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Get organized!

(and stay that way)

do it yourself

from clever paint tricks to eBay scores

Antonia & Victoria Thompson: From the Dixie Highway to Greenwich Village, two sisters share their style secrets


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in every issue 07 Editor’s Letter 09 Contributors 20 How-To

Ikea Pax Wardrobe Want the skinny on spare space? Just give us 20 inches

26 Eco-Style

Bridging the Gap Elizabeth Suda of Article 22/Article 22 Trading Co. delivers the naturally dyed, hand-woven handicrafts of Laos

217 Blogger Style

market 11 Neutral Palette

One of the stars of the spring runways makes its way to your closet– and to your home

13 Into the West

Accents for a tamer version of a wild age

15 Spring Arrival Eileen Fisher introduces her 2010 spring collections for Garnet Hill

17 The Perfect Home Office In this office style equation, the whole look is greater than the sum of its parts

Fred Castleberry unabashedly shares his favorite things

travel style 30 Avalon Hotel Unveiled Design maven Kelly Wearstler revamps a Beverly Hills retreat

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45 85 Elements of Glamour

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Traditional Flair

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Raw Talent

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Designer Lizzie Bailey knows firsthand the benefits of fighting limited space with the help of unexpected, timeless décor approaches

Interior designer Sara Gilbane produces an unexpected, vibrant mix of classic and contemporary elements

Interior designer Ryan Korban mesmerizes the décor world with his bold aesthetic

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132 cont.

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DIY DĂŠcor

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Brussels Scouts

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A Difference in Opinion

Offering professional, affordable design direction, interior designer Betsy Burnham takes a contemporary spin on a traditional service Art directors Pam Voth and Tim Barrall invigorate their 1744 Connecticut home with Belgian design Sisters Antonia and Victoria Thompson affect the same space in unique ways


our archive

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165

october/november 2009

december 2009/january 2010

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editor’s letter

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ith every new year comes a whopping list of to-do’s and goals to achieve. As we entered 2010, our team took to heart your feedback and worked to develop and polish what we’ve created. Loving the links to our online resources? We’re giving you more of them. Wishing you could access our back issues? We’ve made it easy. Having trouble reading the text? We’re working on updating our zooming capabilities. Over the next few months we’ll also be launching a brand-new website as well as an iPhone app so you can view Lonny on the go! In 2009 we established the big

picture and this year we’re honing in on the details. Our February issue is a celebration of those details. In every home we photographed, we began by snooping through the spaces– hunting for the subtleties that made our hearts skip a beat. We loved the carefully curated desktops of Lizzie Bailey and Victoria Thompson, the lush taffeta ribbon used to hang portraits in Ryan Korban’s studio apartment, the so-perfect-you-would-

swear-it’s-original-to-the-house paint colors that took Pam Voth months to select. The designers and homeowners in every feature have meticulously crafted their surroundings to communicate their own personal styles, and we’ve captured those intricacies on page for you. We’ve also added a new symbol to highlight eco-friendly finds! Cheers to the new year and thank you for your continued support.

Michelle Adams Editor in Chief

Pat and I at the Avalon, working as a team to capture the details . 7

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contributors

our team Michelle Adams

Patrick Cline

Co-Founder Editor-in-Chief

Co-Founder Director of Photography

Shawn Gauthier Writer

Michelle Roque Design Director

Ellie Somerville Editorial Assistant

Caitlin McGauley Illustrator

Rab Messina Copy Editor

Michael Colangelo Sales Director michael@lonnymag.com

Sarah Shoemake Intern

...and contributors anna wolf Sara has a beautiful apartment and beautiful taste, but the thing I enjoyed the most about shooting her place is that she is just such a warm, sincere and positive person, and so much fun to be around,” says photographer Anna Wolf, who originally shot Gilbane’s home for the late and great domino. A California native now residing in New York, Wolf has always harbored a passion to create. After graduating from Art Center College of Design, Wolf knew just how to fulfill that passion; channeling her desire through her love and imaginative knack for photography.

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february • April march 9,2010 Lonny 9*Offer is valid through 2010.


new york (icff booth 1154) | high point | dealers & designers welcome | snugfurniture.com


market

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neutral palette Halfway between demure and sexy, winter and spring, the neutral look works wonders as a transitional staple 4

1

grace 1 Flowing

Tibi spring 2010 RTW. Tibi

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place rest 2 Atorosy

Handmade Moroccan Pouf in Sand: $285, John Derian

2010

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double as nails 3 Atrompe-l’oeil 4 Soft The Lake and Stars Franklin Tank: $145, Journelle

butter LONDON 3 Free Lacquer in Yummy Mummy: $17, butter LONDON

walls 5 Nude

Nono Chanel Wallpaper in Ivory and White: $360 a roll, The Wallpaper Collective


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legs 6 Gossamer

Sheer Fashion Pantyhose Swiss Dot In The Buff: $28, Spanx

clear 7 Asurface

Palma Desk: $995, Jayson Home & Garden

glowing skin 8 Like

Silver Foil Pillow in Cream: $24, Urban Outfitters

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steps 9 Sheer

10 shells

It’s raining

Tamara Heel in Natural: $198, Coach

Natural Capiz Pendant: $99, west elm

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market

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into the west Accents for a tamer version of a wild age

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Colonel Littleton monograms and ships orders the same day and even sends along a tasty moon pie! We’re obsessed! 1

chic 1 Cowgirl

D&G Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2010 RTW

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comfort 2 Haute

Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home $50, Williams Sonoma.

2010

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memories 3 Muddy

Vintage-inspired leather journal $85, Kate’s Paperie

the wind 4 Facing

Suede and brass headband by Citrine $150, Calypso St. Barth

to be branded 5 Proud

Personalized leather bracelet $38.75, Colonel Littleton


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golden of light 6 Arush Sabine Table Lamp $295, Modern Dose

boy! 7 Whoa,

Hold your Horses 16”x20” glicee archival print $250, Lonny

banquet 8 Rustic

Beam Dining Table $3095, Environment Furniture

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the for a cotton fields trailblazer 9 From 10 Fit Tailored stripe coverlet (Full/Queen) $129, West Elm

Women’s canvas riding boot $350, Land’s End

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market

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ileen Fisher knows just how to usher in the bright, upcoming days of spring. First there’s her 2010 Home Collection, and then there’s her Home Bedding Essentials Collection, both featured exclusively at Garnet Hill. Including an array of enticing items such as quilts, pillow covers and rugs, the lines are awash in fresh, calming, crisp colors such as cucumber, peach blossom and rhubarb. Produced with the finest quality materials ranging from organic lightweight cotton to washed linens and sensuous silks, any chosen piece is sure to help ease the home from winter’s chill to spring’s engaging warmth.

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Silk Throw in 1 Ethereal Cucumber and Soft White

Silk Comforter 3 Seasonless in Soft White

Silk Standard 2 Pebble Sham in Peach Blossom

Pillow Cover in 4 Artisanal Barnwood and Cucumber

Pebble Silk Continental Sham in Soft White

$48, Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

Silk Comforter 5 Seasonless in Peach Blossom

Pebble Silk Continental Sham in Barnwood

$718 (4’x6’), Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

$158 each, Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

$44, Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

$48, Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

Pebble Silk Quilt in Barnwood

$308 (Twin), Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

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$528 (D/Q), Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

$78 each, Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

$528 (D/Q), Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill

Hand-Knotted Oushak Rug

Rug 6 Recycled-Leather $98 (3’x5’), Eileen Fisher for Garnet Hill


recycled leather

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Haven’t had the chance to scour Turkish markets for that authentic, hand-spun wool rug that would so perfectly offset your neutral space? Neither have we, which is why we love Eileen Fisher’s Hand-Knotted Oushak Rug: it encompasses the culture’s simplepatterned designs in ivory and russet. Zatista_HalfPage_Final.pdf

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Thousands of works of art. Hundreds of artists. One online location. Visit ZATISTA.COM, the premiere destination for original art online.

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market

Basics for work + Accents for +

+ Thalya $293, Hive

Cochrane Desk $499, Ballard Designs

+

+ Vegetal Chair Gray $555, The Conran Shop

Desk 51 $699, Blu Dot

+

+ Emperor Armchair $695, Jayson Home & Garden

Fulton Desk $699, Crate & Barrel

+

+ Sawhorse Worktable, Sungkai $499, west elm

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Saarinen Tulip Armless Chair $1229, Design Within Reach


play = The perfect home office Stationary = traveler

+ Hand Made Ling the Elephant and Monkey Tape Dispenser $158, iomoi

Pagoda Table Lamp $310, Tonic Home

+ FLOS - Kelvin Adjustable Table Lamp $344, 2modern

=

A regal outpost

Aura Clock $40, MoMA Store

+ Color Pencil and Brass Holder Set $65, Jayson Home & Garden.

55/70 Table Lamp $185, White on White

An = uncluttered nook

+ 365 + Brasa table lamp $79.99, IKEA

=

Modern memo

Format Box with Lid $19.95, CB2

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start decorating now! click here to save 15%


how--to

79”

20”

Want the skinny on spare space? Just give us 20 inches…

Written by Shawn Gauthier Photography by Patrick Cline Art Direction and Styling by Michelle Adams


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Place these shelves at a slant for your kicks or keep level for your clothing.

…and we’ll give you IKEA’s solution to stray shoes, shirts, jewelry and more: an all-inone customizable wardrobe system. Referred to as PAX, the system is made up of individual units that vary in height and size, so you can fill that 20-inch void beside your bed with one unit, or place several together along an open wall. Think that’s handy? Wait until you open the doors: The coordinated KOMPLEMENT interior organizers take sorting to the next level, offering a home to all your pieces amiss. From shoe racks and clothes rails to drawers, as well as shelves, drawers and compartments perfect for accessories, you’ll officially run out of excuses to be disorganized.

Utilize the accessories compartments as pull out drawers for easy accessibility. Place a mirror on the shelf above it, and you’ve got yourself an instant vanity.

+

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Don’t mistake lingerie for your basic Hanes T-shirt;

these delicate garments require that extra tender, loving care. Claire Chambers, founder of Journelle, offers professional advice on keeping your intimates in tip-top shape.

Drawer duty? Depends on your collection.

“It’s OK to fold underwire bras in the middle, but lay molded types flat in drawers,” Chambers advises.

Washing care?

Prepare to get your hands dirty. “Hand-

wash delicates in lukewarm water with an extra-gentle lingerie wash, then lay them flat on a towel to dry,” she says. “If you must, use a washing machine on the gentlest cycle.”

Worried about PAX not blending into your décor scheme? Agonize not: IKEA offers the system in a variety of styles and colors. Try a birch veneer with a foil finish, or tempered glass with powder-coated aluminum. Personally, we love the contrasting dark wood with the glossy white lacquered door for a hint of something unexpected.

Dryers?

Only if you want to make Chambers shudder. “Never, ever put lingerie in the dryer,” she warns. february • march

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eco-style

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rticle 22/Article 22 Trading Co. may have never come into existence had Elizabeth Suda not kicked off her professional journey in the Merchandising Department at Coach, Inc. Participating in production meetings where notes were exchanged between her team and overseas factories, she began to wonder who makes the goods we Americans consume, and how and with what materials these products are made. “I realized I wanted to specifically learn about people that continue to employ traditional methods of eco-friendly textile-making, and how these skills relate to income generation within developing countries,” says Suda, who eventually traveled to Laos, considered one of the poorest countries in the world. There, Suda spent the next six months working with women who hand-weave naturally dyed silk

and cotton fibers, finding inspiration in the artisans who were empowered to generate income by practicing their culture’s craft, but also in the natural, eco-friendly process they undertook to create the dyes. Yet their livelihood has been challenged by the faster-cheaper pace of international trade: Due to the convenience of inexpensive, synthetic chemical imports, the demand for these natural dyes has waned, leaving Laos increasingly void of one of its few opportunities for income. That’s where Suda decided to step in. “Article 22/Article 22 Trading Co. were conceived to bridge continents for producers and consumers to exchange sustainably made unique products with natural dyes that are not harsh on the environment but still visually appealing from a consumer standpoint,” she says. february • march

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eco-style There is a difference between the two sides of the business. Article 22 features products that Suda designs herself, such as handbags and eventually, jewelry, which are then produced by the weavers in Laos. Article 22 Trading Co. sells products that are designed and made by the artisans, and Suda has almost no involvement in the end result. Regardless, the goal of both is to increase awareness and demand for naturally dyed products, and to maintain and grow an environmentally and economically sustainable weaving culture in the Southeast Asian country.

this ... Shopper: Avail1 Paris able in Pink Red and Indigo Chocolate $135

Large Organza 2 Extra Silk Scarf $66 Bobo 3 The $275 Available in 4 Clutch: Pink and Indigo $130

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“I’m continuously blown away by the intricacy of the woven fabric these women create,” Suda says. “The products we sell are an eclectic set of patterns that suggest a journey to a far-off land, but the classic silhouettes feel like home.” r


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travel style

:

UNVEILED Kelly Wearstler breathes an updated Italian flair into a Beverly Hills hideaway

Written by Shawn Gauthier Photography by Patrick Cline Art Direction by Michelle Adams


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Photo courtesy of Mark Edward Harris

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nyone familiar with Kelly Wearstler knows she doesn’t shy away from impact. The designer boldly entered the public décor world in 1999 after applying her unique, masterfully stylized, modernmeets-Hollywood glam aesthetic in the design of California’s Avalon Hotel. A quieter name then, she outfitted the Beverly Hills boutique hotspot with a classically contemporized, mid-century zest, acquiring an instant rise in her reputation. A decade later, she has her hands on the hotel again, instigating a décor facelift to celebrate the tenyear anniversary of her original initiative.


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“The Avalon Hotel is such an incredible space,” says Wearstler, whose husband, Brad Korzen, developed it in 1998 after discovering the run-down inn originally built in the 1940s. “The entire hotel has an exterior hall that looks over the vintage, hourglassshaped pool,” she adds. “There is such a feeling of open air; you can see almost everything simply standing in the lobby.” Wearstler found herself in the lobby yet again, taking in the space and envisioning it with more of an Italian-infused aura, with hints of Gio Ponti woven into a California lightness conducive to the most relaxing of weekend getaways. Always aware of the environment as a whole, Wearstler paid particular attention to the strength of the ornate architecture; born out of the novel mid-century structure of 40s,

she knew the overall décor had to enhance its authentic state rather than compete with its natural purity. Initially inspired by the lobby’s turquoise terrazzo, which has been there since the original construction of the building, Wearstler introduced robin’s egg blue to what had previously been an extensively silver palette. Accented with touches of gold, black and a warm, parchment white, the scheme is widely monochromatic, carrying the tone from floor to ceiling– the latter is painted in very Wearstler-esque stripes to activate its low height. Using alabaster light fixtures, Wearstler created a simple, understated effect, warming the largely marble and ceramic expanse and creating an intimate juxtaposition.


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“The architecture of the Avalon is truly one of a kind,” says Wearstler. “It has such an incredible sense of indoor/outdoor living.”

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hen designing hotels, it’s important to Wearstler to create a sense of fantasy, a bit of adventure; guests aren’t looking for a recap of everyday, mundane living. The dining room features gold dining chairs upholstered in blue leather; the back bar was covered in Cippolino marble; its white and blue vein-like nuance adding an elemental movement around the stately liquors. Ceramic totem poles in said color scheme interact vibrantly with the space, their inspiration birthed from mid-century sculptures scattered throughout the restaurant. The

pool itself is surrounded by inviting, comfortable, soft lounge chairs, not the hardened, skinny pieces often associated with patio furniture. Instead, they’re just the kind privy to an unexpected nap. “Throughout everything we made sure to interact with both the historic architecture and the natural feel of California; nothing is trendy or weird,” explained Wearstler, who always integrates a mixture of components in her designs to add a sense of vigor. “We still incorporated mid-century pieces, whether from London or Paris or New York. It creates such a nice dialogue between one another.”

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urrounding the pool are individual cabanas, which are large enough to hold up to ten people and the perfect space to enjoy the Italian fare of the hotel’s Oliverio restaurant or sip casually on an afternoon cocktail. Often infusing David Hicks-like graphic patterning into her spaces, the cabana backdrops feature a geometric medley in shades of blue, grey and white. Leather proved to

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be Wearstler’s fabric of choice; the majority of the pieces throughout the hotel are outfitted in the material, including the couch and surrounding chairs in the cabanas, rouging the leather on the latter to add a twist to the thematic. “Leather provided us with something tactile, something luxurious,” says the designer. “It can maintain the wear and tear of high traffic areas while still looking expensive and rich.”


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he white folding screen was done by ‘60s sculptor Louise Nevelson and expresses the mid-century appeal Wearstler still wanted to maintain.

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The one piece of the puzzle that remains to be completed is the design of the actual guest rooms; they’ll be available for open booking come summer 2010. The rooms are a marriage of all aspects of the dÊcor; a seamless integration into the design aesthetic, transforming the openness of the public areas into intimate and luxurious private escapes. Incorporating the same blues and parchment white, along with the aforementioned Chipolino marble, the rooms bring in the architectural elements of the turquoise terrazzo while remaining classically modern, maintaining a chic, understated momentum representative of a definite point of view.

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rom the accessories to the mid-century sculptures, and the vintage, sophisticated feel intermixed with a relaxed sensibility, this is no doubt a Wearstler-initiated scheme. With elements of the unexpected fused with an eccentric modernism, it’s amped with her well-known flair, and is expected only to reinvigorate what is already a popular getaway.

The guest rooms’ planned reveal is set for summer 2010 but luckily for us Wearstler’s hand is just as talented as her eye, allowing us a sneak peek of what’s to come... Stay in the loop by becoming a fan of Kelly Wearstler on Facebook

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onsidering the life of a hotel room is generally about seven years, it was definitely time to renovate,” she says. “Now it’s so much more refined and sophisticated, and definitely an Italian richness meets California architecture.” r


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ments glamour of

Unsure of how to translate her English degree into a career, Lizzie Bailey found herself working in the style department of House and Garden post graduation. She loved reading, writing and all things associated with her college major, but after participating in interior-related photo shoots and hands-on styling, she realized she might have missed the mark on her calling.

Written by Shawn Gauthier • Photography by Patrick Cline • Art Direction by Michelle Adams february • march

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L “I t was like a lightning bolt; I realized I had to be designing,” said Bailey, who has an autographed picture of her childhood idol, Martha Stewart, hanging in her bathroom. “I’ve always been crafty and artistic and interested in interiors, but I’d never put it all together as a potential career.”

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She left House and Garden to study interior design at Parsons, graduating with an Associate’s degree in 2008. Proof of her talent came quickly afterward: She entered and won a competition sponsored by Traditional Home that required her to design an eco-friendly bedroom to be featured in the maga47

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zine. After she walked away with the grand prize, the magazine decided to replicate her design into a room in the Hampton Designer Showhouse, giving further validation to her classic and fresh aptitude for interiors. resently, Bailey works at Gerald Bland Inc., a gallery in the Upper East Side that specializes in a variety of English and French antiques. Although seemingly adrift from her goal to work as a designer, her position has proved both inspirational and beneficial. Constant-


ly encouraged to think outside the box at Parsons, the gallery allows her firsthand access to traditional design, teaching her about different periods and styles in a practical way. Bailey is now able to look at contemporary products and see which motifs and elements drew on a historic precedent. “It’s really like a continuing, different education after Parsons, which was so conceptual,” says Bailey, who still promotes her name as a freelance design consultant outside of the gallery. “It inspires me to think about how I would use [traditional pieces] in a setting that feels fresh and youthful but classic at the same time.”

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uckily, she has the advantage of using her own apartment as an experimentation space. Bailey is allowed to borrow pieces from the gallery, infusing the traditional artwork into her own aesthetic, which she laughingly refers to as “unabashedly girly.” The walls of her apartment adorned several loaned pieces, making it clear that she has an eye for incorporating yesterday’s pieces into a space without it ever feeling outdated. Her Upper East Side apartment feels evolved, a marriage of all decades, integrating notions of character, whimsy and ease in one 500 sq. foot studio apartment. Bailey is one of those classically beautiful, stylistically gifted women who can effortlessly pair a vintage jacket with an inexpensive H&M top, pulling off the look without a hitch while still managing to enhance the essence of each gar-

“Design is all about an open mind, and recognizing the beauty in opportunities beyond what you’d normally think to incorporate.” february • march

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ment. She approaches décor with the same expertise, utilizing layers and understanding the importance of appropriate balance. Always eager to experiment with the potential avenues of a space, she tries to push people just out of their comfort zones to help them discover an aesthetic they may have otherwise never attempted. “Design is all about an open mind, and recognizing the beauty in opportunities beyond what you’d normally think to incorporate,” says Bailey.

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mall spaces, like Bailey’s apartment, also require an open mind. Bailey never allows the architecture of a room to be oppressive; instead, she fights back and creates useful space by being inventive with a floor plan, even if it feels coun-

terintuitive. Initially, placing a bookcase in the middle of a studio seemed like it could cramp the space even further; Bailey tried it anyway, and successfully produced two separate rooms that still feel spacious. Lost as to where to place her bed, she finally pushed it beneath the windows; it seemed a strange placement, but it instantly opened up the area. The one thing that continued to irk the designer was a large square cutout in the wall between her kitchen and living space, literally allowing a direct view of her microwave from her bed. She’d wanted to incorporate a Lindsay McCrum photograph from the shop into her space; when she finally brought it home, she realized the cutout wall was the best place to hang it. A solution in-

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ailey refers to the fabric over her desk as a great studio apartment trick. “It’s a secret weapon for storage,” she says. “I have so many extra things under that desk, but the fabric hides it, making the area look clean and tidy.”


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“ ven though I love a feminine aesthetic, my dream is to decorate something with an extremely masculine appeal,” says Bailey, who adores the Upper East Side’s Tom Ford store.

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“ esign for how you live 90 percent of the time, not for the rare occurrences,” says Bailey, who recently replaced a circular table she never used with a console that works as a bar, serving buffet and a place to arrange books and objects. 2010


Add a touch of glamour to your own home 1. Use special-occasion pieces everyday, especially those you love. My silver champagne bucket doesn’t always have champagne chilling in it, but even when it’s holding my junk mail it makes me happy. stantly came to light; she hung the piece over the cutout, covering the opposite side in the kitchen with wallpaper. Bailey now happily wakes up to the sight of artwork instead of her microwave. “The room was dictating me to design around this cutout; in the end, I had to go against what the room wanted to make it work,” she says.

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verloaded with school projects when she first moved, she was unable to implement her own décor until her workload died down. After graduating, she began to fill in the holes of her space, scouring Housing Works for inexpensive finds. Referring to it as “eco-friendly life recycling,” Bailey seeks out used pieces, whether retailed at the New York thrift store or free on the curbside, repurposing them for her own space. Like so many young people seeking great design, she can’t afford to buy an entirely new set of furniture based on a décor scheme; instead, she looks to her growing collection of pieces to inspire the overall style.

“Add pops of color with accessories and keep basics neutral; it’s easy to change your color scheme by simply swapping things out.” february • march

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ailey found faience horns at Treillage in New York City. “They’re very animalistic, and have such a great energy in how they intertwine and relate to one another.”

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aught with a funky wall cut-out, Bailey cleverly covered one side with a Lindsay McCrum photograph and the other with this “intellectually” playful Paperbacks wallpaper, which Bailey had been saving for the perfect use.

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big fan of Housing Works and IKEA, Bailey advises not to limit searches to specific pieces, but instead to have things in mind. “You have to be open to the possibility of finding unexpected furniture and realizing the different ways you could use it,” she says.

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or basics she turns to IKEA, paying little attention to those who view the popular chain as “too mass market.” She compares it to finding the essentials of a wardrobe; basics are a necessity for both, and whether it’s a desk chair or a white t-shirt, rarely do they need to come with an expensive price tag. Bailey thinks of her IKEA bookcase, which divides her spaces, as a blank canvas to build on, filling it with meaningful statement pieces. “There is nothing wrong with buying furniture that several other people have; simply make it your own by pairing it with one-of-a-kind, unique accessories,” says Bailey.

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2. Trays! Trays! Trays! Use them in every room to corral odds and ends. It adds instant polish.

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fan of do-it-yourself projects, she set into motion painting her entire apartment herself. A believer that white walls are a conscious design choice, she couldn’t let hers go untouched, thus including a striped pattern down the front entryway. Since she’d already divided the main living space with the bookshelf, she maintained the same neutral shade of gray on all the walls to unify the space. Bailey taped off a square-shaped motif above her dresser before painting her bedroom, revealing an instant frame for her mirror post paint job, helping to both define and anchor the piece. The designer uses fabrics not only to add visual interest, but also to engage a balance in her scheme. She claims to have a “weird little Granny streak,” resulting in a love for chintz– which she incorporated into a handmade throw pillow she sewed herself. The apartment now ranges from soft florals to hard-edged graphics to a large-scale print on her ottoman, which would have been overwhelming in a smaller space had she applied it in a bigger expanse. She also enhances the overall look through accessories, especially those meant typically for special occasions, such as the champagne bucket she keeps in her kitchen. “It’s all about adding those little elements of glamour,” says Bailey, who can’t help but apply a quick touch of red lipstick when simply running to the grocery store.

Lizzie can’t get enough of… Housing Works Thrift Shops “Best finds in the city. Plus, proceeds go to a good cause.”

M&J Trimming “Floor to ceiling ribbon– I’m pretty sure this is what heaven looks like.”

Gracious Home “They have everything!”

Archivia Books “One-stop shop for endless design inspiration.”

Gerald Bland “I’m biased!”

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ontinuously finding inspiration in textiles, fabrics and patterns, she keeps a collection of tear sheets of just about anything and everything she’d someday like to incorporate, always holding on to the glimmer of the original idea. When she walked into her pink tiled bathroom, she knew instantly it required the Albert Hadley wallpaper leftover from a House and Garden shoot, which she’d taken home years ago. Black and white, the pattern is almost a cross between polka dots and animal print, creating an elemental contrast against the sweetness of the pink tiles. “The powder-pink bathroom actually sold me on the apartment,” laughs Bailey, who adores the color as a part of her love for all things feminine.

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Bailey’s bathroom walls are home to several of her most prized possessions, including the authentic Albert Hadley sketches (1, 2) she purchased from Gerald Bland. Moved by his expressive talent and referring to Hadley as a “legend,” she treated herself to the pieces after winning the Traditional Home competition, knowing she couldn’t let the opportunity of owning a piece of design history pass her by. Above her towel rack sits a smiling Martha Stewart (3), Bailey’s idol in her formative years. For her sixteenth birthday, Bailey’s best friend surprised her with an autographed portrait of the style icon, and she hasn’t parted with the cherished piece since. “There are so many lifestyle gurus and personalities out there nowadays, and she was the original,” the designer says. “I’m still inspired by her.”

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Lizzie reveals five of her

DIY SECRETS

one

Paint is the quickest, simplest way to transform a room or a piece of furniture, and the easiest to redo if the result isn’t what you expected.

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DIY doesn’t mean go it alone– ask for advice when trying something new. Take advantage of experts: a good paint or hardware store should have knowledgeable staff to consult when you’re buying supplies/materials, and the internet is a treasure trove of tutorials and step-by-steps.

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rafty in her décor, Bailey applied tape to her bedroom wall before painting to create the above border for her mirror. Intending to continue the same gray color into her entry, Bailey found herself low on paint. Creativity ensued, and clever stripes were born.

3. Group and layer art for a more approachable display. Leaning some pieces instead of hanging them makes the artwork seem less precious.

Measure twice, cut once. Careful planning means better results and fewer mistakes– you’ll save time and materials.

four

It’s not cheating to use ready-made ingredients, like simple Roman or pull shades for windows, a basic tray or a plain lampshade. Add your own finishing touches like trim or painted details, and the end result will be more professional-looking than if you tried to start from scratch.

five

Know when to NOT do it yourself! Depending on your skills, some things are best left to professionals.

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very room needs the energy of contrasting materials,” the designer says. “Whether it’s soft to hard or smooth to rough, it’s essential to maintain those different levels.”


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utside of aesthetic appeal, she thinks the ultimate goal of design is to achieve the desired emotionality of a space. Just by arranging pieces appropriately or complementing furnishings with the right colors, design can work to extract that raw reaction, resulting in an inviting space if done right. She knew she’d successfully outfitted her studio when she stepped into the space and it elicited that intended feeling. “I rearranged my furniture constantly when I first moved in,” Bailey says. “It finally feels comfortable and welcoming, like my own space.” r

4. Go bold in a small space, such as a powder room or entry hall. You don’t spend much time in them, so they can handle something highimpact like intense color or pattern on the walls.


flair

traditional When Sara Gilbane found out she’d been included in the list of House Beautiful’s “20 New Designers to Watch” in 2010, her first thought was to remain calm; her second, a silent prayer that the popular shelter magazine would stay afloat through the December 2009 issue. She wasn’t about to jinx another shot at great press.

Written by Shawn Gauthier Photography by Anna Wolf Styling by Tori Mellott

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was beyond excited about my home appearing in domino magazine, and was then beyond disappointed when I found out the March issue was to be their last,” says Gilbane, who had been slotted to be the cover shot for April 2009. “I was so worried House Beautiful was going to follow suit that I was afraid to let myself believe it!” Thankfully, House Beautiful is still successfully thriving and Gilbane received her highly deserved press, although she had little reason not to believe her honored position in the magazine’s rank. Gilbane was rather hard-wired to become a talent in the industry: naturally impassioned by architecture and color, influenced by a traditionally modern aesthetic, educated in interiors at the Rhode Island School of Design and taught the trade by her father, a real estate developer. Not to mention, that post graduation she landed the resume-building drool-worthy gig of assisting interiors mastermind Celerie Kemble.


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For the next five years, Gilbane worked side by side with Kemble, going from assistant to designer after only one year. Trusted quickly by her own clients, Gilbane took to the industry naturally, proving to the design world that experience and talent aren’t mutually exclusive. Referring to Kemble as a “creative powerhouse,” Gilbane says the seasoned designer taught her everything she knows. “She gave me every opportunity to grow and speak my voice, and most importantly, she taught me to take risks,” Gilbane says.

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“ ur apartment is welcoming and easygoing,” Gilbane says. “It’s the kind of place where you can plop down on the sofa with a glass of wine and relax. We don’t want it to feel prissy.”

*Change the color. Go for the unexpected and add personality by painting an old piece of furniture aubergine, citrus or steel gray instead of white. Use high-gloss paint for added impact, and paint a pattern on top of this, like a Greek key border or trellis. february • march

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And risks Gilbane did take. Not only with her work, but ultimately with her decision to leave Kemble’s firm in January of 2008 to start her namesake company, Sara Gilbane Interiors. The itch had always been there, but she knew it was important to stay under tutelage until she had complete faith in her ability to swim on her own. Confident yet admittedly terrified, she took the plunge, setting up shop in her West Village apartment and thankful that her assistant agreed to follow. Two quiet days followed, and then a phone call: a past client, impressed with Gilbane’s work in her Manhattan apartment, now wanted her to take on her beach house in the Hamptons. She was officially in business.

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t’s not surprising that her instinctive talent and approach to décor is becoming avidly desired. Her aesthetic is classic with a modern spin. It is full of color, custom detail and pattern, and relates to a wide spectrum of clients seeking much needed design wisdom. She prefers to collaborate with clients, acting as their filter and creating, as she says, a “more chic” version of their initial thoughts.

*Mix styles. Hang a modern chandelier over your farmhouse table or mix French 1940s with the Philippe Starck Ghost Chair. Mixing and meshing periods creates a current feel and allows you to collect all your favorite items in one space. february • march

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valuating her career so far, one client takes the prize as the hardest to please: herself. Living in a studio apartment in the West Village, she and her husband moved north two floors to a one-bedroom after their engagement. Gilbane was eager to make her mark on the space after doing little to her previous studio. Facing a typical contemporary Manhattan rental– a white shoebox with little personality and less than attractive brown, parquet floors–, she knew it was a platform with loads of potential. Yet, being a designer inspired by all fabric, patterns and colors doesn’t always work to her advantage; she quickly found herself in a decision-making predicament. “With clients, I push them to pick a direction by tearing out photos of designs they both love and hate, but when it came to myself I had no idea what to do– I love it all!” she says. Regardless, Gilbane finally figured out her ideal direction, making a decision that hit on both she and her husband’s style but less distinctly on their bank account. “Everything in the home is so much more expensive when you’re buying things yourself !” She immediately set out to cover the flooring, installing wall-to-wall sisal carpeting in the dining room, entry and living room, which not only widened the space but also held a less costly price tag

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t helps to get a fresh eye on your design choices from a friend, like asking a girlfriend’s opinion when shopping for new jeans.


compared to other options. In the bedroom, she put down white wool carpet, creating a cozy, tranquil space. For bedrooms, Gilbane always aims to achieve a look that captures a soothing comfort, both for herself and her clients.

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isregarding general rental rules, Gilbane put wallpaper in both the dining room and entryway. She then painted the remainder of the dining room a light green and installed French doors to separate the dining and living rooms. Gilbane’s husband had the final say for the living room décor. She tore out four different inspiration pictures, leaving him to choose the direction he most

preferred, resulting in the bold, expressive blue shade presently seen on the walls. The apartment looks over the Hudson River; the color reflects the water, warms the space and enhances the blue found in the rug, a gift from Gilbane’s parents. “It ended up being the perfect shade; had we chosen a more neutral tone, it would have completely washed out the room. Now it’s cozy and vibrant,” she says. Gilbane is best known for her clever layering techniques and her attention to detail. Layering, Gilbane believes, provides spaces with depth and personality while she uses detail as a way to customize a room. For example, she applied a Greek key border along the top of both the living room and bedroom february • march

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walls, using red in the former to pull more color from the rug and a light pink on the latter to add an extra ounce of color to the green walls. She hand-embroidered ikat pillows for the sofa, and in the bedroom she topped the wool carpeting with a rug from Argentina bathed in soft greens and blues, and added a detailed tape trim to the curtain. Careful not to match things exactly; she prefers to keep colors distinct and interesting as opposed to all falling into a perfect scheme– maintaining the unexpected is another one of her touches.

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he’s also very aware of budget, making sure money is spent on the right pieces, keeping both aesthetic and functionality in mind. A big believer in investment pieces such as couches, headboards and drapes, she’ll often advise clients to purchase a quality sofa even if they’re worried about kids, spills and dirt– she’ll just suggest protecting the upholstery with a slipcover until they’re older. Desperately wanting new sofas for her own place, but also needing a solution to manage the sunlight in a western-facing apartment, Gilbane and her husband needed to figure out where they’d be getting more bang for their buck. “I’m dying for a cozy, down English arm sofa with a great, killer fabric,” she sighs. “But it doesn’t make sense to invest in couches while still in a rental, and we really needed the drapes. It’s so important to buy the right pieces.”

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lways with an eye to modernize traditionalism while maintaining a classic approach, Gilbane will often take antiques and give them a facelift with a high gloss lacquer or fresh upholstery, or include pieces of modern art along with old family photos, creating an interesting juxtaposition and a focal point. Having a “crush on fabrics,” she constantly uses textiles and textures, mixing materials in a space rather than coating a room with only one fabric. “A room done entirely in velvet feels like the air has been sucked out of the space,” says Gilbane. “A room with a chair in leather, sofa in linen and club chair in mohair feels interesting, never old.” It’s easy for the designer to wish she owned her own place; she’d love the freedom to alter anything to her desire. Being in a rental comes with limitations, so instead Gilbane seeks out small improvements she can take on, such as adding Lucite rods to her closet. But simply because the space is a rental doesn’t mean it can’t truly become one’s own. Referring to the couple’s apartment as a “cabinet of curiosities,” she and her husband have filled the space with a variety of accessories and objects that reflect their personalities, such as an antique bar cart, a decant-

Gilbane aims to reflect

personality in her spaces. “I love shoes, and my friends always laugh when they see my Lucite vanity,” she says. “They always say it’s so ‘me.’”

sara’s answers to

instant style one

Be yourself! Keep your eye trained for the things that express you, and collect them to develop your signature style and to bring your space to life. Every room in your home is a chance to express yourself.

two

Be open to inspiration. Take in your surroundings and pay attention to what you love and hate, or what makes you feel comfortable and gives you joy. Look at websites and books, and take time to travel!

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Classic style never goes out of fashion. Take a down-filled English arm sofa, a gourd lamp, a Parsons coffee table or a bamboo side chair, and simply add the right accessories to provide personality and make them feel more modern.

four

Let your room express your personal history. Photographs of family and your favorite things should have a welcome presence.

five

Design your home with functionality in mind. If you dream of having large dinner parties, but in reality tend to eat out, don’t invest in a large, expensive dining table. Focus on the things you really need and invest your money in the appropriate pieces.

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Sara’s online favorites one

1stdibs.com “Paradise. Who doesn’t love filling up their shopping cart with amazing antiques and jewels! It also allows me to save pieces in a folder for future inspiration when I design custom pieces.”

two

stylebeat.blogspot.com “Marisa Marcantonio carefully selects her subject matter. I can count on her to bring new vendors to my attention as well as sales, not to mention new fabric collections that are always on point!”

three

rdujour.com “I love the combo of fashion, culture, and real estate on this site. Always inspirational!”

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www.garancedore.fr/en/ “I am in love with fashion and always find inspirational textures and colors from the runway. Garance takes beautiful photos and the writing is charming.”

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thepeakofchic.com “Filled to the brim with inspiration! I have saved so many images from this site; it’s chic traditionalism at its best.”

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*Incorporate fun and fresh textiles. Be sure to add a little bit of animal print, embroidery, or ikat fabrics.


er from the 1950s, Charlotte Moss porcelain canisters, miles of books and plenty of family photos. These personal touches are important to Gilbane; she always works to incorporate heirlooms and unique, interesting pieces into her clients’ homes.

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ilbane may have been trained by Kemble’s keen eye, but it’s evident she created her firm with her own developed and distinct aesthetic. Since the release of House Beautiful’s December issue, touting her expressive, contemporary approach to design, the response has been “unbelievable;” Gilbane has hired two more assistants simply to handle the intake of projects. She calls starting her own business one of “the most rewarding choices” she’s made, and it’s clear she made the right move. When she began her firm two years ago, her biggest fear was a company phone that never rang. Nowadays it seems her line can’t be silenced. r

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ccording to to the designer, it’s all about weaving yesterday’s pieces with a contemporary edge. “If you see a sofa covered in chintz, it’s totally traditional. But take that sofa, cover it in mohair and do the throw pillows in chintz, and it instantly updates that traditional look.”


CHAIRLOOM reuse & reinvent upcycle your heirlooms We believe that one doesn’t need to buy something new to create a satisfying and inviting living environment. Instead we affirm the transformative power of applying a fresh, creative vision to quality antiques.

CHAIRLOOM.COM

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Raw Talent Ryan Korban didn’t pursue

interiors to follow the rules. He entered the landscape to push the boundaries, and if that means reinventing décor as we know it, then he’s up for the challenge.

“American interior design is so stuck in its ways,” says Korban, who has already gained a devoted following at the mere age of 25. “Think about it: All the major shelter publications are closing. Clearly we need to approach [design] differently.” And differently he does, from his overall aesthetic to details like his Asian-inspired crane and his love affair with upholstery. Raised in a Pennsylvania suburb, his education in environments started early on with frequent trips to both Philadelphia and New

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York City, where his impressionable curiosity began comparing city life to the quiet country backdrop he returned to post excursion. Growing up, his father owned a hair salon; Korban never hesitated to add his opinion and flavor to the store’s appearance whenever possible.

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When it came time to pursue a degree, his intuitive sense told him he should follow something in regard to spaces, although he wasn’t sure that a degree specific to interior design suited him. Always harboring an intrigue for European influences, he instead chose to study European history and art at the New School in Manhattan, particularly the Elizabethan era, as well as historic fashion. For Korban, learning how to be a designer was more than sitting in a structured classroom learning to do floor plans at a drafting table. He needed a broader educational experience, steeped in the interpretation and comprehension of all levels of style, and the infusion of the traditional with the modern. “I studied the things that pushed me to work, the things that inspired me to approach a project,” says Korban.

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orban is open to any and all projects decor related. Once he helped a client pick out art, another time he decorated a hotel room for a trunk show. “I’m not a typical firm,” he says. “I’ll do whatever the client is interested in.”


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When a good friend came to him with thoughts of launching a shoe line, Korban pushed her to instead open a store, and before long the duo had created a mood board and was busy searching for spaces. Adopting the name Edon Manor from an inspirational English country home, Korban quickly found himself in the throes of his first interiors project. Admittedly scared but mostly excited, he felt he had the ultimate challenge on his hands; not fond of the usually strict approach to commercial design, he decided he wanted to create a commercial space that felt residential, an unusual combination. “I knew if I could successfully create a residential feeling in a commercial atmosphere, then I would have proved to myself personally that I could do this,” the designer says. And he did. Inspired by English libraries and urban tradition with a modernized edge, the store has become as well known for its design as for its coveted shoes, which also influenced the décor. Referring to it as “a long process, but the most natural thing I’d ever done,” Korban quickly found

Follow Ryan’s know-how to incorporate an English vibe into your home

1. Lots of leather bound or vintage books

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2. Score an iron bed

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himself picking up several other interior projects, especially after redesigning close friend’s Alexander Wang’s apartment, gaining more and more clients intrigued by his unabashed work.

working with compact areas. “I’m very influenced by hotel rooms,” he says. “I love that they’re a small space that need to be made luxurious since people are paying for them.”

All the while, Korban had been creating and perfecting his own Manhattan studio space located in West SoHo, where he’s resided for the past four years and calls “a collection of so many ideas and pieces from projects.” At 550 sq. feet and awash with art, fabric, flowers and objects, it maintains a certain subdued cohesion without ever feeling cluttered or cramped. Korban understands the importance of enhancing small spaces, especially living in the city, feeling that he knows exactly what he’s doing when

In the midst of an “all white” phase when Korban first moved in, he outfitted the entire apartment in white but tired of it quickly. He immediately began revamping the space, piling books to the ceiling (he loves this look) and customizing everything. An avid art collector, he covered his walls in framed pieces ranging from the traditional to the erotic, hanging them with taffeta bows, ropes, chains and wire to modernize their setting. One of his favorite pieces is a poster of the Queen of England he found

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in a record store on Brick Lane in London; obsessed with how they represented her, the store literally gave it to him off the wall, free of charge. Fascinated by the royal history of Europe, the poster is a continuous source of influence for Korban’s work. “The royal family is the epitome of maintaining tradition in a modern world,” explains the young designer, who is also enthralled with the contrast between Buckingham Palace and Brick Lane. “That large divide inspires me when I design, much like the difference between uptown and downtown Manhattan.”

“I feel

sexy in my apartment,”

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European culture doesn’t only affect his artistic choices– it affects his choices on décor in most areas. Europeans value history and heritage in their objects and accessories much more so than do Americans, so Korban prefers to seek out pieces that have a story behind them; he believes they should be priceless and never without personality. He loves adding flowers– as it all boils down to atmosphere–, and follows the European custom of using fresh ones every week to liven his space. He actually prefers their quick mortality; he finds smell very inspirational, and every week looks forward to the new mood created by a batch of fresh flowers.


3. Hang art from taffeta

You’ll find Ryan at… Flair New York Area iD Strand Bookstore Fischer and Page fromthedeskofphyllis. blogspot.com

4. Use worn shades of paint color that look aged or stained, like one of his favorite colors, Elephant’s Breath by Farrow and Ball february • march

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Though largely influenced by European culture, it’s not the only avenue Korban sources for ideas. Referring to his design aesthetic as romantic, sexy, and fantastical, he is extremely inspired and drawn to the fashion world, avidly incorporating it into his work. He is particularly intrigued with the evolution of fashion; the way specific designers are continuously reinventing themselves yet always maintaining their distinctive touches that have been apparent for decades. “Fashion is always relevant but never loses its roots,” says Korban.

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Because of this sense, he attracts many people ensconced in the fashion world as clientele, often younger, who crave the infusion of fantasy and romance in his décor. Often these clients have impeccable taste, know how they want to live and feel in their home, but simply

Ryan’s tricks of the trade Over-mix time periods. It will lead to another time period that has never existed before. I never want to be able to put my finger on a period in a space; I’d rather feel as though I’m experiencing something for the first time.

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Use fantasy whenever you can. Creating a romantic fairytale is far more important to me than having the perfect floor plan. Fantasy is key; I’m tired of interior design needing to be so practical.

Use exotics. Whether they’re real or faux, they add such an element of overthe-top luxury and create a raw aesthetic that feels priceless.

Make a space sexy. Use satin fabrics, dark floors, dimmers and candlelight– nobody wants a grandma vibe anymore. Sexy interiors equate sophisticated interiors for this generation.

Scent and color are key. You can create an alluring environment with a box if the scent and color are right. Paint a room in Farrow and Ball’s Pavilion Gray and use an amber scent – already you’ve created a desirable environment.


don’t know how to go about it. Very conceptual with his approach to new projects, Korban first looks to a smell, color or feeling to initiate his direction, but he also very much analyzes his clients. Almost always, he designs their apartments according to the way they dress “If they wear a lot of jewelry, I’ll add a lot of metal to their space. If they love fur coats, I’ll make sure the place has several furs and animal hides,” says Korban, a self-confessed lover of the exotic. “If I see a woman in a t-shirt carrying a beautiful bag, I might get her a $40 ottoman from a flea market and reupholster it in lush, expensive velvet.”

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His own apartment might be the one exception to his rule. Filled with so many influential objects, since he reuses pieces from almost all of his projects, in his everyday life he dresses somewhat plainly, generally in very few colors and always topped off with his signature black hat. The most evident correlation between his apartment and his wardrobe is fabric– he adores fabric, using fashion fabrics in décor more so than heavier upholstery material, and has several velvets and silks in his closet. “I also wear the same thing a lot and my clothes are pretty worn in; my apartment is like that too,” he adds, smiling. A lighting junkie at heart, Korban uses table lamps, floor lamps and overhead illumination to create different areas, especially in smaller apartments. He suggests overdoing the lighting and thinks everything should be lit, regardless of what it is. A big entertainer, the young designer also makes sure he chooses february • march

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“I

love to find pieces and make them

look like a million bucks,”

says Korban. “I never go to designer showrooms, I’d much rather

dig through a garage in Brooklyn.”

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he experience of attending a private Quaker school in his youth, continues to influence the designer’s aesthetic. “I think it’s where my interest came from in things being dusty and dark, subdued.”


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orban admits he is obsessed with flowers, particularly for their scent and the mood they create. “When I watch movies, I find myself checking out the flowers in the scene instead of paying attention to the story.�

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hether it’s a shower curtain in rental apartments or full drapery in a pre-war building. “For me, hanging shower curtains from the ceiling rather than the rod feels so much more like a hotel suite.”

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pieces of furniture that can be multifunctional, so nothing is restrictive. Instead of a coffee table, he prefers a round dining table; this way, guests can either sit back on the sofas and relax, or sit up at the table and eat. Korban may not have a clue how to create a floor plan, but the man can certainly command a space. His eye is notably unique, and his aesthetic without competition. Though his Manhattan apartment is a bit like his own design playground, he generally approaches client projects with a slightly more restrained eye and clear direction, while still utilizing all the things he finds necessary in brilliant décor. He may be young and professionally untrained, but in his opinion, it works to his benefit. “I have a new take on things,” he says. “It’s not that I’m better than the next designer; in fact, I’m probably the most amateur. But I have a distinct point of view, I believe in what I do, I take pride in my clients and I love what I put into it. And at the end of the day, I think that’s what matters.” r february • march

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do-it-yourself Intrigued by Betsy Burnham’s bold, eclectic approach to interiors, the Andersons first met the designer when they interviewed her as a potential candidate to reinvigorate their home. Then, unexpectedly, they purchased a new house instead; one that also required a bit of a décor facelift but at a heftier price tag due to its size. The couple considered their options: They knew they wanted their space outfitted with Burnham’s aesthetic, but weren’t sure if their budget would allow for a full-service rendition. Thankfully, Burnham had an easy solution. Written by Shawn Gauthier • Photography by Patrick Cline • Art Direction by Michelle Adams

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“Fabric and vintage pieces are my favorite elements to utilize.”

recommended they do Instant/Space instead,” says Burnham, referring to the custom service she offers aside from the larger scope projects under her firm, Burnham Design. “Basically, I still create the initial design, although I turn it around so the client does the legwork and executes it. This keeps costs down for them but still allows for a personalized design experience.” It’s an idea and service that has garnered a widely welcomed response from décor-seekers everywhere, and is subsequently the largest growing part of Burnham’s business after she added it several years ago. With a background in both fashion and fine art, Burnham’s unique aesthetic quickly attracted a bevy of clients, and she found herself having to turn away smaller, lower budget projects due to lack of time. Knowing they appreciated her work, she felt it necessary to find a way to keep february • march

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them as clients, and figured if she put more of the executional responsibility on their end, she could make it work. side from allowing Burnham to comfortably balance smaller projects, Instant/ Space came with an added bonus: it became an aid for those seeking savvy design in less-than-savvy hometowns. Done primarily through e-mail, regular mail and phone conversations, it allows anyone access to affordable, professional design, regardless of whether they’re in the heart of Manhattan or a tiny, onestop light town which offers little in the name of décor. All potential clients need are internet access, time and the motivation to pull the project together. The process generally kicks off with clients choosing which spaces they’d like to design, each room coming with an associated flat fee. The client then fills out a questionnaire on style preferences, overall budget and home specifics, found on the Instant/Space website (www.instantspacedesign.com). Most importantly, Burnham has them detail their goals for each room, as it’s her job to not only meet those objectives but to enhance them. “The more we find out about the client, the better the result of the design,” says Burnham.

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o further gain insight and determine their design style, the Los Angeles-based designer asks clients to send her the exact measurements of each room to be revamped, digital photos of both the interior and exterior of the homes, as well as inspirational tear sheets, fabric samples or anything else that shows the client’s desired décor outcome. The Andersons, who first had Burnham design their living room, provided additional details, such as being taken with the design of the Parker Hotel in Palm Springs, where they married. Sometimes clients send along family photos, even pictures of their pets; Burnham notes that in the end, anything to better describe the client’s personality and lifestyle is beneficial to the outcome.

Betsy’s go-to stores include jf chen lawson fenning the rug company barney’s hollywood at home

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urnham finds inspiration everywhere, and she can’t help but pull from her hometown. “I love Los Angeles because it’s sunny and casual, the architecture is fantastic and in regard to style, really and truly, anything goes.”


*Buy vintage lighting from eBay and 1stdibs


fterwards, Burnham conducts a conference call with the client and one of her project managers, Alyssa or Max, to cover details and have an official “introduction”. Then, the team immediately sets to work: drawing the floor plan to scale, then selecting furniture pieces, window treatments, rugs and accessories that not only work appropriately in the room but are available locally or online so that they can be easily purchased easily accessible by the client. The team labels every piece with retail price, vendor information and a photo, and creates a personalized shopping list. Clients receive the end result within six weeks of placing an order, getting a feel for Burnham’s promise to quality and aesthetic approach before they even see their design.

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heir projects are delivered in beautifully styled, sturdy, linen-wrapped presentation boxes that contain Burnham’s master design plan for each room – even though the boxes are a time-consuming detail, she has been unwilling to compromise any customized aspect of the service. Inside, the client will find in inspiration board with color images, magazine tears and sketches, and a detailed, scaled furniture plan with hand-drawn accents, for added personality. There is also a swatch book with a page for each item, fabric and chosen paint color, a shopping list and personalized letter from the team. And then, finally, it’s time for the client to put the design in action.


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“ he Andersons followed our plan literally; when we walked into the room for the first time, we saw our plans come to life, which is so satisfying,” Burnham says. “In addition, these are clients who value design, travel and have great taste; every time we go back the room looks even better.”


e try to make the implementation of the plan as simple as possible by selecting specific pieces and showing exactly where they’ll lay them out in the room,” says Burnham, who always keeps all lines of communication open if clients have additional questions. “If they make sure to refer to their swatch book and shopping list when making purchases, they really can’t make a mistake if they follow the plan.” There are, of course, certain challenges with this type of approach, namely the inability of physically being in the actual space. Clients often use Burnham’s service for awkward spaces or multi-purpose rooms, or ask her to work around existing furniture

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*Shop for

Turkish rugs– even if they’re threadbare; they usually have the most saturated color and bohemian patterns


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urnham defines her design aesthetic as “a mix of thrift and couture,” which she pulled into the Andersons home by using a range of high and low pieces. “Rooms with all new pieces or all old pieces are depressing, and lack creativity,” she says.

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and materials that would ordinarily be changed in full-service jobs. Yet, armed with floor plans, measuring tapes and constant communication, Burnham is able to overcome most potential setbacks. The Andersons’ home is distinct proof that Instant/Space can be a surefire success; the couple followed Burnham’s plan to a T, transforming the living room of their authentic, old Spanish home in the Hollywood Hills. After analyzing the couple’s questionnaire and package, Burnham decided on a design direction for their living room; to provide a Spanish-inspired, bohemian space that was both eclectic and sophisticated, and also brought the outside look and feel of their home inside. After determining the floor plan and furniture layout, the team decided to go with a neutral off-white and black palette with dark wood finishes and pops of red. They decided on classic upholstered sofas and chairs, mixing them amongst pieces with turned legs and heavy patterning, such as the spool chairs and the long table behind the sofa. “I prefer to combine styles and never care too much about the provenance of a piece; it’s more important how it works in the overall mix,” Burnham says. february • march

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*Dress your windows with tailored drapery – right now we like inverted box pleats that simply “kiss” the floor


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he artwork above the crib was done by the client and her brother as kids, which Burnham framed in white and then used to create a gallery. “It’s such a great way to display children’s art,” she says.

o enhance the bohemian look, the team selected ethnic print draperies and offbeat Madeline Weinrib pillows, as well as a treasure trove of funky accessories. Solids were chosen for the furniture; neutrals for the central pieces, black Ultrasuede for the window settee and red linen for the chairs flanking the fireplace. Burnham brought in a modern coffee table, a vintage rug and Asian-inspired pieces (the garden stool and bamboo desk), to drive the air of eclecticism. The room is a mix of high and low, contemporary and vintage.


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he Andersons, ecstatic with the outcome, hired Burnham on two more occasions, for the design of their nursery and the couple’s bedroom (each separate room follows the entire process from start to finish). For the nursery, the couple desired (does desired not make sense?) a room for an infant but not a “baby room.” It had to be a sophisticated space that reflected the couple’s taste and that the baby could grow in, with alternative solutions to typical infant furniture. Burnham chose a bone inlaid dresser and put a changing table station on top, outfitted the room with drapes, ikat fabric and a vintage bamboo chandelier, and included a daybed for guests.

Blogs Betsy Loves style court high street market décor demon new york times magazine moment blog the zoe report

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The master bedroom was one of those trickier instances, since the space was small and included two doorways. The couple felt adamant about having a vanity, so Burnham found one that doubled as a desk as a way to save space. The bed and the end tables are what provides life to the room; with their bright blues and oranges, they add a fun, interesting element to the setting. “When you can’t fit many pieces in a room, you have to make the room is all about the pieces you do include,” Burnham says. t comes as little surprise that this aspect of her business is leaping ahead of traditional service; in today’s world, potential clients demand options, especially from a budgetary standpoint. Even clients with slightly larger budgets are choosing Instant/Space, but for these projects, Burnham offers Instant/Space Plus, using trade-only fabric and items that she would use only for full-service jobs. She actually does the ordering and legwork for the trade pieces, and the client pays her designer net price plus a 25 percent commission on each purchase. Interestingly, Burnham has found that clients who once utilized Burnham Design for full-service projects are coming back and doing Instant/Space Plus instead. “It just goes to show that as designers, we need to be more creative and flexible in the way we work with clients,” she says. “The days of diva decorating are over; the business has to evolve.” r

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Ways to get Betsy’s Look one

Mix patterns, textures, eras, shapes and colors– you don’t want your room to look like a furniture showroom.

two

Think about things in your room in terms of gender, and try to balance the masculine elements with feminine ones.

three

Combine thrift & couture; we love designer labels as well as flea market finds. Try placing an Hermes ashtray on a bamboo table you find at a thrift store.

four

One or two Asian pieces will universally fit in to any design style.

five

Think about what you put in your bookshelves. Combine books with boxes and picture frames and fuss with your presentation a little bit.


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Brussels Scouts Art directors Pam Voth and Tim Barrall invigorate their 1744 Connecticut home with Belgian design

Written by Shawn Gauthier • Photography by Patrick Cline • Art Direction by Michelle Adams february • march 2010 Lonny

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ontent with their West Village Manhattan apartment but yearning for a weekend respite, art directors Pam Voth and Tim Barrall were ten long years into their house hunt before a historic 1744 home in East Haddam, Conn. unexpectedly piqued their interest. Beautiful, simple and rustic in its antiquity, the couple was intrigued by its appearance yet still remained unsure.


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Incorporate Belgian dÊcor with these tips 1. Bring symmetry into a space by using pairs of say, pillows or sconces. Duos add stability and balance. february • march

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e walked through the house for the first time and I kept thinking to myself, ‘This house will be just perfect for somebody else,’” remembers Voth, who originally stumbled across the home without ever intending on looking in the area. “Both Tim and I had assumed we’d end up in a house with a more modern appeal, maybe from the 50s or 60s, and also a little closer to the city.” But something about the house stayed with them. Situated on 8.5 acres of grass and trees with a quaint barn to boot, the property held a peacefulness that felt a world apart from their daily lives in New York City. Set back on a scenic dirt road lined with stone walls, twisting and turning lazily in its rural quietude, the scene seemed to reflect a different time in history altogether. Voth felt an itch of fascination for the uncompromised purity of the house itself, and realized that ‘somebody else’ may in fact be them. “It didn’t take us long before we found ourselves discussing every possibility to make this home ours,” she says.

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ix years later and the couple can’t imagine being nestled in any other country dwelling. The home appears to be much smaller from the front than it actually is; upon entering, one gets a sense of the almost rambling, wandering personality of the house, not to mention the immediate sense of minimalism, effectively completed with an inviting warmth versus a sparse chill. The space meanders from the kitchen to living room (which doubles as a dining room)

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to the family room, continuing with an unexpected sun porch, master suite and extra room the couple refers to as the “Explorer’s Room,” where Barrall fixed a built-in niche bed and Voth stores her library of books. It’s not the only room with a name; keeping in line with the antiquated theme of the home, the couple affectionately refers to both the living and family rooms with the historic names used

commonly in the Colonial era. The family room is the “Meeting Room,” the space where people generally congregate, and the living room is the “Keeping Room,” the room right off the kitchen where families would sleep, taking advantage of the heat from the kitchen stove. The basement is referred to as the “Tap Room,” easily explained: It holds the bar, even though currently the couple uses the space to house Barrall’s collection of vinyl records.


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oth and Barrall have many varied collections, several of which are featured on the dining room bar cart

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pstairs the house features an attic studio, which the couple utilizes as a workspace. Both art directors in the advertising industry with their own design firm, they conceptualized the Inspired Campaign for fabric and furniture client Kravet, as well as designed the colorful campaign for Kravet owned Lee Jofa. It’s not a surprise their work has had such an impact with consumers; extremely talented in their own right and impassioned by home décor, the couple easily infused their natural craft and admiration into their work.

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oth purchased the wing chairs in the Keeping Room from Crate & Barrel. “They’re so comfortable, and they provide a great view of the house when you sit in them.”


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e’re inspired as artists by environment, which is why the Kravet campaign has worked so well,” says Voth. “Not to mention they simply have incredibly beautiful fabrics, many of which we have samples of in our home. We’re fortunate to have clients that inspire both our work and our décor.” One of the aspects that attracted the couple to the home was the fact that it didn’t need any renovation... yet when two artists are inspired by environment, it’s hard not to affect the space with their own touch. Inspired by the Beta Plus décor books, which showcase Belgian design, they wanted the house to represent contemporary simplicity, enhancing the rustic being of the house: the raw, hardwood floors, the patina of the doors, beams and walls, the historic flavor throughout. Colorists by nature, they invested much thought in determining the precise shade; in the end, the plaster walls in their naturally textural grays and beiges lent the answer. They knew the house had to have a palette of neutrals.

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3. Use oversized hurricane lamps to combine the warmth of candlelight with the reflective look of glass.


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ith this decision behind them, they hired a local artisan and began refreshing the walls of the Meeting Room by staining them a translucent shade of gray to cover the reddish yellow knotty pine, ensuring that the raw qualities of the wood grain weren’t lost. They stripped the rough, reclaimed floors, finishing them with a natural oil sealant and giving them a smoother, more elegant appearance that enhanced the purity of the base. Barrall discovered extra wood in the barn and created a coffee table with an iron base to center the look and feel of the walls and floors.

4. Less is more. Enough Said.

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his is our favorite room; to date, graying the walls is one of the best things we’ve given to the house,” says Voth. “It’s so relaxed and lived in, and so cozy on the weekends with the big fireplace.” The couple chose to keep the floors unstained in the Keeping Room; the color that arose naturally after they’d been sanded proved entirely too pris-

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tine to affect any further. The walls endured the same treatment, which, in effect, helped brighten the space overall. Windows are much smaller in historic homes, creating darker rooms by nature, and the home craved extra light. By lightening the walls, it created a more reflective palette for natural sunlight, enhancing the brightness throughout.


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“ he sun porch is so beautiful at all times of the day,” says Voth. The coal miner’s shovel on the wall, with its unusually long handle, never disappoints as a conversation piece.

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hen they moved in, the kitchen cabinets were painted in a historic-barn red, a color the couple did not feel particularly fond of, although they lived with it for several years. They finally decided to take action, spending weeks choosing the right color, testing it both in daylight and once night fell. Finally feeling confident about an off-white shade, they took the plunge, and Voth refers to it

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as one of the most “rewarding days” she’s felt in the house. Instantly the light of the outdoors flooded the interior, furthering the home’s study of neutral and enhancing the thematic Belgian décor. To finish off the room, they re-stained the countertops a deep, grayish brown to retain the wood. “When we moved in, we were dead-set on a full-blown renova-

tion to the kitchen, bumping it out and making it modern and fabulous,” says Voth; both she and Barrall, who is a bit of a mixologist, spend much of their time in the kitchen, creating “concoctions” and cooking. “Instead, we lived in it for awhile, let it speak to us and changed simple things. Now we realize that the kitchen, for what it is, is one of the great things about the house.”


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5. Test paint colors in different lights throughout the day, particularly if they’re neutrals.

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imply because the house is finished in a minimalistic fashion does not inhibit Voth and Barrall from infusing several modern touches. In the Explorer’s Room, for example, pitchforks and instruments adorn the walls, and they used outdoor metal chairs to add an offbeat air to the Meeting Room. Although the house is bathed primarily in neutrals, the couple did add pops of color to certain areas, but carefully so. Color is prominent in Voth

and Barrall’s ad work, although they equally enjoy its understatement, and are mindful in their editing choices. Voth will share color through small accents here and there, but only where it is necessary, such as the throw pillows in the Explorer’s Room covered in Lee Jofa fabric. It’s rare Voth will cover any of the hardwood floors with rugs; she has one antique rug which she puts down occasionally, but often rolls it back up for storage. “I’m particularly selective and careful with rugs,” she says. “Rather than having a rug just for the sake of filling the space, we february • march

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just appreciate the raw, simple floors.” The home, currently, is indeed reflective of the couple, not to mention an accomplished comprehension of understated Belgian design expressed in a contemporized, inviting fashion. Understanding that design and the reinvention of space is a process, both Voth and Barrall have several projects they’d still like to tackle; re-staining a few remaining walls and floors, adding an outdoor deck and even a studio they could both use for their artistic endeavors. “The challenge with adding on to the house is we must maintain its historic value,” says Voth, who is a photographer looking to get back into painting (Barrall does illustration and airbrushing) and is part of a creative team called The Projects, whose work is primarily in television and print for the beauty and skincare industry (www.theprojectsfilms. com). “We’d have to find a way to renovate so anything we add on would have both a modernized and antiquated aesthetic.”

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iven to Voth by close friend and art dealer Judy Finch, the egg painting is one of her favorite pieces. “Judy’s keen eye over the years has resulted in several pieces that are just perfect for the house,” Voth says.


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riginally intended to be a living room, the couple decided to use the Keeping Room as the dining room. “We love this space since it’s where everyone gathers to eat,” Voth says.

Pam’s Guide to Style one

Be irreverent and daring with table settings. Contrast a minimal interior with kicked-up dining décor, using non-traditional objects whenever possible.

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Furniture, on the other hand, should be used with restraint. Don’t add it where you don’t need it.

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three

Just because a house is historic doesn’t mean you have to think old. Capitalize on its inherent qualities while injecting your own sense of style.

four

Make comfortable places for you or your guests to read a book, curl up for a nap, or sit and watch the world from your window.

five

Use rooms the way they work for you; don’t be conventional. If a living room is shouting “oversized dining room,” so be it.


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n the meantime, Voth and Barrall bask in their weekend escapes to East Haddam, a beautiful historic sawmill district that is home to the Goodspeed Opera House and the Long Island Sound but not to a single Starbucks. The natureconserved and highly protected Eight Mile River, one of the purest for its natural flora and fauna, runs abutted to their land; that and the 3,000 acres of hunting property across the street ensure that developments can never stampede on their property. “It’s such an outlet from the city,” says Voth. “The quiet; the deer snacking on our apple trees, the wild turkeys co-mingling with the deer. It’s nature-watching at its best.” r

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Thanks to dear friend and expert art dealer Judy Finch, Voth’s home has been beautifully accessorized from the James Tormey egg painting in the kitchen, to the Gio Ponti candlesticks adorning the dining room table. Luckily, Finch showcases her finds at her store Art1Modern at Center 44 in Manhattan, and online at www.art1modern.com, giving us all access to her keen sense of style.


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Inspiration


A Difference in Opinion

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With the exact same apartment layouts, sisters Antonia and Victoria Thompson create two entirely different aesthetics

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fter renting for years in NYC, sisters Antonia and Victoria Thompson were on a mission: to find, invest in and own individual Manhattan apartments, something their late father always wished for them to have. Hiring separate brokers, their searches ensued, leading Victoria to apartment 8C in a pre-war building located in the heart of Greenwich Village. Although she loved the proportions of the rooms and the detailed casement windows, she’d had her heart set on a different apartment at the time, and ultimately decided to continue her search. A week later, Antonia’s broker heard of the same listing, and showed her the space. She fell instantly in love, particularly taken by the same casement windows that had intrigued Victoria, and began negotiations immediately. Meanwhile, the aforementioned place Victoria had set her hopes for fell through, just as 8J opened on the market in an estate sale. She jumped on the opportunity, and before they knew it, the sisters found themselves signing the dotted lines of two apartments located not only in the same building, but on the same floor. “We grew up in a Manhattan townhouse with our rooms right across the hall, so it’s very reminiscent of childhood,” says Antonia, who is younger by two years and works as a senior associate for Robert 167

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Burke, a consulting firm. “It’s so nice for us to have that proximity, and it’s been fun working on our places together.” Step into their individual apartments, and it’s a wonder that they ever co-conspired on the décor. The apartments, being in the same building, have the exact same layout, although each represents entirely different design directions reflective of the sisters’ distinctive personalities. With Antonia’s Parisian sensibility married to a chic eclecticism, and Victoria’s 1950s Palm Beach vibe infused with a classic, mid-century vision, the apartments are truly an exercise in the evaluation of a space. The

No one makes


sisters even unknowingly gathered several of the exact same tear sheets and swatches for inspiration, while still arriving at completely unique end results. “Both of our apartments radiate the same influences we shared growing up, just reflected through different creative lenses,� Antonia says. Their childhoods, spent mainly in Manhattan but peppered with oft visits to both Paris and Florida, held a constant of aesthetic and artistic stimulation. Their mother, Elizabeth Thompson, is a renowned painter with an incredible eye for color and proportion, and their father, who had been an engineer and businessman, had a keenly eccentric taste based on an English heritage and childhood partly spent in India. The girls found themselves in visual arts classes from grade school through college, their creative energies developing distinctly as they refined their talents. Interiors had always held a particular interest for both of them, affecting everything from their bedrooms as children to their eventual dorm rooms.

us laugh harder than the other,�

Victoria says.


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enter apartment

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ince the sisters began collecting anything and everything influential in terms of décor as soon as they decided to move forward with buying real estate, each had an idea of where they wanted to take their apartments upon moving in, even if Victoria had to activate a little extra imagination. Whereas Antonia was greeted with a clean, empty apartment, Victoria walked into the remnants left by the previous owner, including an orange polyurethane kitchen, a hole in the wall once home to a TV set and a Hawaiian mural on the living room wall. The sea-green, worn carpeting actually proved to be a blessing in disguise; upon ripping it up, Victoria discovered the hardwood flooring beneath it to be in immaculate condition, as it had been covered for years. “Thankfully, when I first saw the place, the beautiful light and views of the apartment helped me look past the craziness,” says Victoria, a producer for ABC News. “Including the laminated manual by the mantel indicating how to make steaks in the fireplace.”

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“ ntonia’s mirrored bureau is good for two things: a classic tribute to her European vibe, and the perfect opportunity to sneak a second glimpse at a great pair of shoes

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irst things first: The kitchen and bathrooms in both places required renovation, and the sisters hired the same contractor to gain efficiencies with overall cost. Since Antonia moved in first, they kicked off with her apartment, although essentially the same renovations were applied to both places. The powder rooms had awkward passageways adjacent to the spaces, which they blocked off and repurposed as additional space for their closets. The master baths were gutted, updating the “jail-like showers,â€? replacing the toilets and applying subway tiles on the walls. Antonia searched high and low for the perfect sink, finally finding one long and narrow enough to fit the space that also had room for storage beneath. Since the master bath was slightly difficult to work with, the girls utilized many of the same resources, perhaps proving the only space in both apartments that are actually somewhat similar. february • march

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ot only were the kit ch e n s poorly laid out, but they also were slightly uneven on one side, due to the poor placement of gas pipes. The contractor gutted both kitchens to maximize the space, installing similar cabinetry and appliances and working to even it out by having everything fall flush to the refrigerator. For design elements, Victoria

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added a backsplash with penny round tiles, and cupboards with glass facing so she could paint the insides blue. Antonia had to keep a certain piece of acquired equipment in mind when designing her kitchen: a very large, very commercial Traulsen refrigerator, which lived for nearly six months in the foyer of her previous apartment. Harboring an adamant love for cooking, she acted as translator at the Ritz Escoffier culinary school in Paris for two years,

and received the refrigerator as a hand-me-down from her boss, Robert Burke, even though she no room for it at the time. With the Traulsen in place, Antonia finished the remainder of the kitchen with a cutting board surface on her counter and added a shelf above the range to house cooking items. “I’d say Victoria’s kitchen is more aesthetically pleasing, whereas mine is better equipped; I love my pots and pans and all things kitchen,” she says.


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or Antonia’s college graduation, she received the Eric Fischl watercolor that hangs in her bedroom, and in her foyer is a Tim Gardner watercolor on loan from her mother. On her gallery wall she has a pencil drawing done by Alexander McQueen, purchased at an auction, and both girls inherited the Andy Warhol silkscreen of Marilyn Monroe from their parents. The walls of Antonia’s dining area display a series painted by Robert Stanley around 1970 featuring her father, mother and half brother and sister (the girls’ father had been previously married). The series also includes a painting of their father’s first wife; her mother painted a panel of herself after the two married. “Apparently, when my mother married my father, she painted herself in the family both literally and figuratively,” laughs Antonia; her mother also reproduced all the images in the series so that there were enough for all respective families to hang.

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“ kept the color scheme in my bedroom and master bath cleaner, calmer and cooler in terms of tones, and went a little crazier in the rest of the apartment,” Antonia says.

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5 le $2 sa yard at a

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“ n both our styles you can very much see the artistic influences of our mother, the importance of family, travel and heritage,” Antonia says.

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About six months ahead of Victoria in terms of renovation, Antonia eagerly began implementing her décor scheme as soon as the construction was complete. Her style, whether found in her closet or her interiors, consists of vintage and modern, comfortable and ethnic, a mixture of high and low, and a definite overall eclecticism. Calling her approach to design as a bit more of a “hodgepodge,” she tends to operate on more of a decorate-as-she goes setting instead of an exact plan. Take, for example, the inspiration behind her color scheme.

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“ eople often tell me that my apartment is more masculine on some way, or ‘handsome’ as opposed to ‘pretty,’” says Antonia, who agrees. “I try to resist more masculine elements in the process – mostly on the suggestion of my mother!”


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*Mirrored surfaces do wonders for reflecting light and making a room look bigger.

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*Arranging bookshelves by color adds a fun graphic element to the room.


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ntonia can’t help but scour eBay for anything that resembles a “sheaf of wheat,” which happens to be her favorite motif. Lucky finds have been the sconces in her entry way, as well as a side table in her living room.

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he couch, ottomans and brass bamboo coffee table were purchased off eBay. “I’m an eBay addict,” Antonia admits.


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“ immediately loved the space, the light, the original casement windows,” says Antonia of the first time she saw her place. “And I loved that there was an extra powder room.”

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nfatuated by the gray walls in the dining room of the Norwood Club after dinner one evening, Antonia immediately knew she had to work said walls into her own décor, going as far as asking the maître d’ for the specific paint color. He had no clue, but Antonia refused to give up, investigating until she found out it was Farrow & Ball, and bringing in several of their swatches to find the right shade. In the end, she used a lighter version of the gray for her living room, and was so caught up in choosing the right shades that she still remembers each individual color name. “I would lay awake at night thinking, ‘Do I like Marilyn’s Dress, or Stonington Gray?’” she remembers, laughing. “It was pretty funny. The best part is I used different shades in my living room and bedroom, and they look exactly alike. And it took me forever to decide!”

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he walls of the powder room, however, received an entirely different makeover– which Antonia refers to as “a very anxiety ridden process.” Similar to her indecision over shades of gray, she knew she wanted to incorporate vibrantly patterned, colorful wallpaper, although she continued to go back and forth on exactly which to apply. Finally stumbling across the peony paper, she fell for it immediately; the gray tones pulled in her walls, and the fuchsia brought in the striped runner in her entry way. The wallpaper emanates a Western European vibe, which meshes perfectly with the overall tone of her place, making even the smallest of spaces feel Parisian.

Antonia’s treasures The Future Perfect Williamsburg, Brooklyn

C. Bell

West Palm Beach, Florida

Olde Goode Things Chelsea, Manhattan

John Derian Company East Village, Manhattan

Z Gallerie.com

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Victoria, on the other hand, reenacted her powder room with a different direction. More precise and methodical when designing interiors, she prefers to have more of a plan, and had always wanted a pre-war apartment she could decorate with modern, mid-century furnishings. A big fan of the contrast, she chose David Hicks’ vivid hexagon print, infusing the space with the bright, bold pattern that would have been too much of

a statement in a larger area. Topping it off with white accessories and a Frank Stella exhibition poster from the 70s, it feels playful but not outdated. “My bathroom is a bit brighter and ‘poppier’ than Antonia’s,” says Victoria, who has always been drawn to a geometric aesthetic. “But we both had the same idea of using a wonderful, graphic paper in a small space.”

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“ love Antonia’s foyer with her pink-striped rug and salon-style art, her parlor bathroom wallpaper, and the way she’s mixed designs in such a cool way,” Victoria says. “It’s a great apartment to hang out in, too, which is so important!” 193

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The Thompson Sister’s

tips for expertly navigating flea markets (and the Dixie Highway!)

one

Be imaginative when looking at a piece– you have to be able to envision it stripped, painted and reupholstered.

two

When shopping with your sister, it’s usually best to split up and go in two directions. Circle back together when ready to negotiate– this will happily avoid sibling arguments!

three

Unless you want to pay an arm and a leg, skip the overpriced, polished, curated antique stores and head straight for the “junkier” variety. They may take more time and patience, but they always have great deals and hidden gems to uncover!

four

Don’t be limited by a predetermined idea of what you think you’re looking for, such as a specific style or period. The greatest flea market finds never are what you set out to seek.

five

Don’t judge a piece by those it’s arranged with. Remember that you’ll be taking it home and using it in a completely different space and context.

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enter

APARTMENT

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rawn to the 50s and 60s a e sth e t i c of bright p a tt e r n s , chrome, lacquer and Lucite, while paying homage to traditional elements such as vintage books and family trinkets, Victoria’s space feels like a refined, mid-century Palm Beach apartment, with just the right balance of color, classic touches and modern accessories.

She enhanced the traditional feel of the apartment by adding crown moldings to the beams of her ceilings, an influence that came from her father. Bathed in blues and greens with floral patterns and graphic prints, it’s refreshing and clean, yet still feels personable. Like most of her design choices, Victoria’s color scheme, which Antonia refers to as “an impressive balance of turquoise and chartreuse,” didn’t come by ac-

cident. Taking into account the pieces she already had, such as the turquoise James Mont-style lamps on the side tables of the living room, she developed the palette and began incorporating her pieces under this direction– that includes her floral chairs and zebra print ottomans in blue. Probably the biggest source of inspiration for choosing this scheme came from her mother’s work; her pieces can be found above Victoria’s couch and to the left of her fireplace.

Victoria’s attention to detail goes beyond her apartment’s décor; she follows through by carefully cataloging eBay purchases like her nightstand, along with paint colors, upholsterers and other favorite resourcesso she can use them as reference in the future.

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“ ur friends can never get over how different our apartments are!”

Victoria says.

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reatly influenced by their incredibly talented mother, both Victoria and Antonia’s apartments showcase several pieces of her work, including the aforementioned piece, a pictorial version of her godmother looking out over the rooftops of Paris. Both girls have paintings of swimmers, part of a swimming pool series Elizabeth did in the early 90s, which is Antonia’s favorite work. All handed down from their mother, the girls have an understanding that these pieces are never 100 percent either of theirs, determining who utilizes which paintings based on wall space and room color. With her studio across the street from their home growing up, it’s important to each that her work is always integrated into their lives, as it was in childhood. “Turpentine was a familiar smell in our house, from our mother using it to remove paint from her hands at the end of the day,” remembers Victoria. “I find it to be a weirdly comforting smell now!”

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ntonia calls Victoria the more methodical designer of the two, to which the latter agrees. “I have always been a bit of a neat freak; I always set up my toys just so when I was a kid!”

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heir mother did more in this sense than just provide artwork: Both she and their father invested in them a love for art overall, which is overtly evidenced in both apartments. Above Victoria’s bed is a Hiroshi Sugimoto time-lapse movie theatre piece, which was a twentyfirst birthday present, and her Daniel Bachelor collage, also in

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her bedroom, a gift for her college graduation. Her favorite artists include Frank Stella, Tom Wesselmann, Alex Katz and David Hockney, and even though their original pieces prove to be slightly outside of her budget range, she looks to emanate their sense of color block and geometry in her aesthetic. Even with Antonia’s impulsive design nature and Victoria’s planned, meticulous approach, the two definitely align on the

thrill of one certain task: the aptitude for successful antiquing. Both big on reupholstering, tweaking and updating their finds, the found pieces reflect an entirely different end aesthetic, but the art of the search is a passion they dually share. Their mother instilled in them the love of a chic bargain, taking them to flea markets and antique shops up and down Dixie Highway in Florida and teaching them how to shop in such environments.


“She literally had us repeating the mantra ‘NEVER PAY RETAIL!’ over and over as we walked through these flea markets; the three most valuable words a girl can know!” says Victoria, who distinctly remembers her eight-year-old self spotting a china rabbit figurine marked for a dollar, and telling the flea market vendor she wouldn’t pay a penny over 50 cents. Both apartments are filled with great finds; inexpensive pieces beautifully restored, adding their

own unique elements to each home. Equally addicted to eBay, Victoria’s obsession for the online auction site began in college when she purchased a curved-back Eames-era chair. It arrived in orange vinyl, but she recovered it in cream leather, and still has it to this day. Her prized finds include her Italian 1930s tumblers with a family crest, which rest on her bar, and the Parzinger-style side tables in her bedroom. She even scored an authentic Marilyn Monroe photograph by Bert Stern, which she calls “the first real piece of art [she’s] ever bought.” february • march

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“ love to entertain, so I specifically bought this dining table with built-in leaves so I can have up to 14 people over to dinner,” Victoria says. The best part? She found it in the antique district of Miami. 205

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adores...

VICTORIA Apartment 48

Flatiron District, Manhattan

Global Table SoHo, Manhattan

Haus Interior

NoLita, Manhattan

Cashmere Buffalo

West Palm Beach, Florida

C. Bell

West Palm Beach, Florida

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couring the Dixie Highway in south Florida is a Thompson family ritual, since the family has had a home in Ocean Ridge for years. During their last visit, Victoria and Antonia found such a treasure trove of steals for their new places that they had to hire a moving truck to transport everything north, including Antonia’s faux bamboo library step ladder and her mirrored French side table with Lucite handles. Also a fan of eBay, Antonia ordered her Louis XVI-style couch before she even found her apartment, and it showed up at her previous West Village rental– much to her roommate’s dismay. “Between the fridge in our foyer and the additional couch, we had so much stuff in our place!” says Antonia, whose next find almost put her roommate over the edge. “When I showed up with the pig I now have in my hallway, she about drew the line. I found it at flea market– I had to have it!”

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Design like Victoria one

two

Use a graphic, fun wallpaper in a tiny space like a small bathroom or entrance.

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Don’t forget eBay. Find what you want in magazines, design books and expensive antique stores, but with persistence, find it for a fraction of the price on eBay!

2010

three

Seek out affordable art from Etsy stores like Leah Giberson’s and sites like 20x200. They have fantastic original art in limited editions.

four

Think about comfort and how you plan to use the room. If you watch a lot of movies and TV, don’t hide your television behind a cupboard or in a corner. Love your TV, don’t be ashamed!

five

Decorate slowly! Live in the space, take your time and don’t pick everything out all at once. You’ll be happier with your choices and you’ll be able to buy nicer things if you spread out purchases over time.


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“ very time I come back from Victoria’s apartment, I invariably adjust a frame on the wall or the placement of an ashtray!” says Antonia, who is continuously influenced by her sister’s aesthetic. “Her place always looks so perfect!”

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huge old movie buff, Victoria often finds inspiration watching classics and scouting the scenery on set. “I can easily watch a really bad movie if the interiors are fun and creative,� she says.


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eeing that each sister finds inf luence from similar sources while still arriving at their own distinctive aesthetics only goes to show how uniquely and intuitively one can interpret a space. Calling each other their “top consultants,” they often exchange design advice, and then integrate the recommendations into their own individual outputs. When asked how they managed to develop such separate, distinct eyes for décor, especially after being exposed to so many of the same artistic expressions, Antonia responded: “How do two artists paint the same subject in completely different styles? Each space came to life through the filter of our personalities,” she said. “The resulting difference in design just goes to show you how interesting the creative process can truly be!” r

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ike most design projects, Victoria still has a few tricks up her sleeve. She plans on covering her entry way in seagrass wallpaper to give the space depth and enliven the artwork along the wall.

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Unabashedly Prep’s blogger style

With the game on the world stage in South Africa this summer, I’ll be glued to every match. World Cup soccer

The golden leaves, brisk air and the need for a coat make Manhattan absolutely brilliant during fall. New York City in the fall

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Sid Mashburn’s ensemble of menswear is one of the best — a must visit when in Atlanta. Sid Mashburn, Atlanta, Georgia

They’re beautiful handmade plastic frames. They’re actually readers, but I had my prescription lenses put in to create a unique, signature look. Total Wit reading glasses in Color 19: $65, eyebobs

Photo courtesy of Jory Cordy

s a teen, Fred Castleberry cut up selvedge denim into swatches to make his own patchwork jeans, and fantasized about designing his own clothing line while in business school. The Fort Worth, Texas resident could no longer ignore his fervor for fashion and finally created a blog, Unabashedly Prep, as a platform for his passion. “[It’s] a lifestyle blog bent on youthful, Ivy-League style with traditionally preppy roots,” says Castleberry, who offers relevant and influential content in a compelling and engaging layout. “Mainly, I hope it inspires men and women to dress better.”


The Ivy-League line is responsible for most of my favorite bow ties. The Repp and Club ties are staples.

Vampire Weekend’s sophomore effort is every bit as spirited as their self-titled debut.

Heraldic Clubs Bow Tie: $70, POLO Ralph Lauren

Vampire Weekend’s Contra: $12, Beggars Group

I love photography books, and Assouline books are simply beautiful. Polo, The Nomadic Tribe by Aline Coquelle: $120, Assouline Books

My affinity for trophy cups is born out of my competitive spirit. It’s a majestic reminder of my love of sport. Vintage trophy cups, eBay

Sirius XM U is a great place to discover new indie rock acts that are often tomorrow’s hot alternative acts.

The attention Chris Carrabba commands when he’s on stage alone with his guitar while 400 fans sing back to him is magical. A Dashboard Confessional concert

Sirius XM U channel

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Lonny Issue Three  

home, design, shelter