Making Modern Cozy

“The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life” –Marie KondoIt happens time and time again, clients want to hire us to create a modern, clean interior design for them, but they shy away from the style because they think that it will leave them home feeling cold and uninviting. Well let me tell you that modern styling is not by definition stark and unapproachable, like anything else it’s all in the details.Over the years at Mark Cutler Design we have refined a style that we have come to call warm Modernism, because not only are the spaces we create warm and inviting they are also true to the modernist idea of simplicity and straightforwardness. How is this so? Here are a few ways that we approach this style.Prioritize your furniture choices:One of the biggest complaints that I hear about modernist designs is that tit is all about style over substance and that while the seating may look good, who wants to sit in it? Well, not every piece in your room is sat in, so decide which pieces will be the most used, and which are really there for occasional use or even perhaps as pieces of useable sculpture. Let that guide your choice about which pieces you buy. This will give you both comfortable seating as well as a few chic pieces that set the mood.Don’t Forget about Basic Design PrinciplesI don’t care whether you are doing a traditional European style home or a pared down Modern one, design principles are just that. One way to make your modern design more hospitable is to pay attention to the ideas of color, pattern and texture.   A room all of one texture or color can very quickly become boring to the eye, so spend some time developing what your designer calls, layers. So some areas of full texture counterpointed against some of shiny metallic etc, this will create a room that is pleasing to the eyes and the senses.Do not confuse Modernist with MonasticJust because you want a pared down look doesn’t mean the room has to be empty. I happen to think that the addition of things such as window treatments, rugs and table lamps are all opportunities to reinforce the style rather than detract from it.The most important thing to remember is to be clear with your designer not just about the style you are hoping to have them create but about the way you want to use the space. The advantage of using a trained professional is that they may bring ideas and techniques to the table that you didn’t even imagine. So don’t be quick to dismiss the idea of a modern yet cozy room, your designer will have a creative solution for just about any design problem.

Every Room Tells A Story

I am a firm believer that Interior Design is a form of portraiture, and that every room we design tells the story of the family that lives there. This philosophy can manifest itself in many different ways, it could be as simple as a collection of family photos forming a gallery wall, or as we did for a famous comedian, a collection of old carnival memorabilia.

Sometimes it is geography that inspires me, like this Pied a Terre we recently finished in San Francisco. It was for a young family that did a lot of business in the city and needed a place for meetings and occasional overnight stays. So what better source of inspiration than the San Francisco itself!

In the Living Room, can you spot the references? The coffee table is a chromed rock (Alcatraz AKA “The Rock”), the wood tubular standing lamp by the column (Coit Tower), the dining room table (designed to look like the Golden Gate Bridge) and lastly the vintage chandelier meant to evoke the idea of city lights sparkling through the mist.

Dining RoomDining Room

Now this may seem a little extreme, but remember this space is really a glorified hotel room. There are ways that you and your designer can incorporate this philosophy into your home to make it a more personal story. Perhaps it’s pillows made from the shirt you were wearing when you met your one true love, or maybe a wall map that the family can add to with each destination that you visit as a family. There are many ways to do this, but the overriding idea is that your home should not just be a collection of beautiful objects, it should be a personal statement about your family, your history and your values.

Nail Your Outdoor Decor For Summer Entertaining

With summer right around the corner, the idea of warming weather and longer days will encourage many of us to entertain outdoors. While backyard entertaining is exciting, don’t get us wrong, sprucing up a neglected outdoor space can be a major undertaking. Luckily the showrooms at Seattle Design Center are chock full of outdoor pieces that can revive and augment patio or outdoor space, and create a beautiful space you and your potential guests will love spending time in.

Lighten your outdoor space with wood patio furniture in natural shades for an airy, open space. Dark colors tend to weigh down spaces. Lighter colors like white, beige, and some shades of tan can help create the illusion of a larger space. Contemporary designs with clean lines can be found in the Christophe Delacourt Collection at the Susan Mills Showroom. The collection’s two dining tables and matching chairs can be styled for any occasion.

Outdoor Living Outdoor Living

Textiles in bright colors and prints can add comfort and personality to your oudoor entertaining space. The En Vacances textile collection by Brunschwig & Fils brings does just that, bringing maritime blue, lagoon green, sunset hues in oranges and corals, floral patterns, and patterns reminiscent of island life to your outdoor area. The UV-friendly, stain resistant fabrics will keep your outdoor space looking bright all summer long.

Consider anchoring the space with a statement piece. The Reef Round Stone Table from the Christophe Delcourt Collection at Susan Mills Showroom with its marble finished top brings an air of modern sophistication outdoors. A large-scale decorative wall piece can bring a major wow factor to a space and help set the tone and theme for other design elements. This Moroccan-themed Bahia doorway from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection in the Lee Jofa draws inspiration from the Bahia palace and designs of Marrakech with its intricate lace-work and decorative motifs to mimic skilled craftsmanship.

With inspiration from all of these amazing pieces, you can make sure that your outdoor entertainment space is summer ready with the showrooms at Seattle Design Center. There you can shop these collections and as well as look for inspiration from one of over two-dozen showrooms that have all of your outdoor summer entertaining essentials.

7 Questions to Ask An Interior Designer (Before Hiring Them)

Whether you own or rent, live in a home or apartment, creating a space that you love, feel comfortable in, and that complements your lifestyle, is incredibly important.Interior design is so much  more than accent pillows, paint colors, or furnishings. Interior design is combining function and fashion to create a home that is harmonious and tailored to your needs. An authentic home is inviting, inspired, sophisticated yet livable, and most importantly, an authentic reflection of you. There are 7 questions to ask before hiring an interior designer—read them here.
Hiring An Interior Designer1. How do you work? We all know “how do you work?” means “what do you charge?” And, yes, you need to know.
2. What’s your process to understand my aesthetic and to design a space that looks like me? I always start with how you want to feel in the space. Next, what does the space need to do for you (the function of the space)?3. Will you help me define the scope? Do exactly what I just did above. Identify the “why” of your room first, then the “what.” Use images to nail down the emotion you are looking to capture, and marry that with your architecture/location in the world, to best optimize your space.4. Will you take into consideration rooms that we aren’t doing? I believe that rooms should unfold seamlessly, one into another. That doesn’t mean the tone cannot shift from space to space, but I don’t like a carnival effect—rooms of a wide array of unrelated colors or themes.5. What are your aesthetic design principles that you bring to every project? For me, those traits are scale and emotion. I love soul, grit, and a touch of edge in my spaces, as well as texture and layers in finishes. Tons of lighting options, all on dimmers, is also key.
6. May I see your portfolio with before pictures for context? Make sure you are looking at the designer’s portfolio, not just inspiration images or renderings. Review their portfolio for the things that show up in each project. Ask to see the before images, and understand what part of the work the designer you are hiring performed (vs. an architect or stylist)…truly understand what the designer’s process is like. For example, how they charge, their fee estimate, what that includes, how do they make their money (i.e., fees, contractor referrals, etc.)?How do they project manage, how big is the team, what is a typical project timeline? Who does what, how much of the design is done by the name on the door vs. supporting designers? Can the designer recommend builders, vendors, skilled craftsmen to execute the design? There’s so much to understand, particularly since everyone in interior design does things differently. 7. How will you ensure that the space looks like me and not you? We pride ourselves in getting to know and understand our clients via our detailed design questionnaire, inspirational images, and in-person meetings. To really understand how you want to feel in the space.Your home should be an authentic reflection of you. Our process always starts with getting to know you. We want to know how you’d like to feel and function in your space, and what kind of results you’d like to see from our work together. This “getting to know you” phase is also where you get to share your dreams for your space. Our team then works to translate your desires to fit your space.We follow a pattern with each design project, be it full service or luxury online design.  Aesthetically, it involves layers and layers of texture, light, metals, wood, stone, fabrics.  Always balancing soft and hard with dark and light. There is also pattern in how we work; our process, which includes everything from marketing to lead nurturing, to documenting the space, to how we make and track selections, to our very precise quoting process, to how we present each project to a client.We never start with a blank sheet of paper. Rather, we follow a well-developed and often-tweaked pattern to ensure that each new project gets the benefit of all those that came before it.Interior design not your forte? Not sure where to start? Want a professional to manage all of the details that go into designing a home? Hiring an interior designer is crucial to helping you define or refine your design style. It is also important to create a realistic budget for your dream space, and ensure that the final outcome is fully functional and stylish.
We are a completely custom, luxury interior design firm. What we do is turn your dreams into reality. Now we’re talking, right?Whether you opt to go the full-service or online interior design route, there’s an option for everyone. Designing your dream space takes work, time, and effort, but the end result is so worth it. Get your house off of your to do list. Outsource to the pros.Visit

Curating An Art Collection For Your Home

You don’t have to be an art expert to curate your own art collection. Choosing art is more about what calls to you and elicits a reaction, whether that’s joy, reflection, contentment or simple appreciation of beauty. I started collecting art about 10 years ago and have learned that it is an ongoing and rewarding process. An art collection brings a uniquely personal touch to my home, and it will for yours, too. Below are six tips to keep in mind when starting your art collection. Consider the Emotion and AtmosphereSelecting art for your home is much more than matching your color scheme or finding a piece that complements your window treatments. Think about the mood you want to create and the room where you will hang or place it. If you’re choosing a piece for your home office or library, you’ll want something calming and serene, or that encourages creativity. If you’re buying artwork for your living room, dining room or family room, pick something that evokes passion and starts a conversation.Presentation is CriticalThe right framing and matting can elevate an artist’s work. It’s important to take your piece, even if it is framed already, to a professional who will help you select the appropriate frame – wood, acrylic or metal – and the appropriate matte and color to fit your piece.If It Calls Your Name, Purchase ItIf you feel irresistibly drawn to a piece of art and find yourself walking past it over and over, take it home! Even if you don’t think you have space for it, buy it and figure it out later. Good art should evoke strong emotions or memories, so if you feel a special connection with a piece, don’t pass it up – it might be gone later. Where To Find ArtThere are many great places to discover artwork that speaks to you, and it’s rewarding to explore. Check out galleries, art shows and fairs, exhibitions, conclaves and studios, and go back periodically to check out what’s new. Part of the enjoyment is to build relationships with artists and studio curators, who will stay in touch when new pieces debut. Traveling is another great opportunity to buy art. It’s a lasting way to commemorate special occasions and take home a bit of the culture. When buying art, always take a photo of yourself with the piece you bought and the artist, if possible. Save the photo with your receipt and place a copy on the back of the piece. This helps to verify authenticity, as well as providing a nice memento.Branch Out You don’t have to stick to one color scheme, artist, medium, or style. Choosing artwork that you truly love will serve you much better in the years to come. Avoid selecting pieces just because they go together or because someone told you a particular artist is “the next big thing”. And don’t forget, art isn’t just for your walls. Explore sculpture, mixed media or fiber art. Display pieces on shelves or pedestals, or consider a free-standing piece. Be creative. For one of our clients, we commissioned an artist to create her metallic art in acrylic inserts fitted into niches in the atrium columns, below.Take Your Time  Building an interesting, varied collection takes time and patience. Give yourself the opportunity to discover a broad range of art from a wide variety of artists and locations. Find pieces that really speak to you, and don’t rush to fill all the blank walls and corners. You don’t want to settle for ho-hum pieces and then discover something wonderful later on.It’s important to note that your taste in art is likely to change over time. Something you loved at 25 may feel completely wrong for you at 50. Allow your collection to evolve as you go through the seasons of your life. If something feels stale, don’t feel compelled to keep it. It’s a good excuse to find a piece you love now.

Tips To Properly Stuff Pillows By Yours Truly!

Peti Lau is an International Interior Designer based in New York City with over a decade of residential and commercial experience. Peti Lau has developed a signature style she coined AristoFreak™. Peti expresses her worldly inspirations with eclectic colors, patterns and textures to create romance and moods in all of her spaces.Want to know the trick to properly stuff a pillow? Watch Peti Lau show you how to stuff a pillow with the right sizing.   

The Process of Working With a Client from a Designer’s Perspective

When I first meet with a client in their space, I strive to take in not only the objects in their home, but how they live in their home. What purpose do these things serve? How do they take care of the client and, how do they get in the way of making a space that really serves the client? During the walk-through, I try to observe what the value system is. What does the client point out about his/her space? While I like and often utilize a new client form, I rely more heavily on my own notes and perceptions.A number of years ago, I had a first meeting with a woman who had hired someone else before me. Somewhere in the mid of their process, she realized that she had made a mistake. The designer, whom she believed had heard her priorities and seemed to be responding to them, was asking her to sign off on elements that she did not relate to. She could not find herself in any of the pieces. She was understandably nervous about our meeting.Before she realized that things would not improve with the other designer, she allowed for several light fixtures to be installed. She informed me she did not want to replace things that she had just bought. I previously worked in lighting design and was disappointed that I would not be able to bring in better fixtures. She also wanted to redo her kitchen, but was unwilling to consider new cabinetry. The paint color she had chosen for the kitchen/dining area was selected to match and minimize the appearance of her old cabinetry.She needed to believe that I heard her: I spent two hours at her 2 bedroom condo that first meeting. I was about to inherit too many sparkly contemporary chandeliers, a large fan and track lighting that cluttered the entire ceiling of the compact space and needed to develop a good understanding of what she really wanted. What I noticed is that she had her family’s mid century modern furniture which she loved, Russel Wright dishes, sewn artworks which she made, and a collection of artisan ceramics. The moment that she really got my empathy was when she told me that she could not even use the guest bathroom because of the ultra modern (and expensive) red glass sink she felt forced to buy. The previous designer’s installer chipped the glass while mounting it. She had shut the bathroom door and couldn’t bring herself to open it again. That was an important growth moment for me. Not all clients are able to just say no!We ultimately resolved the issues by “marrying Eames and Sottsass”. We made the space cohesive by minimizing the impact of the items that she was not willing to “pay for twice”, and reinforcing the objects that felt like “home”. We selected pieces that were more modern, but were set off by the wood from her mid century case goods. She even let go of her dining table and chairs to make room for a Knoll table with glass top and orange Coca Cola chairs. Soft grey walls created calm and the vibrant rugs and objects flow. The comfy sectional sofa from Roche Bobois defines her public space and offers a place for napping and knitting. We even changed out some of the track lighting for some small recessed fixtures. The end result reflects the complex person I got to know in the process.PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Irby

Eco-Friendly Interior Design: 6 Tips To Go Green At Home

I have a favorite client to thank for my eco-friendly awareness.During a meeting a few years back, I shared selections I’d chosen for the home (rug samples, fabric samples, furnishings, the works) with my clients. Again and again, they asked “Are there more sustainable options?”That got me doing a deep dive into eco-awareness. How do our design choices affect the environment? It also inspired me to incorporate eco-friendly interior design whenever possible.These clients were amazing, and they pushed us on every single thing that we brought into their home to be more eco-friendly and to have a smaller carbon footprint. Could this be more efficient? Could that be having a second life? Could this be recycled? Could that be a better material that is more eco-friendly and efficient? Can we donate or make sure our old furnishings are being recycled?After doing some research, it was second nature to pull together eco-friendly interior design selections. Some would say the project was even more beautiful because it didn’t leave a large carbon footprint. A win-win for everyone.Reclaimed doors and hardware. Photography by Agnieszka KorbicaThe laundry room doors and hardware are both vintage. They were found in architectural salvage yards; proof that you don’t need new materials to make a major statement. 

A vintage potting table adds tons of character to the sunroom addition

 During this project, the kitchen became one of the most green rooms in the entire home.The heating grates throughout were found at an architectural salvage yard. The bell jar pendants above the kitchen island are antiques. And the chairs and crystal knobs on the kitchen island are vintage. Soapstone on the surrounding countertops is a green choice because the material was sourced locally on the East Coast.

It’s not easy getting stone out of the earth, so when sourcing materials, find ones that are sourced close to you as that leaves a smaller carbon footprint. All flooring throughout the kitchen is reclaimed old oak.


This vintage wash stand was converted with a bowl sink. Photography by Agnieszka Korbica

In the powder room, Stone Plus added a stone remnant counter to the vintage wash stand, and we tied everything together with Farrow and Ball wallpaper, which is made with water-based paint and paper sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) accredited suppliers.Recently, I decided to further hone my skills in eco-friendly interior design, and completed the Sustainable Furnishings Council GREENleader course. It was an intensive course in sustainability, and I received my certification as an Accredited Professional.The course is an industry-first, developed in conjunction with the Sustainable Furnishings Council and approved by ranking staff of Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, and one of the co-founders of USGBC/LEED. The program was written by a LEED AP and is designed to pick up where LEED leaves off, focusing specifically on the furnishings themselves.It provided a ton of detailed information on the environmental issues affecting choices and the wide range of product solutions, most of which don’t cost any more than ordinary ones. It’s simply a matter of knowing the right places to look and the right questions to ask.

My Top 6 Tips on How to Go Green at Home

 Tip #1: Go for natural air purifiers such as indoor plants Not only will real greenery literally freshen up your space, but that pop of color looks gorgeous in any room. When buying indoor plants, think outside of the usual fiddle-leaf fig (though I love them) or fern options. Aloe Vera is great in the kitchen as it can clear formaldehyde and benzene, which are often byproducts of chemical-based cleaners or paint. Do you bring home a heavy amount of dry cleaning? Keep a Gerbera Daisy in your room as it helps remove trichloroethylene, which might be coming home with your clothes (note: daisies require a lot of direct sunlight so skip this plant if your room is dark and cozy). The Peace Lily is flowering triple threat. It doesn’t require sunlight, is easy to care for, and is known to remove all three of the most common VOCs: formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.Tip #2: Use UV film on windows Clear window film helps keep your home cool during hot summer months and retain heat during the winter. It also saves your furniture, rugs, and floors from sun damage! An energy efficient solution that saves your bottom line? Yes, please! You’ll still want window treatments for privacy and to set the tone of the space, but UV films are a great place to start.Tip #3: Opt for low-VOC carpets, rugs, and paints With the myriad of eco-friendly products available today, there’s no reason to choose ones that off-put gas. Paint stores always carry low- or no-VOC options and you’ll want to ventilate any area that’s being worked on for a few hours. When selecting rugs and carpets, seek out more green materials like sisal, wool, or organic cotton.Tip #4: Swap in compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs LED lights are more efficient than traditional lighting, have a longer life span, and don’t have any toxic elements. They’re one of the easiest and most affordable design swaps you can do to go green at home.Tip #5: Clean with natural products Ridding your home of unwanted chemicals is easier than it sounds. The internet is full of DIY home cleaners, including some of our favorites, many of which don’t take long to make and last for months.Tip #6: Reuse antiques Antique pieces are rich with soul, grit, and age. Plus, accessories and furniture with a past always have a story, and that’s one of my favorite ways to tell a home’s current narrative. The age-old concept of mixing old with new is a fun way to go green at home. First Dibs and Chairish are excellent sites for vintage décor, furniture, and art. Pro tip: Move quickly because items sell out fast. 

What’s your favorite way to go green at home?

Kravet Match

AUGUST 2016 – Kravet Inc. – a fifth generation family business and leader in trade-only fabrics, home furnishings, and accessories – introduces a groundbreaking new technology for interior designers: Kravet Match. The all new, easy-to-use product search program allows users to take or upload a photo of any pattern, piece of furniture or carpet from anywhere and search for similar items across all three Kravet Inc. brands: Kravet, Lee Jofa, and Brunschwig & Fils.Designers can access Kravet Match by visiting on a smart phone, tablet or desktop computer. From there, it’s as easy as uploading an existing photo or taking a photo within Kravet Match, and the program returns 20 images that are similar based on design and/or color selection. This exclusive technology uses geometry and color recognition tools to produce useful and accurate matches.“Kravet Match is a fantastic tool for on-the-go designers who find inspiration everywhere, from museums and restaurants to retail stores and shops. They can snap a picture of something that inspires them – a unique pattern or design – and easily find a myriad of ways to translate it into their work,” said President Cary Kravet. “Kravet is committed to staying at the forefront of the industry and consistently remaining innovative and cutting-edge for our customers.”Each match brings you directly to additional product information on the brand’s website. The convenient sharing tool makes it easy for designers to print the results or send them to clients via email for feedback. Kravet Match is also fully integrated with e-designtrade – Kravet’s online resource for checking stock and product information, ordering samples and memos, tracking orders and more. When logged into their e-designtrade account, designers can access Kravet Match and immediately utilize these features for any product results.For quick and easy access, it is recommended to add to the home screen of a mobile device or tablet. Snap a pic, find your match: it’s that simple! ABOUT KRAVET INC.Kravet Inc., established in 1918, is the industry leader in to-the-trade home furnishings. This fifth generation family business distributes fabrics, furniture, wall coverings, trimmings, carpets and accessories. The family’s commitment to innovation has helped the company transform from a small fabric house to a global leader, representing brands and designers from all over the world. In 2015, Kravet Inc. introduced, a to-the-trade only e-commerce site offering designers unique furniture and accessories curated from around the globe. Kravet Inc. owns Kravet, Lee Jofa, Groundworks, GP & J Baker and Brunschwig & Fils, all high-end fabric houses that specialize in style, luxury and exceptional design. With locations in North America and worldwide, Kravet Inc. offers the highest level of customer service, quality products and web technology for today’s design professional. For further brand information, please refer to

The Finer Points with Ashley Stark Kenner

Founded in 1938, STARK is a family owned and operated business that has mastered the art of handcrafted luxury rugs and carpeting. It’s been nearly 80 years since their doors first opened and, although quite a lot has changed (they now offer fabrics, wallcoverings, and furnishings!), the steadfast commitment to exceptional quality and premier customer service the company was founded upon remains. For my latest segment of The Finer Points, I had the pleasure of speaking with Ashley Stark Kenner, a third-generation visionary and STARK’s Creative Director. Growing up surrounded by strong, iconic women and her father’s bold entrepreneurial spirit, Ashley boasts a keen eye for precision and beauty, and possesses an intimate understanding of the family business. When she isn’t getting creative at STARK, you’ll find her caring for her two young children and sharing the most remarkable design inspiration with her 265,000 followers on Instagram!Marie Flanigan: Can you share a little bit about the history behind STARK and how you’re involved with leading the charge today? Is there a special memory you’re most fond of from your time spent “learning the ropes?”Ashley Stark Kenner: My grandfather started his career on Wall Street and always had a passion for the details and for delivering exceptional products to his clients. That passion carried over when he founded STARK with my grandmother in 1938, and they were among the first to import handmade luxury rugs and carpets into the U.S. Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents learning everything I could about the business, and, together, we traveled a lot on the hunt for inspiration! I will always cherish the time I spent with my great aunt, Iris Apfel, who spent hours quizzing me on brocades and fabrics; this business has always been in my blood and I love that I have the opportunity to be so involved today.  MF: It’s so interesting to hear that STARK expanded from exclusively rugs and carpeting to fabric, furniture, and wallcoverings – when did this shift take place and what do you feel sets your team apart from other leaders in the industry?ASK: We have a passion for home design and, although luxury rugs and carpeting offered a great way to meet the design needs of so many, furniture was always something our family took interest in. We added fabric and wallcoverings in the 90s and then furniture came a bit later. I believe it’s our commitment to customer service and our ability to offer a broad range of pricing that allows our collection to fit nicely within any home.  MF: We love engaging with you on Instagram – do you and your team have an organized social media strategy or is that a world where you like to let loose and have fun?ASK: The STARK team definitely has a social media strategy but mine is more freeform. I love Instagram and find it so inspiring, so my account is all me! I’ll be in the middle of making dinner for my toddlers and also trying to pull together a post – it’s hilarious!  MF: How and where do you source your newest collections and what inspires those designs?ASK: The mills are all over the place but primarily in Nepal, India, and China, so it just depends on where we are, but wherever the quality is the highest, that’s where we’ll make it. Our wall to wall carpets are made in Pennsylvania, we make our hand-knotted rugs in Nepal, Pakistani rugs come from Pakistan, so it’s truly all over the place. I haven’t been to all of the mills but I’ve been to many! MF: On that note, it sounds like you’ve been to some pretty amazing places! How has travel affected your outlook on design? Is there one area of the world in particular that speaks to you the loudest?ASK: Yes, travel has been a large part of my life and, although every place I’ve been has its own unique sense of character, I always feel the most affected by Paris. I spent so much time there growing up visiting fabric mills and antique stores with my family that it feels like a second home. Every time I visit, I leave feeling completely inspired, and even though I’ve been there a million times, I still feel like every visit brings something fresh and new. The architecture is so impressive and the way they decorate around it is awe-inspiring! MF: As designers, we love that STARK offers custom rug design. Is creating a custom rug something anyone can do or is that a process better left to the experts?ASK: I would keep custom rugs for the designers. Going custom is obviously more costly because you’re getting bespoke and there’s also more room for error. When creating a custom rug, you start with a CAD drawing and we rely on designers to dictate the scale, sizing, and color placement. So much goes into creating these custom pieces, it’s an intricate process, and they’re expensive. You don’t want to run into mistakes and mistakes happen with even the very best designers!MF: Totally unrelated to the business, I adore your style! If you had to choose one fashion pieces to live in for the rest of your days, what would it be?ASK: This one is so easy for me – my turquoise jewelry! I seriously can’t live without it! My great aunt, Iris, gave me some years ago and I’ve been collecting pieces ever since. If you see me out, I’ve usually got tons of squash blossom necklaces, bracelets, and earrings on – it’s pretty much my thing!  The beauty doesn’t have to end here – to keep up with all things STARK and for more dramatic design inspiration, hop on over to Ashley’s IG account and start scrolling!

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