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Space City Style:

Lonny does Houston

Laura Day:

Designer, editor and, mother. Take a look inside her Madison Avenue digs.


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BECOME OUR TWITTER FOLLOWER & FACEBOOK FAN Ride shotgun with us to get our first-hand tips and quips as we travel the globe on an eternal quest for comfort. From design inspiration to inspiring places, faces & experiences: all shared with you as they happen. We look forward to a fun & friendly exchange of meaningful ideas to make the world a more comfortable place: for everyone. XOXO,

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featuring: Keaton Sofa 94”w x 44”d x 34”h in natural linen with antique brass nailheads

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Visit www.mgbwhome.com to become a fan, follower and to experience our new collection.


in every issue 09 Editor’s Letter 11 Contributors 41 How-To

P.S. I Made This Chandelier P.S.- I Made This’s Erica Domesek creates a homemade chandelier

60 Eco-Style

A Dedicated Belief

West Elm shares its devoted mission of sustainability

225 Blogger Style

market 13 Eco Emporium Fill your home with sustainable style

53 Store to Home Green Mission

Merida Home, designer and manufacturer of natural fiber rugs, remains committed to its 30+ years of sustainable values

Justine Suh of Green Scout Report shares her top ten eco must-haves

entertaining 47 A Serving of Spring

Home cook Katie Lee shares her organic Minted Pea Soup recipe

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69 69

Naturally Inspired

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Trading Places

Eco designer and editor Michelle Adams applies the principles of sustainability to her downtown abode.

Designer Laura Day opens the doors of her Manhattan townhouse

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117 cont.

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Southern Comfort

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Edited Elegance

Comfort and coolness converge at Ashley Putman’s Houston home

Editor and sleep-wear designer, Laurann Claridge, creates her own cloud 9 with a combination of crisp whites and luxurious textures.


A c o l l e c t i o n o f u n i q ue f u r n i t u re p i e c e s a n d a c c e ssor ies g at h e re d f ro m a ro u n d t h e world

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Lonny readers, save 15 % on your tota L purcha s e . Shop online at wi S teria.com.


175 193 cont.

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Project Nolita

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Legacy of Style

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Stories of Home

Interior Designer Nick Olsen brings the Far East home to Nolita

Ashley Wick translates her mother’s teachings into her West Village studio

Sean McNally walks us through his story-inspired Hell’s Kitchen abode


D E S I G N E R H O M E D ECO R , ACC E S SO R I E S & G I F T S

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editor’s letter

S

ustainability has always been a topic close to my heart, so this issue is one that I’m particularly proud of. While studying design in college, I took a sustainability course that taught me the effects our actions have on the planet, and after college, my newfound interest became a passion and later a career as I launched a line of organic textiles in 2008. What I realized throughout the process is that being eco-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean making radical changes but, rather, more informed decisions. This month marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and after creating this issue our team can confidently agree that the market has come a long way. More than 70 pages of our first annual “green issue” have been dedicated to highlighting some of our favorite sustainable products, ideas, and companies that are making a difference, from furniture made of discarded merchant shipping crates to an office task lamp so chic you’d never know it’s solar powered. Our promise to you is that you won’t feel like these options are sacrifices, but instead you just might find yourself clicking through to purchase a few more than you would have expected.

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In this issue I also had a chance to practice what I preach, giving my own home a sustainable makeover. (Check it out on page 69!) But as you might have noticed, my apartment wasn’t the only space to receive a makeover this month. We’ve updated our Web site to incorporate more content as well as a way to keep in touch. Over the next few months, we will continue to develop our site and are excited to keep you in the loop as we make it a more interactive platform. We’ve also added a button offering our readers the opportunity to contribute to Lonny, allowing us to grow and evolve. Meanwhile, we’ll keep dishing out all the greatest finds from the world of design.

Thank you for your support! Michelle Adams Editor in Chief


visit westelm.com to see our green collection


contributors

our team Michelle Adams

Patrick Cline

Co-Founder Editor-in-Chief

Co-Founder Director of Photography

Shawn Gauthier Writer

Michelle Roque Design Director

Ellie Somerville Editorial Assistant Amber Lindros Copy Editor Sarah Shoemake Intern

Caitlin McGauley Illustrator Michael Colangelo Sales Director michael@lonnymag.com

phil nacionales An accredited multi-discipline creative, Phil Nacionales began his career in design while still a freshman at UC Berkeley. Moving out of print design, he has earned accolades in both the music and film industry–with a body of work that has reached Sundance as well as the Berlin and San Francisco International Film Festivals. He has recently returned to his multi-disciplinary roots as a contributor to Lonny, theRetrospective.com, and URB magazine. As a member of The Deft Collective and principle of Nakeism Design, he has recently completed worked with Gallery Heist, Hybrid Design, Apple Computer Inc., and the Klax.

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...and contributors holly crawford Freelance writer Holly Crawford spent nearly ten years in the beauty closets of magazines like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Good Housekeeping, working as a beauty and fitness editor. But the designobsessed writer who can spend countless hours shopping for, reorganizing, and decorating her home began writing about some of the chicest homes in Texas for Houston Modern Luxury magazine after moving back to her hometown in 2009. A new passion emerged, and in this issue of Lonny, she writes about friend and fellow Houston scribe Laurann Claridge’s elegant high-rise and graphic designer Ashley Putman’s wow-worthy Rice University-area home.

david land David Land has chased his passion for photography ever since receiving his first camera, eventually pursuing photography as a career at the Art Center College of Design in L.A. “I feel even the simplest of photographs are like a story told with my own particular viewpoint,” he says, sharing his eye by shooting Sean McNally’s Hell’s Kitchen one-bedroom on page 220. Now a New Yorker residing in Brooklyn, Land especially appreciated McNally’s clever use of his small space. “Sean’s apartment is truly an expression of his life experiences,” he says.


beautiful fabrics at exceptional value

38 5.38 m 4 9 . s.co 800 bric a f d tren

Decorative Drapery Hardware Featuring fabrics from Trend’s Jaclyn Smith Home Collection


“conservation” pieces

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A masterful mixing of genres cr

Movie Natural Slipcovered Sofa: $1199, CB2

Berber Boudoir Pillow: $95, abc carpet & home

Senna Loveseat: $3898, PURE by Ami McKay

XOXOXOXO Organic Pillow Cover: $29, PBteen

Bedford Sofa: from $2650, Williams Sonoma Home

Plushy Cotton Canvas Pom-Pom Pillow: $130, Kreme Life

Azure Sofa: $1799, Crate & Barrel

Rubie Square Pillow Cover (Patsy Gray): $75, Rubie Green

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reates a salon-style living room that’s perfect for entertaining

market

Eartha Cocktail Table: from $1410, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams

Beckett Wing Chair: $1495, Jayson Home & Garden

Hazel Coffee Table: $990, PURE by Ami McKay

Magis – Chair First set of 4: $952, 2modern

Woven Pouf: $89, Pottery Barn

1346-01 Chair: $1559, Lee Industries

Flower Stool: $390, Green with Glamour

Ingrid Dining Chair: $575, Jayson Home & Garden

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green dreams Pair luxurious bedding with just the right furnishings

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V Bed: from $2595, Environment Furniture

Block printed bed linens in Mimosa Tree of Life: from $100, abc carpet & home

Cabana Canopy Bed: $2085, ducduc

Block printed bed linens in Peonie: from $165, abc carpet & home

Orchard Bed: from $899, Crate and Barrel

Ring of Asters Euro Sham: $58, Anthropologie

Mansfield Bed: from $1997.50, Williams Sonoma Home

Gray Calico/ Gray Squares Quilt: from $330, PLOVER Organic

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for calming sleeping quarters

Muir Low Dresser: $1850, Amenity Home

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“Going green with a mattress is more than just doing the right thing; you’re also contributing to a healthier, better sleep,” says environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo, who’s teamed up with Simmons to design a luxurious mattress with sustainability at its core. While most conventional mattresses are produced with off-gassing substances and sprayed with chemical fire retardants, the Luxury Pillow Top Eco Mattress unites natural latex made from rubber tree sap and a soy-enhanced base foam layer for safe, naturally hypoallergenic, chemical-free support.

Austin 3 Drawer Dresser: $1495, ducduc

“I always tell people, don’t sweat the small stuff when going green,” Seo says. “Think about the big picture on things you use all the time, for long periods of time: a mattress....Natural materials like latex and soy-enhanced foam are eco-friendly and naturally hypoallergenic, meaning they aren’t breeding grounds for dust mites, mold, or mildew. And that’s something anyone can agree is a great, green thing.” Terra 3-Drawer Dresser: $499, West Elm

Concerto 6 Drawer Dresser: $999, Z Gallerie

Luxury Pillowtop Eco Mattress by Simmons: from $1695, VivaTerra

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Trade pricing now online for designers. Architects & interior designers: sign up to receive exclusive trade pricing at all our brands, product previews, invitations to special events and much more. Only at WSIDesignerMarketplace.com

WSIDesignerMarketplace.com

Š2010 Williams-Sonoma, Inc.


tastefully done

Pops of color and clever accessories keep things light and bright in the kitchen

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1. 10� John Beck Chalkboard Pendant Lamp: $225, Green Depot. 2. Ceramic Countertop Compost Pail: $32, Williams-Sonoma. 3. Recycled Metal Wire Bowl: $72, Bambeco. 4. Navy and White Reusable Bag: $8, Baggu. 5. Good Cook Bamboo Spatulas: $7.99 for four, Target. 6. Prairie Organic Vodka: $18.99 for 750ml, Market View Liquor. 7. Salvaged Wood Server: $149, Restoration Hardware. 8. Tiny Basket Bowl by Perch!: $28 each, Branch. 9. GreenPan Frypans: $49.95$59.95, Crate& Barrel.

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1. Maya Tea Towel in Coral: $20, Hammocks & High Tea. 2. Grobal Baby in Mint: $15, Velocity Art and Design. 3. Reclaimed Wood Salt & Pepper Shakers: $41, Bambeco. 4. Small & Large Produce Bag: $3-4, Baggu. 5. Artichoke Jute Market Tote Bag: $19, Williams-Sonoma. 6. Cobalt Dining Table: from $1,485, Cisco Brothers. 7. Miguel Pitcher: $19.95, Crate & Barrel. 8. Rehabilitated Plates by Sarah Cihat: $60 each, Horne. 9. Mosaic Apron in Sun: $44, Bambeco.


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1. Medium Twine Pendant Earrings in Gold: $88, Kyler by Joy O 2. Mociun Tassel Scarf: $145, Beklina. 3. Military Inspired Tote: $98, Hoakon / Helga on Etsy 4. Camilla Norrback Valerie Dress: $200, Kaight. 5. Lina Rennell Zipper Pouch: $84, Beklina. 6. Autonomie Project Ethletic Olive Green Low-top Sneakers: $28, Green Loop. 7. Ellie Bag: $24, Rubie Green. 8. Media Bracelet: $95, Kaight. 9. Coclico Lilly Shoes: $375, Kaight. 10. Flamingos Tank in White: $39, Loomstate


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market

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studied contrast

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Old-fashioned styling mingles with streamlined designs for an inspiring work space

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It’s solar-powered! 6

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12 1. Reclaimed Wood & Metal Desk: $995, Restoration Hardware. 2. Bella City Journals in blue and tan: $25, See Jane Work. 3. EcoStrip: $39.95, BuyGreen.com 4. Living Ecoshere:$89, Viva Terra. 5. Stockholm Magazine File: $9.99. Container Store 6. 43” Round Ottoman: from $1,815, Cisco Brothers 7. Solig Solar-powered table lamp: $19.99, Ikea. 8. 5084-01 Chair: contact for pricing, Lee Industries. 9. Vintage books: prices vary, Juniper Books 10. Woven Boxes: $19.95 to $49.95

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11. Re-Tired Photo Frame 4”x6” in Off-Road: $36, Satinbox. 12. Savannah Story Rhino Bust: $68, Anthropologie. 13. Bamboo Masa Glasses in Tangerine: $108, Amy Sacks Eyewear. 14. Skinny Snap bracelet or reusable cup sleeve in light grey wool felt: $30, Megan Auman on Etsy. 15. Mac Book Air 1.86GHz: $1,499, Apple Store.

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market

The Rainforest Site will preserve 6,870 sq. ft. of land for each ‘Atlantis’ Hammock purchased.

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sunny outlook Spring showers won’t have you down with these fun-filled finds

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1. Folding Bird House: $50, MoMA Store. 2. Atlantis Hammock: $69.99, Rainforest Site. 3. Alkira Chair: $3,540, HOM Escape in Style by Cisco 4. Kikkerland Solar Powered Radio: $32, Brook Farm General Store. 5. Scotts 16” Elite Push Reel Mover: $94, The Home Depot. 6. Campo De Fiori Aged Piecrust Planters: $28-$48, Goods for the Garden. 7. Panda Bike: $900, Renovo Hardwood Bicycle. 8. Travelite Eco Collection Wine and Cheese Picnic Basket: $62.99, Luggage Warehouse. 9. Cork Umbrella: $165, MoMA Store.

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A bed is not the place for counting—not sheep, and not threads

LOSE Count LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT THREAD COUNT AT loseCount.Com

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clean and green Eco-friendly cleaning solutions make for a happy home

Made from corncobs and peach pits! Scrubbing Cloths: $6.95, Green Depot.

Lonny readers recieve 15% off their entire purchase at The Laundress! Enter “Lonny” at checkout between 4.8.10 to 5.20.10

A savvy new line that’s tough on dirt, yet safe for your home. The Laundress Cleaning Collection: from $12 to $22, The Laundress.

Go effortlessly green with recycled-plastic trash bags. Trash Bags: $5.49 per box, Seventh Generation.

Out of all Mrs. Myers frangrances, we love geranium the best. Kitchen Basics Gift Set in Geranium: $9.99, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day.

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The Hunger Site will fund 25 cups of food for each box sold The nontoxic way to ultra-soft laundry. Nellie’s Pink Dryer Balls: $19.99 for two, Nelli’s All-Natural.


Experienced gatherers retrieve these ostrich feathers after they’ve been naturally shed! Ostrich Brush: We love these ultra-specific solutions for granite, stainless steel, and wood.

$60, Caldrea

Surface Cleaners: from $5 to $8, Method.

Brighter whites without the chemicals! Vaska Oxygenbleach: $7.99, Drugstore.com.

A new line of fragrance-free products from the domestic expert. Martha Stewart Clean Cleaning Products: $3.99 to $17.99, Amazon.com.

We were smitten after just one spray!

Caldrea for Target collection in Herbs de Provance: $19.99, Target stores only.

A natural replacement for toxin-filled artificial sponges. Twist Loofa Sponge: from $4.25, BuyGreen

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market

Bamboo

Delavan Stripe Fabric: $90, Rubie Green.

Plover Red Dots: $37

Mociun Fabric in Blue: $36 a yard, Belkina.

Lina Rennell Ikat Cat Yardage: $36 a yard, Belkina.

Jackie Fabric: $90 a yard, Rubie Green

Evelyn Fabric: $26.81 a yard, Harmony Art.

cut from a new cloth

Inject style into a ho-hum space with vividly patterned fabrics Vintage

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Vintage French Ticking: from $50 to $350 per 4 yards, Euro-linens.com.

Vintage French Ticking: from $50 to $350 per 4 yards, Euro-linens.com.

Vintage French Ticking: from $50 to $350 per 4 yards, Euro-linens.com.

Bloom Fabric in Persimmon and Seed: $39.75 a yard, Mod Green Pod.

Oliveira Red Coral Anenome: Near Sea Naturals $90 a yard.

Glimmer Fabric in Water: $39.75 a yard, Mod Green Pod.

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a pioneer in the world of green Harmony Susalla explains the benefits of organic cotton.

Organic

Chemical

SEED PREPARATION

Natural, untreated GMO-free seeds.

Typically treated with fungicides or insecticides. Possible GMOs.

SOIL PREPARATION

Healthy soil through crop rotation. Retains moisture in soil from increased organic matter.

Synthetic fertilizers, loss of soil due to mono- crop culture, intensive irrigation.

Healthy soil creates natural balance. Beneficial insects and trap crops used.

Aerial spraying of insecticides and pesticides. Nine of the most commonly used pesticides are known cancer-causing agents.

HARVESTING

Natural defoliation from freezing temperatures or through the use of water management.

Defoliation induced with toxic chemicals.

PRODUCTION

Warp fibers stabilized using double-plying or nontoxic cornstarch.

Warp fibers stabilized using toxic waxes.

Safe peroxide is used.

Chlorine bleaching creates toxic by-products, which are released into the environment.

FINISHING

Soft scour in warm water with soda ash, for a pH of 7.5 to 8.

Hot water, synthetic surfactants, additional chemicals (sometimes formaldehyde).

DYEING

Low-impact fiber-reactive or natural dyes with low metal and sulfur content.

High temperature containing heavy metals and sulfur.

Low-impact, water-based inks and/or pigments with no heavy metals.

Pigments may be petroleum based and contain heavy metals. Runoff spills into waterways, polluting streams.

FAIR-TRADE

Social criteria in place to ensure safe, healthy, non-abusive, nondiscriminatory environment, with living wages.

No social screening. Possible child or forced labor used. Facilities may be unsafe and unhealthy.

MARKETING

Positive story can be told to differentiate you from your competitors.

None. As awareness of organic advantage expands, increased potential for negative image.

Initial cost more expensive. Long-term advantages: priceless.

Initially cheaper. Long-term impact on environment: devastating.

WEED CONTROL

WHITENING

PRINTING

PRICE

Š 2008 Harmony Art & Fox-Rich Textiles

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market

NONO Channel Wallpaper in Pink: $360 a roll, Wallpaper Collective.

NONO Channel Wallpaper in Black and Ivory: $360 a roll, Wallpaper Collective.

Reel of Fortune Print Wallpaper in Mica on Gold Mylar: $295 a roll, Wallpaper Collective.

Lotus Paper 2021: $320 a roll, Farrow & Ball

Elizabeth Bougainvilla at Night Wallpaper: $150, Wallpaper Collective.

Elizabeth Cashmere & Chardonnay Wallpaper: $150, Wallpaper Collective

looks good on paper Feminine florals and statement-making patterns keep walls from blending into the background

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Peony Wallpaper: $320 a roll, Farrow & Ball

Peony Wallpaper: $320 a roll, Farrow & Ball

Leopard Wallpaper: $595 a roll, Wallpaper Collective.

Broad Stripe Wallpaper: $190 a roll, Farrow & Ball.

Spiro Wallpaper: $195 a roll, Kreme.

Spiro Wallpaper: $195 a roll, Kreme.

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Designed for life For 30 years, our approach has been the same: great design should be beautiful, affordable and long-lasting. Using the finest materials and expert craftsmanship, our artisans create furniture that fits your life and your style. Made by hand in the U.S., delivered to you in three weeks or less. Holden sofa, $1999 Corbett cocktail table, $949 Assorted pillows, $119 -139 Profile frames, $79 each Cable rug, $2299

we’re here to help 800.952.8455 roomandboard.com


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pure pampering Boost your beauty routine with a touch of eco-luxury 3

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1. MOR Nordica Eau de Toilette in Dala: $48, Anthropologie. 2. Diptyque Huiles Precieuses Precious Oils for Body: $78, Lucky Scent. 3. Cowshed Bath & Shower Gel in Grumpy Cow: $28, The Conran Shop. 4. Bamboo Wear Bambuki Brush: $9.95, Physicians Formula. 5. Mud Mask: $56, Sejaa Pure Skincare by Gisele Bundchen. 6. Karma Bath Melt: $6.95 each, Lush. 7. Gentle Cleanser: $30, Marie Veronique Organics. 8. Josie Maran Mascara: $22, Sephora. 9. Cowshed Room Candle in Lazy Cow: $48, The Conran Shop. 10. Master Luxury Lotion: $12, butter LONDON.

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CABANA STRIPE

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SCARFS. ACCESSORIES. HOME. ECHODESIGN.COM 2010


reading environment

Urban Eco Chic: How to Create an EcoFriendly Home without Compromising on Style by Oliver Heath Oliver Heath ups the ante on sustainable style with this exploration into creating an environmentally friendly home that exudes elegance. Balancing the elements of nature, vintage elements, and technology, Heath shares simple yet thorough suggestions, with gorgeous photos to beautifully illustrate each point.

Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian The experts at Edible Communities share their earth-friendly guide to great eating, with profiles on local food artisans, seasonal recipes, and in-depth portraits of the six distinct culinary regions throughout the United States. Whether you want to better understand your own region or be inspired by the success stories in other regions, Edible is a fantastic guide to eating right for yourself, your community, and the world.

Eco-Chic Home: Rethink, Reuse, and Remake Your Way to Sustainable Style by Emily Anderson We love Emily Anderson’s practical, pretty DIY instructions for bringing an eco ethic to every room of the home. Armed with her inspiring advice for more than 60 projects, beginning crafters to DIY pros will find themselves repurposing common household items to create fresh, new décor for a chic home that’s eco-friendly to boot.

Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farguharson This tell-all memoir by former eco cynic Vanessa Farguharson shares the ins and outs of her year-long journey to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle, one day at a time.

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The Green Home: A Sunset Design Guide by Bridget Biscotti Bradley and the editors of Sunset Books For sage advice for creating an all-around eco-friendly house, check out this informative guide that details of designing a home that is healthful, greatlooking, and responsive to the needs of the planet.

Growing Stuff: An Alternative Guide to Gardening by Aimee Selby Think your teensy-tiny apartment’s too small for foliage? Think again. This alternative guide to gardening gives innovative ideas for making efficient use of your square footage. Its easy-to-follow instructions and charmingly conversational tone will encourage even the most casual gardener to pick up a trowel and dig right in.

Squeaky Green: The Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry Free your home of its chemical dependency with this entertaining handbook from the creators of Method ecofriendly cleaning products. Room-by-room spotlights and educational tips expose the “dirty” effects that many common items—from paint to bedding to toys—have on your home environment.

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market

resources Finding eco-friendly options for your home doesn’t have to be hard; it just takes a little research. Try these keywords to help you in your hunt:

All natural Biodegradable Eco-friendly Green Non-toxic Organic Recycled Repurposed Salvaged Soy-based Sustainable Vintage

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Click the links to go directly to these companies’ dedicated green pages:

West Elm Crate and Barrel Pottery Barn Target ABC Carpet & Home Lee Industries Mitchell Gold Bambeco greenwithglamour Nimili 2modern branch organic and nature JR Watkins beklina kaight


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market

green mission Rug maker Merida Home remains committed to its 30+ years of sustainable values

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ustainability is nothing new for Merida Home, designer and manufacturer of natural fiber rugs. Since opening its doors in 1978, Founder and Chairman Hiram Samel had one mission in mind: create a company that fell directly in line with his personal values of people, community, and the environment. Since then, Merida Home has gone to great lengths to remain a leader in the cause. “Our philosophy is ‘sustainability with style,’” says Online Marketing Specialist Whitney Palmedo, explaining the company’s commitment to offering quality products that are both fashion-forward and healthy for the environment. By using only two types of natural fiber floor coverings—plant fibers

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(abaca, jute, paper, hemp grass, sea grass, and sisal) and animal fibers (wool)—the rugs are rapidly renewable and biodegradable while never risking innovative design. But dedication to this standard doesn’t end with the product itself; Merida Home understands sustainability must be considered and actionable from beginning to end. “We see sustainability as the threefold issue,” says Palmedo, referring to Samel’s steadfast values of people, community, and the environment. “We take each aspect into consideration when creating our floor coverings.” Always cognizant of its employees, Merida Home has kept its manufacturing plant in Fall River, Massachusetts, to provide a once-thriving town with local jobs, ensuring and maintaining proper pay to all workers, despite the economic downturn. By creating several new sisal rugs in partnership with a rural farming co-op in Brazil, the company has played a major part in helping the co-op increase sisal production in the area and provide educational and social opportunities for members of the community. For Merida Home, it’s always about the bigger picture, rarely about the bottom line. “Hiram’s commitment to a greater cause and making the right decision has permeated through the entire company,” says Palmedo. “It’s important for us to be always proud of the products we offer.” r


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1. Thrive - Micro in Citron: 5’ x 8’ rug $488.84, Merida Home 2. Culasi Pearl: 5’ x 8’ rug $980, Merida Home 3. Thrive - Flourish in Sapphire: 5’ x 8’ rug $488.84, Merida Home

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4. Coquille Sisal Area Rug in Belgian Chocolate: starting at $56.99, Merida Home 5. Grand Tournai in Miillet: starting at $59.90, Merida Home

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Learn more about sustainable style on Creative Director Maegan Fee’s blog

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how--to

Chandelier DIY expert Erica Domesek of P.S.- I Made This crafts a cascading chandelier by simply emptying the recycle bin

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rafty by nature, Erica Domesek often re-created expensive pieces she spotted in the marketplace, anything from clothing to accessories to household objects, instead of forking over the big bucks. Friends wanted in on her secret, inspiring the launch of her popular DIY Web site, P.S.- I Made This. “I wanted to show them the process so they could make it themselves,” says Domesek. “It’s so much more exciting when you can put your own stamp on things.”

P.S.- Erica dips all her tools in gold. “It’s my signature!” she says.

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Showcasing a variety of easy-to-do projects, Domesek aspires on her site to communicate the simplicity of do-ityourself. “People convince themselves they’re not artistic enough to make their own things, but you don’t have to be a designer,” she says. “It’s that easy.” Her plight caught the eye of a publisher; in fall 2010, Domesek will be releasing P.S.- I Made This in book form, where she’ll cut, sew, stitch, and glue her way through 28 different projects. “The book is like a graduated form of my site, going deeper into my inspiration and talking about all my favorite tools,” Domesek says. Being green on the way to the end result is an important consideration for Domesek; reusing plastic inspired one of her most recent eco-friendly projects: a cascading chandelier. “I looked at a water bottle, instantly saw Lucite, and knew I could use it as I would glass,” she says. “It’s all about seeing things in a different light.”

The collage above represents a taste of Erica’s inspiration for her upcoming Fall 2010 P.S.- I Made This book. “I have a story that goes along with each project,” she says. april • may

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Shopping List • Empty Dasani PlantBottle water bottles • Lamp Cord Kit • Scissors • Fishing line • Straight pin or needle • Clear tubing • Lightbulb • Clear packing tape

one

Slice the bottoms off the empty bottles with a sharp pair of scissors.

two

Puncture two holes on opposite sides of the bottle discs.

three

Knot the bottom of the fishing line strand—double or triple knot it to keep the bottle bottoms from falling through.

four

Thread three bottle discs onto the fishing line, knotting the fishing line at the bottom of each.


five

Cut clear tubing and tape the ends together with clear packing tape to create a circular form.

six

Double knot the bottle strands onto the tube form. Continue to do this around until you have enough clusters to create a chandelier.

seven

Tie four pieces of fishing line onto the tube to stabilize and help hang it from the ceiling or lamp kit’s hook.

eight

Drop in the Lamp Cord Kit and hang to a desired height from a ceiling hook.

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T

This turns into...

this!

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he new Dasani PlantBottle, made from 30% plantbased material and 100% recyclable, is a key ingredient in Domesek’s cascading chandelier. In fact, Domesek is personally involved with the launch of the PlantBottle, standing strong in the effort to create more environmentally sound products. Designing a limited-edition line of greencolored hats with everyday household items, she’s helping both to promote the bottle’s green plastic cap and to show that DIY fashion is another easy method of recycling. Best part: Dasani is offering chances to win Erica’s one-of-a-kind hats by registering on L.A.-based boutique Satine’s Website. Entries will be accepted through April 21st. r


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entertaining

A Serving of Spring Open the windows to a new season with home cook Katie Lee’s very own Minted Pea Soup recipe


“My philosophy is ‘conscious consumption,’” says home cook Katie Lee, who recently released The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions as a follow-up to 2008’s The Comfort Table. “Be aware of what you eat, how it affects your body, and, ultimately, how it affects everyone around you and the environment for future generations.” With that philosophy in mind, Lee has filled yet another cookbook with delicious and enticing recipes based on “comfort food,” as well as several organic dishes. “I’m a strong believer in organic cooking and using local ingredients when possible,” she says. “The food tastes better, is better for you, and leaves less of a carbon footprint.”

Lee doesn’t leave her organic approach at the food itself: she also practices sustainable entertaining. “Give small potted herbs as party favors,” she advises. “Every time they use it, [guests] can think of that evening spent together.” Ultimately inspired by growing up in her grandmother’s kitchen, her recipes are influenced by anything from the farmers’ market to a trip overseas. Of all the savory dishes she’s collected, Minted Pea Soup remains one of Lee’s favorites. “It really tastes like spring,” she says. “Plus it’s delicious served hot or chilled, so take your pick!”

p u o S a e P d e t n i ic M

Organ

tter. eat, melt bu h m iu d e m ot over cent, about lu In a stockp s n a tr l ti n auté u lted butter nions and s a o s n d u d mint. Bring s A d n n o a o , p s th le ro b b 2 ta eas, er utes. Add p n, chopped in io m n o 10 t immer. Cov s e e a w s to t ll a a s e a m h s 1 duce zen pe alt, boil and re ackages fro a p to e c mon zest, s n le u in -o r ti S . th s Two 10 ble bro minute nal d cook 20 ium vegeta n d a o -s w k an additio o lo o s c d n a 4 cup r; ove e an t, minced d pepper; c in n a m h s nder (or us e le fr b p a to r ½ cu fe Trans . n zest ntil smooth 10 minutes. rated lemo u g e n o re o u p p s d a 1 te er) an salt rsion blend r e e m h s im ream. Cook o c k y n v r o a e o e p p h s p a e in p 1 te d stir lack ith a ly ground b rn to pot an h tu s e e R fr arnished w n g o o e p rv s e a S te . s ½ inute am low for 10 m af. re n c o y v a e h small mint le a ½ cup d n a rt u g dollop of yo Plain yogurt INUTES RVINGS

YIELD: 6 SE

CUPS) (ABOUT 6½

:

PREP TIME

S 10 MINUTE

E: 50 M

COOK TIM

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Step 1

In a stockpot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes.

“I’m a strong believer in organic cooking an

Step 2

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Add peas, broth, and mint. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook 20 minutes.


Step 3

Stir in lemon zest, salt, and pepper; cover; and cook an additional 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and puree until smooth.

nd using local ingredients when possible.�

Step 4

Return to pot and stir in heavy cream. Cook on low for 10 minutes. Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt and a small mint leaf.

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“I take inspiration from anywhere; dishes I’ve eaten in the past, whatever looks fresh at the farmers’ market, or when I travel,” says Lee. “Once when hiking, I saw fog forming in beautiful swirls down at the valley. I went home and made meringue!”

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A big believer in entertaining as a whole, Lee includes décor suggestions and iPod playlists alongside the recipes in The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions. “My grandmother always told me, it’s not just about the food; it’s about the way you make people feel when they come into your house,” says Lee. “I always make sure the music is playing well before anyone arrives so the mood feels festive the moment they walk in the door.” Her book is available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Borders. r

Katie’s cooking buddy, Finola!

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store to home

with respect to our Going to great lengths to ensure sustainability across several facets, furniture company Environment produces innovative, unrivaled design

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

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W

hen sustainable furniture company Environment sought to reclaim fabrics for its pieces, the designers desired a textile that was naturally aged, weathered, and suitable, but also with a story, a past life that would give its reuse a unique personality. “Army surplus came to mind,” says CEO Davide Berruto, explaining the careful, time-intensive process they’ve committed to: hand selecting the fabric, dying it organically, reselecting based on color and tone, then cutting and restitching. “The end result is an incredible combination of softness, broken-in look and feel, durability, and user-friendliness.” And beautiful, inimitable upholstered furniture favorable to consumers seeking both a relaxed sophistication and an ardent respect for our surrounding nature. Environment’s mission is simple: “Create beauty, respect the planet,” and the crafts55

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people work tirelessly to produce pieces that distinctly reflect that sentiment. In addition to eco-friendly textiles (they also source natural and organic fabrics such as hemp and organic cotton), Environment utilizes the stunning Peroba Rosa wood, discovered fortuitously on a raw-material sourcing trip in Paraná, Brazil. “We fell in love with the density, texture, and history of Peroba Rosa,” says Berruto; the majority of the furniture now features this dramatic, enticing wood, obtained from Paraná’s dilapidated homes and buildings. Environment focuses sustainability efforts toward three areas: furniture making (process reviews and material selections, recycling and reuse), operations (carbon offset, recycling packaging) and awareness raising (blogs, Web and community action and interaction). By concentrating on these distinct subjects specifically, Environment works


adamantly to accomplish its goal: to go beyond designing furniture and products and propose “life-enhancing strategies” that are in perfect step with today’s condition. It may not happen overnight, but Environment continues to maintain a forward-moving momentum in the right direction. Recently, Environment partnered with the Tropical Forest Trust (TFT), which works to eliminate illegal and controversial tropical wood from supply chains, replacing it with wood from TFT forest projects and FSC-certified forests. By tapping into this resource, Environment benefits from help in both managing its supply of raw materials and keeping a watchful eye on suppliers. “TFT acts as a third-party adviser, validating what we are doing and pointing out areas for improvement,” Berruto explains. “They’re raising our bar to a higher standard.” Environment also takes its mission indoors: By introducing a green operations guide to its corporate facility and retail locations, the company ensures that its sustainable beliefs come full circle.

Environment made an unsettling discovery: after beautiful wood beams of exotic hardwoods are used to secure loose cargo on merchant ships, they’re often discarded at sea or in port once the cargo has been off-loaded. The company decided such a fate could no longer be afforded to easily reusable, stunning wood. “After we realized we could get ahold of the wood, we immediately went to work to figure out how to use it,” says Berruto. The wood inspired several amazing pieces in their collection, including these stools.

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1

2

3

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“It takes a talented team of artisans to realize a designer’s vision in wood; luckily, our craftspeople have an intimate knowledge of our techniques,” says Berruto, adding that human touch and skill is in almost every stage of their manufacturing process.

It acts as a blueprint for the business to be more environmentally diligent on the small things, like excess printing and turning off electronics, which are so often overlooked. “We want to generate awareness to all employees that personal commitment to the environment has to extend into the workplace and that our work is a part of our eco lifestyle,” says Berruto, explaining that the corporate culture is based on values of social and environmental responsibility, as well as a sense of family and community.

1. Stay Sofa with Army Tent Upholstery: starting at $3,495, Environment. 2. Hand Knotted Beach Blanket: $395, Environment. 3. Dice with Organic Army Tent Upholstery in Rust and Smoke : $275 each, Environment. 4. Large Beam Mirror: $1,895, Environment.

From all these individual beliefs and eco-friendly avenues produces Environment’s articulate and soulful furniture, versatile in its character and distinct in its quality. As of late, Berruto says the company has tapped into the Shakers’ age-old philosophy about furniture design: “Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.” With Environment’s pieces striking in every aspect, it’s only icing on the cake that all pay respect and a committed homage to the world around us. r april • may

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Reuse & Reinvent

C H A I RLOOM.COM


eco-style

a dedicated belief Fighting the myth that large corporations can’t be eco-friendly, West Elm proves that sustainability is within anyone’s reach

I

nteriors store West Elm may be a part of a bigger corporation in San Francisco, but the company prefers to think of itself as a small design group based in Brooklyn. Made up of an impassioned collective of people who consider the environment of utmost importance, the chain has made evident and notable strides in the movement toward sustainability. “I love Cameron Sinclair’s [of Architecture for Humanity] challenge to ‘design like you give a damn,’” says Creative Director Alex Bates, who’s headed West Elm’s creative direction of product development since 2004. “Well, we’re a small band of merchants, designers, planners, and sourcing pros who do design like that.” Consideration of its carbon footprint isn’t a newly present ideal for the popular chain; in 2005, West Elm opened its first retail store with recycled flooring and low-energy lighting, setting a standard for the brand’s store design and kicking off its commitment to sustainability. Since then, the company’s eagerly marched forward with its pledge, launching organic textiles and recycled glassware, baskets and accessories, as well as its first eco furniture line, the Terra Collection, made april • may

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Left and bottom: Alex Bates’s Dumbo, Brooklyn, office

from FSC-certified wood, recycled metal hardware, and water-based finishes. Eco-friendly products now make up the entire Green Collection, each piece marked with a little elm tree, certifying its tribute to a renewable earth. This dedication is not to be taken lightly; according to West Elm, actively engaging in sustainability isn’t an option, but a necessity. “How can you look at the state of the current planet and not care [about sustainability]?” asks Bates, referring to it as a “collective responsibility.” “If we’re honest with ourselves, we don’t have a choice; we have to value this cause.” Pursuing the effort holistically, the company believes in a “from seed to shelf” approach, taking careful consideration of everything from materials to manufacturing to transportation of the final product. Nothing in this process can be sacrificed; if even one step of the way proves unsustainable, the end result will not fall within the Green Collection.

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he process to “green” is no simple task; ensuring 100 percent sustainability requires detailed research, certification, and dedicated patience by everyone on board. First step is to source vendors, who must meet parent company Williams-Sonoma Inc.’s strict social and quality compliance. “You have never met a more passionate sourcing team than ours,” says Bates, explaining that it takes twice as much work to find and approve a sustainable partner when working with the standards of a large company. Next, all pieces must receive third-party certification from an april • may

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Textile inspiration from designer Angel Dormer

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Inspiration for the West Elm Green Collection

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Office of senior textile designer Angel Dormer


organization like the Forest Stewardship Council—an organization devoted to safeguarding the world’s forests—before West Elm team members personally travel overseas to work with vendors and research new developments. “Many of these vendors have become highly inspiring partners for us,” adds Bates. “It makes such a difference when you’re working toward a common goal.”

“While our product story is an important one and good on many levels, it’s only a part of the equation,” says Bates regarding West Elm’s quest to become entirely green. “We are just at the

-woven pillows and throws seen on its shelves today. This commitment earned West Elm the ATA’s 2009 Distinguished Partner in Craft Award, a tangible and meaningful reflection of the continuous venture. “The fact that we can work closely with a small Indian village, celebrate an ancient tradition, and help support families directly in our work is very rewarding,” says Bates. It’s helpful when the larger power at hand is on the same page; Williams-Sonoma Inc. has been adopting eco initiatives of its own, converting all catalogs to FSC-certified paper and joining the Global Forest & Trade Network to help protect threatened forests. Concern has also grown regarding distribution and packaging, which Bates fully supports. “Shifting the shipping standards of our parent corporation is one of our most complex and important initiatives underway,” she says, adding that the endeavor will require time and a great amount of diligence, but at least they’re moving forward.

beginning of a long, complex journey.”

V

endors aren’t the only important partnerships West Elm has formed; the company also works in active collaboration with Aid to Artisans (ATA), an organization that helps generate employment for low-income artisans worldwide by linking them with markets and buyers. Through this partnership, West Elm has supported artisans in the ancient silk region of Bhagalpur, India, resulting in the one-of-a-kind hand-loomed and

T

“ he apartment,” as the West Elm team fondly refers to this space, where new designs are tested and displayed. (We’re ready to move in...)

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R

egardless of approach, the one thing West Elm refuses to waver from with its green products is its core brand premise of affordability, quality, and design. By considering vendors’ processes, technology, development, and selection of materials from both an eco standard and a price standard, West Elm is able to steer customers toward a familiar design, often with the added surprise that it’s organic. Overall, consumer response has been incredibly positive to both the Green Collection and the company’s concerted effort to make a change. And with Bates at the helm, innovation is sure to keep rolling.

Terra Dining Table: $499, West Elm.

“Personally, I think sustainable design is one of the most inspiring areas,” she says. “It’s almost like a game to find new materials and techniques that leave less of a footprint.” r

Copper Collection Sofa: from $299 to $799, West Elm.

Organic Cotton Solid Towels: from $6 to $19, West Elm.

Eco Rug Pad: from $6 to $59, West Elm.

Sheer genius: eco-friendly rug pads! A simple way to help purify your indoor air quality (by saying no thanks to nasty chemicals). 67

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Organic Cotton Pin-Tuck Euro Sham in Light Amethyst: $24, West Elm. Organic Summer Leaf Duvet: from $89 to $119, West Elm

Jute Diamond Rug: from $24 to $299, West Elm.

Terra Bed Frame: from $549 to $799, West Elm.

Recycled-Glass Candlelight: $39, West Elm.

“The big dream at West Elm is that, as we continue down this path of sustainability, maybe

Organic Cotton Frayed-Edge Sheet Sets: from $29 to $119, West Elm.

more consumers will care, and, bit by bit, all of our collective small efforts will add up to a big change,” says Bates. april • may

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Natura

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ally Inspired Mixing certified sustainable fur-

nishings with vintage pieces and

Written by Michelle Adams

Photography by Patrick Cline Art Direction by Michelle Adams

timeless staples, Michelle Adams shows how designing with the

environment in mind can in fact be quite charming.

L

ast fall when I moved to a new apartment I found myself in a strange predicament that most New Yorkers can only dream of: for the first time since arriving to the city, I had more square footage than I had furniture to occupy it (gasp!), and conversations with friends literally echoed as the sound bounced around my empty space. It was clear I needed more furniture, and I was excited by the design challenge my new home presented. As an editor I’ve had the opportunity to snoop through dozens of impeccably styled interiors, gathering inspiration and ideas that I couldn’t wait to try. But instead of racing out to place orders for new furniture to fill the void, I decided to take a different approach; I wanted to decorate my home sustainably. april • may

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The key to any design project is to start with a clear inspiration. Rather than researching to find eco-friendly products and consequently allowing your finds to dictate the direction of your design, you should start with a notion of how you’d like your home to look and then hunt for furnishings that help you express your style.

Click to watch how this natural jute rug was made!

O

ften when it comes to designing an ecofriendly home, people tend to get overwhelmed by the process. Where to look for products, how to know what’s green and what’s not, and perhaps most baffling— how to do so with style? Having studied sustainable design in college and later attending conferences on the topic (and even presenting as an “expert” at one!), I’ve come to realize that designing an eco-friendly home is really no different from designing any other space, except that it requires more research.

For my own home, I knew I wanted a space that felt sophisticated yet quirky, and relevant but also timeless. I’ve always been fascinated by flea market treasures and drawn to objects that have their own history; however, the bold, elegant, and well-curated spaces of designers like Dorothy Draper have had equal appeal. So I used this blend of concepts as a framework for the design of my home. Starting with the basics, I began by searching for rugs to add texture to my floors and divide my oddly proportioned, L-shaped living area into separate functional spaces for relaxing, working, and entertaining. I learned that the Environmental Protection Agency recommends families schedule carpet installations when their children are not present to reduce exposure to chemical emissions (wait, what?!). For this reason I selected rugs made from natural fibers, such as jute

For as long as I can remember, my mom has told my sisters and me never to “bury our heads in the sand,” so I immediately laughed when I stumbled upon this ostrich wallpaper, and was pleased to learn that it’s made from FSC-certified pulp and printed with water-based inks. Sold.

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I

n my office I paired a 1930s French oil painting with a vintage dresser and a classic lamp, grand in scale.

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Keep it fresh

When I found this side table at the Chelsea flea market, it was in desperate need of a good cleaning and a fresh coat of paint. Just as it’s important to use VOC-free paint on the walls, it’s important to use it on furniture as well. So I simply applied two coats of Benjamin Moore Natura wall primer that I had leftover from painting my bedroom, and voila! An instant classic that can be used as a bedside table, bar cart, or next to a sofa. Best of all, it cost me only $40.

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and abaca, a plant that is part of the banana family and is native to the Philippines. Both rugs are finished without the use of chemicals, and, in fact, the abaca can literally be chopped and used as lawn fertilizer if I decide to get rid of it in years to come. Next came the walls. I visited some wallpaper shops, narrowing my search to sustainably manufactured options, and ended up falling in love with a quirky ostrich-print paper that is equal parts delicate and bold. Since the pattern is rather busy, I applied it only to the main wall that connects my living and dining spaces to create a strong focal point for the room. I then softened the look with a barely-there gray paint called Blackened, by Farrow & Ball, which contains zero VOCs so I can breathe easy.

A

fter the walls came the windows. I’m admittedly choosy when it comes to window hardware, so when I discovered the classic Estate Rod from Restoration Hardware a few years ago I did a victory dance; it’s perfect. The large scale allows it to firmly frame a window, while the classic silver finish and simple flat end

Always on the hunt for secondhand steals, I buy most of my books from local used bookstores and top off the stacks with flea market finds. I love the cheeky juxtaposition of placing a macabre skull atop a dainty decorative box.

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Use what you’ve got

Tucked beneath the tablecloth is a cabinet I bought a few years ago at Salvation Army! When I realized that its doors were too damaged to be repaired, I decided to make it a skirted table rather than discarding the piece entirely. The “skirt” itself? A linen drapery panel from my previous apartment that’s too long for my current windows.

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Since starting my own organic textile design company in 2008, I’ve been on the constant lookout for patterns that inspire. I find great inspiration in prints that occur in nature, like my favorite spotted cone shell.

caps ensure that it doesn’t steal the show. Instead, my drapes have become the real showstopper, made from organic cotton canvas and hung by simple grommets for a look that’s laid-back and never fussy. In my living room, I continued to play with scale and was immediately drawn to an oversized silver lamp with a giant white shade. While this piece is not considered eco-friendly—like my classic curtain rods—its timeless form ensures that it will work with my décor as it changes over time.

Made from the trunk of a fallen Cypress tree, my sustainable side table is literally one of a kind. Since it was harvested and shaped without the use of chemical finishes, it smells like the forest it came from.


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I finished the look with a vintage armchair upholstered in organic cotton canvas and accessorized with framed photography, vintage mirrors, and lots of flowers.

M

y dining room was particularly fun to design, as I’ve never before had enough room for a table! Rather than buying new, I hunted on Craigslist until I found a used Parsons table, a style that will prove versatile over the years. Since I love to entertain, I knew I needed to find some sturdy seating to go along with it, so I fell for a set of Ballard Designs Louis side chairs, reminiscent of their preciously delicate antique ancestors. I had each chair upholstered in a bold organic-cotton stripe and flanked the grouping with two PEFC-certified wood frames. The photos themselves are some of my favorites taken by Pat and me on Lonny shooting trips.

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I discovered this antique credenza by accident while searching for a desk at a local thrift shop! My grandma had a similar piece that I’d always admired, so I was excited to find one of my own. I love the feminine silhouette and find it fascinating that it’s more than 100 years old!


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My good friend Christina turned me onto this retired Kate Spade vase when I spotted it at a party she hosted last winter. The large polka dots reflect the light, and it works just as well with or without flowers. After months of hunting, I finally tracked down an eBay vendor who still carries it here.

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Be bold

With the rest of my apartment light, bright, and airy, I knew I wanted my bedroom to be bold. I started by painting the walls a deep charcoal and then anchored the room with a vintage bamboo armoire that I found at a local thrift shop. To add a bit of drama to my bed, I placed my headboard on bed raisers but left my bed frame touching the ground. The extra height and graphic floral fabric make the headboard a strong enough statement to ensure that the all-white bedding isn’t a bore. april • may

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Eco elements

My mission to create an eco-friendly living space continues into my bedroom. The walls are painted with zero-VOC paint and are layered with vintage art, while my sofa is constructed with a sustainably harvested wood frame. The room is finished with an organic-cotton floral pillow, sustainable jute rug, and vintage Bertoia chair.

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C

reating an eco-friendly home can appear more difficult than it’s worth, but eco-chic design doesn’t need to be confusing or challenging. Eco options are available for every style imaginable, so once you identify your inspiration, you can easily source environmentally friendly options to suit your look. On the following pages, I’ve included information for all the fabrics, furniture, paint, and accessories used in my home to show you how simple it is to strive for a green abode. Your home—and our planet’s future generations— will thank you for it.. r

Michelle’s

Sources of Inspiration Oh Joy!

Style Court Green Is Sexy Caitlin McGauley Happy Menocal

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ECO ITEMS Furniture

Reclaimed wood from naturally fallen Cypress trees. Natural TreeStump Side Table: $199. West Elm.

Bedding

Sustainably harvested hardwood frame. Simone Sofette: $1850. Williams-

GOTS certified organic cotton, peroxide whitened. Art Nouveau

Sustainably harvested jute. 5x8’ Flat-Braided Jute Rug: $299. Pottery Barn.

Sustainably harvested jute. 9x12’ PB

Sonoma Home.

Organic Bedding: $59-319. VivaTerra

Flooring

Sustainably harvested abaca fiber. 8x10’ Kuskusan: $1,740 Merida Home

Wallpaper

Paint

Nontoxic and VOC free. Wrought Iron: $49.99/gallon. Benjamin Moore. (Used in bedroom)

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Essential Jute Rug: $349. Pottery Barn.

2010

Nontoxic and VOC free.

Blackened Estate Emulsion: $125/gallon. Farrow & Ball. (Used in living room, office, and dining room)

FSC-certified paper and water based inks. Large Pencil on Bone by

Beware the Moon: $125/roll. The Wallpaper Collective.


Accessories

Recycled-Glass Vase: $39. West Elm

GOTS-certified organic cotton.

Rubie Boudoir Pillow Cover: $79. Rubie Green.

Renewable vegetable wax and natural fiber wick. Soy-Blend Pillar Candle: $16. Pottery Barn.

100% natural and organic potpourri, each bag is sealed fresh in Florence and lasts 9-12 months.

Santa Maria Novella PotPourri, 100g: $30. Lafcony.com (Bowl not included.)

Made with eco-friendly, 100% plant based oils. Eco Rug Pad: $6-$59. West Elm.

PEFC certified Petite #234927: approx. $15/foot. Larson-Juhl. Artwork by Caitlin McGauley.

PEFC certified Gallery One Collection #524941: approx. $41/foot. Larson-Juhl.

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Organic Fabrics

GOTS-certified organic cotton printed in the U.S. with nontoxic, water-based inks. (Left to right): Capri Stripe, East Village, Marilyn, and Bryn, $90/yard. Rubie Green.

TIMELESS CHOICES

Louis XVI Oval Back Side Chair UD040. Starting at $329. Ballard Designs.

Arteriors Campbell Faceted Beige Cement Lamp. $499.00. Outer Banks Trading Group.

Vivian Wall Sconce. $164.95. Crate and Barrel.

Ralph Lauren Home Classic Hurricane in polished silver # RL41005PS. $700

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Waldo Floor Lamp, Arteriors Home. $1095. LOFT.

Estate Extension Rod Silver 48”-88.” $64. Restoration Hardware.


Vintage & Secondhand Sources

Material Recovery Eddie Ross Trocadero Furnish Green Three Potato Four

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Trading Places Former Trading Spaces designer Laura Day expresses her fresh style and effervescent personality in her latest Manhattan townhouse

a

challenge is no unfamiliar task for interiorsavvy Laura Day. As a designer on TLC’s Trading Spaces, she turned rooms from one look to the next on extremely tight budgets and even tighter timelines. Initially despising her soonto-be husband’s newly purchased apartment, she dusted off her décor expertise and transformed the space into a home she still misses. When Day and her husband, Frank, decided to move, they faced a new type of design challenge, one that stood about three feet high and came accompanied by an exponential curiosity. “Designing with kids in mind can really be hard!” says Day, mother to a vivacious two-year-old daughter, Olivia, whom Day laughingly calls a “ham.” “You learn that your design has to be a little loose; you have to be able to move and live.”

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

A walk through Day’s Upper East Side townhouse clearly proves she mastered the challenge: not only did she manage to keep the home kid-friendly, but she did so without april • may

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Keep It Friendly

Kid-friendly, that is. Designing a home with small children in mind is never easy, especially when the desire is to maintain a level of style. Thankfully, it’s mostly about the small changes, and it’s simply understanding one’s plan of attack and mixing it within the overall scheme. Day first addressed all those superfluous items, boxing accessories she could do without to avoid enticing curious fingers. “I’ve incorporated a much more minimalist look,” says Day; her current place is noticeably pared down in comparison with her pre-Olivia Park Avenue apartment. One must also take into consideration space itself: at two years old, Olivia is eager to stretch her growing legs, so when Day plunked down a two-piece coffee table in the middle of the living room, it felt constricting for Olivia. Our pictures show the table together, although Day filled us in that she generally keeps one piece of the table on each side of the couch, repurposing them as two side tables.

Click here to watch Laura create this!


ever sacrificing the design. Structured against the modern bones of a newly renovated apartment, the space is masterfully styled, paying homage to traditionalism through vintage furniture laying claim to an array of time periods. Sweeping from one room to the next, the home carries with it a fresh, thoughtful intent, complete with doses of character and perfected with touches of whimsy. “I strive for an ever-changing look, something that’s definitely livable but also incorporates a sense of humor,” says Day, whose dining room features a painted chocolate donut in space by Kenny Scharf. “I never want it to be boring.”

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ay isn’t one of those designers with vivid memories of rearranging her childhood bedroom; in fact, she came into the field quite unexpectedly, and ultimately as a result of a car accident. Twenty years old and westward bound to figure out “what she wanted to do in life,” she hit a road bump, literally, finding herself with a damaged car and expensive repairs that quickly evaporated her checking account. Finally arriving in Martha’s Vineyard, Day needed a job, and fast. By a twist of fate, Conover Restoration, specializing in high-end restoration projects, hired her as a house painter. “I learned the absolute right way to paint a room, a door, a piece of furniture, everything,” says Day. “Plus, I had the chance to see renovations happen from start to finish, from gut literally down to choosing the candlesticks in the dining room.”

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This Marilyn Minter piece, called Shinola, reeled Day in instantly. “It made me pause,” she says, spotting it at NYC’s Salon 94. “The more I looked at it, the more I loved it.”

Doing the majority of the decorative painting herself by the end of her stint, Day was quickly and clearly growing in her aptitude for the job. Leaving Martha’s Vineyard, she went full steam toward Manhattan, pursuing decorative painting classes at The Finishing School, in Long Island. Once Day was out of school, a restaurant in Nyack, New York, hired her not only to do their painting, but to design the entire space. Her work caught the eye of a writer at The New York Times, who wrote a favorable review, and Day’s career began. In 2003, the popular design show Trading Spaces asked Day to join the team, and the rest, according to Day, “is history.”

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resently, Day designs mainly for a few select clients, and she has taken on an ardent passion for flipping houses. Over the past four years, she’s turned four homes, completely revamping spaces and selling them in their entirety, complete with furniture. “When we moved into our current place, I literally walked in with Olivia’s crib, rocking chair, and the guest room bed,” says Day, who prefers to work with a clean slate. Approaching the Upper East Side apartment organically, she began buying pieces as they felt right, the majority vintage for both the green approach and the nod to history. “I like having a timeline of designs throughout any home,” she says, explaining that she combines several different pieces in a room to create specific compilations. “I like mixing it up, incorporating different lines of a time period, creating that tension.”


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Go Bold ...by using graphic, exciting wallpaper, such as G P & J Baker’s Songbird in silver and bronze, which appears in Day’s guest room. “I don’t believe there are any rules when using a wallpaper with pattern,” says Day. “I saw this paper and I loved it. Simple as that.” Using Lucite tables in the room helps keep the clutter that may otherwise be enhanced against the paper to a minimum, plus they’re an affordable classic. “I felt it important to keep the rest of the décor simple,” she says. Day chose to dress the antique bed in white and included yellow accents with throw pillows and curtains.

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Lighting Luster According to Day, lighting is the most important factor in a room’s overall décor. “It doesn’t matter what color you paint your walls if you don’t have decent lighting,” says Day, adding that incorporating different levels of light is key. To understand how it should work, divide a room into three parts horizontally: the bottom, the middle, and the top. Next, analyze the light currently present in each level and in what direction it’s pointing. To fully maximize the lighting, it’s necessary that it’s even in each level and direction.

Sturdy plastic side tables act as drums for Olivia.

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Leaving no detail untouched, Day upholstered the back of her settee in a colorful chinoiserie so it can work equally well in the middle of a room.

Laura’s Lusts 1stdibs Bergdorf Goodman J.Crew/Crewcuts Target Gracious Home

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ay’s biggest pursuit of late has been the launch of her new Web site, Laura Day Living, which acts as a digital guide to understanding and interpreting one’s style and incorporating it into interiors. The site is built like a virtual house, arranged by rooms, each with its own decorating inspiration and creative guise. By telling the story of design in an engaging platform and explaining her methods step by step, Day enables people of any skill set to take on their home. “I want to break down a style and translate it into every area of a person’s life so they can really understand it as a reader,” says Day; she believes many people are blocked when designing because they can’t decipher their style, so they don’t know

how to decorate their home. “Mainly, I’m striving to teach them how to translate that style into their interior.” Witty and relaxed, outgoing and charismatic, Day has perfected the act of translating her own style into her home. With neutrals playing a big role throughout her space, yet never shying away from color, she uses artwork to weave the perfect level of visual drama and maintain an air of sophistication that never feels stiff. “Our favorite space is the living room; as a family, we’re in here all the time,” says Day. “It’s the kind of room that Olivia can run around and dance ballet to ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.’ It’s always comfortable, never too fussy.” r

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The ABC Carpet & Home chandelier in Olivia’s bedroom inspired the remainder of the room, which Day wanted to feel calm but exciting, magical, and intriguing.

I love doing kids’ rooms with things that they can keep forever but are still fun and inspiring.

Laura’s

Bookmarked Pages MA Belle Apartment Therapy All the Best by Ronda Carman Inhabitat Little Brown Pen

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play date Originally intending for this space to be an office, Day ended up turning the room into Olivia’s playroom after she found herself working most days at her dining room table. Wondering how to work with the bulletin board she’d already applied to the wall for office use, she decided to lacquer the trim turquoise and turn it into a photo board for Olivia. “She loves to look at pictures, plus it added fun and color to the room, especially with the varied push-

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pins from The Container Store,” Day says. The pink-and-white-floral-patterned chairs were an inexpensive find from Target, adding a subtle sophistication and balance to the playful room, which was originally inspired by the Rug Company rug. “I love this rug, and I’ve seen it work in kids’ playrooms and I’ve seen it work in sophisticated spaces,” she says. “Any piece that can do both of those things is already a classic.”


Add Life Laura refers to this Slim Aarons piece, one of her favorites, as “intriguing.” “Artwork should grab you,” she says.

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…by adding artwork. Day’s space is largely enraptured with neutrals, but they never get lost since the dulled hues are intermixed with splashes of vibrant paints and prints. “My use of art is cohesive throughout,” says Day. “It ties the house together.” Her favorite artists include Marilyn Minter, Slim Aarons, and James Nares, to name a

few. Her bedroom features the mesmerizing duchess on a tiger rug by Slim Aarons and, above her bed, Marilyn Minter’s limited-edition skate decks, which Day scored on eBay. In an otherwise calm space, images of pearls scantily dangling from a woman’s thick, red lips create a dynamic that refuses to be ignored.


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Translate Your Style into Your Interior (with Laura’s advice)

1 Realize where in your life your “style” is strongest. Is it your wardrobe? Your jewelry? Your cooking?

2 Look at the color scheme and textures around that style. And yes, even cooking translates into colors and textures as well as your wardrobe.

3 Start by taking the leap with whichever aspect seems easiest; it could be picking the sofa or the paint color, or choosing a light fixture.

4 Once that first leap of faith is taken, watch out—there is usually no turning back!

5 Most importantly, if you love it, it will work.

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Check out Laura’s online magazine!

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Written by Holly Crawford Photography by Patrick Cline Art Direction by Michelle Adams 117

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With an innate sense of style and graphic flair that won’t quit, Ashley Putman’s four-bedroom family home is a winning combination of traditional and modern

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There’s usually an element of surprise to every good design— be it a small detail or an all-out gasp-worthy “ooh” moment. Stylish graphic designer Ashley Putman’s Houston home is no exception. The white-brick two-story she shares with her attorney husband, Steve, and sons, John, 5, and Scotty, 2, sits regally on the corner of a sunny, tree-lined street near Rice University. Flush with 12-pane windows framed by crisp ivory curtains and flanked by meticulously manicured hedges, the 70-year-old home doesn’t give an inkling of what awaits behind its traditional black door. But cross the threshold, step onto the dark oak floors (stained to match the flooring april • may

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Just off the entryway, a complete “mish-mash” of genres, from European contemporary to Asian, collides in a dark-neutral palette that works together. Putman tempers the room’s heavy furniture and masculinity with touches of feminine art— à la the original Lucy Kirkman oil painting “Christina” above the fireplace and the little-girl statue on the coffee table— plus punches of pink.

in Houston’s famed Menil Collection of art), and the visual feast begins. Like stepping into a kaleidoscope, the interior unabashedly contradicts the calm exterior with a mix of modern accents, striking splashes of color, and glossy finishes. “I love that surprise,” says Putman, “the order within disorder. I think that may sum up our house. Order on the exterior, then you walk in, and it’s a controlled mess of all types of things we like.” A Baton Rouge native, the charismatic brunette attributes her appreciation of traditional architecture to her southern Louisiana childhood and says she likes it “with a little spice.” She has a knack for integrating pieces from her former life as a graphic designer for Barneys New York and her hubby’s bachelor days to create an inviting mix-andmatch effect. Eames, Design Within Reach, George Sherlock, and Ralph

Lauren artfully coexist with antique heirlooms and flea market finds throughout the 3,250-square-foot space. “It’s about the design of each and every piece for me,” Putman says. “I did not set out to go in one direction or another. My house is not that studied.” She admits it’s been an evolution—a “mash and edit”— over the two years she and her family have lived in the four-bedroom home. “It takes a lot of editing and comes together over time,” Putman says, describing her aesthetic as “modern traditional.” And though it personifies chic, the home is anything but stuffy. “I love looking at these beautiful things and having them around

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he well-chosen statement pieces— like the poppy IKEA throw pillow in Putman’s laid-back living room—prove that all it takes are a couple of bold elements to spice up a neutral palette.

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me, but nothing is really precious,” says Putman, who, every bit the laidback mother of two young boys, realizes things will inevitably be broken or soiled. “That’s how we operate in this house.” That also means every picture isn’t perfectly square and coasters aren’t required. (But there are sweet embroidered cloth cocktail napkins aplenty.) Art plays an integral role in the home –including pieces by Jackie Gendel, Rachel Goodyear, and Celeste Tammariello–and lives among treasured family photos and rests atop other surfaces. “Steve shares my enthusiasm in art and is the best at finding new and interesting artists,” she says, adding that artnet.com is one of their favorite resources. “We buy each other art for gifts.”

A dresser passed down from her mom greets guests at the front door and grounds a few of Putman’s more whimsical finds: the neon pink “Love” print she fell for in a London shop and the white bamboo lamp from a New York flea market. “A little Palm Springs kitsch is perfect on my mom’s old dresser,” she says.

A Dallas Art Institute grad and owner of graphic design firm AH Designs, Putman also recognizes the impact her training has on her surroundings. “In graphic design, it’s all about organizing information and visuals in a thoughtful and interesting way without losing sight of what you are trying to communicate,” she says. “You need to practice restraint, but never forget to inject uniqueness and a little wit. You can apply the same principles in your home.” Maybe that’s why she doesn’t hesitate to play with paint finishes and colors— as her brilliant cobalt blue dining room and rich red powder room can attest. Ditto for glossy paint on moldings and doors to impart a glam patent shine. “Contrast is good, and color makes the house cozy,” she says. “I only like it

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in doses, though.” In larger rooms, the walls are “the perfect shade of white,” also known as Benjamin Moore White Dove. “It’s like an open canvas,” she says. To pull in color, Putman uses small accessories like pillows and small dishes. “It’s almost like with fashion,” she says. “I change colors with new pillows when the seasons change.” Though form is important, function is foremost for the family of four. “Most of the design [in my house] starts with function, then must have great form,” she says. Putman gives credit to “very creative, resourceful Southern women” like her mother and her friends for setting a good example of what a home should be. “They had this flair and style like no other women I have ever known,” she says, “and they knew how to make a house a home that was not only gorgeous, but warm and soulful.” Clearly in touch with her roots, Putman has created a space that she and her family gravitate toward, so it’s not surprising that instead of “being out on the scene, we’d rather be at home with our kids or having dinner with friends,” she says. And therein lies the juxtaposition of this talented graphic designer who also cherishes being a mom and cooking dinner for her boys every night: “I have the best of both worlds.” r

A fan of all things bamboo, Putman says the bamboo coat rack is “perfect for the entry, to throw all our junk on.”

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Putman’s husband selected the dramatic blue color for the dining room, which provides a striking backdrop for the couple’s eclectic art collection. A pair of lamps helps balance the mix-and-match sizing of the art hanging above. “I am leaning more toward balance these days, so I am buying more sets,” Putman says. “But I have some really great lamps that I just can’t part with, so I scatter them all around. I think it’s fun to have some pairs and some loners. It makes your house more interesting.”

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Masterful Mixing

Putman creates an enviable dining room vignette atop a simple sideboard with glass and brass candlesticks, a traditional oil painting leaning against a mod line drawing by Celeste Tammariello, and china pieces. “It’s more about finding different pieces that I like because of their individual designs, not because a particular piece was from a certain period or went well with something else,” she says. “I do find myself veering more toward traditional at this point in my life, but I’m a modern girl in personality. So I like to mix in modern elements to make it feel fresh.” april • may

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Graphic statements in the entryway like the Design Within Reach pendant lamp globe and the large, black-and-white-striped Pottery Barn rug align perfectly with the dining room fixture and table for a dramatic, layered visual. “The globe pendant has a nice shine and mixes well with the antiques,” Putman says.

Putman says of the painting in the entry, which she also stumbled upon at Houston’s Guild Shop. “I couldn’t get her out of my head, so I went back for her.”

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A delicate metal-and-glass

bar cart sits in front of a window parallel to the bar, with a collection of glass decanters glistening in the sunlight. “I was drawn to how dainty it was and thought it would work great with all the wood we have,” she says of the Guild Shop score.

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Virtual Favorites Ashley's

1stdibs.com

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The couple, who enjoy entertaining their closest friends, cleverly repurposed an antique secretary as a compact foldout bar. The hutch above the desk houses extra stemware and gives it heirloom appeal behind glass doors. “We had a blast setting it up,” says Putman of her “new favorite piece.” Its dark, ornate woodwork interestingly juxtaposes the nearby blond-wood Eames chair.


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“ hen it comes to paint, you have to be detail-oriented and know what finish you want,” advises Putman, who painted the entire house before moving in. “I was really into gloss. We chose high-gloss paint for all the wood and molding in the house. We also chose to paint some of the color rooms glossy. I think it’s kind of glamorous.”

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A tiny powder room in the

hallway between the kitchen and the living room screams for attention, with framed floor-to-ceiling keepers of all sizes and lipstick-red walls. “The color is safe because it’s a small room,” Putman explains. “I want to do something like this again!”


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The tidy all-white kitchen is lined with windows, allowing natural light to pour in from sun up to sunset. Four molded plastic Eames chairs add a retro styling that complements the rustic farm table and brick flooring. Shelved cake stands, well-worn cookbooks, and a silver soap dish personalize the clean-lined space.

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Ralph Lauren Home wallcovering (above) is discontinued. The art deco–style Ralph Lauren wallpaper in the master bedroom and its adjoining hallway complements the historical home and lends a vintage vibe to the photos and artworks framed in assorted black, gold-white, and wooden frames. “This wallpaper is perfect because it’s dark without being like a cave,” she says. “It’s doesn’t get too dark during the day.”

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Putman adds a touch of femininity to the master suite in the form of scalloped-edge Pratesi linens. “It’s a little frill,” she says.

“My bed is the one place I really wanted to have some

The tufted linen headboard not only adds comfort; it visually anchors the myriad of frames above it.

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Savvy Surroundings Ashley’s

Art

“I realized the importance of art at a very young age and have been consumed with it ever since. Being surrounded by beauty and emotional expression in the form of art is something very important to me.”

Personal objects “Things from my family or things that have emotional significance or family history, like artwork from my boys and notes or gifts from my husband or family, [are most important to me].”

Glass jars and hurricanes “I am so drawn to glass vessels. The shine adds glamour and another dimension to a room. They look great in a group or on wood, which I have a lot of. I also like that they are versatile. They can hold candles, candy, etc., and you can see whatever is inside through the glass—very pretty.”

Small antique ceramic items “I like little bowls or vases to hold things like keys and matches.”

Pillows “They spice things up and can be interchanged so easily.”

Principles of design collaborate to make the master fireplace a work of genius. Putman plays with scale among the frames and mirror and balances the mantel with unobtrusive matching IKEA lamps. Small fingerbowls display bits of jewelry like candy. “I love to contain things,” she says, “but think whatever you’re using to contain your junk should be pretty.”

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Putman keeps family photos in bowls throughout her home instead of in albums to make for effortless conversation pieces.


Family photos, paintings, and prints soften the oversize mod table. Poised at the top of the upstairs landing, the console boldly greets visitors with an appealing assortment of flowers, favorite books, and art.


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In a sunny corner haven that will eventually be sleeping quarters for both of her boys, Putman infuses balance with a pair of matching four-poster twin beds. Here, she weaves in elements from other parts of the house (colors, spheres, and bamboo texture) to create a cohesive feeling.

Putman takes a Pottery Barn Kids paper chandelier one step further—as a mobile fluttering above her son’s crib. “When I was about to have my second baby, I wanted everything pure and white,” she says.

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An ottoman serves as the living room coffee table and extra seating in a pinch, but, most importantly, it provides a neutral canvas that sets off Putman’s artful composition of black and white and red. “The Fornasetti tray that Steve gave me for Mother’s Day has a permanent home in our living room, but the kids served me breakfast on it that morning,” she says. “It’s the perfect red and such a fun piece, and he picked it out all by himself!”

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Built-ins and lots of baskets help this family-oriented room appear more orderly, with electronics, DVDs, and toys all strategically tucked away. White bead board, casual sofas, and bamboo shades keep the room fresh and unfussy. Uncommon accents like longhorns (ironically purchased in NYC, not Texas) and a resin-preserved insect give the breezy room an edge.

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Shop Talk (Ashley’s Picks)

Found

Flea Markets

Houston

NYC and Paris

The Guild Shop

Sloan/Hall

Houston

Houston

Kuhl-Linscomb West Boylston, MA

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The lush backyard, with a patio and pool area made for entertaining, has its own chic mix of teak and wicker chaises and chairs.


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laridge converted her guest room into a library, adding custom-made floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for her massive collection of books. A Swedish settee and sleek shagreen cigarette table make for the ideal reading nook or daybed.

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Laurann Claridge’s chic highrise home beckons guests with a subtle come-hither gesture of fragrance. Whether it’s the smell of Jo Malone candles burning or something the French culinary school grad (and 1997 James Beard Award winner) is whipping up in the kitchen, the 19thfloor abode is a sensory experience that greets all who enter as warmly as the gracious hostess who lives there.

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laridge in her light-bright living room, which can comfortably seat ten. “The mix of antiques and vintage pieces with modern, streamlined accessories, lamps, and furniture gives it a sense of eccentricity that really becomes personal,” she says of her home.

A delicate blonde with radiant skin and expressive eyes, Claridge is the does-it-all type who effortlessly serves up goat cheese–stuffed Peppadew peppers and St. Germain Champagne cocktails while talking modern art and 19th-century furnishings over the faint sound of Frou Frou, Lyle Lovett, or Adele playing in the

dElegance

Equal parts editor, fashion designer, and

Written by Holly Crawford

world traveler, Laurann Claridge has an eye

Photography by Patrick Cline

for stylish details that conjure old-world

Art Direction by Michelle Adams

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dainty 19th-century French settee Claridge picked up in Paris years ago contrasts with an oversized, raffia-covered Pottery Barn shade overhead—all framed by a dramatic Louis Philippe gilt mirror that rests on the dining room wall.

tapestry of well-chosen statements. “I love the idea of creating a collected environment in my home,” she explains, “where rooms, over time, become richly layered and interesting as you add treasures from your travels and pieces you’ve picked up along the way. All of those layers and all of these little memories give your life so much richness.”

background—and, in the process, looks positively polished in a tuxedo shirt and lounge pants. She elegantly represents all that she is: editor for a city magazine, published author, fashion designer, and world traveler. And so does her home. Painted in varying shades of gray (mostly Martin-Senour hues) throughout, the two-bedroom retreat is an edited combination of European antiques and structured 157

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of-the-moment pieces accessorized with family heirlooms and eclectic finds from places she’s visited. “I don’t want it to be decorated, but something more meaningful,” she says. Like a story Claridge would write for Houston’s PaperCity (where she’s been the features editor for ten years), her 1,500-square-foot apartment unveils itself—and a lot about its design-savvy owner—in a

And as one half of the two-yearold luxury loungewear company Claridge + King, which she owns with her sister, Lizbeth King, Claridge brings that same mindset to their menswear-inspired women’s line of crisp shirts, robes, tanks, comfy boxers, and pants. “I really believe there is a strong tie to how I live and how I express myself in terms of fashion,” she says. “Claridge + King is building a collection of basics with a nod to subtle detail that can blend easily with the pieces you’ve acquired in your wardrobe and statement jewelry you treasure.” And that’s not all: like Claridge’s space, most of the line comes in neutral shades of gray and white and is packaged in a matching pinstriped travel bag


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sleek glass coffee table in the living room gives center stage to a vintage zebra-skin rug, which Claridge won in an eBay auction.


A Louis Philippe mirror with original mercury glass, a 19th-century Biedermeier three-drawer chest of figured walnut with ebonized detailing, and an 80-pound rock-crystal quartz lamp crafted by Carol Schlumberger in the ‘60s (a gift from Claridge’s aunt, who originally commissioned the weighty piece) make for a magnificent vintage vignette, offset by nearby modern furnishings.


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stately armoire in figured ash adds texture to the neutral living room, while crown molding gives it polish.

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or pillowcase. “I have a fascination with the color gray and have for years,” she says. “I love to live with gray and wear it, too. And white’s the ultimate neutral, crisp and clean. I dress much like how I live and design.”

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Raised in a rural area of Connecticut, Claridge admits she “didn’t have access” to fashion growing up until being inspired by famed Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. “I had great exposure to fashion at a young age because of her book,” she says.

Interestingly, it’s all come full circle for Claridge; she coauthored Domestic Art: Curated Interiors, a coffee-table fixture full of Houston’s most inspiring interior design, and her home is now a source of inspiration in its own right, with its thoughtful paint palette, walls of windows, and custom add-ons, like floorto-ceiling bookcases in her guest room. Instead of a traditional setup in this room, she opted for an extensive library that also functions as her office. “I love libraries, and I adore be-

ing surrounded by books,” she says. With hundreds of books amassed on the two walls, Claridge had two bookshelves custom-made for the room. “They’re designed to pop out in one piece if you remove the molding, just in case the next occupant I sell it to doesn’t enjoy books as much as I do.” As for giving up her guest quarters, she solved the problem with a circa-1820 Swedish settee that can double as a daybed. Expertly reupholstered by David

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laridge’s living room offers an expansive view of Houston’s Greenway Plaza area; a sliding door serves as the gateway to her outdoor retreat.

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Longwood, the owner of Designer’s Furniture Mfg., who also created a 100 percent down mattress and bolsters for it, Claridge says the settee is deceivingly comfortable. “David found the box spring was made with copper coils,” she says. “Apparently that’s quite rare to find, since steel has been used for quite a long time.” The plush Dransfield & Ross linen pillows only add to the luxe look of the settee.

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n Amalfi sofa, Chinese garden stools, and greenery make the 19th-floor balcony, which runs outside her bedroom and library, an inviting space at sunset.

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Each antique objet d’art in her home tells a narrative, from the master bedroom armoire that just so happened to have her initials carved on its crown to the chipped two-tiered bar cart she labored to refinish in her parents’ driveway. “I must be an old soul,” Claridge says. “I love the idea that I’m just the temporary caretaker of a piece that used to belong to someone else, and one day someone else will possess it,


“My bedroom is probably my favorite room because it’s a calming retreat.”

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four-panel reversible screen doubles as a headboard behind Claridge’s plush bed. She crafted it more than a decade ago, stretching and stapling horizontal ticking on one side and white cotton denim on the other.


A wall of mirrors plays tricks with proportion in the master bedroom without overpowering the room. The late–19th-century French armoire, which tempers the wall’s sheen with its muted gray finish, was one of Claridge’s fortuitous finds: “When I realized it was carved atop with the letters LC, it sealed the deal; I had to have it!” she says. The new Claridge + King smokingjacket robe hangs from the antique piece.

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“I love the small, understated details, like a mitered corner in striped ticking at the end of a neck-roll pillow. They’re unexpected but appreciated.” who I hope will enjoy and care for that piece as much as I did.” When it comes to newer additions, Claridge gravitates toward meaningful pieces like the Royal Dream Crowns photograph that hangs behind her sofa. Framed in a “Royal Icing Narcissus” custom frame, the artwork is by her friend, New York-based artist Rachel Hovnanian, and is part of a collection on beauty pageantry. “I’m in artacquiring mode now,” she says. “That’s the sort of thing you have to happen upon, but the hunt for the right pieces is just as fun as the catch.”

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Claridge also complements her home’s palette with gilded bowls by Waylande Gregory that nod to the gilt mirrors and a handful of other

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painted vintage chair upholstered in Fortuny fabric paired with a painted branch by Houston artist James Farmer punctuate a wall in the master bedroom.

glimmering accents. “I tend to tie things room to room,” she says, “whether it’s that blue ticking in the library and bedroom, a snakeskin tray in the bathroom and snakeskin-patterned pillows in the living room and bedroom, or white linen. This sort of repetition can really unify a space and make it simple to move pieces from room to room.” These sorts of design principles never fail, but there’s something to be said for the natural coming together of a space, of the culling and evolving over time, just as Claridge has, during seven years in her place. “I’d like to think [my home] is a reflection of me, my travels, and the things I’ve collected over time,” she says. “I feel like it’s a comfortable, easy place to be, too.” r

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Claridge adores fragrances and makes art out of her collection, prominently displaying bottles of all sizes on trays. “I’m drawn to trays of all sorts,” she says. “They’re a great way to unify items and add a dash of color or pattern to a space. And it’s a simple way to showcase a massive collection of one particular thing—in my case, perfume. I also decant mouthwash in crystal decanters. Whether you buy them at Tiffany or IKEA, they just put a little sparkle in your morning and evening routines.”

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Claridge has a gift for making a bathroom beautiful, with artful displays and coordinated details like the gray Greek-key–bordered shower curtain in her master bath. “I’m a sucker for a pretty shower curtain,” she says. “If you don’t have a built-in glass shower stall, splurge on a great shower curtain.” april • may

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hen I have an idle moment, it’s neat to just pluck a design book, a cookbook, a novel off the shelf and immerse myself in it for a while. It just never occurred to me to do anything else.”


Lucite boxes take the role of drawers where there are none—like on Claridge’s desk—holding stationery, paper clips, pencils, sewing supplies, and embroidery scissors. “I adore amassing boxes,” she says. “They’re a practical and pretty way to tidy up all those knickknacks that gather in our lives.”

Favorite Laurann Stops Installations Antiques, Houston Area, Houston (713) 668 1668 Kuhl-Linscomb, Houston Thompson + Hanson, Houston The Container Store

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nexpected details like the white goat statue give the office of mostly books a fresh, modern feeling that’s very un-library. “The goat was a prop used in a Saks Fifth Avenue cashmere promotion a few years ago,” Claridge says.


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Buy only what you love! Really, truly, madly, deeply love! Don’t settle for “like.” Acquire what feels so very right deep down inside—be it fashion or home design. Stick to this credo and you won’t have any regretful purchases.

Play! Move things around and have fun with your environment. Why keep accessories and furniture stagnant? Change and rotate them with others you’ve stashed away for a while. I acquire pieces with the idea that if I tire of them in one room, I can move them into another fairly easily.

Don’t forget to update. While I aspire to live with a timeless sense of style, I don’t want to get stuck in a rut, either. Technology and the world around us are constantly changing, bringing to the fore new things that can enhance your life in countless ways. Embrace change and update your surroundings and your wardrobe often.

Don’t underestimate the power of stylish accessories, for fashion or home. I’ve designed a collection of uncomplicated clothing intended to be multitasked in myriad ways. I love nothing better than seeing someone take a Claridge + King piece and make it completely their own with statement-worthy accessories and their favorite wardrobe staples.

Great style is all about the mix. It’s more interesting to mix a designer splurge with Gap jeans or a set of funky bracelets or a necklace from Forever 21 or Target. At home, I love playing with scale and age. Filling a room in neutral tones with contemporary art and furniture, blended with a balance of vintage and precious antiques, feels at once both invigorating to the eye and harmonious.

Domestic Art: Curated Interiors (Assouline, 2008) “It nearly sold out in its first printing, and it will go into its second printing soon,” Claridge says. “At the moment, Amazon.com is selling copies of the first edition for $90!...It’s becoming a collector’s item quickly. “We had more than ten years’ worth of layouts from the pages of PaperCity in Houston and Dallas to cull from.…Doing a book was something that Holly Moore [editor-in-chief and founder of PaperCity], Rob Brinkley [Dallas co-editor of PaperCity], and I meant to do

for a while, but the timing felt right to release it in fall 2008. “Knowing we had a penchant for rather eccentric, curated spaces completely reflective of the people inhabiting them, we felt it was important to focus on houses and projects that reflected that particular sensibility. PaperCity has over the years gained a following in both Texas and across the nation for our very unique home coverage, and these were the sort of stories we found really resonated with readers.” april • may

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“My favorite Claridge + King piece is always the one I’m working on. I labor over each detail, contemplating a piece from every angle, trying it on myself and other fit models. I started with the aim to fill a void in my own wardrobe, and that’s still a big motivator. Now I’m in the advantageous position of hearing what our customers crave, too, and incorporating those ideas into the line. I’m excited about the T-shirt dresses I’m doing this spring/summer and our shirtdresses coming out this fall and next spring.”

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xtra pillows stack neatly on an oversize natural-finish basket Claridge scored at Texas’s Round Top Antiques Fair.

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Can’t Get Enough of… Fragrance Be it perfume or scented candles, I’m so intrigued by beautiful scents, especially uncommon, small boutique brands. Fragrance and candles are a wonderful treasure to bring back from your travels, too. Every time you wear a scent or light a candle, you’ll be reminded of its origins. I love, love, love almost any fragrance by Frederic Malle, but the one I wear most and get stopped about all the time is Une Rose by Edouard Fléchier.

Fresh flowers It’s the one little splurge I do for myself every week. I especially love white lilies, lady slipper orchids, peonies in May and June, pink tulips, sweet peas, and ranunculus.

Freshly ironed sheets Since we spend so much of our lives in bed, why not sleep on well-made bed linens? Linen sheets are especially cool and cozy in summer, and I adore the set of Leontine Linens I had monogrammed in a two-tone gray font. They all seem to get better—softer and cozier—as they age, too.

Jackets, coats, and sweaters I’m forever chilly, and adding a fun top layer is not only a practical way to ward off a chill any time of year, but a good way to personalize your look. I love to scour vintage stores and small retailers when I travel for uncommon pieces.

Good food Whether it’s humble or haute, I appreciate a good meal. I love to cook and bake whenever I have the chance. You’ll always find homemade cookie dough stashed in my freezer, so fresh-baked chocolate chunk or peanut butter cookies are just ten minutes away!

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ersonifying her company motto, Claridge lives, plays, and sleeps in her designs.

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NOLITA PROJECT

Craving a new challenge, interior

designer Nick Olsen revives a dark,

cramped apartment to create a bold, Chinese-influenced escape

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wo years ago, interior designer Nick Olsen got the itch for a new venture. Without further ado, he sold all his belongings (save a few select pieces) and relocated from his Flatiron District studio to a Nolita one bedroom, swapping high ceilings and elegant architectural details for a dingy, dark apartment with a choppy layout and uneven flooring. Olsen was thrilled. “The apartment was the complete opposite from what I’d had before. I took it as an opportunity to do something quirky and intense, like an over-the-top jewel box on a smaller scale.”

Olsen doesn’t shy away from detail. After lacquering his entire living room, kitchen, and entryway in high-gloss red, he applied red piping to his reupholstered couch to tie in the element. Instead of simply painting his floor black, he added the geometric design, hand-painting the pattern himself.

Not an unusual stance for Olsen; close friends have referred to his aesthetic as “maximalist,” to which Olsen agrees: “I’m not completely extremist,” he says, “but I don’t do things halfway, and I’m never restrained in my decorating.” With a keen interest in history, his spaces are a modern marriage of yesterday and today; his general style is largely contemporary, while always maintaining a strong foothold in the past. “Ancient pieces have a grounding effect for me; if a space is without anything historical, it just feels too new,” says Olsen, who works to incorporate Greek sculptures and motifs or Roman busts. april • may

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riginally studying to become an architect, Olsen says the tables took an unexpected turn his senior year when he stumbled across a picture of interior designer Miles Redd’s townhouse in W magazine; his response to the décor was so strong he wrote Redd a letter, explaining himself and his interests. Redd called Olsen in for a meeting, and two weeks later hired him as his assistant. The designer worked by Redd’s side for five years, referring to the experience as his “education in decorating,” learning everything from color combinations and styling to functionally breaking down a room. “The most important thing he taught me was furniture arrangement and how to use a room to make the most of a space,” says Olsen. “Miles truly has an impeccable taste; he’s influenced my current work in every way.” Olsen approaches interiors like a narrative, unfolding a story he’s kept, until then, in only the confines of his mind. Inspired by a brief stay in Chinatown between apartments, Olsen envisioned a Chinese opium den–like experience for his Nolita apartment, resulting in the high-gloss red backsplash that excites the living room and kitchen walls.

“ I needed something for the foot of the bed, and when I saw this fake fireplace at a flea market, I knew it would be a fun addition,” says Olsen, who painted the “ugly wood color” of the mantel a fresh white.

He had used a bold color in his previous apartment but had painted all trim white, from the moldings to the sofa. This time around, he engulfed the space in the shade without any of the white relief. The feeling, and mission, is certainly accomplished; by including the ceiling in the paint job, the aura is completely and vibrantly encompassing. “Paint is the single most transformative thing you can do to a room,” says Olsen. “If you can’t embrace changing a space with paint, your options become extremely limited.” april • may

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aying homage to artist Damien Hirst, Olsen painted this polka-dot piece himself. “It proves that all colors really do go together!” he says.

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The Equation of Scale and Contrast

eets pop art, s!” ttle off. Just like me!” Olsen says.

Olsen’s bedroom did not come to fruition without well-planned execution. Using a mixture of stripes and patterns, Olsen carefully selected each fabric to complement one another in both scale and contrast, not fight in a coexisting environment. After scoring Ralph Lauren’s bold “Velasquez Stripe” for a mere $10 per yard at Design Diva Fabrics and applying it to the walls, he paired the thick, hunter-green stripe with the skinnier stripe in a contrasting color on the sheets and pillowcases. By balancing the scale between patterns, Olsen allows them to play off one another instead of butt heads. Interplaying with the stripes are the playful, screen-printed fabric he applied to his chest of drawers, which Olsen refers to as an “under the sea”-like stripe, and the geometric arrangement he painted on his armoire. His bedside lamps, which Olsen found for $10 apiece in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida, aren’t meant to be bedside lamps under the typical standard, but they work in the room because they’re overscale. “The lamps in this setting bring a power into the design, and they really pop against the wall,” says Olsen. “Scale is key.” april • may

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aving lived in studios until this point, it was also important to Olsen that he both maximize and celebrate his separate spaces. Aiming to create a cozy, intimate bedroom, the designer utilized fabrics across the board, an element he hadn’t worked with in the Flatiron District. Instead of painting, he draped fabric against all four walls, staple gunning it to the ceiling and pulling it apart at the windows for instant curtains. “The bedroom gets such great light; mixed with the fabric, it creates this warm, tented, outdoor-like feeling, almost old English in a way,” says Olsen, who finished the space with wall-towall sisal carpeting. None of the above took place until Olsen first applied several necessary renovations. He hired contractors to tear down a partition in the bedroom to create a larger space, and to rewire the lighting, which, Olsen says, “felt like a fire hazard.” Olsen himself replaced the kitchen island with an IKEA cabinet and even went to such lengths as removing the original refrigerator because of its bulk. “It was huge! I couldn’t stand it in my kitchen any longer,” he says; he now uses a mini fridge, kept under the counter butcher block.

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The Khotan rug from Metropolitan Carpet Gallery pairs Olsen’s two favorite colors, red and green, in a directional design that is complex without fighting the room’s surrounding patterns.

Olsen had originally planned to cover the IKEA melamine with paper, but loved the red, gold, and white “under the sea” motif of this screenprinted fabric remnant he found at his upholsterer’s. “Screen-printing makes fabric very stiff, so it worked really well to cover,” he says.


Design on a Dime Like many young designers paying rent in the Big Apple, Olsen doesn’t have a ton of extra cash to put toward his personal décor efforts. That doesn’t mean, however, he can’t achieve the look he’s gunning for through less expensive avenues. The high-gloss red didn’t only transform his look, but by painting the walls, trim, ceiling, and doors, it absorbed unsightly pipes and sloping walls without requiring expensive renovations. His sofa, covered in a navy velvet, was one of the few pieces he kept from his previous place, but it fit within his new look. Inspired by Diana Vreeland’s “Garden in Hell” and scavenging discount fabric sites, Olsen found Clarence House’s “Mon Jardin Secret,” a glazed chintz with a completely opposite personality from the velvet, at Design Diva Fabrics. At only $18

per yard, he pocketed additional dough by recovering the sofa himself, watching as the chintz inspired the color scheme for the rest of the apartment. Instead of putting down big bucks for an expensive rug, Olsen painted the floor after being inspired by a geometric pattern he’d spotted on a chair on eBay. Closely copying the design but changing the colors, he first painted the floor solid black, then overlaid the mocha brown and cream pattern, pulling the colors from the aforementioned glazed chintz. Olsen tracked down 90 percent of his artwork from flea markets in Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and Brooklyn. When the designer couldn’t find a piece to hang above the couch, he took matters into his own hands, painting a canvas himself after being inspired by a John Little painting from a gallery card.

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Todd Alexander Romano

NYC Antiques Garage Flea Market

Housing Works

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Pearl River Mart

Gorgeous painted furniture, 6th Avenue and modern paintings, 25th St, NYC accessories Where I discover all my favorite finds

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Manhattan locations Great castoffs, and the money goes to a good cause

Beautiful and The range of extremely cheap what they can porcelain and offer for so little is bamboo blinds astounding


A Christmas present from Designer Miles Redd, the Blanc de Chine Palace Vase from John Rosselli Antiques & Decorations is Olsen’s favorite object in his apartment.

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“My apartment is best described as a Chinese opium den meets glossy grandma. I love the style context of mixing chintz slipcovers and painted French furniture with modern elements like bold colors, abstract paintings, and a geometric tiled floor.”

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o longer working as Redd’s assistant, Olsen is busy launching himself as an independent designer. He has officially established Nick Olsen Inc., offering to take on projects of any scale. Given his background working with Redd, his thriving blog, which covers style in a fun, personable manner, and his own natural, fearless, and charismatic talent, he’s set to take the design world by storm. His goal? Establish himself to the likes of mentor Redd, in terms of talent, hard work, and reputation. “Every designer has that gold standard they look up to,” says Olsen. “Miles is my gold standard.” r

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Nick’s Bag of Tricks Like many designers, Olsen has a few tricks up his sleeve. A fan of decorative painting and fabric, he often adds details like geometric shapes or a patterned fabric backing to inexpensive furniture to add a level of flair and visual interest. Olsen captures a more vintage appeal on certain pieces by polishing and finishing wood with rottenstone. By mixing the fine powder substance with mineral oil and brushing it on, it creates a more antiquated look, like the frame of his green leather armchair in the living room. He constructed the green folding screen in his living room by spray mounting green felt to the wood, then adding the black ribbon panels with a glue gun. The best part? The folding screen hides the less-than-appealing water pipes.

“This lamp is my little ‘80s Memphislite moment!” Olsen laughs; he found it on the clearance rack at an NYU dorm-supplies store.

Blog Desire Mrs. Blandings 2THEWALLS Decorno I Suwannee The Peak of Chic


Final Touches Although design is generally an ongoing project, Olsen gets a feeling that he’s close to completing a space when he starts thinking about changing the lightbulbs. Before it’s all said and done, the mood needs to be set, which is best done through lighting. “Once everything is in place, you can really determine how you want the lighting to interact, what things you’d like to spotlight,” he says. He also knows things are wrapping up when the

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tchotchkes begin making an appearance. “I love the tchotchkes factor, sculptures and vases, objects, colors, factoring in anything that catches the eye. I’ll buy a coffee-table book just for an interesting cover.” Because setting out the tchotchkes ultimately comes down to styling, it’s one of the last things Olsen will affect, bringing the room and all its pieces immediately into play. “Accessories are so important,” he says. “You have to bring in that curiosity element.”


Affordable Luxury It’s easy to communicate an air of luxury in a place without bottoming the checkbook, as long as there is a degree of precision in all projects. “Make sure you know which projects you can handle yourself and which you should hire someone for; if you attempt to upholster a chair and the outcome looks messy, then it’s going to cheapen your environment,” says Olsen. “You don’t want your apartment to read like an art project.” It’s also a good idea to add a few higher-quality pieces within the mix, even if it’s just a pillow done in an upscale silk fabric. Olsen’s advice on lighting? Never buy cheap lampshades for risk of the effect. “It’s all about the details, so invest in paper shades,” he says. “Apartments that are styled well with poor lighting look cheap.”

“The bathroom is so wonky; it has no right angles, and this weird chamber for the toilet. I decided to play off the wonkiness and do a one-stripe diagonal in black and white,” says Olsen, who got the idea from a friend, Keehnan, who writes the blog 2THEWALLS and has a similar look on the background of his site.

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Every room (especially a small room) needs one overscale element. A giant painting or photograph, a sofa that fills most of a wall or corner, a huge bookcase— it brings all the smaller elements into focus.

If your house or apartment is lacking in architectural detail (like mine!), don’t highlight dinky moldings by painting them a traditional white. Instead, paint them (and the ceiling and door, if you’d like) the same color as the wall. Or, cover up any ho-hum details or cracked plaster with floorto-ceiling fabric (like my bedroom!).

Mixing patterned fabrics lends to a “maximalist” look, but one must pay close attention to the type and scale. A floral chintz next to repeating geometric will bother the eye if the scale is similar. Go for a bold stripe next to a smaller paisley next to a dose of leopard instead.

Keep going after the logical stopping points. A friend couldn’t believe I draped my entire room in fabric or that I painted the back of my bathroom door the same diagonal stripe as the wall, but I didn’t see it any other way. Making the most of every surface keeps it unexpected and exciting.

Don’t be afraid of Crayola color, especially in small doses. Bits of pure, saturated colors (on small chairs, modern paintings, throw pillows) can punctuate an otherwise neutral or muddy color palette, making it feel less safe and deliberate.

Why Nick’s Space Works “First and foremost, I have all the things I love in one place,” says Olsen, explaining why his apartment is a personal success. “If you love something, you find a place for it.” Second, even though Olsen’s bedroom and living area feature two entirely different design approaches, there is still a level of continuity that runs through the entire apartment. “I maintained a color scheme, so that the bedroom is a variation on the dominant red and green from the living room but tweaked to be more relaxing.”

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“If you love something, you find a place for it.”


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Legacy of

style

Encouraged and inspired by her design sophisticate mother, Ashley Wick brings yesterday’s learning into her present West Village studio

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aised in an 1863 Italianate home in San Francisco, Ashley Wick remembers distinctly the attention her mother, a former editor at both Vogue and House & Garden, devoted to decorating each room. “She taught me how to appreciate design and how to make a space livable,” says Wick, whose childhood days were often spent sorting through fabrics by her mother’s side at the Design Center. “She encouraged me to develop an eye for décor,” she says, “inviting me to accompany her to the annual designer showcase house so I could see and learn firsthand.”

The education paid off; though Wick refers to interiors as more of a hobby, she has certainly honed her aptitude for décor, with her mother’s creative instinct evident in her own aesthetic. “[Interior design] has become a natural expression of both me and my personal style,” she says, defining her style as a mix of high and low, not unlike her mother, who mixed antiques with contemporary American elements. “It’s classic punctuated by graphic artwork, found objects, and often eclectic, unexpected accessories.”

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he bookshelves contain my favorite books I’ve accumulated over the past seven years I’ve spent in the city, all my favorites from Ayn Rand to Russian literature,” says Wick.

Eager for a new place, Wick began searching with a distinct vision in mind for her future apartment. Yearning for something with both charm and personality, she stepped into the West Village studio, on the 12th floor of a white-brick, postwar co-op building, laid eyes on the built-in bookshelf and unobstructed view of downtown Manhattan, and knew immediately the search would cease. Since then, Wick has transformed the apartment into a cozy and soothing haven, an escape from the hectic streets below that dulls the non-stop nature of the city with a clean, natural, uncluttered experience. A flair for décor isn’t the only trait Wick inherited from her talented mother; she also grew up inspired by the family’s Manuel Neri nude sculpture and their prominent Isamu Noguchi metal pylon. april • may

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Naturally Appealing “I love stripes, and this eye-

catching rug was more interesting than any traditional stripe,” says Wick, referring to the hardwood floor’s statement piece that kicked off the inspiration for her living room. With an engaging graphic fixture in place, the room called for simple furniture and solid fabrics; Wick intended to keep the palette natural to avoid a cramped feeling. “I felt that the space wasn’t big enough to accommodate too many contrasting colors and prints,” she says. Instead, she brought in the white couch, Lucite chest coffee table, and wingback chair to complement the rug’s allure.

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Graduating from Duke with a major in English, Wick pursued fashion, working as an assistant to the design director at Vogue and in the public relations department of Diane von Furstenberg, where she also styled look books and produced photo shoots.

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fter three and a half years at Diane von Furstenberg, Wick left to take on the role of U.S. public relations director for Anya Hindmarch, the mastermind behind the sustainability-focused “I’m Not A Plastic Bag” purse. “Anya taught me to look at a handbag as more than just a vehicle to transport your belongings,” says Wick,

who also infused characteristics of Hindmarch’s wisdom into her own décor. “Anya’s love for things that are quirky has rubbed off, and I’ve injected elements of intelligent humor into my interior design,” she says. Wick’s bathroom sink is home to a toothbrush holder with a stern warning to passersby: “Use this and I will break your arm.” Although Wick has since left her role at Anya Hindmarch, she will not be leaving environmental efforts in the dust. Wick is currently considering a move to Mozambique, where she would be working on a development project aimed at environmental conservation as well as community outreach to build and improve education and health

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there and for a few years following,” says Wick. “I still use them for reference today.”

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“ t’s rare to have such a clear view of the city,” says Wick of her south-facing view. “I cherish the moments when I’m home and witness both dawn and dusk.”

care. It wouldn’t be her first time abroad; before her period at Vogue, she worked in public relations at the Australian Kite Surfing Association in Australia. Both travel and eco awareness continue to be a motivation for Wick. “I’m inspired by observing how people live in different parts of the world and love bringing aspects of it into my apartment,” she says. “Down the line when I can design my own home, I intend to incorporate green products and an efficient use of energy.” For now, she has been using her studio to mimic her California roots, her lifestyle, and her personal dichotomy. “I like to be glamorous at times and an athletic tomboy at others,” says Wick, whose 575-square-feet home includes a range of objects, from inherited family paintings to a tennis trophy from her teenage years. Wick credits Hindmarch with teaching her not to take herself too seriously. With bookshelves that are home to a broken-in straw cowboy hat and antlers playfully interacting with aged editions of Tolstoy’s works, it’s clear Wick learned her lesson. “My apartment feels lived in,” she says, having now been there for a year. “It’s sophisticated but not precious, comfortable but not sloppy.” r

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W ick chose this Antony Todd wingback armchair because of its graceful lines and teal color that brightens against the chocolate tones of the room. “It’s feminine and balances the square lines of the couch,” she says. “It has a high back, which gives it scale and grounds it within the room.”

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Simple Serenity A quiet calm is exactly what Wick de-

sired in her bedroom; she acquired it by focusing on organic, soft fabrics in natural, warm tones. The printed pillows pop against the reserved palette, engaging a visual curiosity and offering an element of punch similar to the playful dog prints above the bed. By mixing a silver art deco lamp with the wicker and wood bedside table, Wick not only polishes the overall look but breaks up the depth of the deeply colored wood flooring. Last but not least, she topped off the room with the antique chest at the foot of her bed, which she scored at a shop on Houston Street. “The broken hinges and aged, beaten-up look give it great character and a wonderful patina,” says Wick. “Like the trunk, I like old things that have a soul and tell a story.”

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he picture below the mirror is of Wick’s grandmother at their family ranch in Hawaii. “We both share an equine love,” says Wick.

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Take Hold of Your Built-In Bookshelf (with Ashley’s know-how)

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Color code your Wallpaper or paint books and stack the back wall to them in unusual give it depth with ways. a pop of color or a darker hue. Mirrors also create a nice effect and achieve the same goal.

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Err on the side of To add life and Add a pullout minimalism rather dimension, place shelf that you can than clutter if you a tiny lamp on use as a desk or are a knickknack a shelf or hang work space if you junkie. It doesn’t pictures and layer don’t have one. have to be neat- paintings in front sy-tidy, because of the shelves. that’s a snore, but remember that it’s all on display.

Paper Nature When Wick felt too separated from nature in her Manhattan apartment, she brought it inside with Cole & Son birch-tree wallpaper. “Now I have my own little forest,” she says of her dressing room, which adjoins her bedroom and bath. Traveling to London during her time at Anya Hindmarch and often staying at the No. 11 London, Wick became inspired by the boutique hotel’s rooms, which were dressed almost entirely in an array of floral wallpaper. Following its lead, she challenged the limits, papering every wall as well her closet doors. “I love the idea of engulfing a small space in one print so you feel completely encased in it,” she says, calling the paper “playful.” “I felt the birchtree wallpaper was much more effective when it covered everything.”

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W ick discovered the fork wallpaper now adorning her kitchen wall during a fortuitous weekend trip to Hudson spent scouring the streets for antiques with her mom. The chandelier was also a lucky Hudson find, although at a different shop. “I love it,” she says, “because it adds glamour to an otherwise utilitarian room.” Tracy Kendall “Eat” Wallpaper available at Mix (518) 828-1707

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the

Storiesof

Home w Sean McNally tackles the

décor of his first Manhattan one bedroom, inspired by the teachings of interiors

mastermind Charlotte Moss

Written by Shawn Gauthier Photography by David Land Art Direction by Ellie Somerville

While he was pursuing his dream of musical theater in Manhattan, it wasn’t unusual for Sean McNally to work odds-and-ends jobs off the stage. When a friend approached him after a show asking if he’d help serve coffee at a few select business meetings, he shrugged his shoulders and agreed. The decision changed the course of his life entirely; the business meetings were that of internationally acclaimed interior designer Charlotte Moss, who soon sought McNally for more responsibility than simply pouring the afternoon tea. “I walked in to meet her, and we instantly clicked,” says McNally, whose fondness and admiration for Moss is genuinely apparent. “She was incredible; so present and so inviting.” april • may

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Moss continued to request McNally when she needed a hand, and their camaraderie grew. Meanwhile, McNally supplemented his income with an additional catering job, one he wasn’t terribly upset with losing when the economy went south. Seeking out another form of steady employment, he was hours short of signing on the dotted line for a sales job when his phone rang. Moss’s house manager was on the other line, wondering if he’d be interested in taking on the position of caretaker for Moss’s Manhattan home. “Once I picked my jaw up off the floor, I immediately said yes,” says McNally, who has now been in the role for six years. “If anyone had ever told me I’d be working for Charlotte at this magnitude, I would have never believed it. But here I am.” And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Artistic by nature, McNally has always leaned more toward the creative mind-set, realizing in college that his talents extended past his chosen study of theater. Sharing a place with roommates, he decided to paint his bedroom, which led to his taking on the living room and eventually tackling interiors as a more impassioned and complete project when he secured his own place in NYC. Calling it a “natural extension,” décor seemed a

An Inspiration Story

McNally will never forget the first time he saw A Star Is Born as a youngster; he was instantly taken by the music and singing, with Barbra Streisand’s notable performance leaving a lasting impression. McNally has been a faithful fan ever since, following his own passion for musical theater and looking to Streisand’s path for continued inspiration. Along the way he’s collected several pieces that feature

knack he had finally uncovered, and Moss’s entrance into his life only continued to aid in the unveiling. “Charlotte’s incredibly influential,” McNally says. “Most importantly, she taught me how to create a story with spaces, and create them clearly. And to never forget the details; add anything to make a room extra special.” When McNally first moved to the city 15 years ago, he took up shop in a fifth-floor studio walk-up in Hell’s Kitchen, content until he got the common itch for more space. He didn’t need to look far; his neighbor had moved out, leaving a vacant onebedroom apartment next door. McNally’s landlord showed him the space, in good condition with a fresh coat of paint and bright sunlight reflecting energetically throughout the rooms; McNally jumped on the opportunity and made the move. Instantly, he found himself with a bit of a challenge; in all the years he’d spent in NYC, it was the first apartment he’d had with a distinct, separate bedroom. He wasn’t entirely sure how to approach the living room versus the bedroom, plus his old furniture from the studio didn’t fit into the new place, requiring the purchase of several new pieces. Thankfully for McNally, interiors have become

Streisand; the drawings to the right and left of the mirror were done by close friends, and the Interview magazine cover beneath the Moroccan lamp features Streisand’s autograph. By arranging artwork that is meaningful and interesting, McNally has successfully created a story that resonates personally while adding a playful, Hollywood-esque vibe to the space.

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A Garden Story An avid frequenter of flea markets, McNally had come across several antique and vintage paintings of flowers and began to hang them cohesively on his living room wall. He noticed the paintings were all done in similar styles, and after topping them off with a mirrored sunburst, he suddenly realized he’d created a rather charming indoor garden. “Eventually I want to mount the TV to complete this story,” he says. With the extra space on the console, he’d like to add more family photos to enhance the personal effect.

McNally picked up this wrought iron book display in the Poconos. “It provides a constantly changing piece of art,” he says. “If you want a fresh look, simply open a book to a different page and enjoy an entirely new perspective.” 209

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“I learn tin


ned from Charlotte that the niest things make the difference.�

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a very organic process, and he quickly understood how to approach the individual areas. “They’ve become two different extremes of my personality,” he explains, adding that he’s come to appreciate having a separate bedroom. “The living room is bright, warm, sunny, and comfortable, while the bedroom is dark, deep, and sexy.” Several years back, McNally scored an amber glass Moroccan-themed hanging lamp; it proved one of the few pieces that still worked within the layout of his new apartment. The lamp planted a seed, but McNally didn’t realize the future fruition of a Moroccan-inspired living room until he bought a similarly themed table from the same trade show. His vision quickly began to unfold; pulling the vivid reds, blues, and greens from the table, he began to emulate the feel through additional accessories and furniture for the room. A “country” feel had been the premise for his past studio, and McNally still held a soft spot for the principle. He laced the Moroccan ambience with a country comfort by adding flowers and antique paintings found mostly at flea markets. The kitchen took on a more concentrated effort with its excited red walls accented with daffodils and handmade ceramics, creating a comforting space reminiscent of fresh apple pie.

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McNally’s astrological sign is Cancer, so he often works crabs (the sign’s symbol) into his décor. “Both of these crabs were unexpected but happy finds,” he says; the red crab dish is from John Derian, and McNally bought the white bone crab from Calypso in South Hampton.


Sean

Shops

Suggests

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Using a Pottery Barn stencil, McNally artfully added detail to enhance a solid color.

The bedroom has been the longest in the making; McNally first painted the walls an icy blue, then off-white, before painting the back window wall a deep brown on a whim, using a stencil to add a playful pattern in gold metallic. The other three walls remained off-white until he became inspired by a magazine spread that included shades of eggplant, instantly realizing it was the missing color. Now all walls are bathed in deep, enticing hues, with the same stencil pattern in gold metallic floating throughout. “It’s like a cozy, warm, rich nest,” says McNally; by adding the stenciled details, sacred advice from Moss, it certainly makes the space his own. “My apartment is a trusted representation of who I am. When my friends come over, they see me reflected in my home.” r


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Masculine Story

Once McNally finally decided on the deephued color direction for the room, he knew he had to enhance the space to tell a rich, masculine story. He dressed his bed in a mixture of patterns, topping it off with a Pottery Barn faux-fur throw to pull in the brown from the back wall and to add an element of luxury that still maintains an edge in its softness. Because he pushed his bed into the corner, he decided to offset the balance by creating a picture-heavy montage on the wall opposite the bed.

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The collection ranges from butterflies and Indian silk screens to Roman men mixed with goats and cherubs, all framed by Triton Gallery. “They’re all very masculine images, although not necessarily iconic or symbolic,” says McNally. “By framing them all in gold, white, or black, it kept them within that theme while still allowing for variation.” Above the framed pictures sits a deer head, which further perpetuates the masculine tone and adds a sense of dimension.


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cNally repurposed his closet as space for his desk, painting it the same shade as the walls so it became lost behind the white desk. “Before the closet was painted with the desk in place, it was a bit of an eyesore,” he says. “Now it appears more serene and beautiful, and the closet totally disappears.”

McNally spraypainted the deer head—a gift from Charlotte Moss—a high-gloss black, feeling that its original wood finish didn’t fit within the room’s color scheme. “I think it’s daunting,” he says. 217

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Decorative and Functional Another of Moss’s greats that McNally lives by: to design with both decoration and functionality in mind. Inspired by Moss’s own dressing table, McNally uses the dresser outside his kitchen as a home for everything from watches and cuffs to his grandmother’s antique lamps. “Charlotte has everything she uses every day [on her dressing table], but the table always looks great, never messy,” he says. The same goes for using saucers as accessories; McNally is the first to admit that he can’t get enough of them. “One, they’re a beautiful decorative item on their own. Two, friends can use them for coasters at a cocktail party. Three, you can fill them with candy or dried fruits or nuts to snack on,” he says. “It’s all about having objects or spaces that incorporate both decorative and functional qualities.”

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cNally replaced a shelf with this antique mirror, a clever and elegant choice when paired with the typical above-the-sink bathroom mirror.

A Symbol Story

McNally found this antique camel stool at an outdoor flea market on 26th Street; the wooden base sits between the humps of a camel for riding and is topped with leather pillows for comfort. “It was totally one of those ‘I can’t believe I found this’ moments,” he says. “The detail on the brass corners is fantastic!” 221

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McNally contemplated a variety of color palettes for his bathroom before realizing it would be best to keep it simple and clean, finally deciding on brown, white, and gold. “You have to be careful what color you paint a bathroom,” he advises. “If you paint it green, you’ll have green reflecting on your face.” Even with the color in place, it wasn’t until he came across the hand-colored crab engravings from Marckle Myers on Lexington Avenue that he understood the direction of the bathroom. “My astrological sign is Cancer, and the crab is the symbol,” he says. “When I saw it, I instantly knew my story.” He found the gold-framed mirror at an antiques store for a mere $50; pieces of the frame were broken, but McNally actually likes imperfections, he says, preferring their added touch of character.


This piece is by McNally’s niece, Meghan, who painted it when she was just about four years old. “Every time I look at it, it reminds me of my family,” says McNally, who fell in love with the artwork and framed it immediately. “Home can be so comforting.”

Sean’s

Road to Spinning a Décor Story

1

Collect tear sheets for initial inspiration. Always remember to do what feels right.

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2

Keep your eyes open for similar things; all the paintings are done in primary colors with a folk art–type style that I love, and my crabs are all simple.

3

If it requires a collection of photographs or paintings, like my bedroom, frame them all in themed colors to create a connection.

4

5

Enjoy! I find I am Find that first more pleased piece that you at the end than love, by accident I had ever imagor fate, like my ined; it’s very big painting of satisfying getting yellow roses or the inspiration out the crabs. of your head and seeing the physical result.


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