Instagram Stories: A Fresh Take on Trad

Meet the two Upper East Siders whose youthful, sophisticated sensibility makes "old-school" style look new again

Vivian Muller (at left) and Alyssa Kapito on Manhattan's Madison Avenue.
Vivian Muller (at left) and Alyssa Kapito on Manhattan's Madison Avenue.

There are plenty of things we'd like to thank design doyenne Bunny Williams for—our boundless love for trellis prints, the renaissance of ginger jars, and currently, for fostering the careers of a pair of lowly interns who have turned out to be two of the most exciting up-and-coming interior designers today. 

Alyssa Kapito and Vivian Muller, founding partners of Kapito Muller Interiors and the iPhone photographers behind one of our favorite Instagram feeds, are dominating and defining the new traditional style (that's "new trad" to its acolytes). Though the duo comes from disparate backgrounds—Kapito has a masters in Renaissance art, and Muller cut her teeth at fashion's indispensable daily, WWD—their talent as a twosome is undeniable, whether they're decorating chic city apartments, or 'gramming the façades of their Upper East Side neighborhood. We can't deny it—no one has gotten us this excited about uptown style since Blair Waldorf.

Instagram Stories: A Fresh Take on Trad
Instagram Stories: A Fresh Take on Trad

The New-Trad How-T0

"We tend to gravitate toward neutrals to set a palette—creating rooms that are tone on tone, like gray on gray, beige on beige, etc. And then we bring in complementing colors to add depth and interest. We also stick with transitional shapes and lines for things like upholstery and drapery, and then add some touches that are a bit more contemporary, like a fabulous accent chair. Lighting and artwork are also great places to bridge the classic and the modern. It's all about the layering!"

Recipe for greatness

"Kapito Muller style is clean, tailored, classic, whimsical, fresh, and hopefully chic! The wonderful part is that a lot of our clients are starting with us as young families, and so we get to grow with them. We just signed on to do another home with our first repeat client, so we were very excited to try something a bit more daring. Once you have the complete trust of a client, the relationship can be tremendously fruitful."

Instagram Stories: A Fresh Take on Trad

the Front-Door Fixation

"We live on the Upper East Side, so we like to keep [our #kmidoors] local. But we also love to travel—we have a great collection of doors from Italy, Paris, and beyond. Those are our favorite because they have such charm. The thing that grabs our attention the most is probably symmetry. There’s something so captivating about it in a photo. We’re also suckers for a lacquered door!"

Instagram Stories: A Fresh Take on Trad


"We were a little late to the Instagram party. Up until about two-and-a-half years ago, we both still had BlackBerrys—we know, shameful. But once we got our iPhones, we were hooked. Our Instagram is like a visual log of everything we find beautiful and inspiring. Its also a wonderful way to keep up with all of our design friends in the industry and to see what's trending in real time."


"We have a bit of wanderlust and a deep appreciation for photography. Here are a few of our favorite feeds."

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