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Home Designers You Need to Know: Sara Touijer of Touijer Designs

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Photo by Regan Wood

Background

From a young age, Touijer was immersed in hands-on creative activities — her professional artist mom who taught her the ropes of watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting, while her father taught her about machinery and how she could make a product from scratch. As an adult, Touijer worked for a decade as an MRI/CT technologist until she realized she wanted to be able to express herself creatively in her profession. Her interior design career began 11 years ago, when she went back to school to receive her degree in interior design at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Design Philosophy

The best interiors should consider a homeowner’s lifestyle. “Think about how you need the space to work for you; keep functionality, and practicality in mind, and plan accordingly so that you get it right first time.” Embrace and inject your own personal style and create a space that is authentically you.

Inspiration

Awe-inspiring sunsets in Morocco, the tonal colors of sand and pebbles on a beach, light filtering through the leaves of an evergreen tree, the sound of waves crashing on a beach, the smell of freshly cut wood.

Hottest Design Trends

A resurgence in repurposing furniture. “[I am] a big fan of using what you have. I prefer to use pieces that have a history and a story to them but need a little sprucing up to bring them back to their former glory.”

Painting everything in the room (including trim, doors, and ceiling) one color. By doing so, “you create a softening effect that soothes and is super inviting.”

Burned-cedar-board home exterior, known as Shou Sugi Ban: a technique that originated in Japan in the 18th century, primarily to make cedar siding weatherproof. “The technique involves charring a wood surface to render it a deep charcoal-black, which is so chic and stylish for a home’s exterior.”


Read More: WATCH — A Local Design Groups Unveils 2 New Bedrooms for a Local ER Nurse


Top 3 Design Tips

1. Incorporate small details to make a big difference. Accessories are the “jewelry of interior design,” as they have the ability to tell a story, personalize a room, and give a quick facelift to a space.

2. Include layered lighting. Three types of lighting in a room is optimal: task, accent, and ambient. Overhead lighting can be harsh; dimmers help soften them.

3. Mix expensive pieces with inexpensive finds for a high-low price point, making the most out of a budget and creating unique combinations. “I tend to splurge on statement pieces or furniture that will make an impact or be heavily used.”

Go-To Home Design Resources

Shelter Mags (other than Westchester Home):

Domino
House & Garden
House Beautiful
Architectural Digest

Blogs

Juniper Home
Little Green Notebook
The Spruce

Websites

www.decorpad.com
www.thisoldhouse.com
www.housebeautiful.com
www.chairish.com
www.homedit.com

Instagram Feeds

@thisoldhouse
@grantkgibson
@monicawangphoto
@plankandpillow

TV Series

Ozark
This Old House
Black Mirror

Westchester Shops/Showrooms

The Shade Store, Port Chester and Scarsdale (window treatments)
Casablanca Tile & Stone, Harrison (tiles and countertops)
Associated Glass & Mirrors, Port Chester (shower doors, custom mirrors, glass projects)
Nest Inspired Home, Rye (pillows and accessories)
Current Home, Scarsdale (table and barware)
Sarza, Rye (wallpaper/pillows/unique furniture pieces)

CT Shops/Showrooms

Lillian August, Norwalk (rugs and accessories)
Room, Greenwich (contemporary furniture designs)
Schwartz Design Showroom, Stamford (furniture customization)
Everest Marble, Norwalk (countertop/slabs)
Design Within Reach, Westport (modern/contemporary furniture)

NYC Shops/Showrooms

The New York Design Center
Holly Hunt (fabrics and wallpaper)
Kravet (budget-friendly fabrics)
Koroseal (wallpaper)
Michele Mariaud Gallery (artwork)
Pierre Frey (contemporary fabric designs)
Garrett Leather (shearling and leathers)

Brands/Designers

Circa Lighting
Kelly Wearstler
Ann Sacks
B&B Italia

Fave Products

Rimini Pendant
Patdo, Port Chester

 

Moroccan Rug,
Lillian August, Norwalk

“I love the handmade charm of the Beni Ourain rug, with its crooked lines and asymmetrical compositions.”

Contour Leather Bar Stool
Design Within Reach, Westport

Margot Ottoman
Nest Inspired Home, Rye

“I love a good, fully upholstered ottoman for homes with children. No rubber corners are required to prevent the occasional head bump.”

Resin Trough, Tina Frey
Current Home, Scarsdale