KRIS Likes… Refined Rustic Interiors

 “There is a virtue in country houses, in gardens and orchards, in fields, streams, and groves, in rustic recreations and plain manners, that neither cities nor universities enjoy.” – Amos Bronson Alcott

Mark Cunningham Elle Decor
Mark Cunningham Elle Decor

I have always been drawn to the concept of laid back elegance in my designs.  For me, the idea of a refined rustic interior begins with a neutral palette, a mix of metals and wood, industrial and ceramic lighting, and a pointed use of antiques.  Rustic rooms gain their personality and refined aesthetic through a very delicate and selective mixture of preserved and exposed natural architectural elements; reclaimed wood beams and exposed stone walls or fireplaces.  These natural elements in the architecture should then carry into the decor.  Think of natural fibers and fabrics such as linen, leather and sisal.  Everything should be about earthy texture and simplicity.  Everything has its place and purpose.  Mid-century pieces are also great for this style of home. My former boss Mark Cunningham is an expert at creating the refined rustic look as you will see in many of the inspiration pictures of his work that I included in this post.  I love how he uses a Navajo rug or throw to add a little pattern into the room.  Enjoy!  xx K

Clark Stevens Country Living
Clark Stevens Country Living
Mark Cunningham Elle Decor
Mark Cunningham Elle Decor
Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres Elle Decor
Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres Elle Decor
Robert Stilin Elle Decor
Robert Stilin Elle Decor
Mark Cunningham Elle Decor
Mark Cunningham Elle Decor
Alfredo Paredes - Architectural Digest
Alfredo Paredes – Architectural Digest
Home of Patrick Dempsey - Estee Stanley Interior Design - Architectural Digest
Home of Patrick Dempsey – Estee Stanley Interior Design – Architectural Digest
Markham Roberts Inc. - Architectural Digest
Markham Roberts Inc. – Architectural Digest
Kathleen Walsh - Architectural Digest
Kathleen Walsh – Architectural Digest
Anouska Hempel Design - Architectural Digest
Anouska Hempel Design – Architectural Digest
Suzanne Kasler Interiors - Architectural Digest
Suzanne Kasler Interiors – Architectural Digest
Markham Roberts Inc. - Architectural Digest
Markham Roberts Inc. – Architectural Digest

KRIS Likes… The Fireplace

“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero

There are few things better than snuggling up next to a roaring fire on a cold winters day.  If you have been on the east cost this week, I am sure you can agree!   Until the weather becomes more agreeable, stay warm and enjoy! xx Kris

Miles Redd, Elle Decor

1836 Greek Revival townhouse designed by Miles Redd, Elle Decor
Upper East Side Townhouse Decorated by Wayne Nathan and Carol Egan, Elle Decor Nov 2006
Upper East Side Townhouse Decorated by Wayne Nathan and Carol Egan, Elle Decor Nov 2006
Downstairs parlor of painter John Dowd's Provincetown, Massachusetts, home.  Elle Decor Dec 2006
Downstairs parlor of painter John Dowd’s Provincetown, Massachusetts, home. Elle Decor Dec 2006
World of Interiors, May 2012
World of Interiors, May 2012
World of Interiors, June 2012

KRIS Likes… The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd

“This is a book about dreams coming true; the curiosities in the rooms I have decorated; and the people, artists, and places that have inspired me. When all is said and done and I am long forgotten, maybe someone will find this book in a dusty library—if such a thing still exists—and glimpse a bit of the pleasure my life has given me. I want them to have the sensation of dancing across an MGM soundstage, silhouetted in a klieg light, because that was my intention with this book, a very personal blend of work and fantasy.” —Miles Redd

As a thank you for helping update a few things in her home, my Aunt/Godmother & one of the chicest woman I know, gave me my very own signed version of Miles Redd’s new Book, The Big Book of Chic. Needless to say… I am obsessed!  True to-miles-redd-form, the book is not what one might expect from a traditional design book. Save a brief introduction from Redd, the book contains no writing, hints or tips from the designer. Instead it reads more like a mood board in book form, allowing full-page photographs to narrate its story.  The book showcases some of Redd’s most famous interiors interspersed with the inspiration images that fuel Redd’s creativity.  Paintings by Sargent & Cassatt, Richard Avedon Fashion Photographs, a photo of Peggy Guggenheim and so on…  Each Chapter marked with a quote that speaks to Redd’s sensibilities. It is true that no one has mastered the use of bold, beautiful and rich color like Miles Redd and this book is no exception. Each time I flip through its pages I find myself a little more inspired and a little more tuned in to Redd’s intentions and overall message.  If you love design, color & glamour this books will not disappoint.  Below is just a little taste of what’s inside to wet your appetites …. Enjoy!

“It would turn out to be an arduous and at times a painful process, but one that has provided me years of pleasure and satisfaction.  I suppose a lot like childbirth – and to that point, houses in a way, are living things that need love and attention to flourish and shine.”  – Miles Redd, The Big Book of Chic



KRIS Likes…. Surfboard Decor

1950’s Bondi Beach Swimwear Ad

Having spent most of my summer thus far in Montauk … it’s hard to not have surfing on the brain.  Below are a few of my favorite ways that surfboards have been incorporated into the interior design of a home… Enjoy!

Nate Berkus California Home

Brooke Giannetti

Montauk House of Robin Srandefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams

Leslie Klotz House Beautiful

Home of Alan Wanzenberg Elle Decor


Kerry Joyce Elle Decor June 2003

Ralph Lauren Home

Jason Grant

Sana Keefer Summer House

Sdouble Surfboard Showroom

Leonard Correa Luna Surf Wagon Isetta

Tim Clark

Sidewalk Surfboard #4 by Nash, 34″ Long

via 1STDIBS.COM – Surfing Cowboys – Nash – Sidewalk Surfboard #4 by Nash, 34″ Long.

KRIS Likes … Lacquer

Lacquer (Verb): to give a smooth finish or appearance to : make glossy <lacquered her hair> – Merriam Webster Dictionary

Todd Klein

I think Saladino said it best in an interview for New York Magazine when he said, “the difference between enamel and lacquer is the difference between lumpfish and fresh caviar.”  Lacquering walls is both labor intensive and therefore, expensive but there truly is nothing like it!  The high gloss surface acts like a mirror – producing a polish and depth to the walls that reflects the light and adds a wonderful watery dimension to any room. Enjoy!!!

Aerin Lauder’s Library in East Hampton, New York.

Steven Gambrel

Steven Gambrell.

This picture really shows you how reflective the surface can be!

Manhattan Library of Candia Fisher Designer James Aman of Aman and Carson.

Here an automobile spray enamel was used to create gleaming walls and ceiling beams.

Katie Ridder

Simon Upton

Calvin Tsao

Miles Redd

Melissa Rufty of MMR Interiors

Miles Redd

Nate Berkus and Anne Coyle

Rob Southern

Simon Upton Lacquered Screen.

Jeffrey Bilhuber.

Simply stunning!  An unexpected pop of color that you can see reflects onto the carpet.  I always love a lacquered ceiling – it makes you feel like you are inside a precious jewelry box.

Phoebe Howard

Steven Gambrel

Miles Redd

Katie Ridder

Katie Ridder

If you want to have the lacquer effect on your walls but don’t want to pay for the highly intensive labor it requires Phillip Jeffries has a great line of Vinyl Lacquer wallcoverings… Some examples below.

Robert Verdi – Phillip Jeffries Brushed Lacquer

Anne Hepfer – Philip Jeffries Quilted Lacquer – Cream

I simply adore the look of this quilted lacquer.  The quilting just adds another dimension to the room which is never a bad thing!

Bradley Stephens 2010 Hampton’s Showhouse – Phillip Jeffries Lacquered Strie – Navy


KRIS Likes… Beeline Home by Bunny Williams

“My tastes are unabashedly eclectic.  I wanted pieces that would work together not because they are alike but because they are different.” — Bunny Williams describing the aesthetic of her Beeline Home furniture line

Bunny Williams, creator of Beeline Home, launched her own design firm in 1998 after 20 years at the esteemed design house of Sister Parish and Albert Hadley.  The 1st Dibs Style Compass feature on Bunny wrote of her, “When Williams speaks, you listen carefully, because you are going to learn something that will make your life a little better.  Even if you aren’t lucky enough to have your own country home or an herb garden, her advice on those subjects transcends the specifics to embrace a joie de vivre that is both down-home and infectious.”  I could not agree more.  Everything she said seems to strongly resonate with my own design experience.  Throwing herself head first into interior design when she started working for Sister Parish and Albert Hadley, she claims, “I knew after being there a little while that I was going to make a career of it.  The learning wasn’t going to stop at office hours; I was entrenched full time.”  And later when she started describing the process of creating her own home line she says,  “I just wanted to create things that every room needs.  Besides I like staying busy.  If I didn’t decorate I’d spend my life in the country with my dogs.”  I cannot tell you how many times I have responded to a comment about how hard I work by telling them that when I’m not decorating I don’t know what to do with myself.  It’s not just a job – or a passion even – it very simply becomes a part of who you are.  This is not to say that I entirely know what it feels like to be as busy as Bunny Williams, a 30 year design veteran who has authored three books, co-founded the Manhattan retail home and garden boutique, Treillage, and now creator of her own furniture and accessory collection, Beeline Home.  To get from her first idea of Beeline Home to the finished product took her four years.  This is mostly due to the fact that she decided to produce the line herself, claiming, “it has taken that long because I had to do it the complicated way.” Being in control of the manufacturing of Beeline Home was the only was she could ensure the pieces were properly constructed and that the quality of the finishes were exactly the way she wanted them.

The Beeline Home collection was first introduced in 2009.  To keep the collection fresh and exciting, everything in the collection is a limited edition and new items will continue to be released each spring. The newest collection, Beeline Home II debuted at High Point this past October and included around 45 new additions to the line.  The collection can be purchased through the Bunny Williams website.  Below are just a few of my favorites… Enjoy!

Turquoise Lamp

I have had a love affair with these oversized, ceramic temple jar lamps since I first saw them in Bunny’s 2009 Kips Bay Showhouse living room.  The Turquoise color and layering of the glaze is magnificent and I love the detail of the hand carved gilt lotus base!

Chicken Feather Lamps

Yet another lamp I fell in love with at Kips Bay last year.

Hyacinth Lamps

These tall and slender pyramid shaped lamps have a wood burned shagreen pattern and come in two colors: lavender with nickel hardware and ivory with brushed brass hardware.

Ziegfeld Mirror

This is Hollywood Regency glam at it’s best!  Fitting considering Bunny claims to have been thinking of  the old Hollywood movies when she created this piece.  I love the white lacquered wood frame and the eight antique etched glass panels surrounding the large mirrored center keep it grounded in luxury and tradition, and from being too modern.

Scroll Side Table

There is something about the chunky legs of this table juxtaposed with the thin semi-honed granite top and delicate neo-classical details like the graceful volutes that support the tripod base or the hand carved coin details that makes this table magnificent.

Hourglass Table

An octagonal pedestal base of hand applied reeded wood, (finished in either an old gold or silver leaf patina) with a honed fossil stone top is what Bunny Williams calls “eye catching”.

Modern Marble Coffee Table

Like the Eglomise Table in her first collection but with a slightly raised honed fossil stone top….

Charlie’s Chair

This semi-slipper chair was a treasured gift from Albert Hadley to Bunny Williams.  I especially love the high back.

Eclipse Arm and Side Chair

One of Beeline Home’s signature pieces, this chair features an elongated oval splat frame supported by tapered, splayed legs and perfectly finished with a tight upholstered back and seat.  I love the contrast of the curved armrests on the arm chair with the architectural details on the apron and legs!

Nailhead Sofa

I have always been a sucker for this type of clean yet ultra-feminine type sofa with the curved apron and nailhead trim.  LOVE the look of the tight back with the super plush loose seat cushions!  All upholstery can be done COM (in clients own fabric).

Pug Bench

Bunny describes this bench perfectly, calling it elegant, yet compact.  I love having pieces in a room that can serve as extra seating when you have company over, or a place to rest your books while you are reading alone.  Function and style is always a winning combination!  The carved scroll legs and paw feet really put the piece over the top for me!

Below are photos of Bunny Williams room for the 2009 Kips Bay Showhouse, where she used to showcase many of her new Beeline Home product….

Photos from this year’s High Point Showroom, which featured the Beeline Home Collection II:

KRIS Likes… Tablescapes

Here are how some of my favorite designers have set their tables….

Designer: Eddie Ross for “A Date with a Plate”

Photograph featured in October 2009 Issue of Elle Decor, Setting the Table

Table Designed by Textile Designer John Robshaw for 2009 Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala benefit

Interior Designer Miles Redd Table Setting for House Beautiful PB plate Contest

Table Setting by Decorator Tony Duquette Photo Courtsey of Martha Stewart Website

Interior Designer Pheobe Howard Table Setting for House Beautiful PB Table Setting Challenge

Tablescape by Donna karan, House Beautiful April 2010

KRIS Likes… The Very Pink of Perfection

The verb “to pink” dates from the 14th century and means “to decorate with a perforated or punched pattern” – Collins Dictionary

Below are a few items that I think are the very pink of perfection…  Enjoy!

Madeline Weinrib “Pink Ivy” pillow.


Madeline Weinrib “Pink Orléans” cotton area rug.  Available in various sizes and carried by ABC Carpet and Home.

Pair of 1950s pink lacquer end cabinets designed by George Nelson for Herman Miller and sold at Talisman.  The hardware on this piece is simply divine when added to the bright hot pink lacquer! Contact vendor for price.

Chrome chairs hand tufted in hot pink wool sold by Pieces.  I love the half-moon base and delicate curved back on these chairs. $1,400 for 4.

Pink cased glass Murano lamps with lucite bases from the 1960’s.  Sold by Swank Lighting. $2,500 for the pair.

Curvy hot pink chaise lounge with white lacquer legs from Mid Century Antiques. $4,800 one of a kind.

1960’s pink lacquer bamboo trellis writing desk / vanity from Sabina Danenberg Antiques.  Very well priced!  On sale for $800.  I would defiantly use the money you save and spend it on some better hardware. Perhaps crystal knobs or something turquoise and funky depending on the use.


LOVE the hot pink Moroccan chandelier & stunning patterned draperies finished with a pink ribbon trim in this girls bedroom designed by New York designer Amanda Nisbet.

House Beautiful Jan 2009

I love the contrast of the hot pink towels against the painted black & white walls in this Master Bathroom designed by Steven Shubel.

This pink wallpaper in this powder room designed by Woodson & Rummerfield is to die for!

Jonathan Berger dining area featured in House Beautiful July 2009.

Unkown Source.

I love the pink walls with the orange ceiling in this room!






KRIS Likes… Canopy Beds by David Hicks

”My greatest contribution as an interior designer has been to show people how to use bold color mixtures, how to use patterned carpets, how to light rooms and how to mix old with new,” – David Hicks, David Hicks on Living — with Taste (1968)

Master Bedroom at Britwell House, David Hicks Home in Oxfordshire

Ever since I was a little girl I have had a love affair with canopy beds.  In fact, the room that my mother grew up in had two canopy beds that I adored.  When my grandparents sold their house, I insisted my mother store the two canopy beds in our attic until I have a house to put them in and children (hopefully for their sake little girls) who can sleep in them.  David Nightingale Hicks was born on March 23rd, 1929 and is acknowledged as one of the most important interior designers of the late 20th Century.  Along with his use of bold, modern colors, geometric fabrics, upholstered walls and painted furniture – the canopy bed was a David Hicks trademark.  Below are some of my favorites from the David Hicks archives of photographs.

Pammy’s Room at Britwell

A bedroom in Roquebrune, Hicks country home in the south of France.

Bedroom Suite decorated by and named after David in the St. Regis Hotel

David’s sons bedroom in his 1974 London Apartment

Master Bedroom at Roquebrune

A roomsetting in his Paris shop, David Hicks France.

All White Bedroom done for Lydia Farr’s Southampton Home in 1969

KRIS Likes… William Haines

William “Billy” Haines began his career in Hollywood as one of the top 5 silent motion picture actors from 1928 to 1933; appearing in over 20 films alongside leading ladies such as, Joan Crawford, Marion Davies and Constance Bennett.  In 1930, Haines opened his own antique shop after his hollywood friends and famous costars were continually spellbound by the decor of his own home. Using the antique shop as a base, Haines launched his new career as an interior designer in 1933 when both Carole Lombard and Joan Crawford hired him to decorate their Brentwood homes. That year, Motion Picture Magazine described Lombards residence as “no place for tweed and slacks, but a perfect setting for trailing tea gowns and evening dresses.”  Not long after, Haines came to embody Hollywood glitz and glamour, becoming the “it” decorator for the elite of Hollywood’s golden age.

Haines had a very unique approach to decorating for his time.  He rejected the spanish colonial decor that had been so prevalent in Southern California and ushered in a lighter, fresher, more elegant and eclectic style .  A style now defined as Hollywood Regency.  Haines injected his rooms with the luxury and glamour of the screen.  He created intangible atmospheres and homes designed for entertaining and the high style living of his clients.

William Haines residence in Brentwood, CA
Jack Warners Private Hollywood Screening Room
Jack and Ann Warners, 1937 Beverly Hills Estate
While Hollywood Regency might be a throwback to a another era there is no denying it has made a modern comeback with designers like Kelly Wearstler.  Thanks to William Haines Designs, carried by the Profiles Showroom in New York City, furniture created by William Haines can still be purchased and even customized to be made into your own.  Below are just some of my favorites…
Bel Air Sofa

originally made in 1952 by Haine for Betsy Bloomingdales Hollywood home; The Bel Air sofa is a perfect example Regency-style upholstery and Haines desire to make furniture that is attractive from all sides.
Brentwood Chair / Popular Name: Hostess Chair

It’s hard not to love something nick named The Hostess Chair, although, the name isn’t the only thing to love. Hollywood Regency was all about scale.  The furniture was low and small so not to detract from the glamorous people in the room.  However, these pieces are not what you would expect from furniture of such small-scale.  Surprisingly comfortable, the chairs seem to place you in an elegant pose you had no idea you were capable of striking.  The tufted seat and tight back is also William Haines signature look.
Ice Crystal Sconces

Designed by William Haines for the May house in 1953, these sconces are the first item in what I call my “future home” file.  If you didn’t guess already, this file consists of all the things I would fill my dream home with.  unfortunately for me, this pair of sconces, composed of faceted pieces of acrylic, are a limited edition but I envy the lucky owner who buys them.
** All pictures provided by the William Haines Designs website.