Acclaimed as the “Dean of American Design” by Architectural Digest, Geoffrey Bradfield’s interior designs have a synergy that reflect his charming wit and inimitable sense of style. His work is easy to recognize. It has a distinctive signature that is elegant and glamorous yet has a whimsical and natural look, and above all, his works possess a unique sense of order and serenity.
Among his many impressive achievements, Bradfield was in recent years awarded the Hyland Award for Design Excellence in 2012, as well as the New York School of Interior Design’s Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013.
Growing up on a bucolic farm in rural South Africa, young Bradfield was surrounded by the beauty of nature. The family house looked out to the Indian Ocean, flanked by open fields lined with avenues of trees.
“The greatest artist of all is Mother Nature,” he said. “How can one compete with the natural beauty of the sky, the sea? There’s no way. Our human creativity follows second.”
At age 19, Bradfield travelled around the world for two years and recommends that everyone in the visual arts explore the wealth we have in the world today. “I was exposed to so much, which was overwhelming and fabulous. It was one of the best educations imaginable for me,” he said. “Our museums have never been greater. Our galleries have never been finer. Performing arts have never been as superior,” he continued. “These are life-changing.”
Since embarking on his career at age 22, the famed interior designer has worked with the most distinguished persons in business, entertainment and even royalty. Bradfield discreetly refers to his clients as “silent celebrities.” Among them, he is known for being meticulously detailed, lending a personal touch to all of his projects, where he designs literally everything. In most cases, carpets, textiles, and even ironwork are custom-made throughout to create the ultimate cohesive and tranquil feel.
Bradfield believes that simplicity is the key to beauty. Perhaps one of the most iconic spaces that Bradfield has created is White Hall, appropriately named because of his use of white throughout the house. Bradfield’s design of rich and luxurious details, and his ingenious use of mirrors and art add up to a glamourous yet surprisingly fresh atmosphere.
Bradfield was also the mastermind behind the recent décor of the iconic Equinox Resort in Vermont. The heritage hotel has, throughout centuries, hosted many of America’s presidents, such as William Harrison, Ulysses Grant, William Taft, and Teddy Roosevelt.
To every project, Bradfield brings his unique taste, which embodies the finest of old-school charm and a classic contemporary simplicity.
“I think if something is simple and easy to define, it’s beautiful,” he said. “I believe that if one’s work has resonance, it will outlive us.”
Bradfield’s FAVOURITE things:
“Many times we are told people recognize a sense of serenity in the rooms that we do,” says Bradfield. His taste for the understated and refined is unmistakable, from the slim-fit navy blazer he throws on before taking off on travels, to his floral fave, the elegant tulip. In his downtime, he enjoys re-watching Italian classics like Visconti’s The Leopard, wearing a pair of comfortable Shipton velvet slippers. The designer’s sartorial style speaks luxurious simplicity — classic dark blue jeans topped with a Hermès cashmere jersey are a staple, accessorized with a sleek and simple Bulgari chronograph watch. He goes dark in scent, with the sophisticated myrrh and vetiver notes of Eau Sauvage by Dior, echoing the smoky aroma of his steaming cup of Twinings English Breakfast tea. At home, contemporary pieces like the acrylic and suede Coco chair from his Millennium Modern Collection reflect his love for the 21st century, as does his recent acquisition, Damien Hirst “Porter Rhodes” 2006. Escaping it all, Bradfield revels in the palatial grandeur of The Ritz in Paris or marvels at the works of Michelangelo and the antique streets of Rome, where his iconic horsebit Gucci loafers feel right at home.
Bradfield is the founder of Geoffrey Bradfield Inc. Most recently, Bradfield has partnered with company vice president Roric Tobin, to form B & T Global LLC to focus on their international projects across the globe.
Text by Yi YangTranslated by Tiantian.