The Style Library

Curating & cataloging all things beautiful.



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The Style Lab peeks inside the home of the Style Librarian.



Spring Makeover
I am a newly minted mommy and being pregnant in Chicago, mid-winter with rapidly expanding ankles was not a pretty thing. From the eighth month mark onwards, I really gave up. Now, I am emerging from hibernation. Spring! New clothes! First up, some new shoes.

Spring Color
My personal design style leans towards neutrals with pops of color, but I am in awe of the color in this space by Belmont Design Group. The combination of aqua with camel and bright pink is fresh and exuberant. The gold accessories add a warm sparkle to the space. And the use of white and black in any palette is a designer’s trick. A touch of white will brighten up any palette while black serves to ground the space and draws your eye’s attention.

Nice Package
My husband calls me a marketer’s dream because I am a huge sucker for great packaging design. One look at this tea tin from Bellocq Tea Atelier and I’m convinced it has to be amazing. Look at that container with those colors and that typography. Beautiful. Drink up!

Color Palette
Currently, one of my color combination favorites is grey and yellow. It can be utilized in a modern or sophisticated way. This space featured in Chicago Home + Garden by Summer Thornton is both. As a designer, I often dissect other people’s work to determine what useful things I can learn to apply to my own. Besides the stunning color combination, I like the use of alternating matte and shiny silk pillows in mustard yellow to create visual texture. Lovely.

Acquiring Artwork

Like most everyone, acquiring real grown-up furniture wasn’t an option or concern during my nomadic college years. But there came a point in my mid-twenties when I decided I could no longer buy disposable or temporary furniture and homegoods.

Now in my thirties, I wonder if I’m late to the game when it comes to acquiring real artwork. I have one canvas that I bought and painted myself and a watercolor painting of my mom’s - given to her by a boy who had a crush on her in college. Even if that boy did win an award in some competition, I question if I have artwork of any consequence. Does that even matter? If it means something to you…is that what lends it significance? If so, then my wall of photos featuring the feet of my family on our travels certainly falls into that category.

My friend Elizabeth loves Charley Harper and has his prints throughout her apartment. My friend Brooke has everything from Hatch Show Prints to Francine Turk sketches and commissioned a fun painting of the beloved family dog. My friend Oliver is a very serious art collector, using his city home as a experimental gallery of sorts. He seeks out up-and-coming new artists and his homes are filled with oil paintings and conceptual installations. He has so much, he has to loan out artwork as if he were a museum and rotate his collections from walls to storage.

At work, we have reps who help us and our corporate clients source artwork. Just like me, our clients often struggle with artwork - balancing need and budgets. A rule of thumb taught to us by Artists Frame Service is for good, better and best scenarios. You should aim to spend $1/SF, $2/SF and $3/SF respectively.

Armed with this knowledge, my 1000 square foot apartment deserves an artwork budget between $1000-$3000. That’s not enough to afford a Damien Hirst spot painting or a Roberto Dutesco wild horse photo, but it has given me someplace to start. Happy collecting!

(Photo source: Elle Decor, October 2010, Photographer: William Abranowicz, Designer: Mark Cunningham, Homeowner: Drew Aaron and Hana Soukupova )

Soiled Glamour
A Marilyn Minter photograph turned wall covering called Kick Silver for Maharam Digital Projects.

When I cannot bear outer pressures anymore, I begin to put order in my belongings…As if unable to organize and control my life, I seek to exert this on the world of objects.

Anaïs Nin

Pretty Polished

One of the perks of working in interiors is that we receive some pretty cool things. My coworker Bridget was the lucky recipient of this fun little nail polish from our Knoll rep in their logo’s signature color.

Father’s Day
A genius, single malt scotch whisky and Shwood sunglasses box set  from NOTCOT. Put something together like this for your Dad! Macallan 18 is so good, I drink it neat. Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there.

Turquoise Foo Dogs
A Chinese representation of lions, these come from Pearl River -  and are a much more reasonable price than the ones found in boutique stores. They come in pairs, boy and girl, and are actually emblematic of protection or guardianship.

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