Monday, December 4, 2017

Best of Boston Home 2018, The Four Walls

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

I would like to share with all of you some very exciting news regarding The Four Walls. As some of my followers and clients already know, The Four Walls opened its doors in 1974 and was founded by my parents, Sheila and Jules Abber, both with the vision of being in the wall covering and interior design world. I entered into my family’s business in 1984 and never looked back. It is with great joy, pride, and respect to receive the Best of Boston Home 2018 Award. 

Thank you for making The Four Walls the Best of Boston. I look forward to working with you and your families for years to come!

Best Always,


Robin


Friday, November 3, 2017

'Tis the Season

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

As we are all aware the holidays are approaching and it’s been my experience that I see my clients and friends as well as family running around at the last minute like “turkeys with their heads cut off.” Being in the profession of wallcovering and interior design, order is very important. These are a few of my tips for getting organized for the holiday season.

The first item on the list is making sure your table linens are cleaned and your silverware is polished and your china and serving pieces are already to go, and your dining and living rooms have enough seating for all of your guests. Second on the list, try and do a preliminary food shopping trip before-hand; for example, the wine, the food condiments, which makes it easier to go in at a later date and buy the actual food for the meal. Third on the list is calling up your neighborhood florist for the centerpiece for your holiday meal. One thing you don’t want to do at the last minute is put together a floral arrangement right before your guests arrive. The fourth tip is getting the guest room prepared by checking your bed linens and the towels in the guest bathroom and freshening those up. Nothing is more embarrassing than having a guest use towels that are discolored and worn or mismatched sheets!

Apple pies, jingle bells and snow are fast approaching; don’t be left in the lurch at the last minute. Take action now to be prepared for a fabulous, flawless and stress-free holiday season. Follow these fast tips to get ahead of the grind and have time for the important things, like time spent with your guests and making those delicious meals. It’s never too early to start preparing for this special time of year.

So, as I always say folks, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!” Or in this case, don’t be afraid to be too organized!

Best,


Robin




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Impact Wall!


Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Recently my associate, Regina, and I have noticed that our clients have been asking for murals. This is a wallcovering trend that truly can transform a dull, boring space in your home into something fantastic with very little effort. When you are using a mural in a room, there is no real need for artwork or an interesting fabric or a busy area rug. This one statement as we designers call “The Impact Wall” just does it all!

So folks, if you want to get your room ready before Thanksgiving, stop by The Four Walls and view these exciting new collections!

As we always say, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!”

Best Always,

Robin and Regina

Below are a few of our favorite murals from the new collections:

  






Friday, September 15, 2017

Grey – The New Fall Neutral!

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

As we have all noticed, each fall season brings with it a new color. This year it’s grey. It’s in everything from clothes to fabrics, carpeting and naturally my fave, wallpaper! The reason design industry professionals are so thrilled to introduce the color grey is it has become the new neutral, taking over from beige. Grey pairs well with almost everything from striking colors like fuchsias, purples and orange. It also acts gently when used together with taupe, mushroom, gold and soft greens. It is a versatile color which can be introduced in a contemporary or traditional space.

Explore the possibilities of utilizing grey in your next interior design project. Stop in and see all the new Fall collections of fabrics and wallcoverings at The Four Walls. And, as I always say, folks, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!”

Best,

Robin






Saturday, August 26, 2017

Let's Get Our Act Together!

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Now that it's time to wash the sand off from between our toes, close the beach home, get our kids organized for school and college to finally think about your home. The holidays that seem to be far away will creep up on all of us. It's time to start looking around your home and focus on the areas that need freshening up!

The first room naturally is your dining room. Take a look at your dining room chairs, see if the fabric needs to be re-upholstered. Look at the wallpaper in your dining room, if it's older, maybe update it, as there are so many new and exciting wallpaper designs. If it's painted, being the owner of The Four Walls naturally, I love wallpaper. It really adds personality to a room in a very economical way.

The next room that may need attention is your living room. Take a look at the fabric on your sofa, chairs, and window treatements. Maybe a splash of color and a new exciting pattern will lift your room. Also look at the walls. If they're painted, maybe update it with a stunning texture, such as grass cloth, that will add warmth to the room without being too overpowering.

Lastly, the area of the home that needs attention during the entertaining holiday season is the powder room. Remember this little forgotten room is just as important as any other space. Add a spark of an interesting color and bold design through wallpaper. Don't be afraid to go gutsy and interesting. It's such a small space that you can be daring!

So let's get your home in order. And as I always say, "Don't be afraid to decorate!"

Best Always,

Robin









Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Finding the right Interior Designer

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Today’s subject is the importance of finding the best interior designer for you to work with. Being in the interior design industry for over thirty years, I have noticed clients trying to handle their projects on their own. The issue I have with this, is the fact of witnessing costly mistakes. When you choose a professional to work with you eliminate doing things twice. An interior designer’s help is critical because of the vast knowledge and designer resources they have at their fingertips that then become available to you, the client.

An interior designer will sometimes pass on a trade discount at the showrooms they do business with and charge separately for their time. Some of my fellow designers will charge a percentage, which is considered a commission on everything that is purchased. Others will also work on a flat fee, as no two design projects involve the same time. Fee schedules always vary based upon the needs of the client and the scope of the project.

Getting to the most important aspect is the fact that an interior designer’s knowledge of color, scale, style, practicality and design guidance is priceless. When choosing your design professional, it is, as I call it, “a design marriage.” The personality of your interior designer must also be considered. Remember readers, re-designing your home should be a fun, happy and an exciting experience!

For me personally, I have made several lasting friendships that started as a professional working relationship. I feel very fortunate to be in a field that I love!

So, folks, as I always, ‘Don’t be afraid to decorate!’

Best,

Robin

P.S. Remember, the holidays are coming up soon!





Saturday, July 8, 2017

WALLPAPER…THE HELLO OF YOUR ROOM!

Welcome Back Blog Readers,
Today’s blog discussion centers around my design associate, Regina, who has been working with design projects for The Four Walls involving her young clients for over a year. These folks have just purchased their first homes and are fearful of too much of a pattern commitment. Regina has been introducing them to accent wallpapers in master bedrooms, living rooms and statement walls in hallways. Being a young, inspired Interior Designer from Taiwan who has moved to Boston, she has experience with this design concept whereas this is new to the States. Accent walls can make a statement and serve as a focal point. Also, because wallpaper has made a tremendous comeback, it is a fantastic way of expressing your daring design flair! As my associate, Regina, states: “It’s the baby steps towards the world of wallpapers!”
Wallpaper can give a room personality and a great design outline when you are trying to choose furniture, rugs, and fabrics. That is why it is my most favorite design element. In my thirty five years in the Interior Design industry and being the owner of The Four Walls, naturally, wallpaper has always been my first introduction with my clients.
I call wallpaper the “Hello of the room!"
So folks as I always say, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!”
Best Always,
Robin



Monday, June 12, 2017

Inspired by Nature

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Today I would like to talk about a concept that I have noticed in my many years in the design industry. It appears that all of the great color tones are derived from nature. Every spring and summer season new colors make their way into wallcoverings, fabrics, home furnishings and even the fashion industry. This spring and summer feature hot pinks, fuchsias, corals, purples and bright orange. Bold prints are back in wallpaper folks! No more subtle geometrics. As an interior designer I am excited to see these styles make their way back into the design world. My clients have responded well to the introduction of bold colors and prints that will add personality to your home.

So folks, enjoy your summer expressing your “sunny side.”

And as I always say, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!”

Best Always,
Robin

 



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Don't Second Guess It, Let It Go!

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

As we wave goodbye to winter and say hello to spring, it’s time to let go of the old items that no longer have a place in your home. You know, those extra remotes that don’t work, outdated throw pillows and extra blankets you never use or the area rug you keep tripping over. Then of course, the knickknack decorations that don’t add any important design appeal and, last but not least, the dead plant in the corner of your living room.

How do you get rid of them? The only way is to declutter your space. My method, as an OCD neat-freak, is to start room by room. Look at an item and ask yourself if it is contributing anything to the aesthetic of your home or simply taking up wasted space. In your kitchen is where you notice clutter most. If you’re not using an item or appliance on your countertop, get rid of it and give your kitchen a clean, sleek look. For your living/family room, make a pile of items that you aren’t sure about; go through it and ask yourself if each item holds design appeal or sentimental value, or if it has become what is affectionately known as ‘junk.’ If the item doesn’t add anything positive, let it go. As for your bathroom, clear out all old towels and linens, and the remnants of used soaps and shampoos.

This is going to make space for the things you love and highlight the overall design of your home. You’ll finally have room to show off both the room itself and everything that brings it to life. Cluttered and messy spaces make us feel nervous, so spring cleaning your home will not only lessen anxiety, it will also showcase your house and the things that make it a home.

As my most favorite designer, William Morris once wrote, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” Spring is the perfect opportunity to take his words to heart, so don’t second guess it, let it go!

So, as I always say, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!”

Best,


Robin



Thursday, April 13, 2017

'Pure Morris'

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Today I want to celebrate the 183rd birthday of William Morris, the founder of Morris & Co. The company, founded in 1861, is one of the premier wallcovering companies in Europe. Their style is classic arts and crafts hand-blocked bold designs with bright colors. Their new collection, called ‘Pure Morris’ is like no other collection from the past. It incorporates classic Morris prints with tonal, textured beading elements and more neutral colors, making the collection more ‘transitional.’ It reaches out to clients that own classic Victorian homes, which enables them to incorporate their contemporary tastes. ‘Pure Morris’ pays homage to the man who started it all with a modern and contemporary twist, and it is an honor in my thirty-odd years in the wallcovering and design industry to work with such an esteemed company.

Come on in and see the tribute, check out other styles as well. And, as I always say, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!

Best,


Robin






Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The World of de Gournay

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Samantha Heard, the Senior Project Manager with de Gournay, and the New England representative Michelle Arsenault for Webster and Company, located at the Boston Design Center. For those who are unfamiliar, de Gournay Wallcovering is rich in history. The company was founded in 1986 by Claude Cecil Gurney in the efforts to search for artisans to restore the antique wallpaper in his own home. He had realized that this sort of restoration was a lost art. Traveling to China he sought out artists whose families had generations of experience, thus creating de Gournay, a design firm best known for its incredible and luxurious hand-painted wallcoverings.

The company has showrooms spanning from New York, Europe and China. These hand-painted murals are created today by artisans who have more than fifteen years of training. The wallcoverings, which I had the pleasure of viewing were created on different unusual backgrounds such as silk and metallics. Some of these panels incorporated hand-stitching to enhance the dimension of the mural. It is fascinating to see the eclectic images that appear on each mural. I had asked Samantha how long it takes to create one panel. She had told me that sometimes it takes over a hundred hours with several artisans working on just one panel. Truly in my opinion de Gournay murals are timeless, elegant and sophisticated, and if you are lucky enough to incorporate them in your home you are actually owning a fine piece of art.

My many thanks to de Gournay, Samantha Heard, Michelle Arsenault and the fine showroom of Webster and Company for sharing these incredible works, which the Four Walls is honored to show its clients.

Best,

Always,


Robin





Wednesday, February 22, 2017

“Say Hello to Your Foyer!”

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Today’s post involves my most recent project, a new and beautifully updated foyer for one of my clients. I feel the entrance hallway is the most vital element in one’s home, because it reflects the tone of the rest of your house; in short, it is the first impression.

All great foyers and hallways start as an idea. My client’s image was for something elegant and have it make a significant statement. The wallcovering with a matte silver background gives a contemporary and updated look, while the chinoiserie floral pattern is in keeping with the colonial style of the home. Brunschwig & Fils is the name of the wallpaper design house, the pattern is ‘Bird and Thistle’; it is taken from the Winterthur Museum collection. B&F have taken their iconic style and have redesigned their entire collection with a more contemporary feel.

As an interior designer, the concept of and overall “design flow” is critical in keeping with the style and theme of your home. The reason that wallpaper has always been my favorite element in any interior is the fact that it can fill a room with fantastic character. Whether that be traditional, contemporary or eclectic, your home should feel seamless from the foyer all the way around.

With Spring just around the corner, it is time to think about a “new feel” for your home. So stop by The Four Walls and view all of the new Spring Collections.

And, as I always say, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!

Best,


Robin



Tuesday, January 31, 2017

DESIGNING WITH LOVE

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

With Valentine’s Day only a few weeks away, today’s blog will feature the subject of designing your bedroom with your ‘sweetheart’ in mind. When I ask couples, both married or unmarried, what they are looking for in a master bedroom design they almost always tell me that they like the look of a simple master bedroom. By this they mean not busy wallpaper and the popular choice is a simple tone-on-tone geometric or an extra-fine grass cloth texture. Another request is a master bedroom that encompasses straight lined furniture and not over crowded. When it comes to the fabric for the bedding not too over-printed, simple and plain fabrics with lots of texture are the top choice. With respect to the window treatments, I like to suggest a tailored look for example, roman shades or simple panels with a stunning rod and decorative finials. When selecting the area rugs almost always something with a printed geometric design is always easy to live with. An area rug with a dash of color keeps the master bedroom design interesting!

Basically, today’s master bedroom suites are always designed with a peaceful and restful existence in mind. It is my belief with today’s busy pace almost all of my clients request ‘simple yet stunning’. When this design concept is used it results in a sexy master bedroom suite. Remember… “Simple can be sexy!”

And, as I always say, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!”

Best always,


Robin




 
(Landry & Arcari - area rugs)


(David Hicks - wallcovering)

(Kravet - fabric)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Go With The Flow

Welcome Back Blog Readers,

Hope that everyone had a fantastic Holiday and New Years! Today, I would like to talk about a common design issue that I see all too often when I am working with my clients. This concept is the color and design flow from one room to another, as well as the colors involved in various rooms in one’s home. As an interior designer a flow in any room involves the following basic elements of design: they are naturally color, scale, texture as well as pattern and balance. Light in a room is of the utmost importance because, it can throw off color elements in any room decor. I always suggest to my clientele that the rooms should flow it should not feel disjointed and when you look from one room to another I suggest to add and drop color from room to room, so each area of the home is not repetitive. If you like a few colors, keep to them and do not add too much color, as a room can get too complicated. Remember, the colors of your home are a personal choice. Do not get swayed by living with a suggestion from a friend or even your own interior designer!

Because the homes today are built with an open floor plan this flow concept is critical to a successful interior design layout.

When the element of wallcovering is used, for instance in a hallway, it is best to continue the same pattern throughout so that you keep the space continually flowing. It you stop at the corner of a hallway and add paint as the continuing factor it will look like you ran out the wallcovering and the total look will be unfinished. Accent walls with wallcovering, are a planned application and are a fantastic design choice when used with the correct coordinating paint color.

Lastly, your fabrics and furniture selections should also have a flow. You should be able to take your dining room chair and bring it into your living room space if you’re entertaining and run out of seating. The upholstery fabric should meld into the room. Please don’t misunderstand me, “you don’t have to match your dining room to your master bedroom fabrics!” Being too matchy-matchy is not a good look either! The key is to look at the entire picture.

So remember folks, in the dictionary the definition of flow “is to have a smooth continuity.”

If you stand in the hallway of your home and the colors, fabrics, wallcovering, and scale of furniture feel to move smoothly to your eye then your home has a design flow!

So, as I always say, folks, “Don’t be afraid to decorate!”

Best Always,


Robin






(Photo courtesy of Houzz)

(Photo courtesy of Candace Olson)