Ecclectic influences: At home with designer Nancy Wardle

Designer Nancy Wardle says her favorite room in her house is the den. "[It's] where I enjoy relaxing and [where] I used my favorite colors." Photo: Amy Jackson Designer Nancy Wardle says her favorite room in her house is the den. “[It’s] where I enjoy relaxing and [where] I used my favorite colors.” Photo: Amy Jackson

From her childhood, spent in places like Peru and Venezuela, to adulthood, interior designer Nancy Wardle has spent a lifetime soaking in the riches of travel and allowing those disparate adventures to spark her creativity.

“The abundance of art in Peru including silver and goldsmiths, alpaca weavers and woodcarvers, the quality of the fabrics produced in Italy, oil paintings in the museums of Paris and Vienna as well as crystal in Ireland all serve as inspiration,” says Wardle, who has worked at Interior Concepts since 2006. “Returning from a trip and remembering wonderful design details is a gift I treasure and humbly respect.” We got her to tell us where else she turns for inspiration.

Antique or modern? Modern with antique touches to add interest.

City or country? I have always wanted to live in the city. I haven’t done it yet, but someday I will.

Which colors do you gravitate toward? Grayed greens and blues and, recently, orange.

Which materials or textures do you frequently use in your own home? Natural fibers like wool, linen and sisal fill my home. The tactile quality of fabrics is important.

What is your favorite interior design-related word? Comfort.

Does your home look like the one you grew up in? We lived overseas and moved every three to four years for my father’s job. In Peru, we lived in a modern house with walls of glass. In Venezuela, we had terrazzo floors and an indoor planter. Each home was quite different.

What’s one thing that can really transform a room? Well-planned lighting is so important.

Favorite designer? I am a big fan of Piet Boon, a Dutch architect and designer.

Which design blog, website, TV show or magazine do you peruse religiously? Blogs: Contemporist, Freshome and Office Snapshots; magazines: House Beautiful, Dwell and Elle Décor.

Décor-wise, what should a homeowner never scrimp on? Quality, comfortable upholstery pieces and framing for art.

Design rule you like to break? Using dark colors in small spaces.

What is your favorite room in the house? The kitchen is where everyone I know likes to congregate and that’s where I want to be.

What is your most treasured possession? Family photos.

Have you ever had a change of heart about an object or a style? My tastes have evolved through time and I find myself wanting simpler, cleaner lines in my own home.

What are you afraid to DIY? Wallpaper, plumbing, electrical…all the trades that have professionals who do it better than I do!

On what movie set would you like to live? Amanda’s house in the movie The Holiday.

If you were reborn as a piece of furniture or an object, what would it be? A Venetian glass mirror. It is more ornate than anything I would ever own, but it is a beautiful accent piece.

What is your first design memory? Growing up, we had to take turns setting the table for dinner. I was very diligent about having the flowers on the china be aligned at each place setting.

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