Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Interior Designer Trendy for 2008, by Finest Linens and Things

by: Finest Linens and Things

Across the nation, interior designers are looking forward to a busy 2008 - and, odd as it seems, the nation's mortgage crisis may deserve credit for that.

In a sample of 11 of the region's design professionals, the consensus was that business is booming, with budgets so unconstrained that increased customization and one-of-a-kind elements are taking center stage.

"The design market is thriving, and I think that has to do with the shift in the economy," said Kelly Keiser, who has both a design business and shop, Splendid Interiors, in San Francisco. "People are staying in homes longer, rather than flipping houses. And I feel my clients are now investing in their houses and buying bigger-ticket items."

"Every designer I know is busy," said Grant Gibson, whose business took off after he won critical praise for his San Francisco's Decorator Showcases in 2004 and 2005. "I have more work than I can handle, and for the first time I'm not taking on new clients. It seems that, despite what's going on in the world economy, in the Bay Area, people still have money to spend."

As Chronicle readers sometimes make a point of reminding Home&Garden, most people cannot afford to hire interior designers to decorate their homes. But as home improvement professionals have observed, the trends that start with wealthy clients and their designers generally trickle down to the wider market and even do-it-yourselfers.

With that in mind, here's a roundup of capsules hinting at what trends those Bay Area designers and their clients might be launching in 2008 - along with a few trends that might be making their way to the interior design graveyard.

(Hello comfy seating, goodbye shiny lacquer.)

Cheryl DuCote

(Cheryl DuCote Interior Architecture & Design, San Francisco)

Generally: "We're seeing an importance in master bedroom suites. I think it's tied to the fact that the formal living room has gone by the wayside, and everyone congregates in the kitchen-family room, and the parents have no privacy - at a time when, with both likely to be working, they probably need it the most."

On the green movement: "There's a push toward green, and so our clients say, 'Give us more green, give us more green.' Then you start to present the pricing to them and it becomes a problem. ... We just looked at a fridge for a client. It was so energy efficient, it uses as much electricity as one lightbulb to run it all day. But it cost as much as $8,000."

Hello: Lavastone. Energy-efficient washers and dryers from Miele. Requests from clients to mix contemporary and traditional design elements.

Goodbye: The all-granite kitchen and the all-stainless-steel kitchen.

P.S.: "We've been doing some very interesting color schemes. We just did a master suite in taupe and pink for a couple. It looks gorgeous, and he doesn't feel it looks feminine at all."

Lawanna Cathleen Endonino

(Lawanna Cathleen Design,

San Francisco and Beverly Hills)

Generally: "Original antiques and custom-designed furniture are in large demand from my clients. I bought a charming original Noguchi table from Rue de Grenelle Antiques. My client treats the table like a valuable sculpture."

On the green movement: "I had difficulty finding a green textile line that has the right colors and patterns for my projects, so I decided to design my own, with hip patterns and bold colors and using only organic products."

Hello: "I'm a big fan of digitally printed wallpaper - it's available in a variety of patterns and bold colors, and designers can design their own to give clients something original ... I also like, a Web site that allows designers to shop showrooms, download tear sheets and get quotes 24 hours a day."

Goodbye: "Although I love the idea of creating a space that Marie Antoinette would have lived in decadently, Baroque furniture is becoming last year's style, being replaced by mid-century antiques and reproductions."

P.S.: She likes to shop Hedge Gallery and Sarlo Wick.

Grant Gibson

(Grant K. Gibson Interior

Design, San Francisco)

Generally: "Things like the Internet,, Domino, In Style Home, Real Simple, Oprah's home magazine - these give everyone access to things. In the next years, I see things becoming available to not only the trade but to the general public. In this economy, if someone wants to buy a $10,000 sofa, a showroom isn't going to say, 'Sorry, we won't take your money.' "

On the green movement: "I'm educating clients about it, but they're not coming to me with it in mind. I spend all day at the Design Center instead of making many trips; I look for green upholstery textiles and fillers; I tell clients that wool and natural fiber carpeting does less off-gassing. But when I made space for one client to have a recycling bin, he said, 'I'm 74 years old. I've never recycled and I'm never going to.' "

Hello: "Kneedler-Fauchere has solution-dyed acrylic fabrics from DeLany & Long that are beautiful and durable. You can spill anything on them."

Goodbye: "The chrome-black-leather, Design Within Reach phase is finally winding down. People are going more classic and a bit warmer; they're more concerned with comfort. My client today is in there (at the Design Center) sitting on 25 sofas."

P.S.: He'd like to see other things go away - zebra skin rugs and coral, to name two.

Cathleen Gouveia

(Cathleen Gouveia Design,


Generally: Gouveia sees the design trade veering away from the traditional hours-plus-commission billing structure to hours-only because clients have become so shopping-savvy. "Many clients will shop a designer for specifications and then cancel their contracts so that they can have a buying service do the purchasing for them with the specs they have gained."

On the green movement: "Wealthy clients aren't yet affected by this trend. They have an affinity to items that are custom made for their homes and reflect their travels abroad and the hobbies their affluent lifestyles afford. ... I believe we are on the cusp of a major revolution as American habits and lifestyles are affected by the need to slow global-warming trends."

Hello: Bathroom vanities being replaced by "spa boxes with open shelving and exposed plumbing below." The impact of solar technology. Room focal points shifting from floor to wall, with the advent of flat-screen TVs, and designers doing more home-for-sale staging, in light of the dismal housing market.

Goodbye: Trade-only showrooms. "I believe that, outside the immediate San Francisco Design Center arena, suppliers who once catered only to the trade will respond to our weak economy by offering products to consumers directly online. Designers will need to restructure fees to maintain profitability."

P.S.: As the Baby Boomers age, she said, "furniture forms, mobility, access and affordability are going to be more tailored to the late-middle-aged and elderly."

Christel Heinelt

(Lushart Decorative Painting & Murals and Christel Heinelt Design, Pacifica)

Generally: With all of the exposure to Internet and magazine design expertise, said Heinelt, clients are more educated and more passionate about their spaces. "The designer is the expert, the professional in the field. Some clients want those clear roles, yet others choose to challenge your ability to interpret the scope of the project to a certain extent. ... I choose to embrace the present, ride the constant wave of change, and educate my client to make the best choices for their space."

On the green movement: "There are so many wonderful organic products on the market for interiors. We will definitely see more and more in 2008. ... Lighting is also an exciting element, with more use of natural and diffused lighting, as well as alternative bulb sources and wattage."

Hello: "A huge trend would have to be specialty decorative wall finishes and wall coverings. The materials today are amazing. ... I worked with a company out of the South Bay called S2 Design that creates digital wall-scape imagery. With this medium, the sky is actually not the limit; the possibilities are endless. The S2 team can take any image and translate it into a permanent wall or floor covering."

Goodbye: "I think the trend of the poured-concrete kitchen and bathroom countertop has wound down. I think clients felt that, though beautiful, it was not stain resistant enough or as durable as slab marble and stone."

P.S.: Heinelt says the rebirth of Venetian plaster has kept her busy with her Lushart partner, Thad Warren, on the labor-intensive process she describes as "expensive, long-lasting and very beautiful."

Jay Jeffers

(Jeffers Design Group, San

Francisco and Los Angeles)

Generally: "People are using more color, which of course I love. And as the world gets smaller with the Internet and increased travel, interiors are becoming much more worldly. People are collecting decorative objects, art and antiques from all countries and periods."

On the green movement: "I'm not really excited about the aesthetic qualities of a lot of the green furniture out there, but I like the fact that businesses like upholsterers are starting to look at the materials they use and are trying to incorporate more green products."

Hello: Multiple looks for a single room - summer/winter for example, or casual/formal. Waterworks custom metal finishes on faucets. Textural finishes on furniture, such as limed oak or bleached walnut.

Goodbye: "Dark finishes on furniture. I've been lightening up those dark brown, wenge colors on custom furniture, but those dark finishes just won't die in the world of retail furniture!" Also, Hollywood Regency. "Large, overscaled patterns on fabrics and wallpaper are getting smaller and more elegant."

P.S.: "I love that antiques are considered green, and I use them as often as possible in my interiors."

Kelly Keiser

(Splendid Interiors,

San Francisco)

Generally: "Everyone is in search of the calm right now. They mostly want a relaxing environment, and that applies to color, texture, everything. Living in the city, as most of my clients do, there's a lot of stimulation out there."

On the green movement: "We are ahead of the game for the United States, but behind as designers. I read somewhere that we dump 6 billion pounds of carpet into landfill a year as designers. That's a lot. We need to be aware of what we install and what we uninstall."

Hello: The Kravet Green collection of eco-friendly textiles, Benjamin Moore's low-toxicity Affinity paints. "I've also been installing a lot of fireplaces in the city."

Goodbye: Toile. Damask. "I also see people reusing their old pieces - maybe the new is also winding down."

P.S.: "Sometimes it's hard to tell the designer from the client, but people are more informed, and I don't think that's ever a bad thing."

Catherine Macfee

(Catherine Macfee & Associates Interior Design, Orinda and Tahoe City)

Generally: "Interior design is returning to the hallmark of our culture by helping clients truly defining who they really are and how they want to live. Our clients want timeless, not trendy, interiors ... solving the current needs of our families."

On the green movement: "Europe and many other countries have been living this lifestyle for ages by investing in high-quality items that last for years and are passed through the generations. Some designers that have been in the business for a while seem overwhelmed with the concept of incorporating sustainability into projects because they feel that is something they have not learned."

Hello: Golden harvest yellows, rococo pinky red and snorkel blue. "I see pattern expanding into a larger scale, almost simplifying things in a classic way."

Goodbye: The wild and the mod. "I think people are looking for timelessness and not flashy, trendy interiors."

P.S.: "I'm excited about taking something that is old and creating something that is new. I recently found a pair of red gothic church window frames that we are making into a bed headboard and footboard."

Steven Miller

(Steven Miller Design Studio, San Francisco and New York)

Generally: "The design climate seems still a little provincial, but with younger people becoming more moneyed and doing things in different ways than their parents did, it's becoming less staid and more adventurous."

On the green movement: "I'm noticing a definite trend with wealthy clients moving toward green design and green products. These can be kind of out of reach for many people and can add 20 percent to the cost of building, but wealthy clients can go there. It's very trendy though, and it makes me nervous that, like most trends, it will die. It really needs to be sustained."

Hello: "Photovoltaic panels have come a long way in 10 years; they're much more attractive, smaller, more efficient. ... I'm impressed with Gary Hutton's new furniture over at Therien ... great new wallpapers by Studio Printworks."

Goodbye: "Asian modern is really tired and we're all sick of seeing it. Bamboo is a great product, but I'd like to see it used in new ways. Ebonized wood is waning and middle-value woods are definitely stronger, with even maple making a comeback."

P.S.: "When you look back on this period and can identify trends with some distance, ebonized wood will be the one we identify with this era."

Caitlin Moran

(Caitlin Moran Interiors, San Francisco)

Generally: "It's a rare Wednesday that I don't get a handful of items e-mailed to me from for treasures clients have spotted and want for their homes. The language of design and decorating is not reserved for only the professionals, and I really enjoy the synergy of working with those in love with my craft."

On the green movement: Clients definitely are more aware. "One practice I am really encouraging is to consider reinventing existing pieces, whether they be from clients' own homes or antique fairs, estate sales or flea markets."

Hello: Mokum fabrics from Australia and Raoul Textiles from Santa Barbara, which "inject not only a graphic element into my work but a feeling of the exotic." Moran also sees a move away from high-gloss lacquer finishes to more aged looks.

Goodbye: "I am hoping that Hollywood Regency will take a nap. I love it, but I think the market is a bit oversaturated."

P.S.: "I am seeing a trend of glamorous natural: faux bois wallpapers, silhouettes of lighting and furniture referencing natural forms - trees, animals, botanicals - and natural linens reinvented in a sexy, shimmering way."

Kendall Wilkinson

(Kendall Wilkinson Design, San Francisco)

Generally: "Design can be either very traditional or very contemporary, but in recent years it seems that it's going more toward the middle. We're mixing the two. This might mean using one or two antiques in an otherwise clean-lined, linear room in order to add depth. ... More people are taking even traditional Victorian and Edwardian interiors, stripping down the finish work, and adding in more modern furniture or doing things like painting the walls and trim the same color instead of in contrast."

On the green movement: "People are definitely very conscious of it, but it typically costs more money. A trend we'll probably see in the design world over the next few years will be figuring out how to incorporate green design into our clients' lives for less cost."

Hello: "Venetian chandeliers and Lucite furniture-like tables, headboards, vanities. They have a bit of shine and a bit of sparkle to them, and are a great bridge between classic design and modern design."

Goodbye: "I see the trend of too much of one thing - too much of one look, style or color - disappearing. ... People don't want their homes to look like a showroom or a master suite, they want the unexpected. Things aren't so subtle anymore."

P.S.: Clients are customizing rooms - "TV rooms or home theaters that are very lounge-oriented, wine cellars with an adjacent dining room, home offices that don't use traditional built-ins or office furniture but look more like libraries or sitting rooms."

{utriangle} NOW

Custom furniture and antiques, energy-efficient appliances, Lavastone, limed oak, eco-friendly and durable fabric, "glamorous natural."

Hello: Palecek's Woodland collection is crafted in mahogany veneer from plantation-grown trees; upholstery is organic hopsack, a green fabric.

{dtriangle} LAST YEAR

Ebonized wood furniture, the steel-and-leather look, granite/stainless steel kitchens, Hollywood Regency, poured concrete countertops, Baroque.

Bye-bye: The comeback of the LC4 Chaise Longue, Le Corbusier's 1928 design produced by Cassina, may be over.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Dozen Gift Ideas

A dozen gift ideas to inspire
BY John Meing

Still shopping for Christmas gift ideas? We've come up with a dozen for a spouse, best friend, mom or other recipient who's trying to improve his or her health. Who knows, you might even find something for yourself. Happy shopping! (A caveat: If you don't know how the person will react, giving one of these "it's good for you" gifts might not be a good idea. You could be sending a message he or she doesn't want to hear.)


Why give it: Smaller dishes provide a visual reminder to eat less. One company markets the Diet Plate, marked off into serving areas, and a bowl with "fill to here" rings. But a salad or luncheon plate in a beautiful design would serve the same purpose.

Price: The Diet Plate sells for $35; a set of simple salad plates is about the same amount.

Where to shop: Where dinnerware is sold; online for the Diet Plate.


Why give it: WichiTalk reader Barbara Eklund says the Polar F6 she got for Mother's Day has inspired her to work harder at the gym, whether she's in a cardio class or doing weight training. A heart rate monitor is used to track your heart rate, one way of monitoring how hard you're exercising. Hers also tells her how many calories she has burned.

Price: The Polar F6 sells for $120, but other models are available for less -- and more.

Where to shop: Sporting goods stores.


Why give it: It's a constant reminder to be more active. Pedometers count how many steps you take; fitness experts say that taking 10,000 steps a day is one way to stay fit. Some pedometers also display distance, calories burned, speed and other statistics.

Price: $15 to $60.

Where to shop: Sporting goods or discount stores.


Why give it: Working with a trainer can provide motivation, instruction or help in reaching a goal. And you don't have to be a gym member: Online training is available, perfect for the person who needs 24-hour access.

Price: $30 to $65 a session at a gym, depending on the facility, the trainer and the number of sessions you get. Online programs are $15 to $50 a month.

Where to shop: Local fitness facilities or online.


Why give it: Jumping rope burns fat, increases stamina and firms muscles. It's portable, so it's great for people who travel. Choose one made of plastic or plastic beads for durability; look for a swivel turning action.

Price: $8 to $15; weight-training ropes are about $50.

Where to shop: Discount or sporting goods stores.


Why give it: They're sleek, decorative and a reminder of where you are and where you want to be. Some measure body fat; some track previous, current and goal weights for multiple users; some are solar-powered; others handle 400 pounds.

Price: $35 to more than $400.

Where to shop: Discount or sporting goods stores; Finest Linens and Things; Bed, Bath & Beyond.


Why give it: Studies have shown that people who track their workouts or what they eat are more successful than those who don't. WichiTalk reader Karen Ryno designed her own after not finding one that included all the features she wanted; she now sells her Body Balance Nutrition and Fitness Tracker. A blank journal or small notebook would be a way to get started.

Price: From 79 cents for a pocket notebook on up. Many fitness and nutrition journals, including Ryno's, sell for about $15. Online versions are about $40 per year.

Where to shop: Bookstores, discount stores. Ryno's is at and other places listed there.


Why give it: A set provides an easy way to work out for someone who travels a lot or adds variety for regular gym-goers. They're appropriate for all ages.

Price: $6 to $20, depending on how many you get. Many come in sets of three.

Where to shop: Sporting goods and discount stores.


Why give it: Laughter is the best medicine. It helps relieve stress, boosts levels of endorphins and may even protect you from a heart attack. What you choose depends on the recipient. One idea: a title from the American Film Institute's 100 funniest films. The top 10 include "Some Like It Hot," "Tootsie," "Blazing Saddles" and "Airplane!"

Price: Depends on what you choose. A video is $10 or less.

Where to shop: Again, it depends on what you choose.


Why give it: To inspire someone who is trying to lose weight or who has recently gotten a new medical diagnosis. You'll find a variety: for the reality-show fan, "The Biggest Loser Cookbook"; for someone with celiac, "The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods: Creating Old Favorites With New Flours"; for the vegetarian, "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes That Rule."

Price: $15 and up.

Where to shop: Bookstores, online, organizations such as the American Diabetes Association.


Why give it: These clocks simulate sunrise, providing a kinder, gentler way to wake up. They don't take the place of light boxes, used to counteract "winter blues," but some people say that waking to light makes them feel better mentally.

Price: $70 to $180.

Where to shop: Online. We couldn't find any sold locally, but if we missed a source, let us know: We'll pass along the word.


Why give it: Sometimes, that's all that's needed for a good night's sleep. Know whether the recipient is a back, side or stomach sleeper. Then, you can choose from foam, polyester, down or some combination.

Price: $5 to $140 (you tend to get what you pay for).

Where to shop: Department stores; Bed, Bath & Beyond; Finest Linens and Things,


This one might be on our list -- but it won't be available until late February or March, and it costs $300. Still, the Yamaha BodiBeat sounds pretty cool. You upload your favorite music, then head out for your workout. It finds the songs that match your tempo: Speed up, and it switches to a faster song. Slow down, and so does the music. Or you can set your target heart rate and it finds the songs to get you there. Or you can just listen to music. Watch for updates on availability.

Friday, October 12, 2007

William Yeoward, Cristal Designer & Maker, Promoting His Book

by Cary Sommes for Finest Linens and Things

Let's be honest, How often do you use your fine crystal? William Yeoward uses his every day, from morning until evening.

Of course, Mr. Yeoward would. He designed more than 1,000 pieces in the William Yeoward Crystal line, a handmade collection inspired by the 18th- and 19th-century Georgian designs that once graced the tables of the great country houses in England and Ireland.

But Mr. Yeoward cautions that one need not wait for an invitation from the queen to pull out finery.

"A number of people ... hide away their things for the best [day], but then the best [day] doesn't come, and the next thing that does come is that they're dead," he says.

Mr. Yeoward follows his own advice, starting his day with juice in a large crystal highball and winding down the day with glasses of wine.

"I drink huge quantities of wine," he says with a laugh.

Surrounding himself as he does with such beauty – along with crystal, Mr. Yeoward is known for his home furnishing, linen, lighting and sterling silver designs – it is no wonder Mr. Yeoward's book Perfect Tables: Tabletop Secrets, Settings and Centerpieces for Delicious Dining is in its fourth printing in only a year's time.

"This is a journey about looking at everyday objects in a new way while showcasing our work," he says.

For instance, he suggests skipping napkin rings and substituting children's bracelets or binding table linens with twine knotted around lily blossoms. (Cut off the stamens first, he cautions, because lily pollen stains cloth.)

But for those hostesses who lack today's required chutzpah for party planning, Mr. Yeoward will be in Dallas to provide design directives at Kappa Kappa Gamma's 13th annual Tablescapes by Candlelight.

The annual fundraiser for the Dallas alumnae association's charitable efforts will host the posh tastemaker at the Dallas Country Club on Monday and Tuesday. The Tuesday luncheon is sold out, but there is a champagne preview at 6:30 p.m. Monday ($150) and a cocktail reception at 7:30 p.m. ($110).

For tickets, call Anne Patton at 214-668-1902.

Expect Mr. Yeoward to expound on the joys of mixing china patterns and styles, motivating the crowd to move beyond the matching sets grandmother handed down. Mr. Yeoward is an advocate for spicing up the formal table, setting vintage next to retro next to contemporary next to antique.

But most of all, be prepared to be moved by Mr. Yeoward's exhortations for moxie, something hostesses today need more than anything, he says.

A perfect party, he claims, is really about mastering psychology.

"What do you really need? You need nerve."

Perfect Tables

William Yeoward

(Cico Books, $29.95)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


JANNA HOME TEXTILES with its websites http:// is stealing images from American and European sites and lying saying it is being manufactured on their facilities.

This is another SCAM from Chinese companies, that only serve to produce the worst of the worst products and delivery to American thru dishonest business in here.

Beware for not make business with these Chinese company. Just another company from china to deceive to the world wide people.


BY FINEST LINENS AND THINGS which does not do ANY business with JANNA HOME TEXTILE and other dishonest companies from China or anywhere else.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Sofa Throw Styles by Finest Linens and Things

It's fall. It's getting chilly. We're in no mood to go out. Time to hunker down with the remote control, a bowl of popcorn and a fancy sofa throw that costs more than some sofas.

American households with incomes of $75,000 or more spent an average of $4,000 on luxury bedding and linens last year, a 37% increase over 2005, according to Unity Marketing, a Stevens, Pa., research firm. Retailers are selling updated versions of the humble afghan at prices in the triple and even quadruple digits.

This week's Best Value is the soft, $249 baby-llama throw from Finest Linens and Things, woven in a sophisticated Irish Cashmere pattern. Best Overall cashmere throws money can buy.

For more information on Irish Pure Cashmere throws please visit Finest Linens and Things online.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

How to Choose Table Linens by Finest Linens and Things

How to choose a table linens?

First of all, when buying table linens you need to know the necessity of the new tablecloth will serve?

1) Do you want a formal and luxurious table linen?

2) Or you need a Casual or everyday table linen ?

3) Easy to take care or you don't mind ironing?

4) How much you want to spend on your new tablecloth?

Elegant and Luxury Table linens you not be what you need if you will not serve banquets or very formal dinners.

If you need it, there are several styles and material of table linens you should consider before purchase it.

- Linen is one of the most luxurious materials, as well as Silk, Egyptian cotton, Cotton Blended (linen, cotton, silk..) , Lace, Embroidered, Monogrammed. Colors: White, Beige, Patterned, other Solid Color.

For Casual table linens or everyday table linens, consider:

- Cotton, Cotton blended with polyester for easy care, machine embroidery. Colors: Multi Colors, white, solid colors

- Usually casual table linens are blended with synthetic materials for easy to care maintenance.

You can also select your table linens by Holiday occasion, for example:
a) For Valentine's Day - choose a romantic solid color for exemple: White, Beige, Pink, or Red.
It can be casual or formal table linens.
b) For Christmass e Holiday - choose table linens with the theme that will coodinate with your tabletops and dinnerware.
c) For ThanksGiving - also choose table linens that will coordinate with the theme and colors.
It doesn't matter what do you plan to buy as table linens, just buy what you like and you think it will coordinate with what you have as dinnerware, serverware and so on.

Table linens that you enhance your mood and your dinner room and have a good time.

By Finest Linens and Things

Monday, September 3, 2007

The Passion for Handmade Dinnerware by Finest Linens and Things

The Passion of Handmade table tops, specially dinnerware is going strong. "I guess people realize that ordinary mass producttion dinnerware just don't do it" says Finest Linens and Things Store manager..
We couldn't agree more... Handmades are special and it can worth in value for the future generations.