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North Castle Daily News

Interior Design
AG Williams

A.G. Williams Named Finalist for Family-Owned Business Award
First annual celebration hosted by Westchester County Business Journal

January 31, 2014
A.G. Williams Painting Company, a third-generation, family-owned and -operated residential and commercial painting firm servicing the tri-state area since 1906, was named by the Westchester County Business Journal (WCBJ) as a finalist for its first annual Family-Owned Business Award. Finalists and winners were recently recognized at a celebration at Mapleton at Good Counsel in White Plains.

“We are extremely proud of our long family history of growth and unwavering employee support through economic ups and downs,” says George Williams, A.G. Williams co-president and CEO. “Being recognized as a leading family-owned business in Westchester County is a great honor.”

Although times were tough during the Great Depression, founder Arthur Ratsikas ensured that all his employees were kept working as he knew they had families to support. Another slowdown in growth motivated Arthur’s eldest son, George, to relocate the company to Pelham in the early 1960s to take advantage of growth opportunities. Today, under the direction of George’s two sons, Arthur and George, is experiencing a period of steady growth and continues to uphold its policy of caring for its employees. A.G. Williams maintains offices in Westchester and Greenwich and employs over 40 full-time painters, five estimators and an office staff of two with offices in both Westchester County and Greenwich. It is recognized in the industry as one of the most highly respected and successful painting companies in the country.

A.G. Williams Painting Company is located at 411 Pelham Avenue, Pelham, NY, 800-227-1906, with offices at 500 West Putnam Ave, Suite 400, Greenwich, CT 06830, Ph: 203-618-0058


Hot Home Decorating Ideas for 2014
By Liane Rigano

January 14, 2014
Everyone is buzzing about “trends” this time of the year, so here are some ways to freshen up your home for 2014.

Black and white interiors have been influenced by the huge amount of black and white on fall runways, and while black and white is classic and in some ways perennial, it feels fresh right now when used in bold patterns. Look for stripes and modern geometrics as opposed to French toile.

Washed-out pastels are seen in seafoam green, pale peach and the newest neutral, nude, pop up on accessories. This illustration by Norwegian designer Mariken Steen is perfect inspiration for the trend!

Haute hippie from whimsical dreamcatchers to macramé wall hangings to chunky hand thrown pottery the spirit of the 1970s is taking over interiors. Think Joni Mitchell singing California from her Blue album.

Cool copper and pretty metals from weathered brass to rose gold will be the go-to materials for home accessories this year, but copper is the standout favorite. Look for it everywhere from lighting to decorative accents to stools.

Organic glam in kitchens have been evolved from a ‘service’ space in the house — hidden away behind closed doors — to being a very central part of a home, and an entertaining core. So, naturally, more attention is being paid to designing them in a way that you would approach the living quarters. I love mixing warm metals, marbles, lacquered surfaces, solid wood slabs, handmade irregular tiles, and dramatic hardware and lighting fixtures.

Indigo tie dye inspired by the Japanese dyeing technique know as Shibori, tie dye is cropping up on everything from pillows to throws to rugs to curtains. The patterns are created by binding, folding, twisting or stitching the fabric and then immersing them in the dye. The color of choice is indigo.

Leggy lights – whether they’re attached to the wall or standing alone, thin linear lights on extended arms will light up our rooms.

Velvet luxe – plush, soft and sensuous – is making a return to sofas and chairs. Colors like midnight blue, blush pink and charcoal grey are popular. The look is glamorous and elegant. This isn’t your great aunt’s red velvet sofa.

Earthy ceramics – picking up on a boho vibe that’s a throwback to the ’70s, hand-thrown pottery is enjoying a resurgence. The chunkier the better!

Bold geometrics with graphic geometric patterns are still going strong for 2014. We love this coffee table featuring a chevron design in a classic black and white color combo. It makes a statement in any room without being too overpowering.

These are just some of the hottest and latest trends that promise to be widely used in the coming year. As always, Liane is available to help with all of your home decorating ideas in 2014, so feel free to contact her at

Armonk Welcomes its Own Shop-At-Home Flooring Showroom
Armonk resident Alison Simon recently opened Home Floors Today, a new shop-at-home flooring showroom. If you need a new floor and have put off the task of looking for one because it seems too daunting, now’s the time to get started. Home Floors Today (HFT) just opened on the Armonk / Mount Kisco border and can help you accomplish this task seamlessly.
Coming from a long line of flooring specialists, Alison will help with all your flooring needs in your living space with designer courtesy.  HFT is the newest endeavor for her third-generation flooring family, which has been servicing the tri-state area for more than 50 years.
“We appeal to the homeowner who wants to shop at home and have the selection of the Internet at his or her fingertips,” said Alison. “We offer the lowest prices on our products, while providing the highest quality installation.  And if you want to do it yourself, we can guide you through that, too. We want to make it an enjoyable experience, rather than a burden, for our customers.”
Alison uses a simple equation to explain just what a homeowner receives when working with her:  The Best Buys + The Best Installers = Home Floors Today.
Through exclusive relationships with manufacturers like Lumber Liquidators, LLC, and Internet suppliers, such as, as well as overstock suppliers, Home Floors Today can offer the widest selections available at the best buys – from high-end to moderate and less-expensive products.
The team at Home Floors Today feels strongly that the quality of the installation is critical to the appearance, durability and overall lifespan of each installed product. Home Floors Today installers are certified and practice the principles of PRIDE:  Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dependability and Education in their trade. “You want someone in your home who’s certified to do the work, respects your home and property, and who is clean and careful,” said Alison.
Home Floors Today is truly a family business, as Alison’s husband, David Simon, adds his 28 years of flooring leadership and his relationship with Lumber Liquidators, the largest hardwood manufacturer, to the business. David served as the national chairman of the carpet industry’s Consumer Assurance Program and created the largest buying group in New York City. David says that the consumer wins with better pricing, thanks to HFT’s surplus-product buying program. Customers will get greater value for the money they spend.
“It is very important for me to be an advocate for the consumer, offering the best buys in flooring and the best installation,” said Alison.
Home Floors Today offers a complete selection of what you’re looking for: wall-to-wall carpet in natural wools; stain-proof nylon, silk and the softest cashmere; prefinished wood;  laminate; area rugs; and natural stone, ceramic and porcelain tiles. Grateful Dead fans will be “grateful” to know that HFT is the only store in the country to sell the Jerry Garcia area rug collection.
Trends in Design and Shopping Preferences
Alison believes the most significant trend in purchasing today is the use of the Internet - people like to shop at home. Home Floors Today will offer their customers that option: they will bring samples, design ideas and material recommendations to customers to review in the comfort of their homes.
Design trends are leaning toward natural wood and prefinished wood products in living areas.  Prefinished products look almost identical to natural wood when installed, require almost no maintenance and cost less. Rugs are a natural complement to wood floors, and wall-to-wall carpets may be cut and bound to serve as area rugs in rooms of any size and shape.
Finally, new technology in carpet manufacturing offers products that are solution dyed through and through, like a carrot. The color runs completely through the yarn, insuring greater stain resistance and significantly less risk of discoloration over time.
Why Home Floors Today?
“Home Floors Today is for anyone who wants to have a better floor-purchasing experience,” said Alison. “We provide transparency and value for every buyer in every deal because we know the standards of the industry. My husband helped create them.” Beyond that, she added, “We have such deep-rooted ties to the community. We live here and want our neighbors to be happy.”
Located at 15 Armonk Rd., near the intersection of Routes 128 & 117, you can reach Home Floors Today at (800) 758-0553, or visit

Meet Interior Designer
Beata Buhl

March 4, 2013
Interior Designer Beata Buhl has always brought a large repertoire of experience and vision to her craft. Currently, she has a successful interior design business in the heart of Westchester County, in Armonk. Beata caters to a wide range of clients in Westchester County, Manhattan, and Connecticut, as well as some areas in Europe. But before settling down in Armonk, she spent most of her life traveling the world and educating herself so she could share her worldly visions and inspiration with her clients.
Continued Column 3

Cocobolo Interiors

Full Service Interior Design in the Heart of Armonk
By Shirley Kaiser

Aporil 2, 2014
What do people look for when they decide it’s time to “do” or “re-do” their interior spaces? Just ask Julie Owen, President & CEO of Cocobolo Interiors, Inc., and she’ll tell you, “Our clients really want help in putting together rooms that suit their personality, lifestyle and budget. Our clients have come to depend on our inventive use of endless resources to create chic and comfortable homes.”

Offering full interior design services, Cocobolo clients work with knowledgeable and experienced designers to select the décor and accessories that are right for them. In the retail store and design studio, clients can see and touch wallpaper and fabric samples for window treatments and furniture. Visitors to the store can also experience Cocobolo’s fine selection of furniture, lighting and home accessories including occasional tables, mirrors, artwork and decorative pieces. And don’t forget what’s underfoot. Cocobolo’s design team can also recommend flooring to ensure that your new interiors are set on a great foundation.

Julie and her design team note that the trends for 2014 are clean, transitional, industrial and organic, as well as lacquered, mirrored and glammy. Color trends for spring are blues and greens with deep rich reds. Bright saturated colors in pink, orange, turquoise and cobalt are also very popular.

“Our new clients and those who come back to us year after year tell us we have talented, creative, friendly and professional service,” says Julie. “Our designers have many years of experience to help transform a space that works for the family, couple or individual in one room or throughout the home.”

Offering one-stop shopping at competitive prices, Cocobolo Interiors, Inc., is located in the heart of Armonk at 37 Maple Ave. It is tucked in the northeast corner of Armonk Square and has parking at the building’s front entrance on Maple Avenue and its rear entrance in the Armonk Square parking lot.

Julie and her designers welcome your visit the shop or call (914) 273-4485 for an appointment.

Meet Interior Designer
Beata Buhl

Continued from Column 2

Not your typical interior designer, Buhl grew up in Poland. During her teens and early twenties, she played on the Polish National Volleyball team and toured with her league, participating in tournaments all over the world. From Russia through all of Europe, Asia and even North Korea, Beata would play in tournaments at night and visit museums during the day. These visits first inspired her passion for art and architecture. "It opened up my whole outlook to beauty,” she said.

Beata continued to pursue her passion for architecture and interior design upon her return to Krakow, Poland. She completed an intensive undergraduate and graduate program at the Polytechnic University, earning her master’s degree in architecture. Not only did she come closer to fulfilling her dreams of becoming an architect, but she also met her future husband at the university. “After graduation, I learned a lot while working with more-experienced architects. But I always loved interior design and knew that it was my true calling.”

Then things took a turn in 1987, when her husband’s company in Poland received a contract with Project Hope, an American company. This created an opportunity for them to move to the United States. Although Beata was hesitant, her husband was eager and excited to begin a new life in a new country. So with some trepidation and only a few years out of school, the couple and their three-year-old son moved to New York.

While raising three children, Beata also attended the New York School of Interior Design. After a few years, she added an associate degree in interior design to her master’s degree and continued to broaden her knowledge in the field. After graduation, she was offered a position to teach at the school, which she turned down; instead, she was determined to start her own company and work as an interior designer.

Currently, Beata is an interior designer in Armonk. What sets her apart from other interior decorators is her ability to work successfully with any style. Beata says her favorite style is contemporary, but when it comes to her clients, she likes to keep an open mind. “I don’t push my style. I can influence my clients, but I want them to feel like it is their home. I like to guide them with my experience and knowledge so they can make good decisions. I make suggestions, but I don’t impose my style on anyone.”

Connecting with her clients is what Beata does best. She knows that there is much more to interior design than meets the eye. “Sometimes you have to be like a psychologist,” she joked. “You have to get to know your clients so you can help them. You need to understand their lifestyles, tastes, and hobbies. I love this part of my job.”

Whether Beata is working on one room or the entire house, she devotes all her energy to the interior design project. She examines the house, the surrounding environment, and the light, and presents several ideas to her client.

“Each house has its own personality, and it’s a designer’s job to illustrate or change that. I look for a particular feeling and identify a family’s lifestyle in their house. The house becomes a home, with the right feel, look and aesthetic flow, and of course, colors that complement one another.”

Beata feels it is essential for a client to feel comfortable with his or her interior designer. “Both the designer and the client need to like and trust each other. Very often it is a long journey and you get to spend a lot of time together. If I’m going to help you, I need to know everything about your lifestyle.”

At the end of the day, Beta’s main goal is having her clients fall in love with their homes. “When my client tells me, ‘I love it. I love my house,’ that is my greatest reward. Achieving this goal is an art, and only the most qualified interior designers are able to do it.”