The Style Files: Timothy Whealon

The Style Files: Timothy Whealon

{Photography by Jonathan McHugh}

I have been inspired by Timothy Whealon‘s fresh, polished designs for years now. Each of his projects that has been published in the likes of ELLE DECOR, Veranda, Architectural Digest, and House Beautiful has been different from the last, but features Timothy’s brilliant way of composing interesting elements and curating art and antiques. Prior to founding his eponymous design firm in New York in 1994, Timothy had a career in banking. Upon realizing his love of the arts and design, Timothy set out to complete Sotheby’s Works of Art course in London along with the corporate management program at Sotheby’s in New York. In the twenty years since, Timothy’s work has been published extensively; he has worked with an enviable roster of clients in a variety of locales; and he has come to be regarded as a top designer thanks to his unparalleled eye for style.

Timothy’s latest venture, a book with Rizzoli titled In Pursuit of Beauty: The Interiors of Timothy Whealon is officially being released today! The book is absolutely beautiful and showcases the effortless way in which Timothy combines classic and modern influences along with his masterful use of both art and antiques within spaces that feel fresh and chic. In celebration of his much anticipated new book, Timothy and I recently sat down to chat about his style, experience, and some of his favorite things. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Timothy Whealon: Fresh, edited, and referenced. My interiors have a balance of patina and crispness—femininity and masculinity.


{Timothy’s Chic Home in New York}

PC: Having lived in London and New York, do you find that Londoners have a different design sensibility than New Yorkers? Generally speaking, how do a client’s needs differ from one city to the next?

TW: It’s really all about the environment and architecture and generally speaking there is a longer history in London of historical buildings. Whether I’m designing in London or New York, it’s about finding the voice of the space or building if it is a historic renovation as well as the voice of the client I am designing for.


{A Striking Mix}

PC: What does your home say about you?

TW: That I like comfort, geometry, order, and a mix of old and new—that I love pops of color both in art and accessories and that I am always thinking about the interplay of the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ space.


{A Beautiful Vignette in Timothy’s Home}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

TW: Nature, other cultures, friends, and the moment.

The Style Files: Timothy Whealon

{Timothy’s Chic Terrace in New York via @timothywhealon on Instagram}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

TW: Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Frances Elkins, the Ottoman Sultans and Auntie Mame.

The Style Files: Timothy Whealon

{A Fabulous Mix in a Southampton Home designed by Timothy Including a David Hicks Runner}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

TW: A day in bed with books and Apple TV

timothy whealon bedroom elle decor

{The Master Bedroom in Timothy’s New York Apartment as featured in ELLE DECOR earlier this Year}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

TW: Spontaneity and a sense of humor

The Style Files: Timothy Whealon

{A Beautiful Dining Room designed for a Client featuring DeGournay Chinoiserie Wallpaper}

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

TW: Learning from and observing the experts in their respective fields when I was training with Sotheby’s—they taught me how to really see an object.

timothy whealon veranda

{A Favorite Moment by Timothy Whealon as featured in Veranda}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

TW: Balance—I’m a Libra so I am constantly striving for it and never achieving it!

The Style Files: Timothy Whealon

{A Serene Bedroom}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

TW: After my Rizzoli book release today—In Pursuit of Beauty: The Interiors of Timothy Whealon—you will be seeing more product design. I am currently working on a textile collection based on vintage pieces I have been buying all around the globe for the last twenty years.

The Style Files: Timothy Whealon



Go-To Outfit: Anything J. Crew–John Varvatos jeans, a Tom Ford shirt and a bespoke jacket from Sartoria Sabino in Naples

Style Mantra: Keep it Authentic

Scent: Gendarme—I have been buying it at Barney’s for years. It is subtle and fresh.

Piece of Jewelry: My vintage Rolex or Cartier XL Tank Americaine in rose gold.

Place to Shop: any flea market

Color I Never Tire Of: soft blues and grays

Flower: white anemones and tulips

Indispensable Design Element: art

Era for Design: the Baroque period and 1930’s and 40’s

Dream Project: a mix of historic architecture, soaring ceilings, indoor/outdoor space and modern and bespoke furnishings

Fabric/Textile: love embroidery and Greek vintage Naxos textiles

Hostess Gift: orangettes in a green box from Laduree

Meal: grilled and fresh from the garden or sea

Drink: anything with vodka and fresh lemon

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: on my terrace with the city lights and a glass of wine


Favorite Place: Cape Town

Weekend Destination: Chicago

Hotel: Anything Kit Kemp

City: Rome

Museum: the National Gallery in Edinburgh and the Rodin Museum in Paris

Artist: Giuseppe Penone

Coffee Table Book: Ellsworth Kelly Drawings 1960-1962

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Rachel Platten ‘Fight Song’ and anything from the original Café de Mar album as reminds me of past holidays in Europe

Actor/Actress: Michael Fassbender in Shame & Elizabeth McGovern in Ordinary People

Prized Possession: a piece of artwork from my niece that says—‘you fill my hart with light’

Risk Worth Taking: always better to do than not to do

Greatest Extravagance: daily freshly laundered and pressed sheets

Rule to Break: turn the other cheek

Movie Set Design: Auntie Mame

I can never have too many… happy memories

Paloma Signature



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