Women Making Beautiful Things
Roseann poses with three of her sleek, minimalist pieces of furniture.
Roseann Repetti has always had an eye for style: She worked for 17 years as an editor and stylist at some of the country's top fashion magazines, including Marie Claire, Elle, and Mademoiselle. But after meeting her husband, architect West Chin, at a tai chi class in 1995, she found herself drawn into his world of creating new spaces, a path that led her to a new career in design.
The Rectangular Tray with Bamboo Butcher Block
Last year, she and West opened FTF Design Studio, a boutique business in New York City that—in addition to decorating and designing the homes of Christy Turlington, Shalom Harlow and François Nars—has introduced a line of minimalist tables, chairs, tabletops and home accessories available in stores nationwide. "I love the detail," Roseann says of her luxurious pieces, which mix the blinding whiteness of Corian with warm woods such as oak, ebony and walnut. "It's like when someone makes a beautiful dress and the fabrics are so gorgeous you just want to touch them. I feel the same way when I see a beautiful piece of furniture."
Tight Bookends
The new job gives Roseann the freedom to execute her creative vision and to design her own schedule, which is especially important to her as the mother of 6-year-old Sebastian. It also gives her plenty of time with her husband, West Chin. If she and West aren't collaborating on a new design, then they're running to Sebastian's school recitals. "I really respect couples who work together and are successful at it, because it's not always easy," Roseann says. "Since we work and live together, when he has a bad day, I have a bad day." Still, she concedes, "We're lucky we're able to do it."
Small Flat Tray in Water
The Rectangular Tray with Butcher Block, Tight Bookends and Small Flat Tray exemplify Roseann Repetti's belief that objects should be "sculptural and elegant."

For more information on Roseann's furniture, visit
Kaari Meng poses near the L.A. bungalow housing French General.
Opening a cheerful, quirky general store helped Francophile Kaari Meng rally against illness and find her own Hollywood ending. "I've always been about the hunt," Kaari says. "I love rummaging around to find that one treasure." Ten years ago, it was that pursuit—along with a deeply felt Francophilia inspired by her French great-grandmother and a Parisian college roommate—that prompted Kaari to ditch her career as a jewelry designer and create French General, an offbeat collection of textiles, window treatments and linens, among other products.

The trek proved tougher than Kaari had anticipated: As she prepared to expand her business into its first full-fledged store, in New York's SoHo district, she was diagnosed with cancer. Her parents and four siblings pitched in to help pull off the December 1999 opening, even shaving their heads in a show of solidarity with Kaari, who was still bald from chemotherapy. "It was," she says with a laugh, "a very interesting store opening."
Paint and soap are displayed in the bungalow's old laundry room.
Ready for another change in 2003, Kaari moved her business to Los Angeles. "The Hollywood glamour from the 1940s and '50s was coming back to L.A.," she says, "and I wanted to be a part of that." French General is now stationed in a 1928 Spanish-style bungalow, where Kaari displays home goods of her own design on a French farm table, a coat rack, and even a washing machine. "We grew up in a house that was filled with a very eclectic collection of things my parents would find on their travels," she says. "I'm sure that inspired me."
Kaari's newest hemp fabric designs are inspired by French prints.
Now fully recovered, Kaari, 42, bases her designs on colors and patterns she loves, such as rich shades of red and antique flower prints. "It's not about following trends," she says of her business, "because that will kill you at the end of the day. If I'm not making as much money as the guy next door, I'm okay with that because I'm doing something I enjoy."
Vintage jewelry and craft kits.
The former jewelry designer also sells vintage jewelry and craft kits and teaches weekly jewelry-making classes in her store.
These pillows are made using antique fabrics from France.
Kaari's pillows, priced from $65 to $250, are made with antique fabrics found during her annual month-long visit to the south of France.

For more information on French General, visit