Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Interior Design: 4 Paint Tips

Paint is one of the easiest ways to transform a wall, ceiling, floor, an entire room, or piece of furniture into something entirely different. Color is the beginning of the journey, but it’s far from the whole story. Metallics, suedes, stenciling, and other dramatic effects can be achieved with a paint brush or roller. 

1. Be Inspired: Color inspiration can come from anywhere or anything. It can be found in a favorite toss pillow, part of a rug pattern, in a piece of art, or from nature. Your primary color choice will serve as a launch pad for adding fabrics, furnishings, accessories, and other colors.

2. Try Before Committing: Light affects colors. They will look different at various times of day, as a result of the amount of natural and artificial light, and even on different walls in the same room. Buy pint sized cans of a few optional colors, and paint two coats on each wall. Make certain you allow the paint to dry before making a decision. 

3. Choose The Right Finish: Flat or matte finishes hide imperfections. Eggshell is my preferred finish for walls - it has a slight sheen which adds an elegant aesthetic, and is easier to clean. Semi-gloss is the workhorse finish, perfect for furniture and areas that need frequent cleaning. High gloss is dramatic, and also easy to clean. I use it for special pieces of furniture and trims.

4. Use High Quality Paint: The better the quality, the finer and smoother the finish, and the more saturated the color will appear. Sherwin Williams' Emerald paint is self-priming - a great time saver.

Source: Sherwin-Williams

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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Interior Design: Into The Woods

Contemporary interiors are often predictable and forgetable – black/white/chrome…over and over and over.  I sometimes forget whose apartment I’m visiting because so many of them look alike. For my clients, visual interest is derived from textural variety rather than pattern or color. I temper the typically strict contemporary black/white/chrome color scheme by incorporating shades of gray, stainless, and the organic color and tactile fabrication of wood. The introduction of the patterns of delicate wood graining turn ordinary into extraordinary. 

For an ongoing project, the 3/3 condo’s entertainment spaces are pale and airy – far from dull. The cocktail and dining (surface) tables are teak, serving as counterpoint to lightly textured white leather sofa and chairs and white marble floors with subtle veining. The two tables, on opposite sides of the open floor plan, balance and unite the two areas.

Other wood furnishings include custom 130 pound African Mahogany interior doors with a medium dark stain, likewise the kitchen’s cabinetry. Separating living from dining spaces is a rosewood sideboard with exquisite character
Custom Interior Doors by Robin Lechner
Bedroom floors are sanded and stained to carry the warm and welcoming look of wood throughout the private areas of the apartment.

Integrating wood into a contemporary design scheme adds natural beauty. And because designs range from free-form to sleek and crisp lines, you’ll be sure to find pieces that complement your style.

For more inspirational ideas for incorporating wood into your design scheme, contact me at 
Robin Lechner Designs, 
call 305-940-7892 or 631-848-8469, 
or send an email with your questions.

Wood Finishes
Stay Inspired! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

BATHROOMS - Interior Design Trends 2013-2014

Bathrooms, along with kitchens, are rooms I’m most often called upon to update. If you’re thinking about updating or adding a bathroom, while fantasizing about the enjoyment factor, think too, in terms of its investment value. Redecorating a bathroom will add value to your home so when you sell, you’ll enjoy a return on your investment along with potential for a profit. The amount of profit depends on the quality of materials and amount of wear and tear. That being said, a bathroom should be finished with high quality components and be well planned.

What are the important bathroom trends to incorporate in order to create an elegant, high end bathroom?

Colors – Think of powder rooms as large jewel boxes. They can be any color. I like to dress them up by adding sparkle and a bit of whimsy, sometimes using unusual sconces, wallpaper (remember the ceiling – the 5th wall), an ornate faucet set, artwork, elaborate (but elegant) accessories, and perhaps a chandelier.

For bathrooms used daily, select colors that flatter skin tones. Pastels in peach, pink, beige, warm whites, sea foam (a blue/green), work beautifully with any d├ęcor style. Tile* is preferable to paint. If the room is well ventilated, vinyl wallpaper is a beautiful as well as a durable choice. My favorite wall treatments are architectural applications that have depth and movement. Try sculptural porcelain tiling (see top photo).

Vanities – Continue the use of color onto your vanities. Use unique wood tone stains, keeping the natural grain: light and dark maples, oaks, walnut, stained toast, gray, bleached, for example.

Explore some of the new vanity surfaces like quartz that offers some exquisite designs and colorations.

Fixtures – Double sinks! If you’ve never had them, you don’t know what you’re missing. They’re
worth the sacrifice of space. Keep toilets, sinks, bidets neutral: white, bisque, maybe light gray.  Dark colors show water spots and are a full time job to keep clean.

Chrome, Brushed Nickel, Bronze (not Brass) faucets and handle sets with beautiful sleek lines that integrate the other bathroom elements are trending – avoid statement pieces that quickly become dated.

Water saving features, double flush toilets, comfort height seats, and other eco-friendly options that don’t affect performance are gaining in popularity.

Lighting – Like their fixture cousins above, lighting should tie-in with other bathroom elements. Keep them simple but ample. They should go with your faucet selection. I’m partial to vertical frosted tube lights that flank recessed medicine cabinets for ease in applying makeup or shaving. Add to that an overhead fixture and some recessed lighting for excellent total illumination. By giving each element its own switch, you have a range of lighting options.

Floors – Radiant heat (under floor heating) is a luxury that is also practical. It is an efficient way to heat small spaces and reduce humidity. It may not be as popular in Florida as it is in NY, but everyone can appreciate comfy floors that are warm and dry on a cool morning. Marble floors remain the material of choice, but porcelain is a less expensive alternative to marble.

Showers – Install a separate shower enclosure with frameless glass. If there’s not enough 
Trending - Sliding 'Barn Doors'
space, explore the option of a p-shaped shower/bath. A swing-out door is more highly valued than sliding doors if you have room.

Style – Sleek contemporary styles and natural materials remain strong, though modern and transitional styles are dominant alternatives.

Furniture – Smart storage solutions hide clutter and maximize space. Vanities, laundry baskets, recessed medicine cabinets, and sleek case goods are ideal to create space in more compact bathrooms and can be used as stylish features in larger rooms.

A Venetian Glass Mirror is an

excellent foil.
The good thing about these trends is that they’re not going out of style any time soon. They work in bathrooms of all sizes, adapt to work with any design style, and add to quality of life – sound investments.

*A Note on Tile: Ask the tile salesman or your interior designer about absorption rate. The greater exposure to water, the lower the absorption rate should be.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

ANNOUNCING! The official color of 2012 according to the Pantone Color Institute is Tangerine Tango. It's an electric orange red, warm uplifting, energizing, and can be used as an interior design neutral. Works as a great color for an entry hall, dining room, library walls. I don't suggest it for a kitchen or bedroom, but it certainly works for accessory items to add pop to a room.

Need help on adding Tangerine Tango to your home? Call or email: 631-848-8469 or