The Allure of Texture
with Tina Rich
Interior designer Tina Rich is known for creating richly layered and warmly inviting spaces, infused with the client’s unique personality and her own relaxed, Mediterranean-inspired touch. We spoke to Tina from her New York City abode to learn how carefully curating tactile materials makes for a home that is equal parts playful and calming.
Photography by Christian Torres
Do you come from a creative family?
I grew up in my mom’s hair salon and on construction sites with my dad, who is a contractor and developer. My creativity definitely comes from my mom and my love of architecture comes from my dad. My favourite part of the design process is being on a construction site as a project comes to life.
Give us a little insight into your design process.
My inspiration can come from anywhere – a piece of art, an innate detail from the space, a furniture piece the client loves. Then I’ll create a mood board, which is my favourite part of the design process because you can really dream before dealing with budgets, client preferences and contractors (ha!). From there, we’ll review floor plans, the mood board, and some initial ideas with the client before really diving deep into the design.
Would you say you’re a tactile person?
I’m a minimalist at heart but I also love layers and texture, so I try to find a balance between the two. I tend to keep the bones of a space and the key pieces classic and neutral, and then add interest and touches of colour through the artwork, accessories, and rugs. I love using the work of up-and-coming makers and artists, along with vintage pieces, to create spaces that are truly one-of-a-kind.
Are there any colours, textures and patterns you especially love?
You’ll likely find terrazzo, terracotta, handmade ceramics, and Moroccan rugs in any one of my projects. I also love white walls, linens, and blond wood.
We’re a bit biased but we love the look and feel of natural materials. Are any having a moment right now?
Plaster walls are having a major moment! I love the subtle, natural texture it adds to any space.
These days we’re all seeking comfort from our homes. How do you think the inclusion of tactile elements, like a rug, can affect our mood?
Creating a home that’s your sanctuary from the outside world is more important now than ever. I’ve always been a homebody and it’s so important for my home to be the place where I’m most comfortable and content. It’s really the simple rituals and comforts, like lighting palo santo before going to sleep, curling up with my daughter in my Cultiver bedsheets in the early morning, and stepping off my bed onto a cosy rug (I have the Savannah!), that make us feel at home.
What textures do you lean towards in different seasons?
Are there any design rules you live by?
My only design rule is that you should fill your space with things you love. Your home should be a perfect reflection of your style and personality, and the things you surround yourself with should bring you pure joy.
"My only design rule is that you should fill your space with things you love."
In the past year, you became a mother! As a company that’s 90% women, we’re curious – how are you finding the work/life balance? Especially right now, when a lot of us are working from home?
It’s bananas! My husband is an ER doctor and his schedule varies, so every day looks a little different. I’m so enjoying this extra time with my daughter, but it’s impossible to get anything done while I’m with her! While my husband is working, I’ll work during nap times and after bedtime. When he’s off, I’ll take more designated time for work. I was worried after my daughter was born that I would lose some interest in my work but I feel more inspired than ever, and I think it’s important for her to witness her mama doing what she loves!
On that note, what’s keeping you inspired right now?
Work has obviously slowed down a bit and several of my projects are on hold. I’ve been staying inspired by coming up with imaginary clients and dreaming up fantasy spaces for them. I pull inspiration images and source ridiculously expensive vintage pieces. If any of these projects manifest, I’ll be ready!
Finally, we can’t help but ask – what’s your favourite Armadillo rug to have underfoot?
Follow Tina Rich on Instagram.