Trending interior designs in 3 different markets

The styles you should know about to better advise your clients

All great designs start somewhere. Tastes that seem universal across global luxury markets are inevitably inspired by unique, trendy micro markets. So what types of interior decoration should you be paying attention to as you advise your clients and prepare your next listing?

Three leading agents share their insights based on the neighborhoods where they work, live, and list.

Going nautical on the Emerald Coast

luxury home interiorScenic Sotheby’s International Realty

Seaside luxury living has always had a signature look, but the upscale beach community of Florida’s Emerald Coast has its own understated flair.

“Our market is a very intentional play on the Hamptons’ refined luxury, but a southern take,” says Blake Jones, Owner and Partner of the Carroll Jones Beckman Team with Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty. “Interiors are unadorned yet comfortable, encapsulating the feeling of true luxury in a non-pretentious way.”

Rustic woods and linens come together with clean, sleek lines to create an interplay of old and new, hard and soft, worn and smooth. “The look is a mix of traditional and farmhouse finishes, combined with light colors like grey and white,” says Jones. “All of this is set against a backdrop of white monochromatic paints on shiplap, or pecky cypress wood for surfaces and wall coverings.”

When new trends do make their way into this classic oceanfront design style, they’re subtle and on-theme — for instance, Jones has noticed slightly bolder colors, such as naval blues, bringing another level of depth to these spaces.

“I’m also starting to see more contrasting elements in structural components,” he says. “There’s more brass hardware and waterfall countertops to push a more contemporary finish. It will be interesting to see if this stays the course.”

Crafting calm transitional spaces in Palo Alto

luxury home exteriorGolden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty

When John and Gloria Young, Real Estate Professionals and Developers with Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, transferred from the luxury markets in New York City to Palo Alto and Atherton, the first thing they noticed was the emphasis on indoor-outdoor living.

“I was initially amazed at what new options there were,” says John. “People dine outside year-round, walls slide open to connect living rooms with decks, and residents don’t worry about condensation around their skylights in winter.”

In Palo Alto, an abundance of glass bridges the gap between a home’s interiors and its natural surroundings, while plenty of greenery helps to create a sense of privacy. And more often than not, these glass walls and panels can be moved to open new possibilities.

“Transitional outdoor spaces increasingly blur the line — if you have a ceiling with lights, heat lamps, and speakers, but no walls, are you inside or out?” posits John. “And when this space now lies between your airy living room with a retractable wall and your pool area, you can choose where on the spectrum of indoor-outdoor you really want to be.”

While the exteriors of Palo Alto’s high-end homes present an eclectic mix — “a modern farmhouse stands comfortably between a Victorian mansion and a transitional Mediterranean villa, while facing a modernist masterpiece,” describes Young — interior design usually tends toward minimalism.

“Today’s buyers in Palo Alto and Atherton do not have uniform tastes, but most prefer more simplicity and cleanliness than twenty years ago,” notes John. “Perhaps it is the influence of the Apple Store, or a desire to declutter life, or perhaps the home acts as a respite from demanding jobs in the tech industry, but calm is definitely in.”

Redefining tradition in Dallas and Fort Worth

luxury home interiorBriggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty

Sam Saladino, Global Real Estate Advisor at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, recalls when he first moved into his market: “Dallas and Fort Worth homeowners are very house proud, and it was amazing to come across so many homes where the original architecture and furnishings were still in situ,” he says. “Whether mid-century modern or Hollywood Regency, many of these homes provide excellent templates for thoughtful restoration and renovation.”

In the Dallas and Fort Worth market, the interior décor of each home echoes its distinct history, even as more modern elements are added. “Buyers in our market seek substantial, well-designed properties with a sense of permanence,” he says. “So many homes here are from the 50s, 60s, and 70s, and immaculately kept in their original condition.”

The key, of course, is to keep them authentic. “If it’s mid-century, then it should have great sight-lines and natural materials; if it’s French, then it must reflect the best fixtures and finishes of a hôtel particulier,” says Saladino. “Yet the Dallas interior design community has an appetite for everything from the most cutting-edge to the most restrained classicism, all layered with global touches and textures, and juxtaposed with contemporary art and furnishings.”

Simplicity with a global focus

Today’s luxury design trends share an international aesthetic, regardless of market. In Palo Alto, neutrals act as a base for creativity. “It’s more common to see new constructions with neutral tones, soft golds, and clean smooth lines, but the motifs and styles referenced throughout can be quite varied,” says John. “Our buyers tend to be global in their backgrounds and tastes.”

Since the Emerald Coast is primarily a second-home market, many of Jones’s clients are likewise looking for move-in ready properties that feel both familiar and one-of-a-kind. “When they come here, they want clean and simple,” he says. “Our buyers are generally very busy individuals and are looking for turnkey options to create their true family getaway.”

“People here travel, stay informed, and are hungry for the latest in architecture, fashion, art, and design. It’s a true melting pot of influences,” says Saladino of Dallas and Fort Worth. “Collecting and commissioning works from artists across all socioeconomic backgrounds has been a great driver of diversity and design inspiration for my clients.”

It’s understanding trends like these — intercultural, while simultaneously local and authentic — that will help you attract the right buyers for the right homes, and deliver the best results for your sellers.



Source: Leading in Luxury, Inman, Trending Interior Designs in 3 Different Markets

20 designers for 2020: the sotheby’s home list

The List - 20 Designers for 2020

Interior designers are first and foremost translators of personal stories into inviting living spaces. And as stories go, there is no better way to tell one without mixing the old and the new. The Sotheby’s Home List of 20 names for 2020 is an eclectic snapshot of talented forces who deftly combine elements of vintage, antique and contemporary design. We invite you to discover the work of each one of them as we turn the page into a new decade of design, and beyond.

1. aamir khandwala: eclectic elegance

The Designer
Designer Aamir Khandwala draws on a rich background of artistic and personal influences to inform his design decisions, and he acts as a guide to help his clients fully realize their dreams. Instead of fleeting trends and frivolous eclecticism, he prefers essential pieces that connect with his clients’ sensibilities.

What To Look For In 2020
2019 was a phenomenal year for me as a designer and for my practice. We have produced multiple projects, all very exciting and different from each other. The year has surpassed many expectations. I wish for 2020 to be even more challenging and exciting…

The Work
This image is from a loft project we just finished in New York. A mix of vintage, international and contemporary pieces shape a refined loft in the West Village. Featured furnishings pictured here include a dining table by Wendell Castle through R & Company, chairs by Gestalt, a leather and straw rug sourced from Mauritania and a one-of-a-kind cabinet by Pedro Barrail through Cristina Grajales Gallery.

Keep up with Aamir: Site | Instagram

2. andrew howard: “if you can dream it, you can do it”

The Designer
Based in Jacksonville, Florida, designer Andrew Howard believes that any space can be kept versatile and current by using classic shapes and good-quality materials. He skillfully incorporates accessories and art to keep things dynamic and interesting.

What To Look For In 2020
I think the trend now that we are seeing in design is to buck the trends. The amount of fabrics and amazing vendors that are available to us these days is so large, that almost anything you can dream now you can do.

The Work
The living room here exists in an almost 200-year-old house, and the inspiration behind it was to maximize potential seating for a large family that has large gatherings, while also making it feel as if the furnishings may have been here for the last 20-30 years. In an old house, I never want it to feel decorated, I want it to feel like it always was.

Keep up with Andrew: Site | Instagram | Twitter

3. ashley whittaker: classic details, playful approach

The Designer
Describing herself as a “neo-traditionalist,” New York City designer Ashley Whittaker infuses her fresh and modern perspective on traditional design and architecture into all of her work. Integrating classic designs with chic sophistication, her signature style has won accolades from every corner of the industry.

What To Look For In 2020
With a new year, I always like to start with a clean slate and tend to go in with a “less is more” approach to design. So much of decorating is about seeing how the space evolves, and finding the unique items along the way that give each room its own personality.

The Work
In this room, we started with a colorful 18th century-inspired DeGournay wallpaper. It provides the perfect backdrop for both modern and traditional design elements, such as the Regency spoon back chair paired with the 1970s LaVerne coffee table. It feels collected, but youthful and fresh.

Keep up with Ashley: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

4. barrie benson: exuberance and creativity

Photo by Lydia Baird

The Designer
Charlotte-based designer Barrie Benson unabashedly bucks the trend of “simple-is-always-better.” She wants her energetic interiors to be a kind of narrative, telling the story of the person who lives there. So, Benson allows the client’s personality, history and lifestyle to inform many of her design decisions.

What To Look For In 2020
Something that’s started towards the end of this decade that I think will only continue in 2020 is the collaboration between different creative disciplines…particularly art and design. When people of different artistic and creative backgrounds come together and collaborate, it elevates and adds an amazing new dimension to everyone’s work.

Photo by Brie Williams

The Work
Working with Lindsay McCullough, both the homeowner and architect, our design inspiration took cues from the traditional architecture, with a nod to more modern design details to suit the youthful personality of her family. The dining room is the first room you see when you walk into this house, as the foyer looks directly into it. The traditional English racetrack dining table speaks to the more traditional architecture, but we painted it a pale gray and mixed in modern elements like the Serge Mouille light fixture and Wormley chairs. We decided to frame the windows with draperies to add softness, but still create a little luxury in the room…it was all about the balance…the traditional oriental rug, china that is both old and new…so you can have your grandparents or girlfriends over and everyone will love it.

Keep up with Barrie: Site | Instagram | Facebook

5. brigette romanek: evocative design narratives

The Designer
One of Los Angeles’ most sought-after designers, Brigette Romanek, founder of Romanek Design Studio, eschews trends in favor of spaces that are fresh, functional, aesthetically invigorating and that will remain current and inspiring for many years. An avid reader and traveler, she brings her broad experience to the table in fulfilling — and exceeding — her clients’ visions and dreams.

What To Look For In 2020
What I always look for! Originality, personality and creativity.

The Work
My design ethos is always the same: eclecticism! Making the old and the new come together in a harmonious way. I love seeing new ideas by furniture designers each year, and placing them next to something that was designed many years ago. If it’s a good piece, it’s a good piece no matter when it was made. That’s strong design. Take this dining room. The ceiling light is from Apparatus Studio and designed around 2016/17, the chair under the painting (which is from the early 1900s) is from the 1970s by De Sede, the sconces are from the 1960s and the moldings are original to the house, from 1929! Now why does this work? Because the lines, the colors, the materials, the feel, it’s all there. The vintage, the new. It’s a great place to be.

Keep up with Brigette: Site | Instagram

6. carrier and company: creators of atmospheres

Jesse Carrier & Mara Miller

The Designers
Husband and wife team Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller, the principals behind Carrier and Company Interiors, Ltd., focus on uniting client and location in a way that brings out the unique characteristics and qualities of both. Adaptability is the keyword, and they can skillfully use any style — or combine different styles — to reach their goal: a supremely satisfied client.

What To Look For In 2020
Each new year, we look forward to the array of new furnishings and fabrics that are introduced in the market, and are incorporated into our library. We could not be more excited for 2020, when some of our very own design product is scheduled to launch, including a line of fabrics with Lee Jofa and a new collection of lighting with Visual Comfort that capture our signature style of timeless elegance.

The Work
In this home, we had the pleasure of doing what we do best — mixing seemingly disparate styles in a harmonious way, creating stylish spaces that are equally livable and luxurious. Here, we’ve blended “his and her” tastes by pairing homeowners’ heirlooms — her antique English Chippendale breakfront (which we bleached and refinished) adorned with her French ormolu Napoleon clock, with his pair of mid-century Robsjohn Gibbings chairs and contemporary Chinese paintings. Combined with a neutral sofa and contemporary carpet, all under the flat roof of this mid-century glass box house — the room feels ageless.

Keep up with Carrier and Company: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

7. chad dorsey: relaxed luxury

The Designer
Trained as an architect, designer Chad Dorsey has a keen sense of proportion, light and scale, and he focuses on blending these seamlessly with subdued palettes, custom furnishings, handcrafted details and objects that add meaning and significance to a space. He has designed for clubs, luxury and vacation homes, airplane interiors, hotels and lounges and many other locations.

What To Look For In 2020
For 2020, I am excited about color and detail. I feel like the new neutrals are actually bold colors but, for me, used in a monochromatic way, such as entire rooms full of rust and warm red or harvest gold. Pattern and detail in both the architecture as well as the textiles are huge. The pattern and detail add so much texture and dimension, and combine unexpected pattern on pattern. Personally, my spaces will feature even antique and vintage finds, combined with custom steel, bronze and brass furniture pieces. I think this will result in a much more personal experience — it all needs to be unique and much more experiential.

The Work
The Surf Shack is a house that was designed to capture the spirit of the effortless, carefree feeling of living in a simple waterfront cottage on the West Coast. In this living room and kitchen, seating for eight was important as well as providing a variety of seating styles for every type of guest. Vintage leather bucket chairs embrace guests in a lounge position, while the modern sofa encourages lying down or sitting with bare feet. Cedric Hartman floor lamps elegantly add reading light behind the sofa without interrupting the room. The large coffee table is a found piece that isn’t precious, and provides space for reading materials and food and drinks. The found upholstered armchairs are covered in a textural woven fabric, with lightweight linen from Mokum drapery adding a transparency and casual feel. All livable, day to day. I call it “Relaxed Luxury” – materials, patterns and furnishings that make you feel the way you want to feel, in a casual relaxed way. This is my signature.

Keep up with Chad: Site | Instagram

8. disc interiors: in defense of slow design

Krista Schrock & David John Dick

The Designers
Designers Krista and David favor quality interiors and products over quantity, believing that less is more. They love the idea of “slow design,” taking adequate time to develop interiors and embrace the imperfect beauty of aging houses. The designers strive to balance traditional and modern as well as aesthetics and functionality, and they allow the place and person to inform their choices more than any particular style.

What To Look For In 2020
More dialogue and mindfulness about quality interiors and products over quantity. Less is more. We love this idea of “slow design,” interiors that take time to develop, and continue to deepen with age.

The Work
Creating this cozy living room for our clients was truly a dream project. Sourcing vintage rugs and furniture, and designing custom upholstery that converses with their modern art collection was an absolute joy. This room feels transportive in the evenings, when the fireplace is roaring and the sconces and many different light sources emit a soft glow.

Keep up with Disc Interiors: Site | Instagram

9. ishka designs: the modern minimalism

Anishka Clarke & Niya Bascom

The Designers
With a style that is at the same time clean, modern, eclectic and simply beautiful, Brooklyn-based interior designers Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom draw on their combined backgrounds in business, film, landscape design and photography to specialize in designing vacation properties, residences, retail spaces and restaurants around the world.

What To Look For In 2020
As trends shift, we look forward to seeing spaces that defy the trends with an honest and authentic approach to design, and décor that honors mindfulness, timelessness, a continued nod to minimalism and pared back living, and luxurious simplicity.

The Work
Our client was an art collector and artist agent living in Paris in an apartment near the Eiffel Tower. Aside from a necessary renovation, we modernized the home by bringing in and designing a few modern elements that would bring a fresh appeal to the home and would round out a very eclectic, vintage and antique furniture collection. As seen in the photograph, we sourced a few vintage pieces from the Paris flea Les Puces that we felt would capture a modern sensibility, including a few of the dining chairs and the dining area pendant.

Keep up with Ishka Designs: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

10. jarret yoshida: accessible indulgence

The Designer
Self-educated interior designer Jarret Yoshida combines sophistication, elegance and relaxed ease to create spaces that are comfortable, chic and personalized for each and every client. Both his Japanese background and Hawaiian upbringing suffuse his choices with warmth and quiet harmony.

What To Look For In 2020
Sustainability. We are choking on our waste in the pursuit of evanescent trends, and for what? Embracing a higher percentage of vintage and antique furnishings is also, thankfully, more beautiful. We aren’t creating dystopian Mad Max interiors. Many images on my website are nearly 20 years old, and they haven’t become dated because of the numerous periods and cultural references we mix into our schemes. In turn, that takes our projects stylistically out of looking so “of the moment” and into a longer-lasting visual style cycle.

Photo by Anastassios Mentis

The Work
I used a ’70s Austrian chandelier and James Mont-inspired Buddhist candlesticks from the ’50s. I found the candlesticks in a warehouse in North Miami. The custom hand-painted silk wallcovering is by David Bonk and a black lacquered custom dining table is by our firm. Flowers are by Dan Moynihan. We were inspired by our client. She is effortlessly chic and gorgeous, inside and out. I wanted to give her something that reflected who she is: approachable, fun, intellectually engaged. I think it’s easy to mix elements like this if you understand the background and provenance of items. For example, the Issey Miyake-like quality of the dining chair fabric matches the Buddhist candlesticks and Chinese silk wallcovering. Meanwhile, the chandelier and lacquered dining table feel so high-end ’70s to me, but they share connections to the other items because of the color palette they create together. The heavy traditional architecture is the foil, and gives the scheme serious gravitas that it wouldn’t have had in a contemporary apartment. In short, think of it like creating a dinner party list: seating is determined by who gets along with whom, and why.

Keep up with Jarret: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

11. jonathan savage: southern hospitality, international flair

The Designer
After receiving his education both at home and abroad, and working for a design firm in New York City, Jonathan Savage returned to Nashville to open his own design firm. He has worked on projects that range from chic downtown lofts to sprawling estates, and he has a wealth of experience in space planning, custom furniture, colors, finishes and high-quality materials.

What To Look For In 2020
I am looking forward to designing the Pool Cabana at Kips Bay Palm Beach — wait and see all the details that went into this space, from lush Perennials fabrics to beautiful teak louvered walls! Outdoor spaces are where it’s at! Bring on the warm weather and sunshine.

The Work
The client had a wonderful art collection which made for designing the interior a real treat. The Calder showcased here is the perfect piece to make a statement in the entrance foyer!

Keep up with Jonathan: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter

12. laura hodges: sustainable and sophisticated

The Designer
Designer Laura Hodges heads a boutique design firm located in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area. Her full-service design company strives to express each client’s individual style and taste while avoiding short-lived trends. She has traveled extensively and is able to draw on her exposure to a wide range of customs and cultures when making suggestions and decisions.

What To Look For In 2020
I’m looking forward to seeing more innovation in sustainable design, including better access to responsibly sourced materials, more use of vintage and antique furnishings and increased support of local makers and handmade furnishings.

The Work
This project was inspired by the client’s love of her inherited family heirlooms, including a vintage patent leather armchair and antique dining chairs. We reupholstered the dining chairs in a performance fabric, and combined them with a new but vintage-inspired dining table and side chairs to complement the antique chairs.

Keep up with Laura: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

13. michelle smith: nuanced spaces with a quiet impact

The Designer
New York City-based designer Michelle Smith has a knack for adding spunk and witty charm to traditional spaces and making them bright, fun and simply sophisticated. She draws on both her Louisiana roots and life in the Big Apple to seamlessly merge urbanity with a down-home, comfortable ambiance.

What To Look For In 2020
I’m looking forward to building upon what we’ve been doing — creating detailed, custom, timeless interiors. We’re installing a few long-term projects this year, so it should be a very fun one.

The Work
This is my living room in Brooklyn. The room started with and was designed around the center table. I found it while shopping with a client in Atlanta. Some of my best antiques are pieces I fall in love with for a client. If they don’t love them, I can’t really let them go.

Keep up with Michelle: Site | Instagram

14. rodman primack: design with soul

Rodman Primack

The Designer
Global design firm RP Miller, founded by Rodman Primack, serves clients in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. The company works with everything from new construction to structures that are over 100 years old, and the emphasis is always on attention to detail and finding the highest quality items and art objects.

What To Look For In 2020
In 2020, I am really looking forward to spending more time in Mexico, working with local artisans and craftspeople. I am committed to the handmade, and believe that things made by hand bring a special quality to our lives, and I feel like we have a responsibility to support these crafts so they don’t disappear.

The Work
In an early 20th-century Kentucky farmhouse, we wanted to create an environment that felt sort of out of time — neither specifically contemporary nor vintage, which suits my taste and the clients. Like me, they love antiques as well as Mid-Century design, contemporary art and everything in between. Obviously we also shared a fondness for Charleston, the Sussex seat of the Bloomsbury group…the walls are papered in a hand-blocked paper by Marthe Armitage on which hang many vintage ceramics by Birger Kaipiainen, a contemporary commissioned oak table by Jonathan Muecke, vintage Marcel Breuer Cesca chairs with caning that has had the metal blackened (sacrilege!), the pendants are Paavo Tynell circa 1965 and the rug was designed by Federica Tondato for the project.

Keep up with Rodman Primack: Site | Instagram

15. sees design: quality is king

Corbin See

The Designer
Corbin See, along with a very talented group of designers at Sees Design, employ their knowledge of interiors, architecture, textiles and furniture to every project they come across. Whether it’s a new build, remodel, refurbish or redecoration, Sees Design always stresses traditional design techniques and quality materials over quantity and accessibility. The firm (which has multiple offices in the country) avoids contemporary trends and aims for real staying power.

What To Look For In 2020
At Sees Design, we’re looking forward to the return of traditional design techniques and real craftsmanship. The market has been flooded with cheap, contemporary trend cycles that don’t have staying power. People are starting to recognize disposability and, as a result, starting to value quality over quantity and accessibility.

The Work
This is one of our favorite projects from last year. The wall is backlit onyx and steel. It was a very strong contemporary element that needed to be balanced with the soul that only antiques can provide. We chose to use the Apparatus Studio lighting over it to connect to the contemporary architecture, but the whole image came together and worked because of the mix of periods, textures and provenance.

Keep up with Sees Design: Site | Instagram

16. shelley johnstone: european elegance with a modern twist

The Designer
Designer Shelley Johnstone has worked on projects throughout the United States and England, and she is as comfortable with outdoor spaces as she is with indoor ones. She strives for a blend of visual beauty with comfortable ease. Inspired by her travels that range from Palm Beach to the Amalfi Coast, Shelley prefers wallcoverings, finishes and textures that create an airy, open vibe.

What To Look For In 2020
I am most looking forward to continuing projects with our fabulous clients, and expanding to the Florida Gulf Coast.

The Work
The family loves to travel, so we curated a lovely mix of both vintage and modern pieces into their home to make it interesting and reflect their experiences.

Keep up with Shelley: Site | Instagram | Pinterest

17. story street studio: classic capitol hill charm

Lizzie Bailey & Laura Stanley

The Designers
With offices in Bozeman, MT and NYC, Laura Stanley and Lizzie Bailey established Story Street Studio in 2019 to bring their combined years of experience and editors’ eyes to projects across the country. Their work pays homage to old-school decorating ideas while skillfully injecting them with a fresh approach and contemporary colors, textures and styles.

What To Look For In 2020
We’re always looking back as much as we are looking forward. So for 2020, we’re excited about bringing back some old-school decorating details and updating them so they feel fresh — café curtains, glazed walls, decorative painted floors, valances. And then pairing antiques and vintage pieces with interesting materials and patterns — still loving boucle and fuzzy textures, and there are so many textile houses putting out really fun prints. Looking forward, the contemporary lighting market is on fire right now, and we expect it to continue to inspire, with so many well-designed and inventive pieces (at all price points!), so we’ll be mixing those in to give rooms a bit of edge or unexpected flair.

The Work
We papered the walls of this intimate Manhattan dining nook in a large-scale metallic floral wallpaper to create a whimsical indoor garden. The soft sheen creates a sense of glamour and serves as a foil for the distressed vintage French leather chairs and reclaimed oak dining table, both found at local antique stores. The collection of vintage hand-block-printed batik and embroidered pillows add some bohemian texture, creating an inviting space to read, to daydream or to host a festive dinner party. A lot of function and style packed into a small space in a city apartment!

Keep up with Story Street Studio: Site | Instagram

18. summer thornton: bold, whimsical, lighthearted

The Designer
Right and left brain synergize perfectly in Summer Thornton’s work to produce a perfect balance of creativity, process, fun and organization. Her bold and colorful interiors bring homes to life, combining nods to the past with reckless patterns and colors. She believes one should take risks and “do at least one thing your mother wouldn’t do.”

What To Look For In 2020
I’m looking forward to more feminine interiors taking center stage in the coming year. I want to see more whimsy and a lighthearted approach to design. We’ve been living in a very masculine period, and I’m wanting to break free and show that feminine interiors can be bold, comfortable and beautiful!

The Work
This is a lovely entry hallway in a great Art Deco building. There are no windows in the hallway itself, so we wanted to bounce as much light around from adjoining rooms as possible. We used this stunning silver leafed Gracie to give the effect of a glamorous garden upon entry, and contrasted it with this very powerful but traditional motif on the flooring. We brought in warm wood antiques to counter all the shine and add a richness and depth to the space. Previously a sad dark hallway, it now shines and gives a taste of what’s to come throughout the rest of this glamorous apartment!

Keep up with Summer: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

19. virginia tupker: maximalism, color and old-world details

The Designer
Designer Virginia Tupker’s European upbringing and years of experience as a magazine editor have given her a strong background in both fashion and design. She works closely with her clients — drawing on a wide range of inspirations as well as a keen sense of color and texture — to create interior spaces that are unambiguous reflections of the people who inhabit them.

What To Look For In 2020
I am excited to have the opportunity to work in some new style vernaculars that will take me way out of my comfort zone, and also to see some of my current projects reach completion. I am excited about the general trend towards maximalism, color and old-world details.

Photo by Marilou Daubé

The Work
I wanted to add architecture to the room, so I decided to create a custom plaster fireplace mantle in the space, flanked by bookshelves, concealing an unsightly soffit. We lacquered the ceiling to add height and papered the walls in an off-white linen. The parchment tables were designed by us and the sofas were custom. The finishing touch for the room is definitely the superbly dramatic 18th-century Italian baroque mirror, which I found on a trip to London. I love the way it is juxtaposed with the cleaner modern elements and makes the room sing.

Keep up with Virginia: Site | Instagram

20. young huh: resetting the narrative

Photo by Michael Schwartz

The Designer
Based in New York City, designer Young Huh strives to find harmony and dynamism by incorporating the aesthetics of both traditional and modern design. Architectural elements inform her choices of texture, color, patterns and surfaces, thus resetting the narrative for each project. She is equally comfortable working in the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors.

What To Look For In 2020
I’m excited to see more and more clients gravitate towards compartmentalization within their homes, as opposed to larger, multipurpose rooms. Much like antiques, this shift brings up for me a sense of coziness, charm and nostalgia.

Photo by Ngoc Minh Ngo

The Work
A second home for a stylish family, this residence is warm and layered with a heavy emphasis on elevated materials. Furnishings are a balance of new, custom and old, including a pair of Robsjohn Gibbings chairs, a 1970s coffee table by Pierre Vandel and French 1970s side tables.

Keep up with Young: Site | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter



Source: 20 designers for 2020, Sotheby’s Home Blog

PROPERTY SPOTLIGHT | Brand New Missoula Townhomes & Condos

The Row at Milwaukee Trail

201 South Catlin Street, Missoula, Montana

Units A – H | $345,000 – $362,000




Welcome to The Row at Milwaukee Trail! These brand new Edgell-built townhomes feature modern design and innovative floor plans! With 3 levels, each townhome has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 living areas, with a bonus room which could be used as an office or workout room. The 2nd floor offers 1 bed, 1 bath and an open-concept kitchen and living area, with a pantry, eat-in kitchen island, and deck off the living room. The other 2 bedrooms are on the 3rd floor with another full bathroom, laundry area, second living room and vaulted ceilings. Both living rooms and the 2nd-floor decks face the trail, and each yard has a gate to serve as front-door access onto the trail. Completion in Spring 2020.

Listed by Gillian Fetz | Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty
406.529.4602 |

The Condos at Grand Ave and North 3rd Street

1025 Grand Avenue, Missoula, Montana

Units 1, 2 & 4 | $254,000 – $262,000


Welcome to the Condos at Grand Ave and North 3rd Street! These four brand new condos are nestled into Missoula’s hip Northside neighborhood, blocks from downtown, restaurants and breweries. All units are 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom with beautiful design and a contemporary aesthetic! Each condo comes with a detached garage for storage and parking. Finish selections provided upon request. Built by Edgell Building, condos should be complete around May 1, 2020.

Listed by Gillian Fetz | Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty
406.529.4602 |

What Your REALTOR® Brings to the Closing Table

…Much More Than Just a Sale

16-10-28 1204.jpg109 Hidden Hills Lane, Whitefish, MT

As the internet continues to permeate into seemly every facet of our lives, more and more industries are finding themselves competing with online counterparts for consumers’ business. Cashiers share a workspace with self-checkout registers, customer service agents work in tandem with automated customer care bots, and REALTORS® now compete for listings with iBuyers.

While these newcomers to the real estate business aren’t robots, they are relatively hands-off internet buyers. iBuyers, a term shortened from instant-buyers, are seeming to take housing markets across the country by storm. These iBuyers purchase homes without in-person contact, making the transaction much quicker but often presenting below-market offers. Major players in this game include Open Door, Zillow Offers, Redfin and Offerpad. The question is, are these virtual buyers really any competition for the level of service provided by an experienced, knowledgeable, and trustworthy REALTOR®?

In short, the answer is no. Professionals in the real estate business often times have spent years in the markets they specialize in and have taken the time to learn the ins and outs of various communities they buy and sell in. This knowledge is used to help match buyers and sellers with the perfect neighborhood, home, and environment for their individual needs. Understanding the housing market in a particular location also helps REALTORS® assist sellers in accurately pricing their homes. Both buying and selling a home is an important financial decision. Having a professional to guide you through the process could be the difference between getting your home’s full value or getting less money than you could have.

Further, the difference between a REALTOR® and just any old real estate agent, is that a certified REALTOR® is part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). According to NAR, the Code of Ethics “is what separates REALTORS® from non-member real estate agents.” New members agree to abide by NAR’s Code of Ethics & Professional Standards, which outlines duties to clients, the public and to other REALTORS®. Members attend an orientation and continued education throughout their membership.

REALTORS® act as trusted advisors. The REALTOR® you use to buy your first home can also be who you use when considering investing in a second home. REALTORS® build relationships with their clients and help them locate the best neighborhood for their lifestyle, home for themselves or their family, or even the best sushi restaurant in your new town. Your REALTOR® is your personal consultant whose number one goal is to help you achieve your financial and lifestyle goals.

“Selling your home to an iBuyer is a convenience play. But this convenience comes at a cost, as the iBuyer business model is to pay sellers less than the true market value of their home, then re-sell it for a higher price,” says Diane Clow, a REALTOR® at LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. “Good REALTORS® have a real pulse on the market. They know what buyers are looking for and know how to best stage, photograph, and present your home, and know what price the market will bear for your property. An experienced REALTOR® can help you get top-dollar at sale time.”

The purchase or sale of a home is not something that should be taken lightly. Don’t take the risk of trusting an online entity to look out for your best interest. Only a professional REALTOR® can provide the level of service that all sellers and buyers deserve.


Source: What Your REALTOR Brings to the Closing Table – Much More Than Just a Sale, LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Colorado Real Estate Diary, Amanda Molitor

Ski Town: Whitefish

Remote enough to still be considered a hidden gem and authentic enough to be worthy of that moniker, this ski town knows exactly what it wants to be.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 10.12.23 AMThe town of Whitefish, MT is absolutely captivating
Illustration by Josh Cochran

The best way to measure the appeal of Whitefish is to measure what it’s not: glitzy, overbuilt, or overpriced. Through the blessings of a remote Northern Montana location, a passionate local community, and an honest-to-goodness real town, this is a place totally comfortable in its own skin.

The mountain doesn’t literally spill into the town of Whitefish, but it always looms large from downtown, and even more importantly, in the heart of the community. There may not be any stronger simpatico between the locals and the mountain than you’ll find here.

Get yourself to the intersection of East 1st Street and Central Ave., pause, and take a deep breath of clean Montana air. Welcome to a tight-knit community with a chilled-out atmosphere. This former Montana railroad town has been transformed into an enthusiastic outdoor recreational hub with a surprising (and growing) array of top-notch restaurants and bars, with a few galleries nicely adding to the mix.

Outsiders like to peg a trip to Whitefish as a nostalgia-tinted journey back to the way skiing used to be. Nonsense. Talk to the locals and they see their town as the way skiing always has been, and always will be. Sure, some grizzly old-schoolers like to grouse about the handful of new hipster joints opening up. But the vibe of places like the Firebrand HotelSpotted Bear Spirits Tasting Room, and the Montana Tap House only show that Whitefish occupies the near-perfect homeostasis of small-town friendliness and urban-chic. Still aching for some nostalgia? Enjoy the timeless appeal of breakfast at The Buffalo Café or an après draft at the Bierstube up at the mountain.

A few years back, the resort marketers decided to re-brand the mountain Whitefish Mountain. Fair enough. However the locals still refer to their ski area as Big Mountain, and probably always will. There are bigger mountains. And mountains with more lifts. But turn for turn, Big Mountain, er, Whitefish Mountain punches up in its weight class, offering everything from learn-to-turn cruisers to master-class steeps—not to mention friendly lift mates who will actually tell you where the good stuff is. And the snow? Pffft. You’re in northern Montana, after all.

  • Median Age: 40
  • Population: 7,870 
  • Average Income (USD): $49,870 
  • Sales Tax: $0

Whitefish, Montana Highlights

Firebrand Hotel

Firebrand Hotel, Whitefish MontanaAll smiles at the Firebrand Hotel.
Photo courtesy of the Firebrand Hotel

Embracing its downtown location, the new Firebrand Hotel welcomes you as a lodging guest or an après-ski visitor to its spacious and comfy central lobby and bar. In-house spa, 24-hour fitness center, rooftop hot tub, business services, dog-friendly rooms, and lobby coffee bar make your stay seamless.

Spotted Bear Spirits

Here’s a sip of the new Montana hipster culture: a tasting room for a local distillery. The clean lines of the room telegraph its new-school ethos, as does the mustache printed on the bottom of the copper mugs (get it?). We’re partial to both the Spotted Bear Coffee Liqueur and the local vodka. Enjoy them together in the Snowghost.

Montana Coffee Traders

You can start your day without coffee, but why? At the intersection of café culture and local vibes, this joint offers a full espresso bar, Montana-strong coffee, fresh baked goods, and other coffeehouse standards. The downtown café also serves walls of local art and (thank you) free wifi.

Museum of Skiing

A small ski history museum is housed in the Whitefish train depot, but as of last summer, the Ski Heritage Center Museum of Skiing offers a new option for history lovers. The facility features a photographic homage to skiing in the area and a Hall of Fame, plus a new exhibit on the 10th Mountain Division’s Ski Troops.

Abruzzo Italian Kitchen

Abruzzo Italian KitchenIt tastes even better than it looks.
Photo courtesy of Abruzzo Italian Kitchen

A new addition to the dining scene, Abruzzo has become a local fave thanks to from-scratch dishes and an emphasis on simple presentations. Late-breaking plans? Head to the lounge (no reservations) and belly up to one of the longest bars in Whitefish. Good policy: The lounge and dining room serve the same menu.

Montana Tap House

This welcoming brewhouse serves 50-plus beers on tap—30 of them Montana-brewed— plus a full menu of tap-house-friendly eats, including delicious pizza using dough made at Kalispell-based Ceres Bakery. Settle into a couch in front of the fireplace and discover your new favorite local craft beer.

Whitefish Local Tip

Alyssa SeemenAlyssa Seeman.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Seemen

“Skijoring during Winter Carnival (Feb. 7–9, 2020) is by far my favorite local event, and it’s been a staple crowd-pleaser since the 1960s! Some of the best rippers from Whitefish Mountain Resort hold onto a rope looped on the horn of a horse’s saddle and send it around a track with jumps and obstacles. I mean, how much more Montana can you get?!”

-Alyssa Seemanco-founder, Revelry Experience, Whitefish


Originally published in the January 2020 issue of SKI Magazine.
Source: Ski Mag, Ski Town: Whitefish, Mont. 


Reading the Room | How Valerie Stafford of Rumor Designs Brings Her Interiors to Life

Home at Alpine Mountain Ranch & Club, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

A piece of art. A color palette. A potted succulent. For Valerie Stafford, the smallest detail can be the thread that weaves together her whole vision and concept for a room.

“That’s the best part,” she says. “Starting a design is so much fun, and then following the path as it winds is the second best part.”

Before she became Partner and a Lead Designer at Rumor Designs, Stafford followed a winding path of her own: from the modern, forward-thinking schools of art and business at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to the more traditional training ground of Florence, Italy, where she completed a Master’s in Interior Design. These two schools of thought helped Stafford cultivate her own timeless aesthetic: her rooms blend contemporary design with an appreciation for the artisanship of the past. Her practice is focused on the quality of the materials in a space, from surface finishes and wall colors to lighting and fabrics.

Here’s how this bold designer approaches a room and achieves the perfect balance of modern luxury.

1. Start With a Sense of Purpose

Yampa Street Loft, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

The thematic vision for a room might come from a single detail—but regardless of décor, it’s important to remember what exactly a space needs to achieve. “Each room should have a primary purpose,” explains Stafford, “and the furniture and lighting should support those functions.”

And while a room has a functional purpose, its visual style also plays an active role in shaping how the space feels for you and your visitors. “Our surroundings, whether we are aware of it or not, set the tone or mood for our experiences,” explains Stafford. “So at work or in the home, a beautifully designed space can create purpose, inspiration, energy, or peace.”

2. Look High and Low

The Anglers retreat, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs

One thing Stafford points out is that a room doesn’t necessarily have to have four walls in order to be a unique and functional space. When faced with an open-concept space, she finds alternative ways to create distinctions without any need for conventional barriers.

“Some spaces can be redefined, regardless of the architecture, using area rugs or ceiling treatments that reinvent the space,” says Stafford. “Especially in a wide open floor plan, it can get confusing where one area ends and another begins. Cues from below your feet (such as changes in flooring), or above your head (such as changes in ceiling heights or lighting groups) can help.”

Stafford notes that homeowners tend to underestimate the significance of lighting. There are three types she considers whenever she designs a room: task, for lighting up specific spaces for specific activities; ambient, for illuminating the room as a whole; and decorative, in which the light fixture itself is a unique, aesthetically-compelling unit worthy of display.

“One of the most common requests during a remodel is to add more light,” she notes. “You can never have too much, and you can always dim if needed.”

3. Take Care of the In-Between Spaces

House at Wildhorse Meadows, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

Whether it’s demarcated by walls or not, Stafford focuses on conscientious space planning when organizing a room, arranging furniture pieces that create a sense of cohesiveness and individual character. The self-contained look is important for setting a room apart from its neighboring spaces, and Stafford advises homeowners to invest in custom fixtures if they have glaring gaps they can’t seem to fill.

“Each room should feel inviting in some way, either in how the furniture is positioned, or the way the lighting is arranged,” she says. “Colors and textures play a huge role in this department as well.”

4. Pay Attention to Entrances

Homestead at Wildhorse Meadows, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

On the topic of inviting spaces, Stafford emphasizes the importance of first impressions. Homeowners should take time to think through the experience of coming into a space—or of coming into the home.

“An entryway helps get your entertaining off on the right foot and makes your guests feel welcomed,” she says. “Whether it is as simple as a small table and a mirror to check yourself on the way out, or as grand as a water feature and chandeliers, you can’t go wrong keeping the design elevated in this area.”

5. Don’t Let Setbacks Set You Back

Steamboat Pines, photo courtesy of Rumor Designs 

If there’s one thing Stafford wants you to know, it’s that homeowners need to be problem solvers and should never get deflated when the unexpected happens. “I have rarely seen a project where every element goes as planned. Building a home is a creative endeavor, and there are always things that pop up, no matter how much planning you do. If you anticipate this, you can embrace it and find the opportunities in the hurdles.”

At the end of the day, creative design is the work of many, not just one. “There are a thousand and one details and it takes a village,” says Stafford of the design process. “Hire a designer you connect with, a builder who is good with both communication and numbers, and an architect who inspires you.” With the right team in place and the patience to wait out complications, every home project can become a realized work of art.


Source: SIR Extraordinary Living Blog


Nationally recognized Montana Cabin


59 Eagle Creek Trail, Whitefish, Montana
Offered at $750,000 | Sonja Burgard represented Buyers & Sellers

This nationally recognized cabin has been featured in Country’s Best Cabins and Log Cabin Homes Magazine, and for good reason. The property features the most charming cabin, acreage, lake access, level building site and expansive views! Relax on the front porch after a day on the lake and take in the gorgeous sunset views. This beautifully restored cabin sits on 11.3 acres and comes with shared lake access with available boat slips. Nestled in the woods with a private feel, yet 10 minutes from downtown Whitefish. There is a level building site on an upper shelf with end to end Whitefish Lake views. THIS is mountain living.

20181008235853420200000000-o.jpgA rock fireplace anchors this beautiful and sweet cabin.
20181008235859247991000000-oSliding door & reclaimed wood create warm and charming touches.


20181008235908144095000000-o.jpgThe perfect place to cozy up after a day of skiing or snow shoeing.
20181008235913767752000000-o.jpgBeautiful farmhouse sink, built-in fridge and freezer.
20181008235910076354000000-oRustic and inviting.


This property really does have it all.