A world-renowned interior designer, Vicente Wolf has been a leader in the Manhattan design industry for over 35 years. From the spacious light-filled loft in New York City where his company is headquartered, Wolf and his team build on his passion for design that’s guided by integrity and simplicity. Wolf has published four design books, including this year’s “The Four Elements of Design: Interiors Inspired By Earth, Water, Air and Fire.” His portfolio includes the MGM hotel in Las Vegas and the Wynn Hotel in Macau, China.
New York–based designer Bennett Leifer describes his style in four words: Timeless, livable, elegant and artful. He has primarily worked with private families in New York, Los Angeles, Aspen, and the Hamptons. Notable projects include model residences for 18 Gramercy Park South, Norman Foster’s 50 United Nations Plaza, and 100 Barclay.
Bunny Williams is all about classic comfort, an informed eye, and a bit of fun. In her rooms, fine European antiques meet mirrored walls and gutsy artwork. She uses intense colors and delicate patterns with equal panache.
A fully fledged master of luxury, Eric Kuster has turned his hand to interior design, magazines, fashion design and furniture manufacturing. It’s his ability to leave a mark of “metropolitan luxury” on spaces that has led him to be appointed to design everything from luxurious homes and hotels to must-visit nightclubs and the VIP lounge of Barcelona’s football stadium. The Kuster look is masculine and monochrome. A sense of drama and moody atmosphere is conjured in his work by his seamless integration of light and shade. Hints of opulence are attained in many of his projects as metallic tones and sheeny upholstery are balanced by furniture pieces with a raw, natural aesthetic. The designer approaches each project with the location at the forefront of his mind, painting laid-back colours in exotic private residences in keeping with the natural setting and sourcing antique chandeliers for period homes.
Exploring the beauty of clean lines and precious materials for the modern gent, this British furniture and accessories brand celebrates distinctive contemporary design in the form of luxury watch winders, jewellery boxes and neo-futuristic furniture.
Crafted in Germany using traditional mouth-blowing techniques, Guaxs’ modern glass vases are a favourite with interior designers. Translucent glass and nature-inspired forms characterise the brand’s relaxed selection. Shop the brand
Juan Montoya was born in Colombia and moved to New York to attend Parsons School of Design after studying architecture in Bogotá. He has enough design world accolades to fill a very chic room and is known for paying special attention to his mix of textures, volumes, shadows and scale.
After opening the doors to his studio in 1995, Marcel Wanders rose to international acclaim the following year for his iconic Knotted Chair design and now the Dutch-born creative is the leader of a powerhouse of around 50 international design specialists and co-founder of successful design label Moooi. While innovative materials, techniques and pops of bold colours are constants in his design vocabulary, his work also makes references to historical styles with flamboyant details, ornate patterns and overstated sculptural features. His avant-garde vision has attracted collaborations with esteemed brands such as Swarovski, Puma and MAC, and commissions to design the world’s most luxurious hotels. Oversized bells encasing chandeliers, extravagant seating solutions and stunning wall panelling are just a few of the many unpredictable, but brilliant, features that pack his projects with his magnetic personality.
Mario Buatta is the “Prince of Chintz” and one of America’s most iconic designers — two titles he accepts happily.
Former set designer Ariel Ashe and architect Reinaldo Leandro’s NYC firm Ashe + Leandro mixes contemporary luxury and natural materials to create spaces that feel open and timeless. Past projects include work for Liev Schreiber and Seth Meyers, who is the husband of Ashe’s sister.
With a CV that boasts renovating Christian Dior and Lanvin stores, there was no question that MR Architecture + Decor would scoop a place on our shortlist. It seems there’s nothing the 30-person New York-based studio can’t do as it specialises in everything from ground-up construction to interior architecture, design and decoration for residential and commercial capacities. Space, proportion and light are primary concerns in each of its projects, which are always tailored to perfectly suit the client’s needs. Its stand-out residential work never wavers from reaching the highest standards and rolls captivating staircases and exceptional lighting installations up with contemporary art and unique rugs. Each project is truly individual and the firm executes a sleek, sophisticated sensibility with just as much success as rustic modern luxury.
New York City-basd Shawn Henderson is known for his interiors that are serene as they are sophisticated. His past projects have included homes for Will Ferrell and director Tate Taylor.
Dirand made our top French interior designers shortlist and we couldn’t resist featuring him again for his ultra-modern designs. With a respected photographer for a father and fashion designer mother, creativity is clearly embedded in the genes. Dirand followed the family’s creative footsteps by starting his interior design firm in the late nineties and has gone on to apply his less-is-more philosophy to private residences and exotic hotels around the world, and introduce a new class of luxury retail stores by designing boutiques for brands such Rick Owens, Chloé, Givenchy and Balmain. His penchant for marble, a minimalist colour palette, maximised light and well-spaced furniture are what attributes his portfolio with a distinctly modern attitude.
Trained at Sotheby’s in London, NYC-based Richard McGeehan specializes in 19th and 20th century decorative arts and calls his style “intelligent eclecticism.” In addition to many museum clients, he’s designed homes for Robert Duffy of Marc Jacobs and the official residences of a UN ambassador and the governor’s mansions for the states of New Jersey and Missouri.
Since its inception in 2010, Neal Beckstedt’s studio was tipped as one to watch – and rightly so. The boutique design firm has grown from to strength to strength and now holds an extensive range of projects to its name including London townhouses and the oceanfront holiday home of fashion designer Derek Lam. “My core design aesthetic is always creating a restrained sense of luxury, resulting in a space feeling both effortless and timeless,” the designer explains. Whilst his work delivers a modern vibe, Beckstedt doesn’t forget to pay attention to functionality and comfort. “My designs balance rich textures and tailored details to create spaces that are modern, comfortable, inviting, and infused with warmth and ease.” And to add greater desire to his work, Beckstedt is an aficionado when it comes to clean colour palettes, capturing relaxed elegance with neutral schemes.
Although there’s something so beautifully timeless about a traditional aesthetic, there’s no rulebook when it comes to modern interior design and that’s what makes it so inspiring. A modern approach to design creates the optimum conditions for artistic licence and self-expression, providing room for experimentation and a canvas for playing with white space, sleek materials and clean lines. Swoon over our round-up of exciting modern interior designers that are not only making a powerful contemporary impact on the spaces they put their creative hand to but the entire industry as a result.
Italian brand Dom Edizioni’s smart lines are enhanced with metallic accents and high gloss finishes for a flawless trifecta. The ultra-luxe designs are inspired by the past – notably the Art Deco period – with a contemporary edge. Shop the brand
New York and Los Angles-based Eric Hughes clients include Sarah Jessica Parker & Matthew Broderick, Andy Cohen, Katie Couric, Hank Azaria, Lauren Graham. Cohen’s Manhattan home by Hughes — who likes to create “relaxed, eclectic, elegant residences” — is pictured here.
Gift your home with a truly unique piece of artwork with a Pictoclub original. Each piece is designed by an expert from the brand’s team of artists, and then handcrafted to produce a remarkable one-of-a-kind design. Shop the brand
Kelly Wearstler’s global luxury lifestyle brand is marked by its distinctive designs and sophisticated soulful character. Wearstler’s signature style juxtaposes raw with refined, melds sophistication and spirited spontaneity, and brings together diverse periods of furniture. Her portfolio includes luxury hotels and grand residences from Beverly Hills to the Caribbean, and throughout the rest of the world.
New York and Palm Beach designer Ashley Whittaker describes her clients as “bi-coastal bachelors to Upper East Side Families and everyone in between.” Famous for her bright use of color and pattern, Whittaker describes her style as youthful, eclectic and traditional all at once.
Powerful, handsome and slick – Smania’s exquisitely made pieces are nothing short of modern classics. Maximalist sensibilities inform its design, as do bold, confident shapes. Shop the brand
More than anyone, Nate Berkus is the public face of contemporary design. A TV personality who designs products for Target, he’s also an accomplished and sophisticated interior designer. His own predilections tend toward neutral palettes; natural materials like leather, linen, and wicker; and objects made by hand. He is currently working on a television project with his husband Jeremiah Brent.
Founded in England by three brothers, Villiers Brothers uses traditional craftsmanship to create its strikingly different furniture designs. The brand’s earliest commissions included The Royal Opera House and Liberty of London, and it now boasts a global following of discerning homeowners and designers.
New York City-based Jeff Fields is the partner of fellow A-List designer Joe Nahem. Their past clients include Robert Downey Jr.
Sibling duo Pamela Shamshiri and Ramin Shamshiri struck out on their own from Commune to great success in 2016. Their star-studded client list includes Seth Rogan and Lauren Rogan, Anne Hathaway & Adam Shulman, and Sophia Amoroso of Girlboss. “Our look is narrative and experience driven so it’s always changing based on the place, architecture, client, and historical context.”
New York City-based Peter Marino is known for his commercial and retail designs as much as he is residential, and he has worked to redefine modern luxury worldwide with clients including Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari.
These are the designers we look to again and again. Each is distinctive—what unites them is their excellence. Here are the 2018 ELLE Decor A-List designers.
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With no formal training, it was his natural artistic instinct and hobby for deconstructing furniture that gave Jeremiah Brent the skills to start his eponymous design firm. Taking on the position of assistant to A-list stylist Rachel Zoe in 2011 gave him an invaluable insight into running a luxury business and working with VIPs. From here the designer went on to build his own little black book of high-profile clients – Rachel Zoe herself and celebrity colourist Rita Hazan have commissioned Jeremiah to decorate their homes. While his firm specialises in diverse projects, from luxurious penthouses to super-chic nightclubs, his entire portfolio is unified by a steadfast exhibition of fresh interior design. It’s Brent’s mantra – “Interior design, like fashion, is art we live our lives in” – that keeps his work consistently desirable. The incorporation of the beauty and style of high fashion results in sharp, sleek interiors characterised by clean colours, gorgeous materials and subtle vintage accents.
Interior designer Fiona Barratt-Campbell draws upon her love of history and the natural world to create her timelessly elegant range of furniture. Her expertly handcrafted creations are luxurious in their diverse materiality. Shop the brand
They may be architects first and foremost but Marmol Radziner know more than a thing or two about interior design – and landscape, furniture and jewellery design for that matter. The full service firm, founded in 1989 by Leo Marmol and Ron Radziner, has created award-winning modern masterpieces in New Zealand, Arizona and California to name just a few places. With its residential projects, it aims to “design homes to absorb stories of a hundred years” focusing on the relationship between the client and the space to create a perfectly tailored environment. Materials that age well, such as concrete, wood and natural stone, are a resolute favourite with the firm as is creating fluidity between indoor and outdoor design. It also uses each project site to influence design decisions so that spaces become elegantly rooted in their surroundings.
The House of Christofle has been making the finest silverware since its founding in 1830. The Parisian brand mixes unique know-how with a modern take on traditional techniques and, of course, its inherent French style to create home treasures that last forever. Shop the brand
Rooted in Italy since 1908, Oasis creates Italian furniture with a difference. Aside from exceptional craftsmanship, high-quality raw materials and bespoke finishes, sharp, modern silhouettes are the secrets to the brand’s stunning designs.
Discover modern interior design inspiration from these stylish forward-thinkers
New York City–based interior designer Sara Gilbane describes her style as cheerful and comfortable design infused with color, pattern, and whimsy. Her signature is to combine antiques with a client’s prized possessions and an bright, welcoming hues.
Serenity is the overriding feeling at the sight of Deborah Oppenheimer’s exceptional designs. The South African designer mastered the art of understanding materials and communicating mood through visual means during her early career in art direction and fashion design. After adding Zurich and Switzerland to the list of countries she’s lived in, Oppenheimer launched her interiors business in Hong Kong in 1993. To this date she hasn’t stopped travelling, putting her creative spin on global locations, from New York to Phuket, where she fuses striking lighting solutions, elegant soft accessories and understated furniture. It’s Oppenheimer’s affinity for open space, symmetry and light and dark that gives her work a thoroughly modern appeal. While residential spaces are her forte, the designer has also branched out into commercial commissions, designing a luxury retail space in Hong Kong’s impressive International Finance Centre (IFC).
The former Million Dollar Decorators star Kathryn M. Ireland describes her style as “California coastal meets European chic,” and the result is an elevated boho look that’s attracted clients, such as Julia Louis Dreyfus and Drew Barrymore. The Santa Monica-based designer’s charm and signature flair also shines through in her popular textiles line.
Trading his time between New York and San Francisco, Ken Fulk’s designs are bold, evocative, and inventive — and attract the clients to match, such as Pharrell. In the public sphere, you might have encountered his work at one of the many trendy Major Food Group bars and restaurants he’s decorated.
Down Under is represented in our top 10 by Hare + Klein. The Australian-based firm, headed by Meryl Hare, have enjoyed an impressive 27-year lifespan to date and are still going strong. What’s the secret to its success? Creating modern interior design without a sell-by date. Sleek surfaces and subtle colourways give its projects a timeless quality and no matter how big or small a room is, each space the firm touches feels stylishly spacious and brought to life with just the right amount of luxe accessories. The multi-award winning practice doesn’t just curate modern-looking spaces but tackles its projects with a modern mindset, carefully considering the sustainability of materials. In this image from one of its residential triumphs, the firm’s talent for showing off contemporary art to its utmost potential is immediately evident.
A Pittsburgh-born designer who moved to NYC and trained under designer Philippe Starck, Kelly Behun is known for highly bespoke creative process and her line of artistic, thoughtful furniture pieces and home accessories.
Brooklyn-raised Ellie Cullman (her family owns the famous Peter Luger steakhouse) holds an Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award from the New York School of Interior Design and founded the storied design firm known for its fashion-forward, modern look — catalogued in the design book, From Classic to Contemporary.
A leading member of the Los Angeles design community, Madeline Stuart’s wide-ranging clientele comes from the entertainment industry and the world of business and finance. Her projects reflect a collaborative relationship between architecture and furniture, function and form, client and designer. The firm recently completed a four-year project that involved a comprehensive restoration and redesign of a historic property in La Jolla, California.
Alyssa Kapito is based in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. Style: A fresh take on the classics with a great appreciation of antiques and art. Recent projects: a full restoration of a historic Hamptons estate; a family home in Beverly Hills; a beach house in Bellport Long Island and a landmarked townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
India Mahdavi has a lot in common with Henri Matisse. Like a fauvist, the Paris-based designer and architect uses rich, complementary colors in both her commercial and residential projects to immediately elicit a layered—mostly giddy—response from visitors. She creates worlds that are uncanny: they feel familiar, but are at the same time completely alien. Recently, she created collections for Pierre Frey and Bisazza and opened the much-feted Ladurée salon de thé in Tokyo.
Brookyln-based Billy Cotton has designed for artist Cindy Sherman and Carol Bove.
For someone in his early 30s, Ryan Korban has made quite a name for himself. His strong point of view and a signature aesthetic—sleek, marbly interiors, geometric forms and muted color palette—is exemplified in a handful of stunning retail projects for the likes of Aquazzura, Balenciaga, and Alexander Wang. (Would calling him the successor to Peter Marino be hyperbolic? We don’t think so.) Korban is currently working on his first major residential development at 40 Bleecker, in New York City.
The Milan-based duo of Roberto Peregalli and Laura Sartori Rimini, otherwise known as Studio Peregalli, specializes in baronial rooms that are steeped in history without being tied to any particular period. They fashion dramatic spaces that interpret the past without living in it, working with salvaged fragments and highly skilled artisans. The firm’s American projects include a Manhattan apartment for style arbiter Hamish Bowles, and a Gramercy Park townhouse for artists Rachel Feinstein and John Currin.
Another must-mention maestro in the modern interior design field is 1508 London. Designers at the UK-based firm are unbounded by design dogma and view each project as unique, looking to develop a story using the history and geography of spaces for inspiration. Locations the firm has worked its modern magic on include luxurious residences in London, a five-star hotel in Venice and penthouse in Istanbul. This image from Project Elizabeth – a Victorian postal office converted into a high-impact apartment-cum-gallery – demonstrates the firm’s powerful expertise with materials. Pre-cast concrete doors on its first floor mezzanine are cleverly crafted with timber inside to make them lighter and perforated with bespoke acrylic lenses to amplify light throughout the space. Unsurprisingly, the firm won the Best London Interior Award for this project at the prestigious UK Property Awards last year and we’re certain it won’t be the last.
Laura Hammett is a multi award winning London based interior design and interior architecture studio specialising in detail driven luxury residential projects for private clients and property developers throughout the UK and abroad.
Los Angeles and Paris-based Timothy Corrigan knows a thing or two about European elegance given that he’s owned has owned three historic castles and penned, An Invitation to Château du Grand-Lucé about one’s renovation. The jet-setting decorator tends to a clientele that includes Madonna and an array of Middle Eastern royals.
Los Angeles-based Peter Dunham calls his style “sophisticated casual.” He started his design company in L.A. in 1998 after a childhood in France and college in England, and design lovers flock to his Hollywood at Home to buy his fabric and wallpaper collection. His fans and past clients include Jennifer Garner, Steve Tisch, and Drew Barrymore, with projects restoring landmark homes, like an 1963 Horace Gifford house on Fire Island.
“We balance modern, machined elements with warm, textured, historical ones often weaving a story or dialogue of periods,” says Hayes of his New York-based design firm. Born in Louisiana, Hayes has curated homes for Marc Jacobs and Leonard Lauder and Evelyn Lauder and previously practiced as a landscape architect.
A fourth-generation Californian by way of the Bay Area, Nathan Turner wrote the book on the state’s aesthetic, called I Love California, as well as a book on classic American Style. The Los Angeles-based designer counts A-list stars, including Mindy Kaling and Armie and Elizabeth Hammer, among his clients.