In TZR’s franchise, Interior Motives, celebrities and tastemakers discuss their unique approach to home design and how it reflects their personal aesthetic. Here, we sit down with designer Christian Siriano to discuss his Westport, Connecticut home that serves as his escape from bustling NYC.
While most know him for his dramatic and extravagant couture gowns, Christian Siriano’s interior design skills are something to be marveled at as well. The Project Runway star’s eponymous fashion house added decor last year and, for the designer, the expansion into the home space was a natural one.
“I think now people realize when you are stuck at home [for two years], your home is your sanctuary,” says Siriano to TZR. “It’s your everything. Especially in New York, when you strip away the fabulous things about [the city], it is not a chic place. It’s ugly and dirty. So, if you’re at home in your tiny apartment that you work so hard for, I think it should be an elevated place for you to feel good.”
And while having a practical mix of affordable and luxury items is, well, practical, the designer is adamant about investing wisely in your surroundings, particularly the spaces that bring you the most comfort. For example: your bed. “Your bed should be one of the most expensive, important things in your house because you have to sleep in it every single night,” says Siriano. “Your linens, your pillows. That’s what you should spend your money on. That should be the most fabulous part of the room. Imagine, when you’re sick and not feeling good. Oh my god. All you want is the most cozy bed in the world.”
Perhaps it’s this sentiment that brought Siriano’s stunning Westport, Connecticut respite to life. The nature-surrounded coastal property is one of several homes, but definitely a favorite escape due to its open and airy floor plan that offers prime views of nature. (Word has quickly spread of the home’s chic and modern aesthetic in recent years, as it’s been featured in Architectural Digest and MTV’s Cribs.)
Ahead, Siriano waxes poetic about his Connecticut compound, the one room he can’t get enough of, and his thoughts on how personal style and home interiors intersect.
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How would you describe your Westport home?
What’s great about it is that it is always evolving. That’s what I love about it — that it’s my kind of neutral blank canvas to showcase things that I love. I’m around color and texture and prints and embroideries all the time in my normal day. So, this is really my Zen space to be chill and calm. I actually chill out in this space. It’s also [surrounded by] these huge glass windows, and all submerged in the forest. It feels like I’m not in the city anymore, and I’m really in nature. So, it feels really good.
Tell me about your favorite space in your home?
I would say that my favorite place is my main living room space in my Westport home. I think that’s because it’s a mixture of art that I love, that I’ve been collecting, and some of my own custom furniture that I’ve been designing. It’s my place. There’s no TV in that room. It’s really just a collection of beautiful things that I love.
I have this really cool gold brass palm tree that I bought probably 10 years ago, right when I started being successful in my career. I was like, “I’m going to buy this gold brass palm tree because I’ve made it!” Just silly things like that.
How much time do you spend there?
It’s a mixture. Sometimes, in the summer — I love a summer Friday — we try to spend the weekends there if we can. But sometimes, [we’ll go] in the middle of the week if I need a recharge. Or if I’m working on an interior project. I work on them in Connecticut, because my interior business is a bit more based there. Trust me, I would be there every day if I could.
Do you have a favorite piece of furniture or decor?
Oh my gosh. I’ve got a lot of things. I have a few of my custom furniture pieces [that I love]. The first piece of furniture that I ever designed is still sitting against the wall in that room. It’s called the Lula Chair and it launched my whole collection.
And then I’ve got art from this young artist, named Josh Young. I’ve got a Gigi Collins piece, that I really love. And just like things that I’ve collected from travel. I have things that I’ve gotten from flea markets in Paris.
Oh my god, one of my favorite pieces is this really beautiful wooden sculpted bus. Actress Selma Blair gave it to me as a gift when I made her a really beautiful custom suit. I was like, “Selma, this is the best gift ever.” And she goes, “I know.” Most people get you a candle or send you flowers. And she gave me this piece of art.
How would you describe your personal style?
Oh my gosh. I wear literally black jeans and a black t-shirt pretty much every single day. I’m one of those that are around couture gowns almost every single day. So, when you’re around clothes all the time, to be honest, sometimes I don’t think so much about the way I dress.
But I will say, people always say that I still have a little bit of a British punk rock thing going, because that’s like where I went to college, that’s kind of where I learned about fashion. I lived in London for four years, so I still have a little bit of that, maybe from going to see bands when I was in college growing up. I still love that look.
Has it evolved at all over the years?
I definitely think it’s changed. I definitely think now I’m a bit more refined with what I wear. I try to make it a little bit more professional in a way. Every now and then I’ll have fun with it, but it definitely is a little bit more refined. And now that I can shop a bigger budget, the clothes are a little nicer.
How has your personal style extended to your home interior aesthetic? Or has it?
I have some clients that their home is exactly how they dress, how they act, their personality. Wild color. We have a woman that literally, she dresses all in black all the time. She’s very New York and we just did a dining room for her. And it’s all basically black and stunning, but it was so funny. I was like, “Really?”
But then I have other clients, and I would say [this even pertains to] myself, who like a bit more of a clean, beautiful cream, white world. And that’s not what I live in at all. My personality is not that either, but I like that [simple aesthetic]. We have a customer that we’ve been shopping for, for a while. She is the most vibrant, wild, vivacious woman ever, but her house is very minimalistic.
What home retailers or designers do you shop regularly for decor?
I’m a big 1stDibs shopper. My whole collection is available on 1stDibs. I also shop a lot of vintage antiques. There’s this really actually amazing place called the Fairfield Antique & Design Center. It’s in Connecticut, and it’s such a cool place for anybody going out of the city. It’s super eclectic. They’ve got modern, they’ve got Old World, they’ve got everything. That place, I love. Also, in LA, called Galerie Half that I love. I really shop everywhere.
As a renowned designer, you’ve been all over the world. Is there a place that you love from a style and design perspective?
I have to say it is hard when I live in New York, and work in New York, and some of our most fabulous clients are in New York. There’s just a lot of great style in New York. I think what’s great about that is that there’s such eclectic taste [here]. I guess that’s still my place that I really love and get very inspired by, which is why my whole company is still based here.
What can we expect from your home line this year?
We’re expanding on the furniture collection. And I really want to give our customers new and exciting things, kind of like I would do [for] a collection every season. I’m kind of treating it that way, so every year we’ll put out a new collection. It’ll have an inspiration and I want people to fall in love with furniture the same way they can fall in love with a beautiful dress. So, that’s kind of my goal.