FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

New York City focused lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Fashion: Iris Apfel Partners with & Other Stories

SPACES, FASHIONLauren CaronComment

Last month the new store & Other Stories opened in SOHO on Broadway. It is an H&M sister brand which focuses perennial closet staples that indulge in a bit of drama; think voluminous silhouettes, interesting pleats and metallic jacquards for every day. & Other Stories' markets the more mature sibling of H&M who is interested good lines, lush materials and subtle details. The merchandising and interiors of & Other Stories has a similar approach to how you would expect a Parisian style store to be merchandised - I can see a Merci influence, with white walls, rolling racks, and bare light fixtures. The signage is minimal, evoking such signs used to identify garments at fashion shows - photos from the season's look books in plastic sleeves. The beauty section is like a European pharmacy, this department is less than appealing to me. I don't think it's necessary for the brand, but perhaps they're Farrow & Ball-esq named nail polishes will in the future, be something I can't live without. Okay, enough about the store.

I'm incredibly interested in their partnership with Iris Apfel, my favorite self proclaimed "Geriatric Starlet." Iris is everywhere right now, her documentary debuted at the New York Film Festival, she's selling up her least favorite collections on One King's Lane and now she's collaborating with new and exciting brands like & Other Stories.

& Other Stories asked Iris to create a styling story, where she pulled some of her favorite pieces from the AW/14 collection. Iris's mantra is for all women to embrace their own personal style. Known for her maximal-ist (not a word) accessorizing, she seamlessly layers on her own personal pieces to these new favorites. I have to say that I find the lighthearted direction of this shoot by Ari Seth Cohen [Advanced Style] with Iris in her own home one of the best parts of the collaboration. How cute is she! 

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Also opening under the large umbrella company of H&M in less than two weeks is COS, another brand that has a cult following with fashion bloggers and editors. COS lies on the more minimalistic end of the spectrum and from what I can gather is more high end in materials, construction and the price. The latest is that the store will open on December 5 or 8th. I can't wait to get myself to that location when it does!

All photographs by Ari Seth Cohen of Advanced Style

New Obsession: Bessarabian Rugs

THRIFTLauren CaronComment

This weekend I visited my parents and my mother had recently purchased this fabulous rug that looks a lot like a Kilem but the motif is saturated roses and leaves, unlike many Kilems that I've seen. We did a little research to find out that it is indeed a Bessarabian style rug from Eastern Europe. The region, specifically is of the Russian provinces of Ukraine and Moldova during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Bessarabian carpets and rugs almost always have a floral motif with a black or brown colored background. Although often reproduced, vintage and antique ones are rare. My mother has insanely great luck at antique stores and purchased this piece for a great bargain. I so badly wanted to use it in my living room but the odd measurements of 6ft x 11ft are not right - too long and too narrow for my square shaped living room. Believe me I tried to make it work! Oh well, someday when we have a bigger home, right? Or how great would it be to find a similar one? Now I'm on a hunt. 

For the most part I see very traditionally decorated rooms with these rugs, but with a little digging I found some contemporary spaces incorporating them and that's how I really like to see them used. 

This kitchen is so fresh and simple, the rug adds a layer or warmth and energy. See more examples in the slideshow below. 

Do you have a Bessarabian rug? Ever heard of these, or was I living under a rock?

How Chic: A Manhattan Jewel Toned Home

SPACESLauren CaronComment

When Domaine Home recently posted this home I was very excited because it was a nice break from the vastness of white walls that we've been seeing lately. While white walls are airy and light and easy…. you don't have to go through the trials and tribulations of choosing the right paint color. Deciding on the perfect paint color in a home is really tricky and especially so when using saturated tones like emerald greens and ruby reds. In this home, Jared Seligman has done it all right. Keeping the majority of his decorative elements and furnishings in the traditional style has helped to ground the space, while mixing taxidermy and furs with velvets adds a rich layer of luxurious texture, which surprisingly tones down the saturated colors by giving your eyes a place to rest.

 

His statement regarding where he finds inspiration is spot on, “I love Elsie de Wolfe, Sister Parish, and, of course, Dorothy Draper, because so many of their designs are still relevant so many years later,” says Seligman. “There are also so many talented designers right now that are huge inspirations like Nick OlsenStudio SoffieldRyan KorbanRobert CouteriorCourtney Applebaum, and Miles Redd.” 

he designers of the past and present who aren't afraid to use color and mix in layers of textures, antiques, new pieces, expensive and inexpensive elements share the commonality of creating designs that are timeless. 

On Trend: Head West

TREND, SPACESLauren CaronComment

Happy Friday! It's officially Fall in New York and it's almost cool enough to start wearing some of the seasons best new trends. A major trend this season involves piling on layers of plaid and flannels, faux (or real) fur, navajo prints, denim and fringe. It's all about the influence of the nostalgic American West. Equally embraced by interior design, subtle twists on these classic elements are also turning up in the most metropolitan places.

Head West
Head West

1. Fringe Top | 2. Mirror | 3. Antler Chandelier | 4. Lampshade | 5. Checked Shirtdress | 6. Console | 7. Handwoven Rug | 8. Faux-fur Cowhide Pillow | 9. Copper Canister | 10. Rag & Bone Booties | 11. Navajo Print Rug | 12. Metal Woven Basket | 13. Plaid Throw Blanket

Many Brooklyn apartments showcase flat weave patterned rugs inspired by the American West, others are hanging tapestries and dream catchers. I may not be a huge fan of the movement but I still very much appreciate inviting some of these elements into my home. I am the first to admit that I could kill (a bug) for a Pendleton blanket to throw on the couch. And yes, I have a few plaid or checked shirts in my wardrobe. I've herded together some of my favorite pieces this season that when paired properly will find their way into your permanent lifestyle. Enjoy.