I am sooooo ridiculously excited to reveal my makeover of a WestChester kitchen! Been working on this since January, finally ALMOST THERE!

Here’s our before….

AND AFTER….. (da-dah, duh-dahhhhhh!!)…

For background… the house is a 1950s ranch. We were actually inspired by a beautiful colonial kitchen featured in Southern Living

Especially the taupe cabinetry with a lighter counter. My client then decided to do different-colored upper cabinets, a trend that I love (as discussed in a previous Roomology post)! I think one of the reasons I like the look so much is that it makes so much sense psychologically because that is how things appear in nature (light sky and clouds above, and dark plants and soil below).

So, after much discussion on the merits and costs of new cabinetry, we decided to repaint the existing cabinetry and replace the hardware. The colors we chose were:

Benjamin Moore Cotton Balls on the upper cabinetry, a beautiful yellow-y green-y white. Then we struggled to find the perfect taupe with just a touch of green for the bottom cabinets. We could not find this among the Benjamin Moore colors, but I found what I was looking for from Behr Paint:

This lovely color is called Twig Basket. However, my client wanted Benjamin Moore paint because of they are committed to low- or no- VOCs. So, I brought the card to Benjamin Moore and they were able to create a custom color for us!

Lastly, our wall color was Elephant Tusk by Benjamin Moore… a go-to cream with wide appeal.

For counter material, we decided to go with resell-friendly, budget-friendly, durable, heat-resistant granite. Believe it or not, this piece was only $40/sq ft, and they even threw in a new stainless steel kitchen sink! (No joke!)

This is Gialla Ornamental granite, and the color is Classic White. As you can see here, it had just the right flecks of taupe to match the cabinet paint perfectly!

For hardware, we selected brushed nickel knobs and these fancier handles for the drawers…

Perfect for a Colonial kitchen, we got these drawer pulls for a mere $5 each from the Martha Stewart collection at Home Depot.

For a backsplash, we kept it simple with off-white subway tiles, also from Home Depot. We both disliked the glossy finish for this look, so we went with matte tiles in off-white (pretty much the same price as the stock glossy white subway tiles even though they’re special order)!

The flooring was the hardest part. My client wanted a realistic-looking, eco-friendly, floating, no-glue laminate or vinyl. FYI, it’s totally important to consider indoor air quality when choosing any flooring, because of off-gassing (the leaching of VOCs and other pollutants into the air) of many products (flooring is a particularly notorious offender). No-glue options are awesome because many glues also contain harmful pollutants that can also off-gas… in addition, they can be extremely annoying when you’re trying to remove and replace the floor. So a no-glue flooring system has an underlayment (which in our case, we made sure was also eco-friendly) and laminated tiles that have a tongue-and-groove system, so that they just click together. After pricing various options, we actually found that the cheapest way to go was online! We ordered her materials from Wayfair, and then she hired her handyman to install it for her. Here’s what we chose:

This is Shaw floors Majestic Visions laminate (color: Newport), a bargain at $2.69/sq ft at Wayfair. This flooring is GreenGuard certified, meaning it does not seriously affect indoor air quality, and has been judged to have such little off-gassing that it is even recommended for schools and kids (whose sensitive membrames make them likelier to feel the effects of off-gassing). We also bought this eco-friendly underlayment:

This is the Selitac Underlayment, also from Shaw, also GreenGuard certified, 100% recyclable, with helpful little gridlines for DIYers, and available for the bargain-basement price of $40 for a 100sqft roll at Wayfair.

The last piece we are still working on is the window treatments, which is why I can’t show you the window-side of the kitchen yet… perfect for a colonial kitchen, we decided to go with the Country Life print from Waverly, a beautiful linen print. Here’s a photo showing the pattern…

And here’s a pic showing how well it goes with our beautiful granite!

Hope you enjoyed! Any questions on your kitchen choices??? Email us or comment!


Roomology Loves: Monochromatic Interiors (A How To!)

Although there were many things to fall in love with in Costa Rica, I could not get over the thousands of shades of green I came across while hiking in the rainforest.  I have included some pictures of my wandering eye and it is clear how this place makes you simply fall in love with green.  Can you imagine being totally engulfed in this beautiful color?

I began to think of how to incorporate that feeling into an interior.  The answer is: Monochromatic color scheme.  A monochromatic color scheme is not an easy project to take on but with some simple guidelines  you can be surrounded by your favorite color.  In order to mimic nature you really need to go beyond the paint color.  A space needs to replicate the layers as if you can peal them off one at a time to reveal another surprise underneath.

Here are some tips for how to succeed with a monochromatic room:

1.  Choose a color that will set the mood you would like your space to portray.  If you are designing a bedroom you may want to select a more relaxing color as opposed to an energizing or loud shade.  There are plenty of exceptions to this rule which we will go over next so make sure the color you select will be one you will smile at every time you enter the room.  There will be a lot of it so you need to at least like the color!

2.  Make sure to mix different tones of your color to create contrast.  This will help give the room depth and allow each piece to both stand out and fit in at the same time.  You will be surprised at how well pieces will compliment each other when they are varying in lighter or darker shades.  Look at how many tones of blue are used in the living room below.

3.  Texture, Texture, Texture.   A monochromatic color scheme needs to have as many textures as you can find.  The orange interior below is a great example.  Between the  Panatone dining chairs, pendant light above the table, textures of the throw pillows, paint on the wall  and fireplace this one room has at least 6 different textures.

4.  Do you have commitment issues?  Not so sure you can go for the red sofa or green console table?  I totally understand but that is no excuse for why you cannot still have a monochromatic room.  Mix neutral toned furniture pieces with plenty of colorful accents.  Bring your color into the space with throw pillows, blankets, curtains, area rugs, candles, art work and of course paint. The list can keep going; be creative and your commitment issues will soon be forgotten.

The neutral sofa and lamp shades create a great canvas for the blue palette.

5.  Be sure to add some pattern.  The wallpaper below breaks up the strong violet paint color while introducing a lighter shade.  It also helps to tie in the light colored sofa

There you have it.  Have fun exploring what you can do with only one color.  Send us your pictures to show us your finished Monochromatic Masterpiece.

Images sources: House Beautiful, Jeffers Design Group, Apartment Therapy, Hue Amour.