I've recently moved from downtown Manhattan to an apartment in the Upper East Side – and considering that my job is to immerse myself in the world of interior designers and learn about their products, I couldn't have chosen a better neighborhood!
I'm blocks from the D&D building, and within short walking distance to any number of antique shops, rug and flooring showrooms, design firms, and much more. (I'm also dangerously close to Bloomingdales and Dylan's Candy Bar, but that's another story).
Being surrounded by all of these incredible design shops is inspiring me to do the best I can with the (very) small square footage of my new place; it's amazing how minor accents, especially in a small space, make such a big difference. A stonewashed Belgian linen sheet set in graphite from Restoration Hardware, for example, offset with a large yellow accent pillow, and my own addition and proud focal point: a vintage Hudson's Bay wool striped blanket (perfect for cold winter nights, as our Canadian readers will appreciate!)
I'm taking my time, adding bits and pieces until the apartment becomes my own; it's helped me understand how important every detail of a guestroom is in evoking a desired feeling or reaction. When you have that one spectacular piece of furniture, or that custom wallpaper, it becomes a focal point that makes people happy. And conversely, when you have a careless rug or an uncomfortable desk chair, those things stand out too. Every piece is part of the bigger, complete picture that makes an individual want to spend time in the space you've created, whether it's a guestroom, bathroom, or lobby.
Hudson's Bay Company Point Blanket
In speaking with designers, it's apparent that many home owners are inspired by what they see while travelling and staying in hotels; a color, a texture, a shape that inspires such a strong positive reaction, guests want to recreate it in their own home. Now, I feel like that on a day-to-day basis. I may need to add shopping restraint to my list of New Year's Resolutions!