Destination: Design

Five Bergen interior designers disclose the faraway places that have inspired them—and why.

The true vagabond has no home base—nothing to redecorate, nothing to vacuum. But who ever said the rest of us can’t catch the vagabond spirit, tapping the world’s visual variety for the homes we cherish? This month, Escapes takes a break from its usual wanderings for an armchair tour, courtesy of five northern New Jersey interior designers. We asked them to spill the beans about travel destinations that have sparked their creativity. If your next trip idea doesn’t spring to mind here, maybe a design notion will.

Barcelona, Spain:

“A recent family trip allowed me to explore the unique architecture and design of the great Antoni Gaudí. All of his work is inspiring, but my visit to the storied Casa Batlló left a lasting impression. Gaudí’s kaleidoscope of purple, blue and green inspired me to design a client’s dining room using this color combination. Gaudí is known for his organic shapes and layering of mosaic patterns, textures and materials like ceramic, glass and iron. Casa Batlló has reinforced my practice of adding unexpected whimsical elements to my designs—a reminder to us all not to take ourselves too seriously. For example, I hide a handcrafted decorative mushroom, whether wood or ceramic, in every project I complete.” —Terri Fiori, Fiori Interior Design, Mahwah

For some of her home projects, Terri Fiori, Fiori Interior Design, Mahwah, infuses the Spanish blue, purple and green color scheme found at the Sagrada Família (top) and Casa Batlló in Barcelona.

Palm Beach, Florida:

“Palm Beach style is known for a playful, tropical feel, which I love. But there’s also Neo Palm Beach, which incorporates elements of mid-century modern and Hollywood Regency. That mix of clean lines, eclecticism and playfulness is present on some level in most of my work.” —Lisa Keyser, Lisa Keyser Interior Design, Saddle River

Lisa Keyser, Lisa Keyser Interior Design, Saddle River, often uses the colors of a Palm Beach evening in her home designs—as she did in the contemporary dining room shown at top.

Split, Croatia:

“My recent trip showed me a mix of natural and man-made beauty. Ancient stones, forest green shutters on white stucco facades, weathered doors and bright terracotta roofs generated tons of texture and layers throughout each city. The mix of white pebble beaches, radiant cyan and turquoise hues from the Adriatic Sea and ombré greens of hillside landscapes created beautiful compositions. That trip has helped me infuse perfect textures and atmospheric palettes into my clients’ homes.” —Sara Beverin, Wostbrock Home, Ridgewood

To design her living room, Sara Beverin, Wostbrock Home, Ridgewood, recalled a recent trip to Croatia and the subtle colors found in coastal towns like Split.

Palermo, Italy:

“I was born in Italy and lived there until I was 9. My father was in the stone business and carried me through the stone quarries before I could even walk. There are lots of marbles quarried in the south of Italy, specifically Palermo. Today we can recreate the Old World looks with a modern flair and create spaces that are easy to live in. I aim for a simple style but with amazing accents using mother-of-pearl as well as the chevron design used in the Monreale Cathedral from the 1500s. Today we can adopt the old styles and create new designs that bring back the work of the old masters. Old is always new again in architecture and design.” —Antonella Romano, Antonella Romano Tile & Stone, Wyckoff

Inspired by sites like the Monreale Cathedral, Antonella Romano, Antonella Romano Tile & Stone, Wyckoff, borrows from Old World style in her bathroom design with its multi-circled glass shower door.

Malibu, California:

“My daughter recently started college on the West Coast, so I have been making frequent trips to Malibu and Los Angeles. Although California design is casual and laid-back, it is surprisingly sophisticated in its simplicity. Mixing elements of California decorating such as organic sea grass rugs, raw woods, furry white throws, sheepskin rugs, worn leather, ethnic textiles, large-scale photography and real greenery adds a casual elegance to any room.” —Linda Maley, M Design, Mahwah

California dreamin’ can be right for any home design, as Linda Maley, M Design, Mahwah, demonstrates through her modern living room with mirrored bar area.

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