Designer We Love: Jeffrey Bilhuber
Website: Bilhuber & Associates
Quotable Quotes: "I’ve been at interior design for 22 years now and through an enormous amount of effort I have become very successful and very proud of my accomplishments and it wasn’t easy. I approach it through the back door. I approach it as a business man."
"It’s a Herculean amount of work to deliver projects on time and on budget."
"Great details whisper, never shout."
Raised in Huntington, NY
Was able to choose a wall color for his childhood bedroom ("this side of old guacamole") and one wall of wallpaper ("a plain stitch chevron"), with coordinating shag carpeting ("which I frequently raked")
Studied hotel admin at Cornell; wound up working at the Carlyle Hotel in 1981
1983 saw him in the Carlyle's housekeeping department, working with Mark Hampton's in-house room redecorating team -- this planted the seed for Bilhuber to combine business and creativity in his career
Started Bilhuber & Associates in 1984, focusing on residential and hospitality design
Made a 1987 splash with his first Kips Bay Decorator Show House room
Noted for his widely published, high-profile projects in every major shelter magazine, from 70 Park Avenue Hotel and City Club Hotel to work that shouts Star Power for Iman and David Bowie, Mariska Hargitay, and Anna Wintour
Frequent guest and spokesman for American Style on The Charlie Rose Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, HGTV, and The View
What We Love:
We fondly recall the sensational 10-foot bed Bilhuber did for one of his Kips Bay Show Houses. It was a killer!
Not many design professionals "get it." This designer gets it in spades -- sensational design is all about carefully combining creativity with business acumen. Such a big part of the job is handling the business side well, and the last thing you want your clients to think is that you're a creative flake. Business savvy builds solid client trust.
Bilhuber's design hero is Thomas Jefferson, and we second that nomination. American. Iconic. Inventive. Perfectionist. Craftsman. Scholar. Principled. Artisan.
We love Bilhuber's obsession with fabric-lined walls. They pop up in all his interiors, and they add a beautiful surround of color, pattern, and texture to his decor.
How clever of Bilhuber to focus on solid American classicism, but always with a twist of inventive modernism. This makes his interiors quite stylish and timeless.
This is a truly nice, interesting, personable individual. We can tell -- from a respectful distance -- that Jeffrey Bilhuber's clients enjoy working with him.
Jeffrey Bilhuber Sampler: