What are your inspirations?
SS: Travel is probably the biggest inspiration for me. Though, I can find it in vintage design books, from seeing a great piece of clothing in a fashion show or by spending hours combing through 1stDibs.com and the curated collections throughout the site. I greatly admire the work of Kelly Wearstler, Jean-Louis Deniot, David Hicks, Gio Ponti, Pierre Chareau, Jean Royere and Ettore Sottsass.
What is the essential element of any room?
SS: An essential element is never really just a thing, but rather it is the spirit of the room. It is the essence of a room and the emotion it conjures. There should be a curiosity for each person who enters the room, it is the feeling, a wow moment that is really essential in every successful room.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about your business?
SS: You have to be incredibly well organized and have the proper skill set. Having an eye is one thing, but you have to be able to execute and deliver the vision. And it matters who you surround yourself with. Someone once said, “If you want to succeed, make sure every person you hire is better than you in every department.” In growing a business that is so important.
Clients are becoming more sophisticated and design-conscious. How has that influenced you?
SS: It means that I have to raise my game every time in every project. Informed clients are absolutely better clients, and they make for better design in the end.
What are your three must-haves?
SS: Definitely a great piece of art that means something to you, a beautiful watch or piece of jewelry you’ll keep forever, and a terrific light fixture.