The Look For Less: Velvet

Velvet has been a very popular trend over the past year or so (also one of our personal favorite trends)! We love the idea of soft textures that engage the user while adding a touch of luxury. Like all trends, there are many ways to incorporate velvet in your home - from high-end designer pieces to store bought retail items. We like to mix both for a unique look. As the first part of our new “Look For Less” Series we will take a look at the velvet trend and give some examples of how you can achieve the designer look at a lower cost. Take a look at these options for 5 popular velvet styles!


1.       The Tufted Velvet Sofa

The Look: Jonathan Adler - Claridge Sofa - $3,500

A beautiful statement piece for any living room, this piece instantly glams up a space. Plus - we LOVE the brass orb feet of this Jonathan Adler Sofa!

Jonathan Adler - Claridge Sofa - $3,500

Jonathan Adler - Claridge Sofa - $3,500

For Less: Article - Cirrus Sofa - $999; World Market - Velvet Kendall Sofa - $699

The key here is to focus on rich tones that will look luxurious. Also, include a sofa with tufting and straight lines to achieve the look of the Jonathan Adler piece.

Article - Cirrus Sofa - $999

Article - Cirrus Sofa - $999

World Market - Velvet Kendall Sofa - $699

World Market - Velvet Kendall Sofa - $699


2.       The Velvet Accent Chair

The Look: Brabbu - Malay Armchair - $3,230

A trend doesn’t always have to be a large statement piece. You can add a subtle addition through accent pieces such as this luxe Brabbu Armchair. We like its mid-century style, angled aged brass legs mixed with the deep green velvet.

Brabbu - Malay Armchair - $3,230

Brabbu - Malay Armchair - $3,230

For Less: CB2 - Viceroy Sapphire Blue Chair - $379; West Elm - Eve Buttoned Chair - $299

These alternatives mimic the curved shape, mid-century style and angled legs.

CB2 - Viceroy Chair - $379

CB2 - Viceroy Chair - $379

West Elm - Eve Buttoned Chair - $299

West Elm - Eve Buttoned Chair - $299

3.       The Velvet Upholstered Bed

The Look: Mitchel Gold & Bob Williams - Harlowe Floating Rail Bed - $4,630 (King Size)

This would be the sophisticated centering piece in your bedroom! Straight and curved lines, tufted velvet and a dramatic tall headboard make this Mitchel Gold & Bob Williams bed special.

Mitchel Gold & Bob Williams - Harlowe Floating Rail Bed - $4,630 (King Size)

Mitchel Gold & Bob Williams - Harlowe Floating Rail Bed - $4,630 (King Size)

For Less: Anthropologie - Velvet Edlyn Bed - $2,298 (King Size); Lulu & Georgia - Admina Velvet Tufted Bed - $1,180 (King Size)

You can keep the drama with a tall headboard, with or without tufting. Other detail options are nail heads, and brass feet. Keep it neutral or go for a bright color such as Chartreuse!

Anthropologie - Velvet Edlyn Bed - $2,298 (King Size)

Anthropologie - Velvet Edlyn Bed - $2,298 (King Size)

Lulu & Georgia - Admina Velvet Tufted Bed - $1,180 (King Size)

Lulu & Georgia - Admina Velvet Tufted Bed - $1,180 (King Size)


4.       The Velvet Ottoman

 The Look: Irving Place - Audrey’s Ottoman - $1,165

This versatile piece could go almost anywhere, from a vanity table in your bedroom to extra seating in your living room. This handmade piece takes on three strong trends all at once: velvet, brass and jewel tones! The angled brass base is a beautiful design detail.

Irving Place - Audrey’s Ottoman - $1,165

Irving Place - Audrey’s Ottoman - $1,165

For Less: One Kings Lane - Kriskros Velvet Ottoman - $879; West Elm - Fontanne Ottoman - $299

Square or round, the brass base of these stools keep it sophisticated and interesting!

One Kings Lane - Kriskros Velvet Ottoman - $879

One Kings Lane - Kriskros Velvet Ottoman - $879

West Elm - Fontanne Ottoman - $299

West Elm - Fontanne Ottoman - $299


5.       Velvet Accent Pillows

The Look: Kevin O’Brien – Ombre Velvet Pillow - $310

We must not forget accent pillows! Accents such as throw pillows help bring a look together. This hand-painted silk velvet pillow is gorgeous. Its iridescent effect makes it almost glow. A piece like this would add style to any sofa, bed or chair!

Kevin O’Brien – Ombre Velvet Pillow - $310

Kevin O’Brien – Ombre Velvet Pillow - $310

For Less: Williams-Sonoma - Rousseau Velvet Applique Pillow Cover - $149; Aviva Stanoff - Velvet Pillow - $95

There are plenty of velvet pillow options around - some are printed, some embroidered, some dyed and some solid. The fun is mixing and matching!

Williams-Sonoma - Rousseau Velvet Applique Pillow Cover - $149

Williams-Sonoma - Rousseau Velvet Applique Pillow Cover - $149

Aviva Stanoff - Velvet Pillow - $95

Aviva Stanoff - Velvet Pillow - $95


In an ideal world, all of our homes would be complete with every designer piece we desire. But until then, get the designer look for less!

Design Trend: Dark Interiors

I am the first to admit I love a bright, airy white interior. But more and more I find myself drawn to inky colors and deep luxurious tones. Just in time for the beginning of Fall/Winter 2016! Dark colors often get skeptical responses based on the belief that they make spaces appear small or unwelcoming. While in fact, if done well, dark colors can do just the opposite! We find they can be the best choices to create cozy spaces while minimizing the smallness of a room.

Many people turn to the color white to solve their design problems. For example, if their space is very small or doesn't have a lot of natural light, they paint the walls white. In some cases, this does help but it isn't the only way and can make the space feel too sterile or boring. What we recommend is playing with contrast. You can have walls that are darker and layer that by choosing lighter flooring, trims and furniture. The darker color blurs the corners and perimeter to mask the small room size, while the contrasting light colors create a sense of depth. If you prefer a dramatic, luxe look (we sure do!) you can continue the deep tones throughout the remaining design selections.

According to Pantone, the colors of the season happen to include some beautiful deep tones such as Sharkskin, Riverside and Potter’s Clay. The following are a few select projects that we feel beautifully exhibit the darker colors of the season. Most are examples of our own work here at Designs By Human, and others are by international designers and decorators.


1. Sharkskin

Projects: Cohen Townhouse; Feng Apartment.

Designer: Designs By Human

Bedroom - Cohen Townhouse by Designs By Human. We used tones of gray in the pinstripe wallcovering, luxe bedding and pillows.

Bedroom - Cohen Townhouse by Designs By Human. We used tones of gray in the pinstripe wallcovering, luxe bedding and pillows.

Living Room - Feng Apartment by Designs By Human. We used dark gray accent walls to help to add depth to the space.

Living Room - Feng Apartment by Designs By Human. We used dark gray accent walls to help to add depth to the space.

Bar Area - Feng Apartment by Designs By Human. The dark grey walls actually helped to brighten the space and make it feel larger.

Bar Area - Feng Apartment by Designs By Human. The dark grey walls actually helped to brighten the space and make it feel larger.


2. Riverside

Projects: Cohen Townhouse; Feng Apartment.

Designer: Designs By Human

Bedroom - Cohen Townhouse by Designs By Human.

Bedroom - Cohen Townhouse by Designs By Human.

Bedroom - Feng Apartment by Designs By Human.

Bedroom - Feng Apartment by Designs By Human.


3. Potter's Clay

Projects: Surprise Valley Residence

Designer: Designs By Human

Dining Area - Surprise Valley Residence by Designs By Human. This rich orange is accented with white window trim and treatments. (Check out our recent feature of this project in Elle Decor!!

Dining Area - Surprise Valley Residence by Designs By Human. This rich orange is accented with white window trim and treatments. (Check out our recent feature of this project in Elle Decor!!


More Examples:

Bedroom - Palan Apartment by Designs By Human. This grande master bedroom features deep purple, blues, and browns - mixed with light tones of white, cream and beige.

Bedroom - Palan Apartment by Designs By Human. This grande master bedroom features deep purple, blues, and browns - mixed with light tones of white, cream and beige.

A dark, inky bedroom by Megan Morton.

A dark, inky bedroom by Megan Morton.

Dramatic hues by Heather Nette King.

Dramatic hues by Heather Nette King.

The days are shorter and the weather is colder; don't be afraid to cozy-up your interiors with deep colors!

The Summer House 2016: Opening Night

Located at 107 Cherry Street, The Summer House is a beautiful collection of furniture, gifts and accessories based in New Canaan, Connecticut. The Summer House was created by Megan Freyer and Margaret Schwartz to bring handpicked selections to clients. Not only are the talented ladies at the Summer House great friends with us as Designs By Human, but we are excited to participate in some upcoming events in collaboration with them.

The wonderful design collaborators at The Summer House, celebrating the opening night!

The wonderful design collaborators at The Summer House, celebrating the opening night!

To kick start this, we attended their opening celebration of the New Canaan location on Saturday October 22nd at The Summer House. It was a fun event packed with friends, clients, music and great design! Though we met some cool new people, it was great to catch up with our fellow designers, such as The Design DotSpruce and FurnDebbie Jackson Interiors and more.

We invite all of you to the next event at The Summer House on November 5th. We will be assisting with design selections for your home, whether in New York City or New Canaan! We look forward to seeing you there!! 

Living Small In NYC (How to work with the space you have)

NYC is becoming increasingly known for its small apartments. It’s a relatively small city with huge demand!

With so many people living in the city, spaces are getting smaller and smaller to accommodate more people. Hence the closet sized bedrooms and teeny tiny “studio apartments”. Let’s not even get started on the sky high rents for these places! It sucks, but let’s be honest, none of us plan on leaving NYC nor do we want to! This is how we can make it work, with a few simple, smart ways to maximize your apartment space:



Use appropriate furniture

This doesn’t necessarily mean that all of your furniture has to be smaller than average. You can simply be a little strategic. For example, with a regular full size bed you can opt for smaller nightstands or mounted shelves as an alternative. You can even use larger furniture pieces, but use less of them and keep them proportional. 


No space for a nightstand? Mount a shelf in the corner instead!

No space for a nightstand? Mount a shelf in the corner instead!



Be clever with space ‘zoning’

If you are furnishing a small studio, it may quickly start to feel like one big room. Some things that make it feel this way: furniture pushed to the perimeter of the room and placing all types furniture into one big room without designating areas. This is where zoning can help. This simply means creating 'rooms' within the space. Through selective placement of furniture, you can suggest zones. For example, if you live in a studio you can suggest a bedroom by placing a large rug that will act as a boundary - so that everything within the rug is within the bedroom area. You can even add a screen, bookshelf, or curtain to separate even more. 

This person cleverly used wallpaper and an open shelving unit to zone a bedroom space.

This person cleverly used wallpaper and an open shelving unit to zone a bedroom space.



Mount things

If you lack square footage an easy way to compensate is by putting things on the walls! Walls aren’t just for artwork! You can mount shelves next to your couch or bed as a side table alternative, leaving space underneath for something else. Attach a fold out desk to the wall to save space when you’re not using it. Other items that can be mounted: lights, plants, mirrors, even storage baskets!

This person created a hanging garden wall, by hanging tools and plants to a wire grid.

This person created a hanging garden wall, by hanging tools and plants to a wire grid.



Become a minimalist

If you are moving from a larger apartment to smaller one this is a good step. Before the move consider what items are essential and extremely functional. Bring those first. Add in a small amount of decorative (non functional pieces) and either get rid of the stuff you don’t use or put it into storage! Not only will this save space, your apartment will look cleaner and uncluttered.

This apartment is minimal and functional - yet super stylish!

This apartment is minimal and functional - yet super stylish!



Use multi-functional items

No space for a bed and a dresser? Buy a bed with built in drawers! Not enough room for a guest room? But a side chair that unfolds into a daybed. Need seating and side tables? Get a pouf with a removable tray! Bonus point if it has storage inside!

This bed features a built in drawer underneath

This bed features a built in drawer underneath



Micro living can be fun! Use these easy tips and maximize your space! And hey, next time you feel sad about your small apartment, just think - you could live in a hallway like this guy.

Somewhere out here in NYC, someone is happily living in a hallway. 

Somewhere out here in NYC, someone is happily living in a hallway. 

A DBH Walkthrough: ICFF 2016

Last month we journeyed to the Javits Center to check out the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (aka ICFF).  There was so much talent and beautiful design in the show, it is impossible to list a favorite - so I have listed five booths I found particularly memorable! Let's take a brief walk through ICFF 2016...


1.    Le Fil Rouge Paris

Le Fil Rouge is a design practice based in Paris, France. They specialize in the development of elaborate surfaces for textile and interior design projects.

Their products immediately caught my eye! I was intrigued by the intricate design and detail in the woven materials used in their Optique decorative panels. This technique can also be applied to furniture, as Nanor (the design rep we met at ICFF) showed us. Take a look in the photo below!

An example of Le Fil Rouge furniture application

An example of Le Fil Rouge furniture application

A close up view of their intricate woven technique

A close up view of their intricate woven technique

2.    House of Hackney

I will be honest, with my British roots I was attracted to House of Hackney after recognizing the name of the London borough, Hackney. House of Hackney is based in the trendy Shoreditch area of East London and was founded by husband-and-wife duo Javvy M Royle and Frieda Gormley. In fact, it was founded around a kitchen table, in a house, in Hackney (hence the name)! They offer a great selection of print, color and texture – something we also like at Designs By Human. :)

Plus, the rep matched the ENTIRE booth…that was pretty cool.

Dress matches the walls, walls match the pillows

Dress matches the walls, walls match the pillows


3.    Corner Office by Peter Stathis & Michael McCoy

A well designed and practical option for offices, this product is surely to be popular in the ever growing co-working and open office workspace trend, as well as in startups. Each felt panel features a corner light, light/power ports (including a USB port) and an optional accessory pocket. I appreciate a simplistic design that also offers functionality – so this was a memorable item.

The Corner Office setup

The Corner Office setup

4.    Hygge & West

Hygge is a Danish word that loosely translates to "cozy", though it more describes that feeling during life's small moments. Moments like "curling up by the fireplace with a great book". This is the concept that Hygge & West is founded upon. Beyond the cool, whimsical wallpapers they offer, this concept of hygge is nice - "creating a cozy, beautiful environment where small, everyday moments can be enjoyed". Their wallpapers are also designed by artists and hand screened by artisans.

Beautiful prints!

Beautiful prints!

A range of prints in wallpaper and textiles

A range of prints in wallpaper and textiles

5.    Margo Selby

We LOVE print and texture; can you tell yet? So we couldn’t walk past Margo Selby and not take a look! Another UK based company, Margo Selby are a woven textile studio that specializes in interiors. 

Joe exploring the many textile options

Joe exploring the many textile options

ICFF is a great chance to see a huge range of products and designers from around the country and the world. Needless to say we walked away with a lot of photos and inspiration!

A Break-up & Break-down: Affordable Furniture Stores, besides IKEA

Everybody loves IKEA. But sometimes you want to furnish your home with pieces that are less cookie-cutter and more sophisticated than the options offered at IKEA. So let’s take a break from our favorite Swedish brand as we break down the following alternatives.

A division of Crate & Barrel, CB2 is an affordable, modern option. It first opened in 2000 in Chicago - think of it as the young, cool cousin of Crate & Barrel.

Urban Outfitters
While Urban Outfitters is known for their super trendy clothing, they also have a great selection of home furnishings in their Apartment section. Now your home can be as chill or as eclectic as your wardrobe! Check out the UO online store, as well as in-store, for more options.

Greycork is a new startup and similar to IKEA, they too offer flat-packed furniture but at lower prices. Their pieces are manufactured in the USA, and get this: each piece of furniture can be assembled in under 4 minutes, without tools. As we know all too well, IKEA assembly cannot compete with that! Currently, Greycork seems to only offer living room furniture in one neutral color scheme.

Chaise, $400

Chaise, $400

“No-brand quality goods” is what Muji (Mujirushi Ryohin) means in Japanese, and that is indeed what Muji offers. Here you will find a quality, simple selection of home essentials, from furniture and accessories to socks and luggage.

Thrift stores
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the awesome bargains and design finds available at a local thrift store! Pick up a unique table, chair or lamp and do some DIY for your own modern, personal touch. See last month’s post 4 Ways to Revamp your Favorite Items for ideas and inspiration!


4 Ways To Revamp Your Favorite Items

Spring is finally here! With spring comes a feeling of newness and a desire for a clutter free environment (spring-cleaning, anyone?). But for those of us with tight budgets or unsightly sentimental pieces, that’s easier said than done. Below are some of our favorite ways to revamp your old furniture and favorite keepsakes, courtesy of some great design bloggers!

1. Paint it
One of the simplest ways to revamp an item is with some paint. You can paint a variety of things such as chairs, doors, even lampshades! Check out this cool tutorial for an ombré bar cart, courtesy of Brittni  from Paper & Stitch Blog.

2. Cover it
A cheap way to revamp almost anything is by covering it. You can cover furniture or other items with fabric, wallpaper, contact paper, etc. If you go the contact paper route like Kaylee of The Blondielocks, you can take a $50 end table and make it look like a $500 end table! Kaylee took a basic white IKEA end table and revamped it with marble contact paper.

3. Frame it
Why hide your favorite jersey in the back of the closet, when you can frame it like Genevieve of Turned To Design! You can even frame other memorabilia such as flags, band t-shirts or tapestry for an aesthetically pleasing display.

4. Change it
Never got around to learning how to play that drum you bought 3 years ago, huh? Up-cycle it into a lamp like Lindsay did, on Makely. Your spouse and neighbors will thank you.


What's your favorite method of revamping? Let us know in the comments below!


Renovating your Rental

New York City is one of the best cities in the world and it is a city full of rental apartments in all budgets and in all shapes and sizes. With over 2 million rental apartments spread across the city, no matter what rental bracket you fall in, will want to make their space a home in some way or another. And while renting may not allow you to take a sledge hammer through the wall and double that 300SF apartment there are a lot of little and sometimes inexpensive things you can do to upgrade your rental to your home.

I always ask clients I am helping “how long do they anticipate to stay in the space” and “what are the long term goals?”. This is a big determining factor on what type of furniture they want, disposable or grown up furniture. This, within their desired budget can help me in suggesting the proper pieces and plan for them. Before making any major changes in your apartment, always check with your landlord and / or management company for approval. It is also a good idea if you have specific conditions built in when you are investing in their property that you get all the approvals and conditions in writing and obtain for your records. See our recommendations on Love Where You Live Realty's blog.

Our Take: Four Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table Finds

When putting together options for clients I end up scouring endless websites and showrooms around NYC to find that perfect piece to fit the clients ideal budget and space and of course fulfill the design aesthetic we are trying to achieve.  Below find four of our favorite recent finds of the last couple months, not all the pieces made it into the rounds for our projects.

Oblong Coffee Table
Vendor - Rypen  |  Designer - New Breed Furniture

Why it peaked our interest, the "Oblong Coffee Table" is such a fun and unique piece with so many small details.  Who wouldn't love that it is hand built in the USA (Skokie, IL) with high quality wood and attention to detail.  But, the main thing we love is the assortment of available colors and finishes make this a fun and adaptable piece to any decor or space.

Narran Coffee Table
Vendor - Dot & Bo

Why it peaked our interest, the "Narran" coffee table comes in a compact simple design that is highly detailed.  It feels very 70's modern in an updated kind of way, but with its geometric base it is able to integrate into multiple design aesthetics.  The pop of orange bends perfectly with the dark stained sheesham wood.

Mid-Century Modern Coffee Table
Manufacturer - Urban Green Furniture

Why it peaked our interest, the name says it all, this is a super simple design that packs a high impact visual.  Urban Green Furniture is known for their clean lines and green approach to furniture building.  The piece can be customized in multiple finishes and sizes so it is bound to fit your space.  It evokes the classic boxy lines with tapered legs that classic mid-century modern design is famous for.

Free Range Coffee Table
Manufacturer - Bludot

Why it peaked our interest, the "Free Range Coffee Table" is a wonderful mix of materials putting together stone, solid wood and metals.  This is not a traditional mid-century piece but one that can be adapted into multiple styles and has a more luxurious feel thanks to the high contrast.  I love its clean lines yet it has a lot of details that keep you interested.


Limited Edition State Wall Adornments

New for the Holiday season this year, designs by human. is releasing a limited edition run of a very special product.  Our new State Wall Adornments (decorations) are a perfect unique gift for someone special.  Whether you want to give as a gift or display your home state pride these modern decorations will be the perfect fit for any home decor style.

State adornments are exceptionally made by us and our craftsman right here in New York City and New York's Hudson River Valley.  We start by hand selecting the wood with the most interesting grain, carefully placing each state on the sheet of wood is critical in giving it a modern and unique look.  The wood is then cut out with a careful eye and a bit of technology to help into your favorite state.  Currently in our exclusive limited edition run we are featuring four states in two different finishes, California, Idaho, Texas and New York in both Walnut and Cherry.

Each state is then hand sanded with a detailed eye to make the surface smooth and soft.  Once sanded, we apply three coats of a premier and ultra high end oil finish by hand to make the natural wood grain of the walnut or cherry pop.  

At the location of the capitol, we carefully place a metal insert and sand it to be smooth and soft along with the rest of the surfaces.  These are truly one of a kind wall decorations!  Please inquire if you have any specific questions, otherwise take a look below at the process and then head on over to our webstore to purchase before they are gone!

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The big state of Texas in the Big Apple.

The big state of Texas in the Big Apple.

The Best Way to Display Art In Your Home

Below are several great tips from designers around the world on how to best display artwork in your home.  This article will help you understand how important artwork is and how many different ways it can be displayed.

Repost from "The Canvas Prints" blog

A world where there are no rules for creatively displaying your artwork on the wall – This article will make you learn the most amazing secrets, tricks, tips and trends for displaying your artwork by leading experts from the industry. What, when, where and how, these experienced experts have all the answers to your challenging wall display questions.

Get creative today and make your walls more interesting with personal photographs, paintings, art and canvas prints. Apply these proven techniques to them and make your interior design more personal, meaningful and aesthetically pleasing.

Roselind Wilson

 via Roselind Wilson Design

"Think about the background or wall colour against which the artwork will appear to enhance the work. White is not necessarily the best colour depending on the work itself. The correct lighting can then further enhance the work. The light fittings can be fitted with filters to be true to the composition and colours within the work."

Sarah Pritchard

 via The House Clinic

"If a room is lacking a focal point, introduce an oversized piece of art for instant impact. Alternatively you can group smaller pieces together to the same effect. For a more modern and simple feel, use an even number of pieces in the same size and colour frame. Or choose a wide mix of styles and sizes to achieve a fun, eclectic display."

Nicky Baruch

 via NB Interiors

"When it comes to displaying art in a home, as much consideration should be given to this as to furniture, fabrics and everything else. Sadly, many people think of art (if at all) as an afterthought, right at the end of a project, not realising that art can really "make or break" an otherwise beautiful scheme. Think about whether the art actually suits the room and decor, rather than as something to fill a space on the wall. A well-decorated and pleasing room is the sum of its parts and the quality of the art, framing and placement is an important component. Often, art is hung too high. Generally speaking the focal point of the art should be around eye level - lower than you think!
Although there aren't any "rules", strictly speaking, certain things should be considered. Art should be related to wall size and furniture size, so as to neither dominate or look insignificant. The colours should complement those in the room, or be linked in some way. Very bright colours should only be displayed in rooms which can handle them, so as not to look garish. There are many creative ways one can make artwork look great. Small pieces can be given a boost or new lease of life by framing in thick, interesting frames. Unifying disparate pieces by framing them in the same type of frame and hanging them together on a wall is a favourite. Incorporating vintage finds or found objects and framing them, to display with more conventional art is a great way of achieving an eclectic, yet curated look. Mix up the sizes, and above all, have fun experiment until you are happy with the result."

Scott Paton

 via Pippa Paton Design

"When renovating decide where art might hang ( whether you have the piece for that space or not) then protect that space ruthlessly. Do not allow an errant switch or thermostat to slide into that space, watch for where curtains will hang and then try and plan lighting to suit, be it adjustable overhead directional lighting or picture lights plan it in early. 
Other than that, all we'd advise is hang great art that you love. Don't buy for a colour scheme or investment buy because you love it!"

Sophie Seeger

 via Seeger by design

"Many people hang their artwork too high, which means the artwork feels isolated from the other elements in the room – there should be a relationship between your furniture, furnishings, lights and art – this is what creates a harmonious interior… especially an artwork over the back of a sofa. For me, hanging artwork at the right height, is THE most important thing. Whether you are hanging one piece of art, or a grouping, there is ONE rule to stick to:
Ensure your artwork or grouping of artworks, has its centre at your eye level – this is called the 57”/145cm rule.
Basically, with your tape measure, measure 145cm from the floor up – make a small dot with your pencil – and that’s where the centre of your artwork (or grouping of artworks), should lie.
If you have numerous artworks in a room, hung separately (not in a group), don’t try to level up the works at the top or the bottom of each frame, stick to the centre of each artwork being at your eye level, and your artworks will make your room come alive!"


 via Casa Forma

"You can use art to draw attention to a particular element in the room that you would like to highlight as the focus, such as a lovely marble mantle-piece or a wooden panelled contemporary wall."


 via Andrew Allen

"If you are hanging a number of pieces it's worth employing a specialist picture hanger. Yes, they do exist! And never, ever buy art just because it matches your colour scheme."

Jacqueline Steinberg

 via Eve Mode Design

"I would say two things:
1) Make sure art size is proportional to wall it's on
2) Anchor art with furniture underneath so it's not just randomly "floating" on a wall"

Marilyne Estephan

 via Splendour Interiors

"I believe when hanging wall art it is quite important that the size of the art sits well in proportion with the wall. There are so many beautiful art pieces around and it is most important that you have something in your home that you love as it will be you admiring the works of art most of the time and offcourse your guests will too. Art is very personal and can be interpreted in so many different ways. As the saying goes a picture tells a thousand words. If hanging multiple art on the one wall I like to always go with odd numbers as it is more visually appealing to the eye. Also depending on the art piece a strong coloured background also helps to enhance the artwork."

Joe Human

 via Designs By Human

"If you have children in the home, you’ll definitely have a lot of bright and colorful artwork to display (and that they will want to be shown off to guests), orient the art in symmetrical groupings and sophisticated frames for a custom & professional look."

Rowena Vaughan

 via RJV Designs

"Don’t put pictures too far up the wall. Pictures should be at eye height (obviously dependant on height of room, but a good rule of thumb). Pictures displayed in groups often look better than single pictures dotted around the room. Don’t be afraid to have blank walls. Good lighting makes better art – there are some great lights on the market now. Do be aware of the different tones of LED lights and the affect these will have on the colours in your pictures. When planning your room and electrical layout, always think about your art & Give sculptures ‘space’."

Lynni Megginson


"One of my favorite ways to display a grouping of similar pieces of art (such as intaglios, block prints, black and white photos etc.) is to frame them identically and create a shadow box out of thin moulding around them. Paint of wallpaper the inside of the shadow box and then hang your grouping perfectly spaced inside it. It's a smashing WOW factor in any room!"

Emma & Alexandra

 via Design Box London

"Lining alcoves either side of a chimney breast with floor to ceiling mirror and hanging artwork on top of this creates a glamorous, multi-layered look whilst bouncing light around a room."


 via Kandrac & Kole Interior Designs

"The best advice I can give anyone for displaying artwork in your home is to have it be personal and meaningful. Galleries are my favorite way to display art by including not only photographs but items that bring back memories. As an example, create a gallery as a tribute to your grandmother. Include photos of her, young and old, framed favorite recipes (even if they are written on the back of envelopes and have stains on them), and if she wore pins, include those in a shadowbox. Have your art tell a story!"

Jeffrey Alan Marks


"If you end up having a 'stack of art' that has no home, merge it all in a collection together and make a bigger statement…. add interest down a long lonely hall or along a stairway."

Brett Mickan

 via Brett Mickan Interior Design

"In my opinion the biggest mistake made when hanging art is hanging it too high. Never think of art as something to fill a blank wall, think of it as an integral part of the entire space and should therefore have some visual connection to its environment. As a general rule, art should be at eye level from where it will be viewed. If this is from a seating area it will be at a seated eye height. Above a sofa, I usually like an approximate 10” spacing. In a contemporary open plan space use the hanging of the art to help define rooms within the room. Don’t hang your art on walls between areas, negative space is just as important as the art to make all areas feel cohesive and comfortable and make the art prominent."

Jess Preston

 via Bow House

"Putting art in to your home can be totally over thought. If you love a piece, don't think about it just buy it! Trust your instinct, it is the best way to buy. That way, if you totally loved it from the word go, you won't get bored of it.
The next trick is to remember that a piece of art, if framed, can look totally different in one from frame to another. Look at the core piece of art, decide which room to put it into and then either re-frame it to make it in order to make it work in the room or you can paint/adjust the frame to tie it into other items in the room.
Try to ensure that if you have a wooden frame, you match it to other woods in the room. If you have a silvered frame but brass door fixings and sockets in the room then you will need to change the frame to gilt, and vice versa."

Kathleen Walsh

 via Kathleen Walsh Interiors

"Fill a wall with multiple pieces of art of the same subject or type when you want to create an impact and reveal a story, but first want your eye to focus on something else in the room."


 via Dom Designs

"Art has a true and firm and valuable place in interiors. Whether elaborate and classical, or stark white and minimalist - any interior can showcase and benefit from art. One way we tend to use art in an interior is for inspiration – colours may be picked out from a painting and translated into an interior. Another way is choose a painting for an interior which has been conceived already and select a painting that would reflect the hues used in a room. Another good way is to group pictured together, to make it work you may want to think about their size and also framing. Similar frames in colour, size or style will unify your collection. If you plan to use art however it may pay off to plan for it early in the process to allow either natural or artificial light accentuate and bring out your artworks."

Ramona Griffin


"My favorite art is something that is truly loved by the homeowner, whether it be vacation photographs or eclectic local art found in a specialty store. Displaying art where it is seen often by the owner means they can enjoy it more frequently. I love collages of small pieces grouped together or one large item in a place of honor like over the fireplace or sofa."

Patrick Hamilton

 via Ask Patrick

"I think people make two mistakes when purchasing or displaying art: they are shy when it comes to scale, so they often end up with an odd "middle ground" size of art that seems to just float aimlessly on a large expanse of wall... although an intentionally undersized piece, if it's colorful or textural or graphic or dimensional enough, can also be really effective, and totally hold its own. The other is undermatting... I like a wider mat on most pieces than people most often consider. Find a good framer, and build a relationship with them. And if budget allows, and you have several pieces to hang, you're doing an architectural grid, or are putting together a gallery wall, invest in some professional picture-hanging services. My favorite one here in New York City is iLevel. Worth every penny! I really love displaying art on colored walls. My trick is to pull one of the lesser-prevalent colors from the image and relate the wall color to that tone. I'm also still super in love with shaped and round canvases!"

Sian Elin


"A great way of displaying art is grouping together pieces that match in terms of their colour. Don't be afraid to mix and match the kinds of artwork, or frame type – give them unity by making sure the colours complement one another. "

Lisa Melvin

 via Lisa melvin design

"Lighting is key when displaying your artwork at home , consider LED lighting available in many forms and colours , be very careful with the colour you choose , I find ‘daylight’ 6500k gives a neutral colour that will enhance not distort your artwork. "

Jared Sherman

 via Jared Sherman Epps Design

"As important as the art itself, the scale of the art you put in a room will really determine how successful it is. One of my biggest pet peeves is a small piece of art on a large blank wall. You want to art to be a focal point—not look like a pimple on the wall. If you are doing one large piece you should hang it at eye level so it can be fully appreciated. Doing a cluster of pictures? Make sure to fill the entire space and leave about 6" around to let them breathe."


 via Living in Space

"Displaying art in your home can be a very personal exercise as certain styles are favoured by some and detested by others (which can become tricky when those two choices collide in one household!). Some pieces have sentimental value but may not fit in with your chosen interior style – these are all challenges that make sourcing or hanging art in client’s homes a challenge, but here are a few tips:
1. While symmetry may be the obvious choice when hanging art, asymmetry can prove equally interesting. If you don’t have a large enough piece to install on one wall, remember that negative space can be just as captivating – consider hanging your chosen piece of work closer to another feature in the room rather than right in the center.
2. Don’t be afraid to hang different styles together on one wall, in fact the more the better! The best way to collect items to display together is to keep them all within a similar tonal variance, and don’t forget a small amount of blank wall space around each frame to give every item a chance to ‘breathe’ amongst each other.
3. When considering hand-me-downs or sentimental pieces and how to introduce them into your new scheme, remember that a simple update can be obtained from merely replacing the frame. A good framer will be able to assist you in the choices out there and which ones would suit not only the art but the type of installation you’re after too. We are seeing a big trend toward aged heirlooms being displayed in contemporary box frames or glass and slim-panel framing."

Kristina Gyllenberg

 via Kristina Gyllenberg Fine Interiors

"Hanging art & what you chose to hang on your walls, is in a way, art-work itself. 
What you display, adds both character & personality to the interior. It is also about, what you select to display which can awake emotion. Also, the style can increase “the feeling” of your interior. 
For example, decorating your space with only 18th-century pieces & hanging art with motives from the same epoch in time. So, how you display the art & what the motive you display on the art, is of importance. Art influences your space enormously, since it has the power to wake emotions. Then there are of course, out of my own point of view, “no-rules” for creativity, simply, my opinion would be that “what feels & looks right for you, is right”. 
1. Think about how you want to display. Make a drawing before hanging the art. One very good idea, is to lay your paintings/art out in the floor, such as you are planning to organize them when hanged on the wall. This way you can play with different options. 
2. Have in mind what you display- since this will be something you might see daily. Have something you love, something that makes you happy or nostalgic. Or is a very decorative detail to your interior. 
3. Have fun with the art. Either you chose a more symmetric style, for a more harmonic setting, or be playful, use different frames & motives, from tiny to huge paintings. 4. Be creative, there are always some basic rules of course, when hanging art. However, “if it feels right, it is right”. "

Kerrie Kelly

 via Kerrie Kelly

"Don't be afraid to put a large statement piece of artwork even in a small space – you'll be surprised how it actually makes them seem more spacious."

Drew McGukin

 via Drew McGukin

"For me, art in the home is about sharing a small glimpse into your "soul." The art is really what tells your story as a compliment to a beautifully designed space. I have three P's concerning art selection: Personal Purposeful Profound. In essence, your art needs to feel (key word) intentional. Art is a fantastic way to share something about yourself non-verbally. "

Robin Baron

 via Robin Baron Design

"Art is all about placement. The center of a piece should be at an average person's eye level... and it doesn't have to be hung like it's a museum! Be adventurous and layer your art. Place decorative objects on a console in front of the art and create depth and perspective. Here's a little secret... it brings more attention to the art itself."

6 Upgrades Every Bathroom Should Have

Below are a few easy tips from Bed Bath and Beyond blogger Bonnie Vengrow to upgrade the look of your bathroom weather your in a rental or your very own home.  A lot of these can be achieved as a DIY project on the weekend.  Repost from "Above & Beyond, a blog from Bed Bath & Beyond"

Considering how much time the average person spends in the bathroom, you’d think we’d pay more attention to how it looks. But if you’re anything like me, you decorate the loo once when you move in, then promptly forget about it as you tweak and shape the rest of the home. What starts out as a stylish space devolves into one that’s just serviceable, which is why nearly every guest bathroom I’ve been in has a bowl of dust-covered soaps and grids of mildewed caulk.

Thankfully, keeping the powder room looking as spiffy as the rest of the house is fairly simple and doesn’t have to blow your budget. As interior designers point out, it boils down to making certain upgrades that have major visual and textural impact. Here are some improvements to consider:


A bathroom is only as good as its lighting, so you’ll want to invest extra time to get yours just right. A mirror or two is a must, especially if your space isn’t exactly overflowing with natural sunlight. Show a standard-issue model a little love by adding a beautiful frame or repainting the existing one; this inexpensive upgrade can provide a showstopper of a piece. Strapped for space? Consider replacing an older mirror with a smaller, decorative one over the sink, advises Laura Davis, vice president of HPD Architecture.

Another big-impact project? Swap out the light fixture — a beautiful one will double as a piece of “jewelry” in the room, says Christopher Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group. “An overhead linear fixture above a mirror can have frosted glass or individual shades that provide texture in the room,” he explains. “If you are undertaking a remodel, remember to use sconces on either side of the mirrors. Not only do they add a beautiful horizontal element to the space, but they are ideal light for women putting on makeup or men shaving. And always put your lighting on a dimmer.”

Soft Goods

It may come cheap, but don’t underestimate the power of a brand new shower curtain. Or nubby bath mat. Or plush bath towels. Luxurious (or luxe-feeling) soft goods not only make a bathroom feel more like a five-star hotel, they also make your time in there more enjoyable. Win win.


Jazzing up hardware is a low-commitment, low-cost way to dip your toe in the renovation waters. These simple, inexpensive changes will breathe new life into a tired space. Some ideas: Chuck the tired towel rack for a neat row of smart hooks. Switch out boring cabinet pulls and doorknobs with something stunning— or just spray-paint your existing ones. Even changing from silver to copper can make a piece feel new.


Want your bathroom to feel more like a retreat? Cover the walls with stunning wallpaper — I’m a sucker for Scalamandre-style paper — or a new coat of gray or pure-white paint. “[The colors] keep the bathroom serene and subtle and provide a nice backdrop for other elements,” says Patricia Gaylor of Gaylor Interior Design.

One caveat: Because the powder room tends to see more humidity than other places in the home, stick with paints and papers that can withstand the moisture. “The best is something with a bit of sheen, just so the moisture doesn’t penetrate as fast,” says Joe I. Human of designs by human. “If you want a flat sheen, make sure you get a washable matte/flat finish. Wallpaper is similar. I usually look for a paper that has some sort of vinyl in it, which will help reduce moisture. Make sure in both cases the walls are primed first.”


You may need an extra set of hands to help with this project, but freshening up the tile is a worthwhile project, since it can singlehandedly transform the bathroom. “Use larger tiles for fewer grout joints to have to clean,” suggests Davis. “And skip expensive mosaic borders. Opt for a single row of the same field tile in a contrasting color.”

“Tiles are a worthwhile investment,” agrees Gaylor. “For tile, I always use non-slip in a simple modern or light traditional style. Concrete-looking porcelain tiles give an industrial look or an urban loft look and a neutral backdrop to build on. For a cohesive look, I use the same tile on the floor as in the shower surrounds.”

Fixtures and Fittings

Only have money for a small project? Earmark it for new plumbing fixtures. This easy DIY job takes years off your bathroom’s appearance but also makes washing hands much more enjoyable. “You want something you look at every day and use that is beautiful,” Grubbs says.

And if budget allows, splurge on high-quality bath and shower fittings as well. “[The investment] saves in the long run, as they have long lifespans and are backed by warranties,” Gaylor says. “And they can literally turn your bathroom into a spa.”

Finding the right Wallpaper / Wall Covering

Wallpaper and wall coverings have come a long ways in the last ten years.  It is always amazing when I mention wallpaper to a friend or client the instant "eww" face I get as in most cases it is still associated with being "old" and "outdated", something only grandma would have in her home.  Funny thing is, all that is coming back with modern interpretations of vintage prints and patterns.

I recently found myself scouring the web and popping in and out of many showrooms here in Manhattan to find that perfect wallpaper for a client.  We wanted to give them something masculine with a soft side for their bedroom, something that was cozy but not glitzy and glam.  Seeing this suiting stitch pattern (see below) from Maya Romanoff was instantly what the space needed, it added warmth and texture as well as a unique element you do not see very often in a home.  This pattern is slated to be installed with rich copper and brass metal tones, soft patterned linens and walnut furnishings.