Designer Sandra Nunnerley and her team have a timeless understanding of design which transcends borders. Based in NYC and having completed residential and commercial projects worldwide, her skills are widely sought after. Sandra has a keen awareness of the architecture of a space and an ability to see the possibilities of how it can function as a daily living environment. Describing her style as contemporary with a classic twist, Sandra’s designs are sophisticated and chic, expertly combining artwork, antiques and modern pieces to create spaces which perfectly balance form and function.
Describe your design aesthetic in a few words?
Contemporary with a classic twist
Sandra Nunnerley’s characteristic style is often described as “contemporary with a classic twist” bringing together the past and the present, mixing period pieces with modern design, grounded in a sophisticated understanding of architecture and art.
What do you love about using antiques in your designs?
I love working with antiques as they add personality and dimension to any space because they are one-of-a-kind treasures.
What inspires you?
Travel inspires me as I often discover new artists or modes of expression. Each year I make a point of going somewhere new. I’ve hiked to Machu Picchu in Peru and floated down the Sepik River in New Guinea. These are voyages of discovery and although you never know what exactly you’re going to take home from the experience, they’re crucial to inspiration.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate the holidays?
I always spend Christmas in New Zealand. We enjoy a very English Christmas with a great picnic on the beach, including a barbeque with New Zealand spring lamb and my Grandmother’s delicious pavlova, a light meringue dessert recipe that has been passed down through the generations.
What are some details of your signature style?
It has been said that I have a sense of “art de vivre”, a style where the traditional meets the contemporary with an easy grace. My background in architecture and fine arts gives a true depth to my work, bringing together the past and the present, with special attention to the role of art. Often I showcase or augment clients’ collections of fine art, and in recent years, I’ve embraced a trend towards site-specific pieces of furniture commissioned by artists and architects. I prefer an edited mix of furnishings, and juxtapose luxurious fabrics like silk and cashmere with more humble materials like linen and grasscloth.
How would you decorate your table if you were hosting a holiday dinner?
If I were hosting a holiday dinner, I’d be sure to have a table set with a glamorous mix of beautiful contemporary pieces as well as some classical stemware or perhaps a candelabra, all sparkling and festive, ready for an evening of delightful celebration and conversation. There’s no doubt in my mind that a beautifully set holiday table, a mix of contemporary and classic pieces, take the festive meal up just a notch or two. This is the time of year to go all out – and delight your guests with a set of Josef Hoffman wine glasses and decanters, a pair of sterling silver candlesticks by Taxco, Mexico Modernist artist Antonio Pineda and a Georg Jensen sterling tray.
What would be included in your RubyLUX Holiday Wish List?
Sandra Nunnerley’s thoughtful approach to design begins with understanding the needs of her clients along with the architecture of an interior. Sandra examines and interprets how people find comfort and purpose in any space—and then expands it to include deft interplays of color and texture, seamless juxtapositions of the contemporary and traditional, and subtle details that meld form and function.
As Sandra explains, “I listen to my clients and deliver spaces that defy expectations. We create interiors that are not only beautiful to look a but that people actually use.”
It’s an ethos that is echoed in the creative process of her team at Sandra Nunnerley, Inc., a multidisciplinary design firm that is based in New York City. With her studio, Nunnerley delivers high-end residential and commercial projects that are grounded in a sophisticated understanding of architecture, with special attention to the role of art, while also communicating the desires of the people who inhabit each of the interiors.
The design studio is currently working on international projects including multi-use spaces in Hong Kong, a penthouse in the Mitte district of Berlin, a Southampton beach house, ski chalets in Aspen and Telluride, a private-island compound in New Zealand and a residence in Houston, Texas—all with deference to the surprising and sometimes complicated ways people draw meaning from their spaces.
The same is true of every product and furniture piece Nunnerley creates through her private collections: Each item—from custom rugs to tiles, lighting to outdoor furniture—marries form and function to support the everyday beauty and enjoyment of life.