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2017 New Trad Alison Jennison

Get to know our New Trad Class of '17

Produced by Jenny Bradley Pfeffer

Alison Jennison

Which “traditional” design rule(s) do you swear by? I try not to swear by anything—so cliché, but rules are made to be broken.

Which design rule(s) do you break? I don’t think about rules when I am designing; I try to be more intuitive. I really try to get a feel for who my client is and what will speak to them. I will say I am not afraid to paint a small room dark. I am currently working on a black master bath.

Do you have favorite “traditional” design elements? I love traditional architectural detailing, moldings everywhere, or a classic NYC marble fireplace. Can’t go wrong. I also love a simple roll-arm sofa—it’s a shape I will never get tired of.

Which iconic interior designer(s) do you admire and feel are still relevant today? Furniture and/or product designer(s)? When does an iconic designer stop being relevant? By definition an iconic designer has lasting impact. That said, I love Baldwin—his spaces are a constant source of inspiration and have an ability to still look as fresh and exciting as the first time you saw them.

What design eras inspire you? I am really feeling 1970/80s right now. Ceramics, macramé, glass and metal, paler saturated palettes, and beige—so much beige. When did beige become a dirty word? I love warmer color combinations. I’ll take beige over gray every day of the week.

Photo: Jessica Glynn

Which antiques or vintage designs do you think have held up over time and play well with today’s updated traditional interiors? I think the most successful updated traditional interiors have a mix of modern furniture and antiques or vintage elements. I love designing a room around a chair or table handed down from a family member who has had it for ages or styling a room with vintage ceramics.

Give us a couple of examples of modern and traditional design elements that work well together. Modular wall-mounted shelving covered in books and vintage ceramics—I love Atlas to contrast a more traditional room. I love a painted clawfoot tub. I guess for me the ultimate is very traditional architectural detailing juxtaposed against modern lighting. I love that mix.

Photo: Jessica Glynn

What is a classic color combination that still feels fresh? Black and white forever.

Do you have a favorite go-to palette at the moment? Beige or creamy palest pink accented with dark browns/black. I’m obsessed.

How would you define today’s “new traditional” design? For me, new traditional is a bit more of an eclectic feel while also being a bit more laid back. Traditional design elements mixed or layered with cleaner lines—less about rules and more about comfort.

How would you describe your personal design style? My personal style is very layered, carefree, and effortless and yet with maximum effort. Old plus new. Modern clean moments constantly fighting with a Victorian urge to overdo it.