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Style Matters

Author: Zandra Zuraw

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Style Matters is all about the substance behind developing a personal style in your home and surrounding yourself with beauty in a way that is meaningful. We interview top stylists, designers, artisans and tastemakers both nationally and internationally about why style matters to them. The guests we interview each week inspire us creatively, and give us insight into why the art of home making is so powerful. To continue the conversation on why style matters, sign up for our monthly newsletter, packed with photos, stories, tips and resources, at
307 Episodes
Bertille de Lestrade is an artist and on her Instagram account called Darling Toutim, she primarily shares her sculptural and mixed media pieces.  Her other instagram account is called Cette Maison Bleue, and that's where she showcases her paintings of private interiors... living rooms, bedrooms, etc. and that's why I wanted her to come on the show... to talk about the connection she makes between art and interior design.  But this conversation turned out to be a whole lot more than that.  Bertille has such a generous spirit about her.  We do talk about her work as an artist, of course, be we also talk about coming through to the other side of depression, developing self confidence, and finding beauty in the world, as well as putting beauty into it.  
There is a genuine warmth emanating from my guest, Marie Flanagan.  She's a designer in Houston, TX and she's just come out with her first book called The Beauty of Home.  Now, I gush a little bit about the book in the very beginning so let me just say here that I found Marie's chapters to each be a foundational lesson in design that clarifies so much of the intangible elements such as composition, character, palate, depth... and my conversation with her is like sitting in on several master classes rolled into one.  I think you're going to get a lot out of this episode and even more out of her book.  
Monica Leed is a pro organizer and author of the book, Simply Spaced.  In this episode we cover things such as how a good decluttering is growth for the soul, how getting organized is empowering, how to agree with your spouse or partner on what "neat and tidy" actually means, and why style is critical to staying organized. 
The first episode in this round of interviews from the archives is with Ariane Bethea, who just had a big feature in House Beautiful magazine.  In this episode, we talk about her work as an antiques and vintage dealer, her work designing for other people, and the work she's done in her own home.  She's a bold, maximalist, storyteller and she gives us the reasons why.  
Today, I'm talking with designer Aamir Khandwala.  From our conversation, I gathered that he has a gentle soul, sensitive to all aspects of a space, honoring both the history of design and the cultural essence of a country he's drawing from for a given project.  He speaks softly, so you have to listen closely.  But I think that's part of his charm.  You'll want to lean in to this one, soaking up everything he has to say. 
Get ready to think on a totally different plane because in this episode I talk with Susan Domelsmith Cabral of Clear Space, a modern feng shui practice for residential and commercial settings.  What you'll take away from this is the understanding that there's a lot going on inside our homes that we can't see.  And as a feng shui practitioner, it's Susan's job to use ancient tools that reveal the energy, balance, and focal points that may or may not be working in our homes.  We really just scratch the surface of what feng shui is all about, but she does leave us with some simple things we can implement right away.  If you're interested in learning more, go to our shownotes page for this episode at and click on the podcast section of our website.  In addition to getting more info about Susan and seeing photos of her work, she is also sharing a free downloadable energy map with you!  Ok, let's get started.  
This episode is a quiet one.  It's personal.  And I'm really happy to share this designer with you.  Her name is Christine Vroom and she works out of California and primarily does luxury design.  We talk about 2 of my favorite projects of hers, and you'll have to check the show note page for this episode at to see some of the stunning photos.  But Christine, generously, also opens up about depression, an eating disorder and mental health overall and how it affects both her personally, and how it has shaped her work with clients. 
My guest today is Darcy Guttwein, author of "Hotels To Home: Living The Luxury Hotel Experience At Home."  But I don't think that title actually does the book justice.  Yes, we can steal some luxurious design ideas from fancy hotels, but Darcy goes so much further, excavating our deepest desires when it comes to what we really want our homes to do for us.  She's a traveler.  And so her backdrop for teaching herself, her kids and us, really valuable life lessons comes from her love of hotels.  She takes the experience of staying in a hotel to a level you've probably never thought of.  There are so many delightful gems in this episode, I think you're really gonna love it. 
My guest today is professional stylist, Pippa Jameson, who just came out with a book called, "The Sensory Home: An Inspiring Guide to Mindful Decorating."  In it, she breaks down how to make sure your home is engaging each of your 5 senses.  We so often focus only on how a room looks when it comes to interiors... but how it feels to our touch, what scents we breathe in, what we hear, even the idea of slowing down for a meal so we can really focus on the deliciousness of each bite.... all of it is applicable to all of us.  And Pippa is a terrific guide on getting us in the mindset of thinking beyond the visuals and more about how our entire bodies are experiencing a space.  
My guest today is author Hilary Robertson talking with us about her newest book, "Nomad At Home: Designing The Home More Traveled."  Hilary is not only a much sought after stylist for numerous brands, she is an addict when it comes to travel. She soaks up the materials, emotions, colors and patterns of each new place she visits or moves to... and moving in for extended stays is the only way to really get the design juices flowing in her mind.   What you'll see throughout this book are photos of homes where the line between the culture of a city or neighborhood and the interiors of private spaces is blurred to the point where you feel like the rooms of these design obsessed owners have always been there, existing as a repository of memories over many, many years.  The book is gorgeous and Hilary is lovely.  Here she is.  
In our first episode of the last season of 2022, I share the main projects I've been working on behind the scenes during our podcast break in October.  They are a book proposal... it'll be all about my Slow Style framework for design.  I'm very excited about the possibility of getting this thing published!  Second, I talk about an upcoming, free masterclass I'll be teaching in November.  If you've ever been stuck in your design efforts, you'll want to sign up for that!
If your heart starts beating really fast at the site of a yard sale sign, estate sale notice or the prospect of a 3 day antiques fair, you're gonna love this episode.  My guest is pro thrifter Virginia Chamlee and author of the new book, "Big Thrift Energy: The Art and Thrill of Finding Vintage Treasures."  If you've ever been intimidated by picking through shelf after shelf of junk with the hope of finding a diamond in the rough, Virginia is the guide you've been longing for.  Her book is packed with insight on how to shop, how to discern if something is right for you, how to know how much to spend, and when to walk away.  We talk about all of that, plus talk about ways in which to mix all of your new found treasures together in your home in a cohesive way.  And if you're a veteran thrifter yourself, you're going to love connecting with someone who is as passionate as you are about the world of vintage!  Here's Virginia.  
Andrew Suvalsky's work is right up my aesthetic alley.  He leans towards maximalism, but he knows when to pull back.  And he's what I call a master of the mix, by which I mean he can take random, seemingly disconnected things and pull them together in a way that's completely unexpected, but also beautifully in communication with each other.  I'm talking colors, patterns, eras, styles, materials.... and it doesn't look like a big mess or a high end thrift store gone crazy.  If you want to learn how do this in your own home, I want you to study Andrew's work.  Really look at each room and think about why his compositions work.  And you can start on with this episode's show notes page on our website at 
I just read a really important book.  It's called "Make Space For Happiness: How To Stop Attracting Clutter and Start Magnetizing the Life You Want."  Today I'm talking with the author and expert behind the very successful company, dClutteryfly, Tracy McCubbin.  How often do we get real with ourselves about why we're buying all this stuff in the first place? Why is shopping so powerful and what are the real holes in our lives that we're trying to fill?   Before you try another organization hack or tool or system, listen to this conversation and let Tracy's words of wisdom really sink in.  
You can hear the pride in the voices of Scott Mast and Juan Goiricelaya, owners of the vintage furniture store, Circa Who.  Beyond selling furniture, they are curators, restorers and stewards of the fanciful Palm Beach aesthetic that's having quite a moment lately.  We talk about what goes into running a store full of vintage treasures, and their connection to a particular designer, Mario Lopez Torres.  Mr. Torres was the creator of the iconic furniture pieces that feature rattan animals and plants... I'm talking about rattan palm trees that hold light fixtures instead of coconuts, monkeys holding up tables like a waiter holds a tray above his head, and all kinds of birds doing all kinds of things.  I'm not sure rattan ever went out of style, but it's certainly having a revival, with no signs of it slowing down.  Scott and Juan have taken the legacy of Mario Lopez Torres and continued his work for the rest of us to enjoy. 
A few weeks ago I sent out a survey to listeners, mainly to ask 2 questions: what's your biggest challenge in terms of design, and what topics are you most interested in having me cover?  The answers came pouring in and I'm so grateful because it really helps me create the most relevant content for you.  In this episode I share the results of this survey and dive into some of the questions you left in the comment boxes.  Think of this as a Q&A session!  And if you want to ask more questions, you can always email me!  
I talk with Cynthia Zamaria, author of "House & Flower" about the many homes she's renovated and gardens she's revived along with her husband, and how those experiences have informed and responded to her own, personal growth.   She uses the word "ethos" when describing her design approach.  How does your own home manifest your beliefs and aspirations?
  Today, you're going to hear from a sculptor who talks so eloquently about his craft and why we need to surround ourselves with beauty and I felt honored to talk with someone who thinks so deeply about his work.
 I'm talking with Rachel Robarge of the rental services company, June Homes. 
I was talking with designer Anne Hulcher Tollett on the Style Matters podcast about the importance of having objects in a room "in dialogue" with one another. 
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