Decorating with Needlepoint Rugs

The inspiration bedroom for the guest is of course, Tory Burch’s Bird & Thistle bedroom in the Hamptons.

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Architectural Digest, Tory Burch – Asmara Ferncroft rug

While the wallpaper was easy to identify, the rug was not tagged and I had to deep dive the internet to identify the rug as the Asmara Ferncroft. Tory has layered multiple rugs in this room as you can see from a photo taken at an alternate angle. It is unclear to me if this rug is also Asmara, but it does not appear to be.

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Architectural Digest, Tory Burch – Unknown layered rug

Both rugs are beautiful, but at >$6,000 for the size we needed, they were out of budget, so I shifted the search to Ebay and found the perfect fit 6’x9′ for <$400. There are plenty of needlepoint rugs on Ebay to choose from. Most important for me was to find a larger floral pattern that would compliment the Bird & Thistle wallpaper well. Matching a rug to wallpaper is a bit like matching a tie to a shirt. You can mix and match patterns but the sizing should complement and the colors should coordinate, but don’t need to match perfectly. The rug that I purchased was $450 including shipping, a far cry from the thousands of dollars you could spend on a new rug, and this rug is new itself, but made in the 1990’s.

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Aubusson Needlepoint Rug, 1990s, from Ebay

You may remember the rug that is currently in the guest room from this post,  but here is a refresh:

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Surya, Grace cotton rug with crochet edging, in off-white

The rug lays flat, is an off-white color, has crochet edges and is 8’x10′. I am currently selling this rug on Ebay. Here is a picture of this rug in our room, before we swapped it out.

The Surya cream rug works well, but is basic
The nightstand – A Chairish find!
The pattern works perfectly with the wallpaper
And, more pattern with the Liberty quilt, made by my mom

The new rug in position couldn’t be more perfect and I love the play of pattern across the rug, quilt and wallpaper.

The entryway, in process

and a tragic mistake..!

Remember the old Ming Circus wallpaper in the entry? It has been transformed with Gucci Herbarium and it was fabulous, until I noticed a big error. Can you spot it?

Gucci Wallpaper – notice anything wrong?

No, it’s not that the paper is missing over the door. The installers haven’t gotten to that piece yet.

Let’s look a little closer..

Notice the butterflies in the pattern that are flying upside down? <cringe>. Gucci actually rolled their paper upside down. Typically the end of the roll is the top of the wall. Typically the wallpaper rolls down the wall. However, in this case, the top of the roll was the bottom of the wall (not standard). It was not my installers mistake and Gucci is going to fix this issue with their manufacturer. I guess that is what happens when you are an early adopter? Unfortunately we will have to strip the paper and re-wallpaper the entry. Thankfully it was not a huge space and thankfully Tapia’s Works is fantastic and is doing this again for me. Needless to say, if anyone is interested in using this paper be extra careful about reviewing your roll and the orientation. It is possible that your paper too will be rolled upside down such that the top of the roll is the bottom of the wall…

Looking forward to fixing this mistake and thankful it wasn’t a bigger space!
Will be so pretty when complete.

Master bedroom, before

Wallpaper to be stripped

I love this master bedroom because it is tucked away in the back of the house, so it is quiet, but it also has great street views thanks to the space afforded by the side alley and the angle of the bay windows. Today it is wallpapered in this lovely floral print. This wallpaper will be stripped and Farrow & Ball Wimborne White will take its place. Here is the bedroom in the listing photos:

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The master in the listing photo

Here is the bedroom today:

Cedar lined closets with brass knobs
Wallpaper to be stripped and room to painted Farrow & Ball Wimborne White
Wallpaper to be stripped

The closets are cedar lined and afford plenty of space, although one of the uppers is HVAC…

A custom set of mahogany drawers are being made in TN. The drawers will look similar to this piece from Primitive. I’m still searching for the perfect hardware.

Custom mahogany dresser in process, similar to this one from Primitive

The wallpaper stripping will happen this week, followed by the painting of the entire apartment including ceilings.

The reason why we selected Wimborne White for the master is because a large colorful piece of art will be hung on the bedroom wall, away from direct sunlight, and white is the best suited backdrop. The art will be hung where the TV is placed in the listing photo. The stacked drawers will be placed between the bay windows that are unfortunately not captured well in the pictures above but are located next to each other with a gap between.

Wendy’s (Ellis) Green

Farrow & Ball full gloss paint

I discovered high shine “Wendy’s Green” paint from Farrow & Ball while searching for the perfect olive paint. The store actually does not carry a true olive paint but good news!, the custom mixed Wendy’s Green is available, with a 2 gallon minimum. This is the same green that designer Wendy Labrum used at the 2017 Lake Forest, IL Design & Garden Showhouse. I love it!

All room images were pulled from La Dolce Vita.

The one that got away 

Perhaps anyone who has house hunted has found the “almost perfect” house before finding “the one”.

We each found our own “perfect” house but unfortunately it was not the same house, so we went with neither and had to move on. However, from time to time i still think of this one…

This house was even better in person and I loved every detail. It was impeccably clean and looked like it came straight from Architectural Digest.


The molding was fresh and new (no cakey old paint) and the cream walls were the perfect backdrop for art. There was an incredible flat marble fireplace that was the perfect touch of modern for the space.

The dining room windows looked out on Lincoln Park and I loved the books and beams.

The back of the house didn’t have the best view, but that was the only slight downside that I saw.


The endless closets were a great plus!

If you like what you see – this beautiful place is still up for grabs!

A rental loft: my first Chicago project

a breezy loft gets a post-modern rental makeover

With their open floor plans and soaring ceilings, lofts are one-of-a kind residences and why this loft stood out among a sea of rentals. Interestingly, I had come across photos of our loft online when I lived in New York, before we moved to Chicago, when browsing the internet. This was before I had ever contemplated living in Chicago, so to end up in this exact building by chance is either an amazing coincidence, or a great example of the powers of the internet on predicting consumer choice!

Coffee table: Molteni, Chaise: Room & Board, Chairs: InMod, Bookcase: Sapien / Amazon, Art: designers own

The furniture chosen for this loft was intended to be low profile and transitional so it could move out of the rental someday and into a more permanent spot. This explains the lack of a full couch, which would have been a big commitment, expensive, and potentially hard to incorporate well in a new space. This couch is perfect because it can just as easily serve as the main seating as it is here, or divide a large room.

Chairs: InMod, Couch: Room & Board, Barstools: Eric Trine, Coffee Table: Molteni

The chairs from InMod have custom cushions that were made by Patio Lane with Ralph Lauren fabric. The original InMod cushions were very low quality but the chairs are solid walnut. The Molteni coffee table was purchased off the floor as a sample for 50% off.

Monkey painting: designer made, Woven chair: designer made, Bookshelf: Sapien Amazon, Chairs: InMod with Patio Lane custom cushions, Table Lamp: Neiman Marcus

What made this apartment fun was I had to start from scratch. This provided a lot of fun challenges to get the best deals and make the most from the least. So many elements in this home were made by hand such as the dining room table, the dining chairs, the woven leather chair, most of the artwork and the bar cabinet.