American Design Hot List 2020
Using their own beautifully gut-renovated Brooklyn home as a calling card, married couple Keren and Thomas Richter have built up a full-fledged interior design firm over the past few years, with a knack for bridging traditional Old World aesthetics with a highly playful contemporary vibe. We’re such big fans that Jill even chose the firm to helm her own interior renovation — a project we’ll be highlighting here next spring.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American Design is inherently international. Our country doesn’t have the longest track record of craft or history, which frees us up to play and take risks. We don’t feel weighed down by any cultural expectations.
What we think is really special is the mixing of cultures and various ideas and techniques generated by the totally distinctive coasts, the first generation families, the kids moving here and giving their dreams a chance. There is a great sense of possibility, drama, play, and endless technological innovation.
We really enjoy what is happening in furniture, lighting, ceramics, glass, wallpaper, and textiles, and we hope to design our own line soon!
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
We are adding a tiny human to our family, working on some spectacular townhouses in Brooklyn and Manhattan, a few free-standing homes outside of NYC, and unveiling the five apartments we designed for a new Brooklyn development.
We’re hoping to photograph several of our recently completed projects in the new year, and we’re in the thick of renovating a client’s townhouse that we’ve been involved with designing from the ground up. It’s a fascinating process.
Some of our recently completed interiors will also make their way into books and in print, and that’s also exciting! Being published is always a thrill.
In an ideal scenario, we’d also get to travel to Europe (we have family there and try to visit a few times a year), but the world is a weird place, and who knows what will happen come summer.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
Lately, we’ve been thinking about what makes space “cozy” and “warm.” It’s as much about refreshing what we find inspiring as much as it is about creating a safe space and an intimate environment while sheltering in place.
We are in nesting mode and are gravitating towards darker and richer colors, layered textures, with a new language of pattern mixing, and utilizing more formal and traditional or antique textiles. We are gravitating to Chinese Art Deco rugs, silk lanterns, toile fabrics, and ironstone pottery. Feeling Cotswolds vibes and doing a lot of research into creating spaces that feel transportive and playful, but in a way that we haven’t done before.