Which fellow designers inspire you?

Icons like Sister Parish, Dorothy Draper and David Hicks continue to resonate decades after they’ve passed. Who are the working designers inspiring their peers today? This week, we asked 12 designers—Larisa Barton, Kari Bennett, Brittny Button, Mika Durrell, Camila Gonzalez, Nina Grauer, MaryBeth Long, Corinne Mathern, Barrett Oswald, Natalie Papier, Jason Saft and Analisse Taft-Gersten—who they admire and why.

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Brittny ButtonCourtesy of Button Atelier

Range of Possibilities

“Kelly Wearstler has a dynamism to her work that evokes a sense of place. The way she mixes textures and patterns has an effortless appeal and sense of cool. Her appetite for aesthetic risk results in truly original environments that are visually arresting to behold. Her love of all things interiors spills over into her cultivated approach to fashionable dressing as well. A real icon! Tiffany Howell constantly produces a rich visual range with her designs—whether a glam boudoir lounge area, as seen in the Caviar Kaspia project, or a luxurious classical European take on Villa Greco, every space has an elevated vibe that feels refined and livable. Her [ability] to ‘play’ with numerous design styles shows her intelligent approach to crafting stories within homes—there’s always a narrative subtext present. I also love Benoit Viaene’s ability to emulate the form and function of organic shapes as they occur within nature. It’s his [celebration] of simplicity that allows raw materials to shine, which fosters a minimalism that is timeless.” —Brittny Button, Button Atelier, Los Angeles

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Corinne MathernCourtesy of Corinne Mathern Studio

Same Wavelength

“I find inspiration in the work of designers whose vision aligns with my design philosophy. Hollie Bowden’s eye and commitment to collecting is inspiring. She curates each space with deep historical references and reworks existing finishes to bring spaces to life with a new story. Jane Hallworth’s approach to designing properties as an opportunity to create a narrative is unmatched. Her ability to craft a team of artisans and collaborators is inspiring.” —Corinne Mathern, Corinne Mathern Studio, Santa Barbara, California

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Natalie PapierCourtesy of Natalie Papier

Building Empires

“I am incredibly inspired by designers who can balance and execute their design projects while expanding their business in other creative ways. Joanna Gaines is a perfect example of a designer who has scaled her business and branched out into product development beautifully. In addition to running her own network and lifestyle magazine, she has achieved bestselling author status. Incredible! Nate Berkus, Emily Henderson, Brian Patrick Flynn, and Jean Stoffer are also designers I admire for staying true to their aesthetic and branching out in similar ways. They have personally shown me that the sky’s the limit. Anything is possible, so dream big.” —Natalie Papier, Home Ec., Charlotte, North Carolina

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Jason SaftCourtesy of Jason Saft

Paying Homage

“Recently I was designing a townhouse with a double-height living room. The space subtly reminded me of Sarah Sherman Samuel’s design of [polo champion] Nacho Polo’s residence. I love Sarah’s usage of texture and [how her work always exudes] a sense of warmth. I selected many of her own pieces designed for Lulu and Georgia in my design. I wasn’t trying to make a copy, but rather an homage inspired by her work.” —Jason Saft, Staged To Sell Home, Brooklyn

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Analisse Taft-GerstenCourtesy of The 1818 Collective

Noting Evolution

“I think [my firm’s co-founder Kristin Fine] and I both find a lot of inspiration from the many creations of Axel Vervoordt. We find Vervoordt’s use of light and shadows as a key element of his design, combined with his earthy textile hues, distinctive and so very beautiful. He, of course, is also a major innovator and inspiration when it comes to how to curate unexpected furniture and art in a space.” —Analisse Taft-Gersten, The 1818 Collective, Sag Harbor, New York

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Mika DurrellCourtesy of Mika Durrell

Style and Function

“I am really enamored by the artist and designer Andrea Zittel. I love how her work branches out from contemporary artworks into functional products and garments, in addition to experiments with building materials and conceptual spaces. Her work reminds me that simplicity in design is a reprieve. I also love the all-encompassing nature of BDDW founder Tyler Hays’s work, along with his collaborative spirit and ability to curate many individuals’ work within his own realm. His work is just so elegant and folky, but spirited in a specific style—that, again, can be imagined in a series of different contexts. His design mind is expansive and doesn’t just stop at furnishings: He has a vision for life and living. The craft, the details and the authentic materials are exquisite, and the way he pulls it all together is inspiring and motivating.” —Mika Durrell, Able Moraine, Boston

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Nina GrauerCourtesy of Nina Grauer

Childhood Inspiration

“Cullman & Kravis has been a source of design inspiration since childhood. Their timeless classic designs are an endless source of inspiration. Caitlin Kah has built herself such an incredible business, and it is so inspiring to watch her flourish. Nina Litchfield has such a dynamic and dreamy style—the style of this studio is so spectacular and one can only imagine how amazing the portfolio will be in the future.” —Nina Grauer, Dekay & Tate, Palm Beach and Denver

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Kari BennettCourtesy of Kari Bennett

Shifting Focus

“Allen Chan, Matt Davis, and Anwar Mekhayech, the visionaries behind DesignAgency, continually captivate me with their work. Their ability to not only craft aesthetically beautiful environments but also inspire their community is truly remarkable. I’ve been following their journey for years, and have attended numerous design panels they’ve led. Each time, I leave feeling empowered, eager, and deeply passionate about the industry. Kelly Wearstler and Anne-Marie Barton are two designers I deeply admire for their unwavering passion for their craft. What sets them apart is their openness about their roles as mothers and grandmothers, emphasizing the importance of nurturing their own spirits alongside their professional pursuits. Reflecting on my own career journey, I’ve shifted my focus from chasing prestigious projects and awards to ensuring my team feels inspired, valued, and balanced in their personal lives, no matter what that looks like on an individual level. Creating an environment where work is enjoyable and stimulating has become my main focus.” —Kari Bennett, EdgeiD, Salt Lake City

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Camila GonzalezCourtesy of Camila Gonzalez

Against the Grain

“I am loving Studio Ashby, Studio Shamshiri, Arent&Pyke and Studio Duggan. Most of the designs nowadays have merged into a global aesthetic, and interiors are starting to look very similar to one another. Despite this challenge, these designers have successfully created distinct designs that suit their clients’ needs, and I admire them for that.” —Camila Gonzalez, Natural Instincts Interior Design, Park City, Utah

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Barrett Oswald and MaryBeth LongCourtesy of Barrett Oswald Designs

Different Climates

“We’re inspired by designers from different geographical regions, like Lisa Furtado in California and Erica Ortiz in New Mexico. Both work in climates more amenable than New York to indoor-outdoor living, so it’s fun to see what they’re working on and the various styles they are incorporating in their designs.” —Barrett Oswald and MaryBeth Long, Barrett Oswald Designs, New York

Which fellow designers inspire you?

Larisa BartonCourtesy of Larisa Barton

Distinctive Perspective

“I’m really drawn to Gillian Segal’s work. Her design perspective is so distinctive. She effortlessly blends modern eclectic elements with a touch of femininity, creating results that are consistently surprising yet cohesive. Much like her, I aim to challenge conventions in my designs while staying faithful to my aesthetic.” —Larisa Barton, Soeur Interiors, New York


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