SH: And how does comfort factor into your design choices?
BW: I’m a big believer in see it, touch it, feel it. I always encourage clients to put upholstery through what I call the “butt test,” because what works for me at 5’4″ may not for someone who’s 6’3″. Some people like to be slouchy; some people like to sit up straight. I can tell by their body language when a piece is not working. We get up and move on. Comfort is too important to settle.
SH: What else would you consider to be a signature decorating move?
BW: That extra layer or two is of profound importance. In a primary residence, I’ll curate the homeowner’s tchotchkes, but sometimes, particularly when decorating a second home, it’s very difficult to get people to finish. In the initial client interview, I’ll say at the end I’m going to go shopping either with you or without you, and when we’re loading up the truck, we’ll be bringing in the objects that will turn it from a house into a home. I’m a less-is-more kind of person, but you can’t stop short of having art, accessories, and books, at least not in my world. They’re the things that add patina and character.