Sophisticated, yet edgy. Classic, but with a modern twist. Interior designer Chloe Warner of Redmond Aldrich creates spaces that have the glam of interior design magazines, but feel cozy, lived in, and totally effortless. Her designs are what we all aim for in our own homes, but so few of us can actually achieve.
What we love most about Chloe's interiors is her mastery of pattern. She knows when a room is begging for a mega dose of pattern... and when it's not. With an eye for balance, Chloe makes bold patterns feel restrained, and subtle patterns feel powerful, and the results are always perfection. We caught up with our pattern-playing spirit animal to chat about process, post-Lemonde Beyonce, and of course, pattern.
Hygge & West: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up working in interior design.
Chloe Warner: I went to architecture school at Harvard, and noticed very early in the process that I was more thrilled by color and pattern than most of my peers. I knew I would end up working as an interior designer, but I’m grateful every day for my formal training and ability and love of drafting.
H&W: Your interiors are an endless source of inspiration and daydreaming. How would you describe your aesthetic and what inspires it?
CW: 'Modern bohemian' is a term that describes almost every project we do. We always use modern pieces, we always use vintage, we always use color, and we almost always use pattern. I’m inspired by glamorous mid-century style (Albert Hadley, Hitchcock films), by the stone yard, by my chic, chic friends, by fashion, by graphic design, and by other designers always.
H&W: Do you go into a new project with an idea in mind, or do you let the space guide your designs? Tell us a little bit about your process.
CW: My instincts are strong and quick, and I’m always trying to balance the modern with the vintage, the masculine with the feminine, and my enthusiasms with what I think my client will love. I start with palettes - wallpaper, fabrics, paint swatches - and that sets up the aesthetic for the room. From there we go on to select specific furniture.
H&W: Moons Ebony is one of our favorite new patterns and we can envision it being used in so many ways. How did you approach your mood board built around it? How do you picture this pattern being used - in what room, with what accessories/elements, paired with other patterns, etc.?
CW: I designed a library using the colors from the wallpaper as my inspiration. I wanted to take it in a grown-up direction, as opposed to a nursery, where I can definitely imagine it, but I thought it would be fun to use it as paper inside this classic wood bookshelf, where it would twinkle and add ambiance without dominating or being overly whimsical. My vision is to layer the cobalt rug over the sisal, and I would set up those Marbro lamps on either side of the black iron console. Hard to say exactly what would go where for an imaginary room, but I can imagine all these elements working together!
H&W: We love the way you use pattern in your spaces - sometimes subtly, sometimes boldly. What are your tips and tricks for adding pattern into a home?
CW: I think it’s important not to let any one pattern do all the work. Otherwise it will become fatigued or invisible or tiring to the people who live there. Having a floral, a geometric, something with a huge scale, something with a small scale, and a wild-card is a great formula that keeps any arrangement from becoming static or dominant.
H&W: Wallpaper plays a big role in many of your projects. What is it that you love about wallpaper and in what ways do you think it transforms a space?
CW: Aaak! I just said I try not to let anything dominate. Am I deluding myself? Any who… I do love wallpaper. So much. It gives you so much power and control to be able to choose a pattern for the walls, and I’m not a psychologist but instinctively I know there are papers that make a space cozy, calm, sexy, intimidating, expensive, innocent, confident, ridiculous. I love it all.
H&W: Your Oakland, CA, home is absolutely gorgeous! How do you approach designing for yourself differently than designing for clients, if at all?
CW: It’s much faster, because my husband gives quick approvals. But other than that, it’s identical. I decide everything before I buy a single thing, and then I just chip away. When we first moved I was paralyzed by the possibilities of a new house, and I wasn’t able to get excited about anything because it all seemed so daunting. The happiest thing happened when I created a palette for a client that I loved so much I ended up repurposing the entire thing for myself. It is so nice to work for people who channel your best/ideal self.
H&W: 'Hygge' is a Danish word that loosely translates to 'cozy.' Where and how do you find hygge in your life, whether it's something physical, like a comfy nook in your home, or something more emotional, like being surrounded by friends in a favorite restaurant?
CW: I experienced the most profound cozy sensation recently when I purchased a heated bench from Galanter & Jones. It was January, I was outside in the dark evening curled up with my kids under a blanket eating Nigella’s chocolate cake with whipped cream, and it just hit me: life is wonderful.
H&W: If you could create your dream cocktail party invite list, who would be on it - real or fictional, dead or alive?
CW: That couple from Catastrophe, post-Lemonade Beyonce, the entire cast from the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, the ladies from Broad City, Ilse Crawford, and the authors of Perfume: The A-Z Guide. It seems unlikely but they are hilarious and as aesthetically pure as Ilse.
Photos by Laure Joliet