That Touch of Whimsy
Designer Sasha Bikoff dishes on her favorite things — from Chintz to the Space Age.
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM
My dream spaces would consist of what directly inspires me. I am often times inspired by nature, art, architecture, travel, fashion, and design. However, there are certain things specifically within those categories that speak to me. I love anything 18th century French Rococo, a la Marie Antoinette. I love a 1960’s Space Age moment with all the plastic and rounded shapes. I also love a 1970’s Studio 54 disco vibe. Lastly, the Memphis Design Movement and the glamour of the 1980’s is always fun.
I am currently working on a new house in the Hamptons, that I am building from scratch. I want to challenge myself with something more Zen and minimalistic than I usually do. It has been a real challenge for me but I want the space to reflect my carefree nature girl vibe out there. Some elements that I want to include are a sunken living room and an en suite bathroom tiled with the new mosaic collection that I designed for New Ravenna. I am definitely getting one of those in my new house.
My favorite projects are The Dakota and Bridgehampton because I did those homes for
my mother who is my daily source of inspiration. Also Kips Bay because it changed my career, and the collaboration with Versace during Salone del Mobile last year, because it was a dream come true to work in the Versace Palazzo.
I turn to Dorothy Draper, Madeleine Castaing, and Nancy Lancaster, not only for the fact that they were innovators in design but also because they are women. I am so inspired by Mario Buatta and his opulence which I appreciate so much. But Pierre Cardin is probably number one for me. His furniture design and his home Palais Bulles—originally designed by Pierre Bernard in 1984—is the most creative and original thing I have ever seen. Cardin then transformed the villa with the help of architect Antti Lovag, creating a fantasy of cellular, interwoven forms.
STEP BY STEP
My design process is to start with the background first, like painting on a canvas—what color or pattern will cover the ground? I work from the walls to the ceiling and then to the floor and build upon that like painting. I sketch designs by hand in my notepads that I take everywhere with me. I also have all my colored pencils in a cute pencil case which makes the process fun for me.
Right now, there is a shift towards more playful and whimsical patterns in all categories including tiles, fabric, wallpaper, and carpets, and that is exciting to me. This is a change from the very organic and abstract pattern designs that are kind of safe. It seems like now everyone wants to make a bigger and more personalized statement. The trend I wish would come back is definitely chintz! I think it could have such a moment in a younger, fresher, more modern setting.