3 Questions: Tamara Eaton

"Superfans" is the first word that comes to mind when we ponder how much we adore the work of interior designer Tamara Eaton. Since launching Tamara Eaton Design, she has revamped some of the most stunning spaces in NYC, from uptown eateries to Brooklyn brownstones. We love how her interiors are both refined and effortless—not to mention the fact that she knows how to make our frames look really, really good. We recently gathered photos of the beautiful spaces Tamara creates, and got the scoop on her inspiration, design rules to live by and fave project of all-time.

Dream kitchen: Natural, organic touches set off Molly Frances' Lazuli—an ocean-inspired collage that we'd hang in a heartbeat—shown in our White Gallery Frame.

Simply Framed: What are you inspired by when you design a space?

Tamara Eaton: I frequently draw from my travels. Each space I design has its own identity, so I consider the architecture and location of each space to decide where to draw inspiration from. For example, designing a lofty downtown space for a young couple, I drew inspiration from my trip to Copenhagen. A trip to Guatemala has inspired a funky Hamptons beach house, and my time spent in Paris and the South of France helped to inform the design of an Upper West Side apartment. When I travel, I photograph as much as I can, so I can go back later and look at things like color, texture, silhouette and pattern for inspiration.

Soft green hues are the ideal backdrop for Carrie Marill's The Tortoise in our White Gallery Frame and Geoff Reinhard's Stars and Stripes under the Stars.

SF: What are 3 of the most important interior design rules to follow and why?

TE: First off, the rule of inspiration. Pick what you love and what inspires you. I always tell clients that if they are on the fence about something and aren't sure they 'love it’—it's out.

Second, the rule of function. The first step in the design process is establishing the function of the room and all the requirements. A dining room is a table and chairs, right? It's actually so much more than that! How many people need to sit at the table? Do you want a smaller number of chairs day to day, and then the table expands for special gatherings? Where are the extra chairs going to live? Do you need a serving area when hosting dinner parties? While it’s exciting to jump in looking at inspiration images and furniture, starting with parameters and goals will make the process much more straightforward.

Third, the rule of exploration. Rules are helpful when you need them, but think of them more like a toolbox, not a rulebook. Design is about pushing the envelope and trying something new.

Room with a view: Max Wanger's New York matted in our White Gallery Frame.

SF: Tell us about your favorite project you’ve ever worked on.

TE: My favorite project was renovating my own apartment in Chelsea, NYC. My job is usually to manage the process for a client, so it was a unique view seeing both sides to a project. Going through the renovation process, managing contractors, building submittals, architects, budget and timeline—plus designing—was an amazing experience. Doing a renovation myself, I discovered all the stresses of time, money and design from a new vantage point. It has made me a better designer because I can empathize and comprehend the process from the client's perspective.

Tamara brings new life to this gorgeous gold and white Hermès scarf by displaying it in our White Gallery Frame. Interested in framing a scarf of your own? Here's the lowdown on scarf and textile framing.

In a nutshell: Another beautiful Hermès scarf, framed in our White Gallery Frame, brings a pop of print and color to this neutral ensemble.

Check out more of Tamara's designs on her website, and then take that inspo over to Simplyframed.com to kick off your own dream interior.

All interiors by Tamara Eaton Design, LLC.
All photos by Patrick Cline.

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