Tag Archives: home decor

Decorating With Exposed Brick


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.


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.



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.





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.


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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11 Beautiful ways to use Area Rugs

11 Beautiful ways to use Area Rugs

Everyone loves area rugs. They make up the foundation of any room . In my role at Stark, I am often approached by clients and friends with questions about how to use area rugs effectively in their spaces. I found this great article on Houzz that addresses this. Check out the tips and suggestions in the slideshow below!

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Tastemaker makes high-end design affordable

taskemaker homepage

Everyone should live in a well designed home. Until recently, that was almost impossible for those who could not afford an expensive interior designer. Tastemaker decided to mix things up…

The below post has been adapted from a post on Editor at Large on April 22nd 2013


Last week marked the official launch of Tastemaker, an online service that connects designers with homeowners, and offers a turnkey decorating process. The site is available for San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. Additional cities will be announced in the coming months.

The first step, Meet a Decorator, asks users to submit a Room Brief. Tastemaker will handpick three professional decorators who fit the style and budget outlined in the Brief. The selected decorator will respond with a vision for the space and a flat-rate quote. Finally, the customer hires the decorator and the project begins.

After further consultation with the homeowner, the designer creates a scheme and delivers a Tastemaker Design Box with floor plans, paint colors, detailed product info, and any additional instructions the client will need to finish the room. The client has the opportunity to make the new design a reality by purchasing any or all of the suggested furnishings from Tastemaker.

Editor at Large interviewed Tastemaker’s CEO and co-founder Joe Fraiman, who has a background in software engineering but calls himself a “design junkie.” He created the site with co-founders Esther Park, Juan Vasquez and Kyle Larson—none of whom have a background in design.

EAL: Where did you get the idea for the site?

JF: Tastemaker began with four friends who had a common problem: we loved home design, but we couldn’t create our own dream homes. Kyle designed his own home from scratch. It came out perfectly, but he couldn’t get the furnishings quite right. Juan loved to hunt for unique pieces for his home, but it was time consuming, and he felt like he’d never have a complete apartment. Esther loved to shop for home products online. But she had a hard time editing her ideas and pulling everything together into a cohesive design. Joe hired an interior decorator to help him, but the cost ended up being way too high. We all thought there should be a better solution that would work for each of us, but we couldn’t find one. So we decided to build it.

EAL: How did you begin to pull the business together? 

JF: We started by finding customers and matching them manually with designers. We had no website, we just did everything over email and by phone. We experimented with a number of different ways of connecting people and in the process we learned a lot about what worked and what didn’t. At the same time, we were designing and building our initial website. As the website took shape we shifted more and more of our process online, and again we tried different approaches to see what worked best. Along the way we raised venture capital and built a team of people to work with our designers and our customers. Now our team is 58 people, mostly designers, and we’re still growing.

EAL: What are your hopes for the site in the near term and the long term? 

JF: In the near term, we’d like to become the go-to place for designers to come to find great new projects, and we’d like to expand to work with clients all over the US. Long term, we’d like to build a platform and a community to help designers do more of the work they like and less of the work they don’t like, at every point in their career.

EAL: What other directions do you see the site taking?

JF: We always want to be focused on solving problems for our two key groups of customers—designers and clients. For designers, initially that meant connecting them with more customers and handling things like payment processing and marketing. In the future we’d like to give them tools to help them find products faster and help them create their design artifacts faster. For customers, we want to expand to be able to work in more cities and give customers access to designers from all over the world.

EAL: What is the biggest benefit of using this site for the consumer? For the designer?

JF: For the consumer: it saves them time and money. If they don’t want to go down the road of hiring a professional designer in the traditional way, perhaps for cost reasons, yet don’t have time or skills to do it all themselves, Tastemaker provides the happy medium. And it allows them to get a design quickly—in as little as two weeks. For the designer: it brings them an additional source of income. Our designers like the fact that we are out there marketing their services and finding them customers, then removing many of the tedious administrative parts of the process so they can focus on the creative design itself. They see this as a great way to maintain their business between large projects and many of them love getting to work with different types of clients.

EAL: Who are the main users of the site?

JF: Anyone who wants help decorating his or her home. We’ve had bachelors, young married couples, families and career couples all use our service.

With Tastemaker, users can get the help of an interior decorator at approximately 80% less than the cost of a traditional design service. Custom mood boards cost only $25 and complete design packages start at $400 per room.

For decorators, Tastemaker is a source of new clients and a way for them to focus on the most creative part of the role—the design itself—rather than administration or purchasing. Tastemaker’s 30 decorators are all experienced, in-demand professionals and represent a wide range of styles.

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