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.

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STARK and House Beautiful celebrate new Syosset location

STARK and House Beautiful’s party this past Wednesday was a tremendous success! Check out the Editor at Large article on the event for more on our new Syosset showroom. Joining the trade showroom in Syosset is the newest STARK Home location, open to retail clients and trade professionals alike!

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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STARK CREATES MULTI-PRONGED AID EFFORT FOR NEPAL’S QUAKE VICTIMS

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Article originally posted by Rugnews.com

NEW YORK – Stark, which has done business in Nepal for more than five decades, is putting together a comprehensive and multi-pronged effort to provide continued relief to those affected in the Nepal region by the catastrophic April 25th earthquake. In addition to combined efforts with clients and vendors, they have started providing aid by donating close to $20,000 to Machik’s ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood and the American Red Cross.

“We are working on more ways to help and hope that everyone who can will join us in donating to one of these organizations as they continue to work tirelessly toward rebuilding the vital infrastructure and industrial heart of this great nation,” explained Chad Stark, senior vice president. “As a start we donated to Machik’s ACHA Himalayan Sisterhood, which is a grass-roots effort to support artisans from inaccessible villages in remote Nepal. Nepal has 30 million full-time residents and 26 million of them live outside of Kathmandu, traveling to the city regularly to work”.

“They are stuck in the city away from their families. To relieve the post-disaster stress in Kathmandu these people need to return home to help rebuild their villages; that is what our funds are going towards. These artisans will not make any income during these dire times, and we feel it is our responsibility to help them as best we can,” Stark added.

He said that Arthur and Nadia Stark, who founded the company more than 75 years ago, returned to Nepal again and again to source some of the finest carpets in the world. Second generation owners John and Steven Stark continue the tradition, and have now introduced the country’s incredible culture, beauty, and artistry to Ashley and Chad, the next generation. “We have truly never seen more smiles, which is why it is so heartbreaking that these amazing people are now enduring so much loss and pain.”

Stark is developing a greater assistance program as it learns more about relief needed.  The plan is expected to be finalized later this week. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the catastrophe in Nepal. We know that most of our closest circle of partners, friends and family there are safe, but the country needs our help.”

To join Stark in its efforts, go to the Machik website’s online form and write “Stark” or “ACHA” in the comments text box to ensure funds go directly to the company’s partner charity organization. To stay up to date with Stark’s efforts and how to help click here.

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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.

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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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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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Madoo in Manhattan, PMP in Palm Beach

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The scene at Terry Allen Kramer’s Palm Beach home for a party for she hosted for Nicky Haslam’s new book, ” Nicky Haslam, A Designer’s Life.”

Article originally posted @ newyorksocialdiary.com

Last Monday evening the Madoo Conservancy of Sagaponack, NY held their second annual Madoo in Manhattan Robert Dash Garden Lecture at a private club on the Upper East Side. The guest speaker was Belgian landscape architect Peter Wirtz, CEO of Wirtz International, a family owned firm that has created residential, public and corporate landscapes in the US, Japan, Israel and Europe. They have designed the gardens at the Jardins du Carousel, and for people such as Catherine Deneuve, Valentino, the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, and in 2013 they designed the remarkable sets for Raf Simon‘s Dior haute couture spring-summer collection.

In a lecture titled “A Landscape Architecture Rooted in Horticulture,” Wirtz walked the audience through fifteen landscapes each with its own set of challenges and innovative design solutions.

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Madoo in Manhattan was hosted by Frances Schultz, Chesie Breen, Mario Buatta, Madison Cox, Kendell Cronstrom, Christopher Gow, Janet Mavec, Marian McEvoy, Charlotte Moss, Deborah Nevins and Anne Raver.

Guests included: Suzanne Borghese, Judy Auchincloss, Leslie Rose Close, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Memrie Lewis, John Danzer, Mick Hales, Steven Gambrel, James Anderson, Warrie Price, Marshall Watson, Lindsey Taylor, Newell Turner, Jack Lenor Larsen, Paul Rogers, Ron Wendt, Anne Raver, Mark Epstein, Ryan McAllister, Christina and Alan MacDonald, Robert Scully, Diana Elghanayan, Martha McLanahan, and Andrea Filipone.

Petr Wirtz walked the audience through fifteen landscapes

Petr Wirtz walked the audience through fifteen landscapes

This annual lecture series honors the memory of Robert Dash a leading painter, poet and gardener of the East End who founded Madoo in 1967.

Sponsors for the evening included: Hunter Boot, Mecox, McKinnon and Harris, Phaidon, Ron Wendt Design, Seibert & Rice, The Topping Rose House and Whitmores.

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Roger Seifter, Randy Correll, Victoria Baran, Grant Marani, and Graham Wyatt

The Madoo Conservancy is dedicated to the study, preservation and enhancement of Madoo, the ever-changing horticulturally diverse garden with historic structures established in 1967 by artist, gardener and writer Robert Dash, in the Village of Sagaponack, New York. At Madoo, the unique living tribute to the artistic imagination of its founder we seek to continually engage, educate and inspire our visitors in this entirely organic environment. For more information visit: www.madoo.org.

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Judy Auchinchloss, Alejandro Saralegui, and Susanna Borghese

On Saturday, March 14, The Perlman Music Program (PMP) held its eighth annual concert and dinner at Kristy and Jim Clark‘s stunning Palm Beach home. Co-hosted by Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, and with over 250 music lovers and philanthropists in attendance, the event honored Toby and Itzhak Perlman‘s dedication to nurturing the next generation of classical music artists.

This special annual event is made possible through Kristy and Jim Clark’s profound generosity and dedication to The Perlman Music Program. “I was inspired when I first met Itzhak and Toby and learned about PMP,” said Jim Clark. “I went to Shelter Island, heard some of the concerts, and decided to encourage people in Palm Beach to get behind chamber music. An incredible amount of talent has come through their school–it’s turned into a big success.”

Perlman Music Program Group

Perlman Music Program Group

The evening began with cocktails and champagne on the veranda, followed by a performance in the Clarks’ elegant living room presented by several of PMP’s outstanding students and alumni. The concert included quartets by Beethoven and Schumann and a quintet by Mendelssohn, presented by violinists Mariella Haubs, Abigel Kralik, Nathan Meltzer, Doori Na, and Areta Zhulla; violists William Bender, Molly Carr, Matthew Lipman, and Jameel Martin; cellists Daniel Mitnitsky, Sebastian Stoger, and Brook Speltz; and pianist David Kadouch. The talented and poised performers introduced each piece and brought the composers to life in their own words.

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During the exceptional concert, Jim Clark moderated an informal Q&A with Toby Perlman. Their spirited conversation amongst these two friends ranged from the growth of the program over the past 21 years, the international reputation of the Program and its alumni, the beautiful Shelter Island campus where PMP calls home, to recent outreach in local Palm Beach schools. Toby concluded with thanks for Jim and Kristy, Emilia and Pepe Fanjul, and PMP Board members in attendance Jay Dweck and Vicki Kellogg, stressing that helping young musicians realize their gift is a responsibility shared by all. To bring the evening to a rousing close, the guests toasted the incredible music and beautiful weather at a festive dinner under the stars.

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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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A private tour sponsored by Stark of Renaissance artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst’s tapestries at the MET museum

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 Posted Originally by Tamara Stephenson
Run, don’t walk. over to Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, an exhibit paying homage to a talented tapestry artist.
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close up views of these rich tapestries

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Museums make me happy, and it feels special to walk the halls taking in all that history together in one place.  Today, I’m giving thanks to interior designer Jamie DrakeParsons School of Design and Stark for inviting me to be part of a small, private tour to learn about the works of 16th Century Renaissance artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst.  The show is a collection of the artist’s elaborate tapestries made over the course of his career in the Netherlands. These kind of unique shows tell the stories of our past, and the art helps us to connect the dots about lifestyles during that time when other documentation may not be available.

We were fortunate to have the complete attention of museum curator Elizabeth Cleland who lead us on a detailed and mesmerizing tour.  Cleland meticulously comprised this artist’s lifetime collections from all over the world and showcases the majestic works throughout the Tisch Galleries on the 2nd floor of the museum.  Since this particular artist is relatively unknown there was much work to bring the exhibit together. The show marks the first single tapestry artist exhibit at the MET.  To see these works of art preserved and altogether in one expansive hall is awe inspiring.  I enjoyed hearing the stories of the labor and detailing that went into creating them as well.
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Pieter Coecke van Aelst’s painting, The Last Supper
Since the artist was first a painter it was valuable to see many of his paintings side by side with his tapestries, and the similar painterly qualities of the characters on his canvas were recreated on the tapestries with impressive artistry — this is no small feat.  Seeing many of these works completely intact and kept in pristine condition was equally impressive.
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The tapestries were created with wool, silk and gold and silver-metal wrapped thread, and created only after the artist made life size “cartoons” which were drawings and gouache and done in the finest details.
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“The pursuit of pleasure leads to misery and sorrow, for unbridled love blinds and deranges the heart”
inscription, Lust tapestry 

It is difficult to choose just one tapestry as my favorite, but if I had to pick one, I’d head over the gallery hall showcasing the 7 deadly sins (each sin has a dedicated tapestry boasting the enticing qualities of that particular sin). I must admit Lust stopped me in my tracks!

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My second favorite is the beautiful and lush depiction of the story of Vertumnus and Pomona. The gentleman’s pose, hat and the fabric drew us in, but the incredible detailing and foliage on the top of the tapestry made me wish there was a ladder available for closer inspection.
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 The exhibit is now open to the public at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 11.  Don’t take my word for it, make it a holiday outing and head on over to  witness the magic.  I promise you’ll leave inspired!  Additionally, Please see details below about a two day symposium sponsored by Stark and Jamie Drake in conjunction with Parsons School of Design to delve deeper into the exhibit…
The Symposium Internationally renowned scholars and curators present recent scholarship in themed sessions during this two-day event held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Parsons The New School for Design. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis, but is Free and open to the public.  For more information read here
Dates:
Saturday, January 10, 2015
10:30am-4:30pm
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium Free with Museum admission
and,
Sunday, January 11, 2015
10:00am–4:30pm
Parsons The New School for Design
John L. Tishman Auditorium, University Center 63 Fifth Avenue, New York City
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the crowned jewel of the exhibit and
the last on the tour at the end of the gallery is the large and impressive Adam & Eve
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more close up views from the show

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Happy Nesting
XO Tamara
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