Secrets of an Interior Designer


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Our Favorite Designers

Great design is all about finding inspiration and looking to those that came before us.  We wanted to take some time to celebrate a few great designers in our past, as well as a few of our favorite fellow designers now – from whom we regularly gain inspiration!

Dorothy Draper – she was quite the mover and shaker for interior designers.  She was the first person ever to establish an interior design company in America in 1923.  Known for her bold use of mixed colors and striking patterns, her legendary design style is known as the “Draper Touch”.  Draper was also a huge contributor to the design field, as she wrote regular columns in Good Housekeeping Magazine, and her 1939 book, “Decorating Is Fun”, helped to propel her name into a household word.  Her pioneering design style continues to influence the interior design world today.

Sister Parish was a cousin of Dorothy Draper and is best known for her work on the Kennedy White House.  Her traditional English Country House style, incorporating Colefax and Fowler chintzes, overstuffed armchairs, and brocade sofas, was paired up with American Colonial style staples such as patchwork quilts, four-poster beds, knitted throws, and rag rugs.  She is credited as the creator of “American Country” style.

Albert Hadley is a long-standing pillar of American interior design. He began his career working alongside Sister Parish; however he developed a clean, modern design style.  Hadley added a modern backbone to a world of traditional chintz.  His clients included Albert and Tipper Gore, Oscar and Annette de la Renta, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, the late Mrs. Brooke Astor, and the Getty family.

“Design is coming to grips with one’s real lifestyle, one’s real place in the world. Rooms should not be put together for show but to nourish one’s well-being.”  ~ Albert Hadley

David Hicks was born and raised in England and first came to fame in Britain’s House & Garden magazine during the early 1950’s.  Hicks is best known for combining antique with modern furnishings and contemporary art, and creating patterned designs specifically for carpet and fabric collections.  Over his career, he built and substantial list of notable clients around the world – extending to Japan, Saudi Arabia, India, France, and America.  We upholstered the banquet shown below in one of his notable patterned fabrics.

Katie Ridder is one of our favorite fellow contemporary designers.  She was an editor of both House & Garden and House Beautiful magazines before founding her own New York-based design firm in 1995.  She is “known for her striking balance between style and discretion”.  Her projects combine comfort, practicality, and sophisticated color while being mindful of architectural surroundings.  Ridder’s secret fetish?  Beads!  Ridder developed her own wallpaper and fabric collections, and continues to design for clients worldwide.  Love her work!

Jamie Drake has been seducing the world with his urbane, stylish, dazzling aesthetic through confident applications of unexpected materials for over 30 years.  He calls his style, “New American Glamour”, and it surely is!  Drake’s period projects pay respect to the past through the use of antique pieces combined with lustrous colors, patterns, and