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    Brian J. McCarthy

    Photo: Francesco Lagnese

    Brian J. McCarthy

    Photo: Francesco Lagnese

    A former partner of the legendary design firm Parish-Hadley, award-winning designer Brian McCarthy founded his eponymous firm Brian J. McCarthy Inc. in 1992. Since then, he has worked on projects and residences around the globe. In 2005, Brian was invited by the U.S. Ambassador Robert H. Tuttle to design the private quarters and refurbish the State Rooms in Winfield House, the official residence of the Ambassador to the Court of St. James. A graduate of New York City’s Pratt Institute, Brian is a proud member of Architectural Digest’s AD100 and Elle Decor’s A-List and his work has been featured in many publications, including Architectural Digest, on the cover of Galerie magazine, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, New York magazine (100 Best), the New York Times, and Veranda, as well as in several books. Brian is also the author of Luminous Interiors and Parish Hadley Tree of Life, which he co-authored with Bunny Williams, and he lectures about his work and design around the country. He was awarded The Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award from The New York School of Interior Design on March 3rd, 2020. Brian lives in New York City with his partner, Danny Sager.

    1. How did you begin designing interiors ?

    After graduating from pratt university in 1983, I was fortunate to have been hired at Parish-Hadley as Albert Hadley’s assistant.

    2. Has there been a defining moment in your career ?

    My very first defining moment of my career was when I was made a partner at Parish-Hadley. The honor of being asked to carry on that legacy with such legends in the industry was extraordinary.

    3. What is your favorite type of client/project ?

    A client who comes with a point of view, a vision and a collaborative spirit! If you’ve got those three, any project will be successful.

    4. What do you think is the deciding factor in a successful interior design project ?

    Listening to the clients and transforming their thoughts into their dreams and ultimately their reality.

    5. What is the most challenging aspect of your work ?

    By far I would have to say it is client relations and learning to deal with the challenges of the many personalities and characteristics of demanding people.

    6. How would you describe your creative process and its influences ? How do you get inspired ?

    It begins very intuitively by getting to know the client and then transcribing it to the creative process. After all, every home needs to reflect the people who inhabit it. Otherwise its soulless.  I’m influenced by so many historical and contemporary references but also by all the uniquely talented artisans that we work with. And sometimes it might be a particular piece of furniture or work of art or the architectural characteristics that gets the creative juices flowing.

    7. What advice would you give beginner designers ?

    Only work for someone you admire and respect and put the time in to really learn. Jumping around from firm to firm will only confuse the learning process. Also be curious. Do the research. Educate your eye as well as your mind. And ask questions. The gallerists and dealers are great teachers.

    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Francesco Lagnese

    8. What would be the ideal place to design for you ?

    Another super yacht.

    9. Could you describe a typical day of your work ?

    Assessing the days schedule and meeting with my teams to review agendas and carry on. And always problem solving.

    10. How do you choose the specific materials you work with ?

    Depends entirely on the clients and their lifestyle.

    11. What artists/creatives have influenced you ?

    Wow, there are too many to choose but for starters, Emilio Terry, Albert Hadley, Henri Samuel and Jean Michel Frank as design influences. Atelier Meriguet for all their incredible decorative finishes.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    Patrice Dangel, Herve van der Stratten, Hubert Legall, Nancy Lorenz, Samuel Ross, Misha Kahn, Bill Sullivan, Nacho Carbonel, Ingrid Donat and so many more.

    13. If you had to summarize your creations in one word or sentence, what would it be ?

    Artistry.

    14. Do you have any books/programs/podcasts to recommend to our readers?

    The podcast: Talk Art
    As well as recent books I have read: Picasso’s War, Double Vision, 9th Street Women

    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Thomas Loof
    Photo: Francesco Lagnese
    Photo: Francesco Lagnese

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