The Last Word with Cynthia Rowley
The sport fashion and furniture designer has a vision for your home.
Cynthia, you’ve broadened your design business from fashion to lifestyle. How would you describe the Cynthia Rowley customer? She’s fun and full of life. She loves to be adventurous and try new things.
The home collection you’ve designed for Hooker Furniture has three distinct “personas”—Curious, Sporty and Pretty. Do these reflect different aspects of your own personality? That’s definitely what I aspire to! I try to incorporate these attributes into all aspects of design—from fashion to accessories to home décor.
Do items from the three personas mix well in a room? They definitely are meant to be mixed in a room, the way you do with your wardrobe. This is what makes a room exciting, unexpected and individual.
All of the pieces you’ve designed are vehicles for transforming a home environment. What kinds of spaces do you hope people will create in their homes? Sometimes it’s hard to be daring with décor because it’s difficult to imagine what things will look like together in a room. But my philosophy is: If you buy things you really love, they’ll all work together. What’s better than coming home at the end of the day to a space you really love?
Complete this sentence: The most important element in a room is… …personal style and an overarching vision for what the room should look like. Without going overboard, a little bit of a theme or a color story can keep things cohesive.
Should rooms be fun? Yes, 150 percent! I like pieces that are fun, beautiful and functional.
What’s your pet peeve in home décor? Beige.
Before you got your start in fashion design, you aspired to be a painter. Clearly you see the world with a painterly eye. Does your training as a painter inform the process of designing? It’s all the same to me. The creative process transcends the context.
With your love of surfing and swimming, it’s clear that water exerts a pull in your life. Does the water influence your designs? Being in the water is where I find my happy place. Having this as a part of my life definitely inspires me.
From what else do you draw inspiration as a designer? Anything and everything. Travel and some death-defying adventures always get me going. Check out my latest excursion on our social media @CynthiaRowley
What are your favorite travel destinations? I don’t usually like to go places twice, unless it’s my beloved Montauk, so the list is always growing. To name a few, Bhutan, Iceland, anywhere in Africa, Cuba, Tobago, Costa Rica, Peru….
Where haven’t you traveled yet that you’re itching to see? I’m trying to tick off all the seven wonders of the world. There are seven natural, seven ancient and seven modern—oh, and Stevie Wonder ;). It may take me a while, but I’m determined.
- Kips Bay Charmer - Designed for relaxed living, this apartment has touches of glamour that also make it perfect for entertaining.
- Windows on the Sound - Safavieh designers bring a visual drama to a Gatsby- era showhouse on Long Island's North Shore.
- The Last Word with Thom Filicia - The makeover maven touts the importance of simplicity and surprise.
- Master of Modern - In the virtuoso interiors of Thomas O’Brien, traditional elements are always used to modern effect.
- Room to Roam - Soaring, light- filled spaces and a cozy den lend variety to a designer show house.
- From The Painter’s Studio - Do look down: that gorgeous Safavieh rug beneath your feet was literally designed by hand.