Taylor Borsari: Timeless, Inspired, Practical

Taylor began her career in Los Angeles with Michael S Smith, dean of updated traditional. There she managed residential projects in Beverly Hills and Malibu. Since founding her own boutique design studio in 2005 in Las Vegas, she has deployed her new-wave chic look from Laguna Beach to Maine. Her twists on traditional include using horizontal planks for walnut cabinets in a kitchen redo and trading tired nautical motifs for organic textures and patterns in beachfront homes. The epitome of her approach is the elegant and indestructible Eames fiberglass chairs that the mother of two uses at the dining table in her Newport Beach home. 

Visit Taylor’s Web site.

Ginger Brewton: Chic, Comfortable, Sophisticated

“This house is all about whimsy and surprises, set against a sophisticated backdrop,” says designer Ginger Brewton. “We carried colors from the outside into the inside, bringing in warm tones of the marsh and the coast, accented with pops of color. Lighting played a huge role throughout the home, creating a fun and relaxed atmosphere.”

Ginger Brewton: Chic, Comfortable, Sophisticated

Ginger Brewton, who grew up redecorating her Barbie mansion and going with her mother to open houses, began her career as a decorative artist in Charleston, South Carolina. That background—plus travels, study at the New York School of Interior Design, and an apprenticeship with mentor Elaine Griffin—shows in the classic sensibility, international flair, and architectural awareness she brings to interiors for what she calls a well-designed life (also the name of her blog). In a guest room, for example, she balanced a George II chandelier with a white lacquered table. She founded her Charleston-based firm, Ginger Brewton Interiors which serves a national clientele, in 2005. 

Visit Ginger’s Web site.

Heather Garrett: Elegant, Accessible, Luminous

“In the Southeast, I have many clients who want to bring a little modernity to their traditional architecture, and they feel a chair rail stands in their way,” says designer Heather Garrett. “We've started electing to play it up, rather than rip it off, as a way of incorporating this integral architectural detail while playing with its purpose. In this case, we hosed it down in black paint for a big part in our graphic pattern story!”

Heather Garrett: Elegant, Accessible, Luminous

Heather Garrett studied art history, interned at Sotheby’s, worked for art dealers in New York (“Misery!” she recalls), attended Parsons, and learned at the elbow of French designer Robert Couturier. Then, like a designer with a storyboard, she used those gathered elements to create her own firm in Durham, North Carolina, in 2002, blending such styles as French Modern and Southern Traditional. Her twin mantras are “Kids, pets, and red wine are facts of life” and “Nothing made by man is as beautiful as that found in nature.” Her signature look includes sophisticated surfaces as varied as plaster and hide or velvet and linen, as well as extraordinary lighting.

Visit Heather’s Web site.

Julie Goldman: Artisanal, Anthropological, Imaginative

“The inspiration for this room really came from the homeowner, a divorced dad of two girls. He wanted a space where he could entertain, watch movies, and have adult conversations while still having his daughters within earshot or even able to work on art projects nearby. His sensibility was very Midwestern, and the style of the house was Cape Cod, somewhat unusual for Los Angeles. I kept the traditional vibe and saturated the palette. Because the house has lots of corner exposure, I surrounded the space with curtains to add warmth and cozy it up for reading and hanging out.”

Julie Goldman: Artisanal, Anthropological, Imaginative

Julie Goldman is a born collaborator, whether she’s fishing with her father in the marshlands of Louisiana, browsing Christie’s catalogs with a fellow art collector, or teaming up with artisans on designs and products for J. Latter Design, the L.A. firm she founded in 2000. After graduating with a degree in art history from Tufts, the flea market aficionado returned to New Orleans to work for the hallowed firm of Holden & Dupuy. Her tutelage in antiques there is reflected in the way she reimagines pieces to add distinction and function to modern settings. Her one-of-a-kind interiors always look artisanal and touched by hand.

Visit Julie’s Web site.

Andrew Howard: Gracious, Energetic, Textural

“The client and I had always wanted this room to be a powder blue, but did not like the thought of a solid color,” says designer Andrew Howard. “We decided to color-wash the walls so you have blue layered with cream, slate gray, and off-white. It has depth and appears as if it has been built up over time. The beams were laid out to break up the vast expanse of ceiling. I think there is an airiness or subtlety to the room that comes with careful thought given to scale and proportion.”

Andrew Howard: Gracious, Energetic, Textural

Having grown up in the South, Andrew Howard understands the value of tradition, but this Jacksonville, Florida, native encourages fresh interpretations of classic designs. A good listener with a disarming sense of humor, Andrew easily befriends his clients and understands their design visions. He’s a natural in the business—his dad and stepmom are James and Phoebe Howard, Jacksonville-based designers with shops in several locations. Andrew studied business at the University of Florida, but design was his calling. “This is where I belong,” he says. He started his design practice in 2003. “My main goal is to create comfortable and inviting spaces.”

Visit Andrew’s Web site.

Katie Lydon: Classic, Balanced, Soulful

Designer Katie Lydon says, “The family came from a big open loft downtown, and we wanted to maximize the feeling of space, so we kept the main room open and light-filled. We lacquered the ceiling to give it a crisper feel and to generously reflect light into the room. The furniture is supposed to bridge the gap between an uptown apartment and a loft-like space. The sofas are perfectly proportioned yet feel generous in size, and the addition of eclectic pieces helps to layer and add interest. As you go into the more personal spaces, it starts to feel cozier with textured fabrics and lovely warm colors yet remaining calm and open in character.”

Katie Lydon: Classic, Balanced, Soulful

London-born Katie Lydon went into the family business. Raised by parents who worked at Sotheby’s, she studied at Wimbledon Art School and Cambridge University before doing stints at Condé Nast and New York’s Mark Hampton Design. This background is reflected in her passion for antiques and architecture, balanced by a love of contemporary art. Now a resident of Tribeca, she founded her NYC design firm in 2002. Whether designing an uptown townhouse, a downtown loft, or a family home in Boston, she’s likely to mix interesting pieces from emerging artists with a retro twist or two. She believes every room should have key pieces with gravitas and soul.

Visit Katie’s Web site.

Andrew Maier: Cinematic, Stylish, Evolved

Designer Andrew Maier says of his breakfast room, “I get so much inspiration from traditional English and colonial design, rooms I've seen in person as well as rooms that have played background parts in films and on television. The challenge—and the great fun!­—is to not only make those looks more livable, but also to pepper in some modern references and fresh themes. The result is a room that comforts us with references to the past and also provides a lot of physical comfort. The best room is the one that interests us with the mix of periods and provenances.”

Andrew Maier: Cinematic, Stylish, Evolved

Growing up in an artistic family, Andrew Maier was hired by friends and neighbors to design spaces at the age of 12. Drawn by his love of horses into work as an exercise rider for steeplechase trainers, he returned to design as a prop stylist for TV commercials, music videos, and magazine shoots in NYC. He founded Andrew Maier Inc., now in Locust Valley, New York, in 2001. His projects mix curiosities with classical elements such as period paintings and floor-to-ceiling bookcases. Andrew’s calling is to listen, mix clients’ desires with his own epiphanies, and give them back spaces that reflect the best versions of themselves. 

Visit Andrew’s Web site.

Frances Merrill: Exotic, Intuitive, Nature-Oriented

Designer Frances Merrill says of her ethereal home office, “The feather wallpaper was the starting point for this escape. The Swedish settee and African beaded stool add a dose of textural tension, while the soft palette preserves the calm feeling.”

Frances Merrill: Exotic, Intuitive, Nature-Oriented

Born and raised in Greenwich Village, Frances Merrill moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to study textile design. The love of textiles that’s in her DNA was deepened by working at the Thai Silk Company, cofounded by her late relative, Jim Thompson. Her Reath Design, launched in L.A. in 2009, mixes tradition and exoticism. Frances has a gift for designing outdoor spaces and creating indoor-outdoor flow. For a home in need of a dining room, playroom, and guest room, she increased living space by creating a dining room under the stars and filling a tepee with vintage rugs for play. Situated at the edge of the yard is a prefab structure she transformed into a vibrant oasis for guests.

Visit Frances’s Web site.

Kristin Rocke: Original, Artistic, Architecturally Informed

“The black-on-black plus blue room was inspired by contrast and drama,” says designer Kristin Rocke. “I considered it an evening room, shade from sunshine, sort of the counterpart to the rest of the whole, which is enveloped in white. It is wonderfully cool in the daytime and mysterious in the evening.

“The room is an assortment of gradient range from light blue to midnight blue and white to gray to black. It is electrified by a shocking punch of pure chroma color from the artwork and pillows. The rich soft textures make the space quite comfortable. It is perfect for napping or evening cocktails. “

Kristin Rocke: Original, Artistic, Architecturally Informed

Kristin Rocke rocks a design floor to ceiling, often creating custom light fixtures, furnishings, architectural details, and wall coverings. After studying urban planning with an emphasis on architecture and earning a design degree from the University of Utah, in 2004 she opened K. Rocke Design in Holladay, Utah. Even a mudroom she designed for a busy family is beautiful and functional, with clean lines, Shaker details, and handsome polished hardware on drawers lined in practical galvanized steel for outerwear and gear. She’s at her most inspired working with craftspeople to create spaces her clients can’t wait to get home to. 

Visit Kristin’s Web site.

Summer Thornton: Risk-Taking, Globally Aware, Fun

Summer Thornton says, “The style for this home was all about creating a space that was bright, vibrant, and fun, without being immature.  This family has young kids, and the home needed to work for them and reflect their playful personalities, but the parents didn't want to lose sophistication and style.  This room was bright, airy, and open to much of the house.”

Summer Thornton: Risk-Taking, Globally Aware, Fun

The term Summer Thornton has coined for her signature look is “cultured irreverence.” It’s exemplified in a luxury pied-à-terre she designed in Chicago, where she founded her firm in 2007. In the living room, urn-shaped Lucite lamps mix with vintage lounge chairs and a restrained Barbara Barry sofa. No two of her projects look alike. Using classic forms and unexpected colors and materials, she invariably evokes the appropriate mood that each space calls for. Summer’s background includes work with designers and at Osborne & Little, the famed British textile company. A world traveler, she never met a flea market she didn’t love, be it in Moscow or Buenos Aires.

Visit Summer’s Web site.

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Meet the New Trad Designers

Showcasing talented young designers from all over the country

Produced by Rebecca Christian and Lucy Fitzgerald
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Heather Garrett: Elegant, Accessible, Luminous

Heather Garrett studied art history, interned at Sotheby’s, worked for art dealers in New York (“Misery!” she recalls), attended Parsons, and learned at the elbow of French designer Robert Couturier. Then, like a designer with a storyboard, she used those gathered elements to create her own firm in Durham, North Carolina, in 2002, blending such styles as French Modern and Southern Traditional. Her twin mantras are “Kids, pets, and red wine are facts of life” and “Nothing made by man is as beautiful as that found in nature.” Her signature look includes sophisticated surfaces as varied as plaster and hide or velvet and linen, as well as extraordinary lighting.

Visit Heather’s Web site.

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