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NEW YORK’S 50 SHADES OF GRAY
The snow and the wind gets New York City gritty real fast. Billowy white drifts are short-lived as sooty, dirt-specked, packed mounds of ice and muddy, slushy, wet puddles make themselves right at home. The view is bleak as we trundle through the cold in a city veiled in way more than 50 shades of grey ranging from hazy cloud cover to slick black ice. New York City’s Winter Canvas.

Upon this backdrop, both the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum of Art exhibited shows that were anything but bleak. The joyful, bold and bright palette of Matisse’s Cut-Outs at MoMA and Chris Ofili’s sensual, warm, bright and textural works at New Museum, were both infused with unexpected, free and experimental interactions of color in art works masterful and rich. New York City’s Winter Colors.

No surprise then that my palette is experiencing a shift. I can’t get enough of warm, rich and bright jewel-toned colors around me. In various combinations and layers. An interior cycle is said to last 10-15 years while a fashion cycle for 2.5-5 years. 2015 is off to a very bright start indeed!

Creative use of large-scale floor paint patterns
In choosing floors, your lifestyle is the primary consideration. As the foundation of a room, options are numerous: hardwood, stone, laminate, cork, bamboo and carpeting, to name just a few. Surfaces can be covered with rugs, carpet, paint and even furs to further enhance the overall feeling, comfort and flavor of your room.
“I couldn’t have done this without you.”
A client said this to me recently as we stood in her living room partway through her apartment’s transformation. The paint was fresh on the walls and ceiling, and the colors suited her style to a tee. Did I also mention that 40 pieces of artwork we just had framed were hung that day?  Her collection of beautiful prints created a joyful rhythm around the room, relating to each space in which they were hung.

What a warm feeling. Another family has their home setting and lifestyle enhanced by the design help I am able to provide.

I like to help people. This is how.

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Stay tuned for more as we work toward completion on this beautiful home.

XoXo,

Samantha

Three Things You Should Know About Color
Nothing about my job thrills me more than clients asking me about paint colors.  As an artist, I look at your home as the canvas.  Together, we will select a palette that provides a backdrop for your lifestyle.  Your home becomes a composition – the subject of a painting.  Neutral or bold, it is all good, as long as it’s in sync with the people who live there.  Most importantly is that you feel really at home.

Here are the three main techniques I follow to create a beautiful, balanced space with the palette we have selected.

1) Finishes  Ask for eggshell for “wet” rooms, i.e. the bath and kitchen.  These are moisture friendly and easy to wipe clean.  Paint the rest of your home in a matte finish for the walls and ceiling.  This finish will create a velvety, soft, modern flow that will diffuse light cast upon it.  All trim should be painted satin (subtle sheen) with an oil base paint: this is for crown moldings, base boards, doors and casings.  A slight luminosity is given to these architectural details and satin can be wiped clean around door knobs.

2) Transitions  In New York apartments it can be difficult to determine where one room ends and another begins.  An open floor plan lends to an unclear indication of space.  Ask yourself if that column is part of the accent wall or part of the overall area.  If possible, create elevates with symmetry.  Soffits are usually the same color as the wall, and unless a ceiling beam is an architectural detail, it should be painted the same color as the ceiling.
Paint your doors + their casings (with a satin finish) the same colors as their walls to create a modern, clean look with a continuous flow and no visual interruption.

3)  Palette select colors that are in harmony with each other.   Start with one or two and build a palette from there.  This will achieve flow.  Use colors you love.  Color is your friend.

Let me help you select your palette.
Call or email me for a consultation.
As always, feel free to share my information with others you may know – referrals are the greatest compliment you can give.

Warm regards,

6 Simple Tips To Maximize Your Space
City living. So many advantages.  Except for most of us, there’s never enough space.

Here are six tips for us city dwellers to help make your space seem larger and create some extra pizzazz.

1.Leave some room to breathe. Emptiness allows the eye to travel someplace and rest.  Every space will feel bigger if you leave some things out.

2.Create contrast with color.  Stain the floor dark, use light color on the walls, and paint the ceilings a lighter white.  This will allow the eye to travel upward and give a sense of more space.

3.Floor to ceiling curtains. They’ll make your walls seem taller and windows larger.  Do this with your shower curtain too, to create the impression of a big, luxurious shower.

4.Take the doors off doorways and closets. Maybe replace them with a curtain.  Doors can block flow and take up space when they are open.

5.Have at least 3 points of light in a room. And turn them on !  By giving your eyes multiple focus points, lamps help expand a room visually creating the illusion of more depth and space.

6.Mirrors. This old, neat trick will help any room feel more expansive, and they double the light!

Always remember, though our walls may be set in stone our interior spaces are ours for the creating.

If you would like to explore design ideas for your home or office, please contact me for more information.

As always, feel free to share my information with others you may know.

Wishing you a happy summer and let’s stay in touch!

Warm regards,

Samantha

5 Easy Ideas To Make Your Small Space Seem Larger
We’ve talked about changing up paint colors and using mirrors and more natural light, but those are all yesterday’s news. Today we have 5 fresh (and simple) ideas to open up almost any space.

1. Unify Your Artwork.  Although we can talk all we want about using oversize artwork in small spaces, the reality is that many options just aren’t affordable. The solution? If you have a collection of smaller pieces, make their frames and mats all the same color.

2. Get It Off the Floor.  Do you have something on the floor just because? A basket? A box? A funky ceramic animal that happens to be trendy at the moment? Spaces feel and appear larger when you can see more of the floor. Look at your shelves, wall-hangings, storage – consider doing away with that extra stuff all together.

3. Few, But Large.  In an effort to clear out items to make your space feel more open, make what you do have count. Like large artwork, rugs, crazy off-the-wall lighting that makes a statement. Wall-to-wall curtains, or floor-to-ceiling panels that draw your eye around a space are all good things and cut down on the visual noise that lots of small details can create.

4. Put Emphasis On What You Have.  Does your space have large windows? How about high ceilings? Beautiful old radiators? Thick wooden doorways? Drawing attention to the architecture of your space pulls the eye to the far outer walls as much as possible. Make the interesting features stand out, with specific lighting or accent colors, instead of blending them in.

5. Let’s Be Clear.  We’re talking about side tables, accessories and frames. If they can be see-through or clear to show more of the walls, floor and other surrounding objects… do it. When you can see through objects, it automatically makes things look and feel larger.

Some material from ApartmentTherapy.com

Winter 2010
In With The New

I hope this finds you well into the new year.

Many people I talk to seem to express a guarded, but optimistic outlook as we charge into a new decade.

Did you know that by changing your surroundings you close old chapters and usher in new ideas and intentions?  So if you have been thinking of making some changes in your life, here are a few, easy things you can get started on right now.

Paint

A new color scheme can completely change the feel of a place.  It can create depth, brighten a room, unify space, reduce visual clutter and create flow between rooms.

Repairs 

Tackle any little project that you have been meaning to get around to. Repair leaky faucets, squeaky doors, and change burnt out light bulbs. Fix or have fixed things that are broken or throw them away.

De-Clutter (+ Organize)

Get rid of or store anything you are not using.   Clear off a surface and put out only what is currently being used.  Designate a spot for papers to corral mail, receipts, warranties, etc.   Find the “right” spot for things you use regularly.

Rearrange your furniture

Start with the big pieces and try your couch in another spot.  Re-shuffle your end tables and move artwork around.  See your things in a new way.

If any of these projects sound good to you and you need a hand getting started.  Call or email me.

Feel free to forward my information on to others in the New York or Boston area looking for design and/or re-organizational help.  Referrals are always appreciated!

Hope your year is off to a good start and let’s stay in touch.

Regards,

Samantha

Season’s Greetings!
I hope this finds you well.

As 2010 comes to a close and we look forward to the promise of a new year, it might be the perfect time to kick-start 2011 with new improvement strategies for your home.

Like choosing new furniture, trying a new paint color, re-hanging your artwork or organizing your stuff.

I’ve been busy working on projects in New York, New Jersey, Boston and Cape Cod and look forward to following up with you soon.

My best wishes to you and yours for a happy, healthy holiday season and a New Year filled with promise and success.

Samantha

Summer 2010
Bring The Outside In.

Summer is the perfect time to connect with the beauty of the outdoors.  Give yourself time for that walk through the countryside or a day at the beach.

Here are some tips to bring the summer outside inside your home:

– Make the vista outside your window a part of your room. Fill a window box with grasses, sit back and dream of sand dunes.
– Paint your dining room the color of the sky over the Arno at dusk or any color that brings a smile.
– Create a filtered lighting effect in a corner of your study or special place. Place a fountain or a pretty object there.
– Cobblestone your walk to remind you of an outdoor cafe in Paris.

Even though our homes may stay put, we can take little trips within them.

If you would like to explore design ideas for you home, please contact me for more information.

As always, feel free to forward my information to others looking for design or re-organizational services.

Happy 4th of July, enjoy the summer and let’s stay in touch!

Warm regards,

Samantha

Fall Greetings

Beautiful fall.  This is the time of year when the weather starts to keep us indoors.   It is a perfect time to think about stay-at-home projects.

Here are a few quick and easy ideas to help turn your space into a chic and cozy home:

Treat Yourself to a Few Forever Pieces

Budget for one or two pieces that you will still love in years to come.

Expand Your Office To Your Walls

A corkboard is a great solution for places to put pictures, bills and keepsakes when surface space is limited.

Embrace the Open Space

If your apartment is a studio, be comfortable with everything being on display.

Pushing a couch with a high back against the foot of a bed creates an illusion of separation.  Try this too in a guest room to double as an office or den.

Carve Out Little Rooms

By separating a small space into zones, the feeling of living with separate spaces is created.  Give each space a focal point.

Enjoy a Splash of Color

If the palette of a room is neutral, add some unexpected color with a piece of painted furniture or bright accent pieces.

Make Your Bed

In a small space, the bed should be as inviting as a couch and may even serve as the centerpiece of the apartment.  Layer pillows and consider an upholstered headboard.

Redo Your Closet

Outfits are easy to put together when your closet is organized.  Clear out your closet.  Create piles – “keep”, “donate” and “resale”.

Keep out the clutter and keep it clean to keep your place looking great. The result is a space to live in, not just a place to change clothes and sleep.

If these ideas sounds good to you and you would like a hand getting started, call or email me for a free, no obligation consultation.  For someone on your holiday list, this might make a perfect gift.

If you or someone you know in the New York or Boston area is looking for design help or a rethink on solving space issues, please keep me in mind.

Feel free to forward my information on to others who might benefit from my services.  Referrals are appreciated!!

Enjoy the fall, and stay in touch.