Interiors: Lucy Harris

Lucy Harris grew up in a modernist home in Concord, Massachusetts, spent time at her grandparents Arts-and-Crafts summer home in Ipswich and often visited her great-great-grandparents’ Federalist home on Beacon Hill.

Diverse influences like those might be enough to spark a design career with an eclectic approach. But then Harris moved to Rome after college and stayed for a couple of years. “I fell in love with the way Italians live with history and new design seamlessly,” she says. “Beauty is part of everyday life in Italy. And I decided while living there that interior design perfectly mixed my love of art, travel, people and the home.”

Lucy Harris is the principal of a five-woman design studio in New York City. Photo by Weston Wells.
The Lau Console Table from DWR was chosen for its quiet simplicity, allowing other pieces to shine. Photo by Francesco Bertocci.

These days, as principal of her eponymous interior design studio in New York City, Harris draws on her rich experience to provide clients an eclectic style firmly rooted in their own tastes and possessions. Case in point: A 19th-century townhouse apartment off New York’s Washington Square Park for a client with broad experience and a taste for art.

The client had lived in Moscow, London, Paris, the south of France, the Hudson Valley and New York City. And Harris’ team started out with her as their inspiration. “We sourced pieces from all over Europe and the United States to create a deeply personal interior that tells her story,” Harris says. “We also installed the art that she has been slowly collecting from European and American artists: Dalí, Mondrian, Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.”

Eclipse Nesting Tables from DWR work well in the modestly sized living room – carrying a presence beyond their scale. The lamp is a classic from Lynn Goode Vintage. Photo by Francesco Bertocci.
A Bluff City Pendant from Roll & Hill of Brooklyn provides an accent in a crisply styled kitchen. Photo by Francesco Bertocci.

Occasional tables from DWR played a role in rounding out the design. “We needed a smaller coffee table and picked the Eclipse table because it is made up of different-sized pieces with different heights that make it have more presence.” In the hallway, the opposite was needed. “We picked the Lau table because it has a quiet yet beautiful simplicity that let the other pieces around it shine.”

The design for a living room typically follows a certain order. “We start with the sofa,” Harris says. “It is the largest and most expensive piece. Then we work our way down in scale: coffee tables and rugs next, and then floor lamps and side tables. Art and accessories are last.” This Washington Square apartment was no different. “We had to find a sofa that was the right size and scale for the smaller living room. And once we picked that, the rest of that room could fall into place.”

The completed project reflects the client, epitomizing the personal eclecticism that Harris champions. “Her finished home speaks volumes about how she has comfortably made her home wherever she has lived.”

Harris had a rich selection of art pieces at hand to use throughout the client’s apartment. Photo by Francesco Bertocci.

Lucy Harris approaches the selection of occasional tables with a deliberate methodology that you can apply in your own home.

• Heights! Be intentional in how tall coffee tables and side tables are in relation to the other pieces in the room.

• I like quirky heights and proportions so play with a coffee table that is much lower than the sofa or a narrow side table that is higher than the sofa seat height.

• Decide what the hierarchy of scale will be in a room – what is supposed to stand out and what should be quiet. Too much visual noise can be clutter.

• If the sofa has a solid base, pair it with a thinner coffee table with legs.


Lucy Harris is a full-service interior design studio based in New York City. Building on personal histories rooted in design, the five-woman team creates spaces that are reflective of the people who inhabit them, mingled with their own love of modernism. The studio has worked on residential and hospitality projects in New York City, Westchester and the Hamptons and embraces the opportunity to work on design projects the world over.

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