When I first walked into Louisa’s brownstone three years ago I was both in awe and intimidated. The intimidation quickly wore off when this British blonde came bounding along and handed me a glass of red wine despite there being copious amounts of white things surrounding us. There was something so genuine about this gesture — a level of trust mixed with an understanding that sometimes you just can’t be too precious about things. The awe factor has never worn off, nor should it. Louisa is a brilliant interior designer who mixes high and low pieces and layers (all the layers!) everything to perfection. Three years later in our friendship this warmth and ease Louisa radiates in her life and home draws me in every time. I’m so excited to introduce Louisa to everyone!
What’s your approach to interior design?
I’m a total homebody so I like to create spaces that are versatile and cozy. I’ve affectionately named my style “eclectic layering”. It’s the idea of layer on layer: rugs on floors, tables on those rugs, and books and accessories on those tables. Multiple layers create not only warmth and character, but also versatility, which allows me to swap in fresh layers when I discover new things that I love.
You’re brilliant at mixing high and low and sourcing pieces from Craigslist and Ikea. How do you do this so effortlessly?
The Ikea furnishings are mostly the bones and meant to be dressed by statement pieces. It’s like mixing and matching a wardrobe (sometimes literally). More generally, I love the extreme variety on Craigslist without the price tag of 1stdibs. The drawback is the endless hours required to scour through listings, but there’s nothing quite like the victory of finding a diamond in the rough.
I have always loved your quad of graphic black and white prints, where are they from?
That “quadriptych” is by a New York artist called Eugene Constan. I found him via the artist registry White Columns, which is a great resource.
You’re originally from London but have been stateside since college. What the biggest differences you notice between English and American interior design?
As of late, English and American interiors seem mostly interchangeable. However, when I was growing up, the British aesthetic was much more traditional design, heavy on antiques and eccentric accents. I’m sure that’s why I was drawn to my own brownstone — it was built in 1870 and features high ceilings and European-style moldings. I love the layered, blend of new and old.
I have been to many of your epic house parties – and get giddy whenever there’s another one on the horizon. What’s your theory behind entertaining in your home? Any rules you live by?
Why, thank you!! I’m all about creating good mood lighting. I have light fixtures galore in the house and every single one is on a dimmer. It brings a warm glow to the house that is accentuated by the antique, but working fireplace as well. I also try to prepare food ahead of time so I’m not preoccupied / distracted when guests arrive and I can be sure that everyone’s glass is full :)
P.S. Thank goodness for Spotify playlists.
Speaking of entertaining … what’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened in your home?
I met Mary-Louise Parker for the first, and only, time while she was strewn across my bed waiting ?to shoot the next scene for a movie filmed at my house! A good friend of mine from childhood is a production designer, so he was using my place for an Indie film he was working on called Golden Exits, starring Mary-Louise Parker, Chloe Sevigny and Jason Schwartzman, amongst others. It was quite surreal.