11/17/2011 04:54 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Design Hot Spots

I always try to find "live" spaces with lacquered walls in an effort to convince a client to move forward with lacquering a room. This image is from a gorgeous project done by the one and only Miles Redd, and as you can see, a lacquered room can quickly make one scream "Are you crazy!?" But the lacquer job at D Bar (connected to Donatella Restaurant in Chelsea) served as the perfect example to show my client a "live/real-life" room with this treatment. It's not as ice-skating-rink slick as Miles' fabulous number on the butler's pantry mentioned, but rather dulled down enough to give the walls a certain inner glow. I love a lacquered room (head to toe, up and over) but just make sure you aren't wearing bedazzled hats like this or these shoes whilst drinking or hanging in these kind o' rooms, because a lacquered room typically has a hefty price tag.

If you do decide to take a field trip to see D Bar (mentioned above) you should also take a peek around the corner at the very well designed eyeglass shop, Tina Catherine on 8th Ave. To me, this space fits the bill for a very well designed retail outlet with one thing in mind -- eyeglasses. The simple solutions for display and the mixed use of materials was a total success in the end, if you ask me. Have a peek at this video for a better understanding.

Pause. Okay, pretty good, right!? It just looks chic and impressive without being pretentious. In my eyes, what works here is the use of modern design mixed with existing materials that many of us here in NYC live with everyday, such as brick walls. The clean use of materials, from the standard ready-to-buy stone floors and simple white pedestals/viewing stations can easily translate into any interior environment, a.k.a. your home, particularly if you're on a budget but in need of good design and style.

Another noteworthy newcomer in the neighborhood is the fab new Hotel Americano in West Chelsea. Designed by the genius, rock star, New York-based, Mexican architect Enrique Norten, who's done many other cool projects -- The Mercedes House on the west side is also worth the visit. What I love about Hotel Americano, among many other projects by Enrique, is the shelter-style cube beds in the rooms. Check them out. And if you're looking for a pointer -- that shelter bed idea is very DIY idea for all, but please give credit where credit is due.

Right now, I recommend you do an Olympic sprint to gather up the new line of home scents from Molton Brown. Yes, the Molton Brown hand wash we all love and promise ourselves we will 1000 percent go out and buy the next day after washing our hands in whatever restaurant that provides Molton Brown. For a sexy, leathery, pepper, scent, get this candle.