Friday, January 31, 2014

More Outdoor Furniture Rules to Break

Christy Ferer recommends you accessorize indoors with antique awnings, terra-cotta urns, pottery, and gazing balls.

Rules to break:

"Garden furniture is for the garden."

Adirondack chairs, sandstone benches, chaise longues, and weathered teak or wrought-iron chairs can easily be softened and refined for the indoors with overstuffed cushions and velvet throws. Old, weathered pieces with peeling paint bring beautiful patina and texture to a room.

"Garden style is for causal rooms."

Bringing the outdoors in doesn't mean transforming your home into a greenhouse. Small "green" touches relax traditional, formal, and even the sleekest modern rooms. Put an old tool set on the small side table or a bowl of pebbles on the mantel. She suggests using a vintage urn as a planter. Old stone columns can come inside to define an interior entrance.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Christy Ferer Shares Tips for Outdoor Furniture

Vidicom CEO Christy Ferer says break the boundaries, bring the outdoors in and take the indoors out. Architectural gems like porch posts, fences, corbels, gates, and bits of Victorian gingerbread become sculpture in the context of an enclosed space. Birdbaths, fountains, metal window casings, and wrought-iron benches give weight to interior landscapes. Likewise flats or grass, bowls of live moss, sundials, and gardens statuary breathe fresh air into indoor rooms.

Turn the inside out by using patios, porches, decks and gardens as outdoor rooms. She says experiment with pillows, throw rugs, pottery, and candlesticks. Make the ground your floor and sky your ceiling. Build walls with trellises and hedges. Accessorize with urns and statues, pottery and gazing balls. Hang a mirror in your garden. A famous horticulturist put one at the end of his bamboo walkway to make it look as if it went on forever.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Interior Design Tips: Ceilings

Christy Ferer, Vidicom CEO, says the ceilings of the fifth wall of a room, so don't overlook it. Ceilings used to be elaborately decorated, ornamented with moldings, often highlighted with contrasting paint colors, or painted with pictorial panels of landscapes, mythological figures, or cloud-filled skies.

Author Georgette Mosbacher draws attention to her library ceiling with an antique map copied onto canvas and affixed to the ceiling. She says, "My ceilings are high and decorating them is a very good way to pull the eye up and keep the ceiling in scale to the rest of the room." Jack Hemingway kept his father, Earnest's, fishing poles on the ceiling of his Idaho home, while Sotheby's executive Florence Grinda displays an extensive pottery collection on hers. She suggests a flat screen TV can be easily hung from a ceiling.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Christy Ferer's Interior Design Tips

Christy Ferer, Vidicom CEO,  has something to say about corners and above the door. Make corners and other obscure spots work for you. Fill them with indoor trees, corner cupboards and benches, a grouping of bamboo stalks, or a screen. Fill a corner with objects relating to a favorite hobby or sport - maybe tennis, golf, or a horseback riding. She agrees this could be the ideal place to show off those trophies, award plaques, or prize ribbons.

Christy says the area of wall space right over a door can be a valuable asset to a room when it's decorated. This is where French decorator Pierre Passebon often groups collections of plates. Sybile Denfert-Rochereau has paintings edged in gilt and framed with molding mounted above the sitting-room doors of her chateau in the south of France. Bill Blass uses this area for narrow architectural drawings.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Landings and Hallways Tips

Nooks under stairs and stairwells can be a functional space for a small desk, a reading chair, a phone. Or, instead of using stairs as a means to an end, make them a destination by treating them like sculpture. Highlight the banisters with ornamentation. Cover the step risers with mosaic tile or paint them with a fun pattern. Staircase landings are natural display cases. Vidicom CEO Christy Ferer has used them to showcase art, straw masks from New Guinea, Moroccan vases, sculptures, and large mirrors.

She says hallways can act as art galleries or functional space, depending on the width. They are great for revolving displays of your children's artwork. Play up the long and narrow shape of hallway by repeating the light fixture or painting linear patterns. Christy recommends you use this silver of space to play with mirrors and sconces.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tips on Decorating Laundry Rooms

Since this is your private space, take risks with color and accessories. Assemble a collection of vintage detergent boxes or tins on a shelf mounted over the washing machine. Christy Ferer says tuck everything into baskets large and small for easy storage. Cover the room with a soft throw rug. Sneak in a little TV or portable CD player.

Christy's laundry room is filled with objects from her travels - straw hats, pottery, copper pitchers. She painted the walls a rich red and stenciled them. She keeps her mops in a big old milk can. She used Velcro to attach an inexpensive polyester gold organza skirt to the wash basin.

Friday, January 17, 2014

More Bathroom Tips

Vidicom CEO Christy Ferer suggests adding a flea-market chandelier or candelabra. Hand-carved wooden bowls can hold soap, shells, or potpourri. Christy Ferer keeps a silver bread basket filled with antique perfume stoppers from the Paris flea markets next to my bathroom sink. Fashion designers Cynthia Rowley puts her towels on an elegant marble pedestal. French designer Agnes Colmer turned a silver ashtray into a soap dish.

She says you don't have to buy bathroom sets that includes matching toothbrush holders, soap dishes, and tumblers in non-breakable materials to be practical. Use odd saucers, trays, cups, pitchers, drinking glass, or an odd ice bucket to hold soaps, toothbrushes, and combs. Use a covered soup tureen for jewelry or cosmetics. Baskets can store toilet paper or cotton balls.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bathroom Tips

Christy Ferer says that bathrooms have long been oases of privacy. These days, that fact is celebrated and exploited in dozens of ways. Add a padded garden bench, chair, chaise longue or even a small sofa. This gives a place to visit - for getting dressed, giving haircuts, or polishing nails. That it's a bathroom doesn't mean it can't have a wonderful little table for holding makeup, toiletries, and so forth, or a bookshelf, magazine rack, display cabinet, or curio cabinet for stacking reading material, a pad, pen, and family pictures.

Bathroom decoration does not need to be different from the rest of the house. Try anything that you'd use in any other room as long as it can't be damaged by humidity. She suggests soft lamplight rather than prepackaged overheads can look great.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Neglected Space Rules to Break from Christy Ferer

Christy Ferer has some rules to break when it comes to neglected space:

"Decorate bathrooms practically with fixtures and furnishings customized for bathrooms and use non-breakable accessories only."

Nonbreakable can be confined to the shower. The rest of the bathroom doesn't have to be devoid of interest. Silver, porcelain, or wood objects look great in the bath.

"Don't waste time or money decorating a laundry room. Nobody sees it."

Flash! Any room where you spend time should be visually pleasing. Even the lowly laundry room can pamper you by looking good and reflecting in your personal style.

She argues that "Corners and ceilings should be left bare so that they don't detract from the rest of the room."

Why can't they add to the room? Corners are pockets of space that can be put to use as work or display areas, while a ceiling's decoration can be the topping on a beautifully decorated room.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Neglected Space Ad from Christy Ferer's Book

Christy Ferer says any room in which you spend time deserves to be beautiful. Too many of us have boring bathrooms. Horrendous Hallways. Dull landings and laundry rooms. We figure they don't matter because for the most part they're not seen by guests. Stop treating yourself as a second-class citizen. Every part of your home should please you. Corners. Ceilings. The space under the stairway. Windowsills. Balconies. Christy Ferer suggest these are notoriously neglected by most people.

It only takes a little thought to accent the ignored spaces in your house by accessorizing them with clever visual surprises... the painting hung over the doorway to stretch the eye and the room upward...  a statue teetering on the top of a tall piece of furniture, maps, fishing rods, and pottery decorating the ceiling.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Some More Space Rules to Break

"Very large rooms are cold. Use furniture, pattern, and accessories to warm them up."

To many, lots of space is the ultimate luxury. Christy Ferer says flaunt it. Revel in the openness by keeping it clean and uncluttered. Resist the compulsion to fill up a large space. Fashion designer Bill Blass uses supersize mirrors, furniture, and accessories to emphasize the large proportions of his rooms.

"A too-tall ceiling should be visually towered by painting it a dark color."

She says to many people, there's no such thing as a too-tall ceiling. They see lofty ceilings as pure drama and glamour. But if you feel overwhelmed or somehow dwarfed by the height, bring the ceiling into scale with the rest of the room by using tall furniture or indoor trees. Hang art slightly above eye level, paint celing beams decoratively, or use wainscoting to pull the ceiling down.

I consciously crafted a plane near the top of my double-height ceiling to position a sculpture, purposely emphasizing the height as a design element.

Monday, January 6, 2014

More Space Rules to Break

Christy Ferer says, "Paint a small room white to make it look bigger."

If you regard smallness as a problem that has to be fixed, this is a valid rule. But smallness can be cozy. Many of us feel more relaxed in a small room because we feel more sheltered, more protected. Play up a small room by going in the opposite direction. Exaggerate the smallness. Paint the walls a dark color, like chocolate brown, deep burgundy, forest green or rich blue. These colors advance rather than recede. They push outward and wrap themselves around you. Read more about Vidicom's CEO interior design tips.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Space Rules to Break

"Keep furniture small in a small room"

Filling a small room with furniture emphasizes the small size of a room. Think big. Play with space and visually expand it. Use oversize furniture. Big couches. Hefty tables and sculptures. Large paintings and lamps. In the diminutive bedroom jewelry, Andreas Zadora created for his daughter, an oversize doll house fills the center of the room, giving the illusion of a much bigger space.

"Keep accessories small in a small space."

She says one great piece is always better than a lot of mediocre ones. Don't think of this as a poverty of riches but as the luxury of less. Calvin Klein says, "Pairing down is actually more difficult than adding embellishment-embellishment can hide flaws. With fewer elements, what's not essential is immediately discernible and interrupts the rhythm and mood of the environment." In fashion, doing less exposes and emphasizes the bare essentials-from the seams to the zippers In home design, editing puts the focus on details such as the piping on a chair is finished or the way objects are placed.