Charlie Ferrer creates interiors defined by timelessness and comfort, taken from classical and modern inspirations. His design philosophy values richness, selectivity, and restraint expressed through clean lines, supple textures, and careful use of color.
What inspired this career path for you?
My mother, Rosemary Ferrer, was my early and most profound inspiration. Later, it was a talented and passionate friend and designer named Melinda Nelson. The homes these two women created and the many other beautiful houses and gardens in Greenwich, CT, where I grew up inspired me.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
My travels — to flea markets, shops both modest and grand, auction houses, dealers in cities and dealers in remote locations — my movements lead to connections with people and objects. I learn different ways of making, different ways of seeing, and, as a result, my practice gets better.
Tell us about your creative process.
In terms of my day-to-day, the routine is variable. At the office, I may develop a palette for one project while detailing furniture pieces for another. From there, I might spend a few hours checking-in on production at a workroom, then visit art galleries with clients later in the day. In between, the phone is buzzing — there are always complications, always fires to put out. In terms of my project process — like with any other design discipline — we begin with concept then advance to schematic design, then design development, and finally go into production. But the process is decidedly non-linear in that we are always jumping forward and backward, as we get inspired along the way. For instance, the discovery of an amazing vintage cabinet for a dining room may prompt us to revisit the scheme for its room, and riff off of that cabinet in one direction or another. In the end, like a book, our projects assemble rooms into an overarching narrative.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Balanced eclecticism with a modern bent.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
My workrooms — the shops where we restore old and create new — my craftspeople are the most skilled and capable in the industry. Whether we are working with antique hardwood, cast bronze, an unusual upholstery textile, or all three in a single piece — we can execute pretty much any vision we dream up for our clients.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
My peers — Billy Cotton, Will Cooper of ASH NYC, Ashe + Leandro. And the greats that led the way before us — David Easton, David Kleinberg, Juan Montoya.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I’d like to design a boat or a plane. Either would be for the ultimate type-A detail and materials-obsessed client. Both demand extreme precision in all ways. Every square inch of surface and volume matters in these highly specific spaces.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
“You get what you pay for,” says Robert Stilin — this platitude explains the tried and true relationship between quality and cost. Of course, everything nice need not be expensive — value can be found at low price points if one knows where to look, and a mix of high and low is always healthy. But more often than not, when one pays up for the truly superior product, one gets higher quality. Timelessness is defined by quality — both of design and craftsmanship. When corners are cut in either regard, quality is lost and it shows. The trick is to find quality in beautiful vintage, antique, and ancient things, and to create it in new custom pieces.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
World of Interiors, Phillips’ design catalogues, Piasa’s sales, 1stdibs.com
What do you love about Viyet?
The ease and efficiency of the Viyet interface. The high level of professionalism of the customer service experience. Viyet fills a gap in the marketplace in providing the design trade a reliable resource for consigning high-quality pieces.