These three Broward County designers create fashionable home accessories to add dazzle, color and texture to fine interiors.
Whether it is the beauty of nature, the organic extension of a brand to include fragrance, romantic candles, patterned throw pillows, table linens, napkin rings, bath accessories or bed linens, designers right here in our midst are at the top of their field when creating home accessories. Changing the feel of a room through the smart use of accessories is a wonderful way to enjoy your home throughout the winter season in South Florida. Different accessories, which can mix and match creatively in a variety of rooms, are less of a commitment than to commission a total redesign, or even to change large pieces of furniture. Here are a few examples of fine accessories from local designers.
Well known in Broward County and around South Florida, Michigan, New York and South America for her modern contemporary style, interior designer Toby Zack also creates home fashions. A native New Yorker who now works in Fort Lauderdale, Zack designs for her clients via The Toby Collection, which features exclusive French, Italian, Belgian, and North and South American furniture and furnishings. In addition to her own collections, Zack carries unique pieces that she discovers during her international travels. “I like to design an eclectic assemblage of exceptional contemporary furniture incorporating crisp yet classic minimalism,” she says. “I get inspired by what I see during my world travels and add pieces regularly.”
For 2017, the interior designer has launched a line of accessories that she has personally created consisting of candles, floral accents like her felt orchid cover, and minimalist wood pillars. The Toby Candle is the organic extension to her designer brand. Always searching for the perfect home product and fragrance, Zack discovered designer Denise Roussakis and asked her to collaborate on her candle and accessories line. The result makes Zack very happy. The rich and soft fragrance evokes a warm and fuzzy feeling by delicately weaving the herbaceous layers of crisp bergamot with the earthy and woody notes of cedar bark, embracing the senses with a soft and pleasant aroma.
The combination of these traditional elements into an accessory easily transitions a space from the ordinary to the extraordinary. The simple and timeless signature of Zack’s designs are again translated into a classic yet striking cube accessory collection to complement her work. The candle line is called Toby Zack Chrome Cubes, and the playfulness of the metallic dots and squares against the formal background portrays the contemporary look in an understated and stylish piece. The elegance of this accessory was created by Zack’s talented designer, Jose Arango, who captured and reflected the essence of her signature look. They’re available in single options or in sets, in packaging that continues the theme of the dots and squares.
Minimal and understated, Zack’s e-pay Wood pillars transform an ordinary material into an accessory that brings warmth and form to any surface. Used as a candle holder, sculptural base for any collectable, or even solo, the wood pillar is a great accessory to change the look of a room
Born in Roatan Bay, Honduras, to a seamstress mother who taught her how to sew, Joana Balcazar now has her own eponymous design company in Fort Lauderdale. J. Balcazar creates cool pillows, table linens, napkin rings, bath towels and bath accessories, and also has her J. Balcazar retail showroom in Dania Beach where she carries her own line of bed and table linens, along with other luxury lines like Sferra and Matouk.
In 1998, after studying at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and textile design in Savannah, GA, the ambitious and talented interior and product designer was ready to soar. “My first job was at Andrea’s Las Olas Linens, a very sophisticated shop, which to me was love at first sight,” says Balcazar. “I loved every single thing about being at that place—even the smell!”
After three years, she went to work for a well-known yacht designer, but still found excuses to return to Andrea’s for inspiration after studying their beautiful linens. In 2007, her husband felt that she was ready to spread her wings. So they discussed career options, and soon J. Balcazar Design was born to a very happy couple. “I told him I could have an embroidery machine and wanted to embroider corals and seashells,” says Alcazar. “I have always been fascinated by the sea, which remains my main inspiration.”
Balcazar designs everything from beginning to end and has a national and international clientele, from Broward and Palm Beach counties to nations around the world. “We do a lot of yachts, and we sell to specialty boutiques,” she says. “One of our great customers is Grand Interiors International in Boca Raton.” Balcazar prides herself on turning ordinary linens into extraordinary style statements. “Since we love the sea, all of our designs run around the coastal and nautical lifestyle,”
After growing up in New York and working for retail gift and jewelry stores owned by his parents, Michael Solney realized that he had an abundance of design talent. “I was good at balance, symmetry, organizing and displaying merchandise as well as selling and communicating with customers,” says Solney, a creative floral designer and owner of Interior Concepts in Fort Lauderdale.
After moving to South Florida in the 1990s, he worked at the DCOTA, merchandising for designers and showrooms. After creating some showroom setups in High Point, NC, with designers Larry Laslo and Julio Jimenez, he grew fascinated with orchids and flowers.
“I introduced them to some clients and got involved in DCOTA sample sales with some artificial orchids that sold out quickly,” says Solney. “I saw what was being delivered by other companies and didn’t think much of the quality or design, so I started to offer and produce artificial arrangements.” His big break came from designer Steven G. (Interiors by Steven G.) of Pompano Beach. “Steven G. started me on some of his jobs, and with teamwork, we created beautiful florals tailored to the jobs,” says Solney. “With help from talented designers like Andres Aguilar and others, I started producing and designing florals and different plants and greenery.”
Since then, Solney has grown his business and created many categories and styles of high quality product for residential clients. Today, he specializes in unique high-end artificial greenery and florals. He works for Steven G., Marc- Michaels, Browns Interior Design in Boca Raton and others. His designs can also be found at E.G. Cody and Romo Fabrics in DCOTA and Clima Outdoor in the Miami Design District. “We deliver a quality product that is crafted well and lives up to expectations, always staying one step ahead of the latest trends,” he says. “We can recreate anything desired live or artificial.” Interior Concepts, which is so exclusive that Solney eschews a web site, has a motto for its output of fine floral design: “We say what we do and do what we say.”