Sunday, January 31, 2010

Laura U's favorite shopping in Paris, Milan, Florence, & Rome!

After feverishly shopping for my clients and the boutique this winter, I thought I might take a step back and reflect. Touring Paris, Milan, Florence and Rome this past December was inspiring and we were introduced to tons of fantastic product lines! After shopping all day, every day, for ten days straight, we were exhausted but refreshed. Below are just a few of our favorites!

Les Puces (“the Fleas”) in Paris has tons of interesting vendors. At the flea market at St. Oeun we discoverd a truly unique designer on Rue de Rosiers. Ghislain Antiques creates the coolest “French industrial” furnishings.

The Cyrus Company showroom in Milan.

Versace Home in Milan.

The owner of Pandora in Florence (near Santa Maria Novella and not far from the Duomo) is not a product designer but a curator of sorts. Her collection of 1920s through 1970s French and Italian antique and vintage furnishings is enviable. This was, by far, my favorite find on the entire shopping trip.

In Rome, I loved the Devon and Devon showroom. Near the Spanish Steps and just a couple of streets from Via Condotti (where you can find ALL of the major couture showrooms), it is a gorgeous showcase of elegant bathroom fixutures.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Define your Distinct Design Style II

After perusing the four styles discussed last week (Traditional, Transitional, Contemporary and Eclectic), you may have noticed that your Distinct Design style was not included. Don’t despair! Our breakdown of design styles continues! Below are three additional design styles and one may be yours… and if not, check back next week for more interior design looks.

Art Deco

Your style is grounded in geometry (ex. Fan motif), your color palette is based on black and metallics but is highlighted with rich hues like red. This is a theatrical style, which is why the look is right at home in today’s media and theatre rooms. This glam style is always fun and makes your home a favorite for entertaining! (photo of interior by Douglas Dolezal courtesy HGTV)

Hollywood Regency

The theme is luxury and your over-the-top style just oozes glamour! Designers pioneered this glitzy style in 1930s Hollywood but it has grown in popularity over the past couple of years. And who wouldn’t love the rich fabrics, posh accessories, and glittering crystal chandeliers of your decidedly luxe look? Don’t forget your high gloss lacquered furniture and fabulous mirrored pieces. It just wouldn’t be Hollywood Regency without them! (photo from "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day")

Mission Style (Arts and Crafts)
Your favorite piece of furniture was handcrafted by a local artisan and sits cozily in the warmth of your living room. Dark woods are accompanied by deep reds, yellows and oranges. You shy away from anything ornate and are drawn to clean lines, tectonic designs, and straightforward materials. Stained glass is an important feature of the Mission Style. Your glass is most likely abstract in style and glows with deep earth tones. (photo courtesy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Define your Distinct Design Style!

You walk into a space and you instantly know it is your style. What is it about the design of this particular interior that makes it distinctly you? Are you drawn to the soft, monochromatic palette; is it the clean-line construction of the furnishings; is it the rich and collected mix of accessories? Here are four distinct design styles and their traits – one may just be you!

Traditional Style: Warm wood tones set the stage for your look. Rich colors such as emerald green and aubergine are balanced by the softness of peach and tan. Florals, Damasks, and paisleys grace your draperies, bedding, and upholstery. Tassels, fringe and bullion abound! You source your fabulous furnishings from England or the French countryside. Gilded frames surround your favorite still-life and landscape which are gorgeously arranged in every well-appointed room. (Image courtesy NLMDesign)

Transitional Style: You are straightforward, timeless and sophisticated. You love a muted, monochromatic color palette of cream, taupe, and tan, contrasted by espresso wood tones. But your look is anything but bland! Sculptural occasional furnishings, textured fabrics and accents of bronze or pewter add interest to your serene space. Contemporary, clean-line furnishings ground your look and every worldly accessory has a home. (Marriner Home by Laura U - photo by Jill Hunter)

Contemporary Style: A bold, abstract painting is the center of your universe! Your color palette is grounded in black, white, gray or cream. From there you may choose a muted color scheme or you may venture into an attention grabbing composition of primary colors. This exciting style embraces large graphics in art, accessories and area carpets. Furnishings lack anything considered unnecessary (such as carving or fringe) and are sleek and always intentional. (Kreuer Home by Laura U - photo by Jill Hunter)

Eclectic Style: You are a master of the mix! Pairing a Louis XIV chair with a contemporary Lucite side table does not phase you. You love a rich, relaxed yet surprising interior that is never fussy and does not hurt for a conversation piece. A color palette of show-stopping hues, myriad metallics, and, more often than not, a base of black and white, creates a cozy space reminiscent of Les Puces. (Photo courtesy Doug Meyers)