Interior design by Gregory Bissonnette. Photo: ElleDecor.com
An item on my current lust list is a traditional Beni Ouarian rug. I so want to toss the cowhide in my living room and replace it with one of these eclectic beauties! They have such a timeless look and are a great way to add an ethnic touch to your decor. You’ve seen them in your favorite shelter magazines and above is a perfect example from Elle Decor. These authentic tribal rugs are hand woven by people of the Beni Ouarian tribe and other neighboring Berber tribes that reside in the Atlas mountains of Morocco. They’re made of wool and typically feature a black diamond pattern woven into a cream foreground which is often accompanied by other tribal patterns. Because they’re hand woven, no two are alike! Originally these were used as blankets for protection from the cold but they’ve found a place as a totally chic decorative flooring accent. Be warned though…authentic Beni Ouarain carpets can be quite expensive. Below are a few resources for bringing this look into your own home including an affordable, look-alike find from Anthropologie. Check it out!
1. Beni Ouarain Tribal Antique Rug: $2200 at Pavilion Antiques via 1st Dibs | 2. Beni Ourarain Pile Carpet: $6000 at Calvin-Morris Gallery via 1st Dibs | 3. GET THE LOOK FOR LESS! Flokati Diamond Rug: From $598 at Anthropologie
A few other great sources for these beautiful Moroccan rugs are eBay, Mosaik in LA and The Moroccan Room. And below are a few more inspiration photos to show how you can bring this eclectic look into your own home!
Tom Delavan – Photo: Patrick Cline/Trad Home
Roman & Williams
Photo: Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles/via Sketch 42
Jenna Lyons – Photo: Living Etc
Michael S. Smith – Photo via Elle Decor
A few weeks ago when I visited Palm Springs we spent our first night at The Colony Palms which is a beautiful old Spanish style hotel with a storied history. In the 1930s the property was owned by an alleged member of the mob and was equipped with a basement casino, a speakeasy and a brothel! It was Hollywood’s golden area the hotel, called The Colonial House back then, was a glamorous retreat frequented by legendary stars like Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, Carol Lombard and many more. Over the next several decades the hotel changed hands a few times before reopening in 2007 after a 3-year $16million renovation which included stunning interiors designed by “million dollar decorator” Martyn Lawrence Bullard. The decor infuses Moroccan, Spanish and Mediterranean influences with classic colonial style, old Hollywood glamour and a touch of the exotic. The property is lush with palm trees, fountains and beautiful gardens which create a laid back and sophisticated ambiance. Here is a peek at some photos I shot during my stay…
This is the elegantly appointed lobby that greets you when you check in. I loved the presence of the framed suzani on the wall behind the desk which creates a beautiful focal point. Framing delicate antique textiles is a great trick for allowing you to beautifully showcase them while still keeping them in tact.
Framed black and white photography with fashion and old Hollywood imagery adorn the walls. There are also more suzanis everywhere…
I loved the addition of subtle contrast welting, nailheads and fringe detail on the plush velvet sofas in the lobby. I always say that good design is in the details!
All throughout the property you’ll find beautiful old Spanish tiles like this covering the floors…
This is the hotel’s amazing restaurant, The Purple Palm, which is situated right by the pool. The food is Mediterranean inspired and totally amazing. Our dinner there the night we checked in was one of the best meals we had in Palm Springs and the next morning we had the most incredible breakfast ever.
We stayed in a standard guest room with two double beds and the decor was simple but lovely. The beds were incredibly comfortable and I loved the suzani covered headboard which provided an energizing splash of color.
Here’s a view of one of the hotel’s courtyards overlooking the pool and The Purple Palm…
And the chic pool surrounded by wrought iron lounge chairs with rust colored cushions which play well off the colors in the terracotta roof tiles and the natural elements…
And finally, a shot of the property just after sunset. For more information on The Colony Palms click here.
Photos by Nicole Gibbons
Interior design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard
I’m having a severe case of style envy over Nate Berkus Associates Design Directors Lauren Gold and Sasha Adler! These two young women sit at the helm of Nate Berkus Associates in Chicago and oversee all design projects while Nate focuses on his TV show and branding initiatives in New York. I remember seeing the pair featured a few years ago in Chicago Home + Garden where they talked about how they got their start in design. The piece also included photos of their impeccably chic condos and I remember thinking to myself back then that these two were going to become serious taste-makers one day. This year, they’ve done just that, having emerged from Nate’s shadow and received a ton of recognition including the honor of being named one of Trad Home’s top 20 young designers. Recently, Lauren & Sasha took Refinery 29 on a tour of their favorite shopping destinations in Chicago and shared their top tips for decorating with style.When asked about their must-have decor tips for a quick change Lauren said, “People sometimes overthink paint colors and get sucked into that whole ‘accent wall’ situation. If you’re stuck in a paint-color rut, I would recommend painting your walls a light warm gray and making sure your trim is a bright white—it will freshen up your home.” Sasha added, “You cannot go wrong investing in a gorgeous, over-sized mirror to liven up your space. It functions like a piece of artwork and immediately adds architecture to the space.”
To see more photos and read the full feature click here to head over to Refinery 29!
Above photos by Heather Talbert for Refinery 29
Lauren & Sasha’s shared office at Nate Berkus Associates. Photo via Lonny
Supermodel Linda Evangelista’s infamous words immortalized on a Jonathan Adler needlepoint pillow. Genius! Available here. And while you’re at it, check out this number with more wisdom from Kate Moss:
Meet the Assistant profiles the design assistants and associates who work behind-the-scenes with some of the industry’s top designers to help make beautiful spaces come to life.
This week we meet Max Humphrey, Senior Project Manager for Los Angeles based designer Betsy Burnham who is best known for her colorful, whimsical designs that combine East coast elegance with Hollywood glamour. Originally from New Hampshire, Max has worked at Burnham Design for nearly four years and followed an unlikely path into the industry. (He used to be the bass player in a touring punk band!) Max is incredibly funny with a gregarious personality that is infectious and after reading this interview, you’re going to want to become his BFF!
How did you end up in LA?
I drove cross country Grapes of Wrath style the day after I graduated from college to work in TV production – which is what I did until I started playing music full time.
Going from playing bass in a punk band to designing interiors isn’t exactly a natural progression. How did your drastic career change come about?
I had been on tour with my band for a few years and had given up my apartment and gotten rid of basically everything I owned so after spending so much time in hotels and sleeping on couches and floors I think it hit me that I really missed having my own home. After we stopped touring called it quits, I moved into my own place and spent a good part of the following year decorating it and learning about the history of interior design. I didn’t realize there was a professional industry out there until I started researching all the designers I admire from the 60s and 70s like Billy Baldwin and Albert Hadley and David Hicks.
A completed Instant Space project by Burnham Design
What did you study in school?
I went to Emerson College in Boston and studied new media, whatever that means. I wish I did have more formal training and I can’t stand it when people say you don’t really need a design degree to be a designer. There’s definitely a set of rules that you need to learn before you can start breaking them.
How did you land your job working with Betsy?
I saw the job posting online and wrote an enthusiastic cover letter to the office manager explaining that I had no experience but was the right person for the job and she agreed to schedule an interview. Betsy said I was the only person she ever interviewed who showed up without a resume but she liked my outfit so she gave me the job.
What’s your day-to-day like in the office?
We start off most mornings with a status meeting in Betsy’s kitchen over oatmeal and coffee to go over the priorities of the day. Then I go to my desk and put on some opera and check the blogs and auctions I follow and flash sale shopping sites and answer emails. There’s always some designing to do – meaning selecting fabrics and furniture and materials for the newer jobs, and invoicing or following up on orders for jobs that have been designed already and are in the purchasing phase. There’s also a lot of organization – we have a really specific filing system for paperwork and boxes and bins and trays for fabrics, wood samples, carpet, tile and stone, etc. Often before I can get to any of my actual to-do list from the status meeting something new and urgent will come up like we’ll need to reselect something or other or go back through our specs for a job in the construction phase for a contractor who needs an answer immediately. Then I leave for lunch or I go home and walk my dogs. We always have a few instant/space jobs going at once which is our online-only design-in-a-box service and I try and put some work into those every day. Then there’s usually some combination of eating cookies and opening the mail and fine-tuning any of the design work from the morning.
A Great Lakes summer home designed by Betsy Burhnam
What’s been the most memorable project that you worked on with Betsy?
We did a Tudor house in Beverly Hills that was just shot for a magazine that I’m attached to but the most memorable is a summer home on a private island in the upper peninsula of northern Michigan. It’s a really, really special house and the clients are amazing and have incredible taste. It’s close to Canada so it stays light out till 10 o clock at night in the summer. Going there is like vacation even though it’s work.
Your bio on Betsy’s website says you live in a 1920′s apartment accented with vintage Gucci barware and Hermes ashtrays which sounds pretty fab…do you entertain a lot?
No I find entertaining to be a waste of energy which is too bad because I’ve been collecting designer and vintage serveware for a while now and I have some pretty sweet stuff. Lots of chinoiserie Fitz and Floyd and Japanese airline coffee sets by Givenchy and Richard Ginori for Gucci Fine China. I set the table every night and use it myself at least.
Do you have any recent decor discoveries that you’re currently obsessed with?
Yeah I’ve been really into those Lucite and alabaster grape clusters that grandparents always have. Also the work of New York fashion illustrator Richard Haines.
What advice can you share with our readers about decorating on a design assistant’s budget?
My advice is to buy less but buy better. Also, Etsy is a great resource for design stuff. There are Etsy stores that sell pillows made from trade only fabrics and really good vintage furniture that have been professionally reupholstered and refinished. Finally, thrift stores are a really good place to buy coffee table books.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from Betsy?
That you eat off silver but you WEAR gold.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
In Sweden collecting the Nobel Prize for eBay feedback!
Top photo of Max by Kiya Gibbons for So Haute
All Additional photos from the portfolio of Burnham Design