Written by: Gwen Donovan
Greg McKenzie of Greg McKenzie Designs is celebrated for his cutting-edge and inspirational interior design work. His reach extends from the Hamptons and Manhattan to Boston, Chicago, Palm Beach, Europe and Cabo San Lucas, resulting in some of the world’s most stunning residences.
How would you describe your design style?
Transitional, meaning modern/mid-century modern, which is paired with old elements in the mix for a sense of history and time. When you’re mixing styles and periods it makes for good design. I try not to embrace trends too much. I look for longevity in classic things that stand the test of time.
What are some of the common threads you rely on for your signature style?
The biggest thing for me is to try and re-purpose things. My philosophy is that it hast to look great and it has to be comfortable. Comfort, function and beauty are so important. I’m not a designer that you can say “That’s a Greg McKenzie room.” It’s a very intimate thing to be invited into someone’s house and make it into their home.
What was your favorite design project?
I just completed a year-long, 5,500-square-foot apartment in Palm Beach where all the bath fixtures came from Blackman.
What is your background in the design field?
I have a degree in English with a minor in political communications. Early in my career I was in advertising with a sales and marketing background. Then I switched to retail, working for companies like Devonshire (I managed a Devonshire shop in the East End), and later I was a stylist. Once I realized design was my forte, I went to design school and started my business in 2001.
Where do get inspiration from?
I get inspiration from all sorts of places: clothing, color samples, color palette swatches, a piece of furniture or a rug. Anyone worth their salt in the design field is always learning.
Do you have any design secrets to share?
I like to work with the architectural style of a home when I design. A traditional home looks strange with all modern furnishings; you need to find a happy medium where the architecture matches the interior. I strongly associate my design approach and a home’s location. If it’s at the beach, there’s an element of relaxation. In New York City, you want some glamour. In Miami Beach, you can go a little wild and extraordinary. Palm Beach is all about color and casual elegance.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your design firm?
Most of my clients are longtime and we have worked on multiple projects together. My big thing is I really, really enjoy and love what I do and I think that shows in the final product. It’s got to feel good, and it’s got to feel like home.