Your home should not only reflect your personality but help to propel your story. The chapters of your life are written through the colors, the accessories and perhaps most of all, the artwork you choose.

We grounded the living. room with a brown and white wood rug, drawing from the adjacent family room’s earthy hues. The coordinating colors. and textures create an aesthetically pleasing connection between the two rooms.

Aristotle figured it out a long, long time ago.  And, we couldn’t agree more. In design, there are so many elements – some that can stand alone, some that can’t.  Rhythm is what pulls it all together to create a comforting, welcoming space.

Our designs integrate colors and shapes to create a rhythmic flow. One color might be used as the primary in one space, as a secondary color in an adjacent space and as an accent in the next, to visually lead people from room to room. Photo groupings, lighting patterns and floor patterns can use the same rules and have the same effect in hallways.

Rhythm is introduced in many ways. Subtle colors and shapes, repetition and gradation, textures and patterns are used to bring all the parts together to create collective harmony.

If you have any questions or need more information about livable design, please feel free to schedule a call through my calendar. I’m here to help guide you.

A collection of snuff bottles “tell” a story

Our houses become homes when we make them our own. Personality is found in the personal touches, interesting objects and distinctive colors and textures used. It is in the freedom. The freedom to communicate who we are—to ourselves, our families and the friends we entertain.

You can add personality to every room. That multi-colored bowl from Guatemala might not be worth much, but it is a conversation starter. As a result of that purchase, it’s a constant reminder of the mission trip you made last summer. A living wall of succulents is sure to be captivate conversation! Don’t be afraid to express who you are…and remember to have fun in the process!

In an industry where individuality is paramount, you deserve a firm unique in its approach. Fiori Interior Design does things a little differently to assure personalities, tastes and lifestyles are in sync with practicality, efficiency and budget. Give us a call. We’d love to get to know you and help you customize your home. 

Sometimes decorating is more scientific than it seems. We at Fiori Interior Design make it our business to stay on top of the latest research and findings all across the board. Because you never know what’s going to shed some light on our latest projects.

The light of day 

Research tells us that lighting design has a direct link to reducing depression in patients and that those who are exposed to bright, natural light, predominately in the morning, had reduced depression, agitation and improved sleep and circadian rhythms. Intense sunlight in hospital rooms significantly decreases stress, pain and the need for pain meds.*

Reasoning tells us that we can apply that principle in lighting our homes.

The guiding light

Fiori Interior Design pays close attention to the natural light in every room, taking into account the sun’s changing patterns throughout the day. We place furniture and choose window treatments with optimal sunlight exposure in mind and augment with lighting for the most desirable effect.

Lighting can make a cold room warm, a dark space bright and a dull area shine. We reflect upon how the space is to be used and where ambient, task and accent lighting works best. We look at different sizes, shapes and types of fixtures. We consider wattage and bulb choice and add dimmers so you can change the ambiance of your room whenever you want.

Fiori Interior Design knows what works best, looks best, and makes you feel best.

Our goal is to light up your life as well as your home.  

In an industry where individuality is paramount, you deserve a firm unique in its approach. Fiori Interior Design does things a little differently to assure personalities, tastes and lifestyles are in sync with practicality, efficiency and budget. Give us a call. We’d love to get to know you and help you customize your home.

*Ulrich attribution

When you want to curl up with a book, write in your journal, flip through a magazine, readjust, rejuvenate, or simply relax, there’s nothing like a nook. 

A nook provides opportunities for private moments in your home that can be created not only out of actual recesses in a home’s structure but from corners, closets and cozy spaces. Every member of the family deserves a nook of their own, and chances are you’ve got the room!

Creating your nook:

Don’t go with the flow…Look for areas that are out of the flow of traffic. Don’t discount the value of attic spaces, window seats and basements.

Lighten up…If there’s not enough light in your space, consider adding sconces to brighten your space or brightly colored cushions 

Keep it simple…But make it special.   Add your personal touches so you feel at home in your nook.  

Adult ADD is real. It’s recognized. And it’s something that can and should be considered when designing at-home work spaces.

Halbesleben, Wheeler and Shanine studied the workplace performance of those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (2013) and their findings have proven invaluable for designers confronted with this client challenge.

In eliminating distractions and creating “quiet and organized work areas,” clients with ADD are able to focus better on important tasks. The use of organizational items such as baskets and bins that keep objects from view and managing sight lines to hide major distractors such as televisions should be incorporated into the design.

Simple spaces reduce external stimulation. Likewise, keeping things on an even keel help keep distractions at bay. Uniform ventilation, temperature and proper task lighting should all be considered for clients with ADD. Horizontal surfaces should be free of clutter and house only the essentials, like laptops and lamps. Wallpaper, window treatments and upholstery patterns should be kept simple and art work and accessories minimal.

An effective designer never shies away from asking questions that will offer insight into their clients’ unique personalities and individual needs. It’s the key to creating a workspace that works.

This month’s Wellnotes delves into the principles of “Livable Design”, more commonly referred to as “aging in place”. When we think about “aging in place” we think of wider doorways or higher electrical outlets. A recent statistic however, shifted our focus from a physical to an emotional point of view: “Half of nursing home residents are placed there, not for health reasons but the absence of social interaction due to a lack of accessibility”. A large part of a designer’s job is to implement designs so that social connections aren’t lost and more importantly, don’t look like an after thought. As Aging in Place Specialists (CAPS) we can recommend many design options that not only speak to an aging population, but also benefits families with young children planning on staying in their homes indefinitely, such as:

  1. Levered door handles easily grasped by aging hands and small children. 
  2. A slight entranceway ramp instead of stairs that are both wheelchair and stroller friendly. 
  3. Entranceway cameras with an intercom system (with smartphone features) providing security to both the elderly and mothers with small children. 
  4. Hallway motion sensor lights that illuminate objects benefiting both the elderly and toddler’s leaping out of bed in middle of the night.

Livable design is a thoughtful design process that can be implemented now and work for all ages.

Customizing a home goes beyond basic decorating. Our houses are the natural extension of our unique selves and customization is vital not only to our physical comfort but to our psychological well-being. Pay attention to the needs of your family and never be afraid to modify spaces to fit your lifestyle. Would that once-a-year dining room work as an office? Would your laundry room work more efficiently on a different floor? Would your seldomly used formal living room serve better as a game room? 

Why not replace that unused formal living with a billiards parlor/lounge?

In an industry where individuality is paramount, you deserve a firm unique in its approach. Fiori Interior Design does things a little differently to assure personalities, tastes and lifestyles are in sync with practicality, efficiency and budget. Give us a call. We’d love to get to know you and help you customize your home. 

Until I started designing spaces for other people I didn’t realize that I had actually been “studying” design my entire life. 

I was raised in a household where my mother wasn’t always healthy. Many days I’d come home from school and find her sitting in our living room—the one room in our house that had been arranged to receive the most amount of sunlight. I don’t know if she knew how beneficial it was to her or not…I just knew she was drawn to that space.  
I saw first hand how my mother actually used design to her advantage – demonstrating how design can lift us up, and help us function at our highest level.  

This is the foundation of how I design today. I’ve incorporated my specific principles of design for wellness into my practice. Because I believe – based on my own experience and what I’ve seen in my clients – is that when you’re in surroundings that support you…you thrive.

Here are two examples of “nooks” we created in the past

A client recently asked us to re-design their large sized family room. Seating in the current layout consisted of only a sectional and a recliner. In our questionnaire we uncovered the fact that the wife usually found herself reading or relaxing in the adjoining room…while her husband and three kids would congregate in the family room in front of the TV. Although their family room is fairly large, there really wasn’t a place for her. We decided to change that by creating a “territory”  that would become her own personal space where she could still connect with her family.  

Research proves that “all humans are territorial as well as social and having a territory at home is important for our mental well-being”(Smith, 1994).

Can art help people connect? Research says yes. One organization recently examined how its institutional art collection affected their employee’s mood and performance. It was discovered that the staff garnered a connection to their work place. The artwork promoted social interactions, evoked emotional responses and facilitated personal connections. 

As a design firm specializing in wellness, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of the artwork you choose to display in your home or workplace. Art speaks to us about where we are and why. If you’re surrounded by meaningful pieces, you’re reminded of what’s important…and that can never be a bad thing. 

The past several weeks have been interesting  (and sad) to say the least. I’ve found myself fortunate to be able to conduct almost all business from my home office.  I’m in awe of how those around us have adapted quickly and have committed to keeping in touch.  We’ve all found strength in collaboration. This month I’ve collaborated with two profession women whom I truly admire.

I’ve always believed that the way our spaces are designed can help us to feel more confident. Since the weekend is approaching, why not focus on one thing that can help us to feel more in control?

Tip #1 is from professional organizer Lisa Harris, owner of Organize with Lisa. 

“For many of us, no room gets greater traffic than the kitchen. The “command center,”  is a great place for focus.  Designate a “zone” in your kitchen that’s used to drop off and disinfect packages, mail, and groceries before distributing them throughout your shelves and your home.”

I love this tip because I could instantly visualize where my own “command center” would be located. Here are a few examples (images from others) that I found on Pinterest:

This separated cabinetry can easily become a “drop off” center.

But what if you don’t have the space in your kitchen?  Is there a hallway leading into your kitchen?

Decorative hooks allow for packages to be place directly under hanging items and out of the way.

Or why not create an area where you enter your home?

Bridging the gap between an outdoor and indoor space. (design by ACQUIRE)

Or maybe it’s an area in your garage?

Tip #2 is from Certified Professional Organizer®, Jean Marie Herron, owner of POSSE Partners.

“Since most people’s personal and professional calendars are probably “not the norm” at the moment, one of the best ways to put some “normal” back into our days is to put structure into our daily schedule. Decide in advance what you’d like to accomplish today. Then write or type a short To Do List. Keep it handy and make it happen. Additionally, when you create this daily list that will give you structure, ensure you have at least one thing if not more on this list that will give you pleasure.”

Again, I was able to immediately visualize this tip. How many lists have you started then forgotten  where they were? (By “you” I mean “me”…please don’t ask my kids how many times I’ve hidden their phones and forgotten where)

I love this idea. Why not add a whiteboard to an inside cabinet door?

If you have a project you’d like to work on and share, please send me a before (and after?) picture!   I’d love to see them and, if you like, offer a few additional tips to help you feel more in control.

Can art help people connect? Research says yes. One organization recently examined how its institutional art collection affected their employee’s mood and performance. It was discovered that the staff garnered a connection to their work place. The artwork promoted social interactions, evoked emotional responses and facilitated personal connections. 

As a design firm specializing in wellness, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of the artwork you choose to display in your home or workplace. Art speaks to us about where we are and why. If you’re surrounded by meaningful pieces, you’re reminded of what’s important…and that can never be a bad thing.  

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.

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!

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”

Research has proven that certain colors will elicit certain emotions. 

But…there are so many variables involved when specifying color.  
One of the first questions we always ask our clients is “How do you want to feel in your space?”

We start by grouping colors as Cool versus Warm:

Cool colors are purples, blues and green – We have experience with these colors as having healing and calming influences and are stress-reducing.

Warm colors – reds, oranges and yellows – tend to induce excitement, increase blood pressure but can also cause fatigue without the balance of cool colors. 

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see how we design with warm versus cool colors to evoke different emotions. The example in this Bergen County home is an example of how we added warmth to this client’s family room.

Our interiors are designed to be highly personal. We ensure that you’re surrounded with design that’s meaningful and represents you authentically—so that you’ll thrive. Give us a call or email us. We’d love to get to know you and help you create an uplifting environment.

The Healing Effects of Light: Wellness Principle #1

Until I started designing spaces for other people I didn’t realize that I had actually been “studying” design my entire life.

I was raised in a household where my mother wasn’t always healthy. Many days I’d come home from school and find her sitting in our living room—the one room in our house that had been arranged to receive the most amount of sunlight. I don’t know if she knew how beneficial it was to her or not…I just knew she was drawn to that space.
I saw first hand how my mother actually used design to her advantage – demonstrating how design can lift us up, and help us function at our highest level.

This is the foundation of how I design today. I’ve incorporated my specific principles of design for wellness into my practice. Because I believe – based on my own experience and what I’ve seen in my clients – is that when you’re in surroundings that support you…you thrive.

                                                                                                               

Our interiors are designed to be highly personal.  We ensure that you’re surrounded with design that’s meaningful and represents you authentically—so that you’ll thrive.   Give us a call or email us.  We’d love to get to know you and help you create an uplifting environment.

We’re showcasing a few of our favorite manufacturers that are eco-friend. Choosing manufactures that are members of the Sustainable Furnishings Council means that they incorporate eco-friendly practices. For example, the majority of Vanguard’s cushions include a mix of duck feathers and down, which are all natural by-products…plus more than 80% of their coils used are from scrap or recycled materials.