It’s hard to keep a good talent down. And when one is named to House Beautiful’s Next Wave Designer list, well let’s just say true talent is undeniable. Last spring when we attended the Princeton Designer Showhouse, one of our favorite rooms was designed by Michael Herold. The bold stripes, exciting color choices and glamorous pieces in a very traditional space spoke to us. Not a month later, we ran into Michael at our yearly Blogfest conference where he was on a panel moderated by House Beautiful’s Newell Turner. His talent was being lauded once again and now Michael has taken his design from the studio to showroom.
Opening in November 2012 in Lambertville, NJ, Michael Herold Home Collection is a showroom, studio and offices all in one location; just call it Michael's very own design center. After having tremendous growth in the past year, Michael and his team felt it was time to show off his antiques and vintage pieces in a space that allows him to display all of his finds in interesting vignettes and actual room settings.
As a lover of antiques and vintage pieces, Michael incorporates them into all of his designs. He picks up pieces as he comes across them at auctions and estate sales which equated to several packed storage units! A new showroom was a must. And what a success it has been already. Just shy of a month old and Michael is already expanding into another wing in the building which will feature more showroom space and his design studio (which will be open to public viewing).
Along with showcasing antiques and vintage finds, Michael sells his custom upholstery pieces too. Additionally, his home accessories line will be launching in 2013. Whew! After catching wind of all these amazing developments, we asked Michael to take a few moments of his time to show us around his showroom and answer a couple of questions about his collections, inspiration and influences.
Tell us more about your style and your feelings on mixing & matching decor.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I think mixing and matching has gotten out of hand over the past few years. There seems to be this false sense of confidence that anything and everything can go into one room and look good. This is so not true! I do love mixing different eras and design styles but you never want to take it too far. It is so important to consider scale when mixing and matching. Too many small things are never good. Have fun with it and mix in some grand statement pieces. I love drama in design.
So you have told us the 80’s weren't all that bad, care to explain?
I have several pieces in the showroom from the 1980’s. I think the 80’s get the bad rap but there are some stunning designs to be had. One of my favorite pieces in the showroom right now is a 1980’s fossil stone cocktail table by Maitland Smith. Set in a more traditional environment…pure perfection.
And then there is 1980’s lacquer. Love it! There are a lot of lacquer reproductions on the market but there is nothing like the original.
What has contributed to the designer you are today?
Lots of hard work, dedication, and the most amazing support team – I could not do it without them.
What is your most prized possession?
I am not one to become too attached to physical objects. What I love most are the memories behind finding those special pieces. For example, I have this vintage trophy from 1913 that was a gift from my mother. I saw it at an antique store when I was 13 years old and really wanted it. That Christmas it made its way under the tree. It is these childhood memories, like antiquing with my mother, which I cherish.
What inspires you?
* Michael is said to have used his childhood home in Long Island as his first design studio “experimenting with intense color palettes and fresh design concepts.”
Who are your design icons?
Billy Baldwin. While his designs were amazingly beautiful, he had a very down to earth approach to design. I admire that very much. “Decorators should never insist on throwing out everything the client has. Even when they are far from perfect, loved possessions add personality” – Billy Baldwin.
What are your favorite books or resources on art, style and/or design?
Auction catalogs! I collect them. They are a great resource and very educational.
Opening a showroom, launching multiple collections and having the good fortune of continuous client referrals, has made Michael Herold indeed one of the "next wave designers." Talent, when it's true, is unstoppable.