Designing In Stages For a Growing Family

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This NYC Penthouse apartment in the Chelsea Mercantile building was renovated and decorated over a few years time.  My clients wanted a beautiful space to raise their two small children.  The apartment had to be practical for this young family and their dog. The caveat? They still wanted a cool downtown vibe. 



The first order of business was redesigning the lighting scheme in the living room and updating and redecorating the existing open living room and dining area. We revamped the lighting by employing two lighting fixtures as the main focal points - a huge contemporary chandelier in the main living room and one simple, yet sophisticated, pendant over the dining table. Then we added cove lighting around the perimeter of the room. We sheathed the walls in a very textural metallic grasscloth. The fireplace mantle was custom designed by New York Interior Design and completely reconstructed utilizing a Carrara marble. The drapery panels add a finishing touch to the space,  rich color and pattern, and a frame around the incredible view.

The dining area came next. We custom made the marble slab dining table. Then we added visual dimension and reflection of the view with an asymmetrical mirror.



The most challenging aspect of this project came when the new baby was on its way, and we reconfigured a tiny nursery out of a pretty large master bedroom closet. The master bedroom itself was redesigned to be an urban sanctuary that's just a bit sexy. Mixing lush textiles, contemporary patterns, and a soothing palette created the perfect vibe - playful and inviting, yet all grown up. Carefully designed built-ins lining the master bedroom maximized space and gave my clients back their closet. Keeping with the glamorous feel, the floor to ceiling built-ins were topped with dramatic crown moulding and jewelry-like hardware.



The following year it was time for a gut renovation of the bathroom. This bathroom is for both the kids and guests. The bathtub was banished in favor of a custom shower. The huge faux carrara marble tiles (a dream to maintain) coordinate and lend continuity with the other marbles in the apartment. We gave the clients a flexible, family-friendly bath with a clean modern look and the luxe glam sensibility they wanted. 



Lastly, it was time for the major gut renovation of the kitchen. This new eat-in kitchen design was all about the gorgeous Arabescato Vagli marble, as well as the new tufted custom banquette. The cabinets were custom designed in a charcoal gray color to both enhance and compliment the marble. The crystal lighting on the banquette wall was meant to give the room a little bling. Beyond the beauty, optimizing storage and work space is always a must in NYC kitchens, and this one was designed for the challenges of a busy urban family. Now both children and parents are comfortable and happy in their newly redesigned apartment in the sky! 


Photo Credit: Beckerman Photography


People always ask me what goes into renovating a full bathroom, so I will explain in very simple terms the steps that are involved... First, hire an Interior Designer. Even if all the plumbing is staying in the same place you will need to select every surface, plus plumbing fixtures and hardware... Next hire a Contractor, most of the time your designer will recommend someone trustworthy and reliable . Make sure you have great photos of the "before" bathroom. You will also need a floor plan of what the bathroom looks like now, and if you are changing any square footage or moving plumbing you need a floor plan of the new intended space.  My personal inspiration comes from the trade market, there is always something new and cutting edge . Next, it is time to go shopping! I like to start with selecting the floor and wall tile first. There are wonderful new products out there, things that were unimaginable a few years back.  Texture is the newest trend! I usually do tile or marble all the way up to the ceiling in a master or kids bathroom. (tile half way up the wall is out of style) I also will use wallcovering in master baths, and powder rooms. If wallpaper is applied correctly in a bathroom it will not come down as some people believe...  If for example there is enough pattern on the floor with a gorgeous marble, sometimes only paint is needed on the walls. Just like with everything else in this industry, every bathroom has different parameters , design visions and budgets.

After you know what palette your floors and walls will be you need to shop for all of your plumbing supplies. Having your designer take you to reliable sources is key. Otherwise you could wait a LONG time for items that never ship... You need to select your shower body first, there are decisions to be made such as temperature control and pressure balanced  systems.. You need to select your bathtub, and your toilet. All these items have many details that your designer will explain. All the faucets in the bathroom will follow suit with the shower body. Are you selecting the new modern brass? (which is my favorite) Satin nickel ? or polished chrome? Remember that warranties are given in reliable showrooms with proven track records, the internet is NOT a good place to shop for these products.

Most important advice: PLAN AHEAD, HAVE ALL TILE, MARBLE, FIXTURES, VANITIES, MEDICINE CABINETS, FAUCETS, DRAINS, LIGHTING, ACCESSORIES (toilet paper holder, towel bars or hooks) DELIVERED TO YOUR HOME BEFORE the DEMOLITION BEGINS!!! This way your contractor can be in and out of your home quickly!!! If all products are there, and if your contractor shows up EVERY day as he or she should, all work should be complete in about three weeks... unless there are unforeseen complications.  USE Professionals!!!

So plan that new spa, that place to relax and unwind in , that special oasis especially for YOU!  If you hire the right people everything should flow just like cascading water.. The following "Before"and "After" photos are of my latest bathroom project. ENJOY!









Photo Credit: Beckerman Photography


Be Mine Design

presented byAccess to Design™

" For the month of February, the New York Design Center’s Access to Design™ designers have curated a collection of products from their most adored New York Design Center resources. Travel the 16 floors to discover what these tastemakers have selected for Be Mine Design and find something to make yours. Pick up a handout in the lobby to navigate Be Mine Design at 200 Lex and visit the Access to Design™ office in Suite 424 for more information on how to work with a designer." I am honored to have been selected to participate in this fun endeavour. I choose Profiles at the NYDC ( as one of my favorite showrooms. I also was asked to select some of my favorite items. The following photos show some of them, for the real impact you must visit the showroom with a designer. you so much Jim Druckman!  I truly enjoyed our beautiful breakfast in the Christopher Guy showroom. Come experience this wonderful building with 16 floors of new and cutting edge style, trends and fabulous merchandise and people. This is NYC at it's finest!



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One of my favorite things to do when I am lucky enough to get down to Miami is to visit the Bal Harbour Shops in Bal Harbour Miami, Florida. I live in cold gray dreary New York in the winter. Just getting off the plane into the sun changes everything. Bal Harbour is rich in every sense of the word. For me it is rich in inspiration. Just when I think this winter is never going to end, there is color, beauty and shopping, shopping, shopping. I love looking into almost very shop. The Bal Harbour Shops are so bright and beautiful . Only the best lighting, flooring, and fixtures are used. I have always gotten great inspiration from fashion. Spring 2013 here we come!!!!