Tag Archives: new york designers

Spotlight On A Layered, Sophisticated, Family Townhouse In NYC

Thursday, February 2, 2017

I have a feeling that if we ever actually met Alison Cayne in person we would hate her. After all, she, of the New York cooking school Haven’s kitchen, she, the mother of five children, she, the untrained, sole decorator of her West Village townhouse, would surely dredge up our all feelings of insecurity and insufficiency we thought we’d long ago reconciled. This woman is good at everything, we would marvel.

But here, on the internets, we can be content to admire with awe and respect. 

We can, at least, applaud her take on design, not even necessarily because it is any of our personal interpretations of the perfect space, but because it is hers.  

“I think decorating is a lot like cooking—you just have to learn what you really like and how to get that effect.” She told One Kings Lane. “I realized this doesn’t have to be anyone else’s favorite place. It just has to be my favorite place.”

Amen, mister sister. 

Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer.

Photography by Lesley Unruh for One Kings Lane

Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer.

To the untrained eye, most things, I think appear formulaic, design included. You have to do this style with that style and this tile if you do those floors and always, always hang your curtains as close to the ceiling as you possibly can. 

(That last one is true, though; don’t let anybody tell you differently.)

But the reality is that any space or creative entity is merely the manifestation of one person or a team of people’s preferences and sensibilities. Why did a designer use a mix of vintage and modern art? Because she liked them together. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer.

If we, like Alison Cayne, know what we like (and have an eye for it, excuse me, Cayne) then we need only trust our inclination and not worry so much about how disparate items will marry together. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer. Sophisticated, layered & family-friendly! This townhouse is a masterpiece designed by... an untrained designer.

The more you it is, and the more you know who that you is, the more sensational it’ll end up being. 

Anyway, that’s the thought we’re going with today. 

Spotlight On Jenny Wolf Interiors (Redux!)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The last time (aka the first time) I featured the work of Jenny Wolf, it was circa 2012.

A lot has changed since then; I hadn’t begun overcoming my banana-aversion for one (now up to stomaching a third, frozen, in my pro-shake, for the record and applause). I owned those gold Superga sneakers that were great until they’d had their day.

2012 was pre-Greek funnymoon, and pre-first house purchase.

I still had my long-standing hair-cut allergy back then. And I’d never seen a single episode of Scandal or the Great British Bake Off.

But you want to know what hasn’t changed? Jenny Wolf is still cranking out gorgeous design. Actually, I’d hazard to say that she’s gotten better with the passing of years.

Just you take a peep at this random assortment from her portfolio if you don’t believe me:
Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... screen-capture-7 Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers... Take a peek into the portfolio of one of nyc's most talented interior designers...

Jenny: congratulations; in the time it’s taken me to be able to choke down a segment of frozen-mushy fruit, you’ve further proven your design prowess with spaces that are traditional at their roots, current in their presentation, and all together delicately, deliberately injected with a sense of story and personality.

My peel’s off to you.

And now you: tell me something about 2012. What’s one thing you started back then, and how’s it grown? Or: one thing you released that year? Or! Why November 2016 is SO much BETTER than 2012 ever was?

Can’t wait to read your comments, kids.

XO

Spotlight On Tamara Magel

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Let’s talk about Tamara Magel, shall we?

Tamara is a Hamptons based designer who once upon a time had a successful career in consulting. Lucky for the world, she left all that behind to launch a business in consulting–about flexible, seasonally-varying, worldly style in fashion and in the home.

I love her work for its unabashed use of a neutral palette, inevitably enlivened thanks to sumptuous fabrics, intricate and interesting fixtures, and an art selection which, sublimely, takes itself none too seriously.

Let’s get just things going with this bright, open kitchen with a big old honker of a table. (All the better for entertaining, my dears.)

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Tamara’s spaces not meant to be shared are equally as good, by which I mean this dressing room puts every fancy retail store’s entire changing area to shame.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Actually, I think my favorite part is that rug.

Here, Tamara’s take on the dining space.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Are my eyes fooling me, or did she match that curtain rod to the metal of the fixture?

Though slightly less organic feeling than the space above, this clean and sophisticated living area is nonetheless exceedingly cozy looking. Like, let’s camp out on that couch on a Saturday afternoon and watch something long and fluffy.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Since I’ve already admitted to loving the wardrobe rug above, it’ll come as no surprise that I am fangirl #1 for this tile situation:

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor. This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

There isn’t anything that quite gets me in interiors like a black and white contrast with one dose of warmer elements to balance it out. Thus: hello, this room.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Thus: hello, this kitchen off that room!

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Stop it, Tamara. Just you stop it.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Here begins a taste of that cheeky art I referenced above. Because sans location identifying, this space might threaten to look a tad stifled.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

Meanwhile, a pinky swear fantastically offsets the rest of the contemporary, neutral girl’s bedroom. As does that macro knit throw. Can I get one of those, Magel??

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor. screen-capture-12

This space is even cozier and more dramatic than the rest–a sort of inverted black and white contrast as the space happening above.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

But man, how those black walls appear as smooth as black coffee with a dollop of whipped-brick-cream in between.

This Hamptons designer has a knack for neutral palettes, extraordinary textiles, and art that (bless her!) has a sense of humor.

(Just another thing hanging over your head.)

screen-capture-15

LO

VE.

-Me.