I’m beyond excited about Amanda’s new collection that is now available at The Urban Electric company.  Trust me when I say that each fixture is even more stunning in person but you’ll get a pretty good idea from the images on the website.  Amanda has always been one of my favorite designers because of her ability to use color without being too loud and clashy.  You’ll see her use of color in her lighting collection as well,  and the best part is that they can all be customized to work perfectly in your space.  If you have a particular paint color in mind just tell the folks at UE and they’ll “do it your way”

Amanda Nisbet

Anna Leah lamp

Sprig lantern (glass options can be customized as well)

Poppy lantern (this is one of my favorites)

Montreal sconce

 

 





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Affordable Art

Posted By Rebecca-NY | Apr 26, 2011 | 4 Comments | Category: Art, Budget Design

It’s almost time for one of the best Art Fairs in NYC where everyone gets an opportunity to buy a great piece of art at a great price.  The pieces start at $100 so if you’re a first time buyer, don’t be shy.  The fair runs from May 5-8 and is located at 7 W. 34th Street.  Please click here for more information!





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It’s almost time for Easter brunch and while the kids are running around collecting Easter eggs and loading their baskets with candy you’re probably busy baking your honey baked ham and figuring out how to dress the table!  Check out these great ideas from Martha Stewart.  Nothing says Easter like jelly beans and baskets with tulips!

Simply pastel and perfect

Delicate dyed eggs vases

 

However you decide to set the table, I hope you enjoy your egg hunts and brunch and most importantly your time with family.  Happy Easter!





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Calypso St. Barth’s at Target

Posted By Rebecca-NY | Apr 19, 2011 | 5 Comments | Category: Budget Design

Mark your calenders for the introduction of an island-inspired Calypso St. Barth’s line at Target.  It will be available at most Target stores from May 1 – June 11 and I suggest you get there early before the collection is swiped clean.  Below are the items I know I’ll be purchasing

 

 colorful glass tea lights for $2.99

gold pouf for $59.99

 

serving bowl $12.99

 





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I’ve been shopping around a lot lately for abstract photographs and paintings for clients and I’ve seen some of the worst and best stuff out there - but this artist blew me away!  The colors, the composition, the ease (i think) at which she paints – it’s amazing!  Thanks to High Gloss Magazine for featuring such a great artist.  Take a look at Michelle Armas’ work and let me know what you think. 

 These paintings would snazzy up any room and be a great pop of modern color in a more traditional space





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This is the story…

Posted By Rebecca-NY | Apr 12, 2011 | 7 Comments | Category: Decorating, Uncategorized

of Rebecca Tier Soskin, Interior Design

My love for interior design started with my first career at Laura Ashley Inc. in Boston, MA.  I was the Marketing and Visual Merchandising Coordinator for both apparel and home furnishings and I was always drawn to decorating over fashion.  LA was the first place I realized that I could actually make a career out of designing windows with beautiful home furnishings and of course, a prop or two.  I never looked at a storefront window the same after this job because I knew how much went into it.  We would start with a general window concept which then had to be mocked up, staged with props and photographed for further discussion.  If the first concept was a home run we were lucky, and the actual window would go into production.  Everything had to be just right, and each window told a story so that it would catch the attention of the people passing by, and more importantly, get them to come in and buy!  I knew I liked what I was doing but I also knew there was more out there to decorating and design than just windows.

 

Classic Laura Ashley bedding that brings me back to my childhood.  I grew up in Laura Ashley dresses and jumpers so this was a company and a job that was near and dear to my heart.

 

 When I moved to New York in 2005 I was hired by Markham Roberts (a renowned decorator who was mentored by the legendary decorator Mark Hampton) where I began to learn the basics in decorating, like: What’s the difference between gimp trim and tape trim?  What does C.O.M mean?  What’s a side mark?   It was here where I learned the ins and outs of the business and was able to get a good taste of the decorating and design world.  I would spend days in the office making important phone calls, following up with vendors, tracking orders, placing orders, discussing schemes and concepts for each project with Markham and meeting with each client.  There were days I’d spend shopping at the D&D building (Decorating & Design building with hundreds of showrooms for the trade), looking for new fabrics and fun schemes with Markham’s direction and style/taste in mind.  Then there were days where we’d leave at 6a for the Hamptons (only way to beat the traffic) to head to a clients for a meeting, stage a house for a photo shoot or be there for an entire installation.  This was the best part.  you actually saw all your hard work pay off when it all came together and even better than that – you saw the smiles on your client’s face when it was done.  I’d have to say that’s the best part of being in the business – knowing you’ve helped make a persons house their home.

A foyer by Markham Roberts with bold diagonal stripes on the walls, a custom faux horn console table, turquoise lamps, a colorful area rug, an antique drawing table and a luxurious chocolate velvet settee painted in an antique white.  Markham has a gift when it comes to mixing the old with the new as proven in this photo

 

 In 2009 (not the best year to start a business) I decided to go for it and start my own business  with the few small clients I had on the side.  While financially I knew it would be a struggle, it ended up being a good year to get things in order and all my ducks in a row, as they say.  I knew that most people were struggling financially, so not only did it take the pressure off to succeed immediately, but it gave me time to think about how I wanted to build my business.  I knew it wasn’t going to be an extremely profitable year, but you have to start somewhere and you have to believe that you can make anything happen if you’re passionate enough about it.  One key element to my business is Design Manager which is the design software we used at Markham Roberts Inc.  No matter what, you need to keep track of everything that’s purchased and re-sold and keep it extremely organized so that when it comes time to file your taxes, you aren’t scrambling to figure it all out.  For me, purchasing this software was a no brainer because I already knew how to use it.  With DM, I was able to keep my finances in order and concentrate on what I loved to do.. which was create, decorate and inspire!

 

 

 So how do I build a clientele and build a brand for myself when I don’t have much to show and I don’t have a lot to spend?  I started to look into marketing options that were either cheap or free and thankfully these days there are a lot of free resources you can use to expose yourself.  I created and sent out postcards and mailers (through www.vistaprint.com) by zip code, walked around specific neighborhoods in NYC and left fliers under doors.  I started to network and talk to everyone I know about decorating and design so that I could “spread the word” about my new business.  I’ll never forget the advice I was given by a good friend which was “no matter what you do, stay busy.”  It sounds simple and somewhat useless but it  made a lot of sense to me at the time.  If you’re constantly busy and focused on your business, it will happen.  If you put in the effort and the time, there’s no way you can fail.  Staying busy was my saving grace.

 One of my first mailers created through Vistaprint

 

Towards the end of 2009 I was told that House Beautiful was writing a story on new designers.  I immediately contacted the editor to see what was needed to be considered for the article.  When I realized I met the criteria, I was fast at work creating my bio, taking photos for my headshot and selecting the right photos to send in to display my work.  At this point, I didn’t have much to choose from and I hadn’t photographed a lot of my projects so I was fairly limited with what I had to submit.  So I gathered all my materials and sent them to the editor who was writing the story and knowing it was a long shot, I hoped and prayed and waited.

 

It was about 3 months later when I had officially given up (on this specific article) and moved onto plan B.  This admittedly, was no plan at all.  THIS WAS MY ONLY plan at the time.  Just as I was throwing in the towel, I received an email from the editor saying she needed my contact information again.  Two hours later a messenger showed up at my door with a letter in hand saying “congratulations, you’ve been selected as one of the next wave of designers to watch in 2010…”  I was ecstatic!  Not only was I selected for the article but I was going to be included amongst nineteen other designers across the country as one of the next wave of 20 designers to watch in 2010!  It was an added bonus since they never specifically told us what the article was for.

 

 

 

 The actual article from House Beautiful Dec/Jan 2010

 

With that, I still had a lot of work to do.  I had to get a website up and I had to get involved in social media.  These were things I still hadn’t done because I didn’t think I had the money to do it.  I couldn’t wrap my head around spending money to make money but soon realized how important it was.  I spoke to a friend of a friend who helped me create my website and began to work on my facebook page so that when the article printed, I would have somewhere for people to go and to see me and my work. 

A month or so later, House Beautiful launched me and my business into a world I never saw coming.  The minute it hit the newsstands, my phone was ringing off the hook and emails came flooding in.  It was a very promising day and I felt extremely fortunate and inspired to work even harder!

Whatever you do in this business, you need to put some of your focus on getting published.  It’s the best and fastest way to get your name out there and if you can get the attention of an editor at a national home magazine – even better!  In the meantime, you need to put yourself out there on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, a blog – whatever you can do to spread the word and create a buzz about your business.

 

2010 was a great year for me thanks to House Beautiful and I was able to connect with a few great clients who I’m still working with today.  In fact, I still receive phone calls and emails where people mention that article, and it was released over a year ago.  The power of press! 

2010 was also the year that I received a phone call from Emily Johnston (the founder, executive editor and Dallas contributor) of Material Girls asking me if I’d like to be her New York contributor.  At the time, I had my own blog and was extremely focused on my own business, but the idea of writing for an already established blog with thousands of followers was extremely enticing.  Emily had also mentioned that I’d be invited to events and parties in NYC so that I could mix and mingle with the best in the decorating world and write about my experiences on the blog.  Yes Please!  I gladly agreed to join the Material Girls and to this day, believe it was the best decision I’ve made so far.  Not only am I a part of a wonderful group of girls (bloggers) across the country but I get invited to just about every event out there, so I’ve been able to connect with other bloggers, designers, editors, publishers and PR firms.  The experience and the exposure has been amazing. 

 

So here I am. I’m still concentrating on growing my business, building my clientele and getting the buzz out there.  I’m extremely blessed to be a part of the Material Girls and enjoy all of the experiences that come along with it.  I hope my story has inspired at least a few readers to start their own business and follow their dreams.  It’s a lot of work but it’s worth it.  The feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction is like no other.  Emily put the list of pros and cons perfectly.  Unfortunately, there are cons to every job, but if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, the pros always outweigh the cons.





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After a long stroll and tour of the showrooms mentioned in my last post, we finally landed (and i mean we were able to sit back and enjoy some southern BBQ) at Hickory Chair where we chatted with Alexa Hampton, Mariette Himes Gomez, Thomas O’Brien and Suzanne Kasler.  They took us through their showrooms to explain how their lines were evolving and what was new to market this year.  I could go on forever about each and everyone of them but I won’t bore you with babble and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Belle King Bed by Alexa Hampton

Thomas O’Brien’s upholstered bookcases and luxurious velvet sofa with nailheads

How amazing are these Anastasia benches by Suzanne Kasler?

Mariette Himes Gomez standing in front of her beautiful Calla bed

 

Hickory Chair is known for its timeless style since 1911 and in celebration of their 100 years in business they launched a new 1911 collection which is a must see.  These twin beds below are enough to make me want kids so I have someone to put in them!

The draping adds a little drama where drama is needed!

Gorgeous breakfront that’s available in different finishes.  Another great thing about Hickory Chair is that there are many custom options so you can make each piece your own.  Notice the blue in the interior of the cabinet – such a pleasant surprise when you open it up.

 

More to Share from Hickory Chair

Simply divine.  All of it!  Hope you are enjoying my photos from the tour of the showroom.  They say that pictures are worth 1000 words, but I can tell you that after having seen the Hickory Chair showroom in person, I can be certain that they live up to their reputation.  Each piece is crafted with quality, style and their consumer in mind.  Most importantly, they believe that building trust with their customers is most important so you know you’ll be treated with the best service when shopping at Hickory Chair.

 

 

 





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I’ve just returned from the famous High Point market in North Carolina where I was able to browse through some of the best showrooms in the business, mingle with editors, store owners, buyers, publishers, designers, bloggers and more.. and let’s just say, the trip was a success.  It’s not often that you get to have lunch with  Alexa Hampton, Suzanne Kasler, Thomas O’Brien, Mariette Himes Gomez and Katharine Hable.   

Century Furniture

There were so many amazing things to see at Century this Market but a few things really caught my eye.  They have such a wonderful range and variety of pieces and styles, so it makes it easy to find something you love.  They’re constantly evolving and refreshing their lines so that what you saw as traditional yesterday, is still tradtional, but with a twist and a touch of the unexpected.

 I entered through their garden room which emerged from nature and organic inspired fabrics.  Botanicals and gardens are very relaxing and refreshing in general, so who wouldn’t want to bring that into their home?

 A gorgeous sideboard with beautiful carved details and a touch of whitewash

Notice the fern tree fabric on the headboard and the branch-like legs on the bedside table

This chest of drawers is nature at its best.  Such a great and unique piece that will catch the eye of just about anyone

Another collection that stood out for me at Century Furniture was Ed Robinson’s natural, weathered (yet practical) line seen below.  Ed knows how to push the envelope ever so slightly to create a natural feel that’s modern and approachable.

Here you see Ed explaining his line beside his gorgeous sandblasted center table with the most exquisite base I’ve seen in a long time

 A hand rendered sketch by Ed sitting on top of the actual DR table that was produced from the sketch.  Rustic yet divine!

soft and serene

The chair below was created by a student who was selected as this years winner in Century’s student design competition known as Project UDesign.  Ryland Quillen created this fabulous next generation sustainable wing chair that wowed the judges and you can see why!  What a great and fun idea to bring a new piece into your line.

Ryland Quillen’s winning chair!

 

Hooker Furniture

I was pleasantly surprised when walking into the Hooker showroom which seems to be moving more in a transitional direction as opposed to the traditional and classic styles I remember them for.  Their Melange line stood out for me the most because every piece in the line was inspired by textiles, art, jewelry and apparel rather than existing furniture.  It just goes to show that inspiration comes from everywhere and all creations come from things that are beautiful.

A beautiful silver leafed scalloped chest of drawers lined with a fun wallpaper design on the inside!

A rustic and weathered chest of drawers with a beautiful interior lining.  Notice the ornate knobs on this piece.  Hardware can do wonders to your furniture

Hand woven water hyacinth dark mahogany bed that’s even prettier in person!

 

Sligh

Sligh furniture specializes in quality home entertainment and media furnishings that are highly practical.  So much thought goes into each piece which made me realize how focused they were on their consumers needs.  If you’re going to build a media cabinet you need to think about all the elements that are going to make that cabinet function while still keeping it stylish and well made.  It was clear that Sligh did just that.

A simple yet beautiful desk with more function than meets the eye

Here you can see how they incorporated a secret outlet for all your charging and plug-in needs!

A close up of a cabinet with a lovely robins egg blue background

One of my favorite moments in the Sligh showroom was when they showed me their room filled with 1000 (almost) oragami birds which are supposed to bring you good luck.  I’ll let you know if my luck changes in the next few days.  fingers crossed!

 

Theodore Alexander

TA struck me as high end, well crafted English furnishings that will give your home a sense of  distinction.  Although I wasn’t allowed to take pictures while in the showroom I did catch the Keno brothers showing off their unbelievable new collection exclusively sold at Theodore Alexander.  This collection is a must see because of its innovative, modern approach to fine, handcrafted and extremely labor intensive work. 

The Keno brothers (known best from ‘Antique Road Show’) explaining their collection and concepts behind each design which i have to say are extremely unique and breath taking.  They have a variety of finishes which include olive ash burl veneer and tamo veneer to mention a few.  You can see the gorgeous chevron box in the foreground that was enough to make me want more. 

 

I’ll be back to share more from my trip to the high point market including one of my all time favorites, Hickory Chair.  Until then, browse around the websites of the companies mentioned above – you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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