For this year’s Sotheby's Designer Showhouse and Auction, twelve established and up-and-coming designers are curating signature rooms with unique pieces from a range of Sotheby’s departments, including 20th Century Design, Prints, Silver, Photography and English furniture. Here, Sandra Nunnerley, who is creating the Showhouse Family Room, shares her design philosophy, tips for new collectors and more.


According to the New York- and London-based designer, the key to a perfect family room is balancing form and utility. “Not only must it be a beautiful space, but it should also be highly functional, allowing the family to relax together,” she explains. “A room comes to life when it is being enjoyed.” 


SANDRA NUNNERLEY. COURTESY JESSICA NASH.

Describe your aesthetic in three words. 
Classic meets contemporary. 

What is your number one design rule? 
As I always tell my clients, you’ve got to get the bones right first. If you don’t, you’re going nowhere, no matter how hard you try. It begins with the architecture of the space and often involves reconfiguring layouts and adding or subtracting details to make it more functional. 


A PARK AVENUE RESIDENCE LIVING ROOM. PHOTO BY MIGUEL FLORES-VIANNA.

Finish this sentence: No room is  ever complete without ______.  
The essentials – fresh flowers, wonderful  music and beautiful lighting.  

What are your thoughts on the conversation between art and design?
Art and design must live together in harmony  in any room. In recent years I have embraced site-specific furniture commissioned directly from artists and architects. 


A PARK AVENUE RESIDENCE LIVING ROOM. PHOTO BY MIGUEL FLORES-VIANNA.

What’s your advice for first-time  art buyers?
Never be intimidated to ask an art dealer to share information.    

Which design sites do you browse for inspiration?
Habitually Chic, Garance Doré and Carlos Mota. 

Which shops (for wallpaper, furniture, carpet, etc.) are your all-time favourites?
In New York, Maison Gerard, Holland & Sherry, Bernd Goeckler, Cristina Grajales and Friedman Benda; in Paris, Alexandre Biaggi and Galerie Dutko; in London, David Gill and Gordon Watson; and in Los Angeles, Gallery Seomi. 

蘇富比設計師藝舍

17 April 2016 | New York