What's Hot & What's Not: Cindy's Design Philosophy

This past weekend Cindy gave a presentation to the Junior League of Greenwich on "What's Hot & What's Not" in interior design. Her talk was so well received that we thought we should share it with all of you here.

The main takeaway from the lecture was that homes are meant to be lived in and should be luxurious yet comfortable and reflect your personality and your family's lifestyle. The days of living and dining rooms that are only used for guests are over. As Cindy loves to say, "life is too short to put your jewelry in the vault -- wear it!" Here are some photos that Cindy showed in her presentation as examples of how her own home reflects her philosophy of comfortable luxury and the importance of making your home work for your lifestyle.

Cindy's dining room is intimate in scale and that's how she likes it. The space is perfect for dinners at home with her family.

Cindy loves to throw big dinner parties, and when she does (like the time she had over forty guests at her house for Thanksgiving) she clears out the furniture and makes a grand statement with a long table.

In addition to entertaining, Cindy loves the outdoors. Her "outdoor dining room," complete with a pizza oven, is picture-perfect for a baby shower.

A favorite place in Cindy's home is her outdoor living room. Some might think that Connecticut is not an ideal place for outdoor living but Cindy and her family have been known to linger by the fire in this "room" as they cuddle under blankets while holding hot drinks.

Many of you have seen Cindy's designs in gorgeous magazine spreads, or in her book, but have you ever wondered what these rooms looked like before Cindy blessed them with her magic touch? Cindy brought the JL ladies behind the scenes into some of her most fabulous projects and let's just say that there were lots of oohs and ahhs in the room. See for yourself:

Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee look fabulous in their ultra-luxe penthouse duplex in the iconic Plaza Hotel. But what this spread doesn't reveal is that this super chic apartment had to be totally gut-renovated before it could achieve the aura of timeless elegance. This photo of the same staircase shows just how much work went into creating it:

Here's another gorgeous spread:

Take a look at the same master bedroom during construction and before the addition of the glamorous headboard and chic bedding from Leotine Linens.

As you can see, the Plaza project for Tommy was a total renovation. Interior design doesn't always have be about gut renovation to achieve dramatic results. Accessories can result in a dramatic transformation, without the headache of painting or construction. The difference that some accessories can make is evident in a project that Cindy did for a Greenwich family that won Connecticut Cottages & Gardens' Innovation in Design Awards in 2010. The magazine had to shoot the home for their IDA issue but the client had not yet accessorized so we had to bring over items from Rinfret Home & Garden to get the client's dining room, below, photo shoot ready.

Here's the magazine-worthy result:

Well, we hope you enjoyed this little teaser on Cindy's presentation for the Junior League. It goes to show that you don't have to do a total gut renovation to achieve dramatic results. And when decorating, always remember that your home should make you feel comfortable so stay away from anything that doesn't suit your lifestyle because this is YOUR home. Now go decorate!