The Style Files: Sam Allen

Sam Allen Headshot 1

Sam Allen is a young interior designer based in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Having grown up watching his decorator mother in action, Sam knew that design was his calling from an early age and established his eponymous design firm while still in his teens. In the years since, Sam has been recognized as a “Next Wave” Designer by House Beautiful and his work has been featured in multiple publications including The New York Times, Luxe, Vogue, and Domino proving that talent and good taste are truly ageless. Over the years, Sam and I have become friends and frequently run into each other at design industry events such as Legends of La Cienega in Los Angeles or furniture market in High Point, North Carolina. I recently saw Sam not only in Los Angeles, but also in New York where we both designed tables for the annual Lenox Hill Neighborhood House Spring Gala. I have enjoyed watching Sam’s career blossom over the past several years and have no doubt that big things are on the horizon for him. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Sam Allen: Clean and classic meets elevated glamour, and always original. I like crisp, traditional neutrals with a personalized edge.

Sam Allen Vignette

PC: How has living in Connecticut influenced your style?

SA: There’s an interpretation of East Coast style that translates well across the board. It’s fresh and lively, but also refined, with a large dose of cozy. Those are all notes I enjoy seeing in a finished project.

Sam Allen Skirted Table

PC: What does your home say about you?

SA: Nothing makes me happier than perfecting the finishing details, and that comes through in my own home. I even have a folding board for my clothes.

Sam Allen Bedroom Stripes

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

SA: For my own, personal inspiration, I love travel. Whether it’s a design-focused trip, like going to LCDQ Legends or High Point, or just a vacation, I feel my creativity enhanced when I’m exposed to new experiences. It doesn’t even have to be far – even a day trip to New York for Kips Bay or to a museum can be inspiring. For a project, I like to be inspired by my clients. Getting to know them and who they are, and executing a vision that enhances their way of life – that’s inspiring!

Sam Allen Bold Living Room

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

SA: David Hicks’ style was iconic. He really knew and understood the way people live. As for someone current, Bruce Budd is doing really beautiful work. Every time a new project of his is published, I love it. In the world of fashion, Brunello Cucinelli’s style is classic and elevated in a way I strive to emulate.

bruce budd AD

{Worlds Collide: A Bedroom Designed by Bruce Budd featuring David Hicks’ Iconic La Fiorentina Fabric}

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

SA: Self-confidence. Have faith in yourself or no one else will.

Sam Allen Dining Room

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

SA: Shopping. Serious shopping. Particularly in Paris.

Sam Allen Vignette

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

SA: Martha Stewart. She’s a family friend, and I interned for her at the beginning of my career. I admire her resilience and ability to evolve. She’s a smart businessperson.

Sam Allen Kitchen

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

SA: Waking up in the Peninsula Beverly Hills and never having to go back to reality.

Sam Allen Bedroom

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

SA: I’ve just started a large new project in Martha’s Vineyard. It’s in an amazing location on the water with exquisite views. We’re currently developing the creative concept, and I’m very excited about it.

Sam Allen Bath



Go-To Outfit: I love my Brunello Cucinelli cashmere sweatsuit, worn with leather sneakers

Style Mantra: “Buy the best, and you will only cry once.” Miles Redd speaks the truth.

Scent: Lily of the Valley

Piece of Jewelry: My yellow gold Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch

Color I Never Tire Of: Hermès Orange

Flower: White Peonies

Indispensable Design Element: Quality textiles and flowers

Era for Design: Billy Baldwin and the 1950’s

Dream Project: My mother always says that a project can only ever be as good as the client. So my “dream project” would be working with someone who allows me creative control and trusts my vision.

Fabric/Textile: Bennison and C+C Milano

Hostess Gift: White, fresh cut flowers

Meal: Homemade pasta

Drink: Diet Coke


Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: A manicure

3 Things I Love About My City: Its charm, the timeless beauty and architecture, and the fact that it’s on the water.

Weekend Destination: My grandparent’s home in Martha’s Vineyard

Hotel: The Peninsula Beverly Hills

City: Paris

Museum: The V&A in London

Artist: Jean-Marc Louis

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “In Da Club” by 50 Cent

Actor/Actress: George Clooney & Meryl Streep

Prized Possession: My friendships

Risk Worth Taking: Starting your own business

Greatest Extravagance: Cars

Go-To Color Palette: Crisp neutrals

Rule to Break: All of them!

Movie Set Design: Anything by Nancy Meyers

I can never have too many… Minutes of the day!

Paloma Signature

{Images Courtesy of Sam Allen Interiors | For more of Sam’s work and funny personality, follow him on Instagram @samallen1}


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