Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Inside the home of... Ashley Stark

This month's issue of Elle Decor features a stunning tour through the home of Ashley Stark, heiress to the Stark carpet and home furnishings empire. I thought it might be fun to take a peek inside this colorful, chic and carefully curated NYC apartment, so kick of your shoes and let's head inside this our first home tour.

Starting with the foyer...

Standouts for me here are that oversized vase with branches and the positively exquisite Karl Springer snakeskin bench. Truly to die for. Next, into the living room.

I love all the interesting patterns and colors here. Your eye keeps traveling round and round the room putting it all together. My favorite is in the right corner, that juxtaposition of 18th-century Italian armchairs with the skull print from Damien Hirst, and that super cool brass palm tree. 

Now into my two favorite rooms. First the bedroom...

I can't handle that gray velvet headboard, it is honestly my dream headboard. Then my eyes immediately travel up to the Venetian glass light fixture that adds such a glamorous feel to the room (you don't always see major fixtures in a bedroom). I also want for my own that studded cream dresser/console piece on the far wall. Hello gorgeous.

The "dressing room." Could it be any more my style? The mirrored dresser. The shag rug. The lucite chair. The antique wood desk. And did you notice that pink skull atop that stack of books? Ashley seems like my kind of girl. 

Some more photo gems from Ashley's incredible pad, including one of the lady herself...

{all photos from Elle DECOR}

What's your favorite part of Ashley Stark's home?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Dreamlist: Design books

There's endless sources of inspiration for the design obsessed, from blogs to the online shelter mags to the glossies. But sometimes you just want to pop yourself on the couch with a cup of tea and a cozy throw and flip through a real, flesh and blood book. Something pretty you can keep on your coffee table and refer back to for years to come. Something like one of these design books I've been lusting after of late.

What are your must-have design books?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. 

Here's to full bellies, big laughs, and quiet moments with the ones you hold dearest.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pens, inks and markers

How pretty are these prints by Portland, OR-based artist Yellena James? I can't choose a favorite. I just can't. Don't make me.

I heart them all and happen to own a few myself. The intricacy and detail of Yellena's prints which she draws using pens, inks and markers is incredible. These make for an interesting and colorful addition to any wall.

Etsy featured a Q&A with Yellena in 2007 which you can read here. I love this photo of her workspace. That painted canvas behind her desk looks like the perfect vision from which to draw frenzied creative inspiration. I wonder if it's her own work.

Check out Yellena's Etsy shop here and her website here.

Current obsession: Hudson Bay point blankets

I have been obsessed with Hudson Bay point blankets for the past year or so now, ever since I found myself in Woolrich, Pa. at the factory store and saw these beauties up close and personal. I kid you not, they literally took my breath away. Something about those three primary colors, accompanied by the purest green and neatly separated by stretches of cream is so viscerally appealing, the attraction is irresistible. Except for the fact that they're rather pricey, I would own these in every color and variation they come in.

My obsession was recently fueled by finding a four-point green Hudson Bay at my favorite vintage store in Salem. It was only $100 (a steal, compared to the full price for a new one) but with Christmas coming I couldn't let myself splurge on a vintage wool blanket I don't necessarily need, just desperately want. Plus, as pretty as the green one was, in truth I really want the multi-colored version.

We're currently considering some major updates to our guest room. I think a multi-colored point blanket might just have to be pinned to the inspiration board.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Finds: Decorative plate and creamer

I think I may have a problem: whenever I see a pretty plate, I have to buy it! Usually it's a little antique number from my favorite vintage stores but yesterday it was this black and white beauty from - surprise - Home Goods! I was there on a mission for a deep pie pan (planning to wow the family with this creation on Thursday from Martha Stewart Living). I don't often love the decor items there but for affordable kitchen wares, Home Goods cannot be beat.

Anyways, I stumbled across this lovely plate (the sticker says "Portobello by Inspire" but I couldn't find any info on the brand) and was immediately drawn to the graphic pattern. I'm planning to either add this to my growing plate collection on my kitchen wall or hang elsewhere as an art item. I'm a big fan of hanging plates as art and am planning a whole post on that very soon.

Next to it were a collection of lovely matching mugs, a kettle, and this pretty little creamer. I was tempted to buy up everything because it was all so pretty but restrained myself and just bought the creamer and the plate. Best part: the plate was $3.99, the creamer was $4.99.

Do you have any amazing Home Goods finds?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Finishing touches: plants

They may be often overlooked but I love the organic shapes and pops of green that plants can bring to a room. I grew up in a home with a lot of plants and even though I'm not the best at remembering to water them, I insist on having at least a few in my own home. 

Sometimes a plant is just what's needed to finish a space. We took our time adding plants to our office (I still want to add a hanging fern) but I'm so glad we did. I love the look of bigger floor level plants, a few smaller, mid-level plants (like the tray of varied shapes and sizes, including a cactus!, in the Old Brand New living room), and one or two cascading hanging plants.

Do you use plants when you decorate?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Build a room: teenage dream

1: blazing poppies wallpaper {anthropologie} 2: pink lacquered desk {SAbrina DAnenberg Atelier} 3: deer head white {dwell}  4: eero aarnio bubble chair {hive modern} 5: angelique mirror black {zgallerie}

When I was a teenager, I plastered an entire wall and half of my bedroom with a massively intricate collage of images I cut out from magazines. Boys I liked, clothes, jewelry, shoes, nail polish, even just words and images. It was actually pretty cool but a few years later I ripped it all down to paint the wall four different shades of blue. I'm not even sure if I got a picture of it. Sigh.

Anyways, if I could design a room for a teenage girl nowadays, these are some of the elements I'd love to pull in. The inspiration started with that fantastically vivid wallpaper from anthropologie and just flowed from there. If I had my druthers, I'd also throw in a white sheepskin rug, a gold bamboo and glass side table and perhaps a mirrored dresser.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Native Union Retro POP Handsets

How cool are these retro handsets by Native Union? They plug right into your iPhone for an old school phone experience and come in so many gorgeous bright colors (not picture: black, sky blue, red and orange).

I love my iPhone but personally don't enjoy holding it to my ear for long calls and find it hard to cradle on my shoulder (too small and slippery!). This looks like the perfect solution!

These super cool handsets are on sale for $30 for the next few days on my new obsession, Great gift idea for the retro lover in your life?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Beautiful things

Hello there! Welcome to design•zealot.

My hope with design•zealot is to fashion a little corner of the blogosphere that celebrates unique and beautiful things and spaces, a place that relishes different and thoughtful design. A place for inspiration, for energy and spark. A world that breaks all the rules and makes design relatable and effortless and exciting.

Won't you stay awhile?

(Photo by Lonny mag