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DESIGNTV WITH STEVEN G – MEL BOCHNER

In today’s episode, Miami interior designer Steven G. talks about American conceptual artist Mel Bochner.

WHAT FINDING THE PERFECT PAIR OF SHOES CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT DECORATING YOUR HOME

I have loved everything about shoes since I was a little girl.

I remember my very first ballet class when I was 5 years old — how I fell in love with those plushy pink ballet flats. And nothing was more fun than playing in my mother’s closet for hours trying on all of her heels.

There’s a reason so many great fashion designers have focused on shoes.

Manolo Blahnik with his classically elegant stilettos.

Christian Louboutin and his perfect red soles.

Dior with his feminine, edgy signature heels.

As a high end interior designer, it’s no wonder that shoes have influenced me. They’ve taught me about style, craftsmanship, quality and detail.

As for you, picking out the right pair of shoes can provide wonderful lessons about the design of your home.

Just like shopping for a pair of the perfect chairs, it’s not just how beautiful they are but how well they sit. The pitch must be absolutely right—are you leaning forward too much or ready for takeoff? Is the seat too shallow or too deep? Are the arms too high or low? Does your tush feel the springs as you sit or does the seat create a permanent indentation?

And are you assured of quality that will last?

SIMPLICITY WINS EVERY TIME
A luxurious pair of shoes is all about the lines, cut, details and comfort.

So is quality interior design.

Think of the lines in terms of how they flow fluidly without being disjointed front to back and side to side. The cut should be tailored and proportioned with unique detail that sets apart from the rest.

These elements could be in the stitching, seaming, texture or hardware accents.

There should be a common thread that flows room to room. The furniture should be in proportion to the size of the room. The style should look timeless with accent pieces that complement each other.  Lighting should be strategic to help create a harmonious environment.

CRAFTSMANSHIP IS KING
Premium craftsmanship is often handmade and invested with time and clear vision.

Manolo Blahnik has been known for perfecting the sexiest and most comfortable pair of stilettos. He spent years studying the ergonomics of women’s feet and perfecting the arch for his famous shoes. Each pair of shoes are crafted by hand to perfection.

Similarly, in home design, great craftsmanship trumps bells and whistles every time. A premium interior design professional studies a space as if it is a woman’s feet, and creates an environment perfectly suited to it.

IF IT’S NOT COMFORTABLE, PRETTY GETS UGLY REALLY FAST
Everyone has had the experience (or knows someone) who hardly wore beautiful shoes because they didn’t fit well. This is the same as sitting in a chair that does not meet its function and comfort. Or having a room with poor lighting that becomes a distraction and destroys the overall ambiance.

If your home doesn’t fit who you are and how you live, the design is a failure.

Luxury is wonderful, but comfort is what makes every day livable—whether it’s the shoes you walk around in or the place where you kick up your feet.


MY FAVORITE BLOG POSTS OF THE WEEK

Below are my favorite high end interior design blog posts of this week (other than The Psychology of Design, that is 😉 ).

Click on the titles below to take a look at them…I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Elements of Style – “Feminine Touch”

Premium interior design blogger Erin Gates walks us through a baby nursery that uses of the new, old, and everything in between to make those first precious years as beautiful and memorable as possible. Taste not trends.

COCOCOZY – “$20 Millon Dollar Estates For Sale – See This House”

Coco takes us on a cross country tour of some of America’s most luxurious, tasteful…and yes, expensive homes. Fun fun fun.

Houzz – “Binge on the Design of ‘House of Cards'”

Those of you who know me well know what a big Sopranos fan I am. The rest of you will soon find out. Still, it was a lot of fun learning about the premium interior design choices the creators of this new TV classic are making.


A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO THE PSYCHOLOGY OF DESIGN

We’re closing in on our third week of our The Psychology of Design blog. It’s shaping up to be a real adventure!

The initial response has been overwhelming. We’re thrilled and honored by how many of you have decided to visit us and share your favorite posts with your friends.

There are plenty of other fantastic high end interior design blogs out there showing you the hottest design trends. We’ve had fun discovering them and have already shared a number of our favorites (and will keep on doing so).

That said, our goal is different.

What we want to do is share with you whatever wisdom we’ve gained over the years about how to dig deep into your own thoughts, dreams, and preferences to make sure you end up with a home you’ll adore forever.

Just as the best therapists help make you be the best person you can be, the highest quality interior design should make you feel the best you can possible feel.

Premium interior design really is all about psychology.

So if you’ve never visited us before, or just want a quick summary of what we’re all about, start with the posts below. Click on the titles to get the high level view and then have fun exploring the rest!

 

And don’t forget to also check out DesignTV With Steven G.


DESIGNTV WITH STEVEN G. – ANDY WARHOL

In today’s episode of DesignTV With Steven G., the Miami interior design master tells us why Andy Warhol is so important.

DESIGNTV WITH STEVEN G. – EPISODE 2

He’s back!

In today’s episode of DesignTV With Steven G., famed Miami interior designer Steven G. talks about a piece of sculpture by Fernando Botero.


MY FAVORITE INTERIOR DESIGN BLOGS & POSTS

Since I’ve become a blogger lately (and TV star, don’t forget), I’ve been spending a lot of time procrasti….er, researching this wonderful new world.

One of my favorite parts of this experience so far has been becoming a fan of all the other quality interior design blogs out there.

It’s Valentine’s Day, and V-Day is all about love. So to show how much I love you, I wanted to take the time to share my favorite high end interior design blogs. So far at least.

Because spreading the love is what it’s all about.

Click on the each of the titles below to see these great blogs for yourself.

The Peak of Chic 

I can’t get enough of Jennifer Bowles. Not only is she a blogger, but she’s the author of a fantastic book called In With the Old: Classic Decor From A to ZIf you’re looking for inspiration from some of the most classic designs of all time, look no further.

Quintessence

We’re always saying here that quality interior design is all about enhancing your lifestyle. Lifestyle is what this blog is all about. Art, architecture, travel, fashion, jewelry, books, films, food, wine…it’s all here.

Slim Paley

She started her blog on a dare and never stopped. Slim is all about beauty in its many forms. Don’t miss it!

Desire to Inspire

Two ladies who live across the world from each other and who have never met in person have created one of the most premium interior design blogs out there. Great eye, great ideas.

Double Decker: Weekend Retreat High Above Hardy’s Bay

We couldn’t do what we do without architects. Check out this example of how a fabulous architect completely transformed a home that seemed past its prime.

The Next Big Thing In Miami

As a Miami interior designer, I feel lucky to be part of the world’s hottest…and most high quality interior design scene. This post details a new development that is the best of everything Miami has to offer.

Biodegradable Lamp Grows From Mushrooms

There are few things more important to executing a premium interior design project than the furnishings–large and small. So you can imagine how much fun I had with this article about a design company that actually grew an attractive table lamp…from mushrooms.

Elements of Style – “Feminine Touch”

Premium interior design blogger Erin Gates walks us through a baby nursery that uses of the new, old, and everything in between to make those first precious years as beautiful and memorable as possible. Taste not trends.

COCOCOZY – “$20 Millon Dollar Estates For Sale – See This House”

Coco takes us on a cross country tour of some of America’s most luxurious, tasteful…and yes, expensive homes. Fun fun fun.

Houzz – “Binge on the Design of ‘House of Cards'”

Those of you who know me well know what a big Sopranos fan I am. The rest of you will soon find out. Still, it was a lot of fun learning about the premium interior design choices the creators of this new TV classic are making.

Returning Home – Interior Design Shrink

Our blog is called The Psychology of Design, so how could we not love our newest discovery…a site called The Interior Design Shrink. This article touches on one of our favorite themes: Finding balance inside before creating beauty outside.

House Tour: Angela Dunn + Colin Radcliffe’s Gorgeous London Home

When we see an example of amazing quality interior design, we have to bring it to your attention. Take a look inside to see some of the best work we’ve seen in awhile.

Lisa’s Vegas Regret

Not only is Lisa Hochstein from The Real Housewives of Miami a client of ours, she’s funny, dramatic, and always interesting. Check out her blog here at Bravo before the launch of her new site Lisa’s World.

12 Deadly Decorating Sins

Houzz contributor Kurt Cyr really hits the nail on the head with this one.

Toilets 101

A hilarious article about something every home needs but not everyone likes to talk about.


4 THINGS YOGA CAN TEACH YOU ABOUT MAKING YOUR HOME GORGEOUS

I’m a dedicated yogi as well as a high end interior designer, and I’ve found that the two practices inform each other. At the core, they’re both about balance and harmony.

Here are 4 things I’ve learned from my yoga practice about what makes for quality interior design. I’m confident you can apply them to their process of making your own home beautiful.

1. BALANCE
Balance in yoga means establishing your center of gravity so your movement around the center can flow easily. Establishing the center of gravity requires intense, unwavering focus, which can result in a deep sense of calm and fluid stability as all other thoughts in your mind leave.

Creating balance in interior design is to create a center of gravity in a room, which we call a grounding. Once the grounding is established, all elements that you select, such as furniture, art, color, etc., will flow easily, which creates a sense of calm and stability in the room.

You can have the most expensive, luxurious items but if they are not balanced correctly in a room, it can cause a feeling of instability not only to the eye but internally as well.

2. SIMPLICITY
Yoga is not about twisting your body into a pretzel (although if you can do that it can be quite challenging and fun). What it is about is simplicity. Simple, slow, deliberate movements that can clear the mind and eventually create strength, calmness, harmony and unwavering alertness.

Simplicity in quality interior design is the opposite of throwing in everything but the kitchen sink. You have heard the statement over and over again that less is more. A chaotic atmosphere will definitely create a lack of balance and harmony. Simple, deliberate choices in furnishings, art, accessories and color will foster a sense of a balanced equilibrium.

3. FLEXIBILITY
Yoga is about increasing flexibility slowly and consistently. Practicing each asana, slowly and reaching for the extra stretch when you are ready will allow you to obtain the goal of more flexibility. Flexibility then results in a more balanced, harmonious, healthy and hopefully longer life.

With quality interior design a look unfolds bit by bit, and you need flexibility to follow where it goes. Certain things just cannot be forced. The goal is always to keep a balance and to create an atmosphere of calm and harmony. When a design is forced, you will most certainly feel it, within moments of walking into a room.

4. DISCIPLINE
Yoga does not work without living the right kind of lifestyle. It is important to incorporate good eating habits along with living spiritually.

If you have the opportunity to work with a premium interior design professional, it will be important not to let the home fall into disarray afterward. Maintain the home’s harmonious atmosphere by keeping the clutter to a minimum, allow the fresh air in, and by all means do some yoga.


3 TIPS FOR STRESS-FREE FURNITURE SHOPPING

Does the thought of shopping for furniture overwhelm you?  If you’re like most people, you may not feel you can make a decision unless you involve all of your friends, family and entire social network.  Part of this uncertainty comes from not knowing how to organize your options.

As a high end interior design professional, I have to practice organization to keep me focused on my clients’ needs and wants and budgets.  My background as an executive assistant helps me achieve this by applying the same principles I used then, to my life and career now.  While picking out furniture can be a stressful experience, now you can learn from me how to do it stress-free.

USE SPREADSHEETS
Does this sound tedious?  It may actually be exactly what you need.  Once you have determined the furniture requirements per room, you’ll have tool to help you get exactly what you want for the amount of dollars you want to spend. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just a few columns; one for furniture, another for vendor/store and the last for cost.

What do you need this for?  Well, having well-thought out list will ensure you won’t veer from it. As result, you’ll know just which items you need to look for and compare prices on.

MAKE A DECK
The ultimate organization tool for me has been to use Powerpoint to load all of my furniture choices and schemes.  I use it ritually!

It’s kind of a joke around the office, “oh there’s Adriana, making another PowerPoint.”

Let them talk—it’s been a big secret to my success. Powerpoint allows me to easily present my clients with the selections for their design, giving them the ability to interact and become part of the decision making process.  They love when I email them a pdf or slideshow of their design concept.

It’s great to organize your rooms and pieces together this way. Not to mention, if you still need your best friend or special someone to give you their approval on your furniture choices, you can email them the slides. Now they can weigh in on the decision making with you.

CREATE A GOLD BOOK
At Interiors by Steven G. I must create what we call a Gold Book for every client.  These are basically specification books that show each and every item that is going into their home’s design.  Each page has a signature stamp where our clients are able to sign-off on every item noted. However you’re approaching the design of your home, I strongly recommend you take a page out of our book when it comes to this technique.

The process of putting together a book with all the design elements you’ve come up with helps you decide on your furniture finalists. It also gives you an organized way to get others involved in the decision making (family, spouse, designer, etc.).

I notice many designers use Microsoft Word or other word processors for this step. But for me, creating it in PowerPoint and turning it into a Gold Book is a no brainer.

Ultimately, these 3 tips will your organized when assessing your interior design needs, making decisions to bring them to live, and sharing them with people who need to be in the know.


HOW TO CURE YOUR BLUES THROUGH REDECORATING

After a hectic ten hour workday, I need a peaceful, relaxing sanctuary to return to. My home is just that for me. However, it takes a lot of time to keep it the way I want it. It can be exhausting, but the finished product is well worth it.

Luckily by being around so many different designers at work, I’ve learned the difference between environments that improve life vs. those that take away. Everyone has his or her own style and taste.  I have the luxury of working amongst the best and definitely take advantage of their talents.  My co-workers/friends have given me many tips that can make it easier to create a home environment that improves my lifestyle while maintaining a full time career.

YOUR HOME SHOULD MAKE LIFE EASY
In the quest for the perfect home, people often overlook the psychological element involved. At the core, despite what passes for luxury during whatever era you live in, your home has to be about you as an individual or family.

For example, I love being outdoors, I love to cook, and I love music. A lot of what I’ve chosen for my home reflects that. My wine cooler and sound system are integrated into my design choices, especially those having to do with my kitchen, so I don’t have to struggle to get my hands on the things that make me happy.

At the same time, I know that it’s usually dark when I leave for work and dark when I return. That’s why I’ve paid serious attention to strong (but not harsh) lighting complimented by soft colors.

THINK BACK TO HOW YOU USED TO FEEL
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to weaving happiness into quality interior design, start by thinking about what colors, textures, surroundings, and items you were surrounded with during peak moments of your life, regardless of trends.

My younger daughter wore only white for her first year. As a result, white makes me feel good.  It’s clean, crisp and fresh. Beige is a close second.  Likewise, my hobby is photography and many of my favorite memories include times when I was doing it.  So instead of paintings, I accent my walls with photographs.

The list goes on.

Your interests and hobbies may not be the same as mine. For you it may be fitness, Renaissance sculpture, or classic cars. Whatever that is for you, make sure your home contains elements of it.

In short, high end interior design means making an environment for yourself that never fails to improve your mood. Take the time to think back to your happiest moments and your most cherished passions, and let your home reflect them to the very core. You’ll never want to go anywhere else.