Welcome to Fiori Interior Design’s Countdown to the New Year! We are excited for the holiday season and look forward to spreading joy and cheer with those around us. Because who can’t use a little of that?

For those last minute shoppers (ahem, like us) we wanted to share a few local shops, artisans, and everything in between that are “FID approved”! Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

This wonderful local organization assists with moving families from shelters to furnished apartments. FID is a proud partner! How about donating to this cause in someone’s name?

Wortendyke Studio – This pottery studio located in Midland Park, NJ is nestled in an 1865 railroad station. What’s not to love? Check out their unique pottery or try your hand at learning how to create your own!

Mayfair Antiques – This store hides in plain sight off of Goffle Road in Midland Park in the Brownstone Mill. Be sure to check out the other surrounding antique and vintage shops as well!

Grayhill Woodworking – We discovered this hidden gem at the YMCA Holiday fair! If you are obsessed with all things hand carved, this one is for you.

Meyers House of Sweets – Hands down, Meyer’s has the best chocolate around! Head on over to this Wyckoff chocolate shop in town to get your fix.

Abma’s Farm in Wyckoff – Who doesn’t love a multi-generational family-owned farm with a petting zoo?! Try their homemade apple pies – they are amazing!

New Jersey Botanical Garden – For those who are still in hiking mode, this beautiful retreat in Ringwood is just a stone’s throw away. Don’t miss the beautiful castle!

Our last shout out is to the Community Thrift Shop in Midland Park, New Jersey. We love this organization because they partner with the Social Service Association of Ridgewood, serving local families in the New Jersey towns of Wyckoff, Ridgewood, Midland Park, Waldwick, and Hohokus.

As was the case with several of our projects in 2020, this particular project began just prior to Covid, then picked back up again after a six month hiatus. We needed to take the steps that would ensure that our client – as well as our trades – were kept safe during this redesign. Protocols included open windows for fresh air flow, temperature checks and closing off other rooms in the home so that the homeowner could have free reign during the renovation process.

Looking at “before” photos reminds us of the transformation of this year-long project. The stunning results make these challenging processes worthwhile.

In our client’s formal living room and foyer, the goal was to create a more casual, cozy and inviting space where friends and family could gather for holidays. We updated several of the architectural elements such as the dental moulding that was replaced with a more streamlined crown moulding.

We replaced almost all of the furnishings with updated, clean silhouettes that are still traditional in feel. Our client’s amazing sunburst mirror was hidden in her dining room, so offered it center stage by anchoring it above one of the two sofas. We used rhythm and repetition by adding pops of blues and greens throughout the space. This technique creates a cohesiveness in the adjoining spaces and allows your eyes to move seamlessly around the room.

A vibrant chinoiserie wallpaper was chosen for above the chair rail in the dining room. From the entryway of this home the jeweled-toned colors draw you in to this space – but does not distract. An indoor-outdoor area rug (it’s the same that was used on the front steps and foyer) was chosen to establish a casual vibe and create balance between the more formal details of the client’s crystal chandelier. The dining room chairs were upholstered in that same green velvet fabric that you see on the chair that greets you at the front door. (both performance, worry-free fabrics) Rather than choosing traditional art for this space, we found a contemporary piece of artwork that contrasts with the style of the traditional wallpaper – this dichotomy adds a little bit of friction and a whole lot of interest to this space.

A butler’s pantry refers to the space between a kitchen and dining room. Back in the 18th century, these were common in traditional, palatial households as they served multiple purposes, such as storing valuable heirlooms like silverware and china. 

Over the years, this space has evolved due to architectural trends such as the open floor plan as well as the need to use space judiciously. 

 Unlike your regular pantry, where you stock boxes of pasta, pumpkin puree (which, let’s face it, you almost never use), and your favorite snacks, a butler’s pantry is meant to provide prep space and storage for silverware and barware. Think of it as a closet, prep-station, and home-bar all rolled into one (sans the bow-tie-wearing steward polishing expensive china).

Tips On How To Design A Butler’s Pantry

Designing your butler’s pantry could mean having a simple storage area with shelves, or it could be a more elaborate space with a wine fridge, dishwasher drawers, a sink and spacious countertops. The butler’s pantry can be open, sealed-off, or free-standing. It’s a truly versatile space and fun to design!

If you’re planning on including or adding a butler’s pantry in your home, here are my top five tips:

1. Keep It Classic

If you’re a fan of simple and minimal designs, keep your butler’s pantry light and airy with a classic white paint.  Yes – this is the “safe” way to go.

Photo courtesy of Amy Kartheiser Design

2. Pop Of Color

If you find neutral colors a tad boring, paint your butler’s pantry blue and add contrast with a white quartz countertop.

Or how about this high gloss forest green hue? So dramatic!

Courtesy of Housebeautiful.com

3. Backsplash Materials

Since the backsplash is a much smaller space than in your kitchen, this is the perfect opportunity to go all out.  Opt for bold statement tiles.  The reflective surface of a mosaic glass tile on the backsplashes creates a sparkle, reflects light and will brighten up the space. (See the entire project in our Bergen County Kitchen Project.)

Mosaic tile from Artistic Tile

4. Add Task Lighting

Recessed lighting (on dimmers) is always recommended. Recessed lighting that highlights the workspace will ensure that the proper areas are illuminated. Under cabinetry lighting is important If you’re planning to do prep work in your butler’s pantry. Don’t forget about the insides of the cabinets as well; interior cabinet lighting with glass fronts will draw you into the space and creates a dramatic backdrop.

5. Statement Pieces

​​A ceiling fixture will add another layer to this space. Choose a hanging vintage chandelier for an eclectic feel. (If it’s truly vintage, have it rewired of course!)

Courtesy of Rejuvenation.com

Bonus tip:

Don’t treat the hardware as an afterthought; it can make a statement on any cabinetry!

Leather wrapped pulls from Hardware Designs.

Final Thoughts:

If you’re thinking of updating or completely renovating your butler’s pantry, remember that this pass-through space oftentimes needs to connect visually with several rooms. Its style should complement each space – not visually distract from the surrounding spaces.  Have questions or comments?  Give us a call!  We’d love to chat!

I’m an early riser and love to spend my summer mornings on my front porch with a cup of coffee. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for this space – particularly during Covid – it’s become my quiet haven. (aka secret hiding space)

If you’re planning to add a front porch to your house or just thinking about a spruce up, here are my five top tips.

(By the way, did you know that in 2018, according to the National Association of Home Builders, approximately 65 % of new-construction single-family homes were designed with a front porch?)


1. Size

Most contractors suggest that a front porch should have a minimum depth of six feet. As an interior designer,  I recommend a generous depth of ten feet. This ensures that you have enough space to easily accommodate sofas, chairs, plants, lamps, and other furniture you’re planning to add to your space. Of course, the width will depend on the porch’s location, roofline, and the size of your house.


2. Railing Styles

When designing my own front porch, my contractor wanted to add only columns, whereas I wanted columns and a railing.  Looking back, a railing with a bit more architectural detail would have been a more interesting choice. Adding a railing with “personality” can be the  jewelry on the exterior of your home.   


If you love detailing, instead of just a straight rail, opt for a Chippendale Style railing. It lends a classic architectural detail.


Two other options are the Drummer Boy Panel which offers privacy as well. It comes in different patterns and styles and can be mixed and matched with straight rails to create your own unique design.


The Double Cathedral Picket Panel can also be mixed and matched with different finishes.


Thinking about your second home?  This decorative railing panel below works particularly well in the mountains or by the lake as it will blend well with your natural surroundings.


3. Switch To Solid Cellular PVC

If you’re thinking, “ugh, PVC?” I can assure you that you can find PVC that looks exactly like wood (minus the headache of constant upkeep and maintenance). Need more convincing? Cellular PVC doesn’t chip or crack. It doesn’t absorb moisture and it can be shaped or molded easily.


4. Furniture

When thinking of adding furniture to your front covered porch, I recommend woven wicker furniture as it will add texture, pattern and color to your patio. Wicker is also fairly durable and doesn’t need a lot of upkeep under a covered porch – just dust it off at the beginning of the season and cover it in the winter months.

A classic front porch swing is a feature I would also recommend adding. It creates an immediate visual of a summer afternoon, relaxing on the front porch.

Photo courtesy of theporchswingcompany.com

Another great addition is a sideboard, which is the perfect place to store board games, cups, napkins, and other small items so that they’re easily accessible!


5. Lighting

Recessed lighting (on dimmers) is always recommended – I also recommend adding a ceiling fixture if you have the height. Free-standing lamps will also make your porch feel cozier.

Photo courtesy of Southern Living

Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to accessorize your porch with a bell! It adds a little nostalgia…like when kids used to be called in for dinner! (okay, or happy hour for the adults!)


Final Thoughts

​​Front porches are fairly versatile . Adding a front porch is like adding another room to your home. No matter where you live, it’s an investment you will not regret.

I just returned from another High Point Market – one of the top furnishing trade shows in the world. It’s always inspiring to discover new vendors.

Here’s just a peek of what we found to be “note-worthy.”


We discovered a line of beautiful large scale paperweights made with lacquered dried flowers – made by a local High Point artist. We place several orders because unfortunately all of her pieces were sold out by the time we arrived!


Vahallan is another company that has been on our radar! They create a line of handmade, hand painted wallpapers out of Lincoln, Nebraska.  We were finally able to see their process first-hand!


Blaxsand is another company that we frequently visit at High Point. They recently joined forces with a “cohab” that partners with smaller, unique vendors. One line in particular drew us in – beautiful, one of a kind furniture that is designed and built by reformed prisoners. These now rehabilitated men have discovered their value and purpose in life through their craft.


This pewter flower that is embedded in each piece of furniture is a “calling card.” One can be found in each piece of hand-crafted furniture. Each artist is given a pewter flower that they keep in their pocket – a reminder of their newly found craft – and purpose in life.


This recent trip solidified an absolute “trend” that we are seeing these days: one of a kind, hand-crafted pieces. What better way to bring meaningful objects into our home?

What type of things do you find meaningful in your home? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


Below are some of the wonderful pieces we saw at High Point Market in June.

We are looking forward to going back again in October!

Let us know if we can help you design that beautiful space you have been dreaming of!

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.

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.

Harvey Cedars, New Jersey Beach House

The view from the Dining Room into the Living Room

I have a habit of redesigning homes in my head.  So when my good friend, who happens to be a realtor, showed me this amazing home on Long Beach Island in Harvey Cedars, these images appeared in my head.

Starting with the dining area, I envisioned a classic round Saarinen tulip table surrounded by vintage wicker chairs.  

The living room is surrounded by a beautiful open staircase.  The modern meets vintage theme continues.  Grounding the area with a colorful wool rug, I (shamelessly?) envisioned one of our semi custom sofas, two wicker chairs and end table and a streamlined Serena and Lily coffee table.  The lighting is from Design Within Reach.

And of course…no view is complete without a hanging daybed.  
You might just find me there this weekend.  

A beautiful first day of summer! Fortunately for us, designing with florals are back…and they’re bigger and better than ever!

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Inspiration board for a new beach house project.

There’s nothing more inspiring than a bright beautiful room to forget about the rain and cold weather!  We love this cheerful room at last year’s High Point Market and can’t wait to be inspired again this April!

Inspiration for an upcoming spring project. Love this new Clarke & Clarke Matador Collection!

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We love how this kitchen was transformed using bright and uplifting color… a reflection of the family that lives in this home.

According to  a recent article in newsblaze.com, one of the trends that will influence US Homes in 2017 is titled “Modern Vintage”.  They describe it as “contemporary furniture based on vintage styles”.  This is not a trend likely to go away anytime soon.  It includes items that have natural textures and are also durable, such as abaca, cane and rattan.

Newsblaze goes on to say “the desire to make the best possible use of natural and sustainable resources makes sense in the context of how popular upcycling and
repurposing has become.  Indeed, it may mean that 2017 becomes known as a revitalizing game changer in terms of what has become the throwaway society.”

I love this trend because it really allows you to layer personality into any project.  (it also happens to strengthen our Design Principal #5: nature and sustainability!)

A few of our favorite websites for these kinds of finds are Chairish, 1st Dibs and Serena and Lily.

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