Artistic residence

New York-based designer Sara Story has created a modern home environment to display the art of the owners of this house in Aspen, Colorado, USA. What’s more, her dining room design includes a very special piece.

Sara Story interior designer - dining room design
Sara Story interior designer

Drawing inspiration from her extensive travels, and an active interest in contemporary art and fashion, Sara wields a keen eye to exact her aesthetic vision.

Story designed a plan where every room of the house would create an element of surprise, provoking a conversation between each piece of art. She has achieved this by juxtaposing various pieces with designer furniture, many of which could be considered works of art themselves.

Sara Story interior design - dining room design
Sara Story interior design

While the interior is based on a neutral colour palette, Sara has introduced particular elements to add some fun and colour while also bringing the owners’ personality into every room. The modern interior design project is the perfect setting to appreciate the spectacular mountain views in Aspen.

Dining room design

The compulsive art collectors wanted a stand-out piece of furnishing for the dining room design. Sara chose the Diamond Sideboard to make a stylish impact and add an extra wow-factor to an already stunning interior. 

Diamond Sideboard in Emerald Green - dining room design
Diamond Sideboard in Emerald Green

Like a precious jewel, the Diamond Sideboard in emerald green, is a piece of luxury furniture with an exclusive design. It features three sculptured doors with a gold leaf interior with shelving and two drawers.

The exterior of this finely crafted piece is presented in silver leaf finished with a luxurious shade of translucent emerald green with luscious high gloss varnish. 

Stunning mountain views - dining room design
Stunning mountain views

The fantastic art collection of the owners combined with vintage and modern furniture creates a playful and striking interior. It’s the perfect setting to appreciate the stunning mountain views of this residence.

See more of Sara Story’s design projects at

Time to lighten up

Have you ever thought what your life would be like without lighting?

Most of us are so used to lit spaces, that we never think about this commodity, apart from those rare occasions, when faced with a power cut and lights going off in the evening.

I don’t know about you, but those rare incidents make me feel really uneasy… Being faced with darkness, if not voluntary, is not pleasant at all. This is the best proof that light, and lighting are essential parts of our lives, and can alter our moods drastically.

Following this train of thought; we can really play with the light in our interiors to achieve different effects, purposes and to induce various moods to our space. Knowing how to achieve what we want using lighting can be extremely beneficial, as it gives us scope to cleverly ‘manipulate’ our interior, without having to rearrange, or change our décor. It can help us re-purpose any space and make it as we wish, quickly and cost effectively.

Using the right type of lighting and placing it correctly, can prove to be a little difficult, but when done properly, it can really work wonders in our interior, and bring harmony to all of its elements.

So what are the basic rules, or ways in which we can make light work for our rooms, homes, offices and how to achieve different effects? Here are several ideas on how to illuminate interiors and objects for best results:

Adjust your ambient lighting to the right level

Ambient lighting is crucial in all interiors; here we are talking about overall illumination of your space. If possible, it’s best to think about lighting before you start to decorate a room. What furniture will there be and where will it go? How will you be using the room: is it mainly for use during the day or at night? For study or entertainment?

The key trick with ambient lighting is to get its temperature and level of brightness right. It is often used for task purposes, so a dimmer switch is a good idea, as it helps us adjust the light to the right level, so that the functionality of our interior is maintained, while not missing out on mood and character.

Prepare for the spotlight

Spotlights, or accent lighting is your best bet if you want to create points of interests, or add a bit of drama to your interior. It is used widely in interior design in order to draw attention to particular objects, or features; e.g. a sculpture, painting, or texture of materials such as wood or bricks. Accent lighting will only be effective if it’s at least three times stronger then the rest of lights in the room. When the right level is achieved, it can really play up the whole interior and its best features.

Another interesting way of using spotlights is placing them in corners of the interior, where you don’t normally have any light. Such placement enables you to play with the mood of interior, particularly if strength of accent lights can be adjusted (a dimmer comes handy again!).

Look after your eyes with task lighting

This type of lighting is essential in many types of interiors; commercial and private, and it helps you see things clearly and strain your eyes less, so that you can complete all the jobs and activities, while ensuring minimal effort to your eyes. Here is where all the floor and desk lamps, as well as pendant, cabinet, recessed and track lighting come in to play. Think about how functional your space needs to be and where is the best placement for this type of lighting.

All you need to remember is that task lighting needs to be bright enough for your eyes not to strain, plus free of shadows and glare, which are distracting.

Good luck with making the lighting work its magic in your interior, and feel free to explore our amazing statement lighting collection, which brings you way much more than just illumination!

Our connection with nature

What we see in our daily surroundings really affects how we feel. Our space can give us sense of calmness, energise us, evoke a multitude of different types of feelings. Centuries of civilisation, backed up by strong research show that we are fond of certain patterns, sounds, colours, and that well thought-through space with design from nature, which ticks certain boxes, could be extremely beneficial to our health, reduce stress levels and increase productivity. So what is the main aspect that we are encouraged to consider?

Research carried out on the subject of visual preference shows that our favourite view is one of a scene that includes trees, flowering plants, non-threatening animals, indications of human habitation, and bodies of clean water. Despite being a part of the concrete jungle, we are still a part of the real jungle – nature; and it’s the real jungle where we feel best, and where we truly belong.

Nature is what brings us comfort, makes us feel calm and happy, which is why space which surrounds us should be treated as a biological system, which we are a part of. Visual preference research shows that connection with real nature can really work wonders for our well-being, but also simulated nature, design from nature, can also be extremely beneficial to us.

Biophilic design is an innovative way of designing space, which encourages both; it aims to enhance well-being by creating spaces that are healthy and stimulating, respecting of mind and body balance, but also integrated with the urban ecosystem and functional. Nature plays a big role in biophilic design which provides the end user with as much balanced access to real, or simulated nature as possible.

How can we increase our well-being through incorporating nature in our surroundings ourselves? There are many things that can be done, many of which are close to what Maddox Quirke is integrating to a great extend. Choosing natural, often raw materials that are reflective of the style you would like to achieve, can bring nature into your interior in a very functional way. It can be easier than it seems, and it doesn’t have to be all green… raw wood, metal, or even bricks bring a natural look and feel to your space. Explore how metal as a raw material can be transformed into unique furnishings, which are dynamic and inspired by nature in their forms.

Use of sustainable materials, recycling and up-cycling, using patterns inspired by nature filling the space with sunlight, plants, or letting the outside into the inside as much as possible are all great ways of making your interior more Eco-friendly and user-friendly, and at the same time have potential to increase your well-being.

We believe that it’s way overdue to encourage more of the real jungle into the concrete jungle, unite with nature, and let it envelope you in its order, peace and serenity.

Born to be a star

Maddox Quirke – In the beginning

Maddox Quirke is a baby; it was born in January 2016 out of love for rare and unique items; predominantly luxury home furnishings. The idea was ignited by the discovery of different materials and techniques that are not widely used in the furniture/decor industry. These findings led us to the realisation that there is a void in the market for unique, bespoke, organic, raw, amazing objects and creations, rather than just what we’ve learned to call ‘furniture’ and ‘home accessories’.

Having all this in mind, we have decided to establish a company which will enable our clients to explore different materials, techniques and styles, while supplying rare, or unique pieces, that give interiors an extraordinary look and feel.

Rare and unique items

Maddox Quirke is a startup; we are constantly evolving and growing; we are always on the lookout for new ideas, artists, craftsmen and companies that we can invite to collaborate with us. Feel free to contact us if you have any ideas, or projects in mind, if you are an artist, or simply if you want to chat about anything that we do (or could do).

We are busy working on our first furnishings and decor collections; which will include only one-off items in variety of styles. Each piece tells a unique story which is personal to the artist and/or craftsmen creating it.

We are also busy spreading the word about who we are, and how we position ourselves on the market. We are very excited about what we have to offer; especially that there is so much more to come! Get to know us better by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest.

Our Plans

So… we are a baby, but who do we want to be when we grow up? We want to expand our portfolio and enable great artists to become a part of something big and meaningful. Our aim is to enhance people’s lives by enhancing their interiors, and proving how extraordinary and incredible they can be.

At the same time we want to enable craftsmen, artists and companies who create real gems – rare and unique items, to come out and shine in the interior and decor world.

We care about the environment and support ‘No Sweat’ philosophy; we believe that these values are fundamental to a REAL success in today’s world. Because of this, one of our goals is to set up a charity, which will also ‘embrace rare’ by helping people with rare illnesses, and helping to save rare, or close to extinction wildlife.

Watch this space!