The Lawyer-Turned-Designer Making a Strong Case for Mixing Design Eras

kerri pilchik

Lawyer-Turned-Designer Kerri Pilchik Mixes ErasJacob Snapely

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kerri pilchik

Jacob Snapely

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“I am incredibly grateful that I got to do what I love after spending so many years dreaming about it,” Kerri Pilchik says. Fourteen years, to be exact. That’s how long she toiled as a lawyer at “a big New York law firm,” she says, “poring over design books and magazines when I should have been writing legal briefs.” During that time, she got married, had two kids, and moved to the suburbs—but she was unhappy in her career. Then, an opportunity arose: She had to switch jobs. Instead of looking for another law position, she enrolled in interior design classes at the New York School of Interior Design. “I loved all of my classes so much, and they solidified my decision to pursue design full time,” says Pilchik. who launched her namesake design firm, based in Ridgewood, New Jersey, in 2021.

Now, she creates layered interiors that are sophisticated yet approachable and, of course, tailored to her clients’ preferences. “The right brain side of me is passionate about all types of textiles and color combinations, but the left brain side desires balance and harmony,” Pilchik explains of her work that often mixes traditional and contemporary styles. Ultimately, she wants each space to feel special and timeless—case closed. @kerripilchikdesign

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House Beautiful: What current design trends are you ready to stop seeing?

Kerri Pilchik: Unless it’s a Jean Royere polar bear sofa, I’m tired of all the curvy white bouclé sofas and chairs.

HB: What retro design trends or ideas do you wish would make a comeback?

KP: I am not a big fan of open concept floor plans. I like a home to have both casual and formal spaces that have walls between them. Walls are necessary for privacy, sound control, transitions between wallpaper/paint, and hanging art. Whenever a client wants to open the wall between their kitchen and dining room, I try to find or create another space that can be used as a formal dining room.

HB: What’s your favorite … (and why)?

HB: Items to collect?

KP: I love collecting all types of pottery from mid-century Bitossi to Frances Palmer to blue and white porcelain to Morgan Peck. Lately I’m obsessed with aptware. I love that pottery combines artistry and function.

HB: Design era/style?

KP: I know some people think it’s a trend that’s past, but I will always love mid-century modern design. The furniture lines are just so clean and fit with lots of other styles, so I will always mix it in.

HB: Paint color?

KP: Farrow and Ball Pink Ground. My office is painted this color and I will never tire of it. It looks beautiful with so many other colors, and acts as a neutral base for all of my design schemes.

HB: Online stores?

KP: 1st Dibs is the best for finding antiques from all over the country and world.

HB: Travel destinations?

KP: London! I was there in November and I had another trip planned for July, including a few days in the Cotswolds. Lately, I feel that the Brits are doing everything so well, from fabrics to lighting to clothing.

HB: Decor items you buy from Amazon or Etsy?

KP: I am an Etsy troll. I buy all things vintage such as silver boxes, cups and vases, as well as flat weave rugs, vintage oushak rugs, and bone inlay boxes.

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