Custom Built Ins Part II

With residential and commercial projects it’s important to decide from the beginning
if custom built ins will be a part of the design. By factoring in the size, scale, colors, location and finish (s) of a built in within the framework of the overall design, the shelving will fit seamlessly into the design. Since built ins can take up a substantial portion of a space, deciding on the right combination of materials and finishes which match the flooring or perhaps an accent color will tie the room together. If the built in is an afterthought long after the design is complete, it may be more challenging to match existing colors or move walls if necessary.

In the first example there are two different matching wood grains in the wall shelving unit which match the side tables next to the banquette. The shelf exteriors have a slightly smoother grain and the backsplash and undersides of the shelves incorporate a more visible wood grain. This subtle variation in addition to the medium color tone which matches the flooring and textiles offer balance to the space. The very large and long shelves do not overwhelm the space either by being a single finish or too dark/light. In the second example the designer mixed the natural wood shelves alongside a granite exterior fireplace in the living room. In the second example the shelves also match the wood flooring and the base is designed as almost an extension of the wood flooring. The gold backsplash accent creates the feeling more of a piece of furniture that of a shelving unit.

It should be noted that all three of these custom built ins are recessed which can offer more flexibility for integrating larger or more unusual designs.

custom built in

custom built in

custom built in

By |2019-05-29T18:57:38-04:00December 16th, 2013|Living room, Materials & Finishes, Office|

Floor Lamps

Following up on my previous top 3 floor lamps post, here are some additional options for a residence in Soho we are working on. These floor lamps can generally range in price from 5800-19000k. The shade can be linen or metal or it can feature an exposed glass bulb. Because of the size and the fact that they are freestanding, floor lamps offer a great opportunity to introduce a unique and distinctive shape into the space possibly with a long curved line or unusual shaped holes incorporated into the design of the metal column. Some of the finish options include gunmetal, brass, or nickel.

floor lamp

floor lamp

floor lamp

By |2019-05-30T10:33:13-04:00December 3rd, 2013|Lighting, Lighting design, Living room|

Selecting lounge chairs

Selecting lounge chairs is important as they often serve as a focal point in a living room or family room. Finding swivel or stationary chairs with a unique shape can accentuate the layout of a room. When beginning the process of space planning scale and proportion are essential considerations as well as how the shapes fit together.

If a spaces feels too boxy or crowded with additional lounge chairs it is usually the result of poor space planning and design. Lounge chairs are often a good opportunity to incorporate alternative materials into a space such as metal or leather without committing to a larger piece of furniture such as a sofa with metal. If you are designing a space with a modern, contemporary feel, natural tones on leather will add warmth.

Here are a few options in consideration for a project in Soho.

lounge chair

lounge chair

By |2019-06-03T18:20:57-04:00October 28th, 2013|Furniture, Living room|

Space Planning in Chelsea Duplex (part II)

Following up on my space planning post from last week, here are a few additional photos of the chelsea duplex I worked on several years ago.  The main level featured a bedroom, and a kitchen extending into an open layout with the dining room and living room.   A nice sized terrace adjoined the living room on the wall near the fireplace.  On the stairway leading up to the master bedroom we designed a custom built in for books and storage.  An open layout is increasingly popular space planning option in residential units in New York City.  Natural light is an essential component in higher end real estate and developers are seeking to maximize value by creating larger open living areas so potential purchasers have the option to entertain.




By |2019-06-03T16:05:41-04:00June 10th, 2013|Dining room, Kitchen, Living room|

Westchester redesign

Here are several preliminary photos of a living and dining room interior Westchester redesign I’m finishing up in Pelham, NY.  We designed a custom shelf to accompany a gas fireplace which we installed near the bay window/front section of the home.  Most of the furniture is custom or vintage.  We created a tufted, leather banquette to frame the entrance of the room and sit alongside the fireplace.  The client loves purple so we incorporated purple accents including pillows and blown glass accessories.  We are in the process of incorporating artwork with touches of the color as well.  The two lounge chairs  and sofa were custom upholstered pieces as well.  We went with mid century end tables and vintage Murano table lamps which I love.




By |2019-06-03T16:27:24-04:00June 6th, 2013|Living room, Room|

Custom built ins

Custom built ins are a great way to maximize and change the feel of a space.  Whether you are looking for a wall unit, desk area build in, entertainment center or a unique option to display artwork, there are endless possibilities.  Often in New York City the building codes, especially in the older buildings, can be strict and limit the possibilities for moving walls or drastically changing the existing layout.  If space is limited or you do not have much flexibility in performing renovation work, hiring a cabinetry firm or designer to assist you with drawing or selecting options that will work and compliment your space will be helpful.  If you are looking for a large amount of storage space it’s important to look at options which aren’t too massive or one dimensional.

Too many cabinets or too many shelves can completely overwhelm a room, especially if it is a covering an entire wall.  Similarly if all of the shelves or cabinets are the same size you might as well go to Ikea, the variation in build ins with shelf/ cabinet size is what makes them elegant and compliment a room.  If you are displaying artwork such as sculptures for example, you will want a build in that does not overtake the artwork with its design, and serves a functional backdrop able to highlight the art.   Here are some inspirational images for living room build ins.





Accent walls

In addition to dark wood flooring, accent walls are a great way to add color or contrast to a room. The wall doesn’t necessarily need to be painted entirely and it doesn’t even need to be a wall. A staircase, corner, part of a ceiling, closet and virtually any other open flat surface in a room can provide the backdrop for an accent.  Often on projects clients may not want to commit to a particular color for the entire wall and an accent wall is a great way to test out the color.  Often if the saturation or contrast offsets the other tones in the room painting one wall will suffice.  It’s much easier of course to repaint one wall than the whole room if the color doesn’t work.

In the examples below the contrast is strong but an accent can also have just a slight color variation from the other walls and be effective.  How the space is laid out, where the natural light hits and where the entrance to the room is are all factors on which wall to select.   In the first example the wall behind the desk is painted two slightly different tones.  The molding provides a frame for the colors and the color variation adds depth and texture to the space. In the second image the book shelf at the top of the wall as well as the shelf in the middle are accents to a white wall.  The bookshelf functions as an effective frame encasing the lighter and mixed tone artwork against the dark background.  The last three examples offer alternative options for accents including a corner “room within a room”, a staircase partition and a closet wall.






By |2019-06-04T16:55:22-04:00May 1st, 2013|Ideas, Living room|

White marble coffee table

Coffee tables are often a focal point in living rooms. If the size, shape and style are selected carefully, they can be a distinctive design element.  Incorporating natural materials such as wood, stone and marble is necessary to balance other dominant elements such us upholstered furniture, shades and curtains. Marble furniture is sought after due to its unique textures, colors and durability. It is a hard and durable material that is often incorporated into high end kitchen and bathroom design.

Here are some great white marble coffee tables options for a living room were are designing where white marble will compliment the color palette and design. The price for these coffee tables start at 5200 and increase depending on the size, style and availability.    Before falling in love with a white marble table make sure to read some of the pros and cons of white marble that was mentioned on our early post Kitchen design with white marble tops.

White marble  square coffee table Mangiarottii

round white marble coffee table by marc newson

ovala white marble coffee table

marble coffee table by Snarkitecture

By |2019-06-05T18:21:13-04:00April 9th, 2013|Furniture, Ideas, Living room, Product|
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