Monday’s Masterpiece – drama and mystique

Oh boy, do I have a treat for you lovely lot this morning.  Think drama.  Think chinoiserie.  Think exotic furnishings from around the world.  Think lots and lots of quirky details.  Think COLOUR.  Add all this together and what do you get?  Michelle Nussbaumer, my new design crush.

I first came across her through the furnishings boutique, Ceylon et Cie, after spotting multiple GORGEOUS and unusual pieces in the design magazines.  But it turns out not only is Michelle the owner of this crazy amazing boutique, she also has an interior design business on the side.  And it is amazing.  I’ve come across this quote from her, which I think sums it up pretty well:

“More is more. Less is never more. Less is obviously less. Who wants less?”


So first up is a home she decorated for a family who were just living there for one year – imagine the options and freedom when you don’t have to consider whether you’ll still be able to stand the design in 10 years’ time!  Leopard print all round I say.

So, where to begin…I have to admit a couple of the ideas here are a smidge too crazy, even for me, but there is a-plenty to learn.  Michelle swooped on lots of items of the family’s existing traditional wooden furniture and had it lacquered in white, green etc.  Case in point, the dining table below, which now perfectly blends the concepts of traditional familiar shapes with a contemporary pop of shiny lacquer and minimalist white.  LOVING the suzani upholstered dining chairs also.

This foyer is pretty interesting – the trellis wallpaper enveloping the room lightens up the traditional Persian rugs and dark wood floorboards, but I think I would have chosen a different style, maybe a more dainty green version, like Waverly’s Cross Section Green:

I’m seriously digging that Chinese cabinet and the rugs though – gorgeous!

The living room is chocca full of quirky exotic items – love everything about this vignette!

Ditto this one (although not so much the green armchair – love the Chinese garden stool though!), the contemporary coffee table + traditional rug = awesome, as are the pair of suzani upholstered chairs.

And here are a couple of pics of the master suite hallway and bathroom Michelle designed for Veranda’s Greystone Estate piece.  Loving the heavy dose of chinoiserie – the real 3D pagoda statues and the flat pagoda silhouettes on the back wall are so dramatic!

Other fave images from her portfolio:

And here are some of her items available via 1stdibs right now:


  1. Such a nice post! Thank you for your kinds words…

    Here is some scoop on some of the images:

    * The black trellis is actual pieces of wood trellis from a specialty garden store I painted black!
    * You said “Leopard print all round I say” — actually I upholstered the whole stairway in leopard fabric and seagrass on the stairs!
    *The Ice Bedroom is from the Donald Trump Showhouse I did a few years ago in NYC.
    *The photo after the Greystone is another showhouse, this time in Texas, with wonderful wallpaper by Sheryle Wagner and filled with my custom mineral lamps, black lacquered tables, and a wonderful Daybed I found in Paris.
    * The Ikat Lamp Shades are my new Idea, and has really been popular.


    Hope you found that amusing and fun!

    xxoo -Michelle

    • Elly Hails says:

      Hi Michelle

      Thanks so much for stopping by and for the extra info on the projects, I’ll update my post with the details. That’s so funny about the leopard print stairway, I must look up an image of it, sounds fabulous!

      Yeh, I’m slightly obsessed with those ikat lamp shades – they may feature on the Christmas list this year…! Along with the bone inlay chests, mineral lamps and, um, pretty much every other item on there.

      Thanks again, and I look forward to reading more on your blog too!

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