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.

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Color, Chaos & Creativity Returns👏

It’s been a while since I posted but since my trip to Oslo has been so inspiring I had this awesome urge to share!

Invited by the Norwegian Consulate to attend the Fushion Show in Oslo (August 28-30) celebrating fashion, art and music by redefining the creative standards through innovative performances revolving around fashion.

Our first stop was at the LMN Gallery showcasing ESP/Morie Fashion paired with innovative artwork and interactive models in motion.

After taking the reins of a 60-year old outerwear factory at Økern in Oslo in 2015, designer and entrepreneur Elisabeth Stray Pedersen established her label ESP. Ever since, the brand continued to develop the factory’s signature style, which was iconic blanket coats in pure wool, besides creating new designs. ESP utilises the finest Norwegian lamb’s wool from freely walking crossbreed sheep in the highlands around Gol in Norway. The wool is Nordic Eco labelled and their fabrics are Woolmark certified.

Founded by Creative Director Charlotte Fische and Head of Design Linn Sannes Brevik-Ribeiro in 2016, Moiré is the offspring of Oslo based Moiré Fashion Agency.

The brand speaks to the modern minimalist who wants to embrace their inner maximalist – with a strong focus on keeping it elegantly feminine. Totally opposed to the use-and-discard mentality, the brand is built upon a mutual wish for more tailored clothing, one-of-a-kind details and high-quality textiles. 

Moiré loves storytelling and the design process is a significant part of the small but highly curated collections. Every season is a result of a creative development that often involves a range of different designers and artists.

Tonje Plur is a womenswear designer and artisan based in Oslo/Norway. She combines social and geographical references with a variety of craft work and designs, making her collections a visual reaction to the present time.

Avenue is a woman’s and menswear brand founded in Oslo, Norway by Ingvild Abrahamsen, Gustaf Gyllenhammar and Espen Follestad. They showed their first collection in 2015 for Autumn-Winter.  With a long background in music, design and textile production, they are creating clothes highly influenced by their music references. They specialise in high quality garments with natural fibres and make distinct design suitable for everyday comfort.

Established in 1997, Cathrine Hammel is an Oslo-based fashion brand, producing new collections based on a variety of themes each season. The team consists of designers, a garment specialist, tailors, a production manager and a creative director working closely together to create elegant clothes that are meant to be worn in the real world. The clothes are laboriously altered to fit a progressive lifestyle, whereas the boundaries between work and pleasure collide into one single entity. Each garment reflects a Scandinavian way of living and its democratic ideals: Gender equality, a sustainable approach to the environment, social cohesion and a balance between life and work. Cathrine Hammel is a modern wearable fashion brand, catering to open-minded people, who recognize quality and durability as the most sustainable approach to fashion.

Dining By Design DIFFA

Spring is in the air…well maybe today it actually felt otherwise, [raining all day in nyc] but the Architectural Digest Show and DIFFA Show opened today so for us designers…it’s pure sunshine🌞

Honored to be a judge for the IFDA [International Furniture Design Association] naming AVO best in show for their textile collection at the Architectural Digest Show. Hand woven leather textiles, hand-painted techniques combined with textural leathers represented an true artisan vibe…congratulations to Brit Kleinmann, founder and creative director of AVO @_avoavo_

Verto Vero, the award winning glassblowing studio based in Pennsylvania was showcasing glass vessels in contemporary styles and colors. Always a favorite of mine at the Architectural Digest Show!

Jan Kath’s rug collection showed a bit of whimsy with a subtle skull design woven into her more traditional line of rugs.

Bringing the outdoors indoors continues among many home product categories especially within the kitchen industry. Signature Kitchen showcased a green inspired vibe with a variety of plants as the focal point of their products.

Speaking of green….Opiary incorporates natural elements into every piece created, bringing live greenery and organic shapes into sleek highly crafted furniture, planters and sculpture. Every piece is hand crafted from recyclable and natural materials by artists and craftspeople at their studio in East Williamsburg, NY.

London Basin Company is bringing back the beautiful basin offering so many creative basin options through color, pattern and texture.

A sunny shoutout to Hesten for making us all smile with their yellow appliances!

The AD Apartment is an awesome collaboration designed by Sasha Bikoff, presented by Gaggenau, featuring Ad Pro, Brizo, Calligaris, Dekton by Cosentino, Dyson, Emtek, Lenox, Livex Lighting, Lumber Liquidators, Mayflower Wallpaper, Reform, Shimmerscreen and Tuft & Needle.

Photos below: Living Room, Dinning Table, Bedroom, Sasha and I, Sasha, Gaggenau Master Baker Ingo Rasche.

Next Up….DIFFA

Lucinda Loya Interiors @lucindaloyainteriors

Studio TK + Tarkett + Huntsman @studiotksocial @tarkettofficial @huntsmanmag

Felderman Keatinge + Associates @feldermankeatinge

Black Artists + Designers Guild @badguild

Interior Design Magazine “Together In Unity”

Gensler+ Knoll + Evensonbest @gensler_design @knollinc @evensonbest

Walker Ridge Construction & Development & Madera Management @walkerridgeconstructionllc

Stacy Garcia Home X Crypton Home Fabric @stacygarciainc @cryptonfabric

David Scott Interiors For Roche Bobois @rochebobois @davidscottinteriors

Damour Drake Presents Kingston Design Connection @kingston.design.connection

Mckenzie Liautaud Robert Verdi @mckenzieliautaud @robertverdi

Herman Miller + Studios Architecture + WB Wood @hermanmiller @studiosarchitecture @wb_wood

Us Is More

Rockwell Group

IA Interior Architects Past + Present + Future @iaarchitects

Patrick Mele For Benjamin Moore @benjaminmoore @patrickmele

Pratt Institute Stronger Together Mentor Marks & Franz @prattinstitute

School Of Visual Arts Mentor Coffinier Ku @svanyc

Parsons School Of Design Mentor Kati Curtis Design @parsonschoolofdesign

New York School Of Interior Design Reshaping The Perception Of HIV/Aids Mentor Shaver/Melahn @nysid

Ultrafabrics Designed By Stonehill Taylor Journey @stonehilltaylor @ultrafabrics_inc

Roric Tobin For Modern Luxury A Night In Korakuen @manhattan_magazine @rorictobindesigns

Tito’s Handmade Vodka @titosvodka

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


Graphic Greats…Black and White Prints and Patterns in Paris

Bold bedding geometric inspired prints in black and white in BVH department store in the Marais section of Paris.

Gift set mug collections in black, white and gold featuring text graphics in various type fonts.

This teal color [on the blue side] is the second largest influential color behind black at retail in Paris.

Over scaled geometric prints lend a graphic vibe to any sofa, bed or chair.

At the Merci Concept Store in the Marais section of Paris, tabletop was truly a trend to be reckoned with adding mini dishes and plates to the mix.

This bed set at Conran’s on the left bank of Paris was just one of many graphic inspired beds throughout the city.

At Galleries Lafayette Maison, these graphic towels in black and ecru have a tribal vibe that coordinate well with the graphics aesthetic of the season.

At Le Compagnie Francaise, graphic one color ikat patterns compliment this mixed substrate chair of leather and vinyl cording.

This woven bench detail at BVH is not only trend right, it’s a practical solution for expanding seating in your home.

At Merci Concept Store, it’s all about the graphic and global mix, showcasing authentic woven baskets in black and white, mixed with rustic matte and glossy black ceramic vessels.

Perfect Pink in Paris [yes millennial]

So it’s true..all this talk about pink…in fashion and home decor…it’s allover Paris in some creative and updated ways!

Mixing well with most colors, millennial pink is not only for the young at heart..dinnerware at Printemps in Paris💕

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nne de Solene mixed millennial pink solid pillowcases with pink/coral and gray watercolor flowers creating simple sophistication in bedding available at Printemps, Bon Marche and Maison Galleries Lafayette in Paris💕

Millennial Pink staircase at the Conran’s Shop in Paris. Talk about making a statement💕

Tom Ford 2018 Summer Runway Show cleverly mixes millennial pink with hot tonalities of hot pink adding that summer accent color pop💕

Cutest coffee and tea cups at Printemps in Paris..love the round shape product style as well💕

Here’s to pink 💕power! I will be posting from Paris this weekend before heading to Madrid and Lisbon..follow for updates daily!

💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕💕

Surtex NYC Trend Updated From Color, Chaos and Creativity…Part 3

Last month in NYC I spoke about print, pattern and color trends at Surtex NYC, representing our design studio, Design Works International, a lifestyle/product design firm specializing in the home, fashion and accessory industries.

Out Of This World…literally..we are talking Galaxy inspired prints, patterns, embroideries with an iridescent sensibility and style. Nocturnal tones of deep purple, indigo and magenta are part of the color plan to heighten the vibe of this celestial superstar.


Even after a year of playful pineapples…we are still craving for more…NEW this season…the use of millennial pink mixed with metallic and textural accents.


Somewhere Over….yes it’s all about iridescent finishes and rainbow colorways in fashion, home and decorative accessories. The more color…the better and these saturated shades are cross generational…NOT only for the millennial crowd.


Boho Style continues to increase as a lifestyle look and we are seeing the resurgence of Folk Florals..[did they ever go away] as wallpaper, clothing, home accessories and garden tools in Americana color combinations that coordinate beautifully with denim…another trend that has cross generational appeal.

This is the last of a 3 part series …so if you missed part 1 and 2 please take a peek either at Color, Chaos and Creativity or at Design Works International’s blog.

All prints and patterns designed by Design Works International are property of our studio until a purchase agreement is signed. If interested in purchasing prints, our website is Designworksintl.com or call our studio at 212-594-0777 ext 112.

Stay tuned for our next series on new color combinations…2018