The 1950’s, during post-war Italy represented an era of social and economic growth as well as the arrival of a liberating new world of modern urbanity and Hollywood glamour. With these exciting changes came the evolution of fashion and interior décor with an explosion of designers opening shops to cater to this novel way of life. Among those businesses was Rossetto – a furniture designing company that honored the rich history of Italian culture while embracing the exuberance of contemporary styles from that time. Not satisfied with the idea of crafting basic furnishings for only one area of a living space, Rossetto began a quest to create an all-inclusive line that would meet the needs of an entire home from top to bottom and from night to day. Thinking about consumers in a more personal yet global manner was how they would ensure that expectations were not only being met, but also being surpassed with exceptional quality and luxuriance for a transcending experience beyond imagination.

Weaving that special quality and stunning aesthetic into their designs throughout the years allowed the sparkling allure of classic Italy to shine through every piece, as demonstrated with Rossetto’s elegant Nightfly Vanity with Mirror in a smooth white lacquer finish. The simplicity of this structure enhances its beauty with an array of subtle touches from the levitating mirror and tasteful storage options to the crocodile embossed leather details adorning its wooden veneer frame. This is the ideal intimate, functional, and beautiful accoutrement for a bedroom or private dressing area.

The utility of a furniture component is only one facet of the interior layout within a room, as emotional resonance is just as essential to accessorize its environment for the serene atmosphere that Rossetto aspires to produce. The romantic enchantment of the Downtown Bed delivers the inviting warmth that was envisioned when it was built upon a leather wrapped platform of sheer comfort allowing the bedroom to become a relaxing sanctuary for any hour of the day.

With minimalism in the forefront of the Rossetto design aesthetic, refined containment became an indispensable factor. This paradigm is showcased through the sophisticated artistry of the Dune Buffet featuring a dark nickel finish upon a rounded stainless steel body along with transparent glass shelves and effortless open and close cabinet doors for a stylish residential setting.

Rossetto strives to continue along the same path of innovative progression, quality control, functional modularity, and poised grandeur while introducing the spellbinding scintillation of time honored Italy to today’s evolving home.

Keeping The Workplace Clean For The Benefit Of Everyone

If you think about it, you spend more time at the office than at home. This is why companies make sure that they design the workspace with productivity and functionality in mind. This also means using comfortable and ergonomic furniture as much as possible. However, regardless of how beautiful a workspace is, it won’t really matter in the long run if it’s cluttered, disorganized, and unclean. There are plenty of benefits of working in a clean workspace and these are some of the most important ones.

Employees are Healthier

Employees are the lifeblood of a company. It is important that companies do their part in maintaining their employees’ good health and well-being. On most days, an in-house cleaning staff will be enough to maintain the cleanliness. However, companies should make it a point to get the office professionally cleaned at least twice a month to make sure all dust, grime, dirt, and possible allergens are eradicated. Hiring a commercial ceiling cleaner should help in reducing the spread of viruses and foul odors in a shared space.

Furthermore, a clean and tidy office will reduce the risk of accidents. According to the US Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics, “there were 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries reported by private industry employers in 2016.” The only way to avoid these accidents from happening is to make sure that a workplace is clean and well-maintained.

Employees are More Satisfied

There’s a reason why companies hire professional interior designers to layout and design a conducive and safe workspace – to ensure that employees and customers are happy and satisfied to be there. A company’s office is a reflection of the company’s image. Nowadays, companies heavily invest in modern and contemporary office furniture to make sure they make a great first and lasting impression on customers and at the same time, retain the satisfaction of their employees. After all, no one wants to work in a messy environment.

Assets are Preserved

Speaking of furniture and equipment, these things are expected to last years and years. But in order for that to happen, office furniture and equipment must be properly maintained. Carpets, tiles, and furnishings will also need to be regularly cleaned. This way, the company’s assets are preserved, and the company can avoid unnecessary replacement costs in the future.

The bottom line is, when employees are happy, they are more motivated and inspired and that equates to productivity. It’s the same thing with customers and business clients visiting the office. If they see that the office is well-maintained, organized, tidy, and everyone is moving efficiently, this gives an impression that the company values cleanliness in the workplace and shows that they truly care. 

3 Tips To Make Your Basement Work for You

Although the basement isn’t usually included in the square footage of a property, it can still add value to the overall price of the property especially if the finishes are high, according to industry experts. This is enough motivation to turn that dingy old space into something more functional for the whole family to enjoy. Discover a few simple ways to make this happen.

It Can Be Done On A Budget  

There are a number of ways to turn that underground space into something that’s a little more appealing. One of the best ways to achieve this and still keep within a tight budget is to use what is already there. Basements that already have a fireplace fitted can make proper use of the feature as a focal point. Owners can also make use of the windows, no matter how small they are and treat them like art fixtures. If the basement has a cement floor, a simple layer of screeding goes a long way. Strategic lighting also goes far in a place previously considered dank and dark.

Use Paint to Its Full Potential

When paint is used right, it has the ability to transform a space without much else needed. An accent wall and the right tones make the word of difference. Those who have exposed brick in their basements can turn things up a notch by using the brick itself as an accent by choosing a paint that will enhance its rustic appeal. Painted floors are also making quite the comeback which is great news for those who don’t all the hassle of carpeting or laminate floor installations.

Clever Use of Accessories in Dead Spaces

Basements are notorious for having strange corners and areas that contain elements such as heating systems and storage. Once these areas are cordoned off behind dry-walling and closed doors, they create strange dead spaces that may feel out of place. These spaces can easily be transformed with some clever shelving and perhaps even cozy reading nooks. Wood paneling is another nice touch to add some ambiance to these areas.

No longer the dank and dark spaces they were before, basements are now coveted spaces for movie rooms, the man cave, and even a playroom for children. Those who work from home also have the opportunity to transform the space into a separate office area without encroaching on the rest of the house.

A Clean Home With Dirty Air?

Cleaning products are a big business: according to Statista, their sales account for $61 billion in the US alone. You only have to look down the cleaning aisle of any grocery store to see a wide range of cleaning supplies, for everything from window cleaning to mould removal. Have you ever considered though, that the cleaning products you are using may actually be making the air in your home dirtier? 

Breathe It In 

We often think of air pollution as a problem that affects the outside world, and something we can do little about individually – cars that other people drive, factories, forest fires – all are outside our control. Furthermore, part from picking where you live carefully, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.  However, recent research suggests that indoor air pollution is a major problem, and that it may actually be the air inside our homes which is more harmful to us. 

An Inside Problem 

Every item we bring into our home that releases fumes can be particularly irritating to those who suffer from respiratory problems like asthma or skin sensitivities like eczema. We then often use cleaning products on them, which just compounds the problem and increases the levels of chemicals in our homes. 

A Natural Solution 

The easiest way to avoid indoor air pollution is to think carefully about what you bring into your home: whenever possible, buy items made from natural substances, which in general will off-gas much less than man-made chemicals. For example a leather chair will contain far fewer chemicals than one covered in an artificially manufactured acrylic fabric. When you do buy a new item of furniture try to air it outside for at least a few hours, or if you need to bring it straight inside then ensure the room is well-ventilated for a few days after purchase. 

Green Cleaning 

Choosing your cleaning supplies carefully can make a huge difference to the air quality in your home – there are ranges of natural and eco cleaners out there that are much better for both the environment and you.  However, make sure to read the labels carefully – the regulations around ‘natural’ labelling are quite lax, and products often contain synthetic chemicals. 

A better solution is to stick with nature’s cleaning supplies – hot soapy water and elbow grease are often the best cleaners around, and vinegar and baking soda will make most things gleam again, thanks to their natural cleansing properties. Additionally, air fresheners – contrary to their name – are actually a major indoor air polluter. A much better way to keep your home smelling fresh is to keep it well ventilated, or use an air purifier.  If you miss the ‘clean’ smell you used to get from your old air freshener, it may be worth trying an essential oil diffuser – they release a pleasant smell without all the harmful chemicals. 

There’s a limited list of things you can do to stop outside air pollution, but you can control what comes into your home. So, ensure your cleaning products are as natural as possible to keep the air in your home fresh and clean.

3 Practical Ways To Keep Your Home Warm Over The Winter

pigoff-photography-225031As the weather turns cooler, homeowners all over the US are starting to financially prepare for the winter months. Last year, it was estimated by the Department of Energy Resources that consumer winter heating expenditures range from $553 to $2,176, and it is highly possible that the figures may be the same or even go up this winter. 

As inadequate heat can have a negative effect on your home and your family’s health, it is imperative to find ways to keep your house warm and comfortable during the cold months. The good news is that there are practical ways to keep your home cozy and warm during the winter season without spending a fortune. 

How cold temperature affects your health and home 

An inadequately heated home can impact your family’s health and home in negative ways. The cold can cause certain housing materials to stiffen and become brittle, and it’s very likely that there will be a few winter-related damages in your home in the future. Cold weather can also damage wooden furniture by drying them out, and you may notice that any leather-topped surfaces are more prone to cracking when the weather is cold. 

As for your health, your immune system is at risk if your home is poorly heated as you and your family are more susceptible to the common cold, flu, asthma attacks, and even heart issues. To keep you healthy and your home in tip-top shape this winter, follow these 3 practical tips to keep your home warm over the winter months. 

Install a wall mounted fireplace 

Having a fireplace may be one of the best ways to keep your home warm, but not every house comes with one. Using an electric heater is another way to keep the chill out, but it can be noisy and distracting. For a smart heating solution, consider installing a wall mounted fireplace in your home. It can be easily attached using mounting equipment, and it adds a decorative touch to your living room. It can also warm up your space without the smoke, foul odors, or toxic gasses as you won’t need firewood or strong-smelling fuel to keep it going—all you’ll need is bio-ethanol fuel to feed the flames. 

Stop drafts 

Doors and windows may have gaps where cold air can seep through. For a temporary fix, you can get double draft stoppers and place them beneath the bottom of your doors and windows to keep the cold out. You can buy them in stores, but you can also make your own draft stopper by sewing a fabric tube, stuffing it with dried popcorn or kitty litter, and placing them beneath your doors. 

Use thick curtains 

Your lacy or diaphanous curtains cannot protect your home against the cold. However, thick curtains can protect your house from losing precious heat. You can buy thick curtains anywhere, but you can line a few old ones in fleece if you’re looking to save a few dollars. You can even place a curtain in front of your front and back doors as a layer of added protection against the winter chill. 

Keep your home in good shape and your family healthy by following these simple tips. Not only will you keep warm this winter, but you also get to save money on heating expenses.

Lenny Kravitz: The Interior Designer

image 1There is an interesting piece by Mark McGuiness on Lateral Action that talks about how a certain degree of creativity from rock stars can attract more supporters. These individuals, whether in a band or flying solo, are some of the most artistically gifted people in the world. Often they crave more than just the idea of selling out shows and albums because they want to express themselves and showcase their talents through various avenues as well as their music.

For Lenny Kravitz, life isn’t restricted to performing on stage and recording in a studio, as he has been known ever since the late 1990s to invest in, and modernize properties all over the world. In an article featured by The New York Times, he revealed that after a hectic schedule on tour, he wears his other hat, and focuses on being an interior designer. Growing up in Manhattan, New York where he enjoyed iconic rock n’ roll bands such as KISS and Led Zeppelin, Kravitz found harmony in music and décor.

In more ways than one, Lenny Kravitz’ musical influences played a huge role in developing his eye for detail. Often times, many compare him to another guitar legend and style icon, Jimi Hendrix. It is not surprising, to say the least that Hendrix remains a prominent figure decades after his passing. UK-based entertainment company Slingo even paid tribute to arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock by featuring a Jimi Hendrix Online Slot in its roster of games. For Kravitz though, aside from incorporating precise Hendrix elements into his music, he adapted this eclectic, borderline flamboyant style to his home designs.

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Lenny Kravitz’ first full-scale project was a classic Biscayne Bay, Florida mansion he proudly called “Villa Roxie,” paying tribute to his mother. The result was a mix of modern classicism and a distinct 1970s look. He also collaborated with famous architect-designer Michael Czysz some years later on a Miami Beach house that underlined a mind-bending style with Playboy and Clockwork Orange elements.

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A couple of decades later, in 2005, Lenny Kravitz officially added “designer” to his multi-hyphenated title with the birth of Kravitz Design. He was no longer limited to his own investment portfolio, and had the proper vehicle to share and impart his design talents to the rest of the world. He and his team laid the foundation of and refurbished a New York City penthouse, which had been declining in the market for a number of years. Grammy Award-winning singer Alicia Keys, later on, bought said home, which she then re-sold for a whopping $15 million – $2 million more than what she originally paid for it.

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Kravitz Design’s other notable projects include the Florida Room piano lounge at The Delano, as well as The Setai Hotel’s recording studio. Both developments are nestled in beautiful Miami Beach. The company also fiddled with a chandelier project for Swarovski and produced a set of psychedelic wallpapers – in yet another homage to Jimi Hendrix – for Flavor Paper.

All things considered, Lenny Kravitz proves that learning does not stop once a person reaches a certain level of accomplishment. Yes, he has a place at the top of music’s Mount Rushmore, but at the end of the day, just like any other successful person, there will always be the constant need to acquire more skills to satisfy their creative urges and increase their fortune.

  • All pictures are from pinterest

A Little Bit of French History Finds its Way to Boston

A Little Bit of French History Finds its Way to Boston.

By Cal Dunagan, Editor-in-Chief

Louis XVI armoir at city schemesWe love furniture history! For us, nothing tells a story better than an antique. It can be argued that master-crafted furniture is one of the most tangible connections we have to the past. So, when we caught wind of some obscure Boston lore sitting tucked away down the road, we jumped at the opportunity to bring it to you!

Our destination is the modern furniture shop City Schemes, just west past Conway Park Hubway Station in Somerville, MA. One of the first things you’ll notice as soon as you walk into the huge showroom at City Schemes, is that the store has fully embraced mid-century modern. And for those of us who bathe in the glory of mid-century living, this place is a real treat. But that’s not what we came for this time.

If you pay special attention while perusing the furniture, you’ll notice something a little out of place standing monolithically against the wall next to some very handsome leather loungers. It’s not easy to miss. The armoire is grand. Made of a rosy French walnut and inlayed with fruitwood, this meticulously crafted Armoire Louis XVI is something out of a time-capsule.

Luckily, this armoire has practical use—the staff at City Schemes uses it to hold the swatches and pattern samples for their custom-built furniture—so we’re allowed some intimate time going over all sharp angles and deep lines of history etched into the design of this armoire. At closer inspection, the skill of craftsmanship is obvious, and the brass fixtures are just tarnished enough to bring gravity to the age of the armoire, which the store owner estimates at just over two centuries! However, it isn’t the impressive age of this piece that originally brought us here, but rather who the piece supposedly belonged to. This is where the story gets juicy.

inside-the-showroom-city-schemesThe owner of City Schemes found this Louie XVI Armoire nearly 30 years ago, on one of his many trips to tour the antiques of France. During one of these excursions he found a little known antique store tucked away in the south of Nice. As he was heading out of the shop, he noticed a massive armoire under a pile of boxes behind the register. When he asked the old lady behind the counter about the armoire he got a bit more than he bargained for.

She recounted the story of the original owner of the armoire, Countess Maria (Marie) Walewska, a Polish noblewoman who lived at the end of the 18th century. We did a bit of digging on this obscure woman from history.

Marie was born on December 7th 1786 to a wealthy noble family in Kiernozia, Poland. She married Count Athenasius Colonna-Walewski in 1805, a man forty years her senior. It is perhaps due to her noble status that she eventually rubbed elbows with Napoleon Bonaparte two years into his reign as Emperor of France in 1806. He was so entranced with her beauty that soon he asked her to be his mistress!

napoleonThe affair was meant to be a secret one. Marie took up residence at the capital’s Royal Castle, and would drop in on the Emperor’s room at night, then sneak out in the morning. When Napoleon moved his headquarters to East Prussia she followed him there, but kept to her living-quarters the entire time out of fear that she would be discovered by Napoleon’s commanding officers, many of whom she knew and was related to. However, by the end of the year the relationship was no less than an open secret in the higher-circles of the noble class in Western Europe.

For the next four years, Marie followed Napoleon where he traveled and they eventually wound up in Vienna in 1809. It was here that Maria became pregnant. She was forced to move back home and gave birth to her second son, Alexandre Joseph, and her first son with Napoleon. Her husband, the elderly count Athenasius, took the boy in as his own.

After Vienna, Napoleon moved back to Paris, where Marie met him. But soon Napoleon grew cold toward Marie. It was during this time that Napoleon decided to divorce his current wife Joséphine de Beauharnais in favor of marrying a new woman, Duchess Marie Louise of Parma. A different Marie! As consolation, Emperor Napoleon left Marie Walewska and their son a large estate in the Kingdom of Naples. He also left her a massive residence at the Rue de Montmorency palace, replete with brand new furniture and accoutrements!

After Marie Walewska’s death in December of 1817, her entire estate was sold in an auction. And this is exactly where the old French woman at the antique shop explained that she purchased the grand Louie XVI Armoire! It didn’t take much more convincing and within a few hours, the armoire was in a shipping container and on its way across the Atlantic to City Schemes in Somerville, MA.

As we are walking out of City Schemes, we ask how long they plan on keeping the armoire. We are told that the armoire has found its final home and that they don’t ever see selling the piece. After all, this antique has been with the store since its inception. Not only is it extraordinarily beautiful to look at, it’s just one more excuse to tell a great story!