Room Service

Rajni Alex

Rajni Alex Design

Where is this project?
This is my office in Bronxville, New York.

Where did you start?
I wanted the office to make a “wow” statement. The blue wall was our jumping-off point. Everything fell into place around it.

How did you make this room function?
I wanted our office to not only be a place to work, but also a place that fosters creativity, pushes boundaries, and encourages you to think outside the box. The bold colors and unique furniture pieces all come together to show the client what we’re capable of.

What’s your favorite piece in this room?
If I had to pick one thing it would have to be the conference table. The base has a sculptural quality to it.

Where did you find some of these pieces?
The table we got from Organic Modernism, and the chairs are vintage and reupholstered.

Where did you find these chairs?
They’re an eBay find! We reupholstered them in Kelly Wearstler’s Channels fabric. I love the bold graphic nature of the print.

What shade of blue is on the walls?
Van Deusen Blue from Benjamin Moore.

What are the most and least expensive things in this room?
The table is the most expensive, and the West Elm pendants above the table are the least.


Patrick Mele

Patrick Mele Design

Where is this project?
Pelham, New York.

Where did you start?
The antique French wallpaper panels that flank the mirror were the first items we bought for the room. Everything developed from there.

What’s antique?
The chandelier is French early 20th century, the mirror is Italian 1940s, the lamps are Italian 1950s, and the chairs are American from the 1970s.

Anything custom?
The drapery panels, and finishes of the sideboard and table were all custom, as were the lavender platforms that the dining chairs sit on. The seats needed to be higher, so I had the chairs retrofitted. The finishes were chosen to balance the overall palette of the room.

What’s the newest piece in this room?
The sideboard, which was purchased from Baker in the early 2000s, had been finished in a polished oak veneer. The scale and function worked, but we had it hand-painted to resemble a Gustavian piece in “greige” with a slightly lavender undertone.

What’s your favorite piece in this room?
The colorful abstract canvas on the largest wall. What’s the most important piece? The table. It’s where everything happens.

How did you decide to put this palette of colors together?
The French wallpaper panels were the starting point. The colors in them helped drive the overall palette in the rest of the room. It took a while for me to convince my clients to lacquer the walls black, but I knew everything would look like a million bucks against this backdrop. Everyone looks good in black, and the same can be said for your house.

Where did most of the budget go?
There wasn’t one item that broke the bank. I balanced the budget democratically.

Carmiña Roth

Carmiña Roth Interiors

Where is this project?  
Until our recent renovation, this was the living room in my home in mid-country Greenwich.

Where did you start?  
I purchased the twelve-foot Italian Empire-style sideboard for my first apartment in NYC. I was determined to make it work in our house, and this is the only wall where it fit!

Where did you find some of these pieces? 
I purchased the sideboard from an antiques dealer in East Hampton in the mid-’90s. Perhaps my “luckiest” purchase was a Moses Sawyer drawing. I picked it up at a flea market and later discovered that he was an important 20th-century American artist.

How did you put this color palette together?
The living room is long and narrow and standard rug sizes did not fit the proportions. Apadana happened to have one that fit perfectly, and the celadon, greys, and greens were pulled from there. Touches of orange and coral added contrast and picked up accents from adjoining rooms.

What’s the most expensive thing in this room?
The sideboard. It was expensive to begin with, and I had each drawer meticulously lined in an ivory silk moire fabric.


Christina Murphy

Christina Murphy Interiors

Where is this project?
It’s the entry foyer of a Manhattan apartment.

Did you use any of the homeowners’ existing furniture?
Yes, a sideboard that was given to the owners as a wedding gift is in the entry.

Which came first: the green walls or the artwork?
The artwork. We knew the painting was going to hang in the entry, so we wanted a strong shade (Fine Paints of Europe H01950) to work as a beautiful backdrop. Was there a jumping-off point for the room? The painting was a major jumping-off point, but the entry opens onto four other rooms, so all of the colors had to be choreographed to work together.

What’s the oldest piece in the room?
The vintage pagoda armchairs or the ceiling fixtures. I’m guessing both are from the 1940s.

What’s custom?
The bench. We chose the style and proportions based on the overall feel we were trying to convey: something whimsical, stylish, and interesting. It’s modern but based on turn-of-the-century design.

What’s your favorite piece?
The vintage pagoda armchairs are fabulous.

What’s the most important piece of furniture in this space?
I actually think it’s the light fixtures. They’re antique Emil Stejnar flush-mount lights that make the ceiling glow.

Where did most of the budget go?
The antique light fixtures!

Lauren Muse

Muse Interiors

Where is this project?
Armonk, New York.

Where did you start with this room?
We always plan a room in its entirety, so when we present we bring a floor plan with all the components: rug, wall color, sofa, chairs, tables, lighting, etc. We offer ten or twelve options to chose from in each category. Then it’s a balancing act of making the shapes and textures work together.

Is there a piece you think really “makes” this room?
The Statue of Liberty triptych has a lot of impact in person. The homeowners are originally from Manhattan, so that spoke to them.

What’s your favorite piece in this room?
The game table chairs are pretty fantastic. We get a lot of calls off our website asking for those.

Any custom pieces?
The sofa and game table are custom. We had the game table made in Brooklyn, but it could pass as an Asian antique. It’s wrapped in lacquered grasscloth painted a dark charcoal.

Where did most of the budget go?
Not really to one item, though the draperies were a bit of a splurge as there is a lot of labor in them. There are two hand-sewn grosgrain ribbons along both the leading edge and headers.

What was the first piece you bought for this space?
First we lacquered the walls. We love to use Fine Paints of Europe. It’s a great cheat: You can get a lacquer look right out of the can with their Brilliant finish.


Michelle Morgan Harrison

Morgan Harrison Home

Where is this project?
This is a kids’ room in a New Canaan project I did for a young family of six. Two boys share this oversized bonus-style room over the garage.

What was the biggest challenge in this room?
The oval window. Since it’s in a bedroom it needed to be covered to block out the light, but I wanted something more fun than a typical shutter so we went with this fitted oval shade. Knowing in reality it would pretty much stay in place, it had to be fun and become an integral part of the design.

What’s custom?
The bedding with the double-stripe accent of navy and smoky blue. It repeats the colors of the window fabric and the wall stripes.

Where did you find some of these pieces?
Kids’ rooms shouldn’t have to cost a fortune. We purchased West Elm lacquer white desks for each boy and affordable upholstered beds covered in navy vinyl.

Where did most of the budget go?
The carpet and window treatments.

What’s the least expensive thing in this room?
The Ikea Expedite bookshelf. I use it in almost every kid’s room I design. It’s chic, useful, and under $100!

Samantha Knapp

Tiger Lily Interiors

Where is this project?
This is the master bedroom in my home on the Greenwich-Banksville border.

Where did you start?
The drapes. A fabric peddler came to my store and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse: original, discontinued Toile Jacques circa 1982 from Bailey & Griffin. I paid $5 a yard. Duralee recently bought the Bailey & Griffin archives and reintroduced a recolored line. Their similar fabric is $174 a yard.

What’s the newest piece in this room?
The glass coffee table. I am a huge mixologist. For balance, you need a combination of antiques with contemporary buys.

What’s custom in here?
The light fixtures were already in place, so I had the challenge of sketching a custom bed that would play on curves while maximizing height. The slipper chair is hand-tufted in fabric by China Seas-Quadrille, which still hand blocks prints and runs custom orders. That is special to me.

Where did you find some of these pieces?
The pieces range from travel in France to my own backyard (my parent’s house) to antiques centers like Black Rock Galleries.

Where did most of the budget go?
Custom furnishing. I am a big believer in doing it exactly right the first time. There are no savings in a bargain price if you don’t love it.


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