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Designer Monthly Preview

The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

Did you ever have a problem designing small spaces?  Take a look at how top interior designers solved this common problem in our latest Designer Monthly, How to Design Small Spaces at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.






Announcing: The New York Institute of Art and Design

We’ve changed our name!  Sheffield School is now the New York Institute of Art and Design. The school has also merged with its sister school, the New York Institute of Career Development, adding two home-study courses in Professional Blogging and Fiction and Memoir Writing.

Our blog’s new name is the NYIAD Blog and will include additional topics on blogging and writing. All together the New York Institute of Art and Design will offer six home-study creative courses, including Interior Design, Jewelry Design: Beading and Wire-Working, Wedding and Event Planning, Feng Shui, Blogging, and Fiction and Memoir Writing. 

The name change signifies a new focus for the school, which has provided home-study courses in the creative arts since 1985. “The New York Institute of Art and Design better captures who we are and what we offer to the thousands of students around the world that are enrolled with us,” says Sandra Darien, the School’s Registrar.  We have big plans for the future of the New York Institute of Art and Design and we will share them with you as they come! 


Decorating Tips: Organizing the Dorm Room

You may have a child going off to college for the first time (time goes so fast!) or you may already have a seasoned collegiate who needs some organization help. What should they bring to their dorm?  Well, if their dorms are anything like mine, they probably don’t have much room or storage, and they probably share it with another student. 

My dorm room was narrow with two sliding closets, two desks and chairs and two beds. That was it. Stark simple and blah. When I went to school, they didn’t have storage places like the Container Store and they didn’t have the internet to shop around. Talk about hard! I had to go to a flea market to make my limited selections. But being a budding interior designer in the making, I got very creative with what I had.

I chose a small soft lounger – similar to the one above – which had a seablue fabric and then revolved my whole color scheme around that. I bought cheap white plastic storage crates and grouped them to form a coffee table.  Then I took some plywood - the same length as my plastic crates - wrapped it in the same blue fabric as the lounger - and laid it on top of the crates for an instant matching coffee table! In our example above, we have the Coral beanbag lounger from Joss & Main and matching QBO steel cubes from the Container Store grouped together to create a coffee table. 

The crazy looking bookcase is not an illusion by Escher, it’s the Rocky Credenza by La Chance.  Rocky holds books, lamps, and knick-knacks and is available at the A+R store. For the student who loves to rock when they’re not studying, we have guitar hooks from Bed Bath and Beyond to hang their leather jacket!

Bedside Caddy and Shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond

My roommate and I also built (okay, my roommate's boyfriend built but we supervised!) a loft bed to create more floor space for our living room section.  But that was the limit of our construction for the room.  We could have used some of these space-saving devices above. The bedside caddy and shelf from Bed Bath and Beyond solves the lack of a night table for the upper bunk bed sleeper.

If you need some privacy in your dorm room - won't that roommate ever leave?! - you may consider a room divider.  This Hang It Up room divider from StacksandStacks provides privacy plus storage.  There are magazine racks, hooks, and shelves for those study materials!

Hang It Up Room Divider from StacksandStacks

Being a design student, my favorite storage device was made by Italian (of course!) designer, Joe Colombo. The ever versatile and portable Boby trolley cart held all my art supplies in a very organized fashion. The cart had swinging drawers, shelves, tall storage for those long rolls of design drawings, and it had wheels so you could move it all around your room.

Colombo's Boby Trolley Cart



Interested in learning more about organizing?  Take a look at New York Institute of Art and Design.  At NYIAD, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.


How to Dress Up Your Walls - Part II

Cinque Terre from the Thief and the Knight / The Amalfi Coast by Camrio / Sailing in South of France by Osinni - from Brunelli Designs Inc.

Dressing up your room's walls is a crucial part of interior design; it provides a focal point for all those who enter the room. In a previous blog, I mentioned creating themes as a jumping off point for dressing up your walls. An easy theme to use is travel.  But travel could encompass a wide selection of work so it’s best to narrow it down even further.  If your client, for instance, loved travel and the ocean; then choose artwork with both these themes, creating a strong cohesive group of artwork.

In our example above, we chose art work showing off Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast of Italy, and also from the South of France. Notice how the blues and greens of the pictures bring the grouping together. Below is a grouping of various landscapes.  Besides choosing a common theme, you should also choose artwork with the same intensity of colors.  A bold picture with saturated colors may overwhelm a more delicate picture of pastels.

 Clockwise from top left: Champ d’avoine by Monet / Russian Winter by Barasch, High Sierra by C. Bruder – both from Brunelli Designs Inc. / Path to Crescent Bay, Laguna Beach – by Charles Zoltan - from Stewart Fine Art

Another way to choose a group of artwork is to stick to a similar style of painting.  Above you have artwork with a realistic approach to the landscapes; below shows a more abstracted brushwork.  The artwork below is a series of watercolors by Lisbeth Reed.

Clockwise from top: Dirt Road, Hidden Cupola, Seaside Landscape – all by Lisbeth "Bet" Reed – from Wallbangers

Interested in learning more about accessorizing?  Take a look at New York Institute of Art and Design.  At NYIAD, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.


Decorating Tip: Flooring in a Snap!

Moss tile, courtesy of SnapStone

Have you ever wanted to replace your ugly kitchen or bathroom floor but shudder at the price of replacement?! Did you ever want to upgrade your humdrum foyer floor and turn it into a showstopper? Then take a look at SnapStone tiles. Snapstone offers a floating tile system that can be installed over existing floors.

Each individual tile is embedded in an interlocking tray with a rubber base.  You just position the tile, snap into place and grout. SnapStone tiles are made of genuine porcelain and come in several sizes so you can design different patterns - as seen above. There are many colors and perfect for bathrooms, kitchens, and foyers.  

Ferrous tile, courtesy of SnapStone

Nutmeg tile, courtesy of SnapStone

Metropolitan tile, courtesy of SnapStone



Interested in learning more about floor treatments?  Take a look at Sheffield School's Complete Course in Interior Design.  At Sheffield, you will learn how to transform a space, create color schemes, and select furniture, lighting, and accessories.


Planning an Outdoor Wedding

Raj Tent, courtesy of Pavilion Tent Company

If an outdoor wedding is the stuff of dreams for you, but stormy weather gives you nightmares, then consider the following tents for your back-up plan.  You don’t have to settle for plain-vanilla tents when planning outdoor weddings. There are exotic and unique designs to satisfy all kinds of wedding styles. 

Maharajah Tent, courtesy of Pavilion Tent Company

From the Pavilion Tent Company, we have the Indian-style tents with arched cutouts, as seen above and below. They can also line the inside of the tent with colored fabric such as this brilliant red, providing instant sophistication to the setting. Tassels can also be added to the edges of the tent for a whimisical touch!

Clear span tents, courtesy of Starr Tents

If you don’t want to block your guests’ view of the incredible outdoor setting of your wedding, consider using a clear see-through tent.  Whether it’s a majestic mountain lake setting or a sleek city skyline, these Clear Span tents from Starr Tent will frame the outdoors perfectly. 

Clear span tents, courtesy of Starr Tents

If you're interested in learning more about wedding planning, we encourage you to explore the Sheffield School, New York, NY. Sheffield began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded our course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng ShuiWedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.