To say Libby Langdon wears many hats is an understatement. The New York-based designer is a published author, TV personality, and has her own furniture (including outdoor), lighting, and accessory lines. How does she do it all? With a no-nonsense approach and an easy, elegant, everyday style that’s reflected in her designs.
What inspired this career path for you?
I was born and raised in High Point, North Carolina, my dad was in textiles, and my mom was a designer, so I grew up with the home furnishings industry in my blood. I worked in fashion design and then in the film and TV business, but I eventually found my way into interior design. I started out working in makeover television which was my “guerilla interior design school”, and then I eventually opened up my own design firm, Libby Langdon Interiors.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
I really love going to the High Point Furniture market, and not just because it’s my hometown and I get to stay with my mom when I’m there, but I find it’s the best way for me to find the latest and greatest new design resources. It’s over 12 million square feet of showrooms condensed into a small town — and it allows me to see the most I possibly can in the shortest amount of time. I also find inspiration when I sit with my clients and hear what they need for their family’s lifestyle; I can help create an overall design look, but if it’s not comfortable and doesn’t function for the way they really live, then I’ve missed the mark. I want to give the clients what they want rather than impose a design style on them, so sometimes it’s discovering their favorite vacation or travel spot, a meaningful piece of artwork, or even a colorful piece of clothing, a scarf, or dinner plate. Inspiration is everywhere, but for my clients’ homes it needs to feel personal.
Tell us about your creative process.
I find as a designer that I’m a good listener first, a problem-solver second, and a designer third. The process starts with a long conversation about how a client lives, what are the needs of their family, do they like to entertain, what colors do they like, what colors do they hate…it’s a barrage of 40 questions, but all of that information sits in the back of my brain, so when it comes to designing their space, it’s very aware and conscious of what will work best for them. Next it’s on to room layouts, furniture sourcing, and selection, and then fabrics and materials —but again, none of that means anything without really hearing the client in the first step of asking questions and getting to know them!
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Easy, Elegant, Everyday Style
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
3M Command strips. I can’t do an installation without them…and also sharp scissors!
Who do you look up to in the design world?
Ralph Lauren. I’m so impressed by the global brand, whether it’s his fashion or home collections that continue to reinvent style stories and offer them as livable and accessible looks. There are designers that continually reinvent and create, but sometimes I get the sense they do something avant-garde just because of the shock value; but honestly, not too many of us want to live like that. I see the challenge is continually creating new looks and styles that we all can envision ourselves living in and loving for a long time, and I believe Ralph Lauren does that.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I would LOVE to design a hotel in the Caribbean for Jimmy Buffet. The spaces would have an elegant yet casual feel, creative and chic use of color, and indoor/outdoor feel in dining spaces and bars, with stunning vistas of the water. And of course, there would be a fabulous tequila bar!
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
It’s a quote from my book, Libby Langdon’s Small Space Solutions. “Living with less doesn’t mean living without luxury, sometimes living with less is the ultimate luxury!”
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
As much as I travel and work on design projects all over the country, I would be lost without the app Waze. It’s so true, their motto, “outsmarting traffic together”; I hate being late for a meeting, and I absolutely rely on Waze to point me in the right direction!!
What do you love about Viyet? I love that if I have a client that wants something furnished yesterday (and we all have those clients from time to time), I can go on Viyet and literally furnish an apartment with stylish, beautiful, high-end custom products, and have it delivered in 3-4 weeks. I also love finding what I call that “rock star” piece, the one-of-a-kind item that a client knows no one else will have. It helps me avoid cookie-cutter design that my clients don’t like, and I look like a hero because the price is right, too!