Tag Archives: decorate

Architectural Digest Celebrates AD <3 New York Design Center!

27 Jun

This year at the New York Design Center was quite special! Architectural Digest and their Editor in Chief Margaret Russell gave a warm, warm welcome to all interested in design!

To celebrate at the NYDC with what they believe are great finds! I will follow the beautiful Ms. Russell anywhere, for her signature is so clear!

Margaret Russell, Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest Magazine

Margaret Russell, Editor in Chief of Architectural Digest Magazine

Since being with Architectural Digest; I definitely see a difference in the style and content of the magazine! You can just tell, more celebrities are opened to featuring their homes and the creativity is shown on its pages, with ideas that regular people are truly interested in!

So when arriving at the New York Design Center on Lexington Ave last Thursday, there was such a buzz in the air; I could n’t wait to explore the four floors of showroom bliss!

The showrooms were full of people, all scoring a spot near a bar to receive the signature drink of the night and talk about all the one of a kind of pieces; unique textiles, tapestries and how home furnishings keep on envolving. Beautiful pieces! I placed a few pics below of my favorites!

Even Twitter was involved, where the guests were asked to tweet their favorite #ADLOVESNYDC pick and tweet it right there! Although I made the mistake and tweeted (is that a word) a slipper chair I’d fell in love with, not one of AD’s picks!

It didn’t even matter, because the excitement of the feedback was amazing! Some people were tweeting for the first time in their life, which was actually quite funny…”Is it on my phone? Oh, I have to download the app!” The showroom staffers sure did not reckon on that they would be giving Twitter tutorials on how to be a certified tweeter!!!!!!!

The showrooms featured:

Baker Knapp & Tubbs



Julian Chichester

Desiron by Frank Carfaro

Woodwrights Wide Plank Flooring

Dennis Miller Associates


The night was quite enjoyable and I’d got the feedback that others also had a good time too! All rejuvenated with great ideas and finds!

The New York Design Center’s is a 16-story, 500000 square foot building with design items for the trade. Showroom search, floor plans, admission policy, news and events, staff, designer and more! Located at 200 Lexington Avenue, Suite 428 New York, NY 10016 Ph: 212.679.9500 Fax: 212.447.1669 @nydc @archdigest


Kips Bay 39th Annual Decorator Show House 2011

22 May

I made it!  Where?

Kips Bay Boy & Girls Club’s 39th annual decorator Show House, that’s where!

This is where designers, textiles and companies donate their time; with a challenge to transform a selected home; from the basics to extra, extra extraordinary!  Stretching their vision to the ultimate!

Kips Bay addresses many critical needs of children, adolescents and young adults:

  • a safe place where they can “belong”
  • a place to play and grow socially with peers
  • adult mentoring
  • a place to challenge oneself physically and intellectually and be recognized for accomplishments, and opportunities to give back something to others.

It’s great opportunity for the designer to have their vision shown.  All articles shown can be purchased, where all proceeds benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club! A lot of work, but all done for their love of the club.

Well the show house did not open its doors until Noon!  So I was an 1 hr early and decided to dine at the Ritz Diner.  A small diner, at 62nd st on 1st Ave.   I had a broccoli & cheese COMBO omelette; with a cup of coffee!  It was wonderful!  www.ritzdinenyc.com.

Ok!   Now, this year’s choice is a 1919 brownstone, designed by the architect Frederick Sterner on a historical New York City block, 63rd Street.

There are quite a few celebrities which live in the area, (60 -68 th Street) like Bill Cosby and Sting to name a few.  Central Park is nearby, the 59th Street Bridge is close by for a quick hop to the borough of Queens and a slew of restaurants you could ever imagine…Greek, Italian, Indian…you name it,  it’s here!

Still returning a little early, I waited with this lovely woman, who has convinced me that I must see Morocco!  Which I have indicated before in one of my earlier posts that I have to go!

The doors opened, I was the 3rd person to enter and was so taken back about the entrance.  I began snapping pictures, until one of the volunteers said “You are not allowed to take photos”.  Oops!  I’d taken about 10 -15 already!  “Sorry” I said.  So, I only got a few to share with you!  But more importantly it is about the cause!

Ever think about having pinstripe gray flannel walls?  How about turning your laundry room into a bar with neon lights!  Designer Stephen Fanuka thought, why not!!!!  Oh, instead having a huge flat screen TV – a mini Sony  ® Internet TV with Concierge, so quaint for any room.  A copper inspired kitchen by Bilotta.

How about, making a fish net into a shower curtain!

What being part of a Zen garden with a Buddha right behind while meditating?

Oh! Remember last year, I’d talked about Interior Design Magazine’s cover with a giraffe, well a baby giraffe was found lurking around!!! LOL

Such creativity!  Such Fun!  Whether your home is big or small, you can do with it, what you may!!

So if you are on Facebook (who isn’t), you can see more pictures  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kips-Bay-Boys-Girls-Club-Decorator-Show-House/127163207319000

Well I ended the day at their POP UP Shop; which has wonderful items!  I was looking for their fragrant candles, where I was told that they are on hold; until their supplier can find a sponsor.   I luckily have one left, but will be checking to see when they’re in stock!

Oh! Gilt Home will feature some of the items shown at the Show House for sale.  If interested join Gilt Home at www.gilt.com/kipsbayshowhouse

If you would like to know more about The Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, go to their site: www.kipsbay.org

I had such a wonderful day!   With keeping Kip’s mission in mind, the Kips Bay’s Designer committee is still working.  As soon as this year’s event has ended, they begin planning next year’s!  So if you are NYC next year, during the month of May….do make plans to see it!

Letia 🙂

Images provided by Kips Bay Decorator Show House, You Tube video by LM LifeStyle & Design.

Where are They Going To Sit?

1 Oct

This evening, Kathi of Davenport, IA sent me an e-mail with the following question; here’s my answer:

“I’m having guests over for dinner and my husband didn’t tell me that he invited some more friends and I’m panicking because my dining room table only seats 6.  What should I do?” 

Seating should be the least of your worries.  By all means, DO NOT tell them not to come! Why put so much pressure on yourself!  If you are having 10 guests, then you are only have to get 4 extra chairs.  You can either go to the local thrift store and look for the extra chairs which are compatible to your current dining chairs.   They don’t have to match at all. 

 If you are worried about the seats; you can always go to your fabric store and change it!   Just unscrew the screws which are under the seat, using the old fabric as a pattern to cut the new fabric.  Get a staple gun, safety goggles and reapply with the same foam or a glue gun can be used (I prefer the staple gun). 

If your dinner party is more than 10 guests, you might want to have the party outside – where there is more room and really yell at your husband (a little).  If it’s bad weather (it is October), then I suggest not a sit down dinner; but a cocktail party, with various appetizers on 8″ plates.   Now, say buying new chairs are not in the budget, you can always get some folding chairs and cover them with slip covers to match your decor! Check Bed, Bath & Beyond at E. 53rd St; $7.99.

Too often the host worries so much about preparing the party, that when the dinner party happens, they are so exhausted – that they seldom get to engage like they hoped to.  Remember it’s a party!  Not a “Oh, I’m so tired – this was a lot of work”.  This phrase should not be said; you will make your guests fill guilty.  So don’t panic, just plan. 

You still have time, get those RSVPs, look for the chairs, plan your meal, drinks, etc.  You will be just fine!

Oh!  When you receive RSVP calls from your invites, if they ask what could they bring.  Try to avoid flowers, for you don’t want to spend too much time finding vases and arranging them for this will also take away from guests at the dinner party.  Wine, candles, candy are great ideas.

Kathi…just have fun!!  Let me know, how it turns out!  

Good Luck – Lee 🙂

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at lee@lmlifestyleanddesign.com

Interior Design Magazine…Makes You Dream!

22 Jul

When I receive my monthly issue, I am always so excited on what the cover will be!  The cover is the clincher, where editors sit around a table deciding what photo will make the cover!   

The editors never seem to be wrong, because this issue’s cover had me in amazement!    Not only does the information in this Interior Design Magazine quite helpful, but the photos allow the reader to dream.  A giraffe! Did you ever think?   So; if you ever want to pinpoint what your style is or you are  kind of on the shelf about being outrageous, or perhaps want to make the unthinkable, well thinkable; this magazine is full of crazy and fun ideas!  The website is full of great ideas; as well!

So often we think of things as the usual, where you may want it to be drastically the unusual, different in your surroundings.  Now, yes it up to you to not to be forced into a concept that you are not comfortable with in your home.  You are to be happy be with what is being decided for you, if you are hiring a decorator or designer.  If it’s you doing the decorating, who would know more better than YOU? 

However, I do suggest take chances.  The most that could happen, is that you don’t like it and guess what?  That’s what paint is about, that’s what I would like to return this order is about and the OH NO’s are about.  You get to simply change it! 

So, when you get a moment, review the Interior Design Magazine issues for some ideas.  There are so many others too, but this is one of my all time favorites.  

It will not leave you disappointed at all! 🙂

Go to www.interiordesign.net for more great ideas!

Be well, Letia  🙂


Gardens….In Bloom

20 Jun

It’s important to make your spaces enjoyable, there should be a certain feeling that you want to convey!  The feeling should express, I don’t want to leave – OR – I can’t wait to get home.  In earlier posts, I provided you with quizzes to find your personal style or suggested using a paint color, that you love, but you’ve dare to tell anyone that you’re; let’s say BOLD!   A home should be filled with furniture, flowers, textures..things that make you just happy.  Whatever you decide, you don’t have to always hire a designer,  decorator or landscaper.. there are various magazines, which can give you great ideas.    However,  if you just don’t know how, what to do or where to start, they are available to help you; making the experience and journey enjoyable!

Yes! Your space should be exactly how you want it to BE!  One of my dearest friends, Mark Kramer, Executive Chef, Creative Director & Proprietor of Susan Lawrence in Chappaqua NY for years has often talked about changing the gardens surrounding his Patterson, NY home to show how he feels.   Mark has such a great appreciation of life and has had this internal vision for maintaining a certain balance for quite some time, often speaking to him constantly….that he decided  “I better do this; it’s very important to me.” http://www.susanlawrence.com/home/biography.aspx

I had the great opportunity of seeing his vision from start to fruition!  Mark was so very passionate about this project, taking careful consideration on selecting the right people to help him.  Now and then, he would in passing speak with Michael Spitzer; renown landscape architect and partner of New York City landscape architecture firm Landgarden®.  He decided to call him; which began a wonderful collaboration of creativity; as well as a wonderful friendship for them both. http://www.landgarden.com/

Michael Spitzer’s work is quite remarkable; however the careful detail plan he developed on Mark’s vision was beyond superb!  I am so used to looking at floor plans; that I’d remember that day when Mark received the plans drawn up by Michael Spitzer.  Mark spreaded them across his dining room table;  I was simply floored and Mark was so excited; he was actually blushing in joy.  Every foot of  the proposed land was considered;  the intended flower beds, tree types, pathways, inclinations, daylight direction and water irrigations! Every foot (giggle)!

Now this is the time, the grounds would depict their true blooming period; the end of May, the  middle of June.  So Mark called me up and invited me over to see (he was so excited).  Well the experience for me was kind of surreal, because when you arrive to Mark’s home, you first walk up a driveway, a normal driveway to a very inviting tall white gate, with this very intriguing black door handle to enter.  

Upon going through the gate, you’re simply blown away!  It’s like partaking in story you’ve read about, where you’ve moved from reality to enchantment!   You are greeted with the sound of various birds just chirping away, a beautiful assortment of flower beds, in so many varieties and such an array of colors.  There’s this alliance of holly trees, lilac trees (my favorite) and these poignant evergreens standing tall.  As I walked closer, the luring fragrance of jasmine just captured my attention as I approached the first sitting area!  Then, when I turn slightly to my far left, I then saw an alluring white trellis protecting this beautiful herb garden!  

In my amazement, it got even better!  In between my footsteps, I then heard this trickling of water; very calm I must say.  As we both walked together a little further, I found slate steps descending down to a miniature patio!  As I stepped down, I found to my surprise I was right in front of a koi pond with this simple, yet quite lovely waterfall.   The koi pond filled with ten of the most happiest exotic, rather large koi fish you ever did want to see.  I kid you not, as I sat there for a while at the foot of the pond I noticed all sorts of nature friends around; from the littlest frog to these two chipmunks popping in out of the cat mint shrubs.  Even the bumble bees were quite friendly! 

If asked what’s my favorite thing,  I can’t decide whether it’s the scrumptious peonies or even the secret path to wisp you beyond the grounds; which literally gives anyone the invitation to have another magical moment.  The type of enjoyment which reminds you of your childhood hide and seek days!   Pssst, take a sneak peek of Mark Kramer’s gardens!

While sitting drinking my Elderflower martini, Mark expressed how he now wanted to concentrate on the home’s interior.   A few rooms have been changed (which he is so pleased with), however understands the same approach as he did for his gardens, should be done for the home’s interior.   To help him with this task, Mark indicated that he recently met with Marsha Russell of Satinwood, Ltd Interior Design to share his ideas and is so excited that they are going to be working together! 


Marsha Russell recently provided her expertise to one of America’s favorite actresses, Meg Ryan!   You can see Meg Ryan’s beach home in the June issue of ELLE DECOR titled “relax”!  A five-year project, where Meg Ryan’s Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts’ home also scripted a wonderful collaboration between them both, reflecting Meg’s personal style.   While talking with Mark, I’d looked through the pages more intently, Meg Ryan’s home is simply divine!  My favorite is the dining area, it’s informal, yet very inviting and the multitude of  beautiful indoor windows reflects the sunlight spectacularly; incredible!  I will say this…without a doubt, Mark will definitely be in great hands with Marsha Russell!  If you get a chance review the issue to see Meg Ryan’s home; it’s full of great ideas!



Well, it’s time for me to leave (I didn’t want to go)! Leaving through the same gate I entered only 2 hours ago, I am feeling like I’m placing a bookmark in a magical book I’m reading, pausing the story and now here I’m at my car searching for my keys in my pocketbook!   Back to driving and the traffic lights; but oh what a good feeling I will have while driving home!  I am truly happy for my friend, truly!!!   

Be well – Letia 😉

 lee@lmlifestyleanddesign.com  Photos by ELLE DECOR Magazine 

Finding Your Personal Style!

2 Mar

Right now in your wardrobe there’s colors and textures that you really love!  

If you are a gal, there are probably also those shoes, that simply makes you happy (especially the ones, which you’ve gotten on sale!). 

 For guys, it could be that special tie, a suit or that pair of jeans, which are hot!  Your wardrobe shows your personality, believe or not –  it can be transcending into your space.   

Interior decorators and designers will often ask you, “What is your style?”   More often than not, the client usually replies with that look of puzzlement, not really sure.   This  four word question is used as a guideline for decorators to begin assisting  their client to get a creative idea how to change the current space.  

 So, I’m going to make the answer to this question easy for you!   I have listed a few questions to ask yourself; whether you acquire a decorator or not,  your style is something that you should know.  You will be so surprised, by taking about 20 minutes, you will be able to learn what your personal style is!  So let’s get a pen, note paper, something refreshing to drink and ask yourself the following: 

  1. Describe your favorite outfit and your accessories, write down 4 descriptions (e.g. preppy, sexy, bright, funky, etc).
  2. Describe an activity you just love, write down 4 descriptions it gives you (e.g. peaceful,  electric, dark, etc.). 
  3. What movie, that you  just love, indicates a favorite style (e.g. 1940’s, 1980’s), write down 4 descriptions that best describes it (romantic, classy, loud).
  4. Now take all the descriptions you’ve written and look in some magazines to see if you notice any chairs, towels, furniture that match those adjectives.  Place a Post It™ on  the pictures you like.  Or the next time you go out, if not too busy, see if you can make your way to a store to also see.

Now check all of your information and look again at the pictures you’ve collected; let’s see if your current space reflects what you’ve discovered?  If what is now in your space doesn’t match, you’re personal style may be missing.  Don’t worry! 

You can change your space to show what you truly, truly like, with adding colors, textures and paint.   If it matches, then you have already identified your personal style and  if you prefer;  you can add or remove  an item or two, to get that WOW effect!!!  Or you might even have discovered that you may want to do some changes in your wardrobe too (bringing it up to date).   A personal style can change, because we change. 

This 20 minute quiz is nothing new, Thomasville®, did an ad campaign a few years back, using particular items in a wardrobe to advertise, detailing how it is reflected in furniture!  I particularly loved the ads (see one below).  You will be surprised on how many fashion styles influence furniture pieces and our home accessories (and vice-a-versus),  some may be obvious, but in some instances they are not even noticed. 

Personal Style

The Luminé Chest™

Designer Julie Chaiken with Benjamin Moore Paint


What’s my personal style? My favorite movie of all time is Funny Face!!!   I luv, luv, luv, Audrey Hepburn!   I am traditional (1950’s), classy/spicy with splashes of  color (red, yellow, teal blue) with clean lines (gray, black, white), also with flair (silk, damask), but stylish (mahogany wood)!  

I hope this information was helpful.  If you took the quiz, let me know what you’ve discovered, were  you surprised?  Did you discover a new color, that stands out?  How about the fabrics, are they also in your furniture?  Do you want a makeover to change your wardrobe completely first, then do your favorite room?   

Leave a comment below or send me a note at  lee@lmlifestyleanddesign.com.   I would love to hear from you!  Whatever you’ve discovered, when asked, you’ll now know your personal style!   

This is the first step, especially if you have thought about it for some time, to change your space!   For those who need help, in making your personal style be defined in your space.  In upcoming blogs, I will give you more steps. 

Remember it’s YOUR space; in which it is supposed to make you happy!  Your style is your style, no matter what others may think!  : ) 

Be well – Letia

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