Interior Designer Spotlight with Marlaina Teich
Marlaina Teich Designs: Manhattan, Long Island, Hamptons
Marlaina Teich is a premier Long Island and Hamptons interior designer with offices in Long Island and Manhattan. Featured in Traditional Home, House Beautiful, California Home Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, and Martha Stewart Living Radio, Marlaina is a graduate of The Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design, and has been invited by designer showhouses across the country from the 2015 Hampton Designer Showhouse to the 2015 Palm Springs Show House at Christopher Kennedy Compound.
Join me as Marlaina explains why mixing patterns and metals is replacing the all white look, why she moved from fashion design to interiors, how High Point Market is helping designers collaborate, why she avoids disposable rugs in favor of quality designer rugs and much more...
Why Did You Change from Fashion Design to Interiors?
"I started in fashion and briefly worked at a division of Oleg Cassini, and loved being around fabrics and colors. The lead designer would come to work in a Lincoln town car and everyone was always so nervous around her. I thought it would be really glamorous to be a fashion designer. Then I started a family, had kids and suddenly became aware of the home and home style. I fell in love with changing spaces and it inspired me to go back to school for interior design. I started getting projects right away while still in school at the Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design. I was able to learn from books while standing at construction sites in heels! Like a lot of designers, I started with an office in my home and very quickly realized it was not going to work. I needed more space and wanted it to be more public for meeting with clients. Now I have an office in Long Island and one in Manhattan."
Left to right: Kelli Ellis, Barclay Butera, Bobby Berk, Jacob Tilebar
and Marlaina Teich at the 2016 High Point Market launch party.
How Has The High Point Market Become More Fun for Designers?
"I only went for three days. I booked the trip after I had just gotten back from Atlanta's market and was really busy in the office. I wish I had gone for longer. However when I got there on Saturday, I hit the ground running as I did an Instagram Takeover for High Point Market's Instagram account. It was a lot of fun. I got to run around the market and take photos of all the things I liked. High Point is now doing a lot of great programs to make things more exciting and fun for designers. The last two markets have been so much more fun. The community seems to be getting more collaborative and the designers are getting together more. It's great to reconnect with other designers on other coasts and interact with them in showrooms to see what everyone is liking. I went to Corey Damen Jenkins party where he introduced his new furniture line for Leathercraft. I also went to a party for my friend Bobby Berk and Kelli Ellis who debuted their new lines of art. They were both really fun."
Which Trends Are Out?
"Right now we are going through a 'whiteout' trend. For a while the style was white walls, white floors and white furniture—very contemporary. Then there was a switch, and it came back to a more traditional style with darker woods. Then it went even darker. We went through the whole saturated greens, golds and reds era. A lot of people decorated their houses with that style. I love color and like using saturated colors in my spaces, but now I'm seeing a lot of walls with shades of white, paired with a dark or rustic floor and pops of color through art. To me, art is such a big thing. Art either on the walls or even in a beautifully sculptured chair. My clients are appreciating art in furniture and art overall."
A purple Damask rug adds pizazz to the dining area.
What Will Replace the "Whiteout" Look?
"We've got a great mix of metals happening. People are loosening up and understanding that we can mix metals in a space. It used to be very 'God forbid you mix patterns in a space', and they could only be used sparingly. Now I'm seeing pattern upon pattern, on the walls, the floors, the sofas and in window treatments. Pattern-play is very big right now as well as the mixing of metals and finishes. In a kitchen you were never able to have brushed nickel hardware or a gold chandelier—never. Now you can mix in gold. Gold is gorgeous and is back very strong."
Why Do You Object to Disposable Rugs?
"I'm not about buying disposable rugs. I can't take it anymore with people buying cheap rugs. I advise my clients to buy a quality rug that will hold up. A rug should be made of wool so it can be cleaned. If it's not in my client's budget, I'm not going to go crazy buying cheap rugs. My clients hire me to create a beautiful space. If we are putting in a rug, it should be a quality designer rug. It shouldn't be junk that will shed and fall apart in a year. The disposable mentality is upsetting. Children ruining rugs is not an excuse. Children shouldn't be ruining rugs. They should have respect for furniture and not be running in the living room with grape juice and chocolate cake. I'm not saying you can't entertain in the living room—that's not today's reality. Today's living rooms are made to be lived in, but they still should have a quality rug. I get that not everyone can afford a ten-thousand-dollar rug, but you have to know that you get what you pay for with rugs."
A gold and coral Oushak rug pops against yellow upholstery.
What Kinds of Designer Rugs Do You Like?
"I love using designer rugs. They are a main part of my projects. They can do so much to a space. Rugs can enliven a space and bring color, pattern and texture. Rugs can also calm down a space if you have a lot going on. A designer rug can add both physical and visual warmth to a project. Every space can benefit from a rug. Usually I go with wool or wool and silk rugs. I don't like Viscose, but I do like silk. I like how silk changes the look of the rug when you turn it. I also love the washed look you get with Oushak rugs. They have an older feeling to them. I like their texture and they can either compliment or contrast what's going on in the room."
A designer rug can be like a piece of jewelry you choose at the end.
Why Do You Choose the Rug at the End?
"Some designers swear on starting from the ground up with a designer rug. I've had many projects start with a rug, but I really like to end with a rug. I love that you can switch up the look of a space at the last minute with a rug. It's like after you've gotten dressed, you've got your hair done and your makeup is on. What's the piece you put on last? Your jewelry. The right piece of jewelry can make a look. It's the same thing with a designer rug."
Mid-century bath at the 2015 Palm Spring Show house at Christopher Kennedy Compound.
Do You Have a Favorite Style?
"Oh my god, what month is it! I love classic style at the root of it all. I love clean lines, soothing surroundings, subtle textures, color and excitement in spaces. If I have a client who's really fun, I'll bring in pattern. That's my style but I love all styles. Maybe I don't love Victorian. I can find appreciation in it, but I don't love too many details and lots of layers. Right now I love Mid-century modern. I was invited last year to do the show house at the Christopher Kennedy Compound in Palm Springs for Modernism Week. It was all about Mid-century style and glamour. I absolutely loved it. I rented a house for myself and my staff while we were out there and it was a classic Mid-century house. I think that trip is still inspiring me now."
Do You Have a Favorite Design Magazine?
"I love Traditional Home. I love the projects they publish. They have a nice mix of fresh work but their base is grounded in tradition. Traditional is never going to go out of style. It just depends on how you play with it."
Why Did You Choose a Blue Cowhide Rug for the 2015 Hampton Showhouse Kitchen
"Did you like that? Laugh... Cowhide rugs are fun and love that they are shaped. You can get a beautiful animal hide that isn't shaped like the back of an animal. You can buy a rectangular hide rug or even a hide rug woven with leather—which is very cool. You can do a lot of layering on top of other rugs. It's a fun way to bring in texture and something different. The kitchen is pretty big and bland. I had a lot of limitations in the room with the furniture. I had use a tulip table and I wanted to excite the floor below it. Cowhides are fantastic since you can angle them in certain ways to make an interesting island for your furniture to rest on. The color was so perfect and fun—it went great with my color scheme."
For more on Marlaina Teich, visit http://mtdny.com.