With a passion for carefully collected and beautifully layered spaces, Brittany Bromley is a designer after our own hearts. Her designs are diverse, personal, and always incorporate plenty of meticulously selected vintage and antique finds. Based in Bedford, New York, Brittany also recently opened a new retail showroom and studio in Palm Beach, bringing her work to an entirely new set of clients (and creating a whole new opportunity to employ vibrant, joyful colors, as well).
We spoke with Brittany about her passion for collecting, the design trends that have been piquing her interest lately, and much more. Read on to see what she had to say, and be sure to shop her entire curation of thoughtfully selected Chairish faves.
You’re known for colorful, well-mixed spaces. Tell us about your personal design aesthetic.
I typically always gravitate towards an eclectic, layered-over-time look that feels like a home as opposed to a showcase. Collecting and layering is an important part of my design ethos, and I always want my clients’ homes to feel personal to them—the way they live, where they’ve traveled, etc.
What’s your personal philosophy when it comes to working with antiques and vintage pieces?
I love antiques and the thoughtfulness and history that they provide to any new space. I like to think that they add a dash of whimsy, elegance, and of course comfort, so that a room is not only appreciated in an aesthetic sense, but also feels like home. At our locations in Bedford and Palm Beach, we are thrilled to be part of such vibrant antiques scenes, where they not only appreciate the history of all these unique pieces, but also encourage us to reimagine them in ways in which they may be used in our current, more modern lifestyle.
You recently created a new retail showroom and studio in Palm Beach that is so beautifully decorated! What inspired the design?
It’s so much fun to use a new, more tropical palette with which to express ourselves, one which is both unique to Palm Beach and which we like to think also has the sensibility of a Brittany Bromley Interiors moment. We were very inspired by the idea of creating three distinct spaces, each unique in its own way, and yet consistent in the sense that all feel considered, layered, and eclectic.
You mentioned that creating this showroom in Palm Beach was the “fulfillment of a dream.” What specifically about Palm Beach inspires you?
Being able to design spaces in a warm weather environment is almost like its own vernacular. I’m able to translate my overall aesthetic into something that feels fresh—like wearing a tuxedo, but with your pants rolled up so you can walk in the sand. The indoor/outdoor living in Palm Beach is amazing in the sense that a client will love a traditional English roll arm sofa but will re-cover it in a performance fabric so their grandchildren can sit on it in wet bathing suits!
What was your experience like designing for the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse last year? What is your favorite part about doing a showhouse?
I think anytime you get to be your own client it’s very exciting and rewarding. It’s a true translation of what you would do with the space, and allows your creativity and imagination to run wild. I loved it! My favorite part about doing the showhouse was seeing people’s reactions when they would enter our space—that’s not something that you often get to see as a designer, so it was very rewarding to see how each person considered and experienced our designs.
You live in a home that’s almost 300 years old. What were some of the biggest surprises you encountered when restoring it? Do you have any advice for those taking on a renovation project?
The biggest surprise we encountered when restoring our home was, as my wallpaper person has been telling me, that there is not a single right angle in our home! Unfortunately, that is the less joyful part of living in a home that is 290 years old. My advice would be, don’t be afraid to change your design over and over again! As your needs evolve, so does your home. For instance, a good sofa or chair should last you a lifetime. It can be re-covered as often as you want, to reflect your current aesthetic or needs.
On Chairish & Vintage Shopping…
What do you find most compelling about Chairish?
I love that you can find just about anything you need for a project on Chairish—antique or modern! It’s the first place I look when I need an antique English mahogany game table or a set of French Louis XV-style dining chairs. From newly designed slipper chairs to antique chinoiserie commodes, Chairish is my favorite place to begin my hunt for the “perfect” piece.
How do availability and sustainability factor into your design choices and love of vintage?
There is no question as we live in the post-Covid world that our supply and demand chains have been both obstructed and altered forever by our new reality. I have always been a great lover of antique and vintage pieces, but I now find that many of my clients are more willing to consider these options as opposed to something which is custom-made and will likely take three to four times longer than an antique or vintage piece.
Are there any dream vintage/antique “gets” you wish you could have? What’s a dream piece for you?
Any authentic Louis XVI is always a dream!
What are three of your favorite pieces on Chairish now (please include links)?
Choosing just three is tough! I have pages and pages of items on Chairish that I have favorited right now! I think my top three would be these Maitland Smith Chinoiserie Louis XV Bombe Chests; this pair of Italian Neoclassical-style window benches; and this 19th-century chinoiserie English faux bamboo writing table with chair.
Some Design Favorites…
Favorite way to create a statement-making moment in a room:
Wallcoverings! A wallcovering does so much for the space and you can change almost nothing else and it will feel fresh. Wallcoverings are a quick game changer.
Favorite decorating “cheap thrill:”
Find vintage pieces and objects in antique stores that speak to who you are and make a space feel finished, rather than walking into a major retailer and picking our pricier pieces that don’t have quite as much personal interest for you.
Favorite iconic piece of vintage design:
I love a good Edward Wormley sofa.
Favorite paint color:
Favorite piece of decor in your home:
I used a fairly unorthodox wallcovering in my dining room—tortoiseshell bamboo fencing as wallpaper—and it never fails to make me smile. The effect is a cross between a French Polynesian hut and Yves Saint Laurent’s home in Tangiers—but 100% me, and I adore it.
Favorite designer or artist from the past you most often turn to for inspiration:
I’m always influenced by people who are true to their own design aesthetic, and I particularly gravitate toward those who have a nod towards classicism. I love rooms that feel collected, curated, and considered. I particularly admire the work of Tom Scheerer, Mary McDonald, and Alberto Pinto.
Favorite style icon:
My grandmother GG, after whom my daughter was named, was an incredible style icon. She was always perfectly turned out, and had the most amazing style. It didn’t matter whether we were going out to dinner or for a walk by the creek, she was always dressed immaculately with incredible jewelry and could make a simple espadrille look like it was the peak of chic!
Design destination every creative should visit at least once:
Marrakech and Paris
Best piece of career advice you’ve ever received:
The best piece of advice that has impacted my life as a designer is the same best piece of advice that has impacted my life as a human being, which is that comparison is the enemy of happiness. Whenever we compare ourselves to other people, we lose a little bit of what makes us special! So in design, as in all areas of my life, I really strive not to compare myself to other people.
Some Lifestyle Favorites…
Favorite vacation destination:
Tortuga Bay in the Dominican Republic. Designed by the late great Oscar de La Renta, each villa is the definition of laid-back elegance.
Favorite hotel that’s inspired your work while traveling:
Le Duc de Saint Simone in Paris
My favorite restaurant is probably The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean Georges. If I never ate another thing other than the chopped kale salad and black truffle fontina pizza, then I would die happy.
Favorite small museum:
Musee Marmottan in Paris
I’m not a podcast girl! I am a voracious reader, and I’m typically reading three or four things at once and have an insatiable appetite for both nonfiction and fiction. But if I’m listening to something, I prefer it to be music!
Favorite Instagram accounts to follow:
Favorite hostess (or thank you) gift:
In the summer, it’s a white ceramic berry holder with fresh berries in season, and in the winter, it’s a hand blown glass match strike with extra long matches for cozy nights by the fire or for lighting your favorite candle!
Leopard orchid Grammatophyllum
Favorite adult beverage:
Favorite way to unwind at home:
Cuddling in bed with my family watching either an action movie or an Agatha Christie mystery.
Favorite entertaining essential:
Music! Always music. And well-starched napkins!
All photos courtesy of Brittany Bromley