Rugs that Roar

tamara{via Pinterest}

The use of leopard and cheetah print area rugs in high end interior design is nothing new. But this always en vogue pattern is seeing a popularity surge on such a massive scale even we can hardly believe it. We might assume that a bon vivant like Tamara Mellon would relish adorning her home with exotic flair. Her Manhattan penthouse, after all,  is a trove of modern treasures and one-of-a-kindobjets d’art. So the use of a sexy area rug in the living room comes as no surprise.

leopard7 {source}

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A Lesson In Color Inspired By Lupita Nyong’o

There’s a new fashion darling in town and her name’s Lupita Nyong’o. The Kenyan actress got her big break three weeks before graduating from the Yale School of Drama when she was cast to play Patsey in “12 Years A Slave”. Since then, Lupita’s generated a buzz off the screen for her knockout style. With the help of stylist Micaela Erlanger, she’s topped best dressed lists in everything from Roland Mouret to J. Mendel, all while rubbing shoulders with industry heavyweights, like Anna Wintour. Bold color is one secret to Lupita’s winning looks. Take some cues from these and borrow them for your home.

Fox Searchlight TIFF Party - Red Carpet - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival

1. Burnt Orange (Click for rugs in this color)

Leopard pumps are the perfect compliment to this gorgeous Antonio Berardi sheath. To let the strong detail of the dress shine, all you need are simple hoop earrings and a pretty nude lip.



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Gratitude and Living Rooms: Four People-Centric Design Principles

Though we (hopefully) enjoy our homes all year long, we tend to most appreciate their capacity to foster bonding and human connection at family gatherings.

Whether celebrating Thanksgiving at your home or someone else’s this year, pay attention to how people interact with the space. Where do they congregate? If two people want to have a more intimate conversation, where do they go? Noticing these things can inform future design decisions. In the mean time, here are some ways to create living spaces family and friends will be grateful for:

A more livable living room

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, the living room is too imposing. A giant sectional flanked by your most expensive art can call to mind a more formal era – but not in a good way – and send guests scurrying to a homier, more casual setting (usually the kitchen).

That said, you don’t have to sacrifice refinement to make a space more comfortable.

photo 1-blog                     Via: HomeDSGN

Place furniture such that people can seat themselves closer or farther from the central focus of the room. Sometimes you want to have a big group engagement, but just as often you want guests to be able to create pockets of intimacy.

photo 2-blogVia: Tosokaki

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Hello Yellow!

PastedGraphic-3 (1){Interior Design by Nick Olsen}

If you’re looking to add a surge of energy to your home, yellow is a secret that top talent designers often use to great effect. Nick Olsen leverages his expansive walls – and even much of his coffered ceiling – to envelope his own loving room in radiant yellow. A tiny bud vase and color block pillow pull the color down into the seating area and keep the energy of the room flowing.

yellow 2{Interior Design by Kelli Ford & Kirsten Fitzgibbons}

This marvelous yellow hallway by Kelli Fordand and Kirsten Fitzgibbons is drenched in the vibrant shade of spring daffodils. While lesser talent might have let the potent shade overwhelm the space, the duo balanced it with soft white trim and gleaming gold metallic accents on every light fixture in the passage. Rather than downplay the tone, they’ve embraced it. Even the art on the walls features pops of yellow. But the piece de resistance? The geometric inlayed pattern on the floor. Stroke of genius. Kelli and Kirsten created a dramatic diamond pattern underfoot that mimics the barrel jointed ceiling design. But it’s the color selection of gold and warm ivory that seal the deal on this magnificent hallway and the overall design of the project.

yellow 3Vintage Modernist Rug C.1960

So how can you harness the color of sunshine in your next project? Rugs offer a interesting way to add both color and texture to a room. We love the Mondrian look of this Modernist rug. It has Kelly Wearstler verve and would set off white upholstery and the ongoing popularity of brass fixtures beautifully. Why limit art to the walls when the floor provides ample opportunities to express your aesthetic point of view?

yellow 4Antique Spanish Savonnerie C.1920

For a more traditional influence, this Spanish Savonnerie rug is an elegant choice. Meandering vines, acanthus leaves and flowing plumes radiate out from the center medallion design. What we love most about it is the grand scale of the rug itself. This is truly luxurious rug intended to anchor a key room in a more formal home. We can’t think of a better selection for a discriminating client.

As you can see, the lively color yellow offers unlimited range and potential. It can be decidedly traditional or crisply modern, dramatically bold or sophisticated and subtle. Regardless of how you choose use it, a dose of sunshine is a welcome addition to any room of the home. The only question is how do you plan to harness the color of sunshine?

It’s All About Layering: Fashion Meets Interiors!

As the weather chills, we are hit with the harsh reality (literally) that it’s time to change our wardrobe. Don’t fret! Layering and adding heavier pieces doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. Actually, it’s quite the contrary. Fall and winter bring new opportunities to mix warm weather favorites with cold weather staples. But it doesn’t end with your clothes. Layering also works wonders for your home by adding warmth and texture. Here are some fashion styling tips I share with my clients plus ways to get a similar look and feel for your home!

1. Play With Proportion And Texture

Avoid looking frumpy by paying close attention to your proportions. This holds true for the entire year but is extra important in cold weather. Just remember: if you go full on top, taper down below – and vice versa. You’ll create a flattering silhouette while keeping warm. Start with a tank top and Paige dark wash skinny jeans. Add a printed piece like this McQ Alexander McQueen sweater which lends fun pop and texture to the look. Then, throw on a classic Mango cape and a pair of Alexander Wang chelsea boots. How awesome is the architectural detail on these? Finish off the look with a statement Bally bag, gold hoop earrings, layered rings and a matching iPhone case. For beauty, try Butter London Lippy lipgloss and Essie nail polish. Trés chic!


For home, balance proportions by incorporating furniture of various sizes, like the short coffee table and larger couch. A printed wall and textured rug add a pleasant warmth to the entire space.


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Silk Road: Legacy and Contemporary Design

The Silk Road has been getting lots of headline press lately. Unfortunately, it has to do with the online narcotics marketplace and not the ancient trade routes that connected East to West.

I doubt I’m the only one who disapproves of repurposing world history to sell drugs. However, all the media attention got me thinking about the real Silk Road and how it opened up the globe – connecting cultures and facilitating development.

Many volumes could be written about the myriad textile traditions originating from the disparate cultures along those ancient routes. Here’s a look at just three regions whose traditions were introduced to the Western world centuries ago and remain perennially relevant to contemporary design.


Rug design in China was influenced by the images and styles found in silk tapestries. Buddhism and Taoism informed composition. Misty landscapes or a bird on a budding branch could evoke nature’s harmony and peaceful contemplation, while depictions of regal dragons symbolized wealth. Chinese artists were ever conscious of the evocative power of negative space.

In the 1920s and 30s that tradition was woven into the Art Deco movement, evinced in pieces like these:


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This wonderfully modern living room relates its floral-motif Chinese Art Deco rug to the leafy-patterned armchairs, as well as to the twiggy centerpiece and blooming wall art. This is a prime example of how to execute a theme that’s bold but not overly matchy.

Chinese Deco


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Art and Soul

Art and soul pic 1

Although maximalism can be indulgently fun, it’s hard to deny the allure of exquisitely simple spaces like this New York residence. D’Apostrophe Design worked with stylish homeowners Amy Gold and Brett Gorvy to create an environment that allows their robust art collection to take center stage. Streamlined pieces, sculptural furnishings and a muted color palette allow the natural light and the collected works of art themselves to be the star.

A cluster of cylindrical polished chrome tables offer a “barely there” appearance and are the perfect anchor for the intimate grouping created by the soft beige left and right arm sofas. Plush pillows and a matching Andrée Putman loveseat introduce a deep taupe to the otherwise light space. A massive area rug offers a sophisticated monochromatic floral motif – the only moment of pattern in the room. But the most notable characteristic of the design is the seeming lack of hard edges anywhere other than the walls themselves. Soft, rounded curves are everywhere you look until your eyes fix upon the framed artwork and the modern fireplace. This is a stroke of design genius.

In this case, less really is more. Even the untrained eye is naturally drawn to the Cy Twombly, Eva Hesse, and Bruce Conner masterpieces the stylish homeowners have collected. See the rest of this gorgeous home at

Art sould pic 2

Amy Gold and Brett Gorvy (pictured with their daughter, Tamsin, and a Studio Job cat sculpture) in their Manhattan apartment, which was renovated by Francis D’Haene of D’Apostrophe Design.

By: Franki Durbin of Life in a Venti Cup

A Sumptuous Statement in an iPod World

A century from now, cultural historians will marvel at how a one Steve Jobs convinced much of Western Civilization to base its aesthetics on the shape and design of a tiny personal computer.

Today, you can find furniture, fireplaces and even commodes whose look is informed by the Apple aesthetic.


But we’ve also reached a point where we’re realizing there’s such a thing as too much technology. Likewise, the pieces posted above are stunning stand alones, but a living space with too many elements that pay homage to minimalism runs the risk of feeling rather lifeless.

One way to make a truly forward-thrusting statement is to incorporate vintage items. Sounds counter-intuitive, right? But think about this: Sustainability, localism and social consciousness may sound like the buzzwords of the yoga-and-farmers-market hipster set, but those were the same ideas that inspired the artisans of the Arts & Crafts movement starting from the middle of the Nineteenth Century.

Here are a few vintage pieces from our collection that are excellent representatives of the movement.


European Rug: 8’11 x 13’3”


CFA Voysey Rug: 13′ x 20’7” Continue reading