Staff -- Interior Design, 4/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
Every month, a coterie of rising professionals meets for a powwow called the Design Exchange. Inspired by a more established group with members such as Interior Design Hall of Fame members Clodagh, Bruce Bierman, and Laura Bohn, the Design Exchange sets out to provide mutual support and problem-solving. Participants mostly have their own firms, including Amy Lau Design, Brad Ford ID, and 2Michaels. In our effort to champion the next generation of tastemakers, Interior Design hosted a Design Exchange evening, when we asked attendees to reveal a source of inspiration.
"A tree snail from New Guinea sits on my desk. It's extremely rare and totally perfect—couldn't be more perfect. I can't believe a color like this exists in nature. I had it photographed, printed on canvas, and enlarged for the walls of a client's powder room." —Harry Heissman
"This framed painting was given to me by an interior designer friend for my 25th birthday. I fell in love with Mr. Pinhead and the frame's 'peacock eyes.' It stands by my bedside and goes wherever I go. I've based countless color schemes on it." —Jayne Michaels
"I found this trivet 15 years ago at a flea market. It was made in Finland in the 1950's, but I've never found any documented research on it. I like objects I can't nail down, that are mysterious. It's the quest." —Larry Weinberg
"When my twin sister, Jayne, and I were modeling in Milan, we befriended Franco Albini's son Marco, who was also an architect. We actually ended up living in a building designed by Franco, in an apartment furnished with his furniture. So sophisticated, so beautiful, so timeless. That's how my fascination with design began." —Joan Michaels
"My dad was an ad man, and he received dozens of advertising annuals. This one's from 1949, a time with the most amazing illustrators. Such elegance and lightheartedness. I flip through, and a line or a squiggle just sets me off." —Kate Korten
"My grandmother was a landscape painter, a mineralogist, and an ornithology buff. She fully embraced nature, always from a funny point of view. To this day, I don't know if she found this or made it—or even what it is. Design? Art? Bird's wing? A building in Dubayy? To me, it's the essence of everything." —Amy Lau
"When I was 14, living in Ohio, my parents had me learn pottery in a senior citizens' center. Everything I made then is very innocent, in a way better than anything I've done since. To make the handle for this pitcher, I just dug my fingers into the clay. My artist mother went crazy for it, which was thrilling." —Olivia Barry
"My mother was a film critic and producer, and my brother is a video installation artist, so movies have been a big part of my life since I was 4. Fellini's Satyricon stands out. The colors, the fabrics, the makeup. All of it. Mesmerizing." —Bachman Clem
"I have a lot of vinyl. My husband has a lot of vinyl. My brother's into vinyl. In my younger years, I was in a rock band called Swelter. Music, particularly Led Zeppelin, inspires me to no end." —Christina Sullivan
"One set of my grandparents had a chicken farm. The other had a junk shop. So I've always been inspired by nature and by seeking out the diamond in the rough. I found this egg at another junk shop. I love the simplicity of the form, the warmth of the finish, how good it feels to hold. And also what it represents, life." —Brad Ford
"I'm fascinated with animal forms, and I love happy colors. When I saw this orange chicken-wire cat by Benedetta Mori Ubaldini in the window of a London shop, I had to have it." —Ghislaine Viñas
"Ruth Lynford called me out of the blue for lunch. I didn't know her. Turns out she's an alumnus of the architecture school where I went to college, Washington University in St. Louis. She was so excited that I'm in my 20's doing what she used to do. Her passion, her enthusiasm, after many years in the business—so inspiring." —Ryan Lawson
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