Designer Tips

6 Gems of Decorating Wisdom from the Legendary David Easton

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It’s not every day that a chance for some face time with a legendary decorator comes along. So when we got an hour (literally) to talk with the revered designer and architect David Easton before his routine noon luncheon, we knew we couldn’t pass it up. What did we learn in an hour? Lessons in decorating that we’re likely never going to forget. Read on for Mr. Easton’s six design mantras.

Start From The Ground Up

“When designing a project, start with the ground and work your way up. A beautiful carpet is the foundation of any room and dictates the rest of the feeling of that space.”

Put Your Passport to Work

“Travel is an absolute must! I have wanderlust. Much of the inspiration for my design work comes from my travels. I take hundreds of photos and capture the details from museums, artifacts, parks, and neighborhoods—any detail I see.”

Steal His Look

Make Good Ideas Your Own

“When I first visited the John Soane Museum in London, I fell in love with the mirror reveals that he used in window pockets and I’ve been using that technique in many projects since. Not only does it give character to a space, but it also extends the view of the outside and makes the space feel larger.”

Scale Your Furniture to Your Space

“When I think of furniture in a space, I always feel that scale is the most important thing to consider. I have found especially in New York City apartments small furniture obviously works better because it avoids the feeling of a cluttered space. Also when you deal with low ceilings, furniture should not be too tall. You want to avoid a sofa with a tall back or a bed with a high headboard.”

Steal His Look

Use Color Strategically

“I approach color very carefully—you will not often see me use a bold color on a wall. I like to just blend a natural wall color into a room and use eye-popping color—my favorite is red—for accent pieces that can come in the form of throw pillows, trims, or case goods. Another clever way to apply color to a room is to paint the inside of a bookcase; it makes the piece of furniture more interesting and becomes a focal point in the room.”

Give Yourself Room to Grow

“I think when you try to define your style, you have to understand it’s something that changes and continues to develop over the years. When I look back at the first houses I designed in the ’70s, I see very formal, traditional spaces with heavy drapery and dark furniture and a major use of antique furniture. Now I realize my style has changed over the years to something more streamlined, edited, and cleaner—call it contemporary if you will.”

Related: Take a Tour of David Easton’s Amazing Office >

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3 Responses to “6 Gems of Decorating Wisdom from the Legendary David Easton”

  1. Joyce Kuzmin says:

    “mirror reveals that he used in window pockets..” What does that mean?

    • LuvsSHQP says:

      I think they are referring to the doors along the side of fireplace, the window panes are actually mirrors, the one door that is open shows you a solid side and the doors that are closed show mirrored panes. You’ll notice the reflection in mirrors are items in room. They described it oddly, they should have wrote ‘mirror reveals’.

  2. boofinky says:


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