Scott Sanders is principal of his full service, New York City based interior design firm, specializing in residential and hospitality design. Beginning his career as lead interior designer for Ralph Lauren, today Sanders designs for notable clients and properties globally, such as the Rubell Hotels.
What inspired this career path for you? Growing up in a family of residential developers, I was surrounded by building and design materials and elements from a very young age and often accompanied my father and grandfather to construction sites and commercial vendors. This, in combination with my grandmother constantly re-decorating (they were always moving), developed my passion for interior design. Whether I’m designing a grand hotel or an intimate family home, the choices come from a long and varied history!
What is your go-to source for inspiration? There’s something about picking up a glossy magazine and flipping through the pages. I find inspiration in other designers’ work, a new product, or even reading about a new place to visit. I also travel a lot and stay in some fabulous hotels and I can’t help it…I’m always scouting new ideas all over the globe!
Tell us about your creative process. I find that my designs begin with being inspired by the space. It might be the architecture, the scale, or the client’s intended use that lays the groundwork for the overall concept. I work with my office to then find an object, photo, fabric, color, or even a piece of furniture that then sets the tone for the entire project. For example, in this project, I was inspired by the room’s connection to the exterior of the home, and immediately knew that the room needed to be bright and cheerful. The beautiful area rug from Sacco Carpet inspired the overall look of the room — the colors, the fabrics, and the furnishings all fell into place after that.
Describe your style in 6 words or less. New American Style
What are the biggest trends you see in interior design right now and what are you loving (and not loving)? Lately, I’ve been seeing more antiques being used, or new pieces that were inspired by classic furniture designs. Incorporated into new interiors, these pieces bring a sense of familiarity to the space, which can be quite comforting in a home or a hospitality space. I am not loving the overly eclectic rooms that don’t tell a story, or where the objects do not have a connection to the space. It often feels like the designer tried so hard to make the room look un-designed, that it really does look like there wasn’t a designer involved.
What’s a staple in your tool kit? Caffeine. Whether I am working in the office or on a job site during an installation, caffeine is always important to have on hand!
Who do you look up to in the design world? I look up to creative people who have a very independent style and aesthetic that doesn’t necessarily follow the trends. You can tell that they have a passion for design, and that passion comes through in the success of their rooms, fabrics, furniture, or product. While my vision for New American Style considers each owner’s space as unique, I too have my favorite signature styles in fabrics, wallpaper, furniture, and lighting, which clients love and are timeless. I am also inspired by those who give back. Their generosity and selflessness reminds me that we are all connected, and that even the smallest gestures can make a big difference in a person’s life.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be? I’d love to blend my New American Style with Cher’s aesthetic to create a fabulous apartment for her in NYC.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. “Trust me — it’s perfect!” In a family room I was designing, the client didn’t want to trust me when I said that the chandelier was perfect for the space. I took a leap and told them to “Trust me”. At the installation, one of the first things they said to me was “You were right”.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? I would actually say Instagram. I’ve become completely obsessed with it, and often find inspiration in the images that others post. I’ve even found great new products by following designers that I love.
What do you love about Viyet? Shopping in vintage and consignment shops used to be one of my favorite ways to find amazing pieces for my designs, but they have disappeared over the years. These stores were a great resource for finding items that could be repurposed, and have history or integrity. I love how Viyet has brought this idea into the 21st century. I have to look no further than my iPhone for great finds.