Traditional elements and a modernist aesthetic make for comfortable, sophisticated interiors
"I believe all spaces can be functional and beautiful"
You studied art history at Vassar. What led you to interior design? After graduating, I spent two years at Ralph Lauren. It was an illuminating experience, but I wanted to create my own designs. My mother reminded me of how much I had enjoyed designing and building a model of a house in middle school. At her suggestion, I started taking classes at Parsons School of Design and subsequently enrolled in the interior design program there. You keep things simple and elegant. What has influenced your design aesthetic? Creating interiors that are clean-lined, uncluttered and comfortable is very natural to me. I like finding beauty in the details of things. I take inspiration from nature, fashion, reading and travel. We love the purple kitchen you designed for the 2010 Kips Bay Showhouse. How did you make this space beautiful while maintaining its functionality? I believe all spaces can be functional and beautiful. Adding a fun wallpaper to the ceiling and walls livened up the space. The furniture is elegant but easily maintainable, and the lighting fixtures have strong personalities but also provide excellent lighting for cooking. Since this is our kitchen issue, we have to ask: What does every kitchen need? Uncluttered spacious counters, a large sink, excellent light and good knives. What’s your favorite way to spend a day off? Sleeping in, working out, bicycling with my family and having a great meal. You also work in the Hamptons (and have been featured in HC&G). How does design differ between CT and the Hamptons? Both Connecticut and the Hamptons have stunning, yet very different, landscapes, which are reflected in their interiors. Homes in the Hamptons tend to be seasonal, while in Connecticut, they tend to be primary residences. The design requirements are different. One of your clients said “She saved me from being boring.” How do you push clients a little while also creating a space they’ll be happy with? A good design relationship involves trust. A client must trust me to create an interesting, sophisticated and comfortable design. I like to have a dialogue with my clients. I’m not shy about giving my opinion, but I always listen to their needs and concerns. A project is truly successful when there is mutual respect and understanding between us. I’ve read you wear chic flats when you’re walking in NYC. Who’s your go-to designer? Prada.