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Design Blog

A New Year Brings New Ideas

We derive new ideas from so many different sources: newly constructed projects we visit, our favorite magazines (Interior Design, Architectural Record, Luxe, Interior Sources), websites (Pinterest, Instagram and Houzz) and Museums (The Met, The Whitney, MOMA.) It’s a never-ending feast for eyes that really look at the details. Whenever I enter a new space, I’m looking up to see what’s new on the ceiling and down to see what’s good on the floor. I touch, I feel, I experience. So often, a small detail I am inspired by, ends up as a larger design concept within a room I am designing.

I challenge you to go on an expedition and find a room you are impressed by. Take note of just one detail and email me a photo, telling me what you love about it. I will give you an idea of how it could possibly be used in your next project!

Check out our Home Collection for the Designer Packages that group objects, art, paint and accessories together to help give you instant (or almost) gratification to change a room, make a statement, and enjoy your surroundings.

In 2018 Look For:

Bold Colors to continue. Some new directions will be Amber and Purple pairings.

Diminishing of brass as a major accent where clean and contemporary spaces need to be clean and contemporary!

Comfort becomes more important than looks. Those contemporary low back sofas will be overtaken by higher back sofas that you can rest your head on.

Peace and Happy Designs to you throughout the Year!

Santa Fe Valley Designer Package One

In-Site Wins 2 LIBI Awards For Our Designs

We’re so excited that LIBI, The Long Island Builders Institute, acknowledged our design excellence when it awarded us a Double Diamond, the top honor, in the Whole House Makeover for the Roslyn Heights project. They also awarded us the Diamond honor in the Multi Family category for the Skillman Suites project. LIBI is a strong association of Builders and Associates developing buildings across the metropolitan and Long Island areas and we are so pleased to have received this recognition from them.

Both projects were the culmination of many months of hard work, drawings, specifications, and construction angst, that when I am in the finished spaces, I breathe deeply. Not only from a sigh of relief, but of excitement at having “birthed” a wonderful, fully-grown child! Because we put all of our heart and soul into our craft, each space/room/building is a creation of art and imagination.

We are ever grateful to our clients, who allow us artistic freedom and give us the canvas to work on. I truly value the relationships that we have developed during the months of working together. I respect and I admire the people I serve. I keep their goals at the forefront of my mind and I thank them for their trust. Congratulations to them!

Completing a project is like birthing a baby!

Yes…I know, it sounds wierd. But the experience of designing a room and seeing it reach completion after the final accessories are in is similar to the joy and exhilaration of giving birth! Having birthed two beautiful babies, I know firsthand how wonderful and exciting it is. The wonder. The thrill of seeing them at last. The pride.

We recently completed a project that took over 1 1/2 years to complete from design through furniture deliveries, past construction delays. But at long last and after a hard labor, I am proud to say we’ve given birth to an amazing….4 bedrooms, a study and a hall! I’m still so excited about the overall serenity of the Master Bedroom, the opulence and rich textures in the Guest Room and the fun color of the daughter’s room. I love seeing the small details we packed in, like the blue velvet buttons on the Master Bedroom draperies and the backlit plexi custom cabinet which features the daughter’s snow globe collection. I love the wool rugs we found which fit perfectly into each room, and I love the bathrooms which are beautifully elegant with water-jet cut stone. Here’s a sneak peek of one corner in the Master Bedroom.

We had the project photographed just before the client’s eldest daughter gave birth to a girl. We’re very excited for the family, and we’re especially happy that her former bedroom (now a special “Guest Room”) will be wholly enjoyed by the new family!

Check back in two weeks when we’ll be able to post all of the project photos!

In the meantime, Happy Decorating!


Tips for Making a Room Sing!

Our goal at In-Site is to create spaces that resonate with the personality of our clients. So we spend time learning about they like and what makes them happy. In order to help more of you have homes that you love, we’ve created six Color Schemes with Personality! When choosing a Scheme, look for the colors that make you happy! That’s the basis for any great design.

Do navy blues make you feel warm and cozy? Then check out Classic Revolution.

Do soft whites make you relaxed? Then you’ll love Winter Blush.

Do you want to be energized? Go with Bold Play.

Are you an urban chic? You’ll feel great with Urban Loft.

Do you love vintage? Country looks? Then Farmhouse Retreat is for you.

Does the Midwest inspire you? Do you love dusky blues and leathery browns? Feel the Santa Fe Valley!

If you’re selecting paint colors for the walls, remember to look at the color samples vertically. Tape them to the wall. Look at them in morning light. And evening light. The paint colors within our Collections are all coordinated for you, so you know they work together great!


Creating a Home Collection

It’s been a year in the making and our Luxury Home Collection is just about ready to launch. I’m so proud of what we created and how hard our team has worked to make it happen. The process has been fabulous and trying. With all the design projects still on our boards, we’ve managed to pull this together and we’re eager to bring it to the world!

It is so important for us to be able to help people to bring a fresh look to their spaces. Have their spaces be nurturing, peaceful. All without a major overhaul of furniture (which gets really expensive.) Our Home Collection is the easiest way to get a new look. Changing the paint color of the walls can either be a weekend project for those DIY-ers like me, or you can hire a painter when you’re ready for a professional job. Our Collection will helps by bringing you all these items together in one place: draperies, pillows, art and new accessories. All beautifully coordinated. All without spending hours of shopping stores and websites. This is very exciting! We can’t wait to start seeing photos of the transformation of the rooms you want to change. We wholeheartedly invite you to send us your BEFORE and AFTER photos to show us how great the room looks!

Any room can be transformed: Living Rooms with new window treatments: Look for the cool top treatments we have, like grommets or tab tops. There are such great fabrics and colors. ‘Throw’ in a few great throw pillows and add a coordinating tall vase for drama! Bedrooms: Add new art, throw pillows on the bed (with neutral bedding that you already own!) and Viola! It’s a whole new look! Dining Rooms: Choose a new drapery for the season with a stylish drapery rod and some great art for the walls. Put a new sculpture on your credenza. Boom! It’s Awesome! Any room can be uplifted, enlivened, and made dramatic!

And if you need help selecting just the right look for your room, you can enlist one of our designers to provide just the right design assistance. Book a consultation: 1 hour or 3 hour packages are available. And if you’re redoing the whole room, call us for a proposal to fully customize your home or office. We’ll help you define your style, and bring your space to life! And we’d love to meet you!

Happy Decorating!


Bold Play Living Room_Final_Small




Creative Spirit

I had someone say to me today: “It must be hard to decide between all of the fabrics.”

But actually it’s amazing that it’s not so. We had 10 beautiful fabrics the project designer had found in the D & D (Design & Decorator’s) showrooms, one more beautiful than the other. The mission she had been charged with was to find a substitute for the beautiful fabric we already selected, but which was not available for 8-10 weeks. The client is eager to have everything installed as soon as possible, so we are eager to make that happen for them.

So, we looked at each of those 10 beautiful fabrics within the overall design scheme and narrowed it down to just one. We presented it to the client and given the choice between Beautiful and Perfect….they’re waiting for the original Perfect fabric! When the right fabric/color/pattern/design works: it Sings!!

Top Five Decorating Tips for the DIY-er in You

When the doldrums set in, it’s time for refreshing your surroundings. If it’s too cold to go outside you will want to make your home the most inviting, comfortable and cozy place it can be. So here are five of my best strategies for quick refreshes that will make a big impact on your space.

  1. Add some color to the walls! If you are ready to invest in a few hours of work to make the biggest impact, then grab a gallon of paint and change your wall color. Painting is not hard, it just takes time to do it. Anyone can wield a paint brush and transform the identity of a room. So….go from white to a warm taupe (take a look at Benjamin Moore’s Alphano Beige, #989.) Go from beige to a glam shade of copper (check out Benjamin Moore 14 Carrots, CSP-1110.) Go from a light blue to a sophisticated steel blue (and see Porcelain Glaze, CSP-550.) Consider making a statement by painting one wall color a strong accent. Recently I repainted my office with a strong burnt orange color on my north wall (in Feng Shui terms: I put a strong energy color on my wall of abundance and reputation.) My staff loves it and it brings a bright, happy feel into the room.

But if you’re not willing to invest time and energy into that kind of project right now, then add color by selecting an accent color you love and add some decorative pillows. Change the art on the walls. Add some vases and decorative pieces in that accent color and you will see the room take on a new feel.

In-Site Interior Design 01 Brooklyn Residence - Family Room - NYC Interior Designer - Contemporary Residential Design

  1. Add more light! Add a new floor or table lamp. Yes, we know you’ve been postponing shopping for that light fixture. Well, now is the time to do it. Adding more light and making your space brighter definitely helps to raise the happiness spirit of a room. Look for lamps that have a 3 way switch so that you can control the light making it brighter when you need it and softer when you want to create a soft evening mood. Also look for shades that add some decorative interest: it could have a pattern or texture. It’s another way to add spark to a room.

And if you’re really handy, you may want to consider adding recessed downlights in the ceiling or sconces on a wall. These types of fixtures will really add brightness and sparkle to a room. But remember to always install dimmer switches so you can control the light and mood in that room.

  1. Change the furniture placement in the room. We get used to walking into a room and seeing the same furniture layout all the time. Well, make a change: move the chairs into a different location. Consider switching a piece of furniture from one room to another: maybe it’s a chest that you have in your bedroom that would make a nice addition in the hallway; maybe it’s a chair from a different room that would be a good change. Think about your options. You may be surprised how “new” a piece looks when it’s moved to a new location!

In-Site - 02 - New York Interior Designers - Living Room and Kitchen Design - Contemporary Residential Project

  1. Consider reupholstering a beloved chair or adding a new one. Select a new pattern that works with your new or existing color palette (and this could be a good way to add color too.) Maybe it’s a pattern that has texture too. Both pattern and texture are strong ways to change the look of a room. So scour those warehouse sales, check out the current stock at your local Home Goods store, and visit the higher end thrift stores to get a great chair that make a design difference!
  1. Print, frame and hang those great photos you love! It always gives me such a sense of pleasure when I finally have one or two of those great travel photos I have stored on my computer printed and hung. Too often we never have a hard copy of the best ten shots we took of that great moment, loved one, family time, party, place, pet… We have thousands of just perfect shots! So get them printed and on your walls!

First, decide where they will go, how many you want and how you will frame them. A good size wall can take a collection of frames to create a design statement. The smallest you will want to choose is generally 5” x 7”, but it’s fun to do a mix of a few picture sizes on a wall. I like to go to Michael’s or my local frame shop and find a frame style I like and then choose a couple of the sizes. Go ahead and lay them out on the store floor so you can select the right size frames that work to make a good arrangement for the wall you chose. Then get the prints made: online there’s Adorama or Shutterfly where they will make any size print for you. Then insert into frame and hang on wall!

If you’re in a rush, check out the Pottery Barn Gallery frames. There are usually five or six different sizes of the same finish frame in a set. When placing the order for prints, you can order the same image in a couple of sizes (it’s usually not expensive to do this and it gives you more options when you’re setting up the frames.) Then when you have the frames, enjoy putting your favorite photos in and seeing them on the wall.  It will make for a great collection while adding color and interest and personality to the room!

In-Site Interior Design - 58 Motor Parkway 08A - NYC Interior Design - Executive Office - Commercial Corporate Design


For help with new décor ideas, check back for our upcoming launch our Luxury Home Collection! We’ll have coordinated paint schemes and color palettes with decorative objects for you to easily and quickly “Refresh” a room!




The Future of Design

It’s not often that we stop to think of what Design will be like in 40 years, but I had the opportunity to do so for Houzz.com when I entered the Impact of Design competition. So here are my predictions. I welcome your feedback and your predictions for the Future of Design.

The most important trend happening right now and one we can expect to gain momentum in future years is Greener Living. People will strive to make their living and working spaces more ecologically friendly. I believe they will focus on using paints with no-VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds…the element that makes paint smell.) They will request non-formaldehyde adhesives in their cabinetry, and wood from Certified Forestry Products. Currently water-saving showers and toilets are the standard, and the use of wall-hung toilets which help keep the bathroom cleaner will expand. The future will also bring more energy-conscious, well-designed products to market.

Socially, Great Rooms and open layouts will foster togetherness. The Kitchen, the heart of every home, is the center hub and living/dining spaces will surround it. Family functions will continue to happen around island counters and when the cooking is integrated into the socializing, good times follow. With so many popular cooking shows, we can expect more great meals!

And with larger, community spaces in the home, the creation of quiet, personal spaces increases. Also with more people working at home, a dedicated office/quiet space is key. When couples both work from home, separate offices are going to be more widely needed. Each needs a place to focus on their media and work, away from others. An office with a lounge chair does double duty and a quiet color palette can provide a private retreat.
I believe media centers/charging stations will happen in more rooms. Fewer tv’s will be in the home because we’ll be watching what we each want to on our media. But we’ll still have one big tv in the house for events and games.

Design elements in the future will be simpler and there will be a strong design improvement of basic items: door hardware, thermostats (ie. Nest), light switches and outlets. Wood moldings will also get simpler and there will be a widespread use of ultra-thin porcelain tiles, especially for renovation projects. These tile maintain the strength of standard porcelain tiles, but with a crazy, thin profile enabling them to be installed directly onto other surfaces. And look for further developments in engineered wood flooring and LED lighting! I’m looking forward to incorporating all of these in our future projects!

Wishing You Happy Design Times!
In-Site Interior Design 01 Brooklyn Residence - Family Room - NYC Interior Designer - Contemporary Residential Design

More About Paint

It’s the most basic and one of the strongest elements used to define a space, create a mood, or change a look. We all say: “Just add some color!”  And it’s great that within a few hours, a room can have a whole new feel. Maybe it’s even an old piece of furniture: change the color, and it totally transforms the piece.

But today I want to talk about paint itself because after you’re finalized the color you need to decide on the finish.

Will it be a Flat Finish?  Well, I’m not particularly a fan of flat finishes (and certainly not for walls.) But it is good for ceilings that have a lot of imperfections because there are no shiny areas for light to be reflected off waves or nail marks or areas that were patched.

How about an Eggshell Finish? I really like Eggshell and recommend it as the minimum for all walls. It has a slight sheen and is smooth to the touch.i

And what about Pearl Finish? This is my favorite: it has a bit more sheen than eggshell and is very smooth to the touch. I think it also enhances beautiful colors and the higher the gloss, the easier it is to clean. But sometimes I get painters who don’t like to work with it because they can’t touch it up as easily as eggshell. This may be the case, but if you’re working with a quality painter, they will do a good job with it. If you’re painting the walls yourself, it may mean that if you have to patch an area then you will have to give the full wall a coat so keep that smooth look. I think it’s worth it.

Semi-gloss? This is a good paint for high moisture rooms like bathrooms. It cleans great and looks good on doors and moldings.

And I am also a big fan of a High Gloss finish for moldings and doors. It catches the light great and is very washable.

When selecting a color, bear in mind that the finish you choose will change the color slightly. All of the small paint samples from paint stores are supplied in a flat finish. As it gets shinier, the color will appear lighter. You can adjust for this by selecting a slightly darker tone so when it is used in, say a semi-gloss finish, the color will be just what you want it to be. If you want to get the color just right you can buy a small jar of paint these days and test it on the area you want to make sure it’s perfect.

Depending on the line that you’re going with you will sometimes see a Matte or a Satin finish. The Matte is closest to a Flat finish and the Satin is closest to an Eggshell.

And a final recommendation: go with a paint that has low or no-VOC (volatile organic compounds.) Those are the elements that cause that new paint smell. While I was raised on that smell and kind of like it, it’s not very good for you. It’s much healthier for you not to have these elements so that you can sleep in the bedroom the same night without being bothered by it, and the no-VOC qualities are especially good for kids.

For more information, click here for another post on the QUALITIES OF PAINT.

Interior Designers Long Island | Cold Spring Harbor Bathroom

Houzz.com and Harnessing Its Power in the Design Process

You’re probably all familiar with Houzz.com (and if you’re not, check them out now: Houzz.com ) It’s an amazing repository of design images of residential projects around the world. When starting on a design project, you can start there to get an idea of what you like. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what you like: Traditional, Contemporary, Transitional. These are just labels and you’ll come to know the difference. Start by searching for the room you are working: Living Room, Bedroom, etc. Then when you see something you like, create an Ideabook. This will allow you to save the photo so that you can go back to it later. You create an Ideabook by hovering over the image until you see the +Save button on the bottom. Click it and “Create an Ideabook” by giving it the name of the room you’re working on. Then hit the green “Save to Ideabook” button. You don’t have to write a comment, but I know that sometimes I look at photos I save and wonder what I was thinking about when I saved it! So comments can be useful for future reference.

Creating different ideabooks by project categories like Stairs, Window Treatments, Lighting, will also provide a great library of items for when you’re ready to be specific about those particular items. You can make your ideabook private if you don’t want anyone to see it, or share it with someone (like your interior designer) directly when you email them.

When you’re ready, search for Pros who can do the work in your area. I am a Pro in the Interior Design directory for the NYC Metropolitan area. You can check out the various websites for architects, contractors and painters, and read the reviews to help you narrow down your selections. If you can’t get recommendations from people you know, these reviews serve to provide you with actual feedback from their customers.

Lastly, use Houzz to show your Pro what you have in mind when you are starting work together. This will give them a clear idea of the direction you want to go in. Remember that when you work with an interior designer such as myself, you will be getting a custom design. I rarely see anything exactly like what I design for my clients…and that’s what they pay for: I will create a space that is unique to them and for them. As your personality is different, your interiors will be different. I create something new and special, I select items that are perfect for the space, and I design spaces that make people happy. I know this because just last week I had a client say that he wanted to come home early from his vacation place because being in his home made him feel peaceful and happy. And that is why I love what I do!