Category Archives: Residential

New Home Construction Project – Long Island

This past week we began reviewing plans with the architectural firm and client for a new home construction project slated to begin next year in Long Island. The family hired us to assist with the interior design and floor plan of their dream house they are building on a five acre lot. They searched for a long time trying to find a residence that suited their preferences and since they were unable to find anything they loved, decided to build the home. They love the French Chateau / Neoclassical look with a grand front entrance which opens through the center of the house to the rear. Upon entering the home guests will be able to see the rear veranda, pool and greenery. The home will be in the range of 8000 square feet.

One of the amazing benefits of designing and building a home from scratch is the range of flexibility and preferences which can be executed. Rather than trying to design around an existing floor plan which you may not love, the home can be laid exactly the way you would like. Every single element from the millwork, molding, flooring, fixtures, windows to the landscaping, etc can be carefully chosen. One frustrating aspect to purchasing existing homes, regardless of the budget, is paying for expensive components which clients plan on changing anyway (kitchen cabinets, finishes, bathroom tile, flooring, etc.). Here are several inspirational new home construction designs in the French / Neoclassical style.

french chateau

french chateau

french chateau

french chateau

french chateau

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

Designing with Black or Dark Gray as dominant colors

Why is it that some spaces look gorgeous and elegant with a predominance of darker colors while others look drab, cold, too small or ‘too dark’, more than anything else?
There following are several of the key factors to consider when using black or dark colors in designing a space:

1) Size
The space needs to be large enough to augment the dark colors with other design elements.  If the room is too small it will feel even smaller with a preponderance of dark colors.  Sometimes all that is needed is a dark accent wall to stretch a space and make it feel bigger if the room is small.

2)  Lighting
Lighting is absolutely essential for darker interiors. Cove lighting, chandeliers and glass blown lights are great choices for dark interiors. The right chandelier can add color, warmth and elegance amidst a dark backdrop.  If a space is long with a window at one end darker walls will create an even narrower feeling. In this case you would want to put a mirror at one end if possible.

3) Organic elements
To warm up a space with darker colors incorporating natural wood, stone, brass, glass or colorful art is key. Glass refracts light and is perhaps one of the reasons the right chandelier looks amazing in dark interiors.  A well placed colorful painting can become more of statement on a dark wall.

4) Texture
The textural consistency of a surface or object will affect how the color displays.  The rougher the surface, the darker materials will look because they will absorb light and color.   On the other hand shiny surfaces will reflect light and create additional luminance.  Certain fabrics such as velvet will cast small shadows within themselves and appear darker than silk fabrics of the same color value and hue.

In general, the closer in light values two elements are, the lesser the contrast produced.  A dark piece of furniture such as a chair or table against a lighter background will produce a dramatic effect, but it will not have as much contrast as a lighter object against a darker background.  This is often why designers will select iconic lighter pieces in darker interiors.

elegant dark interiorelegant dark interior 3elegant dark interior elegant dark interior 2 elegant dark interior 3 1.Kelly Wearstler 2. Mim Design 3.Kara Mann 5.Tom Dixon

Selecting kitchen counter tops

Some of the most common materials on kitchen countertops include natural stone such as marble and granite, stainless steel, concrete, engineered stone and corian. If it suits the design and space, often one or more of these options can be combined. It’s important to decide which countertops will fit your lifestyle and how you will utilize the kitchen.

Some of the key determining factors include appearance, maintenance and durability. If you cook a lot, corian is very easy to maintain while calacatta marble is elegant but requires care when cooking and entertaining as it is porous and can be easily stained.

kitchen design - stainless steel

kitchen design - marble counterops & back-splash

Selecting the right swivel lounge chair

swivel lounge chair selection

Arne Jacobsen swivel lounge chair

Pierre Paulin swivel lounge chair

Selecting the right design, shape, size and color for a lounge chair is important when designing a living space.  Here are some lounge chair options for a clean contemporary living room we are finishing up. The lounge chair we will select needs to swivel since it will be connecting two seating areas. In one side of the open living room we have a B&B Italia sofa cover on a light linen fabric while in the other end of the room we have two custom chaises cover on a melange wool fabric . The lounge chair we select will be upholstered in leather.