Tuesday, May 26

Profile: Philip Gorrivan

Exuberant interiors with a hint of restraint could easily sum up the work of Manhattan based interior designer Philip Gorrivan. But to do so would be selling both Philip and his innate talent very short.

Philip excels at blending the classics with unexpected twists—antiques, interesting art and open spaces, with a balance of soft and bright colors are all hallmarks of his style.

Perhaps what I love the most about Philip’s work, and what surprised me the most, is his background and his road to interior design. Before opening his firm in 2001 he spent time in publishing and venture capital. One of his first projects was for the descendant of an important American family of philanthropists and art collectors. “She said to call her if I ever decided that I wanted to be in interior design. I called her a week later and then her neighbor hired me, followed by another neighbor,” Philip recalls.

At that time interior design was just a hobby. It all changed after September 11, 2001. Both Philip and his wife were scheduled to attend an afternoon meeting in one of the Twin Towers—a meeting that was never to occur. After the life altering event and the loss of many friends, he decided that life is way too short to work for the sake of only making money. With no formal study of design, and a passion for creating interiors, Philip set out on his own.

His work has been featured in numerous magazines, newspapers, websites, as well as radio and television. This includes The New York Times, House and Garden, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Real Simple, New York Spaces, Cottages and Gardens publications, New York Social Diary, CNN, Martha Stewart Radio and 1st Dibs.com. In 2007 Philip was chosen as one of House and Garden’s top tastemakers.

In January 2008, Philip launched his first designer fabric collection in conjunction with the Highland Court Division of Duralee, entitled Philip Gorrivan for Highland Court. Not surprisingly, the collection has received much praise.

How would you describe your own personal style?
Elegant and tailored, traditional to hip.

What inspires your creativity and designs
Travel, nature and my children.

What is your most prized possession?
I prize my children, although I don’t consider them a possession.

What is the one thing in life you cannot live without?
My family...and my blackberry!

Who are your style icons?
Billy Baldwin, David Hicks, Jean Michel Frank and Jean Royere.

Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?
David Adler or Wallace Neff.

What books are currently on your bedside table
Hans Fallada Every Man Dies Alone and Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

What is your favorite luxury in life?

What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Sound spiritual beliefs.

Who has most influenced your direction in life?
My parents and my wife.

Profile by Ronda Carman


pve design said...

Wonderful profile. Lovely spaces, full of goodness.
Philip seems like such an outstanding person and designer. I love his honesty.

Anne said...

Excellent profile Ronda!

THE DB FILES said...

A great interview - 'elegant, tailored, traditional and hip!' What an apt summary of Philip's style. We totally agree!

Jay said...

Great style.

Dumbwit Tellher ♥ said...

Philip's style is impeccable. It is always exciting to read when an individual follows their god given talents despite the absence of formal training. I admire his values and what is important in life. Great interview Ronda.

Cote de Texas said...

What a handsome man! I have always loved his style - great interview!

Ideezine said...

Great profile! We are all curious about what makes someone decide to do that great thing that they do. How cool!


Rebecca@Harmony and Home said...

Philip sounds like such a grounded person. It's wonderful that he has no training and has done so well. Love his work and love that last photo that you posted. Is that seagrass on the wall? Love it!

Susan Lang @ Designing Your Dream Home said...

An interesting read about an interesting man. He took lemons and made lemonade after the 9-11 tragedy. Inspiring!

Sasha said...

as always your profiles are the best! Stop by..you won an award!

Pigtown-Design said...

I first saw his work on New York Social Diary and fell madly in love. What a huge talent. So understated and elegant.

annechovie said...

I have admired Philip's style, so it's great to hear more about the person behind it. He sounds very well grounded and down-to-earth. I think his lack of "formal" training brings a fresh and unique perspective to his work. I guess talent trumps training every time.

Whitney Gray said...

i am enamored. http://enamored-alifeofindulgence.blogspot.com/

Katherine Lee said...

So fabulous! It's a really great mixture of the glamour of Hollywood regency and actual livability and comfort. Great post as usual my dear! Cheers!
xo Katherine aka. Urban Flea :)

mary said...

Fantastic post. He seems to be a person of true simplicity which is the core of sophistication and it is reflected in his work. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I was just on the Duralee website researching fabrics for a recent post and saw his handsome face smiling out. Also just saw him in an ad in Veranda....he is everywhere! Thanks for sharing this unique and personal interview with us.

Tricia - Avolli

Lisa Bruckner said...

As always, a beautiful profile Ronda. It's amazing we can get to know the inner man in just a few short paragraphs. Such is Ronda's talent! Phillip is an inspiration; no formal training, just passion and vision (and gobs of talent!). I love his "living house" style. It's sophisticated yet ever so livable.