Behind the Scenes of Design Notes With AD’s Market Director

I’ll find items that I know will eventually be great for a page, so I do save throughout the year. It might be a new but vintage-looking piece that a brand is making—something that if you stumbled upon it in a French flea market, you’d be so happy, but you can never order multiples of. Like the Hector Finch light featured in this edition: It’s new but has a vintage, whimsical feel. Or the Cutter Brooks patchwork dog beds—those are fabulous. I have pictures of them from when I’d seen [Amanda Brooks] in Milan during Salone, so when I saw this house, I thought, Oh, that fits the vibe of the house, even if it wasn’t actually in there.

A lot of the time, the best things I find are from word of mouth. Like at a dinner, I’ll be sitting next to some interesting person from a slightly different world than me, and they’ll say, Oh, do you know about that one guy who makes those spoons? Or something like that. And I’m like, No, I don’t know about that guy who makes those spoons! That’s one of my favorite ways in, and is, among other reasons, why I go to dinners and parties and try to be socially out and about in the world.

And sometimes when I’m traveling, I’ll go find a neighborhood that I haven’t explored that’s known for having interesting stores. I’ll go up and down the streets, pop into shops, and talk to people. In New York, I’ll talk to people like Kate Brodsky, who has KRB NYC, or John Derian, and I’ll ask if they’ve started carrying anything interesting that I should know about. So it’s a lot of sourcing through other sources, too.

It takes a village. Do you consider price when you’re making your picks?

I consider it in the sense that I like to have as much of a mix of price as I can. I try not to make it something that’s completely unattainable. Sometimes we have houses where we joke that the idea of “shop the look” is sort of funny, because you can’t—everything’s one of a kind. Houses like those can be a little challenging, but then I tend to pull in some more accessible sources to balance it out. Design Notes is not exactly a “Get the Look for Less” type of feature, right? We’re here to inspire, and I take that very seriously in these pages. It’s an idea, it’s creative, it’s fun—and some of it is attainable.

How much does this process seep into your own life? Has this research shaped your sense of style, and the look of your own home?

It has changed my sense of style. Once you know most of what’s on the market, it makes you scrutinize everything else so much more. I’ll know when there’s an authentic version of something versus a knock-off, for instance. Or if I’m traveling and able to find a truly original source for a type of piece I’m seeing reproduced on the luxury market, that’s always exciting.

I’ve been whittling my sense of personal style more and more as I’ve gathered more knowledge of the market. The more you see, the less you like. There’s a misconception that if you’re a market editor that you’ll love this, and that, and so many different home things. But the reality is that to be an editor, you really love very little. That’s the editing process. Somebody shows you 50 buttons—one of them is a good button, right? So much of the job is not liking everything.


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