New England Home Magazine hit the news stands today, running a great article on the 5 Under 40 Awards. I am so honored to be included in this talented group!
Amy Aidinis Hirsch
According to Amy Aidinis Hirsch, there’s a simple secret that all designers share: they’re great listeners. The ability to listen is the most important tool a designer could have,” she says. “If you don’t listen to your client you will end up with an unhappy one.” Apparently, Hirsch is a great listener. She has owned her successful Greenwich, Connecticut-based company, Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design, since 2007. In fact, she considers it the mark of a job well done when a client tells her a space is “exactly as they’d imagined it.”
To chalk Hirsch’s career up to her listening skills, however, would be to downplay her talent. She has a sophisticated eye, which she developed while studying interior design at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and working for top designer firms, including Greenwich-based Rinfret, Ltd.
Hirsch considers her style to be traditional with a modern flair, and she’s a strong believer that less is more. Thus, she puts serious thought into every detail she brings into a client’s home. To make sure each piece is just right, her firm offers custom furniture and accessory design, as well as architectural specifications.
On a recent residential project in South Hampton, New York, Hirsch’s aesthetic was put to the test. “The space was minimal in decorating and different from anything I had done in the past,“ she recounts. “The pieces had to be key. I was worried it would be under decorated and not feel complete, but in the end, all of the accessories and details came together for a well-edited residence.”
New England Home is proud to present the third annual 5 under 40 awards, honoring top emerging talent in residential architecture and design in New England. The winners – all five of whom and under the age of forty – were nominated by their peers and then selected by a committee of design leaders who considered four categories: architecture, interiors, furniture and home design products and accessories. Take note: 5 Under 40 winners are the people to watch, produce some of the most beautiful and innovative work available today.
This year’s panel of judges is comprised of top professionals representing different facets of the New England design community, including interior designer Sally Wilson, architect Bradford C. Walker, interior designer Jill Goldberg, who also owns the acclaimed home boutique, Hudson, and New England Home’s editor in chief Kyle Hoepner.
Sally Wilson commented on her 5 Under 40 experience, saying, “Judging up and coming young talent was a rewarding experience. It was fun to see their projects and review how they put their message together. The future world of design is in good hands.”
The judges assembled to review scores of nominations and select this year’s winners, who will be honored at a celebratory reception on September 13th, 2012 at the Galleria at 333 Stuart Street in Boston. As a part of the festivities, each winner designed a custom rug that will be auctioned off at the reception to benefit the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based charity, Barakat. Be sure to keep an eye on what comes next from this talented group of design stars!
I am so honored and pleased to announce that I was chosen as a 2012 New England Home Magazine 5 Under 40 Award Winner for Interior Design! Receiving this recognition from one of my favorite publications has certainly been a highlight of my year. Thursday night I attended a special winners’ reception at the Landry and Arcari Showroom in Boston and felt very humbled to find myself in great company!
Each year, the 5 Under 40 award focuses on up and coming talent in the areas of architecture, interiors, furniture, and home design products and accessories. Winners are chosen by a committee of regional design leaders, and are “people to watch, producing some of the most innovative and beautiful work available today.” At a celebratory event in Boston on Thursday, April 26, the winners were officially announced.
New England Home Magazine’s July/August issue will also announce the complete winners list and the September/October issue will feature profiles of the 2012 winners in a special magazine section as a prelude to the September 13 awards celebration.
As part of the awards celebration in September, an auction will be held featuring custom rugs designed by each of the 5 Under 40 winners. Proceeds from the auction benefit Barakat, Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.–based charity promoting educational opportunities for women and children in central and south Asia. Sponsored by Landry and Arcari, the auction promises to be a really fun event showcasing some extremely creative designs.
Texture and layering is a signature element of my design aesthetic. The area rug was designed with that in mind, taking an antique sumac construction fabricated from wool and layering the large scale Moroccan pattern in silk. Two very simple elements, yet a complex overall design pattern. The Moroccan tile originated in the 10th century; always inspired and influenced by the past, I wanted to incorporate a sense of history in my design choice. The rug is made up of two colors, cream and chocolate brown. Initially, I struggled to insert a bold, vibrant hue which is familiar with the Moroccan tiles, however, I always found myself returning to a monochromatic palette. This color selection is a true representation of what I gravitate towards. I decided to finish the rug with a leather bound border. This added element makes you aware of something unexpected and adds a slight modern twist to a traditional design.
Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder. But good design is in the eye of the homeowner–it must appeal in a visual way while also satisfying the needs of those who live with it. It’s no coincidence, then, that the striking projects selected by our esteemed judges to win this year’s A-List competition are also those that wow with their smart solutions and livability. We caught up with the award-winning professionals and their clients to find out what sets the A-List apart from the pack. Their stories reveal a host of creative ideas that are certain to inspire first-rate home projects in the future.
When Liria Heidenreich was looking for design help for her shingle-style house in Greenwich, her sister-in-law recommended Amy Aidinis Hirsch. The young designer had already decorated the homes of other family members, so why not hers? But the Heidenreichs were seeking a different approach: “They wanted to marry a modern style with a more traditional architecture,” says Hirsch. The success of the dining room–part of a whole-house project– lies in the way Hirsch translated their desire for an eclectic interior with little clutter or fuss. “I didn’t want a lot of color. I’m nutty and I need mellow,” says Heidenreich. “She really got me.”
At the center of this sleek-yet-personal space is an architectural Italian table surrounded by Ligne Roset cowhide chairs and a wood bench. The more casual arrangement suits the family’s two boys and also answers Liria’s request: “no boring chairs.” Dark chocolate grass cloth on the walls provides warmth and anchors the abstract art. For the floor, Hirsch put an unexpected spin on a simple wool loop rug. Instead of picking one colorway from the samples, she sourced all of them to create a custom stripe. The homeowner admits to being particular about lighting and this glam three-tiered crystal chandelier from Ochre acts as a jewel in the room, about with she jokes, “My electrician doesn’t like me anymore.”
To add a touch of color and tradition, Hirsch brought in a red antique lacquer cabinet from Greenwich Oriental. This one-of-a-kind piece provides storage and character, picking up on a hue continued in other parts of the house. The sophisticated theme fits the family to a tee. Says Heidenreich, “I still walk into these rooms and say, “Damn, this works!”