designer crush: stunning london interiors by louise holt design

design crush... louise holt's chic london interiors

designer crush: stunning london interiors by louise holt design
stunning london interior by louise holt design

cheerio my darling readers!

ok, clearly i’m trying to have a bit of cheeky fun here as those words would not naturally cross my lips! what can i say? blame it on all the fun of my recent trip to london... is anyone else as completely obsessed with netflix’s “the crown” as i am? blimey!

while i’m quite certain that i will not be invited to buckingham palace to have high tea with the queen to discuss all of the amazing history, scandals, and royal offerings that london had to interest a commoner like me, i did received tons of wonderful recommendations from clients and friends for the coolest lounges, tastiest restaurants and chicest boutiques to visit during our vacation across the pond. we had an incredible trip, ate at amazing restaurants, did some exquisite shopping and sightseeing... but what about my love for all things related to residential design?

a quick google search and a rabbit hole tumble down some stunning pinterest posts and in love i fell with a few british designers and their incredibly chic, tailored, yet modern interiors. case in point: louise holt of louise holt design.

oh! my! goodness! is it possible to have a designer girl crush on a person you’ve never met? louise’s designs speak directly to my love of simplistic, powerful and thoughtful details.

Contemporary London Town House by Louise Holt Design
london town house dining room - louise holt design

i don’t even know where to begin with this dining room! the stunning architectural soft brass pendant light? the super chic fireplace surround? the high gloss reflective ceiling? so many visually creative and thoughtful details and yet so calming and serene! this juxtaposition of senses does not happen by accident folks!

open plan living room in oxfordshire - louise holt design
oxfordshire living room - louise holt design

i love her restrained yet purposeful use of color. the palette of this room is at once neutral but full of depth and contrast.

bathroom and pool dressing room - louise holt designs
bathroom and pool dressing room - louise holt design

the bathroom and pool dressing room above highlight her clean lined and non-fussy use of creative materials. i love the blackened steel metal paired with the soft blonde wood of the vanity. so cool and contemporary without feeling austere. and the floor tiles of the dressing room?? wow!

ready to see some more impressive detailing… check out this staircase!

bespoke staircase - louise holt design
bespoke staircase - louise holt design

or how about this island countertop? don’t forget to check out the amazing lindsey adelman light fixture over the dining table in the background.

chic london kitchen - louise holt design - lindsey adleman lighting
chic london kitchen - louise holt design

even the simplest corner vignette of a bedroom or dressing room is oozing with thoughtful details…

gorgeous detailed interiors - louise holt design
gorgeous details - louise holt design

a. lacquer + brass + shearling, oh my! and look at how the oh-so-tailored drapery just kisses the floor….beautiful detailing never goes out of style!

b. quite yet powerful…..notice how the custom hardware adds just the right amount of visual interest to what could be an otherwise ordinary closet door. and the curved lines of the eames management chair adds just the right amount of softness the many linear lines of the room.

it’s so inspiring and refreshing when i find a fellow designer that speaks the same design love language as i do, even if she's all the way across the pond!

photos from my trip to london
photos from my trip to london. cheerio!

cheers ~ darci

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design secrets... 5 tips to pick a perfect sofa

5 things to consider... when picking a sofa
sofa in my central park west project

so you need to pick a sofa, but where do you start?

one of the many hats that i wear as an interior designer is that of an educator. it’s a role that i don’t take lightly and if i’ve done a good job i have left my clients with a feeling of confidence and clarity in moving them through the design process. i've blogged about interior design tips, myths about interior design, and even bedroom design tips to help insomnia — now i'm here to help with your sofa!

so you know you need a new sofa: your current one is no longer comfortable and you’re wanting to update your current style to something that is, well, a more current style. but a sofa is such a big piece – both in size and in price – and you want to make sure you’re getting the perfect piece for your space and not making a costly mistake!

here are 5 of my top tips to consider when looking to purchase a new sofa:

 

1. overall construction

i’m making this the first tip as i think it is the most important. often times a person might be drawn to a sofa because of how it looks – which, don’t get me wrong, looks do matter! (hello dating world!) – but looks can also be deceiving (hello, again, dating world!). while a sofa may woo you with it’s sexy shape and looking all dressed up in a fun fabric, one really needs to consider how this flirty looking sofa is made – from the inside out!

what are some of the things you should consider? i’m so glad you asked!! here is a snippet of what to look for/ask about when considering the interior quality of a sofa: what is the construction of the frame? is it made with kiln dried wood? are the corners constructed using blocking that has been double glued and screwed? what kind of springs are used to support the seat cushions. and speaking of the cushions, are they made with a durable foam core that won’t turn into a pancake within a year of sitting on it? or, if it’s a down sofa, are the cushions made with good quality feather and down or synthetic material?

phew! so many things to consider, right?!? ok, now that you’re all set with what to look for regarding the interior of a sofa, let’s move on to the exterior of a sofa…..

 

2. arm style

t-seat or extended arm, squared, rounded or somewhere in-between, mid-height or full height – the size, shape and dimension of the arm can really play into the overall look of the sofa which will then play into the overall look of your space. comfort-wise i always ask my clients to think about how they sit, lay or canoodle on their sofa. having the proper support and a sofa arm that is comfortable to them can make all of the difference in the world! style-wise the shape (square? rounded?) and whether or not the arm comes to the front of the sofa body is one of the things that will directly impact the look of the sofa. i typically specify a sofa with a squared, extended arm for my clients as my design aesthetic is decidedly more contemporary and tailored.

sofa arm style - how to select a sofa

a. the no.2498 by a.rudin perfectly highlights the look of a t-seat cushion styled arm.

b. the gryphon sofa from holly hunt features a squared, mid-height, extended arm.

c. the guild sofa from holly hunt has an extended arm that also wraps around and is the same height in the back of the sofa

 

3. base style

now that we’ve covered the arm style options, it’s time to consider the style options for the base -or bottom - of the sofa. there are two main considerations when thinking about the base: do you want to see the base or not see it? by having exposed legs the sofa visually appears lighter – not as bulky – whereas a sofa with a skirt or solid base tends to feel larger and heavier. 

picking your perfect sofa base style: 5 tips

i love the details on the base of this bauhaus sofa from maxine snider inc! the simple, skinny bronzed patina metal base is so crisp and chic and keeps this sofa looking light and airy. and check out how beautifully and thoughtfully the mitered upholster meets the sofa base!

picking a sofa base style

a. this pampa sofa from holly hunt is much heavier looking with it’s solid base.

b. the whitley sofa from dennis miller is a perfect example of a sofa with a tailored skirt and t-seat arm.

 

4. cushion count

the third thing that plays into the overall look and the personal comfort of a sofa is the number of seat cushions. three cushions? two cushions? bench seat? oh my! once again, this is where i ask my clients a lot of questions surrounding how they like to “live” on their sofa – do you like to sit up straight, lounge with your legs tucked to your side, lay out flat in preparation for a netflix series marathon? often times, the more seat cushions there are the less likely one feels as if they can truly stretch out without feeling like one is sitting on a seam.

cushion count plays a big role in selecting the perfect sofa!

a. 3 seat cushion sofa from custom kravet

b. 2 seat cushion sahalie sofa from charles stewart 

c. bench seat cushion parkview sofa from dennis miller

 

5. where is it sitting?

one last thing i’d like to leave you with when picking out a sofa is where in the room the sofa will be sitting. is it backed up against a wall or is it floating in the room? when sitting with its back close to or touching a wall, the back of the sofa can be fairly simple. but if the sofa will be floating in the room or more visible from different angles of the room, consider highlighting the lines and showing off those flirty curves!

chic sofa backs for floating sofas!

a. i love the crisp tailored detailing of this caspian sofa from holly hunt

b. look at the curved back corner and top rail design of this hamilton sofa from dennis miller

c. this minerva sofa from holly hunt is beyond sexy! am i right?!?

 

bonus: fabric

i realize that the title of this blog post is about the 5 things to consider when picking out a sofa but i thought i’d throw in one last tip – let's call it the bonus round!

if you’ve done all your homework and found a perfectly constructed sofa and in a style that conveys your desired design aesthetic, now’s the time to consider what you’d like to dress her in. look for a fabric that is durable yet soft to the touch, preferably one that is somewhat neutral and with a bit of texture or depth to it. why neutral? the sofa is most likely going to be the largest piece in the room and, if well built, an item that you should have for several years. you want to make sure that the fabric on the sofa will “grow” with you as your tastes change or evolve. you may love a hot pink floral today, but what about 2 years from now? i’d save the patterns or fun and flirtatious fabrics for your throw pillows. 

how to pick your perfect sofa
central park west living room

oh my goodness, have i overwhelmed you? i sure hope not! who knew there was so much to consider for just one piece of furniture?!? not to worry! if selecting the right furniture for your home feels like it might be too much to handle, allow me to give you the permission to relax, shake that cocktail shaker of yours and enjoy a liquid concoction while my team and i find just the perfect perch for you to sit. we are here for you if you need us!

 

cheers ~ darci

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summer soiree in the hamptons - darci hether new york

hamptons entertaining... summer soiree

summer soiree in the hamptons - darci hether new york
source: change & co

a few weeks ago, my family and i were in the hamptons and i was planning an alfresco-style summer soiree. my family and i were spending a long weekend in the hamptons for the father’s day holiday and it started me thinking of some of the cooking possibilities that i don’t have when i’m cooking in our city apartment… read: outdoor grilling and poolside entertaining! 

summer soiree in the hamptons table setting by the pool
source: change & co

so, where did i begin my search for some some easy yet yummy culinary creativity? ... no further than within the pages of the cookbooks of my usual go-to gals: ina garten (aka barefoot contessa) and giada de laurentiis. within minutes they had me salivating and scheming up a fun and scrumptious summer soiree.

my go-to gals: ina garten & giada de laurentiis
ina & giada

one thing i absolutely love about summer foods is the lighter, crisper, and cleaner tastes of farmstand freshness and “just picked”  deliciousness that can elude us in the winter months. summer produce just tastes fresher, juicier, and is more flavorful!

prepping for a summer soiree: with a trip to the farmers market in bridgehampton - darci hether new york
a recent haul from one of my trips to the local farmers market in bridgehampton

when my family and i are in the hamptons i really like the ease of the indoor/outdoor dining and entertaining experience. everything is more relaxed, more casual. preparing a meal for a summer soiree becomes a fun group activity instead of a more formal affair in the colder months. so, with that in mind and armed with some fabulous options from my cooking gurus that featured seasonal produce, i started to plan my menu.

of course, of course, of course i had to start with some cocktail inspiration…….

summer cocktails: summer rosé sangria, watermelon mojito, aperol spritzer - barefoot contessa
summer rosé sangria, watermelon mojito, aperol spritzer

not too shabby, don’t you think? i have to say, the aperol spritzer... yummmmmmmmm.

next up - light fare that was full of flavor, looked festive and was easy to prep. i had a very hard time trying to narrow down my selections but i think everyone was pretty happy with the items that made the cut. don’t these amazing dishes just scream summer? and bonus: they are super simple to make and real crowd pleasers!

summer soiree dinner essentials: watermelon arugula salad; peach, corn and burrata bruschetta; grilled herb shrimp
watermelon arugula salad; peach, corn and burrata bruschetta; grilled herb shrimp

once i felt i had enough sustenance to have everyone liquored up and well fed, it was time to think about a sweet treat to round out the celebration. i was planning on falling back on one of my martha stewart favorites - blueberry crisp (with the secret ingredient being sea salt!!) but these other two caught my eye:

summer soiree desserts: strawberry cake & strawberry rhubarb crisp
strawberry cake, strawberry rhubarb crisp
summer soiree dessert: blueberry crisp
the oh-so-perfect martha stewart blueberry crisp (with sea salt!!)

i ended up making my go-to summer dessert – the ridiculously simple to make but oh-so delicious blueberry crisp – since i had oodles and oodles of plump, flavorful blueberries. but i have a feeling the other tasty looking treats will be tried before this summer is over!

all in all it was a wonderfully relaxing, memory making day. the weather was pure perfection, the poolside celebration was a hit and the man of the hour (weekend really!) couldn’t’ have been more  thrilled.

the perfect hamptons fathers day! - darci hether new york

how about you? what are some of your favorite summer soiree dishes? do you love to host your own relaxed yet chic indoor/outdoor festivities?

let’s all lift our glass of rosé in celebration of summer entertaining!

 

cheers ~ darci

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steel and glass french doors with herringbone wood flooring

in the works… contemporary hamptons home

steel and glass french doors with herringbone wood flooring
@rowhouse_revival

thanks to the recent long memorial holiday weekend, the unofficial start of summer has everyone (at least me!) thinking about relaxing on long, warm summer days, drinking copious amounts of delicious rosé wine, and planning my weekend escape to the hamptons.

here at the office, delicious thoughts of the hamptons are a bit more on the work end of the spectrum but we are swooning over them nonetheless!

i am working with a returning client to create a stunning, contemporary hamptons home that is cozy and intimate, perfect for small family gatherings, yet provides oodles of opportunities for hosting fun weekend gatherings and chic pool parties.

during our early conceptual meetings, my client and i were immediately on the same page. we batted around ideas and found ourselves using phrases like “light and airy open spaces,” "focal point windows and architectural finishes,” “welcoming yet show-stopping,” and “livable luxe.” we talked a lot about the finishes and how we really wanted some of those elements to really shine and be a common thread that wove throughout the entire house. one of those elements that we were quickly drawn to was blackened steel metal framed windows.

after a quick rabbit-hole trip down the pinterest path, i was well on my way for creating the design concept boards and presenting our jumping off point in the design process.

kitchen

airy kitchen by hecker guthrie - grey marble - glass and steel
hecker guthrie
stunning marble backsplash by Handelsmann and Khaw
handelsmann & khaw

if the heart of every home is the kitchen, then i really wanted to bring the love to my clients new-build culinary oasis hamptons getaway! i'm absolutely obsessed with the idea of a metal and glass wall that separates the kitchen from the other areas of the house. gorgeous detailing and an element of interest? yes, please!! and in keeping with the metal detailing, i love the added metal accent to the kitchen island and the decorative yet practical overhead lighting.

stairs

stunning glass, steel, and wood staircases perfect for the hamptons - darci hether new york
left: vlassak verhulst, center: amber interiors, right: source unknown

if the kitchen is the heart of the home, the stairs are its veins and arteries. i love how those same metal details define these airy contemporary stairways. it's all about light and contrast!

 

bathrooms

hamptons black and white bathrooms - darci hether new york
left: vila 133 arquitetura, right: flack studio
hamptons black and white bathrooms
left: clare kennedy & mitzi maynard, right: canny

no contemporary hamptons home would be complete without a contemporary, airy bathroom! the metal framing details carry through on the shower enclosure and mirrors. and those black faucets and light wood accents? yes please!! the white and light greys are the perfect backdrop for these stark details and i can't get enough.

 

contemporary hamptons front door
stephanie michel-girard

i can't wait until my client can open the front door for that final reveal! (and speaking of front doors... i love this contemporary entry, don't you?)

do you need help creating your perfect beach house getaway? i’m here to help! we’d love to hear from you. until then, happy summer and keep sipping that rosé!

 

cheers ~ darci

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summer travel and gifting essentials - darci hether new york

dhny approved... summer essentials

summer travel and gifting essentials - darci hether new york

whether you're traveling to the hamptons, going abroad, or looking for the perfect summer hostess gift, these are the can't-miss items of the summer!

travel in style with these chic travel essentials

are you hopping on a plane for your fabulous summer getaway? here are my absolute favorite airplane essentials.

a. away travel carry-on charging suitcase - this sleek carry-on suitcase has everything you'd ever want in one place: not only is it a great bag, it has a built in usb charger for your electronic devices!!

b. carry-on cocktail kit - why limit yourself to airline cocktails when you could bring your own kit to mix yourself the perfect cocktail with the best ingredients?

c. aveda intense hydrating masque - i use this mask every single time i fly and i always exit the plane with my skin hydrated and refreshed. airplanes are so dry! don't let your skin suffer. i like to apply the mask as soon as i sit down, then i wash it off as soon as i arrive at my destination.

impress any host with these chic hostess gifts

summer is all about travel and festive occasions. don't show up empty handed! these are the perfect hostess gift for any summer party.

a. coffee table book - this gorgeous coffee table photography book captures the beauty and essence of summer. gray malin's photography is stunning, and every page will take your breath away.

b. modern dinner bells - i used one of these beautiful decorative dinner bells in my bridgehampton property

c. salty caramels - sweets are always an excellent hostess gift, and these salted caramels are absolutely exquisite. swoon!

 

get ready for a day in the sun with these summer beach essentials

bring style with you to the beach, and don't forget to pamper yourself this summer, too!

a. martinique beach blanket - why limit yourself to a simple little beach towel when you can sun on a beach blanket? this elegant blanket will have you relaxing in luxury.

b. ursa major force field lotion with spf - fight the shine in the summer heat with this matte sunscreen from ursa major. their products are a rising star in the skincare world and this is absolutely one of my favorites! i've never been a fan of looking "dewy" so this sunscreen is just perfect.

c. french market basket - i adore this tote for everything from a picnic in the park to a day at the beach. it's perfectly effortless and chic!

 

have a beautiful memorial day weekend! i hope you have a beautiful weekend in the sun.

 

 

cheers ~ darci

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summer dreams... top 10 hamptons getaway essentials

one of the best things about summer is spending time in the hamptons. i mean, how could you not want to relax by the pool at this elegant bridgehampton home?

if you're planning to spend time in the hamptons this summer, these are the destinations you can't possibly miss—from tasty treats to beautiful boutiques, these ten hamptons destinations are absolutely swoonworthy. so grab a glass of rosé and start planning your weekend!

 

1. wölffer estate vineyard

the wolffer estate vineyard is one of my favorite places in the hamptons! here are the top 10 hamptons destinations - darci hether new york

the wolffer estate vineyard is one of my favorite places in the hamptons! here are the top 10 hamptons destinations - darci hether new york

you made it to the hamptons! first things first, let's have some wine. (it's important to prioritize!) i adore wölffer wines—they're especially known for their exquisite rosé. on my recent visit, i relaxed in those chic chairs and enjoyed a glass (or more). it's certainly not summer until you have a glass of rosé in your hand!

of their different locations, both the winery and their outdoor winestand are to die for. both offer food and are great for families, but the winestand is more relaxed, great for a picnic, and often has live musicians. plus the scenery! swoon.

 

2. cavaniola's gourmet cheese shop

okay, you're ready for a summer night with a glass of wine, now it's time to stock up on cheese. cavaniola has an amazing selection, and the staff is so exceptionally knowledgeable that they bring shopping for cheese to a whole new level. they're informative, take their time with you, and help you design a charcuterie board that will leave you breathless. in addition to cheese, they also have other great accoutrements like oils, jams, and flavored honeys to make your cheese plate really sing. i absolutely adore their truffle honey—it's just to die for!

 

3. loaves & fishes

loaves and fishes is one of my favorite destinations in the hamptons! here is my list of 10 unmissable hamptons getaway destinations. - darci hether new york

after the cheese course, swing by loaves & fishes in sagaponack. they're a wonderful hamptons institution. everything they have is great, but if you're only going to buy one thing get the pie. oh my gosh that pie. i can't even think about it without salivating...

 

4. round swamp farm

round swamp farm is one of my top 10 hamptons destinations - darci hether new york

for the best prepared food in the hamptons, swing by round swamp farm. their food is super fresh, extremely tasty, but still beautifully un-fussy. their grilled shrimp is absolutely mouth watering. it's so easy if you're entertaining: bring it home, put it on your elegant serving ware, and you'll look like an absolute rockstar.

 

5. highway restaurant & bar

i adore highway restaurant in the hamptons - it's one of my top 10 hamptons destinations! read my whole list - darci hether new york

for a delicious meal, i can't recommend highway restaurant enough. first of all, their cocktails. wow. but pair that with incredible food and a beautiful interior and my heart stops. it's no surprise this restaurant is a favorite of jay z!

their menu changes frequently, and it's perfectly elevated without being too fussy. and take my word for it—save room for dessert.

 

6. topping rose house

topping rose house is a beautiful hotel and restaurant, and my absolute favorite for brunch in the hamptons! the space itself and the grounds are gorgeous, it's right in the heart of bridgehampton, and their olive oil lemon pancakes are absolutely to die for.

 

7. grindstone coffee & donuts

you can't miss grindstone coffee & donuts when you're in the hamptons - here are my top 10 hamptons getaway essentials - darci hether new york

need i say more about grindstone? those incredible photos say everything... their donuts and coffee are extraordinary. i would like one right now, please.

 

8. sylvester & co.

sylvester & co is a fun place to shop in sag harbor! - darci hether new york - here are my top 10 recommended desitnations

if you're looking for some fun, relaxed shopping or the perfect hostess or house warming gift, definitely visit sylvester & co. they have a wonderful selection of home items, chic clothing, and more. when you're there, go to the back and grab yourself a dream iced coffee from the coffee bar! i like to mix it with the coconut coffee, add a splash of milk, and it becomes liquid dessert.

 

9. one kings lane

one kings lane is one of my favorite places to shop in the hamptons - here are the top 10 unmissable destinations for your hamptons getaway - darci hether new york

one kings lane has everything you need in terms of beautiful finishing pieces for your hamptons home. they're constantly changing out their selection, and they have a great collection of artwork as well as some fun kid furnishings and hostess gifts.

 

10. monc xiii

i definitely saved the best for last! monc xiii is really the ultimate swoon—definitely don't miss it! their space is incredible, and you have to see the surrounding grounds. they have a fantastic mix of new and vintage furnishings, great lighting, accessories for every room, and the people who work there are so sweet and lovely. they also have a beautiful collection of statement jewelry! this is by far my favorite place in the hamptons. i could just sit there all day...

 

wishing you a beautiful summer in the hamptons — and should your holiday house need a refresh, give us a call!

 

cheers ~ darci

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mothers day gift guide—happy mothers day! - darci hether new york

my favorite things... mothers day

mothers day gift guide—happy mothers day! - darci hether new york

happy mothers day to all of the strong, nurturing, supportive and loving women in the world today! there are so many incredible women in my own life that lift me up, crack me up, inspire the heck out of me and enjoy any excuse to raise a glass of bubbly with me. for these women of unstoppable strength, gracious humility and hearts of gold, i thank you!

when i first found out that i was going to become a mother myself, i worried endlessly about trying to instill those positive attributes to my daughter. by the looks of the love note i received from her a couple weeks ago, it appears i might be doing an ok job.

so, whether you’re a *mom* to a kiddo, bestie, or furry friend, i hope that you are ready to celebrate all of the awesomeness that you are, all that you’ve rock star accomplished that you’ve done and all that you tirelessly give to those in your life! plus who doesn't love a holiday that encourages you to take a break, sip some wine, and get a massage?

ready to treat yourself - or some other extraordinary woman in your life? check out these fun pampering ideas below…..

mothers day shopping gift guide - gifts to pamper mom - darci hether new york

a. tory burch special edition fitbit alta - this beautiful fitbit pairs everything that we love about fitbits and everything we love about tory burch. it's chic and elegant, with gold plating and a stunningly elevated clasp.

b. rodin lavender face oil - i love this face oil! it's exquisite, moisturizing, and smells incredible.

c. lululemon rejuvenate wrap - this elegant wrap transforms from a scarf to a shawl to a chic shrug. it's ideal for spring weather because you can adapt it throughout the day! i love giving lululemon gifts—even if mom doesn't like it, she can always exchange it for something she'll love.

d. molton brown spring signatures bathing gift trio - molton brown products are fantastic, and this limited edition set of spring scented shower gels will certainly make mom feel pampered!

e. food 52 green teas box set - this beautiful box set of 10 exquisite green teas from palais des thes is the perfect gift for the mom who loves loose leaf tea.

f. glamglow supermud mask - glamglow products are trending right now, and i can see why! this powerful charcoal-based mud mask clears out your pores for a brighter complexion. i love this stuff—and i always follow it up with the rodin face oil!

g. carry on champagne cocktail kit - comes with elderflower syrup! ...need i say more?

h. rodin lip balm - i carry this lip balm with me everywhere. it's wonderfully moisturizing and smells amazing! i mean, it contains jasmine, orange flower oil, shea butter, beeswax, and castor seed oil... and it's so pretty.

i. organic small batch chocolate subscription - 3 beautiful organic bars of chocolate every month for a year? where do i sign up!

 

happy mothers day from all three generations on one stoop!

darci hether shares her favorite mothers day gifts - darci hether new york

cheers ~ darci

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akdo tile wall - tile trends 2018 - white metallic inlay tile - darci hether new york

in the details... akdo tile love

akdo tile wall - tile trends 2018 - white metallic inlay tile - darci hether new york
akdo tile

yup, i’ve fallen down the tile rabbit hole once again! we’ve been busy here in the office working on a couple of new nyc and hamptons projects - namely selecting architectural materials - and i’ve been going gaga over some real beauties i found on a recent sourcing excursion. i blogged earlier this year about my favorite tile trends of 2018, but one vendor that has me weak in the knees these days is akdo. their collection is inventive and exquisite, using updated designs on classic styles, all in a stunning neutral color palette...

when i went to their nyc showroom a few weeks ago, i couldn't resist taking a lot of photos for my instagram. how could anyone resist with all this eye candy??

 

everything i looked at was so beautiful and elevated, and oh so contemporary!

walking into their showroom is like a breath of fresh air. akdo’s base materials are all very classic—stones like carrara and calacatta—but what they do with it, the way they showcase it, brings new life to an otherwise common material. all their tile patterns feels so elevated and chic.

take these beautiful metallic accents, for instance. tile with metal accents is nothing new, but it's definitely trending right now! these would be absolutely stunning in a mixed metal kitchen or bathroom, or help define a dramatic bar.

akdo tile with metal inlay - it's all in the details! - darci hether new york

akdo metallic inlay white marble tile with silver triangles

akdo white marble tile with metallic inlay patterns

i love these gorgeous contemporary geometric patterns in their metallic inlay tile. they're so chic and modern! these are all very traditional cuts of marble, but with a very fresh interpretation. yet, somehow, they still feel timeless.

and if that's not enough, take a look at these stunning mosaics.

akdo white mosaic tile - tile trends - darci hether new york

akdo mosaic tile with a metallic inlay - darci hether new york - tile trends

i love the updated art deco influences on this mosaic tile, and the tiny metallic accents are like jewelry. they glitter and shimmer as you move around the room. it's like the great gatsby jumped straight into the 21st century and onto a jaw-dropping bathroom wall... be still my heart!

akdo glass tile - dove grey - tile trends - darci hether new york

if you've been reading my blog or know me at all... you know i love love love love love grey. and i adore this grey glass tile, too. the narrow herringbone is so chic and stylish, and i love this elongated subway tile backsplash. (the cocktails certainly help sell it, too...)

tile trend - textile glass - skinny glass tile - darci hether new york

akdo calls this their "textile glass" line and ... wow. the skinny strips of glass give so much rich texture. the light reflects off of it in a way that makes the room feel like it's humming in serenity. this look reminds me of luxurious spas and puts me in the mood for a massage.

 

akdo tile is doing a fantastic job of maintaining a cohesive and defined aesthetic. everything feels fresh and elegant when you walk into the showroom, and they're not trying to be everything to everyone. they have a clear style: you either love it or it's not for you. as for me, i love it!

 

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what do you think? do you love all of the gorgeous details found in akdo tiles? if you’re looking to renovate your bathroom or kitchen and are loving on these tiles as much as i am let me know!

 

cheers ~ darci

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sally caswell millinery fascinator for spring

city chic... the central park conservancy hat luncheon

sally caswell millinery fascinator for spring
sally caswell millinery

the central park conservancy's annual frederick law olmsted awards hat luncheon is an iconic new york city tradition, and this year i'm gearing up to attend! my heart beats for central park, this fabulous city that I live in, and the amazing central park conservancy. it has been such an honor serving on the playground partners group.

i mean really... who couldn't love this place?

photos from the central park conservancy women's committee.

 

but one of the most iconic things about the frederick law olmsted awards hat luncheon... is the hats!

hat luncheon 1983 - via town & country
via Town & Country

i love this photo from the first hat luncheon in 1983—that hat is crazy wonderful! and i don’t know about you but this picture just has me wishing i could have been a fly on the wall to overhear what was sure to be a lively conversation!….. look at that wonderful woman laughing! it looks like a great time was being had!!

while the hat luncheon is one of the funnest tickets in town, it is also a huge fund raising event for the park! the monies raised greatly effects the upkeep and maintenance of our beloved public playground for kids of all ages! if you’re not familiar with life and history of central park and the central park conservancy i encourage you to check out this amazing short documentary.

 

so, back to the hat luncheon…. as soon as i got my ticket to this amazingly fun annual soiree, i knew i needed to get busy finding the perfect hat for my outfit. my first stop was to my incredibly talented friend's millinery studio: sally caswell millinery.

sally caswell millinery

vising her studio, i was struck by how incredibly sculptural and detailed hats can be. as a designer, i was in awe of the way they all seem to be lighter than air. hats defy gravity. they're like ornate flower petals floating gracefully over your head. they're magical, but full of so much structural engineering and hours and hours and hours of incredible detail work!

don't believe me? pour yourself a glass of bubbly and take a look at this incredible eye candy:

studio visit at sally caswell millinery - look at all that sinamay!

her kentucky derby hats (left) are dramatic and springy! i'm dying for a sip of that mint julep. and look at all those lovely spring colors on the right! the bolts of sinamay and straw are so full of possibilities... but what's really amazing is what she does with it!

stunning sculptural fascinator by sally caswell milinery - ivory and mustard with white feathers

i'm obsessed with this scuptural little fascinator. the mustard loops are so architectural and bold, especially balanced against the fluttering white feathers.

glitter fascinator and structural silk pleated hat - sally caswell millinery

talk about an evening look! this black sparkly hat on the left makes me swoon. can you imagine it with a bright red lipstick and a little black dress? i certainly can... but everyone knows i love a bold red lipstick.

and don't even get me started on the hat on the right. how is that even possible? the crisp pleating and scattered beading make my heart race. and those little feathers! it's such a stunning contrast of structure and airiness. it completely disobeys gravity.

still breathing? maybe top off your glass of bubbly before you scroll further down... or pour yourself something stronger. you'll need it.

swooping hats by sally caswell millinery - organic shapes and forms

what!?!? ok, these two hats had me utterly mesmerized and the swirling organic shapes left me speechless. the hat on the left is structural magic…. and i’m oddly drawn to the soft pink color which, if you know me at all, you know i’m not normally a “pink person”. and what about that stunning yellow silk abaca hat?? it is a shimmery architectural masterpiece! swooning for days! …...

my hat for the central park conservancy hat luncheon in progress at sally caswell's studio! - sally caswell millinery - darci hether new york

oh and drum roll please……. here's a sneak peak at the sweet little bespoke fascinator sally is making for me for the central park hat luncheon. i can't wait! that oversized fuchsia flower is going to set off my dress perfectly.

are you going to the frederick law olmsted awards central park conservancy hat luncheon? still looking for your perfect hat? be sure to check out more of sally’s incredible creations at the hat shop located at 120 thompson street here in nyc!

central park is such a unique and defining part of living in manhattan, and i love that i get to help support it by attending this exciting luncheon... and even better that we can support it while looking absolutely fabulous.

cheers to central park and new york city in the spring! - Darci Hether New York

 

cheers ~ darci

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darci hether gives her top 5 easy interior design tips to make a big impact! - darci hether new york

design secrets... 5 easy interior design tips to make an impact

darci hether gives her top 5 easy interior design tips to make a big impact! - darci hether new york

since it's finally starting to feel like spring, i thought it would be fun to share some quick and easy design tips that anyone can do! these are some simple ways to give your home that professional polish. so pour yourself a glass of rosé and relax—i promise these tips won't hurt!

 

design tip #1: everyone should have a leg on the island.

designer showhouse bedroom - darci hether new york

actually, make that 2 legs on the island! and what do i mean by island? your area rug! help define your seating area by choosing a rug big enough that your sofa, chairs, and side tables can have at least 2 legs sitting on the rug. this really centers and grounds the space and can help define the conversation area.

that said, i always recommend that side tables with flat bases should rest completely on the rug. don't have them teeter-tottering! you'll spill your wine. and we all know how important wine is...

design tip #1: keep at least two legs on the area rug to define a space. -- silver gold grey yellow designer showhouse bedroom - darci hether new york

take a closer look at my designer showhouse bedroom—the front legs of every furniture piece are on the rug. and that side table? completely flat on the rug.

want to learn more about area rugs? check out last week's blog post about picking the perfect area rug.

 

design tip #2: hang your artwork at the right height.

fifth avenue chic living room with mixed metals and abstract artwork and ornate marble fireplace - silver gold white grey - darci hether new york

taking care with your art selections and positioning can really elevate a room. but, i have found that a mistake people often make is they hang their artwork too high. here's an easy rule of thumb when considering how high to hang your art: the center of your artwork should sit between 5 and 5.5 feet off the floor. you'll be surprised at how much this can make a difference!

but with every good rule, there are always exceptions! oversized art can come down lower, and art hanging over a sofa should be about 6-9" above the sofa. it's all about proportions and balance. as you can see in my fifth ave living room above, the long narrow painting sits slightly lower because of its size, but the piece over the couch is about 8" above the top of the couch.

design tip #2: most people hang artwork too high! here's what you're doing wrong. - living room artwork - darci hether new york

another thing to keep in mind when hanging artwork is where you are in the room when you look at it. smaller artwork, no matter how big the matte and frame, is better appreciated close up. i like to hang it on smaller walls, or in areas you walk by and can look at it closer up.

to really elevate your space, don't neglect your frames! your frames are like jewelry, and the right necklace can really make an outfit pop! if you're here in nyc, i can't recommend j.pocker enough. they're my go-to for custom framing, and the quality is exquisite.

are you feeling lost about how to curate and hang your artwork? like i said in my 5 myths about interior design blog post, the kind of help a designer can provide is more varied than you might think! one of my favorite services to provide is finishing touches. we can help you select artwork and shop for your finishing touches that will style your home to impress.

 

design tip #3: white linens only.

design tip #3: choose white linens for the bedroom and bathroom, and here's why. - darci hether new york

i always encourage my clients to go with all white sheets and towels. white linens are elegant and above all practical. they're neutral, they go with everything, they don't fade, they're easy to clean or bleach... and if you ever need to refresh them you only need to replace 1 or 2 pieces instead of struggling to color match a full set. your pillowcases looking a little worse for wear? with white linens, you only need to buy new pillowcases, not a whole new sheet set!

there's nothing quite like the soft embrace of a high quality sheet... and did you know the average person spends 229,961 hours in their lifetime sleeping?

my go-to for my clients is frette's chic but simple hotel collection sheets, and i love their triplo bourdon towels. their linens are luxurious perfection.

fresh white linens are mandatory! these are my go-to for my clients - darci hether new york

a. hotel collection sheets // b. triplo bourdon towels

these linens will make you feel pampered every day. for more advice about designing a bedroom to help combat insomnia, take a look at my blog post about creating a serene bedroom.

 

design tip #4: swatch paint colors on masonite.

design tip #4: picking paint colors can be a challenge. here's a life hack to make it better! - darci hether new york

are you thinking it's time to repaint and need to pick a new paint color? here's a trick i adore: instead of turning your life upside down to paint swatches on the walls in your space, paint the color on a 24x24 piece of masonite. it's inexpensive to pick up at the hardware store and you can walk it around the room to really get a feel for the color in the space. try it in front of each wall and in different lighting conditions to be absolutely certain it's the right color for you! this is also great if you're thinking of one color for your entire home—you might find the color looks great in one room and is too dark somewhere else. or that color you thought would be perfect for the kitchen looks even better in the living room!

one thing to consider is that color is all about lighting, and different lighting conditions can really affect the color that you see. the color of your bulbs, the light from your windows, and the time of day can all make the paint color look drastically different.

looking for the perfect paint colors? here are some of my favorites. for more information on how to pick out that perfect color, here are some more of my paint tips! if you're considering painting, take a look at these beautiful swatch book of benjamin moore off-whites & greys.

picking paint colors is simple with this neutral off-white swatch book from benjamin moore - darci hether new york

benjamin moore - white collection paint deck

 

design tip #5: pick a signature scent

design tip #5: pick a distinctive fragrance for your home for this surprising reason. - darci hether new york

do you remember the way your grandparents' house smelled? our sense of smell is the sense closest connected to memory. pick a signature scent for your space so you can define the memory people will have when they visit! pick scents that are subtle but nuanced, and keep in mind how those scents make you feel. here are some my favorite scents to help define your aesthetic:

pick a signature scent for your home - diptyque candles and room sprays - darci hether new york

a. 34 room spray // b. lavender candle // c. fig candle

 

 

want some more design tips and advice? or enjoy sipping chardonnay while looking at interior design eye candy? subscribe to the blog for weekly updates, and follow me on instagram!

 

cheers ~ darci

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