Studio Four Travels: Stacy on Safari

August 13th, 2015

Me? Not a nature girl. Really, not at all. Ask anyone.

But I recently spent ten days on safari in Tanzania and it was the most amazing experience of sights, sounds, colors and patterns found in nature, so perhaps I need to change my tune.  And since it’s such a topic currently in the news, yes – my safari was of the photo variety. Trusty binoculars, layers of clothes and a camera with a decent zoom were my basic equipment. That and three very good friends. And great local guides, courtesy of the fantastic Sanctuary Retreats, who planned the trip of a lifetime.

Not just the patterns, but the colors and textures are going to stay with me forever – and will almost certainly influence some fabric, wallpaper and rug designs at Studio Four.

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After landing at the Kilimanjaro airport and an overnight at the lush Arusha Coffee Lodge, it was off via bush plane and our trusty pilot Ricardo to the Kuro airstrip (read: dirt road) in the Tarangire National Park, where we were met by our first amazing guide.

Samwell worked as an elephant researcher for years and has been a guide for over seven years now.  His knowledge of Tarangire, the ecosystem and the animals, trees, plants, birds, you name it, was immense.  Tarangire covers 1100 square miles and has marshes, woodlands, bush and forests and is home to over 4000 elephants and a host of other animals: zebra, giraffe, baboons, lions, impalas, waterbuck, warthogs, ostriches, Cape buffalo… and over 500 species of birds. A spectacular introduction to east Africa.

The elephants and their different colors and their textures were amazing. Our camp in Tarangire, Sanctuary Swala, is built overlooking an elephant watering hole

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The natural designs in zebras are as individual as fingerprints. When gathered in a group, their stripes create optical illusions to confuse predators

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Next stop: Lake Manyara, surrounded by forests, woodlands and marshes and so many flamingos in the lake they look like sand bars from a distance. We stayed at the gorgeous Escarpment Lodge perched at the top of the cliffs overlooking the lake and the Great Rift Valley.
Flamingos on Lake Manyara

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I love these brilliant colors in the algae of the hot springs at the edge of the lake

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And a couple of not so cuddly lions guarding their giraffe. Circle of life

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Who knew the giraffe markings could be blocks or flower shapes? I am sensing a rug or wallpaper inspired by these guys

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And we drove up into the clouds to the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater before dropping down into this 18 km diameter caldera. The crater is the world’s largest unbroken caldera that’s not a lake and has its own ecosystem with grasslands, woodlands, marshes and forests.

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And finally on to the Serengeti, the 12,000 square mile area of plains known for big cats and the annual wildebeest migration. We timed it perfectly. Our camp, the Sanctuary Migration Camp, was in the western Serengeti and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, who showed up three or four days before we did and were already starting to move on by our last day in camp. The wildebeest are in constant search for new grass and they are trailed by friends (like zebra and gazelles) and foes (like lions – and crocodiles and hippos at the river crossings)

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Safari is a lesson in patience to wait and watch life unfold. Like the day we sat for over an hour watching a pride of lions stalk buffalo. Or when we watched this lion hunting zebras (neither were successful, but it’s an adrenaline rush to watch the strategy).

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And of course no safari is complete without a sundowner. Properly observed with a gin and tonic.

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Thanks to our stellar guides, Samwell, Anael and Emmanuel, for their vast knowledge, to Sanctuary Retreats for their beautiful camps, to fantastic travel partners Liz and Kenny and of course Pam, who had the whole idea in the first place

Already referring to this as my ‘first’ safari…

stacy

The Launch of Studio Four’s Designer Wallpaper Collection

February 6th, 2015

We have been working for about a year now on our first Studio Four wallpaper collection. The collection is a collaboration between Studio Four and three crazy talented interior designers from different parts of the country: Amber Lewis of Los Angeles, Angie Hranowsky of Charleston, and Brian Paquette of Seattle. I’ve long admired these three designers for their use of pattern and color in their projects, and it has been extraordinary to see how they’ve translated their ideas into wallpaper designs.

Well – yesterday we launched this amazing collection of wallpapers, and I could not be more proud or excited for how they all turned out. Thank you to each of these incredible designers for your time and creativity and for helping us bring this collection to life.

Here’s some visual candy to get you all excited about the brand new Studio Four Designer Wallpaper Collection. To see more images of the collection, visit our online store, The Market or visit our showroom.

kate

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Anthony George Home in Lonny

January 14th, 2015

We were so excited to see this great feature in Lonny for one of our newest fabric lines here at Studio Four, Anthony George Home. His textiles are beautiful on the screen, but you really must see them in person – such great color. So come on by the showroom for a visit!

kate

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Spies Like Us

January 5th, 2015

Happy New Year everyone! Over the holiday break I noticed that the home of one of our clients, the talented and lovely Elspeth Benoit, was featured in The New York Times. Elspeth and her husband, David Bevan, worked with Elizabeth Roberts of Ensemble Architecture in Brooklyn to renovate and restore an incredible townhouse in Cobble Hill. 

We were thrilled to see the finished results in The Times and especially excited to see her AMAZING sofa upholstered in our Amazon Emerald handwoven fabric paired up with an awesome leather hide from Avo in the same room. Take a look inside this incredible home…

kate

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The Market in Vogue’s Gift Guides

December 17th, 2014

We were thrilled to see some items from our online store, The Market, featured in Vogue’s Holiday Gift Guides!

Our One of a Kind Prism Ornament in Aalamwaar’s Suzani All Over:

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See the guide

And Tulu’s Vintage Mayto Cushion in Gray Multi:

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See the guide

So glad to be included!

kate

Our Favorite Christmas Traditions

December 3rd, 2014

Happy December! Stacy and I were asked by The Daily Basics to share our favorite Christmas traditions. It was a fun thing to think about because it made me realize that I’m a big fan of Christmas traditions. I love advent calendars (love them even more when they involve chocolate), I love baking cookies with my son (and eating them), and as crazy as it sounds I actually love the chaos that is Macy’s Santaland (and the stiff drink that is needed after that visit is quite nice too).

But here are Stacy and my very favorite Christmas traditions…

kate

Avo in Vogue

November 11th, 2014

Remember the other day when we showed you Avo designer Brit Kleinman’s work? Well, we were thrilled to see her work featured in Vogue’s Room to Runway feature yesterday!

Her handpainted hides can be used as rugs or wall hangings and are out of this world.

 

Here they are displayed in our showroom

 

 

kate

Introducing AVO

November 6th, 2014

We recently started representing the most incredible new artist at Studio Four, and I am super excited to introduce her products to you all…

Meet Brit Kleinman, the creator and designer behind Avo.

Brit hand paints leather hides from Italy with bold graphic patterns that are blowing me away. I am so excited about adding Avo to the Studio Four collection, and just wanted to share its beauty with you all here.

And here they are in our showroom!

kate

Rebecca Atwood

October 29th, 2014

We are thrilled to be representing Rebecca Atwood’s beautiful textile collection at Studio Four. Rebecca is quite well known for her exquisite pillows (which are also now for sale through our showroom and on The Market), but she just recently launched her first fabric collection. Her designs are sophisticated and calm at the same time. You could easily scheme an entire room around one of her patterns, but I love them so much because they adapt to a wide variety of styles.

Besides her beautiful pattern designs, Rebecca is also offering two metallic linens that are beyond amazing.

Pop by the showroom to see all of this beauty in person – and stay tuned for updates on Rebecca’s new collection which will be launching in January.

kate

Q & A with Caitlin McGauley

October 24th, 2014

One of our newest and most talked about lines at Studio Four is Caitlin McGauley’s incredible collection of wallpapers. Caitlin is a delight to work with and we have had the best time helping her put together ideas for the patterns and colors that make up her debut collection. When Caitlin first approached us about the possibility of venturing into the world of wallpaper, I think she came to Stacy and me for thoughts on what designs would translate and work best. Well, I would like to say that we were helpful… but in all honesty we were so taken by the beauty of her paintings, and we basically wanted her to turn them all into wallpapers!! The good news is that I think there will be all sorts of fabulous new designs coming from Caitlin, and she will continue to amaze us with her talent. Here is a little Q & A with the fabulous Caitlin McGauley.

kate

KR: You are an incredible painter and illustrator, how did you come up with the inspiration for your wallpaper collection? Is it a mixture of new designs and some influence from your past work?

CM: Thanks! There was a point a few years ago when I was painting lots of interiors. I found myself getting really into the patterns on the walls and fabrics, and figuring out what kind of wallpaper or upholstery would work in the tiny little worlds I was painting. Then I got a little tired of working so small and started painting huge patterns on big paper, and it sparked the idea for a collection. 

KR: Do you have a favorite design from your collection? Sorry- impossible question, I know!

CM: So hard to answer! I love the Dots because they are so versatile, I can see them working in so many places. I also like Trumpet Vine in pink because it’s a little out there. But I have to say that I think the most striking is Panthera in black!

[pictured above, clockwise from top left: Echo in blue, Elephants in pink, Dots in Black, and Peony in pink]

KR: You have two young children. Do you have any tips on how to have a clear head and keep the creativity flowing while balancing your day to day life with the little ones?

CM: Work/life balance is always on my mind! I think having kids has made me more focused and has forced me to use my time more wisely. I am always lamenting that I should have done more work before I had kids, that I should have used my free time to make more art and develop my business. But the truth is, my productivity has been through the roof since I’ve had kids. You know that saying “If you need something done, ask a busy person?”. It’s like, ok let’s just add it on to the pile! Just when I think I can’t take anything else on, I get a rush project or one of my kids gets sick. My main tip is to learn to go with the flow and embrace it all as just a part of life. It all gets done somehow! 

[pictured above,clockwise from top left: Trumpet Vine in pink, Siva in blue, Claude in lime, and Panthera in black]

KR: Any hints on what is to come next? Collection number two?

CM: I am loving the response people are having to the animals, and I’m thinking that I want to do more! I’m thinking about Tigers on yellow and brightly colored birds. I can’t wait to get painting! 

See more of Caitlin McGauley’s collection on our showroom website. And you can find Caitlin’s own website here. For more info, email us at info@studiofournyc.com.