shedding light: five ways to achieve great bathroom lighting

contemporary bachelor pad bathroom designed by darci hether new york located in upper east side. the bathroom has marble features.
photography by emily gilbert photography

choosing the right lighting is an essential step in designing any room in your home.  when it comes to light, the bathroom may not be the space that comes to mind first when people consider their lighting plan.  however, your bathroom is one of the essential places to focus your illuminating (pun intended) attention.

 

illuminate the bathroom lighting design possibilities.

one of my main tasks as a designer is to inform my clients how important lighting is in the function and allure of their bathroom design.  most clients are unaware of what constitutes a well-lit space, and this is where my guidance kicks in. my first goal when considering the design of a bathroom is to express the correct amount of lumens (the amount of light) needed to light a bathroom properly.  afterward, i explain the different light sources i plan to layer into their space.

 

photography by emily gilbert photography

balance function and style with your lighting design.

choose fixtures that suit your design style.  if you have a contemporary, minimalist aesthetic then i suggest a sleek vertical strip on both sides of the mirror.  for a more traditional vibe, select a brass sconce or glitzy chandelier.

tip: do not be afraid to mix metals. the mixed metal trend is in full effect. be wary of picking metals that complement each other instead of clash. for example, you can pair a nickel faucet and a soft brass fixture to create a surprising yet stylish balance. matte and shiny finishes can live together to create a textured juxtaposition.

 

contemporary bathroom design by darci hether located on the upper east side in new york city.
photography by will ellis photography

 

spread light around with recessed features.

when considering a general bathroom lighting plan i suggest starting with the first layer of light - the ceiling fixture.  surface mounted or recessed cans are ideal for overhead and general illumination. strategically placed recessed lighting can also be used to highlight the unique features of your bathroom.

tip: a small recessed spotlight directed at a piece of decorative art or other focal points will create another layer of light in your bathroom.

 

don’t forget the bathtub and shower light.

you will want a seperate light for the shower or tub area.  as a safety precaution, the light should be placed over where you stand in the shower or sit in the tub.  alas, the lighting fixture in the shower cannot be overly decorative. remember: the light fixture should be wet zone approved.

tip: your shower or bathtub light fixtures should ideally be installed on a seperate switch from the vanity lighting with a dimmer. (only if possible)

 

contemporary marble bathroom with pedestal sink designed by darci hether new york on the upper east side in new york city.
photography by emily gilbert photography

mirror..mirror on the wall.  lighting the mirror is essential.

the mirror is where you see yourself first thing in the morning, so you will want the lighting to be as flattering as possible. we have all had the cringeworthy dressing room experience. the one where the harsh light makes us second guess ever entering a fitting room again. (no thank you) thankfully, this horror episode can be avoided in your bathroom by illumination at the mirror - a light source located in front of you. this will prevent a forehead highlight and pesky vanity shadows. a pleasing reflection will set the mood for the beginning and end of each day.

tip: i favor side-mounted sconces, they look so chic and work well with any sink or vanity design.

 

be mindful of color temperature when choosing bulbs for fixtures.

color temperature plays an often overlooked but critical role in bathroom lighting.  note: not all wattages are created equal. daylight is around 5000 kelvin, incandescent is 2700 and dimmed incandescent is 2400 kelvin.  i suggest shooting for 1,100 lumens or a 75w incandescent bulb from each fixture.

tip: you can dial back on the lumens in the powder room.  around 60w per fixture is the sweet spot since guests will likely just be checking their hairdo and making sure they do not have food in their teeth.

bonus tip: set the mood with dimmers.

i suggest installing dimmers for all of your lighting fixtures no matter if they are for task or mood lighting.  dimmers allow your eyes to adjust first thing in the morning and wind down at night. dimmers will also allow you to set an ambient tone and save energy by extending the life of your bulbs.

tip: take the ambiance to the next level with a few scented candles to accompany your bubble bath after a long hard work week.

hopefully, these tips will inspire you to illuminate your bathroom's true potential.  shine on and share your lighting adventures in the comments below!


how to throw the perfect summer dinner party

 

place setting from a party i attended in the hamptons

 

summer is just around the corner which means beach trips and sandal weather.  my favorite part of the season is hosting dinner parties.  throwing an informal yet impressive dinner party is easier than you think, i promise.  here are a few of my tips for creating a relaxed yet thoughtful summer soiree that you will actually enjoy (and so will your friends).

 

don't attempt a maiden voyage.

my cardinal rule of planning a dinner party is to pick one or two standout dishes (or appetizers) and order the rest.  select one or two dishes that you have previously mastered and always shop the day before to leave the day of for emergencies only.  trying to do everything is a recipe (pun intended) for disaster. you want to impress your guests with your menu, not stress yourself out by overestimating your culinary skills on a tight schedule.  keeping your menu simple will allow dishes to be prepared ahead of time to avoid last-minute blunders.

 

 

cheese board with various cheeses and meats
image via salty lashes

do focus on the main event

my go-to entree is homemade pizza!  yes, beautiful, glorious, and delicious pizza.  i make my special dough recipe and homemade toppings ahead of time. on the evening of my dinner party, i assemble all of the toppings on my countertop, roll out the dough and then play around with different combinations of toppings.  while the pizzas are baking, i enjoy some yummy wine, a beautiful charcuterie board (super easy to assemble with store-bought sliced meats and fabulous cheeses) and engaging conversations with friends.  curious about my special pizza dough recipe? wonder no more!.

 

 

pizza baked by darci hether
one of my specialty pizzas

do set a beautiful table.

when i say, beautiful i also mean simple.  let’s face it; there is so much beauty in simplicity!  a couple of low vases with billowy greenery or tightly arranged (unscented) flowers along with a few votive candles in clear glass candle holders on a white linen tablecloth can go a long way!  i like to add a little personality to my tablescapes by mixing my dinnerware colors and patterns and layering in another color with my linen napkins.

 

 

shelves of white dishes from darci hether's receent trip to astier de villatte in paris
lovely dishes i found at astier de villatte on my trip to paris

 

do add floral notes.

 

the aroma from the delicious food is usually enough to scent the room with tasty goodness.  although i love my beautifully scented signature candles or the glorious smell of lilies, i go for unscented tea light and white pillar candles and fragrance-free blooms for my dinner parties. i never want the scent of a candle or flower to take away from the yummy culinary aroma that is wafting through the air!

 

 

simply summer place setting cteated by darci hether for a summer soiree
simple place setting from a summer soiree i hosted in new york city

 

do set the mood with music.

once you have the food situation under control and your table beautifully set, put on one of your signature playlists.  don't have one?  don't worry! if there is a particular musician or genre of music you like there is sure to be a pandora station that will be the perfect fit.  for me, I like the upbeat, jazzy type of music to keep the evening festive.  I would like to believe that (musically) I host the jovially and celebratory kind of party that frank sinatra and etta james would have attended.

don't be afraid to ask for help!

planning a dinner party should never be stressful.  i am sure your guests would be more than willing to chip in a side dish or let you borrow the good flatware.  having your friends help will take your party from good to great.

let’s all lift our glass of rosé in celebration of summer entertaining!  share some of your own tips for throwing the perfect dinner party in the comments below!


to all the inspiring women we should celebrate on mothers day...

darci hether sitting on a stoop with her mother and daughter.
three generations of funny women - me, my mother and my daughter.

 

 

the month of may is finally here!!  for me, may means spring blooms and long scenic walks through my beloved central park.  may also means mother’s day, a chance to celebrate ALL the fantastically strong, loving and supportive women out there - not just those who have given birth.  look around and i’m sure you’ll be able to name more than a few remarkable women that have left an immeasurable mark on your life.  women who have inspired you and spread their kindness around like confetti.  these are all traits i hope i exemplify and wish to pass on to my daughter.

 

she is thankfully in the season of life where i am still one of her favorite people and i savor every second of it.  simple pleasures such as baking cupcakes with my little ladybug and helping her pick out her colorful outfits (can we say pippi longstocking?) make me so happy.  when she asks me for snuggle time or to come to play with her, i jump at the chance since i know these requests will most likely come to a screeching halt once tween-dom starts (help us all!).  but for now, from the looks of little treasures like these love notes from her, she seems to think i am doing a reasonably good job.

 

 

a collage of darci hether's daughter and a sweet note she wrote describing all of the things she loves about darci with a drawing of her sticking her tongue out.
a recent photo of my daughter having fun in the sun and a handwritten note explaining all the things she loves about me.

 

 

 

to all the nurturing, fierce women of the world, i thank you and salute you!  whether you’re a "mom" to a kiddo, bestie, or furry friend, i hope you are ready to celebrate all of the awesomeness that you are!  on that note, are you ready to gift the remarkable women in your life with a treat or two (ok, maybe three!).  how about treating yourself for all the support and joy you share with others?!?  here are a few of my favorite mother’s day gifts ideas to delight every kind of mother.

 

 

 

 

 

a. proseco sleep mask - dream sweet dreams of delicious cocktails with this luxurious sleep mask for her peepers.

b. the white company natural sleep candle  - we all need a little help falling asleep and who doesn't love the clean packaging design of this candle?

c. jo malone london cologne collection - the perfect companion to any woman's dressing table.  

d. k+m dark chocolate, madagasgar - happiness is an unexpected piece of chocolate.

e. regina andrew multicolor bone and brass tray - the perfect tray to host a mother's day breakfast in bed.

f. mom manual pouch - a clever change purse she can use to save money for the cocktail savings account.

g. aromasource mysto diffuser - upgrade from the old plugin scents and spread good (smelling) vibes with this diffuser.

h. skin gym clear quartz facial roller - help her roll away the stress with this trendy face roller. 

i. porto linen pajamas from serena & lily - is there anything more luxurious than a yummy pair of comfortable pajamas?

 

 

enjoy!  share what mother’s day means to you in the comments below!  

 

 


spring color obsession: blushing over pink

modern kitchen with marble counter tops and hanging glass lights. blush upholstered chairs are seated around a circular bronze table.
photo via nama interior design

 

pink isn't just a color it's an attitude

confession: i can be anti-pink.  i’ve long associated the color with bubblegum sweetness reserved for barbie and her pals.  no matter your stance on the romantic color, pink has always made a statement.  remember jackie o's chanel suit?  any outfit worn by elle woods in legally blonde?  timeless right?  the subdued version of the candy color, blush, is the new it shade of the home decor world.  the swoon-worthy pink brings color while balancing existing neutral undertones like my old faithful, any shade of gray.  whether you want to add a blush touch or order a pink sofa, one thing’s for sure…people will be blushing for dusty pink.

 

blush interior featuring valspar blushing bride color and an intricate wallpaper design in the center
photo via lowes/trevor tondro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

make it pop like pink champagne

blush pairs beautifully with other colors besides neutrals.  a soothing blush paves the way for a bold color to be the star of your palette.  a pop of navy or citrine is the perfect companion to the reigning champ of the neutral world.  the versatility of the soft pastel makes the color seamless to integrate into any design.  think pink with some of my favorite blush accents to incorporate into your own design scheme.

 

pillow // mirror // side table // throw

always look on the pink side

tip: a rosy toss pillow is the perfect touch of pink without having to transform your whole palette.  adding a throw or two can add a dash of romance.  if you are feeling glamorous, mix your rosy hues with metallics.  gold, silver, and copper will stand out when paired with blush pink and create a luxurious look.  in terms of fabric, try a pink boucle fabric.  the boucle will add an alluring texture to make a statement in any space.

pink and black spiraal staircase in hotel lobby with hardwood floors
photo via domino

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

not just for barbie girls

you may be wondering, "can i incorporate blush into a bachelor pad?"  rest easy, pink can be styled for a masculine vibe.  think how handsome pink can be when paired with a dark grey or black.  you can make a decadent vibrant statement in an entryway or your dressing room.  tip: it will flatter every skin tone or shoe collection.

 

a modern living room with black painted stairs and white and black striped hexagon table. Beside the table is a modern blush chair with a gold frame.
photo via mydomaine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

you're making me blush!

the rosé love extends beyond the interiors world.  the fashion forefront is thinking pink as well.  marc jacob's spring collection brought the pastel power and a pastel playhouse.  this year the oscars red carpet became a celebration of demure gowns and romantic suiting, a la jason momoa and lisa bonet.  the pink movement has hit the high streets with ultra-feminine dresses and sporty chic athleisure wear.  here are a few items i am blushing over this season.

 

suitcase // sneakers // ring // nail polish // rose // scarf // soak // sandals

 

christian dior once said, “the tones of gray, pale turquoise and pink will prevail." whether you’re interested in a blush accent or looking to refresh a tired room, DHNY can help you start seeing the world through rose-colored glasses.  share your flushed moments in the comments below.  


at home gym featuring peloton bike

how to create an at-home gym you will actually use

a chic modern at home apartment gym featuring the peloton indoor bicycle.  the at home gym overlooks a large metropolis city.
photo via peloton

 

does anyone absolutely love going to the gym?  don’t all raise your hands at once.

i confess i broke up with my gym a few years ago (gasp!).  going to the gym had become an unpleasurable experience for me.  the classes were overcrowded and always at times that were inconvenient for my schedule.  i decided there had to be a better way to achieve my fitness goals.  hence my at home gym was born (and my obsession with dailyburn).  the at home gym is experiencing a true renaissance in today’s fitness-crazed world.  as a busy business owner and mom, nothing beats being able to exercise at your convenience.  i can stay healthy and spend more quality time binging on netfilx with my family.  not to mention, the money i save on a membership that i can now spend on endless cocktails.  priorities right?

 

now is the time to get active and enhance your home (or office) gym so that you will actually want to tone that bod (and in time for summer).  here are a few of my top tips to turn that drab corner space into a fierce fitness facility.

 

work that wall.

 

if you favor high-intensity workouts then i suggest selecting a bold vibrant wallpaper.  the energetic pattern will get your heart pumping.

if you favor calming exercises such as yoga or pilates then select a tranquil tone to bring peace to your mind, body, and soul.  also, think about adding a dimmable light switch for any overhead lighting to help set the tone.

speaking of paint, you do not have to paint the whole room.  an accent wall or a strip of inspiring color will do wonders for your workout flow.  if you are lucky enough to have a room dedicated to working out, hanging some motivational artwork graphics or wording can be the change you need to take your home gym from drab to butt-kicking inspiring.  will sweat for champagne poster anyone?

for those city dwellers with small spaces, adding mirrors can transform a dark claustrophobic space into a bright airy studio.  a luminous space will make you feel less like you are pumping iron in a mechanic’s shop.  a well-placed mirror will also allow yourself to correct your form so you are working out correctly and doing what you can to minimize injury.

 

get the right tools.

 

when you think of modern at-home workout equipment, do you think of peloton as i do?  i am a huge fan and the bike is an indoor cyclist’s dream.  why pay for a spin class when you can spin at home with robin arzon #sweatwithswagger

when our client asked us to create the perfect space for his peloton bike we wanted to take cues from the design of the room to incorporate the sleek indoor bicycle into his decor scheme.  

 

details of client's at home gym featuring the peloton bicycle.
photos via darcihether.com

 

as you can tell the mighty peloton is not killing the feng shui in this bedroom.  we did not want to simply hide the bike away like an embarrassing photo album.  the rug and basket full of rolled towels add the perfect decorative touches to bring the look of the room together.  i love that the bike is placed in front of the windows.  the view will surely get your heart pumping.

 

equipment in client's at home gym
photo via darcihether.com

 

our client’s home gym setup is #fitnessmotivation.  however, you don’t need fancy equipment to get fit.  there is a stigma that you have to go out and buy a treadmill, or a stationary bike to have a true home gym.  not the case!  a yoga mat, some hand weights, a medicine ball, and a small stair step is all you need to get your sweat on.  be sure that your physical equipment is stored in sight. If you buy all of this functional equipment and place it in a closet you are way less likely to feel motivated to break it out and use it.  as the old saying goes “out of sight, out of mind” and you want to feel motivated to move, not marinate.  speaking of motivation….

 

bring your a+ game....fashion game that is.

 

nothing will motivate you to sweat it out more than stylish workout gear.  a satisfying workout isn’t necessarily dependent on having the right clothing.  however, it will make you more excited to get off the sofa and lace up those sneakers.  don’t always use your activewear to workout?  yeah, me either.

 

i love the takara leggings from carbon38.  the glossy liquid finish is one part functional and two parts sexy. these babies can take you from your downtown gym to your uptown cocktail hour with the girls.  nail athleisure chic with this fun tank from etsy i recently purchased.  p.s. if you are opposed to champagne there are plenty of other witty quotes.  the pizza queen shirt is my next purchase.

 

swell water bottle (top left), lulu lemon yoga mat (bottom left), apple watch (top right), under armour headphones (bottom right)

here are few of my other favorite gym products to make cardio less hardio.  

a.  milky way insulated stainless water bottle.  stay hydrated with a pretty way to get your recommended eight glasses a day.  

b. apple watch series 4 44mm silver aluminum case.  nothing better than wearing your motivation on your wrist.

c. lululemon reversible mat 5mm with loop it up mat strap eyelet.  namaste all day with this chic yoga mat and carrier.

d. under armour - sport wireless train on-ear headphones - project rock edition.  drain out all the distractions and pump along with headphones that will stay put.

 

#treatyourself

 

make your at home gym feel like a luxurious locker room.  adding a mini fridge to your workout space can take your home gym to the luxury level of equinox.  keep it stocked with chilled water bottles and eucalyptus-infused cool towels for a lush spa vibe.  i like to keep a few snacks handy to fuel my workout.  i may put a bar cart in mine so i can treat myself to a few cocktails after a grueling workout. clink. clink.

a home gym rids you of any excuse to not work up a sweat.  go on and achieve those fitness goals you lean mean fitness machine!  here's to creating a space that is conducive to working out.  share your comments and your own tips below and drop it like a squat.  

 

cheers~

darci


bathroom decor refresh

photo courtesy of emily gilbert photography

 

can you believe we are already into the second month of 2019?  where does the time go?  have you kept all of your resolutions thus far? (psst I won't tell).  one of my new year's resolutions is to refresh my bathroom, the one place where i truly get to unwind and enjoy a little me-time.  despite being the center of rejuvenation, the bathroom is often the most neglected room in the house (shock!).  the bathroom is also one of the most accessible places to improve upon with simple fixes.  whether you need to get rid of those old towels or want to prepare for hosting season, roll up your sleeves and get ready to refresh that bathroom!  here are a few of my top tips for a quick and easy bath revamp.

ready. set. refresh.

 

 

upgrade your towel situation

if you are going to splurge anywhere in your bathroom decor, update your towels.  a soft fluffy white cloth will do wonders for the overall look of your powder room.  do not make the mistake of trying to jazz up the loo party with a funky, vibrant towel.  the vibrantly colored sheet will result in a discolored mess of a cloth.  white will resist fading, won't go out of style and pairs with any bathroom decor color scheme.  white is the only option when you are trying to achieve the classic five-star hotel bathroom ambiance.  have you ever been to a hotel that did not have freshly stocked winter white towels?  my point exactly.  

i suggest having a charcoal washcloth reserved for your beauty needs.  the darker shade will help to mask the product residue that ruins a crisp white cloth.  i learned this trick from one of my favorite commute podcasts, the sheri + nancy show.  the ladies were spot on as i noticed the trend during a trip to one of my favorite hotels in the city, the ace.  among the stack of fresh white towels in my room, was a black face towel neatly embroidered with the marker “makeup.” swoon.

 

seriously, ditch the ugly bath mat!

the overlooked bathroom staple can become pretty dingy over time.  adding a new bath mat is an excellent way to freshen up your bathroom.  be sure to pick a rug style that is complementary to your towels.  select a mat with a luxurious, shaggy pile if you prefer thick and fluffy towels.  if you favor a thin bath sheet a la european hotels, follow suit with a slim bath rug style.  remember, a thicker pile will have your tootsies dry in no time.  consider using a warm, organic textured rug for a spa vibe.  a bamboo mat is a sustainable savior that is durable and easy to clean. 

 

accessorize darling

one of the simplest ways to refresh your bathroom decor without spending mad money is the addition of new accessories.  accessories will keep your bathroom looking nice and tidy (anyone else feeling inspired after reading spark joy?).  the items lining your sink shouldn't be a mishmash.  choose a similar shade and finish for all of your items to bring the look of the room together.  i love this modern collection from fellow new yorkers,kassatex.  the white resin design detail is delicious and sleek.

 

clear the clutter

clutter control is vital when it comes to creating a calming bathing space.  i love this jar from the white company to store band-aids.  always keep band-aids on hand to help soothe pesky blisters that pop up after dancing all night at a cocktail party.  for those lotions and potions, you can't live without; a sturdy caddy can help keep your product army organized and accessible.  i recommend a clever catch-all, a place to put jewelry, eyeglasses and other items that we do not want to risk losing.

 

here a few of my favorite bath and body products that i am going gah-gah over in 2019.

stimulate your senses

one of the most significant events to happen in the world of skincare is the removal of parabens from the kiehl's product line.  meet my new and improved skin savior, kiehl's ultra facial cream.  my favorite magic potion still retains all of its glory without the pesky parabens.  rejoice, it is also arriving at major beauty retailer, ulta in 2019.  i use the universal cream every morning and night to keep my combination skin hydrated.  to see more of my favorite kiehl's products, check out winter skin must-haves.

i love to stimulate my senses during my morning routine.  nothing sets the mood like a beguiling scent.  my signature spritz is diptyque olene eau de toilette.  i spray on a little bit right after i get out of the shower, so the perfume soaks into my skin to last from morning to night.  diptyque has a wide range of fragrances to suit every taste.  you can't go wrong with any of their scented candles.  fun fact: prince harry and meghan markle chose the luxury fragrance brand to scent the royal wedding!

while we daydream of glorious bathtubs, the self love bath + body ritual kit from herbivore is the perfect bubble bath companion.  no wonder the set appeared on several best gift sets lists for 2018.  the self-love gift set includes everything you need for a full diy spa session: bath soak, body scrub, and a heavenly oil to moisturize after the chicest bath ever.

 

tlc

i recommend a gentle dry brush session to prep your skin for your bubble bath ritual.  admittedly, i was skeptical upon first hearing of the trend.  i jumped on board to remedy my dull winter skin in preparation for a spring vacation.  this brush from goop is perfect for getting rid of those pesky dead skin cells to reveal smooth, glowing skin.  full disclosure - i recommend dedicating at least four weeks of solid scrubbing before you can fully reap the benefits of the dry brushing process.  disclaimer: if you have sensitive skin beware as there is such a thing as too much exfoliation.  you can do more harm than good by going overboard with rigorous scrubbing (guilty).  i stumbled across the perfect remedy for over scrubbing from aveda.  you can use the shampure oil as a cuticle oil, massage oil or you can pour it into your bath.

 

 

wrap it up, with a robe

is there anything cozier than wrapping up in a soft robe after you hop out of the shower?  ok, maybe a glass of champagne and an episode of mad men.  to achieve five-star hotel powder room status, place a robe on a wall hook outside of the shower.  helpful tip: think seasonally when making your robe selection.  select a thin cotton robe for summer months and a thicker one for winter.  

 

 

get some green

embrace your inner mother earth.  plants bring life to a room.  succulents are practically indestructible for those of you not blessed with a green thumb.  i even have an aloe vera plant nestling on my sink.  a helpful tip: place your plants near your shower to turn over a new leaf.  the once thirsty plants began to thrive in the hot and steamy environment.  my bathroom is now a calming jungle oasis. live plants not your jam?  you can go artificial if needed.  no one will know.  

 

 

give it a deep clean

a good old fashioned scrub down can do wonders for your bathroom.  get rid of that grout line grime!

 

hopefully, these tips will help you create the bathroom oasis of your dreams.  remember, you spend a lot of time in your bathroom, so make sure it makes you feel happy!  what changes have you made to your bathroom recently?  share your tips and tricks in the comments below!

 

do you want to make significant changes but need help getting started?  the dhny team is here to help you with all of your bathroom decor needs. give us a call!  

 

cheers~

darci

 


bedroom essentials..new year, new you

 

 

what images would pop into your mind if i were to ask you to describe the feel of your bedroom?  the place where you go at the end of a very long day to rest and recharge?  would you call it your sanctuary? no?? yikes!  at a minimum your bedroom is a place for sleeping, relaxing, and (don’t forget) romance, but it can be so much more!  it can be your sanctuary.  in 2019, i plan to spruce up my bedroom to create a space of total serenity.  i love to sleep, so why not make the area where i spend nearly one-fourth of my time super comfortable?  so, why don’t we do a boudoir refresh together??....to that point i thought i would share a few of my favorite bedroom essentials to turn each of our respective bedrooms into the oasis of our wildest dreams!

 

 

 

 

 

 

if you are going to spend a significant portion of your life between the sheets, shouldn’t they feel fabulous?  these luxurious organic cotton sheets from nordstrom are so soft and yummy that your transition into never-never land is as easy as 1,2,3.  pssst...they are on sale right now so hurry up!

 

a few years back i stumbled upon the holy grail of pillows, the luxe pillow collection from bloomingdales.  a friend of mine turned me on to them years ago.  i had the pleasure of test driving them during a visit.  it was like sleeping on a cloud!  best nights sleep of my life.

 

speaking of beauty sleep, i will admit i was skeptical upon first hearing about the magic behind the silk pillowcase even though my grandma swore by a similar one that she used when i was a kid.  however, the grown-up me was gloriously proven wrong, with nearly four hundred five star reviews, this silk pillowcase is a gem. this pillowcase keeps your hair from frizzing and tangling into a bird's nest so that you wake up looking like more like sleeping beauty and less like the wicked witch of the west.  if you are a side sleeper, this also helps with those pesky creases that appear on your face after tossing and turning on your regular cotton or linen pillowcase.

 

a cuddly down comforter isn't just for those living in cold climates.  if you don’t sleep huddled in a cave of blankets, have no fear. you can choose your fill power with a higher fill power (around 600+) being the warmest option for those wanting to keep it toasty.   

 

the surge in peeper keepers is in part due to the fact that in today’s fast-paced world, most of us are not getting the recommended seven to nine hours of rest.  blame it on life’s wonderful distractions, busy schedules, kids, pets, netflix binging (guilty) and social media. banish those bags and promote restful, rejuvenating beauty sleep with slip’s silky eye mask to keep your eye area looking young and bright (sans plastic surgery town)

 

for those cold winter nights, i love a good throw to snuggle up with on the sofa.  this hefty merino wool blanket is the perfect cuddle companion when you are feeling the chills.  who doesn’t love a chunky knit? sweater weather indeed.

 

does this inspire you to update your dream zone?


cocktail crush… champagne glassware roundup

Willi Gluckstern quote, champagne, a perfect world

what’s a home bar if it’s not stocked with a few bottles of bubbly? (if you ask me, the answer is incomplete.) whether you enjoy spanish cava, french champagne, german sekt, or italian metodo classic (prosecco’s sophisticated sibling), you’ll need to have the right glassware on hand when you serve your favorite sparkling wine.

here at dhny, we’re always willing to sacrifice in the name of research. we’ve put together a quick dossier of champagne glasses by type — flute, coupe, and tulip. feel free to file this away under “fizz.”

Champagne, Veuve Clicquot, bubbly

flutes

aesthetically speaking, flutes are ideal for showcasing the beautiful bubbles we all know and love. tall and narrow by design, the innately elegant shape of these glasses makes them ideal for mixing and mingling at gatherings. plus, you can toast without the added worry of spilling your drink (the horror!). imbiber beware — the word in expert circles is that the narrow opening of the flute prevents you from getting a good whiff of the wine’s aroma, which, in turn, impacts the taste. on the bright side, the shape is said to make the effervescence last longer.

final verdict: If you’re in it for the fizz, flutes are for you.

coupes

those searching for a sophisticated vintage vibe will likely prefer the coupe. it’s been said that the shape was modeled after marie antoinette’s bosom. while that does make for a good story, it appears that myth has been debunked. cinematically speaking, the coupe — or champagne saucer, as it is also known — was the glassware of choice in silver screen classics like casablanca, how to marry a millionaire and breakfast at tiffany’s. more recently, leonardo dicaprio brought it back in 2013’s remake of the great gatsby. a still of dicaprio toasting with a coupe even birthed a series of memorable memes. not impressed by this style’s film credentials? the coupe’s dimensions also make it the ideal building block for a champagne tower at your next extravagant affair.

final verdict: when channeling your inner bogie or bacall, this stemware is sure to evoke old hollywood glamour.

tulips

looking for the function and mobility of the flute, but not willing to compromise on aroma? meet the tulip. somewhere between your standard wine glass and a slender flute, the more bulbous bowl of this type of glassware allows the wine’s bouquet to burst forth and bubbles to dance — and that’s a party we want to be invited to!

final verdict: if you don’t own them already, splurge on a set of stylish tulip glasses.

tasting tip… why the good glassware is worth it

expert manufacturers incorporate imperceptible etchings into the base of glassware meant for serving sparkling beverages. what for? these tiny dots — which are called nucleation sites — are meant to ensure continuous bubble formation.

champagne glass, champagne flute, coupe, tulip

flute // riedel vinum champagne glass — elegant and ideal for mingling

coupe // viski raye faceted crystal coupe glasses — perfect for evoking hollywood glamour

tulip // riedel vinum cuveé prestige champagne glass — where bouquets burst forth and bubbles dance

disclosure: some of the above links are affiliate links. what does that mean? at no additional cost to you, i will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

bring on the bubbles!

alright, enough talk about glassware, it’s time to make a toast.

...to hygge homes, to chic holiday décor, to time off for self-care and last, but certainly not least, cheers to 2019!


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

share


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 of a sofa

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

share