Category Archives: Accessories

Ten tips on buying a vintage rug (Pt. I)

Perhaps one of the most overwhelming aspects for new homeowners is embarking on the adventure of buying a vintage rug.  The first two factors are budget and rug placement, this will automatically eliminate numerous potential options.  If it is a heavily trafficked area of your home you will want to make sure it will wear properly.

Here is a list of ten important tips to assist with buying the right vintage rug:

1) Make sure it lies straight.  If there are any curves unfortunately this cannot be fixed and you will be stuck with it.

2) Look closely at the edges to determine if they are frayed or are beginning to fray.  This is a sign that the rug may be coming apart.

3) Check to make sure the ends are neat and not unraveling, and that there are no tears.

4) Ask to see the other side of the rug.  If the reverse side has a much stronger color ask if the rug has been chemically washed or treated.

5) When checking the back see if there are any areas that are more loosely woven. Often the front side can mask these imperfections.  Here you can also inspect the rug to determine if it is bulging or there are holes that may not be visible on the front.

6) Closely compare the colors on both sides, if there is a lot of variation between the two that is a bad sign.  If the front is more vivid than the back ask if the rug has been painted.

7) Try to determine whether the rug looks lustrous and shining or dry and dull.

8) Ask about what kind of dyes were used on the rug. In vintage rugs natural dyes are much more desirable than synthetic dyes. As a general rule synthetic dyes tend to look harder and harsher then the more harmonious subtleties achieved by vegetable and mineral dyes.

9) Find out where the rug was made and research the labor laws of that country to make sure it is not a product of child labor.

10) Ask wether restoration is included in the purchase price, or if the rug is to be sold “AS IS”.

Here are some of my favorite vintage Moroccan hand knotted wool rugs.

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Ceramic Sculptures

I can’t emphasize enough how important accessories are to residential design projects. Often a sculpture or painting can serve as the principal stylistic component of a space. Since accessorizing a home always comes last, factoring in all of your favorite elements as essential from the beginning will help give a clearer picture of the budget. Some of my favorite sculptures are monochromatic and have organic shapes or items such as minerals that are found naturally occurring in nature. These ceramics were inspired by
microbiotic organisms found on the ocean floor. I love these ceramic sculptures for their unique shapes and finishes. Sculptures like this can be placed on coffee tables, bookcases or cabinets.
ceramic sculpture

ceramic sculpture

ceramic sculpture

ceramic sculpture

Top 3 round decorative mirror options

Here are some images of my top 3 selections for decorative mirrors.  There are two main types of mirrors, decorative and functional, and should be selected depending on its main purpose and desired look.    Mirrors whose main function is aesthetic are selected based on the frame’s design, material and shape.  Bathroom mirrors are primarily functional and should be able to repel moisture, be backlit, and fog free whenever possible.  Often decorative mirrors are used in powder rooms where moisture isn’t an issue.

Finding the right mirror can be a time consuming task, especially if it is going to be the centerpiece of a living room or the first accessory you see when entering the space.  If the space is filled with linear elements and clean, straight lines, round or oval mirrors are a way to offset the rectangular or square shapes.  Mirrors are increasingly being used in sets similar to how designers are using sets of pendant lights more and more.  The first and second images illustrate sets of mirrors which offer flexibility in creating a layout that fits a certain wall.  Often it can be tricky finding a single mirror which is the perfect size for a large wall.  These sets can be used in bigger open areas without feeling too small.

convex round mirror - Ochrevintage convex mirrors - iron and brassBDDW round mirror - lether and wood frame

Luxurious throw blankets

Accessories, artwork, drapes and rugs are all essential to making an interior feel complete, warm and lived in.  A critical component to the budget process is to make sure enough funds are allocated to personalizing a space.  Often there are unseen expenses that arise during a renovation, redesign or new construction project such as plumbing, electricity or any number of tasks a contractor must complete.  Here are some real fur throw options we considered for a project. The prices start at $2500 and up depending on the size and the type of fur for authentic throws.

chelsea_townhouse- luxurious throw blanketluxurious throw blankets 4luxurious throw blankets 1luxurious throw blankets 2