At AD they perpetually celebrate architects and designers—they are rock stars—but they do so with particular intentionality in annual AD100 2023 issue, which includes their much-anticipated list of the most exciting talents in the world. The homeowners themselves, without whom these inspiring, ambitious spaces would definitely not exist, however, are the ones who possess the greatest amount of patience, faith, and vision. Meet the Debutant Designers at AD100 !
This Year’s AD100 | Meet The Debutant Designers
JP Demeyer & Co.
There is a method to JP Demeyer’s beguiling madness; despite the riot of color, pattern, and whimsy that fills his interiors, he never aims for merely theatrical effect. “My ideas are based primarily on intuition, first regarding genius loci and subsequently architectural structure. I may then begin stacking and telling stories from there.” Demeyer creates enchanted settings brimming with unabashed beauty and delight by fearlessly fusing daring textiles, outrageous ornamental flourishes, and eccentric artworks with eclectic furnishings, both modern and traditional. Jean-Philippe Demeyer applies this winning formula to residential and commercial projects, including popular restaurants and clubs in Paris, Lisbon, Lille, and Ghent.
Tastemaker Deborah Needleman referred to Rita Konig as “one of the women who have most improved the quality of my life” in a charming piece about her own cherished home in upstate New York. “This is what a great decorator can do.” In fact, Konig’s “invisible powers,” as Needleman put it, best encapsulates her mission as a designer. “I love decorating an environment,” the London-based designer notes. Since starting her business 17 years ago, Konig has developed a clientele of committed customers thanks to her capacity to understand and realize the essence of her clients’ objectives.
Justina Blakeney has been showcasing her daring and varied vision of beauty since she started blogging in the late aughts. According to her, pattern is the flavor of design, color can make people happy, and good design improves quality of life. Blakeney’s career’s most difficult but satisfying job was remodeling the 2,700-square-foot dream home she now lives in with her husband and kid in Los Angeles, California. The creative genius continues to create a broad online community, with more than 543,000 Instagram followers avidly following her every move.
Many designers enter the next stage of their careers thanks to a project or customer. It was Ulla Johnson, a nearby neighbor and friend of Brooklyn resident Alexis Brown. Brown, who was born and raised in Washington, DC, and who earned her master’s degree in interior design from Pratt, had been working for more than ten years in the office of AD100 giant Peter Marino when she started designing Johnson’s stores and, shortly after, her houses. She formally established her own business in 2017 and has since concentrated on residential as well as commercial projects, such as the flagship LA store she is creating for the clothing company Cult Gaia and a modern family house in Palm Beach. In order to create, in her words, “a refined style that appeals to both the intellect and the heart of individuals who encounter the spaces,” Alexis Brown seeks to incorporate both fine art and handmade, artisanal components into each environment.
Among the elite of Long Island’s North Fork, where the intrepid interior designer has practiced her trade since founding her namesake firm in 2012, Hadley Wiggins’s talent with pattern, color, and material has long been rumored. With the release of an astounding mansion she designed for an art world potentate with dazzlingly eccentric tastes, her well-earned reputation soared on the global stage. The wide range of Wiggins’s recently finished projects, from sensitive renovations of historic homes in Connecticut to New York City residences that broker a nuanced rapprochement between the classic and the contemporary, reveal the full scope of the designer’s talents, including her mastery of quiet, elegant charm.
Josh Greene Design
Josh Greene’s collaborative, highly specialized approach is reflected in his statement that “every project is an opportunity to create unrepeatable spaces.” “I strive for settings that strike a balance between functionality, coziness, elegance, and comfort.” Mission done, then. The California native has shown wisdom that can only come from experience in the four years since he founded his namesake Manhattan-based brand. In his case, knowledge comes from a nearly two-decade-long career that included stops at Michael S. Smith, Ralph Lauren, and Sawyer|Berson. His successful product lines demonstrate an instinctive awareness of what other designers want and need, while residential projects like his Hamptons home for fashion designer Joseph Altuzarra demonstrate the amazing breadth of his decorative comfort zone.
Neal Beckstedt Studio
Neal Beckstedt’s passion for design began at the young age of seven thanks to his family’s extensive remodeling of their Ohio farmhouse. The talented New Yorker, who later studied architecture at Ball State University and got his start in Miami with the architecture firm Arquitectonica and in New York with John Keenen and Terence Riley, says that he has been creating floor plans ever since. Beckstedt began his own company in 2010 with a significant project—the mansion of fashion designer Derek Lam—after polishing his abilities for a decade in the office of designer S. Russell Groves.
This Brooklyn-based firm, established by the husband-and-wife pair Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu, has pioneered the way for a new generation of architects by questioning the status quo in perplexing structures of all kinds. They created a dynamic sequence of spaces for the Amant arts complex in Brooklyn using textured expanses of brick, concrete, and aluminum. A poetic cruciform design is created by the assembly of gabled volumes in a Long Island home. And their renovation of the historic French studio-glass hub Site Verrier de Meisenthal combines three nearby institutions with an undulating addition that encloses a public square. Their large and diversified crew, whose backgrounds give SO-IL projects “global tales and views,” indicate that “we are both locally rooted and nationless.”
Andre Mellone has zagged when others have zigzagged. While her professional counterparts have been enamored by maximalist fervor, vibrant patterns, and Memphis nostalgia in recent years, the Brazilian-born designer has opted for subtle refinement. Mellone, who established his Manhattan-based company in 2012, says that “every project starts with simplicity and common sense.” Starting there, we can design the most complicated, complex interiors. His work, which spans residential, retail, and hospitality buildings, highlights refinement and sophistication through texture, materiality, and precise form, among them the new lobby for 50 Rockefeller Plaza and the New York flagship of Carolina Herrera.
Young Huh Interior Design
Young Huh, a 2001 graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, realized she didn’t want to be a lawyer when she met an interior designer at a cocktail party. In 2007, she enrolled at Parsons School of Design and started her own business with headquarters in New York. Currently, she is working on a resort in Turks and Caicos, a 19th-century country house in Dutchess County, Illinois, and a historic Tudor in Illinois. She will soon launch product lines for AKDO tiling, Modern Matter hardware, and Fromental wall coverings. The shared feature is a style that balances modern sophistication with vintage allusions.
Bastien Halard’s design pedigree is difficult to top. The founder of Halard-Halard Design, who is French-born, is the son of interior designer Florence Chabriere, the grandson of Yves and Michelle Halard, and the great-grandson of Adolphe Halard, who established the storied French fabric and wallpaper company Nobilis. Additionally, he is the spouse of Miranda Brooks, a fellow AD100 laureate and the nephew of renowned interiors photographer Francois Halard. Halard has nonetheless established himself in the vast cosmography of design, winning praise on both sides of the Atlantic for a strategy that “emphasizes the balance between classical language and contemporary sensibility,” to use his own words.