Design Fearlessly

Inspired by Perennials' "Live Fearlessly" mantra, Elle Decor brought together a group of top designers to give their takes on designing fearlessly. We are recapping our favorite moments from the What's New What's Next panel.

Perennials Fabrics and Rugs emphasize fearless living. From eating sloppy spaghetti on a white sofa to throwing a kid’s party in a newly renovated living room. Fearless design begets fearless living. Designing fearlessly can mean a multitude of things to different clients. As part of New York Design Center’s What’s New What’s Next programming, Perennials invited three designers to chat with Elle Decor Editorial Director Stellene Volandes. Sheila Bridges, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, and Stephanie Goto shared their unique perspectives on what it means to design without limits.

Staying Fearless with Clients in Mind

In terms of how many risks a designer can take, it’s all about the client. When asked how to navigate fearless design, Sheila Bridges noted, “It depends who I’m designing for! For someone like me who loves working with color, it would doing a space that is all white.”

Living room of Khloe Kardashian

Martyn Lawrence Bullard explains, “Being able to understand my clients and get into their decorative fantasies… When you have fearless clients you’re able to create fantasies.” Bullard used Perennials sheers to design a tented living room for Khloe Kardashian. He noted that Kardashian was terrified of ruining all white fabric, so Perennials sheers were the perfect solution.

I wanted to play up the drama… make it sexy and seductive.

Create a Narrative

Elle Decor Editorial Director Stellene Volandes believes fearlessness is “not being afraid to create a narrative that may be surprising.” Try bringing indoor design outdoors with upholstered furniture. Or designing a building that appears woven, like Stephanie Goto did with Ceasarstone’s corporate office. “The facade comes inside, and what was vertical is now above you… It is elegant and effortless, but strong – like Perennials.”


Quick Tips

You can also design fearlessly in small ways including:

  • Allow for small doses of risk. Bridges note, “take risks in small spaces like powder rooms or guest rooms, where you aren’t spending lots of time.”
  • Break your own rules
  • Opt for a luxe velvet sofa in the (chaotic) family room using Perennials velvets
  • “Deconstruct what is normal,” – Stephanie Goto
  • Realize rooms can be multi-functional. Bullard suggests, “Use the formal dining room as a dance studio.”
  • Show restraint. Goto suggests allowing art to be the focal point.
  • Design an all-white room using Perennials fabrics and rugs!
Be Fearless!
Luna Tibetan Knot
Sea salt