Linda Sullivan of Sullivan Design Studio brings vast experience coupled with an innate ability to decipher and realize clients’ visions into a cohesive and aesthetic reality. The results come from developing personalized client relationships and having true passion for her work. Shop Linda’s favorite Sotheby’s Home pieces now.
How did you discover your passion for design?
I am pretty sure I inherited my superpower from my Mexican-born mother who was a hobby decorator, just as she had inherited the gift from her Spanish-born grandmother. As a creative child, I would help my friends rearrange their rooms, finding ways to hang and display their toys and art. I think I was a popular guest, as many of my friends’ parents loved having me over for playdates. At such a young age, I didn’t think this would ever be a career, it was just something that came naturally and was fun!
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
I have a beautiful soapstone sculpture by the late Glenn Heath that always makes me smile. He was a personal friend, second father-like mentor, and in many ways encouraged me to be who I am today.
Is design an art or a science?
Design in its pure form is absolutely an art. The execution of design is a science.
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
I love both muted palettes and textures, but find that a strong contrast is what brings the wow factor to any room. Adding black or a small jolt of color can have a dramatic effect in any space, making it feel more pulled together and elevated.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
When clients don’t want to leave their home and prefer staycations to vacations.
Share your biggest design secret.
Listening to the client intently.
What is the most common design mistake you see?
Copying something from somewhere else that has no business being in a space. It’s important to stay true to the architecture and style of a home, and really listen to what it should be versus what is trending and popular at this moment in time.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
In my office, we say that if it’s not comfortable it is not functional. Style is subjective.
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece, furniture)
I have always followed the “form follows function” rule, so starting with the right space plan is key. When selecting furnishings, I typically like to start with the larger pieces first, then work my way down to the details next. Art, rugs and accessories are the final layer that pull spaces together harmoniously.
What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
It’s a beautiful site where you can find exquisitely curated one-of-a-kind iconic pieces in one location. What’s not to LOVE!?