While there’s always a thrill in discovering a new gem, three designers share why their time-tested favorites still bring them (and their clients) joy.
“I love the texture and warmth that wood brings to a room, and I’ve found a variety of ways to use wooden statement slabs. It’s been an obsession. I first used it in my own office—it starts on the wall, then goes up and wraps around the ceiling. Clients would come in for meetings and say, “Can we do that in my house?” I’ve used it on ceilings and walls and even in bathrooms by using porcelain tiles that look like wood. I used a beautiful option from Mirrella Tile in my bathroom at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House in Palm Beach last year, and people would go up and touch it, and they were always shocked that it was not real wood. I love that you can do it on a tighter budget or go high-end: We’ve sourced wood from The Home Depot and had it stained to achieve the look we wanted, but we’ve also worked with a millwork company for a client with more to spend. We can splurge if the budget allows, or make it look like it was a splurge. It’s such a simple way to add a custom, adventurous look.” —Nicole White, Miami
“I’ve always found that dining tables are super emotionally charged pieces. They carry so much history and feeling for clients, which can create a fraught sign-off. We have a local Seattle furniture maker, Chadhaus, that we return to again and again for dining tables. They’re a pleasure to work with, and that translates to their work. Their dining tables can go hyper-contemporary or really traditional. The finishes are so mutable, and we’re able to dial in on the aesthetic needs of the job. We’re able to make it work no matter who we’re working with— and there is some variation of this table in most of our projects. Clients love it because it’s an easy piece that’s simple in its design details. It’s about materiality, and they can imagine themselves gathered around it in any context. There’s a sensual, luxurious quality to the simplicity. Because we’re involved for the entire process, there’s an added bonus of being able to pick the timber that’s used. We can bring the client to the workshop, so they can engage with the process. It’s exciting for people to understand the scale of the trees used and see that this material has a narrative before it enters their lives. Furniture is an investment, and seeing this process lets clients get attached and see that value at work.” —Andy Beers, Ore Studios, Seattle
“I was shopping in the Paris flea markets almost a decade ago and saw this little antique armless banquette from Maison Jansen. I’ve always had an affinity for their designs, which lean midcentury but with neoclassical elements. I tried to get a client to buy it, but they wouldn’t— so I later made my own version of it for my home, and I’ve reinvented it a number of times for clients since. The banquette has fluid little legs and great lines. If you want it to feel softer, you can do more of a camelback shape; if you want it to look more modern, you can use a nickel nailhead trim. Most recently, I used the piece as an L-shaped banquette in a Manhattan apartment’s breakfast nook. I’ve done it in multiple living rooms, and as a cozy seating corner in a bedroom that couldn’t fit a sofa. There’s something casual about this banquette that’s more inviting for people to sit on, and I find that it diffuses formality in a living room—something I discovered by accident in my own home, where people walk in and sit right down there, ignoring my sofa.” —Garrow Kedigian, New York
Homepage image: Nicole White crafts a sleek bathroom with wood accents in this Palm Beach showhouse. | Dan Cutrona Photography