Lifestyle Driven Design

Master Class with Philip Gorrivan

………………..

“Every room I design has a soul… and that soul is discovered in the alchemy between me and my clients.”

………………..

I had the pleasure of meeting Philip Gorrivan in 2007, the year he’d created the opulent blue and green dining room in the HC&G Hampton’s idea house.  It was in the course of our first conversation that summer that he explained his modus operandi regarding interior design.  At lunch last week he told me his design process hasn’t changed, and why he thinks it’s so successful.

………………..

………………..

The premise of my ‘Master Class’ column is to talk with firmly established interior designers, to learn about their design process, and to share it with you.  To that end, I start by asking how their rooms are conceived.  Philip explained how it all starts.  “When I take on a new client, I engage them in lengthy conversations about their lifestyle.  If my clients are opera aficionados and self-styled gastronomes for example, I begin thinking about restrained glamour – and a well-appointed kitchen.  On the other hand if they’re a couple with 2 children who love the beach, I might consider casual furnishing with colors drawn from the sea.  But that is just a starting point.  I think the most successful rooms are the product of a lengthy collaboration between my clients and myself.  Channeling their lives, their interests, their daily activities and their life experiences is where my work begins.  I think it’s the key to my success.”

………………..

………………..

I asked him to explain how he sees his role as an interior designer.  “I shape spaces – often with the help of architects – that reflect my personal taste as seen through the eyes of my clients.  I curate their surroundings, which is a skill I acquired through exposure to the history of the decorative arts.”

I asked if he thought he could encapsulate the tenants of his style.   He had this to say.  “I suppose I’m known for my use of patterns, and my clear understanding of color – which I like to use in unique and inventive ways.   It’s also been said that I have a subtle affinity for a masculine rooms, which I’d have to agree with.  Above all, my rooms always have period pieces, because I firmly believe that history infuses interior design with a narrative, and it’s that narrative that makes a room come alive.”  We talked about his current projects (which include designing the interiors of a yacht), his Highland Court fabric collections for Duralee, and his thoughts about the future of interior design.  “I think interior design will continue to evolve as it has been towards eclecticism.   I also think the roll of the designer will become more that of a consultant.  I’d like to see a consortium of designers – much like a law firm – to conceive of rooms together.    The overlapping creativity could produce remarkable design.”

Philip is not the first industry professional I’ve spoken with of late that favors the idea of design ‘think tanks’.   What are your thoughts on the idea?  I’ll collect the responses and report back on the consensus.

………………..

………………..

Philip Gorrivan Design    410 East 59th Street  Suite 1A  New York  10022    212-339-7696

philipgorrivan.com

4 thoughts on “Lifestyle Driven Design”

  1. I just love your Mastermind series. All of these posts are so well done and very enlightening. Your inside knowledge of the key people in this industry make these all especially good reads.

  2. I think Philip is right on many accounts but I particularly agree that eclecticism is the direction that Interior Design is taking and that collaboration is the future of design.

Leave a Reply