Leslie Banker of Pamela Banker Associates honed her craft under her prestigious interior designer mom, Pamela Banker. Specializing in sophisticated comfort, her interiors consist of warm colors and clean lines.
What inspired this career path for you?
My mother, Pamela Banker, started her design firm in the 1960s, so I literally grew up surrounded by interior design. When I was very young, she ran her business out of our apartment, and when I was older, I used to do my homework some days after school at her office. After spending most of my early 20s saying that I would never ever in a million years be a decorator, I started working with her in 1999. And, despite myself, I absolutely loved it and have now been calling it my career for almost 20 years.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
There are so many; I find inspiration wherever I look. I love The Mark Hotel and the book, Jacques Grange Interiors. I love the precious cinematography of Wes Anderson movies. It sounds cheesy, but I love the colors in the sunrise and the sunset. Entertaining at home is important to me, and I find it inspiring to see how friends and family interact in my house. I love to see whether the arrangement is comfortable and conducive to lively conversation. I constantly refer to design books from Billy Baldwin Decorates to Emily Evans Eerdmans’ book on Madeleine Castaing.
Tell us about your creative process.
I start by listening carefully to what a client wants. I spend time early in the process working to pinpoint the desired vibe. I ask questions about colors they like or don’t like. I find out about their lifestyle, such as if they like to have dinner in the kitchen or the dining room, and I ask whether there are any practical concerns. I take this information away with me and spend a week or two thinking and pulling ideas together. I’ll schedule a design meeting after that, where we look at preliminary ideas and work to set the tone for the project. It might be just a few things that are selected to create a theme; it could be a color, a type of wood, or anything that will become an anchor moving forward. After that, we continue to build and refine until we’ve got it just right.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Warm clear colors and clean lines.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
My tape measure.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
Albert Hadley, Jacques Grange, Billy Baldwin
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I’d love to design a house or an apartment for a couple that has young kids and loves to entertain.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
“Simplicity, Suitability, and Proportion” — Elsie de Wolfe
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
I am so old-school — I love my AD, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Interior Design, Veranda, and World of Interiors all in hard copy. On Instagram, I follow French AD, which I love.
Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet, e.g., do any have unique back stories, in what kind of space do you hope they end up, etc.?
We have recently consigned a number of things from our inventory which were designed by or were acquired by Parish Hadley. All of the pieces lend themselves to comfortable living with effortless style.
What do you love about Viyet?
For the buyer, Viyet offers the opportunity to find amazing pieces at discounted prices. Not only that, I love the immediacy of it. There is no four-month lead time for a chair from Viyet–you get it right away. As a seller, it is a great way to consign pieces, giving much exposure by being online.
new york, ny