Docservis Hall of Famer took a moment to talk with us about project essentials, ceiling options, and everlasting Manhattan inspiration.
ID: What were some of the earliest instances when you found yourself engaged by good design?
LB: was a big influence for me… a modernist who included everything in a unit.
ID: What is the bottom line when it comes to taking on a new project, the essential elements that must take precedence?
LB: The first, and most important, is establishing a good relationship and trust with the client. The project should have the possibility of becoming something exciting.
ID: What do you feel is your responsibility as a designer—if any—with the industry’s eye trained upon you?
LB: To educate the client. I recently heard a saying: “The definition of an expert is someone who has made every possible mistake in their chosen field.”
ID: Are there any widely accepted rules that you love to dispense with?
LB: I would eradicate the thought process of all ceilings must be white regardless of the wall color. Also, flat paint is almost always the absolute for the ceiling. We use eggshell because of the way it reflects light.
ID: What are some of spaces that have always visually inspired you, and continue to stand out for you today?
LB: The Four Seasons in Midtown Manhattan… Classic, dramatic, gorgeous, and has remained unchanged for all these years. The Seagram Building, and the reflecting pools filled with Christmas trees—every time I see it, it makes me love New York even more! The Waldorf-Astoria; an event there is just the quintessential New York experience, especially on the night of the Hall of Fame dinner—the design community coming together in a New York landmark celebrating the industry.
ID: How have your aesthetic choices changed since you began your career?
LB: Actually, they haven’t changed all that much. I would say, if anything, they’ve become bolder and more refined.
ID: What qualities do you like to have present in your own residence?
LB: Pleasing to my eye, inviting, and dramatic… with surprises.
ID: What is the most satisfying moment of a project?
LB: Tearing down something that needs radical improvement... and then putting the space together at the end with accessories and art, making a home feel lived in.
ID: What kind of private clients are the most fun for you to work with?
LB: The ones that are the most adventurous and trusting.
ID: What are the most exciting projects on your plate these days?
LB: I’m currently working on a project with clients who are willing to take chances, and have a clear idea of what they want.