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  • September 30, 2014

Design by Nancy Robinson - Ladue News: Design

Design by Nancy Robinson

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Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 1:43 pm, Thu Dec 12, 2013.

Hang Time

There’s no question about it: St. Louisans love silver, especially old-school vintage pieces with the look of coin silver. It’s now possible to have it literally hanging around 24/7, thanks to these new light fixtures that incorporate silver flatware as a decorative element. Troy Lighting’s Bistro kitchen fixture blends classic hand-worked iron and elegant crystal with spoons, forks and knives in one conversation-starting piece. Another charmer: the Spoondelier from Cake Vintage featuring old teaspoons. Each one is made to order.

Happiness Booster: Small Décor Changes Can Improve Mood

A new survey by home-fashion retailer HomeGoods found that home decor has a definite impact on mood. Approximately 93 percent of Americans surveyed say a room’s décor can positively or negatively affect their mood, and almost all (99 percent) believe that décor updates could make them feel happier. Additional findings about the connection between the state of décor and mood uncovered by the HomeGoods survey include:

• More than three-quarters of Americans have at least one room in their home that needs attention.

• More than half haven’t made the home décor changes they want because it’s too expensive.

• Exactly half of those surveyed say they have at least one room in their home that feels unfinished even though it is fully furnished.

• The room that most negatively impacts mood is the bedroom. About half of survey participants who’d like to improve their décor felt that the bedroom would benefit most from small changes.

• Good lighting makes a big difference. Among those who have a room that negatively affects their mood, almost half felt that better lighting could improve it.

• Decorative accents can provide a boost of happy: 37 percent of those with a room that negatively affects their mood felt that adding new decorative accessories would have a positive impact.

• A pop of color may be just the pick-me-up you need, according to 39 percent who felt that updating a color palette would have a positive influence on mood.

• Stylish organization is important. In fact, 22 percent of survey participants believe it would have the greatest positive impact of all changes they could make.

The take-away? Think about easy updates, especially those that don’t involve a lot of time or money, if that’s what’s holding you back and preventing you from making positive changes. Get organized, refresh your bedding, change your lighting, or just add some colorful pillows to make your rooms happier places.

Ladue Native Launches Company Specializing in Handmade Artisan Textiles

After years of working in the arts and international development, Ladue native Christina Bryant has launched stfrank.com, a socially responsible e-commerce website specializing in custom-framed handmade textiles sourced from artisans in low- and middle-income countries. A 2002 graduate of MICDS, Bryant shopped the globe to curate the collection, working with artisan organizations, including those reviving lost crafts and utilizing organic materials and environmentally friendly methods.

St. Frank carries works from Senegal, Mexico, Laos, and Mali, as well as one-of-a-kind suzanis and kilims from Turkey and Uzbekistan. Bold in pattern and color, and rich in heritage and craftsmanship, St. Frank offers unique options in wall décor for chic and cultivated collectors. “I wanted to make the unique and beautiful art I found in isolated communities around the world accessible to people everywhere, while providing talented artisans with a global market for their work,” Bryant explains.

As for the company name, she says it pays homage to the company’s hometown, San Francisco, and also celebrates the company’s ancestral namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, son of a wealthy textile merchant, who dedicated his life to the poor.

Bryant’s father, Donald Bryant Jr., is the founder/owner of Bryant Family Vineyard in Napa Valley and the Bryant Group, Inc. of St. Louis. Her mother, Barbara Bryant, authored with St. Louisan Betsy Fentress The Bryant Family Vineyard Cookbook: Recipes from Great Chefs and Friends and the just-published Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture, authored with Fentress and Lynda Balslev.

 

Ken Stuckenschneider’s Top 10

Ken Stuckenschneider is one of St. Louis’s brightest designers with an aesthetic and talent second to none. A top-drawer decorator, he cut his teeth at Robert A.M. Stern Architects in New York City, where he worked as head of the interior design department, managing some 20 designers and projects around the globe. Prior to that, Stuckenschneider earned a master’s degree in interior design at Pratt Institute in New York and a degree in art history from Washington University in St. Louis. He’s worked on a variety of high-end residential, academic and commercial interiors, ranging from a seaside beachfront property featured on the cover of Architectural Digest to the award-winning renovation of the famous McKim, Mead & White Baker Library at Harvard Business School. We recently caught up with the peripatetic designer and asked him to share a few of his favorite things—those special elements that help transform a house into a warm and welcoming home.

Home Fragrance: Myrrhe candles from Diptyque Paris. This wonderful incense fragrance reminds me of the rituals of the Roman Catholic Mass and reminds me that the making of a home is a special act to be cherished while nurturing the soul.

Lighting: Swing-arm light fixtures from Ann Morris Antiques in New York. I have these specially made for my clients in unlaquered brass, which then tarnishes and turns over time, acquiring a marvelous real patina reflecting the glow of beautiful incandescent light.

Upholstery: Without a doubt, the Bridgewater down-filled sofas I have made by Jonas, upholsterers to the trade in New York City. It never ceases to amaze me how many people have several comfortable European cars in their garage—and yet their sofas are filled with polyester and very uncomfortable! Well, they need to relax on one of my sofas. The arms allow you to take a nap propping your head up just so with a lumbar pillow. They are a great investment and can be reupholstered as needed. I have one at my country house and nap there on the weekends—always sharing it with the dog, of course!

Dining Details: Round tables in round rooms. Very elegant and special.

Floor Covering: I have great floor cloths specially made in a church basement where we sew together pieces of Middle Eastern tent canvas and create the most durable and chic architectural patterns.

Wall Covering: Hand-painted gilded wall panels from Gracie in New York. They create extraordinary ambience.

China: I love using unique, vintage patterns from China Finders here in St. Louis on Cherokee street. I recently purchased a set vintage 1960s Lenox pattern called Starlight that is wonderfully detailed.

Home Accessories: A loving couple, happy kids, a tail-wagging dog and a fluffy fat cat.

“My favorite thing of all is designing houses where everything is used and lived in,” Stuckenschneider concludes. “Everything is real—no artificial flowers, no fake fruit, no roped-off rooms. There are comfortable sofas filled with down and feathers, and beds that you can just jump in and go to sleep. A friend of mine once came to the house I grew up in and said, I love coming to your house because there are no roped-off rooms, no lines that cannot be crossed. My parents always had an extraordinarily comfortable home, and I have been recreating those rooms all around the world ever since.”

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