Designer Feature: Georgia Tapert Howe
A commitment to comfort is at the heart of every project for Georgia Tapert Howe. "The house can be beautiful, but if the clients aren't comfortable and enjoying it, then I've failed," says the Los Angeles-based interior designer. Earlier in her career, she spent time working with New York City design greats Mica Ertegun, David Easton, and firm Haynes-Roberts, before opening up a home accessories boutique in Manhattan. After her move to Los Angeles a decade ago, the interior designer founded her eponymous design firm, bringing her East Coast-inspired style, well-honed eye, and fresh, worldly perspective. We got the chance to sit down with Georgia, and she shares about her evolution since her relocation, why it's important to incorporate function into her designs, and a few tips to celebrate the arrival of warmer seasons.
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Tell us about how moving from NYC to LA changed your design business? How about your design style?
Well, I've been in LA for ten years now—I can't quite believe it! I really had to start from scratch out here, and I think I was naive in thinking it would happen immediately. It took a long time and a lot of hard work. I'm not sure that LA particularly changed my style, but rather that I grew up, I got married and had kids, and so did my clients. We all sort of grew up together in a way, and now I'm doing second and third homes for them, so it's cool.
Your designs are always filled with bold yet subtle details. What are your tips for achieving that look?
I always say that not everything can be a showstopper. Especially when you are looking at schemes, some fabrics should feel boring! It's the sum of all parts. The same goes for furniture as not every table in a room needs to be a wow moment. I see it as a little bit like getting dressed!
Who has influenced your design style?
So many people but working for Mica Ertegun probably had the biggest influence on me as a designer.
Any pro tips on updating your space for spring and summer?
Yes, flowers always! There are so many beautiful things in bloom, so splurge on a great urn and fill it with lilacs. I also suggest swapping out your pillows and throws for something a little more lightweight.
How do you balance bold designs within not just a room but the house in totality?
You don't want the house to feel like a funhouse—it needs to flow and make sense. I never want to walk through a house and have each room feel like a theme.
What is your dream project?
Hmm, I'd say a client with fabulous art and great taste! Or, an apartment in Paris and a boutique hotel... I can think of lots!
What qualities do you like to always be present in your designs?
Comfort. The house can be beautiful, but if the clients aren't comfortable and enjoying it, then I've failed. I always make sure to add books and vintage pieces as well.
Who do you love to follow on Instagram?
What are your favorite spots in Los Angeles?
Aside from my living room(!), I love a drink at Sunset Tower or San Vincente Bungalows, dinner with my husband at Cafe Stella, the beach with my family and friends, and as far as stores go, Nickey Kehoe is a favorite. I buy for clients from there, but I also get all of my presents for friends!
What's next for you and the design business?
Projects across the country. I'm so happy to finally be able to travel again—and hopefully, it stays that way. I also have a wallpaper line with Lia Burke, a dear friend, and talented Charleston-based artist, so stay tuned for details on that soon!