1stDibs 50 List of 2022
We find some familiar faces on the outlet's annual round-up of the year's best designers.
It’s decidedly 2022, and with this new year comes a new 1stDibs 50 List. For the unfamiliar, 1stDibs stands a leading marketplace for fine design. Their editorial team composes this list after yearlong interaction with and exploration of top designers across the globe. Unlike last year’s list, which placed the spotlight largely on the multifunctional living room in accordance with the way we’d been living, this year welcomes a vast array of rooms into the mix. All come accompanied by designer profiles. Piece-by-piece breakdowns, where designers explain what they find compelling, give you the chance to get the look. The artful curation of antique, vintage, and contemporary furnishings by these designers is no easy feat, and the resulting rooms are memorable and meaningful in equal measure.
This edition features 20 designers making their 1stDibs debut. By way of statistics, that’s not the only number to note. Half of the 50 total firms are led by female designers, while 13 have black and/or historically underrepresented designers at their helm. More than a few of those selected have also graced the pages of Cottages & Gardens in some capacity. Find those familiar faces below, with the entire, dizzying and dazzling selection compiled here.
The subject of an October 2021 ‘Meet the Designer’ profile in CTC&G, Alessandra Branca of Branca makes her first appearance on the 1stDibs 50 this year. Her guiding light in design? Color. “In Rome color is the basis of everything. The food, fashion, architecture—there’s an incredible riot of color no matter where you go,” she says of her origins in the Italian capital, whose aesthetics serve as the basis for her design work. Her featured room, a blue-and-white primary bedroom suite created for the 2020 Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach, fuses the lushness of the setting with another inspiration: the dreaminess of Portugal.
Bunny Williams, the force behind her eponymous studio, is also a consummate hostess. She was once, over a decade ago, so kind as to share a list of her entertaining tips and tricks with Cottages & Gardens. A mainstay of the 1stDibs 50, Williams this year made the cut alongside partner Elizabeth Lawrence for an Atlanta living room. Designed for a client whose taste in art runs modern, the space makes use of neutral colors and antique pieces (including a console table dating to 1740). Such contrast sings.
The October 2019 issue of CTC&G featured a New Canaan colonial designed by none other than Corey Damen Jenkins of Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates. Described in David Masello’s accompanying article as “a master of reinterpretation”, Jenkins knows how to take a home with beautiful bones and update it for its current age. For his first appearance on the 1stDibs 50, Jenkins showcases his dining room for the 2021 Dallas Kips Bay Decorator Show. An exercise in timelessness, the space marries Louis XVI fauteuils with futuristic Cambria quartz.
We’ve seen where David Kleinberg and his associates work. Now, as in years past, his work has made the 1stDibs 50. This time around, its a Washington, D.C. home library on display. “A deliberate choice to exclude wall art,” says Kleinberg, came after the installation of perfectly bookmatched rosewood walls.
In 2016, Ken Fulk gave Cottages & Gardens a sneak preview of the penthouse he designed in San Francisco luxury high-rise The Harrison. Inspired by an adventurer’s travels, with vintage African cloth and crocodile-embossed leather, the space presents an area of interest still breathing in Fulk’s current work here. This study, done for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Dallas, veers slightly more celestial; lacquered ceilings crown lush wall-coverings and classic sculpture. Leopard print club chairs tie it all together.
Another ‘Meet the Designer’ alum, Robert Couturier starred in the September 2021 issue of the segment. Then, he opined, “I have never believed in ‘good taste,’ but in something that suits a person. When people love things independent of each other and put them together with a good sense of balance and colors it becomes beautiful—that’s their taste.” Such balance takes center stage in this selected living room overlooking Central Park. His signature touch, a piece of French 1940s furniture, this time takes the form of a Jules Leleu table and a set of geometric armchairs.
Shawn Henderson’s client list includes Glenn Close and Will Ferrell. In the October 2013 issue of CTC&G, he brought us inside a Litchfield County weekend retreat where he admitted to an obsession with sculptural seating. That fondness seems to have prevailed, with the corner lounge of this New Orleans dining room embracing a diverse range of eye-catching seating options. “The natural tendency would be to do something a bit safer and more traditional,” says Henderson of his approach to the 19th-century home. “I think what I created blurs the line a bit.”
2016 IDA Small Spaces winner Wesley Moon and his team are in the 1stDibs 50 once more, this year for a serene dining room with views of the beach in Mantoloking, New Jersey. Damaged during Hurricane Sandy, the beach house called for some colorful reinvention. Moon used surviving ceramics from the wife’s collection to set a palette of sea greens and blues, offsetting the coolness with bright touches of coral.