A Twist on Traditional

Just like fashion, design is constantly being reinvented. Trends come in with a bang and quietly disappear when it comes time for the next big thing. And while the average homeowner still tends to describe personal styles by way of tried-and-true descriptions such as traditional, modern or country, often, we just don’t know what that means. Style evolves and lucky for us those “descriptions” are forever evolving too.

Today’s interior designers are breaking the old rules, teaching us how to embrace what we love and make it work for us. One such rising star is Jamie Herzlinger, whose offices are in Arizona and New York City. Recently, this Long Island-bred interior designer was deemed one of the “New Traditionals” by Trad Home Magazine (Traditional Home’s new digital publication). Herzlinger’s passion for respecting classics and shaking them up with helpings of glamorous and modern touches make for an exciting new design recipe.

“For me, traditional today, means taking a classic and reinterpreting it to fit a modern lifestyle, something that’s fresh and interesting,” she says. “It’s what I love to do, I love to see where I can take something. For example, I love the look of a Chippendale chair, but then when you paint and lacquer it in ivory; you have a whole new perspective. It becomes a conversation piece.”

Another great example is Herzlinger’s description of the style of the room she designed for the recent Kips Bay Decorator Show House, in New York City. “I called it Bohemian Chic,” she says. “However, to me, it’s more like Traditional Tie-Dye—sort of like taking all of my favorite classic elements and putting them in a child’s spin-art toy and mixing them up to create something new.”

One of the standout pieces in that room? The tie-dyed kilim rug she found during a trip to the iconic Stark carpet manufacturer showroom. “Talk about tradition, Stark is known for its classics such as their beautiful Persian rugs and when the salesperson showed me this gorgeous new take on a kilim rug, I was ecstatic. The tradition was there but it had a little twist that made it modern.”

{ad-home-intout}Textiles and fabrics have always played a huge role in Herzlinger’s life. With an early career and family pedigree both heavily steeped in fashion, it’s no wonder they play such a big part in Herzlinger’s designs. Her great-grandfather worked in a tannery in Vienna, her great aunt opened the millinery department at Bergdorfs, her grandfather designed the fashionable box collar over fabric look in the 1960’s and her mother designed maternity clothes for Jackie Kennedy. Whew, with a family history of that nature, it’s no wonder she has such a deep appreciation for classic design yet such a passion for innovation.

“Fabric and textiles are always a huge inspiration for me, as is fashion,” she explains. “Karl Lagerfeld is one of my favorite designers. His work for Chanel is the epitome of new traditional. He can take a classic Chanel suit jacket, rip the edges, add some new color splash and it’s still drop-dead gorgeous. It’s still that classic fitted blazer, just with a new edge to it.”

Of course, Herzlinger recognizes it takes confidence to make bold changes like that, to push those boundaries, which is why her clients come to her for help. “My clients are coming to me because they like projects of mine that they have seen, they like my style and need help figuring out how it can work for them,” she says. “As an interior designer, it’s my job to help them achieve what they want, but also understand what will work comfortably within their lifestyle. That’s so important.”

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.