FRESH Designer Faces #2: Kelly Behun

03/29/2015 § Leave a comment

So I guess I’m really into minimalism lately – well, who am I kidding, I’ve always loved minimalism. Kelly Behun is another more modern/minimalistic designer but what I love about her interiors, which differs from Dirand, is her bright palette and the introduction of whimsical and unabashed art and furniture pieces. Her spaces are soft and inviting yet each have an edge, a personality, and a playfulness.


/// New York based interior designer

Midtown Pied-a-terre

kelly behun

Hamptons Home

kelly behun

Park Avenue Penthouse


For more of Behun’s work visit


FRESH Designer Faces #1: Joseph Dirand

02/07/2015 § Leave a comment

There are many many talented designers and architects practicing throughout the world. But once in a while, you see work that personally speaks to you and stops you in your tracks. Every detail, every choice feels deliberate and contributes to a greater result than the “sum of it’s parts”. Joseph Dirand is definitely one of those. In the past few years others have been taking note and this French architect has become “trés populaire”. Well, popular or not, I’m a fan. I think you might become one too!


/// French architect/designer

Dirand’s projects are masculine and minimalist yet set against the softer & refined elements of French architecture they achieve a sense of balance. Opulent finishes like marble & gold leafing are used sparingly to allude to those quintessential Old World French interiors. He then makes them new by introducing modern and often minimalist forms with a restrained neutral palette. Grays and whites set the scene while black defines.

Residential Project – Bellechasse (The Designer’s Home): 


Residential Project – Varenne: 


Commercial Project – Monsieur Bleu: 


For more of Dirand’s work visit

BRINGING HOME: Superbowl Sunday

01/30/2015 § Leave a comment

bringing home superbowl sunday

IT’S HERE GUYS, SUPERBOWL SUNDAY! You might be wondering “why is this design/decor blogger getting all excited about football?”. Well I’ll be honest, it’s not really just for the sport. Although I surprisingly enjoy watching American football (more than soccer – which is kind of scandalous since I’m Brazilian). Really it’s for the chance to hang out with friends, eat yummy caloric goodies, drink my favorite beer/wine, and simply for the opportunity to celebrate being an American (an identity that so easily gets lost in Miami).

So to celebrate this quasi-American-holiday I thought I’d round up some Superbowl inspired gear to get you ready and excited for hosting game day!game day hosting superbowl sunday

GAME DAY HOSTING: 1. “Football Serve Bowl” from Pottery Barn | 2. “Set of 12 Beer Coasters” from Crate & Barrel | 3. “Oversized Bottle Cap Bottle Opener” from Pottery Barn

for the love of football superbowl sunday

FOR THE LOVE OF FOOTBALL: 1. “Football Nation: 400 Years of America’s Game from The Library of Congress” from Amazon | 2. “Flag Football Game Set” from Crate & Barrel | 3.  “Leather Head Vintage Style Football” from Urban Outfitters

athletic decor superbowl sunday

VINTAGE ATHLETIC DECOR: 1. “Sports Talk” Decorative Pillow Covers from Restoration Hardware’s baby & child | 2. “Vintage Leather Sports Ball Bookends” from Restoration Hardware’s baby & child |3. “Vintage Sports gear Photography – Football Helmet” from Restoration Hardware’s baby & child

Happy Saturday (& Sunday)!


Part II: FRESH BOLD Paint Colors

01/26/2015 § Leave a comment

So for Part 2 of our Fresh Paint Feature we have the fresh bold hues for those of you that like a bit more drama and a maybe a little edge to your decor. Here they are,  my favorite colors with real personalities.


#1. Hague Blue – Farrow & Ball (The Mysterious One)

It doesn’t get much deeper or moodier than this navy blue. It’s not too purple, not too green and just dark enough (which is quite dark depending on the lighting). The Balcony Gardener herself, Isabelle Palmer, (mentioned in my earlier posts about my own Balcony Garden here and here) chose this deep tone to bring some drama to her London flat. Check out the rest of her home of 14 years right here. hague blue fresh paint colors for your walls

#2. Blue Danube – Benjamin Moore (The Wanderer)

A medium blue that works well in modern spaces. Here it’s used in a teenage boy’s bedroom designed by Anthony Todd. blue danube fresh paint colors for your walls

#3. Teresa’s Green – Farrow & Ball (The Sassy One)

The perfect classy mint. Here, stylist Emily Henderson used the color on the walls to create a sophisticated Art Deco look at The Fig House Lounge. teresa'sgreen Fresh paint colors for your walls

#4. Split Pea – Benjamin Moore (The Unapologetic One)

A fresh chartreuse-inspired green that’s just bright enough without being too overpowering.  The kitchen, designed by Anne Marie Midy and Jorge Almada, uses a pop of the color in the backsplash amongst neutrals. This is a great way to bring just a pop of color into a space without letting it get too bossy! split pea2 fresh paint colors for your walls   I’m always looking for interesting colors and unique combinations that make bold choices work. What about you? What are your favorite BOLD colors? signature2015b

Part I: FRESH CLASSIC Paint Colors

01/20/2015 § Leave a comment

When it comes to finding fresh and classic paint colors for your walls there’s the tried and true and there’s the bold statement colors. After recently spending many (many) hours looking for those perfect colors for my own place, I thought I’d share some of my finds along with some of my favorite selections from recent projects.

Some are just classic so they’ll appear as fresh and relevant now as in a decade from now. And others are bold and beautiful allowing you to create spectacular statement moments in your decor. Whether you use them for an accent wall, the edge of a door, or to refinish furniture, these hues are sure to bring that “wow” factor to your home.

Like an artist with an easel I find myself itching to splash them onto bare walls!


#1. Gray Owl – Benjamin Moore

A perfectly balanced light warm gray. Here’s it’s well lit by the windows so it’s very subtle but in darker spaces it’ll provide a little more contrast. This lovely room is from CCG Interiors from Chicago.


#2. Cotton Balls – Benjamin Moore

A crisp warm white that isn’t too yellow. Perfect for trim or just a nice bright white room. Kimba Hills used it in this lovely breakfast room as a neutral backdrop for bright colors.


#3. China White – Benjamin Moore

A classy muted ivory. I recently used this as the main interior color for The Lake House project (soon to be featured on the blog) and really loved the final result. Here is a cozy living room design in “China White” from designer Jennifer Hoey.


#4. Light Blue – Farrow & Ball

A bluish gray with green undertones that give it a vintage feel. “Light Blue” is one of The Chromologist’s Key Colors for 2015.


There are of course many other beautiful neutral colors I’ve used time and again but these are some fresh alternatives to experiment with now. What are your favorite classics?

PS: Watch out for the follow up post with BOLD colors to use right now in Part II: FRESH BOLD Paint Colors.


FRESH JANUARY: New Year, New Life

01/09/2015 § Leave a comment


Ahh it’s January all over again. There’s that spring of hope for new beginnings and yet, that small seed of doubt if I’ll be able to keep the promises for the new year…

I think, however, the doubt is healthy! It reminds me of my own power, responsibility and free will to transform my life and that what determines my success is within me. So January 2015 at Trace Blog will be all about creating that fresh slate.






In keeping with this month’s theme, I think Brazilian poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade, said it best in his famous poem. So I leave you with his words and wish you a spectacular 2015!


“If you want to have a beautiful New Year
The color of the rainbow or the color of your peace,
A New Year beyond comparing to all the time you’ve already lived,
(lived badly perhaps or senselessly)
If you want to have a year
Not freshly painted with everything back on the right track,
But new in the feelings of coming to be;
Down to the heart of the things you are least aware of
(to begin with what’s inside you)
New, spontaneous, you don’t find it to be so perfect,
But with it you eat, you walk,
You love, you understand, you work.
You don’t need to drink champagne or any other drink,
You don’t need to go on visits or receive cards
(You plan to receive cards?
Send telegrams?)

You don’t need
To make a list of good resolutions
To file in your bureau drawer.
You don’t need to cry with regret
Over foolish things you’ve already done
Or to half believe
That by the decree of hope
From January onward things will change
And everything will be brightness, reward,
Justice among men and nations
Freedom with the fragrance and taste of morning bread,
Your rights being respected, beginning
With the sacred right to live.

To have a New Year
Which deserves that name
You, my friend, have to deserve it,
You have to make it new, I know that it’s not easy,
But try, experiment, be conscious.
It’s inside of you that the New Year
Has always been dormant and waiting.” 

Now the original in Portuguese:


“Para você ganhar belíssimo Ano Novo 
cor do arco-íris, ou da cor da sua paz, 
Ano Novo sem comparação com todo o tempo já vivido 
(mal vivido talvez ou sem sentido) 
para você ganhar um ano 
não apenas pintado de novo, remendado às carreiras, 
mas novo nas sementinhas do vir-a-ser; 
até no coração das coisas menos percebidas 
(a começar pelo seu interior) 
novo, espontâneo, que de tão perfeito nem se nota, 
mas com ele se come, se passeia, 
se ama, se compreende, se trabalha, 
você não precisa beber champanha ou qualquer outra birita, 
não precisa expedir nem receber mensagens 
(planta recebe mensagens? 
passa telegramas?) 

Não precisa 
fazer lista de boas intenções 
para arquivá-las na gaveta. 
Não precisa chorar arrependido 
pelas besteiras consumadas 
nem parvamente acreditar 
que por decreto de esperança 
a partir de janeiro as coisas mudem 
e seja tudo claridade, recompensa, 
justiça entre os homens e as nações, 
liberdade com cheiro e gosto de pão matinal, 
direitos respeitados, começando 
pelo direito augusto de viver. 

Para ganhar um Ano Novo 
que mereça este nome, 
você, meu caro, tem de merecê-lo, 
tem de fazê-lo novo, eu sei que não é fácil, 
mas tente, experimente, consciente. 
É dentro de você que o Ano Novo 
cochila e espera desde sempre.”



Finding Fine (& Affordable) Art

08/25/2014 § Leave a comment

One of the most common questions I get asked by friends and family is where to find good quality art at reasonable pricing. For some reason most of the art I see readily available is either really boring stock photography, tired beaten down reproductions (like Starry Night by Van Gogh or Water Lilies by Monet), or are just plain bad. So then where do normal individuals with good taste and limited budgets find decent unique pieces for their homes?

Many clients want beautiful pieces but don’t necessarily have the interest or pocketbook to acquire a serious collection*. So what do I do? Yes, I peruse the shelves of popular vendors (like West Elm, Anthropologie, Williams Sonoma, Horchow, etc) as well as some local showrooms but I also have a growing list of online resources that I turn to. Art is very personal so finding that one piece that speaks to you and that works well within a given space is sometimes a tricky affair. You might have to spend a good amount of time searching for that perfect piece but it definitely helps if you are looking in the right places.

These online shops are good places to start: Good luck with your search!

Dwell Studio

Prints are modern & abstract. Most start around $350 for smaller sizes and go up to about $1,500 for larger pieces. (medium – high price range)


Indigo Dot


Exhibition A

Founded by designer Cynthia Rowley, the pieces are contemporary, edgy, conceptual and avant garde. Signed limited editions by contemporary artists. Most sizes are very reasonably priced starting around $200 and reaching $500+ even for the larger prints (low – medium price range)

Alexandra Dreaming by Kon Trubkovich on Exhibition A

Alexandra Dreaming by Kon Trubkovich


From Le Cri III by Anne Lise Coste on Exhibition A

From Le Cri III by Anne Lise Coste


20 x 200

“It’s Art for Everyone”. As they claim, this is REAL fine art at affordable pricing. Pieces are conceptual and intellectually engaging but are also easy on the eyes, balanced and modern & work well within many different interiors. Prints are signed limited editions signed by the artists. Smaller formats are very affordable (ex: 16″ x 20″ $240) and larger formats quickly jump to typical fine art pricing (30″ x 40″ $2,400). (medium price range)

Poolside by Helena Wurzel on 20 x 200

Poolside by Helena Wurzel


Cemetery Rd, 3169-3327, Viewmont, NY by Pete Mauney on 20 x 200

Cemetery Rd, 3169-3327, Viewmont, NY by Pete Mauney


If you are looking for one-of-a-kind pieces without the gallery prices this is a great resource. Though the overall aesthetic seems to be more commercial than the other shops I’ve listed here, if you dedicate some time you can find some great original pieces directly by the artist. Smaller formats can start as low as $100 and can go upwards of $3,000 depending on the medium and sizes. You must remember these are original pieces though, not prints like the others. (low – high price range)

Reflections by Margaret Biggs

Reflections by Margaret Biggs

Humble Chakra by Christina Massey  on Zatista

Humble Chakra by Christina Massey




If you’ve planned an event like a wedding or a baby shower you’re probably familiar with for their beautiful and affordably priced stationary. Turns out they now also sell art prints! Beautifully curated (like their stationary) the site conveniently offers very affordable pricing, a wide range of sizes and the option to purchase framed or unframed. Starting at about $20 for 5″ x 7″ prints and around $325 for framed 30″ x 40″ prints.

Formation by Kelly Ventura

& I Love to Read by Niki Digrigorio


Little Paper Planes

Sells smaller prints at very affordable pricing. Pieces have a contemporary/psychedelic/hipster vibe. Not for everyone, but if you sift through the collection you’ll find some quirky unique gems. (low price range)

Pink Tectonics Print 3 by Amelia Midori Miller on Little Paper Planes

Pink Tectonics Print 3 by Amelia Midori Miller

Print 2 by Jazmin Berakha on Little Paper Planes

Print 2 by Jazmin Berakha

Print 2 by Jazmin Berakha - Close Up on Little Paper Planes

Print 2 by Jazmin Berakha – Close Up

* For those interested in fine art collecting (or window shopping), The Drawing Center‘ s Viewing Program (estab. in 1977 in SoHo, NYC) is a spectacular online Art Registry of curated works by emerging artists.  Be prepared to be impressed & intrigued.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 230 other followers

%d bloggers like this: