My New Obsessions

I am just getting back from a trip to Italy and I have to say that my brain is just overflowing with ideas to bring into projects that I am working on and for future projects. As many of you who follow the blog and instagram or know me personally know that I am already obsessed with doors and natural stone. If you didn’t see the article in Contemporary Stone and Tile Design here it is:

https://www.stoneworld.com/articles/89621-one-on-one-with-owner-of-artful-conceptions-sara-chiarilli

But now after traveling through Italy I have some new loves. They work with loves that I already have but I have a whole new appreciation for these elements. And they are stone inlays, ceiling details and door knockers. I have always loved stone and have appreciated it’s beauty but have also never been a huge fan of overly ornate stone work. Ok so maybe I am appreciating more traditional things as I am getting older…..but I think it is simply appreciating the craftsmanship that we don’t see all that often in the US. And recently US design has been so focused on clean looks, farmhouse, urban and contemporary that I think we have forgotten where some of these styles really came from. When we were in Siena we stayed at a working Olive vineyard that is a 17th century villa. And let me tell you it was simple but not plain, detailed and elegant. The woods were mixed and not forced and the furniture pieces were mixtures of curved lines with the beauty of the wood showing through. Doors were arched and huge with only half of the door opening. Gardens were mixtures of stone, and brick and wrought iron with potted plants and vines allowed to grow along the walls. Nothing was whitewashed, nothing was shiplapped, everything was breathtaking.

But back to my new obsessions. Check out these marble inlays.

They are HUGE! Now we may not want to go this detailed or style in a new home design but there is so much to take away from these designs. I am in love with the black and white diamond design for a foyer, or master bath. Or imagine that inlay on the floor and in the ceiling of a master bath! We are seeing the concrete tiles like crazy with the beautiful designs such as the first picture above, but to see it done in marble is so impressive.

Ceiling details – OMG there is no way I can ever post enough pictures of the detailed ceilings in Italy! I have over the years done wallpaper on ceilings to create a highlighted feature and create a new feeling, but these ceilings are so far beyond the designs that I have done over the years. Here are a few examples but check out instagram for even more!

And let’s talk door knockers! These pieces to me are such a simple way to give a front door character that I can’t believe that we have gotten away from them in the US.

What a fantastic way to change the entire feeling of a door! I have a feeling these are going to be a new collection that I start, I am just in love. And you can see that they don’t have to be ornate and traditional, they can be simple or contemporary and add so much to the design.

So when you see new posts and pictures from me obsessing over these things you will know why. I have a feeling I will be noticing these things and looking for ways to adapt current projects and objects to give an added flare.

There is so much more to post about Italy especially the artwork. I think that needs a whole post on it’s own!

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Special Guests Revealed – Insider’s Tour Update!

Ok so in my last blog post I let you all know that we would have special guests at Kravet when we start our tour. Well I can now officially announce that Sara Kravet, 5th generation Kravet, will personally greet our tour and see us through the Kravet and Kravet Curated Showrooms! She has been working out of the Boston Showrooms and has not only grown up in the business she and her family have been changing the industry for a 100 years! We will also be joined by Maria Parasugo the director of Kravet Furnishings. Parasugo and her team, are the brains behind the edge program at Kravet. You know the Kravet furnishings that are made beautifully in Kravet fabrics but won’t run you 1,000 per dining chair.

By now you may know that I love Kravet. I have been using Kravet fabrics since I started in the interior design world. In fact, if you have been to my showroom you will know that the fabrics across from my desk are all Kravet. I am so excited to introduce everyone on the tour to the fantastic furniture that they make.

How beautiful are these pieces! Wait until you sit in them! And even more so have you heard of Kravet Curated? Well those that join us on the tour will be able to see Curated as well. Will Hunt Lewis the Vice President of Kravet Curated will be meeting us at Kravet Curated to show us around all of the amazing pieces. Top designers in our field are working to with Kravet to create these collections, everyone from Barclay Butera to Candice Olson and Jan Showers. You will so want to see what they have selected and will be showing at Spring High Point Furniture Market!

So are you ready to be a part of this amazing tour? If you have never been or have not been to High Point Market in the past four markets and are an interior designer, buyer, builder or furniture store owner come join us by signing up at the link below. And don’t forget you have to select Sara Chiarilli if you want to get in on this. Because this is exclusive to our Tour, you will not get this opportunity with anyone else!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6VBJQVX

I can’t wait to meet you on the Spring Insider’s Tour!

Are you joining for the Insider’s Tour?

I am so excited to be hosting the Spring Insider’s Tour this High Point Market! We are getting so close to the end of sign up I wanted to let everyone know some of the amazing places we will be stopping at. Our first stop will be at Kravet with some very special guests that I know you will want to meet! And of course all of their amazing new pieces they will be showing at market! And don’t forget Kravet is celebrating their 100 years in the industry as a company. So much history and talent!

And our last stop will be a private tour of the factory and showroom of Thayer Coggin. I am so excited for this stop as it is super special and a huge thank you to Crypton for setting this up for us!

These are some amazing American made pieces that you are so going to want to see and meet the people making. Thayer Coggin has been done since 1953 and include the Milo Baughman collection! Are you excited yet!?!

The deadline is March 15th so you need to sign up now! Make sure you sign up under Sara Chiarilli to get these amazing experiences!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6VBJQVX

I can’t wait to see you there!

Design and Creativity Runs in the Family

For the past few months I have had the pleasure of helping my daughter start and run her handmade soap business. So I thought I would post about it a bit to share some of the amazing things she has been doing and give everyone a little look into our lives. I had been keeping this blog to mostly my interior design business but the reality is that my family life shapes so much of the work that I do that it is time to share some of those things as well.

So here is my daughter’s company Ella Bell Soap Company.

My daughter in the middle of dealing with a great deal of anxiety found that she needed something to channel that anxiety into and create things. She needed an outlet where she was achieving and building her own mark on the world. As a parent I am so happy to support her in creating this company and I am seeing her become so much more confident in so many things. The joy that she has had by being able to purchase presents for her friends and family during holidays has done miracles for her self esteem. She no longer asks us for money for things that she wants, she justs asks if she can use her money. For a seven year old I am just impressed!

Check her out making her soaps.

Each and every one of her soaps and scents she creates on her own, with a little help to make sure she doesn’t burn herself. Each soap is made from organic ingredients and essential oils for the scents. She loves blue so there are lots of blue soaps!

Aren’t they beautiful!?! She adds dried flowers and fruits to many of the soaps. And she sells them at local markets on on her website.

http://www.ellabellasoapcompany.com

Check her out on Facebook and Instagram @ellabellasoapcompany.

And here she is at some of her markets.

As a designer and artist I have tried to create a culture of creativity and design within our household. It looks like it has truly taken hold. Keep following to find out more about Elliana’s updates and more about our design projects.

Let’s Talk Trim!

When I say trim I am sure most of you are thinking the pretty decorative elements we add to pillows and drapery. But nope I want to talk about the trim we use in the building process. Since I live on construction sites all the time and am constantly working with new designs I though I would talk about the element that gets very little attention but yet is one of the elements that add the biggest impact.

Everyone loves crown molding but the only crown molding I think anyone knows in cove.

Yup this is what everyone thinks about when we say crown molding. But this is just one style. There are so many options for crown molding here are some options people don’t always think about.

Dentil Molding

Stair Step Crown

Greek Key Crown

Corner Blocks

And these are just a few options for crown molding. This is not even touching door casing, base molding, wainscotting and so many other options that we have when designing a home. So, when you are working on your home and you want to add a whole lot of wow think about the trim.

Look at these headers and door casings.

How about these baseboards.

Trim is not just for pillows and drapery, it is crucial as a finishing touch for you walls and ceilings. So don’t neglect the trim and make sure you are putting the icing on the cake in your design!

Are Pantone Colors of the Year Still Relevant?

Over the years we have seen so many different directions that the pantone colors have gone. The predicting of colors each years has been all over the place. Sometimes I think that it is almost like a game that whenever the industry starts to get where the pantone colors are going then pantone throws a huge curveball. But my question is do these colors seem relevant in design for the average client. Yes we will always have the client that wants the newest, thing and wants to be cutting edge. But are these pantone colors really leading to design trends for the masses? Or should we be keeping these colors to small pops in designs? Are these colors moving design forward or are they behind the current design trends?

This years color is living coral.

Designing in Florida, this is a great color. But honestly we have been using this color for years. So it really doesn’t feel new and fresh as I see it. Don’t get me wrong I love the color. I am still using the color and the designs that we have done with this color still look super new and fresh. But is this trendsetting? Were we just way ahead of the trend?

How about the 2018 color of the year?

I love purple! I have been using touches of purple and more than touches of purple in designs for ages. In fact at the beginning of 2017 I redid my showroom to incorporate this deep rich color.

So again I ask the question were we moving ahead of the trend or was pantone running behind? Were we predicting the direction of the industry? My ego absolutely loves the idea that we have been designing ahead of the times and are setting the trends, although I am not sure that is the case.

Let’s go back to 2017 color of the year – Greenery.

I absolutely love this color. I think that just about every design needs this color in some form. But this is because I design a lot in the style of biophilic design. I strongly believe that the outside should always be brought into the interiors. In 2015 I did an interview with Sears about what the color trends would be and this was one of my main colors that I felt needed to be a staple in interiors. Check out the article here: https://www.searshomeservices.com/blog/2015-kitchen-color-trends

So does this mean that pantone colors are on trend? Are they relevant? Here is what I think. I think good design is always relevant. So if you feel like you need to follow the pantone colors great. If you are ahead of the pantone colors great. As long as the design is taking care of the client’s needs and has the ability to last the test of time who cares if it falls in the pantone colors. So follow the trends, don’t follow. Use the colors for large impact or small pops. Just remember at the end of the day create a great design and it will always look great!

Spring Insider’s Tour!!!

I am super excited to announce that I will be hosting the Spring Insider’s Tour for High Point Market! We had so much fn in the fall I am so looking forward to it again! For the Fall tour we visited Stanley Furniture, Sarreid Ltd, Lexington, Bramble Company, Surya, Rowe and Sunapan. Check out some of the pictures from the great time that we had!

Checking out the giant chair outside of Showplace!
Surya at the end of the day, time for fun and cocktails!

We had a great group of designers from all over the country.

High Point Market is one of my favorite things, it is where we learn all about new products and solutions for our clients.

Crypton education!

High Point is where we run into the celebrities in our industry.

Carson!
Ben Marshall – that’s one of his lights behind us!

It’s about the amazing friendships that we make!

It is where we take our businesses to the next level! Where we get inspired to be better designers. Where we get exclusive looks at newly releases and get the behind the scenes information from the manufacturers. It is where we get to see, feel and sit in all the amazing furniture. It is where we can create full designs that include in new pieces, antiques and vintage inspired all in one place. To have access to all of the options at High Point Market it would take weeks to get to all the different showrooms. But we don’t have to we get to take a few days and see all of the options available.

So , if you haven’t been to High Point Market in the last four markets and want to see market through my eyes you need to join us for the Spring Insider’s Tour! You can sign up here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6VBJQVX

Make sure you select SARA CHIARILLI OF ARTFUL CONCEPTIONS, especially because you know we will be having the most fun! I will be releasing the stops on the tour as we get closer, but I am working on some fun cocktail parties, great education and so many new releases!

You can find all of the requirements for the tour and how to register for High Point Market here:

http://highpointmarket.org/insiders-tour

So are you ready to make this year your best year in your design business? If so, join me for my favorite show in the design industry for education, fun, friendship, inspiration and business growth!

I look forward to meeting new designers, buyers, business owners and first time attendees! When you are done with the tour you will have my secrets and know how to navigate market but also will have a love for this fantastic event!

A Day in the Life in Pictures

Happy New Year everyone! Ok I know I am a little late but hey it’s still January! It has been a whirlwind the last half of this year with so much going on. Building has been booming so lots of new construction and remodels. But also lots of great new things like the High Point Market Insider’s Tour, Design Blogger’s Tour, the Tour of the Kravet Archives and Crypton tour of Duralee and Robert Allen in NYC. In between all of that it has been family, holidays, skiing vacation, new clients and prepping for this year! Are you exhausted yet!?!

But right before the holidays in a preparation for an article that will be coming out for the High Point Market Authority we had some fun doing a photo shoot with Theresa NeSmith Photography. We kinda broke down some of the design process and she got to see me in my element with some of my favorite things…..fabrics!

So check out some of these amazing pictures and stay tuned for lots of announcements that will be coming for 2019!

Drawn to Beauty and Jewels of the Imagination

I had one of the most amazing experiences this week. I was able to see the most spectacular collection of jewels ever! I am talking about the phenomenal exhibit at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts. I was also able to preview the exhibit with the designer of the exhibit, the curators and executive staff of the museum.  Drawn to Beauty and Jewels of the Imagination are a  showcase of the art and works of Jean Schlumberger. Jean Schlumberger was born into a prominent textile family in Alsace France. Although he showed promise in his drawings at a young age his parents wanted him to be a banker and they sent him to Berlin to learn about banking. That did not work for him as it would not for most artists and he went to Paris to be an artist. Each and every piece that Schlumberger creates are a nod to nature and as he states he tries to make everything look as though it is growing, organic, natural. 

He starts each design with a sketch and painting. Here are some that they had on display to show how detailed he became with each piece.

This exhibit is the largest collection of Schlumberger’s work and is from both Tiffany’s archives and The Mellon Estate. Bunny Mellon was one of his biggest supporters and he created many of the pieces for her directly.

To see the flow of his amazing career and the range of his pieces was amazing. The letters that were shared during the creative process are so enchanting. 

As you turn from Drawn to Beauty into Jewels of the Imagination your breath is taken away by the amazing work that Rush Jenkins and his team did to put together the display. They used images from the Mellon estate and their gardens to create the feeling that you were there in the gardens yourself.

I am torn by how much to show you in pictures verse you experiencing it on your own as I feel this is an exhibit that everyone should go see. There are amazing pieces not only of jewelry but also table top decorations, the jewelry boxes that were used to give pieces as gifts have lapis tops. There are pieces that will take your breath away and ones that will make you smile from the whimsy. As a designer I had a hard time leaving as the natural elements that were used to display each piece were magnificent. Each display allowed the viewer to experience the open and the hidden elements. It was just as much about the finding of the elements and the impact that each section had on you as it was about the phenomenal artwork that Schlumberger created. 

 

Go see the best of Tiffany in these collections. Imagine what it would be to wear the most magnificent pieces of jewelry ever created and know that art is more than a painting or drawing. Art is the embodiment of all things beautiful and creating a space to truly display that beauty.

A Thanksgiving Surprise

Over the years I have found that there are some clients that we end up getting to know more than others. As we get to know them life happens and that sometimes means great things and sometimes difficult things. This year I met an amazing family that I had the pleasure of designing their new home. During that process they experienced news that no parent ever wants to hear. They learned that their son had brain cancer. And while I cannot imagine what they are experiencing nor can I share their journey you can check out the journey on their blog at http://www.calebthesuperhero.blog What I did get to do was give them the home of their dreams for when they are here in the Tampa area. So little to their knowledge we completed the house with all of the furnishings and everything they would need to move into their dream home! And by the way they have amazing parents to make this surprise happen. 

Here are some before and afters:

We also had the amazing experience to have the process of the final installation days filmed along with the surprise reveal. So to get the real details of how we pulled it all off check out this video.

I love being able to create the perfect space for my clients. Spaces that they can feel like it gives them a big hug every time they walk through the door. The layering of textures, designs and materials makes all the difference. I hope you enjoyed the reveal as much as I have!

Final Thoughts on Fall High Point Market

I can’t believe it is almost Thanksgiving which, means it has been more than a month since High Point Market. So I thought I would give one final post on the direction that I see design trends going and why as a designer High Point Market is a must.

An area that is growing in the design industry is the dorm room/starter apartment/first home segment. This area previously was always stuck with pieces that had very few options and not a whole lot of design to the options. DHP is changing that. They have partnered with Cosmo to create a trendy line as well as the Novogratz for style. The result is fun functional furniture at an amazing price. Their pieces are made for small living and the sofas are all actually futons. I have used this line for staging and they have a really great look!

 

Universal Furniture came out with the Coastal Living Collection which really hits home being based out of Florida. The collect is well curated with combinations that we would actually use in a coastal design. I fell in love with the textures and finishing touches that they added to the line. Check out this video to learn more about it.

Coastal Living by Universal

Aidan Gray introduced the Antiques Diva collection. This is a fantastic partnership that is redefining the look of antiques. I am in love with the uses of fabrics and lucite in this collection! It is pure opulence!

Stickley reminded us how absolutely beautiful wood can be. Sometimes I think we are swayed by the flashy and newest trend and forget that really amazing well thought out quality pieces will always be in style and last forever. Each piece is finished like glass a technique that will always amaze.

Bernhardt, Littman Brands, Modern History and EJ Victor brought us maximalism. Check out the previous post to get all the details. But just remember really big hardware and over the top finishes. Here are some pictures to remind you what I think is going to be the biggest trend that we will see in the coming months and years.

From my last post you read all about the California influence on many designers and styles. Here are some images that we saw from those looks from Norwalk, Four Hands, Surya and Cisco Brothers.

Thibaut reminded us about color and mixing of patterns while partnering with Crypton to make all those amazing fabrics functional in your home! They are one of the absolute bests at mixing patterns and bold colors and creating a style that is always recognized as truly Thibaut. Brings me back to my New England roots every time!

And last but not least you have outdoor furniture which will always have to give a nod to Lloyd Flanders as the originator of so many amazing designs and techniques. I personally fell in love with their swings! Check out their website for all of their amazing pieces and tons of options. Not to mention their fantastic history!

So at the end of the day, my final take away from fall High Point Market is that it really is all about the end user and what is best for them. There are so many options available, there is amazing history and there is a vibrancy that can only be experienced in person. I am so inspired to get back to designing new spaces for my clients and I hope that everyone got a little glimpse into what drives the design process.

California Influence on High Point Market

One of the influences that I saw throughout High Point Market this year was the California Boho influence. We have been seeing this feeling and design style seep into so many lines over the past years but a few companies really pulled it off fantastically.

First is Norwalk having partners with Kim Salmela with the soft colors, the Crypton fabrics and the layering of natural fibers.

There is a softness with this style that brings to mind the style call hygge by the Danish. It is about comfort and texture.

Surya brought the style to mind with their Urban Traditionalist look. They mixed textures, materials and warm wood tones.

urban.traditionalist

Some of my favorite pieces that Surya came out with for this look are their tapestries, newly updated rugs and pillows.

Four Hands has been bringing this curated look to market for awhile and continued to impress this market with additional pieces that updated the California influenced style. They mixed materials, leather, stone, sheepskin, wool and wood to create a deep and inviting feeling.

The look at Four Hands is a bit more on the modern side and flows with an urban styling. I want to place every piece in either a loft or contemporary beach house.

Cisco Brothers was a huge influence on this style as well. It was my first time seeing their pieces and I could not get enough! The amazing fabrics many of which were Crypton were textural and natural. The down cushions and sink into style said comfort and design all at the same time. Even better they are a green company so I know when using their beautiful pieces they are thinking about the environment and future generations.

So if you aren’t into the over the top look that was popular this market this might be a more appealing look. Think hygge, texture, materials, layering and the California breeze.

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