Designer Crush: Sara Story

It's not hard to see why we're crushing on Manhattan-based interior designer Sara Story--a quick browse through a few of her portfolio's highlights in the slideshow above, which swings from a polished black-and-dove gray scheme for a Manhattan triplex, to the rich tone-on-tone metallics of a Singapore penthouse, should clear that up pretty quickly. But in the interest of being thorough, we've put together a compelling case below, and tapped the designer for her latest inspiration.   dh-sara-story-header-09 Earned her B.F.A. from the University of San Diego and received her degree in Interior Architecture from the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. Got her start with interior designer Victoria Hagan, before founding her eponymous design firm in 2003.   dh-sara-story-header-02 Mixing western design with eastern elements (she's lived in Japan and Singapore), ornamental light fixtures--antique and modern, architect Vincent Van Duysen, painters Francesco Clemente and Elizabeth Peyton, and author Ernest Hemingway.   dh-sara-story-header-03 Her crisp, elegant, and often cinematic interiors; the way she reframes a neutral room with a shot of saturated fine art; and the importance she places on lighting. Oh, and she plays on a championship elephant polo team. For real.   dh-sara-story-header-04 Critical acclaim for her townhouse renovation at Gramercy Park propelled Story onto the design world's radar, and she's received numerous raves in the press; including shout-outs from Elle Décor, who named her one of their "5 Designers to Watch" in 2011.   dh-sara-story-header-05 A whimsical line of wallpaper with Holland and Sherry that swings from Chinese dragon motifs to painterly geometric patterns.   dh-sara-story-header-06 Residential projects in Beverly Hills, Singapore, and Manhattan.   dh-sara-story-header-07 "Using natural materials, such as wide oak plank floors and long linear bricks from Copenhagen-- anything with texture in a neutral palette."   dh-sara-story-header-08
dh-sara-story-market-01 "Missoni Home's Kew Cylindrical Pouf is a great accent piece that's functional and adds color and energy to a space," Story says. $412, Amara