Tag Archive for: #interiordesigninspiration

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!


When my husband and I bought our home 20+ years ago, it was just perfect for our two kids and us. Little did we know that our family (many years later) would multiply! Our third child arrived eleven years after our first.  We also welcomed another permanent resident—my mother-in-law.

Bringing a new family member into your home is exciting and daunting, especially if accommodating them is not as simple as setting up a guest bedroom. It can also be challenging to maintain privacy in a home with multiple family members. 

According to the Pew Research Center, In 2016, a record 64 million people, or 20% of the U.S. population, lived with multiple generations under one roof. As an interior designer, the task of rethinking the layout of our home and ensuring no one felt out of place happily fell into my lap.  Here’s how we remodeled our home and made smart choices to comfortably accommodate all of us.

Before

The previous owner had added an expanse of window to the second floor which became their master bedroom suite.

Our kids’ bedrooms were originally on the ground floor of our two-story house, with the master bedroom suite on the floor above. When we invited my mother-in-law to live with us, we moved the kids upstairs with us. 

How did we reconfigure our home?

The answer – teamwork! We got a hold of our original blueprints, a licensed architect, and set out to work on the new plans. 

Five important changes we made to our home:

1. Each of the two children’s original bedrooms became a sitting room and a bedroom for my mother-in-law.

The  red highlighted area is the “in-law suite

 2. French doors were added to each of the rooms on the ground floor to create a separate entry for my mother-in-law.  Privacy was an important consideration.

Double French doors replaced windows

3. Closing off an adjoining L-shaped portion of the hallway with a door allowed us to create a separation between my mother-in-law’s bedroom and the newly created kitchenette without interrupting the design of the spacious hallway.

The hallway leading to the mother-in-law’s “suite”

4. Since we lost the downstairs bathroom in the process, we stole space from one of the two hallway closets and turned it into a powder room.

New powder room off the hallway

5. Aside from adding bedrooms upstairs for the kids, we added a spare room for exercise equipment and another full bathroom on the second floor.

The Birth of a New Porch!

We always wanted a spacious front porch, and this renovation gave us the perfect opportunity to bring our idea to life!   Spanning the length of the house, its depth spans from 8 to 12 feet. For myself, the kids, and my husband, this serves as the perfect outdoor seating area on the right side of the house. To the left, we created a similar but smaller, seating area for my mother-in-law to unwind and maintain her privacy as needed.

The final result.

Parting Words

Renovating a home can be challenging and exciting at the same time — the choices are limitless!   As an interior designer, I especially enjoyed the challenge of using the existing layout to achieve our customized, desired result.

It’s hard to envision the future in 20, 30 or even 40 years from now, but this plan has enabled our family to live through this pandemic somewhat seamlessly. Multi-generational living has served my family well throughout the years and especially during  this pandemic. In some ways it has even made our lives a bit richer as we continue to adjust to this ever changing world.

Looking for ways to utilize your home efficiently while still keeping your privacy intact?   Keep an eye out for upcoming blog posts on my home (and my client’s homes!) remodeling adventures.

As a boutique interior design firm, we have been carefully navigating and constantly monitoring the ups and downs of this world we find ourselves in today. Typically I like to begin my blog posts on a positive note. Stay with me until the end of this post – I promise you’ll see that there is a rainbow at the end of this tunnel.

Why lead times are so lengthy.  

One publication we regularly subscribe to explains it as such:

“When severe winter weather struck the Gulf Coast region earlier this year, it halted production for chemical foam manufacturers—yet even as summer has thawed frozen facilities, the industry is still at a loss for foam. Like many other supply chain shortages, the issue is one of unrelenting consumer demand, which has been consistently running above capacity for chemical suppliers since the pandemic began. Industry insiders aren’t expecting demand to return to stable levels until June 2022.

The industry’s supply of foam for mattresses and upholstery production remains wanting. The answer, it appears, has less to do with what the industry might call “normal” supply of foam and chemicals for foam than with the relentless surge in demand for product that has yet to abate. Think of it this way: if the chemical suppliers are running at 100% capacity,  industry demand continues to run at 120% or 130% of that capacity. The chemical suppliers simply have not been able to catch up.”

Why prices continue to increase

Not only have ocean freight rates increased astronomically, but commodities like steel, brass, aluminum, cardboard and lumber have all increased dramatically as demand surges across the board. In addition, other products (aside from foam) made from petrochemicals such as paints, acrylic, fabric and coatings have also increased. 

So what is Fiori Interior Design doing to navigate this storm?

  1. Ninety percent of the products we specify are made in the USA or like the vintage pieces we use in our designs, are sourced locally (aka sustainable). This has always been an important part of our core beliefs. So for the most part, we are not affected by ocean freight rates.
  1. Weekly ongoing communication with our manufacturers and trades means that you are kept up to date with any delays, so that you are also able to plan. We will always find an equally beautiful piece should one backordered element of a design hold up an install.
  1. We are further streamlining our processes so that we can work “leaner.” Our installations continue to take place on either back to back days, depending on the size of the project, or in one full day.  
  1. We are looking at the big picture and planning ahead… even more so than in the past. We recently installed a kitchen project in under two months because we started designing the project and “stockpiled” all of the components so that every trade was lined up and ready to go. I can’t lie – I held my breath until the end, but it was the most seamless design we’ve worked on to date! Teaser: Look for this project next month in an upcoming New Jersey publication!

So, are you thinking about your next design project? Why not start to plan now?  

Give us a call and let us know how we can make that dream become your dream home!

And remember…

“The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done… you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.” ― Lil Wayne, rapper