Category Archives: style

Behind Design (are some inspiring stories)

AD Design Show booth collaboration by black crow studios, Neptune Glassworks & (wh)ORE HAUS STUDIOS

AD Design Show booth collaboration by black crow studios, Neptune Glassworks & (wh)ORE HAUS STUDIOS

The yearly Architectural Digest Design Show, held on a west side pier in New York City, is some thing I really look forward to. I love getting together with friends at favorite booths like Thermador and viewing the new product offerings over a glass of wine. I love the artisanal offerings and I love the little worlds created with wall covering, lighting, tables, place settings and accessories in the DIFFA portion of the show. The eye candy from custom manufacturers like Ercole Home, Galas Studio and KOKET get my brain churning with ideas but this year I was also thinking about the “story” behind the design. I bought a great bag from Sustainable Furnishings Council member,Tucker Robbins. It is a great bag, indeed, but I also felt good about the story behind that bag. According to Tucker’s website, he has created thriving artisanal workshops around the world and uses sustainably harvested or reclaimed materials. That is a “feel good” win, win, kind of purchase..

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Michael McHale Designs

Michael McHale Designs

Lighting is something that I believe sets a tone. I loved the pieces displayed by Michael McHale Designs.The lighting from Hubbardton Forge has a story of “modern American blacksmiths” with it’s origin in a barn with some borrowed tools. Great success story, beautiful lighting.

ad show 2016 48The wall coverings from Black Crow Studio in the picture at the top of this post were partnered with some inspired lighting and furnishings like this bed styled with rumpled covers, under wear, liquor and lipstick on the pillow. Inspired urban living! I am sure there is a great story behind this!

ad show 2016 4 (2)The DIFFA offerings have stories all their own. The big story is a fabulous fund raiser giving grants for AIDS research, care for HIV/AIDS patients and public policy initiative but there are also the stories and inspiration behind each artistically imagined and realized dining space. Here are a few of my favorites. I loved watching an artist create part of the space from Knoll and Rockwell Group. I look forward to reading the press coverage of the spaces I photographed to get the inspirational stories of each vignette.

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creation of Tyler Wysler with Nourison rug

creation of Tyler Wysler whom I met in his space

I hope you enjoy the photos and they inspire you to tell a story through your personal design.

 

Nostalgia with a Modern Twist!

mid century world kitchen llc I was invited by my fab foodie friend and cookbook author Leeann Lavin to an event held by World Kitchen LLC to show some product they are launching and fell in love! The colorful and somehow sophisticated-ly whimsical Vintage Charm Brand is a winner! The updated Pyrex and Corelle tableware give the comfort of Gramma’s kitchen and the luxurious feel of something curated to be modern and artful even though it’s meant for everyday. Mid Century Modern design has those clean simple lines and vibrant color that make for happy, easy living and these haute housewares are simply perfect to accessorize with things you can actually use! Check them out! Coming soon to a retailer near you!

pyrex 2 world kitchen llc 4 world kitch 1 Continue reading

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

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!

 

 

My Fascination With Running Water

9190_pc_mosaicWhile on a recent trip to the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, I became infatuated with all the cascading waterfalls in the huge atria that make the place a landmark destination. I realized how inspired I am by running water.  I really love the sound it makes and the shiny reflective movement.

I try to find some way to honor that sensuous sound and soothing feel when I do a bath design so incorporating the Styledrain from California Faucets is a natural. The options for a simple tile-in square that let’s the water cascade in from all sides to “stylish” square covers with artistic patterns really enhance the look of a shower.

A few of my current projects incorporate these interesting pieces as it is truly the attention to detail that make a project special. I am also a proponent of using dual drains when implementing curbless showers for easy access universal design. A square piece below the main shower head and a linear one at the shower threshold. The linear drains are a great looking way to transition floor tile and keep any stray water from cascading into the rest of the bathroom.

Good looks and good sense all around. I encourage you to give the drain a second thought when planning your next bath remodel so here is a link to these award winning drain designs. http://www.calfaucets.com/video/styledrain-tile-the-best-drain-you-ll-never-see

Until next time….

 

What Do Your Furnishings Say About You?

Companions Of Pan table by NickDavisArt.com

Companions Of Pan table by NickDavisArt.com

 

I have always enjoyed perusing the artistic furnishings at ICFF ( International Contemporary Furniture Fair) but this year I found something really special. I found the mythical creature Pan, courtesy of Nick “the bronze” Davis. This incredible table is a true piece of functional art. I believe that good design inspires conversation. I believe that your furnishings say something about you and I know I would love the owner of this whimsical table. I believe that handcrafted furnishings nurture the soul of the user and meeting the artisan was a real pleasure. My unabashed enthusiasm inspired him to show me a chess set filled with armies of mythical creatures that also really captivated me! What could be more fun than playing chess with these incredible pieces? When you touch them you really feel them. This chess set or table would really make a statement in a room. So I ask you to ask yourself what your furnishings say about you. I hope it’s something special.

Chess Set NIckDavisart.com

Photos courtesy of NIckDavisArt.com

White Set

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

Summing Up Design and Construction Week

show collage 4So what is Design and Construction Week? Let me sum it up with this little equation: Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) + International Builders’ Show (IBS) = Design and Construction Week.

As a new member of the K+BB Editorial Advisory Board, I made my best effort to walk the entire show, seeking out beauty, function and innovation. I really enjoyed the fabulous booths from some of my industry favorites like Kohler, Wellborn, Robern and Brizo. I also loved the retro Merillat kitchen set up as a mid-century modern photo booth. A show highlight for me was finding the booth featuring the Falmec Mare E.Ion hood that I helped to select as winner of the Kitchen Product of the Year in the K+BB Product Innovator Awards. Another highlight came on Thursday morning. During a light drizzle, I took the bus ride out to The 2014 New American Home. The home was fabulous! Although a two story, indoor water fall may not be practical for most of my market, I was inspired to see some stunning wall treatments, innovative outdoor living spaces, beautiful baths and …you guessed it… an open kitchen plan.

Now for my show favorite, and let me say it is true I might be biased in favor of certain lines. I have long been a fan of Thermador . From the introduction of the pro grand range and refrigeration columns through to the steam ovens, coffee systems, and now the frameless induction cooktop series, I have enjoyed showing my foodie clients all that this line has to offer. My unabashed enthusiasm for this appliance company with the tag line “No Dinner Party Too Large”  has actually led to a position on their design council and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Thermador + Bosch + Caesarstone + Genius Design of Mick de Giulio = One Killer IBS Booth!

So, yes, happily biased, but all that aside, the IBS booth featuring Thermador, Bosch and Caesarstone, designed by Mick de Giulio was amazing! The simple, clean lines, open flow and textural choices were stunning. I especially loved the use of polished steel in one of the Caesarstone countertops. I really enjoyed watching Chef Kyle create the perfect tuna bite on the new induction cooktop with accessory Teppanyaki pan. I enjoyed eating it, too! Relaxing in the lounge area adjoining the functioning kitchen, I took in the Caesarstone presentation of the “House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year Retrospective”. It reinforced all that I believe about kitchen-centric design. I have always felt that open kitchen plans honor the foodie, the entertainer and most simply, the family.

So I will close with this equation: Open Kitchen + Innovative Design + Friends and Family = Good Living!

HouzzTV “Small Kitchen Gets Big Kitchen Style” featuring Toni Sabatino

Creating dream kitchens for single family palaces is a good portion of my work. Giving that expansive feel to a smaller footprint is a challenge I enjoy as well. To do that I really need to feel how you function. I want to feel how you live and interact. I want to create a space that has room for kids’ art, pet bowls, Costco runs, phone chargers, PTA calendars and still suits all your entertaining needs. I want to know who is cooking what and when so we have a tv for the morning news or easy access to the outdoor bar-b-q. I want to know if wine storage is important or if a built-in coffee system would really make your kitchen special and keep you from running out to Starbucks in your yellow fuzzy robe! Feeding our family and friends really feeds our soul and makes us happy. I want to help you outfit your kitchen to make the most of home celebrations and everyday living.
So, here I am with Ellen, talking about how we made her kitchen function for her specific needs.
My great appreciation for the work of Rick Spence and deepest thanks to the team at Houzz.com for featuring me in this promotional video.

Celebration Style

table top redLast night I had the pleasure of attending a wedding celebration. The attention to detail was amazing, as can be seen by the hand sown ribbon tablecloth pictured. This reminded me of a few years back when my lovely daughter was planning her wedding celebration. The dress shopping, the table settings and most of all the cake! I remember pulling out my tape measure and explaining to the baker that a five foot cake was as big as she was! Style has be personal and comfortable.  People with great style wear their lives like they wear their clothes. There is a casual grace because it all just fits. Here is some ELISE SABATINO style. http://thebridescafe.com/index.cfm?q=elise+and+giovanni  Enjoy!!  Photos by Sara France Photography.

TONI SABATINO                                toni@tonisabatinostyle.com                        516-972-5455