April 15th, 2014
One thing I love to do when I travel is shop. What better way to get to know the style microclimates of great cities and their neighborhoods?
As we have been expanding Chairish, I have had the privilege of traveling to some great cities, visiting the most delectable shops and meeting with their charming, ambitious and sometimes quirky owners. This is the dreamy part of my job (as opposed to maybe…the spreadsheet part.)
No kidding when I say I get to see the most amazing stuff. Ever. Seriously.
But more importantly, I’ve met some really inspiring individuals who had big dreams, took chances and went out and started their own businesses. For sure I admire their aesthetics but I also admire their hustle because it’s not easy doing what they’re doing—and they do it really, really well. We are honored that they are selling on Chairish!
To share all these places and people, we decided to start publishing Chairish City Guides, and our first stop is the famous City of Angels.
If there were a perfect vintage shopping guide for Los Angeles, this is what it might look like.
I have always felt that, thanks to its enormous creative community, LA packs more visual prowess per capita than any other place on earth. Our City Guide captures that by pinpointing a diverse mix of stores alternatingly high and low, modern and old world, serious and witty. The store list is as eclectic and appreciative of individual style as the City itself.
And stay tuned! Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be sharing a behind-the-scenes look at each of the nine shops featured in our guide on Domaine Home and also listed on Chairish. I hope these stories get you excited for your next trip to LA.
April 9th, 2014
Last week, we had the pleasure of working with Anna Dorfman, insomniac blogger and tastemaker extraordinaire of Door Sixteen. Have you seen her Chairish picks yet? Whatcha waitin’ for? This gal’s got an eye!
Anna also happens to be a book cover designer by day. You have to check out her gorgeous work. MINDBLOWING.
A Hudson Valley native, busy Anna divides her time between Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, and the City of Newburgh, where she and her husband Evan have been renovating the sweetest Victorian row house ever since 2006.
As luck would have it, she’s invited us on a photo tour today so we can ooooh and ahhhh over the stunner she calls home.
“I would describe my personal style as maximal modernism or modern-industrial Scandinavian-American, if such a thing exists!”
We think it does, Anna, and you NAILED IT!
“I love to use rich blacks and warm whites as a base for rooms, and then bring bold, saturated colors and natural textures into the mix when I add furniture, textiles, and other décor.”
We’re HUGE fans of black and white, and love the understated elegance that your living room exudes.
“Victorian houses are very forgiving when it comes to decor - I rely on the house itself to provide the bulk of the ornamentation, and everything else falls into place.”
Nice move with the fluorescent orange bench! Such a terrific focal point.
Also, fantastic shoes.
“I almost always buy for longevity, which means I look not only at quality of construction but at the aesthetic beauty of the design.”
We can totally see ourselves baking cookies in your kitchen. So warm and inviting and doesn’t require an Iron Chef’s credentials.
Bravo, Anna! Thank you for sharing your lovely home with us. We look forward to seeing and hearing more from you!
*Ilenia Martini’s work can be seen here.
April 8th, 2014
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” ~ Famous Proverb
If good things come in threes, we’re feeling awfully lucky, because distinguished San Francisco designer Will Wick is launching a cool collection on Chairish! Will is part of our legion of San Francisco design royalty alongside Martha Angus and Kendall Wilkinson. What a trio!
Bold, moody, and thoughtful, Will’s work is Industrial Americana incarnate. So who is this brainy and brawny tastemaker?
Will was raised in a Colorado ski town and, after graduating from university, nabbed a job as a graphic designer at the prestigious San Francisco branding firm Landor. He transitioned to interiors shortly thereafter, first working with commercial spaces.
Travels to Europe ignited his love for scouring flea markets and buying vintage wares that he hauled back to the US and sold like champagne (and hooch) during Prohibition.
Will eventually opened his own firm, Wick Design, and more than 12 years later, is now one of the most prominent designers in the Bay Area.
So let’s get cozy as Will gives us his manly modern take on handsome spaces and places.
We bet our forearms you’ll be smitten!
Sum up your design aesthetics in 3 words.
Organic, masculine, and modern.
What’s your favorite room in your house?
Our living room. It’s collected, lived in, and eclectic. We painted it black and we have these great white French doors that lead to our terrace. It has high ceilings, and we covered the room with art. We have portraits of each of our four kids and instruments everywhere: guitars hanging on the wall, a drumset, and an 8-ft black grand piano. It’s just livable!
What piece of furniture should every room have?
What destination has inspired you artistically?
Brazil and Belgium. I traveled regularly to South America and Europe and found inspiration in both places. Both destinations are filled with artsy people, incredible architecture, and civic spaces that are treated so differently than what we’re used to seeing here in the States.
What colors do you use most?
Black, grey, and green.
What material do you love?
What design rule do you like to ignore?
Instead of keeping small spaces light, I prefer to go dark!
Speaking of small spaces, any advice on what to do with them?
Take the time to program a small space to make it functional, then own it! Appreciate the coziness of it. Texture it up and keep the lighting dim. Dark/small spaces historically can be so impactful in what they do emotionally. Think chambers!
What’s on your wishlist?
A 1969 Porsche 911 in charcoal grey.
What’s your best score?
Your design motto?
Always honest, full of integrity and never obvious or tricky!
March 31st, 2014
“One person’s style must not be the rule of another’s.” ~ Jane Austen
We are so excited to welcome Chairish’s newest dealer: the distinctive San Francisco interior designer Kendall Wilkinson!
Kendall developed a love for design after a previous career in film and music. A très magnifique journey to Paris inspired her lifelong love affair with French architecture and spurred Kendall to turn her passion for interior design into a business. Voila! Kendall is now one of the most sought after designers in the Bay Area.
All of us here at Chairish are inspired by her elegant meets modern style. And of course, we have to mention that her landmark shop on San Francisco’s Sacramento Street features the most fabulously done up windows which Kendall changes out regularly! Great street gawking!
With a discerning eye for the extraordinary, the award-winning designer loves mixing traditional with modern, bold with simple, and warm with cool.
Kendall’s work is unparalleled in her unique ability to artfully mix authenticity with modernity to match her clients’ tastes.
We invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy as we interview Kendall to find out more. And don’t forget to check out her delectable collection!
Who is your design icon?
Michael Taylor, Frances Elkins, my mother – Alice Wiley.
Mad Men or Downton Abbey?
Definitely both! I recently completed an office in Jackson Square for a Venture Capital firm and we included a “Mad Men” room with Union Jack pillows, mid-century sofas, and a great bar. Downton Abbey inspired the last vignette for Kendall Wilkinson Home with gorgeous custom furniture inspired by the period.
Sum up your design aesthetic in 3 words
Fresh, tailored and layered.
What destination has inspired you the most creatively?
I find inspiration wherever I go but Paris has been my constant muse. I moved there as a young woman and started a lifelong love affair with the city. The architecture, the fashion and the design innovation are dazzling. Even the small things – for example the boutiques and patisseries have such elegance in their packaging – inspire me.
Which colors do you use the most and why?
I would say my signature colors are teal and orange, but in the past few years, I’ve been using a lot of hues in the purple family: orchid, iris, lavender, and eggplant to name a few.
If you could have one thing from our site for your home, what would it be and where would you put it?
Great question as I just moved into a new home and am still in the process of shopping for it! I admit I have my eye on this lamp and think it would be a great addition to my bedroom.
What’s your greatest extravagance?
Time spent with my boys with nothing to do other than enjoy each other’s company and perhaps taking our puppy, Biscuit, for a walk along the beach in San Francisco.
Your design motto?
March 27th, 2014
So something amazing just happened. The Chairish iPhone app was handpicked by the Apple digerati to play a starring role in the coveted, priceless “Featured” section of the App Store!
Let’s just say it means they really like what we built. Which is saying something because they see it all. Totally flattering and pretty much YEEE HAWWWW! Thanks Apple! Seriously.
The Chairish app lets you shop easily from your phone of course (making for a much improved commute IMO). BUT what’s even more cool is that it’s super easy to list your items for sale. Just snap some photos, write a description, pick a price, and submit!
For all you
hoarders design fanatics out there, now’s the perfect time to do some spring cleaning, make room for even more fabulous pieces, refresh your space, and put some money in your pockets. It’s easy as pie with our app!
Again, a big fat thank you to Apple for putting Chairish front and center in the swanky App Store! That’s kinda big time for us. Feeling grateful.
March 26th, 2014
It’s with great pleasure that we introduce a new Chairish seller: Los Angeles’ lovely Amber Lewis, an emerging force in the interior design scene.
Amber grew up in a design-filled world, tagging along with her developer dad to remodel projects and learning to love a good house transformation from an early age. She first attended FIDM to study fashion but quickly switched to UCLA where she enrolled in their interiors program.
After building a kickin’ clientele and putting in a ton of hard work, she branched out on her own in 2010 and launched Amber Interiors. She is known for her chic and comfortable look imbued with a never boring world traveler vibe.
Amber’s work embodies eclectic design and modern L.A. (We’ll take the pooch AND the sheepskin, please!)
Check out some of our favorite Amber-designed head-turners and get to know Amber herself in our quintessential Q and A with the design luminary. Color enthusiasts, brace yourselves for a tantalizing treat!
Who is your design icon?
Your favorite colors?
No such thing! I love all colors, but if I really had to choose, I would say ink blue.
What design rule do you love to break?
All of them!
What current home decor trends are you wild about?
I don’t believe in trends!
Vintage leather safari chair by Arne Norell.
What project are you most proud of?
My first home! I took on the entire remodel and then decorating, so it was a valuable experience for my business! Being my own client sucked, but the end result was really awesome.
What’s worth a splurge?
Vintage one of a kind classic pieces, and sofas!
What’s your advice to budget-conscious design fanatics?
Check the obvious places: thrift stores and flea markets!
Your design motto?
A space should feel collected, not decorated.
Needless to say, we have a serious case of wanderlust!
March 21st, 2014
Now this is cool. I’m super honored to announce that today, Chairish is selling a set of ready to be delivered rooms designed by the inimitable Martha Angus using vintage items, all sourced from our site!
In fact, Martha has created SIX rooms that pretty much make for a whole fabulous house, should you be so inclined. Each room is offered for a flat price including all the contents plus free shipping and a wall color recommendation to boot!
Voila! A fabulous room done by a world-class tastemaker! Available at once, and without high design fees, long lead times, surprise shipping costs, or spendy retail prices. Might be time to make an offer folks …
If you don’t know her work, Martha’s expert eye has been refined by 20+ years designing homes for schmancy clients like Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, and the Lauder family.
She’s been featured in design magazines like Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Domaine Home, and California Home & Design, as well as at the Kips Bay Showhouse in NYC and at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. You can find out more on her beautiful blog, Post and Grant.
Keep reading to check out some of her portfolio stunners and to get to know the lady behind it all!
What is your favorite room in a house?
A bedroom. I have perfected the art of living in mine.
Your biggest splurge?
It’s most definitely art. I always find excuses to buy pieces I love.
What’s your advice to budget-conscious design fanatics?
Invest in fewer quality pieces that will stand the test of time. Maybe it’s just one fabulous item a year, but over time you will find yourself sitting amidst a treasure trove.
What piece of furniture should every room have?
In my mind, interesting art always trumps furniture.
Your design motto?
Classic. Clean. Timeless.
Needless to say, we’re having a Martha moment! We hope you’ll enjoy this opportunity to access her enormous talent with “just a click.” Enjoy!
March 17th, 2014
“It is better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow than to spend tonight like there’s no money!” ~ Irish saying
Tis’ the season to be Irish! Team Cha-Irish adores St. Patty’s Day not just because we love the celebrations and Irish-themed cocktails. We are also seriously crushing on emerald and kelly and mint, oh my! Let’s talk about some ways to infuse our spaces with the luxe luck of the Irish.
Bold art. Here’s a statement piece that would give a Leprechaun a run for his money. Combine it with gold, black, and neutral accents. Gorgeous O’Fabulous!
One green couch, one neutral space. What a super elegant look! Irish eyes are definitely smiling at these rooms. We are particularly fond of the all-white stunner in the first image.
One white couch, one green space. Flip the last look around and you get an equally eye-catching result. Good Lord of the Dance, this is a gorgeous room!
Green walls. We can’t deny it. We’re green with envy for this space. Love the peacock chair and Hollywood Regency style dresser.
Green in a blue room. Is this Moody Two-Shoes or what? We’re obsessed. Green couch and a green chair with green pickups from the rug against blue walls? McMeow.
Green IS the colour.
Happy St. Paddy’s Day!
March 10th, 2014
“The urge for good design is the same as the urge to go on living.” ~ Harry Bertoia
Today, we celebrate the life of artist, designer, sculptor, and downright legend best known for the metal chairs he created for Knoll. We’re talking about Harry Bertoia, a BIG TIME player and pioneer of the mid-century modern movement. But did you know that this modernist master was also a maestro??!
On this day in 1915, our primo supremo was born in picturesque San Lorenzo, Italy. At 15, Harry showed some early signs of his gutsy demeanor when he traveled to the US at age 15 to visit his brother. Fortunately for the US, he stayed to pursue art and design at Cass Technical High School in Detroit where he learned, and later taught, jewelry making and metal work. A man after our own hearts! Check out some of his masterpieces. Hubbah!
Not surprisingly, hardworking Harry later got himself a scholarship at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, where he met Charles and Ray Eames. He even created wedding rings for the young couple. Here’s what might’ve been the prototype for the rings, created at Cranbrook by Bertoia. Definitely not your mama’s wedding ring!
In 1943, Harry said I do himself to Brigitta Valentiner, a poet, author,and book illustrator from Berlin. Shortly after, they moved to California where Harry worked with Mr. & Mrs. Eames until 1945 at the Molded Plywood Division of the Evans Product Company. He was instrumental in the early development of the flexible plywood seat and tubular frame of the Eames chair (pssst…this one’s for sale on Chairish!).
But where did music come in? In the late 40’s, Harry took his metalsmithing skills to the next level and experimented with different techniques and shapes, creating the most out-of-this-world sculptures the world has seen so far.
1. Split bush scuplture, 1968 2. Dandelion, 1966 3. Large sonambient, 1977 4. Unique sonambient, 1960 5. Bush form,1965
During this time, he invented sonambient, or audio sculpture created by manipulating sculptural pieces to produce different sounds and tones. By stretching, bending, and striking the materials, he made them respond to wind and touch to create different sounds and tones which he then taught himself to “play” and even rocked his instruments in a number of concerts!
The Bertoias eventually moved to Pennsylvania where Harry established a studio and worked with Hans and Florence Knoll, who was also a Cranbrook graduate.
He designed five of his famous wire pieces that became the Bertoia Collection for Knoll, of which the Diamond Chair is most likely the most well known and wildly popular to this day. Lucky for you, we have some inspired pieces AND originals for sale on Chairish!
Until his death in 1978, Harry focused on sculpture and created over 50 large public commissions prompted by architects like I.M. Pei and Eero Saarinen, who commissioned a striking altarpiece in the M.I.T. chapel. What a stunner!
We know that many of you are huge fans, so please share with us your stories and any pieces you own in the comments below.
Hooray for Harry!
March 5th, 2014
She’s a rule breaker, identifies with the “California Look,” and has a preference for blue but practices green. We are giddy as school girls (and boys!) because Bay Area design powerhouse Tamara Mack is now selling a seriously a-MAZE-ing collection of hers on Chairish!
Tamara grew up in Michigan and was heavily influenced by her interior designer mother. Now a prominent Bay Area design professional herself with her own online store, we were lucky to have Tamara visit our headquarters recently to style our window with items from her charming Chairish collection where you can buy a complete living room!
The day also included a fun photo shoot and chit chat with the designer about breaking the rules and rules to live by.
Here’s the dish!
1. Who is your design icon?
The first person that comes to mind is Michael Taylor. Growing up in Michigan my mother, an interior designer, was a huge fan so our house was very reflective of his style. My style is heavily influenced by his original “California look.” A close second is John Saladino, who like Taylor, incorporates an organic palette and an insane mix of texture and wonderful shapes so perfectly into his design. I also adore the work of Celerie Kembel - she marries an eclectic mix of old and new and makes it look so incredibly chic and now. Steven Gambrel, Victoria Hagen and Alexa Hampton are some other faves.
2. Favorite colors?
I’m a blue girl through and through. I love all things blue - the sky, the ocean, deep periwinkle hydrangeas and particularly the super vibrant aqua of the Caribbean Sea. When I think about my dream house it’s filled with blue and white, and it’s been that way since I was a little girl.
3. What current home decor/design trends are you wild about?
Brass and gold are my favorites right now. Lots of manufacturers are doing an incredible job with brushed gold and antique brass finishes for hardware. I love a warm brass in the bathroom and even in the kitchen against cool white cabinetry. It works if you create some balance with those tones.I’m also crazy for color and pattern right now (and always). There are so many amazing fabrics, wallpapers, tiles and materials available today. One or two of these graphic, vibrant patterns can completely transform your space.
Find a textile or tile you love and frame it. Use a vintage fabric as a throw over the back of a sofa. Wallpaper a second hand table. The options are endless!
4. What current home decor/design trends make you cringe?
I’m not a fan of design that clashes with its context. I cringe when I walk into a family home with young children and see fragile settees, sharp edged tables, and delicate accessories. Your home should be beautiful, but your family needs to feel comfortable living in it too!
5. Favorite chair?
I have a vintage French cane chair that I found at an estate sale about 10 years ago. It’s charming but not frilly. I love repetitive pattern so I think it’s the caning that really speaks to me. It still needs the perfect little silk cushion — that’s on the to do list!
6. Favorite room in your house and why?
My kitchen. We remodeled it eight years ago and it still feels fresh. We have a little nook with a built in banquette that my husband, three boys and I all squish into for dinner with our big Newfoundland, Chelsea, at our feet. It’s definitely Grand Central in our kitchen - there is something happening all of the time in that space - eating, homework, game playing, dog barking, friends visiting, etc.
7. What design rule do you love to break?
I break them all because I don’t know the rules! Is not painting out original woodwork a rule? If so, I definitely break that one and have even been known to paint over original hardwood floors.
8. What project are you most proud of?
We remodeled a family home a few years ago in a relatively short time period on a tight budget and the outcome was super successful. The clients were both busy executives with little time to mull over decorating concepts. They trusted me to conceptualize and execute on everything without the typical back and forth that happens so often in interior design. It was actually that project that inspired the concept for our ecommerce site, shopMACK. I imagined a site where consumers could come, browse fully designed rooms, and drop an entire room into a shopping cart to arrive at their door in a matter of weeks – not months.
9. What’s worth a spurge?
I think you should splurge on anything that you absolutely LOVE. If it’s unique and speaks to you, go for it.
10. What do you look for when you’re scouring flea markets or estate sales?
I’m really into vintage glassware right now. I’m constantly on the hunt for a complete set - sometimes you’ll find a couple here or there or maybe a group of 5. Scoring 6 or 8 glasses and a decanter to match is a thrill!
11. What’s your advice to budget-conscious design fanatics?
Use and reuse! I love what Chairish is doing. If you find something you truly love, you should buy it. If you end up finding it’s not ideal later on, sell it to someone else!
12. What 5 items from the Chairish inventory would you love to own?
This is the toughest question so far! There are so many great pieces. I’m particularly smitten with these five:
13. Your design motto?
Be yourself! Design is subjective. Use design to make you happy and don’t let trends overpower your intuition.