Christmas came are early for me in the form of this interview with Claire Ratliff of Cullman & Kravis. First lets say that Claire’s worked for power house AD100 Hall of Fame firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects before joining 17 time AD100 honoree Cullman & Kravis. At this point I am going to stop typing and just say WOW!
Ok I’m back and still a bit star struck. Claire is one of the most humble people I have ever interviewed. The holidays are here, her firm just won the biggest award in design and she takes time to do this interview. It really doesn’t gets cooler than that.
Back on track I love Cullman & Kravis and their take on traditional interiors. For me traditional can get a bit boring unless you add the right colors and furniture. Once you check out some of these visuals you will see exactly what I mean…PERFECT! So hats off to Claire and Cullman & Kravis for yet another amazing year and making to 17 years on the AD100.
What manufacturer would your firm love to team up with and why?
Taking our obsession with details to tabletop, we would love to design a line of china with one of our favorite vendors, Bernadaud.
What does getting on the AD100 mean to your firm?
It’s like winning an Oscar! We have been so incredibly honored to have been on the list for 17 years!
What technology tool is vital to your process?
For design, the Iphone is everything! It is basically a digital memory of projects, furniture, design inspiration…seriously, everything!
Are there any plans for future books?
Yes, as a matter of fact! “From Classic to Contemporary: Decorating with Cullman & Kravis” with Monacelli. It is scheduled to be released in October ’17 so please look out for it!
If Andrea Palladio were alive what would he think of the new developments in architecture?
I don’t know that he would be so impressed with the quality of some of the new construction, but I do think the technology would blow his mind!
What is a design motto you and your firm live by?
Measure twice, order once!!!! Truly, you can’t check yourself enough!
How do you communicate your vision to the client?
It really does vary depending upon the client because people process things differently, but we find nothing beats a good old fashioned mock up or try on. We have hung chandeliers from framing to convince a client of the placement and scale!
Describe what you like most about coming to work everyday.
Collaborating, not only with the clients, architects and craftspeople, but with the other designers in the office. Frequently we work like a “design democracy”- if we can’t decide on something, we take a vote. More often than not it’s unanimous and then we know that’s the answer!
How important is eco-friendly to your firm?
It is definitely something that has come in to the collective consciousness of the industry. There are so many paints and finishes that come in eco-friendly formulas these days. But antiques are the ultimate in recycling and we use them constantly!
What trend so you see happening in 2017 for interior design and hospitality design?
I feel like there is a new eclecticism evolving. With so much design being readily available on line and through retailers, people are trying to come up with ways to set their interiors apart.
Contact Information for This Amazing Firm
CULLMAN & KRAVIS, INC.
790 Madison Avenue 7th Floor
New York, New York 10065
Telephone: 212 249-3874
Fax: 212 249-3881
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