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.
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).
In 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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