WHO: The family-run Los Angeles-based business has been the go-to resource for custom letterpress printing since 1968, attracting well-known clients like Oprah Winfrey and costume designer Arianne Phillips.
WHAT: They create everything from invitations and note cards to artists’ prints, frequently collaborating with Shepard Fairey and, most recently, Gajin Fujita.
WHY: With philanthropist Nicolas Berggruen as the new owner of their 1924 Stiles O. Clements-designed building and Commune—
a longtime Aardvark client—on board as the design team, expect exciting new arts programming aimed at regenerating MacArthur Park, the city’s original arts district.
IN HIS WORDS: “With the digital revolution, people strayed from time-tested arts like letterpress, but more and more people are looking for ‘old school.’ What we do can’t be done fast or easily. It takes time, care and human involvement, what photographer Catherine Opie calls ‘the hand.’ ” –Cary Ocon, general manager
Virginia Toledo took charge of the Inn’s dining room by balancing the sun-drenched space with rich, navy curtains and punchy orange trim work.
With the historic Cornell Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts, as the beautiful setting, the newly instated Kaleidoscope Project Designer Showhouse just wrapped its impressive talent display of 23 designers of color. The first of its kind in both mission (to celebrate diversity and inclusion in design) and scope (the designed spaces are now open for inn guests to enjoy), the project features rooms that ooze with decorating ideas left and right—namely, some strategic and clever uses of The Shade Store window treatments. Here, a highlight reel of just a handful of ways to approach the (sometimes tricky) world of window coverings.
There’s Magic in Monochrome
“A window treatment should add to the overall aesthetic of the space without overpowering it,” says designer Patti Carpenter. And we couldn’t agree more. Carpenter layers blueish-grays across the walls and windows to create an easy-on-the-eyes bedroom oasis.
When In Doubt, Go Natural
The reasons why natural materials are (always) a smart choice are numerous, but timelessness and ease are at the top of the list. Everick Brown‘s design of the reception area includes the use of bamboo wood blinds that warmly filter natural light and also bring a new texture to the room.
Know When To Let A Shade Be The Star
Sometimes, you just have to go a bold. In Rydhima Brar‘s room, the drapes make a grand statement, adding an unexpected modern orange pop next to blue floral walls.
Layers Add Luxury
Together a roller shade, Roman shade and pleated drapes can turn any window a real focal point, as evident in Jennifer Owen‘s designed space. Her parting words of wisdom? “Window treatments become ‘artwork’ in a room; they set the stage for the entire space.”
The designer and architect Matt Stais collaborated on a design that spoke to Amy’s personality, with references to her roots in Cape Cod. “She’s fun, playful, young and she has a lot of spark,” Schumacher says, “She also wanted the home to reflect Cape Cod, so we incorporated all of those things.” The hydrangea-lined driveway leads to a shingled home whose exterior is illuminated by gas lanterns—all of it a nod to Amy’s New England upbringing. Inside, she gave Schumacher carte blanche to design a new environment for her and her kids.
The designer set the tone with a chic take on a ski-lodge fireplace, inspired by the couple’s 25 years in Breckenridge, where Rob and Stais developed a series of resorts. Here, a floating chimney is lined with a cobalt-blue wood veneer wallcovering that sets the home’s palette. “It’s the first thing you see when you come through the front door,” Schumacher says. But getting it there took some serious engineering. “The hanging fireplace was a big deal,” Stais says. General contractor Dan Fuller says his team had to add additional structure overhead so the ceiling could support its tremendous weight, in addition to steel and concrete bracing all around so it wouldn’t sway.
Schumacher showed the fireplace wallpaper sample to her cabinetmaker, who responded with cabinetry for the bar and kitchen in the same color. She then added feminine touches to the kitchen, like bumping out the blue drawers to resemble a bedroom dresser and incorporating a jewelry-like brass detail on the custom range hood, the barstools and cabinet hardware. The same combination is present in the powder room, where she commissioned a chinoiserie wallpaper on a gold background over a deep blue antique console retrofitted to be a vanity.
For the most part, however, the designer kept the interiors neutral to keep the views center stage. But that didn’t mean Schumacher had to abandon her artistic license, especially in Amy’s bedroom: “She wanted it to be soft in color, but at the same time, we gave her snakeskin wallpaper, and we rocked out her bathroom and made it girly. It is just for her, so it reflects her personality.” Schumacher also created a living space that could easily evolve over the years. Big white comfy sofas offer a crisp backdrop for new accent pillows, rugs or throws. “It has a chameleon-type of essence. You can play with pattern and colors and not have it be overly designed,” she says.
Equally important was the outdoor living space, whose prominent views are in front of the house. “It was really about how everything related to the outdoor patio,” says Stais, who situated it on axis with Mount Evans in the distance. He then wrapped the house around the patio with bedroom wings for Amy and the kids extending off the central living area. Glass pocket doors disappear into the walls to make the great room and dining area one with the patio, which is just as large as the interior space.
Landscape designers Nick and Elizabeth Pisani surrounded the patio with low stone walls, ornamental grasses, rose shrubs and dwarf evergreens. “We had to come up with some creative ways to give her privacy in the front but not block her views,” Nick Pisani says. Colorado River boulders throughout the landscape help to soften the home’s linear geometry.
Though nearly everything is located on the main level, there are two guest rooms and a TV room downstairs. Stais jokes that he was personally invested in designing “really great” guest rooms because his family hopes to be frequent visitors, having become so close with the couple over the years. “This is a lot more than a new house for Amy,” he adds, taking a more serious tone. “It’s a way of moving on, and I took that very seriously.”
The couple purchased this property for its commanding sight lines to the Pacific, teaming with architect Drexel Patterson to start anew. The goal was to create a calming one-story sanctuary that emphasized indoor-outdoor living. Naturally, simplicity ruled their design decisions. They chose a single floor finish, two types of wood for the millwork and a sole paint color for the entire house. “It’s very mellow,” notes general contractor Thomas Waters, who worked with his associate Seth Silano on the project. Here, even the traditional take on a front door has been rethought. Visitors are buzzed through an exterior gate and then slide open a glass panel to enter the home.
Such restraint in the materials and palette led Patterson and project architect Haley Duke to exercise great care as he selected tones, finishes and textures. “When you have a space this simple, you have to ask, ‘How can I strike a balance with texture, materials and warmth?’ ” he says. For him, that meant paying strict attention to the interplay of wood, stone and stucco to make certain that the overall effect was soothing, not sleepy.
Patterson’s geometric floor plan nods to the trademarks of classic Modernist architecture. It’s voluminous and open, with a clean composition that accentuates the materials used and the home’s relationship with the landscape. The house unfolds with four sequential elements between the street and the view to the ocean: the street frontage to the entry courtyard wall; the entry courtyard to the interior pavilion; and the rear courtyard open to the long view across the golf course. “Each of these elements has a sense of scale and containment, even though that containment is complete in each space,” explains Patterson. “The mind makes up for what is not shown visually, so a suggestion is often enough.”
A structural double-column timber framework defines the great room, frames the views and adds a necessary touch of texture. “This was the most minimal aspect that could be added to hold everything together in a visual, sensual way,” Patterson says. “The room would be a little duller without it. The cadence of the posts organizes the room visually and furniture-wise. The gray lines tie across the whole volume and accentuate it. I consider the posts and beams as a vital catalyst to the visual experience.”
Outdoor spaces are just as thoughtfully conceived. The aforementioned entry courtyard includes a fireplace and is now a favorite cocktail spot for the owners. Off the main bedroom is a raised spa and garden, while two guest bedrooms and a study flank a private side yard. Most dramatically, though, a steel pergola extends from the main living space’s ceiling to the back patio, pointing the way to the main outdoor entertaining area. “It’s an important element, as some sort of framework was necessary to make the transition from inside gracious and natural,” says Patterson. Like the exposed beams inside, it suggests a defined space while drawing the eye up and out. Beside it, a series of drought-tolerant coastal Mediterranean plants line organically placed pavers and gravel. “The whole space has the look of a deconstructed grid,” says landscape architect Greg Hebert.
The homeowners themselves outfitted the residence, consulting with designer Pamela Smith of Pamela Smith Interiors as needed. Among the highlights are a stunning use of live-edge walnut slabs for their formal dining table, breakfast bar, and bedroom headboard, plush rugs that markedly contrast the polished concrete floors, plus classic and custom furnishings. “It’s Zen, calming,” says the wife. And is it too monotone, after all? Definitely not.
Dallas-based Ever Atelier is an art, wallcovering and textile studio founded by dynamic duo Sarah English and Ashley Leftwich—who aptly describe themselves as “a lean, mean two-woman team.” Read on for more about these fierce Texas creatives and their artful designs.
Tell us about your backgrounds. AL: Textiles and interior design. I’ve been on the design scene for 20 years working for showrooms, interior architects, textile manufacturers and on my own projects. My passions revolve around textiles and tactile art. SE: Fine arts and academics. I worked for 10 years in corporate fashion retail. My textile design career was immersed in color and print. I eventually ventured entrepreneurially in my own direction as a surface designer.
And your offerings? SE: Bespoke artisanal wallcoverings in our standard collections, with grounds for both residential and commercial applications. Since we do everything in-house, we also offer completely custom projects—from bespoke colorations on our standard designs to completely new patterns. This week we were drawing camels and basil leaves on our metallic-gold ground!
What’s new? SE: Fabrics! We recently found our textile mill in South Carolina. The textile ground is a 7.5-ounce Belgian linen that drapes like heaven. Seeing our designs translated onto fabric is exciting and fulling.
General Judd and Cristina Casanas-Judd, the powerhouse creative couple behind Me and General Design, first crossed paths at the Astor Place Theatre when Judd was performing as a Blue Man and Casanas-Judd, a set decorator, was touring backstage. “I saw her and was like, ‘Who is that?’ ” recalls Judd of their meet-cute. “The rest is history.”
With a shared vision to shape lifestyles rather than simply set the scene, the husband-and-wife duo launched their full-service interior design and product development studio in Brooklyn nearly a decade ago. Their impressive portfolio spans luxury residential projects, innovative product design and multifamily developments, like the newly debuted Hoyt & Horn industrial-chic apartments in downtown Brooklyn.
Their award-winning wallpaper collaboration with Wolf-Gordon—a collection of sleek glossy and matte patterns—is set to expand with new designs and colorways, and their custom SWICK Board (below)—a novel sound system with WiFi speakers housed inside upcycled surfboards—just rolled out its 2.0 version with improved sound and sustainability practices. Inspired by the couple’s seaside roots in their respective North Carolina and Chile, the SWICK Board, just like their design studio, is the result of a beautiful, one-of-a-kind union.
The condo’s location appealed with its views of the Hudson River and Central Park, and a convenient bridgeway connecting directly to Lincoln Center, but the floor plan needed updating. The client knew she wanted to make a few key changes, including expanding the kitchen and removing a wall or two. She called upon general contractor Bill Cooper, who had renovated numerous units in the building, who then suggested she connect with architect Joseph McGuier.
“When we first spoke, she had in mind a smaller project. But after we met and I observed her personal style and listened to how she was speaking about the apartment, I knew I could show her something much more interesting,” says McGuier, whose multidisciplinary firm also handled the interior design. “I could tell from the beginning that she was receptive to unconventional ideas.” His bold suggestion: sacrificing one bedroom to make a larger living area, and removing all walls, save one for privacy in the main bedroom and bath. “She took a leap with us,” he says.
After taking out “everything that wasn’t bolted down,” McGuier began imagining how to redefine separation of space by layering in architectural volumes of varied heights, shapes and materials. Cooper oversaw all construction, or deconstruction, as the case may be. “The building’s all-glass façade combined with the elimination of walls allows for an unbelievable amount of natural light,” says Cooper, to which McGuier adds, “the incredible view hits you when you walk in the door.”
A graceful curve to the foyer wall leads the eye into the living space, where two standing crystal sculptures punctuate the sight line. This streamlined flow reflects the client’s love of simplicity and minimalism—influences from her Japanese heritage. “Because she lives alone and has grown children, we could make the space be all for her. We didn’t need to satisfy some of the practical concerns that families have,” says McGuier. “This is very pure to the way she lives.”
Still, there were puzzles to solve, like how to delineate work space from living space, and how to incorporate columns, pipes and utilities that couldn’t be moved. At every turn, McGuier turned obstacles into art: columns were embellished with a plaster finish for added interest, and on an elevated terrazzo plinth in the living area, the client’s desk is tucked behind hand-painted Japanese-style screens along walnut veneer millwork—the backside of which doubles as her closet. When dangling telephone wires bisected the main bedroom space, McGuier hid them within a swivel mirror atop a custom white oak fluted dresser that, as a freestanding piece, takes on sculptural qualities. Meanwhile in the kitchen, an unmovable gas pipe was wrapped in blackened steel to echo other metal accents, including hand-rubbed bronze upper cabinets and a custom metal dining table designed to enfold another large column. “If you can’t hide it, might as well celebrate it,” says the architect, who worked with team members Kristine Keenan, Austin Woodruff and Asha Llewellyn on the project.
“Joe pushed me to incorporate art as part of the design process. We chose works of art, like the plaster wall sculpture over the bed, as if we were choosing pieces of furniture,” says the homeowner. As a former knitwear designer, she also gave particular care to textile selections. “I’ve sewn all my life; fabrics are second nature to me,” she says. Drawn to sumptuous fibers and intriguing details—like the yellow leather cuff on the dining room chairs—she confesses, however, that she never envisioned purchasing swivel chairs of fuzzy shearling leather.
The condo was a true collaboration, one that evolved organically throughout the two-year process. “We really had a blank canvas. I loved working with Joe and helping design as we went along,” says the home owner, who ended up being so pleased with the outcome that her intended pied-à-terre has become her primary residence. Adds McGuier: “Our success was in large part due to how open-minded and adventurous our client is. She gave us lots of freedom, but her hand is evident in so much of this.”
“The movement, color and process of the piece spoke to the client, and how I understood her,” recalls Collins Weir. “She stopped me and said, ‘I’ve had this on my screensaver for the past year.’” The clients ended up purchasing the piece from Hosfelt Gallery—it now hangs in the living room— and used it as a jumping-off point for the project.
The owners had brought in the designers to inject some soul into their home. Situated on a typical, deep San Francisco residential lot with immediate neighbors, the house looked inward and was dim, due to a previous renovation that emphasized dark woods, glass and hard, reflective finishes. “The strategy was to reimagine the interior architecture and bring in life and lightness that way,” says Collins Weir. Working with general contractor Michael Cello, they installed subtle interventions: The floors were restored to their natural oak, dark wood interior doors were repainted a shade to match the light- colored walls, and painted baseboards were added, which grounded the spaces. “The idea was to remove the existing visual clutter that came with the home,” says Weir.
Among the more substantial changes, the designers revamped the entry sequence. “Originally, you were greeted by a glass wall of bookshelves,” explains Collins Weir, “but the couple needed a place to stash strollers and other kid items.” They conceived a walnut-clad coat closet to hide the elements of daily living (on the dining room side, the structure opens to a dry bar). The paneling extends to the front door, bringing more formality to the entry sequence from the street. “It also serves to signal that, while traditional on the exterior, this is a modern home for a young family,” notes Weir.
Other moments of lush materiality define the house because, as Weir notes, “We’re not designing for vignettes. Instead, we’re establishing a language that ties the whole house together.” For example, Calacatta slabs now clad the living room fireplace that’s flanked by blackened-steel shelves and walnut sideboards. As a counterpoint, the Jen Risom settee by the bay window was re-covered in a bouclé and club chairs are upholstered in a Pollack fabric. The moves “provide visual relief and add warmth,” he notes. “You have a visceral response to the materiality.”
Similarly, the designers opted for bold moments of color to create consistency and bring vibrance to an inward-focused home. “You find yourself in different areas of color and texture,” says Weir. The gestures might be subtle—a green sofa in the living room resting on a blue-gray rug or the cool hues of the dining room bar’s interior—or they may be more saturated, as in the kitchen and family room. Grass-green Arflex chairs surround the clients’ existing Saarinen table, and dots of the hue pop up on the whimsical Edward Fields carpet. Originally designed for Marjorie Merriweather Post to hide her dogs’ footprints, the rug “appeals to the wife’s graphic sensibilities. She’s a product designer and highly visual,” says Weir. All of the rugs explicitly tie back to the Danziger triptych. “This idea of graphics and marks became the inspiration for the floor coverings as we developed graphic patterns to camouflage the marks, footprints and evidence of daily life,” notes Collins Weir.
While textural moments run throughout the home, perhaps the greatest exploration of its possibilities is in the main bedroom. There, the designers downshifted the palette, opting for low-key gray-blues throughout, such as the fabric on the four-panel headboard. But they built-up the visual interest with a Cogolin rug with a basket-weave pattern. Notes Collins Weir, “The client expressed an interest in graphics and color as well as the process of making. Rather than being statements, the palette of natural materials became a way to explore color and graphics without being overly decorative.”
For the designers, the house encapsulates their approach to design. “Our work is a reflection of and inspired by the clients and the site. Our portfolio and interest rest in understanding a home and how we bring the owners into it,” says Collins Weir. “When you enter, you should have a sense of place, of calmness.” Ultimately, she notes, a family’s home life should mirror the feeling of the Reed Danziger artwork that inspired this remodel. “The color and line work suggest fluid movement with moments of pause and reflection.”
Four years in the making by Magellan Development Group, The St. Regis Chicago (rebranded from Vista Tower) officially opened to residents in December 2020.
At 101 stories tall, not only is it the third-loftiest building in Chicago, but it’s also the world’s tallest building designed by a team of women architects and designers, led by architect Jeanne Gang of Chicago’s Studio Gang. As impressive as its pedigree is its faceted exterior inspired by crystals.
Inside, the design continues the gemstone theme for each of the finish packages offered in 393 residences, including 20 single-floor penthouses complementing the 191-room hotel below (opening this summer), as well as a restaurant from Alinea Group. Another residence perk: the 47th amenity floor, with a pool, spa, gym, exhibition cooking area, golf lounge, wine tasting room and more.
“With so many areas,” says Kathleen Dauber, partner with HBA Los Angeles who oversaw the design, “we selected a vocabulary for the flow and open spaces to intuitively guide the guest to each destination within the floor.”
WHO: Based in Dallas, Seattle and Los Angeles, Pulp Design Studios co-owners Beth Dotolo and Carolina V. Gentry pride themselves on creating livable interiors with a flair for the unexpected. This aesthetic translates into a unique yet approachable Instagram account that keeps followers coming back for more.
WHAT: Scroll through their feed for a smattering of completed projects, scheme photos, behind-the-scenes and installation shots. You’ll also find posts shared in support of the design community and causes most important to Dotolo and Gentry.
WHY: Pulp Design Studios wants its followers to feel inspired, not intimidated, and to realize everyone deserves a beautiful space and surroundings. Look to what they post as a guide for going bold with your interiors and making your home a reflection of you.
IN THEIR WORDS: “Our feed is really a documentation of what we’re working on and telling our brand story. It’s important to inspire and communicate the problems we’ve solved for our clients, authentically. If we aren’t communicating our vision, value or trust, then it’s not Insta-worthy.”