Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Secret Touch

Getting a little professional design help from Lillian August



Photos by Rana Faure

I love decorating for the holiday season—bringing out festive linens, creating seasonal sparkle, and adding fresh greens throughout my home. But these last few years, I’ve been in a holiday decor rut. It’s the same-old, same-old. It occurred to me that I routinely add new pieces to my wardrobe and my home accessories. So why not my holiday style? 

Fashionable salvation arrived when I attended Holiday Design 101, at Lillian August Design Center in Norwalk. In-store designers Marla Turner (pictured at the bottom of the page on the right) and Terrance Rhodes (pictured at the bottom of the page on the ) transformed a corner of the store into stunning dining room, living room, and conversation alcove tableaus. They walked attendees through their design choices, providing creative tips on how to add extra “bling and zing” to our entertaining style. “I like to think of everyone as a celebrity,” says Turner with a smile. “So our overall goal was to evoke a glitzy, fun, holiday vibe that could work for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year’s Eve, even an Oscar party.” 

“We chose a primary palette of white because it’s clean, crisp, and pure,” adds Rhodes, also a talented floral and landscape designer, “and then added accents of black, grey, and gold. The inspiration was a blending of interior design and the fashion world. Kind of Alexander McQueen meets Hollywood.”

The design duo begins their presentation in the dining room, explaining how various elements were strategically layered to create a striking and glamorous look. The shimmering, over-the-top gold-and-crystal chandelier evokes a super-luxe disco ball and serves as both the focal point and jewelry for the room. The rectangular dark walnut dining table showcases brushed brass legs, echoed in the similarly styled brass legs of the dining chairs, which are chicly upholstered in a neutral buff linen.

Instead of place mats, open-weave metallic gold runners travel the length of the table on both sides. Delicate white china place settings with gold rim detail are accented with modern, gold-hued flatware and gold-rimmed stemware. Starched white linen napkins are tightly rolled and tied with a gold ribbon, and then adorned with an aromatic sprig of cedar. “Anyone can do this,” says Rhodes. “Boxwood, pine, cedar, and holly all add a nice holiday touch.”

Four towering gold candlesticks heighten the sense of drama and serve as a counterpoint to the two all-white flower arrangements. Amaryllis, roses, spray roses, hydrangeas, variegated cedar, and magnolia leaves are gathered in low profile, textured white ceramic vases. Two small orbs covered with white carnations sit in the center of the table. “Carnations are often viewed as the poor relation of showier, more expensive flowers,” says Rhodes, “but used creatively they can add a modern touch.”

Clear-bubbled glass paperweights of varying sizes are positioned between the flowers and candlesticks, adding visual interest and another reflective surface. A nine-by-twelve-foot rug in hues of silver, grey, beige, and cream subtly threaded with gold in an understated Art Deco pattern ties it all together. Connecting the dining room to the conversation area is a tall gold-and-black lacquer étagère displaying various objets d’art including a gold Buddha head, design books, a piece of gypsum on a Lucite base, and a delicate white bowl with a gilded interior. A large pop art print in black, gold and white, fronted by a vintage Louis Vuitton bench with Lucite legs, adds a fun rock ‘n roll note. 

Next is an inviting conversation/bar area that brings old Hollywood to mind. Depth is added by the use of a four-paneled black-and-mirrored screen in a geometric pattern as a backdrop. The inviting setting includes a three-tiered, wheeled bar cart in brass and Lucite that holds holiday stemware along with decanters and gold bound fashion design books (Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermès). Flanking the cart are two chairs upholstered in white cowhide with faux elk horn frames and large gilded Ikat throw pillows. The overall effect is so glamorous, one can easily imagine Marlene Dietrich slinking in, clad in a 1940s Jean Louis gown. 

The living area is equally glamorous, with a sophisticated 1970s Halston-era feeling. “We incorporated different textures to add dimension to the living room design,” says Turner. “We used lacquer, fur, hides, stone, sequins, velvet, gold and silver lamé, and charcoal gray shearling with pops of white.”

A pale gray linen-upholstered sectional gets a style upgrade with the addition of throw pillows in various fabrics andtextures. Above the sofa hangs an exquisite black and gold child’s ceremonial kimono framed in a black shadowbox.

Triangular black-and-gold floor lamps with square ivory shades heighten the room’s drama, and a charcoal gray leather bench and dark cowhide club chair provide a masculine balance for the more feminine touches. A gold and green malachite accent table contributes a welcome pop of color. 

The effect of the overall design was dazzling. I found myself fantasizing about being invited to a swanky soiree in those fabulous rooms. I left the workshop feeling energized and inspired, excited to add new textures, accessories, and yes, even a bit of upscale bling to my own holiday décor. And guess what? You can, too.

 

Add your comment:

Connect With Us

             

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading Local Professionals

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

November 2018

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join us for a FREE lecture! Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. However, the fear of falling doesn’t need to rule your life. Learn strategies for preventing falls and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stamford Health Tully Health Center
32 Strawberry Hill Court
1st Floor Auditorium
Stamford, CT  06902
View map »


Sponsor: HSS Sports Rehab
Telephone: 203-705-2933
Contact Name: Pamela Villagomez
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Wednesday, November 14th at 4:00 PM. Open to all ages. Decorate an apple with candy to make it look like a turkey! This event is free and no registration is required. Co-sponsored with the NS...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take a behind-the-scenes, private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition Jewelry: The Body Transformed with Curator of American Decorative Arts, Beth Carver Wees. Followed by lunch and...

Cost: Member price: $50 Non-Member price: $60

Where:
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenune
New York, NY   10028
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555

More information

Join Laura’s brother Jan, and singers Diane Garisto and Kate Ferber for an evening of live music, stories and videos of this Rock & Roll Hall of Fame trailblazer.   Laura Nyro, posthumously...

Cost: 50.00

Where:
Bedford Playhouse
633 Old Post Road
bedford, NY
View map »

More information

914INC. will host its annual Women in Business Luncheon, to be held in conjunction with the magazine’s Q4/Winter issue, showcasing leading area businesswomen.

Cost: Single Ticket: $85 / Table of Ten: $800

Where:
DoubleTree by Hilton
455 South Broadway
Tarrytown, NY  10591
View map »


Sponsor: 914INC and Westchester Magazine
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Friday mornings from 10:30 to 12:30. Free, no registration. Open to adults and older teens. Participants are asked to bring their own supplies in, but some basic supplies will be provided by the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Wise financial planning includes getting up to date values for jewelry, watches and other valuables tucked away in jewelry boxes and safe deposit boxes. To make an appointment for a complimentary...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Katonah Museum of Art
134 Jay Street
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Museum of Art
Telephone: 914-232-9555
Website »

More information

Westchester Oratorio Society, Artistic Director Benjamin Niemczyk, opens its 21st season with a concert entitled, “An Evening with Bach” at the South Salem Presbyterian Church,...

Cost: $15 to $50

Where:
South Salem Presbyterian Church
111 Spring Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Westchester Oratorio Society
Telephone: 800 838 3006
Contact Name: Joe Spallina
Website »

More information

Molsky’s Mountain Drifters brings tradition steeped in possibility. The grace and wisdom of longtime fiddle player and multi-instrumentalist Bruce Molsky, described as “an absolute...

Cost: $25, $40, $55, $70

Where:
Rosen House Music Room
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Rd
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Website »

More information

On November 3rd, Heather Gaudio Fine Artis set to open “Room for Play,” a group exhibition featuring works by Ellen Carey, Deborah Kass, Robert...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: 203-801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

On August 18, 2018, the Bruce Museum will open A Continuous Thread: Navajo Weaving Traditions. This exhibition will trace the history of the Navajo weaving tradition from the earliest...

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Dr
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Saturday, November 17th from 12:00 - 3:00 PM for kids K+. Plan on staying with your children and having fun together.   This year’s annual STEAMFEST will feature Mad Science’s special...

Cost: Free

Where:
Ruth Keeler Memorial Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Meet us under the Dome and catch all the excitement! Come out for the 16th Annual Festival of Trees to benefit Ann’s Place at the Danbury Sports Dome for a weekend filled with live events...

Cost: Ages 3 to 64, $10; Seniors, $5; kids under 3, free.

Where:
Danbury Sports Dome
25 Shelter Rock Ln
Danbury, CT  06810
View map »


Sponsor: Ann's Place
Telephone: 203-790-6568
Contact Name: Michelle Frosch
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags