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.
March 1st, 2014
It’s Oscars time, darlings, and while we clasp our hands tightly in anticipation of this year’s big screen wins and Rachel Zoe wreaks havoc on L.A. obsessing about how to make her clients look bananas on the red carpet, we thought we’d share some of the nominees from our glamorous brood that are equally deserving of the Hollywood hoopla.
So without further ado, here are the candidates for the Most Favorited Item on Chairish based on nominations by our adored users.
A. Mid-century oversized chair B. Rare John Widdicomb desk C. Velvet chesterfield sofa D. Sputnik lamp E. Mid-century telephone chair F. Wood carved daybed G. Mid-century velvet emerald chair H. Linen sofa
Can you guess which one nabbed the highly coveted award? They’re all winners in our book, but we want to hear from you. Comment below with your best guesses on the top three and we’ll reveal the winners after the Oscars air on Sunday!
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have red carpet gowns and champagne requiring our attention…
February 27th, 2014
Time for a cupcake everybody! Chairish celebrates its big first birthday today! What started as a husband and wife arm wrestling match over the fate of a polarizing armoire has, 365 days later, turned into a team of 25 and thriving business.
To celebrate this milestone, we chatted with the wonder woman behind it all, our very own Anna Brockway. In the short interview below, Anna reflects on the highs, lows, and all the mishigas in between.
What was your “a-ha” moment to get this whole thing started?
So pretty much Gregg and I have been re-living the wagon wheel coffee table fight scene from “When Harry Met Sally” for like all 15 years of our marriage. It just happened one too many times.
I mean I wanted our too big armoire OUT!!! But, jeez, was making that happen expensive and painful! I ended up sending out an email to my pals to see who wanted it for free. Gone in 60 seconds.
So that was the idea. Use the internet to enable home décor fanatics to buy and sell their treasures to one another.
How did you decide on our fab name?
Inspiration struck when it usually does, while sipping wine in my white terry bathrobe! I wanted a name that instantly communicated furniture but also got across that we deal in items that are so great that they ought to be passed along. We sell great decor that stands the test of time after all.
The biggest challenge so far?
Keeping it bite sized! There is a lot we want to do but the trick is breaking it down into “one foot in front of the other” goals the team can rally around. My co-founders are pros at this. My other big challenge is not eating too many pretzel crisps.
What inspires you?
Fearlessness. I like folks with big brains, warm hearts, wide smiles, and rolled up sleeves. Fortunately, San francisco and Team Chairish is full of ‘em!
Who is your role model?
E.K. Galli! Yeah, that’s my superlicious mom! When my parents divorced, mom went to law school (at 43!) and then went on to be an Assistant DA in Alameda County specializing in defending abused children….pretty much a hero! Plus, who else is a girl scout leader and shows up for the Hearts & Flowers painting workshop in a black mink, cheetah head scarf, and major Jackie O sunglasses. I mean my mommy shuts it down.
Please share some of your favorite moments from the past year.
I think when some darn amazing folks said “Yes! I believe in your idea and want to be part of your team.” It sounds hokey but you just think, “Wow! This is an incredibly talented person who has a ton of choices. And they chose this!” It really is an honor and an obligation too.
Also, I would say the general openness of the design community. When we launched and I was knocking on doors, I thought I would get kicked out of every meeting. Instead it was sorta like everyone had swallowed a dose of “Let’s Try It “ medicine! That means so much to me. I think that’s what’s great about the Bay Area and creative folks in general.
We have some fantastic shots in our slideshow that sum up the hard work, craziness, and fun journey we’ve had at Chairish.
You really become a family when you spend this much time together.
Where do you see Chairish in another year?
More means more.
We see Chairish as an easy and affordable place for design lovers to buy and sell - whether they are regular sellers or professional collectors and stores. We see an opportunity to help professional sellers (like our favorite vintage shops and dealers) massively expand their audience by using Chairish as an ongoing store front. We are building this out right now.
Thank you for Chairishing our little family. We couldn’t do it without your support!
February 20th, 2014
"To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event." ~Henri Cartier-Bresson
Let’s start by thanking Bay Area-based Nancy Manning’s father for giving her a 35mm camera as a teenager. Nice job, dad! It’s because of his enduring gift back then that we can proudly introduce you to Nancy’s wonderful photography.
Teenage Nancy fell deeply in love with photography and pursued it like gangbusters. Then life and “grown up” career ambitions intervened. Photography got sidelined into the hobby department and Nancy pursued psychology in college as a doorway to a stable career she practiced successfully for years.
Lucky for us (not so much for her patients), burnout eventually set in and Nancy knew her shrink days were shrinking. So, encouraged by friends and family, she turned her passion for photography into a career.
Nancy was an early pioneer of capturing families in casual and everyday environments during a time when packaged studio portraits were the way to go.
“I like to let go of the idea of the perfect moment. I capture moments that people will remember and look for absolute beauty in the moment,” she reports.
ALL HAIL NANCY for saving us from a Sears Portrait Studio and Olan Mills gulag. It’s easy to see how her psychology background informs the intimacy and emotion she captures in us humans.
Today, the former Angeleno combines her constant thirst for travel with her passion. From ancient temples and ruins in Cambodia to the streets of Paris, Nancy has a preference for shooting black and white photos but also hand coloring her shots meticulously.
We’re completely amped because Nancy is now selling some of her most prized personal work on Chairish for the first time….designer approved, wanderlust guaranteed!
head on over to check out her stunning collection. Adventure seekers highly encouraged!
February 20th, 2014
Pop some corks! Today I’m seriously thrilled to welcome five (count em! 5!) new mega watt superstars to Chairish’s fabulous familia.
In an interview with Design Sponge this week, I talked about how, as the co-founder of a start-up, my greatest resource is the wisdom and experience of Chairish’s world-class team. So here come some new hot shots to seriously turn up the volume.
The truly stellar Giacomo DiGrigoli comes to us from One Kings Lane to become Chairish VP of Product.
We welcome the fabulous Jae Hah as Chairish VP of Merchandising and Sales. Jae was previously VP of Global Strategic Accounts at Fab and a player at Design Within Reach.
Mugs Buckley, formerly VP of Federated Media, is now Chairish’s exceptional Head of Media + Partnerships.
The magnificent Jennifer Rivas, previously Head of PR at Gap Inc./Piperlime, joins Chairish as our new and much needed Head of Publicity.
And last but never least, the ever-so-talented Jennifer Olsen, former CMO of Crate&Barrel and CB2, joins Team Chairish as an advisor.
I am seriously floored that all this talent has come together to work at little old Chairish! We looked long and hard to find the right folks and are truly honored to have these insightful, hard working, and most importantly totally lovely people join our crazy adventure. It’s about to get loud over here!
February 14th, 2014
Lucy and Ricky…..Bella and Edward…..Romeo and Juliet…Mick and Bianca…Siegfried and Roy…gin and tonic. This Valentine’s Day, we’re inspired by some of the most remarkable pairings in Hollywood beyond.
In honor of love and cute couples everywhere, we put a collection together of perfectly paired pieces that are twice as nice and half the price. Let’s get matchy matchy!
1. Pink ceramic ginger jars 2. Blue and white graphic print pillows 3. Franco Albini ottomans 4. Blue velvet swivel back chairs 5. Victor Langer graphic art 6. Gold gilt wheat sconces 7. Vintage Louis XVI Bergeres chairs
And here are some glamorous power couples we found around town. Love is in the pair!
Aside from the perfectly pink walls, this room is sassy symmetry with its duo of wall sconces, candlesticks, and WANT-IT Warren Platner chairs.
Simplicity in symmetry, and a hot pink daybed to die for.
Pretty alert! A poignantly placed pair of graphic art pieces top to bottom above a Dorothy Draper style chest.
We’re seeing double and we LIKE IT! Two etageres mean twice as much style AND storage. Stunning!
Can we talk about these lamps? They give balance to the art on the shelf and glitz with their gilded gold bases.
Two’s company but three’s a crowd. We’re cuckoo for cocoa puffs over the pop of pink pillows and tufted ottomans.
What’s your favorite pairing?
Happy Valentine’s Day!
February 13th, 2014
As a child, Crystal Palecek was always fascinated by interiors. She tackled her first project when she was just 10 years old! The precocious prodigy styled her family’s living room….to perfection, as pointed out by her parents’ decorator. Young Crystal was a budding decorista and didn’t even realize it until years later when she started a design blog that opened up her world to other like-minded design aficionados. She eventually launched Rue Magazine where she is editor-in-chief and the rest is stylista history!
Today, Crystal is opening the doors of her family warehouse of treasures for everyone’s shopping pleasure on Chairish! Rue hoo!
So get cozy with your cocktails as we learn more about her preferences for color, concepts, and Cali. It’s Crystal clear that this style gal knows what gets her design motor running.
1. Does your home look like the one you grew up in?
Not at all. My parents’ aesthetic is much more traditional than mine. Think: paintings they’ve picked up on trips to Paris and Venice with beautifully crafted wood pieces. Growing up my bedroom was my canvas- I loved having a little spot in the house to experiment with ideas and make all my own!
2. Your favorite chair?
The iconic Eames Lounge Chair in white! This chair is so versatile and looks as amazing in a sleek modern space as it does in a traditional home. Not only is it incredibly comfortable, but it’s like art to look at too- so beautiful. This is a piece that will never go out of style and one you’ll want to pass down for generations to come!
3. What colors appeal to you?
Anything neutral. I am endlessly in love with black, white, and gray when it comes to interiors.
I can definitely appreciate color (and pattern, for that matter), but a visually calming space appeals to me on a visceral level.
I’m drawn to the serenity of white walls and ceilings, which work to let furniture and decor really take center stage. Darryl Carter, who is probably my all time favorite designer is a master at neutrals (check out this room!). For me, his work pretty much captures everything a space should be: balanced, poetic, and thoughtful.
4. What’s your number 1 design rule?
Listen to what the space wants you to do to it.
5. What’s a design rule you love to break?
I have a habit of painting anything that isn’t quite working for me as is. Somehow a fresh coat of paint makes everything better. I’ve probably accidentally painted antiques, but if it makes me happy then who cares about the rules, right?!
6. Your favorite view in San Francisco?
Hands down the best view in the city is from the balcony inside the Penthouse Suite at the Fairmont San Francisco. It really is one of those once-in-a-lifetime interiors and views. The moment you step foot inside the suite and then catch a glimpse at the view, you feel as though you are experiencing magic. Add the fact that people like Prince Charles, JFK, and Elton John have all stayed there, and it’s pretty much the coolest place I’ve ever had the privilege of spending time in.
7. What current trends make you weak in the knees?
Believe it or not, I don’t pay much attention to trends. I simply hone my eye in on what is beautiful to me at the moment. I’m currently loving silver over brass. Photography in favor of paintings. And weathered rugs rather than brand new.
8. Favorite materials?
Being married to a furniture designer, I’ve learned more about materials than I ever thought possible, which is great! Palecek has an amazing collection of petrified wood, which I’m currently really into.
Marble is also pretty high up there on my list of favorite materials. Oh, and I have a soft spot in my heart for Belgian Linens, too (Libeco, is a personal favorite)!
9. What are you top 5 picks from the current Chairish inventory and why?
These James Mont Style Chairs have an amazing silhouette and I love the lacquer finish, too. You’d be the chicest hostess on the block with this Vintage Leather and Brass Ice Bucket. The geometric aspect of this Teardrop Ceiling Pendant makes this modern piece so unique. I love anything black and white and this Abstract Painting by Michele Spane just gets better the longer you look at it. This pair of Madeline Weinrib Pillows add just the right amount of graphic interest to a space.
10. If you could be anywhere now on vacation, where would it be and why?
Tropical places like Bora Bora, the Maldives, and Mustique instantly come to mine. But at the end of the day, the cozy weekend getaway my husband and I have planned to the family mountain house this weekend sounds just perfect. Cooking and baking, drinking wine by the fireplace after a long day of skiing, and watching the snow fall around us outside is a pretty good feeling hard to beat!
11. What is your design motto?
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci
February 5th, 2014
“Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”― Anna Wintour
There’s a style flurry hittin’ the South thanks to Atlanta-based Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy Living. It must be our lucky week, because they just listed some of their lust-worthy leftovers on Chairish. So grab a mint julep and take a seat on your front porch y’all - we’re about to get up close and personal with this dynamic design duo.
Parker Kennedy Living brings “Southern Regency” to homes all over the Southeast region. Their aesthetic can be described as the crossroads of traditional, contemporary, youthful, and Palm Beach chic.
A little Blanche Devereaux, a teeny bit Scarlett O’Hara, part Jackie O’, and a touch of Kate Middleton.
Co-founder Lance Jackson graduated from SCAD Savannah with a BFA in interior design. Spending his summers as a child in Washington, D.C. ignited a passion for architecture and interiors. Little Lance toured the White House seven times during the Reagan era! He fell in love with the Mount Vernon Estate and the rest is Parker Kennedy Living history.
Co-founder David Ecton shares Lance’s early fascination with architecture. He once studied abroad in Venice where he excavated an ancient Etruscan ruin discovered in the 1990s. Bellissima! Although he spent years in the IT sector after receiving an MBA in International Trade, it was his love for design that led to his partnership with Lance. Great move, David!
Here’s our Q/A with the style squad for a deeper dive into their inspirations and inclinations. Enjoy!
1. Sum up your design aesthetic in 3 words.
"Preppy ON the Edge."
2. What item of furniture should every home have?
Every home should have vintage pieces mixed in them like etageres for a book collection.
3. What destination has inspired you the most creatively?
Palm Beach and Palm Springs.
4. What are the top three most important elements of design?
Color, scale and texture.
5. Which colors do you use the most and why?
Pink, orange, navy and green - because they reflect our design style which is Palm Beach Chic.
6. Favorite material?
Rattan and faux bamboo.
7. What’s the one design rule you love to ignore?
Everything has to match - we do not like “matched” furniture. We think every room should have an even blend of styles and eras that coordinate with one another.
8. What are your top 5 picks from the current Chairish inventory?
The outstanding mirrored canopy bed in burl and zebra
The pair of tall Asian lamps
The glossy red American Martinsville three drawer chest
9. What’s on your wishlist?
Vintage Mastercraft brass cocktail tables, anything Dorothy Draper, and anything campaign style vintage furniture. Anything brass, rattan, faux bamboo or campaign style!!
10. What’s the best deal you ever scored?
A bronze 1890’s man statue at the Savannah Junior League Thrift Sale. I paid $10.00 for it and everyone thought it was a plaster reproduction. And our original Dorothy Draper black and gold chest in our foyer for $200.00.
11. What’s your biggest splurge?
Our vintage Turkish Oushak rug in our den that has oranges, navys, pinks and turquoise colors. It’s from Turkey and 15 feet long. It is amazing!!
12. What is your design motto?
Go big or go home!
January 28th, 2014
“Furniture that is too obviously designed is very interesting, but too often belongs only in museums.” ~ Milo Baughman
Milo Baughman is one of the stone cold kings of mid-century modern design. Totally BOSS.
We were lucky enough to score a stash of his pieces so here’s a deep dive into this important master and his work.
Firstly, let’s resolve the embarrassing question: How in the hyena do you pronounce his name properly so you don’t sound like a total hee haw?
Experts tell us that the correct pronunciation is My-lo Boff-men, or so we are told.
Mr Milo spent most of his life in sunny Long Beach, California. His parents must have been crazy cool and identified their son as a prodigy because they gave little Milo the job of designing their family house (inside and out) when he was only 13! Right on Mom and Dad!
This sparked the beginning of Milo’s lifelong exploration into design and his impact on the lives of regular American peeps. His work was consistently high style AND usable AND approachably priced!
He joined the Air Force during World War II, where he had the swankiest military assignment ever of designing officers’ club lounges (cue Duke Ellington and clinking glasses). Milo later studied product and architectural design at the Art Center School of Los Angeles and Chouinard Art Institute, which later became the California Institute of the Arts.
From 1951 to 1953, he ran his own custom design shop with Olga Lee, his wife at the time. (WAIT! A husband/wife team just like Chairish! But I kinda hate the “his wife at the time” part! Ouch.) The Baughman-Lee showroom was located at 744 1/2 North La Cienega Blvd. Someone in L.A. needs to check it out and send us snap, please!
Olga contributed hand-printed fabrics, wallpaper, lamps, and accessories to accompany Milo’s furniture designs, while both offered their services as interior designers. I’m thinking we should do a follow up post on this gal!
But it was through Milo’s longtime partnership with Thayer Coggin, a North Carolina manufacturer, that he truly made his mark in American residential furniture.
Milo used chrome, stainless steel, glass, leather, and wood, and infused the iconic mid-century style with the ease of his Californian upbringing.
As a California native and lover of all things cool, classic, and chic, I couldn’t help but put a collection together inspired by the modernist master himself. Originals included!
BTW, we know that there are tons of Milo fans out there so questions, comments, stories, and pics of your pieces are more than welcome below!
January 21st, 2014
Hot off the press!
For the first time ever, you can sell home decor using your iPhone.
Our iPhone app makes it easy as pie. All you have to do is snap photos, post a description, pick a price, and post!
Boom! 3 steps, 2 minutes, 1 simple way to sell.
This means more time for you to enjoy pedis and pinot!
Download our app from the iTunes App Store and sell on! You might also win a stunning room makeover worth $5,000!