Designers’ Picks

Sara Gilbane Sullivan

Sara Gilbane Sullivan

"Growing up, I was always redoing my room, my brother’s room, my parent’s living room when they would go out," says Sara Gilbane Sullivan. Now the designer creates uniquely elegant spaces for clients across the country, from Newport to Palm Beach and everywhere in between. With a portfolio that matches classic forms with an abundance of carefully placed color, Sara’s approach promotes design with a practical touch. "A lot of my clients are young families, so I don’t create rooms that are too precious. With innovations in everything from fabrics—outdoor velvets!—to smart, multitasking designs, you can have a space that not only looks fantastic but is also livable. This is the era of practicality."

On my desk you’ll find assorted pens, colored pencils, a photograph of my daughter, floor plans and a stash of favorite fabrics.

My most beloved treasures are my children.

The decorating trend I’m loving right now is chintz—I am feeling it! Used in a fresh way, it is beautiful.

I feel most inspired by each new client and their distinct view of their space. That initial feeling of "anything is possible," followed by the vision of what the space will be, is intoxicating.

Growing up, my design/style inspiration was New England prep—there has been a shift since then, but the New England sensibility shines through in all of my projects.

This summer I can’t wait to get out to our weekend house in Locust Valley with my family.

If I could choose any item in the world to design a room around, it would be a fantastic piece of art—I am not picky about the artist. Bold, beautiful colors and romantic brushstrokes inspire me.

The most amazing design find I’ve discovered in my travels is a French screen made of old shutters painted the most magical soft blue. Peeling and distressed, they added just the right note in a client’s beach house master bedroom.

2014 is the year of florals—mixed with clean lines and linear prints, of course.