Sunday, August 1, 2010


Photos courtesy of Christina Murphy
Christina Murphy, the New York interior designer loves color. She uses it in unexpected ways, taking classic and traditional elements and kicking them up a notch. Let's call it the happy factor. Many of her clients at Christina Murphy Interiors are young urbanites with children, and her spaces take that into account with kid-friendly upholstery. She went to Georgetown and after going to the New York School of Interior Design she began with Kemble Interiors in 1999. She often works with my friend Christopher Rollinson the decorative painter who has his own custom paint line, Rollinson Hues. Together, they collaborate on design elements to make surfaces gleam. From walls in teal high gloss lacquer to decorative floors in creative patterns, the results are fantastic.

The gals of the office looking at some accessories.

A sleek entry with chocolate brown lacquer walls and high shine ebony floors.

A funky modern starburst mirror above the fireplace in a NY apartment library. Upholstered chairs with tufting are covered in a Quadrille zig zag print, and a Stark diamond sisal keep the space young.

The rest of the library with a traditional bobbin chairs and bold striped Bridgewater chair. A game table sits in the corner with the Backgammon urge strikes.

In another city project, simple parson cubes are pushed together for an insta- coffee table, and hits of solid color work with a subtly patterned rug. One bold print on a cozy chair adds a pattern play.

A soft and serene pale blue color dons the walls for a classic bedroom with a cut corner custom headboard and traditional nightstands. Gourd lamps, a now classic shape, add a shape to the nightstands.

A quirky vintage silver wallpaper makes an unexpected appearance in a clean all white bathroom. A Capiz pendant lamp is another touch of whimsy.

I recently caught up with Christina on what she is up to now.

How did you learn the trade?

I learned the trade partly in design school but mostly on the job working for Kemble Interiors.

When did you know this was your calling in life?

When I was in boarding school I loved re-arranging everyone's rooms and had the only bedroom with curtains and an upholstered headboard. But I always thought I would be a bank teller at the drive-up window, it looked peaceful in there

What other designer and or architect do you most admire (living or not) and wish to meet or collaborate with?

Oh wow, I love so many: Tom Scheerer, Naomi Leff, Mark Hampton, Alberto Pinto, Jesse Carrier, Thomas O'brien. Is this too many?!

What is your favorite go to fabric house/collection or singular fabric?

Holland & Sherry for Muriel Brandolini and/or Madeline Weinrib's fabrics I'm in love with.

What material do you love? What is your favorite part of designing a room?

I love ikats. My favorite part of designing a room is making the clients happy. Honestly. I love getting Christmas cards with a picture of a family in a living room we designed. It's an honor being invited into someones home and helping create their visual memories of home.

What is your favorite antique you own and reproduction collection you constantly use as a resource?

My very beaten up old 17th century farm table is my favorite (and maybe only true) antique.Neirmann Weeks has great reproductions.

What trade or retail store inspires you most?

Wyeth or Aero are favorites.

What is your favorite new and old interior book?

Celerie Kemble To Your Taste (of course!)
House & Garden's Best In Decoration from the late '80s is a classic old favorite. The old David Hicks books are classics too.

What does summer mean in interiors you design interiors in resort locations?

Relaxation. Lots of places to curl up with books, everything has to be super comfortable and inviting.

If you were not doing this what would you do?

I always thought designing sets for Broadway would be fun.

What city besides NYC do you visit to inspire you?

Marrakesh, London, Paris. Not very original, sorry! I also find lots of NYC very inspiring.

What are your trade secrets?

My sister-in-law, Cristi Conaway is a fashion designer and has Christi Conaway Design in LA. She's my secret weapon, always finding me cool stuff on the west coast! I also love Dixie Hwy which I visit nearly every trip home.


Kate Hersch said...

Great interview! Great rooms!

Dovecote Decor said...

I love the living room with the starburst mirror. Great interview, thanks--Liz

The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

What gorgeous interiors and fabulous taste! I think I could live 24/7 in the blue bedroom...

Marisa said...

Yes, she has a great style sense and personality!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Marisa. I love getting all the email from so many new vendors who read you religiously- a treat! Christina

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