I am so excited to share a recent press hit in the most recent issue of Better Homes & Gardens! This one is particularly exciting because Better Homes & Gardens happens to be the most read women’s magazine in America with more than 7.6 million readers!!! Thank you so much to the BH&G team for featuring So Haute!! I’m thrilled beyond words! I’m also excited that BH&G is the first to break the news about a new feature here on So Haute that I know you all will love! “Meet the Assistant” will profile design assistants and associate designers who work behind-the-scenes alongside some of the world’s most notable interior designers to help make it all happen. Lookout for features on the assistants of Laura Kirar, Mary McDonald, Betsy Burnham and more! And tonight, I’ll be debuting the first Meet the Assistant profile where I will introduce you to Carrie Kravetz – Nathan Turner’s design director who can also be seen making regular cameos alongside Nathan this season on Bravo’s new series Million Dollar Decorators! Be sure to tune-in tonight at 10/9c and check back later to read the first installment of Meet the Assistant!!
During a recent trip to LA one of the top items on my agenda was to get to Brentwood to check out interior designer Hilary Thomas‘ newly opened Chic Shop. Hilary says she always wanted to open up a shop to showcase the wonderful treasures she’s collected over the years along with her some of her own designs so once her best friend Clara Hendon joined her as a business partner a year and a half ago, the idea for Chic Shop was born. Located in a fabulous 1950s courtyard complex, Chic Shop opened its doors for business this February. I’ve been a long time fan of Hilary’s colorful, “vintage chic” interiors so I knew her shop would be chock full of eye candy and I was excited to check it out and catch up with Hilary to learn more. Read on as Hilary shares the scoop on Chic Shop plus see a tour of the shop and her design studio!
The front window of Chic Shop
How did you first get your start in design?
I’ve been one of those closeted designers my entire life – starting in a safe place as a young girl by redecorating my room, my friend’s rooms, my mom’s room. In 2000 I starting taking clients here and there, but I didn’t fully jump into it until 2008. I’ve been on this journey ever since, following my muse, bringing on a business partner, trying to introduce a different design aesthetic along the way. I really do feel like I’ve found the ideal path – I can’t really distinguish work from play (nor do I want to!)
What made you decide to open a shop?
I’ve always wanted a little retail store where I could show off all of the treasure that I come across. I also wanted an outlet to sell the products I’ve been dreaming up for the past few years. Ultimately, our inventory was completely taking over my garage (and house!) I woke up one day and had this realization that I just couldn’t continue collecting all of this great stuff…it was time to share it with my friends and clients.
Vintage Asian finger pots at Chic Shop
What made you choose this location?
I’ve always loved the Barry Building at Brentwood Town Green. It’s a fantastic example of 1950s architecture that’s all over LA. It has a lovely courtyard in the center and Caffe Luxxe right next door. I also have a couple of friends with offices in the building, so being at work is a little bit like being on the set of a sit-com. There’s always some (gorgeous) friend popping their head in our store to chit chat or go grab a coffee with….
Finally – what are a few of of your favorite pieces in the shop?
I’m absolutely crazy about our finials!!! I’ve wanted to launch a line of finials for so long, but it took me awhile to muster the courage to do it. Once we had a few prototypes, I knew right then that we were on to something big. I never imagined what a transformative effect they’d have – not just on each lamp but really on the entire room. They are so unexpected. It’s hard to describe, but they have this bizarre way of being subtle and bold at the same time. I’m also really excited about our new vintage barware. The funny thing about all our vintage pieces is I only buy things that I’m definitely in love with and would want for myself, so it’s always bitter sweet when they sell. Right now I’m obsessing over 3 brass horses holding up a crystal ball. Very retro chic!
And now for the tour…
“Here are some pieces from our new Vintage Barware collection, inspired by our favorite saying, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” The collection includes glassware, trays, ice buckets, ashtrays and bar carts.”
“This is the Rock n’ Rolla collection from The Finial Touch, our lamp finial brand.”
“A striking photograph by Doris Mitsch co-mingles effortlessly with some ‘Palm Beach Chic’ items.”
“Hillary Thomas Designs pillows made with Bob Collins and Sons fabric.”
“Our line of custom lampshades has really taken off, especially our WASPy-chic caning ones.”
“Foo dogs, asian antiquities and planted cache pots are a few of our favorite items at Chic Shop!”
“A peek behind the curtain at Hillary Thomas Designs!”
“The fabric here on my bulletin board is from Calico Corners.”
“The monogrammed LL Bean bag holds Meg Braff’s wallpapers. Decorative Carpets are in the foreground.”
“This is a design scheme for a living room in the Pacific Palisades. The flame stitch pattern fabric is for the curtains.”
“These are Duralee Fabrics used for the Good Shepherd Charity Design Project.”
“Accolades offer inspiration for me. Most loved is the drawing of new pillows by our young friend, Makayla.”
I second the note on the bulletin board. Hillary – Your space is awesome! Thanks for giving us a tour!
All photos except the top portrait of Hilary Thomas are by Nicole Gibbons
I recently discovered a new online magazine that just hit the scene. This one is called Collected and was founded by Los Angeles-based interior designers and bloggers, Krista Schrock and Jessica Comingore. Collected bills itself as a lifestyle magazine and it’s premiere issue includes features on interiors, food, shopping, travel, design and even fashion. I really like its clean, modern aesthetic and the publication also seems to set itself apart with a clear focus on West Coast living. Check it out here…and I’d love to hear how you think this stacks up against Lonny, Rue, High Gloss, Matchbook and the other conglomerate of recently launched online decor mags!
I usually don’t like to re-blog content from other sites but I nearly died when I saw these photos of fashion designer Erin Fetherston’s NYC apartment! Her stunning Tribeca loft was beautifully captured by photographer Claiborne Swanson Frank for Vogue.com and I instantly fell in love with the space. Those high ceilings…the perfectly weathered floors…those gorgeous doors and those enormous windows…it’s all beyond perfection! I remember being equally impressed when I saw Fetherston’s former Paris apartment featured in Domino a few years back. Some of her beloved antiques from the Paris flea made it across the Atlantic into her NYC apartment, where she has lived since ’07, and were mixed with finds from ABC carpet, Holly Hunt and other sentimental treasures. I especially love the way in which the space was captured…the lighting gives this home such an airy, celestial quality and Erin looks graceful and angelic. The space is heavenly! To see more of Erin Fetherston’s apartment, including her jaw-dropping closet and enviable view of the Hudson River, click here for the full feature on Vogue.com!
Photos by Claiborne Swanson Frank for Vogue.com
Living room by Carrier & Company (Photo: Courtesy of Elle Decor)
On Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending the opening of ELLE DECOR’s Modern Life Concept House at the new +Art condo development in Chelsea. The showhouse was comprised of two neighboring apartments with rooms designed by 10 of Elle Decor’s A-List Designers to Watch. Each designer offered their own unique take on modern living and I especially loved the living room, shown above, designed by Carrier & Company and the adjacent kitchen/dining area designed by Katie Lydon. The well appointed spaces flowed seamlessly together and felt fresh, effortless and totally livable. The ELLE DECOR Modern Life Concept House is open to the public over the next three weekends so you can have the opportunity to check it out for yourself! If you’re not able to make it to the Concept House in person, below are a few photos of my favorite spaces to watch a video tour of the entire showhouse by Elle Decor editor-in-chief Michael Boodro click here.
Here are the details on dates and hours and for more information or a link to purchase tickets, visit www.elledecor.com/showhouse.
Elle Decor Presents: The Modern Life Concept House
May 20 – 22; May 27 – 30; and June 3 – 5
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
540 W. 28th Street
Admission is $30 and all ticket sales benefit Housing Works.
Living Room by Carrier & Company. (Photo: +Art)
Living Room by Carrier & Company. (Photo: +Art)
Dining area by Katie Lydon (Photo: Courtesy of Elle Decor)
Dining area by Katie Lydon (Photo: +Art)