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October 2008


MEET THE DESIGNER

Stephen Miller Siegel
By Mollie Magill

A DESIGNER AND ARCHITECT APPROACHES PROJECTS WITH PANACHE AND A DASH OF HUMOR

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Your firm offers architecture, interior design, furniture and accessories. Is one more important than the other? Every facet reinforces the other. Good decoration and design always respects the architecture. Everything needs to be in balance. What movement in the history of interior design are you drawn to? The periods that speak to me most are French 1920s and French 1970s. Design is like a pendulum. It always goes back to good classical elements. Where did you study? I have a master's degree from Tulane University School of Architecture, but I received the best training possible while working for Peter Marino for 11 years. I have had my own practice since 1992. What's exciting to you right now in the world of interior design? I really love all the new fabrics woven with metallic. I find they can work in almost any interior space, from the living room to the dining room to the bedroom. What is your motto? Think before you answer, because once you say it you can never take it back. [Image] Who is your style icon? James Bond. He speaks three languages, his attire is impeccable, whether it's a swimsuit, dinner jacket or tuxedo, he always shows grace under fire and he likes martinis-stirred, not shaken. Name a source of inspiration: My comprehensive design library. I'm constantly adding to it, referring to it and turning to it for inspiration. I buy books anywhere and anytime. I can't control myself. What are your favorite materials? Parchment, horsehair and ebonized wood. These three elements always show up in my work. Do you have any new products coming out? A collection of pillows made from textiles embroidered with metallic threads and a line of furniture made of straw marquetry. Name someone who has had a profound impact on your work: Clients who pay their bills on time. But also I would say I channel Paul Dupré-Lafon. His influence is very present in my designs. Do you have any secret design obsessions? I have no secrets. Sit down next to me for 10 minutes and I will tell you everything you would need, or want to know, about me. What is something you can't live without? Teddy, my beautiful and loyal golden retriever. What is something you think your clients should not live without? My charming personality and, of course, my design direction. What would you do for work if you weren't a designer? I would be a society portrait painter.

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