If there's one designer who knows about the art of layering accessories and integrating antiques into an interior in a seamless way, it's . Known for his love of decoupage (his paperweights are a go-to for designers), Derian owns four charming home goods shops in New York City. Here, the artist shares how to craft the stylish space of your dreams.
Siweb: How would you define your decorating style?
JOHN DERIAN: My home is comfortable and not fussy. It's interesting. All the antiques in my home have a lot of life. I like organic pieces and neutrals with more accents of full-on color. The materials around me are sort of natural. I have a giant sponge, someone sent me a tumbleweed, and there's a round log that's cut and serves as a coffee table. I like being in nature, so I bring nature inside. I want people to feel comfortable, at home, and like they are exploring.
ED: Is there an element of your home someone might be surprised by?
JD: My home is less layered than my stores. I like products and can’t stop sharing them, but in my space, I need to have a little quiet.
ED: What's your view of a well-decorated home?
JD: The way all the pieces interact in a home is important. We move around in certain ways, so you need a nice flow and places to perch. For instance, in my current apartment, I have six different places to hang out in.
ED: Can you share a pointer for someone who is looking to craft a beautifully layered space that still feels cohesive but also varied and reflective of their taste?
JD: For me, layering is like being an archaeologist. Most of my layering is done by ancient objects. If there's something you collect, it will make sense the more you add to it, but you want to make sure the objects have space to breathe.
ED: You're known for your love of antiques. What's the best way to showcase them in an interior?
JD: Whether they're vintage, antique or new, all shapes have a purity. For modern spaces, an antique piece has to be showcased in the right way. For instance, if you have a beautiful chest in a minimalist space, it's kind of ideal sometimes. And make sure you have enough space around the item to showcase it.
ED: What are three decorating tricks that you always like to recommend?
JD: Harsh light is unnecessary, so make sure there are dimmers everywhere. They make things look better. Use pillows and throws to be comfortable if you want to nestle up. I also go through a lot of candles and have them in all of the rooms in my apartment. I use beeswax and more plain colors like ivory and cream. I just like the ambience.