Richard Mishaan Design - Rooms with Personality and Inspiration

We live in a world that likes things to be streamlined. If it works you use it over and over again until everyone is sick of it. Trendy interior decorating means clean lines and minimalist presentation. Even art and stories tend to follow the pattern of whatever worked best before. In many ways, this makes sense. To keep a business running, artists and designers need to be able to give their customers what they want. As they say, there’s nothing new under the sun. But when a lack of total uniqueness also means a lack of individual interpretation, things can get a little...lifeless. For all the neat conveniences of streamlining, the looks that people most enjoy are still those with a personal touch.


Personal inspiration is one thing that’s never been lacking in the work of Richard Mishaan. The self-proclaimed “architect, interior designer, and style guru” is known for creating luxury spaces in residences as well as upscale hotels like the St. Regis, The Trump World Towers, and the Shelbourne Hotel. “Superspirited,” rather, is one word that’s been used to describe his style. It varies from project to project as he blends elements from different eras, different fashions, and different regions, but he’s never designed a neat, minimalist room. That’s what his clients love about his work. They know that when they hire Richard Mishaan Design, they’re paying for a work of art with their room or home as the canvas.


Mishaan was born and raised in Cartagena, Columbia, where he draws much of his inspiration. “My Columbian heritage completely impacts me,” he said in an interview with The New York Post. “The cities are so colorful.” That love of color features in all of his work and is enthusiastically described in his two design books, Modern Luxury in 2009 and Artfully Modern in 2014. He came to New York in 1978, where he took up residence at a different Columbia altogether--Columbia University. He first worked as an apprentice at the office of renowned architect Philip Johnson before starting Richard Mishaan Design and making his own strides in the luxury design and architecture scene. Today, he’s still based in New York City and does some of his best work there, but he keeps a getaway house in Cartagena. In a profile for Architectural Digest last January, he even listed a hotel in Columbia as one of his projects.


Mishaan also draws inspiration from his love of travel and his love of art. Part of his childhood was spent in Italy, and he finds inspiration in hotels and scenery all over Europe, South America, and the United States.  He visits every art exhibit he can to find inspiration for future designs. In fact, art work is at the center of some of his designs, as was the case in his own New York City residence where he lived for 18 years. He offset the bold artwork with neutral tones and light colored walls, claiming, “In an art-filled home, the art is the only place you should have color.”


A man of varied interests and sources of inspiration, Mishaan is known for mixing different styles together and even styles from different periods of time for an eclectic design that fits as if it were all intended to come together. A 1930s table in a modern room or artwork from the-

Although he draws inspiration from very sources, he’s not one to let his personal preferences get in the way of a project he’s working on for a client. His main source of inspiration are the lives of the clients themselves. “I’m always working to create a context for my clients’ lives,” he says, “rather than forcing mine on them.” It’s for this reason that his New York residence is such an in-depth look into the man himself, but it’s also for this reason that none of his designs are the same. Richard Mishaan Design prizes the individuality of their clients, and Mishaan works to bring that out in his designs for their own space.


It was inspiration drawn from his clients that led him to create a feeling in his Cartagena house that was at once like a hotel and like a home. “So many people are asking for their homes to be just like that last fabulous hotel they stayed at, and hotel owners are saying, ‘We want people to come and feel the comforts of being at home,’ ” he explained to The New York Post. “So the crossover became more and more seamless.”


Richard Mishaan brings inspiration from every aspect of his life to his designs, and it’s impactful. The world may be headed in a clean, convenient, streamlined direction, but the art and designs that will stand the test of time are the ones that have a flair of personality and use deeply personal inspirations. That’s the kind of artistry you’ll find with Richard Mishaan Designs. It’s why the most elite hotels and most discerning residents choose him for their interior design work. And it’s why, most likely, Richard Mishaan’s designs will be admired for generations to come.

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