Decor Demon brings some much needed glamour to FOX News reporter Stacey Elgin‘s home office with a medium size budget and ambitious timeline
Produced, designed, written, styled and directed by Brian Patrick Flynn with photography by Sarah Dorio
Finally! After five years designing homes, I’ve been able to use this sentence: “My client is in Spain with Cameron Diaz learning how to drive stunt cars so we’re gonna have to push the purple ceiling installation back two days until she’s done interviewing Tom Cruise, then stops by Austria.”. These words don’t stem from being delusional or obsessed with A-Listers or Scientology but rather from the fact that my new FOX News reporter client, Stacey Elgin, has the coolest day job in the galaxy. Referred to as The Road Warrior [in reference to her live, out-in-the-field morning news show of the same name], the stunning southern belle is tasked with assignments ranging from movie premieres and press junkets to American Idol finales and the latest and greatest in fashion and fitness. The well-spoken blonde bombshell hired my team to infuse glamour into her lackluster home studio. What the hell does a news reporter need a home studio for? Well, when this Road Warrior is off the road, she runs a website hocking high-end women’s workout gear and custom jewelry. The only sucky part of the project? Getting it all done in about a week. The un-sucky part? My client’s hands-off approach and super fun taste. Her three decorating must-haves? Pink, black and mirror. This situation can best be described as a designer’s wet dream.
While the girl on TV braved 100 mph loop-dee-loops around Spanish race car tracks with Golden Globe and Oscar nominees, my team braved 100% humidity-infused drives back and forth from Home Depot with trim color candidates. Although we aimed for Bergdorf caliber high fashion, the proposed budget was more of a fit for Dress Barn. Thanks to an amazing wallpaper website, we scored a Halston-esque 1970′s pattern for the walls without breaking the bank, then the rest fell into place. We saved on storage and seating, splurged on floors, trim and custom draperies, then went Wisteria wild for our finishing touches. At the tail end of the project, I realized one minor detail. I never ran this pretty in pink concept by Stacey’s blue-and-brown-loving man’s man of a husband.
It started out kinda Finnish with “Helsinki” wallpaper from UK-based company Graham & Brown. Soon thereafter, the Finnish-by-way-of-England wallpaper picked up a French-Italian accent once introduced to Wisteria’s hand-painted Parisian console and Traditional Venetian Glass Mirror. A little American retail therapy via West Elm finished the entrance off in the form of a Hammered Vase and a Crushed Eggshell Box.
A view with a room
With windows peering out into her driveway and mailbox, Stacey’s studio wasn’t exactly a room with a view. We switched things up making it a view with a room—from the top floor landing, that is. While standing in the doorway, one gets a tailored eye full of elegance from the Morningstar ebony bamboo floors from Lumber Liquidators, custom faux silk draperies, plum trim work and ceiling to a $25 flea market chair updated with black high-gloss spray paint and a violet mohair cushion.
Design within reach
Stacey’s jewelry design business requires a space to sprawl out jems, wire, clasps and materials; however many of her essentials often double as eyesores. By adding a tailored skirt to the front and two sides of a TORSBY table from IKEA, our bejeweled subject can now keep the design must-have’s within reach below the white glass table top. Our fabric of choice was pink slubby basket weave cotton at $4.99 per yard. The silver trim? Repurposed ironing board liner. Cost, FREE. We reached into our trusted bag of tricks to turn 3 BILLY bookcase units from IKEA into a fake-it-don’t-make-it built-in. To contain the part-time designer’s hat inventory, our organizing expert, Sarah, layered them inside recycled newspaper bins from The Container Store and kept Stacey’s own line of bath and body products safe in weathered BYHOLMA and Maize bins and baskets. A grey/silver pendant from West Elm added a play-on-scale to the studio from above while a $25 floor model version of the retailer’s Jute Boucle rug protected the floors below. We interspersed some decoration with our organization using Book Boxes, Jewel Topped Bottles and a Glass Pouring Pitcher from Wisteria. The black Louis Ghost Chair from Kartell was scored online.
She works hard for the money
Although the space is, for the most part, dedicated to curating Stacey’s inventory of women’s workout apparel and jewelry, it also needed an area for logging on to the Interwebs. A simple $300 West Elm Console Desk solved that with space for a laptop above and open storage for clutterables below. We splurged on a high-end black vintage chair from Pieces, bringing the medium-grade desk to new designer heights.
Windows of opportunity
Both the windows and ceiling were opportunities for creative cover-ups. First we added a WoodHaven Beadboard system from Armstrong Residential Ceilings to the uber-boring drywall above, then painted it a shade of plum called “Choo Choo” by Porter Paints. To mask the energy-saving yet aesthetically-corrupt vinyl windows, we layered natural woven shades from Texton with the aforementioned custom faux silk draperies. While the drapery material may be fashionably fake, I will tell you what isn’t—my draper, Donna’s, dissatisfaction with my measuring skills. Supposedly, her inverted box pleats would have looked ten times more spectacular if I had ordered 1/3 less fabric. Notice Donna’s happy off-camera smile and “Thanks for effing up my damn drapes” expression? It was even more enjoyable in person. Ten bucks says she also leaves a comment about it on this very page.
Since the home studio is meant for Stacey’s online fashion boutique, it was imperative we up the ante of her closet. We fancied it up for more of a dressing room look by painting it “Choo Choo” in a flat finish, then bringing in the same ebony bamboo floor. Thanks to the Container Store’s elfa system, we doubled Stacey’s inventory space and pulled the same silver tone from the wallpaper inside. Speaking of bringing things inside, I just realized I left a pan full of bookshelf paint right outside Stacey’s front door. If purple paw prints end up all over the first floor, I’m blaming Stacey’s husband.