by Terry on 9 Feb



‘Studies for two angels’ – Gaetano Gandolfi

“When you seek beauty in all people and all things, you will not only find it, you will become it.”

The artist and Beauty: Discovering the Divine in the Old Masters

I relish the opportunity to immerse myself in nature and uncover beauty in the natural world. From an exuberant profusion of early spring flowers to the delicate lacing of frost on a fresh, young leaf; there’s plenty of inspiration to be found out there, and I make sure to experience it as much as possible!

The beauty of art

I use those experiences and moments of inspiration in my design work.  Beauty can be found within the realm of the artist. Never is this more obvious than when experiencing a work of art. I often find myself contemplating in front of a painting; not only admiring its appeal, but wondering exactly why it is so beautiful; trying to ascertain exactly how the image manages to evoke such an emotive, powerful reaction within me.  Whether it is the form, material, craftsmanship or subject matter, true art is always a reflection of nature.

Just like nature, which is seemingly effortlessly beautiful, art too is created with an intent.  An intent to stir… when observing art, I’m not only assessing my own reaction to it, but also trying to enter the mind of the artist.  Art, like nature is a two way process, involving both the creator and the observer.

Finding inspiration from the Old Masters

One of the chief delights of living in New York is the easy access to some of the most remarkable exhibitions in the world. Two such events really exemplify this; the Winter Antiques Show and ‘Master Drawings in New York’.  I seized the opportunity during the latest snow storm to attend both of these events surrounding myself with paintings, sculpture, antiques and more. As I wandered from space to space, taking in the polished, touchable luster of a particular cabinet, or the artful pencil lines of a preliminary sketch, I found myself thinking of how these antique classic works of art could be translated into the modern home, how their unique appeal could be used as a springboard to create a new, fresh and exciting room in a home today, hundreds of years later.

Particular works of art

Of course, it would take too long to outline each and every piece of art that engaged me…there were probably enough to fill a book! Here are just a few of my personal favorites.

1.  Apter-Frederick’s 18th and 19th century furniture.

Apter-Fredericks, at the Winter Antiques Show, were perhaps one of my favorite exhibitors. Hailing all the way from London, they specialize in 18th and 19th century furniture, mirrors, clocks and other works of art.  The 18th and 19th centuries were both superb eras for furniture. The smooth curve of the finely turned legs on a particular dining table held me in real captivation. It was such a pleasing line, so effortlessly elegant! Likewise, the rich, lustrous shine of a lacquer paneled cabinet, which allowed the natural grain of the wood to interplay with the inlaid design, really enthralled me. I just love to see the natural beauty of wood brought to life by such skilled craftsman and designers.

2. ‘Studies for two angels’ – Gaetano Gandolfi.

Mia N. Weiner exhibited a pair of studies at the Master Drawings New York at L’Antiquaire & The Connoisseur, Inc., and they were even more breath-taking in the flesh than can be imagined. Gandolfi, an 18th century Italian painter, uses such freedom in his sketching; with the merest of lines suggesting the feathers on the angel’s wing, and a simple succession of undulating marks and shadows suggesting the soft fabric and gentle curve of their graceful form.  There’s a lot that can be said for simplicity; sometimes, it’s the simple forms, shapes and styles that have the most visual impact and emotional appeal.

3. Philip Colleck’s collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century furniture (specialists in chinoiserie).

Based right here in New York, Philip Colleck is one of my favorite antiques dealers, and he always has some astounding pieces of chinoiserie. Chinoiserie furniture not only has the power to immediately take the breath away, but to draw the viewer in, enticing them to explore further. The detailed far-eastern inspired designs just beg closer inspection; and provide the perfect dynamic statement in an otherwise simple interior design scheme.

4. Samuel Yellin.

I was delighted to see one of Samuel Yellin’s floor lamps at the Winter Antiques Show. Many years ago, I worked with a client on a house built right after the turn of the century and the original metalwork; light fixtures, door hardware, gates and grillwork was designed and hand forged by Samuel Yellin. As a designer, I was privileged to be given the rare opportunity of working with the still family owned Yellin firm, seventy five years later.  We designed new hardware for the interiors including curtain rods that worked beautifully and seamlessly into the original design.   I consider Yellin to be one of the most innovative metalworkers in the early 20th century and today. He combines solid, attention-grabbing forms with incongruously graceful detailing;  creating a harmony of masculine and feminine which is captivatingly beautiful to observe.  This bold, striking lamp at the show was no exception.  There is a recent article about Samuel Yellin on the Metropolitan Museum’s website “Poetry and Rhythm of Iron.”  Some of their greatest works can be seen at The Cloister,  Princeton University, and the Memorial Quadrangle Gate of Yale University.

Inspiring designs, translated to interior décor.

Of course, an obvious way to incorporate the beauty of the Old Masters into your home is to hang a framed drawing on a wall, or place a beautiful piece of antique furniture in a prominent place. However; as an interior designer, I always try to step outside the obvious, and integrate the beauty of an masterpiece in other, new and more subtle ways.

A beautifully designed piece makes a good starting point when considering décor for a home. Many of my clients find themselves moved when I find and present to them something beautiful, be it a painting, sculpture or piece of furniture which seems to be the perfect fit.  They’re not quite sure exactly what it is that stirs emotions within them, but they know that they want to incorporate that feeling into their family home.  It’s then my job to extract the core of the beauty within the object, and use that as a wonderful springboard from which to generate ideas and a fluent, cohesive design concept which will above all…stir.




berries in ice


We’re still experiencing a bitter cold, icy winter here in New York as we move through February – the month of love.  And in this bittersweet month, I look for ways to add some warmth to a room.   One way is by using the color red, designing with a burst of red, a warm color and lots of white, a cool color is the focus this month and how this palette can be used to design a beautifully balanced room.

Where do I find inspiration?  It is from nature, a moment during a long walk in the mountains on the weekends for example.  This month has seen a blanket of white snow over the entire landscape and sheets of ice shimmering on the brooks, ponds and rivers.   It is such a pure and serene vision I love to capture and create in interiors.  What makes this scene so special is that every now and then emerging from the snow and ice I see clusters of bright red shiny berries!  I love holly bushes and just a few red berries against the pure white background adds a little excitement.

The same can be said for a room; particularly for children, so full of innocence and happiness.  Girls and boys love the color red; for boys it is the color most associated with courage and sacrifice, sports team and soldier’s marching band uniforms and of course fire trucks.  Hearts and roses; love and beauty is what comes to mind when you ask a little girl about the color red. I love nurturing and bringing out the natural and unique masculine qualities of little boys and the feminine qualities of little girls.  Involving older children in the design process by allowing them to select their favorite samples is a wonderful way for them to express themselves, become aware of their surroundings and learn about beauty. Parents will be happy to know that red is a color not only representing sacrifice, love and beauty, but also evoking JOY, HAPPINESS and ENERGY, so perfect for a playroom or family room.  Unlike pale pink and baby blue, it is not a color children outgrow, it is so classic.

Fabrics, wallpapers, carpeting and furnishings in shades of white and cream (my favorite to design with) with patterns having accents of red is beautiful.  I think of new ways to use them depending on the room’s size and children’s age.  I begin with a white ground and add red little by little. For example; painting the walls white and then painting a door, trim or a floor in shiny red.   Adorning the walls with pictures such as Little Red Riding Hood or soldiers will keep them inspired and they are easy to change.

The window is one of the most important features in a room and I like to make the most out of the natural light and view.  Overlooking a garden or yard, I simplify the window treatment by using fresh white Irish linen trimmed with red gross grain so as to frame the view so they can see the flowers, trees, birds and sunshine.  Having a built-in window seat with cushion where a child can curl up and read is great.  I love stripes, checks and plaids for boys and florals and birds or a pastoral scenes (toile) for girls and what child doesn’t love zebras, snowflakes or paisley.  All of these are wonderful on furniture, pillows and even as a wall covering. One of my favorites is the animal print, a perfect example of using red in moderation.

Having an open floor area is important in a playroom.   Since the color red increases the heart rate, blood pressure and respiration there may be a little more dancing, tumbling, exercise and playing so a padded floor area is great, especially for toddlers.

I love music and have vivid memories of my mother and grandmother playing the piano for us as children, done in a natural way and setting.  Listening to an Irish Lullaby, Peter and the Wolf or The Nutcracker for example gave me an early appreciation at home for culture, classical music and ballet. Space for a piano and other music lessons and practice is important in my design schemes.

Red stimulates the mind, so important for child development so a desk for each child for homework is important as well as a table where they can play together; puzzles, cards or art projects.  I like adding plenty of bookshelves (built-ins if possible) with a few comfortable chairs for reading and learning.  It is also a way of encouraging children to begin their own collection of good books (I still have my books from childhood which I treasure).  There was very little television time when I was growing up as the focus was on our books, music and playing with each other and I would recommend the same today.  A small TV for a rainy day or a great movie is suffice.

A happy room makes for happy children, here are a few of my favorite favorite fabrics and wallpapers I’d like to share!



red stripe






red and white pillows





A red and white playroom can remind children all year of their fun playing in the snow, ice skating or winter walks and so much more!


Young boy wrapped in red plaid blanket playing in snow

girl skating

Please see the February Pinterest board with more ideas!






The beauty of snow

by Terry on 15 Jan


With the New Year well and truly upon us, winter has settled in with short, dark days and temperatures below zero it is hard not to get carried away by a stunning season.

The cold can portray the most beautiful snowy scenes, presenting a white carpet across the hills and breaking busy cities to a standstill. A home can be turned into your permanent winter wonderland with the delicate interior design to shape a room of building in a calm scene with cream stripe wallpaper to complement the changing shades and colors of the room.

Creating your ideal winter wonderland

This ideal and sublime interior decorating can be be used in any home using a wide-ranging set of fabrics and layouts to make the very best of a room applying white damask wallpaper from my design library giving you the perfect set of options to create a delicate winter wonderland.

This can all be made with the use of so many subtle variations that allow for white and cream colorings across the room to provide far more than may initially meet the eye with the clever use of white painted furniture to add to the atmosphere for perfect clear calm and create the ultimate winter relaxing area to replicate the views of snow-covered hills.

A calm environment can be developed with the use of unique and subtle patterns across the room to provide the intricacies or perfect piece of interior design, offering white silk taffeta and white and beige toile de jouy to improve the design further. The choice of each element in the room’s design can be adapted to individual taste and style. White sisal carpet or silver wall sconces on cream strie wallpaper can be used to add to the impending winter wonderland feeling.


















old master






The beauty of fresh fir

by Terry on 17 Dec

A Single Fir-Tree

A single fir-tree, lonely,
On a northern mountain height,
Sleeps in a white blanket,
Draped in show and ice.

~ Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs

pine tree1.

green silk damask2.

silk velvet3.

green damask wallpaper4.

hand tufted green carpet5.

green toile de joie6.

christmas tree7.

green velvet8.

Christmas green linen9.

green stripe wallpaper10.

green damask wallpaper11.



green velvet carpet14.


wool damask16.


pine trees

Top to Botton

1.  detail of pine branch in snow
2.  silk damask fabric
3.  silk strie velvet fabric
4.  damask wallpaper with pineapple pattern
5.  hand tufted carpet with border
6.  toile de joie with pastoral scene
7.  Fir tree with gold ornaments
8.  velvet with small lattice pattern
9.  linen print in floral green and red on natural
10. shadow stripe wallpaper
11.  damask wallpaper
12.  Pugin designed wallpaper
13.  Christmas tree woven fabric
14.  hand tufted damask carpet
15.  damask
16.  wool damask
17.  scottish tartan

my dream home

Please contact us for prices and information


The beauty of Tree of Life

by Terry on 13 Oct


Another beautiful Sunday afternoon picnic in the country


Tree of Life





Tree of Life linen print table cover
Scottish Tartan fabric  used for seat cushions and oversized blanket
Irish linen hemstitched placemats and napkins


The beauty of peonies

by Terry on 10 Oct







The beauty of roses with stone

by Terry on 9 Oct

brittany asche





The beauty of avocado

by Terry on 9 Oct



Handblock print chintz with rose pattern

Strie wallpaper

Avocado green strie wallpaper


Textured wallcovering


The beauty of vermicelli

by Terry on 9 Oct


vermicelli (ˌvɜːmɪˈsɛlɪ; Italian vermiˈtʃɛlli) 

Word Origin
C17: from Italian: little worms, from verme a worm, from Latin vermis


1.  very fine strands of pasta, used in soups
2.  tiny chocolate strands used to coat cakes, etc.
3.  A pattern Terry loves to use in her designs


vermacelli-cream and beige






The beauty of autumn flowers

by Terry on 9 Oct








The beauty of hortensia

by Terry October 9, 2013 Uncategorized


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The beauty of a Sunday afternoon picnic

by Terry October 9, 2013 Uncategorized

The perfect view Toile tableskirt Scottish tartan blanket and seat cushions Italian hand embroidered napkins and placemats Leather trimmed picnic tote

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by Terry August 28, 2013 Uncategorized

    A favorite photograph of my father, on a sail boat in Newport, Rhode Island.

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by Terry April 23, 2013 Bedroom Scheme

OLD MASTER DRAWINGS     Sometimes as I design, I reach far back into history – to the Renaissance, one of my favorite periods.  I love browsing Old Master drawing sales at New York auction galleries.  They are often estimated at very reasonable prices and it’s always interesting to learn a drawing’s provenance. There is […]

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by Terry November 21, 2012 Uncategorized

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Hand embroidred Pheasant placemats and napkins  Hand embroidered pure linen placemats and napkins in bright orange, green and yellow with beige scollopped border on white. Depicting pumpkins, fruit and scrollwork. Placemats (13 x 19), napkins (20 x 20). Happy Thanksgiving to all!      

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by Terry October 24, 2012 Bedroom Scheme


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by Terry October 23, 2012 Uncategorized

    There is no better way to begin to design a room than to select a cotton beautiful chintz!  The beautiful chintz above is one of the first I used while working at Parish-Hadley and has remained a favorite.  There are so many ways of using it with the soft browns, peaches, greens, yellows […]

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by Terry October 15, 2012 Wallpaper

“An Explosion of Flowers”   Vittorio Accornero (1896-1982) Photo from 1943   In my previous post I featured the magic Vittorio Accornero created in illustrating children’s books and the beautiful memories he helped create from my childhood. It is no wonder that as I grew older I began to recognize his work in a different […]

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