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Land of Jesse Laz: The Jewelry Designer on Her Inspiration and New Bleecker Street Boutique

Marlo Laz Founder, Jesse Marlo Lazowski

 

When Jesse Lazowski walks into a room, it lights up. Her positivity and warm energy are infectious and impact everyone she interacts with and come through in everything she creates. She is a bonafide bon vivant and her endless wanderlust has fueled her creative drive and inspiration for her fine jewelry collection, Marlo Laz. From her zodiac and talisman coins to the Porte Bonheur charm that we can’t get enough of, each piece takes its collector beyond borders.

We loved chatting with Jesse about how Marlo Laz was born, where she draws inspiration, her gorgeous Bleecker Street boutique which holds a special place in our hearts (the space was once home to our shared pop-up, Spring on Bleecker), and what it’s like running her ever-growing business in the Covid era.

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BRAND?

Marlo Laz was created for the bon vivants and aesthetes of the world who have an appreciation for the rare, unexpected, and exquisite.

 

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU WENT OFF ON YOUR OWN?

In a sense I have always been off on my own – I was living in Paris and exploring the world. I spent a lot of time in India, Morocco, and around Europe. I moved to New York and launched Marlo Laz.

West Village Boutique, Marlo Laz

WHAT DO YOU THINK WAS A GROUNDBREAKING MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER?

One of my favorite moments was when we launched our Desert Rising collection in collaboration with Ballroom Marfa.  We had a southwestern fete in a townhouse in the West Village to celebrate Haroon Mirza’s stone circle installation that we co-sponsored. It was where my passion for jewelry and love of art came together in the most harmonious way. 

 

Squash Blossom Earrings from the “Desert Rising Collection”

 

WHAT INSPIRED THE STUNNING DESIGN OF YOUR WEST VILLAGE BOUTIQUE?

My goal was to bring my inspirations to life through our boutique. Our brand colors of pink and orange are inspired by the rooftop terrace of Luis Barragan’s home in Mexico City as well as the vibrant colors found in Jaipur and Marrakech.

 

Marlo Laz, West Village Boutique

The first thing I purchased for the store was the entire last dye lot of the Fortuny fabric that now hangs under the archway of the jewelry salon room and also became the fabric on the risers of our jewelry displays. That fabric set the whole mood of the store, which was then layered in with Murano chandeliers, Kagen chairs, Milo Baughman shelves, and all of our other very eclectic pieces. Our store is an Italian palazzo meets an Indian haveli meets a Moroccan riad.

 

Marlo Laz, West Village Boutique

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE YOU HAVE DESIGNED?

I love our Porte Bonheur Coins – they are a reminder to live each day with positivity, to allow yourself to dream, to create your own luck, and to choose happiness. I also love the double message behind our En Route Coins. They are first and foremost for us travelers who are always en route somewhere, to the next destination in our exploration of the world, but also about our journey in life, looking forward and building the future of our dreams. 

 

En Route Coin Pendant Necklace, Marlo Laz

WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

Where do I begin! I wear many hats, so I would say figuring out how to jump between design to P&L reports and everything in between.

 

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORK DAY LOOK LIKE TO YOU?

I am a night owl and the furthest thing from a morning person, so my day starts (and ends) later than most. 

In the COVID era, every day starts with FaceTiming my COO Carly, for a quick catchup and our plan for the day. I then do a quick check of emails to see if there is anything urgent and get on the phone with my production teams (we have four now) to talk about anything such as new product development, bespoke orders, etc. 

At noon I have a standing zoom with my CFO and accountant to go over our weekly numbers. Next, I usually have a call with my CMO to go over newsletters and other creative content. After that, we have a FaceTime catchup with our PR team and then I will have a chat with one or two of our retail partners. 

I usually treat myself around 4 with what I like to refer to as an art break- a chat with my art advisor to discuss an artist or a piece. It feeds my soul and clears my head for the second part of my day 

When the “work” day starts slowing down around  5, I zoom with my CAD designer, who translates my designs and sketches into digital files to develop and review new pieces of jewelry. 

6 is when I take a break and get in my daily Tracy Anderson workout & take a sunset walk. 

After dinner is when I can sit and work on new designs. I use these few hours to either get lost in some research or sketch. The days are too crazy!

Around 12 I check my emails for the last time, usually respond to a few and fall asleep.

 

WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FROM?

Art, travel, iconic women, life.

 

WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR DAY?

Without a doubt, the emails, texts, or DMs we receive from clients letting us know how happy they are with their pieces.

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE LOOKING TO START OUT IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRY?

Trust your intuition, listen to advice but don’t always take it, have a plan, and always be willing to evolve.

 

THREE KEYS TO RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS?

Don’t overthink, surround yourself with the best people, and know that at the end of the day, business is about solving problems, so be prepared for that and have fun with it.  

Marlo Laz, West Village Boutique

QUICKFIRE ROUND: FAVORITES

ARTIST: Matisse & Ed Clark 

COCKTAIL: Tequila Anything 

GEMSTONE: Alexandrite 

CITY: Paris, New York, and Tokyo 

ISLAND: Formentera & St Barths 

HOTEL: Not quite a hotel – but the James Turrell House of Light outside of Tokyo. 

RESTAURANT: La Conca del Sogno on the Amalfi coast, for the zucchini pasta, Kunitoraya in Paris for udon noodles, Via Carota in New York for the neighborhood spot, Miznon in Tel Aviv, and Contramar in Mexico City. 

DESIGNER: My go-to’s are Chanel, Erdem, Etro, and the Elder Statesmen. 

PIECE OF JEWELRY YOU’VE DESIGNED: Our Porte Bonheur coin

 

Enamel Porte Bonheur Coin Necklace, Marlo Laz
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Land of Gloria Gonzalez: The Interiors Tastemaker on Her Design Favorites and Everyday Inspiration

Photo courtesy of Gloria Gonzalez

If you ask us, Gloria Gonzalez might just have the most inspiring feed on all of Instagram. Her exquisite curation of interiors from around the world never misses the mark: Every room is beautiful, colorful, layered, and timelessly chic. Having grown up in Spain, Gloria was continuously inspired by the art and design around her. Gloria received her master’s degree in Art History in Spain and went on to work for the Spanish fashion brand, Loewe. Now based in London, Gloria uses her in-depth knowledge of art and design to consult with various brands in the interior design industry. She works with her clients on marketing, social media, finding new retailers for their product, private sourcing and more. We discovered Gloria’s wonderful blog, Directorio Deco, years ago, and regularly reference it for inspiring interiors and interesting interviews. Read on to discover some of Gloria’s design favorites and resources, and if you’re not already doing so, we’d recommend following her on Instagram immediately!

 

Photo courtesy of Gloria Gonzalez

WHAT MOMENT LURED YOU INTO THE WORLD OF DESIGN AND INTERIORS?

I have always been interested in Decorative Arts and after finishing my degree in History of Art in Spain, I moved to the UK. After visiting many museums and historic homes here, I felt completely inspired. Little by little I  started to meet people in the industry and that brought me opportunities that eventually led to a new career path.

 

WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR FAVORITE PROJECTS YOU’VE WORKED ON?

While working at Loewe, I was involved with the launch of the Loewe Foundation’s Craft Prize which acknowledges and supports international artisans who demonstrate an exceptional ability to create objects of superior aesthetic value. All the finalists came to Madrid and as someone who loves craftsmanship it was an overall wonderful experience.

Another great project I have fond memories of  was collaborating in Wicklewood’s first pop up in London alongside Rococo Davis and Sophie Conran. I curated Spanish ceramics for it and it was great to interact with many people in ‘real life’, beyond the computer or mobile phone.

 

Wicklewood Pop Up Store, Photography by Tom St Aubyn, Courtesy of Gloria Gonzalez

HOW DID YOUR BLOG START? WHERE DO YOU FIND CONTENT FOR IT?

A year or so after I started my Instagram account I realized that the platform wasn’t enough for all of the information I would like to share, so I decided to start the blog. The content varies but one thing is constant: I only write about the things I love and I’m passionate about.

It can come from a book that I’ve read, a film I’ve watched, or a trip I’ve taken. I also love doing interviews which is a great way to learn more about the people I admire. I did one about Annabelle last year!

 

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU FACE WORKING IN THIS INDUSTRY?

My job is rarely 9 to 5, and I need to be quite flexible. You get used to it but it’s always tricky to switch off. Like in any other creative industry, I find sometimes people can take your knowledge and time for granted so you really need to be aware of your value.  We all have bills to pay and I’m no different.

 

WHERE DO YOU SEEK INSPIRATION?

Mostly in books, old magazines, and museums!

 

DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS.

Eclectic, relaxed, unexpected.

 

WHAT COLORS ARE YOU MOST DRAWN TO?

Shades of green, pink & red, blue, and lately yellow.

 

WHERE IN YOUR TRAVELS HAS MOST INSPIRED THE DESIGN IN YOUR HOME?

There is no one place, in particular, it has been many! My style is mostly shaped by the places where I spend most of my time which are the UK and Spain. I love both cultures and my home reflects that.

 

FAVORITE FABRICS OF ALL TIME?

Dianthus Chintz by Soane Britain

Squiggle by Colefax and Fowler

Osborne by Blithfield

Casse Noisette by Decors Barbares

 

Dianthus Chintz by Soane Britain

FABRIC WALLPAPERS?

Nasturtium by Lake August

Espalier and Toile de Nantes by La Maison Pierre Frey

Raphael by Sanberg

 

WHAT ARE YOUR THREE FAVORITE HOTELS?

Finca Cortesin in Andalucia in Spain, La Mirande in Avignon in France, and Landa in Burgos in Spain.

Landa Hotel in Spain, courtesy of Gloria Gonzalez

FAVORITE MUSEUM?

Victoria & Albert Museum

 

DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING?

Not that I do it intentionally, but I tend to buy popular pottery, especially Spanish. One day I would like to have a curated collection that reflects the character and uniqueness of my favorite regions.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ANTIQUE STORES OR ARTISAN WORKSHOPS THAT YOU’VE DISCOVERED?

Brownrigg has always an amazing selection of European antiques and a mix of styles that somehow work perfectly together.

 Alfred Newall makes the most beautiful wooden furniture pieces. His bobbin tables are a must-have – I love mine!

Jay Davey, a great maker of bespoke willow works.

Brownrigg

WHAT INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS DO YOU FOLLOW FOR DESIGN INSPIRATION?

There are so many but to name a few:

@francoishalard

@soanebritain

@nicolocastellinibaldissera

@bibleofbritishtaste

@cabanamagazine

@nathaliefarmanfarma

 

WHICH DESIGN “RULE” IS MADE TO BE BROKEN?

That you can’t use wallpaper or busy patterns in a small space. You not only can but you should!

Source: World of Interiors (James Mortimer Photography), Interior by Jaime Parlade
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Down to Business: Event Planner Augusta Cole on the World of Event Production and the Keys to Thoughtful Entertaining

 

 

When event planner Augusta Cole reached out to us in May, looking for perfect dinnerware for a Sea Island wedding, we were thrilled to help. We have been a big fan of Augusta’s for some time now, admiring her work as Executive Director at award-winning, Easton Events. She recently launched her namesake planning and design company—Augusta Cole Events—and we cannot wait to see the beautiful affairs she brings to life.

We recently “sat down” with Augusta, to learn about what goes into running a successful events business, what it’s like launching a company in the midst of a global pandemic, and key tips to effortlessly hosting a memorable affair, be it an intimate dinner party or a “micro wedding” in today’s crazy world.

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TYPES OF EVENTS TO PLAN AND WHY?

I love it all! While the majority of our events are wedding-related, I am inspired by the legacy aspect
of working with a family through all of the major milestones. From anniversaries, baby showers, to
major birthday celebrations, I love to be the through-line to make these experiences seamless and
personal.

9-Person Sea Island Wedding, photo by Olivia Rae James, courtesy of Augusta Cole Events. Pale Blue Serenity plates from Land of Belle, custom linen by John Robshaw, chargers from Tory Burch Home, and Cotton Candy Napkins by Sffera.

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF STARTING YOUR BUSINESS?

The obvious answer is my timing – I officially went out on my own in March of 2020. What a year!
But, I am looking at this as an opportunity rather than a pitfall. It’s an opportunity to launch with a
flexible and open mindset.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO BE IN THE EVENT PLANNING INDUSTRY?

Experience and relationships are key! In the same way that we as businesses garner many of our
clients through referral, doors to opportunities in the industry open in a similar way. The other
critical piece of advice is hard work never goes out of style. The event industry is exciting, inspiring,
and does not sleep. Smart workflows and strong work ethics are paramount!

MOST MEMORABLE EVENT YOU’VE PLANNED?

There really are too many to count! I could write a novel about why each of my events earns a spot as
“the most memorable”. But, for this year, it is easy… the nine-person wedding, I planned on June 27th 2020 for Jacquie and Marcus at Sea Island was my first Augusta Cole Event and that felt fabulous!

Sea Island Wedding in June, Photo by Olivia Rae James, courtesy of Augusta Cole Events

DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS?

Fresh, Layered, Punchy, Engaging, Timeless

THREE QUALITIES THAT MAKE YOU GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO.

Leadership, Empathy, Collaborator

WHAT’S A SKILL THAT YOU WISH CAME NATURALLY TO YOU BUT DOESN’T?

Baking… as much as I tried, I couldn’t nail Banana Bread or the perfect chocolate chip cookie, even
during quarantine!

FOUR KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL EVENT?

1) Thoughtful Guest Communication and Direction

It is so important to cut out the mystery for your guests through the pre-event collateral,
upon arrival information, and directions. The subtle guidance allows them to effortlessly
enjoy the flow of the evening!

2) Easy Access to the Bar

Backups at bars or lacking-service for tray passed refreshments can immediately create an
anxious setting for your guests. Be sure to strategically place your bars for ease of approach
and have plenty of space for multiple bartenders. You typically need 4 feet per bartender and
its always best to do a ratio of 1 to 30, when possible.

3) Fabulous Entertainment

It’s a rule of thumb – everybody remembers the band! But don’t forget the first impression
sound and creating a memorable, but conversational vibe during cocktails.

4) And of course… beautiful design that reflects the client!

A Wednesday wedding, 9.9.20, “This couple had to reschedule their wedding not once, but twice! They decided to do the wedding at Westhampton Country Club and hired me with three weeks to plan. Tim Willoughby was the photographer.” -Augusta Cole, photo by Tim Wiloughby, courtesy of Augusta Cole Events

WHEN WORKING WITH CLIENTS, WHAT ARE EVENT ELEMENTS YOU RECOMMEND SPLURGING ON, AND WHAT ARE AREAS WHERE YOU CAN SAVE WHILE MAINTAINING TASTE AND BEAUTY?

Thoughtful design often means practicing restraint! I am not a proponent of more is more,
but rather a beautiful balance of textures, textiles, color, floral, candlelight, and key focal
moments. I take a full study of client priorities, evaluate their desired budget, and then
together we strategize where to implement their funds in the most impactful and meaningful
way!

IF YOU COULD PLAN A DREAM DINNER PARTY AND INVITE FIVE PEOPLE LIVING OR DEAD, WHO IS AT YOUR TABLE?

Genius question! Now if only this could become a reality…
Bunny Mellon
Oprah Winfrey
Julia Child
Martha Stewart… if she wants to bring Snoop – excellent!
Ruth Bader Ginsburg

September wedding at the Westhampton Country Club, photo by Tim Wiloughby, courtesy of Augusta Cole Events

QUICKFIRE ROUND:

GO TO FLOWERS: Peonies, Lilac, Sweet Peas, Peegee or Limelight Hydrangea, and French Tulips

HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR DAY AS AN EVENTS PLANNER: Sharing that eureka idea with your clients or creative partners that lights everyone up and recharges the creative process!

MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR DAY AS AN EVENTS PLANNER: I accept the challenge and take this role very seriously – contract negotiations. Especially in the wake of COVID, we have to think through all worst-case scenarios while protecting both parties involved!

BRIDESMAIDS: TO MATCH OR NOT TO MATCH? I am on the not-exactly-match train at the moment!

BAND OR DJ? Band… but love a DJ afterparty!

WEDDING SPEECHES: MORE THE MERRIER OR LESS IS MORE? Less is more!

THANK YOU NOTES SHOULD BE SENT WITHIN… A year of your wedding, but ideally as the gifts roll in. Pro tip- having your thank you notes ready and sending them out upon receipt of the gift is a much more manageable process!

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Down to Business: Designer Ariel Okin On Her New Furniture Collection With Society Social

The Society Social X Ariel Okin Collection

We last caught up with interior designer, Ariel Okin, at our Spring on Bleecker pop-up last June, where she set a gorgeous table for us. Over coffee, she mentioned talks of a furniture capsule with direct-to-consumer brand, Society Social. Fast forward nine months, and the stunning seven-piece collection has come to life, perfectly marrying traditional elements with a contemporary twist, at a democratic price point suited for young design enthusiasts.

 

Amy Scalloped Console in Green & Franny Side Table

 

The collection features silhouettes inspired by historically important pieces, updated with pops of color and natural materials like wicker, grasscloth, and rattan. An array of styles are featured, from an upholstered sofa inspired by Bunny Mellon’s legendary Antigua estate, to a grasscloth upholstered coffee table taking cues from the lines of Karl Springer’s iconic furniture. It all comes together for a beautiful balance of relaxed and refined, collected yet sophisticated.

We sat down with Ariel—over Zoom of course!—to learn more about the design process, why it never hurts to ask in life, and how she so gracefully balances motherhood and running a business.

 

 

Ariel Okin of Ariel Okin Interiors

 

Tell us about what the past year has looked like for you?

The past year has been an absolutely wild ride! I had my daughter (my first child!) at the end of August, I created a furniture line with Society Social and a wallpaper line with Chasing Paper, and we shot, installed and published a few projects over the past twelve months – one of which landed on the cover of Domino. We also launched a curated shop on my website.

It’s all been so exciting and packed to the gills, and though some moments were overwhelming, I wouldn’t change one second of it! I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I love and also be a mom. Most of all, the arrival of my daughter this past year has been the biggest blessing, and I feel so lucky that she’s mine. She’s 7 months now and she makes me laugh every day.

 

How did your relationship start with Society Social?

My correspondence with Society Social actually started on Instagram – Roxy Te, the founder of Society Social, reached out to me via DM to see if I’d be interested in incorporating one of their rattan pieces in my daughter’s nursery. I, of course, said yes (as I love their product) and the conversation naturally flowed from there. I eventually said to her – I’m not sure if you would ever be interested in doing this, but would you want to do a furniture collection together? And the line was born! I felt a little nervous asking, but it was proof that you never know until you try!

 

Where did your inspiration come from for this collection?

I started by pulling about 300 reference images – magazine tears of homes that I absolutely love, iconic imagery of residential properties, gardens, people, etc. I really wanted to establish the mood and overall aesthetic of the collection first, before getting into the nitty-gritty of each piece. Once I had that finely defined, I made a list and thought about pieces that I had been looking to use in my own projects but could not find. A few came to mind off the bat: a wicker tromp l’oeil coffee table with an upholstered top, a rattan bookcase with a bit of height between the shelves to optimize the styling of objets, a charming side table with slim dimensions that could fit in almost any space, and a console that was narrow enough to fit in the smallest of New York galley entryways.

 

Amy Console in White

Describe the collection in three words.

Timeless, fun, sophisticated.

 

What did the process look like from ideation through creation?

Roxy was truly incredible about taking my inspiration images and bringing them to life through the talented artisans who work in the Philippines and North Carolina. She really made the design process a collaborative breeze, and working with her was so fun – there was such good energy and synergy. I would send a few reference images, receive a few different options in sketches back, and then we’d refine and make notes. Then we would incorporate our revisions into a few more rounds until everything from the welt to the pitch of the furniture was just so.

 

Bobbie Wicker Ottoman

 

What was it like working on your first furniture line as a designer?

Surreal! Every time I got a sketch back I couldn’t believe I was being given this opportunity; Society Social was making an investment in my taste and my brand, and I felt so lucky that they placed that level of trust in me. I am so grateful to Roxy and her entire talented team for helping me bring my ideas to life and create tangible pieces out of the dreams in my brain! Seeing these pieces in people’s homes will be the ultimate pinch-me moment.

 

Amy Scalloped Console in Navy

 

What are some of your other go-to furniture brands when shopping for interiors projects?

I absolutely adore Chairish and 1st Dibs – we source so many vintage pieces for our clients, and both of those retailers are integral in our sourcing process. I also love EBTH – a resource that pulls together all of the estate sales in the country; you have to really dig but you can find some absolute gems on there. We use a lot of D&D trade-only vendors with COM (customer’s own material) capabilities, based in North Carolina, too – EJ Victor, Baker, Century etc. And then a ton of CB2 on the retail side, as well as RH for sofas. And of course, Society Social! Since the crisis, I really want to shop smaller going forward; House Beautiful ran a great piece on the 50 best small home shops in the country, and I really want to try to pull from those stores in my current projects!

 

Did working on this line mean taking on fewer interior jobs?

No, funny enough! If anything, having my daughter definitely put a pause on work for a bit in the month before I had her and then the 2 months after I had her, in terms of taking new projects on, but then once I was back from maternity leave I picked back up where I left off. It was definitely stressful but I actually loved getting back into work; it makes me feel like me, and I absolutely love what I do and my team, so it feels like such fun each day.

 

How do you envision the pieces being used? What is the price point?

I designed this collection with myself and my clients in mind. The price points range from $230 for our custom, hand-printed chinoiserie Belgian linen pillows, to $2,950 for the Bunny Sofa, which is inspired by a vintage sofa that we found in reference images of Bunny Mellon’s legendary estate in Antigua (now owned and lovingly restored by Tory Burch.) The Susie and the Charlie pillows are a collaboration between the artist Dawn Wolfe, whose work I use in so many of my projects, and myself (10% of all proceeds from these pillows are going to No Kid Hungry.)

 

Charlie Pillow

 

My goal for this collection was for young design aficionados to be able to create the traditional look and feel of a collected, warm home, and deliver some of the polish that an interior design firm brings to its projects with the ability to do contrast piping, tape trim, etc. on all of the pieces. I hope that the pieces stand the test of time and are used for many years – I would love to see the Bunny sofa threadbare over time in someone’s den or beach home, or the Bobbie wicker coffee table with kids bouncing around it. I just hope it brings joy and beauty to people’s everyday lives! With so much “fast fashion” in the furniture industry, I hope that people cherish these pieces for years, and let them develop a patina, and pass them down generations. Pieces don’t need to cost a fortune to become beloved and prized possessions, and I hope that comes across with this collection.

 

Benny Rattan Bookcase

What is the story behind the names of the pieces? Do they have a personal connection?

Yes! Every piece is named after a person or place that is near and dear to my heart. The Amy Console and Franny side table, for example, are named after my mom and grandma, respectively, and the Fenimore coffee table is named after the street I grew up on, Fenimore Lane. It was so emotionally gratifying for me to be able to do that!

 

Franny Side Table

What did you learn from this process?

With Society Social being based in North Carolina, and me in New York, I certainly learned the value of over-communication. You really cannot discuss things enough when you’re working on something so detailed, so far apart. Learning to have clear language around aesthetics is something that I already know a lot about from the interior design side, but it applies to product design as well. I also learned that I have a passion for ideating and creating product, and it’s something that I want to continue doing in the future.

 

Sophie Swivel

 

 

What do you hope to tackle next?

Next, we have the launch of my wallpaper line with Chasing Paper in June, which I am so, so excited about. Chasing Paper shares so much of the same ethos in terms of company mission as Society Social: democratizing traditional elements of design for the masses, at an affordable price point. My collection with Chasing Paper has about twelve different patterns, all executed beautifully by the artist Ashley Begley of Ashley D Studio, who helped me bring my visions to life. They will be available in both peel and stick (great for renters, and what Chasing Paper is known for), and traditional, a first for the company.

 

The capability to see what your room will look like in the paper through VR technology will also be available which I’m excited about, and it will retail at $40/roll. Elizabeth Rees, the founder of Chasing Paper, is an absolute dream, and I can’t wait to debut that line to the world soon! We also got to work with Abby Ward, the former Art Director at Tory Burch, who is the most exceptionally talented and kind human on earth, to create a set of limited edition mood boards for seven of the paper themes. I’m excited to post soon to Instagram as a way to introduce consumers to the collection.

 

How has it been juggling motherhood and life as a designer?

It’s been a balancing act for sure, and I’ve come to realize that it’s very rare when you feel like you’re doing everything (momming and running a business) at your best in one day, and that’s ok. Some days I’m more present with my daughter than I am at work, and some days I’m more present with work than I am with my daughter, and I am trying to just accept that fact and not beat myself up over it. It’s a cumulative effort, not a day to day scorecard. I feel so much fulfillment from both roles, and I feel so lucky and grateful that I get to do both, that I really try not to hang myself up on the little details of “did I do enough of X” today!

 

 

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The LoB Weekend Guide to St. Barth’s: Where to Shop, Eat, & Stay on One of Our Favorite Islands

St. Barth’s is one of our favorite island escapes. A visit to the stunning island delivers all of the charms of summers in the south of France combined with the laid back romance of the Caribbean. Upon our return from a week in the sun, we’ve compiled our shortlist of favorites for the perfect weekend getaway.

If you would like to add some of St. Barth’s charm into your home collection, scroll down to the bottom of this post to shop a curated selection of LoB pieces inspired by the island.

Stay…

Cheval Blanc for pure beauty and indisputably the best beach on the island or opt for a picturesque view in the hills at charming Villa Marie.

Eat…

Don’t miss lunch at magical Le Toiny or dinner at Bonito and Maya’s.

Shop…

Pick up Fedeli swimtrunks, chic beach hats, and vintage prints of the island to take home with you at Clic Gallery. Find beautiful Italian menswear at Le Sereno’s boutique and chic, neutral decor items at Yume in St. Jean.

Don’t Miss…

Saline Beach at sunset.

You Should Know…

Always book St. Barth Services to an ensure expedited experience at St. Martin and St. Barth’s airports, it’s a lifesaver as they allow you to skip the lines and make tight connections.

If you opt to stay at a hotel or villa that isn’t on the beach, you can visit most all of the hotels and pay about €50 for a beach chair for the day, a nice way to have the best of both worlds.

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Land of Ariel Okin: The Interior Designer on Entertaining Go-tos, Baby Nursery Design and the Keys to Setting a Perfect Summer Table

To say it’s been a busy time for Ariel Okin is an understatement. In the past year alone, the talented designer has juggled a full stack of noteworthy projects, including the Maisonette offices, a gorgeous bedroom at New York’s Holiday House, Lena Dunham’s West Village apartment, and most recently, the Goop offices in New York. Did we mention this tiny powerhouse is also seven months pregnant? So, we were absolutely thrilled when Okin found time to stop by our most recent pop-up, Spring on Bleecker, where she set a charming summer table and filled us in on her entertaining go-tos, design favorites, and the keys to creating a timeless nursery.

Describe your aesthetic in five words or less.

Traditional, but with a twist.

Colors or Neutrals.

Colors!

Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind the table you pulled together at Spring on Bleecker.

Since we’ve just entered summer, I wanted to craft an easy, breezy table that evokes the joy of the season but can also be formal enough for a dinner party. I’ve been really inspired by the combination of deep burgundy and pale blue lately, so that the informed the palette, and then those Liberty print napkins stole my heart! And of course, fresh peonies and a few sweet treats from Sant Ambroeus always make anything better.

Okin’s summer table at Spring on Bleecker

Give us 3-5 tips for creating a beautiful summer table.

1. Fresh blooms are key.

2. Consider lighter weight fabrics, like linen and cotton, to fit the season.

3. Candles add the best ambiance, especially at dusk.

4. Placing little bowls around the table filled with treats like fresh local fruit or cookies adds intrigue and allows people to pace their courses at their leisure.

5. Play around! Don’t feel like you have to adhere to any specific table setting “rules.” Gravitate toward what expresses your aesthetic and roll with it.

Any go-to hors d’oeuvres you like to serve when entertaining?

No one has ever turned down a mini hot dog wrapped in phyllo dough, and that’s a fact. A beautiful cheeseboard with a mix of hard and soft cheese, some yummy crackers and a crudité keep everybody happy.

What are the key ingredients to a successful dinner party?

Dim lighting, uplifting music, and interesting people.

What’s on your g0-to playlist for a get-together at home?

The Temptations, Beach Boys, Dion, and Sam Cooke. I also love to throw in a little late 90s and early 2000s for good measure.

Any favorite candles to burn when entertaining?

Maison Louie Marie’s No. 04, Bois de Balincourt, is a great scent. It’s light and interesting and doesn’t overpower the room— it’s beautiful for summer. No scented candles at the dinner table, though.

Any go-to soap for the powder room?

Portugal-based Claus Porto makes the beautifully packaged soaps. I always keep one in our guest bathroom and they also make a gorgeous hostess gift.

Upper West Side living room. Photo by Seth Caplan.

Any favorite cocktails to serve at home?

If not rosé or an ice-cold glass of white burgundy, one of my favorites is tequila with soda, lime and a splash of pineapple juice on the rocks.

Any dinner guest pet peeves?

Failing to RSVP!

What’s your favorite hostess gift?

If invited for dinner, I like to send some fresh flowers ahead of time. For a longer stay, a basket with favorite treats from local purveyors is always nice, as are beautiful soaps or a candle, or a coffee table book that relates to the area.

Do you collect anything?

Royal Copenhagen in the blue fluted half lace pattern (our wedding china), and Architectural Digest and Domino Magazine in print. A friend who recently moved to Austin gave me her full Domino collection that completed mine —I now have every issue going back to when it was founded!

Maisonette offices. Photo by Seth Caplan.

Favorite room of the house to decorate and why?

I love designing the big common areas — living and dining rooms in particular, because I love to think about how the space will be used at its best: People milling around during a cocktail party, dimmed lights, great music, everyone having fun. Houses are meant to be lived in. I don’t subscribe to the all-white room where children aren’t permitted and no one can drink red wine. If you aren’t enjoying your home, what’s the point?

What design “rule” is made to be broken?

I’m not much of one for rules. I think Billy Baldwin’s ethos of choosing what you love and living in a space that feels wholly you is the best “rule” to live by.

Favorite Instagram accounts to follow for design inspiration?

There are so many! A few notables are @soph_isticatedstyle, @loithai, @gadabout, @nineandsixteen, and then the accounts of other designers like @amylberry, @palomacontrerasdesign, @sarahbartholomewdesign, @clarybosbyshell, @alyssakapitointeriors and @markdsikes. And of course, @landofbelle!

Upper East Side guest bedroom. Photo by Cody Guilfoyle for Domino Magazine.

You’re expecting a baby this August. Give us three tips for designing a nursery.

1. Make sure the baby can grow into the room. A few touches of “baby” are adorable in the form of beautiful art of a specific printed pillow, but too much runs the risk of them outgrowing the room quickly. Choose wall and window treatments that can stand the test of time, because they are more of an investment.

2. Use performance fabric and easy to clean rugs (i.e. 100% wool) everywhere you can.

3. Create storage areas everywhere to keep things neat and tidy. Woven baskets are your friends!

To you, home is…

Anywhere my husband is (and dog!).

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Land of Adam Charlap Hyman: The Designer on his Creative Process, the Best Interiors in Film, and a Favorite Pair of Picasso Armchairs

Courtesy Andre Herrero

 

Adam Charlap Hyman, the 29-year-old co-founder of AD100 firm Charlap Hyman and Herrero creates interiors that are unique, intellectual and deeply personal, filled with unexpected colors and textures and touches of idiosyncratic humor. He’s also done gallery exhibition design and curation, constructed opera sets, designed slightly surrealist furniture and a line of wallpaper and fabrics. And he’s made straw rugs in the shape of snakes and crocodiles and astrological charts. We spoke to Adam about his creative process, how he got to where he is today, and some of the books and movies that have informed his sense of style.

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR AESTHETIC? 

Our aesthetic is narrative, emotional, and historically engaged. We try to make spaces that touch people and also make them laugh.

 

IS THERE A PROJECT YOU’RE PROUDEST OF? 

One of our first projects, a Victorian house for a young family in Brooklyn. The couple is in the art world and brought a lot of creativity to the project. They pushed me to think about color and materials in ways that felt very exciting and new. The house had to be renovated from top to bottom but we intentionally made different areas look like they had been done in different periods, creating the illusion of an evolving history to the building instead of the single gut job that is was. For the kitchen, we were inspired by the functionalism of the kitchen in Villa Necchi Campiglio in Milan [where the Luca Guadagnino movie I am Love was shot]. We did the bathrooms to look Victorian in that way that things from Victorian period look when they were just beginning to develop modern hygienic and clinical standards—in fact, all the fixtures and fittings in the bathrooms are vintage, as is the stove in the kitchen. The red and white tile floor in the master was taken from the pictures of Cy Twombly’s apartment in Vogue in the 60’s. The dining room table is covered with a lace table cloth in a nod to “Nona” style. The lavender color that we used on the walls in the boys bedroom was taken from a Vuillard painting of a child’s room.

 

 

WHAT PLACES HAVE YOU VISITED IN THE PAST YEAR THAT REALLY BLEW YOU AWAY, DESIGN-WISE? 

This past summer I went to Berlin to look for Weimar-era furniture for a client, and the search took me to some of the most startlingly unique buildings and rooms I have ever seen. It is a period that is in many respects forgotten. I was extremely taken by the fusion of certain classical standards of proportion with extraordinarily radical and bizarre decorative elements, especially in the Renaissance Theater by Oskar Kauffman and Cesar Klein, and the Kreuzkirche by Ernst Paulus

 

PART OF YOUR PROCESS INVOLVES MAKING DETAILED WATERCOLORS OF YOUR PROJECTS. DID YOU ALWAYS DO IT THAT WAY? 

I started doing the watercolors at the beginning. I was looking at Renzo Mongiardino’s gouache maquettes and could see how they would have been fantastic tools for communicating ideas to clients in a way that was inspiring to them, clear, but also changeable and not so set-in-stone. In my experience, clients seem to get nervous when they think they can’t change things or get involved in the way a room comes together.

 

 

WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU DECIDED TO START YOUR OWN FIRM? 

I worked for Ralph Lauren Home, finding inspirational reference images and materials for their design team. It was a lot of fun and I learned so much. I pored over old books, magazines and films; did a lot of antiquing; and practiced researching online into obscure areas of design history. It was truly a dream job for me. After Ralph Lauren, I worked briefly for an interior designer before starting my own firm with my friend from RISD, Andre Herrero.

 

DID YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC MOMENT WHEN YOU WERE LIKE, THIS IS HAPPENING, I’M READY TO GO OFF AND DO MY OWN THING NOW?

I was working on a small job (little kids’ bedrooms) for a family on the Upper West Side when they decided to move into a large townhouse and asked me to design the entire interior. When I went to the first meeting with the architecture firm they had settled on, I was pleasantly surprised that the young architect sent by the firm to oversee the project was my friend from college, Andre Herrero. We hadn’t known each other too well, but I had admired his work—and he mine. It was a wonderful coincidence. We enjoyed the process of collaborating on this house so much that when the next project came my way, I asked him to do it with me and that was that!

 

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Our pinned insects wallpaper! @schumacher1889 @ch_herrero #schumacher #ch_herrero

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TELL US ABOUT THE FABRICS YOU DESIGNED FOR SCHUMACHER. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITHT HE IDEA TO USE MOTIFS LIKE SNAKES, INSECTS, OLIVE LEAVES AND ARROWS? 

I designed the fabrics with my mother Pilar Almon, and we started with files of reference material: film stills, old textiles, images of furniture, rooms, and paintings in which we saw something that spoke to us about pattern. With a surge of visual cues running through our heads, we then had a kind of conversation through sketches, sharing and building on each other’s ideas until we had something!

 

WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR DAY-TO-DAY WORK? 

A challenge we face regularly is keeping the myriad vendors and talented people involved in a given project both engaged and inspired about what they are doing. Projects can go on for long periods of time and have ups and downs. Making sure that everyone is compelled to do their best work every step of the way can is not necessarily difficult, but it’s something I have to constantly consider, remember and put effort into.

 

AS YOU’VE BECOME BUSIER AND BUSIER, HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE TO MAKE TIME FOR THE HEADIER OR MORE CREATIVE PART OF YOUR WORK? 

Burning the midnight oil! The most solitary and creative work I do has to be done outside of prime email hours—whenever those may be.

 

 

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Staging rehearsal for Poppea with @winokurz @arcostanzo @ch_herrero

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WHAT ARCHITECTS HAVE HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK? 

We’re inspired by designers and architects who have considered every aspect of a space: Emilio Terry, Pierre Chareau, Jean Michel Frank, Dante Feretti, Luigi Caccia Dominioni, and Piero Portaluppi.

 

WHOSE STYLE DO YOU ADMIRE THE MOST? 

Yves Saint Laurent, Ricardo Bofill, Dominique de Menil, Helena Rubinstein, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Javier Corbero, Pauline de Rothschild.

 

IF YOU COULD OWN ANY PIECE OF FURNITURE EVER MADE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

The pair of French children’s armchairs that Alice B. Toklas upholstered in the 1930s with needlepoints of designs by Picasso that were in her apartment with Gertrude Stein.

 

IF YOU WEREN’T AN ARCHITECT, WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’D BE? 

I think I would be working for a magazine or would have started my own. I love collecting images and stories and doing research.

 

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Our funny dining room in NY Magazine!! @nymag @dhwendygoodman

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FAVORITE PAINT COLOR? 

I do return to the color eau de nil. It’s a kind of celadon that is at once off-putting and beautiful to me—it confuses me and I like it.

 

DESIGN MATERIALS, COLORS OR MOTIFS THAT ARE DUE FOR A COMEBACK: Amber translucent plastic, rubber, eggplant.

 

QUICKFIRE ROUND:

WHAT DESIGN “THING” DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO DEFINE THE CURRENT MOMENT? Brass (unfortunately).

COOLEST PIECE OF FURNITURE EVER? The duck bed by Francois-Xavier & Claude Lalanne.

EVERY ROOM NEEDS: Shells, cabbage, something green.

THE ANTIQUE FINDS YOU LOVE THE MOST: Victorian papier-mâché furniture and Heywood-Wakefield wicker chairs.

BEST INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT FOR DESIGN INSPIRATION:  @nice_shells

ONE INTERIORS BOOK YOU LOVE: The Winter Palace by Madame Korshunova, a book with 128 watercolors of the interiors of the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg.

OLD BUILDING WITH GREAT BONES OR START FROM SCRATCH? One of each—an old apartment in the city and a new house in the country.

MOVIES WITH THE BEST INTERIORS: Plein Soleil, La Piscine, Roberte, Le Mépris, Salò.

DREAM HOME: Casa Malaparte.

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The Day-to-Day: Artist and Designer Justin Giunta Wears Many Hats—and He Wouldn’t Have it any Other Way

Calling Justin Giunta a “multi hyphenate” doesn’t do him justice. He’s an artist who makes richly layered oil paintings, intricately detailed pencil drawings and layered 3D floral collages. He’s an interior designer who also makes chic brass wall sconces and decadent chandeliers. He’s a CFDA award-winning jeweler who creates deeply personal, playful pieces from vintage charms and stones. He’s collaborated and worked with everyone from Tory Burch to India Hicks to Calvin Klein to Alexander Wang (Oh, and he also designed the Land of Belle logo!) To get a sense of what’s behind all that creative output, we spoke to Justin about his process, his biggest inspirations, and the reason he feels that variety is an essential part of what he does.

 

YOU JUGGLE SO MANY DIFFERENT PROJECTS.- JEWELRY, PAINTING, INTERIORS, LIGHTING DESIGN – HOW DO YOU MAKE IT ALL WORK WITHOUT GETTING OVERWHELMED? 

I have always found that variety fuels my creative output. It has always been the nature of my work to cross disciplines, and to do this, I have always aimed to learn as much as possible about each area of design so that I can approach mixing material or style with an informed and skilled insight. Although I wear many hats professionally, I only have one head, and the crossover of ideas is fundamental to my process.

 

DID EACH PROECT DEVELOP ORGANICALLY, OR DID HE YOU KNOW BEFORE YOU STARTED THAT YOU WANTED TO HAVE MULTIPLE THINGS GOING ON AT THE SAME TIME?

When I was an undergrad [Giunta studied at Pratt Institute and the Gerrit Reitveld Academie in Amsterdam, and got his BFA from Carnegie Mellon] I was awarded an opportunity to do a studio program in the woods of Connecticut, for two months we ate, drank, and breathed our studio art practice. It drove me crazy! I took a job at the coffee shop, just so I could have some mental space to reflect on what I was working on in my studio. I have since adapted that to keep a rotation of projects that engage me creatively. I always return to painting, drawing, and jewelry as a constant in my practice, but working with interiors offers a three dimensional canvas on which all elements of scale, texture, decor, color, and light, all play into and well composed room.

 

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#paintingjnthepark #vondelpark #amsterdam #quietcontemplation #watercolorofwatercolor

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WHAT DID YOU DO BEFORE YOU WENT OFF ON YOUR OWN? 

When I was a student, I had early intern experiences working for a slew of creative professionals—studio artists, and gallery owners, set designers, interior designers, theater directors, and even a PR firm in New York. Ultimately, I have forged my own professional path, starting and operating my own company at 23 years old, and have operated under the umbrella of that company ever since.

 

WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

Trying to do it all, and when knowing you can’t do it all on your own, figuring out how you are going to pay the people you need to help you.

 

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORK DAY LOOK LIKE? 

In the morning, I review my email, and work on digital design files on the computer. Then, if you can believe it, I step away from my computer for most of the day and return to correspondence in the evening. Of course, computer time can take up days at time when I am working on a digital design heavy project. Otherwise, I divide my time between drawing and developing jewelry. I am often having meetings with clients, so it affords me the opportunity to be mobile.  Moving around all over the city is the sort of sensory overload that I love. Like looking for a key in a junk drawer, the city is piled with visual stimulation, I always find something new, interesting and exciting when I navigate NYC. This is very much an understated part of my process: to walk, to look, to think.

 

WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR DAY?

It is a tie between starting a new project, and finishing another.

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#enchantedforest #freetoroam #markeronpaper

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WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FROM AND HOW DO YOU KEEP TRACK OF THOSE MOMENTS?

Lots of pictures, lots of drawings, I do not limit my imagination or recording of ideas to the topics I am totally immersed in at any given time. Instead, I draw insistently, and eventually themes emerge that may seem new today, but have hints recorded through my old notebooks. For me it offers continuity to my work and process, I also take and organize photo notes into categories (architecture, design details, graphic design, and color swatches) and I often return to them for inspiration for different projects.

 

DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE ARCHITECT OR DESIGNER?

I love the casual, yet elevated elegance of Axel Vervoordt.  Rich colors, inviting furniture, and eclectic collection of objects, are, in my opinion, the elements of style that I embrace in my own design.

 

ARE THERE ANY BOOKS OR MOVIES THAT HAVE INSPIRED YOUR WORK?

Against the Grain (or Against Nature, depending on the translation) by J.K. Huysmans. It is the Decadent Manifesto and insists that man can triumph over nature with design and engineering. I also refer to The Society of the Spectacle by French theorist Guy Debord, in which our contemporary society has been predicted to include an inundation of visual messaging, and how to use existing imagery to re-contextualize meaning and message away from its original purpose.

 

WHO ARE THE ARTISTS AND DESIGNERS WHO HAVE INSPIRED YOU THE MOST? 

Martin Margiela and Dries Van Noten are two of my favorite clothing designers because they exist on opposite ends of the avant garde spectrum to me. Dries Van Noten makes ultra-modern garments with new fabrics. They have a feeling of deep color saturation and elaborate, decadent details that reference traditions like brocade and embroidery. Margiela appeals to my subversive nature, which calls into question the definition of design itself. As an artist, I pull different aspects of inspiration from different artists, but I love the honesty and drive to create that prompted the writer and painter Henry Darger to pursue a life of making art for his eyes only. (The world was lucky that his work has been discovered, preserved, and promoted after his death.)

 

IS THERE AN ARCHITECTURAL MOVEMENT OR PERIOD THAT YOU FEEL A REAL CONNECTION WITH? 

It is hard to refute a love for Deco architecture, but I am always drawn to Baroque and Rococo architecture because they are feast for the eyes and inspirational details.

Interior Views by Giunta. Available on landofbelle.com

HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?

I don’t, generally. They blend into one another quite fluidly and beautifully.  

 

DO YOU HAVE A WORK UNIFORM?

Ha—I envy businessmen for always looking polished in a suit, I could never do that. It is so unnatural for me. I am a casual dresser, but not a uniform black t-shirt designer. I am very particular about I chose to wear, that is not too normcore but not flamboyant either. I usually wear clothes I can expect to get messed up. I have “enhanced” (or ruined) a lot of designer clothing.

 

WHAT DOES YOUR WORK SPACE LOOK LIKE? 

My workspace can best be described as “organized chaos.” I have so many boxes, bins, and drawers filled with jewelry supplies, paint, glue, tape, paper—really a lot of stuff! Scissors and paper towels are pretty much the two staples I always have on hand.

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If I hoard my garbage does it make me eco-friendly? #upcycle #letitgo #confessionsofacraftsupplyhoarder

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WHAT ARE A FEW QUALITIES THAT MAKE YOU GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO? 

Being open minded and creatively agile gets me projects and helps me solve new problems. Being dedicated, humble, and hardworking helps keep clients. Being self-confident keeps me moving forward through the occasional disappointments.

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO START OUT IN A CREATIVE INDUSTRY?

You are your toughest critic. If you validate your work, others surely will too!  

 

QUICKFIRE ROUND

ALARM GOES OFF AT: No alarm, natural riser at 6:30 A.M.

WORK STARTS AT:  9 A.M.

WORK ENDS AT: 8-ish.

TYPICAL BEDTIME: 12:00-1:00 A.M.

COFFEE/TEA ORDER: COFFEE.

HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR DAY: Morning light streaming in.

THE SKILL THAT DOESN’T COME NATURALLY TO YOU THAT YOU WISH DID: MUSIC, and learning foreign languages.

IF YOU WEREN’T DOING WHAT YOU DO NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE? An Archeologist.

WORKING FROM HOME, LOVE OR HATE? Both. It can be great and distracting all at once.

COLORS YOU’RE MOST DRAWN TO: Deep saturated blues, greens, and yellows, and reds—I’m an artist, I love them all!

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#quietmorning #interior #paint-study #greenroom #acrylic #justingiunta

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Faraway Lands: Musician Katie Schecter Knows Nashville’s Best Music Venues, Vintage Shops, and Galleries

Courtesy Alysse Gafkjen

Musician and born-and-raised New Yorker Katie Schecter moved to Nashville three and a half years ago. At first, it was just to join her fiancé, Nick Bockrath, for a few months while he was recording an album with his band, Cage the Elephant. But they were both looking for a change of pace, and they ended up falling in love with the country music capital. Now she performs on open air stages over Broadway, knows the best taco spots in town, and eats fries next to Dolly Parton cutouts at the end of a long night out. But she’s a New York girl forever. Just ask her about her favorite bagel place.

 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE NASHVILLE TO SOMEONE WHO’S NEVER BEEN?

It’s basically like an amusement park for musicians and music lovers, like Hollywood is for movies. You don’t have to look hard to see truly great chops, they’re everywhere you turn.

 

WHAT INTERESTING NEIGHBORHOODS DO YOU POINT PEOPLE TOWARD? 

Nashville is all around stylish, covered in hand painted signs and old school charm wherever you look, and each neighborhood has its own flare. They’re all worth seeing. The most stylish places in my opinion are the ones that make you feel like you went back in time, like The Station Inn, and American Legion Post 82, or the bowling alley near my house called Donelson Strike & Spare.

 

WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR COFFEE IN THE MORNING? 

I am very much obsessed with Sip Cafe in East Nashville—the drive-thru specifically. I‘ve recently given up dairy in my coffee, so I now do a large iced coffee (yes, even in winter) with coconut milk.

 

WHAT ARE YOUR GO-TO RESTAURANTS?

VN Pho & Deli is a family business and they have the yummiest Vietnamese food in Nashville. I always get the meatball spring rolls and beef pho. Mas Tacos Por Favor has an amazing chicken tortilla soup and fried avocado taco. And I love Proper Bagel. I’m a born and bred New York Jew. Couldn’t live without a great bagel.

 

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⚡️?✨?✨?⚡️

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SAME FOR BARS. ANY GREAT DIVES?

Dino’s Bar is the only place one needs to know. Super divey, super groovy, great food until very late—and you’ll be friends with the bartenders and everyone in there by the time you leave. When Anthony Bourdain came to Nashville, he went to Dino’s for the animal fries, which he aptly dubbed “redneck poutine.” They’re kind of like In-n-Out’s animal fries, only at Dino’s you’re surrounded by life size Dolly Parton cutouts while you eat them, which makes for quite a unique dining experience.

 

HOW’S THE SHOPPING?

Amazing shopping! There’s so much great vintage and I have become addicted to thrifting because I can almost always find something stage-worthy in this town for close to nothing. I love to go to Southern Thrift and Goodwill. For vintage, Black Shag Vintage is my favorite.

 

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At home in the jungle w/ @poonehghana ????

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WHERE DO YOU GO WHEN YOU WANT TO GET INTO NATURE?

My favorite part of living in Nashville is that we are only a 40 minute drive from the rolling fields of Franklin, Kentucky. There’s nothing so beautiful. Cheekwood Estate & Botanical Garden is also beautiful and in town.


ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO DO THE HONKY TONK THING WITHOUT GETTING STUCK IN A TOURIST TRAP?

I think people tend to get a bit overwhelmed by Broadway as it’s one of the main tourist attractions, but you simply have to suck it up and go to Robert’s Western World. It is the best honky tonk bar in Nashville and the live music and ambience are not to be missed. It’s my go-to spot to take out-of-towners because you will not see musicians like this anywhere else in the world!

 

ANY HISTORIC SPOTS OR ART GALLERIES WORTH SEEING? 

Tons. One of my favorite places is The Ryman Auditorium. Taking a tour in the daytime to learn about its history is very cool, and I recommend trying to see a show there in the evening. Going to The Grand Ole Opry is a hoot. There is a budding art scene, but a lot of room for growth as far as I can see. The Frist is cool, and there’s an art collective called Fort Houston. I think what they’re doing is pretty special.

 

WHAT’S YOUR MOST CHERISHED NASHVILLE MEMORY? 

Playing Nashville’s Annual July 4th Concert downtown is definitely up there! The stage spanned across Broadway, it was about 100 degrees, and I was wearing Thom Browne. Even so, it was one for the books. Followed by the most incredible display of fireworks I didn’t know existed.

 

ANYTHING YOU’VE BROUGHT BACK TO NYC WITH YOU?

My newfound love for old country records. And tons of awesome thrift store gems. But my greatest Nashville treasure, most certainly, is a purse with The Obamas on it that I found at a street fair here.


WHERE DO YOU TELL FRIENDS TO STAY WHEN THEY’RE THERE? 

I think staying at The Urban Cowboy seems super dreamy. The Noelle Hotel looks great as well.

 

IS THERE A SONG, PLAYLIST OR ALBUM THAT REMINDS YOU OF NASHVILLE?

I’m part of Jameson Whiskey’s music program and I actually made a Nashville playlist for their Spotify. It’s called NECTAR OF THE GODS.

 

QUICKFIRE ROUND

BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT: The in-between seasons, fall and spring.

FAVORITE MUSIC VENUES: Ascend Amphitheater, The Ryman, American Legion Post 82

BEST PLACE TO END UP AFTER A LONG NIGHT OUT: Dino’s!!!

THE DAY TRIP WORTH TAKING: Antiquing in Clarksville, TN.

YOUR FAVORITE PART OF BEING THERE? THAT I GET TO EAT MUSIC FOR BREAKFAST, LUNCH, AND DINNER—OH, AND ALSO DESSERT.

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Wedding Belles: Over the Moon’s Alexandra Macon Shares her Favorite Winter Wedding Moments

 

Courtesy Marko MacPherson

Alexandra Macon, founder of the wedding website Over the Moon, knows just about everything there is to know about getting married in style.  More and more, it feels like wedding season bleeds into holiday party season—in fact, she noted, fall has surpassed spring as the most popular time to tie the knot. But how do you get all of the details right when the weather outside might be downright frightful? We got her winter wedding tips and some of her favorite moments from Over the Moon’s cold-weather brides.

 

SO, WHY DO A WINTER WEDDING?

The period of time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day is very celebratory—there’s a reason why it’s also become known as “engagement season.” The cold weather and holiday parties all make it a romantic time of year. Logistically, you’re also a bit more likely to snag that hard to book venue, and potentially even get a price break when it comes to certain vendors. And last but not least, snowy weather can make for a beautiful backdrop in photos.

 

ANY DOWNSIDE?

If you plan too close to the holidays, you may get more regrets than you bargained for. Try not to take this personally.

 

WHAT’S THE ETIQUETTE ON PLANNING A WEDDING ON OR NEAR A HOLIDAY? IS A THANKSGIVING WEEKEND WEDDING OK? 

It’s dicey. I think Thanksgiving weekend is fine if you’re having it in your hometown and inviting mostly local guests. Things get tricky when you start asking people from all over the country to drop everything and fly to some far-flung locale the weekend after Turkey Day.

 

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Reliving the dream ?#mountainfreedomwedding ? by the wonderful @henryandmac

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ANY WINTER WEDDINGS THAT YOU LOOK TO FOR STYLE INSPIRATION? WHAT DID THEY REALLY GET RIGHT? 

Lots! A few of my favorites:

Jocie Oppenheim & Graham Dickson in Maine

The bride wore Valentino in the snow—enough said!

Rebecca Schwartz & Alex Smith in Beaver Creek, Colorado

The bride wore a stunning long-sleeved lace dress by Danielle Frankel —I’m a big fan of her work. The couple was married by a close family friend in a traditional outdoor Jewish ceremony with a Chuppah covered in the bride’s grandfather’s tallit (the Jewish prayer shawl).

Devon Schuster & Philip Radziwill in Gstaad

This was in 2010, pre-Instagram, so there was very little coverage, but Devon’s high-necked, open-backed dress is one that’s etched in my memory.

Brooks Horton & Sam Lyddan in Cashiers, NC

The flower girl looked so angelic carrying a basket covered in mountain moss. She wore a vintage dress that the bride’s aunt actually wore to a wedding when she was a flower girl 50 years prior and threw rose petals as she walked down the aisle.

Daisy Melamed & Jordan Sanders in New York City

After dinner and dancing at the Museum of Natural History, the bride changed into a fun, festive after-party dress that would also make for the perfect New Year’s Eve look.

Stuart Vevers & Benjamin Seidler in Cumbria, U.K.

They went for a forest theme, with green ribbon on the Christmas cracker, green edging on the Smythson invitations, and boutonnières made from berries and thistle .

Elizabeth Fisch & Michael Dishi in New York City

They had a dream wedding dessert with carrot cake layers buttercream icing and berries bursting out of it.

Ariel Feldman & Benjamin Okin in Rhode Island 

Their wedding took place in May, but it was unexpectedly freezing due to a Nor’easter. She wore a long-sleeved lace dress by Pronovias that was very reminiscent of Grace Kelly, and I love the windswept photos outside of Rosecliff Mansion.

 

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WHAT TYPES OF FLOWERS WORK FOR A WINTER WEDDING?

I love anemones and white ranunculus for a more wild feeling. For a formal vibe, I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a simple baby’s breath bouquet. It’s just so classic and looks beautiful in winter.

 

HOW ABOUT COCKTAILS?

I’ve always liked a Moscow Mule. It’s a vodka drink made with fizzy ginger beer, tangy line juice, and served in cold copper mugs. Nothing fussy—just a completely classic American cocktail. It’s fun, refreshing, and very festive!

 

WHAT ARE SOME EXTRA TOUCHES THAT CAN MAKE A COLD-WEATHER WEDDING FEEL SPECIAL FOR GUESTS? 

For Valerie Boster and Michael Macaulay’s wedding, Valerie created custom shawls in Michael’s family’s Scottish tartan as a nod to her new “clan.” They were embroidered with the family motto, “Dulce Periculum,” which translates to “Danger Is Sweet.” Perhaps it’s my love of all things Scottish, but I still think about them.

Custom tartan shawls at Valerie Macaulay’s wedding


HOW DO YOU NAIL A COLD-WEATHER BRIDAL LOOK WITHOUT LOOKING LIKE YOU’VE PILED ON A MILLION LAYERS? 

Channel Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn then—and Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle now. Sleeves can be incredibly chic. I also think The Nutcracker has lots of untapped winter wedding inspo!

 

WHAT ABOUT FOR A BRIDESMAIDS LOOK?

I’m a big fan of a cashmere sweater and skirt combo a la Olivia Palermo on her wedding day. I also really like Galvan’s shimmery long-sleeve dresses—they’re great pieces for wedding guest looks too.

 

ANY WINTER WEDDING MISTAKES A BRIDE-TO-BE SHOULD KNOW TO AVOID? 

Forgetting to take their guests comfort into account. Thinking about the day from the guest’s point of view is really the golden rule when it comes to wedding planning. Nothing has to be over the top, but they should never be forced to walk too far, be subjected to inclement weather, or go for too long without a drink in hand.

 

QUICKFIRE ROUND

THREE GREAT WINTER WEDDING DESTINATIONS: Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina, Blackberry Farm in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, and Rosecliff Mansion in Newport.

VELVET OR SILK: Both, but if I had to choose, silk.

HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGE – CHEESY OR ROMANTIC ? I think it can be romantic a la Carrie and Alexander Petrovsky in Central Park or Meghan Markle and Prince Harry riding through the streets of Windsor. It all depends on the setting and the styling.

THANK YOU NOTES SHOULD BE WRITTEN WITHIN… Technically, you have a year, but I’m a big believe in crossing things off the ole to do list, so I say 6 months max.

MOST ICONIC WINTER WEDDING OF ALL TIME: Annie Banks in Father of the Bride. She got married on January 6th. It snowed, and they had swans waddling around the tulip border—remember?!