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Exclusive: A Look Inside Elle Decor’s Modern Life Concept House

Friends since our Design Club High School days, before the word blog existed, it is a treat to be asked by Caitlin to be her New York City contributor for Sacramento Street. As an Interior Designer in New York City, Sacramento Street is my go to Lifestyle Blog for design for a West Coast perspective. It is truly an honor to be apart of such an inspiring blog.

To kick it off I had a chance to work with the talented photographer Jamie Beck, from the blog From Me To You, to cover the Elle Decor Modern Life Concept House in New York’s Chelsea gallery district. The ten Interior Designers selected by Elle Decor were each assigned a room and paired with vendors to create their vision in two, two bedroom apartments. After a quick sweep through both, I was drawn to the east apartment 10C featuring designers Beth Martin, Sara Story, Grant K. Gibson and Aurelien Gallet.

Beth Martin, one of Elle Decor’s A- List Designers to Watch in 2011, was selected to do the Living Room with Calligaris. New York City ‘alumni’ and now San Franciscan, Martin says the best thing about leaving New York after ten years was putting away her high heels! “New York has a masculine energy,” says Martin “I wanted this space to have the same energy, yet sexy with feminine elements through lyrical feminine forms in the artwork and walking female figure sculpture.”

The juxtaposition carried through out from the cement and metal base coffee table that sat on the soft white alpaca rug, layered with books, a large wicker tray and rock crystal paperweight, to the textured columns that were covered in a slightly metallic cork wallcovering takes the Living Room from cold modern to organic industrial chic.

One of my favorite pieces in the Living Room was the bark covered ‘Giacometti esque’ arm chair – a piece of art rather than a place to sit. Placed next to it, in perfect contrast, was a sculptural steel floor lamp with a single exposed filament bulb from, a new favorite source of mine, Battersea. Check out the rest of their inventory from vintage trunks to Moroccan pottery on 1st Dibs.

Martin’s design flows seamlessly into fellow San Franciscan and A-List Designer to watch in 2010, Grant K. Gibson’s Kitchen and eat in Dining Room with Bosch. Known for his “well edited, classic spaces that are not only beautiful but functional”, Gibson’s design is clean, simple and clever! My favorite part had to be the use of take out menu pages as the Kitchen backsplash – how genius and something anyone can do on their own. What would you use – newspaper? wrapping paper? pages from your favorite book?

The Concept House is open to the public now for three weekends until June 5th. If your in New York, make sure to put it on you weekend to do list and don’t forget to grab a copy of the June Elle Decor to see who else made the A-List!

Until next month,


*Photo: All images taken by the talented Jamie Beck exclusively for Sacramento Street


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