by Marisa Marcantonio

 Design has the power to transform. It also, as it turns out, has the power to help heal. The benefits of calming spaces and their ability to promote well being are becoming clear. To see this theory in action, just take a look at some of the well-designed spaces created by top talent-- 26 New York area interior designers at Long Island's Ronald McDonald House. Anthony Baratta jump-started the project as the creative director, and brought in wonderful partners like Kravet. Full of creative details, soothing and energizing color, the 18 redesigned bedrooms and public spaces provide a welcoming home-away-from-home for patients and their families  that come from near and far for medical treatment. I had the pleasure of seeing the spaces and got the chance to talk to the designers while hosting Editor at Large, and got to hear how meaningful it was for them to partake in this charity. This is not another showhouse, it is a permanent, fully functional living space that will be enjoyed and appreciated over and over again. With 300 Ronald McDonald Houses across the country, wouldn't it be amazing to see this done on a national scale? The projects will be featured in New York Cottages and Gardens, so be sure to read more about #projectdesign there. Editor at Large covered the gala evening, it had designers looking their best for the big reveal.

The public spaces, as done by Anthony Baratta, with tons of color and giant sized doll houses.

Pops of red and blue in the playroom created by Bunny Williams.

Amanda Nisbet brought some zing with shades of sunny yellow.

Nick Olsen, never one to shy away from color, created a primary color-filled kids room with stripes and color blocking.

As a sanctuary, the bedrooms are a place for rejuvenation and relaxation. Meg Braff did just that with pale blue, white and green.

Jennifer Metadash had fun with color, creating an escape with creative details like painted Moorish arches above the headboards and a flowery Chinoiserie wallpaper on the ceiling.

Eric Cohler created an exotic escape with recessed cut outs of Moorish arches backed in red and a striped ceiling.

Paint is an easy way to create something unique, and Jamie Drake expanded this irregularly shaped bedroom with a wall of wide stripes.

New moms can escape to the nursery room designed by Tilton Fenwick for quiet time in a cozy floral-covered chair.

Each room has a totally different look, and Jon Call created a handsome haven with masculine details and clean lines.

Angles everywhere led Drew McGukin to embrace them. Check out the slanted headboard.

Like an island getaway, Mabley Handler's pale aqua walls and white bedding are as soothing as the sky and sand.

For the fan of warm modern, DwellStudio brought some Mid-Century flair using grey and yellow.

A neutral palette grounds Pappas Miron's bedroom. Pops of aqua and orange add an element of fun.

Kate Singer added a bit of escapism with framed animal prints against lilac walls and yellow accents.

Matthew Patrick Smyth shared that his baseball memorabilia came from Ebay. It seems collected over time, and any Mets fan would be thrilled to chill in this dugout.

Using linear bands of color to create architecture around the room, Young Huh injected a sense of fun through pattern and color with modern and traditional pieces.

Coral and pale blue dominated Michael Tavano's color and pattern filled space. Giant glowing orbs, hung at random, resemble planets in the sky. 

Suzanne Costa created a luxe tree house setting with re purposed wood on the walls and faux fur throws.

Even the laundry rooms got the head to toe treatment- how chic is this space with pops of red by Danielle Colding?

How fun to watch fish swim across the walls while doing laundry?


by Marisa Marcantonio

After years of attending High Point Furniture Market, trade shows and visiting showrooms galore, I have had plenty of time to hone my eye for upholstery. I find my tastes have changed over the years, and currently I am really liking tight-backed sofas and chairs, and pieces with a cleaner silhouette. I am in the process of an apartment overhaul and carefully considering everything I choose. As I think about what I would like to live with, I have taken a deep dive into the subject.  Examining proportion, pitch, length and depth in small, right-sized sofas and upholstered chairs, I seek pieces to complement city apartment living. Tight back, loose back, the reverse, tufting or not, roll arm or straight, exposed leg or skirt? Here is what I have come up with, and as you can see, there is no shortage of great pieces that fit the bill. I hope it will help you when making decisions for clients and your home. Being that the sofa is often the star of the living room, it is an important, considered purchase.

The only hard part is choosing! 


 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Berry Sofa from Century Furniture has a chalk white leg and long seat cushion that I love. Pared down chic.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

If you prefer two cushions, here you go. Wesley Hall does a loose seat tight back version, 1742-77 with deep sink-into cushions.

  Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

The 1009-2 Loveseat from Lee Industries is adorably right-sized.

 Photo courtesy of Cisco Brothers

The Geranium Sofa by John Derian for Cisco Brothers with a high arm and minimal decorative accents is reminiscent of an early American design.

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Oscar de la Renta designed Dutch Sofa for Century Furniture. I sat in it today at NYDC 200 Lex and I love it.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

A nice thick, long cushion to sink into for naps on Lee Industries 3278-11 sofa makes it a contender.

 Photo courtesy of Cisco Brothers

The Meadow Sofa from John Derian for Cisco Brothers can take lots of pillows.

 Photo courtesy of Kravet

Kravet's Tulane Sofa with nice turned leg and roll arm with tight back and seat for perching is perfect for one stop shopping- get your fabric and upholstery all in one showroom.

Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

Drexel Heritage's Tisbury Sofa with a roll arm and two pillows is another great option.

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Century Furniture's Oldfield Sofa with a cross stretcher base and casters comes with two bolster pillows.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

Ooh more bolsters! High sides and a tight back on the 1840-72 settee from Wesley Hall for those that want a piece with an historically-evocative silhouette.

  Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Hickory Chair's Monroe Sofa by Suzanne Kasler has a loose seat, tight back, exposed leg and curved arm.

 Photo courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Howard

Sherrill Furniture's new Mr. and Mrs. Howard line is easy to love, as is this pared down chic two seater sofa with clean roll arm and light wood base with turned legs.


 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

A straight arm and loose seat and back on a Lee Industries Apartment sofa mean movie watching comfort. If skirts are not your thing, this has enough interest going on at the base.

Sink into a three seater, The Pelham, with loose seat and back from Kravet. A Lawson sofa is always a good way to go for a more masculine look.

 Photo courtesy of Jonathan Adler

The Templeton Apartment sofa by Jonathan Adler for some mid-century flair.


 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

A classic two seater, the Colefax Sofa from Hickory Chair. The addition of the tape trim at the bottom adds that extra special detail.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

 A nice two seater with straight arm from Lee

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Mariette Himes Gomez designed this girly Boudoir Loveseat for Hickory Chair with a sweet pleat

   Sometimes a small kidney loveseat is just the thing.

Oomph's new Tini Loveseat would work at the end of a bed as well as in a second seating layout in a larger room.

Currey and Company has this nice Lancaster Swedish Settee for tete a tete's.

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Elkins Tufted Settee from Century Furniture is tailored and old world.

 Photo courtesy of Kravet

The La Salle armless sofa from Kravet is great for the foot of the bed. Cushiony cozy too.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

A tight seat and tight high back on Wesley Hall's 700-54 settee makes it a good piece for a hallway. The curved apron is a nice touch.


 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

 Hickory Chair's Marler Tufted Apartment Sofa is a classic and refined for a sitting area or a nice add on in a bedroom seating arrangement.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

Another classic tufted choice, Wesley Hall's 1740-77 sofa.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

Tufted with a tight seat this sofa 1331-03 by Lee Industries is gracious and the tailored skirt gives it polish.


Photo courtesy of Dwell Studio

Dwell Studio's Mallory Chair has a touch of mid-century modness with tapered leg and cut out back.

Photo courtesy of Jayson Home

Milo Baughman-inspired, The Clarke Chair from Jayson Home rocks.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

I like the mid- century- meets- arts- and- crafts lines of this Lee Industries 1290-01 chair.


 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Cozy for reading, Hickory's Holly Chair designed by Mariette Himes Gomez is like a tufted marshmallow. I mean that in the best way--

 Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

The Hawk's Ridge Chair from Century Furniture upholstered in a great color velvet is a good fireside chair.

 Photo courtesy of Beeline Home

Cozy time with a throw and a book in Beeline's T42 tufted reading chair has me dreaming.

 Photo courtesy of Lexington Home Brands

Lexington Home Brands take on a classic bridgewater chair, The Augustine.

 Photo courtesy of Mr. Brown

Mr. Brown's Lounge Chair has a nice deep seat and a few tufts for good measure. The curved back and slim arm are very appealing.

 Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

The Julian Chair from Drexel Heritage with tufted square back and loose seat is long on English charm and a workhorse.


 Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

Diminutive charm with the Elkins Chair from Century Furniture.

 This little darling, The Mini Chair from Oomph is the perfect pull up chair. Piping trim adds a little more oomph.

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Beyond. The new Charleston Slipper Chair from Charlotte Moss is part of the Century Icons program in specific showrooms around the country.

 Photo courtesy of Drexel Heritage

With casters, the Cabot Chair from Drexel Heritage will fill in nicely when guests arrive.


Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Century Furniture Emma Chair is like mini wing chair.

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

Perhaps you prefer an English-inspired armchair on turned leg with turned arms. Wesley Hall's 783 Chair has you covered.

Elite Leather has a version too, The Flores, created by Nathan Turner for them.

 The Pierre Chair from Beeline Home has a splayed arm and curvy back that adds some movement and personality in an upholstered piece. This one had me from hello.

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

I am just so taken with the cut corners on the Boyd Chair and it's upholstered leg from from Hickory Chair.

 Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture had a slightly deco rounded arm that worked well with a turned wooden leg and base.

 Beeline Home's Azure Chair is polished with a tight back and exposed chalk white leg. I like that it is really upright. Does that mean it will make my back feel better? Gosh, I hope so.

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

This go anywhere Virginia Chair from Suzanne Kasler for Hickory Chair with a small roll arm and tight back is good for the tall folk, i.e.,  not me!

 Photo courtesy of Hickory Chair

Hickory Chair's March Lounge Chair from the Gomez Collection is the epitome of refinement.

 Photo courtesy of Cisco Brothers

 Cisco's Tulip Chair by John Derian has just the right amount of curvy detailing at the top of the back and always grabs my attention when I see it.

 Photo courtesy of Lee Industries

A curved back and loose seat on 1846-01 for a bit of polish from Lee Industries.

 Photo courtesy of Julian Chichester

The Virginia Chair from Julian Chichester has a nice profile and fit arms.


by Marisa Marcantonio

One of the best parts of Blogfest 2011, the festivus of bloggers arranged by Kravet and Lee Jofa, was the visit to see designer vignettes. Their stable of collection designers, all in one room, used their Lee Jofa fabrics to create vignettes. It was fantastic. A mini showhouse of sorts. Bloggers lined up 30 deep to have Thomas O'Brien, David Easton, Suzanne Rheinstein, Eric Cohler, Diamond and Baratta and Suzanne Kasler sign Inspired Styles, the design book that creatively showcases Lee Jofa and Kravet designer fabric collections. Not only that, they all got their picture with each designer- not an easy feat with over 100 bloggers!

A robust arrangement flowers arranged by Suzanne Rheinstein.

Soft pastel upholstery balanced out the a busy classical print on the walls.

I love the pop of color from the modern painting hanging above the settee.

Thomas O'Brien created multiple floral arrangements for his space. He sells wonderful objects like these in his Soho store Aero.

A modern yet warm office area incorporates mid century modern vintage pieces in light finishes.

His prints for Lee Jofa are artistic with watercolor feel and soft, earthy palette.

David Easton had the best time greeting everyone. I think he got a kick out of a line 30 women long, waiting to meet him.

Beautiful antiques and decorative objects filled his space. He included a round table stacked with books that has become a David Easton signature.

His trusty wise own that sits in his own office is a vignette regular- this same owl was also in his Room with a View vignette in Connecticut.

A place for a drink and good reading light is a must.

Suzanne Kasler created an artists studio, complete with paint brushes and colorful framed prints.

A soft, neutral palette with grey finishes in a seating area was relaxed and cozy.

I imagine her getting creative in this space.

An easel in a grey wash is backed in a pale pink print centered by a floral painting. There is something compelling about the mix of color and pattern.

Bold color and pattern are hallmarks in Diamond and Baratta's work. The words fun, flamboyant and super custom come to mind when thinking of their work. They did not disappoint! A digitally printed wallpaper with giant blooming branches was the perfect backdrop to a sun room seating area.

Wicker and chintz with ferns- hello 80's! Love it.

Eric Cohler's sophisticated dining room space incorporated shades of grey and modern art. A round table is nice for it seems more intimate and warm. The pop of yellow from the vase is the perfect foil for the deep gray painted walls, and a floral print hangs at the window adding a femme touch.