De Vargas Center has long been a place for locals to shop, dine, catch a movie and catch up with old friends. But the indoor mall now has a brand new look and feel after we designed new spaces for five shops forced to relocate after the shuttering of Sanbusco Market Center last year. We also upgraded all the existing storefronts and signage for a consistent look and feel.
I find it to be a designer's dream job to do retail and I try to create an exciting, invigorating daytime space that inspires commerce. Our goal ...Continue reading
We're excited to be working on the 4th Annual Show House Santa Fe, which this year features an Old Mex & New Mex theme, celebrating a blend of regional and Old Mexico designs.
This year's Show House is an historic eastside Spanish Pueblo Style home that belonged to the estate of Amelia Elizabeth White. With her sister, she presided over El Delirio, the centerpiece of Santa Fe social life during the 1930s. The White sisters were the daughters of a wealthy New York newspaperman who threw madcap parties, including one with a Mayan theme to inaugurate Santa Fe's first swimming ...Continue reading
We're happy to have been part of the Prull Custom Builders project that won the Santa Fe Home Builders Association's 2016 Remodeler's Showcase award!
This major project focused on completely transforming the feeling of an historic Santa Fe east-side home, a hidden gem located on an unpaved road, in less than nine months. The timeline was non-negotiable, as the new owners were relocating their family to Santa Fe.
From demolition to reconstruction, we partnered with Prull Custom Builders to create a beautiful home that complied with Historic District guidelines. We also had to make sure not to harm the ...Continue reading
When interior designer Jennifer Ashton and I came up with the idea for an annual design event to raise money for Santa Fe school kids, we had no idea how successful it would be. We planned on inviting some of Santa Fe's top interior designers to each create a room in a beautiful home on the market based on atheme that would tie the rooms together. Then we'd invite guests for home tours and a gala opening party, and donate the event's proceeds to Dollars4Schools.org.
ShowHouse Santa Fe launched in 2013 and since then, the event has grown by ...Continue reading
Working on the design of the Oculus Botwin Eye Group Showroom, located on Water Street across from the Coyote Cafe, was a perfect fit for me. I enjoy blending elements and I feel I have a natural hand for presenting them in a local way. Here, we combined wood, steel and glass to create a high-end showroom that a regional design, perfect for Santa Fe.
For this project, we let the materials speak as we invented our look. I don't like looking at tear sheets, and I don't ...Continue reading
I'm excited to be designing interiors for five Santa Fe shops relocating to DeVargas Center as well as updating the mall itself, creating a fresh look for a new era.
When Sanbusco Market was sold to the New Mexico School for the Arts earlier this year, five stores decided to relocate to DeVargas and to substantially expand in size. We're designing the interiors as well as the front facades for Bodhi Bazaar, Teca Tu, Pandora's, Kioti and Dell Fox Jewelry.
As you can see by the drawings here, each shop will have its own ...Continue reading
This sensual bedroom evokes Moroccan luxury with its lush golden textures, while the clean lines of the hand-wrought canopy bed and the Turkish rug's spare motif add a note of minimalism. The pillows feature metal pigment silk-screened over fine suede. The striking rectangular lamp highlights an Omar Khayyam poem burned into its wooden shade. ...Continue reading
I really love rotundas—they have the unique qualities of cornerlessness and roundness, and are inspiring to work with. This rotunda's dramatic design is emphasized by the floor's mosaic inset, carved from Italian stone in burgundy and green tones. The dome ceiling fresco with an angel-wing motif was painted by Urszula Bolimowski. The sconces are blown Venetian glass. ...Continue reading
Influences from many cultures were blended to pleasing effect in this historic home.The carpet collection—an antique Russian Sumak, Moroccan and Persian rugs—establish the palette of terra cotta and indigo. The opium bed introduces an exotic touch; light-reflecting Italian Bergamo silk pillows add refinement. A Brancusi-inspired sculpture serves as a base for the Moroccan mosaic tabletop. The clean-lined cherry wood dining table grounds the design with a note of simplicity. ...Continue reading
Here we mixed Indonesian and Moldavian influences. The rug is a Bessrabian from Moldavia from the 1920s; the large teak bed is Indonesian; the coffee table was first carved from a large piece of teak. Both the rug and bed share a romantic quality. The buttermilk plaster walls provide a soft neutral backdrop for the terra-cotta tones in the throw, upholstery and pillows. The closed window shutters above the bed add coziness to the space. ...Continue reading
When I view a set of blueprints or visit a new client's home, I do an assessment and formulate a plan to give the house what it deserves. I call this a "read." My biggest talent is in what I take away from my first impressions. Although the clients are present with their concerns, I try to tune them out. When I hear other designers talk about how they listen to their clients, it reminds me that I try not to. Don't misunderstand—dialogue with the ...Continue reading
A posh home base for rock-and-roll royalty—that's what this room evokes for me. Leather furnishings and one of our custom chaises sit atop a large, delicately patterned rug accented with a zebra throw rug. The six-foot chandelier is made of naturally shed antlers. You can see the spiral staircase and how the third-floor railing incorporates the stair's motif. You can also note how the lodge shows its bone structure with the exposed 50-foot timbers. ...Continue reading
I like to zero in on a room's inherent problem, such as an awkwardly placed column or an oddly configured space, and convert it into a focal point that anchors the design. I'm happiest when working with challenges like these, as they demand a higher level of creativity and imagination from me. Imperfections can supply energy and interest, and often are what makes the home, and the homeowner, unique and engaging. I find working on remodels particularly satisfying, because they are all about compromise, with limitations that require creative solutions. ...Continue reading
I really hate to shop. When I watch portrayals of my industry on television design shows, I'm amazed at how dissimilar my style of working is. I rarely go to design centers; I never shop with a client; I don't buy anything on approval. When I visit other cities and shop for one-of-a-kind items, I am fast and sure.
David Naylor Interiors was created in an area of the U.S. that has limited access to design centers, so we've learned ...Continue reading
I never do presentation boards. The only time I provided presentation boards was when I submitted a design for the New Mexico Governor's Mansion Foundation; a board of many trustees oversaw the residence and boards were necessary to explain my vision to many people at once.
Don't misunderstand me. I do many sketches, shop drawings, elevations for tile setters and architectural renderings for builders. But I rarely like to do anything that's glued down. I prefer to rehearse everything in ...Continue reading
Georgia O'Keeffe's desert aesthetic is evoked in this monastic and restful room. The sun-bleached walls and slipcover are examples of simple things done well so that they stand out. Even though the leather chairs from an Italian workshop are more modern, they fit in. The thick, domed plaster doorway frames a vignette of the custom-carved table from our workshop and the use of branches in the Chinese pot adds energy to the stillness. The two Afghan kilim rugs provide a connection between the two room. ...Continue reading
I love installations. The day the residents move into their house is my shining achievement, and I thrive on the fast pace. All of the months of planning, designing, ordering, tracking, specifying, layering are over and the true labor begins. You're dilating, you're crowning, you just scream and push, with no way to go back on the decisions that led you to this point. It's all yours now, and here it comes. It's showtime!
The trucks pull up with boxes and crates and you ...Continue reading
While all designers have their own personal style, when dealing with clients my own tends to differ markedly from the standard approach which normally involves extensive consultation and multiple shopping trips together. I try to avoid over-intellectualizing the process, looking instead to my intuitive “read” of a space to supply my inspiration. I like working at an accelerated pace, and I usually get a very quick read at the outset. I’ve learned to trust ...Continue reading
The New Mexico Governor's Mansion in Santa Fe is a Territorial home designed by noted architect John Gaw Meem. It was a pleasure to work around the stunning art collection on loan from the Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe and the New Mexico Museum of Art.
This living room is elegant and informal while also managing to be relaxed and regional; we kept the palette neutral so the artwork would be the defining feature. The furniture combines classic lines with ...Continue reading
Confession: Too many great ideas get dashed because of bad timing, so if I have an idea that seems to "muscular" for a client to grasp, I take it off the table and choose another time to state my case. Knowing when to shelve an idea until a better day is key to selling the big idea—clients can cross just so many bridges during the design process. I'm in charge of those crossings, and when I've paced them correctly, I've navigated my clients to a better place.
I read in an old design ...Continue reading
My designs stem less from a favorite look or style than from an overarching philosophy, a commitment to embracing the broad range of possibilities presented by a world of materials old and new, of objects both found and manufactured.
I call this approach “infusion design,” by which I mean capturing the ideas of the Old World without forgetting about the present, stirring melting pots of cultures and allowing opposites to coexist, pulling together objects from around the world, each piece with its own story to tell, to create a richly layered, textured, unified whole. This frequently involves making a ...Continue reading
Most people would be hard-pressed to identify a typically American style of design, seeing it as merely an outgrowth of foreign influences that has yet to define itself in a recognizable way. But just as our once nondescript American cuisine has transformed itself into a sophisticated fusion of regional cooking styles, so too has what might now qualify as quintessential American design acquired its own cachet.
To find it we must look to our roots as a rural, agrarian society, to a time past when farmhouses, hunting lodges, and ranch houses were given utilitarian designs based on their functions. These ...Continue reading
Mention contemporary design and you’re likely to evoke images of sleek rooms of glass, steel, and concrete decorated with abstract art and minimal accessories. Often, that entails a certain coldness that’s more fun to look at than to live in.
My own idea of contemporary is a less clinical approach, one that takes risks but at the same time embraces modernity’s characteristic serenity. The cool gleam of glass and metal is warmed by textiles and artifacts from around the world, while bold signature pieces work as focal points. The notion of infusion design comes into play in the juxtaposition of ...Continue reading
The continuing popularity of Old World style is about more than just antiques and Europhilia. What makes this aesthetic so appealing is its underlying spirit of fine craftsmanship, dedicated artistry, and high-quality materials. We love European antiques not merely because they are old and beautiful but because they represent a time when artisans were committed to rendering even the most utilitarian of objects as works of art. In today’s modern, sped-up world, we tend to sacrifice much of this quality in favor of affordability and availability. True quality takes time, but I believe unique custom features are worth ...Continue reading
One of the most refreshing and rewarding aspects of my work is the opportunity to blend influences from different times and places. The old notions of fidelity to a particular style, wherein homeowners recreated an authentic look right down to the smallest accessory, strike me as quaint and more than a little passé. I would never want to design, say, a “Chinese room” or an “Indonesian room” or, worse, a “Cowboy room.”
What I do enjoy, however, is the layering of cultures, styles, and eras to give dimension and texture to a space. A carved wooden chest ...Continue reading
I’ve always known that it was my destiny to work in the field of design. I can still recall my mother’s shriek the day she went down to our basement to discover that I’d taken colored chalk to the walls and transformed them into a mural of marine life, drawing my inspiration from pictures of aquatic animals I’d found in an encyclopedia. I was eight at the time, and I’d been creating these murals since I was five years old. As my artistic aspirations grew, I started to create three-dimensional, web-like objects by spinning threads around the basement’s ...Continue reading