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