October 4, 2017
'An Adventurous Life: Global Interiors' by Tom Stringer
Designer Tom Stringer shares his love of travel, interiors, and what to expect from his new book—which just hit shelves this week!
by New York Spaces
NYS: Tell us about your design philosophy?
Tom Stringer: My design philosophy is client-centered and geographically specific. I seek to develop highly layered interiors that reflect my client's sensibilities and tell a story about their lives.
NYS: What is the most inspirational locale you have visited?
Tom Stringer: It is impossible to choose! There are three that stand out in my mind:
- Flying low over Bagan in a hot air balloon at sunrise.
- Diving at sunrise at Fakarava, a small atoll in the Tuamotus.
- Seeing Petra in a freak snowstorm in Jordan.
NYS: How did you choose the interiors you showcased in your book "An Adventurous Life: Global Interiors by Tom Stringer?"
Tom Stringer: All of the interiors in the book are recently completed projects that all contain layers of art and
objets from many cultures. They are well-travelled interiors for well-travelled clients.
NYS: What draws you to boats or contained systems in general so much? We find that fascinating!
Tom Stringer: Their complexity is what is fascinating to me. The idea of creating spaces that are at once a comfortable home and a machine is the interesting challenge. I am intrigued by design programs that require a solution that appears to be one thing but actually function as another.
NYS: If you could design your own boat right now, strictly for personal use, what would it be and what would it look like?
Tom Stringer: It would be a rugged designed ice class explorer yacht of about 160 feet in length that could take me virtually anywhere in the world but would have an extraordinary comfortable and well-crafted interior—a machine on the outside with a luxury hotel on the interior.
NYS: We are obsessed with the images in your book! Where these all taken on your travels?
Tom Stringer: Yes, all of the travel images in the book are my own. Everywhere I go, I am taking pictures!
NYS: We love that Holly Hunt says you have an "appreciation for the unusual." What does that mean to you?
Tom Stringer: I'm obsessed with ethnographic art and generally anything made of teeth, hair, and bone usually catch my eye. Those objects tell a story about the people that created and used them and that story is what makes them beautiful objects to me.
NYS: Tell us about the Granary door on page 190! We are obsessed!
Tom Stringer: My client and I discovered this Granary door in a little shop in Cape Town last fall. We were on our way home from safari in South Africa and just could not pass it up! The textures and detail are amazing.
NYS: You have so many strikingly beautiful vignettes that are like no other designer's I have ever seen. Tell us about the image on page 191. I can't imagine changing a thing here!
Tom Stringer: I love to let the vignettes come together intuitively. This one evolved completely organically as we were installing the client's residence. The walking sticks are African as are the contemporary wire baskets. The lingam stone is Indian from the Narmada River and the three images were collected from various sources over a dozen years.
NYS: When you travel, do you buy certain objects and then wait for the right project to feature them in?
Tom Stringer: In a perfect world I buy with a specific client in mind, but when I come across a compelling piece, I just go with my gut and hope one day I'll find the right home for it.
NYS: When and where can we find your book and when can you come fix up our little closet of an apartment?
Tom Stringer: The book is officially available October 3rd in bookstores everywhere—Amazon, Rizzoli, Barnes & Noble to name a few. I love a good project, no matter how big or small!
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