Kips Bay house

Kips Bay is a Decorator Showhouse, which means interior designers dress up rooms to look pretty and people pay to see it. People pay because it raises money for charity. I don’t remember which charity, and yes, this makes me terrible and shallow. To make my confession even worse, I couldn’t give a toss which charity gets the money. I just want to see what the designers have done.

This isn’t to say that I’m not happy that a charity is getting some money from it, of course. That’s always a nice thing.

The room above is by Maureen Footer. This is what a designed space should be. It’s somewhat edgy with the colors and the shapes. It goes on a limb with the kitschy gaudy table lamps. It looks finished, bold, and is steeped with personality. I love this room – even if I couldn’t live in it.

The kitchen, on the other hand, is cold and dull. It’s about as welcoming as Ducky’s morgue on NCIS, sans Ducky. And I’m sick of those clear plastic chairs. They are overused in design right now.

At least there’s no twigs in a vase.

The living room by Alexa Hampton, above, is another disappointment. Yes, the room is gorgeous and done in exquisite taste. I would totally live there if given the opportunity.

So what is my problem?

There are absolutely no risks taken in this room. It’s safe, it’s steadfast, and that isn’t what I want from Kips Bay. I want something out of the ordinary. Something daring. Not a copy of an Ethan Allen showroom. Where’s the edge?

Color by color: Yellow



Yellow is one of the most talked about colors of all.  It can be associated with vitality and sunshine, or seen as a blaring nusciance.  Depending on the way it is used in a designers line up, you either love it or hate it!  I love it in the Mexican adobe house shown above.


Typically used in kitchens, yellow brings in the concept of a ” sunny breakfast nook”.  Shown here in much lighter tones it is rather soothing.  White is a natural partner for yellow.  It blends nicely when used as an accent on trim, garden furniture and accessories like these white dishes. 


This is a little overwhelming for a bathroom… a bit too much yellow for me!  Painting the yellow wall on the right white would help and adding a colorful shower curtain may take it over the top as a “so ugly it’s beautiful” room.


The soft yellow walls in this French country kitchen bring the light in from outside. Additional subtle accents of deep golden yellow ceramic dishes and the white counter top are great compliments.

Yellow is happy, vibrant and joyful… it breathes life into all it surrounds!

Zoli Havazelet Neuman – Israeli interior designer

Zoli Havazelet Neuman is an Israeli interior designer who I found while doing a random search on Her work leaves a blank canvas for the homeowner to put their personal touch on (read that whatever way you would like – you would probably be right.) The salon (above and below) have a ‘carpet’ of wood inlay giving a coziness to the space. I would have liked a bit of color, but designers have to go within the realms of their clients taste.

The fake brick wall above has me torn. I can understand why the spaces would be separated in order to create a more formal dining area. I understand how the brick ads interest and texture. I just don’t know if I actually like it or not. I’ve always thought of brick as an outside of the house material. It should be red, and the home should be located somewhere in the Northeast US surrounded by trees and a white picket fence. Here brick is used as the modern equivalent of wallpaper, only it can’t be changed as easily. My concern is that this will end up being a fad, and once the fad is over it will look sad and dated and will be a pain to change.

I love the color mix on the walls of the TV room above. I find it funny that the TV is the focus point instead of the cool old school looking furnace. That is a strictly Israeli thing IMHO – here one can’t be bothered acting as if the room is used for anything but TV, when any other country would want to focus on the oven and have the TV as an afterthought.

I like the clean walkway above. The white built in drawers are a practical addition and the chairs have a nice shape. I also like the wood detail bordering the room.

The kitchen design is simple, but effective. The set-in handles are interesting and I love the pot-rack. I’m not totally certain what the point is of the hood over the stove when there are two windows which can be opened…

Store review: habitat

Before I decided to feature this store, I thought to myself “everyone knows this place”  but this may not be fact. I think habitat is a store worth sharing.

This is a relatively large store with a modern flair. The first time I saw habitat I was in London. I believe it was a branch of Sir “Terrance Conran’s” design empire.

If you are into modern stuff, you may be able to find the item at habitat here in Israel. I keep seeing these plexiglass chairs all over the place…

 I moved on from plastic furniture a while ago, but it seems like it is still in fashion. I do love this fiberglass (reinforced plastic) bodied rocker shown here. I guess it’s a case of different types of plastics for different folks!

Great bathroom – too bad about that light

I’m ignoring the awful interior design faux pas favorite of the twigs in a vase and focusing on that cheap-looking hanging lamp instead. I am all for ‘cheap and cheerful’ design (G-d knows my house has enough of it.)

But look at that bathroom. The square toilet, the black tiny mosaic tile, the specialty extra large rectangle sink and that designer ultra-thin faucet. The one slice of color with the red something-or-other in a dish by the toilet. Every piece in this room has been picked with the utmost of care. Even the awful twigs in a vase.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking… ‘What about those drab, dull, and boring shell pictures on the wall opposite the mirror?’ You know, I was really hoping you wouldn’t mention that, because I am purposely ignoring them as well.

Back to the lamp. I hate the limp cord attached to the holding cord. Why can’t they just design a cord where the electricity line is inside the holding line so that there doesn’t need to be that extra piece attempting (and failing) to look like a piece of the design? It looks cheap and it’s hung like an afterthought. ‘Oh crap, there’s no reading light by the toilet. Throw this up.’

I would much much rather have a chandelier there instead. Something like this:

Of course, this has the annoying limp electric line with the taut holding line as well, but it was the best example I could find on Lighting. They used to have one that was all black and didn’t have the cord thing, but I couldn’t find it on my search today.

Wall decals 1,2,3!

This new trend in wall decals is everywhere. I have seen it in current publications, in designer collections and also at IKEA. For what it is worth, this is an easy way to dress up a room without much effort. By adding a vibrant wall color, it makes this product look like a million bucks!

I can see a teenager just “flipping” over these designer circles and how about some bamboo decals for the office or studio?

Wall decals are here today! 

Store review: B.Knit, fine bedding and fashion too!

 B.Knit carries a line of monochromatic bedding and a small line of clothing to match. The collection looks very Italian, but the line is “Made in Israel”. You can visit their new store that just opened up at 238 Dizengoff street here in Tel Aviv or one of their other outlets shown on their website.

Their blankets are exceptionally nice. I love the weaves and texures…

If subtle is your look, then B.Knit is the place for you.

Store review: Bauhaus Center

The first time I saw Tel Aviv twenty years ago, I said to myself “what a plain and kind of ugly city”…

Since then I have fallen in love with this “town”. Did you know that Tel Aviv has the largest concentration of Bauhaus buildings in the world? There are between 4,000 and 5,000 buildings in this style, which started emerging here in the 1930′s.

Bauhaus Center, located in the heart of Tel Aviv at 99 Dizengoff street is great gift shop. They carry a wide variety of whimsical products that are all somehow connected to the era of Bauhaus.

I am usually not one for minatures, but these are just soooo darn cute!

And then they have these lamps… I am not sure I see the Bauhaus connection here, but I think they are clever and if addded to a room would make good conversation pieces.

Overall, Bauhaus Center has a lot to offer in the Bauhaus style for small, medium and large gift items, it definately deserves a visit!

Decorating rule 60, 30, 10…

That’s right, there are rules in the world of interior decorating.
Are you familiar with the “60, 30, 10 rule“?
It’s really pretty simple.

look at a photo of the room you are
decorating and divide it up.

60% of a dominant color
30% of a secondary color
10% of an accent color

Rule translation:
60% wall color
30% upholstry
10% accesories/ other color

This room shows a clear example of this rule.

60% yellow
30% cream / white
10% orange

The result is a balanced, visually pleasing room whth just the right amount of everything.

Let’s do another one...

60% Khaki walls
30% White couch & trim
10% black accessories

This one is a challenge…

Since the outside is very dominant, you have to consider it as a part of this scheme.

60% lavendar (I am banking on there being a lot more unseen wall)
30% Blue & Green
10% White trim

What do you think?