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Archive for September, 2012

The Newest Boot

What’s not to love about this look? It’s a fabulous color-block delight right now to the kicky ankle boot. If there’s not a pair in your closet, your weekend shopping objective is clear. (And while you’re at it, remember the kid-skin gloves!) Farewell September, readers. See you next month!

The Art of the Guest Room

Only antisocial misanthropes don’t need guest rooms. Every home needs one. I would further suggest that even studio apartments do too (more on that later). Most of us don’t have ever-present overnight guests (A.K.A. children or interlopers). For most modern lifestyles this means guest rooms need to be warm, inviting, quickly guest-ready AND available for other day-in and day-out activity. Who knew? Creating the perfect “guest room” is a wonderful design challenge.

*Consider what other activities are “roomless” in your home. Exercise room, wrapping room, adult time-out room.

*Then think about what furniture and accouterments are needed to trick this out properly.

*Never, ever ever sacrifice the comfort of the anticipated guest. Who wants to crawl over your treadmill and yoga noodles to sleep cramped in a twin bed?

*This room will have a split-personality functionality, but must be designed with a single vision.

*Finally, as promised, for those of you who are spaced-challenged where any sort of a “bonus” room is a fantasy, you too can comfortably host the overnight guest. Think futon with fabulous sheets, a bottle of bedside Pellegrino and French roast in the morning.

Inspiration for the ultimate guest room abounds. Here are some of our favorite picks….

photos clockwise: one, two, unknown, four, unknown, six.

Conversations with Friends: Meet Farina Kingsley

I believe good conversation and creative ideas are exponential. The more you talk, engage, explore and meander, the more you get back in return. It’s even better when there’s exquisite food involved. Therefore, it is my supreme pleasure to introduce you to Farina Kingsley, amazing chef, author, teacher and entertainer. A San Francisco native, Farina started cooking as a child in her Cantonese grandmother’s kitchen. Formal training ensued at Tante Marie’s Cooking School. Farina’s passion for cooking then took her abroad where she trained at the Hong Kong Kowloon Restaurant school and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Thailand. This summer we colaborated on a little boho beach party at Bald Head Island where we both have homes. Farina’s food was amazing (I’ll rave more about this at a later date). Farina now resides in Singapore. I was lucky enough to snag this very busy and talented woman for an exclusive interview. Bon appetit!

Visit Farina’s Website, here.

LSI: What’s the difference between food and cuisine?

F: When I think of “food,” I feel it’s a generic term for filling your belly (like fuel for your car) while cuisine is much more the art of preparing, savoring and sharing food.

LSI: Your ideal meal: simple or lavish, gourmand or comfort? Pick your polar.

F: I have to say that my favorite type of meal is consists of simple home-cooked dishes prepared with local fresh seasonal ingredients; not to say I don’t appreciate a gourmet tasting menu that has been artfully prepared and tantalizes your taste buds. My favorites from simple to lavish would be slurping a bowl of “Laksa” curry noodles street side in Singapore to experiencing a “kaiseki” dinner at “Kikonoi” in Kyoto

LSI:  You’ve been happily married for a while. What’s the very first thing you cooked for your man back in the day?

F: That’s a tough one…thank goodness Chris and I have similar palates and we both savor the range from a yummy bowl of pasta to wok tossed spicy shrimp. I think one of the first meals I prepared for us were lamb burgers loaded with feta, roasted peppers and tzatsiki with spicy sweet potato fries on the side…it’s still one of our favorite go to meals at home.

LSI: If you weren’t a fabulous mistress of cuisine, you’d be:

F: An acrobat with the Cirque du Soleil!

LSI:  It’s noon. You impulsively invite two couples over for dinner that very night. What’s cooking?

F: Grill up a sliced levain bread and fresh asparagus. Top with a simple fried egg and shave fresh parmesan cheese on top with a grinding of black pepper. For dessert, buy some salted caramel ice cream and serve with roasted bananas.

LSI:  We love food, but we’re all about spaces. Can you describe your dream kitchen? Remember, detail is our “spice.” Lay it on. Where do I begin?

F: Can’t think of a better combination than food and design. I’m still dreaming about designing my ultimate kitchen. I’m actually not crazy about huge kitchens. I prefer a well laid out kitchen that serves as a functional cooking and entertaining space and becomes the intimate hub of the house. My wish list:

*    A wood burning oven for roasting chicken, pizzas etc.

*    A commercial stove with a wok burner that have an output of 35K BTU (don’t know if its legal).

*    A separate stove with induction burners for slow simmering

*    1 high suction exhaust fan

*    2 dishwashers

*    A large see through glass fridge like a Traulsen (keeps you organized and inspires the next meal)

*    A separate beverage fridge

*    Open shelving for pottery, glasses and pots

*    A lower marble counter for pastry work

*    A deep stainless sink to wash stock pots and large pans

*    Pot filler faucet above the stove

*    A separate counter that serves as a beverage/wine bar with an ice machine and white and red wine fridge

*    At least a 1 horsepower food disposal

*    Great storage system for recycling bottles, paper and compost

*    Bar seating that allows your family and guest to face one another

*    A vegetable garden that is easily accessible from the kitchen

LSI: What single item – culinary or otherwise – bespeaks true luxury to you?

F: A manual spring piston lever espresso machine made by La Pavoni or Zerowatt.

LSI:  What do you order when you eat out?

F: I love small plate dining. Eating at a tapas restaurant, gastropub or wine bar. A fan of Asian cuisine, it is much more appealing to enjoy a trying a variety of dishes versus one huge entrée. I love seasonal vegetables; salumi and cheese platters, anything braised and seafood; whether its steamed mussels or cracked crab.

LSI: Much like the world of fashion, there are culinary trends. Tell us what’s up and coming. Are corn-dogs making a comeback?

F: Food trucks and pop-up restaurants are here to stay. And, talented chefs making inventive and inexpensive specialties with local produce in small spaces. I love San Francisco’s successful “Off the Grid Food Truck Parties”. Seeing more gluten free-products and adding less common whole grains to your diet (quinoa, faro, millet and amaranth). More schools and restaurants will focus on healthy kids meals (not just carrots sticks and apple sauce either) and eating local, sustainable and artisanal foods from your area is will no longer be a trend, but is here to stay and will continue to evolve. Don’t know about corn dogs…were they ever a trend?

LSI: You’ve been given a magic spatula (A.K.A. wand). You may relive a day in your life. Do tell.

F: Bringing my daughters into this world and capturing the moment of pure joy and experiencing a miracle.




Boho + Jetset = Gypset

Opposites attract. Imagine mixing the san-souci casual lifestyle of a gypsy with the sophisticated elan of a jetsetter. Presto. It’s the gypset, so beautifully shared in a wonderful new 2012 coffee table book from Assouline. Remember, boho starts at home. Be inspired this weekend.

purchase via assouline.

Tried, True and Luxurious: Vintage Leather

Some things in life are absolutely better brand spanking new. Like fresh baguettes, newly laundered and line-dried bed linens, and double lattes. But some things are better with a little patina of age about them. Leather upholstery is at the very top of my the-older-the-better list. In fact, I believe I’d rather sit on a comfortable floor cushion than a pristine, new leather sofa.

Leather gets softer and more supple with time and wear. I’m thinking of a favorite handbag and a pair of go-to shoes. Ditto for leather upholstery. What’s more, the so-called ravages of time enhance the charm and appeal of vintage leather upholstery.  Vintage leather pieces are no longer discards or (heaven forbid) candidates for reupholstery. Designers like me are snapping up life-worn leather as fast as we can find it. And savvy furniture makers are developing methods to make new look old! The rub-through, the occasional crack, the barbed wire tear, and the irregular sheen are all coveted vintage leather details.

Why this trend? Two reasons. First, broken-in vintage leather is super comfortable. And, secondly, the wear and tear tells a story – or perhaps “suggests” a story. Doesn’t everyone want a room with personality?

Stairways: Getting There is Half the Fun

“You had me at the staircase,” I sometimes think, when the LSI team and I set out to work on a home with a dramatic staircase. Of course, unless you live in a 50s ranch or a flat, stairs are a functional architectural element.  We love it when the staircase is functional AND beautiful. In my world, that’s the stuff of a perfect day!

Here at the LSI studio, we have stairs on the brain because we’re designing a staircase from the ground up for a new client. It’s like Christmas! We’ve begun the creative design process with a deep dive into all things stairs. It’s a thrilling exploration. Elevating even! Today, we’d like to share some of our favorites with you. Spiral staircases are dizzyingly wonderful. A trend in low-tread minimalistic treatments is on the rise. Designers are upping the game of cavernous stairwells with some innovative paint treatments. And, traditional foyer staircases are getting a makeover, going modern and luxe. Come along with us….

images via unknown.

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The Next Best Thing In Design: Design Coach

At Lisa Sherry Interieurs we believe beautiful living should be an everyday, casual occurrence, within reach for all those who seek it. It’s beautiful idea, but reality is that some people are just more talented when it comes to pulling it all together. Like the amazing team I work with every day. That’s why we’re introducing a brand-new LSI service today. It makes our special design sorcerer skills available to more people. Affordably.

It’s called DESIGN COACH. It’s an action-packed hourly service where we come to your home, assess, edit, arrange, rearrange and restyle your space. We use what you have with a fresh new spin. Anyone out there feeling makeover ready? Design Coach is on standby. Let’s go!

Design Coach – set the stage for better living!

Learn More Here.

10 Things to Love About Fall

I love fall! (Okay, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) My romance with summer is well known, but I am not one to dwell in the past. It was a fling. I’m onto what’s next. His name is autumn. Fortunately, I love change and transition. It does not scare me, as it does some; it invigorates me.

My very favorite thing about fall is that it is a robust season for interieurs. Home becomes the center of the world with the fall. Life moves inside. And my passion in life is creating livable, luxurious homes for clients (and my family).

A special postscript to client readers, especially to the very busy ones or those prone to procrastination (you know who you are), now is the time to reach out on any hiatused design projects we need to wrap up in time for the holiday season. We love to make things happen for you.


photo via.



When Less is Less and More is More

It’s our last après-Labor Day post of the week before we set you free! It’s been fun to share our observations on color and texture trends moving into fall. But we’ve saved the biggest for last. I think the minimalist trend and the constant reduction to less…less…and still more less…may we winding down. Shall we say it’s found the lowest common denominator?

Now, while I have been known to extoll the wonders of a well-edited room. Here at LSI we are seeing the emergence of detail, layered accessories, collectibles, lighting and texture. Perhaps the pattern and discordant color-mixing trend we saw in fashion earlier in the year are adding fuel to this design trend. It’s here! And we love it.

Photos Clockwise from Top: Settee, Unknown, Dining, Library, Malachite, Gallery, Showhouse, Elle.