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For the Love of Your Health

This past Sunday March 1st, 60 Minutes aired a disturbing investigative piece on the high levels of formaldehyde found in Lumber Liquidators flooring. Formaldehyde exposure has long been known to be a human carcinogen. Because exposure has been recognized to cause cancer, it is regulated here in the U.S. for acceptable levels.

Sadly enough however, there are dishonest manufacturers and retailers that are willing to sell the highly contaminated flooring with incorrect or no warning labels on what’s inside. Worse, some labels are intentionally falsified to say their product, is in fact, U.S. compliant for formaldehyde levels, ensuring the public is not aware of what is safe, non-toxic and (GULP) in our homes right now!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it’s not just cheap flooring you need to be mindful of. If your sofa contains standard foam, it most likely contains a carcinogenic chemical, Chlorinated Tris, which has been proven to cause an awful array of diseases, including thyroid disease and cancer.

If you have inexpensive case goods made of plywood or particleboard, such as desks (where you sit daily), cabinets (where you store your food or clothing) bedside tables or headboards (where you sleep and breathe) they may also contain VOC’s that cause damage to the liver, kidney and nervous system.

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The old adage, “you get what you pay for,” is truer today than ever before. We don’t put our children in flame retardant clothing any longer because it was discovered flame retardant fabric affects a humans DNA, stunting growth and causes a slew of damaging diseases. But those decorative pillows you thought were a bargain at $49… sorry, but likely they are stuffed with foam that contains the same toxic chemicals found in the banned flame retardant children’s fabric.

As of January 2015, the government passed a new standard for upholstery, TV117-2013 but it doesn’t go far enough, and doesn’t prohibit the use of these chemicals in furnishings and many big box/big store retailers and online retailers will cut corners to create cheap items to be competitive. Hence, that $199 dining chair that’s a steal!

As a nation we’ve gotten so much better about learning what’s in our foods, but sadly we can’t stop there and need to also educate ourselves with the items that surround us in our homes. This article will get you started, but the obvious tell is always the price. You now know why Lumber Liquidators wood flooring could be bought at 49 cents per sq ft. So the next time you see a sofa for $799, realize why it’s so inexpensive!  The sectional that’s $1299 – plug your nose, cover your mouth and RUN!

There is good news of course! A lot of American made product lines and quality manufacturers based here in the states do offer green options and are completely toxic free and carry the TV117-2013 labels. But you need to know where to find them and not be afraid to insist that furnishings and textiles you intend to purchase carry the label. Working with a designer who is well versed on such matters will make certain nothing toxic enters your home. And if it’s currently not in your budget, try a second hand store or a quality flee market with older furniture made prior to 1970. You can reupholster with brand new fabric and Voilà, good as new.

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Great Holiday Gift Ideas

Looking for great ideas this season to gift? I love these gorgeous green/grey and gold accessories that are right for anyone on any occasion. See anything you like? Contact me for more details.

Holiday Gift Ideas

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Inspiration is all around

We’re so fortunate everywhere we look, we can find something that can inspire us creatively. On a daily basis, I come upon furniture pieces that I’m awed by.
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Sometimes, it’s vintage pieces like this Pierre Cardin bar:
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But it can easily be something brand new, such as Kelly Wearstler’s Souflee chair.
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The design or feel of a room can sometimes arise based on a photo. Paris holds a special place in my heart and the city’s unique rooftop landscape brings about lot’s of inspiration.
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Amazing architecture, old or new can come from anywhere and inspire anything.
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This design of this airport in Morocco inspired me to come up with a ceiling design for a current project.
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And who says you can’t paint a front door bright Hubba Bubba pink?!
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There’s a natural creative flow between fashion and interiors.  The cut and color of fabrics, prints and color combinations play an integral role in stimulating my design senses.

bp4 Oscar de la Renta hair pinOscar de la Renta hair pin.

 

Monique Lhuillier pink beaded dressMonique Lhuillier pink beaded dress.

 

William De Lillo 1968 BeltWilliam De Lillo 1968 Belt.

 

These vintage maxi’s and caftan’s inspire an array of things; fabulous and glamorous rooms, chic and luxurious window treatments and rooms.
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And of course in nature, one finds the most beauty
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Archive

2013 Pantone Color Of The Year

Imagine my delight when Pantone announced my all time favorite color, Emerald Green, is the Pantone color of the year for 2013.

And while I love emerald because it boldly takes green, the color of nature, to an energized level that oozes luxury and life, it certainly has a deeper calling. The color green symbolizes well-being, balance and harmony. It was long believed that green was healing for the eyes. Egyptians wore green eyeliner. Green jade is a sacred stone of Asia. It’s the color of currency and in the middle ages, was the color worn by merchants and bankers.

Timelessly classic, emerald green creates instant elegance and glamour to any room. It gives a burst of vitality to the already fresh feel of green. The richness of emerald green is comforting, inviting and unforgettable.

When I design a room I love incorporating emerald green with pale silvers, whites and neutrals so it stands out and steals the spotlight. It can also be paired beautifully with golds, chartreuses and citrines, corals, peach tones, lavenders, violets and charcoals and black.

Here are a few examples:
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Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler

Lorenzo Castillo

Lorenzo Castillo

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Create your own show stopping jewel box of a room with any of these items:
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Silk Emerald Green Tibetan Rug

Silk Emerald Green Tibetan Rug

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Zimmer & Rhode Green Emerald Fabric

Fabric from Zimmer & Rhode available through Thomas Lavin

"Beloved India" fabric by Hermès

“Beloved India” fabric by Hermès

Black and Emerald Green upolstered Celine et Cie James Mont Chairs

Celine et Cie James Mont Chairs

Vietri Emerald Green Flatware

Vietri Emerald Green Flatware

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For over all drama; lacquer your walls emerald green, liven up your front door with the sparkling shade or give new life to a piece of furniture with this dazzling color.

Michelle Nussbaumer

Michelle Nussbaumer

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F. Schumacher’s new Byzantine papers are stunning with burst of exotic emerald green

Byzantine Wallcovering Collection by F. Schumacher

Byzantine Wallcovering Collection by F. Schumacher 

Malachite Gemstone from Zaire, Chilie and Australia is sometimes referred to as the “mirror for the soul” and is always found in varying ranges of emerald green.  Legendary designer Tony Duquette used elements of malachite in many of his interiors.  You can sprinkle emerald green into your spaces with the use of malachite.  Whether in small objects like decorative bowls and finials or boldly bring in malachite tables and chests, or even printed fabric from Jim Thompson’s Gemstone collection.

Printed fabric from Jim Thompson

Printed fabric from Jim Thompson’s Gemstone collection

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Malachite Century Furniture

Malachite Century Furniture

Malachite Century Furniture

Malachite Century Furniture