Continuing to discover and share new talent, I bring you the work of Lindsey Lane. I met the New York-based interior designer through our mutual friend, designer Lynde Easterlin. Lane, originally from Georgia, began her New York design journey at Kemble Interiors, where she honed her preppy-with-a-twist design style. There is an impressive roster of talented designers that have struck out on their own after learning the ropes at Kemble Interiors, which is a testament to working in a fast paced environment while having a can-do attitude and willingness to learn by doing. Her work showcases bold art collections and pretty details seen through a lens of clean traditionalism. Let's meet Lane, and learn her favorite design resources, including where she shops for her favorite boldly printed fabrics.
A detail of the NYC apartment Lane calls home
Who did you work for and where did you study to learn the trade?
I moved to New York to work as an intern for Celerie Kemble. From there, I took a position at Christopher Maya Inc. After two years I worked with Lilly Bunn for approximately six months before starting my company in the spring of 2013. My degree is from the ID accredited school of interior design at the University of Georgia which included also attending the UGA campus in Cortona, Italy for a summer.
When did you know this was your calling in life?
I wanted to be an interior designer as far back as I can remember. When I was a young child, I loved playing and rearranging accessories, and I've always had a keen eye for detail. As a little girl, I loved going to fabric stores with my mom and even had an input on my custom made bedding, which, by the way, was a monogrammed coverlet. When I was in 7th grade my mom hired a faux painter to do some work in our house. I was fascinated and watched the painter for hours.
How did you know you were ready to strike out on your own, and when did you?
Since childhood, owning my own interior design business has been my dream. I always said that I would know when the timing was right. A year ago, I was approached by a family friend to do some small things for their apartment and one thing lead to another and the project grew. I knew it was time to start my company, although it was definitely a big leap of faith!
What advice do you have for others wanting to do the same?
Always trust your instincts. If you are truly passionate about something, pursue it, work hard, and listen. Good things always come to those who are kind, considerate, and courteous! Always be honest.
Do you have a design mentor?
My aunt is a decorator and has the best eye for color, style, and design. I've always loved being around her and in her home. There isn't a single detail left unnoticed and while things are decorated to the nines her home is always very welcoming and comfortable. Her collections and accessories are to die for!
What did they teach you that you can't learn in design school?
Design school taught me technical things like hand drafting, AutoCAD, and other computer programs. However, the field of interior decorating/design is like learning to swim. You have to "jump in" to actually learn what it is all about.
What is the most practical knowledge you learned from working for a master designer?
Working in the "real" design world taught me invaluable lessons about owning a business and all of the behind the scenes work that keeps the business alive and growing.
What is the biggest challenge of being your own boss? Has that evolved from when you began?
Finding a balance is one of the challenges I face on a daily basis. I have become better, but my office is my living room so I find it difficult to unplug in the evenings and weekends. Plus I love what I do and sometimes push myself to the limit (or past it).
Whose work of the past do you hold in high regard?
I love the Dorothy Draper days. Her work at the Greenbriar is fantastic to me and definitely a must-see on my travel list.
What books do you own old and new that you constantly refer to?
Oh, I love books! I recently purchased Furlow Gatewood's book by Julia Reed, One Man's Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood. I love his style and have definitely tried to incorporate some of his work into mine. I love that we are from the same town in Georgia because I relate to some of his stories and recognize the people and places he references. In addition, I admire all of the interior designers who have written books and like each one for different reasons. Two favorites are Steven Gambrel and Miles Redd. Both geniuses!
Where are you going for inspiration?
The internet and social media are valuable for quick references and ideas. When I start a new project, I love to sit in a book store flipping through design and art books for inspiration. I always buy my favorite book for the particular project which helps me grow my collection. Magazines, old and new, are a great tool for me too. I save all of my favorite pages so that I can reference them later.
What do you think is next regarding trends in color, material, style, influence or historical period?
History repeats itself in a funny way. Right now, everyone is into details like monograms on beds and table linens, even clothes. The idea of hosting guests, dinner parties, and dining al fresco has hit the stage. People want to have every last detail noted and personalized for their gatherings. With hosting has come the concept of "granny chic". I define that as the things I experienced or perhaps my grandmother experienced in a slower paced life: homes well decorated with chintz fabric and a lot of trims, mis-matched or inherited silver and vintage china, monograms and family crests, fresh flowers, and beautiful linens. Everyone is wild for the patterns, textures, and colors. I believe we will continue to see a push with details and super decorated, coordinating spaces. You know, very matchy-matchy but mis-matched in a historical, inherited, vintage kind of way at the same time.
Do you have a signature look and how would you define it?
I would define my style as traditional, but not too fussy. Think classic J. Crew stripes or a tailored Kate Spade dress, but always finished with a big, funky necklace which adds a surprise in a way that makes you do a double take and say wow! When I set out to create something I want it to look really special, whether it’s re-arranging accessories in my living room or decorating an entire house.
How do your clients find you?
All of my clients have found me through other friends and word of mouth. Personal referrals are always the best advertisement!
Do you have a favorite fabric pattern or print you return to?
I have not re-used the same fabrics as each of my projects have been very different. However, a few favorite fabric stores for prints and solids are Claremont, Quadrille, John Rosselli, Brunschwig & Fils, and Holland & Sherry. Studio Four has handmade wovens that are gorgeous!
What material do you love?
100% Linen. I love the hand of a beautiful linen and the subtle texture it adds to the room whether it's on furniture or curtains. Pierre Frey has a linen that I am using in two different projects right now.
Where do you shop to get inspired?
I love to travel, whether that is in the USA, Europe, or my own neighborhood. The idea of discovering a culture and exploring unfamiliar shops filled with treasures is inspiring and refreshing, and hopefully a little bit relaxing too!
What stores and or resources do you shop in the most?
I find myself in antique and thrift stores a lot because nothing beats a great find and an even better deal. In the design world, I love Mecox Gardens for their accessories. I always go there to add the finishing touches to any project. If I could only shop at one store, I would be a happy girl at John Rosselli. They have everything from antique and reproduction furniture to lighting, accessories, and fabrics.
Where are you eager to do a project?
I look forward to taking what I have learned in New York and applying it where I grew up. I would love a project in Georgia or Florida.
Purple grasscloth walls cover the entry foyer walls that hold an angular Bungalow 5 deco-inspired mirror in an Upper East Side apartment
Carrying the purple palette into the living room, a lush plum velvet sofa with subtle nailhead trim is surrounded by tailored skirted end tables and a small geo print-covered chair with clean lines. Lane has a great eye for art, and the multi colored drawing above the sofa brings a new graphic dimension to the room.
A closer look at the nailhead and trim accents
A soft gray and steel blue palette in a calm Upper East Side bedroom
A tiny stripe in the black and white rug is picked up and magnified in the silk curtain panel detail, a wide band border at the base. Mirrored furniture has space enhancing qualities, always a good idea in city apartments.
Like every good designer understands, making a statement in an apartment entry is the best way to set the stage for what is to come. Here, vivid orange grasscloth walls add texture and zing to a small entry area in an Upper East Side apartment.
I have a thing for blue velvet sofas, and this one with loose seat and back is cozy and easy to live with. Additional seating, covered in small patterns, and French-inspired pull up benches in an animal print complete the calm-but -colorful sitting area.
Books and accessories on a coffee table always reveals a bit about the person that lives there, providing a chance to share interests and influences.
Providing a layered global feel in a pretty way, a bone inlay nightstand and paisley printed headboard add to the mix, while a pair of Bunny Williams Home swirly lamps layer in a brighter shade of blue to match the bold floral print at the window.
By covering a kitchen corner banquette nook in the same all-over Quadrille print as the facing chairs, the cohesive statement looks fresh and exciting against the white walls and modern round table. Adding a cleanly designed brass and dark metal globe pendant above keeps things well lit.
The entry in a Tribeca loft showcases Lane's ability to create a cross-cultural downtown vibe.
Working with an incredible art collection with bold color and texture, Lane tied in interesting printed chairs, low French side chairs and a modern grey flannel sofa in the seating area of the loft.
In Lane's charming Tribeca apartment, crisp pale blue and white is her chosen bedroom palette. Showing her love of classic printed fabrics, two custom pillows in a traditional vein sit atop Matouk Mirasol shams, the same pattern I have on my bed. Whimsical personal touches come through with her vintage wicker elephant side table and cool African headdress.
Adding in an antique lamp with brass and marble tulip sprigs on the nightstand provides a stand in for fresh flowers.