Category Archives: decorating

“Digging” Natural Stone

stone slab island

White Cherokee natural stone island counter from Georgia Marble.

Over the years, I have had mixed feelings about surfaces. The look is all important but durability, longevity and performance have always been key when making selections for clients. On the emotional side, there is also environmental impact to consider. There was a time when I favored man made materials because of quarrying desecrating the planet. A few years ago I visited the quarry of Georgia Marble, operated by Polycor, and found out how wrong I really was! The process is simple and clean. There are no toxic agents and the best part was seeing new life that had come to the quarry in the form shrubbery, trees, birds and animals that were truly flourishing there. This was a truly thrilling personal discovery! The beauty and feel of natural stone cannot be imitated and the feel good quarry moment, emotional reaction I had makes it easy to specify the real deal. There are so many varieties of natural stone, each with it’s unique features that can be researched. MIA+BSI, marble-institute.com the website of the Natural Stone Institute is a great resource for stone research to find the stone that is right for your project. Choosing stone that is less porous for heavily used surfaces like kitchen and bath counters is fairly simple and there are so many to choose from. Proper maintenance is also key to keeping the surface beautiful and there are also a variety of good products on the market for that as well. Natural stone can also be integrated into home designs with wall panels, mosaic tile, flooring and furnishings. Marble cocktail tables have always been a classic favorite of mine. Organic modernism is a style I have embraced. It incorporates simple lines, metal, and the beauty of wood and stone. properly curated, it is an elevated casual look for easy living with an air of sophistication and authenticity.

Whether your look is classic timeless elegance or organic modernism, or anything in between, natural stone adds that special “je ne sais quoi”. Here are a few of my latest loves for incorporating the sophistication and durability of natural stone into home design.

stone accent tables

Natural Stone tables from ANNA by RABLABS make a beauteous statement.

Natural stone from Artistic Tile makes a beautiful accent wall in any room.

Natural stone from Artistic Tile makes a beautiful accent wall in any room.

 

marble-wine-chiller-c williams and sonoma

From Williams and Sonoma ~ marble wine chiller

Natural stone and metal water jet tile from Studium maker an incredible Art Deco statement in this NYC bath.

Natural stone and metal water jet tile from Studium make an incredible Art Deco statement in this NYC bath.

Custom book matched marble shower~ Centre Island, NY, September 23, 2015: --- Interior designer Toni Sabatino worked her magic and created this beautiful living space at this Centre Island home on Long Island. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Custom book matched marble shower~ Centre Island, NY, September 23, 2015: — Interior designer Toni Sabatino worked her magic and created this beautiful living space at this Centre Island home on Long Island. © Audrey C. Tiernan

Marble cheese board from Peters of Kensington (petersofkensington.com.au)

Marble cheese board from Peters of Kensington (petersofkensington.com.au)

Stone fireplace accent wall is simple and chic.

Stone fireplace accent wall is simple and chic.

White marble table lamp from Fine Art Lamps.

White marble table lamp from Fine Art Lamps.

I hope you are inspired to take a look at where natural stone fits into your decor!

-Toni :)

 

 

 

 

 

KBIS, “trends” and INSPIRATION

KBIS kbbThe Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, known as KBIS is part of a yearly home improvement and building convention known as Design and Construction Week. I love attending the show, networking with industry partners, checking out new products, absorbing industry news and information and generally having fun.

As part of the Kitchen & Bath Business trade magazine Editorial Advisory Board, I walk the show looking for anything really innovative or particularly beautiful to report on. I also keep an eye open for trends. Personally, I tend not to follow “trends” but feel they play an important role in our industry. The designer that is working for a higher end client can weave together a tapestry that is a combination of lifestyle, architecture, functional art and purpose. The retailers, DIY-ers, design students and budding HG network producers need to see what is new, sexy and available to the mass markets to keep our industry fresh and deserving of all the attention.

kbis metal 2 matte black 2 kbis matte black 1 kbis

This season, a movement toward “warmth”, earthy tones, deep tones, and mixed metals took over the show booths. Natural woods, mixed in innovative ways, with very simple straight lines has created a look of “organic modernism” that I really love. The blend of glass, slate and other natural stones, texture, matte finishes and artisanal accents creates a warm environment that is easy to personalize with pops of color or personal effects. A nod to industrial or chic glam or mid century can all be accomplished with lighting and accessories when working in this new warm neutral palette.

kbis mod

Classic square inset shaker cabinetry still seems to dominate. I am a believer in the theory that classic white inset shaker will never go out of style. I also love the use of inset to create modern and industrial moods as well. I was happy to see the classic lines of inset shaker in a new mix of wood textures, interesting colors and finishes to keep it fresh.  Another  “trend” of note I was experiencing is the move towards industrial styled “foodie” faucets in the kitchen.I love this trend and anything that adds fun and authenticity to kitchen life. Industrial inspired metal lighting in soft matte and satin finishes were seen in so many of the lifestyle vignettes. Mixing metals is another trend that I think is here to stay. The mis-matched metals for lighting, appliances, faucets, hardware add an authentic, personal vibe to a space as opposed to a “match-y” stiff feeling. The introduction of more copper adds warmth, too. Hoods, farm sinks, lighting and hardware with all sorts of functional art type styling were all over the show floor and should be available online or at a retail shop.

copper lav KBIS kbis foodie faucet

“Convenience is KING” is another thought that I take away from the show. Beautiful product that helps us to organize or is low maintenance is always a bonus. Of note this year? Opulent closet organization, vanities with personal storage compartments and a 3D printed counter surface that is impervious to burning, staining, scratching and UV fading. A pretty miraculous counter surface indeed, and soon to a retailer near you.

kbis luxury closet kbis baden haus vanity

KBIS 3d print surface I love this business. I love the impact that good home design has on our daily lives and I love to bring the best of the best to you! Happy remodeling :)

Copper Stars

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to YA!

As the year’s end rolls around I find myself reflecting……. This year has been amazing! I have had great clients, fab projects, fun family time and a little love from some digital and print media. Native Trails, a company with values I admire for it’s commitment to environmentally conscious manufacturing, chose to honor me with this Holiday blog story and I hope you enjoy it!

Designers We Love: Toni Sabatino

Toni-Sabatino-Interior-Designer

Right off the bat, one thing you notice about Toni Sabatino is she enjoys life and lives it to the fullest. Read through her blog or tweets, or talk to her on the phone, and you get the sense that she infuses fun into everything she does, charming and delighting those in her association. This is not to say that Toni shouldn’t be taken seriously – anything but. She’s definitely a force in the industry: she’s designed kitchens & baths for over two decades, is a member of the KB+B Editorial Advisory Board, is featured on houzz.com TV, and is a member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council.

This holiday season, Native Trails caught up with Toni just after she put up a client’s Christmas tree, adorned with holiday ornaments that embody the holiday spirit: whimsical, charming, elegant. We chatted with Toni about her design style, inspiration, and her Christmas tree tradition.

NT: You have been decorating a client’s Christmas tree for over ten years, and it is has become a holiday tradition for you. Tell us about that.

TS: Aside from decorating for my own family and a few offices, I have had the joy of “bringing Christmas” to a client family by decorating their home for the holidays, including trimming the Christmas tree. For the past few years, my son has helped me, so it truly has become a family tradition for us. Let me just say, this is a BIG tree. Four men set it up and wire it to the wall – then comes the actual decorating. When we started ten years ago the tree had a grand, department store look, with huge, gold dipped pine cones, bows of ribbon and sparkly, red garland. Over the years, as the family has grown and changed, we’ve added paper angels and stars, class pictures attached to paper trees, and the like; giving it an intimate family feel. We incorporate pieces that are meaningful to the family.

NT: This year, you specifically wanted to include Native Trails’ copper star ornaments. What led you to select these?

TS: Every year, I bring the client a little gift – this year, that little something was your stars. As a grandmother, I am very concerned about the future of our planet, so I incorporate sustainable products and materials into my designs whenever possible. I guess you could say this has been even a bigger focus for me this year. Earlier this year, while on a furniture pilgrimage to High Point Market, I learned about and joined the Sustainable Furnishings Council, then took their GREENLeaders training course. So when I learned of Native Trails’ recycled copper holiday ornaments, I felt they were the perfect addition to the tree.
ToniBlog2
NT: Thank you so much for sharing your story and tree decorating with us. It turned out beautifully! You’ve been a kitchen and bath designer for over 20 years, and started your own interiors business two years ago. Is it your commitment to sustainability that led you to Native Trails?

TS: Actually, I was first introduced to Native Trails by a client who specifically wanted your copper Farmhouse sink. The family wanted a rich but organic feeling with a rustic quality that would work with the adjoining spaces of the home, and the warmth of the copper sink was a perfect choice. The sustainability was a huge added benefit.

NT: We’re intrigued that your client led you to us. Are your clients often a source of creative inspiration?

TS: Yes, definitely. I like spaces to be congruous and I like clients to wear their spaces well. I gain inspiration from the space I am working on: its natural surroundings, view, architecture, and ultimately the client’s closet! It’s part of my job to get a good handle on the clients’ needs and style and find the products to make it happen. What I love about this is that I’m always adding to my product knowledge and seeking out the newest product innovations.

NT: If your blog is any evidence, you have a good handle on the newest product innovations, and your product knowledge can definitely be seen in your design style. How would you describe your signature style?

TS: I would describe my current aesthetic as contemporary with a nod to old world elegance and a touch of whimsy added in. I love whimsy. I like to incorporate whimsical touches and organic elements in my designs.

NT: We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for your future designs. Happy Holidays!

For more information on Toni Sabatino, view her website: http://tonisabatinostyle.com/

Thanks so much to Native Trails for the LOVE and I wish all of you the Merriest of Christmas’ and the Happiest of New Years!

XXOO

Art Deco

And The Mandatory Ingredients Are…

I am a huge fan of the the show “chopped” on FoodNetwork. The idea of having several ingredients, not of your own choosing, as the highlights of a sumptuous and well presented meal you are to prepare is so intriguing. I always think that it is the other items in the pantry and fridge, chosen by the chef, that rescue the meal.

I felt like one of the surprised “chopped” chefs when interviewing to remodel an east side apartment. “Make it gorgeous, really glamorous!! Make me love it and my husband will be happy. And… make sure we can use my Icarts, my Lalique glass and my French art collection. Oh… And I have a dog, Oscar, he’s a Cotton de Tulear. It has to work for him, too.” Art Deco, loving husband and a cute white dog. The mandatory ingredients worked for me.

This living room is soft and strong. The furniture is large scale and black accents balance the feminine art work. It is my sort of Ying and Yang tribute to classic romance. Creating the floor-plan and balancing new custom couch, heirloom chairs that we reupholstered, cherished accessories and art and new additions became a six month labor of love.The sparkle of the kitchen and the glamour of the master bath became the stuff of legends in the building while we worked. At one point Tal, the head of our contracting crew rolled his eyes at me. “Really, silver guilt on the cabinets? It’s already full of crystal and glitter….” “Do it…” I said and when it was finished he said he would not question my judgement again.

The vision to create an alluring, inviting space that IS my client is one part clairvoyance, one part whimsy, and two parts trust in myself. The way to make the vision a reality is with a true kick-ass contracting team and I thank West Village GC for keeping my trust in the process.The kitchen and bath have been featured in fabulous consumer publication Embark Magazine as Grand Illusion and trade publication K+BB as Art as Life. I look forward to sharing more of the “salon de familie” , the master bedroom and “Oscar’s room”.

My thoughts on High Point Market

Highpoint collage A friend casually asked, “What is High Point Market?” Hmmm… I found myself replying that I thought of it as some sort of Disneyland for furniture lovers, a haute housewares theme park … It is the bomb….

Joe Ruggiero

Joe Ruggiero

Nod to Mod that is earthy and edgy from Demorais International

Nod to Mod that is earthy and edgy from Demorais International

Gray and green and fabulous tufting from Nathan Anthony

Gray and green and fabulous tufting from Nathan Anthony

Magical modern lighting from Fine Art Lamps

Magical modern lighting from Fine Art Lamps

As I expected, homage to Mid-Century design and shades of gray were prevalent trends. I loved seeing the gray paired with bright tones to give it a fresh, happy look. The influence of fashion trends on home design was getting some well deserved attention from Joe Ruggiero and I loved the pieces he was showing. I also love clean lines. My eye was continually drawn to sleek silhouettes and edgy shapes that nod to Mid-Century design. Here are a few other trends I noticed and my thoughts about them.

Trending- modular coffee tables, I say, “it’s about time!”

I have always loved nesting tables for the convenience and versatility they offer. I find this new breed of coffee tables to be a natural.

Modular coffee table from Regina Andrew

Modular coffee table from Regina Andrew

Modular coffee table Global Views

Modular coffee table Global Views

Trending- nail heads, I say, “Sorry Stud, it’s time to hit the road”

I do love nail heads, I really do! However, I asked myself what I really think of this trend after I had taken hundreds of pictures of studded pieces. I think there is a time and place to accent a gorgeous line with some metallic studs, other than that it is too much of a good thing. It’s like when there is too much sugar in my coffee… Yuck.

Nice lines accentuated by nail heads on ottoman. LOVE!

Nice lines accentuated by nail heads on ottoman. LOVE!

Too much of a good thing........

Too much of a good thing……..

Trending- blues, I say  “Love! It’s like beautiful music for the eyes”…  as Professor Mutti Clark said, ” We start our lives with blues… with music. It’s our first language. It’s the rhythm of the womb. It’s your mama’s heartbeat inside your head.”

Blue inspires me for so many reasons. Oceans, clear skies, Paul Newman’s eyes… I’m loving this trend.

Beauteous blues from Feizy

Beauteous blues from Feizy

Blue accessories

Blue accessories

Blue rug from AMER

Blue rug from AMER

Trending- Beach Bling, I say, “no, just, no”

i really love the beach and a little homage to the sand and sea can be found in quite a bit of my work but I found that the trend to hang shells from light fixtures was not something I would want to work with. I much prefer dangling crystals and shiny bling.

"Beach Bling" lighting doesn't work for me....

“Beach Bling” lighting doesn’t work for me….

Speaking of the beach, what I did like was a more sophisticated coastal collection from Stanley Furniture. It has a modern relaxed vibe with clean lines.

A new more sophisticated coastal from Stanley.

A new more sophisticated coastal from Stanley.

All in all, I loved much of what the market had to offer. The energy of the market and some of the innovative pieces have me inspired!

 

 

UPCYCLING….. Don’t Trash That Yet!

would be trash about to become something lovely

would be trash about to become something lovely

Upcycle is a catchy new word I really love. According to dictionary.com, it means to process (used goods or waste material) so as to produce something that is often better than the original. I am always inspired when I see artisanal furniture created from reclaimed wood and fabulous lamps made from old woodwind instruments but had never really thought about how to reuse materials from my own job sites.  While working on the remodel facelift of a kitchen in an old Long Island estate house, my client looked at the pile of rubbish cabinets we were creating and said, “You know, it’s too bad we can’t use those for something. Too bad we couldn’t find a way to make a sideboard out of all of that instead of ordering something…..” As the words were coming out of her mouth, I grabbed my pencil and sketchpad and started to draw. I had an idea to create a dish pantry in her breakfast room and she loved it. A talented carpenter, some new molding and a coat of paint and Voila! Our beautiful upcycled dish pantry gave what would have been a pile of junk new life.

up cycle 2

up-cycled piece

 

Handcrafted Feels Good

California Faucets buffing-spout

I had the pleasure of visiting the Corvette factory in Bowling Green, Kentucky a while back and it made a big impression on me. I was amazed at how many hands actually touched the car! Automation is utilized but the car is actually hand assembled by people taking great pride in their work. Watching as the energy in all those hands touched each car gave me a real feel good sense and also made me think of the car as more worthy of the sticker price.

I like to find handcrafted items for my clients when working on their homes. Finding affordable original art and handcrafted furnishings and rugs are key to my designs. I also love the idea of handcrafted quality in those items we take for granted like light fixtures and plumbing ware. Surprisingly, there are handcrafted faucets made right here in the USA. The products made by California Faucets give me that handcrafted feel good sense I love to incorporate into my work. Here is a quick take on their hands on approach.

http://www.calfaucets.com/video/the-2-minute-custom-faucet

Here’s to hoping you are inspired to add some handcrafted items in your home that give you that “feel good” vibe!

Corvette living the dream

The Right Rug

imageFinding the right area rug for a lovely Hamptons living room took me a while. A full day of watching as rug after rug after rug was peeled back from the pile and hoping against hope that the next one would be it….. but no….
It needed to be a perfect blend of a specific color palette I was working in,  have a large but soft pattern and a luxurious hand loomed quality.
The end of the day was nearing and I was looking at the bottom of yet another pile when the shop owner went the extra mile to open something that had just come in and… It was perfect! The right colors, a soft pattern and a real quality look and feel. The right rug can be a focal point at times but mostly I am looking for something to enhance a mood without making that bold a statement. Something that is harmonious with the fabrics, wall treatments and art and calmly anchors the room. Something that draws you in but doesn’t hold the eye.
This beautiful rug is from the fine folks at Peykar in Westbury, New York, and the client and I find it to be exactly the right rug.

Fifty Shades of… Nope! Not Grey

50 Shades of… Nope! Not Grey… (or The Glory of Gold)
You would have had to be marooned on a desert island  for a few years if you haven’t  heard all the buzz about “50 Shades of Grey”. The book, the coming movie, the spoofs and parodies are all over the media.
Well, what about “50 Shades of Gray”?  I adore pewter-y paint colors and finishes, carrera and statuary marble, silver leaf and deep grey chenille and velvet. Gray has been the in trend and I have done some beautiful gray kitchens and baths over the last few years. As for general thoughts on the color gray? I do not love gray days. I find gray to be the color of fog and depression. Other than being used as a soft backdrop to a vibrant life,  to me, shades of gray read non-committal in a world of vivid color and the glorious contrast of black and white.
So why am I concentrating on 50 Shades of Gold? Well, because I like it better.
Gold is the color of sunshine and kings. Gold says regal and queenly. Gold is the color of warmth and comfort. Gold is the color of the perfect French fry or caramelized onion. Fields of golden wheat attest to goodness. Gold is the bounty of pirates. Goldfinger was a very cool movie!  Gold is assigned to the enjoyment of aging as in “golden years”. Yes, I love gold.
Here are my 50 Shades of Gold, curated to add some glamour to your home.
Gold 1-10
                     1    Golden Gate fabric from Richloom
                     2    Easy Health Angel Juicer
                     3    Montecito stemware from ZGallerie
                     4    Diva Dish from Kelly Wearstler
                     5    Mepra “Ice Oro” flatware
                     6    Gold Zebra stacking dish from Jonathan Adler
                     7    Midas Ripple Lamp from John Richard Collection
                     8    Coasters from IndiaMART
                     9    Marc Blackwell Northern Hemisphere Double Old Fashioned Glass
                   10   Alustra blind from Hunter Douglas
Gold 2-20
                   11   Gold subway tile from Susan Jablon Mosaics
                   12   JCovington Design Groovy Metallic Chest JC4068
                   13   Verpan Spiral Pendant
                   14   Donghia Daphne Mirror in 22k gold over carved wood
                   15   Gold striped taffeta pillow from Deborah Main Designs
                   16   World Market mercury glass candle holders
                   17   Aerin gold linen frame
                   18   Astair nesting tables from ZGallerie
                   19   Bath Sensations Starlight Square vanity accessories with Swarovski crystal
                   20   Amber chandelier from Lorin Marsh
gold 21-30
                   21   Bashian Verona rug from Rugs-Abound
                   22   Kadur lighting from Shakuff, Breath Collection
                   23   Gold table from The Paris Apartment Boutique
                   24   Table Art Eucalyptus napkin ring
                   25   John Richard Collection gold vase
                   26   Gold frame from L’Objet
                   27   Windisch round gold jar with Swarovski crystal
                   28   Dwell Studio Franklin Media Cabinet
                   29   John Richard Collection tiger glass vases
                   30   Amber crackle stemware from Pier One
Gold 31-40
                   31   Donghia Windowpane gold wallcovering
                   32   Gold pedestal dish from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
                   33   Noritake Crestwood Gold dinnerware
                   34   Gold Leaf vase from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
                   35   Normandy 5 gold bar cart
                   36   Cynthia gold chandelier from Safavieh
                   37   Imports From Marrakesh gold Moroccan pouf
                   38   Gold Lame dinner napkin from Maison 24
                   39   Rex accent table from Safavieh
                   40   Baker Furmniture Nara Chest
gold 41-50
                   41   Reed & Barton Captiva flatware
                   42   Gold glass mosaic tile from Bisazza
                   43   Wall covering from the Phillip Jeffries Glam Grass collection
                   44   Gotas gold leaf armoire by Rotsen Furniture
                   45   Antique gold Branch & Bird Sconces from Dessau Home
                   46   Perch Table lamp- Rose Gold from West Elm
                   47   Gold rug from Macy’s rug collection
                   48   Antique gold Bamboo Float coffee table from Dessau Home
                   49   Cambria Rosslyn sold surface material with beautiful golden flecks
                   50   Fabulous gold faucets from THG Paris