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.





By |2019-06-03T16:14:16-04:00June 21st, 2013|Accessories, Floor covering|

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

By |2019-06-04T17:32:07-04:00April 16th, 2013|Accessories|

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 - Ochre

vintage convex mirrors - iron and brass

BDDW round mirror - lether and wood frame

By |2019-06-05T19:03:41-04:00March 16th, 2013|Accessories, Contemporary|

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 blanket

luxurious throw blankets 4

luxurious throw blankets 1

luxurious throw blankets 2

Selecting the right colors

One of the trickiest tasks on projects is selecting the right color combination.  Particularly when you are deciding between similar hues in the same overall color palette.  A color in one direction or the other can be too bright or too dark, too saturated or too dull, or not look quite right with other colors in the space. 

Finding a piece of art, accessory, rug, fabric or any other object where you can draw inspiration from the colors is really helpful.   Even better if you can find variations of a similar within the same color spectrum so that you can compare.  Here are some inspiration combinations of gold from barite rock.

golden barite

golden barite

golden barite

golden barite

By |2019-06-05T19:17:18-04:00March 4th, 2013|Accessories, Ideas, Product|


The last phase of the design process is accessorizing the space. This phase is very important because it helps clients personalize their homes with objects they love. Here are some pictures of an Upper East side residence we designed last Spring. 

The client is a fashion designer and had collected treasures from her travels all over the world. The artwork, sculptures, photography and unique accessories she had were the inspiration during the design process.  A neutral color palette was essential when designing the space in order to provide a gallery like setting for the client’s treasures.  We selected the best accessories she owned and added a few new ones that breathed life into the space. 

accessorizing a space

home accessorizing

By |2019-06-11T17:25:58-04:00January 27th, 2013|Accessories, Art, Contemporary|
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