October 14, 2010

Living Life Well- Fun Kitchen Hardware

Posted in accessories, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design inspiration, Hardware, Houston, Houston decoration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Interior Designers, Houston Intertior Design Blog, Kitchen design, Kitchen Hardware, Luxury for the home, Uncategorized at 10:14 am by luxuryforthehome

by Ali Adams

Do you ever look at your kitchen and just think it is kind of boring?  The easiest and most cost efficient way to revitalize your kitchen is to replace your hardware.  You can go from super elegant to way quirky.  I tend to be a little on the quirky side and as a matter of fact the last house I owned had forks and knives as the hardware which were always great conversation starters at all gatherings.

Here are a few that I think would really spice up a kitchen.  I especially like the the Kitchen ID Series from Notting Hill.  They would  really make life easier when instructing my husband in the kitchen!

 

Notting Hill: Kitchen ID Series

 

Atlas Homewares: Beaded Knobs, Image Copyrighted by Atlashomewares.com

 

Soko Studio: Manhandles

 

Kitchen hardware can make a huge statement.

Call Luxury For The Home to help you make a statement in your kitchen to live life well.

281-701-2461

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September 16, 2010

Living Life Well – Simplify

Posted in defining your luxury, Design inspiration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design at 4:42 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler

Today I wanted to share  a bit of my design philosophy with you. This philosophy guides my choices and designs for my life and my clients. It helps to create an environment to help you live your life well.

My most important principle is simplicity. Simplicity is difficult to achieve in the complex world of more. It, like anything else needs attention to flourish.  And just like achieving balance, sometimes simplicity is about making adjustments.

So what is the first thing we like to do for our clients?  Edit, that is reduce the amount of things.  If an object does not have a purpose, or doesn’t illicit a positive (not neutral) response from you, then it really doesn’t belong in your home.  It should bring you happiness, remind you of a fond memory or make life easier for you.

Enjoy these simple rooms.

Living Room by John Willey as featured by House Beautiful.

Master Bedroom created by Woodson+Rummerfield as featured in Rue Magazine. This may be my new favorite online magazine!

Living Room by designers Michael and Alexandra Misczynski, as featured in Veranda.

Creating simplicity out of chaos is an art, and one we are very well versed in.  Contact me at 281-701-2461 to experience simplicity at its best.

Your Home. Your Style. Your Luxury.

January 4, 2010

The Luxury of the Art Salon: How to Hang Your Art – Part 2

Posted in defining your luxury, Design Ideas, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, How To Hang Art, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design, Uncategorized at 3:13 pm by luxuryforthehome

by Leslie Hassler, Allied ASID; AKBD

In our first segment of “How to Hang Your Art” we focused on ways to hang your art as a part of composition.  A very effective technique, to say the least.  But my most favorite technique for hanging art is in the style one of the great Paris Salons.  Apartment Therapy gave a great history of salons (check out the historical illustrations).  If you want a truly technical way to hang art in this style, check out ArtEmerging.com.  (Who said design isn’t about math?)

But while I researched this idea a bit for you, it seems that this style of hanging art is hitting a resurgence of popularity.  There are several manners of organizing your art that can tell a story or even provoke a response from the viewer, afterall wasn’t that the intent of many of the artists that submitted art to the Paris Salons?

If you collect your art along a theme of subject or technique, consider organizing your art in a manner that tells a story, or shows the evolution of a subject, artist or technique over time.  But, perhaps a more thought-provoking way to look at your organization would be a study of contrasts.  Done well, the contrasts do more to highlight each individual piece as it stands so closely to its neighbors.

Salon Style Art Example

Salon style of hanging art of Houston home by interior designer Michael J. Siller. Architectural Digest 2007.

In this first example, the art has a bit of an ethnic feel, showcasing Native American, Egyptian and African art.  The consistency of form and color help create a cohesive display of art.  I especially love the contrast of the ethnic art against such a formal traditional interior.

Salon Style of Hanging Art

Ralph Lauren's Bedford NY Home. Architectural Digest 2004.

In this lovely blue living room, the composition and compression of space between the paintings and photography works superbly.  All the “guidelines” I’ve talked about, consistency of frame, similar subjects, composition; are followed here.  The reason this really works is because the guidelines are loosely followed, and mixed with an artistic interpretation of the guidelines.  This example of salon style is subtle and invites you in to study each piece.

This last example shows yet another way to interpret the salon style of organizing your art.  I love that this example is a small, cozy space with a library feel.  Most of us feel that we need large walls to use this style of hanging art, but this shows you can accomplish it is small areas as well.

Gallery Art Example

Salon style example in a small area by designer Anthony Browne. Architectural Digest, September 2002.

I love how the art wraps itself up the staircase, and is in every nook possible. I even love the portrait displayed in the bookcase.  The composition again is successful because of the invitation to sit, study and enjoy the art.

That is what you are doing when you hang your art.  You are conveying parts of yourself to visitors in your home.  How ever you display your art – you want to make it invitational to contemplation and enjoyment.  Consider the salon style of hanging your art as a way to bring luxury into your home.

If you’re ready to bring luxury into your home, we’d love to be your interior designer.  Call Leslie at 281-701-2461 to schedule an appointment.

October 15, 2009

The Luxury of The Right Frame

Posted in art, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design inspiration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Intertior Design Blog tagged at 9:00 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler

 Ok, great, you’ve selected your art and can’t wait to get it home.  Quite frequently, your art will come without a frame, leaving you another world of options on how to frame it.

 Let’s first start with the style of your piece and the style of your home.  If you have a contemporary home and a contemporary piece of art, using a simple streamlined frame or back liner makes perfect sense! But let’s say your home is traditional, but the art is decidedly not.

 Don’t fret, you actually have a world of choices.  If you have a gallery wrap piece, you could choose to have no frame.  Or you could choose a transitional frame, that is a frame whose styling is traditional, but it is subtle and refined. 

 The frame serves as the “marrying” piece between your interior and your art.  Be sure to test the frame against the piece. There are undertones to even wood frames that can accent and highlight the art. I would also bring a large sample of your wall color.  (Most of the major paint suppliers can send you a color sample to take with you.)

The next piece frequently skipped is the additional elements to framing, such as mats and fillets.  Each component of a frame builds and supports the art.  Often times, a piece of art with a single component looks wonderful, but with multiple framing components it looks exquisite. While you could change the frame on your art frequently, most people do not.  Don’t let the investment of quality framing scare you.  If the framing adds to the beauty of the art and you as a result enjoy it for 10, 20 or more years, then your investment per year is minimal.

I like for the color for the matte and fillet to highlight the art.  The color doesn’t necessary have to be stark contrast to enhance the art, often the subtle off-whites can help to light up a piece. I usually start with a color that is an accent in the piece.  Place the mat along side the art and step back.  Sometimes we scrutinize items at nose distance, when that will not be how we enjoy the piece.  So, step back three to four feet to observe the composition of the piece.  Another trick I do is to squint until everything is a haze.  Often times, if the color is wrong, you won’t get the “ahhh” feeling and know to move on.

The last key to framing is the artistic, design component.  The playing with combinations of art, matte color, frame type, color and size is fun – but don’t overwhelm yourself.  It is possible to overthink this decision.  Start with three choices, settle on one that you “lean to”, still unsure, then pull two more options.  Review your choices, often your first decision will be the best.

Want to play with the effects of framing and mattes can have?  I actually love the tool on Art.com, which allows you to play with so many of the elements.  I would remind you that this tool is great for you to understand the effect; but color renditions vary monitor to monitor.

Framed Artwork (by Gregory Garrett) with Vanilla Matte and Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
Framed Artwork (by Gregory Garrett) with Vanilla Matte and Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
This composition is very contemporary or modern.  The ivory frame pulls the foreground of the painting out, creating lightness in the view.
Same Artwork, Eucalyptus Matte, Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
Same Artwork, Eucalyptus Matte, Simple Black Frame (www.art.com)
This composition is still contemporary/modern, but it becomes moody with the grey green matte, notice how the clouds feel stormy?
Same Artwork, Vanilla Matter, Burl Wood Frame (www.art.com)
Same Artwork, Vanilla Matter, Burl Wood Frame (www.art.com)
This frame lends itself a bit more transitional, but it also shifts focus on the art to the lower left quadrant of the painting.  To me it has an interesting effect of grounding the piece, while lifting the clouds.
Same Art, Vanilla Matte, Transitional Frame with Bead (www.art.com)
Same Art, Vanilla Matte, Transitional Frame with Bead (www.art.com)

The last frame option creates a more definite bordering of the painting.  The dark brown finish, almost seems to muddy the painting, pulling out all the shadows.

Which one do you like?

September 20, 2009

The Luxury of Mirrors

Posted in defining your luxury, Design inspiration, Design Inspirations, Fireplace, Houston, Houston decoration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design, mirrors, Uncategorized at 5:16 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler
 
Mirrors are one of those staple items in each and every home.  The challenge in using them is selecting one that is unique and supports the style of the home.  The next challenge for most people is how, when and where to use them. 
 
Mirrors should be placed with a specific purpose in a room.  Is your small scale room claustrophobic?  The a large mirror can make the small space feel expansive. Does your room have an awkward niche, or is it lacking windows and natural light? A purposefully placed mirror will divert the eye and provide reflection of natural light. 
 
I often see mirrors placed above fireplaces, which in itself is fine, but what I find troublesome is what the mirror is reflecting, often times, it is a ceiling fan, or a plain ceiling.  When the reflection is devoid of interest, the use of the mirror has failed.  So when you place mirrors, do it with purpose, consider the reflection, and make it a luxurious one.
APF Group Mirror

APF Group Mirror

The full-wall mirror used in this narrow dining room adds depth and dimension to the room.  Even with a table full of guests, the space feels expansive and inviting.  I love that the gold frame on this mirror is the accent color in the space.  If the frame had been one of the darker colors present in the room, the expansiveness create by the mirror would have been too defined.
 
Ritz Carlton, Florida.  Designed by Avery Brooks.

APF Group Mirror - Ritz Carlton, Florida. Designed by Avery Brooks.

 This is a spectacular example of a use of a mirror.  The scale works well with the over-scaled fireplace and mantle.  Even though it is large, it blends into the room, almost acting as a window.  The attempt to blend this mirror into the space can be seen in the treatment of the narrow mirror frame.  I can’t be quite sure, but it seems that the frame repeats the wallpaper pattern on the wall.  This is one room that a visitor wouldn’t really be sure that it was a mirror at first glance.

Sitting Area in Master Bedroom.  Interior Design by Stacy Lapuk.

Sitting Area in Master Bedroom. Interior Design by Stacy Lapuk.

I found this to be another great use of a mirror. The Interior Designer, Stacy Lapuk, made the most of this little nook by installing a mirror that nearly fills this small wall.  The reflection of a beautiful master bedroom, crystal chandelier and a large window magnify the natural light in this corner.  She also has created beautiful reflections with the tailored back of the chaise and ormolu accent table.  A joy to the eye, no matter what way you look it.
 
 

September 2, 2009

Guest Room Luxury: Making the Most of out small spaces

Posted in children's bedrooms, Children's Room, Contemporary Bedroom, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Design Blog, Kitchen design, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design, Modern Bedrooms, Traditional Bedroom, Uncategorized tagged at 1:38 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Allied ASID, AKBD
Guest rooms poise a challenge, especially in more urban areas and older homes.  Our guest bedroom gets used, but only about 20 nights out of the year.  I love some of these options for challenging areas for guest beds.
This is currently on Decorati’s (www.decorati.com) homepage.  The look is so stunning, that it takes a while to notice how small the overall space is.  The window definitely helps the space not feel claustrophobic.  I love that the bedding is also perfectly scaled to the size of the bed (one of my LUXURY TIPS).  See what a difference it makes?
Very small bedroom area, Highlights on Decorati.com

Very small bedroom area, Highlights on Decorati.com

Again, when space is a premium, think of smart storage solutions.  You could find this ottoman by TLS Designs (www.tlsbydesign.com/) in almost any room of the house.  What a great way to be able to host your guests.  The trick here is the complete bedding ensemble to make your guests feel special.  The ottoman is a blank canvas itself.  I keep wanting to put a kick pleat skirt on it, or maybe a fun print for the fabric.  There are just so many ways you could customize it for your interior.
Ottoman Sleeper from TLS by Design

Ottoman Sleeper from TLS by Design

Houston has been behind in the high-rise condominium market, but we are building them like mad in an effort to catch up.  One challenge we are finding for our clients is was to maximize entertaining areas, while still allowing for guest stays.  I LOVE the wall beds from Boone Wallbeds (www.boone-wallbeds.com) – why there isn’t something like this in the US, I have no idea.  The styles presented on their site have sophistication & style.  You really need to check them out!
Linea Line of Boone Wallbeds

Linea Line of Boone Wallbeds

Open Linea Line from Boone Wallbeds

Open Linea Line from Boone Wallbeds

I think this is one of the best ideas for childrens’ rooms.  This chair from Century Furniture (www.centuryfurniture.com) is a great example.  The chair itself is a chair-and-a-half, making a great chair for bedtime stories when they are young and a great chillin’ chair for the teen years – perfect for the BFF to spend the night.
Century Sleeper Chair & Ottoman

Century Sleeper Chair & Ottoman

I caught this in the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine (www.bhg.com).  These homeowners integrated the bed into their kitchen area – a new take on the bed and breakfast concept for sure.  This is just another way to show that you can get a guest bedroom in just about anyplace you may want it.
Guest Room Double Duty - Better Homes & Garden - Sept. 2009 issue

Guest Room Double Duty - Better Homes & Garden - Sept. 2009 issue

August 25, 2009

Bedroom Luxury: Nightstands

Posted in Contemporary Bedroom, decoration, defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design Inspirations, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design, Master bedrooms, Modern Bedrooms, Traditional Bedroom at 3:59 am by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler

The choice of nightstands or bedside tables is one of the most personal choices my clients can make.  Today’s interiors use almost any occasional table, dresser or chest as a nightstand.  Fortunately or not, the average height of mattresses also allows for a larger scale table that in previous decades.  Which ever style you choose, it is important that the piece is not too high, too low or out of proportion with the bed.  Here are a few of our favorites.

Bolier Classics  - Chest of Drawers with Burl Wood

Bolier Classics - Chest of Drawers with Burl Wood

Julian Chichester - Temple 3 Drawer Bedside Table

Julian Chichester - Temple 3 Drawer Bedside Table

Carl Moore Antiques - A c. 1770 German Baroque period chest of drawers

Carl Moore Antiques - A c. 1770 German Baroque period chest of drawers

 

Shine Home - Oslo Talbe in Green, but also available in 4 other colors

Shine Home - Oslo Table in Green, but also available in 4 other colors

 

Stanley Furniture - Santa Barbara Bedside Table

Stanley Furniture - Santa Barbara Bedside Table

Custom Skirted Bedside Table

Custom Skirted Bedside Table

August 20, 2009

Kitchen Luxury: The Entertainment Sink

Posted in defining your luxury, Design Ideas, Design inspiration, Houston, Houston decoration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, Houston Interior Designers, Houston Intertior Design Blog, Kitchen design, Kitchen Remodels, Kitchen Renovations, Luxury for the home, Luxury interior design at 1:05 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Allied ASID, AKBD – NKBA

With the kitchen being one of the most used rooms in the home, it is no wonder that we talk so much about it.  The purposes of the kitchen transcend meal prep and cooking to a gathering and entertaining area where guests and family naturally gather.  Outside of work zones and work triangles, there are LUXURIES that need to be built in to the modern kitchen.  One such luxury is the entertainment/bar sink.  This sink is in addition to the main sink.  Usually 16″ or smaller, this sink serves as an station to wash veggies, fill pots or even chill beverages.  There is even the added benefit of freeing up the main sink for clean up. Many of the sinks available come or have available accessories such as cutting boards and basin racks.  These accessories serve to give you the most use of your sink and help to protect the sink finish.

I encourage you to indulge your fancies and creative side by looking at more decorative sinks.  Take a look at some of these beauties for traditional, transistional and contemporary homes.
Barcelona Entertainment Sink from Purple Sage Collections - A Perfect Option for Traditional Kitchen Designs.
Barcelona Entertainment Sink from Purple Sage Collections – A Perfect Option for Traditional Kitchen Designs.

The Poise (Kohler), shown here in the mirror finish is modern luxury at its finest.  The sink comes with a bamboo cutting board and bottom basin rack, but that's not the most stunning feature.  This sink also features SilentShield, a technology that dampens the sounds created by disposals, dishwashers and running water.

The Poise (Kohler), shown here in the mirror finish is modern luxury at its finest. The sink comes with a bamboo cutting board and bottom basin rack, but that's not the most stunning feature. This sink also features SilentShield, a technology that dampens the sounds created by disposals, dishwashers and running water.


This Luna sink from Native Trails as a curved design which brings fun to the entertainment sink. This sink, also available in a Nickel finish would work in a transitional or contemporary kitchen design.

This Luna sink from Native Trails as a curved design which brings fun to the entertainment sink. This sink, also available in a Nickel finish would work in a transitional or contemporary kitchen design.


This Lager Sink from the Hammerwerks series would shine in any rustic kitchen design.

This Lager Sink from the Hammerwerks series would shine in any rustic kitchen design.

 

If your planning a Kitchen redesign for your home, I would love to help you.  Please feel free to email @ leslie@luxuryforthehome.com or call at 281-701-2461.

July 9, 2009

The Luxury of the Moon

Posted in defining your luxury, Feng Shui, Houston Interior Design Blog, Houston Interior Designer, Moon, Twitter at 1:52 pm by luxuryforthehome

A few posts were fluttering around twitter yesterday regarding the moon. One was a beautiful shot of one from my friend @maybellinete of the moon over a body or water. It occurred to me that I had not seen the moon in a while. Not intentionally, just hadn’t stop to notice. Then another post from @CatherineGrison comes along about the Full Moon (last night) with a vlog from a Feng Shui practitioner in San Francisco touting the Yin properties of the moon (http://www.frenchshuicafe.com/). So I decided why not, I could use a bit more Yin. I went out early, around 9, and there was no moon to be seen. I thought that was strange. But it turns out the moon was not due to rise until 10pm. So I waited until 10:30 pm to go out and look for it. There was no doubt of it’s location, as its glare forced its way through the trees. It turns out that the moon had a 97% illuminant last night (never knew they rated those things). I was absolutely beautiful, like a beacon and a mirror all at once. I had to stop and give thanks just for the beauty of it all. I watched it rise for quite a while, and yes even did the Feng Shui ritual. Why not? I was there, and like I said, felt like I could use some Yin. In case you missed it, here are some photos (and no, I’m not a professional, so excuse the lack of focus in a few) – Enjoy – 😉

April 8, 2009

Building Your Base: Floors

Posted in casa dolce casa, defining your luxury, Flooring, glass tile, luxury designs, luxury homes, porcelain tiles, stone tile, tile installations at 8:23 pm by luxuryforthehome

Last time, we talked about wood floors, today, it is tile’s turn. Tile is probably the most universal material for your floor. You can choose any color and any size and put them in any pattern. Yet, the most readily used tile is the basic 12″ tile. So many opportunities are lost when we only use a 12″ tile, set on a straight pattern.

To begin with, there are a lot of different types of tile, including: Natural Stone, Glass, Ceramic & Porcelain. They have varied price ranges, but for the most part, I prefer to use natural stone, glass and porcelain. I also try to select a tile that has a range of tile sizes available. And although not exclusively, I select a tile with a rectified edge (meaning a straight edge, no chips or chiseling). These tiles provide us with the greatest flexibility of use.

We are seeing many new products that give more texture, more modernism and interesting variations to the tile world. One of my favorite lines is Pietre/2 from Casa Dolce Casa (http://www.casadolcecasa/) This specific line is a great porcelain tile from Italy that is very consistent in color. We used this in a contemporary master bath for a few reasons. We wanted to create a slab look to the floor and the shower walls to help expand the visual space of the room. The rectified edge also allowed us to get tight grout joints, furthering this effect.

Patterning is probably the next most important aspect to tile. How you treat your floors can help accent good architecture or even reduce distractions. Every choice we make should be based in supporting the overall interior.

For instance, here is an outdoor veranda area that is very long across the backside of the home. By choosing this pattern, we created larger groupings out of 3 differently sized tiles. Another reason we chose this pattern was to provide additional slip resistance to the surface as this area is prone to being wet. Granted slate is not as bad as a polished tile, but the smaller tiles help provide a greater surface area.

It is imperative to choose a tile that is appropriately sized for your room. A 12″ or 13″ tile in a room that is 15′ x 17′ is probably undersized and just as awkward as an 18″ tile in a 3′ x 6′ powder bath.

If your unsure of ideas, stop by a Dal-Tile, Master Tile or American Tile showroom near you. These showrooms don’t sell to the public, but are available as a resource to you for ideas and products. Additionally, Dal-Tile’s website (http://www.daltile.com/) is very searchable for products.

That’s it for the basics, next time we will talk about decorative and accent tiles.

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