Category Archives: Home Furnishing and Design

Denver Spring Market

Chad Denver Showroom Presentation

Last week I delivered the keynote at Denver Design District’s Spring Market! In a presentation titled: “Knowledge is power when information is everywhere: Tools and strategies to connect with today’s tech-savvy Luxurians” I addressed how a designer’s in depth knowledge of the industry is their most useful tool when working with a client base that is increasingly comfortable with the widespread DIY culture, and endless free design resources available online. Check out this article on the event!

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STARK celebrates publication of latest book

On November 17th, my family hosted a party at our D&D Building showroom to mark the publication of our new book, Decorating with Carpets: The STARK Tradition.

They transcribed my speech 🙂

“As you will see in the book, carpets produced by STARK demonstrate decorating trends at their highest level. And while the photography makes this an incredible coffee table book (perfect for holiday gifts!) Decorating with Carpets is much more—it’s really a resource guide and delves into types of carpets from Aubusson to Axminster and beyond, and explores the most popular patterns and textures and how they are used in various rooms in the home.”

We toasted the new book with guests Iris Apfel, Michael Boodro, Robert Rufino, Cynthia Frank, Orli Ben-Dor, Kate Kelly Smith, Katie Brockman, Jim Aman and John Meeks, Juan Montoya, Kevin Lichten, Alex Papachristidis, David Duncan, Ellie Cullman, Geoffrey Bradfield, Roric Tobin, Noel Jeffrey, Trisha Reger, Barry Goralnick, Alyssa Kapito, Vivian Muller, Sherrill Canet, Alberto Villalobos, Mercedes Desio, Joshua Greene, Richard McGeehan, Michael Simon, Charles Pavarini, Kendell Cronstrom, and Amy Vermillion.

Check out the full article on The Editor at Large.

DFA Board Membership, CHECK!

I’m delighted and honored to have been invited by the Decorative Furnishing Association to join their organization as a board member! This organization truly gets what we need to do in the luxury furnishing business and I’m excited to contribute in any way that I can. See below for the announcement from their website about this exciting news!

Welcome DFA’s New Board Member: Chad Stark

September 2015

The DFA is excited to announce that Chad Stark has joined the DFA Board of Directors. Chad is the Senior Vice President of Stark Carpet & Fabric, a leader in the interior design industry. Chad’s fresh approach to issues in the design industry and his take on the value of design make him a valuable addition to the DFA board.

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DFA and ASID summit in Boston talks marketing, education

I was on a panel last week at the Boston Design Center discussing how to appeal to different design markets, including the younger generation of interior designers as well as design enthusiasts around the world. Simply put, it was AWESOME! This is the second event where I’ve spoken to a large group on a similar topic – the first was at the Luxury Retail Summit a couple years agoBelow is an article posted from Editor At Large summarizing the event. Enjoy!

How can the Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) better collaborate on promoting interior design? The two organizations met on July 16 at the Boston Design Center in their second-ever industry summit to discuss just that, with a focus on how to promote the value of the interior design trade to luxury customers and to a younger, DIY-conscious generation. Representatives from Fabricut, Dering Hall, Donghia, Jerry Pair, Duralee,Robert Allen, Stark, Kravet and design centers, in addition to members of the media at Hearst, Cottages & Gardens and Meredith, attended the daylong program.

Small group sessions brought designers, media and furnishings leaders together.

The day’s panel, moderated by Steven Nobel of DFA, with Chad Stark of Stark Carpet, Katie Miner of ADAC, and Tabitha Evans, ASID designer, explored how to better educate and inform customers as well as how to effectively market the industry to the do-it-yourself generation. “It’s not really about talking to each other,” shared Miner. “It’s about talking to people who have the means ” but not the understanding of design’s impact. “Our job,” explained Stark, “is to show them the difference between what they can do and what a professional can do.”

Collaborative small group sessions followed, with designers, furnishing company execs and media pros answering a series of questions about the state of the industry, ways to improve outreach, and current challenges, among them the Internet’s impact on pricing and the client’s desire for instant gratification and lack of education as to the value of professional design. Groups identified cross-marketing (such as targeting customers of the fashion and luxury vacation industries); launching an internal campaign to promote the value of design to the end user; pushing showrooms to take the lead on education and networking, such as through “speed-dating” mixers hosted in-house; and running regional outreach in areas not serviced by major designers, as a few key strategies.

Craig Cross, who was appointed DFA’s director of public relations and community outreach earlier this year, delivered an overview of the DFA’s marketing initiatives, and DFA members were introduced to the organization’s recently revamped site, to be launched later this month. The afternoon concluded with a branding talk presented by Susan Battista, a strategist with Visual Dialogue Boston, who discussed five particularly adaptable industries and their top players.

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Stark celebrates House Beautiful’s EIC, Sophie Donelson

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Chad Stark

Last week I moved to California for 4-5 weeks to work out of my LA and Costa Mesa showrooms. The timing of this move was perfect – I came at the beginning of LCDQ LA for Stark’s party honoring Sophie Donelson’s joining House Beautiful as Editor in Chief. I will be posting about my first month-long experience working outside of Stark NY at the end of my trip. In the meantime see below for a post about our party from Editor at Large

On May 7, Stark feted House Beautiful‘s new Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson with a celebratory gathering. Guests, among them Newell Turner, Clinton Smith, Robert Rufino, Orli Ben-Dor, Sabine Rothman, Doretta Sperduto,Timothy Corrigan, Jennifer Boles, Nate Berkus, David Duncan, Jane Scott Hodges, Shaun Smith, Mercedes Desio, Alberto Villalobos and Young Huh, were treated to Champagne and small bites. Chad Stark, senior vice president at Stark, said, “Our company was founded by my grandparents more than 75 years ago. They would be so delighted to see all of the amazing things happening in the L.A. design community and the great excitement that surrounds the LCDQ.”

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Kate Kelly Smith, Sophie Donelson, John Stark, Andrea Stark

Stark, who attended the event along with John Stark and Andrea Stark, said “We are thrilled to be here. It is my distinct pleasure to introduce Sophie Donelson, who was named Editor in Chief of House Beautiful in January. Her energy and enthusiasm for design are contagious, and we can’t wait to see how she puts her own stamp on the magazine. We are so pleased to host Sophie’s official welcome to LA in her exciting new role.”

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Sophie Donelson

“Being feted by Stark was an incredible moment for me,” said Donelson. “It was a fantastic event and very humbling to reunite with longtime colleagues and friends. I also loved meeting so many new faces – many whom are familiar names to my inbox and Instagram, but whom I had never met. It was thrilling!”

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Newell Turner and Jane Scott Hodges

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Donelson, who was appointed earlier this year, held senior editorial positions at ELLE DECOR, The Blueprint and CITY magazines before becoming an independent journalist, writing for print and digital publications including Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Curbed.com and Editor at Large.

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Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus

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Marla Kay and Timothy Corrigan

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Decorating With Exposed Brick

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Exposed brick is an endlessly debated design element, one you either love or hate. When done incorrectly, decorating around a brick wall can be a bit of an eyesore. Done correctly, however, an exposed brick wall can be quite magical, bringing in a variety of elements. Whether you’re looking for something elegant or rustic, be sure to embrace the aspects of exposed brick when decorating.
Here are a few of our favorite looks that feature exposed brick as either a focal point of the decor, or whether the brick is simply a backdrop.

RentersPages.com

Painting over brick isn’t generally something  that’s recommended, simply because of the effort it takes to undo it afterward. If you’re coming in to brick that’s already been painted, use it to your advantage. The look of brick, painted in a crisp white, makes the possibilities for decorating around it endless. Above, you can see that the decorators used a muted color palette alongside their white brick, leaving behind a relaxed atmosphere.

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Houzz.com

Weathered brick is always a gorgeous design element, simply because of the ways you can use it to your advantage. It brings in an unparalleled rustic look, and as you can see above, you can pair that with the sleek edges of Scandinavian design.

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Of course, it’s not necessary to leave your brick walls blank. It does take a bit more effort than a simple nail and hammer to hang artwork onto brick, but Bob Vila has you covered. When keeping the natural look of a red brick, use the color palette to your advantage, with some artwork that matches. Hanging artwork isn’t the only way to decorate the wall, though. This floating shelf makes its own statement, but you can put anything on there – books, picture frames, etc.

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Avenue Lifestyle

Finally, we have the combination rustic and shabby chic look. The decorators either chipped away at many layers of existing paint to expose the brick, or simply chipped away at some plywood that covered it. Whatever the case, the end result is gorgeous. Paired with an open and airy room, this fireplace functions as an understated focal point.

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How to give a modern update to period homes

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picture via modernlivingla.com

Furniture

Strange shapes for furniture can look strange in an older home. Go for furniture with clean lines. Too much plastic can look out of place as well, so try to stick with modern furniture that is made with traditional materials. For example, a modern sofa that sets low to the floor can add modern style without going over the top. Lounge chairs can be a very comfortable modern alternative to an old-fashioned recliner chair.

Get creative with fabric

 Modern fabric designs can complement a period home. You might want to avoid exceptionally bright colors though. Muted tones are a more tasteful option that can help modern patterns fit right into your beautiful older home. If you have some classic old furniture that you can’t part with, consider reupholstering it with a more modern fabric. Getting sample swatches and comparing them against the background of the room the chair is to go in can help ensure you are happy with the final fabric.

Get rid of old wallpaper

 Wallpaper can make a house look stuck in the past, not to mention that at a certain age it can appear dilapidated and unsightly. Try removing wallpaper and replacing it with a wall painted in a neutral tone. On this new background you can add artwork or decorations that add a modern look to your home. Think of this as your blank canvas that you can change the look of whenever you want to change the décor that hangs on it.

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Photo via modernlivingla.com

 Update rugs

 Modern rugs can do a lot to modernize a period home. The great thing is that you can change designs and colors as often as you want. Rugs offer a quick update as well. With many older homes having wood floors, a rug can add warmth and comfort as well. Don’t be afraid to try out a great new pattern. Many people are inspired by current runway fashion trends when adding texture and color to their home.

 Make a room look larger

Many rooms were made smaller in period homes. You can make a small space appear larger with tastefully chosen art work and furniture. Larger pieces of art on a wall and larger furniture can update a room and make it appear larger than it is. It is all about balance. Have small art prints framed in larger frames to make ceilings appear taller. Just be sure not to try to cram too much into a small room.

 Keep it simple

 When modernizing a home it can be easy to get caught up in the moment, with the end result being rooms that are too full of furnishings from many eras. Remember that your home will look better with furnishings that have a modern touch but don’t look out of place. If you have furnishings from five different decades you risk having a room that looks more like a yard sale than updated.

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Rug Guide: Tips for Cleaning and Caring for Your Rug

Many of my friends have purchased Stark products over the last few years since I have been full time and every single one asks me how I recommend cleaning it. I figured this post originally from One Kings Lane might be helpful 🙂

Care instructions vary from rug to rug, but here are some general tips to keep in mind. For the best results, always refer to the care information that comes with your rug.

  • Rugs should be vacuumed without a beater bar. Some rugs, like tufted rugs, shed more than others. For these rugs, frequent vacuuming is a must.
  • Keep your rug out of direct sunlight to prevent colors from fading. If your rug is getting too much exposure, consider adding window treatments to shade the sun and keep colors bright.
  • To prevent your rug from showing wear, rotate it once a year. In higher-traffic areas, rotate your rug more often so it wears evenly. If your rug has constant exposure to the sun it will fade, but occasional rotation will equalize the effects.
  • How to treat spills depends on the material the rug is made of. But rule of thumb? Clean spills immediately. Always refer to the special care information included with your rug that Stark provides its clients.
  • For outdoor rugs, shake them to remove dirt, or hose them off with a garden hose. Then let them air-dry in the sun.
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Dreamweaver: Stark Carpet celebrates the art of rug making

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*post adapted from Editor at Large

Stark offered more than a look at its latest collections last Thursday at the Decoration & Design Building when the company hosted a special gathering to celebrate its new showroom. Guests were granted an intimate look at the fascinating rug-making craft while a Stark artisan wove a carpet on a traditional handloom during the event.

Invigorated from an extensive refresh of its showroom on the 11th floor, Stark played cheerful host, entertaining guests with Bellini’s, a DJ and, of course, a look at its wide collection of carpets.

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John Stark, Ashley Stark and Newell Turner

“Our new contemporary showroom represents the culmination of many years of work and many trips abroad working on product development directly with our sources,” said Senior Vice President Chad Stark. “Since I joined the company full-time three years ago, I, along with my cousin Ashley Stark, have been working to diversify our product offering to include the highest-end, fashion-forward handmade goods.”

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Chad Stark and Elizabeth Pyne

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Kate Kelly Smith, Steven Stark, Brenda Saget Darling and Karen Marks

“More than ever before, we have significant space devoted to rugs with a real wow factor,” he continued. “The response from our clients has been overwhelmingly positive. This new array of product is truly incredible, leading to a significant increase in that end of our business.”

As striking as it is innovative, Stark’s opulent new collection of contemporary rugs, such as Nairamat, features top quality Tibetan and Moroccan area rugs that are hand-woven from wool, silk, bamboo silk and jute.

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Sherrill Canet, Ashley Stark, Angela Jett and Clint Smith

“It’s fascinating because you see the handwork done along with how time- consuming it is to produce one of these rugs,” said Sherrill Canet who has designed rugs for Stark. “It’s quite a process.”

Notable attendees included members of the Stark family including John Stark, Andrea Stark, Steven Stark, Candice Stark, Chad Stark and Ashley StarkHouse Beautiful Editor in Chief Newell Turner, Hearst Senior Vice President Kate Kelly Smith, Veranda Advertising Manager Angela Jett and designers Caleb Anderson, Harry Heissman, Sherrill Canet and John Douglas Eason.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 9.41.00 PMNewell Turner, Caleb Anderson and Eleftherios Kardmakis

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Jon Walker, Leslie Miller, Edward Haleman, Angella Jett and Jean Luc Lenoir-Grieser

“The contemporary rug selections are an impressive and diverse mix of gorgeous colors, patterns and textures,” said Anderson. “Saturated abstract compositions, shimmering metallic weaves, neutral geometric—there is an elegant choice for any modern interior. The well-curated displays give an artistic visibility and ease to an otherwise overwhelming number of beautiful options.”

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DECORATING WITH WHITE

hgtv.com

photo via hgtv.com

When it comes to interior design there are few colors as timeless, adaptable or popular as white. It is fresh, minimalistic, pure and naturally beautiful, and it can make rooms appear light, airy and larger with minimal effort. When used in collaboration with other colors and shades, white can also be used to create some truly outstanding looks and atmospheres; a blend of neutral tones will give a calming and peaceful aura, whilst juxtaposing white against darker shades will create bold, dramatic interiors.

Interior design that incorporates, or heavily relies upon, white can also be really flexible; it can be painted over with ease, or contrasted with different colors to create stunning new looks. In fact, there are very few colors that don’t blend well with white, making it a treasured staple tone in most homes.

Paint the room white
Decorating with white couldn’t be easier, and there are a number of interior design ideas with white as the key shade. Nautical and coastal themes, contemporary styles, shabby chic and vintage/antique looks that draw on the classical and romantic eras all benefit from the use of white. These themes are relatively easy to achieve with the right accessories, furnishings and contrasting colors; inspiration for these fantastic themes can be found almost anywhere.

White is also great for those who don’t want to be overwhelmed by big blocks of color; utilizing white allows designers to subtly inject color into a room by way of bold accessories and furnishings. A room that is decorated neutrally is often easier to change, too – personality can be added or taken away, and the whole feel of a space can be altered with very little effort.

Veranda.com

photo via Veranda.com

Using white in the…
There are a number of ways in which white can be used around the home. In the kitchen, for example, white can be used to lighten and brighten surfaces and preparation areas, helping to keep the space cool and contemporary. Using white with contrasting colored tiles and accessories will give any kitchen a fresh and clean feel and will help to create some truly dramatic looks. Meanwhile, white is always a popular choice in bathrooms, reinforcing the idea of cleanliness and neatness. Again, colored tiles and accessories will really bring a bathroom out of its shell.

White isn’t simply confined to the more functional rooms in the house; it can also be used to make a living room, dining room, or bedroom feel much bigger than it is, truly making the most of the space on offer. Bedrooms can be transformed into ethereal, peaceful spaces with the careful use of white and a selection of accessories, such as white wooden shutters; homeowners can draw inspiration from the clouds to create a haven in which they can drift away, shutting out everything else. Living rooms can also benefit from a lick of white paint, which will allow accessories and furnishings to speak for themselves and ensure that a homeowner’s personality shines through.

Painting with a color as crisp and unforgiving as white can be daunting; there is always a risk that it will appear overbearing, or too clinical. However, when the decorating is carefully planned, with the right accompanying colors, textures and accessories, using white can ensure that interiors stay elegant and stylish for years to come.

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