Carolyn Robbins's Profile

Display Name: Carolyn Robbins
Member Since: 9/4/10

Latest Comments...

For me, ash from a burnt piece of paper is the best, because it is such a fine polish grit and doesn't polish to a full shine but a beautiful pewter type of look, leaving the dark in the recesses. But I'm going to try the banana for sure. Thanks for the hint!


Polish Your Silver Using Banana Peels
4/19/11 11:38 AM

I would hang a lantern and if you have to cover the chain, to connect it from a distance, wrap it with strips of burlap or a thick threaded fabric so it makes a statement. Then anchor into the wall a triangular shelf into the corner. Rotate an orchid one week, a Buddha or angel the next, a glass bowl with a cut flower, a skinny vase with a tree branch, but change it from time to time. The light will bring you illumination for the beautiful forms. You will invite your company into your house with grace.
If you don't like the color of the wall, a simple banner of fabric with two tiny bamboo sticks, top and bottom, hung on the wall you see as you enter, works wonders. You can change the banner for various seasons: solid one season, a print fabric another.


How To Fill This Empty Corner?
Good Questions

1/16/11 12:02 PM

I had many various chairs upholstered like this one, when I had an art furniture gallery refurbishing old furniture. I can tell you the chair requires either tufting or vertical channels to keep the concave shape as someone mentioned already. But remember there are many wonderful ways to do this: various thicknesses of channels, ties instead of buttons, combinations of solid fabrics and prints. One time I used fabric covered rope between the channels that was a print and then a solid velvet on the channels and seat and outer areas were the print. It looked very French circus. I say, play with many ideas until one gels in your mind. Whatever you do, make it different than anything you've ever seen, for sure!


Reupholstering Chair Suggestions?
Good Questions

1/14/11 02:04 AM

I would collage it with stained-walnut-old newspapers, avoiding the stripping of it. Then put great hardware on it. Sometimes we don't look at the myriad of choices we have before disposing of furniture. My gallery of revamped furniture recycled over 6000 pieces doing everything from copper counters, to studded drawer faces, to sandblasting and candy apple car finishes and let me tell you one thing.....everything has a chance for a new life. Just use your imagination and save one more tree from falling. Do it, and you'll be happy you did....most of my customers were. And they never thought they could be in the beginning.


Should I Stain or Should I Go Now?
Good Questions

12/30/10 01:08 PM

I would suggest some soft features, like some curved lines in furnishings, fabrics hanging if not curtains, maybe a banner between rooms, loopy textures in rugs. Something completely opposite than the modern lines you have. Contrast in color is good too, and if you like blue, then find the blue you like and paint a square or rectangle on the wall and hang pictures or your mirror on it. And leave the line slightly rough. Variety is the spice of life and change is a growing art. The more you have fun, the less concerned you will be with the outcome.


Decorating Advice for First Studio?
Good Questions

10/22/10 10:33 AM

I would wrap the entire fixture in an easily pliable aluminum wire, (found by looking up bonsai enthusiasts) , then crossing the wire every turn, almost the way a cocoon frame is, like more organic. Then use wet muslim or sheeting, in maybe a light tea stained color, dunked in a 50% diluted clear wallpaper paste and applied 4" wide strips in the same manner: cris-crossing over the wire. I know, it sounds weird, but I've done it in restaurants with bad fixtures and it looks like a wonderful organic type lantern when complete. And doesn't mess up the underlying fixture at all. Also, you can leave a large hole at the bottom, but try to make a small hole on the top because you don't want light to hit your ceiling, as your ceiling is not a focal point. Don't worry about the heat. The glass will protect your cocoon.


Suggestions for Transforming a Dated Light Fixture?
Good Questions

10/16/10 02:28 PM

Having been a designer for over thirty years, I might add one question: Have you taken the time to see other completed design projects and how are they reflect the people who inhabit them? Although I have been published a lot, there is nothing like standing in one of my spaces. Pictures just don't do it.

I don't think there is a designer out there, that when approached, won't attempt to help you see a project of theirs, and then you have a real appreciation for what a designer can do. When you hire a designer, if he or she is proficient at what they do, they 'become you', to design for you. The research and study is essential. For in the end, the project is more of your design, than you would ever guess. And that is something that can't be matched when space plans and furniture and color are the sole subjects.

Also, I've done jobs for a little budget and a large budget. All my clients get the same attention in reflecting their own style. So don't be afraid of the money....just investigate a bit more in what you get for it.


Interior Decorators: Budget-Friendly Ways to Get Help
10/7/10 01:08 PM

Another idea that makes using wood like this perfect for modern interiors is: use a 'L' angle inside the wall connected to the 2x4 framing. You would think it's hard, but it truly isn't, especially if you know a great sheetrock person to patch the hole, or you are careful in doing the work yourself. Then the 'L' leg that projects from the wall slides into a groove made in the side of the shelf and with a little bit of glue, you have a floating shelf. Love this post!


David Clark's Modern and Rustic Woodwork
10/6/10 05:35 PM

wrap the roll in a velcro type wrap, sort of nylon-ie flannel is what I used. Make sure it's white. Leave a piece hanging down. Then when your cat goes for it, claws get stuck and it's difficult to get out of it, for just a moment. If you take it off and put it on, at random, then your cat will be confused as to when it's the right stuff and give up. Worked like a charm for me....and it was a pain in the you know what problem!......especially right before guests would arrive at the door for dinner.


Help! How Can I Stop My Toilet Paper Shredding Cat?
Good Questions

10/6/10 05:12 PM

I would say, as a designer for years, that to dig a bit into your closet of clothing, your choices of upholstery in your car, the color of your jewelry and so forth, will reveal some favorite colors. Ones you are comfortable with. So often we forget how personal color is, and how the right colors can fuel us, give us vitality. Then, when you have selected one comfortable color, pick the opposite on the color chart. The opposite of red is green, remember from elementary school? So any degrees of the opposite works. Celadon green is great with burgundy red. You can have fun with where you put color if you work with various shades of your two colors and then add a third, slowly, but only after the other two have been hanging in your presence a while. Recently I put patches of color on my clients walls for them to live with. It was amazing the information that followed. They knew so differently than looking at a fan book or tiny samples. With the samples you get in paint stores it's so easy.

Oh, and one more thing, on this long note: don't forget you can make a large block of color on a wall, or several blocks, without having to paint the whole wall. Often these blocks look great behind artwork/assemblages/small shelving as a kind of outer frame. The edge can be roughly sketched instead of perfectly lined too. Have fun!


Color & Layout Ideas for My New Apartment?
Good Questions

10/5/10 12:46 PM

I love projectors that illuminate a wall with images from across the room. Stack the books on the floor and illuminate birds sitting on them. I love your clothesline idea with photos hung. You could do that too. Have fun. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that just pop into your mind on the first consideration. Another idea is to hang origami birds from the ceiling and watch the shadows on the wall behind them as the light filters through the room at different times of the day.


Art Ideas for Long Blank Wall?
Good Questions

9/17/10 11:46 PM

Actually a traffic sign is more interesting than any of the above photos. How about a man who collects traffic signs...yeah! I don't mean to be insulting, I just think that if you are going to post something, then maybe something more interesting in a photo or an arrangement. Now shoot me....it's ok.


Thinking Outside the Gallery: Art from Everyday Items
Inside Man

9/17/10 11:38 PM

I don't think this post is worth writing. If people really want to hang a flag, then perhaps talk about how to hang it, or a back ground color to accent the wall. But really....some juice to the article is worth reading, not just hanging a flag. True it's graphic. But so is a traffic sign.


Thinking Outside the Gallery: Art from Everyday Items
Inside Man

9/17/10 11:35 PM

The key component in your decision to change anything is the floor in the kitchen. You have white and the backsplash is white, so I would find a shade of white you like and paint the whole kitchen and living room in white. Then I would take a chisel to the backsplash tile motifs and take out the tiles (or pieces of tile) leaving a negative jagged broken frame of tile left, that you fill with small colored mosaic and glass fragments. Have a local mosaic artist do it. It won't cost much, but will add a detail of art in a space that needs identity. You can use broken china too. Here is a sample of what I did in a kitchen backsplash once.
http://www.carolynrobbinsdesign.com/rosen.html#

The main idea is to get light and fresh feeling into your house and by respecting the white elements you have, you will have less contrast and more notice more of what you do have in furnishings and art. If you would like color on the walls, then maybe a stripe high up, say 10" down from the ceiling, about 1/2" wide in the sage green with another tiny red stripe inside of it. Often a nice stripe adds a crisp detail and probably the same artist that does your mosaic, can do your stripe.


Paint Color Choices for Open Plan Space?
Good Questions

9/16/10 12:01 PM

it speaks to you.


Unconventional Finds: Valuing Folk, Outsider & Thrift Store Art
9/13/10 12:33 PM

I recently had the same situation with a client, and as a low profile tv person I think first: how can the room have a tv when needed, and not have one, when the room invites people to mingle and talk. A tv should never be the center of a living room, in my opinion. The way I solved the problem was running a track across the ceiling and putting in light weight doors with etched acrylic panels, w light behind, that hid the entire storage wall. It's surprisingly easy and allows for any kind of shelving system behind.

One suggestion though: consider every wall, and not just one. You might have another wall or corner where one hung panel could cover the flat screen and your 'large tv wall' could be a gallery of photos and art more appealing than the front of a large media cabinet.


How to Improve the Look of Enormous "TV Wall"?
Good Questions

9/7/10 10:25 PM

I love your collections, and the way you display them. Your eye for treasures is wonderful and with a bit of humor, which in most stores in terribly lacking. I had a furniture store in Miami for years and many items you have, I collected and sold to New York buyers. It's so refreshing to see them again and shown with your own personal flair. Good Luck!


mine.
Store Profile

9/7/10 10:01 PM

I would find a polka dot sheer/white fabric (1/2" dots)and have a shade made with white dingle balls as an edging. The shade size has to do with where you put them, as well as the size of the lamps themselves, but imitating the cylinder base in proportion would be nice. Oh, and put a colored bulb inside once in awhile for fun!


Shade Suggestions for Inherited Hobnail Lamps?
Good Questions

9/4/10 12:15 AM