With a background in set design and interior styling, Tiffany Duggan knows how to add drama and character to spaces of all styles. Her projects have run the gamut from family retreats in Provence to Georgian townhouses in Kensington, all with a distinct focus on color, texture, and seamlessly integrating old and new finds (needless to say, our favorite element of her work). And now, just over 10 years after founding her firm, Studio Duggan, Tiffany is just getting started.

We spoke with the super-chic designer about her home base in Notting Hill, her takes on US and UK aesthetics, and her experiences in set design and creating the right mise en scene (playlist included). See what she had to say below, and be sure to browse her personal curation of Chairish favorites for a sampling of her enviable style.

Shop Tiffany Duggan’s Chairish Faves >>>

Tiffany Duggan
Tiffany Duggan. Photo: Alex James Photography.

First and foremost, how would you describe your personal aesthetic? 

I don’t like a room to feel as if it’s married to any one era, but prefer instead to choose the best bits from various periods in a considered and balanced way. I adore color, contrast, and a little drama. It’s all about the edit.

Your background is in set design and styling for different publications, like Elle Decoration. How did that evolve into launching your firm, and how did those experiences translate?

I started my career working as a scenic artist, painting sets and backcloths for theater. I had always had a passion for interior design, constantly moving things around and re-painting walls in my own small flat. Following an internship at Elle Decoration, a short stint as an interior stylist, and after working on a handful of small interiors projects for friends, I took the plunge and set up my own studio in 2012.  

Theater has certainly helped to influence my work, I think this must be where my penchant for the dramatic comes from! I think the biggest inspiration is the need to create a “mise en scene,” an immersive experience. We love to go into a lot of detail in our design projects—we choose scents, flowers, glassware, and crockery (when permitted!)—all carefully selected to feed the narrative of the project and reflect the personalities of our clients. We’ve even been known to make playlists!

Tiffany Duggan
Photo: Mariell Lind Hansen

Your firm is based in Notting Hill. How do London, and Notting Hill in particular, figure into your style?

Our studio is located just off Portobello Road, which is such a vibrant, buzzy little area. It is such a melting pot of people, cultures, and styles. Whilst some areas are now more gentrified, it has still managed to retain a heart and soul. It is full of life and the essence of multicultural London. Expensive vintage boutiques sit happily alongside the old school market traders on Portobello and Golborne Road. Actually, the hallmarks of Notting Hill very much line up with the common thread to our design projects. I’m not sure whether being in the area so long is what inspired this, or whether I was drawn to a like-minded way of thinking, but I love working in Notting Hill and I’ve been able to see it through new eyes since moving to the Cotswolds last year. It’s about contrasts!

What would you say are the hallmarks of English design? What sort of things can Americans learn from English design, and vice versa?

I think typically we Brits like interiors that feel as though they have evolved naturally over time, whereas the American look is a little more designed. I do think there is a lot of beauty in the imperfections; a touch of wear and tear can bring so much warmth and authenticity to a space. English interiors are actually generally quite informal—sofas are soft and capacious and usually adorned with sleeping dogs, ottomans overflowing with books, and a little clutter. American interiors are really well-considered and proportioned. There is definitely room for a little cross-pollination… as Nancy Lancaster knew only so well.

Tiffany Duggan
Photo: Mariell Lind Hansen

You’ve done work all over the UK, as well as in Europe. Where are your favorite places to work and why?

I do love working in London: We are just so spoiled by the types of properties on offer, from Georgian townhouses to warehouse conversions. There is an energy to London, and no two clients are ever the same. We’ve also worked in the South of France, Munich, India and more recently Miami and California. It’s wonderful to garner inspiration from the locality of a project and good fun to mix it up and be kept on our toes!

What would be a dream project for you and why? What’s something you would just absolutely love to get to design?

I would love to work on a small hotel or restaurant, whether in a town or the countryside. I think good design can really create a mood, and it’s this collective experience of interiors in 3D—as opposed to 2D on Pinterest or the like—which I find massively inspiring. 

Tiffany Duggan
Photo: Sarah Griggs

On Chairish & Vintage Shopping…

What do you find most compelling about Chairish?  

No Studio Duggan project feels complete without the odd vintage item and Chairish really does have such a fabulous selection from a plethora of periods and styles. It’s also super simple to search and source which makes my job easier!

How does sustainability factor into your design choices and love of vintage? 

It’s a massive plus; there is such a horrific amount of waste in this industry. We do of course make and source contemporary furniture too, but it has to be built to last and of a certain quality. Furniture simply can’t be viewed as throwaway or seasonal. If I’m on a budget, vintage furniture is my first port of call for well-made, unusual pieces, as opposed to the High Street. 

Are there any dream vintage/antique “gets” you wish you could have? 

I would love a pair of vintage Fungo lamps by Gabriella Crespi, and an Adrian Pearsall Cloud sofa. I’m also always on the lookout for vintage Majolica oyster plates.

What are three of your favorite pieces on Chairish now?

I love this handknotted Tiger rug; this set of six Verdure whiskey glasses; and this painted Folk Art canopy bed, originally from the collection of Estee Lauder.

Tiffany Duggan
Photo: Mariell Lind Hansen

Some Design Favorites…

Favorite way to create a statement-making moment in a room: 

A contrast color or lacquered ceiling

Favorite decorating “cheap thrill:”

DIY handpainted card lampshades

Favorite iconic piece of vintage design: 

Marcel Breuer’s Cesca chairs

Favorite paint color:

This feels a little like choosing your favorite child! At the moment, I’m loving Pimlico Green by Colefax and Fowler for Fenwick & Tilbrook.

Photo: Mariell Lind Hansen

Favorite piece of decor in your home: 

I have an antique armchair upholstered in Vaughan’s Milas embroidered linen, which is one of my all-time favorite fabrics. It is on its third house with us now, and I do hope it survives our pets and children’s abuse, as I adore it.

Favorite designer or artist from the past you most often turn to for inspiration: 

Elsie de Wolfe

Favorite style icon: 

Talitha Getty

Design destination every creative should visit at least once: 

Les Puces, Paris

Best piece of career advice you’ve ever received:

Recently at an industry dinner, to find a mentor. I’m working on it!

Tiffany Duggan
Photo: Sarah Griggs

Some Lifestyle Favorites…

Favorite vacation destination: 


Favorite hotel that’s inspired your work while traveling: 

Hotel Costes, Paris; I adore Jacques Garcia.

Favorite restaurant: 

Chiltern Firehouse

Favorite small museum: 

Leighton House, Holland Park

Favorite podcast: 

The Chairish Podcast for interiors news, Table Manners by Jessie and Lennie Ware for good vibes

Favorite Instagram accounts to follow: 

@tamsinjohnson; @getthegusto; @lindaboronkay; and @consideredspace

Tiffany Duggan
Photo: Sarah Griggs

Favorite hostess (or thank you) gift: 

Flowers, or even better, a potted plant

Favorite flower: 


Favorite adult beverage:

A margarita

Favorite way to unwind at home: 

A long hot bath with candles and aromatherapy oils

Favorite entertaining essential: 

A relaxed host

Lead image by Sarah Griggs

April 26, 2023

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.