Flower Magazine

MAR-APR 2019

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

Issue link: http://digital.flowermag.com/i/1080177

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Page 74 of 91

I ABOVE: Choosing a singular color in this pink-on-pink bedroom, Whittaker (pictured above left) piled on the interest by playing off shapes and patterns. "The room is enormous," she says. "The high headboards and the scale of the Galbraith & Paul wallpaper work well with the size of the room. OPPOSITE: "Red walls and stained floors were typical of prewar New York apartments," says Whittaker. "We wanted to take that concept and make it the absolute best it could be." Walls lacquered by Augustin Hurtado are candy-apple red with a shine and finish so rich (and thick, at ¼ inch) you can almost see through the layers when the light shines in. "I DON'T THINK OF COLOR AS being my calling card, but when you look at my work, it's there," says New York interior designer Ashley Whittaker. Though she swaths rooms in everything from pale blues and greens to rich chocolate and cranberry, she insists that color is only one part of creating a successful design. "Anyone can have a blue-and- white room," says Whittaker, "but you also need layers and depth through a balance of different vernaculars, textures, and interesting accessories." Whittaker prefers the concept of balance over mix. She says it's easy to have a mix for the sake of a mix, but real balance is a studied composition of old and new, fabricated and customized, color and texture. The keys to achieving it? A clear knowledge of the history of design and a vision for how a room will live—advice she received early in her career when she was working with decorator Markham Roberts. "He stressed the importance of understanding the fundamentals of architecture, interiors, and furniture design," Whittaker says. "Some people get caught up in smaller points, fabrics, this or that, PHOTOS BY ERIC PIASECKI (LEFT) AND MAX KIM-BEE (FAR RIGHT). PORTRAIT BY THOMAS LOOF but the whys and hows of design are the bigger questions." To answer those questions, Whittaker says she always starts with the furniture plan. "I work with my client to determine how they are going to live in the space and how they plan to entertain," she says. "Once I understand those things, then I can fill in the rest." Though she makes it sound simple, her approach —often referred to as neotraditional— is anything but basic. She leans toward Louis XVI, Chippendale, and 18 th -century furniture forms for their classic design, and Parsons style for its clean, hard edges. "It's fun to take something old or antique and make it feel fresh and pretty," she says. "Take a Napoleon III chair from the 19 th -century, for instance, and re-cover it in a Quadrille fabric. The print is updated, but the M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 1 9 | 73

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