Berlin Designs, Inc. Blog: Design Rituals

... a passionate revelation of my design rituals ...
a passionate account from a South Florida award-wining interior designer who is blessed to celebrate her 20th year anniversary of designing "interiors that lift your spirit™"
Welcome! The search is finally over. That perfect marriage of understanding without words:one look, one image, a breathtaking view... Someone who will know how to interpret her client's wishes by listening to all the unsaid words, seeing the cues, perceiving the feelings with a simple gaze.
I am the lucky designer who will get to go into the personal spaces in your life, your office or home. That place you call your own, where you can be you. Your surroundings matter to me, my passion is to let the best of you shine through the space you occupy. No antiseptic rooms, catalog photo-shoot ready, rather the elegant comfort of a back porch at sunset is the feeling I want in the interior of your private spaces. The sink-down comfort of being in your OWN space.
Let your smile shine as you enjoy learning about my passion for design. Then, you will see why we say: experience Interiors that lift your spirit™.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sustainable Aircraft Hangar Debuts in Burbank, California

Hangar 25 boasts a plug-in jet system, solar panels, sustainable landscaping, and electric vehicles, among other green features.

Shangri-La Construction hangar 25 photo
On December 9, Los Angeles officials and notable guests including Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa and Rick Fedrizzi, president and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council, welcomed Hangar 25 at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California. If an aircraft hangar servicing planes consuming tremendous amounts of fuel can be green, the 60,000-square-foot facility is the most sustainable one in the world, with the highest possible LEED rating, Platinum.

Designed by Shangri-La Construction, the hangar is expected to operate at reduced operating costs--thanks to reduced energy consumption--and was constructed at a price comparable to other aircraft hangars, according to the construction firm. Shangri-La Construction outfitted the hangar with green features including a plug-in jet system, solar panels, sustainable landscaping, electric vehicles, and a chemical-free fire system. Walls are decked out in public art. Shangri-La Construction hopes the hangar's green design elements will be adopted as a green model for other new construction and retrofit projects.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fireplace: to mantle or not?

We're building a modern-style home that will include a fireplace. It's not the standard kind that's placed against a wall but will instead be situated between the living room and dining room and visible from both. What sort of mantel would be appropriate with such a fireplace?

In her column in the Baltimore Sun, Rita St. Clair explained the appropriate mantel for a fireplace "situated between the living room and dining room and visible from both." St. Clair said this "type of fireplace" is "seldom accompanied by any mantel at all. In keeping with its minimalist styling, there are usually no decorative or framing elements around the firebox."

The type of fireplace you're describing is seldom accompanied by any mantel at all. In keeping with its minimalist styling, there are usually no decorative or framing elements around the firebox.

If you still prefer to add a mantel, your best option is probably to have it custom-designed, perhaps in Art Deco or Arts and Crafts styling. A local cabinetmaker should be able to create a wooden mantel of that kind with a handsome finish.

An alternate strategy involves calling attention to the wall around the fireplace. In this sophisticated contemporary setting, most of the wall has been covered with slab-sized ceramic tiles that form an integrated geometric pattern.

A contemporary fireplace doesn't need to be framed by a mantel. The main requirement is that the fireplace opening be surrounded with fireproof material to 6 inches minimum (building codes vary). This can be slate, marble or tile. Beyond that, you may extend the decorative treatment by covering a good part of the wall in tile or marble, or by using a contrasting paint.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Industrial Chic: get in gear

Rooms already dressed in mid-century furniture seem the most receptive to these elements, which require the balancing effect of more masculine silhouettes, heftier textures.

When high-tech entrepreneur Matthew Hill designed his condo in Lansing, Mich., he wanted decor to reflect his personality and "pretty wild lifestyle."

California-based Motoart had what he was after. They buy up junked aircraft -- everything from WWII fighter planes to modern jet parts -- and transform them into furniture: desks, tables, even sofas. Hill opted for a coffee table devised from a section of a C-119 cargo plane.

"I wanted something with a real edge that spoke to the influence of ultra-lounge atmosphere, as well as pure modernism," says Hill, who founded a company called Liquid Web.

Call it industrial chic. Furniture and accessories this year are flaunting their rivets, welds and obvious mechanical origins.

Interior designers are making liberal use of vintage components. While many pieces are sleek, almost aerodynamic, others emphasize the drama of scale -- think gigantic kleig-like floor fixtures, factory work tables or Hill's coffee table.

Industrial-style furnishings aren't new. Marcel Breuer and other Modernists in the early 20th century embraced the idea that man and machine could coexist. Mass production techniques and new materials excited these designers, who sought innovative ways to adapt them for the home. It was a marriage of purpose and aesthetics.

The retro trend is advancing throughout the home furnishings marketplace. A wave of commercial-grade trash bins, bread boxes, toasters and other kitchen accouterments has come ashore, at pricepoints high and low.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Obama Chic: Time to Measure the Drapes

The Obamas have many design choices to make when they move into the White House in January.

They will also be involved in restoring public spaces like the Red Room and State Dining Room, and the White House grounds -- although they will be required to consult with official groups like the Fine Arts Commission and White House Historical Association.

"Get one person whose taste you really rely on and make sure that person knows Washington," advised Letitia Baldridge, Jacqueline Kennedy's former social secretary and chief of staff. "You can't bring a pal from Chicago or anywhere else who is not going to know Washington enough to be your adviser." And consider the budget. Congress appropriates money for the furniture and decor of the residence. The budget -- allocated once every four years -- was set at $100,000 for President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. But there can be some leeway in the allotment. "If there's something the president wants that will improve the building or the grounds, the budget can be stretched," Baldridge said.

Obama's daughters -- 10-year-old Malia and 7-year-old Sasha -- will have the same bedrooms occupied by John F. Kennedy's children, John and Caroline, and the Bush twins, Jenna and Barbara. "It's the White House, it's a home, it's a museum and it's a place of work, but it is going to be a home for the Obama girls and they certainly can have some fun at their residence," Sally McDonough, special assistant to the president and director of communications, told FOX News. "The girls can certainly add their own personal touch if their mother and father say that is OK," McDonough said. "I'm sure they'll have wonderful rooms," added Baldridge. "They can use all that furniture in the storage house, including four-poster beds for young girls."

The president and first lady also have the authority to restore more public spaces like the State Dining Room, which has seated royalty, including Queen Elizabeth II, and almost every head of state. "The White House used to be very bland and stuffy and unexciting, and Jackie changed the lighting in the dining room," Baldridge said. "The original painters had painted the walls in three shades of white and suddenly there was all this light ceiling and light molding that nobody had ever seen before." Kennedy also introduced new color schemes to the White House, Baldridge said. "It was was just a fairyland," she said.

Perhaps the most sacred room is the Oval Office -- the president's formal workspace -- where the decor is most carefully considered in characterizing the background and personality of each president. Each president designs a rug bearing the Presidential Seal.

White House recreation rooms -- like the movie theater and bowling alley -- might also see a change or two when the Obamas move in. In an interview in June with comic Jimmy Kimmel, Obama joked about his less-than-impressive bowling skills, saying, "So we're getting rid of the bowling alley and replacing it with a basketball court in the White House." Such dramatic changes are not unprecedented.

"The Kennedys created a magnificent swimming pool, and then President Nixon took it out and painted it over," Baldridge said. Another piece of advice from Baldridge to the Obamas: "Develop a strong skin. You're always going to have people screaming and shouting no matter what you do, and therefore you have to have a strong point of view and be able to defend your decisions."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Sign the petition!

please take 1 minute to sign this important petition
from our own personal experience seeing how much was done for our son Ivan
we are so grateful to March of Dimes and all their efforts in preventing and educating the public about premature births
here is your chance to do the right thing!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spa at home

Spa features for master bathrooms a growing trend.

Kitchen & Bath Design Magazine (Nov. 2008, Filipelli) reports that clients "like to be pampered, so what better way to meet their needs than to re-create the spa experience in their master bath? These are the sentiments of Christopher J. Grubb, president of Arch-Interiors Design Group in Beverly Hills, CA, and Orlando, FL, who notes that clients no longer want, but in fact need a space that will rejuvenate or relax them in equal measure." Deirdre Eagles, Allied Member ASID, of Deirdre Eagles Interior Design in Laguna Niguel, CA, "agrees: 'The master bath is becoming an oasis of personal care as well as a retreat from the stresses of daily life. More than ever, people are investing in this important part of their home to make it a space that reflects their own preferences and needs.'
In this master bath remodel we combined a larger spa suite and did away with the separate his and hers smaller bathrooms. The addition of the cantilivered angled window allowed the owner to bathe while enjoyed the view of the Intercoastal waterways. Further by tucking out of the way the tub into its own niche the bathroom gained a central open space which became even grander with the new mirrored coffer ceiling. The honey gold onyx and black absolute granite dotted with gold fixtures adds all the elements of luxe to this personal spa retreat.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Choosing the right bar stool

If you are interested in purchasing bar stools, keep seat heights in mind:

Bar Height

bar height illustration

Stools and tables that are "bar height" generally have seats that are 30" high, and a table top that is 40-42" high. Stools of this height are generally referred to as bar stools or bar height stools".

Counter Height

counter height illustration

Stools and tables that are "counter height" generally have seats that are 24-26" high, and a table top that is 36" high. Stools of this height are generally refered to as counter stools. Also be sure to allocate for arm rest accordingly. Generally allowing 28" in width for elbow room and swivel space and for seating. Happy drinking!

Monday, September 29, 2008

A sweet New Year

We are so blessed and thankful for what we have. We cherish our time with the boys this past summer in Beaver Creek, Colorado. We wish for you a year full of health, happiness and laughter.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tank-less Water Heaters

Mobius T-M1 by
About the size of a medicine cabinet, tankless water heaters can easily be wall-mounted indoors, or depending on the climate, there is even a recessed outdoor installation option. Some models are available with digital wall-mounted controls and even waterproof remote controls that make it easy for users to adjust the temperature as often as they wish for convenience as well as safety. If you're designing luxury bathrooms, it's good to know the basics about tankless water heaters, because you're likely to get a lot of questions.
Following are some that are most frequently asked and their responses: Q: Will a tankless water heater save on my clients' energy bills? Is it expensive to install? A: Tank and tankless water heaters do their jobs differently. One of the most prized benefits of tankless heaters is that users are purposely matching the use of energy to the use of hot water. It's pretty much pay as they go. Average annual operating costs for a tankless unit are about $165 to $170, or roughly half the annual operating cost of tank heaters.

Q: Will a tankless water heater bring hot water to my clients' showers faster? A: Regardless of whether it is a tank, tankless or solar-type water heater, delays in hot water delivery have to do with how far the water heater is located from the hot water outlet, not the type of water heater. Tankless water heaters often do solve this issue because of their smaller size, which enables them to be located closer to the point of use. Another solution is a point-of-use water heater. Point-of-use heaters are actually smaller tank units that are located near the hot-water outlet, such as under a sink. They are often used to augment larger tank-type water heaters that are located far from the point of use. A recirculating system is another option to discuss with your plumber partner.

Q: What is the payoff for kitchen and bath designers who learn to stop worrying and love water heaters? A: Ask Marcio Decker, winner of the Smartest Hot Water Use Award in the National Kitchen & Bath Association's 2008 Design Competition. "We are moving more and more into what is hidden behind the walls," he explained. "Now, more than ever, there is the need to create environments that are eco-friendly. Water use in the bath, and water heating specifically, are very important. We designers should collaborate with other professionals to make sure that energy efficiency is part of every project."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A hallway's 'natural' transformation

A bare 35 foot long hall gets a makeover and comes through with a warm and appealing personality. Custom-designed open columns and ledge serve as the break in the lengthy unending feeling this hallway suffered from. The double bridge-like columns were strategically placed as to break up the linear feel. The distressed mirror adds light and further enhances the papyrus on the river rock filled bud vases, which are two elements that help bring nature to a space without natural light. The dark espresso finish on the woodwork offer a contrast with the light colored walls and act as the balancing point for the home-owner's own artwork, which was relocated to the hallway.

This transitional space which serves as the main circulation space between the public and private spaces of this residential condominium in Aventura was a key element to the design of the entire home, as it is the main axis and sits right off the main entry doors. The palm leaf motif screening on canvas and the bamboo stalk rug add further natural elements to the space.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A time for prayer

We pray for a fast and full recovery for "aunt" Joan Hyler, who was severely injured las Friday evening when she was struck by a car as she was walking.
Joan is the one people lean on, count on and call on, the one who is always there, a great friend. A great sister to (my sister-in-law) Nancy and a the greatest aunt to all my nieces and nephews. R'fuah Shlemah for Joan bat Jane v' Jehoshua. Keep up the spirit of healing, you are in our prayers!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Commune hotel offers luxurious stay near Beijing

The Commune by the Great Wall is communal living in a lush, historic setting complete with spa and other amenities.

The Commune by the Great Wall is a hotel with award-winning architecture, a luxurious spa and, perhaps most valuable of all, a private path to a stretch of the Great Wall, one of the world's best-known landmarks.

Despite some communal aspects -- shared kitchens and living rooms in its huge villas -- the Commune by the Great Wall hardly calls to mind the money-saving, ruling class-disdaining life. Instead, it is an unforgettable weekend escape just an hour from the crowds, traffic and polluted skies of Beijing.

The Commune, now managed by the Kempinksi hotel group, calls itself a "collection of living contemporary Chinese and Asian architecture," and it won a prize at the 2002 Venice Biennale. It sits on almost 5 miles of mountain land; the 11 original villas each have four to six bedrooms and butler service. From hotels to the stadium, China wears it's finest. For this Olympic Games attention to design details shows even in the mundane objects like the lamps that light the path to the Birds Nest which echo the design of the stadium itself.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sympathy for the devil

Not to be missed: JEAN-LUC GODARD'S -

See Jean-Luc Godard's documentary of the making of The Rolling Stones' hit "Sympathy for the Devil" at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). The film captures the Rolling Stones during their 1968 studio recording sessions for the album "Beggars Banquet" with interspersed scenes that probe the revolutionary and social politics of the time. The exhibition, Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967, is on view at MOCA through September 7th with over 100 works by 56 artists and artist collectives. The film screening is free with museum admission. Art & music is alive and well in North Miami.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Daring to look (& step) beyond

Located in between Milan and Bergamo, in the city of Cavenago, is The Devero Hotel – a modern and chic four-star resort.

Shown here in the hotel’s restaurant is an interruption in the natural flow of flooring and ceiling: a glass skylight of sorts that allows for a peek beyond the restaurant to above the bar. Just the same as you are seated in the lounge you are lured to the floor below and intrigued by the sight of a MEDUSA chandelier in opaque white – the perfect spark of whimsy for this sleek, contemporary space.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Pergolas for the great outdoors

Over the last few years, the backyard living concept has evolved from a deck or patio area with a pool to true outdoor living spaces complete with full kitchens, eating, sitting and living areas. With this rise in the popularity of outdoor living spaces, it's no surprise that outdoor structures such as gazebos, arbors, trellises, pergolas are also more in demand. "People aren't looking for a simple outdoor space anymore. They're thinking in terms of defining spaces with walls, ceilings and roofs, but only in an open sense to blend with the outdoors," says Ernie Sears, president and owner of Backyard America in Virginia. Sears began his business as a building contractor specializing in outdoor structures, but since 1998 has been providing design services and fabricating kits for customers all over the country. "Pergolas have really taken off over the last few years," says Sears.

Likewise, Michael Mendelsohn, owner of Mendelsohn Construction in Scottsdale, Ariz., is also seeing his business grow as a result of more outdoor structures. "Every home I'm doing, we're enlarging the back patio areas — even after the plans are done. People want more multi-use living centers with TVs and full kitchens."

Most outdoor structures are some sort of variation or combination of a deck, patio, pergola, arbor, trellis or gazebo, and sometimes they may be of a custom design or even go by different names to reflect their function or region of the country (lanai, palapa, veranda). "These structures are all about expanding use," says Sears. "People want to get more useful hours per day and more useful days per year from the outdoor living spaces."

The same basic principles of design and construction apply as to the outdoor structures as it does the main house: use materials and design similar to those of the home to blend the two structures, make sure you follow all codes — especially those regarding setbacks and electrical/gas hookups, and choose materials and build carefully so that the structure will stand up to the elements. Where wind load is a concern, like it is in Florida, the structure needs to be properly anchored to the ground.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Sanctuary found at luxury hotels

Imagine a hotel...
where you don't need to search for an electrical outlet to charge your cell phone on arrival because they put The Sanctuary in every room, a place for you to drop your wallet, watch and key card and also charge all your electronic devices.

The Keating
- San Diego's latest chic hotel has been designed with a cultivated eye for detail. In the Pininfarina tradition, the environment is characterized by pure, clean, ergonomic design, where breathtaking form meets function in every possible detail. All guest rooms & suites have extensive custom designed rooms and up to the minute amenities, including Bang & Olufsen’s Beo Vision entertainment, LavAzza espresso machine by Pininfarina, ......and of course The Sanctuary from Bluelounge.

The rooms are conceived without interior walls to create a new interpretation of space, taking away the traditional division of the warm and wet zones, bed and baths.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Arched window coverings

Arched windows are a delight -- until you try to cover them. More so when you are working on bedroom decor and blackout will be a necessity. I follow suit to the architectural details of a home, working to enhance such details adds layers to the focal point of the design. On this white dining room the drapery rod's carved crest draws the eye to gracefully arched window. Yet since the dining rooms sits on the street side of the home the draperies are fully drawn when privacy is wanted. The faux sheer curtain is an effect created to add more light and is sewn on the leading edges of the blackout drapery to lighten the look.
In this Florida room the main focal point was the two-story high arched window. A curved rod follows the shape of the arch further accenting the unique detail. For a bedroom a curved cornice can also cover the top portion of the window with a drape drawn behind.
The curved cornice follows suit to the architecture while providing full blackout for sleeping. Choose like colors for the drapes as for the walls thus allowing the light to shine throughout the room. Dark colored drapes often soak the light make it harsher on the eye to accept the contrast of light and dark.
Further, blending a variety of same tone hues creates an illusion of grandeur when space is limited which is the original intent of the arched window.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The ultimate Green HDTV

Philips 42PFL5603D/27 42-inch 1080p LCD HDTV
The ultimate in "green" televisions, the Eco TV was named Best in Show in CNET's Best of CES at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. It's made with lead-free flame-retardant materials and the packaging box is made from recycled ones.

Along with superb picture quality and minimal power usage, features include an ambient light sensor, active content monitoring, a low standby mode at only 0.15 watts, and a consumer-selectable Power Saver mode. Plus the Eco TV features 1920 x 1080p resolution, a 29,000:1 contrast ratio, and 5ms response time. $1,999 on Amazon (free shipping) As predicted this is one that not only you'll love watching it makes you feel that you are actually saving energy in this overloaded planet Earth.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ME Barcelona opens this July

ME by Meliá, a hotel line that integrates modern design and fusion cuisine, will add a fourth property to its roster on July 22: the ME Barcelona. This will be the second ME property in Spain, following the opening of the ME Madrid in October 2006. The ME Barcelona is in the Innovation District, a waterfront business park that houses about 200 international companies — many of them technology-related — and is near the convention center. Highlights of the 259-room hotel include the 24th-floor restaurant, Dos Cielos, which has 360-degree views of the mountains and the Mediterranean (a rooftop garden will provide the restaurant with fresh herbs and other ingredients). There is also a pool on the sixth-floor terrace, along with two night life spots: the Chocolate Bar and the Penthouse Pool Lounge. Nightly rates start at 200 euros, or about $322 at $1.61 to the euro.
Personal Tip. The Picasso Museum, located three kilometres from the hotel, houses works dating from 1890 to 1967, including 'Forsaken Ones' and 'The Madman' from the Blue Period, and 'Head Only' from the Cubist Period. Also on display is the renowned Las Meninas (1957), a suite of 58 works conceived in response to Velazquez's painting Las Menas.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Spring into Summer Colors

Summer in the Colorado mountains is more like an unending spring season. New buds are finally coming to life and the last remaining snow patches are still dotting the evergreen lush landscape. Views of every tones and shades from green to purple renew the sense of creativity and add a new palette. The colors are crisp and clear not muddled and that will translate right into home fashions.
So dare to be bold and let nature come home!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Horizon

Kitchen ventilation hood company Zephyr had a large presence at KBIS this year, in large part due to their collaboration with designer Robert Brunner. The former Pentagram notable and current head of Ammunition was the creative force behind the Arc Collection, Zephyr’s new high-performance range hoods. Each of the 10 Arc models feature the new Clean Air option, a setting that automatically circulates several times a day to prevent stale air and foul odors.

The Horizon (above) is available in black, white, or red glass that can be custom etched according to customers’ individual tastes. Don't let the low-profile fool you, even though it only extends 10 inches from the wall, the compact motor behind that unfettered facade packs up to 1,000 CFMs.

Thermosensitive Experience

The Mississippi-based design team of Erin Hayne and Nuno Gonçalves Ferreira is behind the Swamp Collection, a series of heat-sensitive stools and lounges that integrate materials that allow the surface to change color temporarily in response to body heat or ambient heat. Far from being a gimmicky fad option, the collection is a class act that encourages users to interact with objects in order to enjoy tactile experiences. Visual Reference Studio’s new collection includes Touch wall panels for public spaces and the Please Touch pillows that offer a smaller scale thermo-sensitive option. Reverse new color ways are also available, so that there is also the option of seeing the red material change to violet.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Staying up to date with CEU's

Keeping up with trends and design practices can be and is, indeed a full-time job. On the one hand you must take the CEU's to keep you license in 'current' status, thus a chore. On the other having the choices of what to attend not only keeps you informed but let's you hone in and tap into resources you did not have before. I have been approached in several occasions regarding my interest in becoming an expert witness in several design-related cases. While I must admit that attending any courtroom for whatever the reason is about as appealing as getting a root canal, the CEU I attended this evening on 'becoming an expert witness' has opened my eyes in fearing not the process but actually finding it quite educational in nature. I have provided affidavits before and even referred colleagues for their experience, yet, now I further understand that my experience is what I bring to the table. Being able to listen, learn and offer an impartial, unbiased opinion on subjects that I am passionate about, and so versed in that it comes natural, is one more way I can further my value to the profession.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Book Signing at Book&Books in BalHarbour

David Shepherd, mentor, business guru, friend and now author of page-turner 'Resurrecting Randi' available through, joined us this past weekend as we hosted in his honor a 'very Latin happy-hour book-signing event'. David had an opportunity to read a few pages from his novel and afterwards autographed quite a few books for guests and friends. Now his National book tour continues as he heads through Texas and ends in his hometown Austin.

Please pick up a copy, you will 'not be able to put it down'. David Oshinski, Pullitzer Prize Winner (author of the terrific book, 'Polio')
said he had picked up Resurrecting Randi while on a plane.

"To put it mildly--as they say--I couldn't put it down. It's a beautifully written book with terrific characters. I was swept away by the narrative and found myself trying to figure out what was coming next. You are a truly remarkable story-teller; this book deserves best-seller status."

Call it tech-toy pride.

Must-see TV. Upfront and center as the new focal point in the main room.

Never mind that many designers will cringe at the sight of exposed sets in living rooms, especially those prominently displayed. That opinion is so widely held among designers that some don't even like seeing TVs in plain sight even in more casual family rooms. But slim, sleek, flat-panel screens are changing our interior landscapes. This is particularly true for young people. They are very electronic in their thought processes, so the design for the main room's focal point is shifting. "I have a penthouse that is soft, modern and sleek. The fireplace isn't fussy. And the TV is so contemporary, it's almost like another piece of art," says Davis, a real estate broker.

Some designers find themselves resisting client pressure to show off the TV. "Not in a formal living room," Washington designer Lori Graham says. "I am a purist in that regard." She is putting a set in one living room grudgingly, she says, quickly adding, "It was a loft-like space whose style is much more modern and eclectic." Even there the TV is mounted in a grid of shelving.

"I will not ever put one over a fireplace," declares D.C. designer Susan Vallon. "It is a traditionally warm gathering place and focal point, and you are negating the whole thing by putting a TV there. I would rather have people drywall over the fireplace and remove it as a center of attention."

Rather than being so dramatic as to drywall over a major architectural feature we understand the need of our clients to want the option of occasional entertainment when they would enjoy a TV in their living room and above their fireplace. Be it New Years and your guests want to see the ball drop or the yearly football/Thanksgiving dinner... Finding 'designer-acceptable' solutions is more challenging than trying to swim against flow.