At Home with Tory Burch
From ballet flats to global lifestyle empire, Tory has written her own rulebook. The inimitable designer shares how she decorates and entertains so effortlessly.
By Britt Burritt
Few modern-day designers have as distinct an aesthetic as Tory Burch. Her cheerful, preppy styles, with graphic prints and bold colors, inhabit their own sophisticated world. Often inspired by her travels to exotic locales such as Marrakesh or Capri, they are unmistakably Tory. That happy fashion carries over from the runway into the New York City-based designer’s line of home decor, now at Nordstrom.
Do you have a favorite color?
“I love color. It’s a universal language. Orange has been my favorite for as long as I can remember. When I was five years old, I wanted to paint my bedroom mandarin orange but my mother thought it would be a bit too much. Orange is a happy color, and it’s an unexpected choice in both fashion and at home. In New York, the library in our apartment is orange. It’s a cozy room where we play Scrabble and hang out. People feel like they can come in and put their feet up.”
Who are some of your favorite interior designers?
“Almost all our collections have been inspired by interiors. When I started the company [launched from her Manhattan apartment in 2004], I was working on my apartment at the same time, and it was amazing how much the design of one informed the other. David Hicks, Madeleine Castaing, Jacques Grange and Jean Royère have all been constant sources of inspiration. They took risks and had a unique point of view.”
You often reference David Hicks’s interiors and prints. What do you love about his aesthetic?
“My parents [Buddy and Reva Robinson] were great admirers of David Hicks’s work. I grew up leafing through his books; I think my parents had all nine. Hicks’s design sensibility was so wonderfully flamboyant and fearless. I’ve always been drawn to his bold use of color, unexpected mix of patterns and use of graphic geometry.”
What decorating advice would you give?
“I think women are most beautiful when they’re natural and undone. A home can be the same way. Decor should feel personal and eclectic. My parents would take a six-week Mediterranean trip every summer when I was growing up and collect treasures from their travels. Every find had a story. I love the individuality of mixing pieces from different countries and eras.”
You’re an avid entertainer. What kind of host are you?
“I love entertaining a full house of family and friends. I’m a pretty relaxed host. Cooking is not my strong suit, so I typically enlist the help of others. I arrange the flowers and table settings myself. I like to mix it up and bring a sense of eclecticism to the table. For example, I love pairing printed napkins and colorful table linens with unique pottery, like our Dodie Thayer Lettuce Ware. Dodie Thayer was an entrepreneur and artist who was so ahead of her time. Her designs are timeless and bring an organic, natural element to any table.”