Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Often times when we think of the word symmetry we automatically assume "the same".   People can mistake "sameness" for boring.  However, when speaking in terms of design if a room is not symmetrical it can seems off balance.  When Denise & I walk into a space our eye automatically fixates on anything that is throwing off our perspective.  We are drawn to it, obsessing over it and we immediately have to fix it.  Whether invited to or not - haha!  I thought this was a unique obsession, something inherited from my similarity symmetrically obsessed mother.  However, we realized that we were in good company a few years ago when attending an event with the esteemed Mario Buatta.  While accepting an award he chastised the group for not handing him two statues.  He said he couldn't possibly move forward with his speech only holding one award is his hands because it wasn't symmetrical!  It would drive him crazy!  This is when I realized our obsession wasn't nutty, it was innate!  Here are a few tips to help the symmetrically challenged.

Exterior Perfection
Curb appeal is everything.  What people see when they pull up to your house is what will carry through their visit.  Who wouldn't want to have the above front door?  The evenly spaced, manicured boxwoods, the amazing double pulls on a door with beautiful, intricate millwork?  Even the stripes are evenly spaced.   By simply placing two planters with manicured boxwoods on either side of your front door you will immediately add charm and character to your home. 

In Your Backyard
 I am in awe of this boxwood wonderland.  The lattice work perfectly frames both the garden and the home and there are even an even number of dormers!  Yes, I have OCD.  It is perfection.  

An Even Entry 
An entry should be something that makes you happy as soon as you walk into your home.  This picture is a perfect example of how symmetry can be anything but boring.  It can be colorful and pattern filled, but still pleasing to the eye.  This wallpaper is a chaotic, but calming feature when paired with perfectly balanced accessories.  

Perfect Proportion 
This living room by Mark Sikes shows that balance in a room does not have to mean using the same pieces of furniture, obviously.  In the above he pairs a french upholstered chair with a Billy Baldwin Esq slipper chair.   The proportions of both chairs are similar so they work perfectly together.  He also balances wall space on either side of the fireplace.  A door on the left is paired with a chinoiserie bookcase on the right.  The difference in height is made even by adding ginger jars and artwork.

If symmetry isn't your thing we are obviously obsessed and happy to help...  
Whether you ask us to or not {wink wink}

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


Today has always been synonymous with the color red.  Traditionally, we never jump to this color when looking for inspiration.  However, our minds have been changed with the below beauty.  Here are a few chic ways to use red. 

On your walls!
Using it as a wall lacquer in a dining room is unexpected.  Especially when paired with traditional pieces and simple ivory window treatments.  Red wallpaper is a classic and looks amazing in Mark Sike's dining space at Kips Bay.  Similarly, a red dot wallpaper perks up this adorable children's bathroom.

As accessories!
Monograms are a must of course!  Why not make a statement with yours by doing it in the color red.  How amazing are the above towels in a bathroom by Ashley Whitaker?  A classic asian inspired red lantern turns an ordinary entry into a conversation piece.  Lanterns are always a great way to add color to any space.  Keeping on the same page with lighting... why not use red lamp shades?  The bare bulb look of the past few years is over and custom lampshades are making a come back.  Red is such a fun color to use to perk up your lifeless chandelier.

As furniture!
A skirted table is a great way to add color and warmth to a space.  Christopher Maya does so above using a beautiful red fabric paired with a light blue tape.  A red upholstered sofa looks amazing in a NYC apartment.   Lastly, lacquered cabinetry in red really define the above space.  How amazing does that detail make this dining room look?!

We hope this makes you re-think red!  
Happy Valentines Day!

Friday, February 10, 2017


After yesterday's blizzard on Long Island all I can think about is our yearly trip to Palm Beach.  The warm sun and bright colors are always an inspiration for our preppy chic look.   In Palm Beach culture there is always the consistent, but cliche pink and green.  A more modern interpretation comes with the colors pink and blue.  Whether in your clothes or in a classic poolside awnings, the palette is fresh, inviting and happy.  Who wouldn't want to lounge under a gorgeously blue or pink canopy with a cocktail, late afternoon when the sun gets a little too strong. Clearly this year, with little Georgia, I will not be partaking in that luxury, however I will cherish the many other memories created.  Above are some worth avenue staples for your wardrobe as well as some accessories to create the preppy chic, Palm Beach vibe in your home.  


From top left clockwise
1.  A gorgeous, blue throw pillow in a great Quadrille print - available for purchase.
2.  A neutral panama hat pairs perfectly with PB's loud colors
4.  A Mark Rothko- not very budget friendly, but Denise & I have great sources for similar items that are so please contact us if interested.
5.  A less expensive les bon bons version in a terrific pink.
6.  The perfect summer shirt - off the shoulder and linen - what's better?
7.  Last, but not least a pink, printed bikini - of course.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Every designer has their magicians.  The people on their team who help create the behind the scene beauty on every project.  Recently, we've been working with a master mill worker at BRI-NIC who's intricate lines and attention to detail are beyond measure.  For our Kings Point project every room is a work of art.  Denise has been working for over a year year to customize each corner and nook.  

Firstly, we started with large, square wainscoting- a more modern take on the traditional rectangular style.  It has made such an impact already in the space.  The entry is going to be to be white outlined an an antique strie - a perfect mix of new and old.  The family room is going to have a grey wash which creates a warming, cozy environment.  The large squares perfectly frame the five Chesney fireplaces throughout the house.

Next, we focused on ceiling mill work.  In the dining room the client wanted a very formal and decorative look.  The inspiration was almost a floral motif.  The final look is going to be tone on tone in either a lacquer or satin finish.  For the living room we wanted something simple that made a statement.  A large center rectangle is framed with smaller boxed out mill work.  The center space is going to be a lacquer with the exterior boxes in a white.  All boxes framework will have a slight gilding. 

Here is our magician.  Thank you, Mario!! We cannot wait to see the finished product.  We know it will be amazing! We will keep you posted on designer notes with each site visit.  So keep checking back!


1.  Left pictures - inspiration
2.  Right pictures - on site

Friday, February 3, 2017


There have been a slew of articles recently discussing the resurgence of Maximalism.  Designers like Alex Papachristidis, Mary McDonald and Miles Redd are perfect examples of this.  They are bringing back the Mario Buatta "more is more" mentality with regards to color, prints and accessorizing!!  Alex Papachristidis is known for his use of silk, deep purple color palette and his layering.  Mary McDonald for her painted floors, her use of brass and her love of anything chinoiserie & french (our style sister).  Miles Redd and his vibrant color choices - no one does it like him!

Denise & I are thrilled because clearly we never bought into the minimalist movement.  We agree that there needs to be a certain amount of restraint in design, but the restoration hardware, greige vibe of the last few years always had us yawning!!  Where is the originality?  Where is the personality? Where is the WALLPAPER?! haha... But seriously, in our eyes, it lacked imagination.  The antique movement is back and we are thrilled that the style cycle is returning to old school luxury!

We have discussed our Kings Point project in the past and this is where our love of maximalism will shine.  Decorative moldings, lacquered walls, color!!  In our Friday Favorites this week we take a look at recent lux finds for this project.  Enjoy their beauty and have a great weekend!

M & D

1.  Mary McDonald
2.  Alex Papachristidis
3. Miles Redd