Kitchen Trends for 2017

Matte black is the new stainless steel appliance finish, as shown by  manufacturers at recent Spring  home and design exhibitions. Both Jenn-Air and Wolf showed this on range and refrigerator doors as a contemporary replacement for the long running stainless steel finishes and the newer bronze finishes seen over the past few years. And here’s a blast from the past! Butcher block counter tops are back…this time as a finish contrast to under-counter mounted stainless steel bar sinks. Not a bad idea, considering that bar sinks are not as heavily exposed to moisture as our heavily used kitchen sinks. 

Email or call us to discuss if any of these new items can be used for your kitchen update!

LED lighting for Home Use

Wood trimmed LED

Wood trimmed LED fixtures match the decorative wood ceiling

I am beginning to see LED lighting that can be enjoyed by residential clients…my corporate clients have enjoyed the benefits of LED lighting that I specified for almost a decade. LED lighting uses a small amount of electricity when compared to other types of lighting fixtures for the amount of light that it provides and the LED “lamps” last for years…but until now, the pricing for LED light fixtures was high and the ability of LED lighting to “render” colors, or make colors look good in a room, varied greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer. LED lighting might be a useful alterative in rooms where you want to have more lighting but do not want to, or cannot, bring more electrical power into your home to light the room.
Now, lighting companies are decreasing their costs to manufacturer and we have access to better LED fixtures. New LED fixtures are available that can be used in either wood (with matching wood trimming for an additional cost) or plaster or gypsum ceilings, and with dimming switches to control their brightness. My professional lighting colleague also showed me new handsome LED track lights that are well finished and competitively priced.
While LED lighting is still too pricey to use everywhere in a home, it can now be a consideration to help you add that extra lighting you want in your entryway, living room, or dining room. LED’s are also a good alternative in hard to reach or high locations because the fixtures last 50,000 (!) hours. We can work with you to determine where and how LED lighting can be used in your home or business.

New glass mosaic tiles

Large scale image created from small glass mosaic tiles.

Large scale image created from small glass mosaic tiles.

A recent visit to one of my favorite glass tile showrooms was very impactful…and in a big way! We don’t think of small mosaic tiles as “graphic” material, but they can be used to create large over-sized images to incredible effect! Certain vendor’s products lend themselves well to curved wall applications, too. The trick is to limit your color palette so that the color itself is not overwhelming—just the size of the graphic! Simple use of white and gold, white and silver, or white and a color can create the desired effect! We can work with you to decide how to scale the use of these small tiles into large images that are proportional to other items in the room to create the one of a kind “wow” factor that will bring a smile to your face every time you walk in! These can be used in a kitchen, a bathroom…what about an entry foyer wall? And don’t forget how important the lighting that we develop will be with this type of graphic installation.

Knit Wear for Furniture

Sinje Ollen is no newcomer to knitting as a means of earning a living and has been knitting fashion forward clothing pieces for years. But now she is creating a name for herself as the “Knitting Mom” who creates custom one-of-a-kind seat covers for iconic mid-century furniture that was mass-produced in its time to make modern more affordable to all. Her colorful covers and cushions can happily extend the upholstery life of pieces that might be showing wear and tear due to the enthusiasm of children and pets…or life. We wish her much success in her new endeavor! See more of her felted and knitted wool work at

A felted wool cushion for Eero Saarinen Tulip armchair

A felted wool cushion for Eero Saarinen Tulip armchair

Berry Candy hand painted Italian merino wool for the Arne Jacobsen Swan chair

Berry Candy hand painted Italian merino wool for the Arne Jacobsen Swan chair

Outdoor Grilling

Ah, spring is in the air and I can smell…the steak, chicken, veggies and pizza made out on the grille! There were two new hot (pardon the pun!) outdoor items drawing attention and crowds at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show: hybrid grills and outdoor pizza ovens.

Outdoor dining at its best!

Outdoor dining at its best

The new hybrid grills coming to market provides the outdoor chef with the greatest flexibility because they can perform with any of the three preferred fuels: wood, gas or charcoal.  The grills are available as free-standing or built-in units, made in stainless steel. All the leading brands are made in the USA.

The grills are built to extend down to the ground by providing a deeper firebox to handle the different fuels, and can be ordered with variety of grill tops to accommodate meat versus vegetable grilling.

Portable gas pizza oven

Portable gas pizza oven

The other items which was creating a buzz, was the outdoor pizza ovens, brings pizza baking into the realm of cooking entertainment. Also of stainless steel, this gas-fired pizza oven is a counter-top design and requires no installation. After just a 20-45 minute pre-heat, you can bake a large pizza in less than 3 minutes.

These ovens connect to either natural gas or liquid propane line or tank, so you can bake artisan pizza on the baking deck or using pans.

Make your outdoor living space as nice as your indoor living space…call us to discuss how we can help you to improve your outdoor cooking area so you can enjoy your entertainment areas all spring and summer long!

Need help with your landscape design? Let us know!

European Refrigeration Comes to the US from GE

European refrigeration has come to America! GE is the one of the first companies using R600A refrigerant in household refrigerators sold in the US.

R600A is a naturally occurring refrigerant and does not impact the ozone layer. It is the dominating refrigerant used for household appliances in Western Europe, and the refrigerator it is used in is meant for smaller spaces. The units can be paired together for large installations.

The GE Monogram 30-inch wide refrigerator has an ice maker and a freezer drawer that can be converted into additional refrigeration space or wine cooler space when you have a party. It can also be built into cabinetry or furnished with glass doors. The LED lighting along the sides of the unit is unobtrusive and should not need replacing.

We applaud the flexability built into the design of the refrigerator itself. But because this technology is new, we will be watching a bit to understand how well it is performing here in the US where we have such widely diverse temperatures and humidity.

As always, we encourage you to consider technologies, products, finishes and practices that promote a sustainable and healthier environment.

Silk is the Newest Tub and Sink Material

Ok, it’s not “silk” like a scarf or a shirt fabric…but it’s just as luxurious!

Silk and Polymineral are solid-surface materials recently making their way from Europe to the US by way of free-standing bath tubs and sinks (lavatories). They are called Silk because they are smooth to the touch and they lend themselves well to curved surfaces…just like the fabric.

I recently saw them used in both large scale and small scale bath tubs – a wonderful option to have. Both are available in a soft matte or glossy gel coated finish.

My question regarding the proper way to clean these new finishes was simply answered: non-abrasive liquid cleaners are suggested, as well as – get this – using a Mr.Clean® Magic Eraser® for dark dirt and grime on the outside of these fixtures. Guess my mom was onto something when she switched to using the eraser on her kitchen appliances years ago.

Do you dream of soaking in one of these? We can help you with your bath redesign!

Design Forecasting Predictions for 2014

Mixed media chair made of wood and resin

Mixed media chair made of wood and resin

Now that we know what to expect for 2013 color wise, how about 2014 color and product development?

I recently attended an event sponsored by IIDANY Retail Forum regarding Trendforcasting. Did you ever wonder how manufacturers know what will be popular years in advance? Trendforcasting provides manufacturers with information to help them understand what will influence product design that all of us will see in the future. Greg Dunlop, Global Commercial Director of WGSN and one of the influential leaders of this industry, was the guest speaker. Mr. Dunlop shared his firm’s insights on color, materials, and product design in categories including furniture, lighting, print and pattern for 2014.

And there is good news! We will want color back in our lives again, cool bright mid-toned colors such as green, blue, aqua, citrus yellows, and magenta. Neutral colors will trend toward ochre, taupe and bright white. Gray and black are expected to decrease in popularity, along with the warm reds and yellows.

Expect to see products that will be a mix of fused man-made synthetic materials and natural materials – as shown in this chair made of wood and resin (image courtesy of from Pelidesign.

Dresser made of Newspaper Wood

Dresser made of Newspaper Wood.

What about a product called Newspaper Wood made from recycled newspapers? Created by a student as a school project, it is now being developed as wood-like products byVij5, a Dutch design label. It can be used in furniture, such as in this dresser! (see

You may also see products made with concentric layers like in a geode, (image courtesy of or real products that look like they are right out of a computer software package—we will start to ask ourselves if an image is real or is it computer simulation…the lines of distinction will be blurred.

Keep your eyes open for all these new innovative products!


A Geode.

Products We Love: Vintage Scarf Pillows

I recently discovered these beautiful pillows made from vintage scarfs. So I reached out to the designer, Katie Lindsay Corr, to learn more about them.

“I hand make them from silk vintage scarves that I have collected from all parts of the country and abroad. At this point, I have hundreds of designs, with some by big name designers including YSL, Givenchy, Gernreich, Balmain, Lanvin, Patou, Ricci, Dior, and Vera just to name a few. By using vintage pieces that are at least 20 years old you can be assured that each pillow will be made from a rare scarf and that it will be one of a kind.

“Once I began to notice the interesting and beautiful designs in scarves, it seemed a shame that they were shut away in drawers. By making them into pillows, they are enjoyed again, in a new way. I use silk and silk blend scarves that are in excellent condition. First, they are examined for holes and then they are washed or cleaned. Then each scarf is lined with interfacing and muslin to give it strength and finished with a simple silk envelope back made usually made from taffeta or dupioni. The final result is a custom made smooth silky pillow.”

You can find these vintage scarf pillows by Lindsay Corr on “One Kings Lane” under the “Vintage and Market Finds” section. She also has a shop on Etsy and a pillow collection in Spruce Home and Garden in Bronxville. She is also always ready to make pillows to suit her customers needs.

Learn more about our Interior Decorating Services.

Diana Lapins – Owner, Hunt Woods Manor
Diana is an interior designer with over 28 years of experience in the interior design profession. She has been actively renovating residential homes since 1994, and is currently on her 6th home renovation project.