Meet the Designer: Young Huh

An expert in design, Huh is both inspiring and tremendously talented.
Young Huh interior designer

Photography by Brittany Ambridge

After accommodating her parents’ wish for her to become a lawyer, Young Huh came to realize the legal profession didn’t appeal. “I’d never thought of doing anything different, but I had my first child in law school and that really made me realize I had to do what I love,” recalls Huh.

Her husband encouraged her to think outside the box, and “a million personality tests” steered her to the decorative arts. Studies at Parsons School of Design and an internship led to interior design commissions, and in 2007 she established her own firm. With projects featured in national magazines and newspapers, Huh specializes in residential work but won recent acclaim for a colorful revitalization of the Point Grace resort in Turks and Caicos.

An active member of the design community, she has been a judge and winner of the CTC&G IDA Awards and supports numerous charitable projects. She says, “If I can design a vignette and raise money for good works, it’s a privilege to be able to give back.” Her third child graduates this spring from college, and Huh and her attorney husband recently bought a country home, a base for the family to gather and enjoy the outdoors. “Our chance to connect with nature, and I can garden–or try to,” she says.

palm leaf pattern wallpaper bedroom design

Photography by Brittany Ambridge

While launching your career, how did you juggle studying, raising three children and running the household?

In the early days, I wasn’t making any money. Every dime I made, I spent on nannies. But I felt
I was investing in my future, and my husband was very supportive.

How do you describe your style?

Always grounded in classical principles, we try to express the design intent of whatever project we have, not imposing our style onto clients but trying to understand how they want their home to feel and then making it better than they’d imagined.

What is the starting point?

We always start with the architecture—the bones of the house—and then think how we can transform it to the modern age, though always respectful of the original.

Why do you favor texture and bright patterns on walls?

Tired of light walls, people are realizing they can add a lot of interest, joy and impact with wallpaper. The transformation is felt immediately.

What is a “must” in patio design?

You want to have different and varied types of seating, a variety of seating heights, and areas where you can sit and enjoy the space.

What do people look for in hotel design and how do you acheive that?

Hotels are a bit of fantasy. You want to feel awestruck when you walk into the public space—by the dramatic scale of the lobby or a beautiful view. The guest rooms you want are well appointed with comfortable beds with a kitchenette for snacks—the kind of care that makes you feel pampered.

What’s your favorite hotel?

The Ett Hem in Sweden. It means “at home” and you feel like you’re a guest in a super luxurious home.

Why is pink a perfect color choice in a tropical environment?

Pink works well with the coral reflections and the light, bringing a lot of cheer, softness and happiness to the environment.

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Photography by Brittany Ambridge

Why do you like to feature a touch of wanderlust?

Everyone loves things that remind them of travel. Italian crafts, French textiles, Sicilian pottery, a rug from Nepal or Morocco add a kind of sophistication that people are looking for these days.

How does practicing daily yoga affect your business?

It’s taught me patience and to focus on form and the moment. Unexpected problems pop up and having that resilience and patience is really important; it’s the ability to not panic but just problem solve.

What leads you to be so involved in the design community?

One of the fears I had switching to design was that I would be in this small luxury field, without an impact on society. I found that there’s no profession more generous and charitable than the design community.

How does your background in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, link to Connecticut?

Suburban life has always been precious to me—the notion that you have neighbors, community, a home with a yard, the American dream.

What are lingering benefits of your law and English degrees?

Law helps you think in a structured way about problem solving, those intellectual skills are very useful in design. And everybody must know how to write.

You’re renovating your new country house. How is it different to design for yourself?

I don’t have to get into someone else’s head!!! It’s just me—and my husband.

The print version of this article appears with the headline: Young Huh.
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