Tiffany Howell of Night Palm

Los Angeles,
Before launching her interior design studio, Howell started out as a music video director and head of fashion photographer Herb Ritts’ music video agency. Music — and, perhaps, Ritts’ glamorous photographic eye — still informs everything she does. Howell’s interiors are lush, moody, filled with both iconic and obscure pieces of vintage — often European — and with a special eye for art. She’ll often say things to clients like “I want your house to feel like David Bowie,” or “I want the house to feel like a Stan Getz song.” And you know what? Every time it works, from the Hancock Park project she recently landed on the cover of Elle Décor to the hammam-inspired partnership she debuted with Studio Kohler at Design Miami. 

What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?

There is no one single design aesthetic standard here. It’s a melting pot of global influences where we extract various cultural ideas and implement them with a fresh perspective, and I feel there is a real freedom because of that. I also have always felt that American design acts as a marker for what is going on socially/politically and it feels quite reflective and storytelling in that way. These narratives inspire me personally as I romance the idea of the story.

What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?

2023 is shaping up to be very busy year for us with multiple residential projects on both the West and East coasts (let’s just say there might be a skating rink involved) and several other commercial projects. We are also working on design collaborations with some very cool and creative brands — for example, a Night Palm tile and flooring line with Concrete Collaborative. And finally, we’ve been busy dreaming up on our own furniture and lighting lines that I hope to debut in late 2023 plus an art show experience which I’m hoping will launch in the late summer.

What inspires or informs your work in general?

The mystery and romance of things drive me. I always try to sit in the unknown when I am conceptualizing and before I enter the flow of any project. Next, I dive into the questions and motivation behind the space. I am so deeply interested in the depth of our emotional landscapes and how to bring that alive through the aesthetic. I often lean on poetry, music, and fashion photography to inform the alchemy of the space. I am essentially crafting a visual love letter to my clients and it’s all about that lushness for me.

Photos by Frank Frances, Pablo Enriquez, and Kerry Marshall