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… Bounkit

“These gems have life in them:  their colors speak, say what words fail of.”  ~George Eliot


I  first discovered Bounkit on my never-ending and seemingly impossible quest for the stylish and modern clip on earring.  (Yes, I might be the only woman under the age of 80 who does not have her ears pierced.)  When I finally stumbled upon this treasure trove of gorgeous semi-precious gemstones (that offered all of their earrings with a clip-on option),  I thought I had died and gone to heaven! A native of Morocco, founder Hassan Bounkit launched his jewelery line in 2006.  His inspiration derived from his Mediterranean background, ancient Moroccan designs, art deco and his love of nature.  Each piece is handmade in the label’s New York atelier from crystal, wood and organically cut stones.  Below are just a few of my favorite creations.  I hope you enjoy these elegant and exotic creations as much as I do!  xx Kris

All items seen below can be purchased on their website

Ring with Green Amethyst and Lemon Quartz
Ring with Green Amethyst and Lemon Quartz
Earrings with Rutilated Quartz and Smoky Topaz
Earrings with Rutilated Quartz and Smoky Topaz
Earrings with Amethyst and Green Amethyst
Earrings with Amethyst and Green Amethyst
Earrings with Blue Quartz and Garnet
Earrings with Blue Quartz and Garnet
Earrings with Moonstone, White Topaz, Button Pearl and White Cat's Eye
Earrings with Moonstone, White Topaz, Button Pearl and White Cat’s Eye
Earrings with Green Onyx, Green Amethyst and Black Onyx
Earrings with Green Onyx, Green Amethyst and Black Onyx
Bracelet with Green Onyx Beads and Clear Quartz
Bracelet with Green Onyx Beads and Clear Quartz
Cuff with Black Onyx and Carved Labradorite
Cuff with Black Onyx and Carved Labradorite
Cuff with Lapis and Turquoise
Cuff with Lapis and Turquoise
Necklace with Melon Lapis and Multi Strand Peridot
Necklace with Melon Lapis and Multi Strand Peridot
Necklace with Rutilated Quartz and Smoky Topaz
Necklace with Rutilated Quartz and Smoky Topaz

*** All photos taken from Bounkit website.

KRIS Likes… Spring and De Gournay

 “There are as many styles of beauty as there are visions of happiness.”
– Stendhal


The weather is finally getting nicer and I was inspired this morning by an Instagram photo of a De Gournay wallpaper posted by a friend and fellow interior designer, Georgia Tapert Howe of Carolina George.  Inspired by 18th Century Chinoiserie; nothing reminds me of springtime and brings the beauty of nature into a home quite like an exquisitely hand painted De Gournay wallpaper.  The company specializes in creating block-printed panoramic wallpapers developed in early 19th century France and called: Papiers Peints Panoramiques.   Every paper is handmade by skilled artisans and each one is a true work of art.  The epitome of luxury, beauty and fantasy the paper can be customized any way the client desires and made into matching pattern fabric.  Personally, De Gournay paper in a dining room is a look I will never tire of!!  Thanks to Georgia for the inspiration… I am jealous that you get to work with one and am certain it will be stunning! For everyone else, enjoy the way designers have used these gorgeous papers in the pictures below!   xx K

















*All photos taken from the De Gournay Website.

KRIS Likes … The Color Green

“He had that curious love of green, which in individuals is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament.” –Oscar Wilde, Irish Playwright, Novelist, Poet, Short Story Writer and Freemason

Miles Redd

Since today is St Patricks day and the streets are filled with the gaudy use of green; I thought it would be nice to show you the many chic ways in which this favorite color of mine can be used. Hopefully, the pictures below will leave you all green with envy!  Enjoy!

Oliver Goldsmith Orbison 1964 Sunglasses

A Rare Late 18th c. English Green Tortoiseshell Tea Caddy

Derek Lam Evie Clutch

Steven Gambrel’s House

Celerie Kembel

Kenneth Jay Lane Necklace

Steven Gambrel

Large Painted Retreat Sign

Peter Som Hand Painted Stripe Dress

Green Painted Bench Nantucket House Antiques

Mary McDonald

DAVID WEBB Gold and Enamel Ring

Angelina Jolie in Verscace Gown at 2011 Golden Globes

Pair Awaji Pottery Buttress Handle Vases C 1920 at Thomas K Libbey

Love in the Afternoon – Laura Stone Eckhart

KRIS Likes… Maps

“The reinvention of daily life means marching off the edge of our maps.” – Bob Black

Thomas O’brien

For thousands of years maps have helped people define, explain and navigate their way through the world and using them to decorate one’s home is hardly a novel idea.  In fact, the tradition can be dated all the way back to the Ancient Romans who created mosaic tiles that displayed elaborate city plans and maps of their region.  However, It wasn’t until a few hundred years later during the 17th Century that the Dutch put decorating with maps on the map….   During this “Golden Age” of the Netherlands, the wealthy dutch merchants commissioned large wall maps not only for planning their trading exploits, but as decorative symbols of their wealth and power.  The impact of these maps was so great that many 17th Century Dutch painters such as Hals, Vermeer, Ter Borch, De Hooch and Steen began to depict these maps in the interior decoration of their paintings as a form symbolism and allegory.

Map makers during this time were referred to as world describers and I believe that is exactly why what they created still has so much appeal today.  Maps are the perfect combination of science and art.  They merge the observations, imagination and exaggerations of a people, revealing only fragments of history.  Each one has its own unique voice and story that we can connect with on a personal level giving them an enduring beauty.  They remind us of where we have been or where we want to go….Enjoy!

Bella Vici Interiors House Beautiful

1734 Parchment-Paper Map of Paris – Steven Shailer Elle Decor

Pair of Vintage Long Island Maps in the East Hampton Home of Robert Stilin

Pheobe Howard

Living Room of John Dransfield and Geoffrey Ross Elle Decor July 2010

Miles Redd

Steven Gambrel

Jeffrey Bilhuber

Celerie Kemble Bathroom Lonny Mag Oct/Nov 2010

Dransfield and Ross

Matthew Patrick Smyth Elle Decor October 2006 Engravings of Paris Circa 1730

Archival Pigment Print Map of Rome on 1st Dibs 

Plan De Paris, Wall Map, Commissioned by Turgot, from 1739

Hand Colored Sectional Map of Paris from 1760Set of 6 Copper Engraved Maps of the United States from 1879-1872

1765 Benjamin Donn Wall Map of Devonshire and Exeter, England 76″ x 73″

Plan of the City of New York – 1776

KRIS Likes… Fur

Vanessa Triana’s Bedroom Harpers Bazaar October 2010

Once again, New York City is covered in a blanket of snow and since most New Yorker’s aren’t fortunate enough to have a working fireplace, a little bit of fur in your decor can be the next best way to fight the freeze.  For those of you who are opposed to real fur, not to fret, the faux fur alternatives can be just as lush, soft and warm as the real thing!  Below are just a few examples of how todays top designers have incorporated fur into their chic home designs.  Enjoy!!

Vanessa Traina’s West Village Apartment Harper’s Bazaar October 2010

Blackman Cruz Metropolitan Home January 2008

Home of Ernest de la Torre and Kris Haberman Elle Decor January 2006

Dan Barsanti of Healing Barsanti Metropolitan Home November 2008

Brad Ford Lonny Mag December 2010

Andrew Halliday and David Greer Master Bedroom House Beautiful July 2008

Home of Tony Espuch  shot by Toril for Habitania

Gilles Mendel Elle Decor October 2007

Paul Gruer Designs House Beautiful Jan 2010

Ryan Korban Lonny Mag Aug/Sep 2010

Ryan Korban Lonny Mag Feb/Mar 2010

Home of Ralph and Ricky Lauren Elle Decor October 2010

Trip Haenisch Lonny Mag Jan/Feb 2010

Martyn Lawrence-Bullard Elle Decor October 2006

Marytn Lawrence-Bullard Master Bathroom Elle Decor October 2006

Paul Caravelli Elle Decor March 2010

Robert Couturier Dining Room of Frederic Fekkai and Shirin von Wulffen Elle Decor October 2010

White Cowhide Console by Susan Ferrier House Beautiful

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… Ikat

i·kat (ēˈkät) – noun – A craft in which one tie-dyes and weaves yarn to create an intricately designed fabric.

For those of you how know me well (or have simply stepped inside my apartment or taken a peak at my wardrobe) it will come as no surprise to you that I like Ikat.  Correction: I have a mild obsession with it.  In an attempt to not seem too trendy, as Ikat has been a major fad for a while now, I have tried to contain my obsession but I’ve finally cracked!  I feared that this post would take me a month to write, such is my devotion, but for your sakes I have tried to edit it down as best I can.  And I assure you another Ikat post is certainly in my future.

Envelope Ikat Clutch by Roberta Freymann.  LOVE the leather piping, gold details and classic envelope shape.

Charlotte Moss Ankara Bangle – part of her new Wanderlust collection.

Oscar De La Renta Ikat Embroidered Ballerina Flat

Fiamma Multicolor Bowl by Ginori at Michael C Fina

Green & Saffron Ikat Paper Cocktail Napkins – only $6.95 for twenty and so VERY pretty!

Safron Ikat Paper Dinner Plates – check out the whole collection you won’t regret it!

Loomed Bowl from Anthropologie

Customizable Ikat Ked Sneaker – $72.65 per pair

Iomoi Custom Calling Card in The Pink & Green Point Pattern

Ikat Note Cards

Vintage Uzbek Silk Ikat Throw

Rectangular Ikat Lampshade

Kirbet Cushion by Missoni Home

Ikat Pillows from Andrianna Shamaris

Cambodian Silk Ikat Placemats from ABC HomeAntique Gilt Chair 19th Century reupholstered in vintage Ikat and burlap from Jayson Home & Garden

100% Tibetan Wool Rug with 100 Knots from Weiss House

And here are how some of my favorite designers have incorporated Ikat into their designs….

Miles Redd

Another Miles Redd room that makes my heart skip a beat with it’s ikat chairs…

Jonathan Berger House Beautiful July 2009.  Ikat chairs are in the background.

Madeline Weinrib’s Bedroom.  It should be noted that when it comes making Ikat fabrics no one today does it quite as well as Madeline Weinrib, which is why she deserves her very own post! I promise to deliver that one to you shortly!

Madeline Weinrib’s Living Room

Phillip Gorrivan. Wallpaper in the bathroom is one of my all time favorite Clarence House prints.

Phillip Gorrivan. This study is getting pretty close to the amount of Ikat prints I have in my small little apartment! Lisa Fine Elle Decor November 2008

Kelly Wearstler from her book Hue.  Chair is covered in fabric she designed for Lee Jofa

Kelly Wearstler Outside her Dohney Estate

Tony Duquette

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… OMBRÉ in Autumn

Defenition of Ombré:  Having colors and tones that shade into each other – used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark.

Origin of Ombré: French, past participle of ombrer to shade, from Italian ombrare, from ombra shade, from Latin umbra. First Known Use: 1893

– Merriam Webster Dictionary

The Ombre trend in fashion really started to gain momentum in the Summer of 2008 but there is something about it that keeps me coming back for more!  When done correctly, it gives off that ethereal bohemian vibe while still being sophisticated, crisp and clean. It adds instant dimension wherever it’s applied.  It’s the solid that is not a solid and nothing gets better than that!  Typically, when people think of Ombre they think summer.  Luckily, for Ombre freaks like me the trend translates nicely into fall as well.  Below are just a few of my Ombre favorites to carry you into Autumn.  Enjoy!

Alexis Bittar Mercury Ombre Hinge Bangles

Oscar De La Renta Jeweled Snakeskin Peep-Toe Pumps

Alice + Olivia Voula Sequin Dress

Missoni Chevrom Stripe Belted Boiled Wool Sweater in Pink Degrade

Papyrus – Orange Purple Ombre Thank You Notes

Anthropologie Smoldering Hues Shower Curtain

Shock and Wave Velvet Fabric in Sand and Sable Colorway by Schumacher & Co