I’m so impressed and inspired by the way DwellStudio founder and Creative Director Christiane Lemiuex has built her ever-expanding brand. Launched in 1999 with a focus on bedding and soft goods, DwellStudio has since expanded to include chic, modern items for every room in the home including furniture, home accessories, rugs, tabletop and artwork as well as as a line of stylish baby and kids furnishings. Recently, the company opened up the doors to its first flagship store in New York City which serves as the perfect showcase for the brand’s home and lifestyle wares. The nearly 3000 square-foot store also offers features such as a custom furniture design station and an assortment of hand curated vintage furniture and accessories sourced by Christiane from around the world. I recently had a chance to check out the shop and was floored by the attention to detail put into the store design as well as in love with all of the amazing finds. It’s such a beautiful and inspiring space! I wanted to hide out in the stock room until the store closed so I could secretly live there as squatter but I figured the gesture probably wouldn’t be very well received;) Below, for your viewing pleasure, is a peek inside the new store and if you’re in New York I’d highly recommend checking it out in person. And if not, you can always shop the brand at DwellStudio.com!
DwellStudio – Flagship Store
77 Wooster Street (Between Broome Street and Spring Street)
New York, New York 10012
Hours: Mon – Sat, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sun, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Photos courtesy of DwellStudio
Undecorate – by Christiane Lemieux.
DwellStudio Founder and Creative Director Christiane Lemieux has just released her first coffee table book, out today, that celebrates the art of achieving an unfussy, effortlessly chic home. It’s titled Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design and after eagerly anticipating its arrival for more than a year, I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy. As expected, the book is chock full of inspiration and I’m utterly obsessed with it! Undecorate gives us a glimpse inside 20 real homes across America to explore the concept of “undecorating” – a term Christiane coined to describe perfectly imperfect approach to decor which really boils down to achieving a comfortable, lived in home that’s designed over time and truly reflects your personal style. I think it’s worth noting that the book’s foreward was written by Deborah Needleman who now helms WSJ but was the founding Editor-in-Chief of Domino – a magazine I credit with giving this effortless decorating style its mainstream appeal.
One of the excerpts from the book that resonated with me was when Christiane talks about how the rise of the internet and design blogs have influenced her decorating decisions in recent years. Whereas she used to look to top tier decorators for design direction, she now prefers blogs and finds more inspiration from decorating amateurs with real ideas and a totally fresh approach. In fact, there are even a few blogger homes featured in Undecorate including the homes of Lisa Borgnes Giramonti from A Bloomsbury Life and Valerie Hart from Visual Vamp!
Christiane was kind enough to share some insider scoop about the book with me as well as reveal details on other exciting projects DwellStudio has in the works. Read on to hear all about it plus get a little sneak peek inside Undecorate!
What made you decide to write a book?
It’s funny – it was very organic and a natural next step. I had been noodling this idea in my head and then I had a meeting with Clarkson Potter and it all fell into place. The part I did not take into consideration was the actual execution. Getting a book done is a lot of work…wow!
Tell us about how the project finally came together…
You know – I’m not even sure. I gave my amazing editor Doris Cooper some ideas and voila – we had a book. It was totally fluid. I am so glad it happened because it was one of the most amazing things I’ve done.
How did you land on the title Undecorate?
It really says exactly what I am getting at in the book. I really believe we look at interior design and decor in a more fluid way these days…we do things ourselves and the project is never really done. It’s never really decorated. We also – through blogs and social media – invite each each other in and work together and decorate together. It’s always an evolving process.
I love that you chose Melanie Acevedo to shoot your book – I’ve always been drawn to her photographs! Was working with her an obvious choice? What was it like collaborating with her?
I had another photographer lined up and then Mel came to my office with her portfolio…it was love at first sight! AND one of the dummy spreads we had created for the book for concept board had her photography – talk about a sign! We had an amazing time working together. We went on a journey across the country and got to photograph these amazing homes and people.
Of all the amazing homes and people you photographed for Undecorate…do you have a favorite?
I fell in love with each and every person we shot – seriously. It was like 20 amazing parties. We did have an amazing cocktail-infused evening with Chase Booth and Gray Davis at their gorgeous place in Copeck lake. We all cooked dinner and went swimming. It was perfect.
Your book refers to undecorating as a movement…what do you think it is about this effortless style that resonates with people?
I think there are no barriers to entry. If you love something – you can make it work in your interior. We shot to the most amazing place in Chicago where the owners Heidi and Art lived with their Jaguar cars…it was gorgeous. The cars functioned like sculptures.
What do you think is the key to achieving an “undecorated” look?
I think it’s personal. Don’t follow rules – follow your instincts. Do the things you like and it will come together. There are a lot of interiors out there that look the same. Undecorating is about soul and personality.
Aside from Undecorate, what’s next for the brand?
We are launching furniture in 3 weeks at High Point. Now that was a project! I will say that everything we designed is very influenced by my experience with the book…It’s personal, eclectic and people can truly put this collection together and make it their own.
Finally, what does home mean to you?
Home is the place I go for refuge. The place where I get comfort….It’s family and being surrounded by the things and people I love.
You can order your copy of Undecorate here and to check out DwellStudio’s latest offerings visit DwellStudio.com!
Book photography by Melanie Acevedo. Photography of Undecorate by Nicole Gibbons
Q. Hi Nicole – I recently purchased a Lee Industries English style sofa with rolled arms and a single bench cushion. I have no idea what fabric I should cover it in! I like solids and prints. Do you have any suggestions? -Rudy
A. Right now I’m LOVING the new upholstery fabric collection from DwellStudio! While the range includes everything from basic cotton solids, luxe velvets and richly textured tweeds, it’s the the bold, graphic patterns that really stand out. My favorite is “Vintage Blossoms” shown on the sofa above in Dove. It’s a hip take on a traditional print and and really pops on this classic sofa which, like yours, has a single bench cushion. Aside from the fact that the collection is A-mazing, one of its greatest features is that anyone can purchase these fabrics by the yard directly from DwellStudio.com! (Members of the design trade can source DwellStudio Fabrics wholesale though Robert Allen showrooms.) Good luck!
Photos: DwellStudio.com and RobertAllendesign.com
Since I started my blog I’ve become the resident decorating expert among my friends and I’m often called on for advice. My friend Kim recently moved into a fabulous loft in Soho and asked me to help her with ideas for her bedroom, which she wants to decorate on a budget. Below is an inspiration board along with some ideas I put together for her.
Kim’s loft is a rental with ridiculously high ceilings so painting her bedroom would be too costly and isn’t an option she wants to consider. I recommended a black and white scheme with pops of color added through accessories and artwork. Above are some inspiration photos which will guide the design.
Kim loves yellows and blues so I thought a goldenrod yellow would be a fun, cheery dominant accent color with a deep blue turquoise added in for additional interest. Since the bed will be the focal point of the room, this is where I suggest she spend money…nice bedding, a plush upholstered headboard and fun pillows and accessories to add color and texture. Everything chosen here with the exception of the lamps from Pieces is relatively inexpensive and she shouldn’t have a problem finding similar lamps on ebay or at one of the many flea markets in and around NYC. I’m a fan of crisp white bedding and Laytner’s Linen and Home here in NYC has a great deal on classic striped bedding sets. The black and white DwellStudio for Target bedskirt is a modern contrast to the classic bedding and the ikat pillows add color and pattern while the Jonathan Adler needlepoint pillow adds a touch of kitch. The teal blue rug from Ikea could ground the space nicely.
Kim already has an amazing vintage desk and dresser. I suggested painting them both a glossy black and changing out the knobs on her dresser. The two chairs here are both great options to fit her desk, with the fab Craigslist find being the more economical choice. And can you believe those insanely fabulous nightstands I found via Craig’s for just $70! She should snap these up quickly before someone else does!
Here are some accessories that would be great additions to her room. Currently Kim has a world map on her wall above her desk but it’s very colorful and kindergarten classroom-ish so I thought the vintage one above is a more sophisticated alternative. I would probably place it on the blank wall adjacent to her bed as opposed to right above her desk. I also love that little blanc de chine inspired bird lamp from Urban Outfitters. Would look super chic with a nice glossy lampshade…in a turquoise that mimics the color of the rug from Ikea. I wish I had a floorplan to help you visualize the layout but this should give you a sense of the overall design direction I recommended. What do you think?