When you're the go-to decorators for Anna Wintour, Jason Wu, and Annie Leibovitz, a certain flash and glam is to be expected. But the work of Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller is anything but glitz and trends. Their new book, Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors, released this week, showcases their decorating flexibility and prowess with projects ranging from Nancy Meyer-perfect country houses to sumptuous city homes.
Carrier and Miller, partners in work as well as life, formed Carrier and Company Interiors in 2005 after working for several storied design firms. Their approach is not the least bit idiosyncratic, as is often the case with other big name designers. It is not their personalities rubber-stamped onto each project. It is their clients' essence that shines through, with a space's history acknowledged and celebrated with an unerring eye.
We realized that if we kept aspects of design in concert - proportion, scale, or formality, for example - we could combine disparate pieces in such a way that each helped the others express themselves and show off their best features.
Our ideal is the perfectly imperfect.
[P]aring down truly classic elements to their absolute essence, without ornament, seems to us to lighten the weight of history.
The designers' strength, though, lies in more traditional spaces. Carrier's start working for neo-Traditionalist Jeffrey Bilhuber and mix master Thomas O'Brien shows. Rooms are not static historical documents, but rather they are conversations of form, function, and need.
We take our cues on what and how we blend history into a project from that project's architecture and location.
For us, [charm] connotes decorating of a certain grace and character. Rooms in this mode do not try to be anything other than what they are.
Tradition for us is something of a loose fantasy, rather than a tight construction of provenance and period.
This approach is complimented by not by a rote set of decorating rules. Although their strong design foundations were formed at FIT, Carrier and Moss believe decorating talent is mostly innate.
We strive to place objects in unexpected, impactful positions.
Somehow, through some form of design intelligence and decorative magic, the components come together to create rooms that feel deeply personal and quire revealing, that have a narrative.
At the end of the day, everything in a room has to co-mingle, to play nicely together - even, occasionally, to flirt.
All photos courtesy The Vendome Press.
My thanks to Meghan Phillips of The Vendome Press for the review copy!