The Style Files: Kevin Walsh

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Kevin Walsh is the talented interior designer and proprietor of the design firm and design store, Bear Hill Interiors in Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the years, we have gotten to know each other on trips to High Point and through social media. In fact, Kevin is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. Kevin has beautiful taste and an impeccable eye for style. I love seeing glimpses into the beautiful home he shares with his partner Brett and their two dogs, Ruby and Roxy as well as sneak peeks of his latest projects, whether they are completed or in progress. Kevin’s work a fresh, pretty, tailored spin on traditional interiors, has been featured extensively in magazines including Luxe, Southern Living, HGTV, and At Home in Arkansas. Just last summer, Kevin received the distinction of being named one of Trad Home’s 10 New Trads of 2016. Kevin is one of the kindest people in the design industry. Enjoy!Snip20170116_8

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Kevin Walsh: Tailored, collected, and a little bit understated.

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PC: Has living in Little Rock influenced your aesthetic in any way?

KW: Absolutely! I am surrounded by Arkansas’s natural beauty everyday and face it– southerners know a thing or two about beautiful homes, architecture, and how to make you feel warm and welcome.

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PC: What does your home say about you?

KW: I have a penchant for being pretty tidy. I love fresh flowers, lots of books, and original art. I also have two dogs that rule the roost and have total access to every piece of upholstery.

Style Files Kevin Walsh Instagram{Kevin’s Sweet Dogs, Ruby and Roxy at Home in their Chic Living Room via his Instagram Account, @kevinbearhill}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

KW: Books, travel, Instagram (obsessed!) and numerous dealers across the country including 214Modern in High Point.

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PC: Who are your personal style icons?

KW: For interiors– Bruce Budd, Albert Hadley, Jan Showers, Windsor Smith, Timothy Whealon…this list could go on forever! For fashion– Michael Bastian, Maxim Lundh, Johannes Huebl.

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{Bruce Budd}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

KW: A great sense of humor.

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PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

KW: Haribo Gummy Bears

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PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

KW: My partner, Brett Pitts. He is extremely supportive and encouraging– and is a straight shooter!

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PC: What is your idea of “living la dolce vita”?

KW: A sunny day spent at home working in the garden with music in the background and amazing aromas coming from the kitchen.

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PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

KW: I recently photographed a home here in Little Rock for Southern Home magazine slated for next December. I recently joined Southern Living, Coastal Living, and Sunset‘s exclusive group of interior designers. I am currently working on a beautiful home on the May Rive in Bluffton, South Carolina a well as a classical home here in Little Rock with architect C. Brandon Ingram. I am also working with At Home in Arkansas magazine on a series of entertaining features.

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Go-To Outfit: Jeans, blue and white stripe button down, navy blazers, and Alden Loafers without socks

Style Mantra: Less is more

Scent: Currently loving Maison Louis Marie Candle No. 4 Bois de Balincourt

Piece of Jewelry: Rolex Submariner

Color I Never Tire Of: Blue

Flower: Peony

Indispensable Design Element: Great Architecture

Era for Design: 1920’s

Dream Project: I would love to design a small, beautiful French bistro here in Little Rock

Fabric/Textile: Hand-Printed Textiles

Hostess Gift: Fresh Flowers

Meal: Fried chicken, fried okra, homegrown tomatoes, and lady peas prepared by Brett Pitts

Drink: Jean Charles Boisset Brut Rose

3 Things I Love About My City: People, landscape, and my beautiful neighborhood

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Weekend Destination: Lake House in Hot Springs, Arkansas on Lake Hamilton

Hotel: Le Meurice in Paris

City: New York and Paris

Museum: The Met in New York

Artist: Ellsworth Kelly

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “Pause” by Pitbull

Actor: Eddie Redmayne, Kevin Spacey, Viola Davis, Kate Winslet, Judy Dench

Prized Possession: Untitled Painting by Ray Parker, 1960

Risk Worth Taking: Pursuing a career path that speaks to your heart

Greatest Extravagance: Travel

Go-To Color Palette: Blue with anything

Rule to Break: White jeans are good year round!

Movie Set Design: It’s Complicated

I can never have too many… Cashmere Sweaters

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The Style Files: Sarah Bartholomew

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My friend, Sarah Bartholomew is a very talented interior designer in Nashville. Her style is a fresh interpretation of classic design. Through the spaces she designs for her clients, Sarah marries both a timeless aesthetic with an easy, inviting quality. A native of Virginia, Sarah has been a lifelong admirer and student of classical design, drawing a great deal of inspiration from visits to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate. Sarah founded her eponymous design firm in 2010 and was recently named a “Next Wave” Interior Designer by House Beautiful. Just this summer, Sarah’s home was featured in Southern Living. It is a wonderful interpretation of modern traditional style and is filled with great prints and fabrics, including the show-stopping Pierre Frey Toile des Nantes wall covering in her foyer. With a mix of blue and white, natural fiber elements, great antiques, and pretty fabrics, Sarah has created a home that is not only beautiful, but welcoming and livable. After all, Sarah has dogs, four children, and a husband to account for! Enjoy!snip20161121_1

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Sarah Bartholomew: A mix of classic, all-American, layered, fresh, understated, collected and comfortable.

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PC: Has living in Nashville influenced your aesthetic in any way?

SB: Nashville is a beautiful and vibrant city—American architecture that stands the test of time, rolling green hills and Southern charm, how could it not?

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PC: What does your home say about you?

SB: It says that you can live with beautiful things and have a full house—four kids and two dogs! Also, it says that I’m a devout classicist at heart.

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PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

SB: I’m constantly taking everything in and get inspiration from travel, nature, history, books, magazines, film and art.

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PC: Who are your personal style icons?

SB: Annette de la Renta, Lee Radziwill, Grace Kelly, Jane Birkin, Deeda Blair and Lauren Santo Domingo.

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PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

SB: Humility, kindness and authenticity.

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PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

SB: Right now, it’s binge-watching “The Crown” and eating Halo Top ice cream.

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PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

SB: Probably my husband. He’s been my biggest fan and has always pushed me to follow my dreams and passions.

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PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

SB: Living beautifully with the ones you love.

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PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

SB: In October, we launched Sarah’s Studio, a monthly newsletter highlighting my latest inspirations, projects and favorite things—I’m excited to continue sharing more from our design studio in 2017! Also, we have some special projects in the works coast–to–coast.

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Go-To Outfit: Khaite jeans and Tenfold tee

Style Mantra: Less is more

Scent: My go-to candle, Ernesto by Cire Trudon

Piece of Jewelry: My simple gold Tiffany wedding band

Color I Never Tire Of: Blue

Flower: Peonies

Indispensable Design Element: Fresh flowers and natural light

Era for Design: I’m always looking to timeless elements in interiors from the past—it’s too hard to pick just one design era!

Dream Project: Any project with Gil Schafer

Fabric/Textile: Holland and Sherry

Hostess Gift: Flowers

Drink: Vodka soda with a twist of lime

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Snuggling with my kids

3 Things I Love About My City: The warm, friendly people, the springtime—it’s lush, green and full of life—and the classic architecture. Oh, and the food!

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Weekend Destination: New York

Hotel: J.K. Capri and I’m dying to go to Trasierra in Sevilla!

City: Paris and New York

Museum: The Phillips Collection in D.C.

Artist: Elliott Puckette, Cy Twombly, Mark Rothko, Robert Mangold, Ellsworth Kelly, Picasso and Agnes Martin

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne

Actor/Actress: Katharine Hepburn

Risk Worth Taking: Starting your own business

Greatest Extravagance: Time to myself

Go-To Color Palette: Blue, white and green

Rule to Break: Are there any rules left to break? Or maybe, less is more cause sometimes more is really more!

Movie Set Design: The Talented Mr. Ripley

I can never have too many… Books

Meal: A home-cooked meal by someone else

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The Style Files: Phoebe Howard

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Phoebe Howard is a major force in the design world. In addition to being a well respected interior designer and one of the foremost authorities on Southern Style, Phoebe is a keen business woman with a strong business acumen. In 1996, she and her husband, Jim opened their first store, Mr & Mrs Howard in Jacksonville, Florida in a building that had previously been a grocery store. Their hope was to demystify the design process for their customers while showcasing Jim’s architectural talents and Phoebe’s aesthetic and expertise as a merchandiser. The store was a hit and the Howards opened their second store, Max & Company five years later. In the years that followed, they went on to expand their stores to Jacksonville Beach, Atlanta, and Charlotte.

Phoebe has also penned two books, The Joy of Decorating: Southern Style with Mrs. Howard and Mrs. Howard: Room by Room and has a third one in the works! When I am in High Point, I always make sure to visit the Mr. & Mrs. Howard showroom to see the latest offerings in their beautifully executed furniture collection with Sherrill. I admire Phoebe for many reasons– she is gracious and always makes you feel welcome; she has a wicked sense of humor and is completely down to earth, she exudes Southern style, and she is a wonderful example for so many. She is self-taught and has built an illustrious career through hard-work, talent, and the inner wisdom to know which risks were worth taking. I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Phoebe a bit more today!

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Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Phoebe Howard: I am a traditional Southern decorator, keeping my focus on creating timeless, classic, comfortable, and beautiful interiors. I like to mix different periods, and my rooms always contain a mix of old and new. I am a color controller. I love to mix patterns and play with scale, but I usually keep my color palette restrained to just a few colors per room. I love to create rooms that are tranquil and peaceful, rooms that take the edge off. I am not trendy, but my rooms might contain a trendy object or two. I want to create spaces that will be appropriate and valid in twenty years, not something that bears an expiration date. Most of all, my style is really my client’s style, I am just a vehicle that is used for their self expression and happiness.

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PC: Has living in the South influenced your aesthetic in any way?

PH: Absolutely! Southerners are very serious about decorating and keeping a proper household. The hallmarks of any great Southern home are that it is clean, welcoming, comfortable, and usually with a relation of indoors to outdoors. Having a beautiful and hospitable space is a way we show love to one another. We love our family heirlooms, as well as the rituals that are passed from generation to generation. I think our homes just mean a lot to us, maybe more so than in other parts of the country. I like to say that decorating in the South is a blood sport!

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PH: Our home is fairly neutral, full of art, books and our favorite objects. Every room is comfortable and intended for us to enjoy it whether we are alone, or with our large family. We moved two years ago to be closer to our kids and grandkids, and we now have the needed toy areas, high chairs and play pens. Jim and I want our house to always feel like a happy house, so whenever the kids come to visit, we make sure all the lights are on, and that it feels inviting and special.

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PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

PH: Mostly to nature. I was raised on the beach in Florida and I think that people who grow up on the water are different. I am very rooted to the sand, water and sky that was so much a part of my life as a child, and I think it shows in my work every day. I think every color, pattern and texture can be found in nature, so that is where my mind usually goes when thinking about where to start with a new project. I know that a lot of people say they are inspired by travel, but travel usually just wears me out. I can find inspiration all around me every day, you just have to look.

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PC: Who are your personal style icons?

PH: I love great Southern female decorators: Jackye Lanham, Bunny Williams, Charlotte Moss, Suzanne Rhinestein . Especially those who carry the torch of Southern decorating in other parts of the country, and never lose their roots.

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PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

PH: Jelly beans and Pinot Noir!

phoebe-howard-greenwich2PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

PH: My husband Jim. We have been married for 30 years and business partners for 20. We have learned over the years that working together has become a mutually rewarding and inspiring experience. Jim is always there for me for help, or advice, or just support. He always listens and is careful with his replies, he is a very thoughtful and purposeful man. I am lucky and I know it.

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PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

PH: Actually the simplest of things: being with my family at a Sunday dinner, enjoying time with our parents, or just sitting on the beach at sunset with our toes in the water, having a cocktail. I am a person who travels a lot and I love to be home not doing very much at all.

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PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

PH: I am currently working on my third book, Coastal Blues: Decorating with the Colors of the Sea and the Sky. It will publish in Spring of 2018. It is all about the color blue, beach houses, and the many complexities and variations of blue and all of it’s combinations. We continue to grow and expand our line of furniture: Mr. and Mrs. Howard for Sherrill Furniture. They have been wonderful partners for us and we continue to create furniture that we find is not in the marketplace, and we buy it not only for our stores, but also for our projects as well. Heading to High Point for our new launch as we speak. Our stores, Mrs Howard, and Max and Company, continue to flourish and are a never ending source of pleasure and inspiration for our loyal and very appreciated customers. I am currently working on decorating projects in Palm Beach, Boca Grande, Jacksonville, , New York, Reno, Charlotte, Atlanta, Asheville, just to name a few. We are heading to Europe for an antique buying trip in a couple of weeks, and also plan to visit our new granddaughter, Violet! We can’t wait to meet her!

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Go-To Outfit: black pencil skirt and a silky top, and they need to travel well!

Style Mantra: Keep it simple

Scent: none, I am allergic to most fragrance

Piece of Jewelry: my heart shaped wedding ring, we got married on Valentines Day

Color I Never Tire Of: Blue

Flower: light pink peonies

Indispensable Design Element: antiques

Era for Design: I love the heyday of the 80”s Mario Buatta times, with all the chintz and tasseled pillows. I miss the exuberance of that decorating style.

Dream Project: Working for clients who are experienced and trusting, and who know what they want

Fabric/Textile: My two favorite companies are Cowtan and Tout, and Rogers and Goffigon. They are my go to’s.

Hostess Gift: I usually take a nice bottle of wine

Meal: grilled salmon and a green salad or vegetables

Drink: I love my two friends Ketel and One

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Drink

3 Things I Love About My City of Jacksonville, FL: The water, the casual attitude, and the close proximity of most of my family

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Weekend Destination: The Hamptons

Hotel: I love the Mark in NY

City: Paris

Museum: The Louvre

Artist: Vincent Van Gogh

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: anything by Al Green

Actor: Maggie Smith

Prized Possession: a stone bear that my brother Wade carved

Risk Worth Taking: Buying really fine antiques for the stores

Greatest Extravagance: Buying expensive cars, its so worth it

Go-To Color Palette: Soft grey blue green and ivory

Rule to Break: Don’t spoil grandchildren

Movie Set Design: Somethings Got To Give

I can never have too many…Books

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The Style Files: Tori Mellott

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{Photography by Brian Boulos}

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Tori Mellott first came across my radar nearly ten years ago when she worked at the original Domino. Two of her tiny, but super chic apartments were featured in the magazine and I remember not only featuring them on my blog, but also pinning tear sheets from the magazine onto my inspiration board prior to Pinterest coming onto the scene. In the years since, Tori has gone on to work as the Design Editor at Traditional Home. I first met her in person five years ago when I was Director of Marketing for Visual Comfort and I would give her and her editorial team tours of the showroom. Now, we often run into each other at industry events such as High Point or the Southern Style Now Showhouse which took place in New Orleans this past May. It’s always fun to see what new products have caught Tori’s eye in each month’s issue of Traditional Home and I also enjoy keeping up with her and her darling twin daughters on Instagram! Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Tori Mellott: Harmoniously conflicting? I like so many different styles, eras, periods, and movements that it’s nearly impossible to label my style – if one can even call it a style. How does one verbally reconcile a humble Indian block print, a heavy-handed piece of Biedermeier furniture,a delicate and very lady-like Haviland china pattern, a tongue-in-cheek Fornasetti pieces, abstract art, too many Parson’s tables for my own good, loads of sickeningly preppy monograms, Louis the XVI seating, and a penchant for Georgian architecture? My point exactly.

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{Tori’s Former Apartment as featured in Domino}

PC: Has living in New York influenced your aesthetic in any way?

TM: My aesthetic has been influenced only in that I’ve been exposed to so much more than I ever would have had I not come to live in NYC 18 years ago. Otherwise, I think my general proclivities have remained constant. Maybe NYC has expanded, finessed, and refined them? Yes, that’s probably a fair assessment.

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{Tori’s Former Apartment as featured in Domino}

PC: What does your home say about you?

TM: Currently, my home says I live with two little girls who love Hello Kitty, Frozen, and the color pink. If you can see past the sea of itty bitty plastic toys, I think my home says I love to read, I love to be comfortable, I love to entertain, I love storage containers, and I love to monogram just about anything! In fact, the more random the item, the better!

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PC: What was your goal in making over your terrace in partnership with ATG Stores?

TM: Sadly, I was not burdened with a trust fund or an extremely wealthy husband (she says in jest), so I have to make do on a budget. In other words, I don’t have the nicest, chicest, or sexiest apartment but I need to work with what I have. I’ve tried to make my modest apartment look as elegant and feel as personal as possible. I am very fortunate in that I actually have an outdoor space in NYC (that is NOT very common amongst the commoners!) and so my goal was to transform what was a very ordinary and generally unappealing outdoor space into something that feels warm, welcoming, and manicured. And outdoor spaced that actually looks like someone cares about it. Mission accomplished. With the help of ATGstores.com my outdoor space looks much more posh than it should but also very welcoming and comfortable. It makes me wish I lived in LA so I could spend time outside all year round.

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{Tori’s Newly Revamped Terrace}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

TM: The list is endless! Everything! My mind for starters. But I also rely on books, magazines, pinterest, instagram, street style, and weirdly music – music and art make my mind race with ideas.   I’m typically looking at architecture and antiques but there are so many contemporary interior designers that inspire me. Alberto Pinto, Jacques Grange, Frederic Mechiche, Nicky Haslam, Daniel Romualdez, Nancy Braithwaite, and, of course, the late Albert Hadley, the late Keith Irvine, and the late Billy Baldwin.

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{Alberto Pinto via Architectural Digest}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

TM: As far as fashion goes, these women have style I greatly admire; Olivia Palermo, Alison Sarofim, Jenna Lyons, Elizabeth Mayhew, Carolina Irving, Miroslava Duma, Kate Lanphear, Elizabeth Blitzer, Mieke ten Have, Beth Dempsey, Barrie Benson, Christina Juarez, Laura Vinroot, Mary McDonald, Kelly Wearstler, Lily Pulitzer, Tinsley Mortimer (I know she’s super unpopular at the moment, but I really like her style. She’s unapologetically girlie and I can relate to that – I’ve never met a bow I didn’t like.).

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PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

TM: It used to be cigarettes, but I quit; so nowadays it’s probably donuts or super spicy potato chips.

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PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

TM: That’s so difficult to answer. Every person I have worked for has touched my life in some way; has opened my mind to something new. I am an amalgam of every person I’ve ever come in contact with. But I would say Marian McEvoy probably had the most profound effect on my personal style. She’s a true original. Completely creative. Nothing about Marian is derivative. She’s the real deal. And of course my experience helping to launch Domino magazine is indescribable and invaluable. I had the best mentors in Dara Caponigro and Sara Ruffin Costello, and then there was the whole business about getting to go to work with all of my very closest friends. That experience is paradoxical. On the one hand, my experience at Domino opened so many doors for me and so many remarkable opportunities just landed at my feet, and yet it also ruined me because now “work” will never be as much fun!

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{Tori’s Terrace}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

TM: Living the sweet life means finding the right work/life balance, it means being able to travel, it means making loved ones and friends a priority. It means taking ones time; not rushing. Being able to enjoy and relish things in real-time rather than Instagram-time. In other words, relying on my actual memory to recount events rather than looking at my Instagram feed to recall or document something. Savoring every experience and forcing oneself to see the bright side of everything.

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{Tori’s Darling Twin Daughters via Instagram}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

TM: I’m trying to complete the interior of my Brooklyn apartment. I used to decorate and re-decorate apartments with lighting speed, but kids make decorating challenging. We’re also doing so much more at Traditional Home, which I’m thrilled about! Look for more online content as well as changes in the print magazine!

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{Lunch on the Terrace | Photos of Tori’s Terrace by Brittany Ambridge}

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Go-To Outfit: White jeans and anything. White jeans are like oxygen to me. You can wear anything with white jeans– tennis shoes, heels, a button down, lacy blouse, fur, sequins, some ridiculous burlap hippie blouse– anything! They are the best invention since blue jeans.

Style Mantra: Don’t try too hard.

Scent: Currently Hermes Voyage d’Hermes

Piece of Jewelry: Gold heart charms I wear around my neck. I have Franny & Lucy’s name hand-engraved on each.

Color I Never Tire Of: Pink

Flower: Hydrangea

Indispensable Design Element: an awning stripe

Era for Design: High 80’s (I love floral chintz and bullion fringe!)

Dream Project: Starting a design firm and getting myself as the first client with an unlimited budget!

Fabric/Textile: Brunschwig & Fils Le Touches

Hostess Gift: Monogrammed tea towels or fresh flowers

Meal: Fried Chicken Sandwich, Truffle Fries, Sautéed Brussels Sprouts, and Bananas Foster

Drink: Chardonnay or Gin & Tonic

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Go on a Pinterest bender

3 Things I Love About My City: the anonymity (nobody even cares about famous people, let alone regular people like me!), the architecture, the competitive energy and spirit.

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Weekend Destination: Hamptons in the summer, LA in the winter

Hotel: Favorite go-to – Sunset Tower   All-time Favorite – Samode Haveli

City: NYC or Pittsburgh

Museum: The Louvre

Artist: always Rene Magritte (such an awesome weirdo!)

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “West End Girls” Pet Shop Boys

Actor: Christopher Guest

Prized Possession: My great-grandmother’s Bible. She made notes, pressed leaves and flowers, and marked important dates on it’s pages. It’s so touchingly personal. Also, a beautifully engraved bracelet my grandmother was given when she turned 16. I hope to give it to my girls when they turn 16 (although they are going to have to share it!)

Risk Worth Taking: I’m very risk-averse these days, so the biggest risk I’m willing to take is ordering white sateen bedding with a monogram in a really weird color. Oh, and put your silver in the dishwasher for Pete’s sake. Spend your time with your kids or family instead of the silver polish.

Greatest Extravagance: In a past life, a Birkin that has long been auctioned off to some lucky soul and I hope they are enjoying it as much as I did! In my current life, fancy hand-smocked dresses for my daughters from Bella Bliss and Spring Flowers.

Go-To Color Palette: pink, red, and purple.

Rule to Break: If you are in design or like design, you are NOT REQUIRED TO HAVE A GALLERY WALL! Seriously, I’m calling for a moratorium on the gallery wall.

Movie Set Design: The Danish Girl

I can never have too many… Gold bracelets and black tights (I always seem to need black tights!)

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The Style Files: Kapito Muller

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I am so excited to share today’s installment of The Style Files with you. Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller are my talented friends who helm the design firm, Kapito Muller in New York. Alyssa and Vivian met while working with Bunny Williams at the beginning of their design career. In the Fall of 2012, they decided to go out on their own and formed a partnership in their eponymous design firm. In the years since, Kapito Muller has become known for its sophisticated, modern interiors with an emphasis on elegant silhouettes, interesting textures, and clean lines. Their work has been featured in Architectural Digest, ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful, and Tradtional Home, who recently named Kapito Muller to their “New Trads” list for 2016. Alyssa and Vivian also happen to have one of my favorite Instagram accounts @kapitomullerinterior. I know that this is only the beginning for this young, talented duo and look forward to seeing many more beautiful and inspiring projects from them in the future. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Alyssa Kapito & Vivian Muller: Clean, tailored, and edited.

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PC: Has living in New York influenced your aesthetic in any way?

AK & VM: Absolutely, when you work primarily in a city, you used to designing smaller spaces. You really need to make every moment count. You kind of become masters of the vignette in a way, as it forces you to focus a lot more on the details.

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PC: What does your home say about you?

AK: Our homes are the places where we really get to try new things unrestricted. I recently moved downtown and the aesthetic is totally different here than on the Upper East Side, which is where I used to live. So, I’m trying something totally new and a lot more eclectic and modern than I’ve ever done before. Crossing my fingers that it all comes together, but that’s the fun of it all! You don’t grow unless you try new things.

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PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

AK & VM: Travel is hugely inspiring for the both of us. Seeing a totally new city and the style that comes with it is so eye opening. Also, staying at a beautiful hotel gives you the opportunity to really live in a space with an entirely new aesthetic. We both just love that. On a recent trip to Stockholm, I got to stay at Ett Hem, which I highly recommend for design lovers. The small boutique hotel was designed by the insanely talented Ilse Crawford and it was totally unlike anything I had ever experienced. I’m pretty sure I’ll never be the same!

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{A Photo from Kapito Muller’s Trip to Stockholm, via their Great Instagram Account @kapitomullerinterior}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

AK & VM: For interiors it’s Jean Michel Frank, Stephen Sills, Thomas O’Brien, and David Netto. For fashion, it’s Mira Duma, Lauren Santo Domingo, Lee Radziwill, and Kate Bosworth post Blue Crush days.

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PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

AK & VM: The spa at the Mandarin Oriental in NYC.

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PC: What do you love most about having a partnership in your design firm? What is the biggest challenge?

AK & VM: Starting a business on your own can be really hard and having someone to do it with is a lot more fun and a lot less stressful. I think the most important thing about having a business partner is being totally honest with each other, which we definitely are! We also have each other’s backs which is really a wonderful thing when facing the wear and tear of running a business.

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PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

AK & VM: We both worked for people who are extremely talented and ran a business the way a business should be run. We also both had, at one point or another, the exact opposite experience as well, and I think we learned just as much from the negative as we did the positive.

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PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

AK & VM: Traveling, eating well, entertaining, and fashion

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PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

AK & VM: We have some amazing projects that we are working on right now and they are all so different from each other! We’re doing a beach house in Belfort, a ground up new-build in Los Angeles, a really luxe pied-à-terre on the Upper West Side, a gorgeous apartment in the West Village overlooking the water, and a bachelor pad in Greenwich Village to name a few. We’re so excited about each of them for different reasons.

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Go to Outfit: A dress, a waist belt, and a great heel

Style Mantra: It should look effortless.

Scent: The smell of fresh lavender

Piece of Jewelry: Hermes Silver Chaine d’Andre Necklace

Color I Never Tire Of: Ivory

Flower: Peonies

Indispensable Design Element: Good proportions are everything

Era for Design: Vivian and I are both obsessed with Bauhaus lately.

Dream Project: Anything with 14 foot ceilings or higher!

Fabric/Textile: We’re crazy for Holland and Sherry fabrics. We use them all the time.

Hostess Gift: Candles make a great gift. Right now, we’re loving Ernesto from Cire Trudon and Blue Garden from Nest.

Meal: French Fries and Mayonnaise

Drink: Aperol Spritz

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Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: A nice dinner with my husband and a glass of wine

3 Things We Love About New York: The food, the people, the style

Weekend Destination: Ocean House in Rhode Island

Hotel: JK Place Capri

City: Milan

Museum: The Picasso Museum in Paris and The Guggenheim in NYC

Artist: Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Anish Kapoor, Chuck Close, Yves Klein, Andreas Gursky, Cy Twombly

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “La Vie en Rose”

Actor: Alicia Vikander, Tom Hanks, Julianne Moore

Prized Possession: AK– A sculpture my mom made in college. I always loved it growing up and she gifted it to me when I got my first apartment.

Risk Worth Taking: Doing what you love as a career.

Greatest Extravagance: Vivian and I both take way too many taxis!

Go-To Color Palette: Neutrals

Rule to break: The whole “no white after Labor Day is the silliest rule”. White is chic always.

Movie Set Design: We both love “A Single Man” and “I Am Love”, which was shot at Villa Cecchi in Milan

I can never have too many… Coffee table books

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{Photography Courtesy of Kapito Muller}