New Tip:  The most current  and popular wall color seems to be various shades of white.  It is actually quite timeless and versatile.  It will allow you to make many changes within the walls of your room. 

PREVIOUS TIP:  When decorating a deck or patio, try to bring the inside out.  Using colors from the adjoining inside space will invite your guests outside  and make the patio feel like an extension of your interior.  Try to appeal to as many of the senses as possible...sight (i.e. interesting accents), sound (i.e. a water feature), smell (i.e. fragrant flowers). 

PREVIOUS TIP:  If you talk with those who study "green design", it is a known fact that asthma is on the rise.  One of the considerations is environmental.  In particular, there is concern about composite materials being used in homes and schools because they contain Formaldehyde which is toxic.  My best adivise--"Buyer BEWARE"!  Try to buy domestic made products. 

PREVIOUS TIP:  If you're trying to find good quality casegoods (i.e. tables, dressers, chests, etc.) there are a few things you should look for.  First question is to find out where it is manufactured.  If it was made in the U.S., Canada, or Italy that's a plus.  Be sure that there are dovetail drawers and that they are reinforced with corner blocks.  The glides should be wood on wood, as wood on metal will shave the glide and cause a certain amount of play in the drawer.  If the drawers are painted and you do not see any signs of dovetails, don't buy it!  This most likely means the drawer is made of composite materials, which will not hold up.  Make sure the exterior is actually a true wood product not a paper veneer or a piece that has been hand painted to look like wood.  If you see signs of something white coming through any  joints, cracks, or scratches--BEWARE!  This white product appears to be plaster that was skim coated over composite materials and hand-painted to look like wood.  This is by far an inferior product.  If you have further questions, call me at 838-0860

PREVIOUS TIP:  It is my personal prediction that American antiques will skyrocket in value within the next decade.  The reason for this prediction is because quality furniture the way we once knew it is becoming more and more difficult to find.  The number of high quality American factories producing this type of furnitures has dropped dramatically in the past four years.  As this process continues to snowball, so will the value of antiques.  Consumers  will be willing to pay for antiques not merely because of the historic value, but because the quality will be unmatched.  My best advice is to keep your old pieces over purchasing new.

PREVIOUS TIP:  When hiring a designer, always ask for credentials.  To be sure the designer is qualified they should have a degree in Interior Design.  The degree is not comparble if it's Fine Arts, Art History, Fashion Design, Home Economics, etc.   There are also many people with initials behind their name who do not have a formal education--they hide behind half attempts to make themselves look credible.  Passing an industry exam for ten hours of study does not begin to equate to the value of a degree.   There are many people who pose as Interier Designers who are nothing more than housewife decorators.  Make sure you're getting what you paid for. 

PREVIOUS TIP:  When discussing green design--there are concerns about asthma being on the rise in the U.S.  Chemicals in our invironment are part of this discussion.  In particular,  formaldehyde, which is found in certain composite/resin materials is actually poisonous.   Are you sure about what you're buying and is it really safe for you and your family?  My best advice is to buy domestic products.  Items manufactured in the U.S. seem to follow more stringent guidelines.

PREVIOUS TIP:  The hottest look in ceramic right now is a rectangular shape with shiny surfaces.  Glass tile in particular is quite the rage.  Tiles with rectified edges (which are straight versus wavy) are the newest  trend.  There are so many options in tile.  My best advice is to go beyond ordinary in search of extraordinary.  Try not to lock yourself into a particular color as tile should last  a lifetime.  Have fun!!!

PREVIOUS TIP:  I just attended the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in New York city, which is one of the most premiere show houses in the country.  While I was there, I saw a common trend for drapery panels.  There were many designers using full-length drapery panels to announce doorways of distinction within the home.  These drapery panels went from floor to ceiling to create a grand entrance into a room filled with dramatic details.  This is not a new idea, but an old one.  Years ago, drapery panels were used in doorways for a functional reason--they were opened and closed to help with heating and cooling.   Keep in mind, it doesn't have to be a twenty-eight million dollar home off Park Avenue to use this idea.  

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