Which “traditional” design rule(s) do you swear by? Count up the number of seats at the dining table and make sure you have as many places to sit in the living room.
Which design rule(s) do you break? It’s traditonal to paint the base molding white, but I ﬁnd that strip of white running around the room so jarring, so I often paint it the same color as the wall. In a satin ﬁnish, the light hits it diﬀerently, which is enough to make it feel like a diﬀerent color.
Which iconic interior designer(s) do you admire and still feel are relevant today? Furniture and/or product designers? If the designs were good at the time then they’re still relevant in my mind because you can learn from everyone and every style. Oﬀ the top of my head: Paul Dupré‐Lafon, Billy Baldwin, Renzo Mongiardino, David Hicks, Sister Parish, and Michael Taylor are always inspiring. In terms of product designers: Karl Springer, Gio Ponti, 1970s-era Maitland-Smith, and vintage ceramics from Swedish designer Wilhelm Kage.
What design eras inspire you? There is design to be admired in all eras, and I love the way one period inﬂuences or evolves into another. That said, standouts for me are Haussmann-era Paris and 1920s residential architecture, when all the best homes in American were built.
Which antiques or vintage designs do you think have held up over time and play well with today’s updated traditional interiors? I think there is room in any interior for a touch of Louis XV or Louis XVI—even in modern spaces. I think antique rugs are always a good idea—antique Persian rugs and midcentury Swedish rugs are pretty versatile.
Give us a couple of examples of modern and traditional design elements that work well together. I love the contrast of an ornate antique gilt rococo or chinoiserie mirror above a very modern ﬁreplace mantel. I also think elaborate canopy beds executed in a more modern way—graphic prints or stripes with clean upholstery (no ruﬄes, only inverted pleats)—can look really fresh and impactful.
What is a classic color combination that still feels fresh? Black and white is timeless and so versatile – it can be executed as modern or traditional, casual or formal, country or city.
Do you have favorite go-to palette at the moment? We just completed a slew of things in the Hamptons and everyone was feeling white—whitewashed woods, white linens, natural leathers, and limestone.
How would you deﬁne today’s “new traditional” design? I think people today still want references to traditional design because they have been the hallmarks of ﬁne living for so long—prewar architecture, crown moldings, etc. But today people don’t want things heavy-handed or too precious. And the latest technology needs to be incorporated seamlessly.
How would you describe your personal design style? It truly depends on the client and the architecture of the space, which determines the direction we take with a project, but there are always hallmarks in our work. They are: polish, comfort, functional furniture arrangements with an eclectic mix of furniture styles, textured and graphic fabrics capped oﬀ with modern art.