Posts Tagged ‘Architectural Interior Design’

A Mid-Century Modern Home Tour: The Kitchen

November 19th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

As we continue the tour of a mid-century modern style, it’s time to step into the room that continues to be the heart and soul of the home – the kitchen!  Over the years the kitchen has evolved into a multi-purpose space.  There are times it will serve as a four star restaurant, gourmet deli, dining room, office, entertainment room, living room – and all around social hub!

In more modern environments the open kitchen layout and design integrates well into the overall architecture of the home particularly when orienting the kitchen toward the open living space.  Below is the new kitchen floor plan of  our #PalmSprings project.  By removing  existing walls and re-orienting the workspace toward the expansive living area and spectacular mountain view, natural light will instantly flood the living ares of the home.

Modern Kitchen Layout

Open Spaces, Natural Tones, Clean Lines – The open floor plan allows you to interact with your guests while you are in  entertainment mode, making it a much more social, approachable and inclusive experience. Deep architectural elements complimented by light natural tones and clean and simple lines lend a distinctive modern charm to the kitchen.


Image via Mid Century Home

Let the Wood Take Center Stage – Natural wood tones and multiple species are common in this design style. Showcasing the beauty of these woods through the cabinetry and seating is an ideal place to highlight their natural beauty.

MCM Kitch Pinterest_opt

Image via Pinterest

Built-in Banquette and Modern Chairs – These days, a kitchen is not complete without a comfy seating area to enjoy the food and the company of family and friends. Regardless of the size, a sleek built-in banquette would work beautifully within a mid-century modern inspired kitchen. Introduce a pop of color on the tabletop and sprinkle a few Arne Jacobsen chairs around and you have the most stylish breakfast nook for you and homework center for the kids!

banquette pinterest_opt-1

Image Via Pinterest

Use the Right Lighting – Good lighting is essential to a well-functioning kitchen design no matter what style, and selecting a favorite mid century modern pendant for that space can really pack a punch! Whether you’re hanging pendants over your kitchen island or a single fixture over dining table, find your favorite piece. Does the sparkle of a sputnik-like chandelier give you the look you’re after  or is it the avocado PH pendant light?  Either way a stylized modern fixture like these will instantly speak the mid century modern lingo.

Screen Shot 2013-11-18 at 4.17.25 PMImage via Apartment Therapy

I would love to help you design your modern kitchen and full home remodel.  Contact me at Interior Makeovers, Inc. by calling 310-788-0990.



A Mid-Century Modern Home Tour: The Foyer

October 6th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

As we continue working on the Palm Springs project, I want to delve a little more deeply into the dominant style of the region.  Mid-century modern design truly  is a favorite architectural style of mine. The simplicity and authenticity of modern architectural design elements integrated with a site’s natural surroundings provides me with a sense of peace.

The first room of a mid-century modern home we should talk about is the foyer.  As the first room visitors see and feel as they step through the front door, this space sets the entire tone for your home.  Here are a few ideas for incorporating mid-century modern design into your own home:

Retro lighting: Mid-century modern table lamps feature curvy bases and tall shades. Vintage stores, flea markets, even garage sales, are a great place to find retro pieces to bring your mid-century modern design to life. Whether you choose beautiful blown glass with metal accents, solid bold hues that draw the eye, or a retro chandelier, mid-century modern lighting can not only draw attention to your design pieces, but is a design piece in and of itself.  Utilize this both in the chandelier and lamps placed on a console table by the front door.


Image via: Pinterest

Bold Colors: Warm, natural colors are common in mid-century modern design, often mixed with brighter colors that recall the 60′s like tangerine and avocado. Paint your walls with the calming neutrals and bring in bold bursts of color in a floor runner or retro-inspired artwork.

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Image via: Pinterest

Textures and Graphic Patterns: If you’re not sure about the bold colors, consider a neutral palette that brings out use of textures, angles, and graphic patterns either in wall coverings or flooring.  This is where you can have some fun and create some excitement when welcoming guests into your home.


Image via: Habitually Chic

For more information on incorporating mid-century modern design elements into your own home, contact me at Interior Makeovers, Inc. by calling 310-788-0990.



Blogger19 Reunion: Visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

August 11th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

On day 1 of the #Blogger19 Reunion, we were taken on a tour of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  This hospital is a beautifully designed, state of the art facility that is surprisingly cheerful and full of smiles- not what you’d expect from any hospital, much less one that treats such serious illnesses in children…and this is only one aspect of St. Jude that makes this hospital an exceptional facility on every level!

St. Jude Orientation

Morning breakfast and Introduction to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Founder Danny Thomas

Hospitals are often associated with white, sterile environments, austere design, and expensive bills, but St. Jude breaks these assumptions.  No one leaves St. Jude with an astronomical bill- or a bill of any kind.  Treatment, whether outpatient or inpatient, and all other expenses associated with treatment are covered entirely by private and corporate donations.

As you might expect, this adds up to a rather hefty operating cost for the hospital- $1.8 million per day.  While a portion of these costs are covered by government grants, the vast majority of it comes from donations from companies like Brizo and individuals like you and me.  In addition, because St. Jude is a research hospital, they have been instrumental in the astronomical increase in childhood cancer survival rates- now 80-94% instead of the 20% from the hospital’s inception in 1962.

Danny Thomas Research center honoring

The Danny Thomas Research Center displays flags honoring contributing researchers from around the world.

In addition to the difference the hospital makes in its daily operation, St. Jude has also broken boundaries in its design.  They place significant value on the input and comfort of the patients and their families.  Multiple design themes are most important throughout this facility.  The second floor themes range from the zoo to fairytale and travel…while the fourth floor is all recreational themed – which include swimming, track and hot air ballooning. Waiting rooms are designed to be private and quiet, inpatient suites are sound-proofed, and the entire facility is colorfully and very thoughtfully decorated with their patients in mind.


Image Via Haizlip Studio


Image Via Haizlip Studio

Patient artwork is also on display expressing their courage and determination through the personal journeys and challenges they face.


At the end of our tour, we were able to spend some time with these beautiful children working on some fun art activities…and here is a doll house that my little friend decorated.


Touring St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was beyond impressive.  This is an exceptional and highly specialized cancer facility with an infrastructure that rivals a small city! To help this groundbreaking hospital continue their important work, make a donation today!

Intricacy in Metal: The Work of Michael Aram

May 27th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

When I was in New York participating in #BlogTourNYC, I had the opportunity to visit the gallery of designer Michael Aram.  This talented artist creates intricate and organic metal creations for the home, merging art and function with the skills and passion he found while visiting India.

Michael Aram

His work brings the natural beauty of plants, feathers, and the ocean into delicately detailed metal pieces.  Much of his work serves a functional purpose in addition to an aesthetic one; his collections include products like picture frames, serving dishes, and candlesticks that can all be used around the home.  The pieces are made with traditional techniques by his own hand, which lends them life and personality even beyond the gorgeous details present in tree bark vases and the soft lines of a feather-inspired tray.

bark vases

Any of the pieces in Michael Aram’s extensive collection of work would make a delightful addition to a home design.  Imagine serving dinner and surprising your guests when the beautiful acorn sculptures nestled on an oxidized bronze leaf turn out to be the salt and pepper shaker.  You bring out honey in a goldplate apple with a clever arrow-shaft spoon, recalling the story of William Tell.  Bread is served in a metal basket made of silvery woven vines and leaves, and candles flicker from branch-inspired candleholders.

Seeing Aram’s work in person is even more incredible than the online images.  His collections were displayed in a renovated Chelsea Carriage House Showroom, which was the perfect location to set off his ornate pieces.  We had the privilege to hear him talk about his work, his inspiration, and the life-changing trip to India that started it all.  The love he has for his work shows in his speaking as well as in the final products, and it’s inspiring to see.

Aram Talking


Aram gift bag

I would love to hear your thoughts on Michael Aram’s work and how you would use his products to add enchantment to your own home!

Stay Inspired!

Streamlined Home Design Ideas for Comfort and Convenience

May 7th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

Good design is more than just a pretty face. Combining beauty and function into all your home’s decor and design schemes creates a more cozy and accessible environment for every member of your family. Innovative design features geared towards both comfort and convenience will also increase your home’s overall value. Here are a few tips to consider for your home renovations to ensure daily life more streamlined.

  • Easy Reach: Bending, stooping, pulling and pushing — adding these needs to simple tasks like cooking is inefficient and not very ergonomic. Features like pull-out drawers, eye-level shelves and custom closets make things not only more functional, but less cluttered and more visually appealing. Easy accessibility is key.


  • Motion-Sensitive Lights: Stumbling around for a light-switch is a pain, especially when your hands are full. Installing motion-sensitive switches will not only save time looking for a way to turn on the light, but save energy as the lights shut off automatically when the room is empty.
  • Mood lighting: On the topic of lights, replacing traditional toggle switches with more effective mood lighting will also save time and energy. Dimmer switches are easier to control and offer more energy-efficient options when you need a small dose of light. Introducing overlapping pools of light will create the most beautiful atmosphere within a space – large or small.

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  • Bathtub and Shower: Many bathrooms come with standard features that may not be useful to you, like the bathtub and shower combination common in most homes. If you find that you never use your bathtub, consider upgrading to a shower with improved features and controls….from steam to multiple sprays and get the spa feel you’ve been dreaming of.
  • Door Handles: Door handles are a nuisance when your hands are slippery and you need to get in a room. Remove old doorknobs in favor of more elegant handles that offer increased functionality and are more aesthetically pleasing.


Every home presents unique opportunities for streamlined and elegant design tailored to your lifestyle and needs. If you need some tips on how to add comfort and convenience to your home renovations, I’d love to help! Contact me at Interior Makeovers, Inc. for more information.

Stay Inspired! 

Photo Credits:
1.+2.) Houzz
3.) Pinterest

World Tour of Design: Ireland

May 5th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

In this week’s World Tour of Design, lets hop over the pond to the Emerald Isle to take a look at the beautiful design and architecture of Ireland.

Ireland bursts with loads of tradition and culture with an architectural interior design that encompasses many warm and expressive decors. From the quaint thatched roof cottages to the large churches, castles, forts, school houses and even converted lighthouses, Irish design is characterized by an almost whimsical connection to their rich history and a practical grounded connection to the land. With the Gaelic and Celtic cultures, homage is naturally extended to wholesome expressions and strains of Irish religion.

Irish Cottage

Traditional Celtic knotwork and Irish interlace stand as basic symbols of decor in many Irish homes. The designs are intricate and flow fully around picture frames with traditional pictures of history and family.

Irish linen consists of sophisticated, usually reversible patterns regarded world over for its fine weaves. The unique Jacquard and Damask weaves represent outstanding craftwork found in pillow cases, bed sheets and duvet covers.


Today’s modern country styles rest on rustic backgrounds of the lush, green “Emerald Island” concepts that have characterized rustic Irish life.


The Irish House and Home architectural interior design magazine promotes a look of feminine textures and layered neutrals augmented by emerald green – this year’s shade picked by Pantone. Calm color palettes include whites, neutral grays and soft lavenders with colorful stripes extended to accessories. Kitchen designs appear with urban retro looks that engage vintage furniture and ornate candelabras with attractive untreated wood surfaces.

Irish Interior Design

Contact me at Interior Makeovers, Inc. by calling 310-788-0990 for help designing your own home with Irish flair.

Stay Inspired!


Photo Credits:
2 + 3.) Irish House and Home

4.) Houzz

The National Kitchen and Bath Association Turns 50 This Year!

April 26th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | 1 Comment

After returning from the exciting #BlogTourNYC event and The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show also known as KBIS, I was able to see some emerging trends and new products in the industry and enjoyed the opportunity to spend time and exchange ideas with the incredibly talented designers.  The National Kitchen and Bath Association, which was also a Sponsor of #BlogTourNYC, has outdone itself with KBIS 2013, and with good reason: this year marks the NKBA’s 50th anniversary - and they are celebrating in NOLA!


NKBA began as the American Institute of Kitchen Dealers in 1963, intended as an organization to help designers, builders, and other industry professionals communicate and learn from each other.  In the past 50 years, they have grown to an organization of nearly 60,000 members while still staying true to their original goal.

In fact, thanks to KBIS and the NKBA I was among eight designers invited to the show to design and present various spaces geared to a specific demographic using a new interactive and experiential platform called QueX Technology.  (More on that in my next post).


Consumer education is a major goal of the NKBA, and one of the points they have stressed through the BlogTour is that they want consumers to understand the true value of working with a design professional.  With the increasingly easy access to design resources like Houzz, HGTV, and even blogs like this one, the DIY trend has blossomed among homeowners who want to create a whole new look for the home.  If you have a strong grasp on color theory and psychology, small home upgrades like painting are pretty straightforward, but there are numerous small and subtle factors that affect what works and what doesn’t work within a space.

The trained design professional, especially one with extensive experience, has encountered these challenges and caveats and knows how to work within a space making it the best it can be.  A picture of your dream kitchen online or in a magazine is incredibly inspiring, but a trained designer will guide and execute all the elements of the project customizing that design – geared specifically for their client.  This ultimately creates a truly successful project -while saving you time-money-and stress!

Stay tuned for more information from the KBIS show and the Design Studio work I did there!


Photo Credits:

1.) KBIS

2.) NKBA


Barber Wilsons & Co. Making Taps Fit for Royalty

April 12th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | No Comments

If Downton Abbey still has you in its grips, you will love this next #BlogTourNYC Sponsor!  England-based Barber Wilsons & Co. is a creator of fine plumbing fixtures in gorgeous traditional British style.


Barber Wilsons & Co.’s luxury plumbing fixtures are designed for everything from kitchen and bathroom sinks to showers, tubs, and bidets, all in a variety of traditional designs.  To complete the collection, they also have accessories like lever handles and bath plugs to match.  One of their finest features is a Mastercraft styled thermostatic shower valve, which provides the ultimate control over your shower’s temperature.

Barber Wilsons & Co. fittings

This company is the oldest water fittings company in the UK, having been around for more than a hundred years.  They have had plenty of time to perfect their craft and design plumbing fixtures fit for a queen– literally!

In addition to a long and prestigious history, Barber Wilsons & Co. holds a Royal warrant from Her Majesty the Queen of England for at least five years of supplying superb goods or services to her.  The tradition of Royal warrants has been around since the Middle Ages to formally recognize excellent service to the Royal family, and it has very strict guidelines that must be met in order for a business to achieve and keep such an honor.



If you love the traditional style and want fixtures fit for a queen, incorporate these exquisite fittings from Barber Wilsons & Co. into your next bathroom renovation project.  Share your thoughts on these beautiful fittings in the comments below!

Image 1: Barber Wilsons & Co.

Image  2:  Elle Decor

Image 3: Modenus

Stay Inspired!

Blog Tour Sponsor Poggenpohl Kitchens Featured in Three Major Magazines

April 10th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | 1 Comment

In my last two posts, I discussed two of the three sponsors present at the media breakfast I enjoyed on my first day on the #BlogtourNYC, which took place in the showroom of our third sponsor: Poggenpohl.  Poggenpohl is a German kitchen design company that has been truly revolutionary in the past 120 years – they’re even responsible for introducing the concept of the kitchen island, proving they are driven by innovation.

Poggenpohl now offers the largest range of color and material choices with an emphasis on natural walnut and ash heartwood  cabinet fronts. Blending these wooden fronts with their new neutrals in colors of white, sand and grey creates a new modern aesthetic proving that modern design can be interesting, warm and inviting.

Quintessence photo cred (1)

Recently, Poggenpohl partnered with Hearst Publishing’s Designer Visions Showhouse to create unique kitchens that were designed to reflect the styles of three well-known design magazines: Elle Decor, Veranda, and House Beautiful.  With the help of two other #BlogTourNYC sponsors, Jenn-Air and Silestone, and designers Matthew Patrick Smyth, Antony Todd and David Rockwell, they were able to create three truly dreamy kitchens.  My favorite tile source Ann Sacks were also a partnered in this Showhouse.

Elle Decor 1 (1)

In the Elle Decor kitchen, light sand-colored Poggenpohl cabinetry with contemporary pulls contrasts against a large, stormy Ann Sacks tile backsplash and rich gray Silestone countertops.  The effect is modern, sleek, and delicate mixture of masculine and feminine aesthetics.

Veranda 2 (1)

In the Veranda kitchen, the presence of two large windows flooded the kitchen with light, allowing the designer to choose Poggenpohl cabinets in a moody gray with beautiful violet undertones.  Mirrored tile (one of my favorites) from Ann Sacks reflect the light from the windows, helping to create a brighter, larger-looking kitchen.

House Beautiful 2 (1)

The House Beautiful kitchen has a lot of energy in its design, largely a result of the distinct horizontal grain in the Poggenpohl cabinetry chosen.  A mid-tone gray tile covers the back wall, while a light neutral Silestone countertop works with the light tones of the cabinets to create an airy and cheerful kitchen space.

Lori Gilder credJPG (1)

Last year, Poggenpohl celebrated its 120th anniversary, making it the oldest kitchen innovator in the world.  They continue their legacy with cutting-edge design and an eye to the future, an approach that is bound to lead them through another successful 120 years!  I want to thank them for their sponsorship at this wonderful event, and I look forward to seeing more innovative design from them!

Poggenpohl-logo-with-transparency (1)

Many thanks to the  #BlogTourNYC Sponsors Poggenpohl, Silestone and Jenn Air.

Stay Inspired!

Photo credits:

1.) Quintessence

2.) Elle Decor

3.) Veranda

4.) House Beautiful

5.) Lori Gilder

Silestone’s White Zeus and the New Neutrals

April 9th, 2013 by Lori Gilder | 2 Comments

Silestone by Cosentino was another of the generous #BlogTourNYC sponsors who was present at our welcome breakfast on the first day of the tour.  In addition to being a sponsor on the Modenus Blog Tour, Silestone is the manufacturer of a brilliant original compound of the same name, made with natural quartz featuring bacteriostatic protection.  For this reason, Silestone is an ideal material for kitchen countertops and bathrooms thanks to its completely unique antibacterial compound.

Lorenzo Marquez

At the breakfast we had the chance to enjoy a presentation by the company’s Vice President of Marketing, Lorenzo Marquez.  He was proudly introducing a new line of neutral colors available for the Silestone collection.  Called the “Nebula Series,” this group of six new neutrals is inspired by nebulae, the cosmic clouds of gas from which stars are born.  These colors are beautifully subtle, with quiet veining that creates a sense of depth similar to looking into the night sky, especially the Doradus color.  Each color includes the standard features of Silestone products, including a non-porous, antibacterial surface with a high level of durability.  Take a look at this design featuring the Altair color:


What I was most excited about, however, was the introduction of the new White Zeus Extreme surface.  White countertops have always been a favorite of mine, and I’m not alone- so many of my clients have pined after them too!  White Zeus Extreme takes white countertops to a whole new level, offering the whitest white available on the market.  This surface is ideal for modern, transitional and traditional kitchens and bath designs and compliments stainless appliances beautifully.  Sleek and simple or  or distinctively detailed, just vary the edge style to suit your design aesthetic and you’ll have the perfect surface for your countertops.


When contrasted with black appliances and details, your kitchen takes on instant drama and sophistication: absolutely beautiful!


Some homeowners tend to shy away from white counters fearing they may be more difficult to maintain and keep clean, especially those as bright as White Zeus Extreme.  The joy of Silestone, however, is that its non-porous surface requires very little maintenance to keep its beauty.  In addition to its natural durability and antibacterial properties, Silestone doesn’t require sealant like natural stone countertops.


Between their low-maintenance features and wide variety of colors (in addition to the new neutrals they’ve just released!) the possibilities are endless!  This material is so versatile, I can’t think of a design where I couldn’t use it!

Be sure to stay tuned for more updates from the Blog Tour!



BlogTour Badge NYC (tan & white)

Stay Inspired!


Image 1: Lori Gilder

Images 2,3,4,5 : Silestone