By Janice Harris
Jamie Drake doesn’t follow trends. He makes them. And in the process of trend and standard-setting in the design world, he’s become a household name. Ever since graduating from Parsons School of Design, Jamie Drake has styled homes and businesses for the likes of Madonna and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Today, he’s easily regarded as one of the nation’s top designers, and rightfully so.
At the Fall 2017 High Point Market, House Tipster had the unique opportunity to listen in on an exclusive interview with Jamie and his peer, designer Christopher Grubb. (Yes, this is a BIG deal!) If you’re an interior design aficionado, or just appreciate the skill that goes into creating the trends we use and love today, then you’ll agree this was an important conversation.
Jamie spoke at length with Christopher about his collaboration with furniture maker Theodore Alexander, his inspirations, and the trends he’s hoping will appear on the market in the upcoming year. Get ready to learn and become inspired by Mr. Jamie Drake.
The partnership with Theodore Alexander is over six years in the making. During this time, Jamie Drake has designed everything from sofas to storage compartments for an urban, fashionable audience.
But why partner with Theodore Alexander? The decision was an easy one for Jamie to make.
“One of the reasons I was so excited [to work with Theodore Alexander] was because of their capability,” says Jamie.
With over 4,000 employees skilled in all sorts of intricate, handmade design work in mediums like lacquer, stone, and veneer, Jamie could create products with complicated finishes.
“They have the ability to create all of that!” says Jamie.
Jamie has come to the High Point Market every one of the last six years to show this collection to other interior designers, architects, and influencers.
‘Poppin’ Fresh’ & Organic Inspirations
Out of Jamie Drake’s entire Theodore Alexander Collection, the most notable items include the “Fresh” series. Fresh includes beautiful, intricate biscuit-tufted upholstery inspired by icons of the 1970s.
“My Fresh series of upholstery is very ‘Hugh Hefner,’ with wooden tubular arms and a bronze finish. It looks like metal, but with a fresher look,” states Jamie.
The name “Fresh” also has a fascinating backstory. “I came up with Fresh because there was one second when I remembered the Pillsbury Doughboy and how he was called “Poppin’ Fresh.’” The tufting is definitely biscuit-like and ultimately timeless.
For this “Fresh” collection and others, Jamie relies on his daily inspirations.
“Inspiration comes daily into my brain,” he says. “I sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil, and I doodle or sketch. Sometimes, inspiration will come from something I see in a shop window, magazine page, or an antique. But sometimes, it just comes to me like a vibe.”
Metallic Glamour & Other 2017 Trends
Christopher made sure to ask Jamie his thoughts on the current trends, of which he believes Jamie has a big hand in shaping. Jamie, admittedly, tends to favor designs that have luster, like metallic or bold sheens, which Christopher equated to a combination of Hollywood and Vegas glamour.
“I use almost all golden-toned metals,” says Christopher. “I love the richness of golden tones.”
Next to his shiny accents, Jamie also sees color making a comeback, even in households where one or more people may be opposed to bold hues like pink or orange. By combining bright colors with structured, clean furniture pieces, Jamie believes most couples can overcome color-related scruples.
As the conversation concluded, Christopher Grubb stated something our entire House Tipster team was thinking: “A lot of your stuff is pre-trend.”
Therefore, if you’re looking for the latest furniture and decor that’s ahead of the curve, the best place to start is Jamie Drake’s Theodore Alexander collection.
Thank you, Christopher Grubb and Jamie Drake, for your time, knowledge, and delightful wit.