The design ethos of principals William and Phyllis Taylor of Taylor & Taylor is founded on a deep knowledge of design for coastal and tropical climates, as well as an enthusiastic fluency in both vernacular and modern styles and methods.
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How did you discover your passion for design?
As a child, I decorated my bedroom door for each and every holiday, whether my family celebrated it or not. As a Jewish child, I recall my Christmas door décor being my favorite!
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
I love my two 1950s Venetian glass black vases with white polka dots that I bought in a Japanese antique store. It was an unusual find for its place and time.
Can you pick your 5 favorite items you are consigning and tell a little bit about what makes them special?
The French iron folding bed/chair has a great history. Folding beds were carried by Napoleon’s troops for their officers. It could be set up in a tent for sitting as a chair, and then made into a bed at night.
The Swedish clock secretary is just a fun piece of furniture that is welcoming, tells time (sort of) and is BLUE…perfectly imperfect.
The Moroccan pierced chairs are just beautiful to look at, and add a bit of happy mystery to any room.
The pair of gold foliate pier mirrors is a great unexpected compliment to a casual interior, from beach house to Brooklyn townhouse.
The carved Indian screen. I think screens are so versatile and useful for camouflaging, as well as accenting the interior architectural features of a space. They can also be used as headboards, too!
Is design an art or a science?
A combination of the two. Certainly a clear understanding of the technical aspect of design is essential for the success of any interior, but the importance of the intuitive aspects of design, such as sensitivity to color, proportion and light, that takes a design from competent to exciting.
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
I love COLOR! I love them all equally and I haven’t met a color that didn’t inspire me. I do think it’s important to know which colors are appropriate for a space. In Florida, our sunshine makes all colors look their best.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
Our designs tell you more about our client than they do about us. When we are photographing, we are still welcome in our clients’ homes long after we have completed their project. If they haven’t changed a thing, I think it’s because they feel as though we have collaborated WITH them on the design, rather than created an interior FOR them. They are emotionally invested in the design, and comfortable in it.
Share your biggest design secret.
I always add something irrational to my design. Incorporating something that’s a bit out of scale, or is whimsical, will make a space memorable.
What is the most common design mistake you see?
Making everything too homogenous and consistent to a particular style. Correctness can be a bit boring. Using a pair of gold gilded mirrors in a casual beach house with grasscloth walls will make the room special and timeless.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
I don’t really try to balance those three. I think my clients, along with the location of the project, dictate the hierarchy of those three ingredients. I think no matter the “style” requested, it’s my job as the designer to make sure it’s executed in a way that’s appropriate for its place, location and time.
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece, furniture)
For me, it’s about finding that first thing that inspires me to envision the entire design concept. It can be anything from the colors in the petal of a flower, to the pattern in an antique quilt, to a quirky piece of furniture…but usually it’s when I’m traveling and my mind is receptive to ideas flowing in, rather than when I’m in the studio and ideas are flowing out.
What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
I think it’s a great platform that allows for the procurement of objects that everyone can buy with the confidence that Sotheby’s can offer.