Designer Friday: Christina Roughan

Interview with Christina Roughan for Aspire Design and Home, March 29, 2019, by Andrew Joseph

When we call Christina Roughan an interior design rockstar, we don’t just mean she created killer interiors for the Connecticut and New York area. We mean she’s an interior designer, but also used to shred a guitar for audiences across the country in the 90s. As the former rock band singer readied herself for a more long term career commitment, she developed her artistic skills at jobs as part of design teams at Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger. In 1996, she turned to interior design, where she applied her gift for “bringing down the house” to residences and commercial spaces. Now, Roughan splits her time between Connecticut and New York and owns Roughan Interiors, combining subtle color with antique furnishings to bring her visions to life. Enjoy Christina’s ASPIRE encore in today’s Designer Friday.

Black walls and a marble fireplace make this sitting room by Roughan a contemplative, moody chamber.

Rich wood accents give this Connecticut home a sense of grandeur and tradition. A striking stone fireplace brings the heat.

Andrew Joseph – What’s your favorite time of day?
Christina Roughan – My favorite time of day is early mornings when the world is quiet and I can think.

Andrew – What is one thing no one knows about you?
Christina – I used to be in a Funk Rock band called Swelter in NYC in the 1990s. I was a singer. We toured everything from the Elbow Room and Alice’s Underground in NYC to Philly, Chicago, Maryland, and Delaware. It came pretty far in 3 years.

Andrew – Dream country to work in? Or a dream project to take on.
Christina – A large castle in Ireland that could be restored and transformed into a home for a modern family. I have roots there so it would be fun to do the research as well.
Ever since I saw the interiors of Hugh Hefner’s plane, I got the bug to do a private plane and then fill it with the most fabulous art. A gallery on the go.

Andrew – Vintage or new?
Christina – Vintage mid-century, I love pieces with a story.

Andrew – What are three things you can’t live without?
Christina – My children, Hermes Marveilles perfume, and Slim Aarons King of Hollywood original photo.

Andrew – What’s one ingredient you put in everything?
Christina – Himalayan sea salt.

Andrew – Must have clothing item everyone should have?
Christina – Black Cashmere turtleneck. It sums up everything I adore about style – clean, sophisticated, no-nonsense and it can go anywhere.

Andrew – What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Christina – All the wonderful creative work that people are showing on Instagram. Everything from a small ceramicist in a remote village to fabulous fashion photography to a rare piece of vintage Swedish furniture. The world is your oyster and Instagram gives you a feast to look at.

Andrew – Favorite city to recharge?
Christina – Well of course NYC.

Andrew – Who is your ideal client?
Christina – Nice people who understand design with an unlimited budget. They would say “I will see you in September, just make it beautiful….”

Reflective floors and all-white surroundings give this Roughan-designed home a glossy, futuristic feel.

Starting with neutrals and layering in color is a Roughan trademark. Here, she incorporates blues into a clean, white living room.

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Rooms that Grow: Tips on How to Transform a Child’s Room

Chris Roughan contributed a guest article which appeared in Cottages & Gardens, March 2019

In this ever-changing era of home décor, it can be a challenge to design a space for your children that will transcend the test of time through adulthood. Chris Roughan of Roughan Interiors, a designer and mother of two, shares some designer tips to aide in this endeavor to create a room that will grow with your child at the same time is worth living in.

Tips on How to Transition a Child’s Room

1. Way with Walls

Think of walls as the foundation of the design. Whether you use wallpaper or paint, think about how the room will adapt over time. If you are looking for a pattern experience or walls that can visually change, try painting your space a neutral color and add decals on the wall. The decals create a child-like environment and when removed, is an open canvas.

Alternatively, you can cut out animated wall decor and engage in more textured wall coverings such as grass cloth and or tailored linen walls. Phillip Jeffries has such a large array of wall covering that can adapt to a child or an adult. This adds a layer of depth to a room.

2. Carpets vs Wood

It is difficult to decide whether wood floors or carpeting are the right fit for you. If you decide on wall to wall carpets, Stark has an outdoor collection which has durable fibers that makes cleaning easier and won’t look stained from high volume use. Carpets with color blocking or patterns in neutral warm colors or monochromatic hues add depth and light to a space. This can transition from youthful to a more sophisticated mood depending on the fabrics that are upholstered on furniture.

As for wood flooring, warm browns, and golden wood tones tend to make a room cozy, while cool gray wood floors can make a room feel more spacious. Wood opens up the possibility for simple and affordable transformations. For comfort and a place for kids to play, add a soft shag rug. As they grow, change the rug to a vibrant patterned or colored wool rug for durability and a refreshing change.

3. Invest Wisely

Do not invest in baby-themed pieces in a room. Put it toward furniture that is simple, classic and well made. Like a bed for example, don’t choose a novelty bed as that will lose its appeal and usefulness fast. Instead, choose a quality bed and one that is neutral enough to blend with different styles. A bureau is another example, you can switch the knobs out for little bunnies to more classic knobs as your child’s taste changes.

As always, storage is key, no matter what age. Here you want to plan ahead, especially when choosing your furniture. Consider a bed with built-in storage and bookshelves that are sturdy but do not cater to a specific age.

4. Accessorize

Neutral palates of three colors such as ivory, camel, and grey or blue, white, and camel are wonderful as they create a timeless interior. Adding punch with throw pillows and bedding are a great way to incorporate bold colors and patterns into a room. These elements can always be changed out to create a more sophisticated space as the base of neutrals is existing.

Accessories play a large part in an interior. Personally, I am one for editing. If you don’t use it in a year, toss. Let in space for more function, beauty and clarity. The more neutral and adaptable your walls, floor and furniture are, the more flexibility you have with editing your designs. Accessories are more affordable and less laborious to swap out.


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