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Traditional Goes Glam in a Phoneix-Area Home

2011 New Trad designer Jamie Herzligner creates drama in the desert with a Paradise Valley home

Written by Robert Leleux

With Jamie Herzlinger’s design pedigree, 
it’s no wonder she’s triumphed in the world of interiors. Her grandfather, Samuel Herzlinger, was a fashion innovator famous for helping invent the fur-collared wool overcoat, a defining look of the Mad Men era. A great aunt started the millinery department at Bergdorf Goodman. And her mother, Nan Herzlinger, was a fashion designer renowned for her sensuous “clinging mat-jersey creations,” as well as a friend and contemporary of Anne Klein and Pauline Trigère. Considering their accomplishments, Herzlinger’s relatives took it in stride when she started making her own Barbie clothes when she was only five years old.

Following in her family’s footsteps, Herzlinger began a career in fashion. In her
 early 20s, she founded a line that sold in such high-end department stores as Bergdorf Goodman and Henri Bendel. But as she neared 30, she determined to broaden her creative focus to include interiors. Wanting to stake a claim on a new frontier, she moved west in 1991, to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she started Jamie Herzlinger Interiors. 

“I come from the quintessential New York family, and some of my relatives thought I was crazy when I told them I was moving to Arizona,” she says. “They told me, ‘Your career is in Manhattan!’ But the minute I landed in Arizona, I started getting design jobs, and I’ve never stopped working.”

Herzlinger specializes in a modern aesthetic that’s sleek and urbane, but highly conscious of comfort. She describes a recent project in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which
 she built and designed, as “traditional goes glam with a very strong nod to Hollywood Regency—it’s 1960s Bel Air meets 2011.” 

With a black-and-white color scheme, meticulous architectural details, and a sumptuous pool area, the residence possesses a lively, playful quality that’s realized through the designer’s use of color and fabric. “If there’s one thing I know, it’s how to experiment with textiles,” she says. “After all, I didn’t grow up in the Garment District for nothing!”

Herzlinger created an English garden in the Arizona desert—a traditional touch in the Wild West. The houndstooth pattern of the lawn furniture’s upholstery accentuates the fountain’s black-and-white tile. Herzlinger’s fascination with the construction process caused to expand her expertise by becoming a licensed contractor and home builder. “I find it so fulfilling to be involved in every stage of the creation of a house,” she says.

The exaggerated scale of the formal living room is both witty and welcoming. 

Herzlinger carefully grounds her more spectacular touches with subtle detail. “I wanted to highlight the furniture,” she explains, “so I painted the ceilings and moldings white and selected a flooring that, though stunning, also provides a great backdrop. Terrazzo was a natural choice, and I pitted bronze quarter-inch liners into each doorway to announce your entrance into each new room.”

The dining table’s showstopping Chinese Chippendale chairs are balanced by the room’s subdued color palette. “I always keep my clients’ comfort in mind,” says Herzlinger. “So when I use ‘over the top’ furnishings, I keep the color palette simple. That way, my client can enjoy these pieces without thinking they’re on a movie set.”

The breakfast room and kitchen sparkle with Lucite, marble, and lacquer accents. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, the kitchen’s marble surfaces and lacquer cabinetry are extremely practical and easy to clean.

The den, with its plush furnishings, peaceful hues, and open floor plan, is ideal for entertaining. “Hollywood Regency is very stylized and can be a tad theatrical,” says Herzlinger, “so I was very conscious of providing balance, of creating calm, comfortable spaces.” 

The master bedroom’s lush upholstery and soothing palette create a serene retreat. “A bedroom is a refuge,” says Herzlinger. “Its palette must be soothing and its fabrics sumptuous. I love to work with a neutral color palette filled with texture.” 

A plush sofa, placed at the end of the bed, allows the room to fulfill multiple functions: it’s a place to sleep or work, to enjoy breakfast or the breathtaking views.

The master bathroom boasts an opulent marble tub and flooring. 

What traditional means to Jamie Herzlinger: Traditional refers to pieces that are designed with a deliberate adherence to the past. Traditional styles are more conservative and even formal. They have a plethora of elegant details, such as symmetrical designs and graceful carved curves: wingback chairs and camelback sofas, damask fabric and oriental influences. This is what traditional means to me.

Photography: Patrick Cline
Art Direction: Michelle Adams

Traditional Home