Here’s a little secret—interior designers love the genre of literature known as “coffee table books.” They gleefully collect stacks and stacks of their favorite tomes on interior design, photography, art, and the like. These books are perfect for flipping through for inspiration—and for excellent for creating vignettes around a space (the ultimate dual-purpose prop). We polled our designers for their faves, including some from our friends at Phaidon. Go ahead—get reading.

What’s the best looking book that you love to display on a coffee table or console?
Ariel Okin: Lee Radziwill—it’s so elegant and subtle, just like Lee herself.

Mackenzie Madsen: Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty from the Met exhibition. His pieces are breathtaking works of art and it reminds me of how much I loved experiencing such a beautifully curated exhibit.

Nicole Fisher: Hands down, Tom Ford. It’s such a simple, yet striking coffee table display that looks sharp even by itself.

Molly Torres: I’m loving the rich pops of blue in Ward Bennett and Yves Saint Laurent Accessories. Both pair well with Georgia O’Keeffe, a personal favorite for its cover and subject matter. I’m also into Snarkitecture—the visionary design studio’s amorphous book cover is tranquil and effortless. The materials-focused series by William Hall (Concrete, Brick, and Wood) work perfectly when paired together or mixed in with other books.

Jordan Shields: Fashion photography books are always my go-tos. I like to open them up to different sets of photographs every once in awhile to change it up. Factory: Andy Warhol really capture a really interesting array of art, fashion, and architure, which is great.

Carly Bristol: Suzanne Kasler: Timeless Style—the simple grey and white binding is right up my alley!

Design: Jae Joo; Photo: Nick Glimenakis
Above: Design: Tali Roth; Photo: Genevieve Garruppo

What’s your favorite design book?
Ariel Okin: Mark D. Sikes’ Beautiful is at the top of my list. I constantly refer back to it for inspiration. The Art of Elegance by Marshall Watson, the Vogue Living books, and Carrier & Co’s book are also favorites.

Anna Kroesser of Kroesser + Strat: This isn’t design but Annie Leibovitz SUMO—it’s huge and awesome.

Mackenzie Madsen: Any of Axel Vervoordt’s books. His work is minimal, timeless, earthy, rich, and perfect.

Amanda Sacy: The first design book, and most useful through the years, has been my Interior Graphic and Design Standards book. I have had a love/hate relationship with it; we are currently on good terms. It is an amazing reference for space planning.

Margo Nathanson: So many! One of them is called California Design: The Legacy of West Coast Craft and Style, by Jo Lauria and Suzanne Baizerman. What I love about it is that it speaks to the style I see here on the West Coast, which is so obviously eclectic. It reflects the marriage of nature and the built environment and the uniqueness of the West Coast.

Lauren Martin-Moro: Ibiza Bohemia!!!

Kerry Vasquez: Nothing is more classic California design than Mid-Century Modern and California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way catalogs some of the most iconic designs of that era.

Jordan Shields: I am a huge admirer of Tadao Ando, so really enjoy The Colours of Light Volume 1.

Design: Crystal Sinclair, Photo: Genevieve Garruppo

What’s the last design book you purchased? Any book you’re excited about any new titles coming up?
Ariel Okin: I just preordered Veere Grenneyand and Paloma Contreras’ new books, as well as a new book about Bunny Mellon’s gardens. They all publish in the fall and I can’t wait! (I am a complete design book hoarder.) From an informative standpoint, New York School of Interior Design’s new tome Home: The Foundations of Enduring Spaces is truly wonderful and highly educational; I’ve been recommending it to every designer I know!

Amanda Sacy: The last design book I purchased was Styled by Emily Henderson. I am excited for Taschen’s Living in Morocco to come out

Margo Nathanson: The last I purchased is called A Modern World: American Design from the Yale University. I see so many echoes of Art Deco in the current trends, and I wanted to dig in and see if there were any parallels between what was happening then, and what’s happening now in society. It’s also a great reference book and looks good on my coffee table!

Deanna Dewey: I repurchased Rebecca Atwood’s book Living with Pattern after I gifted my copy to a client who fell in love with the Atwood pillows I selected for her sofa.

Molly Torres: John Derian Picture Book, serious eye candy and a great conversation starter!

Design: Emma Beryl; Photo: Nick Glimenakis

Say you were working with a client and they need to start a collection, what five books would you recommend?
Ariel Okin: Beautiful by Mark D. Sikes, Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People, Vogue Living: Country, City, Coast, The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd, Beauty at Home by Aerin Lauder.

Mackenzie Madsen: Any of Mario Testino’s books they are always super sexy. Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016 Slipcase Edition. Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table. David LaChapelle: Lost + Found. John Pawson’s Spectrum.

Megan Born: I think it’s so important that my client appreciates the subject matter of the books so I always ask if they have any favorite hobbies, places they’ve traveled, icons, etc. From there I will find books that relate to them in hopes that not only will the books look great in their home, but they might flip through them too!

Annouchka Engel: I get asked that question a lot, here is what I wrote my last client: French Interiors, Helmut Newton Portraits, Villa Astor, The Kinfold Entrepreneur, Donald The Book, Remodelista Organized Simple Stylish, Drink Pink, Rover, Quintessential Kitchens by Matthew Quinn: Volume One, Out East Houses & Gardens in the Hamptons,  Art House.

Want our designers to do more than spruce up your shelves? Sign up for Homepolish today.

On June 1st, Saks Fifth Avenue got a mini-makeover. Place by Homepolish, designed by Emma Beryl, took over a section of the first floor, transporting shoppers to what we believe was the very definition of a well-designed life. Cool blue walls interplayed with tonal blue accents and pops of rose and goldenrod, gorgeous furniture and rugs by ABC Carpet & Home, and art from our friends at Uprise Art. We personally would love to get glam everyday at one of Emma’s custom vanities, complete with a backlit mirror and Schumacher wallpaper. You can read more about the designer’s inspiration here.

Being the overachievers that we are, we didn’t just create our first-ever, in-person space for the event. We also produced our first-ever, 20-page printed magazine—featuring a host of brand-new tours, insider designer info, and a rather-tricky crossword—and a selection of limited-edition totes and illustrations of some of our favorite projects.

On Friday morning we kicked things off with a VIP breakfast. Some of our favorite folks and influencers got to check out the space before the throngs of shoppers arrived, while Eric Brief of Crystal Criminals taught us about incorporating the power of crystals into our decor and Stitchroom whipped up custom pillows.

Then we welcomed our friends from goop. Their newest contributing editor and executive producer Andrea Arria-Devoe and editor-in-chief Danielle Pergament, chatted about The New Minimalist Home—and dove deep into the idea of balancing both function and beauty at home. Copious gorgeous flower arrangements don’t hurt—and the goop team was sure to provide

Saturday, we kicked off the weekend with a healthy breakfast discussion on mindfulness and balance with Hannah Bronfman and Ksenia Avdulova of Breakfast Criminals, led by Kim Moreau Jacobs, head of copy and content for Homepolish. The rest of the day was spent enjoying the space, pawing through the Magazine (since that’s what everyone does on Saturday right?).

On Sunday our designers were on-call to answer pressing decor questions. The Designer Genius Bar offered free mini-consultations and complimentary Homepolish totes. Our area was also graced with some pretty cute puppy pop-ins (and free MatchaBar products to help fuel everyone’s design dreams).

On Tuesday night, we culled together some of our favorite ladies in the business to discuss women in design. Moderated by Lindsay Silberman, the digital deputy editor of Elle Decor and Town and Country, the panel was stacked with talents: Danielle Walish, creative director of The Inside, our own Emma Beryl, Tze Chun, founder of Uprise Art, and Elizabeth Rees, founder of Chasing Paper.

The group spoke candidly on about balancing their budding businesses with their day-to-day and personal lives. To add some levity to all that work talk, Aurora Botanica was on-hand teaching everyone how to craft their own beautiful bouquets, illustrator Laura Supnik was creating live artwork, and the signature Homepolish cocktail (The Polished Paloma with Don Julio) was flowing.

Wednesday, we fought off the midweek blues with a DIY Clean Beauty Event with The Moment. Laney Crowell was on-site helping folks make their own natural body scrubs, brow oils, and face masks.

That evening, we closed out Place by Homepolish with a panel discussion featuring some of our favorite people (and more custom pillows from our friends at Stitchroom). Moderated by Stephanie Mark of Coveteur, our panel included Nell Diamond of Hill House Home, textile designer Rebecca Atwood, and Athena Calderone of Eyeswoon, discussing curation versus real life while sipping botanical-inspired cocktails from Ketel One.

We adored seeing so many lovely people in-person. Here’s hoping we see you all again soon.

In the meantime, the best way to see more of us is to sign up for Homepolish today.

When you’re a best-selling author, sommelier, former flamenco dancer, and a world traveler who can speak six languages, your living space has to rise to a certain level.

But, as we all know, it can be very easy to put blinders up when it comes to our own home. After an old friend mentioned that the apartment was looking “shabby and tired” (yikes), this multi-faceted client reached out to Homepolish designer, Deanna Dewey, to create a space that reflected her personality.

“I offered all kinds of ideas to spruce up what she currently had, but two weeks in, she decided on a complete overhaul,” says Deanna. “So I designed a space that has warmth and elegance. We decided to go for a beautiful Mid-Century Modern look and a palette of blues, greys, purples, and black.”

Starting with the entryway, each room is a study in balance. The foyer’s shaded silk wallpaper offers a subtle hit of color and wows with texture. Finished with an antique Venetian mirror, the contrast elevates the space. To keep the vibe from feeling overly fussy, the raw edges and smooth finish of the reclaimed olive wood floating shelf, bench, and coat rack, made by Brian Trudeau of Trudeau Furniture, lend an organic air to the space. Guests walk into a sophisticated-meets-rustic space that balances colors and textures as well as the tenant balances her many skills.

“The project became a blend of what my client loved, what she needed, and what got us both excited,” Deanna explains. “We worked together to find pieces that evoked each style from a sea of vendors; every item and decision was another piece of the puzzle. At the end of the day, it was really about what she loved—and keeping the overall design aesthetic in mind.”

With the goal of a Mid-Century Modern jewel box in mind, Deanna and the client worked tirelessly to source unique vintage and contemporary pieces, plus unique art for each room. Using designer Jean Royere as inspiration, they found some of his original Italian Mid-Century sconces and decided to use them as the dining room’s foundation. The lighting choice offered a rich time period to draw from when selecting furnishings, like the show-stopping bar.

For Deanna, the bold choices are just part of the fun.

“Design around what you love, and keep all the pieces symbiotic with the overall aesthetic—and don’t be afraid to push yourself to add pieces you may think are too far out of the box,” Deanna encourages. “I almost didn’t show my client the bar that I selected. But it ended up being the piece that excited her the most,” Deanna admits. “It reinforced my belief that designers should take chances and go bold.”

The living room feels especially luxe, with the home’s signature mixture of rich textures (velvet sofas) and the clean lines (the glass and warm brass coffee and side tables) on full display. While 1stdibs was the conduit to many of the larger vintage pieces, Deanna and her client dug in local antique stores too. The table lamps we found in nearby Carnegie Hill.

“I recommend being adventurous when shopping for vintage or antiques. Go into those overly cluttered shops, and take your time looking in all the corners. And don’t forget to double back because you’ll always find something that you walked right past the first time through,” Deanna advises. “Each piece we found or created became a new treasure—carefully sourced items she could truly be excited about and fall in love with even more over time.”

And don’t be afraid to reimagine those treasures. Deanna discovered Italian Mid-Century chandeliers and then worked with an electrician to convert them into plug-in pendant lights with a step switch. They paired perfectly with the simple and serene look of the client’s desk and office space.

With the living room and dining room full of striking color and texture, the bedroom needed to feel calm. The clean lines of the canopy bed, side tables, and vanity add an elegant simplicity to the room. Even the artwork by Gee Gee Collins offers minimal silhouettes in black and white compared to the colorful abstract art in the rest of the apartment.

“Having a client that was so game to push the boundaries and was so committed to creating a bold and beautiful space, allowed me to bring a special energy to this project,” Deanna says. “You can see that in the rooms I designed. It didn’t hurt that my client-sommelier always chose the perfect wine to go with the space!”

Pairing wine with a design project? We’ll cheers to that.

Ready to toast to your own perfect space? Sign up for Homepolish today.

For Gunnar Larson, it’s hard not to be drawn into Rebecca Atwood’s designs. The beloved Brooklyn textile designer and artist has amassed a dedicated fan base for her incredible hand-drawn patterns (she even wrote the book on the subject, Living with Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home).

“Her patterns are so organic and fluid,” Gunnar explains. “She really balances this mix of American heritage meets Japanese traditionalism that I can’t resist.”

And so little touches from the designer end up in many of his spaces—her black-and-white dash pattern on an upholstered Mid-Century chair, a wavy blue on the bed here. With that respect in mind, we sent Gunnar to check out  Rebecca’s just-opened Soho store.

The store was something Rebecca had thought about for a bit, but came together by kismet.

“It was something that I was thinking about in our long-term plan, for sure,” Rebecca explains. “The founder of St. Frank was having dinner in my yard one night, and they were doing a pop-up on this block and recommended the space for a pop-up for us. In my mind, I thought ‘Oh if we’re doing it, we’re going all the way. If we’re making a space we want it to be an actual environment, not just white walls where we put up some shelves with our product.’ But this was such a great space. It needed a lot of love, but I adored that the shape was more of a rectangle, and the block is such a great block. I knew this was either going to be easy and work and be something we should do, or it wasn’t.”

A few months later it did. Within two months the lease was signed, and two months later the store was open.

“We really did need all that time,” Rebecca laughs. “The walls were a bright magenta with oil paint, sort of the texture of an orange rind. The lighting left a lot to be desired—black track lighting, no recessed. It was dark back here.”

Rebecca called in a designer friend from her RSDI days, Kate Hamilton Gray to conceive the space while another pal, artist and carpenter Eric Gonzalez create the custom accents. Custom is the key word since the store is short on storage.

“We don’t have a stock room, so we had to figure out how are we going to best use the space, how we could open the area and show everything we wanted to show,” Rebecca explains. “We want the space to feel calm, which when you have pattern can be contradictory.”

For the Atwood team that meant balancing the space’s incredibly details with an airy palette and modern choices. The building was originally an 1800s carriage house, complete with original beams and columns. An exaggerated, modernist arch storage piece calls back to the period, but offers practical adjustable shelves. A bold, leafy, light fixture from Rosie Li makes a statement that feels both glamorous and organic. A light maple wood table contrasts the vintage and antique pieces dotted around the space. All of those mixed materials are meant to imbue the store with a feel that does more than just prompt customers (and fellow designers) to buy.

“Our goal is to inspire our customer—it’s not really just the product we offer,” Rebecca explains. “When we were thinking about the space we thought about having certain areas that more retail-friendly versus designer-friendly. That pillow wall is very much for regular consumers, but the table is less styled so designers can come actually work there. The fabrics on display and all of our patterns are here for people to go through. Each zone within the space is meant to make shopping easier.”

Not only is shopping a breeze, but now so is channeling her enviable style.

“There’s something to be said about how she has tweaked that Cape Cod guest house-style into something that feels both traditional but not like your mother’s house,” Gunnar explains. “Everything’s so well done and executed, but it feels a little fresh and new, so it feels like it’s for you.”

And that’s a feeling Rebecca hopes to keep alive. She’s already found herself making adjustments to new designs and the assortment since talking to customers.

“It’s been really awesome to get to see everything in a space where we are styling it and pulling that vision to life so it’s not just a photo, but an experience people can walk into,” she explains. “It’s going be so nice to change the store out, I’m already thinking about what color to paint the wall for the fall.”

Visit Rebecca Atwood’s store at 175 A Mott St, New York, NY 10012 or shop her textiles online.

Want Gunnar to help bring your designs to life? Sign up for Homepolish here.

From June 1 to June 6, we launched our first-ever, in-person, design experience at Saks Fifth Avenue. The space is meant to explore what it means to live a curated lifestyle—from interiors to mindfulness and everything in between. Who could take on such a lofty task? We tapped designer Emma Beryl to help it all come together.

The first step: figure out what Homepolish looks like.

You can point to hundreds of our Instagrams as an example (please like them while you’re looking)—but what happens when you need to distill the entire ethos to one immersive, in-store experience? And you only have eight weeks to do so. Also you’re getting married and heading out on an extended honeymoon during the process.

Easy, right?

“To design a space for a company that is known for designing beautiful spaces was intimidating,” Homepolish designer Emma Beryl admits. “There isn’t another physical Homepolish ‘space’ besides the office. My ultimate goal was to make the pop-up feel like we had invited you into our effortlessly cool home and that brand shone through in the design.”

Effortless cool is never effortless, but Emma made it look pretty close, balancing new and neo-classical and blending modern lines and edgy accents in unexpected and approachable ways—while tying up the project before she tied the knot. The result feels fresh with a hint of tradition and an air of comfort—it’s an inviting space you’ll almost forget is in one of the shopping epicenters of the city.

To Emma, this design (and design now) is about thoughtfully approaching each piece’s purpose.

“Everything is pared down and multi-functional,” she explains. “No one has space for unused furniture. Every space should be usable and really comfortable.”

To ensure people knew just how usable everything was, a mix of earth and jewel tones, combined with touchable materials (velvet, linen, leather, and and grasscloth) beg you to unwind

“We used a lot of different textures,” Emma explains. “We paired new elements like sleeker furniture shapes with more formal touches like molding on the walls and the fireplace.”

That cozy fireplace moment is Emma’s favorite part of the entire Saks experience.

“I wanted it to feel like you were walking into a home and, to me, that fireplace area achieves it best.“

So go ahead and stay awhile—that’s what it’s designed for.

Check out the gallery for more pics and shopping details and stop by the space until June 6

What is your go-to vacation spot?
Michelle Dokey: Just a quick getaway from LA is Palm Springs. I’ve been dying to stay at Korakia Pensione in one of their Mediterranean or Moroccan Villas. They are so beautifully designed and a great spot to just escape the traffic and the bustle of Los Angeles.

Galina Holechek: Ojai, Ojai, Ojai! I have a whole routine planned out. One trip is more of a hiking/outdoorsy getaway and the other is a spa/cocktails/foodie/great literature getaway.

Lorenzo Cota: I would have to Cyprus is my favorite summer spot. I go every summer for a month or so. I am currently designing my boyfriend’s apartment there. The beaches are amazing, and the food is to die for.

Colin Fuda: South of France!

Mandy Cheng: Big Sur! The Treehouse accommodations at Post Ranch Inn are pretty unreal for special occasions.

Breanna Williams: Savannah, Georgia has a charm to it that keeps me coming back. It’s a nice break from the hustle of New York. Plus there are amazing vintage and antique stores where your guaranteed to find some amazing things. It’s a truly beautiful city that I recommend everyone visits at least once.

Barbie Palomino: Paradise found in Moorea, Tahiti. It’s not yet a go-to but I’m working on the hubs to make that at least our biannual vacation spot!

Claire Hung: I love to camp. My husband and I reserve an island in the middle of a lake upstate, and canoe out there for a week. It’s absolutely the best recharge. Plus, we’ve got our glamping on fleek, so it never feels like we’re roughing it.

Kerry Vasquez: I’ve never been more blown away by the vibrancy of a city than Mexico City. The colors, the food, the art, the architecture, the people . . . Everywhere you go there people are dancing, singing, eating, making art and enjoying life. I’m ready to move!

The Amangiri Suite Desert Lounge; Image courtsey of Aman

Anywhere new you are itching to go?
Maggie Burns: I am dying to go to Jaipur, India! The colorful buildings look like something out of a Wes Anderson movie and any place that is referred to as the “Pink City” gets moved to the top of my list!

Amy Courtney: Oia, a Greek Aegean island is like nothing I’ve seen in person. The town has whitewashed houses carved into the rugged clifftops and overlooks the Aegean Sea. It looks like pure heaven to me!

Allie McMunn: I am currently obsessed with going to Morocco. I turn 30 this year and am trying to convince my family and friends it is the perfect spot for us to celebrate!

Ashlie Broderic: I am excited to visit Helsinki. The city has an edgy arts scene and really interesting public spaces. Also, it’s so far north that the sun does not set until 11 pm in the summer, which makes the trip feel longer.

Megan Crawley: Lisbon: Is it just me or is everyone going there? I want see the bold use of color on the architecture—vibrant house colors against all the terracotta rooftops.

The Long Bar in the Puli in Shanghai.

What’s the last place you stayed that took your breath away from a design-perspective?

Larisa Barton: Cavo Tagoo in Santorini. Every detail is perfectly thought out to create a modern romantic dream. Also the sunset from every room is unbeatable.

Allie McMunn: We stayed at the Amanruya in Bodrum, Turkey on our honeymoon. You stay in a private stone cottage overlooking the Aegean Sea. The designers let the views speak for themselves and kept the interiors minimal, clean and bright. Truly a perfect combination!

Ashlie Broderic: Barcelona is the most visually interesting city I have visited. The surreal, bordering on bizarre, design vision of Antoni Gaudí shapes the city’s aesthetic. The Sagrada Familia is like a five hundred foot high coral reef crossed with a cathedral that towers over the city.

Megan Crawley: My husband and I did a staycation for our anniversary at the 1 Hotel in Brooklyn Bridge. The design is impeccable and the use of sustainable/recycled/natural materials was inspiring.

Jennifer Wallenstein: Milan. I went to Salone last year and loved every second of it. The show itself was really cool to see, but the Brera Design District and the canal zone had so many stunning showrooms, galleries, restaurants, shops, bars, etc. I don’t know if they really do it up when the design world descends on their city, or if it’s like that year-round, but it was inspiration overload.

Melissa Mascara: Hotel Wailea on Maui. Everything about it was extraordinary. Plus, it was so incredibly quiet there. For an LA person who’s almost always surrounded by noise, the quiet made it easier to take in the surroundings visually and really become part of the spaces. Sounds woo-woo, I know, but it was magic.

What’s the best-designed place you’ve visited on vacation—this can be anything from a gorgeous restaurant to a sleek bar to an incredible museum?

Larisa Barton:  The best-designed place I’ve visited is the Principote Panormos beach club in Mykonos. It’s bohemian heaven. (Pictured as the opening image of the article)

Maggie Burns: I recently traveled to Utah with my husband and stayed at the beautiful Amangiri Resort. The hotel was designed to blend into the landscape, using materials and textures that matched the natural surroundings. Totally took my breath away!

Allie McMunn: I love the Long Bar in the Puli in Shanghai. It runs the entire length of the massive lobby. It is bright and cheery during the day for a quick breakfast and then transforms at night into a dark and sexy bar for a cocktail. Plus, they always have the most incredible floral arrangements that help to soften the modern decor.

Jennifer Wallenstein: The Bocci showroom in Berlin. They took over an old courthouse and basically turned it into a space to showcase their experiments with materials and lighting. The building itself was beautiful, and the perfect backdrop for some jaw-dropping designs.

Melissa Mascara: The Tate Modern museum in London. The building was once an old factory and still has that gloomy, industrial old London feel. The art inside is an incredible collection (modern art is my fave) and is displayed with a timeline on the wall above each piece so that the viewer can get a sense of its historical context.

Carisse Lynelle: Alhambra in Grenada, Spain was truly one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever seen.

Kerry Vasquez: The last time I was in Palm Springs I visited the new wine bar at the Parker. It was designed by the Jonathan Adler team and they nailed it! It’s sophisticated yet laid back—just dark enough to really lose yourself in a conversation and the wine and food are perfect too!

Where’s your favorite destination for souvenirs?
Maggie Burns: I am a sucker for flea markets no matter where I travel! I recently traveled to Marrakech on my honeymoon and stocked up on some amazing rugs—not the easiest thing to fly with! Flea markets are a great way to find products that are local and unique to the land.

Allie McMunn: I could spend days at the Bazaar in Istanbul. It is endless rows of vibrant textiles, pottery, and culture. Next time I am packing an empty duffle so I can bring more home!

Colin Fuda: Paris—discounted shopping!

Cristi Renee: I bring back one piece of art from trips otherwise I don’t buy souvenirs. I got some surprisingly great art in Vietnam.

Melissa Mascara: San Francisco is usually food souvenirs. Seattle is usually art souvenirs.

Anything you collect on vacation?
Larisa Barton: I take a pack of matches from every restaurant we go to as a little memento.

Michelle Dokey: Whenever I go on vacation, I try to come home with a piece of art from wherever we went. My husband and I started this tradition on our honeymoon and we love looking at the pieces of art hanging in our home that remind us of our travels together.

Amy Courtney: Rocks, shells, hotel keys, MetroCards.

Ashlie Broderic: Instagram photos.

Jennifer Wallenstein: It’s kind of random, but bud vases! For myself, friends and family, and also for clients. I use them all the time when styling accessories and they are small enough to pack easily.

Breanna Williams: It may sound strange, but I bring back rocks and stone. It’s an inexpensive (usually free) way to bring back a memento, plus they look good with all of my plants.

Where do you travel to when you want to get inspired?
Galina Holechek: I think the key is to try a new place every time you travel. Paris and anywhere in Italy are always amazing and can never get old, but I love to mix in a new country or two on those jaunts to experience a bit more of the world.

Cristi Renee: Burning Man, Barcelona, Singapore, Brussels.

Mandy Cheng: I’m lucky enough to live within walking distance to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock house. It’s a great place to stand in and remember that ingenuity and every single detail always matters. If I’m leaving town, Palm Springs is an amazing place to be surrounded by mid-century design. If I’m leaving the state, New Orleans is a fun place to get lost in whimsical designs, vibrant colors, and anything from Baroque to Modern architecture. If I’m leaving the country, Europe or Japan, because duh.

Brittany O’Brien: Anywhere in Europe

Kerry Vasquez: I went to New Mexico for the first time last year, and that trip is still influencing all of my design work. Visiting Georgia O’Keefe’s house felt like my version of Mecca—the intention and simplicity behind every choice was awe-inspiring. The colors the adobe takes on have so much depth I am still trying to capture that in all my projects! The desert palette as well – white rocks, burnished clay, and charcoal. OBSESSED!

How do you find new and unique spots when you are traveling?
Larisa Barton: I look at geotags on Instagram before I travel to a new place. You can usually find some cool travel pics and reviews.

Ashlie Broderic: To find unique spots while traveling, I strike up a conversation with a local and ask where they hang out. In Copenhagen, the woman at my hotel’s front desk clued me into Norrebro, which is a hip, gritty, vegan-friendly neighborhood.

Jennifer Wallenstein: A combination of techniques! I always do a little research beforehand, but usually try to limit that research to more general information about neighborhoods and “can’t-miss” sites so I don’t get a set itinerary in my mind. And then I walk, a lot. If there’s a long way to walk to dinner, I take it. If something comes up on my searches that tells me there’s a cool shop a couple blocks out of my way, I go. Nothing beats being among the locals to get a sense of your destination. Finally, I ask around. Sometimes your waiter knows the best spot to grab a cocktail, the local shopkeeper has a favorite restaurant, or the bartender knows of a really cool gallery opening happening across town.

Natalie Tiller: For longer trips, I only book a hotel for the first few days. Then I book the rest of my trip after getting tips from locals and exploring the area. Always makes for an exciting adventure!

What are you must-haves for vacation?
Amy Courtney: Money to burn (oh, and my good camera)!

Lorenzo Cota: A smile and Aesop Flight Therapy—I never leave home without it!

Carisse Lynelle
: Sabbah shoes: you can walk in them forever and they go with everything.

Clarie Hung: I always need enough skincare. With varying climates and plane cabins, skin can get cranky, so I make sure I have a variety of skincare items to cleanse and moisturize. It seems frivolous, but when you’re taking tons of pics, having clear skin is a plus.

Want more from our designers than travel tips? Sign up for Homepolish today.

FRIDAY

First thing: grab an early dinner at Lil Debs. Funky interiors, fantastic food. This spot is so much fun. You can tell the team at Lil Debs loves to work together and they serve up some of the tastiest, original dishes in the Hudson Valley. The South American-inspired flavors are so surprising and delightful. I could eat there every night. The place is tiny, dressed in fun neon colors with the most playful descriptions on the menu. It’s an overall delight to the senses.

Have a nightcap at Rivertown Lodge. These guys teamed up with the incredibly talented design team, Workstead, as well as a handful of local woodworkers and artists, to create one of my favorite interiors upstate. Housed in a former movie theater, the design is unique, modern, and inviting with style that’s hard to pinpoint (which I love). Friday to Tuesday evenings their intimate bar and restaurant is open for dinner or drinks, and they transform the lobby into brunch seating during the weekends.

Rivertown Lodge

SATURDAY

Start by treating yourself to all-natural, spa-worthy skincare from 2note. Darcy and Carolyn, the couple that run this beautiful skin care lab, are two of the kindest people in town—and their products are incredible. They have combined their passion for skin care and music (two of my favorite things as well) in this gorgeous bright and clean space that smells like heaven and really soothes the senses. My home is now enriched by 2note products from my dish soap to my shampoo to my face oil, and it feels good to not only support these incredible humans but to have natural sustainable products in my home, which I truly believe make it a more considered, authentic space.

From there you must check out Fern. My dad is a carpenter and growing up around his work gave me such an appreciation for handmade pieces. Jason Roskey, who designs and creates the furniture in this space, is a true artist. If I had to pick a favorite, this shop is the one.

Next up, pop into Talbott and Arding to stock up on fresh and delicious provisions. Grab a savory galette and, for snacking later, I shamelessly grab a container of their pimento cheese, a giant piece of fluffy focaccia, and those little corniches for some added crunch.

After you shop Main Street, dash into Hudson Wine Merchants. You can’t miss their pink neon sign. Say hi to the owner Michael, who is a total gem and is responsible for the incredible selection that keeps me a sane woman living in a small town.

2Note

Fern

SUNDAY

For brunch, take a 15-minute drive east to Ghent for the Bartlett House. You won’t have traffic, the back roads are beautiful, and it’s worth every second to enjoy this delightful restaurant. You can’t miss the gorgeous 1870s facade. No matter how full you are, get a twice-baked pistachio croissant to-go.

Then over to Germantown, a charming town that has become a Hudson Valley hub for artists and makers. Pop into the full lineup—furniture maker Michael Robbins, jewelry designer Mary MacGill, newcomer Athabold Flowers, home goods heaven Alder East, vintage furniture scavenger Luddite, the revitalized Otto’s Market, and the fantastic restaurant, Gaskins.

Bartlett House

Then stop by Say Collie, my newly opened interiors and creative studio in Rhinecliff. My husband, Matthew Johnson, and I wanted to combine our west coast and east coast influences, and create a shop that’s an extension of our home—with custom monthly playlists, inviting scents, and a welcoming atmosphere. You can shop unique home decor and Matthew’s photography, or have a coffee and relax in the backyard. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get to meet our sweet puppy, Rye.

We hope that after your visit to our space, you leave with the sense that you have found a true gem.

Say Collie

Finish the day at Westwind Orchard. On the weekends, enjoy mouth-watering brick oven pizzas and crisp hard cider at the scattered picnic tables while watching an outdoor movie screening with the kiddos. When we stumbled upon this place last year, I knew we had found a little slice of heaven.

Read Amy’s winter Hudson tips here. Want more from Amy than just shopping tips? Sign up here to request her as your designer.

Creating the right space can be a puzzle—but sometimes we’d rather just do a puzzle. In honor of our first-ever printed Magazine, we created a crossword on our favorite topic: interior design. Download a copy below, or if you’ve already completed it, scroll down for answers.

Homepolish_Crossword_Print

Across

1. More
3. David Hicks
7. Overhead
8. Toile
10. Chantilly
11. Noa Santos
13. New Traditional
14. Machine
16. Modern Farmhouse
18. Scale
20. Width
21. Industrial Chic
23. Maximalist
26. Morgan
31. Terrazzo
32. Rem
33. Fifth Avenue
34. Nancy
35. Karate chop

Down

2. Ecru
4. Hollywood Regency
5. Redesigned
6. Twice
9. Bohemian
12. Grasscloth
14. Memphis
15. Waldorf Astoria
17. Rustic
19. Cocktail table
22. Vintage
24. Wolfe
25. Hygge
27. Organic
28. Eames
29. Matte
30. Jute

Step into “Goose Landing,” a four-bedroom, six-bath, Bay’s Head, New Jersey getaway, and you could be forgiven for feeling a touch disoriented.

The vibe—part Hamptons, part Cali modern, part technicolor shack in the sky—is geographically impossible to pin down. That non-specific coastal style is just what homeowners Stephanie and Albert wanted in a summer escape for them and their twin boys. The 4,000-square-foot home (which was completely rebuilt post-Hurricane Sandy) needed to be more than basic beach.

So when Stephanie reached what she referred to as “the end of the internet” while attempting to decorate on her own, she contacted Homepolish designer Cindy DeLuzuriaga.

“Stephanie was having trouble finding a designer with a different approach,” Cindy explains. “She didn’t want what you traditionally think of when hiring an interior designer, and that’s exactly where I fit in. Her space was a mix of beachy and vintage finds, but she didn’t know where else to look to finish it out. Stephanie has great taste. I really lucked out working with her.”

The family could say the same. Cindy’s aesthetic strikes the exact balance of relaxed and playful they desired.

“My style is definitely influenced by my California upbringing—I like clean, fresh, and happy,” Cindy explains. “I really loved the idea and wants am always on the lookout for new lines, shapes, and use of materials.”

And if she can’t find those, she creates them herself. The house is filled with bespoke touches—rock drawer pulls, rope banisters, custom furniture, an easy-to-care-for canvas palm tree. Sea- inspired shades run through the home, but here blue is elevated with sunny contrasts and a palette of rich neutrals.

“Most clients stick with blue as the accent color, and my goal was to find ways to complement the hue,” Cindy explains. “It started off with a creamsicle rug in the dining area. The orange and white striped rug makes the rest of the blue accents pop. We even made the chairs different shades of blue so nothing is static. The color pops help the home feel very young and energetic.”

Those “pops” pop up everywhere: orange trim on the playroom rug, a mustard yellow suede desk, a rustic royal blue sink. The Crayola-colored accents stand out against the French-cut, white oak lining the walls. The harmony of shiplap meets hyper-colored hues keeps the house from feeling too austere, but the playroom takes coastal zest to new heights.

“Stephanie and Albert wanted a playroom to show up all other playrooms, and that is what we did!” Cindy says.

Pulling inspiration from the couple’s sailing experience, she sourced sail fabric floor cushions from Spain, a utility blanket in place of a rug, a shipwrecked dresser topped with a sand and sea glass lamp, and a pirate ship with one-of-a-kind accessories.

The pirate ship had to have a pirate flag,” Cindy correctly points out. “I wanted the boys to be able to get up on the deck of their boat safely—so we added barnacle climbing rocks and, of course, a telescope to check out the view and to lookout for sharks. We threw in orange life vests for another pop of color.”

Then there’s the surf swing, which wasn’t without its share of rough waters. After using a vintage surfboard proved too great a challenge, Cindy reconfigured it as a long swing with a
“swell” back support.

“I had to twist a lot of arms to make this surf swing happen, but now the boys love it,” Cindy gushes. “Albert really loved the idea and wants to have a surf swing by the pool—next designer challenge!”

In the end, the space encapsulates exactly what the family wanted: tropical but not typical.

“We didn’t take anything too seriously,” Cindy explains. “I wanted the home to say beach house in a fun, yet grown-up way. This project is really special to me, I feel like I live there. I mean, I would love to live there. Once you sit in those floor cushions you really don’t want to leave.”

See more of this beachy space in the gallery and sign up for Homepolish today to create your own gorgeous getaway.

A good space draws you in. Since we think some of ours do just that, we reached out to our favorite illustrators to reimagine a selection of Homepolish spaces as works of art (which we think they truly are). Here, each artist explains why they chose each space and how their work overlaps with interior design.

From June 1 until June 6, stop into Place by Homepolish at Saks Fifth Avenue to bring one of these spaces home as a limited edition tote or an 8″x 8″ print.

Illustrator: Lauren Kaelin
Design: Carly Callahan of Callahan Interiors
Photo: Dustin Halleck
Tour: Before and After: A Designer’s Chicago Flip

Tell us a little bit about your work. How would you describe your illustration style?
I studied oil painting in college and bring that same painterly and gestural quality to my illustrations. As my “day job,” I’m Ample Hills Creamery’s Creative Director—my aim is that people associate the playful hand-drawn quality of the branding with the “made from scratch” ice cream.

Why did you choose this space?
I chose that space for a few reasons. First of all, that chair! Not only does it look amazing, but it’s a great compositional anchor and a lot of fun to draw. I also really love the detailing around the edge of the shelf—the distressed surface in this polished interior. And I haven’t seen that Iron & Wine album in a long time!

Illustrator: Laura Supnik
Design: Liz Lipkin
Photo: Sean Litchfield
Tour: Relaxing a Refined Brooklyn Townhouse

Why did you choose this space?
I love the simplicity of it. It has a lot of character, yet they’re all extremely classic pieces. I tried to capture the clean lines of the setup and bring in more of an abstract yet still simple style.

What’s your workspace like? What do you have there to help you get inspired?
Plants and lots of light! I love the sense of warmth that plants bring to a room.

Illustrator: Ali Macdonald
Design: Rosa Beltran
Photo: Lauren Pressey

Tell us a little bit about your work. How would you describe your illustration style?
Bold and expressive. I love to pair bright candy colors with dark quirky line work. I’m often trying to capture the essence of something with as minimal detail as possible.

Why did you choose this space?
I loved the airiness of this setting. The window seat with the patterned cushion drew me in. I really tried to capture that inviting coziness in my illustration.

Illustrator: Maria Ines Gul
Design: Melanie Burstin
Photo: Tessa Neustadt
Tour: Melanie Burstin’s Secrets to Curating Your Own Style

Why did you choose this space?
My eyes are naturally drawn to geometric shapes, rhythm of the lines, and balance of colors, sharp corners and soft curves. The space reminds me of my own flat—minimal and cozy.

How would you describe your own sense of style when it comes to interiors?
I work with colors every day so to I prefer my surroundings to be quite neutral. I like Mid-Century Modernism. I live in a Victorian house filled with ‘70s Danish furniture, vintage Polish film posters, wooden floors, ceramic pots and lots of plants.

Book Now