James Conran734-740-3948; jamesconran.com
Muralist, decorative painter, and interior designer Conran crafts breathtaking spaces like director Marcus Nispel’s loft, which was featured in Beyoncé’s “Halo” music video, and the gilded home of his wife, model Coco Rocha.
J.D. Bell Inc.611 Broadway, nr. Houston St., Ste 401; 212-339-0006; jdbellinc.com
J. D. Bell dreams up artful solutions for any décor issue, no matter how tricky. This firm prides itself on client-specific designs, melding traditional and diverse sensibilities for one-of-a-kind, livable spaces.
Jed Johnson Associates32 Sixth Ave., nr. Lispenard St., twentieth fl.; 212-707-8989; jedjohnson.com
This established design company with a roster of celebrity clients started as the late Jed Johnson’s pet project on the fourth floor of Andy Warhol’s Manhattan townhouse. Interiors range from traditional urban residences to contemporary beach houses, all with a restrained elegance. Jed’s brother Jay Johnson heads the company today.
Jennifer Post Design25 E. 67th St., at Madison Ave.; 212-734-7994; jenniferpostdesign.com
Before Room & Board came along, there was Jennifer Post. Her immaculately conceived living spaces, where virgin white walls are the backdrop to an ethereal effect, reflect a modern-luxe sensibility.
Joe Serrins Studio526 W. 26th St., nr. Tenth Ave.; 212-675-5220; joeserrins.com
This firm focuses on creating modern American spaces, furniture, and fixtures. It works with each client to craft carefully detailed site-specific interiors. Projects range from small downtown apartments to large Miami estates, all with an airy, light, and open feel.
John Barman500 Park Ave., nr. 59th St.; 212-838-9443; barman.com
Clients praise Barman for injecting contemporary glamour into traditional architecture; beneath his classic, tailored exterior beats the heart of an extreme modernist.
Jonathan Adler333 Hudson St., nr. Charlton St., seventh fl.; 212-645.2802; jonathanadler.com
The king of hip, bold, happy-go-lucky design, Adler’s interiors are anything but serious or stodgy. When his most recent client asked for “glamour and eccentricity,” he gave her sparkly finishes, Lucite, lacquer, fur, tons of brass, and “a touch of sass,” he says.
Juan Montoya Design330 E. 59th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-421-2400; juanmontoyadesign.com
Light, lean, and Scandinavian are Montoya’s watchwords. The designer eschews the dark and carved in favor of antiques from the recent past, placing pieces by Jean-Michel Frank and his ilk in modernist arrangements to let the slim, sculptural furniture breathe.
Julie Hillman Design1063 Madison Ave., nr. 81st St., third fl.; 212-396-2071; juliehillman.com
While some folks like to show off their art collections, Hillman urges her clients to show off their furniture collections (and she will happily spearhead the process for novices). Think Tom Dixon mirror balls and Maria Pergay stainless-steel daybeds set off against minimalist rooms.
Katie Ridder432 Park Ave. South, nr. 30th St., eleventh fl.; 212-779-9080; katieridder.com
“I like each room in a house to have a wow factor,” Ridder says, whether it is an unusual texture (horsehair for walls) or color (bright lacquered floors). Currently she’s in an Oscar de la Renta mood: Luxurious materials turn into leather tiles; folk-art inspirations like peasant embroidery show up in overscale wall stencils.
Kelly Behun Studio1 Central Park W., nr. 61st St., Ste. 52B; 212-581-1999; kellybehun.com
With an impressive grasp of design and art history and just a hint of cheeky humor, this Ian Schrager alum creates modern spaces for Manhattanites to live and play in, favoring white-on-white interiors mixed with flea-market finds and laid-back seating arrangements.
Kemble Interiors224 W. 30th St., nr. Seventh Ave., thirteenth fl.; 212-675-9576; kembleinteriors.com
Celerie Kemble combines a botanical color palette with a designer’s eye for form and practicality. Her inviting textures, striking proportions, and gracious details inspired by the natural world create gardenlike interiors that elevate the everyday.
Kitty Hawks135 E. 74th St., nr. Lexington Ave., Ste. 11A; 212-570-2760
Hawks gives clients a luxurious, livable room, using soothing colors and a fantastic array of accessories—embroidered pillows, paintings, and textiles. Her inspirations have a touch of the East: “I look to Japan for color, pattern, simple lines, and lessons in contrast,” she says.
Mac II125 E. 81st St., nr. Lexington Ave.; 212-249-4466
Mica Ertegun’s work is famous for elegant simplicity: sculptural, neutral furniture from many times and places, arranged so that each piece has room to breathe but no element is isolated.
As the king of chintz, Buatta orchestrates prints better than anyone, layering stripes, florals, needlepoint rugs, and chinoiserie. He is also fond of incorporating animal prints in his interiors.
Mark Cunningham589 Eighth Ave., at 39th St., twentieth fl.; 212-752-8484; markcunninghaminc.com
Ralph Lauren alum Cunningham is adept at creating photogenic spaces. His designs prefer neutral color palettes and incorporate luxurious textures.