Designer of the Month - October - Eric Roseff

1 October 2008

Eric Roseff

Eric Roseff received a dual degree in business and art, with a focus on Interior Design. With more than fifteen years experience in design and the decorative arts, he established Eric Roseff Designs, a full-service interior design firm in Boston, where he has completed several projects that combine his design skills, strong sense of color, proportion, light and pattern, and his finely trained talents as a decorative artist. Eric has become known for taking the ordinary and reinventing it. His innovative ideas are often an eclectic mix of pieces, bridging the design line continuum. His ability to understand and read the needs of his clients has been a wonderful asset to his business. Eric’s breadth of projects ranges from a classic Back Bay brownstone, to a Manhattan penthouse, a Sun Valley, Idaho ranch, and a waterfront cottage in Maine. Projects in Florida, Montana, New York, Connecticut, and California continue to expand Eric’s diversity and creativity.

Eric is currently at work on a renovation of Boston’s historic Chandler Inn. Other recent commissions include designing interiors for the Longwood Towers, and The Penmark, two properties converted from historic landmark buildings to condominium residences.

Eric Roseff’s work has been photographed for Elle Décor, Boston Magazine, the Boston Globe, Nantucket Today, and Better Homes & Gardens. His work has been featured on This Old House and he has twice been selected to participate in the Boston Junior League Showhouse. He is also involved in community fundraising, and in 2007 was selected as a featured designer for DIFFA’s annual celebrated event, Dining by Design. A genuine passion for design, unlimited sources of new inspiration and the love of challenge are the driving forces behind Eric Roseff Designs.

Eric Roseff’s Web site is www.ericroseffdesigns.com.

Frette Q&A

1. Your work has been described as fresh, modern and eclectic--how do you achieve this?

Fresh, I think, comes from perspective. A new way of looking at each project, and not using themes, or being formulaic in my approach to different homes, and different clients. I consider the environment, where the project is located, and how the client will use this property. The eclectic mix I try to bring to each room is mixing old pieces, having them re-worked, re-painted, or re-covered to attain a collected feel, rather than everything purchased at once, which tends to look staged.

2. What are the advantages and the challenges when designing the interiors of historical landmarks?

The advantages, are getting to work with unique properties that often have outstanding, and rare architectural elements. A room can be created around a special archway, or carved mantle. The challenges often result from room dimensions, with nothing being square, level, or with oversized windows or doorways that present a floor plan challenge.

3. How do you approach recycling and breathing new life into traditional and found objects for your projects?

I can see the potential, and reborn future from many forlorn pieces. Cast off chairs, with great lines, out of date sofas that have terrific arms, or proportions. Breathing new life into upholstered pieces, or painting furniture is a great way to obtain a vintage feel with a special piece, mixed in with contemporary furnishings. I have taken formal Chippendale dining chairs, made them hot, with animal fabric, and high gloss black lacquer paint, mounted them on coasters, and placed them at a bistro table for a kitchen in the city. On another occasion, I recovered a carved mahogany 19th century day bed in liquid platinum leather, and used it in a loft bedroom.

4. Your clients' geographical reach is wide-- from Montana to east and west coasts. Why is Boston your home base?

I had a very successful retail store on Newbury Street, in the Back Bay, and have lived here for years. I have great contacts, both business and social, and the location easily affords me travel to lakes, ocean, and New York City. Boston is a great, little, big city. Boston has also seen a real focus on design move into the mainstream, and I love the European feel and walkability of this town. Living so close to an international airport, allows me to be very mobile.

5. How has your design style evolved since you first started, and what inspires you the most?

My style has always been infused with mix and match. I have a strong sense of color, and that has guided me through the evolution of my work. I now start with a few inspiration pieces, and build the room, or scheme from there. In the past, I think I used to try to plan out everything in advance. Now, I wait to see what I find that will help guide my way. Color or texture are my guiding forces. More than anything, I like to start with a palette. My background in interior painting, fine arts, and Trompe l'oeil murals was my foray into full fledged design work.

6. What advice would you give to young, up and coming designers?

Don't copy other peoples' "looks". Be brave, be original. Don't be afraid to take a risk. Follow your instincts as a new designer, not the trend on what is being done around you. Find a style that reflects your personality, and incorporate what your clients want. Listen to their needs, and pair their requirements with beautiful and fresh aesthetics.