Michelle Nussbaumer Michelle Nussbaumer

Michelle Nussbaumer




Ceylon et Cie


We looked to interior designer Michelle Nussbaumer to uncover what inspires her and hear her thoughts on the most important elements of designing a room.

A living room designed by Michelle Nussbaumer

A living room designed by Michelle Nussbaumer


Michelle Nussbaumer

Interior Designer

What determined your passion for design?

From a young age, I was an artist and was always creating imaginary rooms in my head and on paper. I feel so lucky that I’ve somehow turned this into an actual career. I feel like every day is loaded with creation and innovation.

What inspires you?

The love of color and pattern have always been a huge inspiration to me, even as a child. I was constantly painting my childhood bedroom, despite my mother’s objections. That passion for pattern and color are today very much a large part of my designs and who I am as a person. I especially love tribal patterns. Travel, discovery, and curiosity are one of my biggest passions, and inspire so much of my design work.

How can you refresh your linens for the New Year?

A great way to change it up is by adding a tribal textile to the foot of the bed. I love the Flare collection, with its beautiful ruby red color. I think even if you have a classic white Frette hotel sheeting, it’s fun to throw a red pillow in the mix. I sometimes think that mixing up pieces from different collections creates a more personal kind of bed, so make it your own and have fun! ing to add pieces from Frette’s Chine collection, especially in the blue jacquard colorway. It reminds me of scenic Chinese paintings coupled with the glamour of Art Deco Shanghai.

Details of living room Details of bedroom dresser Details of dining room table Details of dining room

Details of a living room designed by Michelle Nussbaumer

“I love the art of interior design. In a way, the house is my canvas and objects, fabrics, and furnishings are my palette.”

Can you remember your first design project?

Not counting my own, I was lucky enough to have an amazing project as my first project. It was a large house in Beverly Hills for a movie producer, who somehow trusted my taste. I remember we filled the house with Fortuny fabric and 17th-century Dutch paintings.

What field of design are you most interested in?

Interior Design. I love the art of interior design. In a way, the house is my canvas and objects, fabrics, and furnishings are my palette.

What is the best decorating advice you can offer someone?

Use the services of an interior designer. If you can’t afford one, lots of small shops have someone in-house for a lower price point who can give you some ideas, at least on paint colors and furniture placement. I find scale is the most difficult thing for people, even people with great taste can be off on scale—so try to get advice.

What is your favorite book, magazine, or site on design?

I find myself constantly going back to Renzo Mongiardino’s books. I love the new magazine Cabana, it’s chock full of inspiration. The late great David Hicks’ books, especially the landscaping, are not to be missed.

What are the most important elements when designing a bedroom/ room?

Comfort is really number one in a bedroom. A good mattress is very important, and an organic one even better. Beautiful sheets, freshly ironed, and a big down duvet are prerequisites. I think the bedroom is a place that should reflect your personal style the most in the house. If you like calm colors, keep those colors calm if that’s what makes you feel restful. I personally like vibrant colors, so my room is a vibrant orange, mixed with a settling blue. Stay true to your taste.

What does it feel like to wrap yourself in Frette sheets or Frette bath?

I lived in Rome for quite a long time with my husband and young family. That is where I first discovered the luxury of Frette. I remember going to Piazza de Espana, and buying my first Frette sheets for the house, as well as the beautiful coverlets. I still have them all today, as well as many more. The high thread count and quality make for a perfect night’s sleep. I really can’t sleep on sheets that haven’t been starched. I love the crisp coolness of them, and so do all my family and clients.

Do you prefer your sheets to be linen, sateen, percale, or poplin?

Linen and poplin are the way to go for me. I’m an old-fashioned girl.

What is on your bedside table?

Fresh flowers, books, pictures of my children, and a great lamp to read by.

How often should you update your bedroom?

You should definitely change your linens quite often, and update that way. I think if you have a great design and a beautiful bed, you don’t necessarily have to change everything but could update different areas, fabrics, colors, and carpets. And definitely, new mattresses, as needed.

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