Thursday, October 25, 2012

ELLE DECOR: The Luxury Report

Like so much else in life, luxury is relative. When it comes to interior design, the concept is often invoked, but its meaning can take many forms. So what’s relevant today? To find out, we surveyed the profession and turned to some of our favorite designers for their insights on what constitutes real luxury now.

Elle D├ęcor conducted a survey of over 400 members of the magazine’s Designer Registry in an effort to uncover what luxury means to designers today. The survey asked what are the luxury trends, what's luxury now, what's out, and what counts now? It explores how the economy is affecting luxury to quality vs. quantity, big vs. small and what the most important staple item in a luxury home is.

And I'm featured! How cool.

*Here are some highlights from the survey..........
• More than 76% of designers feel 2013 will be a better year for their business. Only 3% think it will be worse.

• The most frequent purchases that designers will make include fabrics and wall coverings at 64%; followed by carpeting and rugs at 50%. Paint will be the most frequently purchased with 69% of designers buying it seven times or more.

• More than half the designers surveyed believe they will commission custom pieces for clients just as frequently—75% say they are creating custom work for clients as often or more than before the recession.

• Quality beats everything else in determining what constitutes true luxury, with 68% of designers citing it as the single most important factor. No other aspect reached even double digits in the survey.

• What’s the most crucial amenity for a luxury home? A whopping 74% of designers listed a spa bath. Outdoor kitchens, home gyms, and pools were cited by more than 60%.

• 72% of designers say they will make at least seven art/antiques purchases within the next 12 months. 

• The other big purchase? Appliances. 58% plan to spec major appliances for clients at least three times within the year.

• 34% of designers agree that of primary importance in propelling a home into the luxury category is location. Architectural elements are second, with nearly 27% selecting that factor. Only 1% mentioned square footage.

*The survey went beyond statistics and asked top designers to weigh in with their thoughts about luxury........

“Luxury is more a state of mind than a state of pocketbook,” said Ann McDonald of Couture Chateau. “It’s the confidence you have in being happy and content and without worries.”

"Luxury is defining your life so it fits your needs." -Richard Mishaan of Richard Mishaan Design.

"People now need the professionalism of an interior designer more than ever. A GOOD designer makes your home look wonderful; a GREAT designer does so while saving money and avoiding mistakes." -Mark Sunderland of Mark Sunderland Interiors

Read more about it...


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shepherd Center

As many of you know,.....I've volunteered at Shepherd Center (the ABI.....Aquired Brain Injury........floor) EVERY Thursday afternoon/evening........for the past 6+ years.

It is my favourite day of the week.  I can go there at 4 pm, exhausted from a productive day of decorating,....and 3 hours later, leave REFRESHED with my head back-on-straight.  

I volunteer in honour of my buddy, Michael O'Neill, who was my first Design-Assistant at Beverly Hall Furniture Galleries.

Michael and I email each other often,.......CHECK OUT his new apartment.......even with a brain injury, he can still decorate with flair and sophistication.  I'm so proud of my friend, Michael.

Last year, I was asked to be on the Shepherd Center Advisory Board, an honour to be sure.

In memory of my late father, Corp. James R. Sunderland, Sr. (WWII, South Pacific), I accept donations from my many friends and clients for Shepherd Center's SHARE PROGRAM.

Learn more...... Patient Care | Donate

I love to "Pay It Forward,"......ESPECIALLY for Shepherd Center.

Give if you can, or forward this to an American friend who values our Military as much as I do.

Thanks, All!
*Download the new Fall issue of "Spinal Column" magazine here.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Arthur Cohen: In Remembrance.........

So sad to hear this from Anne Irwin (one of my favourite art galleries in Atlanta).
I am delighted to say that I have 3 works by Mr. Cohen, and I love each one of them equally....

Framed by Digital Arts Studios,... in an industrial-metal frame with riveting.

What a loss to the Art Community.........

Arthur Cohen

It is with great sadness that Anne Irwin Fine Art announces the passing of one of the great 20th century artists, Arthur Cohen.  Anne represented Arthur for over 10 years and became a great friend of the artist.  His education was stellar including Cooper Union and the Art Students League where he became a contemporary of such artists as Motherwell, Calvin Trillin, Ben Sonnenbery and others.

Cohen, was a bright and shining star in the art world, having been represented by the Forum Gallery in New York as well as showing in galleries all over the North East.  His awards are too numerous to list, but among the most prestigious are:  the Pollack-Kasner Award, Guggenheim Award and the Child Hassam Purchase award. American Academy of Arts and Letters.

He was in renowned collections, Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, J. Walter Thompson Agency, New York, Bank of Boston among others.

Perhaps the most important acclaim he received was from his peers.  He hangs in the private collections of Wolf Kahn, Lise Motherwell, and other well know artists.

His museum Collections reads as a who’s who in the art world.  Among the most prestigious include Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC.

Arthur Cohen was a accomplished man and one that will be sadly missed in the art world.  And by those that collected his work.

  Anne Irwin
Gallery Owner
Anne Irwin Fine Art


Monday, October 8, 2012


Here's the loveseat that started the project.......
My clients LOVED my mitred pillows, made from my drapery workroom (and BFF, Marlene)!!!!

...wanted to share with my loyal followers that this Designer sometimes "goes outside the box" and has fun with COLOUR.

Several years back, this client wanted a "punch" of colour for her sunroom.  She had a dated loveseat, and needed me to re-upholster it (and have my upholsterer make a couple inexpensive chairs to compliment the loveseat).

I grabbed a couple small paintings from her wall that she and her husband had bought in the Caribbean.  These two treasures were my inspiration for the entire project,'s how I work,.......paying attention to my clients' love of art and travel.

I called this my trefoil "birthday cake" ottoman!!!!!!!

.......I found these antique Chinese ceramic fish (they were used in the  1920s to hang flowers on the wall) and had them made into great lamps.  Fantastic bowls, potpourri, and other accessories were the clients; they have WONDERFUL things from their travels!!!!

I had these chairs made from scratch from my upholsterer,......VERY-reasonably-priced!

The photos show the furniture I had installed in her sunroom on Clifton Road, and they worked JUST-PERFECTLY in her new Dream House that she and her husband bought on Springdale, in Druid Hills.  Soon after the Big Move, their house was chosen for The Druid Hills Tour of Homes; I was so touched and honoured, be sure!