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Designing for the Designer​, Downsizing without Compromise

Written for House Magazine

What does an interior designer do when faced with the challenge of creating a new home in a condo after 27 years in a residence over twice the size? The same thing she tells her clients - clean up, throw out, organize and get a plan.

     Mine was to try to keep my head above waten pack for an interim move to a tiny apartment before the actual more, juggle some 25 clients, prepare my radio show and articles and try to keep my sanity, So where did I begin? At the drawing board - of course, Space was the key and judicious planning would afford me the ability to maximize every inch I had to work with.

      Good fortune smiled on the Weinsteins when we learned that Michael Dubb was the builder, The Beechwood organization (Michael and his partner Leslie A, Lerner, are award winners and Michael is the former president of the LI, Builders Institute, philanthropist, and a caring long Islander, He and I had an opportunity to get to know each other on my radio show, and he was kind enough to allow me the professional courtesy of designing and creating my own interior space.

      Now the fun began!

       Enlisting the aid of husband Bernie, whose BNW Industries has provided countless architectural and built-in solutions for my clients over the past 15 years, it was now my turn. I got out my wish list and began to design it into reality, and as it grew, so did my impatience. It seems our clients kept getting bumped up to the top of the orders, and I fell further behind while our 500 foot temporary abode, with no washer and dryer (terrible) and no kitchen stove (not so terrible) seemed to be shrinking.

        D-day was Memorial Day weekend when my 86 year old parents were coming to visit.

Three months to go and we had sheet rock walls, one temporary bathroom, no kitchen, vanities, flooring, railing, cabinetry or clos-ets. But deadlines and pressure are what my chosen profession is all about, so why should I be any different from my clients? Work was progressing, but there was so much to be done, I honestly didn't know if we would make it - which would leave me with a house full of countless pieces of wood molding and "chicken parts" of built-ins in every room. Thanks to our great staff, however, we finished installing and cleaning up two hours before my parents' plane arrived, the furniture and window treatments having been delivered a few days before.

          Each room is special because it gives us a feeling of comfort and elegance, and fits my personal need for traditional design elements even though the rooms are not large. People who have since visited find our home inviting and interesting. For me, when I pull in the driveway and open the door - I feel happy, and that's the designer's ultimate goal for any client.

Special Thanks to Albert Vitiello Upholsterers, Audio Den, Barnette Shure Antiques, Bath Beautiful of Smithtown, Blackman Plumbing and Heating, Patti Calleia - Muralist, Distinctive Granite, Drexel Heritage Furniture, Floor DEcor/Nouveau Carpet, Frank & Camille's Pianos, Kravet Fabrics, Mastercraft Elite Welding, Old Country Tile, Peykar Oriental Rugs, Shamrock Time Installers, Sike Bloomers, and Jack Ader for 20 years of turning photography of interior designed space into an art form.

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