MyHomeIdeas (MHI): How did you get into design? Who or what influences you?
Schuyler Samperton (SS): I grew up with an architect as a father, and a mother with a great affinity for interior design.
After a fairly long career in entertainment publicity, I started to work for my friend, the designer Michael Smith in 1998. I was a design assistant for Michael until 2003, when I started my company.
MHI: How do you deal with combined living and dining rooms?
SS: It’s important to make sure that a combination living room and dining room has a logical flow so that the two areas read as one.
I’m currently working on a Spanish Colonial in Malibu that has a similar set up, and I’ve made sure to repeat colors and furniture shapes, while giving each space it’s own identity and function.
MHI: When you’re starting a room from scratch, what’s the first thing you choose?
SS: I always start with a rug!
MHI: What current trend do you think we’ll be so tired of in five years?
SS: Hollywood Regency, hands down. I couldn't be more over it now.
MHI: How do you like to dress a bed?
SS: I love the look of a unique headboard, either upholstered in an antique textile or kilim fragment. It's a great way to add texture and warmth to a room.
MHI: How do you deal with televisions?
SS: There's no use hiding the TV -- everyone has them. In the family room, I'm fine with hanging a sleek flat screen on the wall and calling it a day!
However, it's think I nice to conceal them in the bedroom, so when possible, I like to put them in a cabinet with doors that can close.
MHI: What’s the most common mistake homeowners make? And how can it be avoided?
SS: Quite often people don't understand the importance of scale or the need to include a combination of opposites -- tall and short, pieces with legs and upholstered pieces, patterns and solids. A great mix is what makes an interesting room.
MHI: If you could only splurge on one item in a room, what would it be? Where can you save?
SS: I always think that curtains are worth spending money on -- they can really make a room.
To save, try Crate & Barrel for great, simple upholstered shapes that look amazing when surrounded by unique antique pieces.