Ashley's Window /

December 13, 2018
Designer Profile: Phillip Thomas
Designer Profile: Phillip Thomas

Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into interior design? 

I feel like I have been an interior designer my entire life.

While other kids were playing sports on the weekends, I was accompanying my parents to auction previews and visiting antique shops. On school holidays, I could often be found visiting the D&D Building with my Mom to shop for fabrics and carpets!

In college, I attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. You should have seen my apartment in college. My friends’ parents would ask for tours!

During my junior year abroad in Chile, my parents left me in charge of decorating their new apartment in Santiago. It was in that work that I realized that my passion for design was too strong to deny. Upon graduation from Georgetown, I immediately enrolled at The New York School of Interior Design where I honed my craft.

The rest is history!

Kips Bay

Describe your signature design style.

With each new project, I am constantly challenging myself to create something different and new. Each of my projects is tailored to be a reflection of my clients—the best reflection. As a result, my projects tend to be anywhere from colorful to neutral in palette—two distinct ends of the spectrum.

The underlying theme that unites all of my projects is the intense attention to detail, passion for textiles and finishes, and the incredible artisans that help to realize each distinct vision that I create for my clients.

What are your top tips for designing a great space?

Don’t follow trends! Be true to yourself but try and push yourself out of your comfort zone. It is through these growing pains that great design is realized.

While you may know the things that you don’t like, you do not necessarily know the things that you do like. Explore and discover new materials, new pieces of furniture and new pieces of art that inspire you and your interiors.

What is your dream space to design and how would you design it?

What a tough question!! I know that this sounds corny, but every space I take on is a dream. I am constantly growing as a designer. With each libraryproject, I am presented with challenges that I confront and overcome. It is through these experiences that I evolve as a designer.

Some people think that the dream spaces to design are those spaces with infinite budgets. While those are indeed wonderful opportunities to exercise ones art, I think that one can truly make magical spaces even with more limited budgets. In the instances where budgets are more limited, one has to analyze exactly how to maximize ones resources in order to create a beautiful interior. It is through those challenges that often the most interesting and dynamic spaces take shape.

I am looking forward to continuing on my current path and creating homes for my clients that feature incredible architectural finishes that include metals, plasters, paints, leathers, glasses, and wallcoverings along with beautiful, soft, furnishings, such as custom carpets from Stark and custom embroidered fabrics by Lesage. I think it is incredibly important to always remain open to all the brands and resources that we are lucky to be afforded in the design industry. I call myself “an equal opportunity designer”—I use everything that I can get my hands on! Each vendor has a distinct point of view. As one evolves as a designer, one is also attracted to differing points of view, such as those of the different designer resources. 

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