Posts Tagged ‘Interior Designer’
Up-in-coming interior designer Ryan Korban recently launched a website showcasing a selection of his projects to date which span from commercial to residential and other various interiors in between. Clients including downtown designer Alexander Wang, actor James Franco, model Natasha Poly and the stylish daughter’s of Danielle Steel–Victoria & Vanessa Traina, in addition to shopping go-to’s Barneys and Opening Ceremony, have all turned to the young designer for a classy, curated space that incorporates traditional English design elements fused with ornate and rich modern pieces. Creating an upscale yet functional space that is both polished and un-stuffy is the designer’s specialty, and his unique approach is one we’re excited to watch evolve.
LoftLife: As a traditionally untrained designer, what led you to this field?
Ryan Korban: I have always been drawn to the arts whether it was fashion, theater, or fine arts. My desire for creating environments was something that I was born with. Whether it was doing the table scape for my mother’s dinner parties or coming up with a concept for the Christmas tree every year. My desire to actually be an interior designer didn’t develop until I was older, but my passion for atmosphere was always there. Once I entered university at the New School, I had realized that creating full environments was what I wanted to do. Even at that point I didn’t want to go to school for it. I was more interested in having an academic degree. For me design is not about drafting living rooms in a classroom, but learning about the past. A perfected yet untrained eye has always been what inspires me. I studied European history and art and my liberal arts degree taught me more about how to create an alluring environment than studying floor plans would have.
In my senior year of school I was ready to exercise my skills so I designed my first commercial space while I was in school.This was a store I opened with a friend. What better way to start than having the challenge of creating a store? It had to be such an alluring space that people would want to buy something in it. Edon Manor really was a collection of everything I had studied and learned, from the rare book collection to the china collections, it supported my ideas of creating an academic space. Also my informal training lent itself as I was able to create a residential design for a commercial space. I hate how stuck America design is. In Europe the lines between commercial and residential are totally blurred and I am so drawn to that. So Edon Manor really was my first ever project.
LL: What finally led you to launch a website?
RK: I work with a very specific group of people and this is very important to me in order to create a body of work that feels different than what we have seen before. I really felt that the interior world was making little effort to try new things and as I saw the publications dropping (Domino, House and Garden, Metropolitan Home, Vogue Living) I realized that there lack of change and risk was really hurting the industry. This is why I am so drawn to the fashion world and the people in it. There is something new and relevant going on all the time. I feel a huge disconnect when I look at a lot of the interior publications. I work with CFDA winners, actors who have been in Academy Award nominated movies, and models who have been in couture shows and they don’t even live like the people do in Architectural Digest. I think the interior world is so fixed on square footage, I am more concerned with creating something fresh and sexy. I don’t feel any sex appeal in the interior world. So I thought it was time to publish my small, but precise body of work under my own name which is now the website.
LL: You have a strong fashion following, in addition to co-owning/designing Tribeca’s Edon Manor. How do you see fashion tastes crossing over with interior style?
RK: Working within the fashion world is so inspiring. It’s young, it’s fresh and it’s glamorous. All the things I look to achieve when I create a space. I love working with designers and watching them grow into lifestyle brands and helping them do that. The connection is so there and so underutilized that it makes me angry. My fashion clients know so much about what kind of mood they want and how they want to feel in a space its amazing. They know about silhouettes and fabrics. They have such a new approach to the treatment of fabrics and furs because of clothing. The way they develop fabrics is so advanced compared to the interior industry. Even the older, experienced, and respected people in fashion still look to be sexy and of the time. This is what really draws me to their world and pushes me to create spaces that feel sexy and sophisticated.
LL: Good design should be accessible. As a young designer, with a young clientele, how do you see a new generation’s attitude toward working with an interior designer on their home and not just doing it on their own?
RK: For me it’s so easy. I love working in small spaces — it’s my passion. Anyone with money can buy an Upper East Side condo or a mansion in the Hamptons and make it look amazing. I am more interested in what you do with a 600-square-foot studio in SoHo or the East Village. My work is based on taste not size and I think that is the new approach to interiors and my clients share this approach. Young people, even young rich people want to live the way they dress. Not everything needs to be polished and precise. Working with young people makes my jog so exciting and challenging. It forces me to really focus on what we should invest in. I work with a lot of renters so it’s important that I give them furniture they will have for the rest of their lives. When I work with someone it is usually their first time to hire a designer; I’m always flattered that they come to me and its exciting to take their virginity.
LL: That said, what are your favorite spots for shopping on a budget?
RK: I love shopping at Flair, of course they have very expensive pieces, but you can also go in and get the best accessories for the home. You can get stunning crystal ashtrays for $150. I love flea markets and I am addicted to Housing Works online auctions.
LL: What design elements do you begin a project with?
RK: I always start with a mood, it could be a color, a scent, or a flower. I like to develop the feeling my clients want and the world that they want to live in. That is more important than any tangible element of design. I never feel confident choosing furniture until I know the exact mood they want to achieve. Working with the senses is how I always start.
LL: Traditional English design is a big influence in your aesthetic. What began your obsession?
RK: I’m drawn to an old world dark romance that is so hard to find these days. I think my obsession started with Sweeney Todd, Eliza Doolittle, and Oliver Twist as a kid. From there it expanded into Princess Diana, The Clash, Amy Winehouse, and Kate Moss. My partner (Davinia Wang) at Edon Manor is from London as well and we have spent so much time in Oxford and
Holland Park. The idea of tradition is so alive there and the idea of rock is also still so alive. The enormous gap between Brink Lane and Buckingham Palace is so fascinating to me. To have such highs and lows creates so much romance in so many different ways that I cant help but be inspired. Plus I have a large obsession with the Elizabethan era to think England has had women ruling for so many years and are such a strong and wealthy country is amazing. Especially when we think we are the progressive ones.
LL: What kinds of projects do you hope to work on down the line?
RK: I hope to just keep doing what I do now. I hope that I can help bring life to the interior world and most of all I hope we can start to see exciting things happen. I love the projects that I do whether its a store, showroom, home or even a baby shower for the future I just hope I can keep getting interesting work with inspiring people. A hotel wouldn’t hurt either. If I don’t learn something or find something new working with a client then I’ll know it wasn’t a success.
LL: Describe your ideal home, and where? Is there a city or neighborhood, decorating theme, etc.
RK: My ideal home wouldn’t reflect a time period or a design aesthetic, not even a neighborhood, but instead a complete fantasy. The design world is so obsessed with dates, times and eras I’m obsessed with the idea of walking into a space and feeling like you are in a whole other world that has never existed until that very moment. That’s my ideal home, it’s a bit of a fairy tale.
When it comes to beautiful books on interior design, especially monographs, we count on Rizzoli to get our fix. They seem to consistently publish high-quality, dense, picture heavy volumes on all our favorites. Our latest obsession: Jacques Grange Interiors by Pierre Passebon.
The book is singularly focused on legendary French decorator Jacques Grange’s design portfolio from the past four decades. Each page showcases full color photographs of the spaces he’s designed over the years, including Yves Saint Laurent, Princess Caroline of Monaco, and Valentino. It’s so much fun to get lost in each page, studying every little detail in the various rooms. His style is so unique, combing neoclassical, traditional inclinations with the unexpected and, often times, avant-garde. The book also features many close up shots, which reveals his talent for tablescapes, and his ability to capture the essence of his client’s personal taste.
In the meantime, we’ve given you a preview of some of our favorite pages and spreads. Enjoy!
Interior designer Lisa Jackson stumbled into design by accident, but it’s clear this is her calling. Clients like Renee Zellweger, Vera Wang and Tory Burch have turned to Jackson for her simple and timeless design. Widely known for unique pieces picked up during trips around the globe, Jackson has an eye for rare antiques and fine art compiled everywhere from auction houses to flea markets.
We spoke with the designer about Lucca & Co., a furniture, antique and tabletop company, which she acquired in 2007.
LoftLife: We hear you’ve just returned from some great trips, and that travel plays a large role in how you source a majority of your furniture and other pieces. Where are your favorite travel destinations for antiques?
Lisa Jackson: There are of course the tried and true small towns in Italy… Belgium – especially Brussels, Antwerp and the surrounding countryside.
My current romance is with Mykonos. I fell in love last summer, it made my heart flutter. First off, everything is white, my favorite color, and not to mention it’s an island that is all about chic and natural yet is also refined. Very fab and cool! Wildly inspirational…
LL: What are the challenges when balancing between antiques with modern?
LJ: Its all about keeping interiors modern and spare. So we sprinkle antiques in to add warmth and integrity. They provide a sense of history, and lineage. They add an uniqueness that is imperative. I exercise restraint for the most part. The overall distinctive modernity I am looking for is lost. I shutter from clutter!
LL: Tell us about the most interesting or unique space you’ve worked on to date.
LJ: We have worked on everything from the Blackstone Group offices in London to Rene Zellweger’s country house. Of course also NY lofts and beach houses in the Hamptons too. We love it all.
LL: A lot of your work features a neutral color scheme. Why the absence of color, or have we just not seen it?
LJ: I love to use strong color in accessories: pillows, throws, glass and ceramic objects. Most importantly, I use masses of fresh flowers to make the room come alive – deep purples, coral, acid green, saffron. I always use lots and lots of the same type and color grouped together. Think of bright groups of flowers set against a pale beige or grey background . . . sublime!
LL: Classic design and comfort seem to remain key themes. What interests or overall themes influence your design sensibility?
LJ: I am a modernist at heart. That’s the consistent aesthetic thread. I keep it refined and sophisticated in an informal way. Lifestyle means everything… I want all our interiors to reflect this. Never sacrifice style and luxe. The idea is to melt into the furniture. Put your feet up and wait for the uncertain and unexpected to unfold or get lucky with some good conversation and a cocktail.
LL: Lucca & Co. is a full lifestyle brand, including books, jewelry and gifts. How do you see all of these pieces fitting together?
LJ: Its all in the edit. There’s no ruffles or rushing around here. No pretense. Just clean and simple design of the finest quality. Table top items include 17th century classic glass styles from Sweden and Italian hand thrown ceramic dishes. Indian jewelry and books about modern design that all express the same voice.
LL: Coming from a business background and somewhat falling into interior design, what were the biggest surprises you came across in the industry you were not expecting?
LJ: Holy cow . . . all the heavy lifting! This is a very physically demanding business and I am always running around looking for the newest and coolest stuff for the shop, not to mention moving furniture or hauling pillows and objects for styling. I admit, I do have a great staff that helps a lot.
LL: What have you not had the opportunity to design yet that you’d like to do?
LJ: Carpet and textile designs are a passion. I have a million ideas which I am working on as we speak!
For more information about Lisa’s interior design work, visit Jackson Aaron.
Posted by Erin Ryder