Interior Designer Fawn Galli is a woman with a unique and inspiring vision. The 2,500 square foot Brooklyn brownstone townhouse she shares with her husband Julio Salcedo, an architect, and their two sons, is a bold and beautiful illustration of her design aesthetic.
Fawn describes her influences: “I like dreamy, inspired, and colorful interiors. I have always been inspired by the magic of C.S. Lewis’ ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’ and Lewis Carrol’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’.”
Magical is the perfect description of Fawn’s home. Punctuated by bold color and rich textiles (which Fawn sources from around the globe), the spaces are also quite livable and fit the needs of her growing family. With her artist’s eye and unparalleled ability to blend wildly different furnishing styles, gaining insight into Fawn’s technique is like being offered a master class in design. We are delighted to share her secrets for creating in-the-moment, yet somehow timeless spaces.
We love your use of bold color. What are some guidelines we should keep in mind about incorporating color and pattern?
“I love color, but only pops of it. I usually like to keep around 70% of an interior neutral, I rarely paint the walls a color, but bring it in through upholstery and fabrics.
“My living room is like a laboratory for my ideas about clashing, layering and gathering. I mixed chartreuse green silk drapery from Cambodia with a pop of fushia pink on the chairs (the other greens and pinks in the room clash in hue and texture). To offset the strong color statement, I selected a white leather chesterfield sofa and cool gray wall paint. To add light and glamour to a normally dark townhouse I added Florence Broadhurst metallic wallpaper and a plaster chandelier that caught my eye one afternoon at Porte de Clignancourt Les Puces flea market in Paris.”
Black Deer: Foliage Garden
What is your favorite room in your home?
“Hands down my living room. I LOVE my drapes that were handwoven in Laos by some amazing women weavers and the lampshades that I covered with a dreamy wallpaper. I found this chandelier tucked away at the Paris Flea, but for something similar Stephen Antonson makes amazing plaster fixtures that have the same spirit.”
You beautifully complement traditional architecture with modern furnishings. What pointers can you give us about blending styles and periods?
“I love the mix of traditional and modern furnishings because in the contrast I find each individual piece shines more. Antiques add soul to a contemporary apartment; while modern and contemporary furniture, when placed in a traditional setting, makes it more youthful, fun and unexpected.”
Gold and Pink Bunnies: Fashion Designer Paul Smith | Credenza: Fawn Galli Interior Custom | Stool: Vintage Flea Market find
What was the most challenging aspect of this design?
“NYC Townhouses are notorious for their lack of light, especially near the interior rooms. In order to bring the light through the floor, I wallpapered the existing wall panels with a metallic Florence Broadhurst paper.”
“The dining room shelving was custom designed by my husband and built in place.” They display family treasures and a collection of design and architecture tomes.
Saarinen Tulip Inspired Oval Table: White on White | Vintage Dining Chairs: Stellar Union
How has your design aesthetic evolved over time?
“I’m always evolving with each project. I’m always looking for that new fabric designer or great artisan – something fresh that I haven’t used before. Lately, I have an affinity for 1970’s French furniture.”
Wallpaper: Brunschwig and Fils | Mirror: Vintage French Flea Market Find
Wallpaper is so on trend right now, but some may have trepidation about using it. Who are some of your favorite brands and how might someone “dip their toe in the water” with wallpaper?
“Wallpaper can be used in small amounts for a large impact – powder rooms and the bed wall in a bedroom are great locations to consider. It is a great way to change a space completely with a single element. Eskayel and Calico Wallpaper are two of my favorites – they are organic and modern, and don’t remind people of their parents’ or grandparents’ wallpapers.”
“I painted the lower ceiling art myself, because why not paint your ceiling with something fun?”
Bed: Fawn Galli Interior Custom (Mohair Fabric: Holland and Sherry) | Side Tables: Bungalow 5 | Curtains and Wallpaper: Timorous Beasites
How do you layer a room? Do you have a typical approach such as starting with lighting or floor coverings?
“I like to select everything at once so that the story and items work together (this also helps to keep the design cohesive and not feel piece-meal). I like the furnishings, accessories and lighting to be strong… yet sparse.”
“In the kids’ room the chandelier was a vintage flea market find. The art is Mexican textiles.”
What is your Modern Sanctuary? What space brings you peace, comfort, and joy?
“Recently, I have been drawn to conservatories. These spaces filled with luscious and romantic plantings offer inspiration and renewal. The promise of new life is just around the corner. I find the romantic dream-like atmosphere comforting and refreshing.”