Designing the Life: A Blog by Uma Stewart and Friends

Mood Board: Olive and Ornament

olive and ornament

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After years of chasing cleaner lines, the worlds of fashion and style seem to be magnetically drawn to ornate details now, which suddenly feel fresh and new. Case in point, the lovely street style shots from Milan’s fashion week. I’ve always loved a little bit of ornament paired with sleekness, and these recent pins capture a color palette I love too. If you mix gold together with grey blues, you get something close to olive, which can work well with the parent colors in a schema. The earthy palette is a good counterforce against all the detailing. Here are some ways to buy into this look.

shopoliveandorn1. Beautiful hand-painted terra cotta tiles, like these from Tabarka Studio, are making a comeback.

2. Candles from Cire Trudon come packaged in gorgeous olive glass with gold ornament and date back to the days of Marie Antionette.

3. What could be more ornamental than paisley and the luscious pillows by Dransfield and Ross?

4. If you do not have ornamental balustrades at home (not may of us do!), you can bring a piece of that feeling home with this scroll work accessory from Wisteria.

5. Even sweatshirts can stand some ornamental upgrades. I truly love this piece by 3.1 Phillip Lim.

6. A gorgeous flowing dress with the perfect print by Erin Fetherston.

7. Funky shoes by mod cloth reference the look.

8. A J.Crew embroidered top is an easy choice for wearing a love of ornament on your sleeve.

Like our take on interior design trends? Contact us for interior design in NJ! 

Local Talk: 5 Reasons Why to Hire an Interior Designer in NJ

montclair nj interior by uma stewartOur team is in the middle of spring project deliveries! This is always an exciting time of year when we deliver on our projects that started in the fall, and we also visit many potential clients for new projects, which run over the summer months.

Talking to homeowners at both the beginning and end of the process this week really drew out for me all the reasons why you should hire an interior designer. Here are a few top reasons.

  1. You want to have a beautiful home that makes a statement. If you care deeply about having a standout home that your friends and family will admire, then you will be able to fully appreciate the value of what an interior designer brings to the table. This is by far the best, and, in some ways, the only reason you should hire an interior designer.
  2. You are nervous about making purchases on your own. As an interior designer in NJ, right outside of NYC, our clients have access to almost as many resources as we do. Our clients work with us because we use our expertise to ensure that they are investing wisely in things that build towards a design statement, and work in their homes and with their lifestyle. If you need a guide to purchasing with confidence a designer can be invaluable.
  3. You want your home to feel unique. Shopping the Short Hills mall without a thorough understanding of design styles and influences, can lead to choices that end up feeling generic because they are too common and too safe. An interior designer will have custom resources and will know how to utilize them to create design elements that are unique and tasteful.
  4. You value the service. A good interior designer will have a team with project management capabilities. If you do not have the time or desire to shop for furnishings, order, track, and receive deliveries, troubleshoot and deal with problems, then you will get the most bang for your buck when hiring a designer.
  5. You are open to new ideas. If you know what you like, that is invaluable to the design process. It is also helpful if you can keep an open mind to new ideas and suggestions. A good interior designer will have a finger on the pulse of where style is headed in our NJ towns, and the uncanny ability to know what will make an amazing design statement in your home, even if you cannot see it at first.

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below on what you think are the best reasons to hire an interior designer.

Contact me for interior design services in South Orange, NJ and surrounding areas.

Photo credit: iphone pic by Uma of a room she designed in Montclair, NJ

Fashion Editorial: Avant Garde in Antewrp

48bc1bb2c6c0b33a2e493f2930fafa67 I was perusing when my eye caught this beautiful fashion editorial from October 2014. It was photographed, of course, by Mario Testino. I seem to gravitate to his images like a moth to a flame. The mix of colors and patterns is deft and artful, the backdrops full of urban lush. Modeled by Vanessa Axente with Michiel Huisman, the whole shoot is captivating.

f9a03d29f5847b89b4f21bc2b69e1df2 249a8c0fdc819d22021db123c5e73f6e89b7e0f4233c21a3f8281052dbea1028It captures an upscale undone-ness that is also very artistic and thoughtfully done. Check out the entire editorial on

Color Palette: Caramel with Grey and Black

novemberWhether in wood, leather, or wool, caramel is a standout color conjuring the best of fall. Think cozy interiors, warm wood tones, piles of leaves, a good leather bag, great desserts, and the perfect sweater. The more modern and sophisticated cousin of fall’s typical rust hues, caramel pairs well with grey or black! November’s inspiration images feature caramel at its best. The spin is urban and architectural. Enjoy!

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