The Style Files: Eddie Lee

Eddie Plaid Shirt

Eddie Lee is an interior designer based in New York. After graduating from Vanderbilt with a bachelor’s in political science and earning a MBA from Emory, Eddie eventually went on to study at Parsons and worked alongside the late Greg Jordan for ten years. Eddie then decided to begin his own practice and struck out on his own in 2005. In the ten years since founding his eponymous firm, Eddie has come to be known for his range and versatility with projects that run the gamut from traditional to modern. He has worked on a variety of homes from sleek Manhattan apartments to vacation homes in the Hamptons. Currently, Eddie is working on a number of projects from coast to coast. I recently had a conversation with Eddie for The Style Files. Not only have I enjoyed learning more about him, I have no doubt that big things lie ahead for Eddie. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Eddie Lee: My personal style is always evolving. It is routed in classical design with a contemporary viewpoint and global influences from my travel and life experiences. Given that each project is different, as each client has different experiences, wants and needs. I often describe what I do as painting a portrait of a client through the medium of architecture, decoration and art.

ELI 2802-R10-07

PC: Has living in New York influenced the way you decorate?

EL: Yes, living in New York has absolutely influenced my decorating. Just walk down the street or into any museum and you’re exposed to centuries of architecture design and fashion. High and Low—that is what NYC is all about and that dynamic works itself into my design.

ELI Eddie Lee Dressing Room - Domino

PC: What does your home say about you?

EL: I’d like to think that my home says, “I love to travel, explore and entertain; I have a curious mind and an open heart.”


PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

EL: First off, I turn to my clients for inspiration. My work is very client-driven. I’m as comfortable designing an English country house as I am a modern beach home or an urban apartment. Once the direction is set, I do research—books, magazines, images I’ve taken over the years of design details I like. For color inspiration, I often look in a clients closet to see what their colors they gravitate towards.


PC: Who are your personal style icons?

EL: My personal style icons are Karl Lagerfeld and Halston. Lagerfeld for his multi-talented approach to life as a photographer, fashion designer, publisher and director and his eclectic yet modern style that takes iconic images through a contemporary lens to make his designs always feel “of the moment.” Halston’s innovative use of new materials like ultra suede, redefined American sportswear. He cleaned up fashion and was the perfect designer for the era in which he lived.


{A Young Halston in the 1960s}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

EL: My greatest pleasure is travel. But that’s not guilty, so I guess I would have to say that my guilty pleasure is having nothing to do. I secretly love when plans get cancelled at the last minute, and I can sit at home with my kindle and my dog.


{Eddie’s Sweet Dog, Buddy Helping Him Pick out Fabrics |  Image via @eddieleeinc on Instagram}

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

EL: Empathy

ELI Emmerson Entry 1PC: Who has been your greatest professional influence?

EL: My greatest professional influence was my first boss in interior design, the late Greg Jordan.

Greg Jordan Residence AD

{Designer, Greg Jordan’s Home in the Hollywood Hills as featured in Architectural Digest in 2004}

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

EL: My idea of living la dolce vita is traveling nonstop with friends.


{Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland | Image via @eddieleeinc on Instagram}

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

EL: I’m lucky to working on both coasts at the moment—so I look forward to taking full advantage of California winters.




Go-To Outfit: dark jeans, dress shirt, New Balance sneakers
Style Mantra: Be appropriate, yet adventurous
Scent: Kenneth Turner “original” and Tom Dixon “London”
Color I never tire of: Blue
Indispensable Design Element: Mirror
Movie Set Design: Auntie Mame and Logan’s Run
I Can Never Have Too Many: Friends
Rule to break: all of them
Greatest Extravagance: buying art
Museum: The Met, the new Whitney and the Tate Modern
Drink: Margarita
Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: George Michael’s Freedom! ’90
Artist: Mark Rothko
Dream Project: to have Barbara Hutton as I client… if she were still alive.
Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: working out with my trainer, Darrin Hickok at Mercedes Club.

Paloma Signature

{Photography Courtesy of Eddie Lee}

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  1. He’s fabulous. And I am in complete agreement over Freedom 90! always putting me in a great mood (or pretty much anything from George Michael)