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Classic Modernism by Zoe Feldman

Meet the interior decorator Zoe Feldman and discover her signature creative mission, guided by a firm desire to preserve an interior’s old soul, while infusing it with a contemporary freshness. Thanks to her great expertise in modern art and design, Zoe has been masterly delivering timeless, artful spaces, tailored to each client, for more than 20 years.

​​Zoe Feldman Design is an established interior design firm based in Washington D.C., specializing in boutique residential projects and historical houses’ restorations. After graduating in Interior Decorating at Parsons School of Design, Zoe, founder and principal designer of the studio, began her career working at the premiere Manhattan-based design firm Mark Hampton Inc., training her design expertise under the tutelage of AD100 designer Alexa Hampton.

Merging the old with the new, Zoe developed over time a unique creative approach, embracing a timeless aesthetic of modernized classicism, influenced by art, fashion, architecture, and, of course, the taste of each client crossing her path. The studio is also driven by a heartfelt commitment to sustainability, which translates into a firm attempt to select vintage or antique furnishings when designing a space.

To this day, Zoe has been decorating homes for more than 20 years, dedicating herself to projects ranging from Washington DC, New York City, the Hamptons, and South Florida. Featured in several national publications including Elle Décor, the studio was recently awarded ‘Best Boutique Interior Design Firm’ in 2020 by Home & Design Magazine.

How did you first become involved in the world of design? Tell us your story.

After college, I went to work for an ad agency in New York City and was feeling unfulfilled. I’d been interested in art and design my whole life, as my mother and grandmother ran art galleries and collected furniture, so design school seemed like a natural fit. I got my degree from Parsons while training under Alexa Hampton at Mark Hampton, LLC. I credit Alexa for helping me believe I could do this work.

How would you describe your personal style and what’s the personal signature that makes your projects unique?

My personal style is modernized classicism. Starting my career in the very traditional design scene of New York but having grown up surrounded by midcentury furniture and pop art, I learned how to root space in something timeless, then add some tension with modern elements. I love to blend styles and eras in a space, so nothing feels too thematic.

Are there any specific trends that you’re currently blending in your practice?

I try to stay away from anything too trendy, but I love anything vintage, cozy, and layered.

Where do you draw inspiration for your projects?

Travel and art are my two main sources of inspiration. I start almost all my projects by focusing on art and then building the rooms around those pieces. I’m also inspired by French and Italian architecture. I just came back from Europe and am still dreaming about all the flooring and architectural details I saw.

What’s the decorative piece you enjoy selecting most for your clients and why?

Art! It’s personal and helps me learn more about the client. I also hope to have converted some art apathists into art enthusiasts along the way!

In a hyper-digital world, do you often turn to social media for inspiration? If yes, which social media platform do you use and why?

It’s hard not to find inspiration on social media, although it’s so saturated with images it can be difficult to cut through the noise to find what inspires you. Our designers use Instagram a lot, especially to see new work from global firms. Pinterest can also be a great jumping-off point, but it’s a little less intuitive for me.

What is your favorite project you have worked on and why?

My favorite projects are always with curious clients who discover their passion and aesthetics through the design process. I feel it’s my responsibility to encourage strategic, daring design choices that the clients might not have thought of otherwise, but that when they see executed think, “that’s exactly what this space needed!”

What would be your dream project to work on?

I would love to finally finish my own home in DC! It’s getting there but needs that last big push. Also, a boutique hotel!

What do you think is going to be the next big trend in interior design?

A return to separate rooms for separate functions—less open concept, and the use of bolder colors like lemon yellow and lapis blue.

Do you have an interior design master that you look up to?

I’m so grateful to Alexa Hampton for teaching me the foundations of good design that are at the root of all my work. I also admire so much of Albert Hadley’s work. It’s classic modernism.

What Epoque inspires you the most in terms of aesthetics?

This is an ever-evolving answer for me, but I’m currently very inspired by 1940s Italian and Parisian design.

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