Issuu on Google+

premiere issue

FALL2009

7

home tours Kate TownsendSimpson

entertaining, gardening, and antiquing tips

from editor to mother Inside her Connecticut home

from our favorite experts

174

pages of decorating ideas find your style!


GOOD DESIGN

GREAT PRICE

1

Lonny

premiere

westelm.com


In a are time w tur nin hen s OUR g th h MIS eir elter p By S I ON last emb ubl is to rac the p a ing reo ges icatio clic p a ns ... k of n on en t favo h a l

ine e do fing plat o pro e r , its m form rs of a dire duc ts a cce ctly ean deli ssib nd con we pro s th ver r le d e nec ing vid at w sou e e t an i r i e i n c At L n can es. g ou spir sign. ntim O on sha r re atio ate ny, re m ur free ade in f n at look we ollo d r ore s to om v i w n a c f ing to t l the hap he w ontent rom p ir tren ue ind pin a e e g i d a p n ss. e y s e can eac n but peo We co h is ple rath dent th beli sue r nies exist a eve er i ink eall , i n nd t of y t n h m g l at g ive. tha a a hom n k d i o t tr ng c od d beli es o ue i hoi eve esig r in n c spir es t not n an the h a tion d af at l gra ead nde fo can st o to be f rdable f sp oun des ace d in ign s. the teelim

rite

premiere

Lonny

2


premiere issue in every issue 06 Editor’s Letter 08 Meet Our Team 11 Contributors 191 Blogger Style market 15 Spotted 17 Ivy League 19 4 Easy Pieces 22 Budget Style 23 Dear John 26 Eco-Style

3

Lonny

premiere issue

arts and culture 27 Caitlin McGauley The work, expressions and

undiscovered talent of a Manhattan watercolorist

fashion 32 Doucette Duvall Eco-chic fashions fit for

mother earth

features


39 57 83 103 123 139

Key Largo comes home with Kate Simpson

Eddie Ross bids adieu to Manhattan

Ron Marvin expands his talent

The cultured interiors of Carolina Irving

Grace Bonney uncovers her life off-line

Laurent Girard and Leonora Mahle’s restoration transformation

155

Deborah Needleman gets back to her roots premiere

Lonny

4


WILLIAMS SONOMA HOME

wshome.com premiere issue Lonny

5


edito’r”’’s letter Wow! As I flip through the pages of our premiere issue, I feel both pride and excitement in sharing our grassroots project with you. What started in June as a concept (a planned surprise for my blog readers), has since unfolded into one of the most challenging and rewarding projects that my partner, photographer Patrick Cline, and I have ever undertaken. Saddened by the loss of our favorite shelter publications and determined to fill the void with something spectacular, we spent the summer scheming ways to execute our vision. Ultimately, our goal is to bring inspiration and ideas to readers worldwide who, in spite of the tough economy, still want to make their rooms, apartments and homes feel special. At each stage of our process, we discovered many others who were compelled by our idea, and eager to donate their time and expertise to turn our vision into a reality. Without a dollar to our name, Patrick and I were fortunate enough to have photography film donated by close friend Ryan Dixon, a summer’s worth of equipment rentals given to us by Fotocare, and film processing for every shoot donated by Digital Media NYC. Patrick and I also recruited a team who, like

ourselves, have full-time jobs, yet spent their summer nights contributing their creativity, skills and time to bring you this inaugural issue. Inside our pages you will find an intimate look into the lives and homes of some of your favorite tastemakers, and learn what it took to develop their own personal styles. We rounded up experts to offer you tips on decorating, entertaining, gardening and more, ensuring that the looks on our pages easily translate into real ideas that you can use in your own homes and everyday lives.

My partner in crime photographer and Lonny co-founder

But the cherry on top is the creative freedom resulting from our new online format. By embracing an alternative method of publication, we are able to share with you an endless amount of inspiration (our longest feature is a whopping 35 pages!) as well as to show you exactly where we find our favorite resources, linking you directly to them so that you can literally shop our pages.

Patrick Cline

So go ahead and kick back, play around with the toolbar options (I dig the fullscreen, while Patrick prefers the normal view), and be sure to send us your feedback. We’re excited to integrate your ideas as together we grow and change. Happy reading.

Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline michelle@lonnymag.com

patrick@lonnymag.com

premiere issue

Lonny

6


7

Lonny

premiere issue


meet our team

michelle adams

patrick cline Patrick Cline never wanted to be a photographer. Raised in England, he attended college in the country and studied computer science. Intending to develop a fervor for the intricacies of the hard drive, he instead found himself developing an ardent dislike. Realizing the major was not for him, he bid adieu to the country side and moved to London. In an effort to make ends meet, Cline stumbled into a job as a black and white printer. He spent his days hand processing and printing in the darkroom, yet still remained apathetic toward photography. Interestingly, his indifference as well as lack of formal education in the field intrigued photographer Dan Burn Forti, who took Cline on as his assistant. It took a month under Burn Forti’s apprenticeship before the art invaded Cline’s system. Since then, his life has become photography. He moved to Manhattan, working at a high end color lab and printing for the likes of Tom Munro and Annie Leibovitz. Realizing he wanted to take business pursuits into his own hands, he created Brand Arts; his company which combines digital retouching and photo production. Meeting Michelle at a domino shoot in 2007, he saw in her the same entrepreneurial drive he had in himself, and the two became instant friends.

A former colleague once told Michelle Adams that someday, down the road, she would become the editor in chief of a magazine. Honored but mostly humbled, she had graciously thanked her for the compliment. She adored magazines, calls herself an addict even - but at the time, her drive was in starting her own textiles company. Enamored with home décor since childhood, Adams soon launched Rubie Green, an organic textiles company that concentrates on classic style created through sustainable design. Between her naturally intrinsic knowledge of décor and her degree in textile and interior design, Adams knew her stuff; but like all of us, looked to shelter magazines for inspiration. Then the economy took a hit, the shelves began thinning, and soon shelter magazines were few and far between. An eternal optimist and an entrepreneur at heart, Adams understood how important these magazines were to their readers, and also knew she had the knowledge, drive and motivation to develop a solve. She and business partner Patrick Cline sat down to coffee one day, discussed a mountain of ideas, and Lonny was born.

Two years later, he calls Lonny the most challenging yet rewarding project he’s taken on yet. He’ll never forget when Burn Forti, casually sorting through his own photographs the day before Cline left for New York, looked at him and said “You know, you should keep doing this, you’re rather good at it.”

Four months and many Starbuck’s soy latte’s later, and the vision has become a reality. Anyone who knows Adams will not be surprised by the comprehensiveness, detail, stylization and content this issue provides. Adams herself still has trouble calling herself by her new role.

The proof is in the pages. Enjoy.

Michelle Adams, Editor in Chief, Lonny. Welcome. premiere issue

Lonny

8


meet our team shawn gauthier Growing up, if Shawn Gauthier went missing, check the library. There she could be found, tucked away with an armload of books. An avid reader, she absorbed stories, adored the imagination behind words, the places they created in her mind. Words have not left her since. Fascinated by authors such as William Faulkner, Sylvia Plath and EE Cummings, she admires their disregard for the rules, and their distinct, unique, outside-the box grasps on language. Creative most instinctively, Gauthier herself has a similar knack for marrying words in clever arrangements, and a beautifully written sentence has been said to take her breath away. Decades down the road, she sees herself in a cozy little attic space, writing her days through and through. And if that cozy little attic space is by the sea, she’ll have nothing left to ask for. When asked to participate in Lonny, she didn’t hesitate, despite the long hours and demanding schedule it required to write an entire magazine on her own. Like her belief in the written word, she believed in the hope of this magazine. And like her parents have always taught her, your life is what you believe in. For Gauthier, writing comes as naturally as taking a breath.

shawn@lonnymag.com

Take a breath, and absorb the words she has thoughtfully created for our pages.

Check out Caitlin’s illustrations in our Arts & Culture section on page 27 9

Lonny

premiere issue


michelle roque

As a kid, Michelle Roque saved all her allowance money for Crayola crayons. Meticulous about keeping them sharpened, she hated nothing more than a trail of color leaking outside the lines. A decade later, her parents urged her to pursue business finance in college; one macro-econ class later, and Roque secretly changed her major to graphic design. Roque blossomed, and her parents (eventually) understood. Landing an internship in New York the summer before graduation, she fell in love with the city; when she left in August, she promised herself she’d return within a year. She applied to Parsons, earned a scholarship, and 364 days later permanently moved from the Bay Area to Manhattan to pursue design. Six years have lapsed since the fateful move, and Roque’s passion for design has anything but dwindled. Hoping to someday open her own multidisciplinary design studio, she’s built an impressive resume, determined to learn the ropes. She joined the Lonny team in early September, taking on a 175+ page layout project in under a month’s time. Roque has always firmly believed that if design was what she wanted to do, she’d be a success. She was right. michelleroque@lonnymag.com

caitlin mcgauley Studying art at Syracuse University, Caitlin McGauley once created a line drawing of a woman in black ink on craft paper. Her professor, so impressed with her work, asked if he could frame it for his own home. For the first time, a flattered McGauley realized her favorite pastime had serious merit. An artist most inherently, rarely a day goes by that McGauley’s paintbrush does not grace a canvas. Her world feels calm, muted, surreal when she paints; the borders around her melt, and she feels totally focused. It’s her outlet, her method of relaxation; she hopes to still find herself in the same state of peace in her 60’s, in her wake a portfolio of work that spans many different genres. Her collection reflects happy moments with her family, and re-invented scenes she captures from the streets of the city. The best feedback McGauley has ever received was to find her own style. She used to have several different styles; now she understands it’s important to have a style that people recognize as yours alone. It’s why Lonny found her work irresistible, and why the pages with her art have a certain light. McGauley knows her heart is most innately in her painting. She’s prepared to follow it. premiere issue

Lonny

10


features

kate townsend-& - simpson “I found decorating a home to be quite similar to planning a wedding,” says Kate Simpson, whose beautiful Key Largo wedding in 2004 was featured on Brides magazine. Eager to utilize the tricks of the trade she learned back in her editorial days at domino, Simpson recently redecorated her Rowayton, CT home, made complete by her own very natural, very talented eye for style. “There are entertaining and decorating aspects [to both],” she says. “And both were so much fun!”

39

eddie ross & & jaithan kochar Warning: home décor expert Eddie Ross’s resume (not to mention talent) is fascinating to say the least, and may entice feelings of uninhibited design envy. Good news: he is all about sharing his knowledge, including tips galore on how he and boyfriend Jaithan Kochar recently, and costeffectively, redecorated their new country home in upstate New York. “I call my style traditional with a twist, or maybe vintage modern,” says Ross. “I think it’s eclectic and unique.”

57

ron marvin His industry niche is small spaces, but Ron Marvin is not about to let the stigma define his ability. “I like my reputation, and it’s great to be known for something, but it’s also good to break out,” he says. Stereotype need no longer apply; mosey through his friend Rick’s Manhattan apartment, post-Marvin-makeover, and it is evident Marvin’s talent well exceeds the boundaries of cramped square footage.

83 carolina irving An avid traveler with an eye for distinguished design, textile designer Carolina Irving’s Manhattan home features a collection of beautiful objects and authentic paintings, not to mention a library rich with literature. Although busy with her two businesses, Irving & Fine and her own textiles company, Irving still thinks ahead to the future. “I’d love to design a table cloth collection down the road.”

103 11

Lonny

premiere issue


features

grace bonney

123

In an ideal world, Grace Bonney, mastermind behind décor blog Design*Sponge, would have several dream houses. “I’d love a crazy southern cottage that is cozy and cluttered, and at the same time I want a tree house that is big and open and simple,” she says. In the meantime, she and husband Aaron Coles are happily making do in their Park Slope apartment, which is, interestingly, literally on a slope, and also showcases several of Bonney’s own DIY projects.

laurent girard & leonora mahle

It is not always the inner décor that makes a house a home; sometimes it is what leads the way. “The front and rear doors were small with transoms above, so we installed tall, solid doors instead,” says distinguished black and white printer Laurent Girard, noting one of the many projects he and girlfriend Leonora Mahle, interior designer, undertook in the complete renovation of their home. “Once they were in, the whole house felt different.”

139

deborah needleman & & rita konig

155

“You must train your eye by looking at wonderful things,” says Deborah Needleman, who is busy redecorating her upstate home with good friend Rita Konig. It’s an adage that resonates well with both her former role as the Editor in Chief of domino magazine as well as her life as a gardener. After she read Edith Wharton’s “Italian Villas and Their Gardens,” she went to Italy and followed Wharton’s itinerary, visiting 15 gardens. “It’s the best thing you can do.”

premiere issue

Lonny

12


Lonny would like to give a very special thank you to: Our interns: Rabeika Messina, Vanessa Garver and Kathryn Worsham

THANK YOU Fotocare Digital Media NYC Ryan Dixon Marv and Lynn Adams Elizabeth Blitzer Tori Mellott Deb Willis

Michael Roberts Josh Stevens Women’s Wear Daily Melissa Davis Angela Swinderman Anthony Gianacakos Ochre

And last but not least, the blogging community, without whom our magazine would have never seen the light of day.

13

Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny

14


market

2

spotted

3

Fall ‘09 breathes a playful sophistication into the classic leopard print

4

*Style tidbit

View leopard print as neutral, and don’t be afraid to mix it with other patterns! It looks fab with anything from florals to tartan plaid.

1

second skin   1 Like

Leopard-Print Merino Sleeveless Sweater $790, Oscar de la Renta

15

Lonny

premiere issue

under your glass  2 Spots

Beaded Coasters $38/set of 4, Williams Sonoma Home (available late Oct.)

over comes the couch in handy   3 Rosettes 4 Shine 5 Speedy paws   Safari Printed Cashmere Throw in Leopard: $268, Williams Sonoma Home (available late Oct.)

Amanda Leopard Sequin Clutch $328, Coach (available late Oct.)

Out and About Plimsolls $78, Boden


8

5

9

6

7

catty comments 6 For (or not)   Leopard Pattern Luggage with Racing Stripes $68/set of 20, Iomoi

powerful   7 Acinch

Cheetah Calf-Hair Belt $68, J. Crew

on four legs   8 Beauty

Courtney Side Chair $1,225, Oly

10

spots for yards and 10 9 Seeing yards   Jackie Fabric: $90/yard, Rubie Green

premiere issue

Feline flair 

Kenya Pillow Cover $39, West Elm

Lonny

16


market

1

2

3

ivy league style There’s more to imitate from the academic elite than their thirst for knowledge: How about their look?

4

Letters from gold-colored the North  1 Through 2 glasses   Gold Spectacles $75, Beckerman

17

Lonny

premiere issue

Vintage Scandinavian Books $40, Jayson Home & Garden

5

close to the heart  3 Jersey

Princeton University Badge $95, J. Press

the For décor New England showoffs 4 Beating 5 cold  Tippi Coat $495, Steven Alan

Hockaday Brass Trophies $55, Haus Interior


6

7

9

10

8

the light of 6 Under erudition  

Pimlico Boom Arm Pharmacy Desk Lamp $378, Circa Lighting

trivia  7 Aforvault

Radcliffe Mirra $245, Kate Spade

cozy to From the reading spot  horse around  10 secret 8 The 9 Time society  Colin Chair $1,395, Jayson Home & Garden

Horsehead Bottle Opener $14.95, Fishs Eddy

Madison Square Barware: $25-$125, Bloomingdale’s

premiere issue

Lonny

18


market

Four fun yet simple pieces + one +

+ Fishnet Pillow $110, Ortolan

Piazza Sofa $1,299, CB2

+

+ Flock by Thomas Paul $80, PillowsandThrows.com

Wingback $5,200, Montauk Sofa

+

+ Waterloo Pillow in Zig Zag $98, Anthropologie

Templeton Apartment Sofa $4,000, Jonathan Adler

+

+ Amalfi Sofa $2895, Jayson Home & Garden

19

Lonny

premiere issue

Folk Crabtree Bolster $107, John Robshaw


lifeless room = A whole new look Neutral =simplicity

+ Large Rectangle Hanging Capiz Pendant $259, West Elm

Bridge Coffee Table $299, West Elm

a wink to = elegance

+ Vandyke Stone Side Table $995, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

A46-Black $297, Gallery67.com

= tailored mod

+ Tulip Marble Table $495, Regency Shop

18 Arm Brass Sputnik Lamp $399, inmod

vintage = modern

+ Lack side table $7.99, Ikea

Superordinate 12 Antler Chandelier by Jason Miller $5,900, Matter

premiere issue

Lonny

20


21

Lonny

premiere issue


how--to

$129 Books and magazines crowding your space? Back issues of Vogue should enhance your look, not cramp your style. Turn them into a chic display by pairing like colors and sizes and topping them with family photos, jewelry dishes and artsy flea market finds. Lack Bookcase, Ikea

budget style Free your home’s nooks and crannies and instead turn your storage into unique, stylish dispalys with the help of these budget friendly pieces

$19 Ladies, let’s be honest, shoes deserve to be a focal point of your closet, not collecting dust beneath your skirt hems. Showcase your hard-earned collection in a handy shoe rack, like this affordable option from Lowe’s. Somewhere Carrie Bradshaw is smiling. ClosetMaid Over the Door Shoe Rack, Lowe’s

premiere issue

Lonny

22


market

dear john Pour a cup of tea and channel your late Aunt Betty; the digital age may have speed, but it lacks that personal touch (Besides, did we ever stop loving an actual letter via snail mail?)

Born out of a love for classic typewriters, Charles Gu founded MyTyperwriter. com to restore both the physical beauty and the functionality of vintage typewriters. Charles collects models ranging from late 19th century antiques to the classic IBM Selectric, and carefully refurbishs each to their original condition and typing accuracy.

1950s Royal Quiet DeLuxe, $525-$625

1950s Hermes Baby/Rocket, $425

Little Skull Stationery 1 The $50/set of 12, D.L. & Co. Pattern note 2 Chevron $11/set of 5, MadeByGirl Border 3 Bamboo $65/box of 10, Celerie Kemble for Dempsey & Carroll

1

2

3

4

Scallop Flat Cards 4 Pink $10/set of 10, Waste Not Paper, redstamp.com

Bamboo Pens 5 $10/set of 3, iomoi.com

5

23

Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny

24


ecolivingstyle save on comfy bamboo bedding p47

To order or request a Free catalog call 1.800.233.6011 or visit www.VivaTerra.com

the finest in artisan and earth-friendly goods

25

Lonny

premiere issue

hand-carved twisty stool $195

set of 2 $349


eco--style

green \market 5 easy ways to live more sustainably this fall

1

2

1

Arrive in Style­ 

You’ll be hard pressed to find a ride more sleek than this city cruiser. Simple City 8W $970, Fisher Bikes

2

3

Random Acts of Gardening 

Toss a gumball sized “seed bomb” into a vacant lot and watch wildflowers grow where there once were none. Seed Bombs $9.00, Jayson Home and Garden

Yourself  3 Educate

On easy ways to live a more sustainable life. “The Self Sufficient-Ish Bible: An Eco-Living Guide For The 21st Century” $34.95, Anthropologie

4

4

Tote your Taters 

Sales of these burlap totes support families in the post swine flu tourist deprived Yucatan region of Mexico. Rescue Bag $65, dutzidesign.com

5

5

Green Your Home 

Bring your garden indoors with this chic terrarium. Roost Copenhagen Terrariums $130, Velocity Art and Design

premiere issue

Lonny

26


arts culture

T

ake a glimpse back to Caitlin McGauley’s younger years, and few restaurant placemats can be found in her wake that are not littered with her streaming, unique and talented illustrations. “My parents would give me notebooks in church to distract me; I would just draw and draw and draw!” McGauley laughs. For McGauley, the love of a pencil in hand did not stop post childhood; today she continues to harbor a passion for her art, as well as a very evident gift. Presently concentrating mainly on watercolors, she sets aside time almost daily to paint, bringing everything from fashion and floral arrangements to cupcakes and Cadbury cream eggs alive on her canvas. Her inspiration? New York City, both her home and the fire behind her paintbrush. “There is such energy throughout the city,” says McGauley, who often walks through Manhattan, cataloguing inspiration with quick sketches or written descriptions in a notebook she never goes anywhere without. “I love that I can experience a certain feel in the West Village, and then something totally different in the Lower East Side.”

“I love men’s watches for women, but sometimes they can look so huge on a small wrist. But this Hermes Men’s watch looks so elegant on both men and women.”

27

Lonny

premiere issue


“I am inspired by colorful unique packaging, so when I saw these tea tins at Pearl River I wanted to paint them immediately! I have been going to Pearl River since I was a teenager and every time I go I find some new treasures.”

“I like Thom Brown’s style. It’s much easier to be innovative in womenswear than in menswear, but with a subtle twist he has managed to do so.”

“More often than not, I find myself walking in NYC vs. taking public transportation or a cab. I routinely walk 50 blocks or more. I saw this townhouse on one of my walks and did a quick sketch which I later turned into a little painting. Everything about it was so whimsical but also so New York, from the lavender color, to the overflowing window boxes, to the striking red door.”

Check out more of Caitlin’s illustrations

premiere issue

Lonny

28


29

Lonny

premiere issue


“Leopard and orange is one of my favorite combinations- in fashion and in home. I wanted to incorporate that combination in an illustration of a girl who looks modern, but could also be right out of another era.”

arts culture

A

graduate of Syracuse University, she studied textiles, art, and fashion, finding illustration the most compelling. Specifically, she adores the funky, clever and playful illustrations found in children’s books such as Roald Dahl, as well as artists who capture color in vibrant, expressive ways. Distinct in her own color choices, her paintbrush most often finds itself streaking saturated shades of deep indigos and peony pinks across the page, layering reds and yellows amidst the pastels. When not poised at her own easel, afternoons are often spent thumbing through fashion magazines, or meandering art galleries, always her inspiration notebook in hand. “[My goals with my work] are simply to keep painting, and to keep feeling inspired,” she says. “I love to paint for my family, my friends. It’s such a wonderful gift to give.”

Visit Caitlin’s print shop here

“I like when product designers take the time to make something that is highly functional also very beautiful. The definition of that principle is the Francis Francis espresso machine. For some reason I have an affinity for colorful appliances- kitchenaid mixers, Aga stoves, and I love to paint them.” premiere issue

Lonny

30


31

Lonny

premiere


fashion

The eco-chic fashions of Doucette Duvall

premiere issue

Lonny

32


33

Lonny

premiere issue


It’s time.

It’s long overdue in fact– We need to think about where things are made and what resources are used to make them, In addition to what we’re wearing. premiere issue

Lonny

34


35

Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny

36


37

Lonny

premiere issue


Five tips when shopping for eco-fashions

Doucette Duvall

Thanks to Doucette Duvall, it’s become fashionably and appreciatively evident that stunning style can be achieved without bruising Mother Earth. The brainchild of designing duo Stephanie Doucette and Annabet Duvall, the dress and coat line features whimsical, fresh and unique looks, all while maintaining a devoted respect to the air we breathe. Combining an assortment of patterns, prints and textures aplenty, each piece is comprised of 70% “rescued” material, shipped in recycled boxes, and manufactured in New York City’s historic garment district. “We need to think about where things are made and what resources are used to make them, in addition to what we’re wearing,” says Doucette, adding that this awareness in thought is long overdue. To date, their designs have been seen on the likes of Eva Longoria and Liv Tyler, not to mention cameos in the “Sex and the City” movie; the latter of which

one

Always check care tag for country of origin. came as a complete surprise when the two caught the film on the big screen. Not interested in the mass production of look-a-like garments, Doucette Duvall believe instead in creating one-of-a kind pieces that are open to personal interpretation, even if that means creating only a handful. Each line includes a newly designed, seasonal version of a “little green dress;” a portion of all proceeds donated to non-profit Build it Green, who share the same reuse ideal. Rare that eco-friendly companies successfully combine flattering fashion with environmentally aware construction, Doucette Duvall feel excited and proud of their niche position. Knowing that the fashion savvy are a tough crowd to please, they remain faithful in their direction and stern in their ideals. Plus, they know they’ve received a wink of approval from the biggest critic of all; a very grateful Mother Earth.

two

Always check care label for fabric content.

three

Thrift/shop second-hand when you can. For denim especially... better quality, hands down.

four

Think about where you are buying something: garments sold in big box stores/franchises are made by the thousands; whereas boutiques provide much more special pieces and support smaller designers.

five

Buy local. Support smaller shop owners: from farmers markets to flea markets to your local hardware store.

premiere issue

Lonny

38


The evening news has wrapped to a close, and the moon reflects its honey gold glare against the backyard pool. Indoors, 15 month old Ellie has been tucked comfortably into bed, and the gentle quiet of day unwinding settles welcomingly throughout the house. Kate Simpson, Ellie’s mom, can be found propped in bed, nestled contentedly in her nightly routine – combing meticulously and insatiably through a stack of home décor magazines. “I love tearing out inspiring photos and sticking them in my idea binder for reference when I’m decorating,” Simpson says. “It’s become my ritual, and it lets my mind relax.” After a long day on the job, Simpson greatly cherishes these moments of relaxation, even if her working title has taken on a completely different role. Enthusiasts of the late domino magazine may recognize Simpson’s name; a former Senior Market Editor, she populated the pages with ingenious décor pieces at affordable prices, helping the reader design her space in a chic, trendy, yet perfectly economical fashion. Simpson has since stepped away from the beat of the fast paced, unpredictable world of publishing to 39

Lonny

premiere issue

a beat of a slightly different kind – that of the awkward, toddling first steps of her first child Ellie, also known as a full-time mom. “My days have taken a complete 180 degree turn in the opposite direction,” laughs Simpson, who had spent a decade working in publishing. “Back then, my worries were picking out the right fabric for a story. Now I’m up to my eyeballs in diapers and Elmo.” Simpson is certainly not complaining; it is evident she treasures her days at home with Ellie, who she calls a “good combination” of both she and her husband, Bill. Plus, greeting mountains of diapers is not so bad when they are found in


Written by Shawn Gauthier Photography by Patrick Cline Styled by

Michelle Adams premiere issue

Lonny

40


41

Lonny

premiere issue


the beautiful, beach-inspired home the family shares in Rowayton, CT. Light and airy, clean and crisp, it is a mixture of things contemporary and antique, sophisticated and personal. Decorated by a very talented Simpson herself (which she so very humbly admits), the home is a makeover in every sense of the word, and has been a project the couple have tackled since they purchased the home in 2006.

L

ooking for a change from the noisy, chaotic island of Manhattan, the couple stepped on the property of their now owned Rowayton home, ecstatic with their find. The décor provoked a slightly less than ecstatic reaction – straight out of the ‘70s, the home featured dark wood paneling and floral wallpaper galore, not exactly the decorating scheme the couple preferred. Yet, working at domino at the time of the purchase, Simpson had the world of design under her belt (and her idea binder full of inspiration), and decided to take on the challenge. The wallpaper suffered the initial blow; the couple bought a steamer immediately, peeling off every last inch, bidding grateful adieu. They disguised the deep brown paneling with fresh shades of white, creating a clean, updated feeling throughout the home. Instead of considering the house as a whole when it came time to decorate, Simpson chose to tackle the project room by room, allowing patterns, colors and unique textiles to lend inspiration in their own unique ways.

premiere issue

Lonny

42


43

Lonny

premiere issue


“Generally, I chose a color scheme for each room, and built off of that,” explains Simpson. “I love fabrics that create a visual interest, so often I started with a crazy fabric and that would inspire the entire room.” The result is a beautifully effortless, comfortably chic, savvy yet approachable space that looks anything but the set of the Brady Bunch. While stimulated by perfectly placed eclectic patterns

and engaging fabrics, Simpson smartly balanced the look with a calm, serene color palette and a relaxed, family feel. White, like the refreshed shade of the previously brown paneled walls, is a very prevalent theme throughout the house. Quite appropriately, it happens to be Simpson’s favorite color. “White acts as neutral to me; it’s so clean and goes with everything,” says Simpson, adding that she would make premiere issue

Lonny

44


45

Lonny

premiere issue


everything white, if only her husband would allow. “He argues that it’s impossible to keep it up with a baby and a dog. I would still do it if I could!”

I

n one particular instance, Simpson’s husband may have had a point – eager to dress the family room in black and white, she insisted on covering her Mitchell Gold sofas (hand-me-downs from her father) in white slipcovers, accented with black piping. He scoffed at the danger of white sofas, but she pressed on, reminding him that slipcovers can easily be washed if anything were to spill. When that dreaded stain finally showed face, Simpson, as predicted, threw the slipcovers in the wash, only to be greeted with an unappreciated surprise post-cycle. “Word to the wise; think twice about getting a contrasting pipe color if you plan to wash the slipcovers,” advises Simpson, who pulled the slipcovers from the wash, only to find the black piping had bled all over the white fabric. To avoid that stuffy, assembled, pg. 24 catalogue feel, Simpson cleverly mixed and matched pieces of different genres throughout her home. One of the many valuable lessons she learned from

T

he faux topiaries were a gift from Simpson’s mom. “She knows I can’t keep a plant alive for more than five minutes,” she laughs. “I have the worst luck!”

premiere issue

Lonny

46


1 Stick with the classics in a kitchen or bath. It is not the best place to make a decorative statement, and the tried and true like subway tiles will always look more polished.

47

Lonny

premiere issue

Five Tips on Decorating 3 4 2 Keep a list of paint colors you’ve used or seen elsewhere and loved. When it comes to picking out a paint color, anything to make the decision easier helps!

It always helps to live in a space for awhile before you make decisions. You’ll come up with much better ideas.

If your room has bold colors and patterns, bring in something made of wood, like mahogany or French oak. It helps to keep things grounded.

5 Hang curtain rods as high above the window as possible. It will help make the ceiling feel taller.


This table is the first thing I ever painted white, which kicked off my obsession! her domino days, it creates more engaging visual interest throughout a space and allows the homeowner to express her individuality. The table, buffet and mirror in Simpson’s dining room are all antiques, yet the table is adorned with a ceramic chain bowl from Bergdorf Goodman, the side table bar hosts a Pier 1 Seagrass pitcher and tumblers and the chandelier a recent purchase from Arteriors. All together, the different pieces work in unison to display a distinctive space as opposed to reflecting one singular era. Incidentally Simpson’s favorite room, the dining room walls easily prove to be the most visually stimulating; covered in cedar garden lattice purchased from a lumber yard, Simpson spray painted it white before attaching it to the wall with a nail gun. Inspired by a similar design she had come across in a magazine, it took several months of convincing her hesitant husband to agree on the unique idea. “Nowadays he will admit he was wrong, and that the room looks good,” Simpson says. “It adds such a great texture, a really interesting element. But it took a long time before I was allowed to go through with it!”

M

arried in Key Largo, the couple has an avid love for the sun and surf; Simpson was born in Miami, and together they enjoy annual spring getaways to the Bahamas. It comes to little surprise that they chose to live in Rowayton; located on the Long Island Sound, it has a very beachy, community feel, which very evidently inspired many of the décor choices in their home. During premiere issue

Lonny

48


49

Lonny

premiere


A

n impulse buy from Ikea, the throw on the chair creates a comfortable hangout spot for Kingston.

premiere issue

Lonny

50


51

Lonny

premiere


premiere

Lonny

52


one particular trip to the Bahamas, the pair stumbled upon a mountain of discarded conch shells during a walk along the beach. Thrilled with the find, they scooped up as many as they could hold; Simpson’s eye for design knew such treasures should not be left to the wayside. They are now prominently displayed on the family room mantle; acting as both decorative pieces and a remembrance of a fond memory.

K

nick knacks such as the shells are something Simpson loves to collect; when time allows, she often finds herself navigating through eBay, looking for the perfect accent pieces. The mantle in the living room is home to 53

Lonny

premiere issue

two antique Staffordshire dogs, eBay finds that reminded Simpson of Kingston, the family’s Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, often found snoozing on the aforementioned family room couches. In the same room, shelves showcase a variety of bits and pieces Simpson has accumulated over the years, intermixed with a laughing photo of Simpson, showing off her impressive catch on a trip to Key Largo. “I love to go antiquing, seeking out interesting knick knacks, old antiques and one of kind accessories,” she says. “I think the older the better. Antique pieces hold so much more interest in a room.”

Simpson’s aptitude for seeking out unique pieces does not stop at solely antiquing, and certainly goes beyond the search pages of eBay. Often spending her days at domino scouring piles of product magazines, she honed her eye to find the ideal feature items for particular stories. Combing through a wicker catalogue, her finger stopped turning when her eye caught a wicker table shaped like an elephant. Adorably distinctive, she knew exactly where she wanted it featured; in her own screened-in porch. Clever, inimitable and a perfect fit between her bamboo couch and chairs, it falls in the shadow of Simpson’s Areca plants, centering the seating area and playing along with the earthily themed vibe of the room.


S

impson outfitted Ellie’s room with Lulu DK for Matouk, which launched its line when Simpson was pregnant. “I had to have it!” she says.

Favorite Stores Dovecote

Westport, Connecticut

Antique & Artisan Center Stamford, Connecticut

Shell World

Key Largo, Florida

Matouk Factory Store Fall River, MA

www. eBay.com premiere issue

Lonny

54


T

“ his room actually came about as a bit of an accident,” says Simpson. “I didn’t love the pale pink on the walls but didn’t want to re-paint, so instead we just went with it, creating a soothing guest room by adding pale greens, greys and white.”

55

Lonny

premiere


T

oting Ellie along on her hip, Simpson notes that there is still plenty to be done on the home, but right now the couple is happily focused on bringing up baby. When Simpson became pregnant, they were eager to find out the sex of the baby, but wanted to keep the reveal personal. They had the ultrasound technician write it down and stick it in an envelope, which they later opened at dinner. “It was such a fun surprise for both of us to share,” Simpson remembers. Weekends are now spent barbequing with friends on the back porch, a giggling Ellie splashing playfully with Simpson in the pool. As for future career plans, Simpson is open to potentially returning to an editorial position in publishing, but is also toying with the thought of pursuing an interior design business with her sister. Not a bad idea, considering the décor she created for her own home is now splashed across the pages of a design magazine, much like the ones she peruses for inspiration every night. “Honestly, I feel like other people’s homes are more interesting to look at than mine!” she says, always self-effacing when speaking of her own design. “But I do hope it gives someone inspiration, much like what I look for when flipping through magazines. It’s quite flattering!” p

premiere issue

Lonny

56


Written by 57

Lonny

Shawn Gauthier

premiere issue

Photography by

Patrick Cline

Styled by

Michelle Adams


Millerton, NY does not have a 24 hour Starbucks on every corner, and one will be hard pressed to find a lemonade stand with a “sugar-free” option for the health conscious. Haute couture is found only in the stylized photos of Vogue magazine at the local convenience store, and a comforting quiet settles around 9 pm when most of the stores close their doors for the evening. It’s safe to say the town runs at a slightly different pace than the island of Manhattan, and for Eddie Ross and boyfriend Jaithan Kochar, that fact came as a very welcome reprieve. “Living in the country is amazing,” gushes Ross, speaking to the 1760’s farmhouse he and Kochar have been happily nesting in since February. “It’s so nice not hearing sirens constantly; it always feels great to be home. And I have so much room to be productive here.” Space for productivity is definitely something that works to Ross’s benefit. A powerhouse of immeasurable talent, there are few design-related doit-yourself projects he shies away from, and a mountain more that he will tackle head on. Made a household name on the recent season of reality show Top

Design, he is the kind of guy who disappears with a tarnished, dented silver tea samovar, re-emerging a few hours later with a completely re-created samovar-turned-lamp that looks like it came off the shelf at Bergdorf. He has tried his hand at interior design, floral arranging, styling, cooking, the list goes on – and has found acclaim in all. In the midst of launching his own business, Eddie Ross Inc, with Kochar, an RISD graduate with a background in design, it comes to no surprise that Ross could use a little extra elbow room. With a humble country abode the ultimate goal, the duo set out to track

down the perfect home, Ross engaging his blog followers throughout the experience. After visiting several potential homes without any proving a fit, the couple stumbled across an intriguing listing on Craigslist and immediately drove out to see it on New Year’s Day. 28 days later, a shiny new set of keys in pocket and not a hot dog stand in sight, they found themselves in lone country, attesting a battle between their queen-sized mattress and the less-than-accommodating second floor staircase. “The house has charm, history, 75 acres of property. We knew instantly we wanted it,” says Ross.

premiere issue

Lonny

58


59

Lonny

premiere issue


It does not need to be expensive to be beautiful Not to mention space for Ross, who began his career in catering at the age of 15, to finally stretch his arms. Interested in entertainment and design even in his teens, he spent his free time delving into stacks of Martha Stewart Living, mentally pocketing every tip his hungry curiosity could stomach. Growing up in Greenwich, his early stint in catering opened doors, literally, to the area’s many affluent homes, where Ross began to develop an eye for beautiful, elegant, and tasteful design. The only thing stopping Ross from achieving this look for himself; that often inhibiting four-letter-word: cost. Regardless, Ross did achieve inspiration, motivation and a quickly growing passion, kicking off a roller-coaster of experiences that now all work together like a well-oiled machine. Culinary school landed him his first job as a food editor at (where else?) Martha Stewart Living, and in a whirlwind he found himself climbing the corporate ladder

through several design (both food and home) and decorating positions at the likes of the Food Network and House Beautiful, where he developed his acclaimed column, “Weekend Shopper”. Rounding out his décor career in publications, he found himself back at Martha Stewart Living; a Senior Decorating Editor at the impressive age of 26. “I’ve worked non-stop since I was 15, and extremely hard,” says Ross. “I’ve always been hungry for this life. I feel like I’ve made all the right decisions and have created a respected reputation [ for myself].”

A

reputation that continues to sing its praises in the quaint, traditional yet modern, comfortable yet chic space Ross has created for himself and Kochar. Made picture perfect with Irish hand pulled linens clipped to the backyard clothesline, bending lazily against the afternoon breeze, the home

is the perfect mixture of contemporary pieces intermixed with antiquated finds. More-so, it is acutely reflective of Ross’s now widely quoted mantra; “it does not need to be expensive to be beautiful.” Needless to say, Ross found a solution to the aforementioned problem of costly design; flea markets, thrift stores, a limitless imagination and occasionally some chicken wire. Greeted by barber jackets and cowboy boots lining the wall of the mud room as one enters the home, the space opens into the living room to the right and the dining room to the left. The former is home to a cozy fireplace, the mantle adorned with a collection of lithographs Ross has acquired at flea markets throughout the years, which he framed in all the same way to make them feel like an important collection as opposed to random pieces of art. Beside the lithographs is a convex mirror, outlined with an intricate design and an eagle resting atop, which Ross premiere issue

Lonny

60


61

Lonny

premiere issue


snagged inexpensively at a thrift store. In actuality, the piece is plastic, much like a beaded mirror found across the room; Ross simply painted both white to give them a fresh feel and to delineate their cheap origins.

t ainic p ite st wh a pla nd to e m So rned tore fig chic tu ift s in h thr somet

Always one to spice up a space, Ross put a Roman bust in the back corner to create an interesting mix and, quite frankly, because it is atypical to find a bust as an accessory in a farmhouse. As with most of Ross’s choices, this works; giving the room a modern edge, if not a conversation piece. Perhaps the most striking element in the room is the zebra rug covering the floor, one of the few pieces in Ross and Kochar’s home that did not begin as a flea market find; Kochar’s uncle actually brought back the rug from an African safari. When asked whether the character behind the wear and tear in the rug was added intentionally, Ross laughs and shakes his head, “I think it was just a very old zebra,” he quips.

FAVORITE SHOPS NYC Flea Market

Creative Candles Etsy (for vintage finds) Eddie Ross Etsy Shop Angel Thrift Store 118 West 17th St, NYC

premiere issue

Lonny

62


63

Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny

64


65

Lonny

premiere issue


Eddie’s Style Tidbits* Mix and match: “Dress your table like you’d dress yourself; think of it like mixing a different top with a different bottom premiere issue

Lonny

66


*Keep flower arrangements low so you’re not peeking around to see your table mates

[ Look for these pieces in Eddie’s Etsy shop ]

67

Lonny

premiere issue


R

oss added this 1960’s bar cart with Lucite handles to the dining room because of it’s “modern, unexpected” character.

T

he dining room showcases a beautifully styled table, adorned with an eclectic mix of modern flat wear, Vintage English glasses, china and an adorable salt and pepper set in the form of little chicks. As is made apparent by the spread, styling is one of Ross’s fortés, and he does it with the precision and ease that would make any Suzy Homemaker sigh with envy. “The key is to mix and match,” Ross explains, advising to always style the table the night before when entertaining so the guests are greeted by the “wow” factor when they arrive. “Dress your table like you’d dress yourself; think of it like mixing a different top with a different bottom.”

1

FIVE TIPS ON ENTERTAINING WITH STYLE 2

Keep things simKnow the meaple. Don’t feel like surements of your the food needs to house or rooms be over the top. you’re working to decorate. Always carry fabric swatches or paint chips with you that you’re trying to match.

3

4

5

Preparation is key; always plan ahead.

Go to Bergdorf Goodman to educate yourself on styles. Go to flea markets and thrift stores to find and purchase affordable replicas.

Set the table the night before so that guests see the “wow” factor when they arrive.

premiere issue

Lonny

68


*Always polish your silver – your house can be beautiful but unpolished silver can instantly make it feel dirty 69

Lonny

premiere issue


R

oss has always admired Julia Child, whose kitchen showcased her copper in a similar fashion. The eggs were hatched by a nearby neighbor’s chicken.

R

oss certainly does not suffer from lack of choices when it comes to mixing and matching – take a glance at his butler’s pantry, which Ross reconstructed and painted an eggshell blue after being inspired by the church nearby. These shelves are home to a plethora of pieces Ross has devotedly collected for 16 years; china, glasses, silver, and serving plates, many of which Ross refurbished himself. In his Manhattan apartment, these were relinquished to the tops of his cabinets due to lack of space. Now, he can display his cherished finds and keep them easily at hand. premiere issue

Lonny

70


Edd dress ie score $25 er for a d this the l at Good mere amp will, s too !

U

pstairs, Ross and Kochar’s bedroom has a very calming feel, kept simple yet chic in black and white; the embroidered tapestry above the bed contemporizes the room, creating a focal point within the space. Against the back wall is the couple’s dresser; a $25 find from Goodwill, as were the lamps. The bedside tables were found on the street, as was a shelving unit that settles on top of the bathroom toilet. Seeking out such discoveries is something Ross now teaches at his nationwide flea market tours, navigating bargain hungry shoppers through the markets to help them discern the junk from the undiscovered treasure. “Knowledge is power; you can get so much great stuff and not break the bank if you just know what to look for,” he says.

71

Lonny

premiere issue


*Always have fresh flowers in your home

ese d th on n u e fo les Eddi side tab eet! bed the str premiere issue

Lonny

72


* Eddie cut fabric from a 1960s dress to create this one of a kind beaded pillow. 73

Lonny

premiere issue


U

niquely situated, Ross added the black and white transferware plates above the sinks to pull the black from the tiled floor.

C

hatty by nature, Ross also uses the tour time to give further advice on home decorating while staying well within a budget. Take for example the sink in Ross’s bathroom; in order to hide the piping, he crafted a skirt with dish towels that cost a dollar apiece, finishing them off with a grosgrain ribbon trim across the hem so they appear seamless. For the decorative pillow in his guestroom, he reused fabric from a 1960’s vintage dress, creating a beautiful beaded slipcover that looks anything but recycled.

It is rare that Ross will mosey into upscale furniture stores, but he does find himself combing the aisles of places like Ikea, where prices are still considerable. The table and chairs on the couple’s porch are Ikea finds, which pair perfectly with the breezy, outdoor space, home to hanging flowers and a grassy view that was notably absent from their Manhattan apartment. Describing his aesthetic as “traditional with a twist,” or “vintage modern,” he explains that finding the right bargain pieces requires a vision and the ability to be creative.

premiere issue

Lonny

74


I

n order to hide the piping, Ross crafted a skirt with dish towels that cost a dollar apiece, finishing them off with a grosgrain ribbon trim across the hem so they appear seamless.

75

Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny

76


77

Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny

78


79

Lonny

premiere issue


O

nly Ross would throw caution to the wayside and adorn an outdoor wall with framed lithographs. “I had nowhere else to put them!� he exclaims. Framing by Larson Juhl.

premiere issue

Lonny

80


81

Lonny

premiere issue


“It’s all about having ideas, and knowing what to do with them,” he says. “Decorating a home requires trial and error. You just have to play with things; work them into your space.” It is simple advice like that which Ross and Kochar hope to express and communicate through Eddie Ross Inc., while also enhancing people’s lives by teaching affordable ways to achieve stylish décor. Both quit their jobs to pursue the endeavor full time (Kochar had been working in hotel and restaurant design), and have goals of writing a book, developing unique, one of a kind products, as well as potentially creating a TV show. They are men with a design mission, and the talent, motivation and energy to make it a reality.

A

lthough the house is still a work in progress, Ross and Kochar are especially pleased with the country home, excited about the continuing venture of perfecting the space. Even with all his individual talents, Ross says he feels the most satisfaction from a project when the end creation comes into fruition, and all the individual pieces come together to form the big picture. Considering Ross spends even his days off scavenging objects to populate his home, he can probably count on the big picture coming soon enough; as long as it does not require a midnight Starbucks to keep the wheels turning. p

premiere issue

Lonny

82


PAD

BACHELOR New York City has a reputation for magical moments. Most commonly, they

are exemplified on the big screen in the vein of romantic music and a hand-

some couple against the landscape of Central Park, misty in the haze of early evening’s dusk. For Ron Marvin, visiting Manhattan from his main-stay of San Francisco, his moment unfolded in a quiet walk home from a dinner in Tribeca, unfamiliar in his whereabouts and trusting a faith in direction. “I had no clue where I was going, although I felt so incredibly at peace,” Marvin recalls. “I thought to myself, ‘Ron Marvin, you are going to start taking trains to work, not planes back to California.’ And with that, I decided to quit my job and move to New York.” Lo and behold, that faith in direction brought Marvin much further than simply home to his friend’s place on Wall Street. A former visual merchandiser for the likes of Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn and the now defunct Hold Everything, interior design had always been his most innate passion; remaining an itch he had yearned to scratch since childhood. “I used to lie awake at night, mentally rearranging my parent’s house, trying to come up with an argument to con83

Lonny

premiere issue

vince them to put in a waterfall,” Marvin says, noting that at a time when his peers had spreads of Farrah Fawcett on their bedroom walls, he snoozed comfortably against a headboard covered in Marimekko fabric. Fast forward to current day and the modern, chic design he created for friend Rick’s apartment in the trendy Meatpacking District. Infused with Marvin’s now known and well respected aesthetic of a classic, masculine appeal, tailored lines and deep, muted colors, it proves testament to the extent of Marvin’s talent, his keen eye for styling, and the fact that fate has a funny, marveling way of materializing childhood dreams. Rick, a long time friend of Marvin’s, employed him to design his newly con-


D Written by Shawn Gauthier Photography by Patrick Cline Styled by Michelle Adams premiere issue Lonny

84


structed apartment after he had worked on Rick’s previous place in exchange for a free couch to sleep on when Marvin first moved to the city. Not a bad choice for hire: Marvin’s resume now boasts his own interior design firm, features in Metropolitan Home, a spot as a reputable expert on HGTV’s “Small Space Big Style”, and his own award-winning studio apartment in Chelsea. Known for his unique and versatile ability to bring small spaces to life, his 250 sq. foot apartment has received many accolades, including a highly received entry in Apartment Therapy’s contest “Smallest Coolest Apartment”. But do not be misguided (and Rick’s apartment is visual truth); Marvin has a pristine ability to revitalize any size space, not just the small quarters often reflective of a classic Manhattan apartment. He sees a project as a project, whether big or small, and prefers to interpret each individual space as it plays into the overall environment. “A home, once finished, should reflect a sum of all parts,” says Marvin, adding that it should be exemplified through a cohesive, unified design. “In fact, Rick’s apartment is the caliber I want to be known for.”

85

Lonny

premiere issue


Understand what makes you feel comfortable and recreate it in your own home

premiere issue

Lonny

86


87

Lonny

premiere issue


U

nderstandably so. Depicting Rick as “urban gentleman chic,” (Marvin chooses three words to describe each of his clients when interpreting their style), his place is just that: contemporary, dramatic and styled precisely to reflect Rick’s personality. Initially directed to create a lofty, open, “spa-like” atmosphere in light, calming shades, Rick had a change of heart after seeing a neighbor’s place, bathed in striking, deep colors that created an intimate, calming warmth. Fortunately for Rick, Marvin is a king of dark colors; he changed paths, presented his new direction, and received an approval from an awed Rick in 10

minutes. Rick’s boyfriend described the presentation in one word: stunning. The apartment opens to an inviting entry way, with a console featuring the first of many vignettes, one of Marvin’s signature staples. A design element he mastered back in his visual merchandising days, he uses them to create vantage points, explaining that every space should have unique and attractive objects to steer the eye. Styling is one of Marvin’s gifts; in fact, a client once asked him to “find him a job that paid him to simply stare” at Marvin’s expertly styled shelves, he was so impressed with the work.

5 1 2

tips on decorating

Use mirrors Create zones by making clear areas with rugs, colors and furniture

3

Don’t be afraid to fill the space as it helps to add visual interest

4 5

Use lamps and lighting to define spaces and allow the eye to move Use bold/dark colors

premiere issue

Lonny

88


Layer by creating vignettes 89

Lonny

premiere issue


M

arvin describes the living room as a “sexy, tailored” space, with walls washed in grey tones, inspired literally by a cashmere sweater he had been wearing the day he determined the color. Unusual for Marvin’s typical color coding, the room also features splashes of orange to accent the grey; generally he works solely with bold, muted shades, but this palette fused a little added luster. And as if Marvin’s natural talent does not already exceed expectation; when he had trouble locating the perfect piece of art to hang above the sofa, he simply pulled out a canvas and painted one himself. The room is centered with a Williams Sonoma glass coffee table, which is not only home to another beautifully styled vignette, but also represents one of Marvin’s acclaimed finds in terms of price. His eye is not tailored only for design; he also has a keen sense when it comes to seeking out great deals, often sifting through flea markets to uncover hidden gems. Desperate for his own buffet when he first moved to

New York, he stumbled across one in mint condition for a mere $55 at Housing Works. Still squatting at Rick’s old place at the time, he had no choice but to mark his apartment as the destination for delivery. “He came home and I told him I had funny news and I had good news,” Marvin laughs, recalling the story. “Funny news is I moved to New York four days ago, I don’t have an apartment, just bought a huge piece of furniture, and it’s being delivered here in a week. Good news is now you’ll have a place to put your big screen TV!” premiere issue

Lonny

90


M

arvin, master of vignettes, claims this particular collection on the living room coffee table to be his favorite of the home

91

Lonny

premiere issue


C

ustom made, this leather chair took so long to arrive, Marvin nicknamed it the “Christmas Chair,� joking it would not make it home until Christmas.

premiere issue

Lonny

92


W

hen Marvin meets with clients, he has them articulate what they love as well as what they hate. “It’s equally important to know both; keeps you from going down the wrong road.”

93

Lonny

premiere issue


T

he lamp on the desk came from Marvin’s personal collection, which he sold to Rick. It has since become one of the most talked about pieces in Rick’s apartment.

premiere issue

Lonny

94


R

ick’s television no longer rests on Marvin’s buffet (and thankfully Rick had shared the laugh with Marvin concerning the situation), but now resides in the den off the main entry way, where wooden blinds open to reveal the Empire State building in the midst of the Manhattan skyline. Above the sofa hangs a grid of nine Richard Serra-inspired ghostly images, originally framed and matted in white, but re-painted by Marvin the same color as the ceiling to avoid appearing stark. A self-confessed “lamp tramp,” Marvin placed lamps strategically around the room, creating depth via auras, shapes and layers of light that shift not only shadows but moods come nightfall.

“Lamps are definitely one of my tricks,” remarks Marvin, adding that visitors to his own home are always stunned to hear he has 13 lamps, yet never question why they feel so comfortable. He commonly uses lamps to illuminate and enhance small spaces; layering the light to route the eye throughout the room and call attention to points of interest. Or, more playfully, to make everyone appear “glamorous,” Marvin adds, a boyish grin edging his cheeks.

95

Lonny

premiere issue


style tidbit Shop flea markets, and if you see something you like, even if there is no initial need, buy it anyway. You’ll figure out how to use it, and you’ve scored a great bargain. and... Don’t be afraid!

premiere issue

Lonny

96


T

he man who installed the custom-made mirror questioned Marvin’s paint color choice, and was then blown away when he saw the finished product. “When he first saw [the color], he was so shocked he asked if I’d actually cleared the choice with my client!”

W

hen asked which room is Marvin’s favorite, he responds immediately with “the bedroom,” not a second of hesitation between question and answer. It showcases Marvin’s three favorite design elements; dark, bold walls, lighting specifically articulated by lamps throughout, and a custom made mirror above the bed, which captures the room’s essence and reflects the abstract piece above the dresser. With its hushed depth and masculine strength, this room exudes the “wow” factor Marvin was gunning for. “This room, it just feels exciting,” said Marvin. “There is always that moment when you’re putting a room together that you feel a bit nervous. But then it came out and it was picture perfect, and this unbelievably dramatic bedroom just came to light.” Like lamps, Marvin utilizes mirrors to reflect and play up the light, bouncing it around the room and widening the space. The right frame can make the mirror feel more like an additional piece of art, and if it is a smaller area, relieves the space of that potential “claustrophobic” tightness. Mirrors should not be mistaken for narcissism; simply a smart, tactical design component.

97

Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny

98


Favorite SHOPS Aero Flair Any flea market Williams Sonoma Home Global Table

W

hen Marvin compares Rick’s new apartment to the design he applied to the old, it is remarkable not only in the vast difference but in how much more “Rick” this space feels. Before, Marvin worked with many pieces Rick already had in the home; this time around, Marvin started completely from scratch, with the exception of clothes, dishes, a few pieces of art and Rick’s two cats (Beja and Macska, and yes, they’re allowed to enjoy the new furniture). Otherwise, Marvin used a perfectly blended recipe of his many mastered techniques, creating a home from the bones of what he originally described as a very empty “white box.”

99

Lonny

premiere issue


P

ainting pinstripe walls and hanging art were the only changes Marvin made to the bathroom. Even the most minimal touches can transform a room into a gentlemanly, tailored space.

premiere issue

Lonny 100


101 Lonny

premiere issue


R

ick’s apartment is outfitted with sustainable materials such as bamboo flooring and cabinets, as well as seagrass wallpaper in the office

W

ithout a doubt, this apartment reflects what many now call the “Ron Marvin” touches; the little details he so precisely and instinctively provides his clients that instantly give away the man behind the design. Though only six years into his “new life” as an interior designer, Marvin is already enviably accomplished, and for obvious reasons exhibits no regrets about his decision to drop everything and pursue his dream. And his past days as a visual merchandiser? Chalked up to a distant memory, and about as history as that once cherished Marimekko headboard. p

premiere issue

Lonny 102


Written by Shawn Gauthier

103 Lonny

premiere issue

Photography by Patrick Cline Styled by


Textile designer and art aficionado Carolina Irving opens the doors to her Manhattan treasures.”

D

écor, generally speaking, appreciates well-calculated thought and consideration. Things like, for example, ensuring that the wall color blends with the sofa upholstery, or the dining room sconces properly illuminate the acutely chosen tableware. But for some, such specificity and precision results in an overload of decorating perfection; and in the end, for them, less is more. “To me, a house becomes a home when you are surrounded by the things you like, not a ‘matchy’ decorating scheme,” says Carolina Irving, textile designer. “I simply use the things I already own, it’s rare that my look ever varies.”

Michelle Adams

And for good reason; her collection of “things” already owned is distinctively impressive, comprised of beautiful antique paintings, Turkish trinkets, ornate textiles and mountains of books filling shelf after shelf throughout her Manhattan apartment. With a background in art (she studied art history at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, specializing in 17th century Italian art), Irving has developed a keen eye for exclusive treasure, habitually combing auctions, catalogues and showrooms to add to her repertoire.

premiere issue

Lonny 104


B

105 Lonny

premiere issue

orn to Venezuelan parents and raised in Paris, her interests have always fallen naturally to the artistic realm; her fascination with textiles, particularly patterns and colors, is one of those unexplainable allures that seemed simply woven into her DNA. Post university in Paris, Irving moved to New York, setting up shop as an art dealer at Sotheby’s. She spent her days immersed in art from around the world, cultivating her knowledge and adding to her collection by bidding herself on gems to take home as keepsakes.

years. While her days at the publication were enjoyable and gratifying, this obsession for textiles continued to consume Irving’s thoughts, and she longed to delve more deeply into this area of interest. Making the best of her current situation, she began to kick into her innate entrepreneurial spirit, launching a new column under House & Garden called “Fabric Obsession.” Created to help satisfy her desire, it instead increased her wish to be immersed in textiles, and her hunger still craved. In 2006 she gave in, launching Carolina Irving Textiles and finally calling herself an official textile designer.

Next, Irving found herself as a style editor at House & Garden, where she spent the next ten

“I always knew I wanted to have my own line,” says Irving, who often taps into her younger


I

“ always knew I’d end up in New York, I loved it instantly,” says Irving, who has now lived in the city for 24 years.

premiere

Lonny 106


107 Lonny

premiere


I

n a home full of beautiful objects, it’s difficult to articulate a favorite, but Irving loves her Celtic stone heads. “They’re massive,” she says.

years engrossed in the Parisian culture for inspiration, “and it came to a point where the market seemed open for it.”

E

urope is one of many places Irving looks to for inspiration for her designs; an avid traveler, she brings ideas home from India and the Middle East, soaking in new avenues of thought from Greece and Turkey. Colors are extremely important in her creations; she most often works with faded yet saturated shades of greens and reds to enhance her colorways, generally avoiding pastels, beiges or anything aggressive or harsh. For a woman who literally had no formal training in textile design, only heart, desire

and motivation, she has created an incredibly authentic, unique and beautiful line, as well as a devoted following. “I completely threw myself in [to this business],” she says, humbled by the overwhelmingly positive reaction her textiles have garnered in the design world. “I know what I like and I understand patterns; I suppose I just have an eye for it.” And an eye for utilizing textiles as accessories throughout her home, where they hang beautifully on the walls and are found draped lazily across armchairs. A mixture of her own designs as well as her favorite antique pieces, she uses them to add a balanced assortment of color, premiere issue

Lonny 108


109 Lonny

premiere


A

n ode to Irving’s late cat Mushki, a close friend and artist created this piece from Mushki’s real fur after he sadly passed.

premiere

Lonny 110


*Irving recommends using craft paper lampshades throughout the house. and an element of coziness, warmth and individuality to her space. In fact, fabrics are about the only thing that ever changes in her “decorating” scheme; she often uses her home as a landing base to test out her new designs to get a feel of how they blend into an overall environment. “Sometimes it’s as little as changing a slipcover on an armchair; it can give the room an entirely different air,” she says. The apartment itself had a very different air when Irving first moved in 15 years ago; she had actually been living on a different floor of the building, and snagged the larger space as soon as it opened for grabs. Spacious, yes, but within a cramped layout; what is now her overall living area had been broken into three tiny rooms, not ideal for a woman who wanted to spread her wings and create. Yet, Irving knew the apart111 Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny 112


113 Lonny

premiere


*Who needs a jewelry box? A few simple nails in the wall creates the perfect, tangle-free place to hang Irving’s favorite pieces.

A

bove the bed hang silhouettes of Irving’s teenage daughters. “I can’t live without them,” she says.

premiere issue

Lonny 114


115 Lonny

premiere


I

rving doesn’t necessarily collect perfume, but she loves having several different kinds in her home. “I always stop by and smell them,” she says.

ment had potential, and immediately went to work tearing down the walls to open the space. With a self-confessed “obsession for books,” Irving had the perfect solution; installing three shoulder length bookcases where the walls had once imposed. “I made the bookcases just high enough so that when you’re sitting in each space, you feel separated, but when you stand up, it feels more open again,” explains Irving. “Now I have three areas that feel cozy, not constricting.”

H

er textiles and their colors usually carry a room, and are often the starting point of how she approaches a space. Outside of her textiles, she relies on her objects, paintings and wide array of personal accessories to populate further color; she tends to keep her walls white, as well as most of her furniture, unless it’s been reupholstered in one of her fabrics. Color has grown to become such a significant influence in both Irving’s home and fabrics that she’s taken the creation of it into her own hands, mixing paints for her fabrics herself at her dining room table. “I look at a lot of books, anything

FIVE FAVORITE SHOPS John Derian New York

My Sister’s Shop Paris Maria Luisa Bungalow 8 Bombay Hollywood at Home Los Angeles Cottage Industries Delhi

premiere issue

Lonny 116


117 Lonny

premiere


premiere

Lonny 118


T

o me, a house becomes a home when you are surrounded by the things you like, not a ‘matchy’ decorating scheme. I simply use the things I already own, it’s rare that my look ever varies.

119 Lonny

premiere


I

rving generally designs new textiles at her dining room table, pinning up pieces of inspiration to her bulletin board to encourage fresh ideas.

*Avoid overhead lighting by using reading lamps instead I find inspiring, and cut, paste, and put things together until it’s what I want,� she says. Painting has not been the only activity with which Irving has kept her hands busy. With her textile business up and running, she soon found herself on board with the launch of Vogue Living, the short lived shelter spin-off, which she helped develop under the guise of Hamish Bowles. Although the magazine did not last, her entrepreneurial spirit still thrived, a new pursuit biting Irving at the heels along with close friend Lisa Fine. Joining Irving on her many trips to India, the two could not get enough of the beautiful fabrics and colors native to the Indian culture, and began having blouses custom made. Upon returning to the states, these unique, intricate and colorful blouses garnered a quick turn of attention, and the duo saw an open opportunity.

premiere issue

Lonny 120


121 Lonny

premiere issue


*Couches with white slipcovers and lots of cushions made of antique textiles are the best

T

ogether, they began Irving & Fine, designing handmade blouses, tunics, caftans, dresses and coats with inspiration from India, Central Asia and Turkey. Finished with detailed embroidery and precise stitching, they’ve produced one of a kind pieces with impeccable quality. Providing another outlet for Irving’s creativity, it has allowed her to fuse her passion for textiles with her love for traveling. “Irving & Fine and [Carolina Irving Textiles] are two totally separate businesses,” says Irving, “but both are equally as important [to me].”

moments to wind down. When she does, however, she prefers to curl up in her library, one of the areas she created with the bookcases, or her bedroom. In the former, she breathes in the atmosphere of the books (“I love to be surrounded by books, it’s such a warm feeling”), and calls the latter her “little cocoon,” where she relaxes in its intimacy. Even if her home doesn’t follow any type of articulated décor scheme, she’s perfectly happy within its walls, and knows it’s suited just to her style. “I’m so lucky to work from home,” she says, “because I absolutely love staying home.” p

Between two growing businesses and two teenage daughters, it’s rare that Irving can steal a few

Irving & Fine

premiere issue

Lonny 122


page The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia is legendary for its dÊcor, and Grace Bonney remembers acutely her visit there as a child. A special stop arranged for her on the way home from camp, the memory is bittersweet; her grandfather had passed while she’d been away, and her parents hoped the overnight stay would help lift her spirits. Blown away by the bold stripes, bright colors and extreme luxury that made the hotel famous, it did more than just lift her spirits; it planted a seed.

Written by Shawn Gauthier Photography by Styled by Michelle Adams

123 Lonny

premiere issue

Patrick Cline


premiere issue

Lonny 124


125 Lonny

premiere issue


“The color palette was so over the top while still being sophisticated, and it seared itself into my brain,” Bonney says. “I didn’t really understand design yet, but I remember being amazed that one woman (Dorothy Draper) was in charge of making it all happen. It has stuck with me ever since.” The eye-opening moment is one of many stepping stones leading Bonney to the creation of Design*Sponge, her home and product blog that now boasts over 50,000 readers a day. Honing her passion and knowledge for all things design related, she’s developed an easily accessible and engaging online platform for design enthusiasts worldwide. The site, launched in 2004, has evolved from an exclusively furniture based focus and has since expanded into home interiors, DIY projects, furniture makeovers and city guides, not to mention daily expertise columns penned by her ten editorial staff members. Declared a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials,” Bonney tapped into something resounding, and has been called an “invisible influencer” on the New York design industry. “I focus on original content and try not to recycle what other bloggers are doing,” says Bonney, explaining why she believes her site has become so impactful. “I also make sure I blog about the things I’m interested in, not just what’s out there, otherwise my entries wouldn’t have the soul.” A professional career in blogging isn’t exactly what danced in Bonney’s daydreams growing up. Raised by parents impassioned by architecture, photography and interior design, she naturally absorbed the creativity they released, most innately responding to the written word. Peering over her father’s shoulder as he read the New

York Times, she remembers idolizing the editors, fascinated by their names displayed prominently in bold typeface under their respective stories. She signed up for the journalism program at NYU after graduating high school, eager for her name to fall privy to the same established ink treatment. Unfortunately, journalism school did not prove to be the romanticized, beautiful notion of writing she had imagined; changing courses, she transferred to William & Mary and enrolled in the art program. Even at this point, Bonney, who spent her free time revitalizing drab dorm rooms and building her own furniture, had no idea that design as a profession existed. She remained in the dark until a significant conversation introduced to her to the possibilities of a career in interiors.

premiere issue

Lonny 126


“I had this great professor who taught me about furniture design, I literally had no clue it was an option [ for a career],” says Bonney, who was a studio arts major. “They didn’t have an interiors program [at the school], so instead I began reading about design, watching shows, attending fairs and basically educating myself in any way that I could.” It wasn’t until her then boyfriend, now husband Aaron Coles casually suggested Bonney start a blog that Design*Sponge materialized. Working in PR but eager to get into magazine editorial, he thought it could help warm up her writing and act as an addition to her resume. She initially resisted, associating blogs with the musings of “angsty, 12 year old girls,” but soon succumbed to her boyfriend’s advice and gave it a try. “I just started writing about the things I was interested in, which at the time was the growing design district in Brooklyn, and it resonated.”

W

hen Bonney and Coles first moved into the apartment, they re-painted the entire place, only to realize there wasn’t enough sunlight to support the bright colors they chose. “This is the only wall that remained,” says Bonney.

127 Lonny

premiere issue

Five years later and a sweetly smug husband to thank, what started as a resume builder has become her career, and now she couldn’t imagine it any other way. She and her staff follow a very “loosey goosey” editorial calendar, as she puts it, but generally the day’s posts and content come together naturally. Originally created on Blogger, Bonney recently relaunched with a brand new navigation system, improving both function and aesthetic appeal. “The site is unabashedly feminine,” she says, smiling, “which I love.” Surprisingly, the last place Bonney feels like designing at the end of the day is her own Park Slope apartment, which she shares with Coles. Steering through a sea of décor choices on a daily basis, she finds it can be tough to make a decision. Yet, when she and Coles moved into the apartment two and a half years ago, decisions needed to be made; abandoned for a year before they moved in, the space featured dingy walls in musty yellow shades, among other décor atrocities. This did not prove to be an ideal situation for Bonney, who works most days happily propped atop her Pottery Barn bedding.


W

“ e’ll set the table for special occasions, but sadly the table doesn’t get as much use as our living room couches in terms of regular dining,” says Bonney, referring to she and Coles as a “tv-dinner” type of couple.

premiere issue

Lonny 128


I

n a “red” phase, the vintage horse head lamp on the side table is currently one of Bonney’s favorite pieces.

129 Lonny

premiere


A

“ aron actually doesn’t listen to his records as much anymore; he’s since discovered that digital sound trumps his records, but he still loves the collection,” says Bonney.

The couple took it upon themselves to re-paint, add wallpaper, change the lights and create a space they could comfortably call home. A big DIY-er herself, Bonney created several pieces for their apartment; it’s important to her that her home be filled with objects that relate to herself or her family. Most recently, she tackled the breathlessly beautiful headboard in her bedroom, completed with a distinct fabric choice from Jacaranda Home, after being inspired by a photo years ago.“My favorite room is always the one I’ve just finished a project in, so as you can guess, it’s currently my bedroom,” she says, who also papered the inside of her closet door, adding a little décor delight when she dresses each morning. As any New Yorker knows, city apartments are rare to come by without their share of surprises, and the couple’s Park Slope abode proved no exception. About a month after they moved premiere issue

Lonny 130


131 Lonny

premiere


premiere

Lonny 132


in, they discovered a problem that couldn’t be solved with a fresh coat of paint; the entire apartment is angled at a 10% slant. Down-to earth in nature, Bonney laughs about the predicament, but admits it would be nice to be able to eat at her dining room table without feeling sea-sick. “It’s so uneven, things are always falling apart and there are huge, obvious spaces between the actual door and the frame,” she says. “We’re always anchoring things into the walls. But the neighborhood and size [of the apartment] is great, so ultimately we’re happy.” When not perched at her laptop, Bonney spends afternoons running around the neighborhood, her recently purchased Nikon camera swinging playfully around her neck. She’s taken

the photography for the site into her own hands in an effort to save money, not to mention experience the city. Usually staying within Brooklyn, she sets out with one intention, only to often find herself off track, following random inspiration throughout the city as her pursuit unfolds. The quest is made perfect if Coles is free to tag along; the couple hop on their Vespa, their new favorite thing, and together embark on the hunt. “Sometimes we just get on [the Vespa] and ride and ride,” she says, adding that she always feels very European, very Amelie when on the Vespa, the wind tangling her hair on the backseat. “There is something so romantic about holding onto your husband, scooting around town.”

B

onney loves nothing more than a good old-fashioned DIY project, like this headboard she created herself after finally tracking down the right color fabric. “It looks so lovely now that it’s done,” she says, adding it was well worth the hours of stapling.

Married in April, the couple has been together for six years, and Bonney remarks she is ex-

ive tips on DIY 1

A is for architecture: so many apartments and homes can benefit from inexpensive molding you can buy at your local hardware store. Adding architectural details like crown molding shapes a room, instantly giving it character and strength.

133 Lonny

premiere issue

2

Roll with the punches: it’s easy to end up off mark on a DIY project, and a lot of people give up and throw in the towel. Instead, keep your hammer going- even if it’s not perfect, projects completed by hand will always carry more significance.

3

Upcycle: craft projects built from scratch are great, but so is saving money by using found materials. Hop in your car on trash day and keep your eyes peeled for furniture with good bones, sometimes all you need is a little sand paper and paint to bring something back to life.

4

Measure twice, cut once: the old adage is true, when cutting, wallpapering or painting, always be sure to measure several times to make sure you’re on track. It will always make a difference to evenly apply two to three thin coats of paint as opposed to one fast, heavy, gloppy coat.

5

Think paint: it’s the easiest and most inexpensive way to make a huge difference.


premiere issue

Lonny 134


tremely lucky to have a husband who is so patient with her constant curiosity to rearrange their apartment. Recently taking a liking to antiques, Bonney has been slowly working to replace their many Ikea pieces with classic, vintage furniture. Coles takes it in stride; an avid music fan, their living room boasts Coles’ record and guitar collections, and as long as those stay intact, he’s a happy camper. Bonney herself used to play guitar as a teenager (“Thanks, grunge era!” she laughs) and didn’t play again until she met Coles; the two would occasionally play together, singing songs. Both extremely busy with their careers, they usually meet up again at night, relaxing with their guilty pleasure; cheesy reality shows and the UFC. In an effort to improve more of a balance between life and work, Bonney limits her surf time on the weekends to spend more time with Coles. Although, as of late, Bonney’s free time has taken a hit altogether; she’s been working tirelessly on a Design*Sponge based book, due in Fall 2010. Aimed to inspire and provide practical advice for home design, the 400+ page guide will offer home tours, DIY projects, before and after guides and more; the intention to make the task of decorating seem a little less daunting. “I don’t use many of the design books I own,” says Bonney. “They’re very aspirational, but I don’t feel like I could create any of it. I want to make a book that can be used as a jumping point; that people can look at and think, ‘I can do this too.’” It’s always been important to Bonney to create more tangible things for her readers so they’re not simply scrolling through web pages. Down the road she plans to introduce more videos to Design*Sponge, helping readers follow steps easily and making the design that much more accessible.

135 Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny 136


FAVORITE SHOPS ABC Home

I love Cursive inside their shop, fun stationery and small accessories

Hable Construction Store which has since closed, but will ALWAYS be my favorite

Layla

for great textiles

The Curiosity Shoppe

I’m a bit biased, but they have such a fun collection of items

Zarin Fabrics

B

onney knows her favorite purse from Hayden Harnett is slightly dispropotional to her tiny frame but loves it anyway. “I love the silhouette from the side when you wear it, it’s so chic!”

The blog has evolved much like a magazine, growing with added topics, niche columns and pieces of interest as Bonney becomes in tune with them. In those moments she finds her mind wandering toward the future, she also dreams about what she’d do with an office space. Even though she admits it’s certainly not a bad gig to work from her bedroom, she can’t help reverting back to the Greenbrier hotel, the oversized floral, and the incredible beauty of the overall design. “One day, I’d love my own office where I can recreate that look with a modern spin,” she sighs. “All those stripes and florals, what girl can resist!” p

137 Lonny

premiere issue

I could sit around upholstery fabric all day


Always treat your house like the famous Coco Chanel quote; “Before leaving the house, a lady should stop, look in the mirror, and remove one piece of jewelry.� I always take something off a surface before I leave a room; less clutter means a more relaxed mind.

premiere

Lonny 138


PROJECT:

Designer Leonora Mahle and black and white printer Laurent Girard get rid of the old and create their own new

Major leaks, poor wiring, aged pipes, a “stuffy� feel; generally, these qualities would not classify as favorable accessories to a dream home, propelling many a dismayed buyer off to discern the next hopeful query. Yet, situate these qualities inside promising architecture, nestle the space in a sought after neighborhood, and present them to an eye skilled in design and renovation, and suddenly lead pipes transform into something only the trained mind can see - great potential.

Written by Shawn Gauthier

139 Lonny

premiere issue

Photography by Patrick Cline Styled by Michelle Adams


t

wo years ago, photographer and printer Laurent Girard and girlfriend Leonora Mahle, interior designer, toyed with picking up a hand in the ultimate New York real estate game – the decision on whether to buy. Both having rented in the city for years, it seemed like an advantageous move both financially and personally; they were planning on adding a fourth addition to their already tight-knit family. The greatest task lay ahead – seeing what Manhattan had to offer. Unfortunately, Girard and Mahle were left unimpressed. “We were so disappointed with what was out there,” recalls Mahle. “Lots of overpriced cookie cutter apartments with ‘modern’ finishes with were just really ugly, as well as bad quality and poor installation.”

Discouraged but not without hope, the search ensued, finding Girard, Mahle and Clayton (Girard’s nine year old son from his first marriage) led astray after another disappointing condo viewing. On a whim, the threesome found themselves standing on the disheveled first floor of a home that had been on the market for months, and for obvious reasons – the place was not exactly up to par. The realtor, holding an open house, explained the price had dropped significantly due to its existing poor shape; incidentally, to a price that proved not only affordable, but a steal in that particular neighborhood. With a shared vision and an exchange of glances between Mahle and Girard, interest quickly piqued. “Between Laurent and I, we had lots of contacts in the building/renovation trade, and we thought this could be a great premiere issue

Lonny 140


141 Lonny

premiere issue


project to take on,” explains Mahle. “Plus, tearing a place apart and starting totally from scratch can be a lot of fun, not to mention it was half a block from the park and a five minute walk to the subway.”

S

old. Renovations began immediately, and they were extensive; the dire condition of the home left little to remain untouched. Energy efficiency important to both Mahle and Girard, they replaced the oil boiler and all radiators with an HVAC unit while the house was being gutted, which in turn led to replacing all windows to ensure efficiency. Future décor of the home was taken into consideration as well; they added blocking to the living room wall during construction so they could later create a leg-less built-in desk. Their favorite addition during the renovation? The prominent floor to ceiling bookcase, which became the focal point of the living room.

“Both Laurent and I are avid readers, and each brought lots of books to the relationship,” says Mahle, adding that as soon as they saw the house, they knew exactly where they wanted to construct the bookcase. “It was the first thing we thought about, and the first thing that was built after the demolition.” Besides holding the couple’s extensive collection of books (many of which are photo books that Girard himself has worked on), the bookcase also played a notable part in providing inspiration for the living room lighting. Wanting it to stand out as the focus, the couple ensured the lighting would enhance and concentrate on the piece; something they had to understand as the approached the overall design of the room. Elsewhere, they reused light fixtures from previous apartments, and purchased a ceiling fan with a light for their bedroom to help cut down on air-conditioning costs.

premiere issue

Lonny 142


P

hotos Girard printed and framed. Left to right: Jackson Pollock, John Lennon, Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. 143 Lonny

premiere


L

“ aurent only collects cameras he can use,” says Mahle.

O

f course, lighting is only one of the many detailed decisions to determine when renovating; color scheme is another, particularly for the walls. Girard and Mahle used furniture and pieces they already owned to inspire their choices, including a gorgeous 10’x13’ Persian rug Mahle bought in France ten years ago and has schlept around through five NYC apartments. She pulled shades of blue from its intricate design, resulting in Benjamin Moore’s Normandy Blue as the backsplash behind the bookcase, and the

gray walls in both the living room and dining room (Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray) mixes seamlessly with similar hues woven in the rug. Another source of color inspiration includes Girard’s impressive collection of prints, which features pieces he has printed for photographers as well as his own work. A photographer since the age of 12, the art has become his career; most recently, he printed pieces for “John Lennon: The New York City Years”, an exhibit featured at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex in Soho.

Pieces of his collection can be found hanging in both their living and dining rooms. “[Something I love] about the new place is the ability to display prints I have made through the years for different photographers, as well as hanging some of my own work,” says Girard. “Choosing what to hang turned out to be more difficult than I had anticipated,” adding they may simply rotate artwork over the years.

premiere issue

Lonny 144


EXTRAORDINARY EQUIPMENT FOR RENT EXTRAORDINARY CARE FOR FREE Special Offer for Lonny Readers: Save 25% on your first time rental at FotoCare* Simply mention that you saw this ad in Lonny when you call to make your reservation

For over 40 years, some of the most talented and passionate photographers, studios and organizations in the world have relied on FotoCare for all their photographic equipment needs, whether they are buying or renting. Coincidence? Not a chance! At FotoCare, we totally understand the evolving needs of the professional photographer and we’re totally dedicated and committed to exceeding their every expectation.

Š2009 FotoCare. All rights reserved

Taking extraordinary care of photographers worldwide since 1968 Equipment 145 Lonny

premiere issue

*Offer expires December 31st, 2009

|

Media

|

41 and 43 West 22nd Street (Between 5th and 6th Avenue) Digital Integration

|

Retail: 212-741-2990 Rental: 212-741-2991 info@fotocare.com

Rentals

|

Inspiration


premiere issue

Lonny 146


147 Lonny

premiere issue


After

FAVORITE STORES www.unicahome.com www.1stddibs.com Barneys Co-op Sigerson Morrison Simon’s Hardware in NYC

Before

premiere issue

Lonny 148


TIPS ON RENOVATING 1 2 3 4 5

Ensure that all work to be completed by contractors is spelt out in detail on both the request for pricing and the signed estimate/contract Always budget an extra 5-10% for contingency issues, in addition to all the shipping/delivery costs for furniture and materials. If your contractor is supplying stone, millwork or hardware, request samples for approval before it’s installed to make sure you’re satisfied. At the end of a project, prepare a punch list by room of all issues your contractor needs to address before final payment is made. If you’re managing your own project, be meticulous about keeping all product receipts and vendor estimates in a binder. Also keep a paint schedule, listing both color and finish for the paints and stains for future reference.

Before

U

pstairs, the couple renovated all three bedrooms as well as the bathroom, creating a master bedroom, a room for Clayton, and one for the newest addition - Inés, the couple’s daughter who is now 3.5 months old. In the master bedroom, they installed new closets, making the tops of the doors flush with the ceiling, giving the wall a clean, modern look. They re-tiled the entire bathroom, including the ceiling, and replaced the sink faucet, hooks, and towel bar with chrome fittings, completing the look with a chrome medicine cabinet above the sink.

149 Lonny

premiere issue

The kitchen is the only room that did not receive a full makeover; it had been redone two years before they had bought the home, and Girard and Mahle felt it wasteful to replace anything. Not to mention kitchens and bathrooms tend to be the most costly in terms of renovations, and they were already full-steam ahead with tearing down the latter. Instead, they gave it an upgrade by adding their own personal touches, such as painting the cabinets blue and changing the pulls and backsplash using leftover tile from another job.

“Eventually, I would like to redo the kitchen,” says Mahle. “Do something modern, maybe with poured in concrete, but that’s several years from now.” In the meantime, Mahle and Girard feel extremely pleased with the outcome, some of which they have affected themselves (painting and the millwork in the basement, as well as the aforementioned kitchen additions). Stepping into their home from the noisy streets of Manhattan, it feels like an instant getaway from the city; they often find themselves relaxing together


After premiere issue

Lonny 150


Avoid the urge to accessorize a place all at once, which can lead to a look that feels contrived and impersonal. Instead, add meaningful items over time.

151 Lonny

premiere issue


A

gift from Girard to Mahle, the Günter Grass lithograph represents a sweet joke between the couple. “While I was pregnant with Ines, I had a very hard time sleeping,” explains Mahle.

premiere issue

Lonny 152


M

ahle, born and raised in Brazil, often travels back to visit family with Girard, returning with keepsakes such as this hammock.

153 Lonny

premiere issue


in their open, spacious living room, thumbing through their bookcase for the next read. After such an extensive project, one must ask, would they do it again? “Absolutely,” Mahle instantly replies. “We had a good time, and we’re so happy in the house now.” p

Hide the unsightly AC behind some pretty planters premiere issue

Lonny 154


Written by

155 Lonny

premiere issue

Shawn Gauthier Photography by Patrick Cline Styled by Rita Konig


n

ature’s urture Former domino magazine Editor-In Chief, Deborah Needleman, unearths her passion.

premiere issue

Lonny 156


ardeners are no strangers to the seasons; the potential of spring, the lush vibrancy of summer, the peaceful, winding down of fall. And one can’t ignore winter; the break, the rest, the planning of the upcoming year and what to do differently. In a way, the cyclical nature of the gardens is reflective of everyday life with the ups and downs, the anticipation, surprises and change. In the garden, not everything always goes as planned; like life, there is the unavoidable certainty of the unexpected. For a gardener, this is simply the way life moves. “I had this sudden break, this change, imposed on me when domino was shuttered,” says Deborah Needleman, former Editor in Chief of the instantly popular shelter magazine, and most innately, an avid gardener. “The closing [of domino] was a shock, and the break-up of the group was terrible, it was such a magical collection of people. But for me it was a mix; even though I had no choice in the change, I found the break to be liberating. It’s not unlike the seasons.”

157 Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny 158


or Needleman, the past eight months since the closing of domino could be called the winter of her professional life, a sudden freedom from years of successful, ambitious career devotion, a break in what Needleman does not necessarily define as a career “path”, but more the following of her many personal interests. Although she genuinely loved domino, felt inspired by its mission and greatly humbled and appreciative of its success, she began to long for the things that satisfied her most deeply, and felt herself drifting from the “urbanite” she had, for years, thought she was. For a woman who is made happiest by a meadow, who would rather spend money on plants than clothes, she knew this sudden

159 Lonny

premiere issue


change of events, and the free time it allowed, meant only one thing; an opportunity to immerse herself in her garden. Growing up in a New Jersey suburb, Needleman found herself surrounded by lawns and landscaping, not gardens; she discovered them through literature, late nights absorbed in the beautiful, fantastical images in books, and somewhere, instinctively, she knew she wanted to create those images herself. Gardening had never been something she learned from her mother or grandmother; rather the infatuation grew inherently, emotionally, a naturally born desire of which she calls the most “all-consum-

premiere issue

Lonny 160


T

he flowers Needleman plants in her vegetable garden are specifically for cutting to use in her many arrangements. “They’re all types of annual flowers, and the more you cut them, the more they produce.”

161 Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny 162


amazing alive house feeling someone cares

It’s to have things that are in your ... It keeps the house from static; it says ‘someone was here, .’ 165 Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny 166


F

or Konig’s birthday, Needleman brought several mason jars filled with wildflowers and put them all over her Tribeca apartment. “It looks so beautiful and sophisticated to have all these sweet, innocent wildflowers in an urban setting.”

ing passion” she has ever had. Interestingly enough, it was not until her late 20’s that she actually got her hands dirty, when she finally could not ignore the need to garden any longer. “I told a friend of mine that all I wanted to do was be a gardener, and he literally gave me his garden in Westchester,” she says, shortly after she had moved to New York from Washington and was taking classes at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. “I was spending all my time reading and thinking and fantasizing about gardens, yet I had never actually done it.” As fate would have it, her friend’s ex-wife worked at House & Garden, and soon Needleman found herself at the publication working as a photography editor (she had previously held the same position at the Washington Post directly out of school). Though she left after a year to design gardens, House & Garden knew they’d had a talent on their hands, and

167 Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny 168


fascinating to watch things come into bloom, and bringing them into the house is such a domestic pleasure. It’s

169 Lonny

premiere issue


quickly offered her a subsequent position as a garden writer. She spent the next eight years traveling the world, visiting gardens, learning all she could consume and describing the experience as “amazing.”

“I like things wild but within structure, I can’t stand things too perfect,” she says. “I’m laid back about my garden, but can become admittedly obsessed. I’m sure my children think I garden too much.”

Meanwhile, she began depositing all her learning’s into her own garden, watching it blossom at her upstate home in Garrison, New York, which she shares with her husband and two children. A product of her growing knowledge as well the much appreciated advice of expert friends and colleagues (her “gardening girlfriends”), it has become a lush, fragrant expanse of greens, vegetables and flowers; an oasis and composite of nature’s wonders, loved and coaxed by Needleman’s passion. She calls herself a “messy person but meticulous gardener,” very much like her own personality.

The children, however, have proved inspiration for certain aspects of the garden; Needleman began growing vegetables to help teach them where food comes from. Now, the kids often help pick food for supper; Needleman letting the garden, and season, inspire what she and her husband cook each night. Besides vegetables, Needleman’s garden is filled with a wide variety of flowers depending on the season and year; currently, she has blue cornflowers, white love-in-a-mist, chamomile, sunflowers and zinnias, to name a few, which she often cuts and places in arrangements for display throughout her home.

Deborah’s Style Tidbits* Don’t just pick flowers for arrangements, instead look in unusual places for materials – trees, shrubs, weeds, etc. There is no reason a bunch of dandelions wouldn’t look perfectly charming clustered in a vase.

“It’s amazing to have things that are alive in your house,” says Needleman, who sees the potential for beauty in everything, and is not above adding weeds or vegetables to her arrangements. “It keeps [the house] from feeling static; it says ‘someone was here, someone cares.’” n fact, her arrangements are about the only accessory that can be found in both Needleman’s Garrison home as well as her apartment in Tribeca, two completely different spaces in terms of decoration and feel. Whereas Tribeca acts as more of a respite away from the noise and uproar of the city, calming in muted tones of grey and cream, Needleman had an entirely different idea for Garrison, craving patterns and

premiere issue

Lonny 170


171 Lonny

premiere issue


*Use your best things everyday, don’t wait for special occasions. This is your life; enjoy your good silver, china, fancy soaps and bath oils, these things aren’t for decoration, they’re for using.

premiere issue

Lonny 172


N

eedleman obeys no limits when it comes to creating arrangements. “This [arrangement] has weeds and vegetables among the flowers,” she says, as well as strawberry and raspberry stems, watermelon vine and Queen Anne’s Lace from the side of the road.

173 Lonny

premiere issue


premiere issue

Lonny 174


175 Lonny

premiere issue


Domino, we wanted to be reliable friend; honest, smart, amusing, helpful. Yet we were also the experts; creating, sifting, scouting, editing, trying, weighing, inspiring, At like a

finding.

premiere issue

Lonny 176


177 Lonny

premiere issue


colors, a “kooky feeling English country feel,” as she puts it. In order to achieve it, she enlisted the help of close friend, and also another former domino editor, decorator Rita Konig. “[Konig] has such an amazing sensibility,” gushes Needleman. “She is so wonderful to work with. She just gets it.”

A

one room inn in its past life, Needleman and her husband instantly fell in love with the 18th century “tiny, rickety and weird” home (as she affectionately describes it) when they moved in 14 years ago, despite the plastic shower stalls, cork ceilings and avocado green appliances. Located on the Hudson Highlands on the Hudson River, the couple loved the history of the home, and the fact that they could cross country ski right out the backdoor. Although the plastic stalls and shades of avocado were a part of the original character, they only had so much love for the dated décor – and after living with it for years, decided it was about time update the interior. Konig stepped in, putting her sensibility, creativity and talented expertise to work, transforming the home by utilizing layered, colorful fabrics and creating the English inspired home Needleman desired. The space is comfortable and relaxed but in a very thought out manner; the type of home where the kids are often found at the dining room table doing art projects, the adults on the back screened-in porch with cocktails, watching as the sun

*Always consider family and friends when decorating your home – it’s what brings the house to life, and making yourself and them comfortable is what makes a house a home. premiere issue

Lonny 178


*Scent is an essential part of decorating; utilize potpourri and fresh, fragrant flowers throughout your home, or simply throw open the windows! 179 Lonny

premiere issue


E

verything in this arrangement originated in the vegetable garden; cherry tomato vine, pea vine, dill, mint, nasturtiums, chamomile and strawberry. “Choosing a vase is about matching what goes with what; the vase should be suited to the arrangement or flowers,” says Needleman.

sets through the leaves and the light falls through the flowers, highlighting perfectly evening’s garden. Not afraid to take risks, Konig went as far as to mix a deep slate for the walls of Needleman’s study, so dark it almost appears black. A tiny room, Needleman did not want the sense of trying to work against the size; so instead Konig embraced it and created a space that feels cozy, intimate and warm. As with any area that Needleman spends a lot of time in, on the desk she has a fragrant arrangement of honeysuckle, creating an aromatic, calming office space. “It’s so nice to be working and get a whiff of something fragrant,” she says; by her bed, she often keeps sweet peas.

premiere issue

Lonny 180


181 Lonny

premiere


favorite stores Galerie Olivia Lamy in Paris

for antiques and objects

John Derian Dry Goods in NYC

for furniture, linens, lightings and rugs Kirna Zabete in Soho

for fancy frocks

Kalustyans International Food Market in NYC

for spices and cooking

Bergdorf Goodman, 7th floor

for decorative accessories

premiere issue

Lonny 182


183 Lonny

premiere


S

ummers in Garrison are comprised of hiking, swimming, fires on the lawn at night and many a lazy afternoon reading in the hammocks.

premiere issue

Lonny 184


185 Lonny

premiere issue


Deep slate for a wall color is slightly unusual, but it gives the room personality, much like the fabrics, patterns and colors throughout her home. A classic base with a bit of personality is something Needleman seeks in décor and accepts as part of her style, which she continuously works to define. In fact, the yearning to understand her own style is what drove her to start domino; with so many available styles out there, how does one choose, and where does one go for help? Needleman knew she had good taste but had trouble deciding on how to express it; the wheels began turning and domino was born. “I wanted to make a magazine to help people, like myself, who wanted knowledge, understanding, and access to great style,” explains Needleman, who adds that in the general scheme of publishing, she was an outsider, and unconventional choice as an editor. “I was not on an editor career track. I was a garden writer who loved interiors and style. But people responded to the magazine; I think because we spoke to our readers like the real, smart, individual people that they were.”

premiere issue

Lonny 186


E

very plant person has their thing,” says Needleman. “I love roses and peonies, bearded irises and old fashioned flowers, but I’m not a big fan of black-eyed Susans.”

187 Lonny

premiere issue


Five Gardening Tips 1 2 3 4 5

There is no such thing as a green thumb. Every gardener suffers countless disasters in the garden, and good gardening is simply learning what conditions different plants need. Everyone should plant bulbs; they are fool-proof, beautiful, satisfying and available in a wide range of gorgeous varieties. If you like a plant, buy at least 3 or 5; gardens look funny with a one-of-each approach. Plus, odd numbers look more natural. Use white flowers in the areas you sit at night. They glow in the evening, and are often most fragrant during that time. Think about your garden as distinct rooms, no matter how tiny it is, and “decorate� them.

premiere issue

Lonny 188


As the seasons begin to turn and nature’s real winter approaches, sending her garden into hibernation, Needleman will surely not be bored. Reinvigorated and ready to launch her next move, she has several things up her sleeve, including a new online business venture. Eager to embark on the next chapter, it will bring together everything she’s learned at domino, as well as her love for style, interiors and gardens. Knowing the energy, passion and dedication she exhibited while leading domino, it’s safe to say Needleman is teetering on the edge of the next exciting adventure.

189 Lonny

premiere issue


n life, like gardening, there is always potential and prospect, room for something new. Spring always follows winter, and the earth appears again, ready for bloom. And for a gardener like Needleman, even when life throws the unexpected, at the end of the day it’s rare that anything happens which can’t be made better by a simple vase full of fragrant peonies.

p

premiere issue

Lonny 190


blogger style

Created from 75-year-old letterpresses, their cards boast an authentic, handcrafted feel and feature quirky sentiments. Word Up, $16/set of 6 Greenwich Letterpress

My moleskin notebook and my Sharpies capture all my creative thoughts, from future blog posts to sketches of silhouette ideas that catch me on the fly. Plain Soft Notebook $17.95, Moleskine Ultra Fine Point Permanent Marker, Sharpie

A

sk designer Christina Desmet why she adores all things fashion, and her answer is easy. “I love beautiful things, and fashion is simply one of the many!” Small in stature but big on talent, designer Christina Desmet uses her blog and Etsy shop as outlets to express both fashion expertise and her own hand-made, trend-savvy designs. Don’t be the last to know: follow her words and her creative flair at DeSmitten and button + boo.

check out Christina’s designs at her Etsy shop, button + boo

Nothing adds a better sense of class and sentimentality to my bedroom than this traditional quilt, made by my grandmother who also doubled as my sewing teacher.


The only trend-savvy ring that could rival a classic Harry Winston in terms of a great statement. Onyx Ring, $295 Vivre

Lip protection and a hint of color, perfect for all occasions! Lip Shimmer in Fig, $5.00 Burt’s Bees

Every girl needs a great bag when taking on the city. For me, it doesn’t get any better than my oversized Elliott Lucca! Catina Drawstring, $208.60 Elliott Lucca

A fantastic alternative to black, OPI in ‘You Don’t Know Jacques’ offers just the right amount of edge while still remaining super chic. You Don’t Know Jacques, $8.50 OPI

Tortoiseshell Ray-Bans are classic, savvy, and the single most chic way to keep my eyes protected from the sun Ray-Ban 2140 Original Wayfarer, $139.95 Sunglass Hut

These classic wayfarers were made famous by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!


Lonny Issue One