It's the moment all interior design aficionados have been awaiting: 2021's By Design: The World’s Best Contemporary Interior Designers (opens in new tab), the bible of interior design, has just launched.
At a time when our homes have become our only pleasure, it has become increasingly apparent that our surroundings are essential to our comfort and happiness. Unsurprisingly, home renovations have gone into overdrive and we’ve looked to the creatives leading the charge for inspiration.
Building on Phaidon’s first foray into the interior design category, By Design: The World’s Best Contemporary Interior Designers introduces us to the most groundbreaking interior designers working today.
The book which has been dubbed the Oscars of the design world, celebrates the globe’s greatest interior designers – and we've been given a preview with an extract of the best kitchens in the book, which we are sharing with you, below.
- See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
1. Hecker Guthrie
Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie – who had worked in the same architecture firm in the 1990s – established the Melbourne-based interior design firm Hecker Guthrie in 2001.
Here, a private property in East Melbourne showcases a combination of Japanese and Scandinavian styles. The neutral color palette, paired with an abundance of pale wood, ensures a restful environment.
Design philosophy: Curated, crafted and considered
The award-winning interior design practice Studioilse is the brainchild of British designer Ilse Crawford, an eminent tastemaker with an eye for talent and a timeless, ethical approach.
The London-based studio’s exceptional portfolio includes luxury hotels, and collaborations with major brands, including Aesop, Anya Hindmarch, and IKEA.
Studioilse combined classic Scandinavian details – neutral tones, clean lines, natural woods – with Crawford’s custom furniture, an artfully curated mix of mid-century pieces, and vintage lighting.
Design philosophy: a truly holistic approach, and a firm commitment to improve the lived, human experience.
3. Nate Berkus Associates
Nate Berkus is ubiquitous. Since opening his own Chicago-based firm, Nate Berkus Associates, in 1995, he’s been a font of design wisdom, inspiration, and products, appearing on television, in magazines, and in department stores.
He’s outspoken in his rejection of design trends, valuing pieces that are truly beloved and will stay with people over time, acquiring new meaning. He goes for wood and neutrals, highly personalized spaces, and long happy relationships with clients.
Design philosophy: A cozily elegant style.
4. Kelly Behun
Designer Kelly Behun lives among the clouds in a Manhattan high-rise, and there’s an airy, ethereal quality to the spaces she designs. She launched Kelly Behun Studio in 2001 to design interiors, as well as accessories and furniture.
Vintage and custom-made pieces personalize the space, from a walnut-slab bar in the kitchen and a bleached-walnut bed in the main bedroom to a statement braided couch by the Campana Brothers near a glass wall in the family room, a tranquil spot from which to watch the tides.
Design philosophy: liveable, curated spaces, inspired by the surroundings – and not afraid of a white wall
5. Note Design Studio
Note Design Studio – a multidisciplinary collective that specializes in architecture, interiors, products, and graphic design – made its intentions clear when the company was founded in 2008: it wanted to get noted.
Color also takes center stage, here, a period property in Stockholm that once served as a fashion brand’s headquarters. The paint, along with three tiled ovens, served as the basis of their palette, eventually evolving into an eight-tone range that sees mossy green cabinets in the kitchen.
Design philosophy: Channeling a Scandinavian design aesthetic of approachable minimalism
- See: How to design a kitchen – an expert kitchen planning and layout guide
6. Sophie Dries Architect
Parisian polymath Sophie Dries is an architect, interior designer, and artisan with a stellar list of projects and collaborations under her belt.
Equally tranquil is the Paris kitchen, above, she renovated for a pair of art collectors. Described by Dries as a contemplative space on account of its classically Parisian architectural style, the apartment has a simple elegance with a neutral palette – except for muted aqua tones used as focal points throughout the space.
Design philosophy: French flair, with hints of vivid color and subtle texture
Shop the book
By Design: The World’s Best Contemporary Interior Designers is published by Phiadon, £49.95
A richly illustrated, authoritative global survey of the best and most creative interior designers and decorators working today.
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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