Last month I had the pleasure of traveling to Las Vegas for the National Kitchen and Bath Show (aka KBIS). I met up with a few designer friends and we spent three days searching for exciting new products and attending informative seminars.

The first trend we noted was iron clad shelving with mixed materials like wood and marble. Black iron shelving has been around for several years but the addition of wood or marble lends interest while LED lighting adds a layer of functionality. Gotta love any “trend” that brings function and style to a home.

The next trend we noted were bold, statement backsplashes, many of which were illuminated. The photograph below is an agate slab that is lit from behind. It’s not for everyone or every home, but it makes a statement nonetheless.

An illuminated stone slab
This line of semiprecious stones by Caesarstone would make a beautiful backsplash in bar.
Marble studded tiles add texture to this unique backsplash.

Two years ago at this same show, I wrote about the new trend of illuminated vanities and vanity lights. Fast forward to 2020: this has now become a staple and is more or less an expected feature. As a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, I love the fact that these enhancements create another layer of safely in any home…for any generation.

At illuminated mirror at the Kohler Showroom.
We’re even seeing the edges of cabinetry integrated with LED lights. How great is this feature?

We also noticed straighter, more sleek edges on countertops as well as the profiles on door styles. As a result, it’s interesting to note that the countertops are completely flush with the cabinetry.

The edges on the countertops do not protrude. We really liked the look of this streamlined, transitional style for any kitchen or bathroom.
Perhaps another noted trend that falls inline with sleeker cabinetry: more streamlined hardware as pictured above.
This was unanimously one of our (my two fellow designers and I) door profiles.

As an interior designer who prides herself on designs are less trendy and more timeless, I take these trends with a “grain of salt”. By attending these shows, we’re able to educate ourselves and stay ahead of the curve in regards to new materials, products and business practices. At the end of the day, design is about what personally resonates with you. If what resonates with you has more or a curve and less of a streamlined look, then there’s always a way to design so that each design reflects our client’s personal taste and style.

Stay tuned for a future post on the Kitchen and Bath Show as we reveal what we learned about all of the smart appliances!

If you’re interested in learning more about any of our services, including kitchen and bath design, call or email us! We’d love to chat!

We recently completed a renovation for a client’s investment property. Our goal was to maximize the value of the property by keeping costs low while trying to achieve a high end look. By making the property more attractive to potential renters now, the client avoided an even larger renovation project in the future.

The result? The property was rented before we even put the finishing touches on the project!

The newly designed kitchen design in this Bergen County, NJ rental property.

A back lit backsplash from KBIS Orlando 2018

In a few short weeks we will be attending the National Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas.  Over six hundred  companies will be showcasing their wares at this industry’s largest trade show.   Designers, architects and contractors will gather to learn about the latest innovative products, technology, design and trends.  

One of the featured programs is called Livable Design – also referred to as “Aging in Place” or “Universal Design” – design that is usable for all people, to the greatest extent possible , without the need for adaptation or specialized design. Universal Design allows families to remain in their homes for as long as they choose.

If you are the child of an aging parent, you’re probably more than aware of these pertinent statistics about Seniors and falls: 

  • One in four seniors fall each year;  their chances of falling again then doubles.
  • Sixty percent of falls happen in the home (80% of those in the bathroom) and thirty percent of those falls require a hospital visit.
  • Every 13 seconds an older adult goes to the ER due to a fall. Fearing one of these mishaps, Seniors become reluctant to leave their homes and therefore begin to isolate themselves from the outside world.

If you’re thinking of renovating (be it a multi generational home or even a second home), here are five tips to keep a safer step:

  1. Renovating a bathroom?  Add grab bars that can act as towel bars.   One step up would be to purchase ones with LED lighting in.  
image courtesy of evacare.com

2. Renovating a kitchen or bathroom?  The installation of heated floors will increase drying time on wet floors and minimize slipping. 

We chose porcelain wood-look parquet flooring for this pool house that are heated.

3. Threshold heights leading from room to room should be flush with your flooring – the raised ones are great for keeping the baby in the walker out of the bathroom…but not so great for grandma in her walker or wheelchair.

4. Choose tile that is honed or has a rougher surface rather than a polished surface.   (For wood floors choose a satin finish)

5. Already chose a polished finish? We discovered a non-slip tile treatment that you can apply to your existing tile that will create traction and improve safety on slippery floors.

If you are thinking of renovating, there’s so much more you can do to accommodate all ages, and allow you to remain in your home. Our free guide offers a wealth of information so that you can live in your “Forever Home”:  Sign up now to download this indispensable guide.

We recently discovered a product called Stone Grip Non-Slip Tile Treatment that promises to “dramatically increase traction and improve safety on slippery floors even when wet.”

According to the product specs, Stone Grip is an easy to apply slip solution with a sprayer, microfiber T-mop or Stone Grip Applicator.  Clean and dry the floor, apply the anti-slip grip treatment and rinse it off. Stone Grip anti-slip coating creates microscopic treads to increase traction on porcelain tiles, concrete and stone floors in minutes with no change in appearance.

Nineteen percent of US households now have more than one adult generation living under the same roof.   That percentage is rising and is equivalent to the 1950’s.   #multigenerational

Why are these numbers on the rise? These statistics will help to understand the surprising uptick:

  • The average cost per year of Assisted Living in the Northeast is currently a whopping $120,000/year.
  • Student debt has risen to $1.4 trillion for US college graduates according to the Federal Reserve.
  • Annual child care costs $24,000 in NYC is (DC and Massachusetts is even higher)

With these statistics, It’s no wonder that multigenerational households are on the rise.

As an interior designer and Certified Aging in Place Specialist, the question I’m often asked is: How do I differentiate designing for families with young children versus ones that share a home with an aging parent?

My answer: It’s a very similar approach. Parents with toddlers know of the many difficulties of pushing a stroller into a home.  Children of older  parents know that those steps leading into a home could one day prevent wheelchair access.

I’m very familiar with these situations because I live in a multi generational household.   My husband and I renovated our home so that his mother could live with us after his dad passed.  Our renovation made our home more “livable” and gave us each our necessary privacy.   Fourteen years later this arrangement still works.

If you are thinking of renovating, there’s so much more you can do to accommodate all ages, and allow you to remain in your home. Our free guide offers a wealth of information so that you can live in your “Forever Home”: Sign up now to download this indispensable guide.


The project started the way most things in life start (at least, the best things). With a search.

A search for the perfect chair.

The one that reminded me of my favorite chair; the one from my grandmother’s home. With its deep comfy seat and its soft rolled arms, it was a place to sit for half a minute, or maybe half a day.

But times changed, and so did our bodies and our needs. And so the search changed too.  The chair needed a more streamlined silhouette. It needed just the right scale, and its legs needed to show just the right amount of wood.

And so, as the vision of that perfect chair became clearer in my mind, the search shifted to a workroom that could realize my design: that of an updated re-imagining of the chair I loved.

Today, the frame is still there, but with straight arms that give it a sleeker look. The legs are lovely, offering more of a reveal than just a hint of wood.

And its beauty is more than skin deep. The beauty of each bespoke piece lies in the way its arms, legs and back are customizable to fit your needs, effortlessly transforming my memory of a favorite into yours. Most importantly, these are pieces that work for every generation.

From this one chair a collaboration of customized heirloom pieces, including sofas, chaises and ottomans was born, ones that transports us back to homes we knew…the ones we loved.

Together, we will design pieces that transport you back to the home you knew and loved, personalizing everything from its structure to its upholstery to create a treasured piece of furniture that will be handed down from generation to generation. 

To make your appointment and begin the personalization process, please give me a call at 201.848.9797.

Or if you prefer to schedule a time online, please click here.

I love when clients have artwork that serves as the inspiration for a space. Most often they are sharing a piece of their unique story.  

It becomes more challenging when we seek out artwork for our clients. The process needs to be approached in a thoughtful, creative, and authentic manner that lends itself to sharing their narrative.  

Although  art always is the “last piece of the design puzzle” we are asking questions from the very start that will lend inspiration.  It’s a process that needs to develop over time…not overnight. We make a point of learning about what our clients love…and hate. Discovering to where they have travel, how they spend their weekends, which books they’ve read and what shows they’re seeing.  It’s how we can choose pieces that truly reflect them.  

And oftentimes, we create original art for them.

The importance of art in a room not only adds beauty to a space but intrinsic meaning to the homeowners.

It connects us.

I’ve been designing homes for almost twenty years.  In all those years, can you guess how many clients come to us knowing exactly what their budget is?

The answer is one.

Surprised?   

Designing well for clients involves asking tons of personal questions – learning what a client is comfortable spending from the very start  is the most important question of all.  

In order to begin designing a space, we need to know if the vision you hold for your home is even realistic given the budget.  No client wants us spending hours on a project only to discover that financially it’s completely out of their comfort zone.

So how do help our clients in determining a budget?  

Our approach is simple: we use our past experiences in designing similar spaces. By discussing photos of recently designed spaces, we’re able to discuss a highly custom designed space versus one that might include a high/low mix of product. 

Design is an investment; this process allow us to educate our clients on their investment.

And educating our clients is key to being transparent from the very start of each project.

The new subway mosaic at Hudson Yards, NYC

According to the US Census, the number of households with three generations under one roof and at least one member the age of 65 and over has grown from 1.7 million in 2006 to 3.2 million in 2016.

At this month’s Business of Home Conference speakers from Curbed and Zillow, talked about how these multi-generational homes are impacting the future of real estate.  Referring to the large number of boomers moving into senior communities as the “silver tsunami”, they defined what’s trending with the Boomer market.

Boomers are:

  • Renovating their homes with “Aging-in-place” at the top of their list. These are homes that accommodate ALL generations. But taking it one step farther is that they’re also designing to meet the needs of parents with Alzheimers or Dementia. (more on both in future posts)
  • Seeking more upscale senior living accommodations in urban areas.

Smart Home Technology was noted as being important to millennials…but I see that technology has become more user friendly to all generations. From Google Nest Hub to Siri to Alexa – it’s becoming a part of how we stay connected with family members.

So where are they going?

One speaker commented: “You’re going to see people who value quality of life, who want to be able to own a home or a business and do it affordably, looking at cities like San Antonio, Austin, Memphis, Louisville and Nashville as their best option,”    Those secondary markets are going to grow quite considerably.”

Continue to follow this blog for more on that in future posts!

The “Vessel” NYC

“The Future of Home” design seminar took place last week in NYC. It was a great experience. One of the most interesting talks was given by Zillow and Curbed entitled “The Future of Real Estate”. They had plenty to say about millennials. Here are my three takeaways.

  1. More people under the age of 34 continue to live at home with their parents.
  2. Married couples are taking in roommates to help with finances.
  3. Most fascinating to me, co-living (aka communal living where tenants share kitchens and living rooms) is on the rise. To meet this trend, companies located in major east and west coast cities are offering move-in ready, fully furnished, wifi and even cleaning crews.

So what does this mean for the future of home design? To me, this reinforces the fact that multigenerational homes will only continue to rise. These are homes that need to be designed to adapt to all generations.

Next week I’ll follow up with how “the Silver Tsumani” – boomers – are effecting the future of real estate. Stay tuned!

A Wall Street Journal article cited statistics from The United States of Aging Survey – adults 60 and older were asked to identify their biggest concern about aging: 40% said that maintaining physical health was important; 32% said maintaining mental health; 25% said living independently and 13% said getting to visit family and/or friends was important.

A survey unrelated to this article caused me to view the last two results with some skepticism. That survey showed that lonely and isolated seniors are more likely on average to report poor physical and/or mental health. I believe that 13% may have answered differently with that knowledge.

So what do these stats even have to do with interior design you ask?

Nine in ten folks want to remain in their homes as they age.  Beautiful design is important but so is a home that is designed for the future – one that is accessible, regardless of your physical ability.

So why leave home if you don’t have to? We can design a beautiful home for you today with tomorrow in mind.

Why would anyone what to leave this guest room? Here are the steps we took to create it.

We started with measuring and drafting up a basic scaled floor plan.  Our client already had the majority of what she needed for the space, so our job was to interject color, personality and to create a space that flowed with the rest of the house. 

We decided to use this embroidered floral fabric on the window treatments.  Simple panels on a rod with black out lining were chosen. This fabric’s vibrant colors make such a statement and need no additional embellishments.  The once dark green walls were replaced with the office white ground found in the fabric.  We used a no VOC paint.

We discovered (and fell in love with) this artwork at High Point Market on our most recent trip.  A trio above the headboard injects color and joy to this space.

An overscaled wool navy striped rug was chosen to ground the space and balance the scale of the floral embroidered panels.  The bedside lamps we chose were a perfect indigo blue.

We were fortunate to be able to use the client’s chair and ottoman.   The vibrant Hermes boxes were pulled from storage and used as an accent and accessory in this space.  The last piece to this space was the artwork above the chair that blended perfectly with the two!

….because sometimes the best inspiration starts with what our clients already own.

Last year at the National Kitchen and Bath show there was one feature that stood out to us that we’re using in all of our designs: Lighting…everywhere. This “simple” feature combines beauty, safety and function.

These products are now readily available to consumers and they just make life easier…for anyone, at any ability.

Mirrors, sinks and vanities that keep us safe in the middle of the night.
Interior drawer lights add efficiency.
Interior lighting make any cabinet more efficient.

Our goal for any space we are designing is that it becomes a place where you will gravitate.

Here are our top five (simple yet effective) wellness tips for creating a space that is bound to make your guests want to stay longer.

1. Inject color – How do you want to feel in this space? Our client wanted this room to energize her as it’s also her home office. So we used saturated oranges and electric blues to do just that. Fun fact: orange is associated with joy and radiates warmth. In the body, it’s associated with circulation and the nervous system.

2. Material selections – Use materials that can alter your guest’s experience of warmth – when people are physically warmer, their levels of interpersonal warmth increase.  Because who needs a cranky guest? Simple additions include adding a warm throw and a few colorful pillows on the bed. Soft fabrics on upholstered pieces such as the chair in this space add to the comfort of this room.  (teaser for our next post!)

3. Lighting control – Lift your guest’s mood with natural sunlight but also give them the ability to control the amount of sunlight the room. Window treatments should not only be operable but also have black out lining to ensure a good night’s rest. (Did you know that direct access to daylight and views reduces blood pressure, lowers the incidence of headaches, and in healthcare setting results in the need for less pain medication and shorter stays in the hospital?)

4. If you have bare wood floors, adding a throw rug serves two purposes: added warmth to the space (who wants to wake up and put their feet on a bare floor?) and also addresses any acoustical challenges. The bold, large scaled striped throw rug that we used for this project injects personality and warmth to this space.

5. Artwork – We chose artwork that energizes…that “sparks joy” in our client. Artwork personalizes the room and becomes the perfect finishing touch.

Crave more design inspiration? Sign up for our weekly blog posts!

A friend recently told me the story of a woman named Rose who was a patient at the nursing home where her Dad resided. Each and every day my friend would see Rose, dressed to the nines with lipstick and hair styled – position her wheelchair by the front door…waiting for someone to take her home.  Sadly, there was no one and no plan for her return.

And I thought to myself – I will not be that woman.  

Studies show that 90% of people want to age in their homes.  Unfortunately, most people don’t plan properly to make that desire a reality.  My husband and I want to be in our “forever home” by the time our 11 year old graduates high school.

My vision of a stylish, well lit, universally designed home is so vivid that it will be impossible not to become reality.  

Because I refuse to sit waiting at the front door.

Want to learn more?  Sign up for my blog posts as I write about how your forever home can be designed so that you can “thrive in place”.

Can’t wait for future posts?  Read more by linking to articles under the blog category: livable design.

Are you thinking of building a second home? Not just another home but one with subtle nuances that will accommodate your family into the future? We call adding these inconspicuous refinements “livable design details”. Proactive design that enhances and welcomes every generation.

A “simple” first step is to find a house plan (or blueprints) that appeal to you. Start by paying attention to the overall flow of the floor plan…prior to meeting your architect. Envision yourself walking through the space and living there. This will enable you to initiate a productive in-depth conversation with your architect and designer about how you want your home to function for you and your family. (stay tuned for a future post where we go deep into what we recommend be in every second home)

Five tips to keep in mind when developing a livable design plan:

1. Look for a home with a single story floor plan that has a zero step entrance. If you prefer a multi storied home, the layout of the main areas should have at least one (master) bedroom suite on the main floor.

This traditional style cottage (above) could easily adapt to include a zero step entrance while the contemporary home, below, is a perfect example.

2. Thinking of adding an elevator? You don’t have to commit right away. Add a closet to the floor plan to be easily converted at a later date. To add one that is ADA compliant, (Americans with Disability Act) the minimum door width for an elevator interior is 36″. The depth of the interior must be at least 51″, and the width must be at least 68″, (unless the elevator has center-opening doors, in which case at least 80″ is required). Although this size may seem large, it’s important to plan to have enough space for not only the wheelchair bound person but also a caregiver.

Example of ADA compliant elevator.

3. Need to accommodate for family with special needs? Hallways and door openings should allow for a minimum of 32″ wide doorways and 36″ – 42″ for hallways.

4. Is bigger always better? In this case, yes. Think about increasing each room size to account for furniture plans that allow for a minimum 36″ pass by space should a wheelchair become necessary. Keeping this in mind – bathrooms need a turning radius of five foot minimum while kitchens need a pass through area of 42 – 48″.

A example of how a five foot turning radius affects the size of even a small bathroom.

5. Increase the amount of accessible walk-in storage. Not only will this hide clutter and prevent items from being left out, it will also help to prevent falls. Maximizing floor-to-ceiling storage increases orderliness throughout the home.

Bonus: Situate your home in a southern exposure for maximum light! Read more about how light affects design in our blog post entitled “The Healing effects of Light”

Is it just me or does everyone feel a bit off kilter when they walk into a dark and cluttered room? 

And, how about when you enter a light-filled space, filled with earth tones like beiges and browns with muted cranberry accents? Doesn’t that make you feel a little more serene and stable?

It’s amazing the effect the right design can have on our psyche. Research proves how a room’s design influences and enhances people’s moods and emotions.

Fiori Interior Design takes that concept, blending your goals with your personal style to design spaces that elevate moods, improve focus and enhance efficiency. By bringing your favorite vintage or patina items into the design, we raise the bar, making your space infinitely more interesting and welcoming.

I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time with one of my favorite clients. We’ve been having a blast working on her house, designing one room at a time.   After finishing up her family room, she sat down on her new –and now favorite – sofa. She literally started petting it, saying how warm and happy her sofa makes her feel. As you might imagine, we cracked a few jokes over her new “pet!” 

But, in all seriousness, tactile experiences are important.  Research has revealed how significantly our sense of touch influences our worldview.  In one series of studies, participants negotiating while sitting in soft chairs did not drive as hard a bargain as those sitting on harder chairs with no cushions!

And while we’re not usually conducting serious business in our family rooms, the notion is the same. We are definitely influenced by how things look and feel.  In your home, a pleasant tactile experience can greatly improve our conversations as well as our own personal comfort. 

I can sometimes tolerate a room without windows on a dreary day but on a sunny day… it’s unbearable!  People tend to gravitate to the areas of their homes that provide them with the most sunlight and the best views. 
Why?  Because research repeatedly proves that natural light is healing. Stress levels decrease and mental energy is replenished in spaces that provide natural light and provide views of nature.  
Do you have a favorite place in your home where you can thrive?