In my line of work you come across so many talented people – editors, stylists, photographer, PR professionals, it’s out-of-this-world inspiring. Since they’re often kind enough to interview (or photograph, or work with) me I wanted to have a space to turn the tables on them. To see what makes them tick, what stories their homes are telling, and more.
For our first installment, I quizzed Crystal Palecek, the force behind the treasure trove of decorating inspiration, Rue Magazine. She and I are both celebrating big anniversaries this year: My firm’s 20th (!!) and Rue’s 5th – which is a true coup, especially considering how quickly things change when it comes to the web. I admire Crystal’s vision, business savvy, and am constantly enjoying how Rue has been evolving over the years. Make sure to check out the magazine’s holiday issue – online here – as well as the addictive Rue Daily.
When it comes to decorating “rules”: Is there such a thing and if so, is there one you constantly break?
I don’t think there is such a thing! Of course things like scale, placement, and composition matter and naturally emerge out of good design. But when it comes to decorating, if you love it, there is always a way to make it work with a little creativity. Rather than getting hung up on decorating “rules,” I filter my choices for my home through two lenses: 1.) does it sincerely awaken joy in me? and 2.) is it authentic to my taste? If the answer to both is “yes” then I know it’s right.
What is the most unexpected thing in your home?
Probably the oversized, wooden prayer beads I’ve hung on our living room wall. They serve as a daily reminder for me to not lose sight of what really matters in this world and to take time out of my busy life to just be still. I gifted the same beads to my mom, who’s spiritual life I greatly admire – it’s special to me that we both share this in common.
Photos above: The 2 most recent Rue covers
What does your dream house look like and where would it be?
As longtime San Francisco dwellers, my husband and I are starting to get the itch to make our way out of the city, over the Golden Gate Bridge, and into Marin County. One of the most important things to me in a home is natural light, so, I’d need lots of big windows, tall ceilings, and airy spaces for the light to bounce around inside. These days, I’m also dreaming of a white modern farmhouse with steel-frame doors and olive trees in the backyard. Inside, the walls would be bright white and furnished with beautiful pieces in neutral colors and rich textures.
What’s your signature touch in your home?
My style rests on classic, sophisticated, clean, and neutral elements. I gravitate towards serene, cool-toned spaces that let the furniture and decor really take center stage. I prefer my warm tones to come from natural elements, like wood and woven pieces. A play on silhouettes and styles of the pieces keep the space visually interesting, while a calm and cool color palette tie it all together.
What color/pattern/texture/style are you currently obsessed with?
I’m a neutrals girl through and through so I never tire of white, black, gray, and blue. I can most definitely appreciate color, but prefer to live with neutrals in my own life. Since my preference is for quiet shades, I place a lot of importance on texture to layer a room and give it depth. Lately, I can’t get enough of woven and rope details for that!
Photos above: Crystal’s own dreamy SF home, published in the most recent issue. Photography by Emily Johnston for Rue