Hampton joins ranks of WMC's Design Icons
Jeff Linville -- Furniture Today, January 30, 2013
Hampton is known for her successful portfolio at Mark Hampton LLC, the New York interior design firm started by her late father. She also has designed licensed products in the home furnishings category through her company Alexa Hampton Inc.
She'll share her design philosophy in a presentation at market Wednesday, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in WMC space C-176. A meet-and-greet and book signing will follow.
In an interview with Furniture/Today before market, Hampton talked about becoming an Icon recipient, as well as some of her furniture favorites. She also offered practical ideas on creating intriguing interiors - providing a glimpse into the mind of an increasingly discerning consumer.
Furniture/Today: You're joining the ranks of a prestigious group of designers who've been recognized with the Icon award. Did any of the previous recipients make an impression on you at any point in your career?
Alexa Hampton: I count Juan Montoya, Jamie Drake, Vicente Wolf and Larry Laslo as friends. I love them and I love their work.
F/T: How would you describe your design aesthetic? Are there any signature hallmarks that you find yourself using on a frequent basis?
AH: My style is eclectic. However, I am drawn to classic forms, and I prefer logical spaces to impractical ones. Interiors that combine great beauty with livability are always the goal.
I believe every room should have contrast in color and scale. It should have pleasing proportions and it should meaningfully contend with color, understanding that color can change the character of a space, and that it all should be balanced. Most of all, one's interiors should be personal. They shouldn't look churned out by a designer. They should inspire ownership by their inhabitants.
F/T: Traditional furniture stores have lost a lot of ground to lifestyle stores. In your opinion, what would help them bring excitement back to the traditional furniture store setting?
AH: Fun colored walls, varied finishes on the furniture - lacquer, ebony, painted color - and clean, crisp fabrics.
F/T: I think everyone benefits from beautiful design. In your opinion, how can people incorporate budget-conscious and beautiful design into their homes?
AH: A great, and conscious, way to decorate is to layer your interiors so that the room can be reinvented over time with minimum pain. One way to future-proof rooms is by keeping bold patterns and designs in portable places, such as pillows and throws, and more neutral and versatile patterns and textures in more permanent places like curtains and large upholstery.
F/T: What are some of your favorite high-end and lower price point favorite products currently on the market?
AH: The Alice secretary from Hickory Chair Co. and Dash and Albert Carpets.
F/T: What style trends to you see as having "staying power?"
AH: I love the Klismos chair (eternal) and most William Kent tables. I am also obsessively drawn to ebonized Napoleon III pieces. Did I mention neoclassical Russian furniture made of wood with inlaid brass? Also, color. While I love monochromatic white or off-white rooms and have been the author of many, we all need the pendulum to keep on swinging. In our office right now, we have been embracing color like never before and we are having real and inspired fun with it.
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