Alexa Hampton’s reputation precedes her. As a beloved and sought-after designer whose natural talent was embraced and encouraged by her father, legendary designer Mark Hampton, art and design is quite literally in her DNA. Since 1998, she has been carrying on the family legacy as owner and president of Mark Hampton Interiors. The scope of her work is vast. From luxury homes in the city and country alike to private planes and yachts, she is creating beautiful spaces on air, sea and land. Her work is recognized and lauded by Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, and Elle Décor to name only a few. Not only a decorator, she is also the author of two beloved design books, “The Language of Interior Design” and “Decorating in Detail.”
Known for her love of and work with classical and antique pieces, her ability to mix and blend styles like no other, we were particularly thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with her about, what inspires her, the most common design dilemma she encounters in her work and what it was like growing up with a megawatt talent such as her father.
From a young age, Alexa Hampton was exposed to design at the highest level. While her father, iconic designer Mark Hampton was designing for the likes of Brooke Astor, Estee Lauder and Saul Steinberg, not to mention three US Presidents (he designed the Oval Office for President George H. W. Bush and the State Dining Room for the Clintons among other notable projects), she was absorbing and learning from the best. “My father was a natural teacher and a perpetual student and his expertise was interior design, architecture, and art. From an early age, this focused interest of my father’s dictated many elements of our family life. Because of this unique exposure, I can’t imagine a time in my life when I wasn’t interested in design and feel that my surroundings fueled a passion that is innate in me.”
While her upbringing may have been unique, some of her first experiences with creating a design for a space came in the way it has for many: decorating her own room growing up (though with quite a bit more sophistication than a typical teenager is able to muster). “As a family, we were always immersed in design. My father did always let my big sister and me decorate our rooms, though. And that was great fun. When I was 13, I had a black room with low beds in an off-white ticking fabric and a David Hicks geometric carpet. It was so cool!”
Over the years of course, her look has evolved, and with it, her love of Classical Design and Decorative Arts, though as a true lover of design, she has expert knowledge of and ability to execute nearly any design style – a rare talent to be sure. “It does kind of crack me up that the salty broad that I am is so thrilled by classicism. But the heart wants what the heart wants! In truth, though, I really do like a wide range of styles and I’m lucky that my job quite literally pays me to live vicariously through the lens of my clients’ very personal tastes and preferences.”
It is these “personal tastes and preferences” that she helps her clients to embrace. “The most common design dilemma is not trusting yourself to know what you like. We all have preferences, and we need to acknowledge them and the fact that if we allow ourselves to be talked way out of our happy place, we will, understandably, be unhappy. The first step is meeting with the client and getting a sense of how they live and how they would like to live. As for last steps, the best jobs never end.”
While the work Alexa Hampton does is deeply personal, it is also collaborative. Working closely with her clients means getting to know them, their needs, wishes, and lifestyles. “My favorite projects have not been so because of their location, but rather the clients themselves. It’s truly exciting to collaborate with a client to help them create their home. Between the architectural conception, the moving day, and the tweaks thereafter, the process can be a long one. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Because of this, I often get to spend a great amount of time with my clients and have developed some wonderful relationships throughout my career.”
As a designer, she lives and breathes design, so naturally, she is always open to inspiration. “I am inspired daily by my surroundings, travel, family, clients, and colleagues. Especially with the internet, beautiful design images are so easily accessible that I am forever inspired.”
Click here to Shop Alexa’s Favorite TLV Picks.
Quick Questions with Alexa Hampton
TLV: Do you have a go-to color combination? Or most beloved pattern?
AH: Paisley, and orange and purple.
TLV: Favorite travel destination for design inspiration?
AH: Egypt, Italy, Spain, France, and many more.
Photos Courtesy of Alexa Hampton / Interior Photography by Steve Freihon / Profile Photo by Andy French / Text by Liana Hayles Newton