Which “traditional” design rule(s) do you swear by? I hate following rules! I guess I am guided more by traditional pieces and practices than hard rules. I have found an exception to almost every design rule I have ever heard of!
Which design rule(s) do you break? I guess technically all of them. Its 2018 aren’t we done with the mass application of rules?
Do you have favorite “traditional” design elements? (A classic furniture design, pattern, style etc?) GLOBAL! I think it can be very traditional especially when using traditional elements of their respective cultures. Mixing them together with more classic american decorating is what makes them interesting.
Which iconic interior designer(s) do you admire and feel are still relevant today? Furniture and/or product designer(s)? I have always been obsessed with Michael Smith. I think his work from the beginning of his career is still characteristically him and still relevant today. He breaks all kinds of rules involving pairs, and mixing of eras and styles, but his work always feels warm, traditional, and uniquely his. Alex Papachristidis is also a HUGE design icon for me. He layers extravagant pieces together in unique ways which are always whimsical, refined, and pretty. Heavy doses of classic and traditional design feel unexpected but not out of the box.
What design eras inspire you? Georgian period England, Imperial China. These probably are not “traditional” design eras but I have been influenced heavily by elements from these periods. Think a chippendale sideboard in front of a beautiful chinese tea paper.
Which antiques or vintage designs do you think have held up over time and play well with today’s updated traditional interiors? Chinese porcelain; Turkish, Indian, and Persian rugs; wicker, bamboo, cane, and rattan furniture. Clean lines of Georgian English antiques, Anglo-Indian furniture, inlay furniture and accessories, wing chairs, pastoral oil paintings, Indian hand block fabrics, special marble and plaster accessories.
How do you keep your traditional interiors fresh and current? Color and pattern. Mixing more fresh fabrics on upholstery is a quick way to balance heavier traditional case pieces. Painting the walls, ceilings, and trim all different colors, or even all the same color can make spaces feel fresh while allowing traditional pieces to shine. I also love to use wallpaper in non traditional ways to make things interesting.
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 love paring chinoiserie with anything and I think chinoiserie wallpaper paired with very minimal contemporary decor can be BEYOND chic. Personally I tend to wear a lot of very classic shoes, velvet smoking slippers, bit loafers, embroidered or carpet shoes, and I find pairing them with super distressed jeans or even cut off distressed jean shorts feels the best to me and usually gets the best response.
What is a classic color combination that still feels fresh? Green and Yellow. I feel like spring greens and yellows are very classic together but I love mixing India Yellows and Moss, or ochre shades with emerald. Same color just different hues feel fresh.
Do you have a favorite go-to palette at the moment? I’m doing a lot with rust at the moment. It shockingly has become a favorite color of mine when paired with pistachio green. It also looks great with black and white and with tons of shades of blue!
How would you define today’s “new traditional” design? I think new traditional is classic design element—be it fabric patterns, furniture pieces, crystal chandeliers, or Oushak rugs—but paired together in unexpected ways. Traditional for me is an inviting and warm feeling. It comes from layers and balance and scale. I think as long as a designer incorporates some classic design practices, the addition of contemporary art, lighting, and accessories are still going to give you a traditional feel. That to me is new traditional.
How would you describe your personal design style? Heavily rooted in classic design elements veering traditionally southern. Diverse culture nods with a strong chinoiserie influence mix with a heavy dose of Georgian antiques and abstract art. Always taking smalls risks while exercising restraint.