Interior designer and tastemaker, Paloma Contreras takes you further into the beloved “The Style Files” column from her blog, La Dolce Vita, for thoughtful, engaging conversations with creative entrepreneurs. Delve into the journeys of design luminaries and design industry trailblazers through these fascinating talks.
Here's the Latest Episode from The Style Files: Conversations with Creatives:
Jeffrey Dungan discovered a love for drawing and art at a young age while growing up on his family farm in rural Alabama. Being immersed in the powerful natural countryside would become inspiration for a life designing beautiful architecture and interiors. Dungan’s creative work can been seen in his native South, and throughout North and Central America. Recognized for his clean and modern approach to traditional vernaculars and classical architecture, he is a fresh voice in the industry. In addition to his architecture, he brings passion, depth and an endless enthusiasm for the people he works with Jeffrey has been honored with numerous awards from the American Institute of Architects as well as the 2017 Southeast Architect of the Year award by Veranda magazine and ADAC. The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art named him a Shutze fellow in 2015, and in 2018 he was a recipient of a prestigious Palladio Award, the only national award for classical architecture. Jeffrey’s work has been featured in numerous books, as well as the Wall Street Journal, Veranda, LUXE, Garden & Gun, MILIEU, Southern Living, and House Beautiful. His book, “The Nature of Home”, was published by Rizzoli in September of 2018.
Named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine, Sheila Bridges founded her own interior design firm in 1994. As Creative Director, Sheila has thoughtfully designed residences and offices for many prominent entertainers, entrepreneurs and business professionals including the 8,300 square foot Harlem offices for former President Bill Clinton and his staff. Sheila Bridges Design, Inc has also completed projects at Columbia University and Princeton University, bringing Sheila’s signature design aesthetic to interior spaces at both of these prestigious academic institutions. Bridges has been featured in numerous publications including Architectural Digest, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Interior Design, House & Garden, Domino, and Traditional Home magazines. She has also been included in Gotham and New York Magazine‘s Top Interior Designer’s lists, House Beautiful’s “Top 100 Interior Designers” as well as Elle Décor’s 2011- 2020 A List, which recognizes interior designers who exemplify continually relevant design. Sheila is also the author of two books: Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime, which was released in 2002 and The Bald Mermaid, A Memoir, published in 2013. Along with running a successful interior design business, Sheila hosted four seasons of Sheila Bridges Designer Living for the FINE LIVING Network, part of the Scripps Howard cable family. The sleekly produced half-hour weekly series and award winning hour specials showcased Sheila’s practical wisdom and hands-on advice. Sheila’s television show quickly became a trusted resource to help viewers define and express their sense of personal style in their own homes. In 1996, Sheila’s passion for interiors inspired her to design furniture and home furnishings under the name Sheila Bridges Home, Inc. Sheila’s home furnishing collections have been sold to design conscious consumers online, through trade showrooms, mail order catalogues and at such notable national retailers as Anthropologie and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Sheila is honored to have her Harlem Toile De Jouy wallpaper represented in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent wallpaper collection. Her designs have been showcased in many exhibits and museums throughout the country and Europe including The Museum of The City of New York, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Museum of Art and Design in New York City, The Brooklyn Museum, Museé De La Toile De Jouy in Jouy-en-Josas, France and most recently The Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Originally from Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Sheila Bridges moved to New York City in 1986. She holds degrees from Brown University and Parsons School of Design, and studied decorative arts at Polimoda in Florence, Italy. She lives in Harlem, New York.
Dallas based designer Jan Showers believes, “Design should relate to the way we live—it also should be beautiful, glamorous, comfortable and luxurious, even when very casual.” Showers style has been described by one of her clients as, “The interiors of Jan Showers & Associates are chic and timeless. They exude glamour and grace with an approachable and at ease feeling, much like Jan herself.”
It’s fitting then that Jan has written two books on the subject: Glamorous Rooms and her follow-up, Glamorous Retreats, both published by Abrams. Glamorous Rooms is now in its twelfth printing. Together, her books display a cross section of the styles and decorative preferences that have made Jan and her firm one of the most prominent in the country. Jan’s third book, Glamorous Living, will also be published by Abrams in Fall 2020.
Over the course of her career—spanning three decades—she has received many of the profession’s highest honors. Her magazine credits alone place her in the highest echelon of designers. They include Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, Veranda, House Beautiful, InStyle, Traditional Home, British Home and Garden, Harper’s Bazaar, and Luxe.
Architectural Digest has named Jan Showers & Associates to the AD100, its preeminent directory to the international world of design.
Jan’s to the trade furniture and lighting collection, the Jan Showers Collection, highlights her signature style. The Collection was created over 20 years ago and is available at showrooms throughout the U.S.
Jan Showers & Associates announced a furniture line, the 1308 Collection, in the fall of 2018 which is available only at her showroom in Dallas Design District at 1308 Slocum Street.
For more than 20 years Showers has been a pioneer of French antiques for the Dallas community and designers. She travels internationally in search of antiques she imports both for her Dallas showroom and for the specific needs of her design clients.
Collaboration is very important to Jan and her team. She has created a complete lifestyle collection for Kravet Couture, a line that includes fabrics, wall coverings, rugs, furniture, and lighting. Showers second Kravet furniture collection was introduced in 2019. Being released in spring 2021 will be her second line of fabrics with Kravet. Her other partnerships include a hand-knotted rug series for Moattar, Inc., a lighting series with L.A. based designer Joe Cariati and a cowhide rug collection for Kyle Bunting.
Tina Ramchandani Creative (TRC) designs warm, modern interiors that fully capture our clients’ polished lifestyles. The firm's passion -- Soulful Minimalism®-- allows their clients to experience life surrounded by the things that matter, so they can focus on the people that matter. Tina’s work has been nationally recognized by publications including Elle Décor, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Cottages & Gardens, Lonny, Gotham, and Cover. She was most recently named a “2018 Next Wave” designer by House Beautiful, the winner of the 2019 IDA by Cottages & Gardens and Rising Star 2019 by NY's D&D Building.
Timothy Whealon Inc. specializes in high-end interior design with a focus on fine and decorative arts. Mr. Whealon's design philosophy finds its roots in classicism; however, he approaches each project with a fresh, 21st Century eye that makes them both modern and timeless. He layers items from different periods and cultures, artfully mixing the pristine and the patinated. Each interior is unique, often incorporating custom pieces specific to the client and the environment. His work is enhanced by both his extensive knowledge of the international art and antiques market and by his team of skilled artists and craftsmen who adhere to Mr. Whealon's commitment to quality and attention to detail. Timothy Whealon is a graduate of Kenyon College, where he studied English Literature and Art History. He moved to New York to begin a career in banking and completed a credit training program on Wall Street before pursuing his passion for the arts and design. Mr. Whealon completed the Sotheby's Works of Art course in London and the corporate management training program with Sotheby's New York before opening his offices in 1994. His work has been published in ELLE DÉCOR, House Beautiful, Veranda, House and Garden, Architectural Digest, Domino Magazine, The NY Observer, The New York Times – Home Section and numerous books. Mr. Whealon serves on the board of the Gund Gallery at Kenyon College. The first monograph of his work, "In Pursuit of Beauty: The Interiors of Timothy Whealon," was published by Rizzoli in 2015.
Lauren Liess is a decorator, product designer, shop owner, TV personality and author known for her natural, relaxed style and down to earth approach to design and living. Lauren writes the blog Pure Style Home, where she has been sharing bits of her life as a mother of five, interiors projects, and design philosophy for over a decade. She believes in living a simpler, more relaxed life in homes that are real, natural and lack pretense, and encourages an appreciation of the natural beauty around us and fully enjoying the present moment with those we love. She and her husband/business partner, David, host the HGTV show Best House on the Block, which features the design and renovation of Washington, DC-area homes by the couple. They recently opened up a real estate brokerage in Great Falls, Virginia where they rehab properties and sell them. Lauren’s first book, bestselling Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating, was published in Fall of 2015 and was chosen by NPR as a “Book of the Year.” Her newest book, Down To Earth: Laid Back Interiors for Modern Living, was released in October 2019 and was also a bestseller. She has furniture collections, a tile collection, a kitchen cabinet collection, and a fabric line. Lauren and her projects have been featured in numerous national publications including Southern Living, Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Luxe, Better Homes and Gardens, Domino, Martha Stewart Living, and Country Living.
With35 yearsin the business of design, Charlotte Moss has received numerous honors, including the New York School of Interior Design’s Centennial Medal, Housing Works’ Groundbreaker’s Award,The Royal Oak Foundation’s Timeless Design award, andis named one ofElle Décor’sGrand Master List of Top Designers.Charlotte has used her experience culled from thirty-fiveyears of decorating homes to design collections of furniture and upholstery with Century Furniture,fabricsand trimsfor Fabricut, carpets and sisals for Stark Carpet, china for Pickard, clothing with IBU Movement, and cuff bracelets with P.E. Guerin.Charlotte has re-launched her photography prints withSoicherMarin and created five distinct pillow collections with Eastern Accentsall available onPerigold. This Spring, she collaborated with Artemis Design Company to create the “Moss Mule”using ikat textiles from her world travels.Charlotte lectures widely and isa prolific author, having published ten books to date.CHARLOTTE MOSS ENTERTAINS, is her most recent title (Rizzoli, 2018).Of all her work,philanthropy plays an important role in her life.Charlotte is a Trustee of Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, The Bone Marrow Foundation, American Corporate Partners, TheMadooConservancy, a member of the International Council of Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, and on the Advisory Board of The New York School of Interior Design where she holds an Honorary Doctorate Degree.
Design editor Robert Rufino has had a long and storied career in the design world. He is a man of impeccable style and immeasurable kindness as he has been quite supportive not only to me, but to many burgeoning designers in our industry. He is currently Style Director of House Beautiful where he oversees the style and design esthetic of the brand, leading partnerships with designers, managing the coverage of interiors, and overseeing all photography." Prior to joining House Beautiful in this current position, Rufino was Style Director of ELLE DECOR and held positions as interiors editor of Architectural Digest and senior editor-at-large at House Beautiful. From 1996-2009, Rufino was at Tiffany & Co., first as vice president of visual merchandising and then vice president of creative services, where he oversaw the brand’s global image, with responsibilities including store design and visual display, exhibits, and the company’s famous window displays. He began his career as visual planning director at Henri Bendel, worked as a freelance stylist, for clients including The New York Times Magazine and held editorial positions at a variety of titles, including Harper’s BAZAAR. Rufino takes great joy in helping to mentor young designers, sharing his insights on photography and styling to help them build a strong portfolio
Timothy Corrigan is one of the world’s leading interior designers. With offices in Los Angeles and Paris his firm has completed projects in Europe, the Middle East and across the United States. He has been named to virtually every top designer list including Architectural Digest’s AD100, the Elle Decor A-List, Robb Report’s Top 40 Designers in the World, the Luxe Gold List, 1stdibs 50, the Design Icon Award, ICAA Legacy Award, the Pacific Design Center’s Star of Design. He is the only American honored by the French Heritage Society for his restoration of several national landmarks in France. The firm’s work has been featured in over 1000 publications worldwide. Timothy has designed licensed collections for Perennials, Schumacher, Samuel & Sons, Fromental, Royal Limoges, THG-Paris, Fromental, and Kyle Bunting. He has two best-selling books, published by Rizzoli: “An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Lucé,” that chronicles the restoration of his landmark chateau in France, and his second book, “The New Elegance: Stylish, Comfortable Rooms for Today” that features 11 of Timothy’s projects aroun
In 2011 Roxy Te Owens founded Society Social, the next generation e-commerce furniture brand that rose to prominence on Instagram. Roxy predated the direct-to-consumer movement and offered all the customization usually reserved for designers - color matching in any Sherwin Williams or Benjamin Moore finish at their North Carolina factory for grasscloth furniture pieces as well as custom tape trim, tassels, customer's own material, contrast piping and fringe to anyone ordering upholstery. Society Social is also known for their classic bar-carts, colored grasscloth furniture, and rattan pieces.
Roxy is a decorator in her own right, having appeared on national TV and hosted her own pilot "Carolina Reno" for HGTV. She has been featured in the press for her holiday cocktail recipes, bar-cart styling and fun colorful decorations. This fall she opened her first flagship store in Charlotte, North Carolina, and this spring Roxy debuted her first designer furniture collaboration with Ariel Okin. The collaborative collection marries traditional design with stylish and affordable customization options for the next generation.
Michael Amato has served as Creative Director of The Urban Electric Co. The Urban Electric Co. is a luxury lighting brand made by hand in Charleston, SC. Known for their innovative company culture and commitment to reviving American craft, their classic designs are found everywhere from famous restaurants, hotels and nightclubs to celebrity homes. They have recently opened their first international outpost in London where Creative Director Michael Amato resides. Prior to joining The Urban Electric Co., Michael had a long and fruitful career in retail merchandising and interior design. The brand has recently expanded their headquarters in Charleston to add an additional 40,000 square feet and has opened their first showroom in Charleston and has launched their second volume of their printed book The Current, which pays tribute to the destinations and the perspectives that guide the company forward.
Thomas A. Kligerman grew up on the East Coast but spent his high school years living in New Mexico. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and his Master of Architecture from Yale School of Architecture. Before co-founding Ike Kligerman Barkley, Tom worked for Robert A. M. Stern Architects in New York City. He loves to travel and has lived abroad in England and France. In 2017, he spent six weeks in Italy as a Visiting Scholar at The American Academy in Rome. Tom serves on the board of several charitable and educational institutions, including The Sir John Soane's Museum Foundation. Tom lectures frequently across the country on many topics including the cultural and architectural history of Cuba, the influence of the Shingle Style in American design as well as the intersection of modern and traditional architecture.
Katie Ridder is a New York-based interiors and textile designer known for her bold use of color and penchant for pattern. Ridder’s work has been published in ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, THE NEW YORK TIMES, ELLE DÉCOR, TOWN & COUNTRY, HOUSE & GARDEN, DOMINO, and HOUSE BEAUTIFUL. ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST, ELLE DÉCOR and HOUSE BEAUTIFUL have featured her projects on their covers. She has appeared on the “Top 100” list of designers for HOUSE BEAUTIFUL and ELLE DÉCOR. Katie’s first book, ROOMS, was published by Vendome Press in 2011 and is in its third printing. A House in the Country—Ridder’s second book, co-authored with her husband, architect Peter Pennoyer--has graced three AMAZON best-sellers lists. Katie is releasing her third book, MORE ROOMS, in September of 2020. Katie’s design work extends to her involvement with many groups. She is currently a member of The Friends of Horticulture at Wave Hill, the Horticultural Committee at the New York Botanical Garden and serves on the board of directors of the Garden Conservancy.
Kate Rheinstein Brodsky grew up in Los Angeles, California. The daughter of decorator Suzanne Rheinstein she grew up immersed in the world of interior design. After graduating from NYU, Katestayed in New York working for Jeffrey Bilhuber, Ralph Lauren Home, and Elle Decor magazine. In the fall of 2014, Kate opened KRB. Offering a curated selection of antiques, vintage furniture, and exclusive home accessories, the store combines the traditions of classical decor with Kate’s uniquely charismatic and colorful point of view. Located on East 74th street in New York, KRB brings a fresh perspective to timeless designs.
Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, the principals of Carrier and Company Interiors, are a husband-and-wife interior design duo who create rooms that offer a confident mix of timeless and contemporary design -both familiar and fresh at once. Their guiding philosophy focuses on connecting client with place in a manner that reflects the distinct and singular nature of both. From bohemian glamour to country charm, from modern luxe to the timeless and ineffable, from the historically informed to the tailored and refined, the Carriers delight in adapting their impassioned sensibility to the unique elements each project presents.Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors(Vendome Press) their bestselling book, offers glimpses of the private spaces of influential tastemakers in the fields of fashion and media, and features the homes of Anna Wintour, Editor-in Chief ofVogueand Artistic Director of Conde Nast and studio of fashion designer Jason Wu, among others. All of the interiors presented inPositively Chicare characteristically imbued with the personality and style of their owners, while showcasing Jesse and Mara’s core dedication to decor that feels effortless, essential, and light of spirit.To be able to further share their unique vision of home and interiors, Jesse and Mara are partnering with leading manufacturers in the home furnishing industry.With Century Furniture, Carrier and Company has designed a collection of over 50 pieces, along with decorative lighting with Visual Comfort and, in Spring/Summer, 2020, a textile and wallpaper collection with Lee Jofa. A rug collection and bedding line are also in the works. These partnerships offer Carrier's talent for bucking trends whilestaying current and combining elegance with livability.Named to the prestigious Architectural Digest AD100 and Elle Decor A-List, the Carriers have garnered accolades from the world’s most prominent publications, includingArchitectural Digest,Vogue,Town & Country,Elle Decor,House Beautiful,Luxe Interiors + Design,Milieu,Oprah, andWorld of Interiors.Jesse and Mara met at The Fashion Institute of Technology and worked for a number of AD100 interior design firms before founding Carrier and Company Interiors in 2005. They live in New York City and upstate New York with their two children.
A special message from Paloma as we wrap up our first season!
An Alabama native and alumnus of Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Ray Booth began his career as an intern at McALPINE. Moving to New York soon after, he had successful tenures in the offices of such distinguished design talents as John Saladino and Clodagh. A decade later, reuniting with Bobby McAlpine, his former professor, Ray returned to McALPINE as a partner in its interior design firm. These days, Ray divides his time between the firm’s Nashville office and its expanded New York office, which allows him to keep one foot in the city and other in his native south. Ray is the author of Evocative Interiors, his bestselling first book published by Rizzoli in 2018. Ray’s work has received significant recognition from the nation’s most prestigious publications, including covers of Architectural Digest and features in Elle Décor, Veranda, Milieu, Wall Street Journal, and Vogue.com. This year, Ray launches his inaugural furniture collection with Hickory Chair and his first accessory and lighting collection with Arteriors. With an undimmed passion for beauty, Ray shares his life and homes in New York and Nashville with his husband, John Shea.
Nicole Gibbons is an interior designer and entrepreneur best known for her fresh use of color and fashion-forward point of view on decorating. Her work and expertise has been sought by top media outlets like HGTV, OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, TLC, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens and more. Before pursuing interior design, Nicole spent nearly a decade managing PR for one of the world’s largest retail brands. Not only has her experience given her first-hand knowledge of what it takes to build a world-class brand, but also deep and unique insights into what customers really want when it comes to designing their homes. Nicole’s work in the design world enabled her to identify that the paint industry was one ripe for disruption. With a broken shopping experience and no legacy paint brand focusing on convenience and simplicity, or marketing to a creative, digitally-driven generation, she saw an opportunity to improve the process from start to finish. Nicole founded Clare to help people create spaces they love — and actually enjoy the process along the way.
In this special bonus episode of The Style Files, Paloma chats with industry veteran and fellow podcast host, Dennis Scully about the way the design industry is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and adapting their businesses for the future. Paloma and Dennis turn the tables on one another and the hosts become the interviewees, sharing the stories of their respective career trajectories.
Dennis Scully is the host of the weekly Business of Home podcast, where he explores the changes and challenges facing the interior design community through interviews with industry thought leaders, entrepreneurs and creatives. In his Market Watch columns for BOH, Dennis calls upon his background as an analyst and longtime securities trader as he explores the ins and outs of the home industry’s publicly traded businesses. With a marketing, advertising, and business development career in the home furnishings space that spans more than 20 years, Dennis has helped some of the finest companies in the industry to manage their teams and grow their brands.
This episode begins with a personal message from Paloma regarding our mission with The Style Files and the ways in which we plan to be more inclusive moving forward before we delve into our chat with the talented Alex Papachristidis.
The work of interior decorator Alex Papachristidis, featured in this month’s Veranda, has been described as thoughtful, personal and eclectic. Having mastered the skill of fusing modern and traditional elements, editors, designers and clients alike use the word “sophisticated” to define his elegant approach, color palette and the delightful details that make a room sizzle with style.
Born and raised in New York City, Alex Papachristidis traveled widely in his youth, helping to cultivate his eye for interior decorating. Papachristidis established his own firm in 1987 and today is known for arresting, elegant interiors that meld classical motifs with a modern perspective and sophisticated details. Alex Papachristidis’ work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Southern Accents, InStyle and The New York Times. He has also been featured in a number of published works, and in 2012, his own book The Age of Elegance: Interiors by Alex Papachristidis was published by Rizzoli. Now in its 4th printing, the book has garnered praise from readers and critics alike. Papachristidis has been named to ElleDécor’s “A-list of Interior Designers”, and for several years, including 2020, the Architectural Digest’s AD100 List. His second book is slated to be published in 2022. Join us as we talk all things decorating, entertaining, and the future of design!
William Li is an authority in the design world, a seasoned and highly regarded media executive and television personality, a world traveler and, as food aficionado Ruth Reichl noted in her latest book, “the personification of hip elegance.” Born in Manhattan, Li was raised in Chinatown by a single mother, an immigrant who instilled in him the importance of hard work and a lifelong appreciation for the art form that is food. From an early age, Li was drawn to the power of beauty and potential of storytelling. A combination of hustle, humor, taste and endless creativity propelled Li to the top of two fast-paced creative industries—and helped him build a global network across the worlds of retail, design, fashion, media, art and culture in the process. During his 15- year tenure with CondéNastPublications, hewasthepublisherofthemostnoteworthymagazinelaunchesin recent publishing history, M en’s Vogue a nd Condé Nast Portfolio, where he notably was the first and only Asian-American publisher. He continued on “to smash the bamboo ceiling” as a gay Chinese man in retail when he became Global Brand President of Ralph Lauren Home, responsible for the overall stewardship of the brand around the world. For the latest chapter in his professional life, Li taps into his passion for artistic, thoughtful storytelling as a Contributing Editor for E lle Decor and Town & Country, and as co-host of Lucky Chow, the public television series exploring unique pockets of Asian American culture, affording him an unparalleled opportunity to celebrate the rich history of his heritage through the lens of food. When he’s not globetrotting, he lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his husband and their whippets, Archie and Max, and spends his weekends in the Berkshires. He is a voracious gardener; a skilled home cook, a great collector of contemporary photography and drawing; and a connoisseur of dumplings and 90s R&B.
Raised in a small town in the South where professional decorators were not a thing, Caroline learned the important principals of interior design and fashion from watching her mother, who was a wicked seamstress and wasn't afraid of a complicated pattern or roll of wallpaper, and knew how to match a seam. Her mother created stylish and chic interiors and clothing for the family on a budget, guided primarily by her strict adherence to all things previously sanctioned by Jaqueline Onassis, Colonial Williamsburg, Princess Diana, Vogue or Emily Post.As an adult, Caroline is sought after by her friends to help as equally with their daily fashion and entertaining decisions as with their interiors. Guided by her own creativity coupled with the principals that she learned first hand from her mother and in the pages of her enormous personal design library, Caroline turned away from a career in the business world and opened her own design firm when the interest and requests became a full time job. In today's episode, we discuss Caroline's transition from a successful law career to opening her own design firm.
Described as the “neo-traditionalist,” Ashley Whittaker reveals her fresh and modern perspective on traditional design and architecture in all of her work. The New York City decorator offers distinctly classic taste and chic sophistication to residential decoration and interior design. Characterized by tailored rooms that incorporate charming detail and engaging play on color and pattern, Whittaker’s signature style is immediately evident.A Florida native, Ashley received her bachelor degree from St. Lawrence University. She has worked as a special events director at both Ralph Lauren in New York and the finance firm Forstmann Little & Co. Ashley credits her training in the design industry to legendary decorator Markham Roberts where she worked before starting out on her own.
Amy Meier is the founder and Principal Designer of Amy Meier Design, a critically acclaimed residential design firm, and Amy Meier, a home goods destination that features exclusive collaborations with artists and craftspeople, as well as vintage, antique, and one-of a kind pieces for the home. Trained in photography and fashion at UC Boulder and Parsons, respectively, Amy sees design as composition: the creative process of assembly and arrangement of disparate parts into a cohesive whole. The key, she believes, is to not merely focus on pleasing aesthetics, but rather focus on the embodiment and elicitation of emotion. With projects all over North America that span the gamut of settings, styles, and clients, no two Amy Meier projects look, or feel alike, but her body of work is united as a collection of sophisticated, thoughtful, and edited compositions. In today's episode, we discuss Amy's background in fashion, taking a leap and pursuing a new career, and what it's like to work with her husband everyday while running a successful design firm and a beautifully curated store.
Palmer Weiss is a San Francisco-based interior designer. Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Weiss credits her Southern roots as a major influence on her design aesthetic. She admires the way Southerners embrace their family heritage, formality and tradition in their homes but are also not afraid to express a few of their eccentricities as well. Over twenty-five years of living in Northern California has allowed her to develop a unique style that both respects tradition and embraces new ideas. A mother of two girls and one yellow lab, Weiss also understands the need for a home to be as functional as it is beautiful. Never one to give into trends, Weiss is known for creating timeless, modern and livable interiors with her signature bursts of color and a little bit of that Southern eccentricity thrown in for fun. Interiors and architecture are in Weiss’ blood. With an accomplished interior designer for a mother and a father in real estate development, Weiss spent much of her childhood touring construction and job sites. Though she was always toiling away in her mom’s sample closets and dissecting design trade magazines for inspiration, Weiss didn’t formalize her design career until 2002. Instead she held jobs in investment banking and retail merchandising. She believes her experience in the business world has helped her immensely in managing client budgets and meeting key project deadlines. She feels these attributes are as important to a successful client relationship as making inspired creative choices. Weiss attended Choate Rosemary Hall boarding school, Brown University with a BA in History of Art, and received her MBA at J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. As an avid supporter of the arts, Palmer serves on the board of Spoleto Festival USA which is one of America’s premier performing arts festivals and held in her hometown of Charleston, SC. She resides in San Francisco with her husband, a cardiologist, and their two daughters.
Since Alexa Hampton took the reins of Mark Hampton, her father’s iconic firm, as owner and president in 1998, she has advanced its legacy of elegant, practical, classically based interiors for modern living – and extended its global reach. From New York City to Hangzhou, China, her project portfolio encompasses luxe, beautifully layered urban apartments, expansive town and country residences, private airplanes, and yachts. Regularly named to Architectural Digest’s AD100 and House Beautiful’s Top Designer list as well as Elle Décor’s A-List, Hampton translates the classical principles of good design and decoration into some of today’s most elegant, enduring, and functional domestic landscapes. An alumna of Brown University who took her degree with honors, Hampton pursued graduate studies at New York University's The Institute of Fine Arts and holds honorary doctorates from Moore College of Art & Design and the New York School of Interior Design. Honored with a Circle of Excellence Award by the International Furnishing and Design Association, she is an associate member of the American Society of Interior Designers. Her accolades also include Cosmopolitan’s Fun Fearless Female Award and Connecticut Cottage & Gardens’ Design Innovator Award. Like her father, Hampton is a highly regarded author. In addition to her two critically praised books on design to date – The Language of Interior Design and Decorating in Detail – she has contributed an essay to A Visual Life, Charlotte Moss’s 2012 volume. She has also contributed an essay to the compendium of essays, Interior Design Master Class: 100 Lessons from America's Finest Designers on the Art of Decoration. She is a contributing columnist for The Wall Street Journal’s weekend Off Duty section. She is included in Jennifer Boles’ recent book: Inspired Design: The Most Important Designers of the Past 100 Years, Thomas Jayne’s book: The Finest Rooms in America, William Norwich’s book, Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century. In an ever-expanding portfolio of acclaimed products, Hampton provides smart, stylish, design-rich solutions for every aspect of the home. On-going Hampton-designed collections include furniture for Theodore Alexander, lighting for Visual Comfort & Co. and Generation Lighting, fabrics and trims for Kravet, broadloom carpet for Stark, pillows and bedding with Eastern Accents, table linens for La Gallina Matta, hardware for SA Baxter, mantels for Chesney’s, architectural mouldings for White River, and flooring for Globus Cork. An industry force who honors tradition and commits to the future, Hampton sits on the board of trustees for the New York School of Interior Design and the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art.
Dara Caponigro is a force in the world of design and interiors. Dara is currently the Creative Director of one of the most well-respected fabric houses in the industry, F. Schumacher & Co, where she directs and oversees product development, advertising and marketing, visual merchandising, and the website. Dara's presence at the company has seen a total change in the marketing and branding at the company, both of which feel fresh, editorial, and inspiring. Prior to joining Schumacher, Dara held a slew of illustrious positions as a magazine editor. She was the Editor-in-Chief at Veranda and before that, she was the founding editor at the original Domino and held several senior editorial posts at House Beautiful and ELLE DECOR.
CHRISTOPHER’S ICONIC CERAMIC LAMP DESIGNS draw inspiration from classical forms and traditional gem like glazes. He began his career in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. where he worked out of an old school house near Dumbarton Oaks. Shortly thereafter, his work received critical acclaim and his reputation as a noteworthy ceramicist began to emerge. In the summers, he worked from Mecox Gardens in Southampton as an artist in residence and such designers as Albert Hadley, Richard Keith Langham and Suzanne Rheinstein began to commission his work.
Since 1996, Christopher has been concentrating his efforts on his unique lamp designs. In the fall of 1999 after outgrowing his Washington studio he moved to New York City where he now creates his one of-a-kind lamps with his crew of skilled artisans. The lamps are of timeless appeal and luxurious quality. Beautiful classic forms are drenched in bold vibrant rich glazes. Each one of a kind lamp is set in a hand turned hardwood base, which is water gilt with 23k yellow gold or 9k white gold for a silver finish. Currently, Christopher recently expanded his designs to table ware and other ceramic accessories.
Christopher’s work is often featured in celebrated publications such as Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Departures, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has had the honor of making lamps for the past three White House Administrations, as well the Blair House and other distinguished American homes.
When not in the Studio, Christopher can be found at his farm in Millbrook, NY gardening, bee keeping, making jam, cooking for friends, or tending to his flock of heritage breed chickens. He also enjoys the pleasure of giving back to the community by serving on the board of the local time-honored Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and as the Vice Chair of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club President's Dinner. In today's episode, Chris shares how his lamp business came to be and also tells us all about cooking, baking, gardening, and tending to his animals on Clove Brook Farm!
Inspired by architecture, art, fashion, and travel, Suzanne Kasler designs spaces and products that are luminous, distinctive, and timeless. Suzanne’s designs always reference the past but move towards the future with an edited and discerning eye on the present. Mixing the high and the low, traditional and contemporary, the new and the old — creating signature interiors and products that convey a sophisticated simplicity. Her designs inspire everyone to live a more beautiful, stylish, and authentic life. Suzanne’s work has been published in major design magazines, including Architectural Digest, Elle Décor,House Beautiful, Traditional Home and Veranda. She has been named to Architectural Digest’s AD100 and Elle Décor’s A-List. Her award-winning interiors have been captured in three books with Rizzoli, Inspired Interiors, Timeless Style, and her most recent title, Sophisticated Simplicity. In addition to designing timeless interiors for her clients, Suzanne has produced signature lines for Ballard Designs, Hickory Chair, La Cornue, Lee Jofa, and Visual Comfort.
Style-maven Gen Sohr believes in taking color and pattern to the hilt. And that one can never have too many vintage bangles. The multi-hyphenate entrepreneur embraces a signature blend of classic and modern, high and low, sophisticated and fun, while serving up inspiration for fashion, interiors, travel, and entertaining. A veteran of both retail and interior design, Gen has cultivated a one-of-a-kind online shopping experience curating daily fashion and décor finds for color-loving, pattern-obsessed women like herself. During her twenty-year retail tenure, Gen spearheaded numerous launches for brand behemoths Old Navy, The Body Shop, and Victoria’s Secret. In 2012, she and husband Benjamin relocated to his hometown of Nashville, where the duo co-founded Pencil & Paper Co. Gen proceeded to make waves in the interior design world with bright, welcoming homes that effortlessly mixed big-box finds and patinaed gems. Her residential projects have been featured in top shelter magazines: House Beautiful, Southern Living, Domino, HGTV and Better Homes and Gardens. Under the Pencil & Paper Co. umbrella, Gen has also developed her own product lines—Color Studies, Alphabet Art, Signature Totes, and the pattern-packed P+P Dress Collection. (The latter sold out in under an hour.) There is just as much on the horizon for this Southern Living Tastemaker, including an expansion of her Creative Camp social events and forthcoming collaboration with Anthropologie. No matter the project, you’ll find Gen sporting a strong red lip, donning a vibrant frock, and unabashedly embodying her motto: “Color Makes Us Happy.”
Celerie Kemble’s priority is always to express the personality and sentiment of her clients through gracious interiors. Celerie is known for her professional versatility in terms of budget, location, and style. She’s full of clever solutions that delivera mix of pragmatism and beauty. Never one to dismiss nuance or drama, Kemble seamlessly engages both forces to create dynamic and comfortable rooms.Over the past twenty-two years, her work has included homes and commercial spaces across the United States and the Caribbean, many of which have been featured in Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Veranda, Elle Decor, Traditional Home, Luxe, Florida Design, Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and more.Celerie is the author of “To Your Taste” and “Black & White (and a Bit in Between)” from Clarkson Potter publishers. She has been included in Architectural Digest’s AD100, House and Garden’s 50 New Tastemakers, House Beautiful’s Top Designers, Elle Décor’s A-List Designers, Luxe’s Gold List, and more. Her licensed product lines include fabrics, trimsand wallpaper for Schumacher, lighting and occasional furniture with Arteriors, outdoor furniture with Lane Venture, decorative accessories and bar furniture with Maitland-Smith, decorative wood flooring with Mirth, drapery hardware with Classical Elements, tufted, broadloom, and natural fiber rugs with Merida, and mirrors with Mirror Image. All of which aim to provide designs that delight Celerie and deliver the utility she believes must always be present in any item purchased for the home.
Internationally celebrated for interiors with an inviting flair, Alessandra Branca has classicism running through her veins—her signature style born of a Roman childhood, nurtured through 30 years of experience. Branca blends color, pattern and texture with an abundant sense of joy, a little wink and the wisdom to make
it all work in perfect harmony. Branca’s interiors are livable— designed to reflect and soften our complex worlds. What unifies her work is an overall sense of balance—and the practical magic she casts, turning houses into homes.
The hallmark of any Branca interior is authenticity—reverence for quality craftsmanship, finely-tuned proportion and scale, rigorous attention to detail and a focus on the individual client. Everything contributes to the complete vision for a home designed to meet her clients’ needs, supporting and enhancing a well-lived life. Whether she’s creating a family beach house, a Park Avenue pied-à-terre,
a sailboat or a private club, Alessandra delivers a distinct point of view—and a deep understanding of how we want to live, wherever we find ourselves. In today's episode of The Style Files, Branca shares endless inspiration on her approach to life as well as running a successful design firm.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard certainly doesn’t need an introduction. While many of you have likely followed his dazzling design career for years now, others may recognize him from Bravo’s hit show, Million Dollar Decorators, or his award-winning reality show in the United Kingdom, Hollywood Me. Over the years, Martyn has been lauded for his broad, globally-inspired design sensibility which may vary from one project to the next, but always carries with it a touch of eclectic exuberance and an air of sophistication. Continually recognized as a top designer, Martyn’s work has been published over 4,000 times and his is a regular on Architectural Digest‘s AD 100 list, ELLE DECOR‘s A-List, and has been named one of the Top 25 Designers by the Hollywood Reporter. Martyn’s trajectory, warm persona, and professionalism have allowed him to attract an enviable list of A-List celebrity clientele including Cher, Elton John, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne, Tommy Hilfiger, the Kardashians, and Ellen Pompeo. In addition to his interior design work, Martyn has expanded into the world of licensing and publishing with several collections: fabric and wallpaper for Schumacher, rugs for The Rug Company, tile for Ann Sacks, and upcoming collections of porcelain, silver, and crystal among many other collaborations. Martyn has written two books published by Rizzoli, Live, Love, Decorate and Design and Decoration. In this episode of The Style Files, Martyn's warm and effusive personality is on full display as he shares the story of the journey that lead him to Hollywood. Ever the optimist, Martyn shares deep insights and hopeful advice as we navigate the current pandemic we are living through together.
William Rankin McLure IV was born an artist. William was creative since he was a very young child thru his God-given talent of art and design. Born in Louisiana, he and his family soon moved back to Alabama to be close to a large and loving family and to live on a family farm. William’s kindergarten teacher recognized his talent and wrote his mother a note when William was 4 years old for her to recognize, support, encourage and nurture William in his creativity and said that one day he would be a famous artist. His talents have grown from there, to him now being a self-employed artist and interior designer. William graduated from The Southern Institute of Design, where he was active in the American Society of Interior Designers as a student. His artwork can evolve from realism, to drawings, to sketches, to abstract at any given moment, and many times being created in literal hours during long evenings at home. His design work and art were highlighted in the 2013 Cathedral Antique’s Show House in Atlanta. His latest exhibit was a literal one-day sell out, and his work has been featured on many design and art blogs, including Lonny Magazine, La Dolce Vita, Southern Living, Mark D. Sikes, and Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles Magazine. William is an Instagram sensation and always has his followers waiting to see his next painting, newest house, or his latest shenanigans!
A Detroit native, Young attended the Cranbrook School, received a degree in English from Smith College and a law degree from Fordham University. While pursuing further education and an internship in interior design, Young discovered her true calling and founded her eponymous New York City-based design firm in 2007. Resetting the design narrative for each project, YHID’s work is about finding harmony and dynamism through the application of classic and modern design principles. Thoughtful architectural details provide the groundwork for warm and welcoming interiors, each animated by sophisticated surface treatments, a singular play of pattern and color, and a touch of wanderlust. YHID continues to expand beyond its original repertoire to include large commercial and hospitality projects, as well as a growing line of licensed collections. In 2019, Young joined Elle Decor’s prestigious A-List. She was named one of Vogue’s five interior designers on the rise and, in 2011, she won the Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Innovation in Design Award for Interior Design. Her work can be seen in the pages of Architectural Digest, Domino, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Interior Design, Luxe, The New York Times, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, etc. Young actively bolsters the local and global design community, participating in speaking engagements and charitable events including, among others, the Kips Bay Decorator Show House and NKBA Board of Directors.
Potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler launched his namesake brand after leaving his day job to pursue his first love: pottery. In 1993, Barneys bought his collection of pots, and five years later, he opened his first store in Soho. Jonathan’s desire to design all the bits one needs to create a flawlessly chic home led to more and more. Today, we are a design company with retail locations worldwide, a thriving e-commerce site, a full slate of residential and commercial projects, and a wholesale business boasting over 1,000 locations globally. We strive to create luxe and livable interiors that are seriously designed, but don’t take themselves too seriously. Join us as Jonathan and I discuss the trials and tribulations of sheltering in place (Too much baking! Simon Doonan in claret-colored polar fleece!), the importance of authenticity in one's creative pursuits, and Jonathan's journey from unemployable twenty-something to major design entrepreneur.
After earning a degree in architecture from Columbia University and mentoring under renowned decorator Miles Redd, Nick Olsen started his eponymous firm in 2010. Nick creates comfortable, stylish interiors that nod to the past and his arch sense of humor while maintaining an air of modernity. Hallmarks of his aesthetic include mixing antiques and contemporary art, playing with scale and texture contrasts, and creating unexpected color combinations--all while tending to the unique needs of each client. Recent projects include a mid-century modern home in Cincinnati, separate Park Avenue apartments for members of the same family, and a Nantucket vernacular summer home and guest house.
At age 24 Nick's first studio apartment landed on the cover of Domino magazine, and one his first decorating projects made the August 2013 cover of The World of Interiors. His projects have also been featured in Architectural
Digest, Veranda, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, British Homes & Gardens, and the Wall Street Journal. Nick has been named to ELLE Décor’s A-List for the past two years and he currently resides in lower Manhattan. In this episode of The Style Files, Nick and Paloma discuss how Nick pivoted from architecture to interior design, how he connected with his mentor, Miles Redd, the process of renovating his farmhouse in upstate New York, and what it's like to design a room in the Kips Bay Showhouse.
Growing up in Palm Beach in the 1970s, Amanda experienced Florida at its most magical. The style, the architecture, the climate – it would all imprint on her, taking root and blossoming throughout the years.
Through her 20s, Amanda worked at WWD and W magazine, as well as PR for Gucci and other luxury brands in New York, Paris and London. In her 30s, she moved to Nassau full-time and applied her design eye to her own home, then to properties associated with her husband’s development company, and eventually for friends who became clients (and, of course, clients who became friends).
Throughout her work, she kept the focus on breezy sophistication and vibrant layers of texture and color – the hallmarks of inviting spaces to host family and friends.
Jeffrey Bilhuber has a uniquely American perspective that breathes new life into tradition with a confirmed understanding of modern sensibilities. He mixes periods and design ideas with a confidence and instinctive style whose rules are self-evident: practicality and sheer beauty. Hamish Bowles of Vogue likens him to a 21st century Billy Baldwin. Sara Ruffin Costello has exclaimed " Jeffrey Bilhuber has sealed his legacy as a design pioneer on par with phenoms like Albert Hadley.” Bilhuber’s unlikely combinations of plain with fancy and new with old make for dwellings as fascinating as they are functional. One of a handful of preeminent American decorators, Jeffrey Bilhuber takes his design cues from understanding the importance of history while optimistically looking towards the future. With almost thirty years of decorating experience, he brings an acclaimed confidence and clarity to his far-reaching projects. His interiors consistently address the needs of an evolving and enlightened society with historic respect and modern insightfulness. Bilhuber represents the quintessential New York based interior designer. Engaged by both the past and present, his work is honest, urbane, edited, intuitive, brisk, stylish and modern, with a strong individual point of view. Join us as we delve into a lively discussion about Jeffrey's career trajectory, his most memorable projects, licensed collections, and what he is most looking forward to.
In this lively conversation, Jeffrey shares how he is thriving and surviving in the midst of a global pandemic, shares his philosophy on color and crafting timeless interiors, and dishes on what it's like to work for high-profile clients such as Anna Wintour and David Bowie. Candid and hilarious, Jeffrey Bilhuber's joie de vivre and passion for design are palpable in this creative conversation.
Considered one of the most talented names in design, Bunny is also an accomplished businesswoman, entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist. A lover of dogs, gardens, and china, Bunny’s knowledge and expertise is on par with her enjoyment of life. Her eponymous firm — launched in 1988 following a 22-year apprenticeship with the esteemed Parish-Hadley Associates — has wrought its own indelible imprint and legacy.
Bunny Williams Associates is renowned for balancing refined beauty, welcoming livable appeal, and attention to detail. While the creation of delightful rooms is Bunny’s passion, her firm’s success above all, is anchored in long-lasting and valued relationships with its clientele. The resulting commissions over three decades — many for repeat homeowners — are found across the United States and abroad, in city apartments, country estates and cottages; in the mountains and by the water. Bunny’s own houses and her long career have provided ample material and inspiration for six books to date, and she is a sought-after speaker and mentor on design, decoration, gardening, and entertaining.
Bunny grew up in the countryside near Charlottesville, Virginia. Her parents encouraged her passion for the arts and led her to Garland Junior College in Boston, where she studied interior design. A watershed moment at age 15 was visiting the Dorothy Draper-decorated Greenbrier Resort, which had a color palette unlike anything Bunny had ever seen. “It really opened my eyes and the lesson I learned was not to play it safe,” shares Bunny.
Upon moving to New York, Bunny worked at Stair & Co., an antiques gallery frequented by Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. Bunny subsequently joined Parish-Hadley and remained at the venerable firm for 22 years. “I was honored to work there and was exposed to so much; their extraordinary projects and partnership, the design process, everything. By the time I left, I’d been the secretary, an assistant, and a buyer. I had the tools and experience to run my own enterprise, which I did — starting with three people working out of my guest bedroom!”
Shortly thereafter, fueled by her devotion to gardening, Bunny opened Treillage in 1991 along with her husband, the antiques dealer John Rosselli. Considered both ground breaking and industry changing, Treillage drew A-list designers, editors, and tastemakers to its off-the-beaten track, Upper East Side destination for the ultimate in home and garden. “Twenty-five years ago, Treillage was something entirely new, but all good things come to an end. Now, with Bunny Williams Home, I’m proud to show an entire line under one roof and we’re creating accessories with the aim of becoming a complete home-furnishings company.”
Never one to rest on her many awards, accolades, and honors, Bunny keeps her eye on what’s next, whether it’s her collaborations with Ballard Designs, Bunny Williams Home, or her next book. Forward thinking always, Bunny says, “While it’s certainly nice to look back on one’s accomplishments, it’s more interesting for me to look ahead. The firm, while instilled with my expectations and objectives, is taking on an exciting new dimension with Elizabeth Swartz as my partner. Together, we are all part of a greater legacy that branches out from Parish-Hadley and it feels very relevant in our fast-paced world. She completes my vision and takes it a step further: we work hard and have fun in the process.”
Mark D. Sikes is an esteemed interior designer and tastemaker working on projects throughout the United States. He is known for all-American sensibilities and a fresh take on classical aesthetics. Mark has a talent for creating beautiful and timeless interiors that embody an indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Mark's work has even featured in AD, Veranda, ELLE Decor, House Beautiful, The Wall Street Journal, C Magazine, Milieu, and Domino. Mark has partnered with some of the best manufacturers in furniture and fabric to develop his signature product lines including Chaddock, Soane, Hudson Valley Lighting, Troy Lighting, Schumacher, Merida, Annie Selke, and Blue Pheasant. His first book, Beautiful, was a New York Times Best Seller and his highly anticipated new book from Rizzoli will debut in September 2020. Join us as this arbiter of style shares the story of how he went from being a retail executive to a celebrated interior designer. Mark shares the details of his design process, his greatest sources of inspiration, and what gives him hope. Join us for this fascinating and creative conversation!
Get a hint of what's to come in the trailer for The Style Files: Conversations with Creatives