Interior designers are the professionals who create a home environment that is functional and aesthetic. They offer services such as concept development, drafting and CAD design, space planning, furniture design, lighting and sourcing.
They also provide guidance on construction and project management to ensure projects meet client expectations. They often work on large residential and commercial projects.
Since founding her eponymous firm in 2012, New York-based designer Alyssa Kapito has earned a global reputation for her elegant, bespoke interiors that merge contemporary touches with time-honored sophistication. Kapito’s work—which includes residential projects like a renovated Upper East Side pre-war apartment and a modern beach house in Bellport—has been featured in leading online shelter publications such as Architectural Digest, 1stdibs, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Vogue, and Domino Magazine. Most recently, Kapito was added to the prestigious Elle Decor A-List.
Though rooted in tradition, Kapito’s designs are never overbearing. Her neutral palettes and clean lines evoke a sense of calm, while her sophisticated use of texture and subtle decorative elements give each room a sense of polished refinement that’s anything but austere. Her calming aesthetic has attracted a loyal following, making her and partner Sarah Muller—a former fashion stylist—the tastemakers of choice for a generation of millennial homeowners.
While some might call her a minimalist, Kapito prefers to describe her design aesthetic as “a minimal take on traditionalism,” in which editing is key to keeping homes feeling fresh. Her ability to blend classic elegance with a modern edge has made her a top choice for clients from New York to LA.
Kapito’s latest project, an Upper West Side living room, caught the eye of Imagicasa, featuring a pair of vintage Italian stools and a Brutalist artwork from Tara Donovan above a custom lacquer-lined console table. Imagicasa also loved the way in which the designer layered textured fabrics to create visual interest in this space.
Founded by Alexandra Champalimaud, the firm has been designing hotels and restaurants around the world for over three decades. The company specializes in creating unique spaces that tell a story and create memorable experiences. The firm has received numerous awards and accolades for its designs and is a favorite choice for hospitality projects.
The firm’s team of interior designers, including Courtney Brannan and Jun Chun, combines strategic planning with expert craftsmanship to produce bespoke luxury environments. Their deep understanding of each project allows them to express a client’s vision and create a unique identity for the space. Their design process is one that takes into consideration every detail, including the smallest details, to deliver the best results.
Champalimaud has created some of the most renowned hospitality and residential projects in the world. Her firm focuses on expressing the character of each property, transforming context and heritage into a compelling narrative. The company’s work is an exploration of form, texture, and color with a profound respect for the fundamentals of classic design.
For the renovation of The Rittenhouse in Philadelphia, the firm was tasked with repositioning this iconic landmark. To do so, the firm focused on a redesign that celebrated the hotel’s historic inspirations and relevance of art to the neighborhood’s vitality. The redesign included the guest rooms and corridors, as well as the garden lounge and gardens.
The Tocqueville Restaurant in Aspen, Colorado, was designed by Champalimaud for husband-and-wife restaurateurs Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky. Guests enter the double-story dining room through an intimate lounge with smoked mirrors and a wenge and onyx bar, which opens into a dramatic and soaring space that is elegant and romantic allowing diners to focus on the cuisine.
While many design firms are focused on creating spaces that blend modern sensibilities with traditional elements, Albion Nord is known for creating authentic and curated interiors that stand the test of time. This British-based firm was founded in 2017 and is led by a team of four designers with impressive backgrounds. The firm’s portfolio includes residential projects, boutique hotels, and commercial buildings.
The Albion Nord team is highly experienced in handling complex projects, such as a stately home restoration and a new development on an old army barracks site. The team worked with the developer to create a set of 13 6-story townhouses that feature campaign desks inspired by those used in wartime. They also consulted an expert on the building’s history to ensure the new homes were respectful of its heritage.
Despite being best known for his role on Netflix’s Queer Eye, Bobby Berk is an established designer with an expansive portfolio of residential and commercial projects. His design philosophy is based on “emphasizing the artisanal and the handmade.” His work features thoughtfully-curated artworks, antiques, and bespoke furniture pieces that help create a unified aesthetic.
A longtime favorite of ours, Kelly Wearstler is a preeminent West Coast designer with an impeccable taste and formidable point of view. Her collections of fabrics and rugs, furniture, and artwork showcase her unique take on contemporary luxury. Her studio is a one-stop-shop for clients seeking an elegant and comfortable space that feels like it has evolved over time.
Rebecca Driggs Interiors
Rebecca Driggs Interiors is a designer who specializes in creating clean-lined spaces that reflect her clients’ unique tastes. Her firm serves a variety of residential and commercial projects in the Wake Forest area. The company offers a range of services, from pre-construction selections to final art installations.
One of her favorite tricks is to make walls the star of a room. She recommends drenching them in color and layering patterns via wallpaper, and then finishing them with trim that hides raw edges. She also likes to mix wood tones. This technique is especially effective in small rooms where a single piece of furniture might overwhelm the space.
Another designer to look up is Kati Carter of K Carter Interiors. She combines modern and current trends with classic elements and cultural influences to create a unique style. Her use of neutral color palettes and various textures adds depth and a sense of calm to her designs.
Lori Shaw Interiors
A Charlotte-based designer, Lori Shaw takes a bold approach to interior design. Her projects feature deep jewel tones and pattern-on-pattern designs, making them visually stunning and sophisticated. She also uses an interview strategy when working with clients to ensure that her designs reflect their unique personalities and lifestyles.
In this episode, we’re thrilled to feature Lori Shaw, a fellow STR sister and interior designer with an incredible story of resilience and success. She shares how she reimagined her career in short-term rentals, faced a health crisis, and founded her own design firm. Her inspiring journey is a testament to her unwavering positivity and creativity.
When her 20-something client tasked Shaw with designing her home, the Charlotte, NC-based designer knew she wanted to create a space that embraced feminine strength through bright colors and bold patterns. Shaw found a set of IKEA bookshelves to match the walls and painted them Billiard Green, while adding playful touches like lion bookends and a library “due stamp” sign.
Known as the Oscars of interior design, this annual award honors designers for their outstanding work. Designers can submit their best projects in a variety of categories, including retail interiors, workplace interiors, leisure or entertainment spaces, restaurants, residential development interiors, and more. The winner of each category is chosen by a panel of judges, and the winning designs are published in the book The Best of Interior Design.
The winners of this award receive a wide range of benefits, including year-long coverage on the IDA website and critical acclaim from the judges. They also receive a trophy and seal to use on their websites, and are eligible for the IDA’s Top 100 Designers award.