design dialogue: karen comerford.
March 02, 2012
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JONATHAN BECKERMAN
Karen Comerford started her career as a Hallmark illustrator, designing art to grace the cover of cards offering congratulations on new business ventures or professing feelings of admiration for the intended recipient. Now, though, Comerford is more likely to receive those cards than she is to create them; she moved on, first to the world of textiles and then to handcrafted furniture. Her eponymous line, the Comerford Collection, captures her ever-evolving creativity with her knack for approachability. “Over the years, we’ve managed to maintain a theme of modernism, without alienating individuals who appreciate traditional design.”
Who is your greatest influence?
I admire the work of Patricia Urquiola and the Barber Osgerby duo. For color direction, I look to the paintings of Helen Frankenthaler, and Anish Kapoor’s work reminds me to think out of the box.
What is your favorite design period?
I love ancient Moroccan architecture—the interior courtyards, exotic tiles and saturated colors.
Describe your personal style.
I’m a mix between a precisionist, eclecticist and modernist. I liked edited, refined spaces but am often drawn to idiosyncratic elements that personalize a home.
Who to watch?
Keep an eye on Rich Brilliant Willing for their great name and innovative use of materials. Token in New York City, Kai-wei Hsu in Brooklyn and Tod Von Mertens in New Hampshire.
Eames or Mackintosh?
Eames because he had a really cool partnership with his wife. I admire the respect they had for each other.