Designer Sam Allen’s personal (and highly collectible) treasures are now available. Discover and shop a curated edition of French, Neoclassical and modern pieces.

Shop his collection now on Sotheby’s Home

How did you discover your passion for design?
Growing up the son of an editor at national shelter magazines, and an interior designer, I would often go with my mother, Leslie Allen, to her photo shoots, and scour the day at the D&D building to look for treasures for her clients. But the day that sealed the deal for me was the day I walked into Martha Stewart’s studio to be on her Thanksgiving special…

What is your favorite decorative object at home?
My bed. It’s pretty perfect made up in Leontine Linens. I really do not get overly attached to things.

Can you pick your 5 favorite items you are consigning and tell a little bit about what makes them special? 

The collection of paintings by German painter Hilmar Meyer-Bosse. They are abstract but not cliché.

The pair of orange Christopher Spitzmiller Double Aurora Gourd lamps. They are classic, timeless and such iconic statement pieces. Ditto for the Christopher Spitzmiller AP lamps in navy, as they truly do go anywhere!

The vintage Lucite ice bucket. It elevates any bar, and instantly makes it chicer.

Any of the vintage chrome and brass cocktail tables…Small ones that fit anywhere are hard to find.

Is design an art or a science?
An art for sure. No question about it.

Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
Navy and white is kind of hard to beat. It never gets old or tired.

When do you consider a completed project a success?
When my clients tell me how happy they are and that I have transformed their home.

Share your biggest design secret.
At the moment, I can’t think of just one…

What is the most common design mistake you see?
When clients want things too trendy. You want to give them what they want, but sometimes it’s hard to make them see they are just wrong…and will regret their choices they have insisted on.

How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
Think about how your client is actually going to use the space, and not what you wish you could do if it were yours.

Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece, furniture)
Colors first for me. Always.

What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
I love that it feels special. I love that there is some integrity and honesty to it, as opposed to just presenting trends. Not everyone, thankfully, wants that. It presents design the way it should be, a mix of lots of things, so that you can layer your rooms naturally.

Keep in touch with Sam: Website | Instagram

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