Living Large

Great Grand Scale Wallpapers

Elle Decor, Kelly Wearstler, Mercer Island, Washington, Stairs 700pKelly Wearstler    Elle Decor August 2012

I met Kelly Wearstler a few years back, her line of textiles for Schumacher debuted at the same time my line did.   She’s a charming woman, and while I may not always want to live in the rooms she designs (which is fortuitous since I could scarcely afford them), I admire her exuberance.  To suggest  she pushes the envelope in design doesn’t quite describe her style – unless you’re got a terribly large mailbox.  I think of her as equal parts Salvatore Dali, Dorothy Draper, and Christian Lacroix… all of whom I love.

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Modern View

Curtains by Erik Bruce Inc.

I have this thing for green flowers.  You’d have to agree that flowers, in the pervasive mindset, instantly conjure colors from the outer edges of the spectrum.  Green, at the center, is typically relegated to foliage.  So for me, appreciating green flowers is one of life’s many lessons in accepting tradition but choosing to conceive of beauty in unorthodox ways.  It’s just such thinking that Erik Bruce of Erik Bruce Inc. employs in his curtain making.  He has a clear understanding of the conventional – and a wish to pioneer new ideas in controlling light and dividing space.

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It’s a Crewel World

Chelsea Editions

“Racemid” from the Embroidered Vine Collection


Chelsea Editions was originally established in 1991 by Mona Perlhagen as a resource for cushions made from antique embroideries.  She quickly established herself within the design community – and eventually met the late Jed Johnson – with whom she partnered in establishing the firms current incarnation in 1996.  Together they created the collection available today from the carefully curated historical documents Perlhagen spend decades amassing.  I’ll admit that I overuse superlatives, but CE‘s collection of embroideries and crewels is the interior design industry’s finest.  (Some might argue that Holland & Sherry’s embroideries are in the running, and I’d say they’re close, but I’ll save talking about them for another post.)

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Master Class: David Easton

Anglo-American Exchange

David Easton and I were introduced 15 years ago.  I’d been asked to make the curtains for the advertising campaign of his collection for Lee Jofa.  At the time I thought his particularly zany sense of humor was at odds with his restrained talent.  We had coffee in his conference room last week, and I’m here to luckily report he hasn’t changed a bit.

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Where Art and Commerce Meet

Decor NYC's Pamela Auchincloss

Silver Gelatin Photographic Collage by Mary Miss

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Bruce Tilley’s furniture consignment shop Decor NYC (I wrote a piece about him a few weeks back.)   I was in Chelsea last Friday, so I stopped in to see what new inventory had arrived.  While browsing I found Bruce in his office with Pamela Auchincloss, who he’s enlisted to extend his concept of “Re-purposed Luxury” to the world of fine art.  Trading in pieces of fine art by selling them on consignment?  I found myself intrigued, so I pulled up a chair.

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Master Class: S Russell Groves

Defining Modern Glamour

Tiffany & Co.     Shanghai, China

S Russell Groves, the architect behind Tiffany & Co.‘s incredibly successful visual re-boot, is as charming, elegant and understated as the wares of the luxury retailer.  It’s no wonder he was tapped to be the creative vision for 5 of the firms recent additions.  We met through a mutual friend and fellow alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design at the turn of the millennium.  Seeing how it’s been several years since we’ve crossed paths, I decided to stop by his office last Friday to catch up.  I’d freely admit that aside from slightly grayer temples – and a smattering of silver in his signature scruff – he hasn’t aged a day.  His design aesthetic on the other hand continues to evolve as the benchmark of American restrained glamour.  We talked over coffee about his design process and his vertically integrated approach to creating space.

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She’s Cracking Up

Ornella Pisano of Ercole Home

Ornella Pisano, owner of Ercole Home, is the kind of bohemian character I’ve always wanted to be.  Leaving her native Venice, she made a stop in Key West before landing in New York’s East Village.  She’s been a painter, sculptor, fashion designer and artistic muse.  In 1986 she conceived of turning her fascination with mosaic tile into a business.  Shortly thereafter, ABC Carpet & Home began snapping up her work – and the rest as they say – is history.  I visited her yesterday in her new showroom and atelier on West 26th Street.   She shared with me her vision for the future of her company.

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Artisanal Paint & Paper

Farrow & Ball


“Artisanal” is a term bantered about by cheese-makers and breweries these days as if it had no real contextual meaning.  The distinction refers to products made by traditionally trained craftsman – minimally impacted by the advances of the industrial revolution.  Since its establishment in 1946 in Dorset England, Farrow & Ball has been producing artisanal paints and wallpapers in the same time-honored ways.  I sat down with Christine Klotz and Lydia Tower at the D&D building showroom last week to learn about F & B, and why it’s considered by many to be the best paint and paper resource.

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