Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PB&J Worthy Splurges

Ever come across a decorative accessory or piece of furniture and wonder if it's a smart buy? Is it worth a month of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner just to afford it? It’s rarely an easy answer. Even as a professional I spend untold hours looking at decor for client’s homes. It can take a lot of research to determine if an item makes the right statement at a worthwhile price.

Here are few items that I label ‘statement pieces’ – and are definitely worth stretching your budget and having a few PB&J's for dinner.

Anyone who knows me can tell you I am obsessed with nature inspired FF&E (that’s furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the uninitiated). I absolutely love this table. Global Views did a fabulous job creating this sleek granite and ebony metal tree table. It was even showcased on Oprah - that's how you know it's a big deal! I am perpetually hunting for a place in my house to give me a reason to buy it.

The next item is hardly a splurge, but as I discussed in a past blog, I believe that IKEA does occasionally surprise me with their accessories. This Ebony Framed Mirror is a whopping 7' tall and 3' wide with a very thick ebony frame. Designed to lean against a wall, this is a great item to make your space look contemporary, stylish and most importantly, larger. For only $99, this is a Jim Cramer-level BUY.

I know what you're thinking: who would put lemons in a lamp?! This lamp actually offers endless possibilities to change the style of the base by filling the cylinder with anything from rocks, sand, glass, to, yes, even fruit! The modern clear glass lamp can even be used holding nothing at all - meaning it can work in any surrounding. Lamps Plus offers this lamp for just $99, making it another great BUY.

Recently, while looking at new manufacturers, I came upon this company and I think I caught myself blushing. The case goods and lighting by Shine by Sho can't be described as anything else but stunning. The detailing with nail heads are enough to make me want to get my hammer and "revamp" my coffee table. The white lacquer nail head accent tables are a perfect accessory to stand out in a room and make a statement.

Because of my newfound infatuation with Shine by Sho, I had to finish this post with another accessory of theirs. The color dandelion piece is a marvelous addition to an eclectic room. Not only are the geometric shapes on the base visually stimulating, but the bright yellow color and the tall drum shade capped off with a crystal finial just make me happy.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Destination Organization

With all the different sources of information and pulls on your time, maintaining basic organization can easily consume a big part of your day – and, if you’re anything like me, you still feel like you’re behind. Sure, there are a few people out there with spotless homes and alphabetized books on their shelves. If you’re one of them, this column isn’t for you (and if you are, maybe you can share your secrets). The rest of us need all the help we can get. As an interior designer, I continually look for products that can help organize yet add style to a home. Here are a stylish few that I’ve recently come across.

Pottery Barn has created a new system of organizers that are equal parts decorative and functional. Their ‘Rustic Wall Organizers’ would be a great focal point in dressing up an otherwise boring home office, kitchens, or laundry room.

Most stores supply some kind of organizational desk systems, but West Elm has a new, unique looking Lacquer collection that is very sleek and contemporary. As an extra bonus, white products add a clean look to a sometimes cluttered desk.

A great way to generate a high-end looking design for a low budget is to creatively spice up selective IKEA products. In designing one of my recent home offices, I used a basic IKEA ‘Bergsbo’ bookcase and inserted linen paper instead of the standard (and boring) laminate backing. Decorative knobs rounded out the feel of far pricier furniture.

Storage ottomans are a chic way to add extra seating as well as storage. Z-Gallerie just released an all-new Chelsea upholsterered storage cubes with nail head detailing that would be a great fit in any room.

Finally, for those with a sense of humor, Z-Gallerie also supplies a collection of hilarious folders including, "To Do", "To File", and my favorite for those procrastinators, "To Ponder" paper folders.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Nest Request - No Natural Lighting

Today’s Nest Request centers around a common problem in urban living: “My NYC apartment feels like a cave – neither of my two dingy windows give much light. What can I do to fix this short of moving?”

Reader, I feel your pain. When I first moved to New York City, the only sky I could see was reflected off the opposing building’s windows. And we’re not even in the minority: Manhattan has over 1.6 million people crammed into just 23 square miles (that’s over 70,000 residents per square mile for those counting). As you can imagine, with no place to go but up, people on the lower floors or smaller buildings often have little to no light.

So unless you’re a vampire or enjoy living in a bat cave, here are a few things that are sure to brighten up your home:

Use mirrors. They’re built to reflect light, so what little light you do have is amplified. If you place it right, it can make a world of difference. This trick dates back to ancient Egypt, where giant tombs were illuminated by as little as one light hole. Strategically placing a series of mirrors, they managed to light up whole caverns. If they can do it, certainly you can too. For extra light, don’t forget to add floor and table lighting on a dimmer setting. Check our last posting on the Robert Abbey lamp.

Use light walls and fabrics. Dark items capture light; get rid of them (yes, this includes your chocolate colored sofa and black on black painting). Lightly colored items will naturally deflect more light. Don’t be afraid to use white draperies on white walls for a crisp and clean look.

*Images by House Beautiful
Use glass or windows in temporary walls. I know in a lot of apartments in NYC, 2 bedroom apartments are often legal 1 bedroom with a fake wall. To bring in light yet keep privacy, try using moveable partitions with frosted glass.

Thanks for the great Nest Request. Keep your design dilemmas coming! To submit a question, send an email to Nest Request at info@emc2interiors.com. And as always, if your question is selected, you can get a 10% discount off your next room.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Havinagala Silent Auction

EMC2 is excited to announce that we will be offering our design service package for one lucky winner in the Havinagala silent auction January 23 in Atlanta, Georgia. For more details, check out their website at http://www.havinagala.com/.

Thank you for all your support!!
EMC2 Interiors

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Chic Design Finds

One of the fun aspects of my job is searching for what styles and furniture pieces are making their way into the mainsteam. The best part is when I can find a sweet deal on some of them - check out some great furniture and accessories we know you'll enjoy and, best of all, easily afford!

Unique and interesting tables are an easy way to make a statement in a room. Check out this wooden twist table above from Z-Gallerie for only $99.

Lighting is a very important aspect to a room. The table lamp shown above from Robert Abbey for $188, not only expels light from the top but also has a sheer glow from the base. Works well as an accent, or as a bedside pair.

Our next two items are examples on how little details can make a big difference in a room. The first, shown above, is a unique owl furniture knob from Anthropologie for $12 that can easily replace existing knobs of furniture that are too "matchy matchy." Continuing the nature theme, below is a antique brass curtain pullback from Urban Outfitters for only $14!

Check back with us for more unique items. We'll do the legwork, you just enjoy the great finds!