Archives for February 2013

Symmetry & Asymmetry in Design

It is interesting to see the manner in which a client interprets or understands the elements of balance. When it comes to interior design, I have found that most people either embrace asymmetry wholeheartedly or they prefer the symmetrical route.

Many people understand and relate better to an equal balance of items, such as two matching chairs that flank either side of a fireplace. They prefer, for instance, two matching lamps on two matching tables.  This may be related to the theory that we are either left brained or right brained. Each side of the brain is responsible for different modes of thinking.


Interior Walls Designs - Symmetry

image via Veranda magazine


When it comes to design, does symmetry in your home make you more comfortable? Symmetry achieves balance through repetition of items.

Interior Walls Designs - Symmetry


The left brained individual tends to be analytical and detailed-oriented. While easily comprehending math and science problems, they also tend to look at the parts, not the big picture, of  matters. They are the rule followers, with an emphasis on the specifics and facts in all situations. They tend to understand the concept of symmetry and prefer it in their design. Are they possibly the engineers, accountants, computer programmers or lawyers of the world?

Symmetry  Interior Walls Designs

Designer Phillip Sides via Coastal Living– photo: Tria Giovan, Stylist: Heather Chadduck


Studies say that many right brained individuals are more creative and emotional and tend to take risks. These individuals are many times left-handed. Are these the artists, fashion designers, chefs or graphic designers of the community?

Interior Walls Designs - Asymmetry

Designer Betsy Brown


Interior Walls Design - Asymmetry

 image via pinterest


You may be right brained if you welcome asymmetry into your home. Scale and proportion is utilized in order to give the proper sense of balance. Asymmetry contains different elements that provide equal visual weight.

Interior Walls Designs- Asymmetry

image via pinterest

New Accessories – New Look

Unexpected touches and design details can make any room more interesting. Implementing  these contrasting elements with a mixture of texture and color can transform any space .

Designing a room around pieces that you love is the basis for any good design. Your key furnishings will be the anchor for the room. Consider trading out existing accessories from room to room or purchasing a few new items. Adding these new accessories can provide a fresh, new look.

The key pieces in these rooms are the upholstered chair, credenza and desk. New lighting, mirror, accent table and desk chair were added to modify the look.


New Accessories - New LookTurquoise Chandelier – 22″ dia x 33″ high / Scalloped Mirror 36″ x 47″ / Ceramic Garden Seat/ Fret Work Dining Chair. Pricing and availability through Interior Walls Designs


Light Fixture – 18″ w x 36″ H / Round Mirror – 34″ diameter / Accent Table -Gilded Gold Leaf Finish – 16″ dia. x 18″ H. Pricing and availability through  Interior Walls Designs


New Accessories - New LookChandelier- 24″ dia x 32″ H / Silver and Gold Leaf Mirror – 30″ w x 50″ H/ Gold Accent Table – 18″ dia. x 22″ H. Pricing and availability through Interior Walls Designs

New Accessories- New LookLantern Light Fixture- 14″ w x 36″ H  or 22″ w x 48″ H / Red  Faux Bamboo Mirror/ Black Accent Table – 37″ dia x 27″ H / Arm Chair.  Pricing and availability through Interior Walls Designs




More than a Bookshelf

For most people, decorating a blank wall in your home can be daunting. Does it require a piece of furniture? If so, what then…wallpaper? Or maybe art or possibly a mirror? All of these are welcomed solutions to any space. But think outside the box and consider a built-in bookshelf. It then becomes more than a bookshelf for it is now part of the architecture of the room.


image via Architectural Digest

Millions of books are sold each year. Many books are traded, others borrowed and then there are those borrowed that are never returned. Displaying these books in your home can add that much needed warmth.


image via pinterest

Built-in bookshelves are typically seen in many homes especially around the fireplace. But what about changing it up and placing one around a doorway? Or in a stairwell? Or making a reading nook just for reading?



Some spaces in a home can be divided visually and literally by using a rug, or a piece of furniture. A floor-to ceiling bookcase allows this space to be divided along with adding interest and becoming an architectural feature of the room.

images via pinterest

Ryan Seacrest – A New Home in Hollywood

If you watch any television at all or listen to the radio, you have to be familiar with the name Ryan Seacrest. His fame stems from being the emcee of American Idol for 12 seasons running. Originally from Atlanta, Seacrest’s career started on a local radio show and grew from there heading to Hollywood at age 19 to pursue a broadcasting career. His list of accomplishments are long and quite impressive. Included in these is his own production company, Ryan Seacrest Productions, which he launched in 2006.



In 2008, Seacrest’s California home was featured in Architectural Digest. This home in the Hollywood hills was once owned by Kevin Costner and Richard Dreyfus. Built in the 1970’s, the Mediterranean exterior reveals an old-world feel and charm that you would expect. The design of the interiors follows suit with this Mediterranean styling but with a slight, modern appeal.



Though beautifully decorated and well appointed, I pictured Seacrest in a more modern home. You may then understand my excitement when May of 2012 it was reported that Seacrest purchased the home of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi. And what a house he purchased!


 images via Architectural Digest


Ellen and Portia’s home was also featured in Architectural Digest. This 9,500 square foot home is one that I would love to see in person…clean lines, open and spacious… just good bones. Sitting on three acres of land, this home also offers two guest cottages. It remains to been seen how Seacrest will take this space and make it his own.

Upon entering Ellen and Portia’s dramatically eclectic home, the foyer features a steel and glass ping pong table on a 19th century Agra rug.


Ryan Seacrest - New Hollywood Home


Hanging over the island in their spacious kitchen is a custom-made glass cabinet for displaying tableware.


Ryan Seacrest- New Hollywood Home


The couple has shared a total of seven homes together so it appears it was second nature to sell this one and buy again. Where are they going, you ask? They reportedly bought Brad Pitt’s former house.

And if you know none of these people I speak of, then you really do live under a rock!

all images via Architectural Digest – Photos by Roger Davies

Confident With Color

In my career as a designer, nothing is discussed more and in greater detail than color. There is more passion and opinion given by my clients in regards to color than any other aspect of the entire home. Even more than money or budget.

People are passionate about the presence or the absence of color and how it will be utilized in their home. They definitely have a need and desire for color but is the hardest aspect for them to express. Asking someone what colors they like is a hard question for most people. I have found it is easier to ask my client what colors they do not like or want in their home. This process of elimination will then help determine a color palette for which they are comfortable.

Are you confident with color? Could you be bold and add large amounts of color to your home?

mabley handler hamptons showhoues

 Designer Madley Handler –  Traditional Home

The intensity and the value of the color are always considered in all of my projects. Value is simply how a color reads in terms of being dark or light. Navy is the dark value of blue. Intensity is the brightness of a color such as fire engine red.

Confident in Color

 image via pinterest

Pink is the most gender specific of all the colors. This color is often associated with sweets like candy and bubble gum. Femininity is often linked to this color so plan carefully when using pink.

Confident in Color

image via pinterest

For decades, hospital scrubs have been typically green in color for green is the opposite of red on the color wheel therefore the eye adjusts better when in surgery. Blue is also used today for hospital scrubs for it refreshes a surgeon’s vision when seeing large amounts of red.

According to Psychology Today, choosing a favorite color says a lot about a person. People that like green typically are aware of their reputation and what others think of them.

Confident With Colorimage via pinterest

If your are a fan of the color purple, they say you are a person that is unique and artistic.

Confident With Color

Designer Eileen Kathryn Boyd – Traditional Home