Lusting over the projects of the industry’s most brilliant interior designers is one of our favourite pastimes. But have you ever wondered what their studio looks like? It turns out they're often just as inspiring as the curated spaces you find in their portfolios.
Neal Beckstedt gave himself four weeks to pull together a super-functional space for his growing team in New York. Neutral and masculine yet warm, the relaxed space doubles up as a home and office in one. “My main challenge was to create a space that reflected our aesthetic while keeping the build-out costs as low as possible. The process became a study on how to make very inexpensive items chic – the ultimate hardware store shopping challenge I like to say.” Pure materials (think plywood, steel and melamine) were stained and customised to create simple sculptural forms, while a mix of the designer’s favourite vintage finds reflects his personal style. “A custom 14-foot long walnut farmhouse table acts as our weekly studio meeting spot, client meeting table, and where we spread out over wine and cheese at the end of the week. Like a family dining table, it’s our studio’s home base.”
Natalia Miyar Atelier
Immersing her team in a space that will inspire on a daily basis, Natalia Miyar references her vibrant cultural heritage in her effortlessly glamorous South Kensington studio. The use of texture and chosen colour palette (copper and bronze meet neutral tones) nod to a 1906 Klimt portrait of Fritza Riedler, which captured Natalia’s attention and emotion in Vienna’s Belvedere Museum. Following the mantra she uses for her client projects, Natalia curates a space that exhibits her personal narrative, courtesy of sculptural copper chairs, a black grid bookcase filled with art books, original paintings and handsome foliage. “We create spaces that express individuality,” the designer explains. “It could be art, pieces collected on travels or a beautiful heirloom. Whatever it is, it should reinforce the owner’s personality.” It seems her own office is no exception to the rule.
Refurbished just last year, Taylor Howes chose to revamp an ex-Aston Martin and Tesla garage (situated moments away from Harrods) into its new studio. The client-facing ground-level serves as a platform to showcase all of the suppliers and finishes that the studio works with. “It is invaluable for our clients to see the quality and originality of craftsmanship that we produce,” says Founder and Chief Executive Karen Howes. Tactile fabrics, exquisite colourways and on-point patterns bring instant impact to the setting, whilst the lower-ground floor channels a more industrial vibe, providing cool, clean surroundings for the admin and design teams.
Deborah Oppenheimer describes the look that her work conveys as “one of calm.” And exactly the same can be said for her own office space. The South African designer, based in an industrial area on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, surrounds herself with modern lines and a combination of light and shade on a day-to-day basis. “Previously the space was a printing workshop,” explains Deborah. “It reflects my preference for a very clean, modernist interior. Her penchant for pared-back aesthetics is translated from portfolio to personal workspace, via white walls, pale silver-grey floors and monochrome storage. Exotic paper cuttings, textured swatches and unique accents (from bespoke trays to a Jacaranda wood hand-carved giraffe head) add character to the pure setting.
Helen Green Design
Helen Green Design’s studio can be found on Milner Street in the heart of Chelsea, in a building that was previously home to The Australian Pub – a haunt often frequented by The Rolling Stones. Today, the space is filled with a selection of HGD Collection pieces and wallpapers, creating an elegant, calming setting for client meetings and events. “It’s important that the space reflects who we are and what we do,” says Commercial Director Sammy Wickins. The scheme changes every six months, but always maintains “an inherently luxurious yet liveable aesthetic.” The Vogue chair and sofa – in a crisp linen – creates a sophisticated, neutral seating arrangement, while art by Tanya Baxter Contemporary adds an intense, colourful contrast. To finish, the room is dressed with ceramic vases, unique agate and metal objets along with shagreen and marquetry boxes.
Kelly Wearstler’s Los Angeles studio is characterised by a sky-high ceiling and great lighting courtesy of a few statement chandeliers. It’s another example of a design HQ with a very open layout, enabling freedom of movement and creative thought. A row of dark tables – surrounded by golden stools complete with patterned upholstery – form a stage for an endless amount of samples. And the designer's bold identity and love for all things Maximalist comes through thanks to several super-sized floral arrangements. At her desk area, an enormous abstract artwork, bright pink and yellow hues, and shapely furniture choices inject fun into the setting.