Sunday, February 26, 2012

Fireplaces ...Urban Style

This fireplace was my inspiration for a current project

I am currently working on a fairly large space in Tribeca, downtown New York. It is about 6500 square feet with terraces and beautiful views. The living room is very spacious with 14 foot ceilings, open dining room, separate kitchen and library. The style direction is modern, eclectic with bright colors. Every piece of furniture has been carefully selected. We either designed the specific piece which would then be bench made in one of our workrooms, or imported it from Italy , England, France, or ordered it  from New York specialty shops or showrooms. The space did not have a functioning fireplace and I felt that the library absolutely called for custom cabinetry incorporating a fireplace. I researched the codes and the above image is the inspiration that I presented to our client. Six months into the project, we should be able to get the permits very soon and get started.

While doing my research, I found a great belgium fireplace purveyor:Metalfire which is ideal for modern urban spaces. I will share a few of my favorite styles. Meanwhile, i decided that our Interieurs Showroom could also use a little warming up. I contacted the Brasa owner and now represent the company in New York. I just love their collection, during our parties, we lit the tall pedestal at night and it gives such an intimate warm feel to the terrace. We hosted an event this November, the bar was outside and most of the guest sat , stood, drank and ate on the terrace, the pedestal fireplaces gave enough heat to keep the party going.

Brasa pillar fireplace. I also have them in white around my pool and terrace. They are just wonderful for outdoor dining and night swimming. 

Brasa tall white pillar in the background on the Interieurs terrace

Various Brasa fireplace style. Photo Brasa

Metalfire fireplaces.Image Metal fire

One of my favorite Metal fire fireplace

 Images above from Metalfire

A Bientot,


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Inspirations... Modern Eclectic

Interieurs Showroom

January could be referred as "mensis horribilis", dismal business, hardly a client in sight, very few purchase orders.... Having just returned from antique shopping in France, a full container ready to leave, I start fretting, worrying about the state of Business and its enormous financial demands...running a showroom in New York is not for the faint of hearts. I actually run 3 separate businesses, Scenes d'Interieurs d/b/a ... Interieurs ... which is the furniture, lighting, accessories Showroom featuring the Interieurs furniture collection, unique antique pieces and other exclusive collections... Interieurs Inc., which is the wholesale component of the business and Interieurs Design Studio which as it clearly states is the interior design element. I need to be constantly abreast of new products, materials, be inspired to design new pieces for the interieurs collection, understand the upscale market and its demands, utilize the new marketing tools and keep a presence as a key player in the industry.

Getting ready to pitch a new client or an existing client is always a challenge. We had a presentation last friday for an amazing client, incredibly stylish, creative and extremely prominent in the entertainment industry. The client mentioned that  2 top internationally known designers also wanted the project. That kind of challenge is exactly what I needed to chase the blues. In the midst of the frantic gathering of materials, inspirations, preparing boards, CAD elevations and floorplans, I received an email from probably my favorite client from our Tribeca showroom. He had just sold a very large penthouse to a foreign buyer and wanted to show him a few ideas of what could be done with the space. We had 2 days to present an electronic  portfolio of our work  that would be relevant to this amazing space. At 4 AM, my alarm clock woke me up, coffee in hand,  I mentally enter this truly amazing apartment with 360 views of Manhattan, a giant glass fish bowl of sorts, on top of the world. I envision a young, successful single person living there... 

Modern eclectic came instantly to me... not the expected pure contemporary design, but a mix of modern, with surprises of warm wood, corky pieces, custom lighting that would define a space, give a glow and some warmth and a cosmopolitan fee. The international client, whom I may never meet, might spend very little time in this penthouse.

Portfolio ready, I also prepared two inspiration collages the would more clearly define my vision of the space. This prospect is a real long shot as he may have a specific designer in mind, but it was a great exercise to re-awaken my creative juices.  

Inspiration: Eclectic

Inspiration: Contemporary eclectic

Do you have a favorite?

A bientot,


Sunday, February 12, 2012

Avignon... A shopping trip: the "Deballage"

This year I missed the Maisons et Objets Paris show in order to look for deals at the "deballage " in Avignon. I have been going to these outdoor giant flee market of sorts for years. It resembles Brimfield market in Massachusetts in terms of lay out and concept, but this market is mostly for "chineurs" (a dealer's scout) and dealers who sell to other dealers. Dealers come with their trucks filled with antiques from all over Europe and buyers from all corners of Europe and the States come to buy, rain, shine, wind or bitter cold!

It was absolutely FREEZING....and I am someone who actually enjoys cold weather. Winds up to 70 miles/hour, temperature below 15 Fahrenheit... as you can see, I was dressed for the cold (I am actually the one bundled up, face covered, standing with my friend Michelle).

One needs to be very fast, know exactly what to buy and how much to spend. The good stuff goes incredibly fast. I am a haggler by nature and very tough when it comes to dealing for prices and I actually enjoy the process. With the unbearable wind (I was covered head to toe by white sand dust), negotiations went fast, I was done within 2 hours. I found some great mid century chairs, armchairs in need of some Tender Loving Care and some accessories. I missed out on quite a few pieces as some dealers beat me to it... this is a ruthless world.

Scenes of the "Deballage"

The wind was fierce!

Found these chairs, negotiated at Euros 40 a piece, an amazing deal...

Missed out on Mr Swan..

Almost got this...but decided to be wise

The famous Isle Sur La Sorgues Mill wheel in its frozen state.

Back to Isle sur Sorgues to work with Bernard on my industrial pieces. While in France, the only sales that took place at the showroom where industrial pieces, chests, side tables, armoire... Industrial is still going very strong. Thankfully our designers and their clients appreciate the integrity of original 18 to 19th century pieces, rather than go for copies made in Vietnam and China. I love this part of my work, going through yards filled with rusted industrial components, a reflection of time gone by. Through this experience, I have developed a deep fascination for the Industrial Revolution that took place in Europe and America, the harshness, the brutality of these times, but also the ingenuity and inventiveness of men. I'll show you a few of the pieces that bernard will work on for my next container.

A bank safe, before and after...

This is the original, to be transformed into this... as seen in my Interieurs Showroom

This cart will make a great side table

Love the displays

Aren't they fabulous chairs!

A Bientot,


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