If you feel a sense of wanderlust when seeing the interiors and wallpapers by Sara Story, there’s a reason for that. She spent her earliest years in Japan and Singapore, her formative ones in Houston, attained her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of San Diego and her master’s in interior architecture at San Francisco’s Academy of Art University, and then cut her teeth at Victoria Hagan in New York. Now, the principal of Sara Story Design, exotic travel—like, say, playing in the King’s Cup Elephant Polo charity in Bangkok—is still a source of inspiration for her work, which includes residential projects with Interior Design Hall of Famers David Lake and Ted Flato. On the heels of launching a bedding collection with luxury French linen brand Yves Delorme, she gives us the full, err, story.
Interior Design: Did your international background influence your work?
Sara Story: Yes, I believe your experiences and surroundings are factors. As a result of my childhood, I love the materiality, scale, and details in Asian aesthetics and the rustic landscape of Texas.
ID: In broad strokes, how does your design process for an interior begin?
SS: There is usually a source of inspiration, like a fantastic piece of art. Then we create sketches and gather inspiration images and materials to help communicate our vision.
ID: How do you approach product design, like the collaboration with Yves Delorme?
SS: I have a love of art and pattern, so creating wallpaper and textile patterns are very enjoyable for me, and led quite nicely into bedding.
ID: Art is significant in your interiors. How do you stay on top of what’s out there?
SS: My office is in Chelsea, so walking around all the galleries there as well museums and art fairs helps inform my knowledge base and cultivates my eye.
ID: Who’s a new artist you’ve placed in an interior?
SS: Matthew Brannon.
ID: Is there someone you’ve been keeping an eye on for your own collection?
SS: Lynda Benglis—I really gravitate to her wall sculptures.
ID: What are a few recent projects?
SS: A house in Aspen; the client has incredible art, so it was inspiring to curate around her collection. Another is a residence in Palisades, NY; its dining room features a site-specific installation by Otto Zitko.
ID: Any noteworthy travel last summer?
SS: I went to Iceland, which was fascinating—the natural environment is so extreme and the colors stunning. I love Copenhagen, too—Nimb Hotel is a favorite—and Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, all the colors, textures, and crafts there are fantastic. A dream commission would be to design a boutique hotel in Africa.
ID: A favorite paint color?
SS: Farrow & Ball Calamine—so flattering and provides great atmosphere.
ID: What’s on tap for 2018?
SS: I’m working on furniture, lighting, and hardware lines! Lots in the works. Hoping for 2018 to be a big year.