Throw a summer fete on your newly decked out patio!

It’s been some time since our last blog post. What better topic to discuss than getting your patio or deck ready for Memorial Day! It’s just around the corner.

Here are a few of our favorite furniture pieces to spruce up your outdoor oasis…

The Canasta by B&B Italia:

 

The Source Relaxer and Footstool by Gloster.  www.gloster.com

 

The Elements collection by Manutti: http://www.manutti.com

 

 

The Madison Collection by ThosBaker.  www.Thosbaker.com
German-engineered, premium synthetic Skai® leather over top-grade reticulated foam.  Powder-coated aluminum subframe and 304-grade stainless steel legs.
Roma Collection by Frontgate.  www.frontgate.com
I love the Roma Canopy Chair.  It plays homage to classicism.
Roma Canopy Chair with Cushions

Looking for sophisticated modular furniture.  Look no more.  The Cloud collection by Frontgate.  The epitome of outdoor sophistication.

 

Cloud Armless Center Chair

 

Love the look but not the price?  Look at CB2’s Casbah collection.  www.cb2.com

 

 

Need something a little more timeless.  Look at the Directoire Collection by Suzanne Kasler.  www.ballarddesigns.com

 

 

The days are longer, which means more time spent outdoors. Add a stylish heat lamp to keep the fun going past happy hour, serve refreshing cocktails on an eco-friendly teak cart, or invite guests to kick-back in a comfortable hammock.

 

http://www.firesideaccessories.com

 

Trinity Hammocks

 

And, finally Memorial Day means the start of a new season, so refresh the patio with colorful, summer-ready textiles. Place a printed trellis rug outdoors to warm the space and add plenty of easy-to-clean pillows and blankets for an inviting vibe.

 

 

Host Tip:  Whether you are hosting an afternoon pool party, a barbecue or a croquet match, set up a bar where people can serve themselves.  Instead of playing the bartender, you can enjoy the guests and your own party.

Ciao Bella! Beauty products for the home spa experience…

When it comes to creating the spa atmosphere at home, I turn to the Italians.  Let’s face it, Italians know a little something about beauty.  The country has expressed la bellezza in countless forms.  From Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida to the stunning masterpieces of Michelangelo, Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci to the heart-lifting tones of Pavorotti.  Perhaps this rich heritage also explains why Italy’s finest beauty companies, many of them family-owned, have endured for decades, even centuries.

They faithfully use local ingredients for their soaps, skin creams and perfumes, and they adhere to recipes passed down for generations.  Some of these products may be a little off the beaten track, but i think they’re well worth the wander.

First up is Borghese Fango.

The Fango Collection is a rich derivative of Borghese’s spa heritage that brings nourishing minerals, natural botanicals and their exclusive Acqua di Vita® Complex to treatments that polish, refine, renew and restore the skin, hair & scalp – All in the comfort of your own home. Whatever your skin concern, there’s a Fango for that!  Check out the collection.  www.Borghese.com

Acqua di Parma Oolong candle.

Fragrances and accessories for individuals of discerning taste. Because true class is as delicate and rarefied as a scent. It evades definition, fashion and commonplaces. Only in this way does it become a way of life.  www.acquadiparma.com

 

Speziali Fiorentini lavender body cream.

Experience the true essence of Florence. Its’ artistic packaging with lovely scenes and beautiful paintings of Tuscan landscape are a tribute to the old-world tradition of making bath and body products with extraordinary scents from the past. Made in Italy of course. Speziali Fiorentini products are microbiologically tested in compliance with STOP ANIMAL TESTING LAW standard and controlled by the Italian Institute for ethical and environmental certification. http://www.euroganicsbeauty.com

 Valobra Balsam soap.

A soothing soap made from pure, invigorating balsam and enriched with lecithin and vitamin E, Balsamo is a distinguished scent greatly enjoyed by men and is especially good for oily skin. From Valabro Soaps The Valobra family of Genova, Italy has been making soaps with hand-picked natural ingredients since 1903, and continues their commitment to craftsmanship to this day by seasoning each bar for six months and hard-milling for long use and a luxurious bathing experience. These hand-crafted, Italian soaps are made using methods unchanged since the 18th century. The soapmakers season pure soap base for four to six months; hard mill the soap six times with vegetable oils, pure essential oils, and vitamins; then gently hand wrap each beautiful bar with original vintage packaging. The soaps contain no harsh detergents or chemical agents, just skin-softening ingredients that make everything from washing your hands to bathing a better experience.  www.westcoastshaving.com

Valobra Balasmo Soap

Cali Olivia Notte night moisturizer.  In the 19th century, on an olive tree grove, on the outskirts of Rome by the Mediterranean Sea, the Roman nobles discovered the Cali Beauty Farm. There, based upon ancient home made recipes, passed down from generation to generation, the nobles enjoyed and benefited from the recipes.  Since the creation of the Cali Beauty Farm, their philosophy has been to treat the outside and the inside of our bodies with the same care while using the finest ingredients.

“Oliva Notte” is a very rich moisturizer, which replenishes and revitalizes your skin’s tone, texture and beauty while the body is at rest. It also contains rosemary (promotes healing, toning stimulating and softening properties), neroli (stimulates cell regeneration, soothing properties) and chamomile (anti-inflammatory and repairer properties, soothing, refreshing and purifying, neutralizes skin irritants) .

Give these gems a try and let me know how much more beautiful you feel.

-Tina

 

Spring Forward

We Fell Back Now It’s Time to…
SPRING FORWARD

Daylight Saving Time is here, which means warm weather is on the way! It’s the perfect time to spruce up your home or office. Here is a little inspiration from Delia Designs intern Nechelle Trawick.
Our first inspiration is by Nina Campbell. Its over-scaled feathered fern leaf wallpaper in natural colorings, We love this because of the unique texture it brings to the interior of the home it comes in 4 different colors and is a great way to kick of spring, home style.


Laguna- Our next inspiration is by Osborne and Little, this wallpaper is the stork motif extracted from the more elaborate fabric design. With bold display of spring these birds are great for the interior as they help welcome the new season.


Giving Style Some Sass
Butterfly Garden- Osborne and Little sass the interior of the home with an exotic composition of vibrantly coloured butterflies on finely detailed monochrome roses. This wallpaper is uniquely displayed with its dull base behind such vibrant colors, for that we love it!


Cobra – this inspiration is by Osborne and Little. A stylized interpretation of a cobra, sasses the interior with its unique interpretation of a snake, bringing the outdoors in is a great way to stylize your space. We love the art aspect of it and it comes in 4 colors, welcome spring with some of its outdoor creatures!

Party Planning Tips

If you are anything like me, you know parties, both as an enthusiastic hostess and as an appreciative guest.  Great parties are like great opera performances.  People talk about them for years, so why not share some tips to best inspire others.

I recently read Jamee Gregory’s book, “New York Parties, Private Views”.  Armed with a can-do attitude, Gregory put together a high-octane compendium of 15 brunches, lunches and dinners given by top-tier hosts.  But just because the pages are filled with all the right people living it up in all the right places (fashion designers Tory Burch and Michael Kors, Evelyn Lauder, among others) don’t think the book is all unattainable glamour.

My take away from the book is that life is not perfect, so don’t expect a party to be entirely flawless.  Experienced hosts just roll with the punches, and the book is packed with their smart tips and stylish solutions.  Fearful of mixing chic and cheap?  Lauder has no problem combining Baccarat crystal with Crate & Barrel dishware, and neither should you.  Weak cooking skills?  Kors orders in from a favorite restaurant.

Now, since we are not all leading fashion designers with their budgets, here are a few tips for hosting a stress-free fabulous party:

Simple Planning.  Planning a party shouldn’t be stressful or intimidating.  After all, aren’t you excited to host your friends, family and colleagues?  Stay organized by starting early.  Start your cleaning well in advance and make a list of grocery items you need from the menu you created.

Simple Décor.  No need to over-do it on the decorations, unless you are planning a themed party.  If it’s a simple cocktail affair, keep décor to a minimum with candles and fresh flowers.

Photo courtesy of SecretGarden

Stay Relaxed.  Leave yourself an hour before guests arrive to freshen up, slip into something party-ready and light some candles for added ambiance.  This creates a welcoming atmosphere from the moment you open the door with a big smile and cocktail in hand, of course.

So, whether you are staging a country breakfast, a dress up tea party or a cocktail party, the best tip I can give you is that it’s the spirit of the get together that counts.  A party, is a gift you make for your friends!

(photo courtesy of ifoodtv)

Create a romantic bedroom oasis

It may be after Valentine’s day but it’s not too late to create a romantic bedroom oasis for you and your honey.  Take a look at my tips and get to it.  As always, should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. http://www.delia-designs.com

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Kitchen design tips for your new construction or renovation.

Image

Photo credit:  Fresh Home

The kitchen for many is the heart of the home.  Families gather there on a daily basis to eat, chat about their day, entertain, do homework and laugh.  The kitchen is where families grow, so you will want it to be efficient, comfortable and of course beautiful.

When designing your new kitchen or renovating your existing, here are some things you should think about:

  1.  First assess your wants and needs.  Ask yourself what it is that will help you to be more efficient in the space.  Is it more countertop space, luxury gadgets, storage?  At the outset make a list of activities you perform in the kitchen as well as the items you need at your fingertips in the space.  Do you need three (3) trash bins, one for trash, one for paper and one for recycling?  Do you need an industrial strength range hood because you cook all of your meals?  Do you need a prep sink?  A butcher block?  The possibilities are endless, hence why it is vital to successful kitchen design that you determine all of this before you start.
  2. Think about hiring a professional.  Despite the picture you have in your mind of the dream kitchen, the actual space you have may not be compatible with your ideal. As with any home project, you have to balance practicality with your grandest wishes.  The most important step in a successful kitchen project is selecting the right people to work with. Because much kitchen work is structural, it’s essential that the work be performed according to the building code regulations of your area. To be sure all work is done appropriately, you’ll want to hire professionals for every aspect of the job in which you are not personally an expert.
  3. Space planning is key.  Hiring an interior designer is one of the best decisions you can make before embarking upon a new kitchen project.  Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, which accounts for a great deal of their challenge.  Once you hire an interior designer, he or she can help you with the layout of the space.  You will want to follow some time honored traditions regarding the layout.  There are five (5) basic layouts of kitchen designs.
    1. The working triangle.  The three (3) points of the working triangle are the range, the sink and the refrigerator.
    2. Zone design.  A kitchen can be broken up into zones.  For example, the prep zone, the cooking zone, the eating zone and the cleaning zone.
    3. The galley kitchen.  Consists of two (2) straight runs.  Typically the sink is on one side and the range on the other.
    4. The L-shape.  This shape forces traffic out of the work zone.  For more interaction with friends and family, add an island.
    5. The U-shaped kitchen.  This offers an abundance of storage space and a massive expanse of counter space.  It is also very flexible

Selecting cutting edge new appliances and beautiful new cabinets is great fun, but first you and your interior designer will need to figure out where those new treasures will be located. Unless your new kitchen is part of a brand-new house, you’ll need to decide how much change to make in the “footprint” of your existing kitchen. For big savings, I advise working within existing load-bearing walls and plumbing lines. Whatever the shape of the kitchen, there’s bound to be a configuration that gives you an efficient work triangle.  I will go into more depth regarding space planning considerations in a future blog post in this series.

5.  Cabinetry, custom or stock.  Once you have determined the special layout of the kitchen, it is time to determine what type of cabinetry to go with.  Stock cabinets can be given a unique look with virtually unlimited specialty finishes and a change of hardware. If your budget allows for custom cabinets, your choices are even greater.  After determining to select stock or custom cabinets, you then must determine the color and door style.  It is helpful to look at photo galleries of finished kitchens to give you an idea of what is visually appealing to you.  Your interior designer can help you determine what your style is through concept boards.  Do you gravitate towards the modern kitchen, something more traditional, Tuscan, country, French, the possibilities are endless.

6.  Appliances.  The main appliances you will need are:  refrigerator, oven/stove, ventilation system, dishwasher, microwave or convection oven, perhaps a wine refrigerator.  Buying kitchen appliances can be a daunting task when you look at all of the options, from energy saving, to high end designer models, to low cost models, how do you choose?  Choosing kitchen appliances for your home should be a rewarding experience but also fulfill your lifestyle and aesthetics of your kitchen. I will explore kitchen appliance selection in a future blog post in this series.

7.  Finishing materials.  Your budget will have a lot to say about materials used in your new kitchen.  What type of flooring should be used, countertop materials, backsplashes, wall finishes?  I will explore finish selection in a future blog post in this series.

At this point, of course you are eager to get started designing your new kitchen. But heed some advice from the experts and from people who have designed many kitchens.  Take your time at the beginning to make sure each decision reflects your taste and meets your needs. You’ll want to live with and love this kitchen for a long time!

Visit our site at http://www.delia-designs.com