New York-based Campion Platt has done everything, from designing homes and boutique hotels to his own line of custom furniture, but no matter what the project is, Platt always has luxury on his mind. To him, a luxury home isn't about the flashiest bejeweled furniture accents or the dollar tag on that new Persian rug, it’s about open spaces you can breathe and relax in. It may seem simple enough, but making a Manhattan home into a light and airy space isn't that easy. Platt was kind enough to take some time to chat with us about how he defines luxury, his own personal style, and the craziest client request he's gotten so far.
Platt, a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Architectural League of New York, has designed for some pretty high-profile names, like Conan O'Brien, Meg Ryan, and Al Pacino. He dedicates himself to giving his clients exactly what they want, plus even more, and promises that no two of his designs will ever be the same. Inspired by travel, his style of design pulls together several different regions, from 19th-century furniture pieces to the simplicity of Southeast Asia.
Always evolving, his full-service firm has worked with the Mercer Hotel in New York, the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood, and the Bulfinch Hotel in Boston. Plus, Platt himself has received so many awards and accolades that they are pretty hard to keep track of, including ranking on Architectural Digest’s AD 100 list of the world’s top interior designers and New York Magazine’s City’s 100 Best Architects and Decorators.
JustLuxe: How would you describe your own personal style?
Campion Platt: Modern, eclectic, tailored. I always seek out artisan craft, wherever I am. I tend to make the houses an extension of the client, so each is very different. And while I have renovated historic homes, they always end up with a modern personality.
JL: What makes a home luxury?
CP: Space, Air & Light. It really doesn’t matter within reason the size of place. The main sense of luxury is created from these three factors. If these essential elements are all in play, then the actual design and finishes can be addressed to enhance the experience.
JL: As someone who is devoted to the sustainable architecture movement, how do you reconcile luxury with eco-friendly design?
CP: I don’t think luxury is about using expensive products per se. The quality of the experience is luxurious. Also, many companies are now considering more eco-friendly solutions in their offerings. Eco-conscious can be luxury-chic; take the new electric Tesla car for example.
JL: How have you seen the realm of luxury change over the past few years?
CP: While the demand for luxury goods has increased, I see less conspicuous consumption and more tailored offerings to ultra high net worth. People seek experiences and are willing to pay for that. There are a number of new sites like Crest & Co. that tailor to a very specific and discerning client looking for something really special, one-of-a-kind or bespoke.
JL: How do you approach an historic home redesign, updating it to be more modern while still maintaining its old charm?
CP: I think there is a wonderful dialogue that is engendered between old and new. Carlo Scarpa, the famous Italian architect, created an amazing symbiotic relationship between old and new in his museum at Castelvecchio. In renovating many historic buildings, I actually find a modern interior more complimentary to the historic fabric, because it contrasts and compliments.
JL: Are there any other designers that influence you? Architects?
CP: Carlo Scarpa, Gio Ponti, and Carlo Mollino—I guess my Italian genes are showing thru! I like the work at Chad Oppenheim.
JL: You've designed the homes of many big names; which home has been your favorite and why? Which is your least favorite and why?
CP: I don’t have a least favorite, only a memorable learning experience. I tend to learn much more from projects where there is a problem. I am currently working thru my favorite project, a penthouse in San Jose, Costa Rica. A wonderful and stylish client who lets me do what I do best—design with passion.
JL: What's the strangest design request you've had?
CP: I had a request for an in-ground bathtub with [a] cover-over bath floor—reminiscent of the old Calgon bath oil ads of the woman bathing in the limousine! The space was constrained so we took the open floor area for a sumptuous bath.