“Home is where the heart is”. The phrase resonates deeply with those of us that treat our homes as a sanctuary. A safe haven that we can retreat to relax and de-stress when the world outside gets a bit too crazy. It is also a form of self-expression. And like any other art form, it speaks volumes about one’s personality, interests and individuality. But if you feel like your space is missing that je ne sais quoi, is in need of a complete makeover or you are just looking for some inspiration then we have just the thing for you.
We caught up with Lucy Harris of Lucy Harris Studio on what is the latest in the world of interior design. Lucy is a full-service Manhattan-based interior designer with many years of experience under her belt. She comes from a long lineage of art enthusiasts and furniture makers so it comes as no surprise that she has creativity flowing through her veins. And that makes her one of the best in the business. Lucy draws inspiration from many sources including her frequent travels to Europe, Rome in particular, and her childhood homes in MA and Boston which served as gold mines of eclectic art and renaissance era antiques.
Nidhi Mohan: Describe your style?
I try to hunt for the look and feel that it appropriate for each client in my huge library of vintage and contemporary design books. We do primarily residential work and our design should tell our clients story and be comfortable and appropriate for their lifestyle. Oh and be beautiful too!
I am history obsessed and love Italian and French design from the 1950s until today with a particular love of the late 1960s and early 1970s (also for fashion). II use historical pieces to add layers and depth to my work. I like clean lines, sculptural shapes, interesting textures, some color and geometric and abstract patterns. But, above all, each and every item has to have something to say.
NM : What are some of your favourite emerging trends on the interior decor scene?
I want my interiors to be timeless and don’t focus a lot on trends. Trends can blur our perception as to whether something really is well-designed and will last or whether it just looks great because it fits the moment.
But, I am pretty excited by the fabulous love-children of some American boutiques that sell fashion and items for the home. Seattle and New York City-based Totokaelo and New York City-based La Garconne have incredible pieces for the home by American artisans that are minimal in shape but made with honest materials with great textures.
There is an incredible burst of energy in the design scene in New York and the United States and I am benefitting from people who bridge an important gap between art and design for objects for the home like Jonathan Nesci, John Hogan, Doug Johnston, Cody Hoyt and galleries like Patrick Parrish and Matter here in New York city.
NM: When designing a room what is the most important factor for you?
That the elements come together in a kind of poetry that can’t be explained. Proportion, scale, pattern, color, location, mood, lighting and many other factors must come together. But if I had to pick one thing it I would say the shapes of the furniture in relation to each other. I like exploring space in a sculptural way.
NM: Describe how designing in New York is different from other cities.
New Yorkers are game for starting fresh which is incredibly rewarding. We get to create a vision and execute it throughout their entire home. What me and my team do is about art and vision and beauty and these are things that we all need in our lives and New Yorkers value that.
Also, in New York City, we spend so much time in public: on the subway, in restaurants, in an office building, walking down the street, that New Yorkers really value their home as a place to recharge and be with their family and friends. I wake up feeling lucky that people invite us into their homes to create the background for their lives.
NM: What are you getting requests for most in terms of design or material?
People want clean-lined pieces in an uncluttered interior that doesn’t feel cold or slick. The slick minimalism of pre-recession interiors has been replaced by a mix of woods, natural fabrics and a sense of warmth with minimal lines.
NM: What is your favourite type of job? Do you prefer remodeling or renovating?
My favorite project is when we collaborate on a renovation but handle all of the decor. When we get to create a total environment down to the art that is on the wall and the linens on the beds. For me good design is about living a good life, so all these elements matter. I could even design a menu for each home! Sight, smell, taste, touch – all the senses matter to me.
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