Crazy-Wise Advice From a Young Interior Designer

Julia Millay Walsh
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Before hitting 30, interior designer Ryan Korban has managed to establish himself as one of downtown Manhattan's most in-demand designers, beloved for his livable, well-edited brand of edgy glamour, luxurious materials, and old world romance. To top it off, the designer was recently invited to participate in Sotheby's inaugural Designer Show House, and his debut book, Ryan Korban: Luxury Redefined, will be released tomorrow. Needless to say, he's wise beyond his years, and we're ardent fans of his fresh design sense. Korban recently sat down with DuJour to discuss all things luxury and design, and we were blown away by the young designer's wisdom.
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Here are a few of our favorite quotes from the interview:
  • "What I try to do a lot of the time is make one statement and make it really big. It's always been about making confident choices and making them in a way that there is no room for interpretation of what the statement is. If a client really loves the idea of animal skin, then why don't we put an entire zebra in the apartment?"
  • "For me, luxury--especially in the sense of interior design--is the idea of taking luxurious things and using them in your day-to-day life. It's something that we saw happen in fashion, and I don't think it's necessarily something that has happened in design yet--which is what's so alluring about it."
  • "Figure out what your look is, what you aesthetic is. It needs to be something that people can recognize and understand what you are doing. If you are not confident in the message that you're sending, then it doesn't matter."
  • "If it becomes too organic you feel kind of lost and you can go off forever. So I really like to start off with a floor plan then with materials. With those two things you have a good sense of how the space works and how it's going to feel. From there I plug in the furnishings and everything else."
  • "If you look through my work you won't often find prints, and you won't often find color in the traditional sense. My use of fur and animal skin is really my layering in of color, texture and pattern. If the space needs something, someone else might say, 'what about stripes?' For me, it's always, 'what about python?' or 'ostrich might look awesome here.'"
Photographs: DuJour

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