Sara Story’s Gramercy Park home. (Photo by Joshua McHugh)
Galerie Show House room (Photo by Genevieve Garruppo)
Sara Story at her Texas Hill Country ranch. (Photo by Joshua McHugh)
Sara Story’s Gramercy Park living room. (Photo by Joshua McHugh)
Sara Story’s historic home on the Hudson River (Photo by Joshua McHugh)
Dining room of Sara Story's Hill Country ranch house. (Photo by Joshua McHugh)
"The Art of Home" (Rizzoli)
Sara Story will sign her new book — The Art of Home — at Texas Design Week Dallas. For more information and tickets, go to TexasDesignWeek.com.
Designer Sara Story’s remarkable Manhattan townhouse renovation propelled her onto the design world’s radar when it appeared in the June issue of Architectural Digest.
The five-story 1840s Gramercy Park brownstone was assembled from nine apartments over two decades and decorated layer by layer with pedigreed furniture and contemporary art. AD described it as a residence that opens up like a madcap soundstage — part Wes Anderson, part The Age of Innocence, and a dash of Federico Fellini.
Imagine room after room, floor after floor of original carved moldings and crystal chandeliers juxtaposed with large-scale art set off by Josef Frank floral wallpaper and Moroccan rugs. There are mid-century Brazilian lounge chairs and a custom terrazzo table in the style of Jean Prouvé surrounded by Gio Ponti chairs; Isamu Noguchi and Jean Royère floor lamps, a ’70s Swedish leather sectional piled with Fortuny pillows. And collections of Chinese monk figures, contemporary ceramics, along with curiosities such as a wicker grasshopper-shaped table by Mario Lopez Torres and colorful zigzag candlesticks by Jermaine Gallacher.
It’s the project of a lifetime, but it’s also a family home Sara Story shares with her husband and children. And there’s no place Story would rather be. When she entertains, she’d rather stay in than go out. Even when she’s traveling — and she loves to travel — Story can’t wait to get back to the cocoon
Her new book, The Art of Home (Rizzoli), is an homage to Story’s layered approach to interiors and features three of her own homes — the Gramercy Park residence, a contemporary Texas ranch in the Hill Country designed by Lake|Flato and a historic house on the Hudson River — along with clients’ projects around the country.
Sara Story may be a rising star, but she’s no newcomer. She founded her New York City-based firm Sara Story Design in 2003 and has since worked on a global array of commercial and residential projects, along with product collaborations for the French linens company Yves Delorme. Her work has appeared in Elle Decor, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, among other publications.
Story spent her early years in Asia — her father is in the oil business — then moved to the Houston suburbs with her family. Their house was filled with treasures brought back from Singapore, Thailand and Japan — woodblock prints, vintage textiles, ikats, lacquer pieces, old baskets. Her mother worked for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, and this early exposure to art, travel and collections had a profound effect on Story’s future design aesthetic.
After earning a degree in interior architecture at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, Sara Story worked for designer Victoria Hagan for several years before opening her own firm. Story’s interiors feel well-traveled and smart. She often collaborates with artists and artisans she’s discovered during her travels: a Japanese textile artist to create drapery fabrics, a South African woodcarver to make a table from a solid piece of wood, a Belgian craftsperson to develop leather and fiber pieces to fit into millwork, or a glass artist to create églomisé tiles for a backsplash.
Sara Story will sign The Art of Home at Texas Design Week Dallas. Join Sara Story on Monday, October 30 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm for an illustrated talk, book signing and cocktails at MOUS. For more information and tickets, go to TexasDesignWeek.com.