Monthly Archives: September 2016

Warmth and offer privacy

Originally intended to conserve warmth and offer privacy, canopy beds are now beloved for their sumptuous design. These beds, typically four-posters, feature fabric draped over the top and on all sides, often finished with tassels or other details to add drama. From a simple, sheer surround to an over-the-top lit à la polonaise, these canopy beds from the AD archives make a good night’s sleep more luxurious than ever.

Cole Park, the manor that designer Anouska Hempel shares with her husband, Sir Mark Weinberg, in the countryside of Wiltshire, England, dates from the mid-16th century. In the master bedroom, a J. Robert Scott stripe is used for the ebony-and-gilt canopy bed.

For her English manor home, designer Anouska Hempel conceived the Oriel Room’s bed, which is wrapped in burlap, velvet, and rope cord.

At Easton Neston, in Northamptonshire, England—the 1702 house by Nicholas Hawksmoor owned by fashion designer Leon Max, who restored it with Ptolemy Dean Architects and Spencer-Churchill Designs—the Tapestry Bedroom features a George III mahogany bed with a custom-printed linen canopy; the carpet is a 19th-century Sultanabad.

Designer Peter Dunham worked with Steve Tisch on the redecoration of his 1932 Paul Williams house in Beverly Hills, California. The hand-carved canopy bed in the pink bedroom is by Hollywood at Home; a vintage suzani covers the headboard, and the bedding is by Deborah Sharpe Linens.

Pantry Ideas for a Seriously Stylis

The key to a spotless kitchen is a well-organized pantry. These two spaces make a perfect team, with the kitchen doing the heavy lifting in terms of prep and the pantry providing plenty of room to stash tools, ingredients, and serving pieces. While storage is the centerpiece of the pantry and should be the main consideration when it comes to design, the space can do double duty as a bar or a secondary prep area for food and floral arrangements. It can also serve as a showcase for collections of glassware and china, on open shelving, in glass-front cabinets, or even on the wall. See how Steven Gambrel, Barbara Westbrook, Ray Booth, and other designers have created highly organized and beautifully functional pantry spaces.

In the pantry of a Bridgehampton, New York, home designed by Steven Gambrel, a white-oak ladder by Putnam Rolling Ladder Co. makes the tall shelves easily accessible; polished-nickel pendant lamps by Hudson Valley Lighting illuminate the space.

Antique Wedgwood and Coalport china is stored in the pantry of architect Jim Joseph and musical theater composer Scott Frankel’s upstate New York home.

The pantry of architect Alison Spear’s Hudson Valley, New York, home is outfitted with a 1930s pendant light and heirloom china; the dishwasher is by Miele.

Best of all, though, is how easy the unit is to install. The in-home process only takes three to nine days when done by Spiral Cellars. Plus, it doesn’t require any foundation work or breaking into belowground, as it can be housed within a basement or crawlspace.

Easy Ways to Make Your Home a Makeover

Being an interiors journalist has given Claire Bingham insider access to many incredible homes, and she’s learned a thing or two about great design along the way. In her new book, Modern Living: How to Decorate with Style (TeNeues, $55), she reveals how to think like the top interior designers whose work she’s witnessed. “Yes, you can devise a scheme based around a gorgeous new cushion, but it is best to think less about colors or details. Focus more on the mood and emotion, instead. Homes should make you happy,” Bingham writes. She walks us through the decorating process room by room, with tips and tricks for overhauling a space or just making a few quick upgrades. Here, we share some of her most memorable pieces of advice.

Once you’ve come up with an overall idea for your living room and determined your furniture needs (and where those pieces will go), it’s all about adding character, says Bingham. Here, an old sofa was reupholstered in a funky floral fabric that matches the wallpaper.

“Comfort comes first in the bedroom, so make your bed the priority,” writes Bingham. “Go for extra wide and get the best mattress you can afford. To make your bed extra inviting, introduce an extra set of satin pillows to crisp white cotton linen and layer with velvet and wool throws.”

Give your work space just as much attention as the rest of your home, Bingham says. And while an aesthetically pleasing spot is important, the real must-haves are a tidy surface, good task lighting, and a comfortable chair.
Taking inspiration from luxurious hotel rooms, install a freestanding tub in your bath, suggests Bingham. Dark walls (and a few candles) add drama.

Home Virtual Decorator

Over the last few years, the rise of online decorating services has made a once-rarefied world much more accessible. Companies that offer personalized, virtual interior design ideas—Laurel & Wolf, Home Polish, Decorist, and Havenly, to name a few—have made hiring a decorator as easy as shopping for shoes online. It no longer requires deep pockets, a lengthy research process, or even an in-person meeting. But is online decorating right for everyone—or every room? We turned to a couple of experts to find out how to get the most out of the experience, and get the (real life) space of your dreams.

DO the groundwork
The more information you can provide from the outset, the better. Complete the online quizzes and style assessments to hone in on the look you’re going for. And when it comes to describing your current space, go overboard. “More is more when it comes to working virtually,” says Kimberly Winthrop, a designer with Laurel & Wolf. “The more communication, photos, measurements, and inspiration references, the better your designer will know you and the better your project will flow.” In addition to taking full-room shots, “take photos of details that make your space unique, like moldings, so that your designer can factor them into the design,” says Emily Motayed, co-founder of Havenly.

DON’T be a stickler
The decorators working with these services are vetted—a great reassurance that you’re working with a pro. Look through online portfolios to get a feel for a designer’s work before you hire him or her, but keep in mind it’s better to see that they can work within a range of aesthetics rather than deliver a highly specific look. “Their style may not be exactly your style, but any good designer should be able to deliver what you like,” explains Winthrop.

DO be brutally honest
This process is one of give and take. If your decorator floats an idea that you hate, say so. “A common mistake that people make is not expressing their true opinion on a design or item out of fear of hurting a designer’s feelings,” says Motayed. “Don’t be afraid to be honest.”

DON’T overreach
Virtual decorating services are best for spaces that have fairly straightforward needs and don’t require a renovation, such as living rooms and bedrooms. “When you get into kitchens and baths, where the main elements of the space are built-in or custom, it can be a more challenging project,” says Winthrop.

 

Design Rules That Miles Redd Loves

In the world of interior design, decorating rules often become so embedded they are second nature—but not for everyone. We’re looking to those boundary-pushing talents to find out the popular design ideas they’re ready to move on from, and what they are trying out instead. First up: Miles Redd, who defies easy labels, bringing his own special blend of glamour and wit to every project. Whether he’s decorating a tropical vacation home or a Texas mansion, the New York designer can always be counted on to defy conventions. We turned to Redd, the former creative director of Oscar de la Renta and author of The Big Book of Chic, to learn which design rules he thinks were made to be broken.

Rule to break: Use color in small doses

“Often when I flip through a catalogue, it would appear we live in a world of beige, a great big bowl of coffee ice cream,” says Redd. The designer prefers to embrace rich hues, as in this windowless entryway “where it appears glittering rather than dull like dishwater.”
“I think people see tiny rooms and they think they need tiny furniture, but often one large thing kissing the ceiling will expand the room,” he says.
“Good decoration can be so correct, it can be a little boring,” says Redd. The mega metal mosquito on the ceiling of an otherwise formal living room in Houston “takes the edge off things and shows you have a sense of humor.”

How to Incorporate Technology into Your Kitchen

A little more than a decade ago the world met Lo Bosworth—Lauren Conrad’s sweet-as-pie best friend—on the hit MTV series Laguna Beach and, a few years later, The Hills. These days you won’t find Bosworth tiffing with her friends on reality TV, but you can tune in to one of many videos on her new lifestyle blog, TheLoDown, for an afternoon of baking or making breakfast quiche. And after all, wasn’t Bosworth the cast member you always wished you could hang out in the kitchen with?

With a childhood spent cooking at her mother’s side—“She makes dinner from scratch almost every single night of the week,”—and a degree from the French Culinary Institute that sealed the deal, Bosworth is right at home in the lifestyle blogosphere. And while the New Yorker can’t say she cooks every day, she spends a lot of time in the kitchen on summer weekends out in the Hamptons. “You don’t have Seamless on your phone, so you have to go to the store and make meals for yourself,” she laughs. “It’s such a delightful way to eat healthy and cook seasonally.” Bosworth says her diet revolves mostly around lean proteins and seasonal vegetables—though she occasionally indulges in one of her mother’s famous roast garlic chickens.

Now, as a partner of the tech-forward kitchen appliance line, Signature Kitchen Suite, Bosworth has gotten a lot more tech savvy with her cooking. We caught up with the culinary queen to find out her tips for creating a seriously innovative kitchen that will be just as connected as you are.

1. Use a connected oven.

“My oven is Wi-Fi enabled, so if I’m coming down Manhattan’s West Side Highway in a taxi, running 30 minutes late, I can turn on the oven to preheat from my cell phone so that I still get dinner ready in time.”

2. Let your apps create the menu.

“There are so many apps out there that make finding a recipe in an instant really easy. Food52 is one of my favorites for fabulous recipes.”

3. Ditch your old timer.

“I always used a traditional timer that you wind, but I’m newly in love with this product called the Amazon Echo. You just say, ‘Alexa, turn on a timer for 45 minutes,’ without touching a thing.”

4. Try a smart microwave.

“My microwave has sensors that understand how far along the food has been cooked and lets you know. So if you are cooking popcorn, it won’t overcook it.”

5. Get some high-tech help for your herb garden.

“I love using fresh herbs in my cooking, but I have tried to grow plants in my New York City kitchen so many times and I go out of town and the rest is history. Recently, I’ve been using a planter called the Click and Grow that allows you to grow herbs all in one device. It waters and fertilizes what you’re growing automatically.”

 

Virtual House Reality

Today marks the launch of The People’s House: Inside the White House with Barack and Michelle Obama, the first-ever Facebook 360 project filmed inside the world’s most famous home. The piece, produced by Emmy-winning cinematic virtual reality creators Félix & Paul Studios alongside the Oculus team at Facebook, takes viewers to nine famous areas within the iconic building—from sitting with the President in the Oval Office to walking around the Situation Room to stopping into the Old Family Dining Room with Mrs. Obama.

“Michelle and I always joke, ‘We’re just renters here. ’ . . . The owners are the American people and all those invested in creating this amazing place with so much history,” President Obama says in the VR experience. “What we wanted to do is make sure that everybody felt they had access to the White House, . . . that as many people as possible could come in and appreciate the place where Lincoln, FDR, or Reagan made the decisions that helped to shape America.”

Of course, collecting wine as a hobby is going to cost you—so it might not be a shock that Spiral Cellars run between $23,000 and $67,000 each. Take a deeper look at what goes into making one below.

It’s a wine lover’s dream, as it’s not only an über-luxurious way of showcasing your collection, it’s also practical. The storage unit has a commercial-grade climate-control system, which means that bottles can be kept at the ideal temperature as the ventilation setup swaps out warm air for cold.

Spectacular Green Roofs

Green roofs are sprouting up more and more on buildings around the world, from private residences and schools to cultural institutions and businesses. Made with hardy varieties of succulents, grasses, wildflowers, and herbs atop several structural layers—including a waterproof membrane and levels for drainage, insulation, and filtering—these self-sustaining living architectural features can bring natural beauty to urban buildings or connect rural structures to their surrounding landscapes. The sky-high functional gardens also have a wide variety of ecological benefits, such as the ability to absorb carbon dioxide, reduce stormwater runoff, limit heat absorption, and provide habitats for insects, birds, and other wildlife. Factor in lower heating and cooling costs, extended roof life, and tax incentives (depending on the city), and it’s easy to see why this building trend continues to grow. Click through these spectacular examples from San Francisco to Singapore to discover how top architects—including Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano and AD Innovator Weiss/Manfredi—are incorporating green roofs into their projects.

Green roofs are sprouting up more and more on buildings around the world, from private residences and schools to cultural institutions and businesses. Made with hardy varieties of succulents, grasses, wildflowers, and herbs atop several structural layers—including a waterproof membrane and levels for drainage, insulation, and filtering—these self-sustaining living architectural features can bring natural beauty to urban buildings or connect rural structures to their surrounding landscapes. The sky-high functional gardens also have a wide variety of ecological benefits, such as the ability to absorb carbon dioxide, reduce stormwater runoff, limit heat absorption, and provide habitats for insects, birds, and other wildlife. Factor in lower heating and cooling costs, extended roof life, and tax incentives (depending on the city), and it’s easy to see why this building trend continues to grow. Click through these spectacular examples from San Francisco to Singapore to discover how top architects—including Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano and ADInnovator Weiss/Manfredi—are incorporating green roofs into their projects.

Watermill Residence, Water Mill, New York Architect Andrew Berman conceived this waterfront residence on Long Island as a summer and weekend retreat for three generations of one family. The home includes a single-story guest wing and garage, each featuring a living roof planted with wildflowers and local grasses by design firm Goode Green.

Robert Konieczny of architecture firm KWK Promes devised this unique residence for an art collector in Poland. The home is accessed through a covered driveway, which wraps around to the elevated living quarters. The entire structure features a green roof, allowing it to blend seamlessly with the landscape when viewed from above.