Which “traditional” design rule(s) do you swear by? Pinch pleats: but I at the very top of drapery. Even in a contemporary room they read as a more luxurious treatment.
Which design rule(s) do you break? Oh…a lot. Mostly with mixing styles and breaking up sets of furniture. I like most rooms to have a casual-ness/usability. Formality often feels off-putting to me.
Do you have favorite “traditional” design elements? (A classic furniture design, pattern, style etc?) I love a Saladino lamp. While maybe not quite traditional, it’s certainly a classic, and for me adds a note of elegance to both traditional and contemporary rooms alike.
Herringbone! in a floor, as tile, or fabric…you name it. We’ve interpreted herringbone in lots of ways for clients, both traditional and modern.
Which iconic interior designer(s) do you admire and feel are still relevant today? Furniture and/or product designer(s)? Jean-Michel Frank. His clean lined approach to furniture, architecture, lighting, and more was so forward thinking, while still respecting proportion, materiality, and the detail associated with traditional work. More than still relevant, his work remains very influential on ours—for both residential and commercial clients.
What design eras inspire you? Deco. For me, deco hits all the right notes: geometric, crisp, textured, and layered. Not to mention the materiality: from exotic woods to plaster, to chrome and glass—its traditional in its roots and modern in its presentation. We reference deco details all the time, from California casual to Upper East Side high glamour: deco is a go-to era for inspiration. Deco adds a sensual geometry to architecture, and a sculptural quality to furniture.
Which antiques or vintage designs do you think have held up over time and play well with today’s updated traditional interiors? Many of our clients are transitioning to their first “grown up” homes—for them we tend to mix antiques with newer pieces. Georgian center tables and game tables in mahogany or burled wood have been a great way for us to add a masculine base note to rooms that are otherwise light and lovely. It’s all in the mix.
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.)
- Dark wood tables with modern glass lamps
- Dining sets, with a mix of chair types
- Any vintage lamp, with a black, white or craft paper shade – it tends to snap it into a more contemporary look
What is a classic color combination that still feels fresh? Black and white and green—this is still a mainstay for our team. There’s something inherently graphic, crisp, and natural all at the same time.
Do you have a favorite go-to palette at the moment? Really anything with saddle in it always has me: we’ve use saddle in a commercial space with teal, yellow and tan. We use it often with black and white. It’s one of those great colors that acts like a neutral the way a good pair of jeans goes with anything.
How would you define today’s “new traditional” design? It’s really more akin to how people aspire to live today. Traditional connotes established and grown up, and often times that is what we help clients to do. But “too much” traditional can read as old-timey. In a generation that’s very much about self expression, we’ve found the sweet spot to be in the custom mix of old and new, higher end and more attainable, and a sense of history with modern elements. New Traditional is all about personal style, and helping our clients to define that for themselves.
How would you describe your personal design style? Crisp, layered, and approachable. I want all spaces to feel warm and inviting.