Which “traditional” design rule(s) do you swear by? I don’t have any hard rules that I strictly follow, but I do have rules when starting any project. I spend a great amount of time learning and understanding the client’s goals and desires both aesthetically and functionally. The initial process always includes a detailed furniture plan. It becomes a guideline throughout the project on how the room will be used by the client and what size and type of furniture pieces will work.
Which design rule(s) do you break? I’m a modernist at heart so I love the juxtaposition of placing clean lined furniture and modern interior design elements in a traditional architectural home and vice versa. It gives the space some much needed contrast and translates how elements from different design styles can elevate the overall feel of the home.
Do you have favorite “traditional” design elements? (A classic furniture design, pattern, style etc?) I try to at least incorporate antique lighting or vintage furniture to a room to give the space a unique composition and a sense of surprise. For example, a French crystal chandelier dropped from an industrial wood curved ceiling over a tulip Saarinen dining table adds some whimsy and glamour to a room. Also, adding traditional “architectural” details such as paneling/molding in a modern way is always a goal in some of our newly constructed homes.
Which iconic interior designer(s) do you admire and feel are still relevant today? Furniture and/or product designer(s)? Jacques Grange and Axel Vervoordt are widely admirable for their timeless and curated spaces. Kelly Wearstler is a modern icon for her fearless mix of design styles, color, and form.
Diego Giacometti, Jean Michel Frank, and Charlotte Perriand pieces are all classics than can be used in any interiors today.
What design eras inspire you? Currently in our studio we are working on a couple of different styles of homes so we are researching 1930’s Spanish architecture and California midcentury modern. I am also inspired by 1940-'50s French and Italian furniture. During a recent inspiring trip to Italy and walking through untouched and well-worn Renaissance buildings with Baroque to current Italian Modern furniture set inside, it truly showcases how mixing eras creates a unique design narrative and point of view.
Which antiques or vintage designs do you think have held up over time and play well with today’s updated traditional interiors? Antique rugs are timeless since they provide soul to any new pieces of furniture whether modern or traditional. Also Scandinavian furniture from Borge Mogensen or Hans Wegner always creates a nice relaxed vibe in a room when placed with more traditional formal pieces.
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.) I would introduce modern geometric glass pendant fixtures in a kitchen with traditional paneled cabinetry to provide a sculptural element in the space. Also, mixing a graphic or metallic wallpaper with antiqued reclaimed stone floors creates a play of textures even in a small spaces like a powder room.
What is a classic color combination that still feels fresh? Neutrals combined with shades of blues. Varying textures, tones, and patterns can make this color combination go from relaxed modern to traditional coastal. Also, most clients love some shade of blue in their space as it’s a universal color most people are comfortable with.
Do you have a favorite go-to palette at the moment? Since our projects vary in types and styles, I don’t have a go-to favorite. However, I’m loving the mix of dark patina metals with warm natural stones and dusty tones of lavender and rust in fabrics.
How would you define today’s “new traditional” design? New traditional is referencing traditional rooted design but interpreting it in a modern and fresh way of how people live today—casual but stylish.
How would you describe your personal design style? My personal design style is a mix of styles, old and new, curated and evolving. My goal in every project for a client is to create a space that they feel is a reflection of their personality and how they want to live.