Category Archives: Products We Love

Trends Spotted at the ICFF Part III: Friends of a Feather

Birds are supertrendy right now… and at ICFF, they were everywhere!

Let’s start with my favorite piece of the whole show, Tweet.  Designed by a recent graduate, Jiin Kim these clever outdoor stools come in a variety of colors.  Even comes with a nice metaphor: Kim explained that when the sun creates a shadow, it depicts a bird sitting in her cage… then when someone sits down,  the bird is then freed.  Perfect for any small outdoor space or even indoors as a cute side table.  Place a sconce above to create the shadow all day long.

If a diagram of an actual bird seems too literal, check out Seugull, a collection of LED light fixtures by QisDESIGN.   This thin base on a slight angle to reflect a bird taking off or in mid-flight.  I love the sleek lines, and the wings actually move to any angle you like.  It comes as a floor, table or suspended lamp.

Cuckoo clocks have been around for hundreds of years, but most traditional designs will not fit with today’s interiors.  Italian company Diamantini & Domeniconi brings the cuckoo clock to the 21st century  with fun and modern colors and patterns.

British company Surface View was showing gigantic wall murals, including this one of a flamingo.  Could be a unique background for a more formal dining space.  

Surface View was also showing this Yellow Bird sketch.

A black and white graphic pillow makes a great pop in a contemporary room or nursery.  The pillow below is from Charlene Mullen for De La Espada.

There you have it!  Look forward to seeing more creative aviary-inspired designs.


On my recent trip to Costa Rica, I stopped at the Tabacon Hot Springs.  The grounds were breathtaking.  After walking around I stumbled upon the Shangri Li Gardens area where I lounged around on the outdoor furniture, and I was … Continue reading

Great Tall Narrow Storage Pieces

My city peeps are always looking to cram extra inches of storage into every corner of their apartments… so I thought I’d give some options for tall narrow storage to take advantage of scarce square footage.

The slim wall-mounted Plaza cabinet from Lacava is 10″w and has a combination of drawers and shelves, so you can hide half your mess.

Beautiful distressed wood cabinet is half storage, half display. $1312 from Candelabra Home.

This modern metal bookshelf is 10″ wide and provides a pop of bright blue. $199 from cb2.

Chic and cheap, open shelves with closed storage below, $570 at Wayfair.

The superskinny Totem bookcase is a mere 8″ wide. $449 from YLiving.

Turn 17″ into a bar. This tower holds 9 wine glasses, 20 bottles, and a drawerful of corkscrews. On sale for $459 from Crate & Barrel.

tall-narrow-storageI like the IKEA PS locker cabinet for hip, offbeat office storage, $99.

tall-narrow-bookshelfRestoration Hardware has a slim version of its Parisian Cornice bookshelf, where traditional molding meets industrial metal, on sale for $675.


Hide your flat-screen TV… or even turn it into artwork! From high-end to low-end

SOOO, turns out not everyone can afford a separate home theatre away from their living area, and that many design-conscious people
are not willing to incorporate a large black box on the wall into their designs. Maybe it just doesn’t go with your particular style (let’s face it, a TV just doesn’t work in a Moroccan retreat/Tuscan villa/Paris flea market-inspired look). Maybe you want to fool your guests into thinking you’ve never heard of low-brow television (pray tell me, what is this Parking Wars? je ne sais pas Jersey Shore?) but only sit around reading Sartre and the occasional short fiction piece.

Whatever the reason, lucky for you, our design capabilities are expanding at the same rate as television technology. Ok, that was a lie. However, there are a lot of creative solutions available… from the extremely pricey to DIY. This post was actually inspired by this awesome room divider I saw at the Architectural Digest Home Show…

…where the TV panel actually swivels to allow TV-watching in two different areas, or so you can turn it around and hide the TV (the other side is those innocuous shelves) when you have guests over or want to have a zen moment. (That’s enough, now turn it around and give me my Make It or Break It). This very fun-to-turn but pricey piece starts at $4000 from Contempo Wall.

Here’s what else I found:

Manhattan Cabinetry has 20 different custom cabinets that have TV lifts, where the TV comes up from inside (I’ve shown a more traditional and more modern example here). You can also get non-custom TV lifts like these…

About $2500 each from

For those of you who don’t want any additional cabinetry, this is one of my favorite solutions. It is a frame around the TV that houses a retractable screen, almost like an internal roller shade. The roller shade moves up with the touch of a button, and there’s your TV. Check out this video:

This is the ArtScreen from VuTec. You can get a variety of frames and choices of artwork, or you can upload your own artwork to make it whatever you want! Totally want one. Here’s another company that does it:

Also offers tons of options for frame and 1200 standard paintings, as well as allowing you to upload custom art. From Frame my TV.

Here’s another solution, if you don’t like that. You can have your TV double as a mirror, so that it looks like an intentional part of the interior design when not in use:

Again, you can get any frame under the sun… from The Art of TV.

Finally I found a DIY option for those of you who are more budget-conscious and more handy…

Step-by-step directions from Gus & Lula.


In Costa Rica with Marcial Blanco

I am traveling around Costa Rica and am quickly falling in love with the open style architecture, beautiful wood furniture and decor in general. This culture really knows how to live with and embrace nature. While in Arenal a few days ago I drove by a small house with an attached workshop and knew instantly I needed to check it out. I discovered local artist Marcial Blanco. Although the language barrier was a small set back he still took the time to show me the 10 main types of wood grown and used in Costa Rica (which I will get to in a later post). He explained to me how he carves each piece by hand and is working on his drawing skills as well. Everything in his studio was beautiful and I had to share some photos with you before I head home at the end of the week. I cannot wait to hang up my new purchases when I get back to NY…. Enjoy!









Great Design: Cool Folding Chair at the Architectural Digest Home Show

Thus begins my coverage of the Architectural Digest Home Show on Pier 94 in NYC… with this awesome space saving folding chair.

Incredible folding chair, folds down to an envelope only 2 inches thick! From Netherlands company Flux.

Bamboo for Everyone…

Bamboo has become more than a short-lived trend in interior design.  In recent years, the use of bamboo has expanded, and it is easier than ever to incorporate this renewable product into your own decor.  Here are some examples:

Kengo Kuma and Associates used bamboo throughout the design of this residence.  The linear bamboo wall is the main feature of the house, representing the cultural exchange and respect between Japan and China.

The Becca stool from Modern Bamboo has Eastern styling with multifunctionality.  Use this as a seat, side table or shelf to add a touch of eco-friendly modernism to your room.

Also from Modern Bamboo, this table is an ideal combination of nature and industrial design.  I love the elegance and simplicity of the lines, which allows the material to really stand out.  This can be customized and delivered in 4-6 weeks!

 I love the sexy lines of this side table by Sachiko Segawa.  A simple glass top lets the form of the bamboo show through.

Why not use bamboo in your lighting as well?  I found these great pendant lights on Eco-Logic Bamboo Boards.  A  beautiful and simple way to bring in some nature to your space.

I really think the bamboo mosaic tile is stunning.   You can get these from Glass Tile Trend for only $14.99 a square foot.  Create a focal point in a room or a unique backsplash in a kitchen.

Designed by Block Cocinas, this kitchen quickly made it my favorites.  The bamboo flows seamlessly into the other materials creating perfect harmony within the space.

Here is a great collection from West Elm.  The lighter color bamboo will match a variety of bathroom decors.  Each piece ranges from $16-$19, so you can infuse natural beauty without breaking your budget.

An area rug is a more traditional use of bamboo.  The one above is available on Asana Organic from ranging in price from $90 – $130.

Bamboo is a great material for window treatments as well.  These shades will filter light and add texture.  Order any standard or custom size from Blinds Chalet.


I’m in the mood for: angular tables

Sometimes you want regular geometry, and others, you crave something new and different. Lately I’ve been looking for tables with interesting and unexpected angles, which could bring some juxtaposition against a more conventional piece. What do you think of these?

faktura-tre-table The Faktura Tre console table’s three legs give an interesting silhouette. $360 from AllModern.

ypsilon-dining-table The Ypsilon round dining table boasts angled “Y” framing, $299 from Crate & Barrel.

origami-end-table Love these origami side tables from MIO, $185.

razor-table The slightly precarious Razor bent glass end table, $329 from blueprint.

The gear coffee table from cb2 is quite the balancing act ($299).

Check out the uneven, angular legs of the Arktura Pac console. From AllModern.

x-base-table This x-base table has a little kick to hold books and magazines. $206 from Wayfair.

angular-side-table Love these interesting shapes from Jochem Faudet.

Countertops that look like white marble (take two)

So it turns out that white carrara marble counters are all anyone really wants in their kitchen.  You can barely open a design magazine without seeing a kitchen done with white marble.  Of course, given Murphy’s Law, white marble counters are completely impractical for the kitchen (too soft and stainable).  Given this conundrum, I thought it was high time to revisit my original blog post on Alternatives to White Marble Countertops, as it turns out that I left off some choices worth mentioning.  (If you want a discussion of white granites and quartzites, refer to the original post.)  So, without further ado, here is my new and improved list of engineered countertops made to look like white marble.engineered-stone-look-like-white-marble

1) Dupont Zodiaq Okite in Bianco Carrara is bright warm white with a contrasting “vein.”  I do like a higher-contrast appearance, even though this one doesn’t look all that realistic.


2) Silestone in Lyra: I like the contrast and the bright white background, but this one definitely looks like swirls rather than veins.silestone-lyra

3) Quantra in Carrara: A low contrast surface with grey swirls.quantra-carrara

4) Cambria in Torquay: Low contrast, but a bright white background with a realistic-looking grey vein.cambria-torquay


Cambria Torquay

5) Caesarstone in Misty Carrera: Emphasis on the “Misty,” this surface looks more on the grey side.caesarstone-misty-carreracaesarstone-misty-carrera

6) Stone Italiana in KSoul: Even though this is a teeny bit greyish, I think it’s quite beautiful.stone-italiana-ksoul


7) LG Viatera in Bianco White: I actually like a higher-contrast look, so I’m a fan of this one.lg-viatera-bianco-white



8) VMC Trafficstone in Aurina: A low-contrast, speckled white.


So there you have it.  Love to hear from anyone who has experience with any of these — whether good or bad. 🙂

Show Your Stairs

A staircase is an integral part of how most homes function.  Many homes however were designed to push the stairs to either the side of the room, back of the house or keep them in the entrance hall as something you quickly pass by.  I think it is about time to push the stairs front and center.  Let them get the attention they deserve and you will see what a beautiful thing it can be.  Here are some of my favorite stair designs where homeowners were not shy to take a chance.  Their risks paid off one step at a time…

 This Gaudi like staircase is truly a piece of art.  The organic forms that begin on the walls and continue to become the treads make it seem as though they were there before the house was.   

Designed by Moon Design and Build based out of the UK, these stairs lead to a loft.  The placement near the windows allows the light to shine through making the stairs look like lattice work.

The profile of a staircase is turned into a beautiful graphic piece when placed against a white backdrop.  The designer took this one step further and played with materials to create a truly distinct contrast.

The Architect firm Jouin Manku designed this spinal cord like stairs for a Malaysian residence in 2008.  I love how they selected glass for the railings making them almost invisible and letting the stairs stand out on their own.  Click on the image to see more images of this amazing house and the firms other work.

There is something to calming and serene about a traditional center staircase.  I love the placement of columns and the simple railing design that seems to go on forever.

Floating stairs by the Italian designer Roberto Murgia.  May not exactly be kid friendly but you cannot deny the beauty of this functional sculpture.

What do you think?  What would you chose to do or what have you done already?  Show us your stairs.