After visiting an endless number of designer show houses and poring over portfolios, Newsday has pulled together 11 designers, including one husband-and-wife team, who bring beauty and drama to Long Island's homes. We've taken a peek at what they've been up to recently and learned a little more about what makes each of them stand out from the pack.
This week, we chat with Rachel Florez of Vintage Interior Design in Bellmore.
How would you sum up your design style?
Contemporary is my core design style.
What is the first question you ask a client?
"How does the space need to function?"
What is your favorite DIY tip?
A simple change of the cabinetry pulls and a new faucet will refresh the look of your kitchen and update it to buy you some time between renovations.
What is your best recommendation for home furnishing shopping on Long Island?
Outside of trade-only furniture showrooms, I would recommend Safavieh Home Furnishings.
What is the cheapest find that you have furnished your house with?
A wood-frame contemporary club chair. I came across it at a showroom sample sale -- that it was still available at the sale convinced me that was meant to be mine. The square, espresso stained wood frame is contrasted with winter white upholstery. It was a steal, marked down over 90 percent off retail pricing.
Is there a restaurant or other commercial space that you love the look of?
The ageless elegance of the dining room at Tellers Chophouse is both classic and contemporary. The architectural lines of the building combine with the contemporary furniture, which is accented in red.
TVs in the bedroom: Love them, hate them, don't care?
Technology has come so far that it is no longer a herculean task to find an aesthetic solution to place a television in a bedroom in a practical location.
What is your favorite song or music to decorate to?
For the more fluid creative design aspects, I put on Pandora and love to work to the Mumford & Sons station. The times I need to focus and work through technical creative aspects I'll play anything from Jack Johnson to the soothing strings of Nigel Kennedy.
Do you have a go-to fabric supplier?
Since I work on a wide variety of design styles, Kravet is fabulous.