Category Archives: Design

Designing for Siblings

Kids have definite ideas of how their rooms should look.  Over time I have developed some strategies that make both parents and kids happy when decorating their rooms. It’s important for children to have their own spaces, to learn how to take care of that space and to incorporate treasures and mementos from their experiences growing up into their rooms. It’s great for them to have that sense of comfort and to know that their rooms are their own special space.

When children are young and, especially if they are the same sex, they want everything to be exactly the same. They can perceive anything the other has as something that is more special than what they have — right down to a pillow. I always try to ensure that there are equal and same elements for both. As they grow older and their interests start to diverge, kids begin to have clearer ideas of what they would like their room to be like and what colors they would want.  Sometimes these ideas can get quite fantastical and more than a parent can bear. Have an initial meeting with your children and get some ideas of what they would like in their rooms and what colors they would like. (Note:  The idea of what they would like can often change from hour to hour and day to day). Think about what you can handle in their rooms in terms of design, too. Painting the entire room a bright purple may not be a parent’s idea of a great color choice — although, I have done many a teenage girls’ room in shades of lavender with purple shag rugs.

When I am hired to do a child’s room after the initial meeting with the parents and kids, I create two or three scenarios of room designs and go over them with the parent before we show the kids. This ensures that no matter which design the child selects the parents are comfortable with moving forward. It also creates less confusion and possible conflicts between parent and child.

There are some patterns I have noticed over the years of designing kids’ rooms. Often when kids are young, parents create really charming baby rooms and before you know it, the children are grown and ready to move on to a more older child-orientated room. They can have a hard time changing and updating their personal, familiar, comforting space even though they want to. Just give them some time until they feel ready. I have done over rooms for teenagers who still have their baby wallpaper up. And here they are getting their driver’s licenses.

If children aren’t ready to update their rooms, give them the extra time they need and when you do update their rooms, remember to bring some elements of what they had before into their new spaces. In my own children’s rooms, some childhood cactus plants have made it through a couple of room redecorations and have even moved with them into their own adult apartments.

If you are redoing a child’s room when they are preteen, try to create a room that will grow with them. Go with a full or queen-size bed, nightstands and, if possible, a desk that can function so they can have space for their computer and printer and good task lighting. It’s about this time that they move from doing their homework at the kitchen table to doing it in their rooms. Since teenagers tend to be a bit messy, make sure there is ample room for storage in the pieces of furniture that you select. Redecorating is expensive, so buying furniture that can grow with them as they move from being college bound to adults bringing home significant others is important. When kids finally move out and you are officially an empty nester, their rooms often become a home office, guest room or exercise room or some combination of the above.

Once you are an empty nester and your children have moved on to living on their own, you will find, as I am experiencing with my own children, that they don’t want to take their accumulated childhood stuff with them. They also don’t want you to throw it out. Their apartments are now incredibly neat and organized (never happened in their rooms growing up) and are quite nicely decorated in a mid-century style. It is jaw-dropping to see all those years of messy rooms translate into clean living spaces.

Written for: WAG Magazine

Break the Rules

A

re there rules to break in decorating? Yes and no. Following design rules may get the job done but it doesn’t create particularly inspiring rooms. The typical layout of a sofa, two chairs, a rug, matching end tables and lamps is so over. Create your own personal vision when you decorate. Don’t be afraid to add color, pattern, artwork or treasures that mean something to you. Forget about the “in” color palette of the moment but do use more current shades of your favorite colors.

To keep rooms personal, unique but updated, choose your color combinations carefully. You want your rooms to still feel fresh and not stale or like you are walking into a time warp.

Mix both traditional and modern pieces throughout your home. Walking into an individually themed room in each room of your house creates a disjointed feeling.  Mix a modern table with traditional chairs or try a classic Chesterfield sofa and mix in more modern armchairs. A European look that breaks the rules juxtaposes modern artwork with traditional furniture. The tension created is timeless and your rooms will feel less static and more interesting.

Wallpaper is not just for walls. Wallpaper the ceiling instead of the walls. Using wallpaper on the ceiling gives your room a fresh spin. A subtle pattern looks wonderful or go bold and really create some energy in the room. Another great way of using wallpaper is to take interesting panels or fragments of wallpaper and frame them — instant artwork. 

Another rule to break is one involving rugs, specifically that your furniture should be all on or all off the rug. Many times I like pieces of furniture half on and half off the rug. If you have a small beautiful rug but it’s clearly too small for the room try layering it on a larger sisal or jute rug. The larger rug will ground the rest of the room but you will still get to use your small beautiful rug. The smaller unusual rug will go far in giving your room that special personal look.

I find the often touted recipe of using only three colors in each room too confining. I prefer layered variations of colors. Sometimes I select them from artwork, a rug or a client’s favorite color, but I almost never use only three colors in a room. I often use many shades of one color or several colors mixed together. I don’t love the feeling of walking into a one-color room.  An example would be a room of all gray. These one-color rooms tend to look dated quickly.

Lighting can create personality in a room. A mix of lamps in a room creates visual interest. Use different lamps in the same room. I do, however, like pairs of lamps often using them on end tables that don’t match but are the same height.

Don’t mix different metals in the same room is another rule to break. Use antique silver pieces on top of a white lacquered Parsons table or gilt frames on modern paintings to create a chic look. I also love creating gallery walls using all the same frames or all different ones mixed in — silver and gold leaf or lacquered black. 

Books belong on bookshelves: Break this rule. Books should be read and looked at. Keep art books stacked on a coffee table or keep a few stacked under a chair.  Make them part of the décor of a room and within easy reach, not just left to collect dust on a shelf. Once you have read them and no longer want them then share them with friends or donate them so that someone else can enjoy them.  The feeling of having a physical object to look at and read from cannot be stressed enough.

Hide your televisions — another outdated rule. Televisions and technology related objects are a part of our lives. I don’t find the need to hide the TV behind closed doors or armoires. It’s fine to have it visible in our homes. Today, TV stands keep televisions visible. I do object, though, to TVs in every room. I also object to having television on all day every day. Take a break, get off your sofa and enjoy interacting with people.

Entertaining today is more informal. Formal entertaining was an important part of designing and decorating homes. Storage for china, silverware and crystal were important things to consider. Now homes are more fluid with open-concept living and more casual entertaining. Although it‘s always nice to have a formal dinner party, don’t wait until you have enough space, china, crystal and silverware.  Have more casual parties. Buffets are a great way to entertain if you are tight on space or have to work the next day.

That’s one rule you’ll want to keep.

Written for: WAG Magazine

Tricks of the Trade

s an interior designer I am always asked what can be done to make your home more stylish, beautiful, hip and current — often by complete strangers.

Over the years, you learn some tricks of the trade that can be applied to your home, putting it on the path toward a welcoming personal environment. Working with clients, I set my goal at listening and understanding their lifestyles and how their homes need to work for them. Here are some tips to get you started:

Paint — I know this has been said before, but there is nothing that can achieve so much for so little. Color can enhance a mood — even a focal wall can change the feeling of a room — so don’t be afraid to experiment with color. Many spaces have awkward ceiling angles. My suggestion: Paint walls and ceilings the same color. It softens the angles and helps them blend in.

Painting the trim the same color as the walls is also a nice idea to make the rooms feel larger, calmer and more modern.

Dark colors can make the walls recede, making a small room feel larger or alternatively warm and cozy.

Artwork — Many people are so afraid of buying art. Buy what you love. Frame children’s paintings and your own photographs, grouping artwork together in the same frames to create a gallery wall. If you are looking to collect art seriously, then hire an art adviser. For many of us, though, buying what we love can begin to make our rooms personal.

If you are still afraid to commit to artwork, then wallpaper. It gives rooms lots of visual interest with no commitment to artwork. If you become tired  of the wallpaper, you can change it and instantly create a whole new room. 

One of my favorite wallpapers is a grasscloth. It instantly gives timeless style to both traditional or modern rooms.

Lighting — I love lamps. Three-way lamps offer levels of mood lighting that can create an instant sense of warmth in a room. Plus, they come in so many varieties. To highlight your room, add a lamp in an accent color. Changing your lamps often can instantly update a tired room. Even changing to modern drum shades will instantly modernize your room.

It’s all in the mix — Combine both old and new pieces to make a home feel collected and timeless. This is usually best left to an expert in the field, because he or she will have a better understanding of what combinations work well together. A professional can also be impartial and will be unsentimental enough to get rid of pieces that just don’t work in your new rooms.

Scale — Scale is a huge component to successful decorating. Measure, measure and measure again. Many people purchase the wrong size appointments — sofas that are too deep, rugs that are too small for a room and furniture that doesn’t fit the space properly. Unless a room is very large, I try to keep my area rugs with the sofa and chairs half on and half off the rugs. It makes a room feel more comfortable and less static. I also like to combine both skirted, upholstered pieces and ones with legs in the same room. It tends to make the room more animated.

Paint or lacquer your furniture — Give old “brown” furniture a fresh update in a painted finish or a high-gloss lacquer in a gorgeous color.

Update kitchen hardware — Not ready to completely redo your kitchen? Replace old hardware with new hardware. Try an unlacquered brass for a current update.

Do one or two rooms at a time — Build on your design aesthetic. If you purchase a couple of pieces scattered about in different rooms, your home will never come together. If your space is small, try to purchase furniture pieces that all contain storage. Organize your closets and keep small spaces neat. This will make your space feel larger.

Indoor/outdoor fabrics — Collections of these fabrics have really come a long way and are a stylish addition to rooms with kids and pets. Many fabrics can be very fragile for an active household. Indoor/outdoor fabrics resist wear and tear and are easy to launder. Many are both fade- and stain-resistant.

“Buy quality and only cry once” — There has never been a truer statement. Purchase classic quality items whether they are modern or traditional and they will stand the test of time. I love beautiful craftsmanship and furnishings. And quality pieces can be mixed easily with other quality pieces whether they are traditional or modern.

Written for: WAG Magazine

Holiday Details

Can you believe it’s already the holiday season? This year has flown by! We’re quickly approaching Thanksgiving, and that means it’s time to start focusing on holiday details and decor.

The Thanksgiving table is one of the focal points of the holiday, especially with all that delicious food on it.  Spend some extra time this year with the details to make it really stand out! These napkins and napkin holders by Kim Seybert are some of my favorites!

And what better to go with a stand-out table design? Barware that’ll wow your guests – such as this antique etched collection from Williams Sonoma!

Stand out glassware deserves memorable drink recipes.  Here are two of my favorite traditional holiday beverages!

Slow-cooker mulled cider is the perfect drink for entertaining a crowd because you can prepare a batch in advance and leave the slow-cooker on “Stay Warm” while you relax and enjoy your guests!  Just add brandy or whiskey to this recipe and you’ll have a show-stopping drink! Recipe Here. 

It’s not Thanksgiving without Hot Toddies! Check out this fantastic recipe and consider whipping these up for friends and family at your feast! Recipe Here

What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?

The New Traditional

Do you love antiques and modern design? If you do, it is time to mix them together. It’s time to add a modern twist to traditional. Take a look at these rooms that make the classics feel fresh. This design is used for those who love the past but also love the comforts of modern life.

“New traditional: an homage to classic decorating with a breezy air” -gorgeous modern spin on the traditional home

Traditional furniture and décor has plenty of history and can be quite beautiful. Having antique furniture can often look overdone. It can feel rather heavy, dark, and dated. By adding a modern style, the home design will have a clean and exciting vibe. This blend of the old and the new celebrates the best of each, creating a look that is both timeless and timely.

Kitchen

New traditional kitchen, with bright gold and brass lanterns, circa lighting in the ceilings, vintage navy blue and pink Persian runner, bikini stools, brushed brass hardware and white glass front cabinets.

What Americans once thought of as traditional is rooted in English country style, with its matched sets of furniture, saturated colors, multiple patterns, and heavy layers of window treatments and accessories. But modern life has changed how rooms are used and what to expect from them.

Bathroom

Passed down from Mandy’s grandmother, an antique mahogany china cabinet­ makes a striking, unexpected statement—so much so that it almost overshadows 
the beautiful cast-iron claw-foot tub—in this master bathroom.

The design scheme is a fresh take on countryside style, with a palette of whites and a statement rug. Whites are often used in New Traditional design. White represents purity or innocence, doctors and nurses wear it to imply sterility. White is bright and can create a sense of space or add highlights. This is why the rooms are often painted completely white. It is considered to be a summer color. Because of its neutrality, it is popular in fashion and decorating.

Bedroom

Look We Love: The New Traditional | Apartment Therapy

Contrasting colors also draw attention to the form of the piece. Staid brass tacks are another way to update an old piece of furniture.

Dining Room

This traditional New Orleans dining room has a chinoiserie mural of the Louisiana swamp, silk drapes, wooden table and console tables, upholstered white chairs and an ornate chandelier.

Seemingly disparate pieces of furniture come together with a casually unified color scheme. Burgundy, dark green, and indigo make way for sage, celadon, sky or aqua blue, wheat, and white, mixed with chocolate brown for contrast. Upholstery still references historic shapes but seats are now large enough for sinking in and lying down.

Misc.

New Traditional decor is all about layering unique wares in an edited fashion. For the most part, upholstery is kept neutral, allowing for artwork and accessories to take center stage – via Apartment Therapy

The prevalence of neutral hues in new traditional style doesn’t mean washed out and boring. For eye-catching accents, try citrus hues. Walls are unique antique salvaged mirrors, sconces, and, in some cases, architectural remnants. Salon groupings of artwork are usually done in matching frames, for a tailored look. Special oil paintings, impressionistic portraits, or landscapes are usually hung on their own so as not to compete with other decor. Drawings, architectural studies or botanical prints framed simply with over-sized mats seem to be a popular choice. 

The Montauk House

Montauk is one of my favorite places to visit.  When a client reached out with hopes of giving her Montauk home a much needed update, I was thrilled!  Combining personal and traditional elements we created a beautiful, welcoming environment.

Living Room Details, Montauk House Design by Cami Weinstein Designs, LLC

The Montauk House

Living Room Details, Montauk House Design by Cami Weinstein Designs, LLC

Montauk has a soothing energy that instantly relaxes you.  It was important for my client for her design to be sophisticated yet welcoming.  We decided to feature a natural color palette to bring the outdoors in for a seamless transition.

Bathroom Design

Bathroom Details, Montauk House Design by Cami Weinstein Designs, LLC

The bathroom should be fresh and inviting; a place for privacy.  Bathrooms are one of the major selling points of a home, and tend to have a lot of foot traffic.  This bathroom’s wallpaper makes a statement without overwhelming the space.  Rich, glossy tile and fresh grout make the backsplash pop and lead your eyes to shiny hardware.  The mirror adds a contemporary, geometric touch; I love the simple detail of this mirror.

Living Room Design

Living Room Details, Montauk House Design by Cami Weinstein Designs, LLC

My client’s Montauk house is close to the beach, which makes wicker the ultimate accent.  The wicker coffee table and large area rug ground the design, while white accents add a fresh pop.  Before we began mapping out the living room, my client emphasized that this was the room friends and family would spend a majority of their time in (aside from the kitchen, of course).  Working with a neutral palette set the tone for relaxation, making the room the ultimate chill hangout.

Dining Room Design

The Montauk house’s dining room before the grasscloth wallpaper installation.

How elegant! The dining room’s finished look.

One of my favorite ways to add glamour to a room is with custom wallcoverings.  One of my favorite fabrics to work with is grasscloth, specifically from Phillip Jeffries!  The Montauk house’s dining room featured gorgeous bay windows for maximum lighting, adding all the more to the wallpaper’s luster.

Bedroom Details

Bedroom Details, Montauk House Design by Cami Weinstein Designs, LLC

Once the house’s major rooms were outfitted, it was time for the bedroom.  Because the majority of the house featured natural beiges and crisp whites, we decided the bedroom should be a little more eclectic.  The ikat-inspired duvet cover is a bold black and white print we both loved instantly.  Patterned sheets add a subtle mix of pattern play, while  bedside accents are bursting with color.  I loved this bedside table’s hardware and rich blue tone and thought it paired wonderfully with this acidic green lamp.

To explore more of my projects, you can view my portfolio here.

Woven Wooden Shades

Lighting changes a room’s tone completely.  Woven wooden shades are a wonderful way to update your home while subtly adjusting the lighting.  These gorgeous woven wooden shades are ideal for your Connecticut home.

The Shade Store

Bedroom Lighting

Provenance® by Hunter Douglas

Provenance® by Hunter Douglas

Transition your bedroom from the excitement of summer to cozy fall warmth with woven wooden shades.  I love the natural element they bring to a room.  The Woven Woods collection from Hunter Douglas provide a warm, natural look.  This collection features a variety of shades to match your bedroom design.

Home Office Inspiration

Winston's Collection

Winston’s Collection

Refreshing your home office is a great way to stay inspired and boost productivity.  Give your work space a seasonal update along with the rest of your home!  This interior ties the furniture and area rug design in with their window coverings for a complete, finished look.  Furnishings inspired by nature seem to have a calming effect, making them optimal for a home office.

Bathroom Refresh

HomeAdore

via HomeAdore

Vacation may be over, but your bathroom is an instant spa!  A bathroom refresh is all you need to infuse your home with lake house inspiration.  Woven wooden shades are a necessary accessory when calling back to memories of beach life and summer relaxation.

Indulgy

via Indulgy

Explore more ways to incorporate woven wooden shades into your interior with my Pinterest board!

Modular Home Install Day

Wow!  I can’t believe modular home install day has finally arrived!  It’s a big day for the house I am working on in Montauk!  The day started on an early note; a total of 5 pieces were to be moved to the location and completed.

Cami Weinstein Designs LLC Cami Weinstein Designs LLC 03

We spent the day watching as each piece was carefully placed into position.  This was a tough site to work on; it’s narrow and has a lot of low-hanging electrical wires.  It was decided that it would be best if each piece was brought under the wires, then lifted and spun 180 degrees to be set in the proper place.  It was a fun and fascinating day!

Cami Weinstein Designs LLC Cami Weinstein Designs LLC Cami Weinstein Designs LLC

About Modular Homes

Cami Weinstein Designs LLC

There’s a little bit you should know about modulars.  The modular homes of today can be completely customized to meet both aesthetic and town-code restrictions.  This modular was designed with architect Christopher Hull, of CAH Architects in Cos Cob, CT and myself.  Working with Chris was a pleasure;  he really listens to what the client is looking for and works to meet their specific goals.

Cami Weinstein Designs LLC

Jon Sirkin of Hampton Modular and his team are taking care of the construction.   Hampton Modular is fantastic to work with; they are  open to new ideas and go to great lengths to make their clients happy.  It’s a pleasure working with Hampton Modular and such a personable construction company is truly a rare find.

Cami Weinstein Designs LLC

Jon has just opened another office in Greenwich, known as Greenwich Modular.  As a designer I am delighted to work with such a great team and so glad this home design option was explored!

Cami Weinstein Designs LLC

Now that the pieces of the modular home are set into position, completion will only take a few months.  During these months, finishing touches will be put onto the modular home.  I can’t wait to see the final result!  Stay tuned as we take you through this project through completion.

Cami Weinstein Designs LLC

For More Information, Contact:

CAH Architecture and Design, LLC

Greenwich Modular

78 Valley Road, Cos Cob, CT 06807

 

Cami Weinstein Designs, LLC

37 Arch Street, Greenwich, CT 06830

Painted Black Houses

Looking for a refresh?  Painted black houses are effortlessly elegant and chic! Think outside the box and explore different shades of black.  Painted black houses come in a variety of styles; give your home an instant upgrade with one of these shades.

Painted Black Houses

There are so many shades of black to consider.  This single swatch chart shows how depth and tone come into play when selecting the perfect paint color.  I recommend taking swatches and paint samples home with you to test out.

Painted-Black-Houses

Apartment Therapy

OMG Lifestyle Blog

via OMG Lifestyle Blog

It’s surprising how versatile black paint can be.  The architecture of this apartment complex pops in a metropolitan area; I love the white trim accents.  Below, a secluded cabin takes a bold stand in front of its astounding natural backdrop.

Painted Black Houses

via Apartment Therapy

Project:  Exterior Refresh

Recently kitchen and bath designer, Sarah Blank, and I were discussing ways to refresh a home’s exterior.  Sarah mentioned wanting to paint the exterior of her house black for a fresh look.  I was instantly intrigued, recently having seen a modern 80’s home in the Hamptons.  The house’s exterior was painted black and it looked fabulous!  Afterward, I set out to explore different shades of black for various styles of homes.  Regardless of whether they are traditional, gothic, mid century, modern, barn or cottage-style homes, once painted black, a home is instantly given a wonderfully exotic aesthetic.

Kate Monteith

I love painted black houses via Kate Monteith

Painted Black Houses

via Remodelista

Painted-Black-Houses

via Arch Daily

Painted-Black-Houses

via Style Carrot

For more Painted Black Houses, visit my Pinterest board here.

Clapton-Inspired Design

Recently, I went to see Eric Clapton in concert.  My penchant for Clapton-inspired design began once I saw the stage hands rolling out a large Oriental rug.

Persian Mohajeran Sarouk rug

Persian Mohajeran Sarouk Rug

Clapton Live

Live Performance

Eric Clapton Live

The performance was amazing; Clapton’s moody rock and blues ballads are so heartfelt.  Many of the songs are deeply personal and about his personal struggles with love, loss, addiction and life.  It’s always amazing to witness an artist transforming their emotions into art.

Live Performance

Live music is good for the soul.

Before Clapton, Gary Clark Jr., another favorite musical artist of mine, performed.  As the stage hands were clearing sound equipment and instruments from Gary Clark Jr.’s set, I noticed a man carrying a large rug out.  The man proceeded to spread the large Oriental rug onto the stage.  This piqued my interest immediately, and questions began running through my head.

Live Performance

The concert was an amazing experience!

Why an Oriental Rug?  Was it a way of feeling home?  He was pretty far from England.  Did the rug feel comforting?  Did it remind him of home? Was it reminiscent of the bohemian mania of the 60’s?  Were the colors a source of inspiration for him; the patterns?  Did the huge Oriental rug help to absorb sound?  For the rest of the night I kept wondering about the rug and what it meant to him.

Classic Oriental & Persian Rugs

Classic Oriental and Persian rugs having been out of the design limelight for a while,  but they remain timeless.  Ornate with beautiful colors and patterns, Oriental and Persian rugs are a fabulous investment.

Persian Oriental Rugs

PersianRug via Oldcarpet

Infuse your interior with elements of bohemian chic by adding (or layering) these ornate rugs.  These rugs will definitely make a comeback.  They remain as iconic to decorating as Eric Clapton is to music.  I selected these beautiful pieces for decor inspiration; throw your favorite Clapton on, and start pinning your favorites here.

Persian Oriental Rugs

The kind of boho vibes I’m channeling right now.