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The Interview of Robert Brown
Friend and client of La Maison de la Maille, Robert Brown is an interior designer renowned for his clean, classic interiors that meld luxurious finishes and furnishings with a mix of contemporary art and antiques to create rooms that are layered, timeless, and refined. Named “Southeastern Designer of the Year” by Veranda magazine, he has accumulated more than 20 awards from the American Society of Interior Design. Based in Atlanta, Robert knows no border to make your interior design dreams come true. Discover below the exclusive interview he gave to La Maison de la Maille.
Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
I am an interior designer based in Atlanta. I primarily focus on luxury residential projects that are throughout the US and as far flung as Dubai. I transitioned into interior design after spending more than twenty years in the fashion world. My design work is known for being well-tailored, classically based, and modern. The melding of the two design worlds has given me a unique business perspective and informs my inspired aesthetic.
When should anyone decide to start working with you?
Now. I am always looking and thinking about future projects and am a big believer that the most important part is the client and designer relationship. The most successful projects are those where the client grows to trust the designer quickly and is open to their ideas. Whether you are building, renovating, moving or just want to redesign your current home - it’s always a good idea to work with a designer and it’s never too soon to get started.
What do you do when you're not working?
Ha. I am always working. Design is an all consuming career. You are always looking and learning. I might be drinking a glass of Bordeaux and pondering its exact color tone or I could be looking through a gate and see a pattern that inspires something.
What is one of the projects that you're the most proud of?
It is always the ones where the client falls in love with the project and it really makes them happy and adds to their lives.
What was your biggest and/or your smallest project?
We love all of our projects no matter the size. We did a jewel box of a project in Manhattan for a beautifully talented young client; she let us use a pink silk ombre wall-covering, that was so much fun. Our largest finished project is a villa in Dubai with huge formal spaces, a barber shop, massive dressing rooms, interior courtyards and a 17 car underground garage. We are actually in the middle of a super cool project in Atlanta that has an incredible amount of amenities. It will have a walk-in cigar humidor, indoor basketball court and a gym and spa like no other.
What do your clients say about you?
We have amazing clients. Many have been repeat clients who I always feel so honored to work with again. We have developed some really incredible, long lasting friendships. It is great if you are doing the 5th house for someone or doing work for their children. I feel like that truly tells you what someone thinks of you, when you see that they value your opinion and come to you first. I’ve had privileges such as helping close clients shop for their new house to even finding out before anyone else about a pregnancy so I could get a head start on designing the nursery. I love that my clients trust me. The last few years have been difficult with the industry inundated with delays, and the best clients are understanding and patient.
How did you discover La Maison de la Maille and what do you think of the brand?
This is just another amazing story of how cool people come into your life. I needed a photographer in Paris and my friends at Dior recommended this brilliantly talented, vintage motorcycle driving, fashion aficionado guy named FX. We have become fast friends and he told me about his little venture La Maison de la Maille. It is brilliant so I bought some throws for my clients and my Atlanta shop, Townhouse.
What would be your favorite piece from La Maison de la Maille?
The one that is on the drawing boards at my atelier that I will have made as part of my collection.
How do you choose the right blanket?
The obvious things are the hand and the color. It must be soft and durable. I am very interested in the way it is knitted and finished at the edges. It must be the best and exude luxury. On a personal note, I’m a big guy so it needs to be generously sized.
How do you use a blanket?
At the foot of the bed, by the outdoor fire, as a cold weather cape, as a picnic tablecloth, at the football stadium…it is a constant companion.
How important is a blanket/throw in designing a living space?
I like one thrown over the back of a sofa or on the bed. It brings a bit of humanity to a space and a hint that someone really lives in the room. It is also a way to add another layer of luxury to a space.
What inspires you as an Interior Designer?
Everything. Food, wine, art, fashion, friends and my favorite, travel.
Which advice would you have for anyone looking to improve their interiors?
Hire an interior designer. What you surround yourself with directly influences your mentality and well-being. There are brilliantly talented designers around the world whose lifelong goal is to bring beauty to this world. Why not hire someone with extensive knowledge and a network of amazing vendors, artists and artisans? We can help you take your ideas and fantasies and turn them into reality. My other piece of advice is to invest in quality and craftsmanship. Fast, cheap furniture looks like you got it fast and cheap. Invest in custom, quality furnishings & accessories that are made to last a lifetime.
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