Tag Archives: Interior Design

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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Fall Market 2013 at the D&D Building NYC

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Every Fall there is a major debut of new products, trends and brand marketing that takes place at the Decoration & Design Building in New York City.  It is a  two-day event focused on new merchandise, philosophies, and directions.

As I visited the showrooms this week, I found a prevailing situation (though not a new one) that featured many collaborative endeavors involving artists and designers from other design disciplines. The results are primarily targeted to textiles and rugs.

CJ DEllatore Jean Paul Gaultier for Lelievre Stark

Stark did some exciting things this year. We partnered with the fashion luminaire Jean Paul Gaultier and launched his second line of textiles with our brand Lelievre (available through Stark Fabrics). This follow up collection is chock-a-block with an unabashed heady mix of different themes, signature designs, and fresh color mixes. There are 8 new designs in a variety of colorways to choose from.  You can view them on the Lelievre link above.

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Pollack introduced their ‘Makers Collection where they commissioned five artisans who specialize in ceramics, furniture, jewelry, glass, and weaving to interpret their aesthetic to textiles.  The collection is dynamic and well worth investigating.  I appreciate the dialogue that occurs, and found the fabrics current and invigorating.

CJ Dellatore Josph La Piana for Patterson Flynn Martin

Thought PFM is our competition, they deserve credit when credit is due. I went to view the new collection of exclusive rug designs by Joseph La Piana for Patterson Flynn Martin. The 24 designs are a pure extension of the artist’s main body of work and approach the natural fluidity of his art in a seamless way.  The appreciation of rugs as an art form is one that has been under valued for too long.

CJ Dellatore Hermes display

Yet another venerable fashion house to jump on the home furnishings bandwagon is Hermes with their premiere collection of textiles and wall coverings.  The themes are as iconic as you would expect: equestrian, nautical, tropical, and exotic.  It is a very exciting new addition to the world of interior design textiles available at New York Jerry Pair Showroom.

CJ Dellatore Fortuny Showroom

“Splash” by Jeff Zimmerman available at Fortuny NYC

And aside from fabrics and rugs you should check out the Fortuny Showroom for the ever-changing art and art furniture installations which are for sale, and bring an updated brand aesthetic to the textile house.

Of course, there are many more new and exciting additions, lines and showrooms to check out.  Make it a point to see for yourself all that the D&D building has to offer.

Let me know when you make it here!

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Stark Presentation at Luxury Retail Summit NYC

I had the privilege of representing Stark at the Luxury Retail Summit in NYC yesterday and was able to inform attendees of what I am doing at Stark to protect our relationships with designs while expanding our business to include retail as well. Check out the below post from Luxury Daily‘s blog summarizing my presentation. Also, check out a quick video clip at the end on me speaking about how Ecommerce will help our business!

Stark Carpet Room Setting

NEW YORK – A Stark Carpet executive at the Luxury Retail Summit: Holiday Focus 2013 yesterday discussed the lessons that the company learned while transitioning from trade-only to a retail trade combination.

During the “Stark: Evolving a Luxury Floor Coverings Brand from Trade-only Business to Retail” session, the executive discussed the challenges the company faced and how Stark readjusted its business model to accommodate both trade and retail without compromising its brand DNA and relations with interior designers. Exploring various methods can allow a brand to better adapt to a new market sector.

“Understanding the role of interior designers is vital to Stark,” said Chad Stark, vice president of operations and technology at Stark Carpet, New York.

“Interior designers are responsible for the growth and success of our business,” he said. “They understand the value of our products and translate this to consumers.”

“Designers are valuable consumers based on the frequency of projects compared to the average retail consumer.”

Luxury Daily organized the Luxury Retail Summit: Holiday Focus 2013.

Technological, generational and economic challenges
Mr. Stark shared the brand’s challenges and lessons learned subsequently.

The Internet created design enthusiasts who had wide access to free design materials when previously this was left to a knowledgeable interior designer.

Between Web sites and design magazines, retail consumers are more informed than ever and many circumvent the advice and assistance of interior designers.

For Stark it was important not to tarnish its relationship with interior designers who had helped to elevate the brand to its standing as the leader in luxury floor coverings.

The new generation of consumers is less about touch and feel and is less inclined to travel far distances to experience a product first hand before making a purchase.

With a willingness to purchase online rather than in bricks-and-mortar locations, the new generation of Stark consumers prefer the accessibility of ecommerce.

Stark discovered that this new generation is much more price-sensitive than previous groups of consumers. The Internet and their increased knowledge led to consumers visiting showrooms without a designer in an attempt to buy products directly.

Stark Carpet Room Setting Elipse

Adaptations

To accommodate the growing number of informed and price conscious consumers, Stark held warehouse clearance sales every two years in different markets to sell its overstocked products.

Stark discovered that although the warehouse was successful from a consumer standpoint, interior designers pushed back at first. Overtime, interior designers began to bring clients to the warehouse sales.

Next, Stark developed retail outlets with a trade showroom within the same bricks-and-mortar location. The trade showroom was closed off to retail consumers, but the rest of the location was designed with a scaled-down warehouse format.

This concept damaged Stark because the brand featured its high-end exclusive products next to closeout items. From this model, Stark was able to re-envision its retail outposts in the form of Stark Home.

The Stark Home model replicated the exclusive nature of its trade showrooms but created a retail atmosphere as well. In theory, the Norwalk, CT, location was meant to amplify the New York showroom, but designers felt consumers were able to obtain Stark products without their assistance after visiting the showroom.

Stark, valuing the continued support of interior designers, sought out designers circumvented by consumers and compensated their time.

Ecommerce gave Stark significant exposure through flash sales with Web sites such as One Kings Lane, Gilt and Rue La La. Although sales and exposure were successful, the flash sales ruined the exclusive nature of its products while confusing design industry.

In 2014, Stark plans to re-launch its ecommerce site to increase convenience for trade and retail consumers.

Lessons learned
Today, Stark showrooms are rooted in experience. The showrooms carry carpets and fabrics, as well as “cash & carry” area rugs in a combined trade and retail space. To inform retail consumers about Stark, products are accompanied by relevant information allowing for more engagement.

Although the trade area is only shoppable by interior designers, retail consumers are welcome to browse the area. If a product strikes them, Stark suggests a local designer to assist with the project.

The “to-the-trade” program highlights interior designers as partners since their continued patronage has ensured the integrity of Stark. The program includes signature exclusive products for trade professionals such as Stark’s collaboration with fashion label Missoni, additional discounts online and in-store, and special services such a custom product development and home consultation.

Starks trials and tribulations during its adaptations from trade-only to retail is bound to affect the industry as a whole.

“Stark is the only luxury flooring brand and we take risks for the benefit of the industry,” Mr. Stark said.

“It is a scary and thrilling position to be in,” he said. “The industry is changing and the way interior designers work with clients is changing.

“The world is transparent and information is widely found online so our sales will likely to continue to be based on designers.”

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8 Spaces You’ll Be Thinking About Tomorrow

Stunning Spaces

My good friends at Arcadian Home found 8 great rooms that you will be thinking about tomorrow. Check out their guest blog post below!

Hello, everyone! It’s Mari here with a guest post from Arcadian Home blog. It’s a fantastic place to find interior design inspiration including great decorating ideas for everything from intriguing wall art to beautiful buffet lamps.

Todays guest post is all about unforgettable rooms–spaces you just might be thinking about tomorrow. Most of the eight images we’ve selected are not new to the online design community. But, for lots of different reasons, they’re simply interesting and hard to forget. By the way, back in July Chad published a post about Jamie Drakeís NYC apartment with several spaces you’re probably still thinking about. I know I am: especially his red bedroom, which just keeps running through my head.

Since each of us is not captivated by the same interior designs, here a eight intriguing rooms in different styles and color palettes. We hope you’ll find at least one space you’ll be thinking about tomorrow. Please enjoy!

~ Mari

Stunning Spaces

Designer John Saladino created this Manhattan apartment home office/guest room in deep red Maya Romanoff wallpaper and Keleen leather. How can something so beautiful be extremely functional too? The long daybed that;s just right for the office becomes a comfortable king-size bed when guests arrive.

Stunning Spaces

Months after first encountering the photo, actor Gerard Butler’s converted warehouse kitchen keeps returning to mind. Itís an unexpected mix of Old World style and today’s high-end appliances. Rather than adding a heavy wrought iron light fixture or a sleek modern pendant light, a glamorous crystal chandelier was chosen instead to hang above the center island.

Stunning Spaces

From a unique celebrity kitchen, we turn to a contemporary home office in an Australian development display suite. So different from the previous space, but just as captivating in its own way. It’s a beautiful light-filled space.

Stunning Spaces

Jean Louis Deniot designed this not soon forgotten small jewel of a dining room. An eclectic space with wonderful metallic-striped wallpaper (by Callidus Guild) hung horizontally and spotted gray rug refuses to go away.  

Stunning Spaces

Totally contemporary and infused with artistic color, this loft living room with massive over-scale artwork is at once quirky and sophisticated, and quite memorable.

Stunning Spaces

With a floating Cloud of a modern pendant lighting fixture from Apparatus and walls covered in Strata wallpaper from Zak + Fox, this stunning dining room cannot be easily forgotten. It’s the result of a perfect meeting of design minds.

Stunning Spaces

Going in an entirely different direction, the living room of a modern bachelor pad is unexpectedly appealing. From the shaggy blue faux fur pillows on industrial looking contemporary chairs to the mysterious large-scale masks on the wall, this one is rustic and altogether memorable.

Stunning Spaces

In the same home as the living room above and with the same color palette, the rustic yet modern bedroom also has that same hard to define unforgettable quality.

Which space might you be thinking about tomorrow? Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

What do you think of these spaces? Leave us your thoughts and come by our blog for more home decor, pendant lighting, and wonderful interior designs!

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Ultimate California Bachelor Pad

It has always been somewhat of a dream of mine to move to California. The weather is great, and people are relaxed, and the beaches are beautiful. The house in this article was Esquire Magazine’s 2010 Ultimate Bachelor Pad, and I couldn’t agree with them more.

Each year since 2003, Esquire Magazine has taken a house and turned it into a design showcase. They call it their “Ultimate Bachelor Pad” but it really does serve a higher purpose: The remodeled space is used to host some of the season’s biggest charity and celebrity events. And the house for sale winds up getting a lot of terrific exposure.

2010’s esquire Ultimate Bachelor Pad is located in Doheny Estates in Hollywood Hills. The 9,000-square-foot house was completely rebuilt from the ground up and newly outfitted under the design guidance of Elaine Culotti of Porta Bella. The remodeled home now boasts of 11 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, an infinity pool, two-story pool house, hot tub and gym. Add to this a $500,000 music studio complete with state-of-the-art recording equipment, a one-of-a-kind $200,000 flight simulator that responds to body movements and an interactive 65-inch multi-touch video wall from Obscura Digital featuring Hard Rock memorabilia and you realize why they call it the “Ultimate Bachelor Pad”. The home is listed at $18.9 million.

Some of the top designers who contributed to making this property include, Mark Cutler, who did the study; Annette English who designed the master bedroom; Lonni Paul on the gym; and Ron Boren did the landscaping.

The house will made its world debut on October 15th 2010 with a benefit for the International Medical Corps, a global humanitarian relief organization. There are a number of events lined up for the Esquire House. What is more, for the first time this year, there will be a cable TV show on the re-making of the Esquire House. The DIY Network has scheduled it to air in January, hosted by Amy Matthews.

The Esquire House will host a season of red-carpet galas and events to benefit very worthy charity partners, including City of Hope, FasterCures, International Medical Corps, Oceana, and Oxfam. The famous hospitality of the Esquire House is enhanced by contributions from Absolut, DonQ, Glenfiddich, Heineken, and Woodford Reserve; cigars from Montecristo; and bounteous steak from Robinson’s Prime Reserve.

With its 2010 return to Los Angeles, the Esquire House continues its tradition of re-invention, and bringing the Esquire tagline, “Man at His Best,” vibrantly to life.

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22 Brilliant Ideas For Your Tiny Apartment

As a follow up to my last blog post, I figured I’d stick to the BuzzFeed format and re-blog another one of their posts called 22 Brilliant Ideas For Your Tiny Apartment. This is especially relevant for anyone like me living in New York City. The only thing missing from this list is a great Stark rug like any of these. Enjoy 🙂

No matter how tiny that studio apartment is, nothing beats having your own space. Here are some actually feasible ideas that don’t involve remodeling or a completely unrealistic warehouse loft.

1. Place a curtain around the bed.

Place a curtain around the bed.

Source: cdn1.cdnme.se

It’ll give your sleeping space some tranquility and a nook-like feel.

Source: gravity-gravity.tumblr.com

2. If your workspace only consists of a laptop, just use a bookshelf instead of taking up space with a desk.

If your workspace only consists of a laptop, just use a bookshelf instead of taking up space with a desk.

Source: withlovefromkat.com

3. The curtain separator works for a kitchen too.

The curtain separator works for a kitchen too.

Source: marthastewart.com

4. Use a piece of plywood to build a makeshift wall that you can place a desk against.

Use a piece of plywood to build a makeshift wall that you can place a desk against.

Source: livingimpressive.com

5. Or a pull-down screen.

Or a pull-down screen.

Doubles as a surface to project movies on!

6. Put the bedroom under a gigantic canopy.

Put the bedroom under a gigantic canopy.

It’ll give the illusion of a private fort.

7. Use your TV to mentally separate your sleeping space from your entertainment space.

Use your TV to mentally separate your sleeping space from your entertainment space.

Also: love the accent wall in the “bedroom.”

Source: flickr.com

8. Opt for sliding doors for closets and bathrooms.

Opt for sliding doors for closets and bathrooms.

They require less space than swing-out doors.

Source: pinterest.com

9. Repurpose an old window for kitchen separation.

Repurpose an old window for kitchen separation.

Also: a kitchen island on wheelies can provide some much-needed counter and storage space.

Source: pinterest.com

10. A chest doubles as a coffee table and as storage.

A chest doubles as a coffee table and as storage.

11. Set your bed up against a wall so you can prop pillows up when you need to use it as a couch.

Set your bed up against a wall so you can prop pillows up when you need to use it as a couch.

12. Make a couch that swivels into a bed.

Make a couch that swivels into a bed.

You can finally get that dreamy sectional you’ve always wanted. Get the DIY here.

13. Use seating as an opportunity to store as much stuff as possible.

Use seating as an opportunity to store as much stuff as possible.

Instead of plain old chairs, opt for seating that serves double duty, like storage ottomans and storage couches.

14. Make use of a ladder in dead space behind a door.

Make use of a ladder in dead space behind a door.

You can hang things off of it, like a throw or a winter jacket.

15. Use your window as a projector screen.

Use your window as a projector screen.

If you’re not the type to watch television but still want the option to screen movies in your apartment, buy a white screen for your windows that double as blinds.

Source: weheartit.com

16. Place your sofa against the bed.

Place your sofa against the bed.

17. Chaise lounges are a good alternative to regular-sized couches.

Chaise lounges are a good alternative to regular-sized couches.

They’re generally shorter than full-sized couches and are more versatile than a loveseat. And if you get two of them, you can sandwich them together into a makeshift bed.

Source: ziegz.com

18. Turn your bed into a movie pit with a heavy dresser or console.

Turn your bed into a movie pit with a heavy dresser or console.

Source: esohlee.com

19. A ceiling-hanging clothing rack takes advantage of your vertical space.

A ceiling-hanging clothing rack takes advantage of your vertical space.

The one shown here doesn’t look bulky or monstrous, and you have enough vertical space to stack things like shoes or books underneath.

20. Don’t have space for a couch? Giant pillows on the floor can be laid out when you have guests over.

Don't have space for a couch? Giant pillows on the floor can be laid out when you have guests over.

And then put away when you need the floor space. SO COZY.

Source: pinterest.com

21. Build a super simple foldout table that’s mounted to the wall.

Build a super simple foldout table that's mounted to the wall.

If you have basic carpentry skills, you can make an incredibly simple kitchen table that folds back up onto a wall with some wood and some hinges.

22. Put your bed on lockable casters.

Put your bed on lockable casters.

This way, you can easily wheel it to be used as extra seating in the living room, or against a wall when you need some floor space to do an impromptu yoga routine or gymnastics flip.

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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

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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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Interior Designer Tabletops from the Lenox Hill 2013 Gala

designer tabletops

 “Top hats were understandably a popular accoutrement and Jon Call used his to great effect for his “Sartorial Picnic,” sponsored by Stark.” – Quintessence

I had the pleasure of attending the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House gala last week and it was spectacular. Each year, designers continue to amaze us with their tabletop designs. STARK sponsored the table pictured above that was decorated by the talented up-and-comer Jon Call. Below is a blog post I adapted from one of my favorite design blogs, Quintessence, that summarizes the evening with great editorial and pictures. Enjoy the read!

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Designer tabletops

The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House tabletop event is one of my very favorites. Benefitting this well respected and worthy organization, their spring gala is a much anticipated evenings. Held again at Cipriani 42nd St., this year honored long time board members Caroline and Thompson Dean for their leadership and support. Media sponsor Veranda magazine, with Design Chairs Veranda editor in chief Dara Caponigro and design and decoration editor Carolyn Englefield, antiques dealer David Duncan, interior designer Lindsey Coral Harper, and ceramic artist Christopher Spitzmiller, presented 45 stunning tables created by designers with High Society as the theme.

It was interesting how everyone interpreted this year’s High Society theme. Some, like Allison Hennessy, watched the Grace Kelly movie for inspiration.

“One of the opening scenes takes place in a beautiful loggia, full of decorative details (blue green color palette, chinoiserie walls, wicker furniture, lacquered finishes) which I incorporated into my table with the Bob Collins chintz table cloth and the lacquered wicker chargers.”

Designer tabletops

Allison’s mother-in-law, Paula Hennessy, had recently purchased the vintage birdcage at Scott Antique Markets in Atlanta. Allison had it shipped to Jim at Very Special Flowers in NYC, who filled it with an ethereal mix of greens and flowers as well as layered surrounding florals. It provided both height and the perfect garden theme accoutrement. Vintage silver candlesticks (via Ebay), silver napkin rings and grey Greek key napkins from Patricia Spratt all contributed to the 1950′s Main Line vibe.

designer tabletops

Although Thomas Burak Interiors‘ and Michael Devine‘s table was called A Luminous Evening, it could, as Michael suggested, as easily have been named In Living Color. A “vivid ode to summer brights,” it included a wonderfully festive centerpiece that is an entertaining idea I’m going to have to remember!

Designer tabletops

The tablecloth is Thomas (in my favorite colorway – tangerine) from Michael’s new collection that I first saw at Deco Off in Paris.

Designer tabletops

Haviland service plates from Mottahedeh and fun vintage Vera wooden napkin rings (that still had the original tags on) completed the picture.

Designer tabletops

Jane Scott Hodges’ table, “Cabana 15,” for her company, Leontine Linens, showcased the beautiful linens and embroidery for which they are known. Celebrating 15 years of offering glorious linens for the home, the lovely lavender tablecloth featured an appliqué cane pattern, from their own workshops that create all of their custom-made products.

Designer tabletops

What an elegant cabana with flowers by Zeze, calligraphy menu cards from Bernard Maisner, elegant embroidered hemstitch napkins (“H” for High Society) and of course an enviable gift from Leontine Linens – a luxurious satin eye mask with trapunto-quilted lash motif in matching case!

designer tabletops

Even the back of the chairs received customized treatment!

Designer tabletops

Arden Stephenson‘s table “Let Them Eat Cake” was a modern ode to the theme. The playful Dominique Piquier Palais Royal fabric from Studio Four was a perfect pick for a “High Society” tablecloth.

Designer tabletops

I of course loved the apricot color way with embroidered Julia B. linen napkins

Designer tabletops

and delicious (I can personally attest to that) and beautiful custom colored petit fours!

designer tables

Sam Allen’s “Bollywood Nights” table was a marvelous mix of color and texture. The colorfulQuadrille Kazak on the tablecloth reminded me that I don’t mind pink when tempered with orange! And now I can’t wait to get some quince branches of my own to officially welcome spring into the house. The flowers were styled by Sam’s mother, designer Leslie Allen.

designer tabletops

I love everything produced through the collaboration between Clare Potter and Christopher Spitzmiller, including these fantastic plates, available through Mallett.

Designer tabletops

Nicole Gibbons’ first showing at Lenox Hill was an auspicious one! Choosing the iconic style maven Doris Duke and her Hawaiian estate Shangri La as her inspiration, Nicole created an eclectic table emulating Duke’s love of exotic design.

designer tabletops

Starting with a pretty blue ikat from Calico Corners for the tablecloth, she layered Perlee chargers and decorative objects from l’Objet and Matouk napkins.

designer tabletops

Friend Kathryn Murray did the charming calligraphy for her fantasy guests’ place cards. You can read more about the details of Nicole’s table on her blog.

designer tabletops

Dolores Suarez and Caroline Grant of Dekar Designs’ table was the charming “Garden of Weedin.’” A naturalistic take on an English garden, they cleverly crafted a tablecloth of moss, adding potted flowers, garden tools, silk birds and butterflies to emulate an outdoor garden party.

designer tabletops

A vintage birdcage was surrounded by lush flowers and plantings

designer tabletops

and a mini nest with (faux) robin’s eggs adorned the placesettings.

designer tabletops

The exuberant floral arrangements were by Adore Floral and how adorable were the gifts folded neatly into a napkin package!

designer tabletops

It was very hard to shoot Harry Heissmann’s dramatic “Anchors Aweigh” centerpiece that topped his elegant table,

designer tabletops

but it was an energetic and eclectic mix of plexi anchor, nautical rope, mini lights and flora artistry by Emily Thompson.

designer tabletops

Harry was lucky enough to work with the Hermès group and featured the handsome Hermès Fil d’Argent platesPuiforcat cercle d’argent silver presentation plates and Chantaco flatware andSaint-Louis Tommy glassware. They all looked fabulous set on a sparkling sequin and paillette tablecloth.

designer tabletops

While I may not have been able to feature all 45 tables, please know that they were all creative, beautiful and contributed to the enormous success of the evening!

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Stark prepares for DOMOTEX

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As the new year rolls in, it’s time for me to leave the country again. This time, for the worlds premier flooring convention, DOMOTEX in Hannover, Germany.

With over 1,400 exhibitors from more than 60 countries DOMOTEX 2013 is set to be the most important event for the entire international flooring trade. It will again prove to be a unique marketplace for hand-made and machine-made carpets, textile floor coverings, resilient flooring, parquet and laminates, as well as application and installation technology and cleaning. At the same time, DOMOTEX is an unrivalled communication platform for visitors from the trade, the skilled trades and interior design. Trade visitors from all over the world come to DOMOTEX to learn about important trends, developments and topical issues at the exhibition and in a series of conferences, special displays and workshops.

I will be sure to post some pictures from the event. Our booth should be great!

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YouTube Cofounder Steve Chen’s Penthouse for Sale

steve chen youtube penthouse

Gotta love those techies.

YouTube co-founder Steve Chen has listed his penthouse inside the Ritz Carlton Residences (equipped with 24/7 concierge and a gym) in San Francisco for $8 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. Complete with a fully furnished roof deck, the two-story, 3,063-square-foot pad has two-bedrooms and 2.5 baths. Chen spent 21 months working with architect Joel Sander to turn the condo into a “tech lovers dream home,” including installing a glass wall between the master bedroom and bath that turns from clear to frosted at the touch of a button, according to Curbed SF.

Chen purchased the pad in 2007 for $4.85 million, when it was “just an empty shell,” according to the WSJ. The living room has a large sectional and a bar for entertaining, but Chen said his “favorite part of the home” were the 3 TVs located here. My favorite part is the minimalistic kitchen with beautiful white and wood accents and walls. His office with blue accents is pretty baller as well. Chen is selling this amazing place because he just has a 2nd child and his family needs more space. Check out the photo tour below!

The Ritz Front Entrance

Welcome to the Ritz Carlton Residences in downtown San Francisco.

Chen purchased the pad in 2007 for $4.85 million, when it was

The living room has three TVs, which Chen said were his

Chen is selling because he just had a second child, and his family needs more space.

The kitchen is very minimalistic with its combination of white and wood accents and walls.

This room has a very serene vibe to it.

The living room is a prime spot for entertaining. With a large sectional and a bar, there's plenty of places for your guests to sit.

We love the lighting and the fireplace in this room.

With the purchase of the residence comes access to the hotel's 24/7 concierge service.

The high ceilings really open the place up.

The home incorporates a lot of wood into the design.

The master bedroom has views of the south. And in the master bath, there are lava-rock floors.

The roof deck is fully furnished.

The apartment has views of the San Francisco Bay, the East Bay, Twin Peaks and Nob Hill.

You also have access to the hotel's gym.

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