Richard Mishaan: On Portals

“Architectural space consists, if nothing else, of continuous portals. The construction of interior space depends as much on the transparency of its portal as on the opaqueness of its walls and the closure of its ceiling.

When looking into a doorway, window, mirror, or painting or past a proscenium wall, we encounter an opening not only of light and space, but also of imagination. We are looking into another world, a world that stakes a claim on our attention in the same way that we lose ourselves to the drama on a movie screen.”

Ellie Cullman: On Japonism

Interior Design Ellie Cullman — Photo Credit Eric Piasecki/Otto Archive

“The Japanese impact on Western architecture is well known. Early visitors to Japan such as Frank Lloyd Wright were much influenced by the rectilinear, undecorated style of Japanese buildings. This, in turn, spread to the Bauhaus, which rejected over-decoration and espoused the Mies van der Rohe philosophy of “Less is more.” Likewise, in interior design, the spare interiors of a traditional Japanese tearoom had a huge influence on the new postwar minimalism.

I am hardly a minimalist, yet the three cornerstones of Japanese design—kazariwabi-sabi, and shibui—are everywhere in my  work. Striking a balance between these concepts is my ultimate goal.”

Etienne Coffinier & Ed Ku: On Floor Plans

“When we begin a floor plan, we picture ourselves walking through the space as if we were the client. We imagine living how they told us they would like to live with the objects they have or will have. We try to think and articulate their actions: Here you enter your apartment and find your mail in a tray on the console. This is where you can put your dripping umbrella. Here is a bench where you can sit and take your shoes off. Here is the mirror where you can check that your tie is knotted correctly.

This process continues throughout the entire home as we try to anticipate the various parts of their lives. Every good floor plan contains life, and you should feel a flow from room to room and from floor to floor.”

Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz: On Perspective

“In interior design, the happy marriage between architecture and decorating, the way you look at things makes a big difference between a pleasant solution and a transformative one.

For example, if you’re going to watch TV in the living room and possibly fall asleep, why not put a bed in there? Or if you watch TV in your bedroom with all your children and friends, why not design an eight foot-wide mattress that can allow everyone to view your programming comfortably? Even more radically, why not make the entire room a bed? If we forget the labels and functions that we apply to rooms (and the furnishings that typically inhabit them), our interiors become more exciting and appropriate.

All that’s required is a shift in perspective.”

Stephen Sills: On Aspiration

“I want a project to be as great as it can possibly be, and I really work to push the client to attain quality. Things needn’t be expensive, but materials must exude honesty. They must be a true representation of what the client wants, whether a simple basket or a gilded bronze statue. Honesty in materials and purity of objects is very important.

Aspiration, when it succeeds, promises the client something beyond good taste. It invests the daily tasks of decoration with meaning, pleasure, and vision, elevating interior decoration to the place of high art it deserves.”