1 – Embellishment Using Luxury Materials
When is a console a showpiece? When is a light fixture a major focal point? When it's embellished using the most rare and beautiful materials available. Leather, marble, resin, shagreen, mother-of-pearl, specialty metals, shells, and silver and gold leaf are all used in design to enhance furniture, accessories, and even wall coverings. The materials take the ordinary to the extraordinary.
2 – Wall Covering
Sometimes my clients wrinkle their noses when I suggest wallpaper. My response? This is not your grandmother's wallpaper. Wallpaper has made huge strides in the past decade to remain current and interesting. These innovations are what allow it to remain an integral part of design. Along with innovations in materials, applications for wallpaper have expanded – I have used it on walls (of course!), in bookcases, to cover magnet boards, and on furniture to highlight shape and form. Wallpaper can be natural grass cloth, embroidered with sequins, metallic, hand-blocked, or digitally printed - just to name a few. The possibilities are endless.
3 – Lucite
I had a client ask me the other day, "Will this Lucite table go with my new credenza?" The answer is that Lucite goes with everything – which is why it will be around forever! It's the ultimate neutral. It's clear, crisp, and durable. It can be formed into almost any shape and is perfectly at home in the most traditional and most modern designs.
4 – Sisal Floor Covering
This is not everyone's favorite, but sisal will have its place in design forever. I wouldn't put it in a family room where it's fun to sit on the floor to play Monopoly. Nor does it work well in a bedroom where you want the ultimate comfort for your bare feet. However, sisal is perfect in many spaces. It's durable, neutral, inexpensive, and adds visual texture. You can bind it in all sorts of interesting ways - leather, embroidered tape, or standard twill in any color. It's also a wonderful layering piece. Swathe a large room in sisal and then layer on top of it – a smaller Persian rug to define a seating group or an organic hide or sheepskin to add some whimsy.
5 – Brass
You may have noticed that brass is back – in a big way. But did it ever really leave? The answer is no. Brass has always had a place in high-end design and now we are seeing it more prevalent in everyday design. Interior hardware, plumbing fittings, and furniture are all incorporating the warmth of brass. My recommendation if you would like to introduce brass into your décor? Stick to unlacquered brass. It will develop a natural patina over time as it oxidizes with use and exposure to the air. Unlacquered brass is more classic than brightly polished brass, which can look dated.
Claire Paquin graduated from Scarsdale High in 1993. She has lived in Fox Meadow since 2004 and runs Clean Design along with Ali Artale, her design assistant. Clean Design primarily serves Westchester and Fairfield counties.
By Erika Riggs | Zillow – Tue, Mar 12, 2013 5:01 PM EDT
Neutral shades such as white and beige will always work in a home, but sometimes a space calls for bolder colors.
Orange punches up a guest bedroom, pictured above, by San Francisco designer Kimball Starr.
In fact, couches, walls and even appliances are showing up in hues of orange, emerald green, lavender and peacock blue. Named the “it colors” for spring by Pantone, these shades are surprisingly easy to work with and, when used as a base or accent, are nearly a neutral, says designer David Scott.
“I love orange,” he said. “I’m always constantly trying to work it into every interior. Persian blue, peacock blue [too]. I love mixing them and the warm and cool together.”
People, overall, are becoming more comfortable with using color in the home, says designer Chris Barrett.
“People are becoming more aware how color can be used. Where a lot of people felt beiges and taupes were easier to live with, now people can see color. Even strong color can be almost a neutral if you use it right,” she said.
Barrett added a coat of orange-red paint to liven up the vanity in the bathroom of a modern boutique hotel she designed in California.
Here are a few tips from designers on how to add these new neutrals to your home.
Start with shades and swatches
If you’re set on adding peacock blue to a space, how do you find other colors to pair with it? Barrett says the easiest way is to layer various shades of that color in the space. If you want a bolder, yet cohesive look, search for the color’s complement on the color wheel. Blue, for example, pairs well with orange, and purple pairs well with touches of yellow.
Still lost? Start with a swatch of fabric you love.
“Often we find just one fabric or one rug that has all the colors we like and build off of that,” Barrett said.
Cheerful printed pillows provide the palette for a sunny room designed by Barrett.
Add colorful furniture
Non-traditional colors, such as lavender, can become neutrals if you use them where you may have used beige in the past, explains Barrett.
“You use it as a background, say a sofa, and you can accent it with other colors,” she said. “If you do use it as a neutral, it isn’t trendy — it’s just very chic because you are using it in balance with other colors.”
This dark green couch becomes a neutral against the brighter pink wall and gray rug.
Another green couch, this time in a lighter spring green, works as a neutral when it’s paired with white, brown and black in this contemporary living room, designed by John Willey.
Whether you coat your walls or cabinets, paint is an easy way to add bold color to a space.
Painting the cabinets below the counters is a subtle way to infuse color into an otherwise all-white kitchen.
If you’re bold, says Barrett, add a lot of color to a space by painting the walls. Make a statement with a shiny, lacquered green on the walls, as seen above.
Or, use a coat of blue paint to make a bathroom cottage-chic and kid-friendly.
“If you want to add color slowly, slowly use it in small touches such as accent pillows,” advises Barrett.
Touches of color — such as an orange towel and piece of art — add interest to an all-white space.
Taupe couches get an update with green and purple pillows in this design by Scarsdale interior designer Claire Paquin.
Red-orange lamps are unexpected additions in a green entryway.
She was stunned and saddened by the collapse of the once-venerable institution, which failed in part due to risky mortgage-backed securities. Bear Stearns was acquired by rival JPMorgan Chase in 2008, a deal that cost Paquin and thousands of others their jobs.
Though Paquin launched an aggressive job search, interviews at other financial firms left her disinterested. With Wall Street in such turmoil, she wasn't sure if she'd get any job offers anyway.
"So I started to think about what I could do, and what I'd be good at," she says.
Interior design was something that had always held Paquin's interest. Over the years, she'd plunged eagerly into projects for her own home; she'd even spearheaded a few small jobs for friends, including helping to renovate a pal's master bedroom.
She'd never thought about starting her own company before, but once the idea for a design firm popped into her head, she couldn't shake it. Within weeks of leaving Bear Stearns, she'd launched Clean Design and told everyone she knew that she was open for business. Almost instantly, she was hired for three residential jobs.
Soon she signed up for classes at the New York School for Interior Design and began to line up vendors who could create custom-made upholstery, cabinets, window treatments and other specialty items.
Cautious about start-up expenses, she handled all of the initial paperwork herself, saving on the cost of lawyers and accountants. Running Clean Design out of her home kept overhead expenses low.
Her careful planning paid off. By the end of its first year, the company had already turned a profit.In less than three years, the company's customer base has more than tripled, and Paquin is already wondering if she needs to hire another designer.
After 11 years on Wall Street in convertible bond sales and trading, Claire DiLorenzo Paquin has started her own interior design firm, Clean Design Partners, LLC. Paquin is a 1993 graduate of Scarsdale High School and a Scarsdale resident.
"In my new line of work, I will use many of the same skills that made me successful on Wall Street," Paquin said: "organization, efficiency, networking and a salesperson's understanding of the client's needs, desires, style and budget. The new business also allows me to make the most of my creative talents."
Clean Design focuses not only on decorating, but also on interior design. Paquin is now working on projects in Scarsdale, Larchmont and Pelham. Her current projects include the renovation of an office to provide more storage and sitting room; the transformation of an unfinished basement into a family room and mudroom; a kitchen update; the choice of paint colors for a new home; and an entire house renovation, including an addition and new garage.
Paquin can recommend a variety of architects and contractors for different needs and budgets, or she can work with a client's contractor. She may be reached at 917-363-2356 or email@example.com.