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Fall 2012

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Ways to Warm Your Home for Winter

 From, Patti O

PattiOhome.com

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Just chatted with editor Heather Senison of “a m new york” about preparing the home or apartment for cold weather.  She asked for some decorating solutions, to keep the home warm and welcoming through the winter, affordability being a factor!  Here are my suggestions. The article is slated to run Tuesday, November 27th.  

 

With the cold comes short days and darkness here in the Northeast!  As the outdoors become more monochromatic, add color, pattern and texture to your interiors to compensate.     

This is the time to warm and brighten your interiors.  Add warming and bright colors and analyze your lighting.  What is needed to add and enhance?  Add layers, texture, to the fabrics within each room, just like  when you dress for the cold.  Check your home for energy efficiency.  Start with the portals, take a look at your window treatments, are they keeping the cold out and the warmth in?  What about your doors? Are your hallways acting as wind tunnels?  

 

Windows:

Window treatments were first designed to keep drafts out.  Window, drapes and shutters and shades can really help to keep the cold out.  

Drapes that are functional, can cover a drafty window and can be made with a thermal interlining.  You can choose any fabric to face the room, making drapes the most versatile treatment, in terms of decorating. 

Shutters traditionally made of wood cannot compete with the newly fabricated shutters made of a composite material instead of wood.  They are lightweight and are better than wood at blocking out the cold.  Made by Hunter Douglas they are called Hybrid Shutters. 

Shades are the more affordable choice.  Here are some window shades from Hunter Douglas that are really good at insulating.  The Duette Architella, Opaque, Honeycomb shades.  They look like ordinary pleated shades but are designed with an inner lining to insulate.  The Hunter Douglas Block Out shades have a foil lining that insulates as well.  

When selecting the Block Out shades understand they will do what their name implies, they do not let any light penetrate!  

Floors:

Rugs make a room cozy especially plush, pile rugs.  Pile throw and area rugs add warmth and can be seasonal because you can pick them up and pack them away in the summer. For a great variety of colorful, affordable wool hooked and pile rugs take a look at Company C, Garnet Hill and Dash and Albert.  If your floors are drafty but you don’t have the budget for plush, pull out the Flor catalog and put down the connecting squares to whatever size you want to create.  This alternative option is affordable and versatile, and at the end of the season you can pick them up and store!  A great product line.   

Furniture:

The wing chair and the upholstered bed were designed, honed, to deal with life in a drafty manor house!  They still work! Take a look at the “over the top” wing chair from Restoration Hardware, the New Versailles Upholstered Chair.  

Upholstered walls or an upholstered headboards is one of the most luxurious ways to warm a bedroom.  Upholstered walls give you the most cush but are usually custom and can be costly but there are many upholstered headboards available by catalog.  Take a look at Serena and Lily and William Sonoma Home.  

Bedding

Flannel sheets and wool blankets with a Matelasse cotton spread is the Northeast standard!  But if you have any issues with dampness get an electric blanket.  It dries out the bedding and warms the mattress before you even get into your bed.  Down and feather comforters are the most luxurious.  Amazingly light and incredibly warm. Silk comforters are also a wonderful high end solution and great for those who can’t use down.  The Garnet Hill catalog is a great source for Down and Feather comforters and  flannel sheets.  While searching the site take a look at the Eileen Fisher Home for Garnet Hill for has the silk comforters.  

Thinking about specific areas of the home:

Kitchens:  

Kitchens can be icy in the winter months.  Look for ways to warm these rooms.  Rugs on the floor, seat cushions on the chairs can help a lot.  A table cloth can warm up the look and feel of a table. To offset the hard elements in kitchens, appliances, countertops, tile, add organic elements, such as a wood dish rack, wooden bowls and utensils. Use warm colors!  Copper pots!  If you are in the market for a non-pile rug, take a look at Flor.   

Home office:

It’s not that I spend so much more time at my desk in the winter, but it feels like I do, due to the short days.  Home offices need to be more comfortable in winter.  Better lighting, more comfortable desk chair, music, more visuals around to stimulate and give you a more expansive view on the world!  Plants, how about a beautiful orchid?  It’s an elegant plant that flowers for months at a time. We all cocoon a bit during the winter and providing more sensorial stimulus in the office is a must. 

Hallways:  Hallways can act like wind tunnels, add a rug, consider adding an interior drape to make a door where none exists to stop the drafts.  I often use dramatic, bold color in foyers and hallways to make a first impression, make a statement, create some drama.  It’s easy to do in a hallway since foyers and hallways, are pass through areas, you don’t have to sit with a really strong color.  Track lighting is a very efficient way to  brighten a narrow hallway and can give a boring hallway a gallery like feel.  If your photos, prints or other artwork have a lot of white in them, they can provide dramatic contrast to a bold or dark color on the walls!  The walls end up acting like a border to the artwork.  A clever way to frame the artwork without spending a lot of money!  

The best way to compete with the cold is to get out in it and move!  Enjoy the season!   

Patricia O’Shaughnessy Design

PattiOhome.com   PattiOhome@mac.com

914.346.8786

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Wishing you a Bountiful Thanksgiving!

Many Thanks, 

Patti O

Colors:  Orange is still hot!  And all the yellow shades of red are “au courant”!   Coral is back and looks totally fresh.  Kelly green is back!  And people are thirsting for blue!  Blue has been in the background for a very long time.  Overshadowed by the mellow yellow greens, the peas and the limes.  Suddenly all shades of blue look like they can be used as pervasively as neutrals again which feels refreshing.  Which seems to be a theme.  People are pushing the “refresh” button after the past 3 years of economic woes.  And although creating the enthusiasm for this election feels like an uphill battle it is helping us push the “refresh” button!  Nothing is more refreshing than a clear blue sky!

Style:  White, spare, sparse,  de-cluttered.  What I call the “Apple Aesthetic” is very popular.  Design is integral to the success of any (product) or room.  “Interconnectivity” is key!  White, sleek, kitchens with few exposed appliances are extremely popular now.  Following fads in home furnishings, can be expensive, it’s not like buying a new lipstick or handbag, but like any fashion trend you want to take note, borrow, highlight, emulate.  So, expensive is fine if it’s efficient, minimalism is in, use lots of white space, design a room to carefully frame a single focal point and point of view, keep the mechanics hidden, no wires, no frills.

Accessories:  Sleek and multi-function is important as people continue to move to urban small spaces.  Retro is still in, it’s almost like we have the “new retro”.

Because we now can really, really, live the modernist dream with all our personal lives on our personal computers!   Creating space!  The new horizon!  Asian exotic is still fresh.  Maybe because we can Google it!  We can get there instantly, global thinking and living is completely accessible.

Storage:  Remove and Rotate!  Neaten up!  Unfortunately, what your mother told you is true!  Clean up your room before starting something new!  Remove all evidence of the previous season and take out all the clutter before starting a new look.  Just like your clothes closet, take out the previous season and put in the new!

Rotate pictures accessories to “see them newly”.  Add photographs or pictures that relate to the season you’re entering!  Lean into the next season with your colors, textures and accessories!  Textures are often overlooked as an element that makes a statement, see if the textures in the room match the season.  Stow things away.  Get them out of sight, out of mind.  When looking for new furniture pieces, beds, bookcases, benches, ottomans, look for multi-function and pieces that offer enclosed storage.

Retail Merchandising:

I hate homes that look like showrooms or retail stores but there is a benefit in “tuning in” to what is done well by stores that appeal and then trying to recreate some of their appeal, visually and sensorially.  How does your favorite store create an inviting interior?  Is it the lighting, the smells, the music?  Chances are the merchandise is secondary to the environment.  After talking about the Apple Esthetic I guess the apple retail store model does inspire me although I’m just a long way from such a spare environment!

 

Patricia O’Shaughnessy Design

www.PattiOhome.comPattiOhome@mac.com – 914.346.8786

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Fall 2012 Trending Homes Press Release

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Happy Autumn!  
Back in the saddle after a sun infused summer!  
I’m so looking forward to new projects!

I had the pleasure of being interviewed last week by Elsa Brenner of the NY Times regarding an upcoming article she’s writing for this Sunday’s Real Estate Section.  Her question; Are people in Westchester renovating and decorating?  Have I seen an up-tic in activity?  We had a fun and chatty interview and it was easy to report that my colleagues say; Yes, there is more activity now than there has been in the past 18 months.  I told her what I tell you, it’s a good time to take on projects and get work done, it’s a great time to have money, your money goes further, buys more, in a slow economy!  

 

After having this conversation, however, I did think, should I ask the same question to those of you who have trusted me in the past?  Are you feeling like picking up the phone and getting things done?  Are you dying to add more color and pattern to your world?  Do you feel it’s safe to make improvements now?  Elsa would like to know, and frankly, so would I!  If you would like to offer a comment, I’ll take note and forward!  And there truly are a ton of bargains out there right now, give me a category and let me do a quick search for you!

 

Ms. Brenner also writes for Westchester Magazine, her column is Castles and Cottages.  Right now she is looking to feature a “sexy home”, an apt. or house, in Westchester, one that looks or feels, “sexy”.   There are many interpretations, but if you know of a location that has “it” appeal, and the homeowner would like to be published, let me know and I’ll connect them.  

 

I’ve recently met the Executive Editor of Antiques magazine.  Veranda magazine has a new editor in chief and a friend of mine has just become a contributing editor there.  Another recent contact, the contributing editor, of my favorite magazine, World of Interiors.  Although magazine publishing has experienced lots of changes and many of them unpleasant, editors are looking for new material, so if you know of a fab location, a great story, or an artistic, quirky home, let me know! 

 

If you are looking for Autumnal inspiration check out the new show at the Hudson River Museum, Paintbox Leaves, from Cole to Wyeth, it will get you in the mood to nest!   

 

Speaking of nesting, the Design Building, 200 Lex, just hosted a design bonanza. I loved William Yoeward’s new upholstery collection, his talk with Editor-in-chief, Sue Crewe of British House & Garden was very funny, very British, and his new book is lovely.  Another new book that appealed, “Picture Perfect” Designing the New American Family Home by Scott Sanders.  Hardware was in the spotlight, Robert A.M. Stern Architects developed a line of gleaming hardware which is the best I’ve ever seen.  The newest in magazine publishing are 2 on-line publications, Editor-at-large and Rue magazine, both worth checking out. After viewing 14 floors of showrooms, I am happy to report, people are producing beautiful things and the focus is on useful, and the re-useable, even the high profile personalities feel very accessible these days.     

 

So, let me know if you are in the mood to renovate or decorate.  Even if your getting your design advice elsewhere, I’m happy to hear about it!

 

Best, Patti O

 

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FALL 2012 PRESS!

Look out for the Real Estate section in “am New York” on September 20th.  The Editor interviewed asking what decorating tips am I offering my clients this Fall?  What colors are hot?   What are some quick things can people do to prepare for the coming “in door” season.   For apartment dwellers who have little storage what do I recommend?  

Photos of a lovely home office, in Autumnal colors will most likely be featured. I designed the built-in desk and storage with Manhattan Cabinetry. 

Here are some of my answers to the editor, Heather Senison’s, questions.

Enjoy, Patti O

 

Colors:  Orange is still hot!  And all the yellow shades of red are “au courant”!   Coral is back and looks totally fresh.  Kelly green is back!  And people are thirsting for blue!  Blue has been in the background for a very long time.  Overshadowed by the mellow yellow greens, the peas and the limes.  Suddenly all shades of blue look like they can be used as pervasively as neutrals again which feels refreshing.  Which seems to be a theme.  People are pushing the “refresh” button after the past 3 years of economic woes.  And although creating the enthusiasm for this election feels like an uphill battle it is helping us push the “refresh” button!  Nothing is more refreshing than a clear blue sky!  

 

Style:  White, spare, sparse,  de-cluttered.  What I call the “Apple Aesthetic” is very popular.  Design is integral to the success of any (product) or room.  “Interconnectivity” is key!  White, sleek, kitchens with few exposed appliances are extremely popular now.  Following fads in home furnishings, can be expensive, it’s not like buying a new lipstick or handbag, but like any fashion trend you want to take note, borrow, highlight, emulate.  So, expensive is fine if it’s efficient, minimalism is in, use lots of white space, design a room to carefully frame a single focal point and point of view, keep the mechanics hidden, no wires, no frills.    

 

Accessories:  Sleek and multi-function is important as people continue to move to urban small spaces.  Retro is still in, it’s almost like we have the “new retro”. 

Because we now can really, really, live the modernist dream with all our personal lives on our personal computers!   Creating space!  The new horizon!  Asian exotic is still fresh.  Maybe because we can Google it!  We can get there instantly, global thinking and living is completely accessible.      

 

Storage:  Remove and Rotate!  Neaten up!  Unfortunately, what your mother told you is true!  Clean up your room before starting something new!  Remove all evidence of the previous season and take out all the clutter before starting a new look.  Just like your clothes closet, take out the previous season and put in the new!  

Rotate pictures accessories to “see them newly”.  Add photographs or pictures that relate to the season you’re entering!  Lean into the next season with your colors, textures and accessories!  Textures are often overlooked as an element that makes a statement, see if the textures in the room match the season.  Stow things away.  Get them out of sight, out of mind.  When looking for new furniture pieces, beds, bookcases, benches, ottomans, look for multi-function and pieces that offer enclosed storage.         

 

Retail Merchandising:  

I hate homes that look like showrooms or retail stores but there is a benefit in “tuning in” to what is done well by stores that appeal and then trying to recreate some of their appeal, visually and sensorially.  How does your favorite store create an inviting interior?  Is it the lighting, the smells, the music?  Chances are the merchandise is secondary to the environment.  After talking about the Apple Esthetic I guess the apple retail store model does inspire me although I’m just a long way from such a spare environment!   

 

Patricia O’Shaughnessy Design

www.PattiOhome.comPattiOhome@mac.com – 914.346.8786