3-D Organization

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I just received my 2015 organizer refill, and weathered the usual sarcasm from my husband about my insistence on using a bulky Filofax along with my iPhone.

I think it’s worth reiterating what I said a few years ago on this subject:

For me, the digital world of organizers is missing one key element: dimension. My world of interior design is three-dimensional, as is my old-fashioned leather organizer. In addition to appointments and contact info, it allows me to store pertinent floor plans, fabric and paint color samples, brochures, and assorted paraphernalia vital to my work. The photo above may seem the height of disorganization to one of today’s smart-phoned executives, but for me it makes perfect sense. I have my iPhone for email and texts, but I’ll never lose my Filofax.

Since I wrote this I have added a more comprehensive contact list to my iPhone, but I insist on keeping my appointments in the Filofax, along with the other pertinent detritus of my very tactile business.

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Eat the Moon

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As soon as I saw this photo—on griottes, a French photographer/chef’s website—I knew I had to try this sinful confection on my guests for Christmas dinner. The cake features a meringue bottom, a layer of chestnut mouse, mascarpone cream, and a crust of meringue mixed with black sesame, for that moon-like look. This is one trip to the moon I’m looking forward to. I think my Christmas guests will agree. Yum yum!

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Time to Deck the Stairs with Boughs of Pine

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My assistant Rena and I spent the day putting up Christmas decorations for one of my favorite clients, as I’ve done since finishing their home 6 years ago. The dramatic entrance hallway makes a lovely setting for the pine boughs, pinecones, berries and plaid bows that follow the curving staircase to the banister above. In my home the decorations are so appealing I’ve been known to keep some of them up for months afterward. We’re expecting a full house for Christmas this year and I’ll be spending much quality time in the kitchen. After a delicious rib roast at my cousin’s Thanksgiving dinner in Florida, I’ll be adding this dish to my repertoire. It may be getting colder outside, but the warmth and joy of good food and close family always make this one of my favorite times of the year.

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Window Dressing

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Without window treatments a room is unfinished. When the treatment works well, it adds dramatically to the look and feel of the design. The play of light and shadow on the color and texture of the panels helps define the style of the space, much as they define its outward boundaries.

From dress up swag to dress down sheer, the diversity of window treatment options is considerable. Here’s how I use this vital design element:

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The stationary vertical panels in the top photo, with a proper size rod and finials, are lined and interlined, the additional layers of fabric creating a plusher, richer look. At night the light reflecting against the gold and red colors make for a glittering display. The bottom photo features a traditional French look, an embroidered silk stripe alternating with a solid French blue.

 

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Roman shades are a treatment option that can be raised or lowered vertically, showcasing the fabric design, which always appears flat. It is a practical choice that affords privacy as well as the option of a complete blackout. Both of the pictures feature roman shades that define the style of the space, one rich and masculine, the other delicate and feminine.

 

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Sheers are vertical panels with varying degrees of opacity. They allow a delicate, dreamy glow to enter the room. Sometimes I use them purely decoratively, as in the bottom two photos, to distract the eye from large windows behind the bed.

 

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Swag panels work well in a traditional space, adding an elegant fullness and graceful symmetry to the design.

 

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Woven wood blinds come in many different shades and colors. I chose these to work with the hand embroidered stationary panels. The wood texture of the blinds and the intricate pattern of the panels go together hand in glove.

 

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A Great Setting for Reading or Chatting

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Four imposing club chairs that beg to be sat in make a strong statement in the library of a Tudor restoration I’m working on. The roman shades in an elegant paisley from Corragio and the muted reds and golds of the Oriental rug heighten the warmth of the refurbished wood paneling. The leather ottoman works as a cocktail table or footrest. The recessed lights and four sconces offer a variety of sources and intensity. The console with heavily carved barley twist legs provides a platform for books and accessories, as well as a base for the oil painting of a luminous town in the south of France. The room makes a great setting for that novel you’ve been meaning to read, or maybe that heart to heart chat you’ve been meaning to have.

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Will it Fly?

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We always find pieces at the High Point Furniture Market that bring a smile to our faces. In this case a chair with a bird’s wing design on the sides. The question is, will it fly?

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Mesmerizing Metal Flowers

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One of the joys of High Point is discovering new artists. This year I was floored by Tommy Mitchell’s metal sculptures, used as wall art, lighting, or accessories.

In the photo is a quadriptych, a four-sectioned design of flower petals against linen backgrounds. The effect is delicate, tactile and shimmering. The interplay of light on the copper, brass, and gold leaf kept me mesmerized.

The artist was an art restorer for twenty years, before turning his hand to metal sculpture, specializing in floral designs. You can see more of his work here.

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The Life and Work of Nathalie Trytell

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My daughter Nathalie suffered from Neurofibromatosis, a degenerative disease that took her life in 2011, at age 32. She was a brilliant artist and I’m thrilled that her work will appear as part of an exhibit in The Queens Museum being put together by another young woman suffering from NF2. More information can be found here.

 

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In Bed with Old Friends

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One of my mandatory stops at High Point is always Legacy Linen. I love the new blue and white design in the top photo, especially as presented with the orange accent pillow and the animal pattern fabric on the side panels. The other pic shows off a new embroidered pattern in oriental toile, which can be had in a variety of colors. All of Legacy’s bedding is beautifully made, elegantly designed, and the company is pleasure to deal with. For interior designers like me the furniture market is just as much about touching base with suppliers I have solid relationships with as it is finding new ones.

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