Last week, House Beautiful invited readers to meet 10 young designers the magazine deems “up-and-coming.” Spanning cities from Atlanta to San Francisco, Chicago and New York, the group represents a diverse cross section of new American talent. Here’s a closer look at the designers, their backgrounds and the design tips they shared with HB:
Margaret Kirkland of Atlanta, GA, trained with Sara Bengur, Robert Brown and Dan Carithers and opened her firm Margaret Kirkland Interiors in 2010. “Who says you can have too many chairs in one room? I’m not afraid of showing some leg! There can never be too many,” she said.
Jon Call of New York, NY, trained with Diamond Baratta Design and Shawn Henderson and opened his firm Mr. Call Designs in 2010. “The best American design is a melting pot of styles,” he said. “In this living room I’ve got a French mirror, Asian tables, midcentury lamps and an English Regency sofa pulled to crazy-long proportions. It shouldn’t work, but it does.”
Blair Harris of New York, NY, trained with Noel Jeffery and has opened her own firm Blair Harris Interior Design. “Every room needs a natural element,” she said. “Wood, grass cloth and even marble all add warmth. When everything is new and man-made, it can look too stark.”
Michael Herold of New Hope, PA, opened his firm Michael Herold Design in 2008. “It’s so important that your home reflects who you are and what you love,” he said. “Don’t fake it! You should surround yourself with things that have meaning to you. I’m not a fan of ‘meaningless.’”
Catherine Kwong of San Francisio, CA, trained with Bill Solfield, Paul Wiseman and Ralph Lauren and opened her firm Catherine Kwong Design in 2011. “Buy a Lucite tray,” she said. “It’s one of the best ways to organize the odds and ends on your coffee table or desk—and the clear acrylic won’t eat up visual space. I like CB2’s Format Tray. It costs only $40, so you’ll still have $60 to play around with!”
Christos Prevezanos of Los Angeles, CA, trained with Kelly Wearstler, Ruthie Sommers and Brad Dunning and opened his firm Studio Preveza in 2008. He has also been the interior decorator for Bespoke Global since 2011. “A lot of designers like to start with furniture,” he said. “I usually start with the envelope of a room—the walls, then the floors, then the curtains and the rug. It’s like creating a perfect little box that you can fill with anything, and it looks great.”
Austin Varner of New York, NY, trained with Alexa Hampton and opened her firm Varner Interior Design in 2011. “Accessories are where I like to make a statement,” she said. “They’re the soul of the room. My favorites are vellum books, light-reflecting objects and architectural fragments. Layering them on a tablescape really makes an impact.”
Sean Cowan of Chicago, IL, trained with David Derbyshire, Richard W. Gold and Vicente Wolf and opened his firm Sean Michael Design in 2007. “I don’t use a lot of color,” he said. “I prefer to focus on strong lines and shapes. I let wood tones act as my color accents.”
Tyler Dawson of Venice, CA, trained at Natasha Esch Design and opened her firm Tyler Dawson Design in 2007. “If I had to pick one piece of wisdom that best reflects my style, it would be the sofa,” she said. “That flame stich is both classic and edgy.”
Timothy Brown of New York, NY, trained with Victoria Hagan, Wayne Nathan and Robert Stilin and opened his firm Timothy Brown Studio in 2009. “You have to listen to the client,” he said. “They always tell you what they want, even if they say they don’t know.”
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