When a designer is at the top of his or her game, an unmistakable sense of confidence, ease, and spirit is evident in every detail. These talents achieve that level of mastery more often than most, which is why we celebrate them and welcome four new members to their distinguished company.
Konig’s design of a dining room in Mill Valley, California.
The daughter of prominent British interior designer , grew up surrounded by fine furniture and fabric swatches and has long worked to welcome others into that world. With her London based interior design firm, she designs sprightly spaces with a timeworn edge for clients and hosts workshops for those who just need a little help. “A lot of people want to do interior design for themselves, but they don’t completely know how,” she says. Konig also dispenses design advice through her column in British and as the European editor of . She is always focused on easy livability. “It’s about how you feel in the room,” she says, “not just how it looks.”
“I have a French sense of restraint, an English sense of architecture, and the modernism and lightness of American taste,” says Los Angeles–based , who was raised in France and educated in Great Britain, where he met one of his biggest influences: the legendary designer . Much like Hicks, Dunham has become as well known for the masterfully eclectic interiors he creates for clients such as Jennifer Garner, Drew Barrymore, Jessica Biel, and Minnie Driver as for the punchy, worldly textiles he designs and sells at his shop, Hollywood at Home. “I mix the modern and traditional to lighten things up and avoid an excess of polish to make rooms more personal,” he says.
When started out as a dealer of high-style 19th-century American decorative-arts pieces, he created showstopping room-like booths at antiques fairs. Even as he sold antiques to such institutions as New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and London’s , private buyers desired more: “They would ask me to make a whole room or house for them,” says the New York–based McGeehan. Since jumping to interior design in the early 1990s, he has continued to search out exceptional objects with a curator’s eye, embracing all periods including the contemporary. “My process starts with the objects,” he says. “I fall in love with individual pieces and build up the rooms from there.”
The library of a Manhattan apartment by Hayes.
Interiors designed by New York–based always have a serene sense of edited calm, where every object seems essential. “The way I like to think about it is that adding or taking away one thing would throw the equilibrium off,” says Hayes, whose clients have included Evelyn and Leonard Lauder. It’s an approach he began developing in the early ’80s, while working on homes with a high-tech industrial edge at Bray-Schaible Design. Since founding his own firm in 1985, Hayes has become known for infinitely softer and warmer rooms that give collectorgrade antiques and art serene settings and room to breathe. “It’s a psychological and an emotional thing,” says Hayes. “Minimalist interiors make me feel better.”
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