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Designer on Designers Featuring Douglas Graneto Design

 

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Douglas Graneto, principal of Douglas Graneto Design (DGD), a Greenwich based interior design firm whose aesthetic range is sophisticated and tailored. Designing for almost two decades, Douglas can create modern and traditional interiors while being true to his signature style, which is classically influenced modernism.

He is known for his friendly design approach and his ability to extract each client’s tastes and meet both aesthetic and functional needs. When sourcing items for client projects, he and his team seek and find special, one of a kind accessories that tell a story related to each client.

Photo courtesy of Jane Beiles Photography

Douglas grew up in Oregon contemplating architecture or art as a career. Intent on seeing more of the world, he moved to Miami and worked for an antiques retailer, designing the store’s interior and its furniture. He also handled merchandising. This experience catapulted him to another move, this time to New York City to pursue a career in art – a life-long passion.

Fate turned his career toward design once again. After being in the city only a few weeks, Douglas received a job offer from renowned interior design firm Ingrao, Inc., working directly with principal Tony Ingrao.  He honed his skills and moved up the ranks rather quickly.

Photo courtesy of HBK Photography

While at Ingrao, he designed and project managed high level jobs worldwide. During that period, he got married. The couple decided to move to Greenwich, Conn. and maintain an apartment in the city. After more than eight years at Ingrao, it was a natural transition to start his own firm. In 2006, Douglas Graneto Design became a reality.

DGD has completed many projects nationally and internationally in locations such as Palm Beach, Chicago, Tennessee, Virginia, New York  and Mustique. Douglas welcomes client collaborations and carefully curates each project for the individual client’s needs.

A Hamptons Beach House Living Room
Photo courtesy of Peter Murdock

One of his favorite projects was a beach house in the Hamptons with architect Austin Patterson. Douglas said that in this case, “…the client wanted to be part of the hunt.” Each piece was carefully selected and placed to compliment the architecture and functionality of the house. “It was a serendipitous process,” he said, “and the end results were amazing.”

Travel is an important part of Douglas’ personal and business lifestyle. He told us that it clears his mind, which allows him to draw inspiration from destinations like Paris, Morocco, and the Arizona Desert. Travel also gives him the opportunity to shop for clients in exotic locales, like international flea markets.

A Waterfront Home’s Entryway
Photo courtesy of Peter Murdock

You can see specific influences in his work through his color and curated selections. This is evident in the stunning entryway of a waterfront home, seen above. His client’s needs and interests tend to be one of the greatest influences. Douglas described how he applied his process to this space. “I wanted the entrance to create a big impact but also be a clean canvas for the client’s artwork and the incredible water views to shine through. By displaying contrasting marble along the floor and using a light plaster on the walls, the eye tends to move around the room taking in each detail — from the sculptural brass elements, to the artwork and landing on the view.”

Photo courtesy of Peter Murdock

DGD has a big year ahead with projects in the Hamptons, Greenwich and New York City. It’s clear his work speaks volumes, and I can’t wait to see more of his projects! You can view his varied portfolio at www.douglasgraneto.com.

Christina Roughan
Roughan Interior Design
Weston, CT / New York City
www.roughaninteriors.com

 

“The Art of a Completed Interior ” featured in the Isabella Garrucho Fine Art Gallery, The ART of Magazine

A Finished Room

 

Photography by Jane Beiles

A finished room is art to the soul and should reflect the individual or family who resides there. Whether you’re a novice or a professional in the world of interior design, everybody loves a fully completed space. It’s the impression you get upon entering a room that is styled well, it leaves you thinking about the design and wanting to recreate something of your own. As a designer, there is nothing more bothersome then entering a beautiful room and it not being finished. It exudes the feeling of “I’m not yet there, please help” or “I’m naked”. The success of a room is all in the details as they create the final stage. When I speak with Clients I describe our process and let them know how critical accessories and art are as they reflect the lifestyle they lead. Curated art and selections of accessories need to be placed on visible surfaces and areas of a room to give it life. Some are family heirlooms such as sculptures, crystal or silver, others more modern pieces that are not as old yet work together to complete the area. The completed room is what an olive is to a martini, the filling to a macaroon and the right accessory to the little black dress. Most people overlook these details until they are brought to their attention by the eye of a designer.

Photography by Willie Cole

To create a completed room having one of a kind sources is key. Finding the right piece in an obscure place is a story in itself. However while sourcing is fun it is also very times consuming so it must be completed in a very organized fashion. My team sources online through antique websites as well as on foot to antique dealers on the east/west coast. We also attend shows in Milan, Miami, NYC and Paris to gather the “right” accessories for each project. We then have a rooster of places to look, some are antiques others not. Selected accessories can range from an antique bistro chair from the Paris Flea to a lucite bowl from the eponymous Alexandra Von Furstenberg shop in LA.The job dictates the accessory and each job is curated differently. We like to mix old and new to create a lifestyle that fits each project. Some may have more modern, some more traditional but all work together effortlessly. The last decorative piece that we choose is the palm, whether a kentia or a fiddleleaf fig, the height and size makes all the difference as it’s all about scale and proportion. Along with the plant you must source the right pot as well. They range from new Asian fishbowls, modern containers or antiques with colors that enhance the interior.

Photography by Jane Beiles

Once the architect and contractor have completed their work to make a home beautiful and structurally sound is when the decorative layering begins. When the designer orders all merchandise and the furniture has been placed, throw pillows delivered, sconces & hardware installed, drapery up, touch-ups completed and blue tape off the walls is the time we bring art and decorative accessories in to create design moments. Each area has to look as if it was always there, nothing should look to new. All spatial aspects of the interior should flow naturally into the other yet each area a very distinguishable design. Some room may have more of a wow factor and others a feeling of ease. Each design has a purpose and function which dictates everything. What is luxury without function ? It doesn’t exist.

Photography by Jane Beiles

The art of a completed interior is through professional styling which bring a room to life. The tiers of curated art and accessories make each space special and tell a story. Some may be minimal like a Donald Judd sculpture on a wall or some may be layers and layers of curiosities. Completed Interiors create memories that are filled with love, passion, happiness and a deep vision of the past and a peek into the future. Winston Churchill said it best, “We shape our homes, and then our homes shape us.”

Photography by CS Roughan

Designer on Designers: MMH Interviewed by Christina Roughan/Roughan Interiors

Interior Design Inspired by the World of Fashion

As a designer, I look for interesting and larger than life designers to interview for this column. What drives them? Were they always interior designers? What is their background, past? What are their inspirations?

Coming from the fashion world myself, designing stores and showrooms for Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger, I understand the industry and how it relates to interiors. The process is similar — yet very different — and is always changing, creatively and businesswise. One (fashion) can lead the other (interior design) depending on each season, and there are few designers who understand that vernacular.

Ten years ago, I designed this master bedroom for the Marina Suites for Oceania Cruise Lines using Ralph Lauren furnishings exclusively. A nice example of a fashion-to-interior-design transition — similar to that of this month’s profiled designer.

This month I’m introducing you to a very special designer whose early stirrings in fashion appear in her present-day work. Michelle Morgan Harrison of New Canaan-based Morgan Harrison Home is not only a leader in the world of interior design, her creations speak to you through a curated process that can be attributed to early times in the fashion publishing industry.

Only in her mid-twenties, Michelle served as the Senior Fashion Editor at Elle Magazine and then Fashion Editor at Mirabella Magazine. From there, she went on to work as Editorial Director for Saks Fifth Avenue. At Saks, Michelle was responsible for all departments and made sure they worked in a cohesive manner to create a consistent and appropriate brand image.

Photo courtesy of Jane Beiles Photography

The transition from fashion to interiors was a natural progression for Michelle as so many of the skills she honed in the fashion world translated to her new practice. She had the ability to forecast colors, identify influencers and trends in the home industry as she did in fashion.

While at the magazines, she developed her design style by renovating her own home in Brooklyn Heights and her summer home in Long Island, New York’s North Fork. Her move to New Canaan came after her first child was born as she and her family were craving more space.  Michelle once again transformed her own home into a beautifully designed haven.

Photo courtesy of Jane Beiles Photography

 News began to spread about her amazing interiors, which motivated her to make interior design her full-time work. She shortly left the magazine industry and officially founded her company, Morgan Harrison Home, a full-service interior design firm. MHH was responsible for designing the first Walin & Wolff fashion boutique locations in New Canaan, Rye and Westport. Her clients since then are diverse — and so are her projects.

I asked Michelle about MHH’s strengths. She readily replied, “Subtleties of colors. The ability to soften handsome in a way that appeals to both woman and men.”

Photo courtesy of Jane Beiles Photography

She takes cues from her clients lifestyle and the way they dress which tells a story that translates to her interior concept. One day when picking her son up from school she and a client spotted one another across the courtyard. The client was wearing white jeans, a yellow tank top and a lavender cashmere sweater, and shouted to Michelle, “Am I wearing my kitchen?” MHH had designed a kitchen for her which was white with accents of yellow and hints of lavender. Perfect pairing for a very happy client.

Michelle’s inspirations come from many different mediums such as shelter, fashion magazines and fabrics. She may see a fabric and its color depth and texture may inspire an entire room. Each of her projects is different and represents her clients and the way they live.

Photo courtesy of Jane Beiles Photography

 What projects are on the horizon for MHH? Michelle told us, “An amazing pool house and a modern home in Greenwich with floating stairs. She is very excited about both projects, describing them as, “organic, creative, subtle and different.” As a designer, I can’t wait to see the results!

Morgan Harrison Home is a full-service interior design firm located in New Canaan CT.

Christina Roughan

Roughan Interior Design
Weston, CT / New York City
www.roughaninteriors.com

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Designer on Designers, a KLAFFStyle column by designer Christina Roughan of Roughan Interiors. As an interior designer for more than 20 years, Chris has met and collaborated with some of the best-known design professionals in the industry. She is, in fact, a designer’s designer, having completed commercial and/or residential assignments for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, Takashimaya and many other noted clients. Chris will be interviewing her colleagues from the designer’s point of view and sharing their design insights.

Roughan Interiors in Interior Design Magazine
Roughan Interiors in House Beautiful
Roughan Interiors in Elle Decor
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