Monday, May 30, 2011

Designer Profile: Jamie Drake

The first word that comes to mind when looking at Jamie Drake's designs is fun. And yet, they remain serious: in his biography, Drake quotes Jean Cocteau and mentions the importance of not confusing seriousness with gravity. It's possible for rooms to be fun without being silly. One of the features that makes Drake's designs so fun is his use of color. In his rooms, Drake frequently makes use of bold and bright colors, like juicy pinks and oranges and rich blues and purples. The use of color makes the spaces feel modern, yet warm and inviting.
In the biography on his website, Jamie Drake states, "I love what I do. I love style in every form. There is nothing more exciting than incorporating bold, vibrant colors with a striking mix of genres and periods to create lively, magical spaces that inhabit memories and enrich lives." This is clearly evident from the rooms that he designs. Color is extremely prominent in Drake's rooms, and yet it never feels harsh or "in your face." He also says that "there is little that doesn't inspire me," evidenced in the variety of his designs: he has designed several residences, in addition to various commercial rooms.
Jamie Drake has been in to design from a young age: he worked at a contract design firm while still in high school. Immediately after graduating from Parson's in only three years (during which time he had an internship with the late Angelo Donghia), he founded his design firm, Drake Design Associates, in 1978. Since then, he has designed rooms for everyone from Madonna to Phyllis and Victor Graham, in addition to doing design projects on Gracie Mansion, the "ceremonial residence"of the Mayor of New York, for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Jamie Drake has also won several awards- notably, in 2003 he was inducted in to Interior Design magazine's Interior Design Hall of Fame.
You can see more photos of Jamie Drake's residential and contracted designs on his website (,where you can also see his product designs and read more about him and his accomplishments.

Molly Hudelson

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