Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, the principals of Carrier and Company Interiors, are husband-and-wife design duo that have been gracious enough to grant me this interview. For me this interview is a great way to kick off 2017. I want to first say congratulations to them for being named to Architectural Digest’s AD100 for 2017. Both Jesse and Mara seemed over the moon and that really made me smile.
The link between design and fashion is very evident in every project in their portfolio. A lot of their design work looks like a cross between Vogue and Architectural Digest. Two of my favorite reads and influences. Elegance is a word used by many designers but Mara and Jesse perfects it. Every photograph I see in their portfolio tells a story that I would love to be a part of.
So lets start off 2017 with this amazing design duo that inspires by example. Jesse and Mara thank you for making the beginning of 2017 a great one.
1. What manufacturers would you like to partner with and why?
We love so many brands and manufacturers, and our aesthetic is broad – so we could get excited about a lot of partnerships!
2. How do you feel about being included in the AD100 for 2017?
We are privileged to be included in a number of editorial lists – and it is always an honor to have peer validation. What makes the AD100 special is that it is truly a benchmark that clients and prospective clients look to; it has staying power and seems to have real-world significance for our business. I actually cried when we got the call from Margaret Russell, and both the call, and my sincere reaction surprised me.
3. What is “spicing up a design” all about?
Experimenting is the key to “spicing up a design.” Interior design and decorating is costly – and should be thoughtful and long-lived, so it is most important to first have a useful and cohesive plan and selection of furnishings. Then it is just as important to see how you can “tip” the look by swapping out a thing or two – maybe it’s replacing a perfectly tasteful pendant with an over-scaled chandelier, or seeing what happens if the carpet becomes multi-colored. Conversely, the same idea works to simplify a scheme – by swapping out an active pattern for a simple jute or linen.
4. What are you favorite design book(s)?
Carrier and Company Positively Chic Interiors – of course! We also love Frances Elkins Interior Design, by Stephen Salny, and An Illustrated History of Interior Decoration by Mario Praz are old stand-bys that always offer inspiration.
5. What magazines do you take when you travel?
6. What is the design motto we live and work by?
Tasteful doesn’t have to be boring, and pretty can be chic.
7. What is your first step in selecting a new client?
It is important to have a real conversation about the project – your trying to create a real working relationship that will require a great deal of intimacy. It is always terrific to have clients that are invested in the process and outcome. We don’t trust when we hear “I/he/ she really doesn’t care and won’t be involved.” It usually proves to be untrue!
8. How important is balance in design?
For us, balance is about being able to provide a client, a project or even a room with beauty, functionality, appropriateness and interest – these concepts all must even-out a design, or the design ultimately fails (even if it looks great!)
9. What does Eco-friendly mean to you both?
We think more about the “carbon footprint” to what we’re doing. The struggle is that it is often more expensive to use and protect local trades (in NYC we have access to EVERYTHING – upholsterers, antique restoration, specialty gilt and gesso artisans). Keeping old things in tip-top shape, or repurposing is a great way to be considerate of the earth and the local economy.
10. What do you think will be the 2017 trends in design? (product and hospitality)
Our favorite trends that we do participate in are usually through textile designers in fabric and wall-coverings. Expressive prints and abstraction – in all kinds of exaggerated scale are still strong trends. Radish Moon is a current favorite textile designer, represented only at John Rosselli here in NYC – but also accessible on the web: https://www.radishmoon.com/textiles. Otherwise, we weed through trends for what we think will be lasting, contemporary design. Getting into mixing metals, too!
Carrier and Company Interiors Ltd.
315 East 91 Street
5 Floor South
New York, NY 10128
212 706 1025 ph
212 937 3195 fx