For Bedford, New York based interior designer Brittany Bromley, the best part of her job is the reveal.
“Nothing makes me happier than having happy clients and install days are lots of fun because it’s months of work come to fruition. I save the letters and notes that my clients write me on these days as inspiration and put them on the board in my office to remind me of the best part of the job!”
And while she believes that “the best classical interior design is one-part know-how and one-part instinct,” the same could be said of her career, which began informally when friends, admiring her home, began asking for her help to design their own spaces. Brittany’s know-how and natural instinct has brought her to where she is today: with a thriving full-service interior design firm which offers in addition to interior design: architectural planning, space and lighting design as well as bespoke landscape design. With her work (deservedly) featured in publications such as Elle Décor, Luxe Magazine and Veranda, and her work in high demand, we were lucky to catch up with the designer to chat with her about her technique, influences and the must have elements of a home meant for a family to enjoy together.
TLV: You began designing for others when friends who admired your home began seeking your help for their own. What was the transition like to go from hobby to business?
BB: Being able to do something which I loved and having people trust me with their homes was an amazing experience. I love the business side almost as much as I love the creative side, and I’m very fortunate to be a strange mix of left and right brain!
TLV: What do you find to be the biggest design challenge when putting together a room from scratch?
BB: I think finding an interesting assortment of items that feels as though it was collected over time rather than purchased in one single occasion. It’s always my intent to have the rooms which we designed feel personal to their owners, so we try to find things that we feel they would’ve found in their travels and aim for a collected, curated look.
TLV: What are your influences and how are they manifested in your work?
BB: I’m always very influenced by classical proportions and architecture. My design ethos is frequently informed by the symmetry found in these classical proportions and architecture.
TLV: What is the best piece of advice that has impacted your life as a designer?
BB: The best piece of advice that has impacted my life as a designer is the same best piece of advice that has impacted my life as a human being, which is that comparison is the robbery of happiness. Whenever we compare ourselves to other people we lose a little bit of what makes us special! So in design as in all areas of my life I really strive not to compare myself to other people!
TLV: [Brittany, who lives in a 215 year old historic house in Bedford, NY with her brood which includes: her husband, two young daughters and two dogs, is not short on personal experience when it comes to sharing space with various family members, so we had to ask…] What design elements are important to keep in mind when creating a space for the whole family to enjoy together?
BB: Comfortable seating and pillows is a must for family rooms and spaces in which the family will convene regularly. I like to use a variety of seating options like stools and benches which can be pushed to the side for less populous events, and then commandeered when a crowd is in effect. I also love to make sure that we include greenery, because it brings both symbolic and literal life to the room!
Five Quick Questions with Brittany Bromley:
Q1: What is one item always worth investing in?
A1: A well made sofa will last a lifetime!
Q2: What is your dream shopping destination?
A2: Paris is always a fave although I recently returned to Marrakech and had much too much fun shopping for a project there!
Q3: How do you usually start your weekend?
A3: My husband and I work together so we usually have a “working brunch” to review the two different sides of our company and catch up with one another personally and professionally!
Q4: What item or element of design in your home makes you most happy?
A4: I used a fairly unorthodox wall covering in my dining room, tortoiseshell bamboo fencing as wallpaper and it never fails to make me smile. The effect is a cross between a French Polynesian hut and Yves Saint Laurent’s home in Tangier’s- but 100% me so I adore it!
Q5: Do you have any design rules you follow?
A5: I always hang my draperies at the ceiling line instead of at the top of the window so that it lengthens the window treatment experience and draws your eye upward. Same is true of Roman shades which we hang directly under the molding and then often barely skim the top of the window so that we don’t lose any light but still have a softer affect!
Images Courtesy of Brittany Bromley / Text by Liana Hayles Newton