Want to liven up your art collection? Consider swapping out an oil painting, matted photograph, or finger painting by one of the kiddies for some work by that preeminent artist, Mother Nature herself—specifically, a framed, living plant garden that hangs on a wall. Suite Plants, a Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York-based startup, is the driving force behind LivePicture, a high-end, low-maintenance designer wall planter, the contents of which even non-green-thumb types will find hard to kill. Unlike with an expensive-to-install-and-maintain green wall, setting up or moving a LivePicture is like hanging a framed painting on the wall. Maintenance is as simple as adding water once every four to six weeks, thanks to hidden plastic water tanks. And for those looking to change the plants on a seasonal basis, interchangeable plant cassettes easily snap in and out of their frames. This sleek, contemporary wall planter is manufactured in Holland from recyclable material. The frame—available in charcoal, silver, and white—is made from powder-coated steel. Available in VanGrow (28.5” by 28.5”; $1,000 to $1,200) and RemPlant (44.3” by 28.5”; $1,200 to $1,400) designs. For more info/to order: suiteplants.com.
Italian kitchen- and bath-design company Boffi brings its signature minimalism to il bagno with its Flyer tops, a line of suspended bathroom sinks. The sleek sink units, which seem to float on air, are available in several finishes, including woods like black walnut, old pinewood, and brushed oak; stones like marble, granite, and quartz; and Corian. Sink units can stand alone or be equipped with push-opening drawers in veneer wood or matt Silcover. Either way, you’ll be inspired to toss those half-empty toothpaste tubes and old hotel-shampoo samples—or stash ’em elsewhere. Flyer sink tops start at $3,900, and cabinet drawers at $1,600. To purchase, contact Boffi Soho (31½ Greene St 212-431-8282; boffi.com).
Pot of Gold
Can’t make it to the City of Lights just now but still love Paris in the springtime, à la the immortal lyrics of Cole Porter? Consider picking up a Gold Lustre Champs-Elysees bowl as a stunning souvenir of your travels not taken instead. From the eponymous firm founded by René Lalique, the iconic Champs-Elysees bowl has been in the French crystal collection since it was designed in 1951 by Marc Lalique, René’s son. Its name comes from the leaves on the spectacular row of trees lining the Parisian boulevard that has often been called the most beautiful avenue of the world. It is that avenue, with its majestic trees, that inspired the finely engraved crystal leaves that adorn this crystal-and-gold work of art. Weighing 16.53 pounds, each piece is one of a kind and worked on by no fewer than six glass masters. Offered for $4,695 at R & M Woodrow Jewelers (21 Purchase St, Rye 914-967-0464; woodrowjewelers.com).
What better way to commemorate 2014 as the Year of the Horse—in a county so identified as horse country—than with this sophisticated equine collection from locally based J. Fleet Designa? Conceptualized in the company’s Pleasantville headquarters but manufactured in Vietnam, J. Fleet’s Horse Head tray collection is created by the ancient artisan tradition of lacquerware-making, in which all work is done by hand—nothing is mass-produced or machine-made. Each piece, made of wood, features 15 to 20 coats of lacquer and takes 100 days of patience and hard work to make; talented artists layer foil and hand-mixed lacquer colors to create especially luxurious hues and designs. And thanks to all that lacquer, the pieces are durable, heat-resistant, water resistant, and table-friendly for hot, cold, wet, or dry food. The collection, shown in espresso/coffee, includes a big tray (20” by 14” by 2”) for $257; round tray (16”diameter) for $230; cocktail tray (17” by 7” by 1”) for $127; square tray (14” by 14” by 2”) for $165; and two-drink tray (13” by 6”) for $92. Pieces are available at The Silk Road in Bronxville, The Dark Horse in Scarsdale, and Breeze in Chappaqua.
Now you can bring the same au courant look of lace fashions—like a frilly little camisole, elegant LBD, or edgy embellished tee—into your home, with new lace stencil designs from Royal Design Studio in Southern California. Its new line of reusable, lace-motif Mylar stencils makes it easy to add a touch of this always-in-fashion fabric to home accessories or furniture—or give walls, floors, or ceilings an all-over lacy look. Shown here applied to a concrete (yes, concrete) floor of a guestroom, the large-scale design is equally at home on walls, ceilings, and large furniture pieces. In addition to its lace line, Royal offers more than 500 stencil designs, including modern, classic, and ethnic choices. Skylar’s Lace stencil measures 27 by 39.5 inches and is priced at $150. To order/for more info: royaldesignstudios.com.
Shake It Up, Baby
Lovely Rita, The Beatles’ meter maid? Rita Moreno? Hayworth? We don’t know which spicy Rita this trendy salt shaker and pepper mill combo from William Bounds is named after, but we’re cool with any or all of ’em. At 4.5 inches tall, it’s compact enough for picnics in the park or alongside the laptop, and features a three-position mill that crushes rather than grinds and will never jam or wear out—kind of how we feel about our favorite Rita crush. Shown in eggplant and red; also available in apple and turquoise. Priced at $15 from fivestripes.com.
If “cleaning” doesn’t automatically follow the word “spring” for you, how about considering a little de-cluttering instead? We asked local organization experts for their best tips to help get you started.
“I tell my clients to think twice about what they buy in the first place. Because they have so much clutter and can’t find what they own, they can end up buying the same thing five times.”
— Manijeh Van Derveer, Clearly Organized—One Room At a Time, White Plains
“When you bring in the mail, go straight to the recycling bin so you can eliminate catalogs and junk mail right away. Also, keep an in/out box by the door to keep track of any errands that you have to do. This will eliminate clutter around the house and also remind you of what you have to do when you leave.”
— Leslie Josel, Order Out of Chaos, Larchmont
“If it doesn’t fall into the categories where you love, want, or need it, or you don’t have any good memories with an item, let it go. If you’re afraid that you might change your mind about giving some items away, pack them up and see how it is living without them for a few months.”
— Susan Lasky, Organizing & Productivity Solutions, Ossining
“Make decisions quickly—because, basically, clutter is a result of delayed decision-making. Also, assign a home for everything you own. Literally putting everything in a specific place means stuff does not build up because you don’t know where to put it.”
— Alicia Leibowitz, The Dotted i, Dobbs Ferry
“Consider an online money-management system—this eliminates papers and, therefore, clutter around the house.”
— Catherine Lisi, Lisi Solutions, North Salem