Tony Meatball and Dining Room Tables - Dine

Tony Meatball and Dining Room Tables

Deborah DiMare

Mangia Mangia…. Big tables, Big people, Big food equals great memories. When I saw this picture that my high school friend posted, it brought back my childhood. I could smell my grandmother’s gravy (sauce), as the real Italians call it., simmering in a big pot on her stove.

 She lived in the Bronx in a beautiful old building. The family would gather in her tiny apt. The dining table would come out and take up the entire space. If one had to get up, either you crawled under the table to get to the other side, or an entire row of people had to move. It was wonderful. The food never stopped.

When I design custom dining tables for clients, I go as big as the space allows. A dining table is more than a piece of furniture. It brings people together under neutral ground. It creates an environment where tough conversations can be had, important topics can be discussed, strangers and new members of the family can be brought together. Stir up the gravy, rip up the bread, give it a good dunk and enjoy! This custom table is from Uhuru in Brooklyn.

Share your dinning room story with us. We’d love to hear from you!

 – Deborah Rosenberg

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Modern Meets Vintage

This modern yet vintage bedroom is perfect for someone looking for a tranquil space with character. Nature was our biggest inspiration here with a variety of textures and tranquil colors. It makes for the perfect calming sensory environment.

Get this room for less here!

Check out more of our before and after images here.

-Deborah Rosenberg

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InAFix - Decorating On A Budget!! How Many Ways Can We Slice It.

Decorating On A Budget!! How Many Ways Can We Slice It.

Deborah DiMare

I was a designer on The Learning Channel’s “In a Fix.”  The show took place over a 3 day period.  In that time, I along with an incredibly talented cast of carpenters and about 50 behind the scene crew members (shhhh…that was the part viewers weren’t supposed to know about), would transform a space that was in major disrepair for a needy family.  It was wonderful to know that our very hard work helped a family that really needed it.  We had a very sparse budget.

 What I learned about decorating on a dime is that one has to think as far out of the box as one can.  I’m talkin’ – reaching out into the galaxy for ideas.  I created a wall with chicken wire and candles. I made a beer tap out of a fire hydrant (the owner was a fireman). I created tables with books and window treatments with handkerchiefs.  It was great!!! Nothing was a no-no.  Every crazy thing I created had a purpose and that’s what was important. Nothing was wasted.

 So, when you are designing a space with a few pennies, first decide on the purpose of the space, and then have an image of a space that you love and mimic it in your own “unique, special way.” Can’t afford that gorgeous crystal vase appearing in the magazine?  Well, that plastic clear pitcher from Walmart could easily work.  Hang a beaded necklace around it and call it your own or find one at Jewelry shopping!!!

 Send us pics of spaces you’ve created on a budget. We would love to share!

 -Deborah Rosenberg

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Classic Meets Modern European

Sophia Loren, Italy’s most renowned, gorgeous and sexiest actress,  was our inspiration when we created this living room. It’s an international beauty, just like Sophia, classic and modern European.

Check out how you can get this look for less here.

Go here for more of our before and after images.

 -Deborah Rosenberg

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Kids Sharing Spaces

Deborah DiMare

I’m often asked how to please everyone in shared spaces, especially kids.

I had the privilege of designing a home in Arkansas for an extremely large family.  You might have heard of them.  Their name is “Duggar,” Jim Bob and Michelle Dugger from Fayetville, Arkansas. They are celebs in their own right. They’ve had a show on TLC for many years and I was the host/designer of “16 and counting.” It was a memorable and invaluable experience.

I had to be extremely efficient with my space planning, furniture selections and budget, while making a very large family happy with the results.  They are a very close, loving group and the kids all wanted to sleep in the same room.  So, we created two “wings” to the house, a boys and a girls.

I got the kids involved in the creative process. We had an official meeting with notes and dialogue.  By doing that, it gave them a feeling of control and confidence and it was a lot of fun.  Most importantly, all 16 kids were “heard.”  Isn’t that what all of us want anyway? Kids are the same.  They want to know that their opinion counts.  I think that kids and adults lose their temper and self-control over the frustration of feeling invisible.

 So, although I wasn’t able to include everything on the Duggar’s kids wish list, I made sure to include what seemed the most important to them.  I listened.

 -Deborah Rosenberg

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The Perfect Sensory Playroom

DiMare Design specializes in everything sensory. Especially when it helps children and adults with Autism, ADD, ADHD and other sensory and developmental issues. This was our inspiration when creating this sensory playroom.

For more on designing spaces for the sensory and developmental challenged, check out this article by Deborah Rosenberg.

Go here for more of our before and after images and inspiration boards.

 -Deborah Rosenberg

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Interior Design and the Piano

This evening I had the pleasure of attending a piano recital of one of my closest friends daughters.  it was a great night.  The house was filled with family and friends. There was food, great wines and the mood was festive and happy.  While I was watching my friends daughter, Alix play so beautifully and saw everyone happy and singing along, I appreciated my career so very much. I know that’s quite a random thought.  As an interior decorator, people might think that “I make homes pretty.” But, there’s so much more to it, and this evenings events solidified that. The baby grand piano surrounded by  wonderful, loving friends and family  created the optimal environment for “happiness.”  I speak of  sensory spaces often. It’s utilizing specific colors, textures, sounds and smells to create an optimal space.  It can be a difficult concept for many to grasp. The piano recital in my friends living room, is a perfect example of a sensory space.  Colors, textures, cocooning furniture, sounds (the piano) and smells (delicious food) created the optimal environment for a blissful, happy experience.  I love my friends and family and I love what i do. Tonight made me love it even more.  Happy Memorial Day!


 -Deborah Rosenberg

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Good Morning Ma & Pa!! 5 Tips on Getting Your Home Ready for Your Aging Parents

Deborah DiMare

A majority of us will be making room for our aging parents, or at least one of them, to move in with us.  This post is not about the psychological trauma this transition can cause to us (just kidding mom, you know we luv ya’).  Here’s a few things to consider when preparing your home for the elderly;

  1.  Adequate lighting. Elderly people fall. Make sure there is access to lighting on the path from bed to bathroom. How can we put this delicately? The elderly pee a lot.
  2.  Floor surfaces. If your floors are slippery, add flat area rugs with nonskid mats beneath. If your floors are not slippery, remove area rugs entirely.
  3.  Doorknobs. Arthritis stinks. Doorknobs can be challenging with an arthritic condition.  Replace door knobs with door levers.
  4.  Staircases.  The stairs are very dangerous for the elderly due to their lack of balance combined with that afternoon vodka and tonic they might be nipping at. Both sides of stairs should have handrails and steps should be defined. Where the tread begins should be visible.
  5.  Bathrooms. Install grab bars in the tub and by the toilet (or ter-let as they say in Brooklyn). Consider a comfort height toilet. It’s a few inches taller. Hand held shower heads are helpful if the person has limited mobility.

Be thankful. Many of us would give anything in the world to have our parents in our lives.

 -Deborah Rosenberg

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Deborah DiMare

Nearly 1 in 5 people in the United States alone have sensory issues. Have you ever been bothered by a shirt tag brushing your skin? Or the feel of the gritty sand while lying on a blanket? That mildly would describe how a person with sensory issues responds to certain textures, touch, sounds and odors. They are overly sensitive to things that we don’t even register as uncomfortable or are simply mildly discomforting. Sand on their body may feel like daggers on their skin or the smell of a strong perfume could make them sick. Many people in the Autistic spectrum have sensory issues. So, if a person has ADHD, Aspergers, developmental delay, OCD to name a few there’s a good chance they are sensitive to touch, smells and sounds.  Design therapy is all about creating an environment for a person to be at their best. Here’s 3 quick  tips to creating the right environment for the sensory challenged; think calm, cocooning and cushy, the 3 C’s.

  1. Calm – Soft, neutral, but happy colors such as lavenders, soft blues and corals,
  2.  Cocooning – Heavy, warm throws (even if you live in a warm climate).  Heavy pressure on the body calms, like a massage.
  3. Cushy – Bean bags, deep, soft sofas, floor pillows, things that envelope the body give a feeling of security and anchoring. Imagine a baby being swaddled and held.

To see images of sensory spaces and learn more go to


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