Tuesday, November 19, 2013

My Interview with Alexa Hampton

Alexa Hampton_ Hickory Chair showroom

You can tell just by looking at her
that the creative energy is rapidly boiling right below the surface...

That's the feeling I had throughout our interview!

Both introspective and spontaneous,
ALEXA HAMPTON
is a star in the interior design field for a reason.
Yes, she is the daughter of one of the 20th century's greatest design icons, Mark Hampton,
Mark Hampton
so she has the design gene in her blood.
BUT...

 Alexa has developed a unique aesthetic that is truly her own.
I would describe it as... 
"One part Mark Hampton....1000 parts Alexa Hampton!" 


And her gallery in the Hickory Chair showroom at Fall Market 
was living proof...
 "I use Market as a laboratory"Alexa Hampton
Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
She described her spaces in the showroom as "ENTERTAINING"
And there's no doubt about it!
Riotous pattern, layered with saturated hues
created a energetic backdrop for her 
Modern Traditional furniture.
As she said, her approach was to
"MAKE IT FUN!"
I'd say she was successful, wouldn't you?  It was sophisticated and elegant,
but not too serious.  There was definitely a sense of humor about it that made me smile.


Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
She carried this playful theme throughout the showroom
Alexa described her philosophy this way,
"I wanted a lot of pattern this time...
more than one color...
pretty and decorative"
I loved her choice of  lime green velvet on the transitional sofa.
She has a unique talent of finding ways to update classic elements.
There's always a reference to the past, but it's always "new" at the same time.
Did you notice the floral chintz pillow? She made it totally modern by mixing this classic
pattern with bold graphics and Indian block prints.

Alexa Hampton chair with Cowtan and Tout chintz 
I was curious...  "Why was it important to integrate this chintz in your collection?"
"It's my fulcrum"
In true Alexa Hampton style,
it grounded the collection in the classics
and provided the springboard for creative deviation.
That's why her designs have such broad appeal.
We see something familiar that is comforting yet we're energized by the
modern interpretation.


Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair
In this vignette, Alexa went for the richness of Claret on her sofa
which keyed off the large scale paper.
The fun came with the unexpected shot of green in the club chair.
She toned down the rest of the room so that these two colors could take center stage.
Perfect balance!

It was such a treat to explore design philosophies with Alexa, to get in her head
on how she approaches a new project, and just learn about what motivates her
as a person.

What struck me the most was how pragmatic she is about the creative process.
I asked her, "When you get ready to design a new group, what are your building blocks?

To my surprise, her response was very grounded and practical.
She explained that her best designs bubble up from "need".
When working on a project, she described not being able to
find the appropriate light fixture or perfectly proportioned chair,
so she created it!
"Sofia" by Alexa Hampton for Visual Comfort
This is how her fabulous collection of flush mount lighting came to be.
She's a master of  "EVIDENCE-BASED DESIGN"!

Alexa summed it up by saying this about her creative process,
"I must DESIRE it"
After a thoughtful pause, she looked at me and added,

"Couture Moments!"

Can you think of a better way to describe her style?

  Decorating In Detail by Alexa Hampton

Thanks for the insights, Alexa!




"EMBRACE THE JOYS OF GOOD DESIGN!"




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