interior design tips

Our Favorite Bar Stools by Sharon Blaustein

Finding the perfect stool is not an easy task! Whether you are looking to freshen up your seating options or you have just finished renovating your dream kitchen with that large beautiful island; you will inevitably arrive at the question of which bar stool will go best with your kitchen.

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Luckily, we're here to help! Here are a few parameters that you should keep in mind when selecting the best bar stool for you:

Height:

We will admit, we have made this mistake (and more than once…). We found the perfect bar stool at the perfect price, ordered it and waited (and waited some more) and finally the stool was there! We opened the box and… sure enough the stool was too high to fit under the counter (or too short). A typical counter height is 36” and will require a counter stool seat height will be around 25”. If your counter is high (usually 42”) you will need a bar stool with seat height around 30”. One thing to always remember is to measure your own counters and double check the dimensions! 

The Ventura from Poliform is one of our favorites. It has clean lines, it's modern and elegant.  

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Material:

Your stool should be functional just like the rest of your kitchen . When you are choosing a stool you need to consider who will be sitting on it. If you have young kids who love to smother their pancakes with Nutella, you should probably avoid fabric upholstered stools :) 

For a modern hip stool that is functional, easy to clean and comes in fun colors (you have ten to choose from!) check out the Nerd Bar Stool by Muuto.

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For a more luxe look, these steel, brass and leather bar stools by Gabriel Scott have an edgy, high-end feel.

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With or without back?

Backless stools are beautiful and sleek but can be less comfortable for young children and in instances where you will be spending a long time at the counter. We would recommend using a backless stool in rooms where space is limited since they can be tucked under the overhang and disappear when not in use.

The Gubi Beetle stool by the Future Perfect comes in all different configurations. It is a take on traditional Danish design with a modern twist.

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With back: 

 

 

 

 

 

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Without:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this kitchen we chose a backless stool since there is only a small clearance between the island and the cabinets behind. When they are not in use, they are neatly tucked under.

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The most important thing to remember before you rush out to buy a stool is to make sure the height, shape and material works for your lifestyle and fit with your kitchen size and design. Good luck! 

Tips For Making a Small Space Look Bigger by Sharon Blaustein

So you finally found the home of your dreams in NYC! The location is great and the price was just right BUT the apartment is very small. So how do make your small space feel bigger?

Here are a few tips that will help you achieve just that:

Tip 1: Let there be light!

When decorating a small space, we always recommend using a light color palette. This applies to everything, from painting the walls and trims an off-white, to using light colored furniture and rugs. That will create a feeling of openness and will make the space appear bigger than it really is. We love the off whites from Benjamin Moore. They are soft whites that work well in every light. Try Calm OC-22 or White Wisp OC-54 , you can't go wrong with these subtle shades!

A white sofa and nesting coffee tables create a roomy and airy feel to the living room

A white sofa and nesting coffee tables create a roomy and airy feel to the living room

Tip 2: Use "apartment size" furniture

Make sure to use small scale furniture. You should measure the room and make sure the furniture you pick will fit comfortably in the room and will leave enough space to move around. Use a standard depth sofa rather than a deep one, for example.

Try to choose slim modern furniture rather than bulky heavy pieces. This will help keep your space to feel comfortable without being cramped. Vendors like CB2 offer a wide range of apartment size furniture.

 

Apartment size furniture and a light color palette makes add a spacious feel of this living room 

Apartment size furniture and a light color palette makes add a spacious feel of this living room 

Tip 3: Bring in oversized mirrors and art

An oversize mirror will reflect the light and create the illusion that the space is larger than it really is. Large wall art will create a visually clean look, and draw the eye around the space. Restoration Hardware has a great variety of oversize mirrors, or you can also take a look at Ballard Design .

 

Studios can present one of the biggest challenges for layouts. We maximized this Tribeca studio with brightly colored modern art and a mirror to give the space definition.

Studios can present one of the biggest challenges for layouts. We maximized this Tribeca studio with brightly colored modern art and a mirror to give the space definition.

Tip 4: Less is more!

To maintain a clean modern look of your apartment, consider saying goodbye to all the unnecessary tchotchkes and keep things minimal. It may seem like common sense, but small spaces fill up faster, and can feel even more claustrophobic when they are bursting with clutter. Keep surfaces clear of anything that isn't absolutely necessary and make the most of any closet space you have available(New Yorkers are masters of storage solutions!)

It's all about the views in this Park Ave apartment.

It's all about the views in this Park Ave apartment.

Hope that these tips will help make your apartment feel larger than life! Want to learn more? Read about how to transform your home with wallpaper or a great rug.

How To Use Rugs Like a Pro? by Sharon Blaustein

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Rugs create warm and inviting atmospheres and help to define areas in the space. They are great to absorb echo and in some cases hide flooring imperfections. Rugs define a style and in many cases serve as a starting point for decorating a room. 

The following are some tips to help you start using rugs just like the pros!

Use a vintage rug with modern furniture to create a sophisticated look

Vintage or over dyed rugs are great with modern furniture to create a sophisticated look. In this TriBeCa Lobby we mixed sleek modern furniture with a vintage rug to add sophistication and character to the space. 

Vintage or over dyed rugs are great with modern furniture to create a sophisticated look. In this TriBeCa Lobby we mixed sleek modern furniture with a vintage rug to add sophistication and character to the space. 

Over dyed rugs are great with modern furniture to create an elegant look like in this  downtown living room . 

Over dyed rugs are great with modern furniture to create an elegant look like in this downtown living room

Cowhides are not only for cowboys

Cowhides are great to use in any space because of their organic shape. A small room? An additional seating area in an open space? Cowhides tie it all together. Their earthy tones and lightweight texture are great to create a layered look in any area of the house.  

A cowhide is adding character and warmth to this Soho Loft home office.

A cowhide is adding character and warmth to this Soho Loft home office.

In this  Chelsea  living/dining room a cowhide rug helps separate and define the two spaces 

In this Chelsea living/dining room a cowhide rug helps separate and define the two spaces 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when selecting the right rug for you

Material:

Wool rugs are the best to clean and maintain while viscose are the least.

In this  Hudson Square modern penthouse  we used a monochromatic wool rug to warm up the minimalist interiors. 

In this Hudson Square modern penthouse we used a monochromatic wool rug to warm up the minimalist interiors. 

Pile height:

Chunky rugs are great but may be in the way of door swing and they can be difficult to move chairs on

In this Soho loft a chunky rug adds dimension to a monochromatic room

In this Soho loft a chunky rug adds dimension to a monochromatic room

Rug size:

Make sure the rug size is proportional to the room and furniture in it. The rug should be large enough to go under furniture

This wool rug ties in the different elements in the room and has the right proportion to the room and furniture. See more photos of the  Greenwich Lane townhouse .

This wool rug ties in the different elements in the room and has the right proportion to the room and furniture. See more photos of the Greenwich Lane townhouse.

Rugs can revamp any space and create a warm and inviting feel. They add a pop of color, define rooms and set the tone for the space. 

How To Use A Wallpaper To Transform A Room? by Sharon Blaustein

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I'm sure that if you like Interior Design, you have noticed the extensive use of wallpaper in interiors and you were wondering, 'How could I use a wallpaper to transform a room?'  Up until a few years ago, wallpaper was considered passé or old fashioned but no more! Wallpapers have made a huge comeback!

Wallpapers come in a variety of materials such as fabric, grasscloth, cork or metallic in addition to conventional paper and vinyl . Each material is different in terms of qualities and look. Vinyl or other synthetic wallpapers are great for high-traffic areas, kid's rooms and washrooms. They are easy to clean, durable and inexpensive. Other materials such as silk are more delicate (and expensive) and are more suitable to a master bedroom or living room. The variety is endless and it all depends on where do you want to take the space. We use wallpapers in many of our projects both residential or commercial.

Here are some examples of ways to transform a room with wallpaper:

How to use a wallpaper to transform a kid's room:

The tree pattern creates the illusion of very high ceilings and adds character to the room without being overwhelming. This is one of our favorite wallpaper from  Cole & Son

The tree pattern creates the illusion of very high ceilings and adds character to the room without being overwhelming. This is one of our favorite wallpaper from Cole & Son

One wall of a print this bold is all you need to make an impact.

One wall of a print this bold is all you need to make an impact.

How to use grass cloth wallpaper to transform a room?

Made of loosely woven fibers, it’s a natural product that will inject just the right dose of texture in an organic yet sophisticated fashion. Grass cloth is a great choice for living room or bedrooms. Grass cloth's natural variations in shading are part of its appeal, so it will not look totally uniform and once installed, it has visible seams. It's warm and soothing and can replace artwork or can make an art piece pop. We love Phillip Jeffries grass cloth!

In this masculine master bedroom we used a dark grass cloth wallpaper to add depth and a touch of sexy!

In this masculine master bedroom we used a dark grass cloth wallpaper to add depth and a touch of sexy!

In this magnificent TriBeca penthouse we used grass cloth wallpaper as a backdrop for the art collection in the foyer and corridor. 

In this magnificent TriBeca penthouse we used grass cloth wallpaper as a backdrop for the art collection in the foyer and corridor. 

How to use cool and funky wallpaper to transform a room?

There are SO many cool wallpapers it's hard to choose from! The trick is to use it in a way that will not overwhelm the room. If we use a bold wallpaper we tend to use it on one wall only and leave the other walls painted.  

This black and white wallpaper has movement to it and turns this basement from dull and dark to a cool and energetic space!

This black and white wallpaper has movement to it and turns this basement from dull and dark to a cool and energetic space!

Flying whales and hot air balloons in a home office?! This wallpaper is fun and whimsical but is surprisingly masculine and gives a dimension to a somewhat smaller  home office .  

Flying whales and hot air balloons in a home office?! This wallpaper is fun and whimsical but is surprisingly masculine and gives a dimension to a somewhat smaller home office.  

These are only few examples of how to use a wallpaper to transform a room. You can do the same in your house, contact us to learn more!