Traditional Home, Art and Design

“Tradition in design can mean a lot of things, both visible and invisible. In the most obvious sense, tradition in interior design is an anchor. It doesn’t drag a room down, or tether it, I hope; but rather, tradition can connect and locate a space in a context.”

— Alexa Hampton

Photo by Lesley Unruh

Decorator Nina Farmer

In the living room, a romantic portrait by Nina’s mother hangs above an Indonesian altar table that Nina made into a perfect plant stand: “I find corners of rooms need a little life, so it’s best to keep plants there.”

Gold Mayville Tables

Room Symmetry 

“When executed properly, design is about interests and expression; it’s innate. You just have to pay attention to what you’re passionate about.”

— Robert Passal

Lombardy Poplars

William Lee Hankey

Chaise lounge lovely, Interior designer Chloe Warner

Decorator Nina Farmer

“I love things that are tactile and old, and also new and shiny. But everything has a sophisticated, approachable feel to it. “

— Nina Farmer

Decorator Nina Farmer

Nina kept all the shelving open to take advantage of the high ceilings while serving as gorgeous displays. Here, her collection of white Nymphenburg vessels and an Hermès platter complement the sculptural vase from Aero on the counter.

Filmore 5-Light Semi-Flush, Gold

Skirted table elegance

Photo by Thomas Loof/Trunk Archive

Jan Stanislawski Wolk 

circa 1900

Photo by Francesco Lagnese/OTTO

A creative use of space— take an awkward area- add a little seating, artwork, wall sconce and wala -!

Photo by Lesley Unruh

Interior Designer Mollie Johnson

Cece 71″ French Sofa, Blue/Gray Linen

Photo by Steve Freihon; interior by Alexa Hampton

“Dynamic and ever-changing, the employment of traditional design should never be mistaken for stodginess.”

— Alexa Hampton

Bo Fransson – backlight

Photo by François Halard; interior by Stephen Sills

“Things needn’t be expensive, but materials must exude honesty. They must be a true representation of what the client wants, whether a simple basket or a gilded bronze statue. Honesty in materials and purity of objects are very important.”

— Stephen Sills

Photo by

“The intrinsic beauty, the ‘soul’ of an object captivates me. A rich past life is revealed through antiques, but historical context is secondary to their essential visual power. I use antiques in my interiors to elicit emotions from the individuals who inhabit the space.”

— Timothy Whealon

After the Theater
Pierre Bonnard – 1902

Decorator Nina Farmer:

The living room, with a pair of French Art Deco chairs and a long tufted sofa, is the “catchall room” and the site of family time and game-day hosting (there’s a TV cleverly hidden behind the antique mirror above the mantel). “I wanted it to feel elegant enough to hold its own in this old beautiful brownstone but then be family-friendly and approachable enough,” Nina says.

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