In Residence: Designers at Home

Elizabeth Satel Young

Catherine D. Anspon. Produced & styled by Michelle Aviña. Photography Jenny Antill, Jack Thompson. Hair & makeup Misty Rockwell.  |  Photos by Site-specific wall installation by Paul Fleming, represented by Barbara Davis Gallery, adds a futuristic note to the classical entry. Custom table covered with Calvin Fabrics linen. A zebra-skin rug contrasts with the dark-hued geometry of the staircase covering from Creative Flooring Resources., Oasis plus pop: Tom Wesselmann’s sexy nude, a work on paper acquired from Artnet, provides a risqué nuance in the master bedroom. Custom headboard upholstered in Calvin linen. Lamps from Mecox and stools from Area., Take a seat: Settee from Thompson + Hanson, upholstered in a Schumacher velvet, engages in a tête-à-tête with French ‘40s nesting tables from Jean-Marc Fray, Austin. To the left, David LaChapelle photograph from Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York., Standing tall: The designer at home in her enchantingly edited living room. Elizabeth Satel Young wears a top by Jonathan Cohen, pony skirt Isabel Marant from Sloan/Hall. Behind Young, Howard Sherman’s exuberant Strategic Positioning, 2007, from McMurtrey Gallery, signals that this is an art house., Perfect perch: The designer, wearing Carven top and skirt from Sloan/Hall, contemplates the day from a ‘40s French armchair upholstered in Rogers & Goffigon linen, the chair a discovery from an antiques dealer in Angleton, Texas. Pillow in geometric Clarence House silk. Above Young, a work on paper by Czech-born Texas artist Hana Hillerova, scored at a Glassell Gala auction., All things bright and beautiful: The sunny living room makes a graceful statement at the front of the home. The organized space is anchored by a crisp palette and furniture in distinctive sculptural groupings. Above the custom-made sofa upholstered in Duralee velvet, Richard Serra’s Al Green, 1999, was the couple’s first art acquisition, from Gemini. Each year, in lieu of prosaic Christmas gifts, they opt for a new art piece. Pillows in Clarence House Greek Key and a lively peach-colored Kelly Wearstler fabric for Lee Jofa. Coffee table from Area. To the right of the window, Mel Bochner’s wry Blah Blah Blah, 2012, from Two Palms Gallery, NYC., Airy aerie: A chord of black enlivens the sea of white in the living room, conjuring Picasso. French Rococo-style armchair from Area, upholstered in Romo linen. Gilt mirror above mantle was acquired during Young’s time in Manhattan. Custom-made bench upholstered in Kravet velvet., Tableau vivant: In the living room, a Waylande Gregory dish from Sloan/Hall and a James Turrell volume provide one of the tablescapes Young loves., Left: Art hearts design: Brazilian Beatriz Milhazes’ diptych Salt, 2009, a work on paper from Durham Press testifies to the couple’s investigation of contemporary art and Young’s interweaving of paintings, sculpture and prints into her clients’ interiors. The bold sofa is custom-made in Duralee velvet with pillows from Kravet., Dynamic conversation: Nineteenth-century Indian desk from Balinskas Imports is paired with an Italian brass Chiavari chair, circa 1950s, from Kirby & Company. Houston painter Howard Sherman’s canvas turns up the volume., Fine dining: The polished dining room is an exercise in clean lines and restraint, plus a pop of art. It-girl painter/photog Marilyn Minter’s Puddle, 2005, from Salon 94, adds edge to the mise en scène, which is anchored by a table from Watkins Culver and a suite of vintage Milo Baughman chairs, a find from 1stdibs., Arf: Pup Rosi was a rescue from the Target parking lot on San Felipe and now lives a charmed (and well-designed) life chez Young., Inspiration: In Young’s home office, painted Benjamin Moore Steel Wool, fabric swatches and printed pages provide points of departure for current and future decorating campaigns., Turquoise a-go-go: Isabel, not to be outdone by her sister’s rose-colored room, picks up the color turquoise in a custom-made bed. Takashi Murakami pillows from, Well-mannered: In the guest house, designed by architect Carlos Jiménez, Young sought inspiration in the cosseted interiors of Austin’s Hotel Saint Cecilia. Pindler & Pindler curtain fabric. Chair from a flea market. Restoration Hardware cocktail table.
December 11, 2013

Welcome to the light-filled aerie of designer Elizabeth Satel Young, whose contemporary River Oaks home has the presence of a polished palazzo — sleek, well-mannered and beckoning. The handsome two-story brick structure becomes a beautiful canvas for finds ranging from a suite of mid-century chairs with Milo Baughman pedigree to a 19th-century Indian desk imbued with character. Other defining moments are provided by a bounty of intriguing contemporary painting, photography and sculpture, including works by one of her favorites: the provocative Marilyn Minter. Young shares this classically infused, art-lined residence with her husband, Barry; daughters Sophia and Isabel; and, improbably, two bounding canines. But this dwelling is an evolving, well-edited creation, much like its owner’s eponymous practice. Young has organically grown ESY Design for the past decade, incubating it from a love of design, art and fashion — nurtured during an internship at Interview magazine and a stint at taste-making retailer Charivari in Manhattan — into a small-batch firm whose clients include influencer pals Francine Ballard, founder of DesignerSocial, and foodie Amy Anton. What inspires the very stylish designer, whose rooms and spaces are as svelte and well put-together as she is? PaperCity’s Catherine D. Anspon and Ms. Young discuss designer tips, first loves and secret sources.

Elizabeth Satel Young Dishes Design

Classic volumes in your library. I still get so much inspiration from all my old Domino magazines. I have never parted with one! I also have every David Hicks book I can get my hands on and a nice collection of the Beta-Plus books.

Go-to paint hue. Benjamin Moore White Dove, Benjamin Moore Chelsea Gray and Sherwin-Williams Neutral Ground. And I am in love with Benjamin Moore Galapagos Turquoise.

Interior designers you follow today. Delphine Krakoff, Steven Volpe and François Catroux.

Designers throughout history you have to have. Jean Royère, Stéphane Boudin with the House of Jansen, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, Jean-Michel Frank.

First break: Brush with celebrity and fashion. Right after graduating from college, I moved to New York and interned at Interview magazine. It was in 1990, when Ingrid Sischy was editor and Peter Brant was publisher. Following, I worked as a buyer for the now-defunct NYC boutique Charivari. At the time,
it was considered New York’s first avant-garde multi-designer boutique and best known for introducing international designers like Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Alaïa and Claude Montana to New York shoppers. It was another invaluable experience.

Fashion accessory you covet for fall. Blue over-the-knee Céline boots.

Design object you lust for now. A Hervé Van der Straeten bronze mirror has been on my wish list for a while.

First piece of art. Al Green by Richard Serra.

Next art acquisition. That decision changes by the day. [CAMH director] Bill Arning showed us some work recently from Sara VanDerBeek at Metro Pictures. Jack Early is on the list. So is Dario Robleto.
Favorite painting/painter in the world. It was a real privilege to have 100 Picassos here in Houston. Last December, I saw Manet’s Olympia for the first time in a long while. A modern representation of a classic subject — that appeals to me.

On your bar cart/cocktail of the casa. Margaritas! When friends come over, they expect one of Barry’s special concoctions, so we always stock plenty of Don Julio, Cointreau and fresh limes. We also have a great Cuban rum, Don Julio Silver. Go-to sources for antiques. 1stdibs, Jean-Marc Fray in Austin, Found, Area.

Last fabulous antique find. The Sciolari light fixture hanging in my office that I got for a great bargain on eBay.

House music. For the old stuff: The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, The Psychedelic Furs, The Replacements and X. The new stuff: Neko Case, Wilco and The White Stripes.

Physical inspiration board or Pinterest. Both. I adore Pinterest, but I could not do without my physical bulletin boards where I pin all my favorite fabrics swatches, paint chips and magazine clippings. I also use them for current projects.

Cosseted stay in Texas. Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin is actually one of my favorite spots anywhere. Every time I’m there, I feel inspired.

American lodging of choice. Chateau Marmont in L.A.

International hotel. L’Hôtel in Paris in St. Germain-des-Prés. It was once home to Oscar Wilde and was recently redesigned by Jacques Garcia.

Blogs you read regularly. Habitually Chic, The Sartorialist. Websites you shop. 1stdibs, Net-A-Porter, DesignerSocial.

Fall books you’re snapping up. Tom Scheerer Decorates, Interiors Now! 3 and Stephen Sills: Decoration.

Go-to lamp to dress up any room. A great vintage Murano lamp.

The perfect cocktail-table tableau. One great book and a wonderful object on top.

Wallpaper pattern that throws you around the room. Cole & Son’s Malachite Green.

On a budget: Five websites to design my life.,,,,

Money no object: Shops (anywhere in the world) and websites to trawl. Ralph Pucci in NYC, Galerie Van der Straeten in Paris and JF Chen in L.A.

My ideal second home is … Harbour Island in the Bahamas.