Material Obsessions

CTC&G asked interior designers—what is your latest material obsession?

“I’m obsessed with the work of contemporary artist/furniture designer
Jean-Bérenger de Nattes, particularly his rosewood mirror.”

–Philip Gorrivan, Philip Gorrivan Design


“A beautiful Elizabethan box that’s stuffed with letters I’ve collected throughout my life.”
—Bobby McAlpine, McAlpine, Boothe & Ferrier


“Travel! It’s feeding my brain
with vision and fresh ideas.
—Cindy Rinfret, Rinfret, Ltd.


“Wood! I’m yearning for the warm patina and rich graining of native and tropical hardwoods.” –Andrea Cross, Fisher Interiors

“I am very much in love with Bedazzeled flexible glass bead wallcovering from Bergamo. It’s so textural and sensual.” —Richard Mishaan, Homer Design

“Hand-printed fabrics like those from Katie Ridder and Muriel Brandolini. They are so fun and unique.” —Daphne Ghriskey, DG Designs

“Classic chintzes used in an updated and fresh way. They are timeless and always look good. They will never go out of style if done right.”  –Whitney & Petra Roberts, Boxwood Home & Interiors

“Metallics!  Silver, bronze and gold integrated with linen, wood, glass—basically anything.  
Designers Guild has done a fabulous job incorporating metallics into its linens.
Just a touch of luxe to add to any interior.”
—Lynne Scalo, Lynne Scalo Design

“An antique silk patchwork Indian throw because it’s beautiful. Once I back it with cashmere it will be a great addition to my living room couch.” —Georgia Tapert, Georgia Tapert Living

“Embossed leather for upholstery. It adds another layer of interest and depth.”
—Elissa Cullman, Cullman & Kravis

“Lacquered wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries. When it’s applied to a wall, you absolutely cannot tell that it’s wallpaper; it looks like 17 coats of car paint.” —Kerry Delrose, Delrose Design Group

“Holland & Sherry’s Cashmeres!” —Parker Rogers II, Parker & Company

“Plush alpaca bouclé from ALT For Living. It’s extremely durable
but doubly luxurious, and based on the colors it can easily transition
from beach house to ski house. We have been using this textured fabric on everything from pillows to sofas.”
—Lynn Morgan, Lynn Morgan Design

“Grosgrain welting. It adds the most subtly refined touch to any piece of upholstery—from an elegant living room club chair to a window-seat cushion in a ladies dressing room.”
–Michael Cox and Mary Foley, Foley&Cox

“I’m totally crazy about woven metals, especially Cambridge Architectural’s Tweed, in brass and stainless.”  –Jamie Drake, Drake Design Associates

 “I really do love slate!” —Judith Cohen, Judith Cohen Design

“Tinted parchment, gray washed woods and very grungy old brass.”
—Celerie Kemble, Kemble Interiors

 “We love the new printed textile line from
Twill Textiles for its scale and dynamic color.”

 —Suzanne Lovell, Suzanne Lovell, Inc.

“Lacquer, lacquer everywhere…it can turn even the most homely piece into a chic accent.”
—Carey Karlan, Last Detail Interior Design

“Lesage embroideries, especially those using straw. The modesty of the material is transcended by the refinement of the product.” —Robert Couturier, Robert Couturier & Associates

“Outdoor ‘chenille’ or ‘velvets’ are remarkably comfortable, and as gorgeous as the traditional interior fabrics.” –Garrow Kedigian, Garrow Kedigian Interior Design

“Porcelain tiles from Porcelanosa. They can be used indoors and outdoors and in almost any application.“ —Laura Bohn, Laura Bohn Design Associates

“A fur throw, backed with chocolate cashmere.”
—Brendan Kwinter-Schwartz, Kwinter & Company

“Bronze. There’s a natural roughness and simplicity to bronze that I find very appealing—it gives weight and presence to a piece in a way that other metals can’t.” —Claire Maestroni, Mis en Scene

“Porcelain tiles from Porcelanosa. They can be used indoors and outdoors and in almost any application.“ —Laura Bohn, Laura Bohn Design Associates

“Honed marbles and semi-precious stones. Going to the marble yard can be as much fun as going to a jewelry store.” —Charlotte Moss, Interior designer & author