Q&A: Kerry Joyce

Q&A: Kerry Joyce
(A minty beach-inspired bathroom in Malibu (above left) and the designer. Photos by Dominique Vorillon and Tim Street-Porter)
Name: Kerry Joyce
Occupation: Interior, textile and product designer, and principal of namesake design studio Kerry Joyce & Associates
Resides in: Los Angeles
Best known for: A harmonious, tightly edited traditional aesthetic that prizes classical symmetry and, upon close inspection, contains surprise modern statements. "Timeless," in the designer's words: "I don’t want to look back at my work and see it as date stamped." 

1. Vintage or modern?
I think of furniture as sculpture, and for me it's not date related. I choose pieces, even when modern, that could have come from the past.

2. Which colors, materials, or textures do you use most?
I like just about any hue as long as it has been subtlety grayed with its complementary color. Linen, hemp, and wool tend to be my favorites in regards to textiles. Since I started my textile company, I’ve been using a lot of my own fabrics, but I still love and use Rogers and Goffigon and Rose Tarlow.

3. What is your dream collaboration?
I recently finished a 60-acre, midcentury-inspired home in Aspen, where I collaborated with architectural firm Backen, Gillam & Kroeger. Philosophically, we believe in creating a home and not just a house, so working with likeminded creatives is always the dream.

4. What is your favorite interior design-related word?
Tranquility. It's what good design can achieve if you’ve done your job right.

Q&A: Kerry Joyce
(A Mediterranean-inspired living room in Beverly Hills. Photo by Tim Street-Porter)
5. Does your current home look like the one you grew up in?
Not at all. I had a delightful childhood growing up in Massachusetts, in a very modest “G.I. Bill” ranch-style home. It was devoid of architectural detail, the complete opposite of my homes today.

6. Does a room need a view?
Absolutely. To me, a beautiful view is the artwork of the room.

7. Favorite designer or architect?
Jean-Michel Frank and Andrea Palladio, both masters of reduction.

8. Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
1stdibs. The first place I go to shop. I use it so much, I believe they have named a scrolling disorder after me.

Q&A: Kerry Joyce
(Malibu bathroom with buttercup yellow clawfoot tub. Photo by Dominique Vorillon)
9. What is a forbidden word or phrase in your house?
Hollywood Regency.

10. What "bad" design habit do you have no intention of breaking?
Asking my husband for design advice.

11. What is your favorite room in the house?
I love sitting by a roaring fire in my living room. It’s Primal. I believe the fireplace is the heart of the home.

12. What is your most treasured possession?
A small sculpture of a man’s head my father brought home from Haiti when I was a boy. It may be a trinket, but it brings back fond memories of my dad every time I see it.

Q&A: Kerry Joyce
(A New Traditional Manhattan living room. Photo by Tim Street-Porter)
13. Where in the world do you feel most at home?
At my Connecticut home. Solitude and five acres of pristine river frontage in the beautiful Litchfield hills.

14. What work of art would you most like to own?
John Singer Sargent’s Madame X. Minimal and lush.

15. If you could live in one historical figure’s house, whose would it be?
The 18th-century London home of architect Sir John Soane.

16. On what movie set would you like to live?
Tom Ford's A Single Man. A handsome midcentury-designed home by architect John Lautner. Modern design executed in rich wood tones, perfectly framing the woodland vistas.

17. If you were reborn as a piece of furniture or an object, what would it be?
A chair. Utilitarian and beautiful.
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