I was sitting down for a lunch break, happily perusing my glossy monthlies when I came across stylist and editor Jackie Astier’s uber-glammy Upper East side apartment featured in this month’s Elle Décor. Aside from the gloriously generous use of some of my design faves—nay, staples: animal hide rugs, moody blacks and grays balanced with lustrously lacquered surfaces, and brass galore!—here are some other things I really loved about Astier’s sense of style:

  • She is a bargain-hunter and she found a lot of her pieces on eBay! She tells Elle Décor, “…buying retail really isn’t that meaningful or interesting”. I hear ya, sister! I’ve scored a lot of great loot myself thanks to Craigslist.

  • She brought patent-leather panels home that an Armani boutique discarded, which she found on the floor…on the streets of NY City. That’s right. They were garbage. And she used them anyway. And she had her kids draw all over them with permanent markers. This proves two things: 1. Trash to treasure is a real thing, girls. Don’t be snobby when there are good bones in there! 2. Don’t take it so seriously. Design is meant to make you happy, so display what you love. Hang your kid’s art, or better yet, make your own! It doesn’t have to be signed by someone famous in order for you and your guests to enjoy it.

  • She had her library’s (She has a library. So super jealous right now!) ceiling painted with automotive paint. Yes, the glossy paint for cars. You know what? We should all be so fearless. Astier is quoted saying: “I’d rather die than do anything typical”. Let us all learn from her aesthetic audacity. Girls, let’s have the courage to wear makes us happy, decorate our homes however we please, and perhaps be emboldened from this to do whatever we really want. After all, isn’t courage THE bridge to greatness?

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