New Home Construction Project – Long Island

This past week we began reviewing plans with an 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

By |2019-06-11T18:10:50-04:00December 9th, 2013|Eclectic, Residential, Traditional|

Bringing warmth into Kitchens

Bringing a warm feel into kitchens can often be challenging due to the preponderance of appliances and cabinets.  Often clients will opt for a clean, modern, aesthetic which is easy to maintain but if not designed correctly can feel cold.  Wood floors, metal and mixing similar tones in kitchens will help take attention away from appliances and cabinets. 

In the first example the designer selected a grayish brown color for the cabinetry and steel hardware which complemented the stainless steel oven.  The countertops on the right and the lighting above the stove are also stainless steel and add to the cohesion of the design. 

In the second example a textured wall offsets the stainless steel fridge, and the wood flooring along with the carpet pull everything together.  In the third example, the cabinets were painted different colors, and the island was a hue between the wood flooring and the cabinetry on the back wall, so it doesn’t feel nearly as much of a centerpiece as if it were white and matched the cabinets on the back wall. The trick is, even though cabinetry and appliances are such a large part of kitchen design, to incorporate enough other elements so that they do not dominate the look of the space.

kitchen design

kitchen design

kitchen design

kitchen design


By |2019-06-04T17:05:07-04:00April 24th, 2013|Eclectic, Ideas, Kitchen|

Incorporating stainless steel in kitchens

Stainless steel is no longer relegated to appliance surfaces as it is now being installed on counter tops, cabinet doors and backsplashes.  Backsplashes can be smooth, have different sized tiles and shapes, and can have different colors incorporated.  Due to its resistance to heat, water and bacteria, stainless steel is the preferred finish for both professional chefs and in residential kitchens. 

Stainless steel can also function as a clean, contemporary design element.  The one major drawback is the need to clean fingerprints, though generally this problem will be less prevalent on cabinet doors and backsplashes than countertops. It is a fairly low maintenance finish as warm water with a small amount of detergent is enough for cleaning it.  For more stubborn stains use a soft, dry cloth with lemon juice, glass cleaner or white vinegar to wipe stubborn smudges and stains.

kitchen stainless steel counter tops

kitchen - stainless steel appliances and backsplash

kitchen stainless steel kitchen cabinets

kitchen stainless steel cabinet fronts

By |2019-06-05T18:31:47-04:00March 22nd, 2013|Contemporary, Eclectic, Kitchen|

Tips for designing bathrooms with dark colors

Following up on my earlier post on using dark colors in bathrooms, here are several more inspiration images which incorporate different palettes. The first bathroom utilizes a color palette ranging from dark gray to lighter gray. This gives the bathroom a feel of warmth and balance and the cabinetry surrounding the sinks functions almost as an accent wall.  The design feels rustic, clean and could be incorporated into several different styles.  The designer was able to add nine cabinets without it feeling too dark or cluttered.  It was important to select a neutral color for the floor that was lighter than the cabinets and gorgeous white bath also reflects the incoming light. 

The second bathroom features an even mix of grays with the ceiling being slightly darker and the sink lighter.  The sliding door is wide so enough to illuminate the space which is almost entirely dark and without a window. A large bright light is necessary to offset the darker colors as well.  The 3rd design also has enough natural light to offset the colors, which get progressively darker.  The white chair, mirror and sink function as accents.

dark bathroom
dark bathroom
dark bathroom

By |2019-06-05T19:06:55-04:00March 13th, 2013|Bathroom, Contemporary, Eclectic, Ideas|

Lighting Design – Bedside lighting ideas

There are three options to consider for beside lamps. The most frequently used bedside lighting are table lamps since they can plug into outlets nearby. Wall mounted and pendant lights are less often used but the best option if budget permits. They require an electrician to install junction boxes,on/off switches and  dimmers and the help of a design professional to located them in the correct place. Here some inspiration ideas for three different bedside lighting options.

bedroom design - bedside table lamps

bedroom design - bedside wall sconces lights

bedroom design- bedside pendant lights

By |2019-06-05T19:11:22-04:00March 6th, 2013|Bedroom, Contemporary, Eclectic, Lighting|

Kids Rooms Design Ideas

Bedrooms are very personal spaces that provide a place for rest and quiet.   Privacy, scale, lifestyle and functionality are factors to be taken into account when designing a children’s rooms. The design can incorporate children’s beds, twin beds,bunk beds, daybeds, trundle beds, nightstands, storage units, desks and/or chairs depending on the size and the various activities that the interior space will serve other than sleeping. Designing kids rooms with light/neutral colors and accent bright colors/elements is a great way to have the design flow with the overall design of the residence without overdoing it with colors such as light pink and baby blue typically found in children’s rooms.

children bedroom design

children rooms - bedroom design

kids bedrooms

kids bedroom design ideas

By |2019-06-05T19:20:32-04:00March 2nd, 2013|Bedroom, Children's room, Contemporary, Eclectic|


Lighting brings interiors to life and chandeliers are not only functional but they can also be the perfect accent element to complete a room.

The size and shape of the chandelier should be based on the size and shape of the dining room and the dining table, The three chandeliers below are perfect to hang over a rectangular dining table. Dual chandeliers like the Murano glass chandeliers in the second picture are also a great option when working with rectangular rooms.

Pantheon metal chandelier by Hudson Furniture

Murano glass chandeliers

Large brass and glass chandelier by Sciolari

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 interior

elegant dark interior 3

elegant dark interior

elegant dark interior 2

elegant dark interior 3

By |2019-06-06T19:36:43-04:00February 13th, 2013|Contemporary, Eclectic, Entry, Ideas, Residential, Retail|
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