Allison Hennessy, named a Top 10 in “NewTrad” 2012 by Traditional Home, approaches each project with a deep understanding of the interiors business from every angle. Her style interprets the classics in a fresh, exciting way with a focus on comfort, elegance, and timelessness — the foundation for any room.
What inspired this career path for you? I have always appreciated aesthetics and had options from a young age! My college required three internships, so I did one in fashion, one in events, and one in decorating. I would have been happy in any of these industries but, shortly after graduating, I had the opportunity to work for Phoebe Howard and have not looked back!
What is your go-to source for inspiration? Getting out and seeing new places always inspires. This can be an exotic trip or a simple walk around the neighborhood (with good architecture, of course), or getting lost in a local garden.
Tell us about your creative process. In the very beginning of a project, I try to extract as much as possible about the client’s tastes and lifestyle. Getting to know the client and taking cues from the architecture and location are often enough to spawn endless ideas on where to take the project creatively. From there, it is just a matter of distilling the best to present to the client.
Describe your style in 6 words or less. Updated-traditional, happy, sophisticated, uncluttered
What are the biggest trends you see in interior design right now and what are you loving (and not loving)? Everyone has heard by now that brass is hot these days. I have always loved it but am enjoying trying it in places where I previously used nickel, such as kitchen and bath fixtures. Another trend that seems to be everywhere is texture, particularly shagreen. This is such a chic and very sophisticated material but, like anything, bad faux interpretations cheapen the look, which I have seen too often lately!
What’s a staple in your toolkit? A staple in my toolkit is actually my tool belt! On installations, I constantly need to have a cell phone, marker, tape measure, note pad, box cutters, etc. on hand, and the only way is with an actual tool belt. Luckily, I found one that is smaller and more feminine than most!
Who do you look up to in the design world? I am constantly referencing my books by Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley, and Sister Parish.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be? I am very thankful to have such a wonderful client base. They are tasteful, gracious, well-mannered people and we know what to expect from each other. Having an ongoing relationship makes future work a simpler process for all involved. So, I would like to keep designing for my clients as they continue to acquire new properties. A dream location would be somewhere tropical, such as Lyford Cay in the Bahamas.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. “Make your home as comfortable and attractive as possible and then get on with living. There’s more to life than decorating.” – Albert Hadley
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? Stacey Bewkes of Quintessence blog covers an array of product, shops, events, fashion, and more. Stacey writes and photographs beautiful blog posts, but also produces high-quality videos. I especially like Stacey and Susanna Salk’s “At Home” video series, which features in-depth views into some stunning designer houses.
Why do you love Viyet? Unlike an auction house, Viyet provides instant gratification for both buying and selling. As a buyer, you can purchase or make an offer with a simple click, rather than waiting for auction day and watching your bid constantly in order to secure your merchandise. As a seller, the vetting process is quick, and Viyet is great about offering storage and trucking for salable items.