Saturday, December 12, 2015

Remembering Stan

This has been a sad week for me thinking and reflecting about Stan Tenerelli our cabinet maker who passed away. He was the proud owner of Advanced Woodshop in Los Angeles, a family business with a lineage of talented carpenters, a legacy that proudly continues with his son Michael.

I discovered Stan in 2000 when I was looking for someone to produce our furniture line. I was familiar with the beautiful work he had done for my brother Oliver. It was an experiment for both of us and it turned out to be one of the most rewarding business relationships either of us could have ever imagined.  But it was a unique and beautiful friendship that evolved that went beyond my expectations.

Not only a gifted furniture and cabinet maker, Stan was a remarkable man of many interests.  Be it wine making, cooking, rose gardening, hunting, fishing, horse racing- I just adored his enthusiasm for all his pursuits. Of course we never ran out of things to talk about.

The  Holiday Ritual and The Amazing Christmas Basket
For many years Stan played a huge role in our holiday celebration and of course I'm referring to the famous Christmas basket.  The basket always reflected the year's success of our collaborations.  The largest was almost 3 feet tall, wrapped so that a bottle of champagne peeked from the top and all the goodies carefully hidden below. Along with the basket, sometimes there was a case of wines, each individually chosen by Stan and of course a case of his most recent harvest of Tenerelli classics.

Christmas Eve 
My husband Kevin and I saved the excitement for Christmas eve where we would each take turns pulling something from the basket. Olive oils, jams, nuts, liqueurs- some things savory, some sweet and always a box of pancake mix and maple syrup (saved for Christmas breakfast) Everything was hand picked by Stan that he assembled throughout the year.  He really knew how to make gift giving fun and we participated with equal passion. We always focused on one of his hobbies including designing a Tenerelli wine label. One year we even surprised he and Laura with a Jitterbug dresser that we painted up especially for him.

The Christmas Morning Call
Stan and I agreed that 11am was the perfect time to call and exchange Christmas wishes when Laura and Kevin could get on the phone too. Then we would go over all the basket contents, where he bought them, how to use or prepare a particular thing, his favorites, my favorites. It was all so special.

Yes he was amazing. Stan left us with some beautiful memories that Kevin and I will always cherish. We were lucky to have have him as a part of our lives.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Runway Fashion Meets Home Decor

It's always fascinating to see the trends of  New York's fashion week that trickle into the home furnishings industry. The latest and greatest on the runways inevitably influence home decor where fabric textures, prints and color schemes pop up on upholstery, furniture and wall coverings.

The way it all comes together gives us a new stylish trend.  Prominent themes this year dish up plenty of  boho chic, a clever term derived from the word bohemian - a love for the unconventional. Characterized by a fanciful mixture of  vintage and modern with victorian frills and metallic details, it's a look that is clearly drawing attention. Exciting applications of color and pattern are bold and plentiful while tribal and ethnic prints lead the way.

What I love about this latest trend is the creative freedom it offers and decided to introduce one of my favorite motifs into our paint finishes - the paisley. The bed posts and center panels of our Barcelona low foot board bed get a generous dose of paisleys in shades of lilac and merlot surrounded by a splash of aqua feathers.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Bathroom Vanity Cabinet Awash in Santa Fe Colors

Creating customized color palettes for our furniture pieces is our specialty and a task I really enjoy. Typically a customer will share fabric swatches, paint samples, floor tiles or any detail that is important to the theme of the room.

In this case, there was no doubt that the focus was on a very colorful and sculptural mirror that had a Santa Fe flavor and tribal motif.

Although my customer was doing a complete remodel of her powder room, replacing paneling with Ralph Lauren metallic paints and bringing in a Santec faucet in old copper.finish, the mirror was destined  to keep a starring role.
So my challenge was to create a sink cabinet to share the stage with this very showy piece.  At first glance I thought this was going to be an easy combination of earthy rusty tones with splashes of sunset hues. But the more I looked at the mirror, I realized that each dancing spirit had it's own specific color theme and I wanted our sink cabinet to complement the beauty of each.

 So I paired the verdigris with the camel tones and the purple with the hot coppery orange. The addition of a golden vessel sink will complete the vignette and I'll be back to shoot a photo of the finale!

Friday, June 19, 2015

It's a Super Knob!

Once again, while revisiting past projects, I found myself intrigued with one of my long forgotten concepts that feels right in step with today's style. I was leafing through an old issue of Better Homes and Gardens that featured an article about Susan Goldstick's unique decorative hardware. But what really caught my eye was a picture of a wardrobe that I had painted with knobs on a 5" back plates. I like the way it gave the doors added dimension and a little extra oomph to the overall design.

I used the medallions in my designs for a few years, including  an accessory for a drapery tieback and even incorporated the look in our Barcelona bed and Tango Tower. But it's been awhile since I've really examined this design element and I realized it was time for a revisit and a new invention. So here's a peek at the new "super knob" concept soon to be introduced in our web store for purchase.
Mini Grand tiki knob is 2" diameter surrounded by rosette and 5" medallion with  our jewel tone paint finishes. Projection  is  2.5".  This could be a fantastic way to embellish closet doors. Wow!

Our smallest petit knobs  nestled in painted layered medallions have huge colorful impact

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Refurbishing - Bringing New Life

The Old Dresser 
Discovered in an attic, inherited from a relative, or just hiding under stuff in a forgotten room -
In every one's lifetime there will be an occasion to question what to do with an old furniture piece.
Is it worthy enough to call a consignment store or do you haul it over to the Salvation Army?
Sometimes the condition is just a little too good to make it a giveaway. Shouldn't you save it for when the Antique Road Show comes to your city? Then of course there's the sentimental value. It may conjure up wonderful memories when it once coveted the prime position in mom's living room.

One thing is for sure. If you decide it's a keeper you'll probably have to spruce it up to make it feel comfortable in your home. This doesn't mean you have to strip it and put on a new stain or paint.  As much as I admire the creative energy that goes into into a new finish, not all DIY projects have to be that industrious.

Bring on the Knobs
New decorative hardware can turn the mundane into something fabulous.  It's the fashion of the day to see distressed and natural old wood finishes paired with elegant knobs and pulls. This empire dresser and our Style 6 Eel pulls look like they were made for each other.

I especially love the freedom of the look and the way it blends the organic quality of the wood with artistic fabrication. There's something about it that is fresh, contemporary and long lasting. It gets my vote!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Iconic Creatures become Design Inspiration

A couple of years ago an interior designer contacted us to design some custom cabinet pulls for her client's kitchen. Typically a designer will fill us in all the details about the room including cabinets, floors, tiles, wall coverings, appliances, etc,  This helps us figure out the best way to approach the design of the handle.

But instead of enumerating all the elements in the decor, she told me that her inspiration was the peacock and sent me several pictures, including photos, paintings and drawings of this fabulous bird of all birds.
Then to add a little excitement to the project she wanted a variety among the 50 pulls and posed that we create several design and color combinations.

So I went to town on this one putting together a palette of turquoise, lapis,emerald and periwinkle with gold paint finishes and gold metal details.

Swarovski crystals in olivine, amethyst and topaz were the finishing touch.

Too bad I never saw the finished kitchen with pulls installed. But I took some photos before we shipped them and well-- I couldn't help creating a Ziegfield-esque formation of the peacock out of our pulls. It was fun. And the best part- a customer just recently saw my photo on and requested the same custom pulls for living room built-ins..Hope to see a photo of her finished project!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

My Favorite Shades of Gray

An awesome pairing with our moonstone gray paint finishes,
the pewter gray silk lamp shade adds a soft and quiet glow.

A Broad Spectrum for Every Taste

Gray is a color with diverse personalities; masculine (prominent in the male wardrobe), modern (shiny metallic) and neutral (halfway between black and white). It can feel the concrete and steel of urban culture or the subtle charm of weathered wood.

The dictionary defines it as dull or non descript without interest or character; colorless or unremarkable.  Wow! That's hardly the way we can describe this color in the decorating realm where it plays a key role in many a design scheme.
   Is gray the new white?  A new direction in kitchen cabinets with finishes that 
   vary from metallic to distressed is a hot trend with staying power.

Unlike black and white that offer high contrast and definition - gray tends to mute or quiet the color scheme while allowing us to focus on the more lively accents and neighboring colors.
I noticed that gray definitely had a huge presence in both the 2015 Kitchen and Bath Industry show and the World Furniture Market.  Cabinetry, metallic finishes, tiles, textiles, as well as case goods and upholstered furnishings all made great use of the many shades of gray.

Call it charcoal, gunmetal, smokey. the prominent shade of gray in our line is a jewel tone hue that we call moonstone. It pops up a lot in our decorative cabinet and drapery hardware because I especially like the way it works with silver metal details and diamond like crystals. The look is sharp, contemporary and easily incorporated into kitchen and bath decor with nickel and chrome fixtures.

    Mini Duo  knob 2" diameter and Nu Duo knob 1.5" diameter in
    deep lapis and moonstone. Silver metal and brilliant crystal details 
    offer a contemporary and modern flair.
Nu Carnival Knob in light gold has
scrolly artwork in  moonstone.
 Duchess Orbit pull and Nu Duchess knob in turquoise and moonstone.
show an emphasis on silver metal and silver paint finishes 
  Grand Tiki knob in ruby and moonstone is used as the finial end 
   piece on a drapery rod with silver paint finish  1 3/4" diameter.

          Tut Window Decor Set in ruby, moonstone.and silver paint 
          treatment makes a strong color statement with vibrant red and 
          shades of gray.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hooray for Kid's Stuff!

It should come as no surprise that our decorative cabinet and drapery hardware are a hit with children's room decor. You can't be too whimsical, too colorful or too playful. Just release your inner child and have some decorating fun.

Mix the styles. Mix the colors. Mix the sizes

That''s how one of our customers designed her children's playroom. She dressed up her Ikea laminated cabinetry with 3 different Susan Goldstick cabinet knobs. I especially like the way she chose knobs that all have a silver painted stem or base. It  shows a nice contrast and profile..


Interior Designer Linda Mansy of McIntyre-Mansy Associates created unusual window treatments with our Birdie drapery finials and brackets. She has a fantastic eye for color and takes whimsy to the max! These are very lucky little girls. 

I  absolutely love how she divided the windows, running the decorative drapery rods at eye level. The perfect way to show off our unique and colorful Birdie finials.
The fabric wrapped poles with the feathery fringe adds extra whimsy and fanciful flair. The lively aqua  walls are a great backdrop for our ruby colored  Birdie finials with silver metal details and paint finish. 

Close up of the  window treatment shows Birdie finial and bracket created in custom paint colors,
 just one of the many well thought out details in this spectacular little girl's room.

Birdie Finial in Copper Aqua with bracket in matching paint finish is the decorative hardware 
selected for little Kendall's room.. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

KBIS 2015 - The Buzz on Cabinet Trends in Kitchen and Bath

My souvenir - A little fun in the Moen booth  let you create your very own ebru print. 

Packed with a crowd anxious to see all that's new on the kitchen and bath scene, the show was vibrant and healthy this year. If I were to single out the one trend that was a stand out,
I have to say that blended textures was a key design element that had a starring role.

Whether it was tiles, cabinets, faucets, counter surfaces- everything was beckoning to be touched.

Rugged meets City Slicker

Cabinetry took a departure from the simple shaker style and I saw a lot of intricate paneling with recesses and multiple layers of moldings and trim.  I was particularly drawn to the juxtaposition of old weathered wood finishes paired with shiny metallic mesh paneling. Not your typical cherry and bamboo but oak, pine, alder, woods of every kind were treated to a fashionable stain, gloss or rub and they all looked amazing.

Recessed cabinet panels got the full treatment in everything from lattice laminates, wire mesh and fabric. The emphasis was on the center panel. I noticed much of the raised trim was fairly narrow leaving little space for bulky hardware. Knobs and pulls were scaled down and linear shapes were popular as well as creative placement. I'm already thinking about some new mini handle designs and plan to expand our petit collection of  knobs 1" diameter.

No pun intended, but 50 shades of gray was the most stand out color. Gun metal, clay, slate, putty.. it was embraced in every exhibit.  Typically seen with silver or chrome accents, I noticed that gray was also often paired with warmer golds and brown tones that gave it a new and edgy flair.

Formica took a bold leap with Jonathan Adler's colorful laminates that emulated fabric patterns. I had a little fun selecting our knobs and pulls to match. Imagine these laminates in a recessed cabinet panel with white trim.

Jonathan Adler Formica laminates with Susan Goldstick hardware from top left clockwise:
Nu Tiki Light Sapphire knob, Eel style 6 copper pull, Petit Square3 lapis knob, Petit 6 emerald knob