Design Soulmate: Rita Konig

Design Soulmate: Rita Konig

I have recently been on a British designer kick. The traditional, classical, elegant foundations of architecture and furniture you so often see in London townhouses — mixed with fresh, colorful, playful textiles, rugs, lampshades and accessories. To me, it’s the perfect marriage.

Rita in one of her first NYC rentals / Source:    The Selby

Rita in one of her first NYC rentals / Source: The Selby

One British designer who I really admire is Rita Konig. Her interiors are elegant but oh so fun. She doesn’t play by the rules, and I find it incredibly inspiring.

Rita’s old NYC rental / Source:    The Selby

Rita’s old NYC rental / Source: The Selby

I have adored the above image on Pinterest for almost ten years. The display of personal notes and photos up the wall, and a bowl full of photos right there next to the stove. (Fire hazard??) I love this so much I have replicated it in my own apartments over the years — antique teacup full of photobooth strips over here, platter full of Polaroids there. I’m as nostalgic as they come, and I feel strongly interiors should be too. If not nostalgic, meaningful. Personal. Your home is an intimate projection of who you are. To see someone’s home is to see them naked. You can quote me on that.

One of Rita’s NYC rental / Source:    Rita Konig

One of Rita’s NYC rental / Source: Rita Konig

Another one of Rita’s NYC apartments / Source:    Rita Konig

Another one of Rita’s NYC apartments / Source: Rita Konig

Here she goes again, breaking all the rules! I’ve never seen a designer plaster hundreds of photos above a fireplace, and I love it. I think that’s what it is though. Rita doesn’t scream “designer.” She screams “friend with insanely, insanely good taste and style and confidence.” Unlike most designers, she’s not concerned with perfection or rules. She’s just living her fabulous life, and you’re getting a little sneak peak.

One of Rita’s NYC apartments / Source:    Rita Konig

One of Rita’s NYC apartments / Source: Rita Konig

For example, I love that the gallery to the left of the fireplace doesn’t make any sense, but totally works. No one would get out a measuring tape and lay that all out and say, “Yep! Perfecto.” And that’s the point. It probably started as just the big piece, and spilled over with time. It’s collected. Gathered. Perfectly imperfect.

Source:    Rita Konig

Source: Rita Konig

I think why I respect Rita and admire her is because she does know the rules. She can pull together a beautiful, tailored space — with careful attention to scale and spacing and a restrained use of accessories. She just chooses not to in her personal home, because it’s not what makes her happy. It’s why Hemingway could get away with incomplete sentences (but you could not in your 9th grade English class). Everyone knew that he knew how to write. Once you’ve proven that, you can break the rules a bit.

Clean, tailored, restrained……

Rita’s London flat / Source:    Rita Konig

Rita’s London flat / Source: Rita Konig

Source:    Rita Konig

Source: Rita Konig

Source:    Rita Konig

Source: Rita Konig

WHAM. GALLERY WALL OUT OF CONTROL. FUSCHIA. TRINKETS ALL OVER FIREPLACE MANTLE:

Rita’s London flat / Source:    Rita Konig

Rita’s London flat / Source: Rita Konig

Source:    Rita Konig

Source: Rita Konig

I’ve also always loved the below desk image on Pinterest for as long as I can remember. The dark moody walls, the simplicity of the little writing desk. (Isn’t it fun to discover the designer behind images you’ve always loved? I was blown away when I realized how many of my much-loved inspiration images were the work of Rita Konig.)

Source:    Rita Konig

Source: Rita Konig

Source:    Rita Konig

Source: Rita Konig

Oh, there they are again! The photos are spilling everywhere. I love this extremely down to earth kitchen niche. It’s not desperately waving at Elle Decor, it’s just hanging out and doing its thing, 3 worldwide clocks, butcher block counter and all.

Source:    Rita Konig

Source: Rita Konig

“A home should suggest a life being lived.”

—Everything I learned from a day with Rita Konig, British interior designer

Rita has a shop on her website, and also has a beautiful collection with The Lacquer Company. Below, a few of my favorite (soooort of reasonably priced) items:

Schuyler Samperton Pays Tribute to Her Late Powder Bath

Schuyler Samperton Pays Tribute to Her Late Powder Bath

Beyond the Storm Showcase House

Beyond the Storm Showcase House