Debut monographs by interior designers Sara Story and David Netto  
bring exciting fresh perspectives on living with design, art & antiques 

The sitting room in Sara Story’s 1840s Gramercy Park townhouse retains its charming period architectural features: doors, windows and carved plaster moldings; even the crystal chandelier and gilt overmantle and pier mirrors are original. Vintage midcentury furnishings, layered Moroccan rugs, pieces collected from worldwide travels, and a few whimsical touches are drawn together to create a setting overflowing with joie de vivre. Left to right: A 1950s Brazilian Modern “Costela” chair by Carlo Hauner and Martin Eisler, folky midcentury wicker cricket table by Mario Torres, Fritz Neth “Egg” chair, circa 1950s, and a vintage Swedish sectional sofa. Photo by Joshua McHugh

Sara Story

"Personal. Meaningful. Engaging. Cozy. Comfortable. Fun. Happy. Whimsical. Curated. Edited. These are the kinds of interiors that I love, and that I work to create for my family and my clients. My preference is to mix vintage, contemporary, and commissioned pieces. It matters to me that each element of the room is unique, and that each piece serves both a practical and artistic purpose. Art, accessories, and collections of favorite items play an important role in my rooms because they come with their own histories and stories, and become part of our stories, too."

— Sara Story, from The Art of Home


In the airy and expansive living room of a Southern California couple who embrace the avant-garde, Sara Story created a softly subdued palette for surfaces and fabrics to allow full appreciation of her clients’ large-scale artworks. Sara designed three seating groups: at the rear, a formal 4-sided arrangement with facing settees and a pair of vintage Osvaldo Borsani swivel armchairs. Jacques Mizrahi’s 1971 “Tertiaire” brushed steel floor lamp, a 1950s Scandinavian Modern birch floor lamp by Alf Svensson, “Plug” black oak and alabaster cocktail table by Rick Owens, and a vintage biomorphic side table add their distinctive forms to the mix. Artworks are by Sam Falls and Brenna Youngblood. In the middle section of the room, a grand travertine fireplace surround hosts works by Ed Ruscha, with an adjoining conversation circle of lounge chairs and Note Design Studio’s “Black Bolt Stool.” The “Spider Jewel” carved onyx and bronze chandelier by Achille Salvagni draws attention upward, balancing the strongly horizontal space. The third seating area has an inviting sectional sofa positioned to enjoy the backyard view beyond a glass wall. A curated selection of accessories contributes notes of color and texture, with a collection of contemporary ceramics displayed on tabletops across the room. The set of brass fireplace tools was designed by Austrian Modernist Carl Auböck. Photo by Roger Davies


Astounding 360-degree vistas of the New York City skyline with the spires of the Empire State Building, the Met Life Tower, the Chrysler Building, and drifting clouds serve as a backdrop to edgy contemporary artwork. Sara’s custom furnishings and selections of collectible design and vintage pieces in the brightly saturated hues favored by her client — hot pink, Yves Klein Blue, and lemon yellow — draw focus back to the room to energize the atmosphere inside the space. Round and curvy forms balance the vertical window frames and planes of the tables, with a creamy white envelope to reflect the shifting light.

    Sara’s custom-designed curved sofa is positioned on a cloud-like rug, arching around an iconic work of collectible design. Conceived in 1961 by Yves Klein, the IKB coffee table is filled with 44 pounds of radiant International Klein Blue pigment powder. A mirror-polished stainless steel “Heel Chair” by Reginald Sylvester II plays with the idea of a chair as sculpture, or in this case, seating for the very limber. The hot pink P32 lounge chairs are a 1956 design by Italian architect/designer Osvaldo Borsani.

    When the view is this dramatic, the art has to be striking. Crystalline surfaces of a Patagonian glacier glow in Berlin-based photographer Frank Thiel’s magnificent landscape image behind the sofa. Korean artist Chun Kwang Young’s hypnotic wall sculpture of intricately folded, pigment-tinted antique mulberry paper speaks a similar visual language as an ethereal folded paper light sculpture by Paul Cocksedge. On the cocktail table, a tiny spark of joy — a brilliant yellow pumpkin replicates Yayoi Kusama’s most well-known motif. Photo by Thomas Loof


The vivid color story continues in the dining room with a 2007 large-scale pixelated self-portrait by the late, legendary American artist Chuck Close. Credited with revitalizing portraiture with his innovative technique, transposing photographs to a grid and rendering each abstract mosaic-like segment individually with the final piece coalescing into the subject’s likeness. A work from Zhuang Hong Yi’s “Flower Bed” series changes color depending on the angle of the viewer. Hundreds of folded and painted rice paper buds are arranged in a landscape, evoking the spectacular fields of flowers in his former adopted home in the Netherlands. 

     Augusto Savini “Pamplona” dining chairs for Pozzi, Italy circa 1965, surround a monolithic custom marble dining table designed by Sara. Assembled on-site due to its massive size and weight, the metal joints relate to the similar detail on the chairs. And floating above this dramatic entertaining space up in the clouds, a contemporary “Cumulus” chandelier by Ted Abramczyk. Photo by Thomas Loof

The Art of Home 
by Sara Story with Judith Nasatir

© Rizzoli New York, 2023

Available at and Amazon

Sara Story Design

1123 Broadway, Suite 907

New York, NY 10010

(212) 228-6007


The mission was to bring charm and character to a very large 1980s Shingle Style house, by, as David wrote, “letting the McMansiony bits drain out.” After a series of significant architectural adjustments were addressed, the decoration decisions began to unfold. The living room was transformed into a warmly elegant space with some very special pieces. The imposing chimney breast was softened with a Venetian plaster finish. A mirror appears to magically levitate over the mantel, kept company in the upper atmosphere by a Noguchi Akari pendant lamp. The pair of striking armchairs are rare vintage 1940s pieces by French design luminary Jean-Michel Frank, created for the Llalo Llalo Hotel in Patagonia; original photos show them upholstered in spotted doe hide. French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand's circa 195os stools were inspired by traditional French Alpine milking stools. The double-sided sofa is custom by David Netto. A salon-style arrangement of artwork includes antique maritime pieces, a work by Ed Ruscha, and a piece by Korean-born Minimalist artist Lee Ufan. Photo by Pieter Estersohn

David Netto

"Interior design when it gets really interesting is not the pursuit of one-liners like the color red or a good piece of French furniture or a rug that ties the whole thing together. For me it must also include the sense of memory. A knowledge, visually embedded somehow, of what once was and what might still signify again in a new way. This is not to say at all that I only like rooms that are traditional or rooted in the past. But I know I respond to architecture and rooms as a means of storytelling as much as to their form."

— David Netto, from David Netto


Following a move from New York, where he was a well-established professional, to Los Angeles, where he was relatively unknown, David Netto’s decorating career was revived when he was hired to work on a historically significant property built in 1938 by architect James Dolena. The clients, who as Netto wrote, “could hire anyone,” had an art collection that included works by Cézanne, Picasso, and Lucian Freud; and he further notes, wryly, that “art was not a problem on this project.” A vintage Venetian Murano glass mirror floats on the mirrored fireplace wall, multiplying the light and revealing reflections of a painting by Philip Guston. The pair of 1930s hammered copper sconces are by French dinanderie (metalwork) artist Paul-Louis Mergier. Mixing styles of architectural elements requires an artist’s eye for scale, strong convictions, and a dose of courage. Here,  a muscular post-modern style mantel counterpoints classical moldings, and the decoration freely references the Art Deco period during which the house was built. Photo by Roger Davies


For the upstairs sitting room in this “upside-down” beach house (living room and bedroom upstairs to appreciate the view) David Netto designed a furniture plan with seating islands to break up the space, forming rooms within a room. The “library,” partially shown at left, is actually just seating and a bookcase, but the owners reported that it truly is enjoyed for the intended purpose. Three banks of seating face a choice of the ocean, the dunes, or the fireplace, with a band of clerestory windows bringing in more of the incomparable light found only at the beach. A strong horizontal theme in patterns, finishes, and furnishings speaks to the omnipresent beauty of the horizon where sea and sky meet.

     The “Moon” handwoven jute tapestry is by Alexander Calder, dated 1974, and above the fireplace, a plaster wall sculpture by Jennifer Nocon was a custom commission for the house. The library area has an “LC2”  sofa designed by Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret, and Charlotte Perriand for Cassina, Italy, and a zebrawood-topped “Sizzle” side table by Wendell Castle. A pair of bentwood “Paimo” chairs is a 1929 design by architect Alvar Aalto, created for a tuberculosis sanitorium he was building in Paimo, Finland. Photo by Gieves Anderson


In the double-height entry hall of an East Hampton house near the beach, a remarkable American carpet with patriotic iconography confers a sense of age and permanence in this newish residence. The rug was previously in John and Susan Gutfreund’s 20-room Fifth Avenue apartment in a Rosario Candela building with interiors designed by acclaimed decorator Henri Samuels. Faux-bois cachepots by Christopher Spitzmiller and a pair of trompe l’oeil-painted Gothick hall chairs show how alluring artifice can be. An 18th-century English oak dresser base somehow seems right at home next to a painted surfboard. Hanging on the stair wall is a large-scale watercolor painting of sea life by Hamptons artist Idoline Duke. Photo by Tria Giovan


After nearly 30 years in their 1920s Upper East Side apartment, an empty-nester couple dreamed of loft life but soon realized they loved their familiar surroundings. Working with architect Gil Schafer, the apartment was updated to create an open and flowing floorplan and more modern room proportions. 

     Tucked into a niche at the entrance to the living room is a Louis XVI plum pudding mahogany secretary. A Bauhaus-inspired tubular steel chair and one-of-a-kind ceramic lamp by LA artist Jennifer Nocon — produced in collaboration with David Netto — take the edge off the formality of the French antique, creating an inviting spot to linger while perusing the contents of a half-wall bookcase. Photo by Francesco Lagnese

David Netto  
by David Netto

Illustrations by Mita Bland

© Vendome Press, 2023

Available at and Amazon

David Netto Interior Design

Los Angeles  •  New York

(213) 352-4305