There’s no place like…working from home.

Or is there? I am pretty messy when it comes to work, which is interesting because my home is pretty neat. Sure it can get out of order from time to time, but the closets show my shoes in militant rows, and my drawers would make Marie Kondo proud, with their perfectly folded unmentionables, snuggled in tight lines, front to back. This working from home thing is for the birds, and even a bird keeps a neater nest than me at the moment.

A brilliant use of an accordian divider – instant office.

My dining table has been commandeered for the serious business of business. It’s not working for me, not that it did much work as a dining table. It’s there more as a suggestion of where some lovely couple might dine when they buy the place from me in the future. It’s covered in a rough grass cloth, which is not at all conducive to writing. My laptop is propped up on books to get it close to eye level, and my sit to stand would make the ergonomic specialists balk, or at the very least, attempt to sell me a home set-up that works.

I do have a desk at my house, but it sits at the bottom of the staircase and hasn’t been calling my name. It’s stacked with inspiration boards, posters awaiting framing, and a series of materials for odd jobs yet to be completed. If this Covid sitch goes on much longer, I am going to have to turn it into a proper desk and allow the dining table to serve it’s intended purpose. Who knew I’d end up using this kitchen more than the last 4 flips combined.

Must have plants.

I haven’t wanted to be inspired by other WFH aficianados, but it snuck up on me. Some people have made the most lovely nooks, and cooked up plans to repurpose found objects in their home to maximum effect. It’s not The Wing, but it’ll do.

Happy with the green vibe. Bring a little outdoors in.

This Empress needs some bed clothes

This is not like Alexander and the Terrible Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, but these last few days have left me longing for my bed and the security that hiding under the covers provides. Why is that so comforting? Is it the smell of freshly laundered sheets, the coziness of being tucked in between those hospital corners that make us feel swaddled, held, assured that something has “got” us.

How could you ever not be happy in that polka dotted bed?

Right now I don’t want any tips on how to iron my sheets to pass the time or make the perfect bed. I just want to get into it and find that when I wake in the morning I’m moaning about the earliness of the hour before showering, dressing, putting on make-up, and driving into the office for a frantic day of activity and night of entertaining client’s. You know – a “normal” day.

In light of our current reality I think my bedroom could use a little more adornment. I want a whole lot more cozy, and big billowy bundles of comfort. I’ve scoured the internet and sorted through loads and loads of images of beds that made me smile, that gave me pause to wonder how the heck they did that thing with the canopy, and ask myself if I would ever want to leave said bed if my room looked like one of these.

Miles Redd Bed Beauty

All a much healthier conversation to have with myself while typing on the computer at a desk rather than lying in bed eating ice cream. Not judging you or doing any ice cream shaming here – you do whatever it takes to get through this and not land in jail or lord forbid, in a hospital.

NYC Studio Design Challenge Part II

I threw together quickly the options for a 402 sf, NYC studio on Monday, but I would like to add a few more thoughts to it.  I do like a rug to make a space cozy, and I know they can be expensive.  I am not opposed to buying large Sicil carpets and throwing a small Oriental, Oushak, or matte sized natural fiber rug underneath.  It allows your style to shine through and highlights a special jewel of a piece atop a disparate material.  Wool, cotton, silk, or some combo of the same will do nicely.

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Bringing personality to a space.

I also don’t like to worry about stepping on my iPhone is my everything, even though I wish sometimes it was not.  I use it for my alarm clock as many do, and I need it nearby – so a bedside table is the natural thing to get for the solving of this issue.  Having said that – there is no room for side tables in 402 SF.  A shelf overhead will have to suffice.  I would do one of two things.  I would use a wonderful and inexpensive acrylic box that can be mounted to the wall, and decorative and useful items alike can sit on display.

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Acrylic Shelves keep the space clean and simple.

That’s the easy solution.  If you are feeling a little more ambitious, get a handy man to create a surround for the bed.  Tuck the headboard between two planks – at least a foot in width.  Create a shelving system above, affix some pretty fabric to hide the shelves et voila – you have yourself some invaluable storage.

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This is a brilliant design that creates closets on either side of the bed, while hiding shelving above, and building in shelves that serve as a bedside table.  Love. Love .

Metallic strips to hang knives from the wall in the kitchen are tremendously useful.  I am not a fan of displaying pots, pans, plates and the like – particularly in city apartments, when try as you might, dust and dirt seeps in from the streets.  Clutter is the other reason.  I’d rather it be hidden away, but that’s a personal choice.

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Schmidt Brothers . Acacia Magnetic Bar.

A final must have if the apartment were for me – a pretty bookshelf or etagere.

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PB Teen Etagere – why should teens have all the fun? $475.

Happy designing.

Hit The Floor: and give me ten

I attribute this title (BLAME IT) on the new year health and fitness craze which rolls around every January, makes my yoga studio feel like ten pounds of sausage stuffed into a two pound bag, and has me agreeing to participate in an office-wide Whole30 challenge.  I can’t be trusted with what is coming out of my mouth, (not literally – obviously) when all I can focus on is what I am so desperately missing going in.  Ok, enough of that whining – wait a minute – did somebody say WINE?  That is what I am missing most, a nice glass of wine to end my week.

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The Parisians love a herringbone pattern and so do I!

Bother – I should have to hit the floor just for that diatribe.  What got me thinking about hard wood again was an article I wrote back in the fall that was just published in Multi Housing News on the subject.  All these months later I realize that I gave some pretty good advice. (that’s the Whole30 talking)  You be the judge – link to full article here. https://www.multihousingnews.com/post/the-beauty-value-of-a-new-wood-floor/

Bleached Flooring

Pickled and laid at an angle – trés calm et chic.

Here are 10 reasons I think hard wood isn’t a hard choice at all.

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Painted Hardwood – also a favorite.  So clean and sleek in its high gloss finery.

  1.  You can lay it in the most beautiful patterns – my favorite is herringbone, it’s so very French that way.
  2. A solid hard wood can be refinished again and again over the years.  The harder woods – like Hickory and Oak can be sanded and stained as many as 20 times.
  3. It’s sustainable – see reason #2.  There is nothing more “green” than reusing materials instead of replacing them.
  4. The grain has an elemental beauty – even laid vertically or horizontally it pops.
  5. Wood floors are one of the better materials to use in a kitchen if you cook a lot – they’re easier on your back than a ceramic tile or stone.
  6. There a little like an egg; you can bleach it, pickle it, stain it, varnish it or leave it au natural.
  7. It’s pet friendly, kid friendly, and klutz friendly – (like me when I am cooking or like me and Minnie at Christmas dinner when we exploded the Pyrex dish after placing it on the hot stove – the hardwood survived – our dinner didn’t).
  8. It ages gracefully, building character and beauty even as it shrinks and expands.
  9. It brings warmth to a space.
  10. It’s kind to those with allergies as it doesn’t trap dust.

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Warped, warn and wonderful – yes please.

Those are the hard facts as I see them.  One last point – it feels like the best thing in the world to lie on after an hour of hot yoga.  I can’t imagine anything feeling better than that.

Happy Saturday.

 

The Domino Effect

Ever love something so much that you dream about it?  Imagine a whole world centers around that thing, or person?  If you haven’t, you are truly missing out.  To imagine, and fantasize, is to place yourself in the realm of possibility.  Domino Magazine was that for me.  A beautiful happening amidst a landscape of  interiors luxury impossibility.  Domino was for the regular person.  domino-6Those of us with just a few feet in our corner, not those of  McMansion proportions.  The Magazine that so tastefully showcased homes of diminutive scale, and pointed out exactly where to buy those wares, or at the very least, something that was a close semblance of the same.  Gone where the discouraging words….”to the trade only”.  How undemocratic.  How exclusionary.  How un-Domino.

This magazine changed my life, and when they published their first book – it became my bible.  Where to place the sofa on the rug, how much puddling of the curtain is too much, symmetry or asymmetry, expected or unexpected.  Domino was my guide, and a much loved security blanket.  Providing answers to questions t

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Jessica Romm Perez and Me..Jackie Falla at Mitchell Gold, Boston

hat are sometimes tough to ask, and even harder from which to illicit an on point response.

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Jessica Romm Perez Co-Editor with Shani Silver of Domino:  Your Guide to a Stylish Home

When I learned in the early spring that the editors of Domino, Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver planned on publishing a second Domino book, I swooned.  My days are long, but my years go fast, and somehow this announcement accomplished the seemingly impossible…it slowed down time.  How was I ever to wait all those months for this pale pink concoction of wonderfulness?  Fear not.  I am still in contention for completing my quest for 10 nests, but it is no trite statement to say – I nearly died from wanting it to arrive.

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The book, which I had the distinct pleasure of purchasing directly from the author, Jessica herself, delivers all the first did and more.  It is a graphic delight, it is peppered with pertinent insights into, first recognizing who you are, and then making a home for yourself that reflects just that.  The nod to varied styles, the spot-light on individuals of distinction, the practical tips that any aspiring designer, or individual intent on creating a space that is a reflection of who they are – make this second book a collectors item.

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Meghan Mcneer, Photo Editor – Domino and Gift wrapper extraordinair!

I found my few brief words with Jessica to be memorable and inspiring.  She is graceful, warm, and open.  When she talks design, and Domino, she has a sparkle in her eye.  She gives credit to all those that she has interviewed, worked for, and been connected to over the years.  From Martha Stewart, to Elle Decor, and countless others, she has acquired knowledge and insight that she shares with abandon in this book.  If it is not already on your Christmas List, retract, edit, resend, or rush directly to the store for one of the very best things in life – a “to me from me with love….just what I always wanted gift.”  Happy Decorating.