The Style Files: Liliane Hart

Liliane Hart is a New York-based interior designer known for her fresh approach to classic interiors. Liliane founded Liliane Hart Interiors in Manhattan in 2007 after spending several years working for Jeffrey Bilhuber. Through the layering of color, texture, and custom furnishings, she and her team build upon the bones of well-made rooms to create interiors that are both classically gracious and delightfully fresh. Liliane has designed a vast array of houses in New York and throughout the Northeast, ranging from sophisticated city apartments to gracious country homes and coastal retreats, taking a personal and individualized approach to each one. The results are timeless and tailored, thanks to Liliane’s keen eye for detail and her brilliant sense of color. Her work has been recognized in several publications including Luxe, Traditional Home, and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens and she was named a 2017 “New Trad” by Traditional Home. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Liliane Hart: My style is classic and comfortable incorporating traditional forms combined with modern furnishings to create fresh versions of timeless design.

PC: How has living in New York influenced your aesthetic?

LH: New York City is both vibrant and impersonal. With so much inspiration at my fingertips, I’m able to create interiors that are unique in character while emphasizing each client’s personal tastes and style.

PC: What does your home say about you?

LH: My home is colorful, layered, comfortable and personal.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

LH:I love looking at interiors books for inspiration and architectural detailing. The Design and Decoration building in NYC is also a great resource for fabric and trimmings. I like to start interior schemes with a few fabrics that the client loves!

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

LH: Marella Agnelli, Peggy Guggenheim, Carolina Herrera, Nancy Lancaster

{Style Icon, Marella Agnelli’s Pale Pink Bedroom in Marrakech as featured in Vogue}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

LH: Honesty and trustworthiness.

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

LH: Restaurants, I could go out every night!

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

LH: Jeffrey Bilhuber. I worked for him for many years and he is a wonderful mentor and a true inspiration. His talent and his passion for design is infectious.


PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

LH: Living a full and deeply satisfying life.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

LH: We are currently starting work on a beautiful apartment on the Upper West Side overlooking Central park. It is a landmarked building with beautiful architectural elements. It is inspiring to work with beautiful architecture.

Go-To Outfit: Button down shirt, jeans and flats

Style Mantra: Keep it classic

Scent: Angel by Thierry Mugler

Piece of Jewelry: Watch, necklace, wedding rings

Color I Never Tire Of: White

Flower: Jasmine

Indispensable Design Element: Antiques

Era for Design: Late 19th- and 20th-century English, midcentury Scandinavian

Dream Project: Always love a beach house

Fabric/Textile: Printed Linen and Grasscloth

Hostess Gift: Pretty votives

Meal: Anything Italian

Drink: Lightly sweetened margarita

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Playing card games with my girls

3 Things I Love About My City: The pace, the opportunity and the nightlife

Weekend Destination: Charleston

Hotel: Alvear Palace Hotel in Buenos Aires

City: Paris

Museum: MOMA

Artist: Basquiat, Cy Twombly

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “Three little Birds” by Bob Marley

Actor/Actress: Jude Law

Prized Possession: My 2 girls

Risk Worth Taking: Starting a business

Greatest Extravagance: Quiet Time

Go-To Color Palette: Blue and green

Rule to Break: Start with the Rug

Movie Set Design: The Royal Tennenbaums

I can never have too many…Books

{Photography Courtesy of Liliane Hart}

The Style Files: Bobby McAlpine

{Photography by Sarah Dorio}

Bobby McAlpine is one of the most revered architects in America today. Born in an Alabama sawmill town, Bobby McAlpine designed his first house at he age of five and has not stopped since. Architect, romantic, poet, and entrepreneur, he envisions home as a timeless, graceful, and emotionally evocative place. From the time he founded the firm in 1983, he has realized this ideal in a diverse array of traditional styles and regional vernaculars for clients all over the country and abroad. Today, known simply as McALPINE, the firm now embraces a brilliant and eclectic family of architects and interior designers with offices in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and New York. They have been listed on Architectural Digest’s AD100 and Elle Décor’s A-List. Their designs include hundreds of residences, restaurants, private chapels, follies in a public park and on private lands, hotels, a school, a rehabilitated town, and a family compound on a private island in the Caribbean. Their extensive portfolio has been widely published in several books and many periodicals including Veranda, Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Southern Accents, Elle Decor, Southern Living, House and Garden, Garden and Gun, Coastal Living, Milieu, and Traditional Home. Just this past fall, Bobby’s much anticipated third book, Poetry of Place was published by Rizzoli. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Bobby McAlpine: Inclusive. I love anything that is beautifully done.

PC: How has living in Atlanta influenced your aesthetic?

BM: It is big and green enough to absorb a brave new vein of work I am honing.

PC: What does your home say about you?

BM: It is an original; strong and forthright on the outside, a warm and fuzzy arc of treasure on the inside.

{Bobby McAlpine and his Tibetan Terrier, Boyfriend at Home in His Atlanta Living Room | Photography by Jonny Valiant for Southern Living}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

BM: The movies and great hotels.

{Photography by Jonny Valiant for Southern Living}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

BM: Edwin Lutyens, Anouska Hempel, John Saladino

{A Palm Springs Home Designed by John Saladino | Photography by Max Kim-Bee for Veranda}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

BM: Transparency 

{Architecture by Bobby McAlpine | Interior Design by Betsy Brown}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

BM: Building!

{The Facade of Interior Designer, Rela Gleason’s Home in the Napa Valley}

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

BM: Teaching, early in my practice. Reading poetry and writing books. Experimenting with my houses and striking the set again and again.

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

BM: Letting things go.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

BM: My newest book, Poetry of Place was just published by Rizzoli in September. In addition, I am working on a brave new vein of romantic modernism and modern classicism. My new house. A bawdy line of furnishings for Perennials through EJ Victor. Ever growing additions to my furniture lines with LEE, Holland MacRae and Elegant Earth.

Go-To Outfit: Sport coat and jeans

Style Mantra: Opposites attract

Scent: Bottega Veneta

Piece of Jewelry: My square TAG Heuer watch

Color I Never Tire Of: Green

Flower: ginger lily

Era for Design: 1920s American Architecture

Dream Project: A signature lake house

Fabric/Textile: Mohair and linen

Hostess Gift: A kitten (just kidding)

Meal: Steak au poivre, mashed potatoes, fiddle head fern

Drink: Coke Zero

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: A long bath and audio book or podcast

3 Things I Love About My City: It is leafy and green with rolling hills and a great airport

Weekend Destination: Lake Martin, Alabama

Hotel: The Rosewood London

City: Paris

Museum: Rodin Museum, Paris

Artist: Michael Dines of Atlanta

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Deee-lite “Groove is in the Heart”

Actor/Actress: Annette Bening, Joaquin Phoenix

Prized Possession: My dog “Boyfriend”

Risk Worth Taking: Building yourself a house

Greatest Extravagance: Redecorating!

Go-To Color Palette: All the colors of metals and white

Rule to Break: Always break symmetry

Movie Set Design: Rebecca

I can never have too many… Chairs

{Photography Courtesy of Bobby McAlpine Unless Otherwise Noted}

The Style Files: Keith Williams

Keith Williams is one of the leading landscape designers in the country. He has been a partner at Nievera Williams since 2007 where he also serves as one of the lead designers at the firm. A member of the ASLA, Keith has had an integral role in a wide range of projects for residential and commercial landscape projects throughout Palm Beach, Northeastern United States, Bahamas, Miami Beach and Shanghai, China, some of which also include landscape designs for historic and landmarked residences. Keith was born and raised in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Williams discovered his passion for design at young age. He is also inspired by the work of Thomas Church and Beatrix Ferrand. Keith is currently working on the restoration and renovation for a significant landmarked Palm Beach residence designed by noted architect, Mario Sims Wyeth, in the late 1920’s. Current commercial work includes design for the new landscape and site improvements for the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach, Florida (DCOTA). Over the years, Keith’s work has been featured in publications such as Veranda, Traditional Home, Florida Design and Palm Beach Illustrated.

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Keith Williams: I am definitely a minimalist.

PC: How has living in Palm Beach influenced your style?

KW: Living in Palm Beach has had a major influence on my design aesthetic. There’s such a diverse clientele in Palm Beach and it is enriched in history and architects.

PC: What does your home say about you?

KW: It is very clean, organized, tone on tone and sustainable.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration:

KW: My travels with my wife are the most inspirational; and my business partner, Mario Nievera provides great inspiration as well.  Locations: Italy-Amalfi Coast, Rome, Florence and Tuscany.

PC: Who are your style icons?

KW: Alessandro Michele, the Creative Director of Gucci is always inspiring.

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

KW: Loyalty

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

KW: I love “House of Cards”.

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

KW: My father has, I’ve always admired his work growing up, his work ethic and the way he handled himself professional plus his creativity. 

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

KW: Honestly, renovating an old farm house in southern Italy with my wife, with amazing gravel gardens, fruit and vegetable gardens and few goats and chickens.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

KW: Lots of modern work, working on renovating an old building into a modern boutique hotel in Miami. We have a New furniture line out called “simplicity”.  

Go to Outfit: Lanvin sneakers and white jeans 

Style Mantra: Fitted, cool shoes and never over done

Scent: Creed Millesime Imperial

Piece of Jewelry: my wedding ring

Color I Never Tire Of: Blue 

Flower: Anything wild 

Indispensable Design Element: Pennoyer Newman planters, I love them all!

Era for Design: Mid Century Modern Era 

Dream Project: One without any budget, lol! One that I can work on both the architecture and landscape architecture.

Fabric/Textile: Perennials outdoor fabric 

Hostess Gift: Coffee table books, usually to do with gardens or architecture

Meal: Spaghetti Pomodoro

Drink: Aperol spritz 

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Hug and kiss my wife, I know it sounds corny but it’s true!  

3 Things I love about Palm Beach: History, Architecture, Weather

Weekend Destination: Miami Beach or NYC

Hotel: Gramercy Park in NYC

City: Rome

Museum: Roof top at the Met 

Artist: Jasper Johns 

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Vax- Fireproof Featuring Teddy Sky

Actor/Actress: Tom Selleck / Meryl Streep 

Prized Possession: The Panerai watch my wife gave me

Risk Worth Taking: Dreaming. Don’t be afraid to dream when your designing.

Greatest Extravagance: Porsche 911 convertible 

Go-To Color Palette: Green and white 

Rule to Break: There are no rules 

Movie Set Design: The Great Gatsby

I can never have too many… designer sneakers… especially LANVIN.

{Photography Courtesy of Keith Williams}


The Style Files: Timothy Brown

Timothy Brown is a talented, young interior designer based in New York. Originally from Tennessee, Timothy grew up with an appreciation for beauty and craftsmanship, but sought to create a more edited aesthetic than what he found all around him in the South. Over time, he would come to create his signature style which he refers to as warm minimalism. I have long admired the crisp, tailored interiors Timothy designs and the creative ways in which he injects that warmth, whether it is through a variety of carefully-selected textures or through interesting art. Timothy formerly worked for the likes of Victoria Hagan, Wayne Nathan, and Robert Stilin prior to launching his eponymous design firm. In the time since he has branched out on his own, Timothy has been recognized as a “Next Wave” interior designer by House Beautiful and was named one of Traditional Home’s “Ten Up and Coming Designers”. Timothy also recently launched a chic shop, T Brown Studio at the New York Design Center. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Timothy Brown: It really depends on the client and the project, I would like to think we do our version of site and client specific work. For example..a few years ago, we did a project in Paris, with most of the furniture from the clients storage in nyc.. we did the apt with a nod to luxury and Parisian posh. Same with houses in the Hamptons, depending on the location and the client. My personal design style has been called warm minimalism.

PC: How has living in New York influenced your aesthetic?

TB: Growing up in Tennessee..I would say I had a much different view of what design is compared to what I do now..I like many different styles..In the south there is a much more decorative way of looking at design, from real and faux french antiques to living room walls glazed and made to look like old limestone blocks. My time in New York has pushed me to a more minimal look. I still prefer decorative items, but in a much more restrained sensibility.

PC: What does your home say about you?

TB: I’m OCD. Just kidding. Well… I would live with very little furniture if I could, but living and having friends over is hard if there is nowhere to sit. My apt is a collection of things I love, color, objects and art and the occasional flower.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

TB: I don’t think I have one particular thing…Inspiration is all around and it hits you when you least expect it. Could be walking down the street, where a building detail inspires me, an art installation, art and design books…even a collection of furniture at a museum could inspire a seating arrangement in a living room. Inspiration is all around all the time, we just have to be open to receiving it.

PC: Who are your style icons?

TB: Clothing: I’m a mix of Daniel Craig’s James Bond tailored look and a dose of Margiela. I prefer classic shapes and ideas when dressing. Design: I always fall back to Joe D’urso and Shelton Mindel. I find both great resources for different reasons.

{Shelton Mindel}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

TB: Dependability

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

TB: My Shop. TBROWNSTUDIO Hello, my name is Timothy Brown and I have a shopping problem. I love to hunt for furniture. I love to buy and refurbish furniture. The notion of taking something and giving it a new life is so satisfying to me. I started buying furniture and it turned into a shop. Its so much fun.

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

TB: Two former employers.. My first boss Wayne Nathan, taught me how to mix it up and to look at a room like a painting. Work on it a bit, step away, work more, take away and come back to it…it’s a practice that works every time. My second employer, Robert Stilin, was a big influence on the business side. …he taught me how to work and understand clients, understanding the words ‘ service business’.

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

TB: I live ‘la dolce vita’ everyday..I love what I do for work, I enjoy my friends, I enjoy all of my clients and I love the people I work with and all of this allows me to do the things I love and want to do. I cook for friends, I’m learning French and taking Tae Kwon do.. What else can I add to my to do list?!

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

TB: As I mentioned, in April of 2017 I opened a store at 200 Lexington. I am currently working on a few ground up houses in the Hamptons. Finishing up a Plastic Surgeons office on Park Ave. Great things are happening everyday.. it’s very exciting.


Go-To Outfit: navy crewneck merino wool sweater, margiela jeans and margiela replica sneakers

Style Mantra: Simple and Classic with a twist

Scent: Margiela UNTITLED

Piece of Jewelry: MY WATCH.. BELL & ROSS

Color I Never tire of: for my clothing.. charcoal grey or navy

Flower: White French Tulips

Era for Design: French 30-40’s

Textile: anything from Rogers and Goffigon.. the colors and textures are so great.

Hostess Gift: Scented Matches by Cire Trudon

Meal: Anytime I can cook for friends

Drink: Poland Springs, Sparkling Original Water

Way to Unwind after a long day at work: Casa Amigos Reposado on the rocks

3 things I love about New York City: The museums..the crazy people and all the great access to design

Weekend Destination: I have work in the Hamptons, so I find myself there almost every weekend

Hotel: La Maison Champs Elysées, Paris

City: Paris, France

Museum: Natural History Museum NYC

Artist: Joseph Stashkevetch

Song that always puts me in a great mood: anything Grace Jones

Actor/Actress: Tilda Swinton

Prized Possession: a LEGO phone my mother gave me when I was 7. I still have it and reminds me to be a kid every day

Risk Worth Taking: Moving to New York City from Tennesse..and now I have my own business. Completed an apt in Paris, LA and houses in the Hamptons. I didn’t know how, I just knew I could.

Greatest Extravagance: The gym I attend. I go to a private gym, DRIVE 495 in Soho. It’s the way I start my day.

Go-To Color Palette: Blue and Purple. I love this combo.

Rule to Break: all of them…start with the rules, and deviate as needed.

Movie Set Design: inside the game on TRON: LEGACY

I can never have too many … Espressos–my office will say otherwise


The Style Files: Peter Pennoyer

Peter Pennoyer is one of the most talented American architects working today. He is the principal partner of his eponymous, New York-based architecture firm which has sixty members and handles commissions the world over. Peter “has made the study of history a generating force in his work and believes that by mastering the interpretation of architectural history, he and his colleagues design projects that are both modern and classical.” Peter’s firm is currently designing projects spanning from Hong Kong to Florida and include residential, institutional, and commercial buildings. Peter serves as adjunct professor in the Architecture and Urban Studies program at New York University and works as an advocated for historic preservation. Peter has co-authored five books, including, Harrie T. Lindberg and The American Country House which was just released in November and focuses on the hugely influential, yet often overlooked architect whose steeply sloping roofs, modest materials, and eclectic traditionalism have had a massive impact on the American country house as we know it today. Peter lives in Bronxville, New York with his wife, interior designer, Katie Ridder and their three children. I recently had the opportunity to interview Peter and have truly enjoyed learning more about this incredibly talented architect, including the fact that he has a very sharp sense of humor. Enjoy!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Peter Pennoyer: Trailing current trends by one decade (at least) saves me from the perils of being fashionable.

PC: How has living in New York influenced your aesthetic?

PP: New York has always given me inspiration. I admire the great landmarks like Ralph Walker’s One Wall Street but what really speaks to me are the buildings that join to make great streetscapes like Striver’s Row. Most of all, New Yorkers give me energy – from my NYU students to my artist friends.

PC: What does your home say about you?

PP: My home shows that I like to take familiar, classical architecture and transform it into something unexpected, but comfortable.

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

PP: We have almost 10,000 books in our library but my deepest inspiration comes from traveling and experiencing buildings first hand. My first trip this year was to Naples (Italy) a font of inspiration.

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

PP: Scott Disick … but seriously, Whitney Warren, the architect of Grand Central Terminal and my friend, Madison Cox, the esteemed garden designer.

{Grand Central Terminal | Photography via Condé Nast Traveler}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

PP: Honesty and a tendency to a romantic commitment to an architect’s vision – a fundamental trust in the creative process.       

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

PP: Breaded pig’s foot at Pied de Cochon in Paris or just about anywhere hog is served.

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

PP: My former teacher, ex-employer and life-long friend Bob Stern has inspired me to look at the world with an analytical eye while taking joy in the beauty around us.

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

PP: Our new book Harrie T. Lindeberg and the American Country House is just out. This unsung architect designed some of most elegant and comfortable country houses of the first decades of the 20th century. We are designing an exhibit on the Architecture of Rosario Candela at the Museum of the City of New York and we are finishing a house inspired by Czech Cubism. We recently launched a Peter Pennoyer Architects-designed custom architectural hardware collection executed by Lowe Hardware in Maine. 

Go-To Outfit: I have worn a necktie every weekday since first grade and I’m not about to drop that.

Style Mantra: Simplicity is complicated to achieve.

Scent: Vetiver

Piece of Jewelry: My red leather lapel button embossed with a gold “18” identifies me as member number 18 of the People’s Committee for the Preservation of Fine Bindings.

Color I Never Tire Of: Red

Flower: Peonies

Indispensable Design Element: Arches

Era for Design: Regency

Dream Project: a house for Prince Charles

Fabric/Textile: Tiger stripe hand loomed silk from Tessitura Luigi Bevilacqua in Venice

Hostess Gift: A copy of whatever I’m reading. Currently: Ordinary Wolves by Seth Kantner

Meal: Stuffed Quail or veal kidneys

Drink: Pomerol

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Read

3 Things I Love About My City: The view from my office of jazz-age skyscrapers. The New York Public Library. Townhouse side streets on the Upper East Side.

Weekend Destination: Millbrook, New York

Hotel: Ett Hem in Stockholm

City: Rome

Museum: The Morgan Library & Museum

Artist: Winslow Homer

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Almost anything by Cole Porter

Actor/Actress: Téa Leone

Prized Possession: My baby blue Vespa

Greatest Extravagance: Dry-aged when chuck steak would do

Go-To Color Palette: Brown with sharp green

Rule to Break: Walk, don’t run

Movie Set Design: The drawing rooms in Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship (2016)

I can never have too many…Books

{Photography by Eric Piasecki, Courtesy of Peter Pennoyer, Unless Otherwise Noted}