Danielle Colding

The globally minded interiors expert shows us why her design star keeps on rising

Danielle Colding in the lobby of one of her projects in midtown Manhattan. Photographed by Erica Gannett. 
Danielle Colding in the lobby of one of her projects in midtown Manhattan. Photographed by Erica Gannett. 

Multi-culti women rule the world!” declares Danielle Colding. One look at her and we’d tend to agree: The ex-professional dancer (and former anthropology major at Stanford) made her name as the Season 7 winner of HGTV’s Design Star, and now works on projects as varied as Park Avenue apartments and the offices of a Condé Nast editor in chief without ever losing touch with her Queens and Brooklyn roots. Classic yet eclectic, with an abiding love for Paris (her closest friends recently threw her a French-inspired bridal shower), Colding manages to make interior design feel both incredibly glamorous and refreshingly down to earth. Here, 10 of her aesthetic influences.

1. Stella Jean “I love fashion in all forms, but her work is particularly unique—bold patterns meet tailored refinement.” Stella Jean Spring 2015, courtesy of StyleBistro.

2. My Playlist “Where would I be without music? My theme songs are ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley, ‘Not Even the King’ by Alicia Keys, and Talib Kweli's ‘Get By.’”

3. Paris “Whether in a simple corner bistro or the most elaborate museum, creativity is tangible here. The city shows respect for tradition, particularly in architecture and interiors, while also encouraging modern art and new ideas.” Image courtesy of the Prince de Galles hotel.

4. Shopping for Secondhand “I often visit RePOP in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for affordable midcentury [items]. I also like the Blue Collection [consignment shop] in Riverhead, New York. Sourcing one-of-a-kind gems is what makes my job exhilarating; those are the finds that bring character into a space.”

5. A Good Read “There’s nothing like a book to transport you from everyday life. One of my favorites is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. Every sentence is pure beauty—I read it every few years. Another truly transformative book is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. It seems I have an obsession with novels set in India!”

Danielle Colding

6. Axel Vervoordt “Although he works on castles and chateaus, there’s a casual, approachable nature to what he does. His recent [penthouse] at the Greenwich Hotel raised the bar on design for me.” Axel Vervoordt: Living With Light, courtesy of Rizzoli.

7. My Husband and My Dog “My dog reminds me to greet each day with possibility—her enthusiasm on our morning walks is infectious. And my husband reminds me that everything will be all right. Most days, those two reminders are all I need.” Visit Brides.com/Danielle to see more of Colding's gorgeous Brooklyn wedding.

8. Flair Home “I can always count on finding something I love or can’t imagine living without. This store speaks to the luxurious side of my style: rich color palettes, metallic accents, and horn and crystal objets.”

9. Texture “It’s so appealing to look closely at a peeling plaster wall or study the fine weave of Belgian linen. I love the work of Jonas at SuperStrata—he can create any wall finish imaginable. I’m a sucker for white Venetian plaster or anything with a subtle metallic sheen. For fabrics, I tend to gravitate toward wool flannels from Holland & Sherry, linens from Rogers & Goffigon or Holly Hunt, and grasscloth wallpaper from Phillip Jeffries.” Venetian plaster finishes by SuperStrata. 

10. Chester Higgins Jr. “In college I decided to paint my dorm room black and decorate with inexpensive black-and-white postcards. I’ll always remember discovering the work of Chester Higgins during that time. He spent his career photographing people of African descent across the diaspora. His portraits are striking, and take me back to a time where I was just discovering my design voice.” Photo © Chester Higgins Jr. All Rights Reserved.


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