Reboot/Rethink/Rediscover

My self quarantine started 14 days ago when I flew back to NYC from the Netherlands Antilles, better known to most as St Maarten. My sunny sky and turquoise water memories seen like a distant dream already! Usually (nothing seems usual these days) when one returns from vacation within a few days your memories start to fade, you jump right back into your routine (nothing seems routine these days) and life goes on as expected (nothing seems expected these days)…but my return was far from usual, routine or expected, quite frankly it was scary.

I was actually on my original scheduled flight back to JFK one of the last flights out of St Maarten before the flight ban was enforced. I was one of the lucky ones who had a ticket and did not have to wait on standby to try and leave this beautiful island to return to the rumored chaos at JFK customs. Adorned with a face mask (I actually always travel with an emergency one that a friend gave me a year ago when I returned home sick from overseas…which was never used until 14 days ago) and plastic gloves that I picked up in a grocery store in St Maarten! I felt like an alien coming back to my own country! I left 10 days prior to my return and honestly I arrived on what seemed to be another planet!

Fast forward 14 days….where I have been self quarantined 60 miles outside of NYC in our home that I adore! A place usually where family & friends visit and enjoy cookouts, kayaks, beach adventures and more…but this visit was different, it was indefinite and not in a positive way..not in a vacation type of way and not in a “let’s have friends over way”! This was serious as I needed to sequester myself into my own room and bathroom, eat separately and maintain my distance from my husband and son (my daughter is sequestered in Holland due to her studies and could not get home in time before the chaos started) Our lives were not usual, routine or expected anymore!

Looking back during these past 14 days…and looking ahead to when life will return to a more usual, routine and expected way..I realized that I will not return to my usual, routine and expected life…the world has changed and so have I….here’s where the “Reboot, Rethink & Rediscover” awareness comes in…I keep asking myself what can we all learn from this, is this an opportunity to change our thinking…and I believe it is. I know that I feel I can live with less, make food last longer while not wasting any of it. I tried new recipes, read many books and cleaned my home like I never did before! I am teaching myself new computer programs and zooming with our designers all over the country and overseas! We are all nervous with the uncertainty that lies ahead but are up for the challenge of coming back wiser, stronger and more compassionate. I have to BELIEVE that my design team will return to our beautiful design studio in nyc where we can once again collaborate in person and learn from each other…but until that time I am rebooting, rethinking and rediscovering…My new attic office that I created today with items from other rooms in the farmhouse. I dreamt of doing this for years… I am so excited to work in this space tomorrow surrounded by many of my favorite things. This farm table was a find from the Brimfield antique market from 20+ years ago, our antique chair has been in the family for the past 30+ years and recently was reupholstered with my Studio NYC Design fabric and of course our rattan ottoman from Home Nature in Southampton that will serve as another work space for my desktop computer!

Prior to my attic office I was using our guest room as a work space before realizing that this quarantine will last many more weeks and I needed a larger space to work and create!

I do not see a Dead End…I see New Beginnings🙏🏻and I am grateful to the frontline heroes who are helping our country respond to this pandemic, every healthcare worker, EMT, police officer, firefighter, grocer, trucker, store clerk, mail carrier, hospital staff and nurses/doctors and countless others who have stepped up during these uncertain times.

Other imagery:

East Quogue Rainbow Chalk Drawing

Beach Wave Walk By Myself

Brimfield Desk Cleaning

Homemade Goat Cheese, Spinach, Leek and Mushroom Quiche

Social Distancing Seagulls

Remnants Of The Day Sandcastle

Nature Walk By Myself

New Beginnings

All Images Property of Color, Chaos & Creativity.

Textile Treasures…NYSID Kravet Archive Exhibit Tour

If you love textiles and their history then it might just be time to experience the Archive of Archives curated by Kravet. Honored to be a part of this small intimate group associated with the New York Chapter of the IFDA to tour this exhibit at The New York School of Interior Design at 170 East 70th Street in New York City.

Preserving the history of these precious pieces so future generations can trace their legacy and learn from past artisans going back hundreds if not thousands of years is a true gift.

Special thanks to the Kravet family for sharing their love and appreciation for these incredible pieces of textile art.

Tree of Life (9 Foot Repeat)

Ellen Kravet sharing an original wood block panel.

Original archive painted paisley.

Woodblock and printed textile. Notice the printed piece is a reverse of the actual woodblock panel.

Sample swatch book.

Miscellaneous Woodblock Panels.

For further information regarding the Kravet Archive contact: Kravet Inc. 225 Central Avenue South Bethpage New York 11714 Phone 516-293-2000 Fax 516-293-1994

Color, Chaos & Creativity…India

I had the pleasure of spending a week in India and my journey was really incredible. I was there on business and between our travels throughout New Delhi and Jaipur I was looking through my lens at this fascinating culture. Feeling blessed to travel for my job but even more blessed that I get to experience a country through color, food and the fabulous people I came in contact with.

Jaipur Market

Jaipur Roadside Flower Market

New Delhi Farmers Market

Photobombed by a Drongo while photographing New Delhi

Street Art New Delhi

Tricked Out Trucks..love all the decorative tassels and pom poms!

In preparation for Karma Chauth..celebrating health and happiness in honor of your spouse by fasting for an entire day.

An artists resides in all of us…Long Live Rembrandt according to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Imagine…seeing your art hung at one of the most prestigious museums in the world! I was pleasantly surprised when I visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam to see the “Long Live Rembrandt” Show.

Not realizing that the show was a juried exhibition of 575 people who told stories about their relationship to Rembrandt and his art. Each contributor has his or her own view of the great master. Many painters feature Rembrandt as the main character in their narrative while others have shown him with other icons.

More than 8500 people from 95 countries sent in their work of art, young and old, professional and amateur! Side by side, these generations of artists pay tribute to Rembrandt. The youngest artist is three while the oldest artist is in her nineties.

What an awesome way to bring a bit of Rembrandt into all of our lives, the people looking at this unique collection to the 8500 participants that felt compelled to enter their work that was inspired by the greatest Dutch artist of all time.

Below are just a few pieces from the “Long Live Rembrandt” exhibition, showcasing various techniques from painting, torn paper, fabric manipulation, plaster and sculpture.

To quote Pieter Roelofs, chairman of the jury and head of the Rijksmuseum’s painting and sculpture department, “In Long Live Rembrandt we see the master through the eyes of the makers. The exhibition is not only about Rembrandt, but also about ourselves.”

Inspired!!!!!

I am going to get in touch with my Rembrandt in hopes that one day my artwork will inspire others like I was inspired by this creative and collaborative exhibition.

Lots of color, a bit of artistic chaos and a whole lot of creativity.

Leaving Amsterdam and heading to Paris hoping to seek out more creativity in the art world.

The Balance Of Black and White in Interiors-Paris

As we see certain trends in color this season we are also experiencing graphic great trends in black and white that have been consistent with previous years statistics. This classic and sophisticated style adds dimension and drama to any interior space.

A favorite find at Pinto Paris today is this white chair accented with black piping and black metal arm detailing with accents of cork.Black based cocktail tables with marble tops by Sarah Lavoine Interiors. Importance here is the varied heights in the collection of tables that work as one style statement.

Textural black and white textiles at LE BVH in the Marais. It’s truly about the dimensional aspect of the weave this season in creating these updated graphic patterns.

Terrazzo Containers at LE BVH [trend watch 2018-19 products made with terrazzo]

Textured bathroom tile slabs in an updated chevron pattern in black, white , gray and taupe.

Retail Redo Overseas in Paris and London

Why is it that you can go into any store anywhere in the world and find duplication in products. What happened to originality, newness and craftsmanship justifying an original idea at retail. Lifestyle trends translate down from macro trends so interpretation should be varied and unique, right? Well that theory was lost along the way and in order for brick and mortar to survive at any level, we need to bring back the newness which is lacking! We all need to take the blame, move on and make it right again.

Just returning from overseas this week I unfortunately had the same experience..do not get me wrong, walking the streets of Paris and London were awesome and the food incredible, that might be why many of my photos were food or street trends because they were inspiring in color, texture and dimension.

Walking into Conran’s both in Paris and London as well as Harvey Nichols, Miss Selfridges and sadly John Lewis…it was a wall of sameness.

Plant Wall ✅

Global Artisan Baskets ✅

Cute Cafe✅

Appliances in red, white and blank✅

Enlarged Candle Areas✅

Smaller Furniture Space✅

Growing up in a retail centric family, my parents were both retailers, stores looked unique. Produce space was allocated more towards the personality of the store, window displays were original and technology was pretty much non-existent…which is why I feel products had personality. No one needed to compare every little detail and stores were not all things to all people…I do not remember walking into a department store to buy ketchup?

Hoping we will see change in the coming year in retail, both on-line and at brick and mortar stores.

Take Merci in Paris, I know, I know it’s a “weird concept store”, my favorite for that very reason because it allows you to look at products in a more creative and non-conforming way! Yeah!! Oh and did I mention the line to buy items was literally out the door…guess you get my point…originally needs to return to retail!

Sharing some images that were unique in some form, either color, retail setting or just plain FUN!

Merci, Paris

Food Fav’s

Bold Color And Product Finishes.

I took 2K pictures last week so I will be posting many of them throughout the month of February. Published articles can be found at http://www.designworksintl.com under press or on my personal website http://www.nancyfire.com


Textile Treasures at ‘Paris Deco Off’

What better way to add color and style to a rainy, cold and grey day in Paris…by visiting Deco Off, an international textile event that takes place once a year in the interior design district on the left bank of Paris.

Global, Graphic and Tropical inspired patterns were among the most popular in many of the textile showrooms. Most featured embroidered accents, appliqués and textured printing techniques.

More information regarding Paris Deco Off can be found at http://www.paris-deco-off.com/

KBIS Creativity

Fun filled day at the Kitchen and Bath Show at the Convention Center in Orlando. Creative home products that embrace new style, substrate and design produced by a multitude of amazing manufacturers and designers.

Ann Sachs “Green With Envy” at Koehler.

Bertazzoni Red Stove

Build A Hood

Matte Black at Wilsonart

Thermador Freedom Kitchen

Zac Posen For Momogram

Mixed Metals at Delta Faucets

Koehler Minimalist Sink