Friday Favorites 2/7/2014

Catie Parrish, Contributing Editor
Have you seen designer and TV host Sarah Richardson’s new fabric collection for Kravet? The fabrics first caught my eye when Sarah was sharing sneak peeks on Instagram and Facebook during the recent Interior Design Show in Toronto. When I saw that she and Kravet won for best booth design, I had to take a closer look. If you’re craving a dose of spring, you’d better, too. With prints like Hazelwood Dew and colors like Meadow and Celadon, the collection can be summed up in one word: pretty. Perhaps best of all, the entire collection can be shopped online.

Photos courtesy of Kravet

Stacy Kunstel, Homes Editor
At the New York Gift Show I’ve been dying all week over this Dransfield & Ross collection of blue pillows. It’s not easy to get so many blues to live together so beautifully. I’ve imagined them across my sofas and as accents in the bedroom. I’d gladly paint the walls to match!

Maria LaPiana, Contributing Writer
I first saw interior designer Rachel Laxer’s work at a show house in Westchester last spring. Her sunroom was simply furnished and pleasantly symmetrical. But what I remember most was the artful application of a black-and-white palette, a strategy that showcased the lines and contours of her carefully curated furnishings—including a pair of knockout saddle-leather-and-lacquer chairs by Jacques Jarrige. I think it was the view from my window, the stark beauty of snow set against bare trees, that got me thinking of Laxer this week. So I reached out to ask how she uses contrast to create such lovely interiors. She was in London, where she spends half her time, but was kind enough to take a few minutes to share her insights.

On her blog, Rachel says her objective in designing the sunroom was to “stay true to my design principle of ‘relaxed elegance’ and barefoot luxury.” She told me she wanted to keep the space pure and light; the use of a powerful focal point (the black-and-white photograph, Calla Lilies, by Kenro Izu) set the scene for a sunny, sophisticated space. The contrasts are subtle but meaningful: a white sofa from Promemoria is dressed with sable fur pillows from Pologeorgis, and off-white Roman shades are punctuated by agate tassels from Laxer’s Window Rock collection of bespoke jewelry for the home.

Photos by Paul Johnson

No fuss—just fabulous lines—welcomes visitors to this entry in a different Rachel Laxer project. It’s seamless, really: black door, white trim—and a stunning Kyle Bunting cowhide rug.

At the heart of this foyer is a vintage Herman Miller credenza that Laxer found at a flea market. Because it was in such bad shape, she decided to “black-gloss” it. Says the designer: “I really like the look of piano paint. It jazzes things up.” Next, she added a signature sculptural table lamp, a vintage piece by Rogier, for its “very white, bright light.” And because Laxer would rather “paint with a few bold brush strokes than a thousand little ones,” she hung on the wall an immense mirror with a wide, black frame.

A convex mirror by Hervé Van der Straeten takes center stage in the bar of this private residence. But rather than simply hang it, Laxer designed a bold background—a square of MDF board covered with a striking Phillip Jeffries wallpaper in silver. The drama continues below, in the marble bar of her design. The paint is Farrow & Ball’s Elephant’s Breath.

This home office is in the same apartment, an open loft space where nothing can hide. Laxer chose simple black shelving: “I wanted it to be very crisp—the floating shelves, touches of silver and gray.” Not big on just filling spaces with accessories, the designer prefers that they all serve a purpose. “There’s a fine line between looking empty and clean—or bare,” she says.

To see more photos of the Designer Showhouse of Westchester and Rachel’s portfolio, visit Rachel Laxer Interiors, Ltd.

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