Timothy Brown is a talented, young interior designer based in New York. Originally from Tennessee, Timothy grew up with an appreciation for beauty and craftsmanship, but sought to create a more edited aesthetic than what he found all around him in the South. Over time, he would come to create his signature style which he refers to as warm minimalism. I have long admired the crisp, tailored interiors Timothy designs and the creative ways in which he injects that warmth, whether it is through a variety of carefully-selected textures or through interesting art. Timothy formerly worked for the likes of Victoria Hagan, Wayne Nathan, and Robert Stilin prior to launching his eponymous design firm. In the time since he has branched out on his own, Timothy has been recognized as a “Next Wave” interior designer by House Beautiful and was named one of Traditional Home’s “Ten Up and Coming Designers”. Timothy also recently launched a chic shop, T Brown Studio at the New York Design Center. Enjoy!
Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?
Timothy Brown: It really depends on the client and the project, I would like to think we do our version of site and client specific work. For example..a few years ago, we did a project in Paris, with most of the furniture from the clients storage in nyc.. we did the apt with a nod to luxury and Parisian posh. Same with houses in the Hamptons, depending on the location and the client. My personal design style has been called warm minimalism.
PC: How has living in New York influenced your aesthetic?
TB: Growing up in Tennessee..I would say I had a much different view of what design is compared to what I do now..I like many different styles..In the south there is a much more decorative way of looking at design, from real and faux french antiques to living room walls glazed and made to look like old limestone blocks. My time in New York has pushed me to a more minimal look. I still prefer decorative items, but in a much more restrained sensibility.
PC: What does your home say about you?
TB: I’m OCD. Just kidding. Well… I would live with very little furniture if I could, but living and having friends over is hard if there is nowhere to sit. My apt is a collection of things I love, color, objects and art and the occasional flower.
PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?
TB: I don’t think I have one particular thing…Inspiration is all around and it hits you when you least expect it. Could be walking down the street, where a building detail inspires me, an art installation, art and design books…even a collection of furniture at a museum could inspire a seating arrangement in a living room. Inspiration is all around all the time, we just have to be open to receiving it.
PC: Who are your style icons?
TB: Clothing: I’m a mix of Daniel Craig’s James Bond tailored look and a dose of Margiela. I prefer classic shapes and ideas when dressing. Design: I always fall back to Joe D’urso and Shelton Mindel. I find both great resources for different reasons.
PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?
PC: What is your guilty pleasure?
TB: My Shop. TBROWNSTUDIO Hello, my name is Timothy Brown and I have a shopping problem. I love to hunt for furniture. I love to buy and refurbish furniture. The notion of taking something and giving it a new life is so satisfying to me. I started buying furniture and it turned into a shop. Its so much fun.
PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?
TB: Two former employers.. My first boss Wayne Nathan, taught me how to mix it up and to look at a room like a painting. Work on it a bit, step away, work more, take away and come back to it…it’s a practice that works every time. My second employer, Robert Stilin, was a big influence on the business side. …he taught me how to work and understand clients, understanding the words ‘ service business’.
PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?
TB: I live ‘la dolce vita’ everyday..I love what I do for work, I enjoy my friends, I enjoy all of my clients and I love the people I work with and all of this allows me to do the things I love and want to do. I cook for friends, I’m learning French and taking Tae Kwon do.. What else can I add to my to do list?!
PC: What can we look forward to next from you?
TB: As I mentioned, in April of 2017 I opened a store at 200 Lexington. I am currently working on a few ground up houses in the Hamptons. Finishing up a Plastic Surgeons office on Park Ave. Great things are happening everyday.. it’s very exciting.
Go-To Outfit: navy crewneck merino wool sweater, margiela jeans and margiela replica sneakers
Style Mantra: Simple and Classic with a twist
Scent: Margiela UNTITLED
Piece of Jewelry: MY WATCH.. BELL & ROSS
Color I Never tire of: for my clothing.. charcoal grey or navy
Flower: White French Tulips
Era for Design: French 30-40’s
Textile: anything from Rogers and Goffigon.. the colors and textures are so great.
Hostess Gift: Scented Matches by Cire Trudon
Meal: Anytime I can cook for friends
Drink: Poland Springs, Sparkling Original Water
Way to Unwind after a long day at work: Casa Amigos Reposado on the rocks
3 things I love about New York City: The museums..the crazy people and all the great access to design
Weekend Destination: I have work in the Hamptons, so I find myself there almost every weekend
Hotel: La Maison Champs Elysées, Paris
City: Paris, France
Museum: Natural History Museum NYC
Artist: Joseph Stashkevetch
Song that always puts me in a great mood: anything Grace Jones
Actor/Actress: Tilda Swinton
Prized Possession: a LEGO phone my mother gave me when I was 7. I still have it and reminds me to be a kid every day
Risk Worth Taking: Moving to New York City from Tennesse..and now I have my own business. Completed an apt in Paris, LA and houses in the Hamptons. I didn’t know how, I just knew I could.
Greatest Extravagance: The gym I attend. I go to a private gym, DRIVE 495 in Soho. It’s the way I start my day.
Go-To Color Palette: Blue and Purple. I love this combo.
Rule to Break: all of them…start with the rules, and deviate as needed.
Movie Set Design: inside the game on TRON: LEGACY
I can never have too many … Espressos–my office will say otherwise