H - J
Albert Hadley Incorporated
24 East 64th Street (212-888-7979)
The capo of the Upper East Side decorating world, Hadley always goes for clean lines and classical proportions, whatever the profusion of pattern and pillows. Strong-colored walls, edgings in metal, built-in bookcases, and crisp trim make his rooms feel like capsules of comfort. "New for the sake of new is never a prerequisite," he says, "but it can add freshness and luster to a project." Clients: Brooke Astor, Oscar and Annette de la Renta, Al and Tipper Gore
Victoria Hagan Interiors
654 Madison Avenue (212-888-1178)
Hagan is known for graceful, flattering rooms, warm lighting, and pale tones, and for picking the one piece of art that will pull it all together. Her mantra? "Keep things comfortable, livable, with an elegant simplicity." Clients: Barry Sonnenfeld, Ronald Perelman
Mark Hampton Inc.
654 Madison Avenue (212-753-4110)
Hampton's daughter Alexa is carrying on her late father's elegant tradition: interiors for high-profile clients with a classic European flavor, great attention to detail, and an apparently inheritable eye for color. An excellent watercolorist, she also has her father's charming habit of painting portraits of her completed projects. Clients: Susan Burden, Teresa Heinz
Hariri & Hariri Architecture
18 East 12th Street (212-727-0338)
An interior by sisters Gisue Hariri and Mojgan Hariri has the feeling of an excavation, however high the floor. The sisters install sculptural fireplaces, cantilevered steps, and floating shelves, keeping their work close to the walls to leave clear, quiet spaces for their clients to fill. Clients: Craig Robins, Stephen and Rebecca Schiff
Steven Harris Architects
50 Warren Street (212-587-1108)
Harris is a shape-shifter. While always maintaining impeccable modern credentials -- "I'm inspired by William Wurster, Paul Dupré Lafon, and the gardens of Roberto Burle Marx" -- he's willing to be pushed toward flamboyance (in a playpen of a townhouse) or beigy luxury (in a Palm Springs–worthy beach villa). Clients: John Leguizamo, John Berendt
Kitty Hawks Inc.
136 East 57th Street, Suite 702 (212-832-3810)
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." Clients: Mike Nichols and Diane Sawyer, Candice Bergen and Marshall Rose, Michael Ovitz
Thad Hayes, Inc.
90 West Broadway (212-571-1234)
"We are modernists with an appreciation of history," says Hayes, whose furniture collection for Donghia reflects that best-of-both-worlds sensibility. His interiors are always sharp and sensible, but he flits happily between periods, finding something to appreciate in every century. "Lately, I am inspired by English country houses and seventeenth- and eighteenth-century French furniture, but things change. Next week it may be Renaissance gardens." Clients: Evelyn and Leonard Lauder, Thomas L. Friedman
Steven Holl Architects
450 West 31st Street, eleventh floor (212-629-7262)
Holl's busy practice takes him all over the world. But he's also designed local homes that are miniature versions of the dynamic, luminous, sculptural spaces he provides for institutions. He likes to play with surfaces, indenting walls, cutting windows for specific views or a particular shadow, never sticking with a rectilinear box. Clients: Herbert Liaunig, Janet Odgis
Irvine, Fleming, Bell
327 East 58th Street (212-888-6000)
Though its favorite material is English chintz -- "yesterday, today, and tomorrow" -- this 45-year-old firm recently brought in partner Jason Bell to add some youth appeal to their classical interiors, which are "edited for the twenty-first century, and hopefully without a 'decorated' stamp," as Bell puts it. Clients: Wendy Vanderbilt, Steven and Cynthia Brill, Jamee and Peter Gregory
Thomas Jayne Studio, Inc.
136 East 57th Street, No. 1704 (212-838-9080)
Known for his museum-curator knowledge (and basketball-player height), Jayne designs interiors with space enough to admire fine eighteenth- and nineteenth-century antiques, colorfully upholstered, without sacrificing client comfort. A beach house gets cotton carpets, a sixties apartment a gallerylike array of modern art. Clients: Julia Reed
Greg Jordan Inc.
504 East 74th Street, fourth floor (212-570-4470)
"There is a celebration of the hand in our work -- fabrics and finishes that feel luxurious to the touch," Jordan says. His firm helps clients identify their dream, and then gives them a perfected version of it: "By every chair there's a reading light and a place to put a drink," whether the home is Mediterranean or Arts and Crafts. Clients: Blaine and Robert Trump, Ashley Judd