Stephen Shubel, has been distinguished as one of “House Beautiful’s Top 100 Designers” for many years in a row. His projects have graced the pages of over fifty national and international publications, as well as gaining a reputation for having fresh design ideas often sought after by leading interior design magazines.
He makes rooms feel comfortable by taking great care to plan out the furniture placement. Sofas and chairs are often featured relaxed and lived in, while everyday things such as books, magazines, and pictures are kept neat and orderly. Shubel’s rooms are never designed to be uptight or too formal.
One of Stephen Shubel’s decorating trade marks is to include beautiful antiques in his designs. He often features antiques that are then paired up with colorful walls. He features antique furniture that is often updated with fabric. Vibrant fabric on an antique chair or settee can instantly give a facelift to something outdated giving it a new modern edge. Stephens rooms combine the new with the old in a very classy way. Clean simple rooms feature modern art and are accented with a few carefully placed antiques.
He says that one of the biggest design errors is to use too many different floor surfaces from room to room. This can often break up the natural flow and can make a big space look very small.
He also suggests that using practical materials such as washable canvas slipcovers do help loosen up a room and take the stiffness out. “Stuffy rooms don’t fit into of lives now”, he says. For houses with children and animals , don’t create an environment that tells them “keep out”. Keep it simple with natural canvas sofas (washable) or a natural linen-upholstered club chairs. For a bit of a formal touch, consider adding in a vintage or antique silk or a velvet throw pillows. They can add instant luxury. Work with contrasts. Pair a plain slip covered linen sofa with a very sharp chartreuse silk pillow, or a black and white striped cotton pillow. This kind of drama can be switched out, while the basics allow you to change your style with time.
Stephen Shubel’s 1906 Fishermans Cottage Home in Sausalito. The interior features classic french furnishings. The all white and black palette was featured in the San Fransisco Style 2004, Paper City November 2004, and House Beautiful in the August 1998 issue. Photos from Stephen Shubel Design