Investing in Luxury: top decorating tips for investment properties

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

It’s utterly lucrative to invest in the next hottest real estate opportunity and many of these are disguised as vacation homes that get rented occasionally.  With sought-after high-rise condo properties that offer ocean views like those steadily springing up along South Florida’s coastline, luxury living is inevitable.  But beside the obvious luxury perks like full concierge and full amenities, these properties are blank canvas and require an equal amount of luxury design to make them on par with their backdrops.  Here are a few decorating tip that guarantee exactly that:

Function is key and most of the time, storage is one of the most important elements which is why it is pivotal to invest into custom closets and wardrobes.  Ranging from simple to elaborate, functional closet organization is truly essential in every room as well as at the entrance, kitchen pantry and bathrooms.  Some stunning examples include Plana collection by Pianca and Tecnopolis collection by Presotto.

Plana collection by Pianca

Plana collection by Pianca

Tecnopolis collection by Presotto

Tecnopolis collection by Presotto

Sophisticated window treatments and ambient light fixtures are also popular luxury barometers as are wall coverings and smartly placed furnishings.  So choose wisely by selecting finishes and materials that have a wide appeal and also are consistent with the look and feel of the condo property.  Some properties have a clean modern look while others offer a more transitional vibe.  Check out Big table by Bonaldo with the colorful base in an all-white condo space that certainly gives off an art-deco, Miami-like style.

Big dining table by Bonaldo

Big dining table by Bonaldo

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How often and how the areas behind and underneath heavy furniture should be cleaned?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

To start with, cleaning behind and under large furniture is not as intimidating as it seems.  If anything, avoiding the shocking discovery of dust and dirt hidden by furniture only when moving or renovating should be the main reason behind planning to better upkeep the more challenging areas of our interiors.  So how often and how should these areas be cleaned?

The hard-to-reach areas like the ones under a bed, around the sofa, and behind the buffet, should be cleaned at least every 6 months.  This can be done by either moving the furniture or creatively reaching the areas under-and-behind these pieces.

But before we proceed with various ways to move furniture, let’s take a step back and discuss the type of furniture that should be selected if the choice is there.  To prevent having to move heavy furniture, albeit twice a year, chose furniture on legs with easy access to the space underneath.  Examples of such options include the Nelson bed by Cattelan Italia, Sunset sectional by Gamma Arredamenti and Tide buffet Karim Rashid for Horm.

Sunset sectional by Gamma Arredamenti

Sunset sectional by Gamma Arredamenti

If the space under the furniture is almost non-existent, try a stick vacuum or any other tool with small footprint.  And also plan ahead.  When installing new furniture or moving in, add felt pads to heavier furniture that are standing on hardwood or tile floors.

3 reasons why poufs and ottomans offer so much more to modern interiors

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Poufs, footstools and ottomans are no longer designed and used for their sole and primary purpose.  Instead, manufacturers are rethinking their original purpose in innovative ways, adding not just sculptural originality but also functional enhancement with value for every space around the house.  While the fundamental objective of an ottoman remains as it was, the following modern ottomans offer storage, a source of light and sculptural integrity.

1. Visual originality – Earth Wind and Fire Poufs by Gino Carollo for Bonaldo are meant to be used as a composition or individually; turning from a single seat into a bench while enriching the visual value of their surroundings.

Earth Wind and Fire Poufs by Bonaldo

Earth Wind and Fire Poufs by Bonaldo

2. Storage – functionally convenient without visually depreciating the overall design impact, Secret ottoman by Mauro Lipparini offer storage and a seating solution at once.  The same stunning aesthetic dominion and functional brilliance applies to Plisse ottoman by Tonin Casa and the smart stool trio of Freddy, Bruce and Sugar by Gamma Arredamenti.

Secret ottoman by Mauro Lipparini

Secret ottoman by Mauro Lipparini

Plisse ottoman by Tonin Casa

Plisse ottoman by Tonin Casa

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Color Story: Earth Tones in the Family Room

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

What’s more welcoming than a palette that signifies warmth and coziness?  Decorating with earth tones is easier than ever with the addition of modern colors that have minimal yellow and orange undertones but instead have delicate hints of grey, an example of which can be seen with the exquisite leather upholstery of Sunset sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti.  Additionally, reinvention and reintroduction of precious metal finishes like bronze and copper inserts a new dimension to everyday objects like the Kadoo coat rack and the Apollo chandelier both of which have dynamic natures thanks to their metallic finishes.  And finally, natural influences like the walnut wood of Lingotto coffee table, cotton chenille of the Delhi area rug or the cooper stone facade of Presotto’s I-ModuleArt wall unit allude to the inviting and softening aspect of organic textures in the realm of modern decor.

Earth tones in the modern family room

4 types of leather and what you need to know about each

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Full grain leather is the most natural unhindered form of leather.  It is the closest leather type to rawhide and features imperfections like scars and stretch marks on its surface.   It is not corrected and does not show uniform grain, varying from animal to animal in its surface.  Full grain leather maintains all of its natural grain and is known for its strength and durability.  With time, full grain leather develops a patina that also signals of its high quality.  Full grain leather is available as aniline leather which is the most expansive, highly coveted leather and is also the most commonly used leather upholstery top Italian sofa manufacturers like Cierre and Gamma Arredamenti.  It is dyed with mild dyes that don’t cover the surface with paint or pigments, which preserves the hide’s natural surface including all of its grain and all the imperfections.  Full grain leather can also be semi-aniline which follows the same process as aniline leather only it also includes a thin protective top coat for better wear and stain prevention.  A superb close-up of full grain aniline leather can be seen on the Kong sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti.

Kong sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti

Kong sectional sofa by Gamma Arredamenti

Top grain leather is the next best thing after full grain leather and also the most frequently used in leather sofas and sectionals.  Top grain leather is stain resistant because it’s surface is buffed and sanded after which it is also coated by a protective surface.

Top grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Top grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Corrected grain leather is lower quality and has been artificially embossed to match the grain in a more uniform texture.  The “corrected” look hides all the imperfections and is most often available in many colors.  Corrected grain leather is available as semi-aniline (see above) and pigmented.

Corrected grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Corrected grain leather by Gamma Arredamenti

Bycast Leather is a combination of split leather with a polyurethane film laminated to the surface.  It is rigid and cheaper than top grain leather.  It features a uniform surface because it is manually embossed and is very easy to maintain.  Bycast leather cannot be repaired like natural leather.