Icons of Design: The Inspirations Behind My Interior Design Style

Long before “influencer” culture was a thing, artists and designers drew inspiration from sources that shaped and enriched their craft in countless ways. Today I’m reflecting on some of my greatest influences, artists and designers that set the stage for a design ethos that goes beyond aesthetics, shaping soulful elegance and storytelling in interior design today.

Albert Hadley’s design philosophy has been a guiding light in my journey as a designer, resonating with my own approach in creating spaces that are not just visually stunning but also enriching to the soul. His emphasis on individuality has inspired me to infuse each project with a distinctive touch that sets it apart.

Hadley’s belief that decorating is about more than aesthetics, but rather about enhancing the quality of life and creating a home, has influenced me to design interiors that go beyond mere visual appeal and truly resonate with those who live there. His mantra that glamour is not the essence of design, but rather discipline and reality, has shaped my perspective on balancing luxury with functionality and practicality in my designs.

As a young designer I learned to embody Hadley’s principles of balance, harmony, and intellectual depth in my own design projects — always seeking to push boundaries and exceed expectations. His timeless influence continues to inspire me as I create spaces that not only reflect beauty but also resonate with meaning and soulful elegance.

No matter what you do in life, it should always have a red thread running through it.

Albert Hadley

Akin to the original Martha Stewart of her era, Dorothy Draper has been my ultimate inspiration in design. Her pioneering spirit in establishing the first U.S. interior design company resonates with me deeply as an interior designer with projects across the nation. Draper’s glamorous persona and impeccable taste have been a guiding light for me, influencing my approach to designing residences, restaurants and other commercial properties nationwide.

I’m forever captivated by Draper’s fearless design choices, from her iconic use of black and white-checkered floors to her vibrant color palettes and ornate moldings that defined her “Modern Baroque” style. Her emphasis on creating dramatic yet inviting spaces, known as the “Draper touch,” has inspired me to infuse my own projects with a similar sense of grandeur and warmth. Her belief that every detail matters resonates with my own commitment to overseeing every aspect of a design project.

Lastly, Elizabeth Burger Monath, affectionately known as Liesl, holds a special place in my heart as my grandmother on my father’s side. Her artistic legacy, spanning from intaglio printmaking to painting wildlife and landscapes, writing and illustrating children’s books, has left an indelible mark on me as a designer. Liesl’s journey studying under renowned artists like Salvador Dali and Fernand Léger in Paris and New York City, and her career illustrating and writing for major publishing houses like Shuster & Shuster and The Viking Press, has inspired me to honor her artistry in unique and innovative way.

Drawing from over fifty years of Liesl’s artwork, I have meticulously patterned her creations into a collection of custom wallpapers, aptly named Liesl. This wallpaper line, set to launch nationwide soon, encapsulates the essence of her artistic vision and storytelling through vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and whimsical designs. Each wallpaper design serves as a tribute to Liesl’s remarkable talent and creativity, bringing her art to life in new and exciting ways.

I am thrilled to unveil the Liesl wallpaper collection at High Point Market in April, where interior designers and decor enthusiasts from around the world will have the opportunity to experience the beauty and charm of Liesl’s artwork transformed into wallpaper. This collection is not just a celebration of my grandmother’s career in art, but a testament to the lasting impact of her work on generations to come. I am honored to carry her creative legacy forward through the Liesl collection, and can’t wait for others to immerse themselves in the timeless beauty and storytelling of Liesl.

Explore the Liesl Collection

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