Kelly Christakos Stivers


matt albiani

I'm still in denial that August is rapidly coming to a close, so, in the lingering spirit of the summer, I thought I'd share one of my favorite sea-inspired house tours featured in Domino a few years back.  Do you guys remember photographer Matt Albiani's New York City apartment and Hamptons retreat?  If you were a fan of the magazine, how could you forget?!  Next to Ruthie Sommers California beach bungalow (which launched a nationwide obsession with Benjamin Moore's Soot paint), it was one of my favorites!  With a love for all things sea-inspired, Albiani created a refined living space in his West Village apartment with understated nautical touches and then went all out in his Hamptons summer rental decorating it with a treasure trove of maritime relics he collected over the years. There is a decidedly nautical East Coast influence present in both spaces and it's perfection:

Muted gray walls, a distressed mantle and a mix of antiques create a warm, cozy feel in his apartment's living area; love how he paired antlers with a cowhide rug and

A nuetral color palette is warm and elegant in the tiny space:

A floor-to-ceiling gallery wall filled with a mix of Albiani's photography is a dramatic focal point, thanks to a deep, dark accent wall:

A wooden oar, a vintage seascape and a blue and white stripe pillow add a subtle nautical touch:

White shiplap walls are a beautiful backdrop for blue, black and silver accents and lovely vintage oil paintings of the sea:

A collection of sea treasures takes pride of place on bookshelves:

The entry of his Hamptons retreat is light and bright; the sea captain painting and vintage flag evoke a bit of the Americana and give a hint of what is to come in the rest of the bungalow:

Albiani makes kitschy look cool, thanks to vintage paintings, seashells, glass bottles sea life pillows:

What a gorgeous space for entertaining:

Albiani brought his East Coast sensibility to the West Coast when he opened Mate Gallery, a Montecito shop specializing in seafaring style where every item sold in the shop has a story to tell.  Vintage nautical flags, old nautical paint-by-number scenes, Hardy Boys books, throws, beach blankets and surfer tees share space with Albiani's professional photographs of beach scenes.

To see more of Matt's homes and to check out his amazing portfolio, check out his website.  For more info on Mate Gallery, see here.


fall at pottery barn

Nothing kills my summer buzz more than a stack of Fall catalogues in my mailbox.  As much as I love the change in the seasons, it's kind of hard to get excited about riding boots, flannel shirts and faux fur throws when temps are hovering in the 90's and humidity is off the charts.....HOWEVER.....after flipping through Pottery Barn's Fall catalogue last night, all I can think of is deep, dark, moody blues and warm tans after landing on this home office on page 2:

Lately, I'm especially drawn to walls, trim and ceilings all painted the same color and how it makes such a dramatic statement.  Here, navy blue walls, seagrass rugs and yummy camel leather chairs warm up the space and add a ton of interest.  Perfection.  And my favorite color palette for Fall.  Suddenly, I'm not so bummed about the summer coming to an end.  (Well, almost.)  Pottery Barn's fall catalogue is chock full of snuggly textures, rustic accents and a soothing color palette of gray, cream and blue.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Herringbone has become a classic decor staple and this chevron stripe jute rug is absolutely stunning!  I love that it's in a natural texture!

How gorgeous is this Devon campaign-style bedside table?  And I love the nautical feel of this Ludlow trunk bar cabinet:

I am OBSESSED with this Bailey bedside lamp in glass and brass with a fabulous cowhide shade!  I love the sleek lines of these Lily Task Table Lamps and the variety of finishes:

This Verona glassware set and these bone handled cheese spreaders are simple yet stunning and make me want to throw a fabulous dinner party:

Gold accents like this bamboo mirror and this Arabella gold medallion are a must for fall


I'm obsessed with these blue zig zag hand towels as well as this chevron crewel embroidered pillow:


These gray linen and silver square frames are stunning and these pom pom hand crochet throws are super soft, perfect for snuggling!

What are you loving at Pottery Barn this fall?



When the lovely folks over at Chairish, an exclusive, curator approved online marketplace for vintage furniture, asked me if I wanted to design a room around one of their accent chairs, I jumped at the chance!  The only hitch was that it had to be a bright space full of color and for someone who usually plays it safe with neutrals, using pops of color here and there for accents, it was a little bit of a challenge.  It was so hard to pick just one chair from their pretty impressive list of accent chairs, but, as soon as I saw the fun and flirty Pink Zebra Print Louis Chair, I immediately envisioned a fresh and modern work space that was elegant, feminine and super chic.

I can't think of a better color to pair with pink than navy blue, so I picked Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy for the walls and trim, which, despite it's moody, bold hue can actually also work as a neutral and still let the chair be the star of the show!  I paired it with a stunning white lacquer campaign-style desk, blue and white ginger jars, abstract artwork in pinks and corals, a simple crystal lamp, a lumbar pillow in a modern Greek key trim and a seagrass rug and faux coral for texture and interest. The result is simple and elegant, the perfect work space for a lady in charge!

To see more of their beautiful accent chairs, check out their website here.  Which one is your favorite?

Have a wonderful weekend!


sag harbor stunner

Have you guys seen the latest issue of Lonny?  It's good.  REALLY good.  Just when I'm feeling uninspired, I stumble upon the charming Sag Harbor home of Stella + Dot co-founder Blythe Harris and start giggling like a little school girl with excitement! This summer cottage has it all - crisp white shiplap walls, warm, rustic wood beams, bleached pine floors, a beautiful blue and white color palette, charming nautical details, the perfect mix of antiques and comfy furnishings and lots of striped dhurries and natural fiber rugs.  Perfection.  The styling is dead on, too -  not overdone, just cozy and collected, welcoming and elegant at the same time.  It really feels like an old sea captain's house, which is my idea of the perfect summer getaway!

Here are my picks for creating the look:

America's Cup painting / rosemary topiary / wicker trunk / striped rug / wicker demijohn

hanging pendant light / south seas bar cart / blue and white ginger jars

To see more of this beauty, check out the entire article here.


easy, breezy beach house chic

I'm hanging on to the remaining days of summer with a vengeance.  Even though it'll be a while until we get any cooler temps here in the south, it's been so gray and gloomy lately it almost feels like Fall already.  What better way to perk up those summer spirits than with a beautiful beach house in Naragansett, Rhode Island? Snippets of this oceanfront stunner caught my eye while flipping through the September issue of Coastal Living over the weekend and I was thrilled to see it's the latest from Rhode Island-based interior designer Kate Jackson!  The best beach houses are those that are both elegant and welcoming and give a subtle nod to the nautical and Kate accomplishes this in spades here with a sand and sea glass blue color palette, pops of navy and orange, gauzy sheer curtains, oversize hanging lanterns, seagrass rugs and touches of driftwood.  Sheer perfection:

A light blue painted island and cabinet backs and bold navy and white striped bar stools add a pop of color to the light, bright, all-white kitchen and eating area without distracting from that amazing view!

That beadboard-backed coffered ceiling is to die for!  I love how Kate carries the blue-painted bookshelf backs to the living area, as well:

Navy and orange details are fun and fresh:

That view!!

So much good in this small outdoor space, from the wicker sectional and hanging lights to the pattern, texture and color of pillows and throws.  The perfect perch to admire that amazing view, day and night!