What Matters

May 2024 Issue

Designing Women

In the world of design, women like the visionaries at Artstar, Eileen Gray, and the trailblazers of Egg Collective, along with style icons like Lindsey Adelman and Kelly Wearstler, are like sparkling rare gems in a sea of sameness. They inject a burst of fresh creativity and bold innovation into a field that’s often felt like a boys’ club. These women don’t just set the bar; they bend it, twist it, and sometimes, completely redesign it. Their groundbreaking work serves not just to beautify spaces but to shatter glass ceilings, proving that when it comes to design, the future is undoubtedly female – and fabulously so!


Based in Baltimore, this firm isn’t just painting homes; it’s turning them into masterpieces. Walls don’t just talk; they put on a one-woman show! Led by the visionary Kelly Walker, this troop of artistic alchemists has been transforming dull plaster into dazzling displays for over twenty years. Whether your walls crave whimsical charm or a bold statement piece, Artstar Custom Paintworks is ready to brush up your space with flair and fun.


Egg Collective, the brainchild of Stephanie Beamer, Crystal Ellis, and Hillary Petrie, sprouted in New York in 2011, mixing art, architecture, and woodwork into chic, modern furniture. Their series, Designing Women, casts a spotlight on the unsung heroines of design, blending advocacy with aesthetics. The latest showstopper? DWIV: Eileen Gray’s House for Two Sculptors. Here, they’ve virtually resurrected Gray’s never-built project, showing off what could have been if Eileen had her way – architectural fan fiction at its finest.

Eileen Gray was the epitome of a design renegade, creating spaces like the iconic E-1027 House – a masterclass in comfort and practicality, punctuated by her striking furniture pieces that probably made the Bauhaus boys a tad jealous.


Kelly Wearstler, the maven of modern American interior design, has become synonymous with vibrant, sophisticated spaces that blend historical influences with contemporary flair. Her career took off in the late 1990s with a transformative design for the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, catapulting her into the design limelight. Known for her adventurous use of color and texture, Kelly designs eclectic yet elegant spaces, often mixing modern pieces with vintage finds. She has authored several books, launched her own product lines, and has been honored with numerous design awards. Kelly’s bold and inventive style ensures that each space she touches becomes a vivid statement of artistic expression


Carmela y Sal in Mexico City is where you go to understand the true meaning of culinary regret – regret that you’ve been eating your vegetables any other way than how Chef Gabriela Ruiz prepares them. This place turns local ingredients into high art, minus the pretension. So, make a reservation if you’re ready to have your taste buds wowed and possibly leave questioning every home-cooked meal you’ve ever made. You might feel a slight existential crisis when you realize a carrot here has more charisma than most people.

Upon Return is your gateway to a world where each destination is a narrative waiting to unfold.

Wonder less. Wander more.


This month we’re delighted to share a very special dining room we recently had the pleasure of designing for equally special return clients. Here we are sharing a bit from each step of the design process – starting with an early design concepts “mood board,” followed by a detailed drawing to illustrate the scale of the table and multi-arm pendant light fixture in the space. Lastly, a photorealistic rendering of the new design allows our clients to see the transformation exactly how we have designed and envisioned the end result.

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the gorgeous new furnishings and installation day. A few highlights include: a hand-knotted wool rug with an “updated traditional” pattern that creates a beautiful and timeless foundation for the room, unique and uber-comfortable “dual-textile” upholstered dining chairs that add wonderful texture and color, and lastly, the showstopper piece – a custom walnut double-pedestal dining table large enough to accommodate the entire family for years of special gatherings to come.