Busy Bee!

Posted By Hilary - New York | Jul 09, 2009 | 11 Comments | Category: Furniture, Material Girls Projects

I think I’ve had the busiest two weeks of my life! Well, maybe I’m being over dramatic, but it has been pretty hectic trying to run a business, oh, wait, two businesses, and take care of my two little girls FULL TIME (ok, they go the babysitter’s maybe once a week, but as you can see, they are my little tag alongs for the most part)…


A shipment of new furniture just came in and I decided to take the logistics of shipping it all into my own hands! Bad idea, Hilary! Bad idea! I’ve been schlepping out to my warehouse with a razor blade tearing open furniture in the blazing heat with my poor kids bored out of their minds and turning red in the cheeks from the humidity!

Why it’s worth it:  Cutest chair ever! My daughter (pictured above) screamed when she saw it!


…and this chaise! Wow! Not a chaise you can take a comfy little nap on, but it sure LOOKS good, and you can spill virtually anything on here and it wipes right off! What mother can’t appreciate that!


Thank goodness for my little helpers! They make the insanity worth it!


Chartreuse! One of my favorite colors! This is a new finish I was trying out and it looks so bright and refreshing in person!

I also have an unbelievable project in a very cool NJ home that I am installing this week. I will post picks asap. It is insane!…and so is my life right now! Wish me luck! Any encouraging words from other mothers/businesswomen…please post!

Hello Material Girls!

So this is me! This is my work, and this is what I do!

Glam, Glam, Glam! If you like it, then stay tuned because I am going to share a ton of secrets with you on how to get the look you are after on ANY budget. I am a total bargain hunter, and PROUD of it! This summer I will be going to a ton of NYC Flea markets (I might actually have a booth in a few with my furniture), I will be checking out all the cool hotel lobby decor in the city and taking lots of pics for you. I will be showing you how to get the right inspiration for your space using your favorite celebrity outfits, and once a month I will do an “e-design” of a reader’s room of choice and post it online for all to see! That is just the beginning, I have so many ideas and so many cool places to take you. NYC is really an amazing city and it is going to be so much fun to share it all with you.

A little about me: I started my interior design biz about 4 years ago and have done both residential and commercial spaces throughout the city and beyond. This loft I designed is in Soho and we are in negotiations to have it as a backdrop to a fashion shoot. If it works out I will take “behind the scenes” pictures for you so you can see all the work that goes into a professional shoot. It’s a pretty cool experience.

About the space:

The floors are actually painted wood. I found the pattern in a wallpaper and had a faux finisher painstakingly paint it onto the floors. I was so nervous when they finally peeled the paint up, but it turned out beautiful! The space is a 2,500 sq ft loft with 14 ft ceilings. The living room, dining room, and kitchen are all one open space and you felt lost in it with the high ceilings and low furniture that the previous owners had in there.

TIP: If you have high ceilings and a large open space, your furniture needs to be of a similar scale- i.e.: tall and large. Otherwise it all gets dwarfed by the height of the ceilings. For example, in the photo of the dining room, we used these high-back wing chairs in a patent leather vinyl fabric that we bought from Drexel Heritage, and paired it with the Stark Ghost Chairs, and the custom oversized banquette I made through my furniture company, Liv-Chic. The banquette and wing chairs bring down the height of the ceiling and paired with the low chandeliers, it creates an intimate dining space that does not seem lost in space.

The graphic floor pattern helps to bring all of the spaces together so that the living room does not seem miles away from the kitchen and dining area. The pattern helps your eye pull it all together and see it as one cohesive space. Thus one of the “design elements” we learned in school, UNITY! You want to UNIFY a space. Another element, MOVEMENT. You want your eyes to move around the space as well as up and down, and your eyes are pulled through it by the furniture and accents you place in the room. So therefore, varying heights of the furniture, bringing the chandeliers down low, not hanging pictures all at the same height (hint: place one on top of a tall cabinet rather than hanging it on the wall), placing a large bushy indoor palm tree in the corner to create TEXTURE (another element). These theories which make a space work visually. It’s a science really! We’ll discuss it more!

Until then, Liv-Chic!

As designers we all know that each project is a process. I’ve had what I thought to be small projects take months to complete. I’ve also had projects take years! Take the recent renovation of the famed Plaza Hotel. When I started designing that is was Fall of 2004…Ok, so I’m kidding, I didn’t work on that project. (But it did take years to complete and an estimated 400 Million Dollars!)

My point is when you finally see progress, however small, it’s exciting!

I’d like to share some small progress of my own; my new website! It’s still in the initial stages right now but I couldn’t wait to share since, to me, it has come a long way. (Thank you Mark!) I’ll be posting updates on the progress so stay tuned!

DIY Project

Posted By Abby - New York | Jan 09, 2009 | 1 Comment | Category: Material Girls Projects

I wanted to share a fairly simple DIY (with the help of a friend) project I just finished. I had this empty space under my counter top reserved for a dishwasher but since I’m a renter I’m certainly not investing in a dishwasher. My husband and I had rigged the front panel with hinges and had been using it as a garbage/recycling spot. But after purchasing a used washer/dryer (worth investing in!) I had to rearrange several storage spots in my apartment for things that used to live in the W/D closet. One relocation was the litter box for our foster cat, Stuart. I decided to put it under the counter next to the garbage but then I had to keep the “door” open all the time. I needed a fabric panel so Stu could help himself.

First stop, Fabric.com! An awesome site! They have tons of great fabric at discount prices. Some of my favorites are the Amy Butler fabrics:

She also has super cute patterns for bags, pillows, hats, aprons and more! Makes me want to take sewing lessons!

So I chose a fabric that I thought would compliment the tones of my cabinets and coordinated with a stripe on my rug.

Next stop, sewing machine! Ok, so the last time I actually sewed something was about 12 years ago. I made an apron that had teddy bears on it. Of course my mother helped me and the apron was so cute once completed with the exception of one minor detail, the teddy bears were upside-down!! (An over-site I blame my mother for! And she found it quite amusing.) Anyway, I still wore it and we even made a matching bow-tie for my teddy bear, Bubba. So what’s my point, sewing is not one of my talents! So I recruited a friend with a sewing machine and some basic skills. A few days later I had my curtain! Check out the Before and After:

So much better! Stuart is also very pleased with the convenience.