Thursday, May 6, 2010

Contemporary Designer Profile: Elizabeth Martin

While we all love the look of interiors designed by professional interior designers and decorators, there’s something that many of us have in common: we don’t know our interiors to seem like they are designed by a professional. In other words, we want our spaces to look great, but to seem accessible, comfortable and effortless. Today’s contemporary designer spotlight, Elizabeth Martin, excels at just that.

We first came across Martin in an Elle Décor Magazine article. She had designed the hip but stately home of Ali Wentworth and George Stephanopoulos in Washington D.C. From the start, you could see that Martin is an expert in combining styles, colors, patterns and feels into a complex but completely elegant thing called a home. Boldly incorporating all the elements from Wentworth’s numerous (and varied) previous residences, each room has a distinct appearance—one centers around her huge coral collection, another based around a bold orange African headdress—but each room somehow ties into the other.

On Martin’s website, you can browse through more photos of the Elle Décor Georgian revival, but also through a lovely summer home. The summer home shares the same depth of sophistication and artfully arranged rooms as the Georgian revival, skillfully incorporating the colors of the sea without it seeming too pastel or cliché like many other beach/summer homes look like. The airiness in each space in the summer home is exquisite, but is also partnered with a very heady, down-to-earth feel as well, creating full rooms that give off comfort and serenity. Though each of these homes looks quite different in terms of styles, colors and textures, it really is Martin’s ability to make these homes look so gorgeous, but not overdone that really is the common thread that runs between her projects.

Having grown up with an interior designer mother and a contractor father, Martin’s talent for design is obviously in her blood. Having received a communication design degree from Parsons School of Design, she led a varied and interesting career (counting architect’s assistant, graphic designer and art director among her titles) before settling on interior design and decorating, even getting some more education at Berkeley. Her firm, Elizabeth Martin Design was began in 2002 and specializes in residential design and decoration. We appreciate that she focuses so heavily on the designs of homes—you can see it out great they turn out.

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