Former choreographer-turned-designer Jeff Andrews boasts an impressive celebrity clientele (including Kourtney Kardashian, Kris Jenner and Kaley Cuoco), but his interiors are just as star-worthy. Vintage pieces mix with contemporary lighting, luxe finishes and tons of texture to create spaces that redefine Hollywood glamour for how we live today. Read on for an inside peak into Jeff’s creative process, and for a preview of a few of the stunning interiors featured in his new book, The New Glamour: Interiors with Star Quality.
Capture Jeff’s A-list design sense with his personally selected pieces from Sotheby’s Home.
Is design an art or a science?
I’ve always approached design as an art. It’s subjective. I understand that there are general rules like space planning, but it must all be inspired and personalized.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
When a client says, “I can’t believe I get to live here.”
Share your biggest design secret.
Confidence is everything. Great design comes from the confidence to take risks, get personal and surround yourself and your clients with livable beauty.
What is the most common design mistake you see?
Rooms that look like a catalog. There must be an element of surprise in every truly great room. You have to mix it up – you can’t rely on the same floor plans, furniture arrangements and color palettes. There’s so much more to design than copying what you’ve seen on social media.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
That balance all comes from understanding the lifestyle of the client. You have to envision not only how you really live, but how you want to live. The beauty is not only in the aesthetics but in the function of any given home.
Do you find that it’s easier to use a vintage piece as a jumping-off point for the room, or vintage shop to fill specific holes in the space?
There are no rules to the mix. Vintage pieces add a great sense of history and character to a home. That being said, vintage pieces are a good foundation to an interesting room.
How does someone who isn’t experienced at vintage buying educate their eye and develop their aesthetic/confidence?
Buy what you love, and what makes you happy. Buying things that you respond to positively and make you feel something will only improve your home and make it feel more personal. Probably the hardest part is knowing when you’re making a good investment, and when you’re just buying junk. I love when clients have a strong grasp of an era that they respond to in particular, which can serve as a jumping-off point. For example, pair a vintage dining table with contemporary chairs, or a vintage light fixture with just about anything.
Can you share some examples of favorite vintage scores?
When I was choreographing a show in Paris, I bought a steel and glass vintage desk that has been with me in multiple homes. Another great Paris find, vintage gas street lamps that we turned into hanging pendants in a new construction home in Lake Tahoe. When I first started out, I loved going with shopkeepers to their storage spaces, where you get to see the pieces in their original form before they have been refurbished. The possibilities were endless.
Are there different considerations to buying vintage online vs. in-person? How do you navigate the challenge of not seeing the piece in person?
You can see so much more online, and today, online resources offer a variety of images of pieces and are typically upfront about wear or damage. But it’s hard to beat the experience of discovering the perfect vintage piece in-person. When buying anything, you have to do your research and know exactly what you’re getting so there are no surprises.
Can you talk about some unique uses for vintage pieces?
Anything with history is a good grounding piece for a room. Selecting vintage pieces like chairs, lighting or artwork can really elevate your experience of a room.
Any tips for buying vintage rugs? Are there sizes/colorways that you find yourself looking for?
With rugs, I prefer to buy from a reliable source. For example, I buy all my vintage rugs from Mansour (also available on Sotheby’s Home!) because I know what I’m getting are authentic, antique pieces. I’m less concerned with provenance than with quality, color and pattern. It has to elevate a room, but it doesn’t have to come from a palace to be perfect for a space. There’s a lot of perfection in imperfection.
Are there any downsides to buying vintage pieces (maybe, the time? how do you combat this?)
It depends – if you’re looking for a piece with pedigree, that can take a lot of time and effort, as opposed to looking for something that’s cool and unique. Both are worth it in the end, in my opinion.
What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
I love shopping Sotheby’s Home online because of the sheer variety and the chance you’ll always find something unexpected. It’s also an accessible resource for clients – it’s a fresh interface that is easy to navigate, and the information is presented clearly. It gives them the confidence to take the leap, more so than when I was dragging clients into dusty back rooms to convince them they had to have something.