Manhattan-based interior designer Frank de Biasi is not bound to any specific look. His style is a masterful mix of the humble and the rich, the extravagant and the simple. In the hands of someone less experienced this might come off as simply “eclectic,” but de Biasi’s extensive training and background assures that each of his interiors is unique and well-rounded.

A view from the water shows the main house and boathouse, which is built into the surrounding rock wall.
A view from the water shows the main house and boathouse, which is built into the surrounding rock wall.

The designer began his career at Christie’s New York acquiring a deep knowledge of art history, and afterwards spent 12 years as director of interiors for internationally acclaimed architect Peter Marino (best known for designing boutiques for Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, among others).

debiasi-portraitIn 2006, de Biasi founded his own firm, which employs a team of 16 people and operates out of a bustling midtown office. His work has been featured in every shelter publication of note, and he was recently named to the 2017 AD100, Architectural Digest’s prestigious list of the top 100 architects and interior designers internationally.

The living room features a custom wool silk rug from Studio Four and a bold painting by Alex Ross. The Lapis Lazuli table is by Ado Chale.
The living room features a custom wool silk rug from Studio Four and a bold painting by Alex Ross. The Lapis Lazuli table is by Ado Chale.

De Biasi is also an ardent, tireless traveler, and his excursions to destinations such as Corsica, Paris, Thailand and Cuba serve not only as inspiration, but also as an opportunity to establish new sources and relationships with vendors. This global network of artisans brings an authenticity to each of his projects.

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The relaxed family room features a variety of blue tones, including an Eames lounge chair and ottoman by Herman Miller in custom leather, Indian indigo throw pillows and gouache on paper artworks by William Wood.

We sat down with the designer to glean some insight into what makes him tick:

What projects are you working on currently?
We’re working on a large townhouse in London, a traditional shingle style home in Connecticut, a cliffside house in the South of France, and several New York City residences, including a pre-war co-op on the Upper East Side and a contemporary downtown high-rise.

The dining room is casual yet refined with sisal carpeting, a vintage Murano chandelier and a custom oak plank table by KWH Furniture in Brooklyn. The sunset artwork is by Catherine Opie.
The dining room is casual yet refined with sisal carpeting, a vintage Murano chandelier and a custom oak plank table by KWH Furniture in Brooklyn. The sunset artwork is by Catherine Opie.

Tell us a little bit about your recent Fairfield County waterfront project.
It was such a fun, casual project. The client wanted an easy and happy house, whether it was just the two of them at home or the whole extended family. They requested lots of flexibility for this project and wanted multiple entertaining spaces, especially for outdoor living on the water.

The guest house living room includes a loveseat covered in a Ralph Lauren stripe fabric, a pair of 1930s French leather armchairs, and playful art by Donald Baechler. The vintage teak slab table is from Jalan Jalan in Miami.
The guest house living room includes a loveseat covered in a Ralph Lauren stripe fabric, a pair of 1930s French leather armchairs,and playful art by Donald Baechler. The vintage teak slab table is from Jalan Jalan in Miami.

What did you learn by working for architect Peter Marino and Christie’s New York?
Both were immersive educations where I got the opportunity to handle the finest pieces and work with the best craftsmen. Peter taught me how to achieve the perfect proportion of furniture and objects in a room and also about practicality and function—things must work for the family!

The master bath includes reindeer hide rugs by Pologeorgis Furs, a teak chair and ottoman covered in Ralph Lauren white terrycloth and contemporary sconces by Jean Perzel.
The master bath includes reindeer hide rugs by Pologeorgis Furs, a teak chair and ottoman
covered in Ralph Lauren white terrycloth and contemporary sconces by Jean Perzel.

What is your design process like?
First we nail down the floor plan and then clients get to see lots of samples. We plan field trips to art fairs and European dealers, where we shop and discover new things. I especially love the Paris flea markets!

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A terrace overlooking the Long Island Sound is anchored by rattan bistro chairs by TK Collections and oil lanterns by Robins Dockside Shop.

What role does travel play in your work?
Travel is a huge inspiration, especially authentic places. Recent trips to Havana, Cuba and Shanghai, China provided lots of visuals and new sources. I have an upcoming trip to India planned as well.

(right) This Palm Beach bedroom is an exotic getaway with mirror mosaic bedding by Shyam Ahuja, Moroccan poufs by Jalan Jalan and drapery fabric by Le Manach. The Indian tiger painting is from Galerie Blanchetti in France. (left) The breakfast room is grounded by a vintage green stripe carpet from Marrakech.
This Palm Beach bedroom is an exotic getaway with mirror mosaic bedding by Shyam Ahuja, Moroccan poufs by Jalan Jalan and drapery fabric by Le Manach. The Indian tiger painting is
from Galerie Blanchetti in France.

Your designs are delightfully versatile. What philosophy would you say distinguishes you? Versatile is the key word here. My work always employs varied materials—some luxe and some more rustic. I use lots of contrast, and I always try to put in an antique or vintage piece as well as a contemporary piece. A good furniture plan and layout is so important as well.

The breakfast room is grounded by a vintage green stripe carpet from Marrakech.
The breakfast room is grounded by a vintage green stripe carpet from Marrakech.

Speed round
Frank de Biasi
One word that describes you: Curious
Your top design tip: You only live once, go for it.
What you’d be, if not in the design world: A chef
Your next trip will be: Paris and Tangier
Favorite restaurant in the area: The National in Greenwich, CT
Favorite cocktail: Hendricks gin and Fever Tree tonic
People would be surprised to know: My most difficult client is my mother!
Favorite color: Green, almost any green
A home should be filled with: Art and pattern and lots of plants
Your guilty pleasure: Instagram
Your style icon: Bunny Mellon
Favorite room in your home: Dining room/library combination
Best design book: The Givenchy Style

 Photographs by Stephen Johnson