Halpern Design is a prestigious New York-based interior designer composed by leader Michael Halpern, an incredible expert that has been breaking through every interior design concept, creating the most incredible settings you’ll ever see. Today, CovetED lets you in on the amazing conversation with the designer, about his design firm, as well as his career.
All photo credits belong to Halpern Design
Michael Halpern has been surrounded by art and design from an early age, due to the fact that his mother was an interior designer herself. That made him follow his mother through many showrooms and clients’ homes. The designer grew to love the industry for many reasons – “the creativity, the clients and the global travel”. “My clients are wonderful people – they tend to be very successful, busy individuals who give me complete creative freedom to undertake ambitious design projects on their behalf. Many have become friends as I and my design studio have created many homes and interiors around the world for them and their families and businesses.
Travelling has always been a passion of mine and I absolutely love that I am now commissioned to undertake landmark projects across the whole of Asia, Europe, the US, and the Middle East – I am happiest finding some new corner of the world to be inspired by”. With his growing experience, he gained more than he could ever imagine, from creativity, clients and the opportunity to travel.
Throughout his love and experience on the interior design, Michael Halpern takes on inspiration from multiple elements, from topography to fashion. That’s what makes him shine, and consequently, create stunning settings. “I mostly seek and find inspiration out with the interiors world – travel, typography, fashion, architecture, and jewellery design all feature heavily in my book ‘Journey by Design’ recently published by Assouline – so my design icons are an eclectic mix. David Hicks was one designer I always looked up to in terms of his fearless use of colour and his balance of the old and new. Zaha Hadid was another incredible force and an inspiration to me as a woman pushing boundaries in the male-dominated field of architecture. Karl Lagerfeld was someone I always looked to, his work at Chanel and, in particular, his use of clean lines, impeccable tailoring, luxurious textiles, and exquisite detailing were complete without fault and remain unsurpassed”. David Hicks, Zaha Hadid, and Karl Lagerfeld were always personalities we looked up to!”
Right now, the interior designer is just about done with a “fabulous property in the English countryside – a newbuild country estate showcasing some incredible works of art and collectable sculptures – it is very contemporary with very fine joinery and bespoke lighting throughout”. According to the designer, this “the 4thproject completed for this client and his family worldwide. I can’t wait to show it to them. Apart from that other highlights include a large villa in the South of France and a Palace in Kuwait nearing completion while an office and luxurious Hotel space in Hong Kong are coming together well”. This means that the interior designer is preparing many exciting projects for the future of his studio.
It doesn’t matter the settings he completes or the projects he embraces, he’s capable of being an amazing “design chameleon” because his “designs are continuously changing and the inspirations and thought processes behind them always evolving”. “I suppose that a sense of timeless elegance is at the centre of all that I do. Quality British craftsmanship, rich finishes, and intricate detailing are evident across much of my portfolio and all of my designs share a luxurious and eclectic feel. They are often layered with unique and interesting accessories and artwork from my private collection and Knightsbridge boutique”. It is clear that timeless elegance is established, as well as rich finishes and a luxurious feel. There’s also plenty of room for “textured luxurious finishes like poured resin and gilt crackled gessos, polished plasters, hand-painted silk wallpapers, and soft leathers, and natural fabrics feature in all”.
Being a design chameleon, he has the opportunity of transforming every project, adequate to each client that he has. And, according to this interior designer, there’s a “general homogenizing of all designs worldwide I see a continued demand at the highest end of the market for exclusivity, uniqueness, originality, and personalization. Our clients don’t want what everyone else has. They want designs and objects that are completely individual, and where relevant, tailored to their own personal wants and needs. There is a conscious step back from the factory-made middle-market towards an appreciation of fine craftsmanship, original thought, authentic heritage, and intricate detailing. I think you see this in fashion, architecture and interiors as well as all other visual arts”. This means that bespoke projects, along with customization of every element are the preferred choice of every interior design lover.
The interior designer affirms that his clients sit on a large variation, from “busy international businessmen running huge corporations, to Royal families and Ambassadors, Formula One Drivers, Film and TV stars, to private unknown individuals with the highest of standards and a dream they want me to help fulfil”. Beyond their general characteristics, his type of client is also “incredibly loyal, and their personal recommendations carry great weight, and so we often find ourselves working for many members of the same extended family of friendship groups across many countries”. Establishing his client’s concept, we create a special and customized relationship, potentiating his interior design firm on social media platforms.
He’s an incredible personality within the interior design industry that has achieved many different and great goals such as “castles, beach homes, luxury hotels, cliff-top villas, mansions, and private country estates – we have been, and continue to be, lucky to work on some beautiful properties in incredible locations”. There are some dreams left to achieve that we’re sure he’ll execute them easily like “a luxurious but tranquil Safari lodge escape, perhaps in Kenya. On my many trips to different corners of Africa, the wide-open skies of the Masai Mara are yet to be matched in beauty, wildlife, and awesome scale”.
Although Michael Halpern is based in New York, the designer still thinks that “European craftsmanship Is by far the best in the world, we often oversee, and project manage the work of domestic contractors on our building sites abroad and quality control is just not at the same level”. For the future, he shares a desire to admire design with “authenticity and ecological impact will continue in their growing importance. Authentic quality with a known providence is critical in ensuring a lasting and valuable product or design. Too many items now are made in unknown places using the cheapest level of component parts and often at great human and ecological cost. They are not made to be enjoyed for decades, but perhaps only months, and I hope such ugly disposable fashion will soon be behind us”.
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