Meet Laura Stanley and Lizzie Bailey from New York and Bozeman from Story Road Studio in Montana
When it comes to inspiration, “we rely (some say, hoard!) On a huge supply of old magazines like House Beautiful, Elle Décor and World of Interiors,” say Laura Stanley and Lizzie Bailey, the duo behind New York and Bozeman, Story Street Studio in Montana. That shouldn’t be too surprising. After all, both designers are exchanging their roots in the editorial world.
After a stint at Country Living, Laura Stanley worked for textile designer John Robshaw, where she met people like Celerie Kemble and Bunny Williams in the showroom. Lizzie Bailey, meanwhile, had her own love affair with textiles, furniture and anything décor-related as a market editor for House & Garden Magazine before graduating with a degree in interior design and joining Katie Ridder’s prestigious firm.
With their mutual appreciation for the superimposition of old and new – with many patterns in the mix! – the two teamed up to create the Story Street Studio, where they love to find the perfect mix to create truly personal spaces. And their common foundations in the editorial team are deeply rooted to this day:
“Working as an assistant and market editor for various magazines has made us both obsessed when it comes to shopping and sourcing,” they say. “We love tracking things down, or trying to identify an obscure swatch of fabric from a photo! And producing photo shoots and stories on tight deadlines for discerning editors made us neurotic about the logistics, organization and tracking of every component of a project intense but invaluable training. “
Tell us …
What distinguishes your work?
Lots of layered patterns and colors, in addition to a mix of new and custom pieces and antiques. We work hard to make every project feel unique to the client and never be formulaic.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (from family, mentor, boss?)
“Write it down” or “You are only as good as your notes.” There are so many details, precision and accuracy that go into the interior design. We take extremely detailed and thorough notes every time we visit the site and talk to a customer, and we live and die according to these notes! If they are not written down, this will not happen. We never leave our office without a notebook and a pencil!
How should your customers feel in a room?
Happy, energetic, relaxed. We hope they feel like we gave them something they didn’t even know was possible: what they wanted, but better than they imagined.
What or who was your first design crush?
Bailey: David Hicks was the first designer who really blew me away. The color combinations and the mix of pretty, modern made, and then this sharp-edged, masculine elegance.
Stanely: John Robshaw for his apologetic and abundant use of colors and patterns and for his introduction to the world of textile design. I thought I died and went to Heaven when I went to his showroom.
And your current design has a crush
David Netto is such a master at finding a balance between classicism and modern sensibility. East and west coast mood.
Pamela Shamshiri is a sorceress who mixes time periods and styles with a sexy ease. Seems like it will never repeat itself.
And we can’t get enough of Commune’s extremely cool California vibe. Your projects look like they came from another time and are wildly modern at the same time. We love the thoughtful handling of textiles and materials.
For less than $ 100 – or even free! – Which decoration trick had the greatest influence?
Custom or special lampshades are so transformative. Fair warning: it’s addicting. Once you’ve swapped a simple paper umbrella for something a little more unique, it’s hard to go back. We have been accused of turning more than one customer into a “lampshade snob”. Of course, custom shades can be expensive (and worth it!). But there are also many great pre-built options out there.
What is overrated in decorating?
Trends … We tend to avoid trends and instead prefer furniture and lighting that stand the test of time. Decorating is expensive and we hate the idea of things getting thrown away in a short period of time because they are out of date. A mix that will look just as good in five (or ten) years is what we always strive for.
What is underestimated when it comes to decorating?
Never underestimate the value of good old-fashioned room planning.
What would surprise us if we found out about you?
We are both obsessed with all things New Age and Goop-y: energy healing, Reiki, chakra balancing, astrological signs, manifestation, spirit animals. When we’re not talking about design, we’re probably chatting for hours about the latest mind and body discovery one of us has made or a wellness podcast we’ve heard.
Story Street Studio
What is your favorite…
Thing to Collect: Textiles. Always. Even if we have no idea what we’re going to do with them (and often don’t), we can’t resist buying something beautiful when we see it. Everything from precious vintage kimono fragments in Japan to vintage pom-pom embellishments from Roundtop in Texas. Eventually, some things turn into pillows, lampshades, or framed works of art. Some things are just left in the collection for inspiration.
Design era / style:
Bailey: I love the English country house aesthetic because it is inherently layered, a mix of eras and styles. Of course, John Fowler made this an art in the 1940s and 50s. He was a master. But for me the style goes beyond a decade – and is timeless – because it’s so much about combining antiques (inherited or bought!) With comfortable upholstery and always a random element or piece or a color that isn’t quite ” fits “. but somehow everything works. Katie Ridder is a modern day master in this field. Laura and I always try to loosen up and throw something into our designs to break up something out of date or predictable.
Bailey: Farrow & Ball Monkey Puzzle No. 238 (archive color). The name alone is fantastic. This elegant green-blue has recently become a favorite for doors. In a high gloss, it’s glamorous without being shocking. And with a matte finish, it makes for a super cozy, sophisticated library.
Stanley: Fine colors CG-4. We recently painted a pantry this vibrant saffron yellow which adds a great happiness factor! It’s like a dose of vitamin D and serotonin that boosts your mood as soon as you walk in the room.
Artist or work of art:
Bailey: It is impossible to choose one! But if Thomas Crown stole a painting from the Met and I could live with it on a private island for the rest of my life, it would be Manet’s young lady in 1866.
Local shopping destination: To really find a lot of things to do on a project – whether it’s key pieces or accessories to complete a project – we love driving out of town to Stamford, Connecticut or Hudson, NY, where there are still lots of antiques. and design shops per capita are so you can hit many places at once.
Online shop: Chairish and InCollect both have a lot of traffic in our office. We source so much from vintage lights to furniture. LiveAuctioners.com, which allows you to search auction houses around the world and set up notifications so that you can be notified when there’s something for sale you are looking for. Lizzie also has a cross-border obsession with online real estate sales but is unwilling to share the names of the sites because she doesn’t want competition.
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