There’s nothing we love more than good home design, but sometimes we get stuck when it comes to our own spaces — how do we make our spaces feel like ours? Luckily we have a great roster of interior gurus on speed dial, including the brilliant Rachel Doriss, Design Director of Pollack Studio, who we tapped this week to give us a few (Ok, seven) tips on how we can personalize our own homes. And with a CV that includes features from Architectural Digest to Interior Design and Elle Décor, as well as having two of her designs showcased in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (NBD), it’s safe to say that she knows a thing or two when it comes to creating an unforgettable aesthetic, so read on start making your space as gorgeous as you are.
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1. Reupholster to get a “new” piece of furniture
A great way to breathe new life into a piece of furniture is to reupholster it. With that being said, reupholstery is not cheap, so when considering this option it’s essential to only choose pieces that are well-made and have great bones so the process is worth the time and money. I’ve had great luck on Chairish.com, where I found a Cisco Brothers chair that I had upholstered in Pollack’s Loomstate fabric.
2. Don’t be afraid to opt for a rug with personality
A great rug can either be a neutral way to ground a room, or a big swath of color that ties everything together. I’m team color! Etsy is a great website to source unique vintage rugs from around the world. When I was on a trip visiting textile mills in Turkey, I fell in love with the Turkish rugs that I saw in the Grand Bazaar. Upon returning to New York, I spent months scouring Etsy for the perfect rug for my apartment. This is a vintage Turkish rug that was further weathered after being left outside in the rain and sun for months, which resulted in the red yarn fading to a beautiful pink color. I love how unique it is.
3. Mix and match throw pillows
Throw pillows can add color and texture to any room, and can be easily switched out whenever you’re craving an instant design change. I believe that pillows don’t have to match. In fact, I think the more pattern and diversity there is, the better! I especially love pillows from my dear friends at Coral and Tusk.
4. Art is a great way to add emotion to a room
I love that all of the art in my home has a story behind it, as it’s all made by friends and family. Some of my favorite artists include Massachusetts-based artist Molly Smith and my friend George Schmidt, who painted a graphic piece in my kitchen. I also like mixing kid’s art with professional art. These days, you can find art at pretty much any price point, so it doesn’t need to be an expensive piece to be fabulous. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Make it yourself!
5. Lighting is key
Yes, the fixtures themselves can be beautiful, but even more important is the range of light quality. My friend Andrea Claire make this porcelain hanging pendant lamp which I just love. She also turned me onto using these wireless light switch controls which allow me to remotely control five lamps in my space! I’m not a fan of smart controls through my phone — I try to unplug as much as possible at home — so I love the analog aspect of this clicker.
6. Add handmade ceramics
There’s nothing that brings me more joy than sipping out of a simple, gorgeous mug. My favorites are from a company called The Commons, which are available for purchase at the Fair showroom here in New York.
7. Scent your sacred spaces
I believe the bedroom should be a calm sanctuary, which means soft, luxurious textiles are a must. I also love to light a candle to scent this space.
Rachel Doriss, Pollack’s Design Director, has textile design in her DNA. “My first official textile pattern was splatter-painting curtains made from old sheets when I was in third grade,” she recalls. It was her grandmother, a weaver, who taught her many fiber arts from the time she was a toddler and they “made things together.” Her high school graduation—a new sewing machine—offers another clue to her early textile passions, as did the uniquely personal clothing it helped her create.
She studied printmaking and painting, and even taught batik workshops when she first entered college. But it was in the Textile Design department at the Rhode Island School of Design that she realized, for the first time, the practical application of her beloved woven and printed textile techniques. She graduated with a BFA from RISD in 1999, and designed printed silk scarves at Echo before joining the Pollack Studio in 2000.
In 2007, Rachel was appointed Vice President, Associate Design Director. She took the helm as Pollack’s Design Director in 2012, overseeing the Studio and guiding the creative vision for each textile collection. In the Studio, she and her team always begin a pattern by first creating artwork by hand.
Rachel’s designs for Pollack have been featured in national magazines, including Architectural Digest, Interior Design and Elle Décor, and she has been profiled on such sites as Apartment Therapy and House and Home TV. Two of her creations, “Mod” and “Curlycue,” are in the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.