Designer Profile: Courtney Brannan

Principal at Champalimaud, the designer has worked on Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, the St. Regis Jakarta, Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, California, and the Beverly Hills Hotel

Lobby, pool, living room
(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

Courtney Brannan is Principal at Champalimaud Design. She has a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from Auburn University, and a background in interior architecture, interior design and project management. Courtney brings a personal perspective to each project she works on through her innate understanding of the design process and her keen attention to detail.

Since joining Champalimaud, Courtney has headed up numerous projects, all instilled with the design ethos of the firm: understated elegance executed through quality craftsmanship and careful selection of refined materials.

Here, we delve into how Courtney works, her inspirations and dream projects.

Courtney Brannan

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

What is your key design philosophy?

Pink pool huts, sunbeds

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'To have fun in what I am designing with the purpose that anyone experiencing, interacting with, or living in a place I’ve touched shares in that very same feeling. 

'Good design evokes a sensibility of place and should elicit joy. The goal is always to create something a person will want to experience time and time again.'

Where does your inspiration come from?

Green walls and ceiling hanging wicker, armchairs

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'I am fortunate to travel often, and because of this, I make a point to visit hotels, restaurants, museums and artists’ studios to gather precious inspiration and keep my finger on the pulse. 

'I naturally absorb the life and culture of wherever I am, and make it a practice to revisit this in the designs I approach.'

How would you describe your design style?

Orange armchair, blue curtains, piano, chandelier

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'Fun and full of personality; artistic and contemporary with a nod to the history of art and design, all of which has been informed by a love of research and travel.'

What is your process when approaching a new project?

White armchair and sofa

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'Everything begins with thorough research of the property and location, and any relevant competing properties. Again, the sense of location and place is paramount, and this is always the first step.

'I then discover how to tell that story through our design. We want to attract guests to experience that story – something truly unique from which they themselves will gather that important sense of history and place and then tell their own stories.'

What do you consider your specialty?

Grey armchair and sofa, black table, white fireplace

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'Hospitality spaces imbued with residential sensibility. And in turn, homes that reflect the luxuries and amenities of hotels and resorts.'

What would your dream project or client be right now?

Wooden table and chairs, book shleves

(Image credit: Paul Barbera/Champalimaud Design)

'My dream project is whatever my next project happens to be!'

If you could advise your younger self, what would you say?

Armchairs, fireplace

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'Choose a career that brings you excitement in the mundane. Passion can fuel almost anything, but I think the ultimate goal in any career path is to challenge yourself [often] with new knowledge and new experiences as they present themselves.'

What are some career highlights that you're most proud of?

Green walls and doors, blacony

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'I am proud of being a Principal at this point in my career, I have learned a tremendous amount working with Champalimaud and my incredible peers, and know there is much more creativity to learn and reflect back out into the world. 

'I also value the friendships I’ve formed with my clients and those within the industry. These invaluable connections, along with hard work, are what has led to a lot of great success and inspiring collaboration.'

What’s on the horizon for you and the studio?

white hexagon tiles, shower, cream door frame

(Image credit: Champalimaud Design)

'We have just started working on the St. Regis in New York – an icon in the city and an icon in the world of hotels, full of traditions and history. The thought of bringing new life and a new layer of history to the property is super exciting.'

What else drives you?

'I have always been very driven and determined – knowing that I am representing myself and our firm, knowing that there is always something new to be discovered, and knowing that design will never stop… and will always be relevant in the way we live our lives, these are the things that keep me inspired and moving forward with earnestness.'

Lucy Searle
Content Director

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens since 1990, working her way around the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-nineties. She was Associate Editor on Ideal Home, and Launch Editor of 4Homes magazine, before moving into digital in 2007, launching Channel 4's flagship website, In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she also took on the editorship of the magazine. Today, Lucy works as Content Director across Homes & Gardens, Woman & Home, Ideal Home and Real Homes.