“There’s only one very good life and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself,” By Diana Vreeland.
Each day is another fragment of the journey that is life and time is precious so make the most of every single day.
Rinat’s design philosophy is based on her wide knowledge and understanding of period styles through 20th Century modern classics designs. Her interiors are eclectic and draw inspirations from different periods to create individuality and expressions. She believes that today’s lifestyle requires environments that are informal yet serene and luxurious.
In October of 2005, Ms. Lavi was included in a House Beautiful feature listing 25 of “America’s Top Young Designers”. She has also been featured in New York Spaces magazine as one of “40 Under 40” showing a Cobble Hill townhouse.
Recently completed projects include a 5000sf recreation house in Westchester NY and an 8000sf apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She is currently designing a 7000sf newly constructed house in the Hamptons as well as working on the decoration of a Townhouse for the same client.
Rinat’s sense of style developed over the years, and implements the prevailing eclectic mix of classical architectural details with modernist furniture, even edgy pieces and/or modern art. In order to achieve the timeless envoironments, it is often the juxtaposing of polished surfaces with organic elements, that results in a sophisticated decor with a universal appeal.
From the initial meeting through the installation of the project, Rinat will try to really listen to what the clients will say. Particularly the way they would describe their lifestyle and what their goals are for the project. As every project is unique and incorporates many factors from taste to budget (often involving two personalities with different sets of priorities) the result should always be a space that feels first and foremost HOME.
- What’s your go-to classic color choice?
- I don't really have a favorite color scheme. That is because to me, a color scheme should be born out of the requirements of the project. For one, it is the space (urban or country, surroundings and exposures to natural light) but also the mood that my client requested. I often like to create two color schemes for a presentation that are equally successful. More often than not, my client will have a hard time choosing. And as I am very confident with color (it is something that I had developed over the years of experience), it allows me to manipulate any scheme successfully and in a ways that might be unexpected.
- Is there a hotel that’s most inspired your work while traveling?
- One of the most inspiring hotels to me is The Mark in Manhattan designed by Jacques Grange with a Parisian Deco influence that I love. The black and white stripe floor in the lobby has been an inspiration in a number of my projects. Most recently I created a Powder Room for a client's Brooklyn townhouse
- Which pieces of technology do you use to document design inspiration?
- In the past year I have become an Instagram addict. I now find many inspiration images as well as sources through this app. In fact I opted to switch to iphone 6 plus so that I can have the luxury of a larger screen to view the pictures at all times.
- Where do you go to spot new style?
- Living and working in New York City allows for an endless exploration of shops, cafes, restaurants and trade showrooms. And with the current urban renewal the city is a huge source for trends that become global influences.
- Do you have a favorite restaurant (for the design and the food, of course)?
- For the past few years it has been ABC Kitchen. The atmosphere is alwasy inspiring as the place is filled with creative professionals. The space design has felt current with its mix of rustic and modern minimal that is so suitable for the neighborhood. And the food is a low key farm to table by one of the best chefs of our times.
- What’s your favorite small museum in the world?
- Musee Nissim de Camondo near the Parc Monceau in Paris. I first visited it almost twenty years ago and have been inspired by the classical details ever since. The house was built in 1911 and largely inspired by the Petit Trianon in Versailles with gorgeous French backdrops to a collection of 18th century furnishings. Understanding the classical style has allowed me to create timeless interiors for my clients.
- How do you usually start your weekend?
- Lately it has been with Instagram. On my iphone, I would look at posts of accounts I follow and also look through blogs and design sites for inspirational images. I love to follow the design media sites as well as travel sites.
- Who or what is your biggest design influence?
- Prominently, Stephen Sills. His eclectic mix is what I strive for in my own designs. He uses many classical elements in both the architectural details as well as the furnishings, mixed with modern art or modern textiles and the result is a timeless quality that is sophisticated and understated. His work has been consistent for many years because, in my opinion, it is a formula that endures and has very much been my design philosophy. When I read his first book "Dwellings" (which was published in 2003) I suddenly understood the way that designers use hidden connections between the elements of a room - in other words using the same language when specifying the textiles, the case goods, and all the rest of the decor - it gave me an elevated sense of how to create well designed rooms.
- How do you keep it all together?
- Lists. Lists. And more lists. I have lists by projects, lists by dates, lists for different aspects of the current jobs, lists of places I should visit and then there are personal lists. I used to keep a leather bound notebook but now it is so much more efficient to use my iphone where I have images attached to memos for visual reference and notes attached to calendar with necessary reminders.
- Design a garden: groomed or freestyle?
- Freestyle - like the gardens created by Monet in Giverny. The gardens are a mix of flowers in patches that look messy but balanced. It feels happy and, I think is suitable for today's less formal lifestyle.