TRUE COUNTRY COLORS
NO PLACE like HUDSON
BOLD DESIGN IN QUIET COUNTRY
MARCH 2012 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 2
FA R LEFT, FROM TOP: The bedroom in Sheila Bridges’ Livingston NY Home, designed by Tasha Urban. “In Full Bloom,” designed by Tasha Urban. Anthropologie’s Rug-Printed Losange Chair. ON THE COVER: Harlem Landmark living room designed by Sheila Bridges.
FEATURES 6 No Place like Hudson
Tasha Urban creates a color-drenched and comfortable retreat for New York’s iconic designer Sheila Bridges.
DEPARTMENTS 4 Shortlist The 12 things designer and world-traveler Sheila Bridges can’t live without
16 Shortlist The 12 things up-andcoming designer Tasha Urban can’t live without
18 What’s Hot Dispatches from the world of design
19 What’s Next Tasha Urban’s wallpaper
2 ELLE DECOR
1. Australian Shepherds, Jax and Wheeler
1 AUSTRALIAN SHEPHERDS, JAX AND WHEELER
My dogs always seem happy to see me, no questions asked.
“I went to design school in Italy, and I have this love aﬀair with Italian design.
3 CARL HARRY STALHANE SWEDISH VASES
I love using my ceramics to serve up the unexpected!
3. Carl Harry Stalhane Swedish vases
4 OTTO’S MARKET LEMON ICE CREAM
5 “NEW NORDIC BLUE”
I can’t live without the color blue, so with the help of local vendors, I came up with my own “New Nordic Blue” paint. 4. Otto’s Market lemon ice cream
I am inspired by so many African-American artists, but Kerry James Marshall is one of them!
I am most inspired by nature, and this bloom makes it easy to see why.
12 THINGS SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
ew 5. “New rdic Nordic Blue
6 KERRY JAMES MARSHALL
Sheila Bridges has been unstoppable in the world of design since she began design classes at Parson’s School of Design in New York City. She simply doesn’t take “no” for an answer. With a background in sociology and a determination to be heard, she expresses herself through traditional pieces combined with brilliant color palettes and layered patterns. If she can’t find a pattern or paint color she likes, she’ll design her own (such was the beginning of her now famous Harlem Toile De Jouy wallpaper). “The serendipity of gradually finding things along the journey is the fun of [designing],” she says. Since opening her own design firm, she has been featured in many publications, such as Architectural Digest, and Bill Clinton is listed among her clients. TASHA URBAN
8 SOLEY CHAIR This is one of my favorites: Versatile, colorful and beautiful in its simplicity.
9 FLEA MARKETS
I love ﬂea markets, and always look for them while travelling.
Bold patterns, vibrant colors need I say more?
11 REYKJAVIK, ICELAND It has become one of my favorite places to visit.
12 THE CECIL STEAKHOUSE
These days, The Cecil is “my watering hole.”
8. Soley Chair 9. Flea Market
11. Reykjavik, Iceland
6. Kerry James Marshall
7. Hydrangea angea
4 ELLE DECOR
12. The Cecil Steakhouse
PORTRAIT COOKIE CUTTERS, FRAGANCES, APRON: JULIA KEMPER JOHNSON: 2: ALMAY: 5, 2: STUDIO D; 11: VINCENT LEROUX,FOR DETAILS, SEE RESSOURCES.
Otto’s Market is one of my favorite stops in Germanton, where I pick up lemon ice cream and house-baked scones before a picnic or a stroll.
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NO PLACE LIKE HUDSON When famed designer Sheila Bridges wants to escape the city, she kicks back in Livingston, New York, and enjoys the countryside from the comfort of her Hudson Valley home. TEXT BY TASHA URBAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY TASHA URBAN PRODUCED BY... TASHA URBAN
FROM TOP: The poolhouse, with black paneling, white French doors, and standing seam metal rooﬁng, sits beyond the pool, which sports a black and white Greek fret mosaic around its rim. The Grande Papilio Outdoor chair and stool by B&B Italia has classically reminiscent curves that makes it the perfect lounge chair by the pool. OPPOSITE: The land in the Hudson Valley, particularly near the Hudson River, is absolutely stunning.
UP-AND-COMING DESIGNER Tasha Urban had never met New York’s iconic designer, Sheila Bridges, when she was picked to work on this project. In fact, Urban has still never met Sheila Bridges in person, though she’s spent the past three months designing Bridges’ own home in Livingston, New York. “I was thrilled at this opportunity,” says Urban, “and not just because it meant I’d have the opportunity to work with Sheila Bridges.” She explains that she was just as excited to work on a project that is so aligned with her own tastes. The first and only time Urban spoke directly to Sheila Bridges about the project was over Skype, and because of that, Urban laughs that she spent a good deal of time “stalking” Bridges to discover who her client was and what she wanted in the new design of her house. “Sheila is boldly classical: she loves traditional silhouettes and shapes, but never stops at ‘traditional.’ Her designs are completely cohesive, but contain elements of surprise that add a sense of fun to every space! That’s what I love about design, and that’s what I’ve loved about this project.” Bridges’ new home is nestled in the Hudson Valley, and will be her “getaway” house with close friends and family. “The purpose of this design is to be a carefree and intimate escape. Someplace comfortable, colorful, and too beautiful to leave,” describes Urban.
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The main spaces for entertaining visitors are the backyard, the dining room, and the living room. The dining and living areas are on two ends of the same room, so they share several design elements. The Taki wallpaper in the living room mimics the brilliancy of blue skies, while furniture and artwork bring in splashes of yellows, corals, and greens. “I wanted to create the atmosphere of a summer day, the kind you can spend all day drinking lemonade and cloud watching,” states Urban. The dining room is an airy counterpoint to the living room, with Schumacher’s Trellis II wallpaper in peach on one wall. An Anish Kapoor piece above the mantle mimics the mirrors Bridges often uses in her work, and strengthens the connection to the living area by reflecting it. Above that, Urban uses the wall to display more artwork, similar to the living room. “Artwork is an important part of Sheila’s designs - I think that’s because art is a form of expression, and Sheila is an expressive person.” Urban chose artworks that are colorful and fun, but which are also bold and emotion-invoking pieces. “These walls will never be boring!”
Three of Loz Abberton’s Grandeliers spangle light over the living room. OPPOSITE, FROM TOP: Schumacher’s Chinoiserie Moderne in aqua upholsters a Swedish banquette and brings out the pink and green seen in Liz Hoag’s and Ryan Berkley’s paintings above the Charles sofa from B&B Italia. Perched on the Zic Zac side table is an Eames House Bird in white, while an Eva Zeisel teapot on a bone inlay tray sits on the Swedish banquette. Across from the B&B Italia sofa are two Miles Talbot spindle chairs upholstered in Paloma, by Schumacher. Above the chairs are artworks by Rene Wiley, Ryan Berkley, Julian Gustin, Rebecca Haines, and Hulya Ozdemir; below the rugs is a woven sisal rug. Murano glass horses add a splash of color in the window, while mimosa ﬂowers add another splash of color on the John Reeves Louis Side Table. The room sports classical silhouettes but entrancingly vibrant colors.
Louis XVI chairs upholstered in the aqua Chinoiserie Moderne, and a Tayabas cane side chair surround a farmhouse trestle table. The Jack Stripe Roman Shades from Ferrick Mason are identical to those in the living room. Carl-Harry St lhane vases are clustered on the table and mantle. More beautiful ceramics can be kept in the Italian breakfront against the wall behind the table. Above the breakfront and the Anish Kapoor piece, “Space Fruit: Lemons” by Andy Warhol, a “Many Mansions” detail by Kerry James Marshall, and “Standing with Deer” by Kiki Smith, among other art pieces, are carefully hung. A custom rug by Tasha Urban completes the calm scene.
FROM TOP: Hilda HellstrÖm’s “Sedimentation” vases are grouped with Carl-Harry St lhane’s piece and an antique china dog on the mantlepiece.
An Arteriors Ziggy Pendant hangs above the Neiman Marcus Colorblock Settee, upholstered in Cole & Son’s Wood print. Colorful Peruvian wool pillows create an exciting contrast to the Rito black marble vessel and the Black Void Clock. OPPOSITE: Jennifer One of a Kind Rug by Kathleen Marie is the perfect base for the design.
Upstairs, a more intimate office is open to the living and dining areas below. This study was, according to Urban, one of the most challenging but most rewarding areas to design. “The design finally started to click when I found the stair railing.” The stair railing is a lucite reproduction of antique wrought-iron gates from France. “I loved this idea that walking up the stairs was like stepping through a garden gate,” explains Urban. “I wanted the upstairs to be a little wilder, a little more whimsical, and a little more personal, like a garden with an ivycovered wall protecting it from passersby.” In an unusual application, wallpaper enlivens the ceiling and, according to Urban, was the central inspiration for the room’s color palette. “Honestly, I fell in love with this pattern in conjunction with the idea of the walled garden,” admits Urban with a wry smile. Feeling that wallpaper on the walls overpowered the room, Urban chose to use the ceiling as her canvas instead. The room is pattern-filled and colorful, though the furniture lines are simple and classical. The two side tables are both 12
painted black in order to ground the eye, and many details throughout the room are also kept simple and black to keep the room from getting too chaotic. The longer you look around the room, the more surprises you’ll find. “That’s what I love about this room: it’s a bit like playing hide-andseek!” laughs Urban. A deer, reminiscent of the style of Cara Walker, peeks out from behind the sofa. “I’m not sure what it is about deer, but they’re everywhere in Sheila Bridges’ work,” Urban muses, “so of course we had to have one here too!” Splashes of turquoise in the artwork and the Africanand Peruvian-patterned pillows add interest to the otherwise monochromatic room. Rich textures also add depth. “This room is meant to be very tactile,” Urban explains. “I want people kick off their shoes to feel the carpet and curl up in a chair.” The simple Tansy chair next to the sofa is upholstered with ivory sheepskin, which begs to be sat on, touched, and enjoyed. Upon closer inspection, the stripes on the sofa are actually trees. The handwoven Peruvian pillows piled on the sofa keep the space casual and relaxed.
FROM TOP: The Tansy chair and a black pedestal table sit across from the settee and black moroccan table, on which sits a turquoise antler-handled magnifying glass. George Nelson’s Half Nelson lamp and another Rito black marble vessel are placed on a Louis XVI desk with a matching necoclassical chair, upholstered in Fabric and Paper’s Countour and Osborne & Little’s Catamaran Check fabrics.
Acium qui re labDectanti fectus, quam di, voltimus,
The vibrancy and visual busyness of the office is a fun contrast to the bedroom. The bedroom is much calmer, though it uses a similar color palette of blues and pinks. “The office is the fun room, but the bedroom is Sheila’s private haven,” states Urban. In the bedroom, the watercolour wallpaper gives the effect of morning mist rising from the ground. Pops of magenta catch the eye, and are contrasted by the classic furniture forms in black and white. “It was hard, at first, to find a balance between elegant feminism and nine-year-old girlishness,” admits Urban ruefully, “but all in all, I think this room is serene and beautiful.” In the end, “serene” and “beautiful” could be used to describe the entire house. Every room is colorful, bright, and inviting, and every space provides an escape from the everyday and ordinary. There truly is no place like Sheila Bridges’ Hudson Valley home. 14
A Mooi Perch lamp and a collection of a marble sculpture, Swedish dala horse, moroccan box and antique perfume bottle are artfully scattered on a nightstand from Boca do Lobo. OPPOSITE, FROM TOP: Olympus, from Schweitzer Linen, covers a bed from Furnitureland South, with a headboard in Kravet fabric. Carrie Mae Weems’ “Slow Fade to Black” hangs on the wall, along with two prints by A. Weyer. The Rug-Printed Losange Chair sits at the end of the bed in front of the Jazz Floor Lamp. Collection I tables from Crosby Studios sit by the bed, and a custom neon chandelier by Tasha Urban hangs above the bed.
1. Wild Forget-Me-Nots
TASHA URBAN It’s no surprise that Tasha Urban is beginning a career in interiorr design, since her mother was an interior designer. Tasha’s first university interior design class was, as she phrases it, “terrifying.” Taking that as a good sign, she continued d to study interior design and is now a junior in Utah State University’s interior design program. gram Her dream is to become the next Norman Foster (black turtleneck and all) while incorporating interior design with architecture. She loves the research that goes into each design - “I was always one of those weird kids who loved school, and learning,” she laughs. “I spent two months researching musicians of the Holocaust for one project, which meant I was constantly listening to ‘Schindler’s List’ and always close to tears. I think it’s the research that makes our designs so meaningful and impactful.” TASHA URBAN 1 WILD FORGET-ME-NOTS These sweet ﬂowers are always a good reminder the little things in life are often the most beautiful.
3. Lucid Piano
My best friend is a dancer, and Degas’ work captures something very real and very beautiful from that lifestyle.
3 LUCID GRAND PIANO I’ve been playing the piano since I was seven on a dilapidated upright - this piano was a bit of an upgrade.
4 KARTELL LOUIS GHOST CHAIR The Ghost Chair is a blend of traditional and modern that I adore.
5 GLADIATOR Good actors, good cinematography, good soundtrack, good story = really good movie.
6 JOHNNY B. BUTTERFLY 6. Johnny B. Butterﬂy
This was one of those designs that reinforced my own love of design. It’s absolutely whimsical and can change the atmosphere of a space all by itself.
7 SAWTOOTH MOUNTAINS If I thought I could survive, I would live in the mountains, speciﬁcally the Sawtooth Mountains.
8 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Classic, I know, but I can’t help it! I’m obsessed with Jane Austen, and ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is to blame.
9 MACARONS 4. Louis Ghost Chair 5. Gladiator 7. Sawtooth Mountains
Nothing beats warm macarons fresh from a pâtisserie. If I lived near a French pastry shop, I wouldn’t eat anything else.
10 MY BURT’S BEES LIP BALM Some people can’t cope without their phones? I can’t cope without good lip balm.
11 CHRISTIAN SIRIANO MILLIE HEELS These were the ﬁrst heels that made me feel sexy, so of course I love them!
12 FLORENCE This city still has my heart, and makes for some of my best memories.
16 ELLE DECOR
8. Pride and Prejudice
ALL IMAGES IN THIS MAGAZINE WERE EITHER RENDERED BY TASHA URBAN OR FOUND ON GOOGLE IMAGES. IF FURTHER CITATIONS ARE NEEDED, CONTACT TASHA URBAN.
12 THINGS SHE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
1 CRYSTAL CLEAR
Designed by Tom Dixon, this pendant light is a hypnotic and gemlike kaleidoscope when turned on, repeating the luminous bulb within its diamond cut. Cut Tall Pendant, 19.6” w. x 21.6” h., $1,800. tomdixon.net
Trove’s Alar Paper 002 is ethereal. Wings blurred with implied movement add abstract beauty to any room. 33.5” w. x 144” h., troveline.com
3 IN THE HANDS OF A MASTER
Michele Michael creates lustrous and texturally rich ceramic pieces. Beautifully handmade, these pieces refuse to act merely as plates and bowls: they are pieces of art. Small plate and medium platter, 11” w. x 7” h., elephantceramics.bigcartel.com
4 SIMPLY ELEGANT
T This easychair embraces the simplicity of “stil “stiletto” legs and a polyurethane shell to its best adv advantage. Created by Philippe Starck, the chair uuses color to enhance the design. Lago, 23.6” w. x 22.4” d. x 31.7” h., 17.7” seat h., driade.com
5 END OF THE LINE
The A Almidi Arch end table takes its re references from the Islamic arch, and uses these lines to create an exquisite design that compliments any space. Its available finishes ensures it will match any design. 18” w. x 18” d. x 19” h., casamidy.com
DIMENSIONS, PRICE, SOURCEUDEATQUAM PUBLINTERIS VEHEBAT. TILIS.F SHIS KKO LKJOR LRIJSL NKD IBUS VIT NON SE NENT. BEM SENE TERIS. MAEDICIDINT.
18 ELLE DECOR
“In Full Bloom” featured in a bathroom with Fireclay tiles.
Mother Nature is a wonderful designer in her own right. Among some of her finest designs are the spring blooms that so many love. The hydrangea flower is an explosion of delicate color and rich, fibrous texture and is an inspiration to young designer, Tasha Urban. When Urban was young, her mother would bring hydrangeas in by the armful and scatter them in vases throughout the house. “She loved them so much that she would dry bunches of them,” remembers Urban. “That way we had vases of them throughout the winter. They dried tissue-paper thin and were remarkably fragile, but they were still so beautiful.” To begin with, Urban began by studying the life cycle of a hydrangea. “I wanted to illustrate that amazing process of growth and renewal of life that comes with spring,” she explains. By flipping and mirroring her sketches of this cycle, Urban then created a repeat that looks lke something between a diamond and a fleur-de-lis the farther away the viewer steps. “Part of this wallpaper’s purpose is to show how nature is the root (pun intended) of many classical designs, and we should in turn continue to take inspiration from the natural world around us.” The natural conclusion (again, pun intended) of this is that we should design responsibly and sustainably so that our world stays beautiful and inspiring. Urban admits that she herself was surprised by how meaningful “In Full Bloom” is despite how innocent and carefree it appears. In reality, this pattern is a call to action.
“In Full Bloom” by Tasha Urban
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Elle Decor template featuring my project for designer Sheila Bridges.