The Style Files: Anna Burke


I first came across Anna Burke and her fabulous style on Instagram. It is such a great way to connect with people who have similar taste! Anna is a young interior designer working in New York. Originally from Chicago, Anna launched her eponymous design firm in 2014 after working for Celerie Kemble for six years. Anna’s style offers a fresh take on classic, sophisticated interiors. You’ll find that the spaces she designs never lack color, pattern, or a statement-making piece or two, yet it is all executed with a discerning eye and a wonderful ability to edit, so that it is never too much. Anna and her work have been featured in Lonny, Trad Home, ELLE, and Domino. While interviewing Anna, I felt that I could relate to so many of her answers which cemented the fact that we have such similar taste. I loved getting to know more about this talented designer and know that you will, too. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Anna Burke: My style for interiors is warm modern and also a little bit bohemian. I tend to gravitate towards the wild and interesting option, and then reign myself in to be somewhere in the middle. I love contemporary design, but I also love florals and fine antiques. I’m not tethered to any one look; I just love beautiful things!


PC: Has living in New York influenced your aesthetic in any way?

AB: Living in New York has made me appreciate the comfort, warmth, and privacy of my apartment and our home outside the city. With that in mind, I seek to create spaces where my clients can relax with their families but also entertain friends without notice. New York spaces are multifunctional, and decorating them well requires thought, discipline, and flexibility. For example, a dining room might do double duty as a library and a family room.


{Beautiful Details in a Client’s Dining Room via Anna’s Instagram}

PC: What does your home say about you?

AB: My home represents my own evolving style. After years of bright colors and patterns, I realized what I wanted to come home to at the end of the day is a neutral, soothing color palette. Most of our clients love color and ask for it in their schemes. This translates to rooms with neutral walls and upholstery along with pops of color here and there. My own home is mostly whites, creams, and grays!


{The Chic, Modern, and Neutral Kitchen in Anna’s New Apartment}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

AB: Instagram, The World of Interiors, Driving around on the weekends and looking at houses, the architects we have the privilege of working with…


PC: Who are your personal style icons?

AB: Diana Vreeland, Bunny Mellon, Lee Radziwill


PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

AB: TV, Cheese, Bread, First Class, Silk Velvet


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

AB: Kindness and a sense of humor


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

AB: My mother is a decorator and my parents build houses as a hobby. I spent many weekends during my childhood looking at houses and hanging out on job sites. They instilled in me a love of Greek Revival architecture and an appreciation for antiques. Working for Celerie Kemble influence my life immensely. Celery has an energy and effervescence that is contagious and she shared it with me and the others who work for her. She gave me the confidence to take risks and to always see the big picture in every room.


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

AB: A job that I love. Clients who are happy. A sleeping baby. Dinner out with my husband. Sleeping in on a Saturday. A cold glass of white wine. A vacation somewhere I’ve never been. I’m living it now (minus the sleeping in) and I am grateful for it everyday.

wkphotography-abi-hr-162PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

AB: We are installing a prewar duplex on the upper east side in November that we’ve been working on for a year and a half. A major renovation of a colonial farmhouse on Long Island. I just finished renovating and decorating my own apartment which I will be sharing photos of soon.snip20161002_13



Go to Outfit: Statement blouse, jeans, and lace-up flats

Style Mantra: Every room, outfit, table setting needs something high and something low. I like the challenge of mixing H &M with Hermes and West Elm with 1st Dibs

Scent: Nitesurf by Regime des Fleurs

Piece of Jewelry: My engagement ring. My husband and I worked on it together. He proposed with a simple band because he knew I would want input on the ring. Smart man!

Color I Never Tire Of: White

Flower: Poppy

Indispensable Design Element: Christopher Spitzmiller Lamps

Era for Design: Now

Dream Project: Restoring a David Adler home in Lake Forest, IL with my favorite architect Jim Joseph and me as the client!

Fabric/Textile: Rosemary Hallgarten Abaca Boucle

Hostess Gift: arrangement from Plaza Flowers the morning of

Meal: Steak au Poivre at Raoul’s in NYC, several glasses of wine, and dessert

Drink: Margarita on the rocks with salt


Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Playing with my daughter, Netflix, Magazines. Laughing with my girlfriends over margaritas.

Weekend Destination: Our home on the Hudson River

Hotel: La Mirande in Avignon and the Hotel Bel Air

City: Los Angeles, London

Museum: The Art Institute in Chicago

Artist: Vermeer, DeKoonig, and photographs by Julie Blackman

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire

Actor: Katharine Hepburn

Prized Possession: Photos of my family

Risk Worth Taking: Starting your own business

Greatest Extravagance: My housekeeper

Go-To Color Palette: Green, White, Jute

Rule to break: Never mix business with pleasure.

Movie Set Design: The Thomas Crown Affair

I can never have too many… Moments with my daughter


{Photography Courtesy of Anna Burke}

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