Years of diligent work have made Madeline Stuart one of America’s premiere designers, sought after for her subtle design sensibility and eye for exquisite detail.
What inspired this career path for you? My mother had a successful interior design firm, and so naturally I avoided following in her footsteps at all costs! I considered going into advertising, becoming a shrink, pursuing a career in the record industry, working in the art world, etc. Honestly, I dilly-dallied before following my heart and pursuing my path in interior design. I sincerely believe this is my true calling.
What is your go-to source for inspiration? My library.
Tell us about your creative process. I always aspire to find a new way to tell a story–and I try to avoid doing the same thing twice. And regardless of the aesthetic direction, I always begin a project by doing research into the history, decorative arts, and architecture of the period or style.
Describe your style in 6 words or less. Understated. Unpretentious. Authentic.
What’s a staple in your tool kit? Vintage and antique furniture, and lighting. For me, it’s the only way to introduce a sense of history and texture into an interior.
Who do you look up to in the design world? Jacques Grange.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be? I’m happy designing any type of space, as long as it’s for someone who appreciates the time and effort it takes to create something beautiful and meaningful.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. “The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness” Massimo Vignelli
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? I’d be lost without The New York Times. In a world of useless information, endless imagery, and bloviating blowhards, it represents the triumph of intelligence over nonsense.
Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet, e.g., do any have unique backstories, in what kind of space do you hope they end up, etc.? I appreciate objects and furniture that have intrinsic worth, as opposed to the disposable quality of so much that’s offered today. A piece that may no longer work for a client who’s moving from a big house in LA to a NY apartment is still viable, and worthy of respect. We love finding and making unique things for our clients, and it’s wonderful to know that they may find a new life in a completely different interior.
What do you love about Viyet? I love that Viyet honors the philosophy that furniture and lighting have redeeming value, and can be completely reinvented when they’re introduced into a new environment.