6 Museums You Can Tour from the Comfort of Your Own Home This Weekend

While staying at home and practicing safe social distancing are the best courses of action to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t mean we have to miss out on cultural landmarks around the world. Thanks to the Google Arts & Culture Project, from New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, to Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, here are 6 museums you can tour right now from home.

MoMA, New York

The first museum founded to showcase modern art, The Museum of Modern Art in New York has been doing just that for more than 90 years. From Picasso to Van Gogh, the MoMA is home to incredible pieces of history from the world of contemporary art.

Museo Frida Kahlo, Mexico City

Tour La Casa Azul, the former home of world-renowned artist Frida Kahlo – and current home to the museum honoring her life and legacy. Visible here are not only works from Kahlo, but also numerous personal belongings including her clothing and a body cast she famously painted while ill.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

On display at the Musée d’Orsay, you’ll discover famous works from French artists who lived and worked between 1848 and 1914. Paintings by Monet, Gauguin, and Cézanne – among others – are featured on this Parisienne art tour.

La Galleria Nazionale, Rome

With just about 500 of its approximately 20,000 artworks digitized for this virtual tour, La Galleria Nazionale in Rome features everything from antiquities to seminal pieces representing the Futurist and Surrealist art movements.

Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Santa Fe

Honoring one of America’s preeminent artists, the Georgia O’Keefe Museum settled in the same New Mexican desert she once called home. It is dedicated to enriching visitors in the incredible legacy left by the late artist with its collection of her paintings; of which 30 can be viewed online.

Rijks Museum, Amsterdam

One of the more thoroughly digitized experiences is Rijks Museum in Amsterdam. With over 145,000 works available to view virtually, enjoy incredible works from artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Verspronck, to name a few.

Looking for more? Travel + Leisure offer more digital tours of incredible art museums



Source: 6 museums you can your from the comfort of your own home this weekend, extraordinary living blog, sothebys realty

5 Ways to Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy While Working from Home

Taking care of your mind and body should always be a top priority when it comes to ensuring that you’re living your best life, but in these trying times, it’s more important than ever. If you’re beginning to feel trapped and stagnant as you adjust to working from home, here are 5 tips to help keep your mind sharp and your body healthy from your home office.


Whether or not you currently attend a yoga class or have tried from home, I’m sure you’re familiar with the practice. A blend of stretching for the body and meditation for the mind, yoga can boost your mental and physical fitness by improving sleep, busting stress, strengthening your heart, and more. What’s more, yoga studios like Sky Ting bring professional instruction directly to you with both live streaming classes, and on demand options; Namaste.

Don’t Lose Touch

Practicing social distancing doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t connect with loved ones. Using FaceTime or apps like Houseparty give us the chance to catch up virtually – face to face. Maintaining these relationships keeps you truly connected with the world that matters.

Take a Break

Between completing your job-related tasks, trying to absorb (or avoid) the non-stop news cycle, and potentially keeping your child (or children) busy, working from home can be stressful; give your mind a rest with a nap, listening to some of your favorite music, reading from a magazine or book, or even taking a relaxing shower or bath. Studies show that even just a minute of deep breathing can relieve stress.

Plan Your Meals – And Enjoy Them

Making fewer trips to the grocery store means that you’ve likely stocked your pantry up – and being in close proximity to that stockpile might make you more inclined to snack more frequently. Resist the urge to snack by creating a schedule and prepare for meals in advance. Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t eat well either; there are manymany tips on how to make hearty (and healthy) comforting meals.

Stay Clean

If you have to leave your house for essentials, staying healthy means sticking to a cleanliness regimen. Any time you return home, wash your hands properly – it’s also a good idea to daily disinfect high-trafficked surfaces like countertops, doorknobs, bathroom utilities, light switches, phones, gaming controllers, and remotes.


Remember that we are all in this together; sharing what works for you on social media or through conversation may help others struggling to adjust. Your network of clients and colleagues may benefit from your successes – and you from theirs.



Source: 5 Ways to Keep Your Mind and Body Healthy at Home, Extraordinary Living Blog

Putting Down Roots | How to Settle in to a New Home

Boca Raton, Florida | John Poletto & Mark NestlerONE Sotheby’s International Realty

There’s a difference between a house and a home. It can take time to personalize the interior of a new house with your own sense of style and décor, making it a welcoming place that becomes a family’s central hub. To help give any new house a head start, or refresh during an extended stay at home, we’ve compiled a few simple tips to make your new property feel distinctly yours.

Start Organized

Bluffton, South Carolina | Renee MeighanCelia Dunn Sotheby’s International Realty

The best way to start off in a new home? Make sure you’re organized from the get-go. To make unpacking a breeze, ensure boxes are clearly labeled and organized by room, and that any furniture is placed in its proper spot from the very beginning. You’ll receive an instant sense of familiarity when you walk into your new house and see all of your belongings close to—if not perfectly—where they’re supposed to be. If you’re having renovations done, like painting or decorating, schedule them in advance to avoid chaos as much as possible.

Add Some Greenery

Riverside, Connecticut | Steve ArchinoSotheby’s International Realty – Greenwich Brokerage

Bringing a touch of the outdoors inside is a sure way to make a new space feel fresh and welcoming—and plants have the added benefit of purifying the air. To spruce up your new home, try large potted plants like palms and ferns to brighten entranceways and living rooms. And if you’re looking to instantly achieve that at-home feeling before you’ve settled on more permanent plants, add some fresh bouquets of flowers to the kitchen on your first day in your new abode.

Making Scents

Chicago, Illinois | Tim SalmJameson Sotheby’s International Realty

Smell is a powerful vehicle for nostalgia. Just a hint of a certain scent can transport us to a memory of a vacation or a moment with friends. Whether through a candle, incense, diffused essential oils, or your go-to soap, adding fragrance to your new space makes it even more welcoming. If you’re looking for new scents to christen your new home, try light florals in the living room, something fresh and herbal in the kitchen, and relaxing lavender in the bedroom to aid sleep.

Sounds Like Home

Singapore | Veniz KwongList Sotheby’s International Realty

It’s hard to resist a thrill when a favorite song comes on the radio. Bring that magic mood into your new home by listening to curated music as you settle in. Make a playlist, press play, and let the music of your life fill your new space as you decorate and adjust to your new environs. Creating new memories through sound can smooth the adjustment process.

Fill in the Blanks

Beverly Hills, California | Eric LaveySotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage

Unless you’re planning for a minimalist design in your new house, blank walls can be a deterrent in making your space feel homey. That’s not to say you should rush to add permanent artwork: while you decide on your chosen pieces, adding family photos and favorite decorative items from another home can quickly make your new space feel comfortable in the meantime.

Turn on the Lights

Beverly Hills, California | Almila GozenSotheby’s International Realty – Brentwood Brokerage

Lighting is crucial for setting ambiance in a new home. Consider if you need to make any updates to the placement and types of lighting in your house before you move in, so that rooms are cozy and welcoming when you arrive. Lighting candles can also set the tone for those first special evenings in a new space.

Stock the Kitchen

Wellington, Florida | Thomas BaldwinEquestrian Sotheby’s International Realty

The kitchen is the soul of the house, so your new address might not feel like much of a home while it remains empty. Fill your fridge upon arrival, whether you pre-order for delivery or pick up fresh produce on the way. Cooking a meal in your new kitchen is also a great way to feel settled. Invite some family and friends over for a casual meal in the early days of your residence: a celebration with company can make any house a home almost instantly.

Moving into a new space, whether as a permanent residence or a seasonal getaway, is always an exciting time. You may be looking forward to a change of scenery or the chance to create more memories with familiar faces. Regardless of the type of property or how much time you’ll be spending there, these simple ideas go a long way towards making your new home feel like you’ve lived there for years.


Source: Putting Down Roots, Extraordinary Living Blog

5 Ways You Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Community in a Trying Time


During this time of uncertainty, it’s crucial to remember that, while following the CDC’s recommended safety steps, there are many ways we can support those in our communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sotheby’s International Realty agents are proudly invested in their local communities and, together, we wanted to share this resource for those able to make a positive impact during this trying time.

Support Small Businesses

Small businesses like local restaurants and retailers are some of the hardest hit as many states and provinces implement curfews and shutdowns. Think of the impact these establishments have on your community – and of what it would be like to not have them. Ordering take-out or delivery from local restaurants, purchasing gift cards for use at a later date (many restaurateurs have pledged gift card proceeds to support their impacted employees), or ordering a delivered meal for a loved one or neighbor are great ways to help your favorite local spots.

Give Blood

The Red Cross is reporting a severe blood shortage and is urging those healthy enough to donate to do so. Donating blood is a way to, quite literally, save lives. Some companies like Rejuvio or Vitalant will make house calls to collect your donation from your own home.

Check in on Friends, Neighbors, and Family

While social distancing or sheltering in place is in effect, those who struggle with anxiety and depression may feel worsened symptoms. Take the time to connect with loved ones and neighbors on the phone or through video chat. Social distancing can make some feel alone or overwhelmed, check to see if they need any assistance or necessities like food or toiletries.

Donate to a Food Bank

As schools and businesses are forced to close, food banks are under pressure. “One of the most significant impacts has been school closures. Without access to school meals, children lose a consistent source of healthy food,” says Feeding America, a nation-wide network of food banks. Monetary donations to your local food bank or items of need will help feed those struggling in your community.

Feeling Lost? Help the CDP

Not sure where else to turn and help? The Center for Disaster Philanthropy is a nonprofit organization that helps when disasters strike. With a fund dedicated to this current crisis, your donations will support healthcare workers, social service organizations, and those whose health puts them in a more vulnerable state.

Most importantly, continue to practice safe social distancing. We are all in this together, from our individual communities to the larger global society, and we hope you stay healthy and safe during this trying time.



Source: 5 Ways You Can Have a Positive Impact on Your Community in a Trying Time, Sotheby’s Extraordinary Living Blog

The Trips Outside Magazine Editors Are Taking This Year

“From visiting Alaska’s fat bears to traveling solo across Scotland, here’s how we’re spending our PTO”


In 2020, the Outside editors are all about finally taking the dream trips they’ve been thinking about for years. Here’s one idea we especially love.

Taking a Cross-Country Train 

Staff picks

With all the climate-fueled talk of train travel lately—and news that Amtrak is on the verge of doing away with its sleeper trains and getting rid of long-haul lines—I’m going to make this the year I plan a trip around a rail route. I’ll either take Amtrak’s Empire Builder, which runs from Seattle to Chicago, and stop at Whitefish, Montana, to spend a few nights at Glacier National Park, or I’ll hop on the Crescent after a weekend in New Orleans, get off in Charlottesville, Virginia, and bike the 37 miles to Shenandoah National Park.

—Erin Riley, senior travel editor


Click Here to see the rest of their PTO picks!

Six Female Designers You Need To Follow

We are celebrating International Women’s Day in good company. Meet the six female designers everyone needs to be following right now.


Hamptons-based interior designer Tamara Magel feels that inner harmony is found when a body recognizes its surroundings. Thus, she combines organic elements, fine finishes, client preferences, scrupulous attention to detail and a dash of whimsy in her designs for both aesthetic appeal and an intangible something that is not seen but felt.

Keep up with Tamara Magel: Site | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook


Atlanta-based interior designer Erika Ward’s approach incorporates her previous experience as an accountant managing commercial real estate projects, and her keen design sensibility. Not one to be afraid of sharing, she brings personal flair to her Instagram account, where chronicles of projects and life with five kids seem to balance in unison.

Keep up with Erika Ward Interiors: Site | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook


Tulsa-based interior designer Mel Bean has assembled a talented team of women that strive to incorporate comfort, glamour and pragmatic usability into each project they take on. Architecture, existing light, timeline and financial considerations all come into play from the very beginning. The firm works closely with each client to ensure one hundred percent satisfaction.

Keep up with Mel Bean Interiors: Site | Instagram | Pinterest


Los Angeles-based interior designer Georgia Tapert Howe believes that good design shouldn’t be restricted by rules or boundaries. Her overarching philosophy is to meld classic elegance, contemporary vibes and 21st-century practicality. This approach allows her to work with countless styles and periods, and create interiors that are both stunning and functional.

Keep up with Georgia Tapert Howe: Site | Instagram


Aussie Tali Roth, who now lives and works in New York City, loves to layer textures, shapes and colors in her creative and contemporary approach. She likes to include vintage furniture in her designs, and she enjoys the challenge of working on projects with multiple spaces, needs and requirements.

Keep up with Tali Roth: Site | Instagram | Pinterest


Sweden native Beata Heuman believes that every room should sing, so her designs are a blend of poetic lyricism and common-sense practicality. Her intuitive approach is always informed by the client’s preferences, inspirations and experiences. She draws on both past and present when working on all aspects of a project, from loose furnishings to the interior architecture itself.

Keep up with Beata Heuman: Site | Instagram



Source: Six Female Designers You Need To Follow, Sotheby’s Home 

The Northern Lights Will Glow Across the U.S. This Week – Here’s Where To See Them

This coming week, skywatchers across the northern United States may well be treated to an excellent aurora display. The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is predicting a night of strong solar activity on the night of March 4th; on that night the Kp-index is expected to be higher than 4. On a scale of 0 to 9, the Kp-index is a measure of predicted aurora activity. Most nights in great aurora destinations fall between 1 and 3, so a night of activity that’s higher than 4 is a good chance to try and see the northern lights.

A level 4 or higher means that the aurora may be visible across the northern part of the contiguous U.S. that night (or surrounding nights – always check the weather and aurora forecasts before heading out!). If you live along the U.S.-Canadian border, or are willing to take a last minute trip, here are some of the top places that you can enjoy the northern lights this week or all winter long.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Unsurprisingly, Glacier National Park is a fantastic destination for night sky experiences. Far from the development that causes light pollution in some other national parks, Glacier is remote and a wonderland for those who love cold, snowy weather and starry winter skies.

The nearest major cities are Missoula and Helena, Montana, and Calgary, Alberta – all are between a 2-3 hour drive to reach Glacier National Park. While the most famous drive in the park, Going-to-the-Sun Road, is closed for the winter, you can still set up along St. Mary Lake in the east and Lake MacDonald in the west for good aurora viewing.

Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks is widely known as one of the best aurora destinations in the world thanks to low humidity and precipitation, placement under the auroral oval, and fewer cloudy days during the aurora season than other places in the globe. If you’re ready to hop on a plane, it’s only a 3.5-hour flight from Seattle to Fairbanks, a common flight route for aurora chasers.

You don’t need to head all the way to Fairbanks to see the aurora. Alaskan locals and visitors should be treated to aurora displays as far south as Anchorage and Juneau too.

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Western Washington’s northernmost national park, North Cascades, is a better aurora chasing destination than other parks – like Olympic National Park where clouds may interfere or Mount Rainier National Park where light pollution from the Seattle-Tacoma area may obliterate your aurora views. North Cascades is home to some of the state’s tallest mountains and has great northern views toward less developed British Columbia across the border. It’s a two-hour drive from Seattle to the national park, or under three hours from Vancouver – flying into either of these cities will give you easy access for an overnight trip.

Headlands International Dark Sky Park, Michigan

Located at the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Headlands International Dark Sky Park was certified in 2011 as the ninth dark sky park in the world. Today it draws crowds year round for astronomy programs and northern lights viewing; straddling Lake Michigan and Lake Huron gives the park a great vista of the northern horizon and any aurora.

It’s a four-hour drive from Detroit to Headlands International Dark Sky Park, which necessitates making this an overnight or two-night trip. You could also fly into Grand Rapids (3.5 hours by car) or Traverse City (2 hours) if you’re willing to make a connection.

Acadia National Park, Maine

There are only a few great pockets of dark skies in the Eastern Seaboard; Acadia National Park is one of them, and during the busy summer months the park is host to a variety of astronomy programming. In the winter, it’s a good spot to try and see the northern lights too. Hike or snowshoe up Cadillac Mountain for the best view overlooking the entire surrounding region with plenty of views toward the northern horizon; an alternative spot is Jordan Pond, which can be accessed via Maine Highway 3 during the winter months. The easiest way to reach Acadia is by flying to Portland, Maine. It’s a three-hour drive from there to the town of Bar Harbor, where you can base yourself for exploring the park.



Source: The Northern Lights Will Glow Across The U.S. This Week – Here’s Where To See Them | FORBES

20 designers for 2020: the sotheby’s home list

The List - 20 Designers for 2020

Interior designers are first and foremost translators of personal stories into inviting living spaces. And as stories go, there is no better way to tell one without mixing the old and the new. The Sotheby’s Home List of 20 names for 2020 is an eclectic snapshot of talented forces who deftly combine elements of vintage, antique and contemporary design. We invite you to discover the work of each one of them as we turn the page into a new decade of design, and beyond.

1. aamir khandwala: eclectic elegance

The Designer
Designer Aamir Khandwala draws on a rich background of artistic and personal influences to inform his design decisions, and he acts as a guide to help his clients fully realize their dreams. Instead of fleeting trends and frivolous eclecticism, he prefers essential pieces that connect with his clients’ sensibilities.

What To Look For In 2020
2019 was a phenomenal year for me as a designer and for my practice. We have produced multiple projects, all very exciting and different from each other. The year has surpassed many expectations. I wish for 2020 to be even more challenging and exciting…

The Work
This image is from a loft project we just finished in New York. A mix of vintage, international and contemporary pieces shape a refined loft in the West Village. Featured furnishings pictured here include a dining table by Wendell Castle through R & Company, chairs by Gestalt, a leather and straw rug sourced from Mauritania and a one-of-a-kind cabinet by Pedro Barrail through Cristina Grajales Gallery.

Keep up with Aamir: Site | Instagram

2. andrew howard: “if you can dream it, you can do it”

The Designer
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, designer Andrew Howard believes that any space can be kept versatile and current by using classic shapes and good-quality materials. He skillfully incorporates accessories and art to keep things dynamic and interesting.

What To Look For In 2020
I think the trend now that we are seeing in design is to buck the trends. The amount of fabrics and amazing vendors that are available to us these days is so large, that almost anything you can dream now you can do.

The Work
The living room here exists in an almost 200-year-old house, and the inspiration behind it was to maximize potential seating for a large family that has large gatherings, while also making it feel as if the furnishings may have been here for the last 20-30 years. In an old house, I never want it to feel decorated, I want it to feel like it always was.

Keep up with Andrew: Site | Instagram | Twitter

3. ashley whittaker: classic details, playful approach

The Designer
Describing herself as a “neo-traditionalist,” New York City designer Ashley Whittaker infuses her fresh and modern perspective on traditional design and architecture into all of her work. Integrating classic designs with chic sophistication, her signature style has won accolades from every corner of the industry.

What To Look For In 2020
With a new year, I always like to start with a clean slate and tend to go in with a “less is more” approach to design. So much of decorating is about seeing how the space evolves, and finding the unique items along the way that give each room its own personality.

The Work
In this room, we started with a colorful 18th century-inspired DeGournay wallpaper. It provides the perfect backdrop for both modern and traditional design elements, such as the Regency spoon back chair paired with the 1970s LaVerne coffee table. It feels collected, but youthful and fresh.

Keep up with Ashley: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

4. barrie benson: exuberance and creativity

Photo by Lydia Baird

The Designer
Charlotte-based designer Barrie Benson unabashedly bucks the trend of “simple-is-always-better.” She wants her energetic interiors to be a kind of narrative, telling the story of the person who lives there. So, Benson allows the client’s personality, history and lifestyle to inform many of her design decisions.

What To Look For In 2020
Something that’s started towards the end of this decade that I think will only continue in 2020 is the collaboration between different creative disciplines…particularly art and design. When people of different artistic and creative backgrounds come together and collaborate, it elevates and adds an amazing new dimension to everyone’s work.

Photo by Brie Williams

The Work
Working with Lindsay McCullough, both the homeowner and architect, our design inspiration took cues from the traditional architecture, with a nod to more modern design details to suit the youthful personality of her family. The dining room is the first room you see when you walk into this house, as the foyer looks directly into it. The traditional English racetrack dining table speaks to the more traditional architecture, but we painted it a pale gray and mixed in modern elements like the Serge Mouille light fixture and Wormley chairs. We decided to frame the windows with draperies to add softness, but still create a little luxury in the room…it was all about the balance…the traditional oriental rug, china that is both old and new…so you can have your grandparents or girlfriends over and everyone will love it.

Keep up with Barrie: Site | Instagram | Facebook

5. brigette romanek: evocative design narratives

The Designer
One of Los Angeles’ most sought-after designers, Brigette Romanek, founder of Romanek Design Studio, eschews trends in favor of spaces that are fresh, functional, aesthetically invigorating and that will remain current and inspiring for many years. An avid reader and traveler, she brings her broad experience to the table in fulfilling — and exceeding — her clients’ visions and dreams.

What To Look For In 2020
What I always look for! Originality, personality and creativity.

The Work
My design ethos is always the same: eclecticism! Making the old and the new come together in a harmonious way. I love seeing new ideas by furniture designers each year, and placing them next to something that was designed many years ago. If it’s a good piece, it’s a good piece no matter when it was made. That’s strong design. Take this dining room. The ceiling light is from Apparatus Studio and designed around 2016/17, the chair under the painting (which is from the early 1900s) is from the 1970s by De Sede, the sconces are from the 1960s and the moldings are original to the house, from 1929! Now why does this work? Because the lines, the colors, the materials, the feel, it’s all there. The vintage, the new. It’s a great place to be.

Keep up with Brigette: Site | Instagram

6. carrier and company: creators of atmospheres

Jesse Carrier & Mara Miller

The Designers
Husband and wife team Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, the principals behind Carrier and Company Interiors, Ltd., focus on uniting client and location in a way that brings out the unique characteristics and qualities of both. Adaptability is the keyword, and they can skillfully use any style — or combine different styles — to reach their goal: a supremely satisfied client.

What To Look For In 2020
Each new year, we look forward to the array of new furnishings and fabrics that are introduced in the market, and are incorporated into our library. We could not be more excited for 2020, when some of our very own design product is scheduled to launch, including a line of fabrics with Lee Jofa and a new collection of lighting with Visual Comfort that capture our signature style of timeless elegance.

The Work
In this home, we had the pleasure of doing what we do best — mixing seemingly disparate styles in a harmonious way, creating stylish spaces that are equally livable and luxurious. Here, we’ve blended “his and her” tastes by pairing homeowners’ heirlooms — her antique English Chippendale breakfront (which we bleached and refinished) adorned with her French ormolu Napoleon clock, with his pair of mid-century Robsjohn Gibbings chairs and contemporary Chinese paintings. Combined with a neutral sofa and contemporary carpet, all under the flat roof of this mid-century glass box house — the room feels ageless.

Keep up with Carrier and Company: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

7. chad dorsey: relaxed luxury

The Designer
Trained as an architect, designer Chad Dorsey has a keen sense of proportion, light and scale, and he focuses on blending these seamlessly with subdued palettes, custom furnishings, handcrafted details and objects that add meaning and significance to a space. He has designed for clubs, luxury and vacation homes, airplane interiors, hotels and lounges and many other locations.

What To Look For In 2020
For 2020, I am excited about color and detail. I feel like the new neutrals are actually bold colors but, for me, used in a monochromatic way, such as entire rooms full of rust and warm red or harvest gold. Pattern and detail in both the architecture as well as the textiles are huge. The pattern and detail add so much texture and dimension, and combine unexpected pattern on pattern. Personally, my spaces will feature even antique and vintage finds, combined with custom steel, bronze and brass furniture pieces. I think this will result in a much more personal experience — it all needs to be unique and much more experiential.

The Work
The Surf Shack is a house that was designed to capture the spirit of the effortless, carefree feeling of living in a simple waterfront cottage on the West Coast. In this living room and kitchen, seating for eight was important as well as providing a variety of seating styles for every type of guest. Vintage leather bucket chairs embrace guests in a lounge position, while the modern sofa encourages lying down or sitting with bare feet. Cedric Hartman floor lamps elegantly add reading light behind the sofa without interrupting the room. The large coffee table is a found piece that isn’t precious, and provides space for reading materials and food and drinks. The found upholstered armchairs are covered in a textural woven fabric, with lightweight linen from Mokum drapery adding a transparency and casual feel. All livable, day to day. I call it “Relaxed Luxury” – materials, patterns and furnishings that make you feel the way you want to feel, in a casual relaxed way. This is my signature.

Keep up with Chad: Site | Instagram

8. disc interiors: in defense of slow design

Krista Schrock & David John Dick

The Designers
Designers Krista and David favor quality interiors and products over quantity, believing that less is more. They love the idea of “slow design,” taking adequate time to develop interiors and embrace the imperfect beauty of aging houses. The designers strive to balance traditional and modern as well as aesthetics and functionality, and they allow the place and person to inform their choices more than any particular style.

What To Look For In 2020
More dialogue and mindfulness about quality interiors and products over quantity. Less is more. We love this idea of “slow design,” interiors that take time to develop, and continue to deepen with age.

The Work
Creating this cozy living room for our clients was truly a dream project. Sourcing vintage rugs and furniture, and designing custom upholstery that converses with their modern art collection was an absolute joy. This room feels transportive in the evenings, when the fireplace is roaring and the sconces and many different light sources emit a soft glow.

Keep up with Disc Interiors: Site | Instagram

9. ishka designs: the modern minimalism

Anishka Clarke & Niya Bascom

The Designers
With a style that is at the same time clean, modern, eclectic and simply beautiful, Brooklyn-based interior designers Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom draw on their combined backgrounds in business, film, landscape design and photography to specialize in designing vacation properties, residences, retail spaces and restaurants around the world.

What To Look For In 2020
As trends shift, we look forward to seeing spaces that defy the trends with an honest and authentic approach to design, and décor that honors mindfulness, timelessness, a continued nod to minimalism and pared back living, and luxurious simplicity.

The Work
Our client was an art collector and artist agent living in Paris in an apartment near the Eiffel Tower. Aside from a necessary renovation, we modernized the home by bringing in and designing a few modern elements that would bring a fresh appeal to the home and would round out a very eclectic, vintage and antique furniture collection. As seen in the photograph, we sourced a few vintage pieces from the Paris flea Les Puces that we felt would capture a modern sensibility, including a few of the dining chairs and the dining area pendant.

Keep up with Ishka Designs: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

10. jarret yoshida: accessible indulgence

The Designer
Self-educated interior designer Jarret Yoshida combines sophistication, elegance and relaxed ease to create spaces that are comfortable, chic and personalized for each and every client. Both his Japanese background and Hawaiian upbringing suffuse his choices with warmth and quiet harmony.

What To Look For In 2020
Sustainability. We are choking on our waste in the pursuit of evanescent trends, and for what? Embracing a higher percentage of vintage and antique furnishings is also, thankfully, more beautiful. We aren’t creating dystopian Mad Max interiors. Many images on my website are nearly 20 years old, and they haven’t become dated because of the numerous periods and cultural references we mix into our schemes. In turn, that takes our projects stylistically out of looking so “of the moment” and into a longer-lasting visual style cycle.

Photo by Anastassios Mentis

The Work
I used a ’70s Austrian chandelier and James Mont-inspired Buddhist candlesticks from the ’50s. I found the candlesticks in a warehouse in North Miami. The custom hand-painted silk wallcovering is by David Bonk and a black lacquered custom dining table is by our firm. Flowers are by Dan Moynihan. We were inspired by our client. She is effortlessly chic and gorgeous, inside and out. I wanted to give her something that reflected who she is: approachable, fun, intellectually engaged. I think it’s easy to mix elements like this if you understand the background and provenance of items. For example, the Issey Miyake-like quality of the dining chair fabric matches the Buddhist candlesticks and Chinese silk wallcovering. Meanwhile, the chandelier and lacquered dining table feel so high-end ’70s to me, but they share connections to the other items because of the color palette they create together. The heavy traditional architecture is the foil, and gives the scheme serious gravitas that it wouldn’t have had in a contemporary apartment. In short, think of it like creating a dinner party list: seating is determined by who gets along with whom, and why.

Keep up with Jarret: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

11. jonathan savage: southern hospitality, international flair

The Designer
After receiving his education both at home and abroad, and working for a design firm in New York City, Jonathan Savage returned to Nashville to open his own design firm. He has worked on projects that range from chic downtown lofts to sprawling estates, and he has a wealth of experience in space planning, custom furniture, colors, finishes and high-quality materials.

What To Look For In 2020
I am looking forward to designing the Pool Cabana at Kips Bay Palm Beach — wait and see all the details that went into this space, from lush Perennials fabrics to beautiful teak louvered walls! Outdoor spaces are where it’s at! Bring on the warm weather and sunshine.

The Work
The client had a wonderful art collection which made for designing the interior a real treat. The Calder showcased here is the perfect piece to make a statement in the entrance foyer!

Keep up with Jonathan: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

12. laura hodges: sustainable and sophisticated

The Designer
Designer Laura Hodges heads a boutique design firm located in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area. Her full-service design company strives to express each client’s individual style and taste while avoiding short-lived trends. She has traveled extensively and is able to draw on her exposure to a wide range of customs and cultures when making suggestions and decisions.

What To Look For In 2020
I’m looking forward to seeing more innovation in sustainable design, including better access to responsibly sourced materials, more use of vintage and antique furnishings and increased support of local makers and handmade furnishings.

The Work
This project was inspired by the client’s love of her inherited family heirlooms, including a vintage patent leather armchair and antique dining chairs. We reupholstered the dining chairs in a performance fabric, and combined them with a new but vintage-inspired dining table and side chairs to complement the antique chairs.

Keep up with Laura: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

13. michelle smith: nuanced spaces with a quiet impact

The Designer
New York City-based designer Michelle Smith has a knack for adding spunk and witty charm to traditional spaces and making them bright, fun and simply sophisticated. She draws on both her Louisiana roots and life in the Big Apple to seamlessly merge urbanity with a down-home, comfortable ambiance.

What To Look For In 2020
I’m looking forward to building upon what we’ve been doing — creating detailed, custom, timeless interiors. We’re installing a few long-term projects this year, so it should be a very fun one.

The Work
This is my living room in Brooklyn. The room started with and was designed around the center table. I found it while shopping with a client in Atlanta. Some of my best antiques are pieces I fall in love with for a client. If they don’t love them, I can’t really let them go.

Keep up with Michelle: Site | Instagram

14. rodman primack: design with soul

Rodman Primack

The Designer
Global design firm RP Miller, founded by Rodman Primack, serves clients in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The company works with everything from new construction to structures that are over 100 years old, and the emphasis is always on attention to detail and finding the highest quality items and art objects.

What To Look For In 2020
In 2020, I am really looking forward to spending more time in Mexico, working with local artisans and craftspeople. I am committed to the handmade, and believe that things made by hand bring a special quality to our lives, and I feel like we have a responsibility to support these crafts so they don’t disappear.

The Work
In an early 20th-century Kentucky farmhouse, we wanted to create an environment that felt sort of out of time — neither specifically contemporary nor vintage, which suits my taste and the clients. Like me, they love antiques as well as Mid-Century design, contemporary art and everything in between. Obviously we also shared a fondness for Charleston, the Sussex seat of the Bloomsbury group…the walls are papered in a hand-blocked paper by Marthe Armitage on which hang many vintage ceramics by Birger Kaipiainen, a contemporary commissioned oak table by Jonathan Muecke, vintage Marcel Breuer Cesca chairs with caning that has had the metal blackened (sacrilege!), the pendants are Paavo Tynell circa 1965 and the rug was designed by Federica Tondato for the project.

Keep up with Rodman Primack: Site | Instagram

15. sees design: quality is king

Corbin See

The Designer
Corbin See, along with a very talented group of designers at Sees Design, employ their knowledge of interiors, architecture, textiles and furniture to every project they come across. Whether it’s a new build, remodel, refurbish or redecoration, Sees Design always stresses traditional design techniques and quality materials over quantity and accessibility. The firm (which has multiple offices in the country) avoids contemporary trends and aims for real staying power.

What To Look For In 2020
At Sees Design, we’re looking forward to the return of traditional design techniques and real craftsmanship. The market has been flooded with cheap, contemporary trend cycles that don’t have staying power. People are starting to recognize disposability and, as a result, starting to value quality over quantity and accessibility.

The Work
This is one of our favorite projects from last year. The wall is backlit onyx and steel. It was a very strong contemporary element that needed to be balanced with the soul that only antiques can provide. We chose to use the Apparatus Studio lighting over it to connect to the contemporary architecture, but the whole image came together and worked because of the mix of periods, textures and provenance.

Keep up with Sees Design: Site | Instagram

16. shelley johnstone: european elegance with a modern twist

The Designer
Designer Shelley Johnstone has worked on projects throughout the United States and England, and she is as comfortable with outdoor spaces as she is with indoor ones. She strives for a blend of visual beauty with comfortable ease. Inspired by her travels that range from Palm Beach to the Amalfi Coast, Shelley prefers wallcoverings, finishes and textures that create an airy, open vibe.

What To Look For In 2020
I am most looking forward to continuing projects with our fabulous clients, and expanding to the Florida Gulf Coast.

The Work
The family loves to travel, so we curated a lovely mix of both vintage and modern pieces into their home to make it interesting and reflect their experiences.

Keep up with Shelley: Site | Instagram | Pinterest

17. story street studio: classic capitol hill charm

Lizzie Bailey & Laura Stanley

The Designers
With offices in Bozeman, MT and NYC, Laura Stanley and Lizzie Bailey established Story Street Studio in 2019 to bring their combined years of experience and editors’ eyes to projects across the country. Their work pays homage to old-school decorating ideas while skillfully injecting them with a fresh approach and contemporary colors, textures and styles.

What To Look For In 2020
We’re always looking back as much as we are looking forward. So for 2020, we’re excited about bringing back some old-school decorating details and updating them so they feel fresh — café curtains, glazed walls, decorative painted floors, valances. And then pairing antiques and vintage pieces with interesting materials and patterns — still loving boucle and fuzzy textures, and there are so many textile houses putting out really fun prints. Looking forward, the contemporary lighting market is on fire right now, and we expect it to continue to inspire, with so many well-designed and inventive pieces (at all price points!), so we’ll be mixing those in to give rooms a bit of edge or unexpected flair.

The Work
We papered the walls of this intimate Manhattan dining nook in a large-scale metallic floral wallpaper to create a whimsical indoor garden. The soft sheen creates a sense of glamour and serves as a foil for the distressed vintage French leather chairs and reclaimed oak dining table, both found at local antique stores. The collection of vintage hand-block-printed batik and embroidered pillows add some bohemian texture, creating an inviting space to read, to daydream or to host a festive dinner party. A lot of function and style packed into a small space in a city apartment!

Keep up with Story Street Studio: Site | Instagram

18. summer thornton: bold, whimsical, lighthearted

The Designer
Right and left brain synergize perfectly in Summer Thornton’s work to produce a perfect balance of creativity, process, fun and organization. Her bold and colorful interiors bring homes to life, combining nods to the past with reckless patterns and colors. She believes one should take risks and “do at least one thing your mother wouldn’t do.”

What To Look For In 2020
I’m looking forward to more feminine interiors taking center stage in the coming year. I want to see more whimsy and a lighthearted approach to design. We’ve been living in a very masculine period, and I’m wanting to break free and show that feminine interiors can be bold, comfortable and beautiful!

The Work
This is a lovely entry hallway in a great Art Deco building. There are no windows in the hallway itself, so we wanted to bounce as much light around from adjoining rooms as possible. We used this stunning silver leafed Gracie to give the effect of a glamorous garden upon entry, and contrasted it with this very powerful but traditional motif on the flooring. We brought in warm wood antiques to counter all the shine and add a richness and depth to the space. Previously a sad dark hallway, it now shines and gives a taste of what’s to come throughout the rest of this glamorous apartment!

Keep up with Summer: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

19. virginia tupker: maximalism, color and old-world details

The Designer
Designer Virginia Tupker’s European upbringing and years of experience as a magazine editor have given her a strong background in both fashion and design. She works closely with her clients — drawing on a wide range of inspirations as well as a keen sense of color and texture — to create interior spaces that are unambiguous reflections of the people who inhabit them.

What To Look For In 2020
I am excited to have the opportunity to work in some new style vernaculars that will take me way out of my comfort zone, and also to see some of my current projects reach completion. I am excited about the general trend towards maximalism, color and old-world details.

Photo by Marilou Daubé

The Work
I wanted to add architecture to the room, so I decided to create a custom plaster fireplace mantle in the space, flanked by bookshelves, concealing an unsightly soffit. We lacquered the ceiling to add height and papered the walls in an off-white linen. The parchment tables were designed by us and the sofas were custom. The finishing touch for the room is definitely the superbly dramatic 18th-century Italian baroque mirror, which I found on a trip to London. I love the way it is juxtaposed with the cleaner modern elements and makes the room sing.

Keep up with Virginia: Site | Instagram

20. young huh: resetting the narrative

Photo by Michael Schwartz

The Designer
Based in New York City, designer Young Huh strives to find harmony and dynamism by incorporating the aesthetics of both traditional and modern design. Architectural elements inform her choices of texture, color, patterns and surfaces, thus resetting the narrative for each project. She is equally comfortable working in the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors.

What To Look For In 2020
I’m excited to see more and more clients gravitate towards compartmentalization within their homes, as opposed to larger, multipurpose rooms. Much like antiques, this shift brings up for me a sense of coziness, charm and nostalgia.

Photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo

The Work
A second home for a stylish family, this residence is warm and layered with a heavy emphasis on elevated materials. Furnishings are a balance of new, custom and old, including a pair of Robsjohn Gibbings chairs, a 1970s coffee table by Pierre Vandel and French 1970s side tables.

Keep up with Young: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter



Source: 20 designers for 2020, Sotheby’s Home Blog

Reading the Room | How Valerie Stafford of Rumor Designs Brings Her Interiors to Life

Home at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

A piece of art. A color palette. A potted succulent. For Valerie Stafford, the smallest detail can be the thread that weaves together her whole vision and concept for a room.

“That’s the best part,” she says. “Starting a design is so much fun, and then following the path as it winds is the second best part.”

Before she became Partner and a Lead Designer at Rumor Designs, Stafford followed a winding path of her own: from the modern, forward-thinking schools of art and business at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the more traditional training ground of Florence, Italy, where she completed a Master’s in Interior Design. These two schools of thought helped Stafford cultivate her own timeless aesthetic: her rooms blend contemporary design with an appreciation for the artisanship of the past. Her practice is focused on the quality of the materials in a space, from surface finishes and wall colors to lighting and fabrics.

Here’s how this bold designer approaches a room and achieves the perfect balance of modern luxury.

1. Start With a Sense of Purpose

Yampa Street Loft, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

The thematic vision for a room might come from a single detail—but regardless of décor, it’s important to remember what exactly a space needs to achieve. “Each room should have a primary purpose,” explains Stafford, “and the furniture and lighting should support those functions.”

And while a room has a functional purpose, its visual style also plays an active role in shaping how the space feels for you and your visitors. “Our surroundings, whether we are aware of it or not, set the tone or mood for our experiences,” explains Stafford. “So at work or in the home, a beautifully designed space can create purpose, inspiration, energy, or peace.”

2. Look High and Low

The Anglers retreat, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs

One thing Stafford points out is that a room doesn’t necessarily have to have four walls in order to be a unique and functional space. When faced with an open-concept space, she finds alternative ways to create distinctions without any need for conventional barriers.

“Some spaces can be redefined, regardless of the architecture, using area rugs or ceiling treatments that reinvent the space,” says Stafford. “Especially in a wide open floor plan, it can get confusing where one area ends and another begins. Cues from below your feet (such as changes in flooring), or above your head (such as changes in ceiling heights or lighting groups) can help.”

Stafford notes that homeowners tend to underestimate the significance of lighting. There are three types she considers whenever she designs a room: task, for lighting up specific spaces for specific activities; ambient, for illuminating the room as a whole; and decorative, in which the light fixture itself is a unique, aesthetically-compelling unit worthy of display.

“One of the most common requests during a remodel is to add more light,” she notes. “You can never have too much, and you can always dim if needed.”

3. Take Care of the In-Between Spaces

House at Wildhorse Meadows, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

Whether it’s demarcated by walls or not, Stafford focuses on conscientious space planning when organizing a room, arranging furniture pieces that create a sense of cohesiveness and individual character. The self-contained look is important for setting a room apart from its neighboring spaces, and Stafford advises homeowners to invest in custom fixtures if they have glaring gaps they can’t seem to fill.

“Each room should feel inviting in some way, either in how the furniture is positioned, or the way the lighting is arranged,” she says. “Colors and textures play a huge role in this department as well.”

4. Pay Attention to Entrances

Homestead at Wildhorse Meadows, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

On the topic of inviting spaces, Stafford emphasizes the importance of first impressions. Homeowners should take time to think through the experience of coming into a space—or of coming into the home.

“An entryway helps get your entertaining off on the right foot and makes your guests feel welcomed,” she says. “Whether it is as simple as a small table and a mirror to check yourself on the way out, or as grand as a water feature and chandeliers, you can’t go wrong keeping the design elevated in this area.”

5. Don’t Let Setbacks Set You Back

Steamboat Pines, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

If there’s one thing Stafford wants you to know, it’s that homeowners need to be problem solvers and should never get deflated when the unexpected happens. “I have rarely seen a project where every element goes as planned. Building a home is a creative endeavor, and there are always things that pop up, no matter how much planning you do. If you anticipate this, you can embrace it and find the opportunities in the hurdles.”

At the end of the day, creative design is the work of many, not just one. “There are a thousand and one details and it takes a village,” says Stafford of the design process. “Hire a designer you connect with, a builder who is good with both communication and numbers, and an architect who inspires you.” With the right team in place and the patience to wait out complications, every home project can become a realized work of art.


Source: SIR Extraordinary Living Blog

Mood Board | Peak Season

As enthusiasts pray for fresh powder and adventurers assemble their gear, take inspiration from this scenic mood board that contains all things ski: cozy interiors, inviting saunas, and the thrill of the hills. Think of it as an avant-ski; we’ll leave the après up to you.

For more frosty views, dive into Scandinavian design and check out our ski listings for life on the slopes.


Clockwise from top left: 1. Propriétés de Courchevel Sotheby’s International Realty 2. Propriétés de Courchevel Sotheby’s International Realty 3. Propriétés de Megève Sotheby’s International Realty 4. Aaron Benson / Unsplash 5. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada 6 Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty 7. Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty 8. Propriétés de Megève Sotheby’s International Realty 9. Patrick Robert Doyle / Unsplash

Source: Mood Board | Peak Season – Sotheby’s International Realty | Blog