Before and Afters with Designer Chris Roughan

Transformations are inherently satisfying to watch, whether in the form of an old couch with great bones that gets a new look with a savvy reupholster or an entire room or home going from so-so to superb. Designer Chris Roughan knows a thing or two about seeing potential and bringing it to life.

With this in mind, we asked Chris to share with us some of her most memorable projects, and walk us through from “before” to “after.” Read on for some absolutely stunning room reveals…


AFTER:“After” photograph by  Neil Landino

Chris explains: “The client wanted a Zen retreat and loved blue and white.  She also requested a more modern space.  She was thrilled with the end result and uses this room every day.”



AFTER:“After” photograph by Jane Beiles

Chris explains: “Our client requested a young adult room that was cheery, fun and could be for both young men and woman.   Prior to the renovation she felt the space was a bit dark and wanted to add life to the interior.  This was completed with fun blues, greens and camels along with quadrille and kravet fabrics.  Also the stripe in the carpet and mid-century furniture are a perfect fit with the color scheme and youthfulness of the room.  She mentions how her family uses that room now and loves it.  We love it too when life is added to an interior!”



AFTER:“After” photograph by Jane Beiles

Chris explains: “Our clients goal was to make this room sophisticated and different for a sitting room in a guest room suit.  We also had to incorporate a pull out sofa, desk and reading chair.  This was accomplished through soft greys, ivory’s and whites.  We love this space as it has a perfect masculine/feminine balance.



Today, Chris Roughan is known for her residential transformations, putting together homes that beautifully reflect a client’s personality and lifestyle but back when she got her start in the design world, her focus was fashion retail.

“I started working in the Creative Services department at Ralph Lauren when I was 21 as an assistant designer for Store Development” she explains, “while there I honed my skills and one thing snowballed into another.  I was recruited and went to Hilfiger as Director of Store Design at a very young age then started my own firm shortly thereafter, opening showrooms for Donna Karan, Takashimaya and Ralph Lauren.”

Despite her success, Chris is not one to rest on her laurels and so when she was offered the opportunity through a friend from her Ralph Lauren days to design a Park Avenue apartment she went for it.

Photograph by Jane Beiles

Soon after, she got her first big break. “Friends of mine asked me to help them design a loft at the Franklin Tower in Tribeca.  This was one of the first developments in that area in the 90’s.  It was very modern and my friends/clients has impeccable taste in art so it was a nice combination.  The job was a gut renovation and I teamed up with architects Roger Hirsch and Myriam Corti from Hirsch Corti Architect.  It was a perfect match. The apartment received wonderful feedback and Interior Design magazine published the story, we were thrilled and grateful.”

Photograph by Jane Beiles


TLV: Was there ever a moment you thought you might try another career? If so, what made you stick with design?

CR: Sure in fact I was just talking about that recently..  I used to be in a band in the city and we did very well for the 3 years we were together.  At that time I had to decide if I wanted to stay with design or pursue a career in music. I believe I made the right choice, although still love to sing.


TLV: What did you learn while working in fashion that you brought with you to your work as an interior designer?

CR:The way you dress a person is how you should dress a room and everyone is different.


TLV: Go-to hostess gift?

CR: Beautiful French candle like Dyptique Fig Candle or a bottle of Rose such as Champagne Laherte Freres, Brut Rose.


TLV: Your can’t live without beauty product:

CR: Zo medical Eye cream, I swear it’s a miracle cream. Not so glamerous!


Thanks Chris!



Leave a Reply