Which “traditional” design rule(s) do you swear by? Design with all of your senses. Usually one would assume interior design is primarily about sight, although approaching design from all of the senses creates spaces that give the natural urge to linger. Whether you choose wallpaper vs. paint or geometric vs. organic, patterns will impact the overall feeling of a space, as well as the perceived design style. Considering an upholstered wall application would intentionally promote a quieter and more intimate environment. Similar to our common ability to recall the scent of our best friend’s home during childhood, incorporating scent into a design can be especially comforting. Fresh flowers or scented candles can immediately impact our mood. Selecting soft carpet, textured distressed woods, smooth leather, or raised embroidery will evoke different feelings for each client. Textures play a key role in defining whether a space is formal or casual.
Balance. When making selections for any space balance is continuously on my radar. Determining what will create the appropriate balance within a space is an extremely intuitive experience for me. For me, there is no precise formula but the elements always include balance of light, color, shapes, scale, textures, and architectural styles.
Which design rule(s) do you break? Mixing white and ivory. There is definitely a fine line when opting for this color combination within a space because it can easily look “off.” When successfully achieving the appropriate balance of this color combination, the crisp white helps the room feel fresh while a touch of ivory provides a warmth.
Do you have favorite “traditional” design elements? (A classic furniture design, pattern, style etc?) I love using archival and hand-painted or hand-blocked wall coverings. To imbue a new space with old charm, I gravitate to reclaimed wood beams on the ceiling or reclaimed brick and slate flooring.
Which iconic interior designer(s) do you admire and feel are still relevant today? Furniture and/or product designer(s)? Billy Baldwin, Michael Thonet, Albert Hadley, and Gio Ponti
What design eras inspire you? Federal, Scandinavian, and Mid Century Modern, touch of Art Deco and Hollywood Regency
Which antiques or vintage designs do you think have held up over time and play well with today’s updated traditional interiors? I love to layer pieces from different design eras. The craftsmanship and beauty of antique and vintage Turkish Oushak, Morrocan style, and Northwest Persian Village rugs make them timeless elements in any home. These rugs often have a painterly quality that lends itself to both classic furnishings and modern art. The more these rugs patina, the better they become.
How do you keep your traditional interiors fresh and current? I feel extremely fortunate to collaborative with talented artists and craftsman who are willing to step outside their comfort zone, working with new materials, finishes and even the latest in technology, when bringing our creative ideas to life. Theses collaborations keep me inspired and allow us to push the boundaries of what is possible.
Give us a couple of examples of modern and traditional design elements that work well together. (For example, Chinoiserie paired with a Parsons table or Converse worn with a Prada suit.) Modern Eames shell chairs mixed with an English antique spindle leg farm table. Victorian era home painted black—love when I see this modernization of Victorian homes in San Francisco! Chesterfield sofa and a vintage rug in an industrial loft space.
What is a classic color combination that still feels fresh? Blue and white never gets old.
Do you have a favorite go-to palette at the moment? Deep greens with fleshy tones, ivory, and white.
How would you define today’s “new traditional” design? Today’s “New Traditional” design takes traditional elements, iconic and classic designs and reimagines them in unexpected ways. Often times, this will include simplifying the original design or creating a similar look with new materials. Additionally, “New Traditional” designs are shifting the overall aesthetics to emphasize casual, livable elegance.
How would you describe your personal design style? At ABD Studio we greatly enjoy helping our clients find and execute their authentic design styles. As a designer, I love the connections that transpire in this exploration and I find the final outcome is often much more personal and customized than our clients expected. From project to project, you will find the spaces I design carry a subtle luxury, are elegantly understated, and consistently emphasize quality of craftsmanship.