LUXList Designer Edition | Charles Allem

Principal designer at CAD International, Inc., Charles Allem is recognized for his gifted eye. For Charles, interior design is about creating an experience through which life itself is elevated to an art form. Aiming to derive the inspiration for each project from its setting and historical context, Charles attempts to bring out the beauty of what already exists and weave this together with the client’s vision. All of Charles Allem’s designs work to exude strength, discipline, and balance.

Charles’s LUXList Picks

Matteo Giampaglia “Untitled” Wall Art

Wall lamp

Side Table by Hervé Langlais

Desk in the Spirit of Willy Rizzo


Describe your design aesthetic in a few words?

My design aesthetic reflects strength, balance, and sophistication. Art plays an essential role as I like to integrate art into projects as part of architecture and design.

What do you love about using antiques in your designs?

My love for antiques comes from my early design years working with great designers such as David Hicks and William McCarty-Cooper. Once and again, I find myself incorporating vintage pieces in contemporary spaces, creating effortless and timeless designs.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by experimental design and groundbreaking projects that allow me to create something new and extraordinary.

What is your favorite LUXList piece and why?  How would you use it?

My favorite LUXList piece is the Rare Desk in the spirit of Willy Rizzo. The structure and the materials on the desk burst strength, balance, and sophistication. It is a contemporary piece of furniture that represents a sculptural form. Having said that, the desk can be used in many different settings, preferably a library desk.


Striking shapes and forms can always speak for themselves, with no need for crazy colors or quirky patterns.
So luxe are Charles’ designs that you’d think you’re on vacation every time you’re home.
Hard lines and definitive shapes create the strong look Charles always strives for.
Charles Allem is first and foremost a creator of perfection. It began at the age of 14 when he assisted the legendary British designer David Hicks in the redesign of his own family’s home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Today, Charles Allem is President and Chief Executive Officer of CAD
International, Inc., widely recognized as one of the most influential design firms in the world. From his principal design studio in Miami, Charles Allem directs a global business whose achievements areunparalleled. Named to the prestigious AD 100—Architectural Digest’s list of the world’s most gifted interior designers five times, Charles Allem stands at the pinnacle of his profession. It has been a three-decade journey led by his uncompromised creative vision. For Charles journey led by his uncompromised creative vision. For Charles Allem, interior design is not merely about achieving a visual effect. It’s about creating an experience through which life itself is elevated to an art form. Color, texture, form—Charles Allem has mastered these elements as few designers of this or any other era. Yet the effect is never formulaic.
Charles Allem has no signature style. Each design project aims to derive from its site, its setting, and its historical context a unique interpretation of perfection, created exclusively for the needs and desires of the client for whom it was commissioned. Fearlessly experimental, Charles Allem remains grounded in classical precepts. His knowledge of period styles, his embrace of diverse cultural influences, has allowed him to juxtapose the iconic with the unexpected, the simple with the sophisticated, the sacred with the profane. The result is a body of work that has for more than 30 years consistently achieved groundbreaking statements able to articulate a radically simple belief: that life can be lived in a state of perfection. The spaces he creates, the furniture he designs, and the objects chosen for his interiors inspire the mind and express the soul. Strength. Discipline, Balance. These are the characteristics shared by all Charles Allem designs. Under his vision, CAD International now interprets the design philosophy of Charles Allem for a range of residential and commercial projects unrivaled in its global scope. Charles Allem boasts a remarkable list of high-end residential commissions (including the homes of various undisclosed celebrity clients)–many of which have been documented in leading design publications. In addition, the numerous commercial commissions of CAD International include: The Mira Hotel in Hong Kong;Vanke Tongshanjie Project in Shanghai; W Hotel Macao, Regalia, a luxury development in Sunny Isle, FL;11 On Lenox, a series of sophisticated beach townhomes located on South beach townhomes located on South Beach, and 254 Park Avenue South, one of New York City’s premier residential addresses to mention a few. As Director of Design of CAD International, Charles Allem drives a team of designers, draftsmen, architects and project managers to execute to perfection commissions of virtually any scale, scope virtually any scale, scope and consequence.

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