The Globalization of Interior Design

South Florida is experiencing a tremendous influx of international visitors, investors, and residents, resulting in globalization of every social, economical, and political aspect. Defining international influences was the focus of a panel discussion hosted by Drew Limsky, editor of Modern Luxury magazine, held at DCOTA (Design Center of the Americas) in Dania Beach, FL on July 24th. Contributors to the discussion were international experts Nevio Boccanera, Executive Director of Italy-American Chamber of Commerce Southeast, Carlos Marica, Board Member and 2013 President of the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce of Florida, Jay Parker, CEO of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, and Brazilian Interior Designer Guimar Urbina.

The group discussed the importance of recognizing the cultural diversity of South Florida,
and stressed the vast opportunities provided by collaboration of international business interests. It was unanimously agreed that the success of South Florida businesses relies upon creating multi-cultural relationships and improving management techniques across the board while maintaining cultural diversity that adds enormous value to the area.

Growth has come primarily from Venezuela, Argentina while populations from Canada, Italy, and China, are on the rise. They’re bringing tremendous changes to real estate markets, affecting the type and quality of architecture and design. South Florida demographics has changed drastically over the years, evolving from a meager location for elderly couples to retire to a vibrant center of business, education, culture, and entertainment. Homes are being purchased as primary residences instead of vacation or investment properties.

In addition to impacting real estate, the influx of the populace provides amazing
opportunities for the design industry. The luxury market is experiencing tremendous growth. Greater attention is being given to design and d├ęcor to create warm, welcoming, elegant, and sophisticated.

So it is not surprising that design schemes are more complex, requiring designers to become knowledgeable about a vast range of cultural preferences. Professional designers must have a full and ready arsenal of ideas, interpretive abilities, depth of resources, knowledge, as well as organizational and business skills to devise and complete an entire project that satisfies every client.

It’s no wonder then, that every project I’ve had the opportunity of being hired to create has been very diverse in every aspect – color, style, materials, function. They’ve all been challenging and most rewarding. 

Color palettes from neutral camel, cafe au lait, whites, and bronze accessories to gray, black, white, and chrome trim, or colorful red, coral, green, white, and antiques.

Dark or light; serene or bright; textures in solid colors or prints; design schemes are limitless.  
For complete images of each project visit my portfolio on Houzz

Abundant inspirational ideas can be found on my website.

Initial consultations are FREE! So act now so your home will be ready for the holidays.


Bringing Outdoor Desing In - or - The Sunroom/Conservatory Effect

There’s nothing as inspiring as a naturally bright, light filled room that creates of feeling of living outdoors. It’s not difficult to create a bright, open, and airy atmosphere in almost any room. The concept is bring elements typically found outdoors inside.

Make the most of natural light by enhancing windows. Use light weight window treatments such as sheer fabric panels or shades or nothing at all! Shutters or bamboo blinds are traditional outdoor statements. If you need light control or privacy, install solar or blackout shades that can be rolled up out of sight when not needed. Keep the design simple. If your windows have deep reveals, mirroring enlarges them.

Walls, when painted a neutral hue, seem to recede - dark shades actually work better. Wall coverings like grass cloth and naturally colored wallpaper adds the colors and textures of the outdoors. Imaginative use of tile on the floor and carried up the wall as wainscoting creates the feeling of a terrace or patio. Another option is adding lattice to the walls and/or ceiling.

Painting ceilings a light blue gives the feeling of being outside and adds height to the room. Be a little daring by adding a few fluffy white clouds which add to the illusion.

Generate more light by adding furnishings in glass, mirror, or metallic materials. Their reflective qualities also serve to increase an illusion of more space. If your room is dark, use a grouping of mirrors to create the suggestion of a window.

Avoid heavily upholstered furnishings. Exposed legs are more open and airy than those with skirts or upholstery that reaches the floor. Fauteuils (chairs with wood frames) used as pull up chairs are lighter in feel than club chairs. Wicker furniture is an elegant choice.

 Select open shelving with light accessories. Leave some shelves empty to maintain a spacious feeling.

A water feature such as a fountain is soothing both visually and audibly, while an aquarium provides a wonderful focal point filled with color and movement.

Bring in a sculptural element that would ordinarily be found outdoors.

Entertaining? Decorate with strings of party lights for the occasion.

Of course, judicious use of plants and flowers are ideal accessories to complete the look.

Make an appointment NOW for a 30 minute, no obligation, FREE telephone consultation.

Browse my portfolio on Houzz.


Interior Design Trends: Bold & Unexpected

It’s easy to create a design scheme that’s a blank canvas. The challenge with this particular project was the client’s desire for a new look – more contemporary in feel, yet she wanted to use her existing furnishings, art, and antiques. This did not give me much latitude.

Another consideration was the client’s age. At 90+, I wanted to include age appropriate features like non-slip flooring, lighting, grab bars, etc.

The only new furniture purchased was a dresser for the master bedroom, guest room bed, dining table, and bistro table and chairs for the kitchen. I added a wall shelving system in the den to include a work surface, wall-mounted tv, shelves, cabinets and drawers for

The apartment renovation came alive with rich colors, period details, and art. So this project is awash in reds and corals with splashes of yellow, green, and white, incorporating as many of her antiques and furnishings from her existing apartment without looking too pristine and 'old'. 

Visit Houzz to view the complete story.

More inspiration is available on my website.

Interior Design Trends: Feng Shui

Feng Shui is a Chinese design philosophy that has evolved over thousands of years based on logical and productive fundamentals to make the most of benefits provided by nature. Its foundation is based on energy or Chi, and incorporates balancing 5 elements: Water, Fire, Earth, Metal, Wood. Feng Shui principles apply to everything from agriculture to interior design. 

Feng Shui principles are always incorporated in my interior design schemes.  A beautiful,warm, inviting, and harmonious home has all the elements represented without one overpowering another. It isn’t readily apparent, but when a space is designed with all the elements in balance, there’s a feeling of peace and serenity throughout the home.

Although I’ve already attended several presentations on the topic, I'm always eager to learn more. I  had the opportunity to attend a wonderful event sponsored by Decorative Crafts located at DCOTA in Dania Beach, FL with renowned expert Michelle Luongo, July 10, 2014.

For specific details visit my blog on the 5 Chinese Elements

Interior Design Trends: Express Yourself With Color

Finding a color palette that makes your home comfortable and relaxing for you, while making guest feel welcome at the same time can be challenging.

Intense colors like hot pink, bright orange, black and pure white are best used as accents. 

Bright white is great for doors and trim. Use warmer tones for furnishings along with textures and monochromatic patterns. White palettes complement one another in any combination and give a clean look.

Bright and airy hues make a room seem more spacious.

Dark colors create a cozy, intimate atmosphere. A pop of color enlivens the design scheme.

Black-Grays-White combinations are sophisticated and chic. Warm up the space by bringing in accent furnishings in natural woods.  

Reds, oranges, and yellows are warm and welcoming colors. The more intense the shade, the more energy is created.

Bold and bright hues are dramatic and are great for foyers, powder rooms, and as an accent wall in kitchens and living rooms. 

Blues and greens create a calm and soothing and tranquil feeling.

Paint ceilings a light tint of the wall color, although in some cases, the same color as the walls add an elegant, custom look.

For more inspiration, browse my website.

My portfolio is featured at Houzz