Category Archives: Uncategorized

March 1st, 2018 at Sorelle Fine Art Gallery…

March 1st, 5-8pm at Sorelle Fine Art Gallery
84 Main St, New Canaan

We enjoyed a lovely opening reception to view their
1st Exhibition of 2018 featuring:

‘Opaline: Works by Teadora Guerrera and Dmitri Wright’ whose work was like a breath of Springtime!

An Designer Vignette exhibit, ‘Statement Pieces’, by I.M. Smitten
of Trumbull, CT was also on view and will remain there for the month of March.

Stop in and enjoy a refreshing moment in New Canaan’s Sorelle Gallery!


Center for Family Justice Fundraiser

Please join us at our  “CHAIR-ity” event benefiting The Center For Family Justice featuring custom designed chairs by local designers and artists. The chairs will be presented in a silent auction and all proceeds from chair sales will benefit FJC.

The Family Justice Center approach is based on the San Diego Family Justice Center model that opened in 2002. The model has been defined as a best practice in the field of domestic violence intervention and prevention services by the United States Department of Justice. The Center would like to create a community where there is zero tolerance of domestic abuse and sexual assault. The Family Justice Center can help make this vision a reality.

IDS Connecticut supports the Center For Family Justice and we are excited to present this CHAIR-ity” event. Please join us for an evening event for this very worthy cause.

June 9th at 6pm
University of Bridgeport ~ Art Gallery, 1st Floor
84 Iranistan Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 

Our upcoming August 15th meeting…

Join us for drinks and refreshments at the inspiring home
and art studio of Elise Black in Westport, Ct.  This modern home with it’s 1,200 sq. ft. attached studio, serves as a showcase and atelier for the artist where she experiments with a vast variety of materials to create intriguing mixed media art, light sculptures, bathroom vanities, and even custom kitchen backsplashes! 

Elise’s art and large scale sculptural installations are included in many private, corporate and civic collections including Westport’s Permanent Art Collection. Elise has a diverse and vast collection of available art in all price points or can create a site specific piece to fulfill whatever you are envisioning for your project!  Learn about attractive designer incentives.

Board Meetings 2017

We often meet the first Tuesday of every month, but because this may change, please check your email or this website for meeting Date & Location.

We discuss overall chapter strategies, ideas for programs, and other means to provide benefits to our members.  All members are encouraged to join a committee and attend board meetings.

2017 Board Meeting Schedule

  • January 10 ~ Kathleen Bivona’s home-6pm meeting/ 7pm dinner
  • February 7 ~ Linda Black’s home  -6pm meeting/7pm dinner
  • March 7 ~ NO meeting
  • April 4 ~ Shirley Mitchell’s home – 6pm meeting /7pm dinner
  • May 2 ~ Kathleen Bivona’s home – 6pm meeting / 7pm dinner
  • June 6 ~ Dianne Rivera’s home – 6pm meeting /7pm dinner
  • July 18 – 11am, prior to our Summer Picnic at Owenego Tennis & Beach Club, Branford
  • August ~NO meeting
  • September 5 ~ Diana Hall’s home  – 6pm meeting / 7pm dinner
  • October 3 ~ TBD – 6pm meeting / 7pm dinner
  • November 7 ~ TBD – 6pm meeting / 7pm dinner
  • December 6 ~  12pm Holiday Luncheon – Crabby Dog in Stratford

CHAIR-ity Event Update

Our Chair-ity Event was a success! The evening was fun and we sold 9 our of 13 chairs! Delighted to give the Center for Family Justice a donation check last month. Pictures tell the story…



February 16, 2016

Our monthly meetings include opportunity to network with other designers and presentations from trade representatives regarding relevant topics. We also conduct meeting as interesting and educational venues.

Meeting Agenda:

  • 10:00 Networking
  • 10:30 Business Meeting
  • 10:45 Open Forum
  • 11:00 Scheduled Program – Trade buying with Ellen Hyde Phillips

Meeting Location:
Home Style and Stage
1552 Post Road
Fairfield, Connecticut

Is it really January already?

Where does the time go? Are you all feeling like time keeps moving faster and faster?  Stop this train, I want to get off and smell the roses!

For many people January is a time to reflect on the past year and see if our reality measures up to our hopes and dreams for the past year?  Be kind to yourself!  If you managed to get everything right congratulations are in order! If your year was a combination of getting things right and not quite all right, you are in best company.  Again, be kind to yourself.

In this busy world with all the commitments both personal and professional, all you can do is your very best and then go ahead and be proud of yourself. It’s that easy. As professionals we are bound to work harder and be absolutely sure our clients receive the best possible assistance we can provide them. Stop and take a moment to be proud of your work ethic and all you have accomplished this past year as well as all the other years before. How often do you allow that of yourself?  It’s time, don’t you think?


Laurene McGarry-Bissell ~ Designer Spotlight

Laurene McGarry-Bissell

Associate Member
Eclectic Design, Inc, Glastonbury
tele: 860.834.3752

I had the great pleasure of working with this client for more than a year on various small projects and a basement renovation when she decided that she wanted to redo her kitchen.

My client, a spry, nearly 70-year-old, a giving soul and a lover of the outdoors and lots of light, needed her new kitchen to be bright, calming, playful, efficient and accommodate her needs as she ages in place.  A small window over the sink was replaced with a bay window overlooking the deck.  A wall was widened and a small door replaced with a slider giving better access to the deck, and a dry bar with cabinets above were added allowing guests to access beverages from the deck without having to go into the kitchen.

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The inexpensive cabinets were custom painted to pull the subtle earthy color from the rest of the house and the quartz countertops require no maintenance. I selected a stone backsplash that look rich, but was budget-friendly, and the 2” glass tiles add subtle detail and pull the colors from the custom painted kitchen table.  The beat up, light wood table, a part of the kitchen since her grown children were born, was lovingly brought back to life by a local artist.

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Since my down-to-earth and sophisticated client loves jewelry, I just had to find just the right hardware. Arguably, it’s her favorite part of her new kitchen! My client’s artwork, new chairs and a fun chandelier complete the space. Everyone who has seen the kitchen says how much it reflects the owner!

During my time working with my client, she lost her husband of many years to Alzheimer’s.  She would later tell me that working with me on her lovely home helped her to get through an incredibly difficult and stressful time.  Her children were also thankful that their mom had a fun distraction that would benefit her life for many years to come.




Each month we will highlight one of our designers.  If you wish to participate, please prepare a short bio with a few photos of your work and send the information to:

Board Meetings 2015

We often meet the first Tuesday of every other month, this is not consistent. Please check your email or this website for meeting Date & Location.

We discuss overall chapter strategies, ideas for programs, and other means to provide benefits to our members.  All members are encouraged to join a committee and attend board meetings.

2014 Board Meeting Schedule

  • January 13 – Barbara Izzo’s home – dinner 5:30 / meeting 7pm
  • March 2 – Holly Sutton-Darr’s home – dinner 5:30 / meeting 7pm
  • May 5 – Kathleen Bivona’s home – 10am breakfast /11am meeting
  • June 16 – TBD
  • July and August – No meeting
  • September 1 – Dianne Geltman-Rivera’s home – dinner 5:30 / meeting 7pm
  • November 3 – Shirley Mitchell’s home – dinner 530 / meeting 7pm
  • December 8 – TBD

Bobbie Sue Smart ~ February Designer Spotlight

Smart 125x160

Associate Member
Smart Design, Sandy Hook
tele: 203.258.4398

When my clients who located from London to Greenwich bought their new home, the wife agreed to purchase the house under one condition: that the combo master bath / walk-in closet would be renovated. Even though the existing master bath / closet was quite large (14′ x 23′) and quite new (6 years old), the layout wasn’t functional and most of the flooring was carpet.

The shower and water closet were located on opposite sides of the 23′ room and the vanities were back to back and only 42″ wide.

Before 1 Before 3 Before 4

A corner of the room was dedicated to closet storage and an unusual peninsula with a cushioned bench was located in the center.

Before 5 Before 7
There were two large openings without doors between the master bedroom and bath. The lighting wasn’t sufficient and did I mention the room was carpeted?

In the space planning phase, I divided the room in half so that the walk-in closet would be separate and also to maximize the closet storage. The entry has double doors with etched glass panels. There is floor to ceiling storage on either side of the room with a large wall-leaning mirror at the end of the space. An Italian glass fixture was reused and installed in the center of the room with a bench below.


In the master bath, the shower was enlarged and squared off. A 12″ soffit was dropped above the shower to delineate the space and bring the ceiling to 8′-0″. It has all the “bells and whistles”: steam, massage shower head, hand held shower and rain shower head in ceiling. I incorporated a floating bench in the shower to keep the design clean and modern.

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I selected a free-standing soak tub with a floor mounted tub filler & hand shower. Small “stair lights” were installed around the tub to provide soft, ambient lighting when bathing.

There is a 12″ soffit above the vanity area to create a more human scale and intimate area. I custom designed the vanity cabinetry. It has two tall, linen towers at either end that incorporate laundry hamper pull-outs, drawers, adjustable shelving and medicine cabinets with outlets inside on each counter end. The floating vanity has a platform below for towel and slipper storage. There are two more “stair lights” installed under the vanity that are switched separately to be used as night lights.

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The finishes selected were very neutral but each brought a special quality to the project: mother-of-pearl mosaic tile at the sink wall, the shower niche and shower ceiling have a beautiful, iridescence, the limestone floor tiles with radiant heat beneath has a serene, smooth texture and the onyx slab used for the vanity & platform tops, shower bench and curb offers an undulating, subtle pattern.

This master bath / walk-in closet renovation was such a fun and challenging project to design. The clients were a joy to work with and had great insight and input. It’s definitely one my all-time favorites!



Each month we will highlight one of our designers.  If you wish to participate, please prepare a short bio with a few photos of your work and send the information to:

Dianne Geltman-Rivera ~ Designer Spotlight


Dianne Geltman-Rivera
Professional Member
DGR Interior Designs, North Branford
tele: 203.488.7638
fax:   203.488.7638
cell:  203.430.2374

When longtime California residents relocated to the woods in Madison, CT, they knew that their 1600 square foot Cape would need a makeover. It was dark and cramped, it lacked airiness and an easy flow that they were used to in their homes in Ventura and Palm Springs.

My client didn’t understand why the kitchen was in the back of the house with no back door to the driveway. Their was a “hallway to nowhere” off the kitchen that ended with a small window and a bathroom off to the right.

We immediately decided to move the dark kitchen from the back of the house to the front where the dining room was and opened the wall to allow light to flow from the new kitchen to the new dining room in the back of the house.
before, kitchen2 before, kitchen3

after, kitchen3 after, kitchen2 after, kitchen1
Both my clients like Mid Century Modern and clean lines. However, one likes neutrals and the other loves orange and bright colors! So the drapery fabric in oranges and taupes set the stage for our color palette for the entire first floor.

We added a large slider in the new dining room to bring in additional light and opened the wall from the new dining room to the living room to create an open floor plan.

before, dining room2  before, dining room4

after, dining room3 after, dining room2

Moving a few small walls and closing up the window, the “hallway to nowhere” now housed a much needed closet for storage and we updated the bathroom.

after, bathroom & hallway2 after, hallway3

The living room was long and had 2 focal points – the fireplace and the TV across from the fireplace so there was a lot of space not being utilized.

before, living room3 before, living room2 before, living room1

I suggested the large armless curved sofa which fit perfectly in the empty corner, next to the fireplace and across from the TV. We added built ins on the small TV wall which made the room appear much larger and a great place for my clients to display their collected treasures. Updating the fireplace to a more modern look and hanging the mid-century modern leafy patterned draperies from floor to ceiling finished off the room.

after, living room4 after, living room2
after, living room1The entire first floor is only 800 square feet, but with this open floor plan, now feels much much larger!

after, living room3



Each month we will highlight one of our designers.  If you wish to participate, please prepare a short bio with a few photos of your work and send the information to: