Marks & Frantz in The Wall Street Journal – Mad Maximalism Rules!

Bored with white minimalist interiors? This weekend in The Wall Street Journal, there is an article about Mad Maximalism and Over-the-Top-Notch Decor, featuring a Marks & Frantz designed Family Room. As many of our readers already know, we have a crazy obsession with pattern and color! Sure, we have done neutral rooms for many clients;  but rich, lush color combinations and layered rooms make us breathless! The challenge of creating complex interiors that delight the senses at every glance, while appearing effortless, is not an easy task. For this family room, our client said “more is more, bring it on!”

Family Game Room

“This richly rowdy family room, designed by Marks & Frantz, exemplifies the emerging aesthetic that is making minimalist spaces seem tired and barren” – WSJ. Photo by Marco Ricca

Maximalism, here’s how to pull it off! 

This family room is a classic example of a true maximalist interior! Martina Mondador Sartogo, editor of Cabana Magazine, lists 10 key elements that help to bring maximalism to the mainstream. Below are a few more images of the room to illustrate this aesthetic. Here are some of our favorite rules, a “cheat sheet” for the controlled chaos that is maximalism:

Pass on Pastels – you may want to throw in a neutral for a visual rest, but think big

Embellish the walls – paint, wallpaper, love it all

Look down (and up,) ceilings and floors are super important

Seek out the unique

Provoke with pattern, mix scale and pattern type for full effect

Be patient, ruminate and cultivate

mad maximalism rules

Marks & Frantz Family Game Room

Goodbye to bland and boring…

In a world where Restoration Hardware is democratizing design, maximalism is a feast for the eyes. It calls for individuality and personality. It reflects the mind of a collector, the wanderlust of a traveler and the heart of a dreamer. In a time of uncertainty, maximalism is a breath of fresh air.

Family Game Room

Custom biscuit-tufted sofa designed by Marks & Frantz for EF-LM Atelier collection. Sofa fabric is Dedar’s new Splendido velvet. Wall paper is Miami from Cole & Sons

Comfort is key

Another key attribute to a maximalist interior is the desire to walk in and stay a while. The room must be comfortable and inviting. It should evoke the desire to curl up in a corner with a book and sip bourbon with your besties. It should harken back to a time before cell phones, encourage family time and play time.

Family Game Room

Cozy corner banquette designed by Marks & Frantz and constructed by Marks and Tavano is the perfect complement to the shagreen John Lyle game table: backgammon on one side, flips over for chess! The painting on the left is Shawn Delaney and on the right is Eugene Brodsky, both at Sears Peyton Gallery, NYC

 

Custom Game Room

Custom window treatments by Marks & Tavano, drapery fabric from Dedar. Custom shuffleboard table designed specifically for this room; Venture Shuffleboards

 

Family Game Room

Custom backgammon table from Alexandra Llewellyn and a silver and gold vintage palm tree from Newel brightens up a corner.

 

Luxury Game Room

Pair of crystal starburst chandeliers from Matthews Studio and a vintage heriz from JD Oriental anchor the room, design by Marks & Frantz

We are so honored to be in the company of other maximalist “experts” Kati Curtis Design, Alexa Hampton and Michelle Nussbaumer. Thank you again Wall Street Journal and @WSJlife! 

breakfast nook

Breakfast nook by Kati Curtis Design is a perfect example of mixing scale to create visual harmony. 

 

Alexa Hampton’s very own maximalist bedroom “My version of maximalist is to have a lot of the same color, which allowed me to mix disparate elements but have a veneer of similitude.”

 

library

Michelle Nussbaumer’s Dallas library is another great example of how to layer patterns and play with scale.

Some of our favorite partners in pulling off our luxurious interiors and in creating this spectacular family room:

Edward Ferrell – Lewis Mittman for all custom upholstery designed by Marks & Frantz, and to purchase the sofa and swivel chairs shown above. All fabrics in the rooms are from Dedar. Antiques were procured from our most beloved secret sources: JD Oriental Rugs, High Style Deco, , Area ID and Newel Gallery.

Many of our secret sources for custom games are as follows:

Alexandra Llewelyn for the portable backgammon table with inlaid stones and exotic hardwoods.

John Lyle for exquisite game table made from shagreen and ivory. for chess and checkers

Custom-sized shuffleboard table from Venture Shuffleboard, because everyone should own one! 

Contact Us

Have an upcoming design project that you’ve been thinking of and don’t know where to start? 

Click here to arrange a no-cost consultation. We’re looking forward to the conversation.

Lydia Marks & Lisa Frantz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pink and Green, and other delightfully crazy color combos

Mixing, matching and combining  pink and green color combos is a delicate art form and we relish the challenge! When you put two colors together in a home, the first question to ask: do they marry well? Blend like old friends? Or clash like arch enemies? Combining unusual color combos feel intuitive and emotional, but there is actually a science behind it. All colors are made up of different proportions of the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. The color wheel exists to calculate the relationships between these colors. Some colors on opposite sides of the wheel are meant to balance each other, like pink and chartreuse. Other colors that are adjacent on the wheel can feel edgy and create a push and pull, like blue and yellow. Please join us for winter Fridays as we chase away the cold weather blues with crazy color inspiration!

PINK and GREEN

Pink and green are classic examples of colors that are on the opposite side of the color spectrum. Complimentary hues of pinks and greens can work in stylish harmony. These color combos can scare many who may see visions of Lilly Pulitzer and other ghosts of preppy past! If Palm Beach preppy is not the look that you are going for, don’t fear, it’s all about getting the dose and saturation right! 

pink and green color combos

Nantucket living room

Color combos of pink and green for the younger set! 

Interior Designers who do crazy color combos so well….

 

Fabric companies who do crazy color combos so well….

Tips for making color combos of pink and green work:

  • Add in some black and white, they will act as unifiers
  • Play with saturation: the palest pink acts as a neutral against a bold and vibrant green, like kelly.
  • Try accents in the color range. If you are using carnation and grass green, try accents in either fuschia or mint. Don’t overdo it, just one small accent will give you an edge.

Art for Charity in NYC this season

As we head into the holiday season and in the spirit of giving, we wanted to share some of the art for charity events that have caught our eye in and around the interior design industry in New York City this month. Design-related charity events are super important to us for many reasons. We get to showcase our work, usually in a fantastical environment that is similar to something we might create for a client, but on steroids and completely over-the-top! At the same time, it enables us to give back  to causes that are important to us.  We are avid participants in design industry-related events that include DIFFA’s Dining by Design, Housing Works Design on a Dime, Holiday House (charity to raise breast cancer awareness,)  Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut and Kip’s Bay Boys & Girls Club. In the spirt of giving, we are showcasing other talented designers who are creating art for charity every Tuesday thru the end of the holiday season.  A big thank you goes to Alison Draper of Halstead Realty for turning us on to so many cool events happening around NYC! Alison’s monthly e-blast, Inbox Concierge,  has been a great resource for cool things to do in New York City, click here to subscribe

Canstruction

November 3, 2016 – November 16, 2016

An extraordinary annual design competition to benefit the most unique food charity, Canstruction, challenges teams of architects, engineers, and contractors to build sculptures made entirely out of unopened cans of food. The idea of Canstruction was inspired by a group of New York Architects and Engineers in 1992 as a way to unite the design, engineering and construction industry. Recognized for their commitment to art, innovation and hunger relief, the art exhibitions and events have grown globally and have helped raise over 40 million pounds of food that is distributed on a local level.

In NYC, this event is sponsored by Arts Brookfield. The large scale structures are placed on display and later donated to City Harvest for distribution to those in need. These amazing sculptures will be on display at Brookfield Place in Battery Park City (230 Vesey Street) from 10a-8p. Images below are some of the winners from past years.  

art for charity marks and frantz nyc skyline

art for charity marks and frantz minions

Art for charity marks and frantz rhino

art for charity marks and frantz snailed it

Snailed It! MTFA Architects Arlington, VA

270203_6290e024305a450f8080e9f39c91ff35mv2

 

art for charity marks and frantz skull

NYC Studios

nyc_gms_2013_best-labels-03-low

 

Everything Old is New Again

Yesterday, I installed a chair for a dear client.  It was a chair that had sentimental value to him and he wanted it recovered in a fabric that had some meaning as well.  This client is a huge fan of Art Deco and has a lot of art deco patterns and furniture pieces in his home.

The fabric that fit the bill was Schumacher’s gorgeous reproduction of Less Gazelles au Bois in black. Originally designed by Pierre Pozier in 1927, this iconic print of the leaping gazelles ended up decorating the ballroom of the new Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in 1931, when it moved to Park Avenue. Quite an honor for a brave new design! Very surprisingly, I could not find a great image of the fabric in the ballroom – so here is a picture of Marlene Dietrich at the April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf!

art deco Marlene Dietrich April in Paris Ball at the Waldorf

After we installed the chair into my client’s home, I started thinking more about this time in NYC, this fabric and the exquisite pattern/metallic colors. The hotel itself was heralded by President Hoover “The opening of the new Waldorf Astoria is an event in the advancement of hotels, even in New York City. It carries great tradition in national hospitality…marks the measure of nation’s growth in power, in comfort and in artistry…an exhibition of courage and confidence to the whole nation…”  The suites were named after their most interesting guests: The Cole Porter Suite, The Royal Suite named for the Duke and Dutchess of Windsor, The MacArthur Suite and the Churchill Suite.

There is so much amazing history there – probably deserves it’s own blog post at some point.  But, for now, we can feast our eyes on some of the great new ways this pattern is being used in 2015! Lisa Perry’s gown at Barney’s

art deco inspired fashion design

 

Dempsey and Carroll’s stationary is so beautiful.  I would love this for my birthday… tomorrow… hint hint hint…. schumacher-gazelle art deco inspired stationary

 

DIFFA’s Dining by Design: Hollywood’s Golden Age

When the New York Design Center (200 Lex) asked us to partner with them to create a dining environment for the 2015 DIFFA’s Dining by Design event, we were thrilled. It has always been a favorite event in the design industry, and 200 Lex has long been a generous supporter of DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS). We were excited to take part. Inspired by the black-and-white and gilded all-over aura of the golden age of Hollywood, we fashioned a glamorous dining pavilion.

Golden Age of Hollywood inspired design for DIFFA

Golden Age of Hollywood inspired design for DIFFA with Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz

Furnished entirely by the high-end showrooms in 200 Lex, we gathered items to create a sophisticated and pattern-rich tableau, to set a scene where dinner was to be held on-stage in a gleaming “dining room.” Our table-scape featured fretwork mirrors, deco-inspired wall sconces and a chandelier. A featured hue was emerald, with silk by Kravet upholstering 18 Celerie Kemble for Henredon dining chairs. Beyond the “stage,” an audience from a vintage black and white image looked on from orchestra, mezzanine and balcony.

Golden Age of Hollywood inspired table setting

We thought it would add touch of fun if the viewpoint of this dining environment was from the backstage, framed by the backs of scenery flats, a makeup table and an “On-air” sign.

Golden age of Hollywood inspired design at DIFFA

The New York chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) named our golden age of Hollywood inspired table Best in Show, and the design press and bloggers were very generous in their coverage, but we must confess, this was our favorite, New York legend Bill Cunningham putting us in the Style section:

Marks & Frantz_DIFFA_NYT

As always, we’re so grateful to the design companies and artisans who loaned, donated and gave their time and effort to help us create this.

Furnishings donated by:

Cassandra Occasional Chairs by Celerie Kemble for Henredon

Mark Double Pedestal Table by Kindel

Hanley Large Chandelier by Arteriors

Lulu Floor Lamps by Amanda Nisbet for Niermann Weeks

Baron Wall Sconces by Currey & Co.

Metro Wall Sconces by Currey & Co.

Cicero Obelisks by Currey & Co.

Corrugated Bamboo Cachepots by Global Views

Aqua Peacocks by Global Views

Minstrel Gold Dinnerware by Lenox through Richard Cohen Collection

Tabletop by annieglass through Richard Cohen Collection

Flatware by Nambe through Richard Cohen Collection

Glassware by Michael Wainwright through Richard Cohen Collection

Votives by Orrefors Kosta Boda through Richard Cohen Collection

Chair Fabric Bengal Silk Emerald by Kravet

Table Runner fabric DVF Mini Deck by Kravet

Drapery Fabric 33119.8 by Kravet

Wallpaper GP&J Baker Fretwork Foil Black and Gold by Lee Jofa

Floor Covering Labyrinth Black and Beige by Cole & Son for Kravet

Black Tassels by Kravet

Participating Artisans:

Structure fabricated by DCM Fabrication

Floral by Aisling Flowers/Tess Casey

Backdrop by Drop Shop NYC

Upholstery and drapery by Marks & Tavano Workroom

Photos in this post courtesy of The New York Design Center: Darren Ornitz

Devil Wears Prada Interior Design

Behind the scenes: The Devil Wears Prada

Miranda Priestly’s Office in The Devil Wears Prada. As far as film sets go, those words can usually conjure a pretty clear picture of what that room looks like. Most of us know the iconic film still taken on the set: the powerful superiority of the beautiful, composed, and successful boss peering down at her anxious, cute, and uneasy employee. The Devil Wears Prada office itself seems very hard lined and sleek in this image.

DWP film still

But what is captured in this still is not the whole picture. When I decorated the film set on The Devil Wears Prada it was very important to us that it feel layered and interesting.  The hard edged metal “desk”, really a dining table from Kartell, was given a layer of depth and warmth with a piece of amber glass on top of it. This addition of glass gave a warm but sleek shine that the metal alone did not achieve. The console table to the left of the desk is a fabulous vintage table by Mastercraft, textured brass and burled wood combine to create a rich warmth that helps bring some visual tension into the set – a push/pull of metals and materials.

Devil Wears Prada design by Lydia Marks

Miranda was a very well traveled and artistic character who had a taste for the finest things — and a mission to make the world desire them. I felt that in order to inspire on that level, Miranda needed to have her own eclecticism. Without that, her office would be rote. Adhering to every rule is not what makes a Miranda Priestly.

Devil Wears Prada design by Lydia Marks

One of the pieces I love in this office is the little french deco table that sits in back of her desk. Its curvy delicate quality in combination with B&B Italia chairs (upholstered in an unexpected green) nicely illustrate that design intention.

The-Devil-Wears-Prada-design by Lydia Marks

I think my favorite piece from the set though is the mirror over Miranda’s desk. We knew we wanted a mirror there – and we combed NYC and 1st Dibs to find the perfect one. We did hours of searching, show-and-tells with actors and directors, nothing felt right. One Saturday morning I found it, the perfect mirror, in a junk shop in upstate NY for $40.00.  With the help of my Scenic Department, we painted it, leafed it, stripped it, and painted it again, until we got it exactly right. We hung it up before call and everyone came in to start the first day of shooting on the set. No one asked to see another option! We had found the perfect final piece of the set.

Because we decorated a room for the Dering Hall‘s virtual show house, with all of the items selected from the New York Design Center, I thought it might be a good time to go behind the scenes a bit!  Hope it was fun to read!  Enjoy the showhouse. 

Contact Us

Have an upcoming design project that you’ve been thinking of and don’t know where to start? Click here to arrange a complimentary consultation. We’re looking forward to the conversation.

Lydia Marks & Lisa Frantz

Hotel Design: The patterns of Loews Chicago Hotel

I am often inspired by hotel design. Usually, it is the boutique hotels that take chances in their styles, colors, and originality. For obvious reasons, the smaller boutique hotels are able to do it and therefore can easily reflect the vibe of the place you are visiting. The larger hotels often seem to reflect only their own corporate branding. That’s why I was so surprised by the hotel design at the Loews Chicago Hotel.

hotel design

The elevator at the Lowes Chicago Hotel. Featuring a poem by Carl Sandburg.

hotel design

Patterned carpets with “urban” motifs.

hotel design

Printed wall coverings – glass towers refracting light.

hotel design

Hotel Design

Their brand new glass high-rise building in the Streeterville neighborhood was designed by Chicago architects Solomon Cordwell Buenz, developed by the DRW Trading Group of Chicago, and the interior design is by Simeone Deary Design Group. The hotel design is brave and bold and gives the guests of the hotel a strong sense of place. There are elements that reference the architecture of Mies van der Rohe and Louis Sullivan. There are patterns and textures that call to mind Chicago’s industry, railroads and even their literary past. The elevators are inscribed with Carl Sandburg’s poem “Chicago”. I love this idea – why not read some local poetry instead of staring off into the middle distance?

hotel design

Yes! Patterns on the ceiling!

hotel design

And in the metal work.

hotel design

Patterns on the mantel in the lobby.

hotel design

Neutral furniture on patterned carpet.

hotel design

Carpet with an “urban” motif.

hotel design

More metal patterns on the ceiling.

hotel design

And awesome metal patterns on the walls.

 

 

Trade secrets! From Set Decoration to Interior Design

Please join us tomorrow at the D&D for a talk:  “From Set and Screen to Living Room: The Set Decorator and the Interior Designer.”  I will be on a panel discussion with Cathy Whitlock,  film historian, designer Marshall Watson (his line at Lewis Mittman has graced the sets of the new Katie Couric show). and Ann Maine, editor in chief of Traditional Home, will be the moderator.  For more information and the address, click here.


Design*Sponge Interview

Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge.  We talked about set decoration, interior design , and of course, wallpaper!

The radio station, Heritage Radio, where we did the interview was really great – in the back of the super popular Brooklyn restaurant Roberta’s Pizza.  Check out Heritage Radio’s great programming here.   I hope you enjoy the interview!!

Who Made That?

A great, brief history of the butterfly chair — a classic design for more than 50 years.  From the Sunday NY Times magazine.  Written by By HILARY GREENBAUM and DANA RUBINSTEIN.  Read their piece here.  I personally love the chair because its a fun shape, lots of color choices and is so transitional – for both indoors and out.

From The Brick House


Rachel Smith, Photographer

Canadian House and Home, Stacey Brandford

from Apartment Therapy

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