The Style Files: Meg Braff

{Meg Braff | Portrait by David Land}

Meg Braff is known for her exuberant, yet classic style. Meg fully embraces color and pattern and is quite adept at mixing pieces from various eras to create spaces that are effortless and inviting. A native of Tupelo, Mississippi, Meg completed her studies at Vanderbilt University, then went on to study design at Parsons School of Design prior to founding her eponymous design firm in 1994. Her firm is now based in Locust Valley on Long Island, where Meg also runs her shop, Meg Braff Antiques & Decoration. In addition to having an impressive roster of projects across the country, Meg also has a line of beautiful wallpapers, and recently published her first book, The Decorated Home with Rizzoli, which features a slew of stunning images and Meg’s sage advice for decorating novices and experts alike. I have admired Meg’s work and her penchant for color for years and was so happy to finally meet her in High Point a few months ago. I hope you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Meg Braff: Exuberant, classic, timeless, playful, colorful.

{Photography by J. Savage Gibson}

PC: Has living on Long Island influenced your aesthetic in any way?

MB: The North Shore of Long Island is abundant in rich architecture from the 1920s, 30s and 40s. I love the opportunity for a little throwback glamour that these houses set the stage for.

PC: What does your home say about you?

MB: I am now putting the finishing touches on my new home in Locust Valley. It’s less traditional than my previous home, bright and cheerful with room for a crowd; ideal because I have four teenage boys and love to entertain. I hope the house feels open and welcoming to guests, and that they’ll find as much joy in the colors, patterns, and dramatic design statements as I had in designing them.

{Photography by Nicholas Mele}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

MB: I love Pinterest! But really, I am inspired at every turn— books and magazines, museums, home and garden tours, conversations with colleagues and friends. There is so much to see and learn and the more I travel and observe the more I am inspired.

{A Photo of one of Meg’s Projects in East Hampton via her Pinterest Profile}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

MB: Currently I am loving images of Aerin Lauder, her beautiful homes and her great personal style. In terms of historical figures, I am continuously inspired by Frances Elkins and Albert Hadley. Francis for her pioneering mixing of periods and styles, and Albert for his inventive use of color and pattern.

{Aerin Lauder’s Southampton Living Room via Vogue}

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

MB: Humor, honesty, loyalty and good manners

{Photography by Tria Giovan}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

MB: Dark Chocolate

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

MB: Charlotte Moss has been a wonderful friend and mentor throughout my career. She was even so kind to write the foreword to my book. Her aesthetic eye, sense of color, and thoughts on gracious living are endlessly inspiring, as is her amazing philanthropic work.

{Photography by Francesco Lagnese for House Beautiful}

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

MB: Enjoying the company of family and friends in beautiful spaces and locales.

{Photography by J. Savage Gibson}

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

MB: I’m currently working on some really exciting projects, including several residences in South Florida, a New York apartment for longtime clients, historic homes in Bermuda and off the coast of Maine, a ranch in Texas and a really special estate in Locust Valley. I’m also continuously expanding my wallpaper and fabric lines with new patterns and color ways. Come fall, I’ll continue traveling in celebration of my book, The Decorated Home. I’m excited to be visiting Houston, Dallas, and Washington DC.

{Photography by Tria Giovan}

Go-To Outfit: Solid color dresses with bold jewelry and big sunglasses!

Style Mantra: Buy what you love!

Scent: Jo Malone’s Lime Basil

Piece of Jewelry: I’m never without my Cartier watch, my engagement ring, and a chunky gold ring designed by my friend and client Blair Hussain

Color I Never Tire Of: I love almost every shade of green. Its blends so seamlessly I love the transition that green provides, brining indoors out and outdoors in

Flower: Ranunculus

Indispensable Design Element: In my opinion, chinoiserie pieces, rattan and lucite are appropriate in almost every space.

Era for Design:  The thirties- I love the furniture of this era, and that the rooms were usually less “designed” than they are today.

Dream Project: My ideal project is a beautifully restored 1930s house, with detailing that provides a great backdrop for a mix of modern and antique pieces.

Fabric/Textile: I love Les Indiennes from Quadrille, Les Touches from Brunschwig & Fils, and Tweed, from my own line. All are versatile, playful, and available in many great colors.

Hostess Gift: I love to give truffled Almonds, and I send a lot of flowers as a Thank You.

Meal: I order Dover Sole whenever I spot it on a menu.

Drink: Love a crisp white wine, or Rose in the summer

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: Catching up with my husband and boys, and scanning the days flagged emails.

3 Things I Love About My City: Locust Valley is a small community filled with beautiful gardens and some grand old homes. There is a great little design community, with many decorators and a strip of home decor and antiques stores (including mine!) right in the center of the town. Its friendly, cheerful, but at only 20 miles of New York City the conveniences of the city are easily accessible. Truly the best of both worlds!

Weekend Destination: Palm Beach and Bermuda are great weekend jaunts, especially during cold and dreary winters. Newport, RI is one of my favorite spots in the world and wonderful for a weekend, a week or a Summer!

Hotel: The Berkeley in London

City: Musee D’Orsay

Museum: Paris

Artist: I love color and vibrancy of Henri Matisse. Right now I’m loving Roger Muhl and Gabriel Godard

Actor/Actress: Michelle Pfeiffer

Prized Possession: My 1969 Mercedes “Pagoda Top” 280SL convertible that I bought myself as a fortieth birthday present. White with Navy interior, its a dreamy summer car.

Risk Worth Taking: Start your own business, just go for it!

Greatest Extravagance: I love having an abundance of cut flowers and orchids in my home,

Go-To Color Palette: I am always in the mood for Aqua, Chartreuse and Aubergine, all together or in any combination.

Rule to Break: I love symmetry and balance, but too many pairs can feel unimaginative.

Movie Set Design: I love movies filmed in fabulous old houses such as The Philadelphia Story, Dinner at Eight and other movies of that era. Recently I loved The Queen on Netflix.

I can never have too many… Cabbage ware and throw pillows

{Photography Courtesy of Meg Braff Designs}

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