Anyone who knows me knows I love giving advice — professional, personal, or otherwise, I'm at any given moment ready and able to lend an ear and a few thoughts on whatever is troubling you. Of course, that inclination also extends to matters of home design, especially given my penchant for a great deal and a well-decorated home.
Ahead of the new year, when all of the best home decor stores will be replenishing their stocks of stylish couches, candles, and credenzas, I have extended my advice-offering crusade to some of the best interior decorators and designers, whose obsessions and current faves offer the perfect roadmap to anyone looking for a bit of decor inspiration.
Recently, I had the chance to speak with Alex Papachristidis, a renowned interiors maven once described by late designer Mario Buatta as "one of today's eminent tastemakers." He boasts upwards of 100,000 Instagram followers, a press portfolio full of features in some of the most influential publications, and a design style that elegantly blends the modern and new with the traditional. For anyone hoping to elevate and refresh their living spaces in the new year, Alex has a few great ideas to get you started.
Inside Alex Papachristidis' current obsessions
"Something I never tire of is a Le Manach Tiger and Leopard Velvet or [a] tiger pillow," Alex told me, when asked what he has been loving lately. Though animal print is polarizing to some, it can absolutely add a touch of natural luxury to a room in need of some warmth and contrast. The textile Alex is referring to specifically — the Le Manach Tiger and Leopard Velvet — is a hallmark of French Maison Le Manach, which, for decades, has taken its inspiration from Eastern and Asian silks.
Additionally, Alex said he loves using scented candles in a room, since they add "another layer to interiors." Any Livingetc editor would agree; we are obsessed with amazing-smelling homes and all the tips and tricks you can use to achieve them. Scent is your most powerful smell — utilize it!
And last, but certainly not least, Alex told me, "Something I’m recently obsessed with again is floral chintzes. I am just dying to use them in a project or for my own home," he said. "I love a custom tablecloth in a floral chintz." While a custom tablecloth might not be in your future, it is certainly easy enough to find a piece that resembles that subtly glazed cotton fabric Alex is referencing. I personally love a floral print, especially when mixed in with solid colors or even contrasting patterns, so I know I'll be looking to replicate this tip as soon as possible.
So in the interest of continuing my bout of advice-giving, I've taken the liberty of curating a special Alex-inspired shopping edit for anyone looking to employ his expert suggestions in their refreshed 2024 decor. This is one of my favorites I've done all year so you won't want to miss it. Happy shopping!
The official Alex-inspired shopping edit
Shop scented candles
Price: From $20
Alex mentioned this candle specifically as one of his favorites to spice up a room. And honestly, it's not difficult to see why; Nest is already a perfect candle brand for many reasons, but this scent combines citrus notes of tangerine with bergamot, passion fruit and mango over base notes of musk and praline.
Price: From $29.40
Was: From $42
I hope to never see the day I stop recommending Capri Blue candles. I smelled this one specifically while perusing the Chelsea Market Anthropologie a few weeks ago and had to be physically dragged away from the table. Fragrant perfection.
Shop leopard and tiger print pieces
While not quite the exact print Alex had in mind, I love this vintage-inspired throw from Sarah Sherman Samuel's collection with Lulu and Georgia. The symmetrical graphic tiger motif comes off as both high-brow and playful.
This leopard spot piece is likely much more in line with the Le Manach print Alex mentioned. Unless you're commissioning your own, it can be hard to find a leopard print piece that doesn't look cheap. This option from Perigold solves that dilemma beautifully.
Shop chintz-inspired decor
Fits designer's recommendations
Again, this isn't the custom piece Alex mentioned — but in my opinion, its floral print evokes that funky and fun floral chintz he wants in a tablecloth of his own.
If you could take that tablecloth pattern and graft it onto a plate, you'd get these from Williams-Sonoma. If you like chintz but aren't interested in using it to deck out your whole house, I've found dinnerware sets to be a great place to experiment.
Be The First To Know
The Livingetc newsletter is your shortcut to the now and the next in home design. Subscribe today to receive a stunning free 200-page book of the best homes from around the world.
Brigid Kennedy is a style editor at Livingetc.com, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at TheWeek.com, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.
The 'Kitschens' Trend is Replacing Minimalism — Designers Say It's "The Perfect Antidote to Bland"
Playful, colorful, and whimsical, so-called 'kitschens' are slated as this year's next big thing. Designers talk how to curate this personality-filled vibe at home
By Brigid Kennedy Published
4 Genius Smart Home Security Trends That We're Going to See in More Homes in 2024
At CES 2024, we saw some interesting home security innovations. Here are four of them
By Alan Martin Published