Tag Archives: Stark

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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Designer Appreciation Week in Syosset

Nicole introducing me!

This past week was Designer Appreciation Week at Stark Syosset and it was a blast. Great job setting it up Nicole Passman!!! Those napkins (below) were awesome!

My first visit to Stark’s Syosset showroom was one to remember. There was tasty food, great company, and even a raffle! The showroom looks amazing and I’m so happy I got to personally meet about 20 designers who all shop at Stark.

I gave a 20 minute talk about who I am, what my role in the company is, and the direction Stark is heading in. Though there may have been some skeptics in the crowd, I think everyone was pleased with what  I had to say. Stark Home is not our way of trying to cut the decorator out, but it’s our way of empowering the decorator more than ever before!! That message was clear by the time I was done. If anyone wants to learn more, email me! Below are some pics of the event for your viewing pleasure. Sorry if they’re blurry!

Next up is Surfaces in Las Vegas. And some Chainsmokers at Marquee of course…

Stark loves designers!!

Stark Fabric Syosset

Mingling with some awesome designers!
Yummy! Sylvana Carlucci speaking

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My 1st International Business Trip

INDIA!!

I hope I’ll have time to see the Taj Mahal!

I have dreamed of going to India ever since I missed my high school sponsored ‘educational’ trip over New Years 2008…now this dream is finally coming true.

I leave for India tomorrow, October 6th 2012, for what promises to be an incredible learning experience. Stark manufactures and buys many handmade rugs in India, so my 10-day trip will be packed with business activities 24/7. I fly into New Delhi for a night, but am spending the majority of my time in Varanasi where I will be visiting different Rug vendors on Stark’s behalf. The pictures I take of all the beautiful rug samples will be incredible! Good thing I just bought this camera

I might be heading to China for 2 days from Varanasi to meet with a carpet mill but I’m having some issues with my Visa right now…That’s what I get for waiting until the last minute! #idiot

I’ll try to post an update on my blog during the trip with some cool pictures of the culture and maybe some new products. Can’t wait to learn more about the rug business in India and how different the culture is there!

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I love LA

I just got back from a 10 day trip in sunny California and if you follow me on social media, you already know what i’m going to say: I love LA.

I was there on a business trip for Stark where I spent time visiting our LA, Costa Mesa, and SF showrooms. Big shout out to my homies Neil Jacobson and Zach Wanerman for letting me crash on their couches. I was also given the opportunity to DJ at the Beverly Nightclub, Tru Nightclub in Hollywood, and a banging 4th of July party at my friend Dan’s house. What a trip.

I really want to make the west coast a priority for Stark because there are a lot of exciting thing going on in California. Here’s a glimpse of what we’re doing:

Los Angeles

Not only are we moving the Stark Fabric showroom into a larger space in the building, but we are also moving our carpet and rug showroom out of the Pacific Design Center into our own 10,000 sq ft space at 805 La Cienega in Los Angeles. This new location is prime time in the heart of the LCDQ. The windows are HUGE, our street signage is SICK and parking isn’t an issue because we have 26 valet parking spots on the roof. I’m most excited about this new venture because it is our first real high street location for Stark Home. I’ve already gotten involved working closely with partners like Missoni Home to ensure this location’s success. We are having an enormous launch party in the fall, and I will be back on California a lot this year to set it up and make sure it runs smoothly. The more I get involved, the more it will make sense for me to move to LA…

Costa Mesa

We opened one of our largest Stark Home locations as a main tenant in the SouthCoast Collection shopping center a few years ago. The center has been flourishing and we are now surrounded by many other great high-end design companies like Fixture’s Living and Scalamandre. It’s time for us to update the appearance of the showroom. This opportunity gets my juices flowing because it is an opportunity for us to create a template showroom that, if it works, we can roll out to all of our Stark Home locations nationwide.

San Francisco

We are moving our showroom from the 4th floor of the San Francisco Design Center into a bigger space on the 1st floor with street access. This gives us a chance to renovate the showroom there and essentially start from scratch. We are not converting this location into a Stark Home facility, but it is exciting nonetheless. Can’t wait to get back out there again.

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It’s a little difficult focusing on business that is 3000 miles away from our corporate offices in NY. so it’s probably best if I move to West Hollywood. To help out, I will be heading back to LA for a week in August and then again for a week around the time of the La Ciénaga and SF launch parties in October. I like to think I’m on the 2 year plan: NY for 2 years then off to LA. Now that I have my goal in writing, let’s see if I can stick to it.

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Benefits of an Entrepreneurial Education

My concentration (B-school buzzword for “major“) in the undergraduate business program at UM (Ross) was Entrepreneurship. Many people have asked me what that means and what I learned. Unlike finance or accounting, there is no real definition of what an entrepreneurial education is. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what I was going to learn going into it. Now that I’m in the real world, it all makes sense.

Entrepreneurship is not learned in the classroom or from a textbook. You have to get out the door and experience things firsthand. As a student of entrepreneurship, I started many different ventures while in school that ranged from a music blog to a social fundraising platform. I’m proud to say that most of them failed and are no longer in existence. Why am I proud to say that you ask? Failure is the greatest way to learn. It teaches you how to take ownership of something real, look at and approach real world problems and analyze your actions after the fact so you can improve your efforts next time. Real world experiences teach you that things usually don’t work out as planned. For entrepreneurs, there is always a next time. Whether your ventures fail after 5 years or IPO in 10 months, that ever-so-persistant entrepreneurial bug will start to itch again very soon. How you constantly improve yourself is what we entrepreneurs like to measure.

My greatest takeaway from B-school came from all my previous ventures. Startup events like Techarb’s Student Startup Showcase and Detroit Venture Partners’ and Ludlow Ventures‘ Funded by Night forced me to present my ideas in an organized, easy-to-follow fashion to avoid embarrassment infront of rooms full of people. I used to emphasize and explain a technology that only techies would understand instead of a simple concept that even grandparents would understand. Giving powerpoint presentations at these events and to venture capitalists taught me how to clearly translate what’s speeding around in my head into a concise, confident presentation. After my “Strategy and Implementation Plan” presentation last week to the board here at Stark, I now realize how valuable a skill articulating clear and organized thoughts is. That is the most valuable skill I acquired from a B-school entrepreneurial education.

As a mentor of mine once said, Every time an entrepreneur opens his mouth, he is pitching.” My friends all know how much I like to talk. Thank you B-school for teaching me how to actually say something instead of just blabber.

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Connecticut Cottages & Gardens’ 2012 Innovation in Design Awards

I had the pleasure of presenting the Interior Design Award at Connecticut Cottages & Gardens‘ 2012 Innovation in Design Awards last week. Cottages & Gardens encourages professional architects, interior designers, kitchen, bath and landscape designers to participate in an annual innovation in Design Awards competition that recognizes superior architecture and design throughout Connecticut and Westchester. The winners of the Interior Design category were:

1st Place: Joeb Moore and Partners

2nd Place: Tiffany Eastman Interiors 

3rd Place: Robert A. Cardello Architects and Polly Denham Interiors

Congratulations to all the participants and the winners! I didn’t really know what this awards event was when I showed up, but the next thing I knew I was asked to present one of the awards! I guess my cousin, Ashley Stark, couldn’t present the award because she was one of the competition judges. Dont worry, my jokes up there were received well….I think.  Check out the video above to see me present the Interior Design Award.

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So you just like sell carpet?

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Many of my friends from all over the place have recently been asking me what I’m up to. When I tell them where I work or what I’m actually doing (I’m still working on my personal elevator pitch), this is the typical response I get:

“Wait, so you just like sell carpet?”

“Just like sell carpet?” HA. I’ve learned many things from 3 weeks of full-time employment in the home goods industry, but a realization I have daily is that most people my age (college students and young professionals) have ZERO appreciation for high-end carpets and fabrics. But why should they? This attitude is perfectly reasonable because when have we ever had to buy something nice besides work clothes for our internship? As my girls at DSI helped teach me, interior design and home furnishing is an art – “Fashion for the home” as I like to say. Truth is that until you have to decorate your living space with something you DON’T plan on trashing, it COULDN’T MATTER LESS what design and material is under your feet. This needs to change.

Why is an Hermes bag sexier than a silk contemporary rug when the elite feeling and high price tag are the same? I had the pleasure of attending an event at the prestigious international rug artist Jan Kath’s NY gallery after the ICFF on Monday (which was awesome btw), and how can you tell me this rug isn’t sexy? As someone who thinks he’s good at marketing and branding, I am making it my mission to educate Generation Y on how sexy (I love that word right now) this industry is. The entire industry – not just Stark – needs to work together to show young people how cool we really are.

And as to whether I, “just like sell carpets” you tell me. Does someone at Hermes “just like sell bags?” Come on people. Once I figure out how to express my job description in words, you’ll see it on here. Stay tuned.

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Welcome to the Real World

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It’s official. I’m now a working man. After months of figuring out what I want to do and where I want to live, I’ve decided to move to New York City (thanks for voting in the survey) and join the family business – Stark Carpet.

I joined Stark because of how much opportunity there is here for growth. Big things are in the works. It’ll take some time to get integrated into the workflow of things around here, but this company is truly entrepreneurial. I’m more excited than ever to make my mark on the world. Stick around for updates as I begin executing on my plan – global domination!

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