INSTAGRAM

Follow Dale on Instagram for creative design, inspiration, travel and interest!

High Point Market Trends 2015

HAPPY SPRING!

HAPPY SPRING!

A rejuvenated season in design shows fresh seating with a.....

MODERN TAKE ON A CLASSIC STYLE. 

  • Lovely pops of color and thrilling textures inspire 2015 trends.
  • Color saturated fabrics use contemporary dying techniques on classic patterns.
  • Mixing old with new.
  • Grandma’s highboy chair with present day floral upholstery.
  • A shape modified for today’s modern tastes.
  • Furniture seating is widened for contemporary girths.

Looking For That Exceptional Piece of Furniture? Only Adventurous Souls Need Apply!

Many years ago, my family and I traveled to UXU Ranch, Dude Ranch extraordinaire, just outside of Yellowstone Park in Wapiti, Wyoming. A recommendation from another executive at my husband’s midtown Manhattan international bank, away we went with our three YOUNG children. Dude Ranch extraordinaire because we traveled by horseback, cowboy style during the day, and dined as if we were in a luxury restaurant in San Francisco at night.

Even featured in Architectural Digest travel section.  A west like you could never experience before!!The dude ranch and food were amazing, but the most interesting find for me was the style of furniture used throughout the area. Molesworth! Hand made Western Ranch furniture. Even found in the Buffalo Bill museum, the style is a treasure.

As a legendary designer, his (Molesworth) furniture was purchased by The Annenbergs, famous CEO’s and U.S. President Eisenhower to name just a few. He is known as “The Godfather” of ranch style furniture and has influenced nearly all professional furniture builders around the world.”

A style not for everybody but, The natural beauty and the vast open spaces of the West have always attracted the most adventurous souls. Primitive and simple, yet powerful and strong, and even sometimes whimsical, the style is fashionablee in even the most elegant, and sophisticated, homes.

Signature Style

Coffered Ceiling

Coffered Ceiling

CEILINGS, as a design element, should always be remembered in the final decoration of a space. The properly dressed ceiling completes the entire look and feel of every room.  This enhances and emphasizes the decor that you’ve worked so hard to achieve.  I believe you should always add this shot of personal expression for the ultimate appreciation of the home experience.   The result is always the incredibly happy reaction from those living there.

 

Ceilings are like the jewelry or perfect tie for the perfect outfit.  Just like the pearl necklace on the little black dress, it can make a subtle statement.  Or it can be like the bold tie that says look at me!  Or it can be anywhere in between.  The ceiling design contributes to the overall presentation and feel of the home.   Historically, the beauty and importance of ceiling design was well known and used; only recently have ceilings been ignored in our modern living.

Decorative Painting to represent a glass ceiling.

Decorative Painting to represent a glass ceiling.

 

Depending on the space, a tall ceiling can be made more intimate, a low ceiling can look grander, a dark room can be given more light, exceptional moldings can be added or enhanced, or the ceiling can be the finishing touch to capture just the right mood.  There’s a wide range of creative ceiling options.

My overwhelming philosophy is, “no ceiling should be painted white because it has been forgotten.”

 

The ceilings in this dining room were painted a subtle pink (actually the walls too!) to create a warm ambience while dining and removing the starkness of white against the blue wall covering and window treatments.

TOO MANY CARS, NOT ENOUGH SPACE?

“LIFTING EXPECTATIONS” … CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE

Concours D’Elegance —  French meaning a competition of Elegance, a gathering of prestigious cars– deriving its name from the 17th Century French Aristocracy who paraded horse-drawn carriages in the Parks of Paris. Today, Conours events are held all over the world, where automobiles, motorcycles, airplanes even boats are on display from classic to contemporary.    The Greenwich, CT “Concours D’Elegance” is held every summer and is a must see! Famous automobiles represented by the world renown Bon Hams Auction draw car enthusiasts from around the world.

Car Lifts PLUS “Garage d’Elegance” is so pleased to be working with Dale Minske, Interior Design and Decoration. On Dale’s recent trip to Paris we asked her to be on the lookout for antique automotive memorabilia for our client’s awesome garages. We believe that every room in your house should be living up to its full potential, your garage is no exception. You wouldn’t be wearing sneakers with a beautiful gown, so why would you drive you gorgeous four wheeled babies into a room that (if they could speak) would be Wailing "Fix Up Our Crib!”

Most of you have substantial investments in your automobiles and making improvements in your garage will add incredible value to your home.

Another professional who’s advice we value Mark Markelz, Exceptional Properties Specialist, Sales Vice President with William Raveis in Southport, CT reminds homeowners the value of a finished, organized garage. While finding the perfect home for his clients he also overcomes the obstacle of — too many cars and not enough garage space — by sending in the pros from Car Lifts PLUS.

Careful measurements are taken, matching the perfect lift to fit your needs. Their certified, professional installers assemble and install, single, two, four post or double wide lifts and Voila – a two car garage turns into a four, a three into a six and overnight! There are also features to make sure the hydraulic lifts are operated by authorized family members only. Proper training, hands on instruction, garage doors, proper electrical wiring and future maintenance are all inclusive. Lifts are also available for boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, lawnmowers, custom colors, plus custom lifts for motor homes, etc. 

Creating more space allows a dream garage to emerge

Do you see where we are going to celebrate your very own Concours D’Elegance at home??   Man Cave, Hobbyist, Sports, whatever your needs – fabulous accessories abound. Wall storage created with slat wall systems in exciting colors create a truly finished look. Shelves, baskets, hooks can all be easily moved for the seasons. Quality cabinets in a rainbow of colors that will not rust –  fabulous seamless “forever” flooring in custom colors or stained and polished concrete is also available.

Dale Minske’s mantra “Beautiful Homes are In The Details” is why we value her guidance in choosing these exciting options in cabinetry, flooring and accessories to coordinate your garage with existing or new home construction.  So the next time you enter your garage remember to take some sugar to your hardworking and trusted four wheeled beauties and make an appointment with  CAR LIFTS PLUS  “Garage d’Elegance”. Trophy included!

www.Carliftsplus.com

203-509-5353

R.J. & Starr Lorenz

11 Tips For Working With an Interior Decorator

When you hire a designer, you open up your life-and your dreams-to interpretation. It’s an intimate relationship, but it can be a fraught one. So how do you guarantee that the collaboration will be a success? We’ve asked clients of several of our A-List designers to share the risks and rewards of working with top-flight talent, what lessons they’ve learned along the way, and why they find the process so compelling that they are willing to undertake it again and again.

 

 

1. DON’T PIGEONHOLE YOUR DECORATOR

Roxanne Bok and her husband, Scott, an investment banker, have seen firsthand how a good designer can make a major impact on a space—regardless of the budget. They first hired MATTHEW PATRICK SMYTH about 10 years ago to renovate an 1853 farmhouse in Connecticut. The budget “was no-holds-barred on materials and antiques,” says Roxanne, and Smyth created a historically

appropriate home that thrilled the couple. When the Boks later bought a condo in Palm Beach, however, they had a very different request. “We told him to do it as cheaply as he could,” says Roxanne. “He kept telling us about the pieces he was buying at Target, and the art he found on the Internet, and we thought, ‘Oh my God, what’s this going to look like?’ ” But the end result still made the Boks swoon. “Matthew said, ‘I have just as much enjoyment shopping at Target,’ ” Roxanne remembers. “Sometimes it’s more fun doing something with less money than with more.”

2. CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING

Building their dream home in Montecito, California, Siri Marshall, a retired corporate executive, and her husband, Bob, enlisted SUZANNE RHEINSTEIN as the interior designer. “I had some trouble,” says Siri, “especially at the beginning, understanding what Suzanne was trying to do. It’s easy to reject an idea if you’ve never seen it before.” Rheinstein selected gray, stone, and earth colors for their California kitchen. “I got the sample when I was in my white French kitchen in Minneapolis, where I was living, and I thought, ‘Oh, I don’t think this looks like a very happy kitchen.’ But I took them to the house in Montecito and held them up, and suddenly I understood that they were exactly the colors of the landscape. It was all part of the indoor-outdoor flow she was trying to create. I made some of my best decisions when I let Suzanne push me.”

3. ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SURPRISED

Drew Katz, a media company CEO, first hired ERNEST DE LA TORRE for a major loft renovation in SoHo. He was so pleased with the results that he enlisted the designer to work on a home in Vermont and two apartments in Philadelphia. But some of de la Torre’s quirkier suggestions initially gave Katz pause. “For my house in Vermont,” Katz remembers, “Ernie proposed a ceiling fixture that was like an eight-foot motorized zeppelin. It was shaped like a dragon, with a tongue that goes in and out, and I thought, ‘I don’t know about this.’ But it’s turned out to be everyone’s favorite piece, including my own.” For Katz’s New York loft, the decorator commissioned a hand-painted wallpaper from China for the enormous modern staircase. “It starts on the lower floor as a river, and as it rises to the upper level it becomes cherry blossoms and golden clouds,” says Katz. “I was very skeptical, as it was extremely expensive, but it wound up being extraordinary.”

4. LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS CAN WORK

While planning a new home in Greenwich, Connecticut, Hilary Haroche realized that the majority of her magazine clippings featured work by one designer SUZANNE KASLER. But Kasler lived hundreds of miles away, in Atlanta. “A lot of friends said, ‘Are you crazy? You live two seconds from New York City, where there are a thousand great designers.’ But I just knew Suzanne was the right person,” says Haroche. “Because our house was being built so quickly, there were a lot of 911 moments,” she says—for instance, when workers installing moldings didn’t fully understand the design details. “I’d video things and send them to Suzanne,” explains Haroche, “and she would send sketches back, from Atlanta or while she was on the road, on the fly.” That fast pace, which saw the house completed in one year, didn’t prevent Kasler from making the interior intensely personal. “She was one of the most collaborative designers I’ve ever worked with,” says Haroche.

5. SOMETIMES DESIGNERS KNOW YOU BETTER THAN YOU KNOW YOURSELF

Upon buying a midcentury villa in Southampton, New York, Darice Fadeyi and her husband, both doctors, hired TIMOTHY WHEALON, who had designed two homes for a friend of theirs. “Tim is really adept at getting inside a client’s head,” says Fadeyi. “I had a hard time putting what I wanted into words, but he has the humility to really listen to you. There are other designers who create objectively beautiful spaces that have no connection to the client. But there’s no question that my Southampton place is my home. Tim’s not satisfied with what he wants. He has to make sure you’re getting what you want. Several times I approved something, and a few days later he would come back and say, ‘I don’t think you really love it. Let’s try something else.’ ”

6. A GOOD DESIGNER IS VERSATILE

Noel Berk and her partner, Liz Omedes, have an affinity for intense colors. Berk paints as a hobby, and was drawn to working with JAMIE DRAKE when it came time to decorate the couple’s loft in New York’s Flatiron District. “He loves strong colors as much as we do,” she says. Drake pulled the palette from the couple’s Andy Warhol Flowers print, which meant a bedroom in lilac, fuchsia upholstery in the living room, and a bright-orange guest room. “When we sold the place, the new owners ripped everything out—then they hired Jamie to design the same space in their way,” Berk says. She and Omedes went on to hire Drake again when they bought a farmhouse on Long Island, where the designer used yet another color scheme. “It was inspired by a bolt of vintage 1950s fabric he found in Los Angeles, a wild abstract with turquoise and orange and green. That’s the proof of Jamie—your taste can be totally different from his, or from another of his clients, and his work will be great no matter what.”

7. A GOOD DESIGNER THINKS AHEAD

When ALESSANDRA BRANCA decorated a Greenwich Village apartment for Alexa and Tim Scanlon, “she paid attention not only to how we live,” says Alexa, “but to how we would be living in the future.” The young couple doesn’t have children yet, but Branca designed the guest room so that it could convert to a room for a child just by switching out a few pieces of furniture. “She also chose what she called ‘lifestyle’ pieces, which are the kind we can take with us to a bigger space in five or six years,” says Alexa. “For that reason, we decided not to paper our entire bedroom with custom wallpaper from England. Instead, Alessandra designed an incredible screen to go behind the bed, something that can be moved.”

8. DON’T GET OVERWHELMED

“It really helps to have your choices narrowed down,” says a client who, with her husband, hired Branca to decorate the couple’s Chicago penthouse triplex in a building overlooking Lake Michigan. “Alessandra set us up in her enormous library and had us mark pictures of the things we liked, whether it was a pediment or a floor or the color of a wall. She then made us what she calls a ‘look and feel’ book, with swatches, photos, and samples, along with our comments, such as, ‘She likes this, but he doesn’t.’ Then Alessandra would offer three or four ideas, not too many, for each piece of furniture, each lamp or ceiling fixture.” Branca also used a few things the couple already owned, sometimes in surprising new ways. She painted a mahogany canopy bed white, for instance, and a mahogany chest and desk black. “It gives the pieces a whole new life,” the client says.

9. TRUST YOUR DESIGNER

When Lynn Mestel first contacted ALEXA HAMPTON nearly 15 years ago, she made a bold prediction. “I said, ‘You don’t know me, but I’m going to be one of your great clients,’ ” says Mestel, a lawyer and entrepreneur. The reason? “I already loved her taste and I’m a very busy person.” She planned to give Hampton free creative rein. For Mestel, finding a designer who could deliver the look she and her husband desired without a lot of back-and-forth was key. “To me, an interior decorator is like a psychiatrist—you always fire your first,” she says, noting that her previous collaborations with designers weren’t as successful. “You need to find the person who gets you.” And once she found that person, Mestel did little second-guessing. “Alexa is an artist. She has a palette and a vision. If you’re going to spend a lot of time trying to change that vision, you’ve lost what you’re buying.”

10. LEARN FROM YOUR DESIGNERS AND THEY’LL LEARN FROM YOU

For Carole Bayer Sager, a songwriter who helped compose such hit tunes as “A Groovy Kind of Love” and “That’s What Friends Are For,” working with interior designer WALDO FERNANDEZ has been almost as good as attending design school. “When I started working with Waldo, I really didn’t know very much about design,” says Sager, who has hired Fernandez for six different houses over the past three decades. “But as I became more educated, I started buying things at auction that we would then incorporate into the houses.” While she grew to know more about furniture, objects, and art, she continued to rely on his expertise in pulling rooms together. “Sometimes, I’d find something I loved and would want to build a room around it,” she says. “What Waldo has that I’m missing is a fantastic sense of scale and architectural planning.” Each time they work together, she says, she encourages Fernandez to go beyond his comfort zone, just as she does with her many musical collaborators. “I try to push him to be at his most inspired.”

11. HAVE FUN

“Most designer-client relationships lack one important element: fun,” says Georgia Spogli, a longtime client of CHARLOTTE MOSS. “Charlotte and I laugh, plot, dream, and obsess our way through every project. Neither one of us requires an abundance of sleep, so we find ourselves e-mailing each other at all hours of the day and night. No detail is too small.” The result, she adds, is that the completion of every project is bittersweet. But Moss always finishes with a flourish. At the final installation, the home goes from unfurnished to completely finished in a single day. “You enter into a perfect atmosphere of candlelit, accessory-placed, picture-hung, and flower-filled glory,” says Spogli. “It never fails to make you gasp.”

Reprinted from Elle Decor Magazine article.

Extreme Garage Makeover...From No Place to Show Place

MOTHER HUBBARD LIVED IN A SHOE – HAD SO MANY KIDS SHE DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!

Could this be the case when it comes to your other babies, you know the four wheeled ones – Your Automobiles!

Sometimes life is just not fair, what are you to do?  You don’t want to sell your home or get rid of one of your babies…nah what was I thinking? Constructing a larger garage even if you have the space on your property can get rather costly.

The perfect solution, look up, if you have  enough height in your garage –  car lifts can be the perfect answer. Measure the height of your cars and add one foot. You should have enough room. The Ceiling may even be raised or perhaps a subterranean lift could be the answer.

Professionally installed home garage car lifts, single, two, four post or tandem. There are features to make sure the hydraulic lifts are only operated by authorized family members and are easily operated with proper training. Lifts are also available for motorcycles, and lawnmowers.

Now with more room provided by the perfect lift for your vehicles it is time to have the professionals help you choose all the other features to make your new garage a true BA-DA-VROOM-ROOM!  Colorful PVC or epoxy flooring with non slip features. Cabinetry (that wont rust) or have issues with humidity or dampness. Proper lighting and slatwall storage for every hobby or sport imaginable for the kids and members of the family, including Fido.

Who do you call to make this magical transformation? ATTITUDEGARAGE.COM “Extreme Garage Makeovers”. Let these experts create the temple your automobiles deserve.  TheMan Cave for that favorite guy of yours or an unexpected new playroom for the children, the PVC tile is acoustical and soft to play on, yet hardy enough for airplane hangars.

Attitude Garage is so pleased to be working with talented designer Dale Minske. As Dale reminds us that “Beautiful Homes Are In The Details” no details are overlooked by team Attitude. As accessories are the jewelry of the home  the same is true while planning the finishing touches in your Garage. Depending on the look you are after, and what kind of Babies you do have – Euro Sport Cars or perhaps Antique Classics, complimentary cabinetry and accessories are carefully chosen.

You can take that wasted and unused space in your home  from “No Place”  to  “Show Place” overnight!   MOTHER HUBBARD?  No more worries for her, she’s definitely got a New Attitude and some major bragging rights! Her Babies are higher than they’ve ever been before, safe and sound in  a new ATTITUDEGARAGE.COM  “Extreme Garage Makeovers.”

You can contact these Garage Transformers at 203-509-5353 or check out their website  for more ideas at www.AttitudeGarage.Com. Starr Lorenzi

What Size Chandelier Should You Purchase?

Chandeliers are designed to float in a room as an important part of the decor. Too large and this fixture will overpower the space. Too small and it will look out of place. Placing a chandelier that is too small in a space is likely the biggest mistake.

Great designers, therefore, tend to make their decisions on fixtures that may appear slightly larger than might be appropriate. It’s generally always best to make the mistake on a fixture being too big than too small.

“I am a classicist at heart and observe the rules of proportion so with chandeliers placed over dining tables I like the height to be about 30’–36′ above the tables for optimal lighting.” —Sara Gilbane Sullivan

To make sure your chandelier is the right size for the room in which it will hang, consider the following:

1. How high is your ceiling? Taller ceilings demand larger fixtures.

2. What is the size and shape of your table? Island? The chandelier should complement, not overpower, anything you plan to suspend it over.

3. How big is the room you are trying to illuminate? Again, be sure the chandelier is not too big or too small for the room.

4. What is the form and design of the chandelier? Light, airy fixtures tend to look larger.

Consider a Hanging Shade as an elegant, yet simple addition to a small table. Add more than one over a kitchen island. Use in a bathroom in front of or between two mirrors

Consider a Hanging Shade as an elegant, yet simple addition to a small table. Add more than one over a kitchen island. Use in a bathroom in front of or between two mirrors

MEASUREMENT GUIDELINES

To size a chandelier for your dining room, or to be the focal point of your space, measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. The sum, converted to inches, will equal the diameter that you can use as a guideline when selecting the size of your chandelier.

Example: 14’+20’=34′ Converted to inches=34′

Correct Size Chandelier=34’Diameter

If the resulting measurement (room length + width, converted to inches) seems inappropriate due to the size of your table, size your chandelier three quarters the width of your table.

In most cases, the bottom of your chandelier should sit approximately 30’–32′ above the tabletop.

Add a little humor to your life. This conversation piece of “Walking the Tightrope” is beautiful over a kitchen island with the rectangular shape.

Add a little humor to your life. This conversation piece of “Walking the Tightrope” is beautiful over a kitchen island with the rectangular shape.

SIZING A CHANDELIER FOR YOUR FOYER

When determining whether to hang a flush, semi-flush, or multi-tiered chandelier in your foyer, be advised that the bottom of the fixture should be at least 7′ from the floor.

For two-story foyers, if there is a window above the front door, center the chandelier so it can be seen from outside.

If your foyer is extra-large, you may also want to add sconces. Sconces should be installed 60″ from the floor and 6″– 8″ apart.

To make sure your chandelier is the right size for the room in which it will hang, consider the following:

1. How high is your ceiling? Taller ceilings demand larger fixtures.

2. What is the size and shape of your table? Island? The chandelier should complement, not overpower, anything you plan to suspend it over.

3. How big is the room you are trying to illuminate? Again, be sure the chandelier is not too big or too small for the room.

4. What is the form and design of the chandelier? Light, airy fixtures tend to look larger.

An updated twist on an antique style. Light and Airy!

An updated twist on an antique style. Light and Airy!