Up Close with Interior Designer Alexa Hampton

We sat down with this year’s Innovator Award Recipient, Alexa Hampton, and found out what makes her tick.

left to right: durston saylor, scott frances
Alexa hampton: Neil Landino Jr.

CTC&G: At our Innovation in Design Awards ceremony, I heard people say that if you were a city, you’d be New York. Why is that?
Alexa Hampton: Because it appears nice on the outside, but it has dirt and grit. I am a good mix of Park Avenue and bad neighborhoods.

CTC&G: What is there about your design that could be considered gritty?
AH: I have always enjoyed the duality of pretty and gritty. I love to create serene interiors but with a masculine aspect present to some degree.

CTC&G: Coming from a creative family, design seems like it was a natural fit. Did you always know you wanted to be a designer? If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
AH: I always knew I wanted to be a designer. The only other profession that might have been available to me might have been an artist. But I always think I would have been a good heiress.

CTC&G: What are three key things that you learned from your father, Mark Hampton?
AH: Besides how to cut my food, tie my shoes and speak, I learned the basics of interior design.

CTC&G: And some ways that your design approach is completely different?
AH: I am not sure it is completely different. I live in a completely different era than he did. My father died without ever having owned a cell phone, if that gives you a sense.

CTC&G: How would you describe your design aesthetic?
AH: Eclectic. Logical. Beautiful. And practical.

CTC&G: Where do you find design inspiration? Is there a creative activity that energizes you?
AH: I tend to find design inspiration from every possible source. However, the most creative, dare I say fecund, time of my life was when I was pregnant.

CTC&G: How did becoming a mother influence your approach to design?
AH: I have much more sympathy about exigencies of family life and what pressures they place on decorating choices.

CTC&G: What is your favorite step in the design process?
AH: I love the scheming—fabric, rugs—and I love final touches.

CTC&G: How do you keep your work fresh?
AH: I always remember that my best work is a reflection of the taste of the person for whom I am working. Because of that, I am less repetitive than if I were just designing to please myself.

CTC&G: What is your go-to color or color combination?
AH: Brown and blue, hot and cold.

CTC&G: What advice can you give today’s aspiring designers?
AH: Make sure you know how to run a business. And make sure you save enough money in your business to increase your working capital.

CTC&G: What would you like to tackle next?
AH: I would love to design a hotel.

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