And the Winners are.......

Thanks for taking part in the poll ' My 10 Most Winning Wing Chairs '.  64 votes were tabulated over 5 days.

1st Place   B & B Italia Max Alto designed by Antonio Citterio

B B Italia MaxAlto


2nd Place   Leo Chair by Oly Studio


3rd Place   Big Chair by Jens Risom from Ralph Pucci International



Patricia Gray writes about emerging trends, her inspirations, "What's HOT" in the world of Design, as well as sneak peaks of her work.


Color Inspiration

Spring is around the corner and I am inspired by these bright and cheerful colors.





Duralee Fabrics

 Patricia Gray writes about emerging trends, her inspirations, "What's HOT" in the world of Design, as well as sneak peaks of her work.

Modern Italian Interior Design

Modern Italian Interior Design Molteni & C
Molteni&C Milano

Modern Italian Interior Design Molteni & C 

Modern Italian Interior Design Molteni & C 

Modern Italian Interior Design Molteni & C

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
WHAT'S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Michelle Morelan

I received this rendering of a Master Bedroom that I designed from Michelle Morelan,a talented artist who writes the Blog A Schematic Life. Thanks Michelle and keep up the good work!

Michelle Morelan
Rendering by Michelle Morelan of a room designed by Patricia Gray

Patricia Gray | Interior Design 

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
WHAT'S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Its the Energy Stupid!

I ran across this criticism of Architects and the green movement the other day.
It was written by Joseph Lstiburek; a renowned building science expert and royal smart ass.  Many Architects and Engineers do not like Mr. Lstiburek because of his criticisms.  I think mostly because he is all too often right; and he always has facts to back his claims up.

Lstiburek's basic criticism is this.  Architects and Engineers are creating "Green Monuments".  Buildings that are hailed Green and win awards; and yet they statistically are not saving any energy over their non-green counterparts.

I tend to agree with many of his criticisms.  I have felt for some time that we get caught up in all the new exciting technology - so much so that we forget the basic principles of good environmental design that the Ancients knew, and that Edward Mazria re-taught us over 30 years ago.  This is why I try to focus on the basics - see

I think our industry should be open to criticisms like his.  If we really want to do good, then we should verify that we really are doing good; and just not convincing ourselves of it.

flowers in the middle of winter

: : I found this wonderful flowerbed made of paper flowers on my bike ride in to work this morning. it brightened my day so much! I had to post it on .colormeblogg.

you can find the flowerbed in front of the art institute of Boston, just past Kenmore square. absolutely lovely!!

fashion on my mind

: : since it's new york fashion week, I thought I'd share these lovely pieces by .mary & angelika. on etsy. the little jacket would be perfect with most dresses. so adorable!

Green Links

I just wanted to pass on an FYI that I have now posted links for various green resources along the sidebar of the Simply Elegant Home Designs Blog.  Over the next weeks I will be refining the listings.  Since there are so many green resources available to us I want to try to edit the list down to provide useful "common sense green" information, and to eliminate as much redundancy as possible.  I will also be adding a links page to my Simply Elegant Home Designs website.

Again, you can see the links along the right sidebar of the Simply Elegant Home Designs blog.  And by the way, I welcome your suggestions.

Architect vs. Builder

Architects and Home Builders seem to have a bit of a dysfunctional relationship.  Looking through my lens as an Architect it seems that many builders look at us as a necessary evil; and something to be avoided.  Most builders today still utilize their own in house staff or an outside house plan drafting service in lieu or working with an Architect.  The result is a lack of creativity and variety.  The evidence?  Take a drive through the suburbs and you will see thousands of homes that look remarkably similar, yet constructed by many different builders.  This cannot possibly be a good situation for the builders, because it forces them to compete mostly by price alone.  Not a good way to make a profit.

It seems clear that if the builders want to stand out and get more demand for their products; then one great way to do that is to offer great creative, unique and functional designs that stand out from the competition.  In other words they should create a design niche.  And the best way to do this might be to work with a competent Residential Architect / Designer.

So why does the builder avoid the Architect?  At Ron Brenner Architects I have bumped into many builders over the years and I can pretty much tell you why.
  • Time – Builders don’t make money until they start construction of the home.  Sometimes they don’t make money until construction is completed.  It drives them crazy having to wait for the design process to be completed.
  • Money – Going through the traditional architectural design process costs money.  Builders are constantly trying to manage escalating construction costs – and Architects represent another cost control issue.
  • Attitude – Many Architects look down on the builder; and it shows.  Our field likes to put down the housing industry, yet offers little in the way of assistance.  So why would a builder want to work with us if he thinks we don’t respect him?
There is clearly a huge market share that Architects are not currently tapping into because of the above.  I believe we can gain market share by doing the following:
  1. Try to gain a better understanding the builders’ point of view.  We also need to give them a better idea of who we are and the value that we bring to projects.  We need to get out and start talking with them and learning from each other.  With understanding comes mutual respect.
  2. Modify our process and deliverables for builders to save time and money.  I am not arguing that we should give our services away.  Our services are extremely valuable.  I am only suggesting a modification of our services and deliverables to bring more value to the builder.
At Ron Brenner Architects we a bit of experience with item 2.  I’ll try to expand a bit on that in a future posting.

My 10 Most Winning Wing Chairs

Traditionally a wing back chair was an upholstered easy chair with large "wings" mounted to the armrests and enclosing the head or torso areas of the body. Such wing back chairs were originally designed to provide comfortable protection from drafts, and particularly to trap the heat from a fireplace in the area where the person would be sitting. Hence, they were most often used near a fireplace in historic times. So the wing back chair started out to function in rooms that were not centrally heated. We have come a long way since then and the wing back chair has morphed to fit the times and the style of the rooms we live in.

Please leave a comment at the end of this article and let me know which is your favourite wing back chair.


Big Chair by Jens Risom from Ralph Pucci International - Walnut Frame

Bergère Chair by Autoban for De La Espada,is available in Black walnut or White Oak with oiled finish.
The De La Espada factory is located near the Silver Coast in Portugal.

Gabriel Chair by Oly Studio is beautifully upholstered in leather with nail heads.

Sam Chair by Oly Studio a more casual look in cane and ebonized black frame.

Leo Chair by Oly Studio A stunning look in white leather and nail heads.

Regina Chair by Poltrona Frau with a molded frame, round grommets to simulate tufting and buttons
It is upholstered in Maserati leather.
Patricia Gray Inc. Photography Roger Brooks


Laura Kirar Cradle Wing Chair

B B Italia MaxAlto

B & B Italia designed by Antonio Citterio, an updated classical look by the famous Italian Architect Citterio.
Slip covered and very comfortable to sit in.


CH445 Wing Chair by Hans J. Wegner from Suite NY.
This chair was designed by Hans J. Wegner in 1960 and reintroduced in 2006.
A modern take on the Scandinavian look.

The Marks Lounge Chair by Michael Taylor Designs.
Designed in the 70's by the famous Californian designer Michael Taylor.

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
WHAT'S HOT in the world of interior design, architecture, art and travel.
2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Take a Tap your Feet...or Get up and Dance

Mockingbird - Carly Simon and James Taylor

Happy Valentines Day


"Laughter is the closest distance between two people" --Victor Borge

Photo Credit: Colour Me Happy

Patricia Gray writes about emerging trends, her inspirations, "What's HOT" in the world of Design, as well as sneak peaks of her work.

100 meter photo

: : more wonderful finds via .pan.dan.
a 100 meter long photo celebrating ordinary people by danish photographer. simon hoegsberg. it just keeps scrolling and scrolling....

happy weekend!

funny walk in cabinet

: : the .colorblog. has me thinking about my outfit a lot more these days. maybe this is the reason why I was drawn to this image so much. it makes me smile. most things that I find via pan.dan makes me smile.
walk in cabinet

colors in new orleans

these wonderful photos of colorful homes in .new orleans. taken by my friend .annis. can be found over on our .colormeblogg. today. I love the detailed patterns on the home in the first photo.

View your home in Google Earth

Simply Elegant Home Designs is offering a new service to help potential plan purchasers visualize their house plan within the context of their own site.  For a nominal fee they can provide images of the desired house plan at their site address.  The images below provide an example of how this can work.  They depict various google earth views which increasingly zoom in on a specific site address in which a 3d house plan model has been inserted.

This service can be particularly helpful for a potential plan purchaser because it allows them to get an idea of how the house plan might fit into their own unique site location prior to purchasing the full plan set.  Also, because google earth provides 3d terrain, it can also help to understand grading issues or identify special foundation conditions that might be required.  

Simply Elegant Home Designs offers pre-designed home plans that are creative, simple, elegant, unique and green to individuals, builders and developers.  Their goal is to provide the most discriminating home designs available and to be the most service oriented organization in the pre-designed house plans business.  They can be reached at or 612-669-6411.

creative children's spaces

: : from my very first visit, I have always loved elisabeth dunker's blog .fine little day. (she lives in my hometown of göteborg) What draws me the most to her blog is seeing the photos of how creative she is with her children. I love seeing the projects that they work on, building a circus out of toilet rolls, making mushroom tiaras... the ideas are just wonderful! and the children's rooms are equally wonderful to see! (bottom 3 photos)

: : the top 2 photos I came across while browsing .bloesem. today. They brought me to
jimin smallVILLE open house tour, with some fantastic photos of kids spaces. these are some lucky kids!!

The Ultimate Flou Beds

This is my idea of the perfect bed.


The frame of the mattress is on a suspension system that lifts easily -- just hit the release button and it pops up with a light tug-- very ingeniously designed. The frame is separate from the head-board. Also, the enclosed space stays clean, unlike underneath a bed. Made in Italy by Flou


Patricia Gray writes about emerging trends, her inspirations, "What's HOT" in the world of Design, as well as sneak peaks of her work.

These are a Few of My Favourite Things

My Motto is "When you live with beautiful things, you stimulate your mind, you enjoy life a little more."  
I have a tray in my bathroom that I look at everyday that holds some of my most favourite things. 
It makes me happy every time I look at it, and isn't that what makes life worthwhile to find beauty and happiness in the little things. 

  • The Ivory necklace that I got when I was on Safari in Africa brings back fond memories.

  • The little Hermes bag that is filled with fragrance samples that I got as a gift when I made a purchase at Hermes -the orange color and the delicate brown ribbon makes me smile.

  • My favourite fragrances: Jo Malone & Cartier.

  • The Louis Vuitton zippered case, lined in brown suede holds my favourite pieces of jewelry.

  • The engraved silver lidded bowl that holds my watch and bracelets at night.

  • The two crystal silver toped jars, the taller one is a Victorian sugar shaker that I have re-purposed to hold talcum powder and the smaller one is a vintage ink well that now holds a small portion of my favourite cream.

Why not try rounding up a collection of some of your favourite things that make you happy every time you look at them.



Patricia Gray writes about emerging trends, her inspirations, "What's HOT" in the world of Design, as well as sneak peaks of her work.

Barcelona Pavilion Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

This picture was sent to me by my good friend, Colin Kwok, who is an Architect and an extraordinary Sculptor. It is the Barcelona Pavilion designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. I thought I would share it with you as it is very inspirational for me. I would love to visit Barcelona and view this sculpture in person one day. Enjoy.


Barcelona Pavilion, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona. It was an important building in the history of modern architecture, known for its simple form and extravagant materials, such as marble and travertine.

The building stood on a large podium alongside a pool. The structure itself consisted of eight steel posts supporting a flat roof, with curtain glass walling and a handful of partition walls. The overall impression is of perpendicular planes in three dimensions forming a cool, luxurious space.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the Barcelona chair for the Barcelona Pavilion, hence the name for the chair. The Barcelona Pavilion was dismantled at the end of the exhibition, but a replica has since been built on the same site (1981-1986 replica Barcelona Pavilion by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe).

Louie 26A

Above Photo: Sculpture Colin Kwok
Interior Design Patricia Gray
Click here to see a posting I did on the above of Colin Kwok's sculpture titled: Jeanne d' Arc in a client's bedroom.



Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design,
architecture,  and travel, as well as how your surroundings can
influence the world around you.
© Patricia Gray Interior Design Blog, 2009