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    Thomas Pheasant

    Thomas Pheasant

    Thomas Pheasant is internationally recognized for his more than 40 years of creating interiors and furniture. With personal residences in Washington, D.C., and Paris, he focuses his creativity on residential and commercial projects throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

    Celebrated for his modern vision of classical design his diverse accomplishments have included the 1997 Andrew Martin International Designer of the Year Award, the distinction by Architectural Digest US in 2005 as a Dean of American Design, the 2015 John Russell Pope Award by the Institute of Classical Architecture, and the 2016 Design Icon Award for his contributions to the design industry. He continues to be widely published in the most prestigious architectural and interior design magazines around the world.

    His book, Simply Serene: The New Luxury for Modern Interiors, published by Rizzoli, brings to life the serenity and classic imprint that are Pheasant’s signature. He is currently working on his second book, Seeking Beauty: A Designer’s Journey. His furniture design collection include, Thomas Pheasant Collection for Baker, Thomas Pheasant Collection for McGuire, and his own collection of limited edition and unique pieces, Thomas Pheasant STUDIO.

    1. How did you begin designing interiors ?

    I began my university studies in architecture. During my second year, a professor suggested that I take a few of the interior design classes to round out my studies. That guidance led me to my connection with designing interiors.

    2. Has there been a defining moment in your career ? Could you tell us about it?

    I have had many defining moments in my career. I believe that receiving a call from Paige Rense, the former editor of Architectural Digest US, inviting me to lunch to discuss publishing a few of my projects was one of the first. That relationship with AD gave me a voice both nationally and internationally.

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

    I love working with clients who allow me to experiment with new creative ideas. That trust means everything to me.

    4. You also have a furniture line. Could you tell us about how you started on that path? What led you to it?

    Baker Furniture came to me in 2001 and asked if I would consider designing a line of furniture for them based on my modern classic vocabulary. Initially, I turned down the offer as I was very focused on my interiors project. Soon they approached me again and I agreed to creating a collection which was launched in 2002. It was a wonderful experience and a very successful collection that led to designing multiple collections for Baker and McGuire. Last fall I launched my latest collection for Baker which celebrated our 20th anniversary of collaboration. A few years ago, I launched my own Thomas Pheasant STUDIO Collection. The mission of STUDIO is to find extraordinary artisans and create limited-edition pieces inspired by their craft. It has been personally so rewarding to work one on one with these amazing artisans.

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

    Common goals between the designer and the client.

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

    The responsibility of taking creative ideas and bringing them into reality. The trust given to me by my clients is beautiful, but it is a responsibility that I take seriously.

    7. How would you describe your creative process and its influences? Or how do you get inspired?

    Inspiration is not something you can just go out and find. It is something that finds you. I recently traveled to Japan for the first time. I was so overwhelmed by the beauty of their culture and how that culture can be found in every aspect of life and design. Soon after my trip, I was asked by McGuire to create a new collection. This collection was totally inspired by my time in Japan. I didn’t go to Japan thinking it would inspire a collection. I experienced something that lingered inside me, and I had the opportunity to allow it to inspire a collection. That is the beauty of opening your eyes to truly see the world outside of you.

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

    I would love to design a boutique hotel from interiors to staff uniforms. A theatrical & purely creative concept taken throughout all aspects of the project.

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

    The only thing typical is that no two days are alike.

    10. What was one of the hardest-learned lessons in your job?

    Managing an interiors firm is 75% business and 25% creative.

    11. What artists/creatives have influenced you ?

    Richard Serra, Constantin Brancusi, Andrea Palladio, Jean Michel Frank, John Russell Pope, Gio Ponti… and many more.

    12. What contemporary designers do you appreciate ?

    There are many contemporary designers that have inspired me over the years. Vincent Van Duysen, John Pawson, Renzo Piano, Tadao Ando, Jean Nouvel, Joseph Dirand, are a few that come to mind.

    13. Do you have a favorite design object you could not live without?

    I have a large collection of gilt bronze boxes by Line Vautrin. I have been collecting them over the past 20 years.

    14. What advice would you give to beginner designers?

    Find your own voice as quickly as possible…it will take you a lifetime to refine it.

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

    Classical Evolution.

    16. Do you have any books/porgrams/podcasts to recommend to our readers?

    On my desk right now is The Architecture of Chanel, Peter Marino. I am fascinated by the idea of merging the vocabularies of fashion and interiors.

    17. Anything you would like to add?

    Thank you for supporting our industry!

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