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Wednesday, February 6th, 2013The Haskell Interiors blog site has been relocated

 

Please visit our new and improved blog site  http://www.haskellinteriorsblog.com/

 

Posted by Haskell at 4:05 pm
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Monday, February 4th, 2013HASKELL’S CHOICE: The Mary McDonald Collection for Schumacher

 

Most of you know how much I love the design of Mary McDonald (see Haskell’s Library).  Now she has teamed up with F. Schumacher to give us a small, but exciting collection of fabrics and trims to add a touch of Hollywood Regency.

Like most of the homes she designs (she is a regular of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Decorators) this collection is reflective of her love of Chinoiserie and of bold, graphic, geometric patterns.

Her centerpiece fabric is a wonderful Chinoiserie tree available in several colors.  The extremely large repeat lends itself best to drapery or upholstered walls.

Other fabrics are more geometric in nature but can work well with both traditional and contemporary interiors.

Her trimmings are a departure from standard offerings in that there are appliqués that are a wonderful design tool to use on pillows, upholstered skirt corners or even seat cushions.  Again they reflect the geometry and elegance that permeates all of Mary’s designs.

This is Mary’s first foray into the fabric market, but I think she has really started strong and with lots of versatility.

Can’t wait to see what she does next!

 

Posted by Haskell at 4:21 pm
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Wednesday, January 30th, 2013HASKELL’S SECRET: Pink light bulbs

 

 

Pink Light Bulbs.  Designers have used the pink light bulb for years to warm up spaces.  Regular incandescent bulbs cast a yellow tone light.  Fluorescent and full spectrum bulbs create a bluish light.  But the pink toned light emitted from the pink incandescent bulb offers a warm light that make people’s skin tone more attractive and alive looking.  Everyone looks better in this light.  Wood furniture also benefits from the light of a pink bulb.

Don’t let the pink fool you – no one will be consciously aware of a “pink” color.  They will only know that you look great and that your home or office is very warm and inviting.  I particularly like them in bedrooms and dining rooms to create warmth to the space and to help everyone look their best.

 

Posted by Haskell at 5:09 pm
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Tuesday, January 29th, 2013Kitchens: White is always right!

 

A client recently asked me, “Are white kitchens back in style?”  I may have looked puzzled for a minute because, for me, white kitchens have never been  out of style!  This is not to say that they are always the most popular look every year. But when it comes down to long term, classic looks and to versatility over the long haul, you can never beat a white kitchen.

Now, what do I mean by a white kitchen?  Does everything in the space need to be white?  No – a white kitchen, to me, is a kitchen where at least 80% of the materials and surfaces are white.  Perhaps the floor is dark oak.  Or the countertops are black.  If everything else is white, then by my definition, you have a white kitchen.

A white kitchen can be a classic, traditional style with inset doors, bead board walls or ceiling and subway tile.

Or it can be modern, sleek and almost starkly devoid of pattern and details.  You can add a great architectural detail like a stainless hood, or a beamed ceiling to add punch to the space and against the all white background your investment in detail really stands out.

A white kitchen always looks fresh and clean – a great attribute especially if your current space lacks a lot of natural light and feels a bit small.  Then a white kitchen will look large, light and airy compared to a typical kitchen with multiple wood tones and various colored surfaces.

But, as a designer, to me the greatest advantage of the all white kitchen is its versatility and changeability.

Just like an art gallery or museum, the all white kitchen acts as a chameleon with the ability to take on the style and personality of the art, accessories and furnishings placed inside it.

 With such a neutral canvas you can create so many different looks and color schemes throughout the life of your kitchen.  Collections of colored plates, figurines or cooking utensils look great and become focal points in the white kitchen.

Even a simple vase of larkspur or a bowl of green apples become “objet d’art” when placed in the white kitchen.

Not only can you play with color changes in the all white kitchen but also style changes.  With a simple white background all it takes is a few items to infuse your kitchen with a country French style or a chinoiserie influence.

How fun to have a “new” kitchen every 3 – 4 years with the change of some paint, fabric and accessory details!

So, are white kitchens back in style?  Always!

 

Posted by Haskell at 5:32 pm
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Monday, January 28th, 2013HASKELL’S CHOICE: Estrella by Artistic Tile

 

Estrella by Artistic Tile.  This wonderful pattern, literally “star” in Spanish, is available in 4 distinct color ways, and recently won Interior Design magazine’s Best of the Year product in the tile category.  Estrella is a handmade mosaic crafted from glass – which gives it a remarkable luminous quality when viewed in person.  The pattern is so versatile it can take on a traditional to a contemporary vibe, depending on how it is used.  And it can be interpreted in so many ways:  Is it an impressionistic painting of flowers?  Or is it a burst of fireworks?  From a designer standpoint, it would also be fun to change the look completely by changing the grout color.

Estrella is suitable for walls and even wet areas such as showers and swimming pools.

 Don’t find a color combination that suits your need?  Estrella can be customized using one of the over 30 colors of glass available.

Isn’t it time you added a little “star” power to your next design project?  Stop by to see this and other fantastic mosaic patterns at our showroom today.

 

Posted by Haskell at 5:11 pm
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Friday, January 25th, 2013HASKELL’S LIBRARY: Kitchens and Baths by Michael S. Smith

 

Michael S. Smith first caught national attention when he was selected 2003 Designer of the Year by Elle Décor.  Since then his career and influence has skyrocketed.  This LA based designer had always had a Hollywood following, designing residences for mega stars such as Dustin Hoffman, Michelle Pfeiffer and Steven Spielberg.

But in 2008, when the Obama’s chose him as the White House designer, Michael really moved to the front of the line in terms of distinction and notoriety.

His self-described style of “updated traditional” blends contemporary and vintage pieces with classic style elements, that create rooms with visual interest, yet comfortable ease.

His latest book, Kitchens and Baths, displays Michael’s ability to transform functional spaces into places that evoke mood, style and visual pizzazz.  The book is sectioned into 3 styles:  beach, town, and country and takes the reader on a journey from conception to final details.

Not only is the book filled with beautiful kitchens and baths, but it serves as a primer on how and why he mixes certain materials and elements to create unique spaces.  This book is not the basic kitchen and bath book teaching readers about work triangles and storage solutions.  It is an excellent tool for anyone looking to style or remodel a kitchen or bath space.  This book is an outstanding resource for someone wanting to infuse character and personality in the choices and mix that make up two of the most important spaces in any home.

 

Posted by Haskell at 12:00 pm
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Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013HASKELL’S SECRET: Using outdoor fabrics for indoor spaces

 

Use outdoor fabrics in areas where you worry about stains.  The latest outdoor fabrics are, today, indistinguishable in feel or style from their indoor counterparts.  In breakfast rooms, for shower curtains and heavy use family rooms, outdoor fabrics offer an extra level of protection.  They can be easily washed, are impervious to water and are fade resistant.  Today’s choices have come a long way from the “kitschy” motif of palm trees, frogs and seashells that were available just a few years ago.  Today’s outdoor fabrics come in sophisticated and totally chic patterns and colors.

So if you are selecting fabric for a kitchen, family room or kid’s area, think outdoor fabric as a carefree and stylish choice.

 

Posted by Haskell at 2:51 pm
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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013KITCHENETTE: Small on size; Big on Function

 

The idea of a kitchenette – literally small kitchen – is not new.  But today with all the advances in appliances, from refrigeration drawers to microwave drawers, it has never been easier to create a compact, yet stylish solution in a small space.

A kitchenette is a smart idea anywhere you plan to entertain with groups of people, especially when the area is far from the main kitchen, as it saves so much time from walking back and forth, especially between levels.

I love including a kitchenette in recreational area like pool houses or lower levels.

Just having an icemaker, sink and refrigerator, you are set for parties and entertaining.  A dishwasher drawer is a great option to keep from bringing dishes up and down stairs.

A custom made cabinet, designed like an armoire, holds a sink, small refrigerator and microwave.

This is a stylish solution for a guest suite, a lower level apartment or even a guest cottage.

Including a kitchenette in your next remodeling plans will not only add value to your home, but make your life and the life of your guests much more enjoyable.

 

Posted by Haskell at 5:09 pm
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Monday, January 21st, 2013HASKELL’S CHOICE: Vetrazzo countertops

 

Vetrazzo countertops:  Vetrazzo proves you can be environmentally friendly and stylish at the same time.  Made from 85% recycled glass, Vetrazzo countertops are a great way to add pizzazz to your kitchen, bath or bar area.

Using glass from such chic sources as Skyy vodka, Corona beer, windshields, even sky scraper windows, each piece of Vetrazzo is a unique piece of art.

 It is highly scratch, stain and heat resistant so that it’s beauty is more than just skin deep.  And with 23 palettes to choose from, you are certain to find just the right color for your project.

 

Posted by Haskell at 5:25 pm
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Thursday, January 3rd, 2013New Year – Fresh Start!

 

As I sat down a few days ago to reflect on this past year. First of all, I am grateful to have had amazing clients and projects that were challenging, fun and fulfilling.  And while the beginning of the year started slowly, the work and the pace increased steadily as the year progressed.  So much so that we were really scrambling to keep up and meet deadlines by the year end.  No complaints! just a desire to work smarter, not harder, in 2013.  Second, I am grateful to have a wonderful team that helps me every day to create beautiful, functional interiors for our clients.  Debbie, Debra, Sheila, Susan and Whitney all help make our clients feel special and help me make it through the daily demands of this business.

This year saw some really wonderful clients come back into my life.  Some clients needed rooms refreshed while others needed complete makeovers.  Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, bath rooms and kitchens – we tackled them all this year.

In 2012, I had the enjoyment of completely redesign the first kitchen I ever created. . . 20 years ago.  Now I am feeling old.  I’ll post pictures of the remarkable change and share tips with you very soon.

So while business is returning to normal, I realize that I now need to step back and evaluate where we go from here.  First, I must get some balance back in my life – both personal and business.

And while each year I, like all of you, make resolutions with the best of intentions,

This year I am going to take a SMART approach to my resolutions.

By making SMART goals, I hope to achieve a higher rate of success.

And I realize that in both my personal life and in my business, I am going to be making some decisions and changes that may not be easy or even predictable.  Yet to reach the next level, you must let go of the current level.

I am excited about 2013 for Haskell Interiors.  And I have lots of changes and ideas up my stylish sleeve

Some small, some large, but all with the intent of making our clients happier, their interiors more stylish, and our team lives more fulfilled and balanced, including my own.

Wishing you a prosperous, happy and STYLISH New Year!

 

Posted by Haskell at 5:33 pm
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