These three INTERIOR DESIGN DOYENNES should be on your STYLE RADAR says PENNY McCORMICK …
An acolyte of Andrée Putman, Philippe Starck and Ian Schrager, New York-based Behun is a former economics major who has no formal training, yet the roll call of her clients is impressive. Ian Schrager was her first and encouraged her to go into business. Wendi and Rupert Murdoch’s Long Island home was a major project.
Trademark touches: Experimentation is key to her work and her projects blend decoration with art installation. “Modern warm” is how Behun describes the Park Avenue apartment of Ivanka Trump, and while elegance is a byword of her style, she often adds intriguing lights and graphic design elements. Her fondness for pattern, marquetry, mosaic and lacquer, and techniques inspired by travel is also prevalent as seen in her own Southhampton home. Her latest project is a $40m show residence on the 92nd floor of 432 Park Avenue. The tones used for surfaces, upholstery and other textiles throughout the residence were picked from the buildings and infrastructure that can be seen through the huge square windows.
In her own words: “I take the whole process very seriously. It may seem like a collection of chairs and rugs and fabrics, but the way it is put together is everything. In a way your home is like a film set, and the movie is your life … so why not make it a beautiful one?”
Randomly: Behun can’t live without Post-its and surprisingly she loves doing kids’ rooms – her son’s room features a digitally enhanced poster of Elvis surfing in Blue Hawaii, though the rest of Manhattan apartment is all white – pity the poor housekeepers!
Hoppen started her career at 16 and although she undertook a short interior design course, she cites her posh background as a huge influence. Her mother Stephanie Shub is descended from Lithuanian Jews and her late father Seymour Hoppen was a member of the Weinstock family who lived in Dublin. She was brought up in South Africa and started her eponymous business in 1975.
Trademark touches: As “the Queen of Cream,” (she regrets she didn’t write a book called 50 Shades of Taupe), Hoppen has been the go-to interior decorator of choice for Madonna and Elton John and is rumoured to have worked with Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge. She has designed superyachts, French châteaux and for Victoria Beckham, who wrote the foreword to one of her books. Her own home in Notting Hill, London (valued at £6m) is a mix of neutral shades with bold touches of rose gold, dark wood and Hollywood influences. Hoppen has said, “A room should be like a navy Armani suit. If the base works, you can add or take away layers to change its personality with the seasons. Using layers of textiles is an easy way to do this.”
Don’t mention: Her celebrity trysts with Jamie Theakston, Jamie Foxx, Sol Campbell and hairdresser Nicky Clarke. Divorced twice, she helped raise Sienna and Savannah Miller when married to banker Ed Miller and is now happy with John Gardiner.
Randomly: Despite being dyslexic she has penned eight books and is clearly comfortable in front of the camera. Hoppen sells her product line that includes paint, clothes, taps, shutters, scents, wallpapers and prints on QVC. She mentors aspiring designers, has her own design school and was recently co-judge on the Great British Interior Design Challenge.
In her own words: In 2007 she said she’d never work for less than £300,000 on a project. “My philosophy has always remained the same, it’s about creating calm, balanced environments based on Eastern cultures, ie order and creation of harmony. How people feel in a space is as important as the way it looks, one can’t be without the other to succeed.”
Anointed the “presiding grande dame of West Coast design”, Wearstler honed her craft at the Massachusetts College of Arts before trying her hand at set design in Hollywood. She founded her eponymous company (KWID) in 1994, part of which she openly admits was funded by a Playboy shoot she did under the name Kelly Gallaher. Her clients are A-listers such as Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller and Gwen Stefani who are all drawn to her characterful designs that juxtapose the raw with the refined, sculptural pieces and luxurious textures. Her husband is property developer Brad Korzen who recently launched the Proper Hotel group for which Wearstler designs.
Trademark touches: Wearstler has made the ornate layered look her own. She favours bold colours, graphic patterning and contrasting textures. Her main retail space is in the chic home furnishings department of Bergdorf Goodman in New York, while some of her most notable commercial works are for the Viceroy hotel group, where you will find lemon yellow and parrot green colour schemes begging to be Instagrammed. She has written four books; Modern Glamour, Hue, Domicilium Decoratus and Rhapsody dedicated to her love of colour and the cross pollination of influences. She is due to unveil her latest project Westfield Century City – a shopping centre in LA – this year.
In her own words: “Hollywood Regency is a label some people put on me but I consider myself a modernist in that I always try to make the work feel fresh. I try to achieve a blend of high and low. I use warm materials – human, humane – and I like things to have space around them: I am not a maximalist.”
Randomly: She is a dog rescuer (she has rescued over 30), loves vintage scarves and owns over 2,000 books; one of her favourites is A Well Lived Life. She is regularly profiled in glossies Vogue, InStyle and Architectural Digest as much for her fashion choices as for her signature designs.
This article appeared in our previous issue, for more features like this don’t miss our next issue, out Thursday June 1.
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