Designers may love browsing the latest product introductions—but they also cherish their tried-and-true favorites. Three noted designers share the pieces they can’t get enough of.
“I was joking with my intern recently that if I could do everything in leather, I would—it’s so luxurious, and I love the fact that it’s a material that heals. I especially love leather floors. Using it as tiles is a bold application of the material. Even though there are shops on Madison Avenue that have had leather floors that have lasted for 60 years, you still don’t expect leather on the floor! I first used it that way for a room at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in 1999, where I partnered with Edelman Leather to create a herringbone pattern. When you’re using smaller pieces like that, you can see how every unit is different and it creates a gorgeous dimension. My work tends to be more modern, which can often ring a little colder than more traditional design, so using leather tiles warms things up. It’s also versatile: I’ve mixed leather tiles with everything from plywood to sheet silicone. It takes a certain kind of client to get behind leather floors, but I always love the result.” —Leyden Lewis, New York
Off the Wall
“I love the idea of using trelliswork to bring an architectural element to indoor and outdoor environments, and I always use a Los Angeles company called Accents of France. The company is run by Philippe Le Manach, who moved to California more than 25 years ago. Although treillage is so popular in his native France, he noticed that the work he had seen in America was pretty basic, so he decided to bring his craft here. I firmly believe that he does the best latticework in the world. He was selected by the French government to do work at the Palace of Versailles—that’s how amazing the company is! I use treillage whenever I’m trying to create a link between inside and outside. When I was working on the Royal Palace of Qatar, we used it in a formal reception room to make the space feel more approachable. That’s the beauty of treillage: It makes an opulent, fancy room less stuffy, but when added to a casual room, it can make it feel more formal. Because it has this architectural quality, it can go either way, depending on the furnishings. It plays well with others.” —Timothy Corrigan, Los Angeles and Paris
“I love the Woven Wood shades from the Shade Store, because of the way they bring texture into a room. From a design standpoint, they offer a lot of flexibility. You can have them done with a full blackout lining, a softer lining, or even no lining at all, which alters the light in a really beautiful, natural way. They’re great if there isn’t enough room for curtains but you still want something more interesting than blinds. You can even mount them on the wall above to make the windows appear to be higher. We once used them in a dining room where the client’s windows looked into the neighbor’s house, so they needed a little more privacy; I’ve also used them in rooms where the windows were too close to radiators to do curtains but I didn’t want to forego the texture of window treatments. For one client, I used these shades throughout their entire house.” —Laura Hodges, Baltimore