RESEARCH BEFORE YOU START
When he starts a design project, one of Marshall’s first steps is to meticulously research the region and culture where the home is located, as well as the style the owners want to bring to life. He mentioned he studied drama in college, which helped him set the stage for his design career. That’s where he learned to research roles and set designs — everything he needed to carry out a flawless execution. He said, “Research is my creative tool,” essential for bringing authenticity to a design.
BE TRUE TO YOUR STYLE
Ask yourself: What does home look like to me? This is the beginning of discovering the right design for your interior and exterior spaces. Because no two families are alike, he shared that he likes to start each project by listening and observing his clients to create an accurate interpretation of their idea of “home.” Then, he uses these design elements to transform a series of spaces into a genuine, coherent home: warmth, light, peace, comfort, balance, proportion, appropriateness and livability.
BRING IN LIGHT
When he designs spaces in New York, Marshall said he is always trying to find ways to add more light to a room. One of his tricks is to use lacquering techniques on furnishings and walls to add brilliance and reflection in order to amplify available light. You don’t have to live in a high rise to embrace this wonderful technique.
INCORPORATE THE THINGS YOU LOVE INTO YOUR DECOR
Marshall concluded with a tour of his East Hampton home. He showed us how he incorporated the things he loved into his own home: balance and symmetry, Delft tiles, blue and white jardinieres, climbing flowers, items that celebrate the beach and garden. What do you love? He urged us to thread the images and items we hold dear throughout our decor.
I left the time with Marshall refreshed and reinvigorated to help people bring their own style to life in their homes.
This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity's blog at www.nellhills.com