I want to share with you all some succinct advice and recommendations of vendors that I love. This will cross all economic levels. You do not have to spend a fortune on everything. But, when purchasing new items for the home, it is advisable to put money into pieces that will last and be timeless and that you can envision holding onto if and when you move.

CLOSET SYSTEMS: Elfa at the Container Store is actually pretty good, and about as inexpensive as you can get. And, they run frequent sales. You cannot customize anything in terms of size, but there are lots of different components to choose from. The installers are professional and for the most part skillful and respectful of the space. I have designed a few fairly complex Elfa systems for clients and supervised the install. The outcome has been very successful. A word about installers: they are a VERY important part of the equation. That is one reason why I do not recommend going to places like Home Depot for kitchens and closets. They pick their installers out of a hat and you never know who you are getting. It can go great or go bad. And when it is bad, it is usually very bad.

CHARLES P. ROGERS has a nice bed and leather headboard that is very well priced.

I love SILESTONE and CAESAR STONE for kitchen counters. These products are not any less expensive than a moderate granite, but the selections vary from completely fabulously outrageous colors to “granite like” looks. Corian is still an issue in the kitchen because it will burn if you place a hot pot on it. Corian is great in bathrooms, if you want that completely integrated look of the sink and the vanity counter.

I love a dark color in a small room. The walls will recede. Also, try painting the back wall of a book shelf a very dark color. It just sets everything off. See the image above of a residence I designed a few years ago. The back wall picks up details of the room.

Spend money on a well made sofa, nice fabric and a great area rug. The side tables and lamps are pieces where you can save money, because there are lots of retail stores that are copying the “real things”. But you can’t scrimp on the innards of a sofa and the cushions. Also, a great rug is meant to last for many, many years and is a good investment.

When you are painting pieces of wood, such as bookcases, ALWAYS use a brush, not a roller and use a satin paint finish. The brush stroke is very lovely and sophisticated. The roller will make the surface mottled. It is not nearly as fast, but the outcome is worth it. It just dresses up the piece, which can be very inexpensive!

BENJAMIN MOORE # HC-12 Concord Ivory
BENJAMIN MOORE # 2113-60 Porcelain

Ronbow.com for bath vanities of all styles and pricing.
I also love the Kohler Clermont bath vanity.
I LOVE IKAT fabric. Great as an accent fabric on pillows in any interior. I used it for my own living room curtains. Google it.
Barbara Barry has Bedding at Bed Bath and Beyond! Go look!

How you do ANYTHING, is how you do EVERYTHING.


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