"Beautiful Spaces are in the Details"

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Attended Moffly Media’s A-List Issue Party.

Dale Minske and Carey Karlan

athome hosted an A-List issue party at the REALM showroom in South Norwalk to celebrate this year’s A-List winners and finalists, and kick off the 2013 season—with new rules, judges and more!

Guests enjoyed martinis by The Loft and hors d’oeuvres by Match and The Chelsea.

(Source: )

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Want Comfort?

The movie: Something’s Gotta Give shows us all about comfort in home decorating. 

What a great love story…how could you not love Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton where love can happen at any stage of life! (My son tells me that Jack looks exactly like this in person as he saw him at the Jersey Shore one summer with his real family).  Beyond the quintessential love story is brilliant interior design within the home where Diane Keaton’s character lives in the Hampton’s.

Here’s the passion: Design and Decoration is all about the people and their experience within the home.  I believe this is often missed as a key element when talking about design and decoration; and the appeal of this, or any, interior to impress and inspire! The Something’s Gotta Give interior taken out of context would not have the same appeal as we enjoyed the lives and experiences of those living there, even if they were fictitious.

Immediately after the movie, there was such a buzz Architectural Digest wrote an insightful article. The inspiration and appeal is casual, yet sophisticated. Not always a huge fan of white for seating when decorating for my family-centered clients, but it works in this room.  Seating can become more functional using slipcovers that can be changed seasonally or for cleaning.  Choosing one of the many incredibly beautiful and amazingly durable outdoor fabrics available ensures the furniture’s lifespan. The striped carpet anchors the room, while the many books along the wall humanize the space and gives it much needed texture.

A very important, and often over-looked, element is the lighting. In this picture alone, there are 5 visible lamps giving flexibility on amount and location of the light.  This picture, at night, provides a well lit room, for entertaining or to read one of the many books on the shelf, all with a settled comfort.  During the day, transom windows, besides being an architectural element, enhance the amount of light that enters the room. 

How can anyone resist the coziness of a centered seating arrangement anchored by a large and functional ottoman combined coffee table?

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Why paint your porch ceiling blue?

Having just returned from South Carolina, I’m reminded of an old superstition (or is it?) and an ever-current decorating idea.  Look under porch ceilings and see the famous color from the history of the old south, Haint Blue.

Porch ceilings were painted Haint Blue to ward off evil spirits in the Gullah culture, indigenous to South Carolina. Haints, or haunts, are spirits trapped between the world of living and dead. It was thought that the color would trick the spirits into perceiving the blue as sky and cause them to rise through the ceiling and back where they could no longer harm the homeowners.

Further, its said the blue color repels spiders.  Legend has it that the insects see this as a never-ending sky and wont settle there.  In the past, the more likely reason is that the little critters generally avoid lime, the base of the milk-paint originally used.

Maybe these are a few interesting and compelling reasons to paint you’re porch ceiling Haint Blue.  Or perhaps you just love the beauty and calm, relaxing effect of blue in your decorating scheme.  Either way, Haint Blue isn’t just one color, but many hues that emulate the sweeping range of colors in the sky. Depending on your decorating scheme and preferences, choose from some of these designer chosen paint colors for your porch ceiling.

Polar Sky ~ Ben Moore # 1674 ~ Reminiscent of the sky on a winter morning, this icy blue is softened with a hint of gray for a sophisticated look.

Summer Shower ~ Ben Moore #2135-60 ~ Feel refreshed and illuminate your world with this pure and clear color.

Mountain Air ~ SW 6224 ~ The name says it all…soft and ethereal. 

Meditative ~ SW 6227 ~ This deeper color can work well in a contemporary space or against the backdrop of a crisp white exterior.

Gullah Blue ~  Colors of Historic Charleston ~ While there is no such color as “Haint blue,” the Historic Charleston Foundation has licensed “Gullah Blue,” a deep shade of turquoise, that is their interpretation of this special color.

Haint Blue Dark and Light ~ The Savannah Historical Society reproduced and authorized the use two haint blue paints in 1980.


And don’t limit yourself to just the porch.  Haint Blue can be used on doors, window frames, shutters or interior ceilings. While driving by to visit family and only steps away from the southern plantations on Hilton Head you can see an original Gullah home (restored) where this color was on the siding.  Offering further protection, the blue emulates water, which Haints are unable to pass through.

Once just a southern tradition, painted porch ceilings have definitely made there way north.

Filed under inspiration interior design interior design business attraction benjamin moore Benjamin Moore Paint connecticut Connecticut Antique connecticut living decoration decor decorating Decorative Painting Dale Minske Fairfield County Fairfield County Interior Designer historic homes luxury living paint summer design Somerset Bay water Waterfront

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You Can Use Inspiration from Nature For Decorating

Colors, textures, lines, shape and form in nature can absolutely be influential to your interior decorating. The simple and eloquent colors of a bird can inspire the smallest detail or a whole room.


Use colors and textures in the beautiful details of a chair…..


   “Beautiful Spaces are in the Details” 

(Source: daleminske.com)

Filed under interior design inspiration interior design business decor decoration decorating Dale Minske Distinctive Designs color connecticut living furniture Fairfield County Fairfield County Interior Designer luxury living

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Guest Blog by Bethany Armstrong

Recently I was thrilled to be asked to join Dale on a trip to the D&D and New York Design Center to search for several pieces for her clients. Like a kid in a candy store, I tried to keep to the list we made but I was drawn to some fun finds that I couldn’t resist! (PS- we had an extremely successful day finding perfect pieces for her clients’ projects- whew!!) Here’s what we liked:

Who can walk away from crystals?! These eye-catching crystals are embedded in the glass adding understated glamour…

Wilton, CT Interior Designer

I don’t know about you but this nail head detail is so beautiful and unique. I could just see this headboard in a master bedroom complete with flowing window treatments and calming colors…

Wilton Interior Designer

This chandelier is so funky! I would love this in a craft room or art studio!

Wilton Interior Designer

What a unique take on an upholstered bench…I’m a sucker for animal prints but I can get bored with the same old thing. This color brings a bit of flare and the print adds a wonderful sense of movement. I’ll take 2! 

Wilton Interior Designer

Finally, this colorful outfit is just something that makes me smile! I love how Benjamin Moore paint chips are put together for this whimsical window display. Fashion and design meet again!

Wilton Interior Designer

Dale and I are heading to the New York International Gift show at the Javits Center next week. Be sure to check back to see our fun finds! 

Filed under Wilton CT Interior Design and Decoration Wilton Connecticut Interior Designer Wilton Decorating Wilton Interior Designer Fairfield County Interior Designer Fairfield County Fairfield County Interior Design

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Experience your home as never before with beautiful new fabrics!  Are you stylish, yet understated?  Bring these relaxed, yet sophisticated fabrics and furniture into your home to create the home or office of your dreams for you and your family.

Experience your home as never before with beautiful new fabrics!  Are you stylish, yet understated?  Bring these relaxed, yet sophisticated fabrics and furniture into your home to create the home or office of your dreams for you and your family.

Filed under Wilton Connecticut Interior Designer Fairfield Fairfield County inspiration wallpaper Antique Interior Design Coastal Living color Connecticut Antique decoration decor decorating Fairfield County historic homes Lee Jofa summer design Wilton Connecticut Interior Designer Furniture Wilton CT Interior Design and Decoration Wilton Wilton CT Ridgefield CT Interior Design and Decoration New Canaan Interior Design and Decoration Dale Minske Dale Minske Interior Design and Decoration Benjamin Moore Paint