When it comes to mastering unfussy yet elegant interiors, Shawn Henderson’s no-fail formula boils down to use of color, scale of furniture and sense of place. Pop in a wingback chair—a Henderson trademark—and you’re left with a timeless space that welcomes guests with open arms. Ahead of his first monograph, Shawn Henderson: Interiors in Context, due out November 9, the New York-based designer briefs us on weaving a laidback sense of sophistication into any home.
How do you marry the local vernacular of a home with a client’s wish list?
It’s always important to reflect a bit of the architecture in the decoration. I don’t feel like design should be imposed upon a space. Because of this, I’ve been able to adapt and work in some amazing places.
What’s your No. 1 tip for selecting artwork for a project?
There are so many things to consider when placing artwork—scale of the room, energy of the space. My main tip would be to find or place art that enhances the experience of the room.
Talk about making the most out of unusual nooks.
All decisions come from giving a sense of purpose to a space.
Expand on your love affair with the wingback chair.
I love the sculptural form of a wingback! Traditional wing chairs are just so beautiful, and I’m fascinated by the “modern” interpretations whether they are Italian or Scandinavian.
How does your design mantra differ when working on spaces for yourself versus others?
I definitely am a bit more playful when it comes to my personal interiors. I like to experiment a bit.