Cool New England Summer House

It's finally summer here in Pittsburgh,.  I'm so in the mood to head to the seashore.  As a summer project I've been asked to consult on the design of the house as well as decorating the interior of a simple Rhode Island beach house. It's a fun summer project. Not much stress- just asked to give my ideas to the architect and pick the interior furnishings for my client to purchase. The client wants a clean modern interior. 

The Atlantic  was a swirl of green and blue on the day I visited. The rocky beach was saturated in grays and sandy whites.  We will use these colors. The house is simple. We will invert the living space, in order to take advantage of the ocean views. Bedrooms downstairs. Kitchen and living upstairs. All finishes will be kept to a minimum. My idea is modern Shaker. Let's see how it will be translated.... Here are some images that we were my inspiration.

 interior horiz bright, 6/3/05, 10:59 AM,  8C, 4500x5780 (0+2), 75%, low contrast 8,  1/30 s, R130.0, G106.0, B106.0

I was in Westport, CT a few weeks ago and saw this front door. I loved the simplicity. 


My client found these great wooden shutters about 5 feet in length. They are probably from the 1960s. So graphic. They will make a strong statement. They will find a home on the wall in the living room.


We will use this Italian porcelain tile on the first floor for all the sandy feet that will be entering. These porcelain "wood" floors are popular, and extremely practical.

The second wood floor will be painted Benjamin Moore's Buckland Blue. A gorgeous gray blue .



We love this calacatta marble tile for the bathrooms, but yikes it may be discontinued.

That's it for now. There will be more later.

See you,





What's New at Design Trade in the Strip District

April is the time when new fabrics are rolled out by the most discerning fabric houses. Interior designers were invited to Design Trade in the Strip District to preview the new collections. It was a festive and inspiring time!


My favorites were from opposite ends of the decorating scale. Classic and clean versus edgy and quirky.

Thibaut showed some crisp traditional fabrics with a twist. 

By the way, we were so inspired by the butterfly paper above we decided to  use it in a little girl's bedroom as an accent wall. 

My other favorite from the Spring Market preview was a French company,  Élitis. Sometimes highly textured, sometimes three dimensional, and sometimes completely out of scale.  Just fantastic. Their coverings work in both  both comercial as well a residential environments.

See you,


Cici Crib Interiors write up in Pittsburgh's Tribune Review

The interior design  concept of Senti Restaurant came directly from the heart of the owners. Franco Braccia, a native Italian, spoke of the elegant restaurants of much of his early life in Venice. Annette Ishida, Franco's lovely wife and my very talented sister, helped translate and direct her own ideas into the project. The result is unique and completely fresh. Cozy, modern, quiet conversations,  gallery like and drama were descriptions on the design table. They may seem like contradictions, but each idea was incorporated into the final product. So a great shout out to the Trib for noticing Senti's design!

Interior Design of Albertine in NYC

I got a chance to stop into Albertine book shop a few weeks ago in NYC. Located in a Fifth Avenue mansion owned by the French Embassy, I quietly say it was it's interior design that drew me to visit the shop.  The space was designed by Jacques Garcia. He totally respects all aspects of traditional French design. But he also adds colors and twists that make the space fresh and unique.  Garcia designed a furniture line for Baker which is in that same quirky traditional vein.


There is crazy inspiration for a home library or office in the bookshop.  The celestial ceiling, the green interior of the bookshelves, the trim on the bookshelves, the simple step stool, the eclectic mix of modern and traditional furniture.

And how can anyone not notice those out of proportion, gorgeous light fixtures. So enormous.

C'est magnifique!

See you...




Phillip Jeffries Wall Covering in Pittsburgh's New Hip Restaurant- Senti

Who makes the most glamorous, finest quality wallpaper? Far ahead of anyone is Phillip Jeffries. You can go completely understated with their soft fabric wall covering or over the top glam with their glowing gold striations paper. We went for the "look at me- I'm gorgeous"   in designing  Senti Restaurant and Wine Bar. Located in the hippest part of town, Lawrenceville, Senti is special place with special food. More on the fabulous Senti in an upcoming post. Today we celebrate Phillip Jeffries for profiling us in their Designer Installs!


We used the wallpaper at the base of  the bar to accentuate the entire area. We wanted it to glow.  It has a lacquered look, but it is actually a vinyl paper. Works perfectly!

See you...



Visit to NYNOW Winter 2015

It's always great being in  NYC. Now I notice it more than ever after moving to Pittsburgh. So I am back in NY visiting with clients, sourcing new fabrics and furniture and visiting with friends.  It was a whirlwind that ended at the NYNOW show.  The day was cold and snowy. Definitely reflected my  decorating mood. While everyone was talking about color, I noticed all the soft colors and sparkly accessories. 

Chunky throws  and upholstery for a chic living room

Monochrome colors in Art .  Decorating for several spaces- A quiet physician's office,  a young hip couple who embraces Andy Warhol's birth place of Pittsburgh,  to a  a classic mom's NYC master bedroom. 

I'm always on the look out for what's new in baby nurseries. Great crib and a funky  big sister's chair.

I would love these dishes for my new place in Pittsburgh.



Last stop was this Japanese vendor who has the most delicate little loves. A mobile of sorts. Time to fly home..

See you...






Getting Ready to Go... the High Point show in North Carolina! I am so excited, as always, to go and see the vast array of furniture and ideas! I'll be coming back completely inspired, so be sure to check this blog for all the photos and new ideas!  Here are a few companies I know I will be visiting:

Hickory Chair

Hickory Chair

Mary McDonald

Mary McDonald



So much gorgeous design to explore! (like a kid in a candy store! ;)



New website, new logo, new Cici!

New Website, new logo, new Cici! Yes, we still have our precious baby items that you love and we still decorate nurseries, but we found our clients have begun to ask what we can do for the rest of their of their "cribs".

There is nothing we love more than continuing the visual story throughout the rest of the house, turning it into a home that speaks of the homeowners' personality.

We hope this new blog will inspire you, as we visually record all the amazing design and decor ideas that catch our attention and give us food for thought as we expand our creative endeavors! 

Join in on the ride!

Happy Holidays...

I will be taking some time off from blogging. Time to reflect  after all that has happened in Newtown, CT. We are not so far away from Newtown. It could have been our town.


Owner of Armonk Wines has a kindergartener at Sandy Hook Elementary school. People have been asking how to help. In partnership with the  PTSA, Sandy Hook Elementary School a fund has been established to help defray the enormous cost of moving a community to a new school.

Have a safe and peaceful holiday..



Beatrix Potter Exhibit at the Morgan Library

I was able  to see the Beatrix Potter Exhibit at the Morgan Library last weekend. A very nice respite from all the chaotic crowds of the city.

Beatrix Potter's childhood seemed isolated. Her parents were wealthy and quite stern. Her happiest moments were spent at the family's country home, where she would spend hours observing animal behavior. Lucky for her, she was allowed to have a menagerie of pets- cats, dogs, rabbits, snakes and mice, oh my...

Most of her book ideas came  from stories that she wrote to the  children of her governess. Her gentle and delicate drawings were full of imagination.





The exhibit is so worthwhile- there is also a spattering of toys and other items related to Beatrix Potter.

Too bad Peter wasn't around to make a muck of things...

See you...



Celebrate Frosty Day, December 8th in Armonk, NY

Armonk is home to Frosty the Snowman! Writer, Steve Nelson was a long time resident. It is believed that the traffic policeman in the song is based on a local cop, John Hergenhan.  Frosty is a classic that has been around for years. Love these vintage pics...







Join us Saturday December 8th as we celebrate Frosty the Snowman!!

See You...




Lovee Fest at Cici Crib Helps The Pinwheel Project

We kick off our holiday season on December 1st with a special fundraiser for little ones. Over the years, I have noticed children coming in to Cici Crib carrying their  favorite toy.  Their most treasured possession is at times stained, torn, shredded, and completely loved. During the month of December, come visit Cici Crib with lovee in hand and we will give you a framed photo  of it. All for a $10 donation to a very important local charity, The Pinwheel Project. The Pinwheel Project assists  hospitalized children and their families during their grueling  stays in local hospitals.


Please support The Pinwheel Project. Hope to see you!




Winding down work at the shop as Thanksgiving approaches. So love this holiday!

Heading to Pittsburgh to see family. A great town this time of year. The shop will be open on Saturday.  We would love to see you, your business is so important to us. Shop small!

Have a safe and warm Thanksgiving!

See you...




How to Buy a Baby Gift

It can be really hard to buy a meaningful baby gift for someone you don't really know. My customers come to my shop looking for a special gift.  The first thing I always ask a customer buying a baby gift- Do you know what the nursery looks like? Most do not know what the nursery looks like.  Where do we go from there?  Although my customers do not want to buy from the standard online baby registries from the big box baby stores, I suggest we take a look at what the mom registered for. These baby registries give many clues in terms of simplicity, colors, and style  of the nursery. Do they like shabby chic? Are they more modern or traditional? Lots can be learned from looking at their list of essentials  on big box registries. Sometimes there  are no baby registries, the only item the customer has is a baby's announcement.  Baby announcements say a lot about the aesthetic of the new parents.

Almost 19 years ago, my sweet boy Justin was born. Wow!  My baby announcement was very simple. White and gray and meaningful words from a Springsteen song.


What can you tell from this announcement?  Well keep it simple for sure.  But also maybe a bit funky.

I would have loved this stroller blanket from Cici Crib's online shop.


Or maybe this elephant bookend..


Or this cool clock made from bicycle parts...


Or go out on a limb and get this vintage aluminum diver helmet container, that could be used to great store little toys...

So don't be afraid or nervous about buying the perfect baby gift if you have never seen the nursery, there are lots of clues to help you pick a fantastic gift!

See you..



It's Time for Your Lovee.

Hurricane Sandy has literally taken the ground  out from under us. It can be a scary time.  Sometimes we all wish we had a lovee. A sweet something that makes us feel safe and warm. I started taking pictures of children's lovees that visited  the shop. The smudges, the bandaid,  the tattered edges reflect the complete love the owners give them.


When I ask to take a picture of the lovee, some little owners are very protective.

I took this pic right before the hurricane. I am sure the bear lovee offered alot of warmth and comfort to this very  little owner.

Stay safe and be well..

See you...




Highpoint Fall 2012 Children's Rooms Decorating Inspiration

Lots of decorating ideas for boys and girls rooms down in Highpoint. Most of my vendors aren't necessarily focused on children. It doesn't really matter as long as the design is cool and the furniture is relatively sturdy. For a very little boy who is a little gentleman, this dresser is lacqured and lined with linen. The knobs are a play on the US coat of arms.

Simple, modern bookshelf that is actually well made and not Ikea. Great kids storage.

Always interesting art for kids rooms. Love these vintage photos for a boy's bedroom..



Hand painted animals done on book covers. Nice art for baby's nursery.


Great fashion photos for an Audrey Hepburn inspired tween bedroom. They come in  really large sizes as well.





Accessories that would fit with the art. Love this reasonably priced mirror for a girl's bedroom

Industrial looking mirror..

Lots of lamps..


This lamp is just right for a little girl's room that I am working on now.

Cool vintage baseball lamp.

This lamp will go into a transitional boy's bedroom inspired by everything nautical.

We ended our day at a children's furniture vendor that carried little beds for dolls as well. They made special doll bedding  as part of the display for market. Oh so cute and inviting.

A perfect spot for American Girl to lay her head...


See you...



Highpoint Fall 2012

Just got back from Highpoint with loads of ideas. What I noticed most about the vignettes created by vendors was the use of color. Whether it is a traditional room, casual room, kids room or adult- all I saw was ORANGE!

We started out our day at a seminar on trends. One interesting concept was proportion and scale. By the end of next year we will see more oddly, but interesting plays on the sizing of furniture and accessories. I just love this look.  We started seeing it at market this fall.

Notice the huge urn on the small sidetable.

The floor lamp with the jolly green giant's shade and skinny base sits next to a standard size sofa.

The paisley print is enormous on this 6'x9' rug.

The tassle on steriods hanging from light fixture.

Check out the pulls!

This market wicker and natural fibers are making a comeback in furniture.

What great fun! If you are interested in purchasing any of these great new items, shoot me an email!

See you...



Dwell Studio at Cici Crib

It's always exciting to bring in new products into the shop. I love vintage. I love modern.  So bringing in some new items that will make a baby's nursery special  gives us a nice little boost of joy.  We recently brought in Dwell Studio for their clean modern sense of design and quality construction. I love this little orange bus bookshelf. Click on item- to purchase  in Cici Crib's  online shop.

Picture frames can make great baby gifts!

Another great selling toy from Dwell Studio is their soft blocks.

From flowers to city skylines, I love their baby blankets and bibs.


I will be heading out this weekend to check out all that's new in the design world down in Highpoint, NC. So look forward to seeing more decor in the shop as well..

See you..


Harlem Art Walking Tour

This weekend a walking tour of artist's studios and galleries is being organized by Casa Frela Gallery.  A very inspiring artist, Fumiko Toda is one of the eighty artists participating in this weekend's walk.

A client and I visited her tiny studio in a typical Harlem brownstone  this year. Though very small, Fumiko keeps her space very well organized and welcoming.

Her work is intricate with subtle  layers of color and delicate details. Her fascination with insects, evident throughout her work, began as a child in Japan.  Fumiko is as whimsical as her work, lovely  and waif-like, she is happiest in her studio.

Although the piece was not yet complete, we loved it. It was inspired by a road trip to Spain she took with her boyfriend. When finished it found a home in my clients sunny foyer...

If you have a chance check out the art walk!

See you...