Interior Designer Spotlight with Timothy Whealon
Owner of Timothy Whealon Interiors, New York, NY
The prestigious Franklin Report gives Timothy Whealon their highest 5 star rating saying, “In Whealon’s hands, fussy traditional spaces become joyful homes, and modern rooms are elevated with warmth.” The Report also includes comments from clients, such as “Top-drawer talent for a reasonable price.” “Really went out of his way for us.” “Tim deeply cares about giving you something that’s perfect for you.” Timothy is frequently featured in Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Veranda, British House and Garden, Architectural Digest, the New York Times as well as in numerous design books. Timothy was hand-selected for the second time in 2016 by the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Committee chaired by renowned interior designer Bunny Williams.
Join me as Timothy discuses how he chooses designer rugs for his clients, the pros and cons of Sotheby’s verse 1stdibs, his thoughts on Instagram, and much more.
Why Did You Decide to Become an Interior Designer?
“I became an interior designer by default. When I was at Sotheby’s, I found that I didn’t want my involvement in a room to end on the acquisition of art and antiques. I wanted to have an impact on the overall aesthetic of the space.”
How Do You Choose Designer Rugs for Your Clients?
“It really depends. We use a lot of rugs that I design. Durability is very important to me and I like rugs that can be cleaned and look even better over time. It’s also important to be practical about rugs because they get a lot of wear and tear. I really look at rugs differently from project to project and where they are going to go. In the Hamptons, I use a lot of abaca and natural fiber rugs in beach environments. I always tend to do runners up stairwells because they get a lot of traffic. I’ll do those in 100% wool and like a kilim or dhurrie weave. In this house I did in Monaco, I did new rugs that were made to look old and have a tribal influence to them. My taste in rugs vary. I sometimes even buy old rugs for clients.”
How Do Your Clients Select an Interior Designer?
“Wisely! I always tell potential clients that they should talk to former clients and study my work to see if they can really relate to it. Hiring an interior designer is a very personal choice.”
Did You Have Any Anxiety Last Year When Elle Decor Profiled Your Apartment?
“My first two apartments in New York were shot by Elle Decor. My second apartment made it on the cover. I love Elle Decor and was flattered that they wanted my apartment to grace their pages. People really seemed to respond to the story. It was shot beautifully and styled beautifully. So no, I wasn’t nervous at all because I knew I was in good hands with Robert Rufino, editor in chief Michael Boodro, and photographer Joshua McHugh.”
What Are the Pros and Cons of an Auction House Like Sotheby’s Verse a Website Like 1stdibs?
“You can get incredible things for incredible value at auctions. I trained at Sotheby’s—I did a management training program. I think the difficult part is that they say low estimates bring high prices. It can entice people to start bidding. Some clients get frustrated because they end up bidding on something that has an estimate of twenty to thirty thousand dollars, and it ends up going for over one hundred thousand dollars. The market is going to dictate what those things go for, but that can be frustrating for some buyers. Some buyers just don’t have that auction mentality. A nice thing about auctions is you can go look at the piece. You can turn it over and investigate it. I love buying from 1stdibs as well. I think they are different. One is a dealer platform where you can buy from dealers that you love and go see things and have them send you things. I think it’s really a personality thing. I use both venues. What makes it fun is sourcing from all different kinds of places.”
Have You Had Any Success Using Instagram? You Have Ten Thousand Followers!
“We just started my Instagram account last year when my first book was coming out, In Pursuit of Beauty: The Interiors of Timothy Whealon. I think we’ve had pretty good success with it. I’ve been enjoying it and think it’s a valuable tool to tell people what you are about. Giving people both a taste of things they see published and more day to day things that happen in the design business and my life.”
How is The Industry Changing?
“I see it changing for the better. I think we went through a decade where the look people wanted was heavily influenced by the mass marketing of furniture stores. Now people seem to want spaces that reflect their personalities and are unique.”
For more on Timothy Whealon visit: http://timothywhealon.com