An early fascination with how people live and the homes they inhabit has led Oliver M. Furth through the interior design world where his creative genius has amazed peers and clients.
What inspired this career path for you? Since I was very young I’ve loved interior design and architecture, and I’ve always been fascinated by homes and the way in which people inhabit them. I started in this business at 15, working in the office of architect Marc Appleton; there was no looking back after that! I went to architecture school, before moving into interiors.
What is your go-to source for inspiration? I’m always on the hunt for inspiration! Also, I read voraciously, and keep a design library with over 4,000 volumes. Sometimes I see a historic room that inspires a new space I’m working on. Often, it’s a less literal idea from my travels – an exotic fruit from Hawaii becomes a wall color, or seed pods from Mexico translate into curtain trim.
Describe your style in 6 words or less. Thoughtful. Sophisticated. Daring.
What’s a staple in your tool kit? COLOR. Beautiful color is nothing to be afraid of! Color is the most effective and most efficient way to transform a space or change a piece of furniture. Nothing like a coat of paint! …and a bad color costs the same as a great color. BLACK. Black grounds a space. Black frames an object. Black lends instant urbanity and elegance. I love a black window frame –in a traditional or modern project. I love a black lighting fixture for its graphic quality. I love a black wall; it’s a great neutral.
Who do you look up to in the design world? While there are many of my peers whom I admire, I am totally star struck by artists and architects. I look up to (and am inspired by) Richard Serra, Donald Judd, Agnes Martin, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Ellsworth Kelly. Also, Peter Zumthor, Smiljan Radic, Alejandro Aravena.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be? Every day, I live my childhood dream. I work with collectors to build collections of furniture and decorative arts. I get to design beautiful homes for families to enjoy. It’s a wonderful job!
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. “LOVE” is probably my most overused word. I can be over-effusive (or perhaps a bit of a “design slut”), when looking at furniture. It’s hard to keep my passion inside. But don’t worry; there’s plenty of criticism, too.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? I am an image junkie. We subscribe to dozens of magazines – national, as well as many foreign publications. It’s interesting to see how people live all over the world!
Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet. The pieces in my sale are things I’ve acquired all over the world. Each one has traveled and lived and tells its own unique story. Designing is akin to cooking. Furniture pieces are our ingredients. I love to mix a different combination of pieces to achieve a different result. I bought the red leather Chesterfield sofa in New Orleans. It’s been in a traditional, paneled, masculine study, and later I placed it in a high-impact colorblocked living room with teal walls and eggplant silk curtains. Excited to see where it lands next! The gilt lantern was acquired at an antique shop here in Los Angeles. It hung in a proper drawing room filled with antiques, and then spent the last couple years in my library-cum-dining room, hanging over a modern mirrored table, with vintage chairs.
What do you love about Viyet? Viyet is a wonderful way to bring design to the public. It offers great access, fantastic style, and some really good buys!
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