Destination Design

Four local designers disclose the faraway places that have inspired them— and why.



The true vagabond has no home base—nothing to redecorate, nothing to vacuum. But who ever said the rest of us can’t catch the vagabond spirit, tapping the world’s visual variety for the homes we cherish? This month, Escapes takes a break from its usual wanderings for an armchair tour, courtesy of four northern New Jersey interior designers. We asked them to spill the beans about travel destinations that have sparked their creativity. If your next trip idea doesn’t spring to mind here, maybe a design notion will.

Harbour Island, Bahamas

Jules Duffy, Jules Duffy Designs, Madison, finds inspiration for her designs, as pictured above, in nature, especially the shells, coral and pink sand of Harbour Island in the Bahamas.

“The nature there gives me endless inspiration. I am awed by the pink-sand beaches, indigenous paint colors and the textures of the shells and corals nestled in the mangroves. When I use nature as a point of reference in my designs, the space becomes more meaningful. —Jules Duffy, Jules Duffy Designs, Madison

Jaipur, India

Maria K. Bevill, Bevill Interior Design, Chester, was so inspired by the colors, textures and patterns of Jaipur, India that she incorporated it all into her living-room design above.

“Everything about Jaipur is very, very lush. There is an overabundance of color, texture and pattern. Here in the United States, we tend to be afraid of those types of things. I use this renewed energy from India to push the envelope with clients here in New Jersey. Incorporating colors like hot pink or orange as accents in the design helps to get out of the neutralness and gray scale. I have clients express their personality through color. When given a gray palette, I like to use deep-royal blue and hot pink as accent hues to give these rooms personality but also allow my clients to substitute these colors out based on the season.” —Maria K. Bevill, Bevill Interior Design, Chester

Pompeii, Italy

Ellen G. Falk, Falk Designs LLC, Randolph, tries to infuse her designs with the timelessness that inspired her in Italy. An example of this is the traditional neoclassical bathroom at top of page.

“I went to Italy for the first time many years ago as a young art and design student. Each time I went back and visited the ancient sites, I was more and more impressed by the staying power of the original classic design. The acute attention to detail in the workmanship in all media, from stone to wood, was amazing. In particular, the beautiful mosaics seemed almost painterly to me. The composition and color work centuries later! I try my best to impart that timelessness into all my own work, regardless of whether it is a traditional neoclassical design, as in the bathroom seen above; or a more contemporary project.” —Ellen G. Falk, Falk Designs LLC, Randolph

Adirondack Mountains, New York

Laura Credico, Interiors by Laura, Whippany, is inspired by the Adirondack Mountains and has introduced the colors she finds there into her living room design at top of page.

“Some of my design inspiration has come from a place where I spent many summers as a child and where I spend them now with my own children. A family member has an island in the middle of a lake in the Adirondack Mountains. I can never get enough of the vibrant blues and greens in the mountains, sky and cedar trees. You’ll see many combinations of blue and green hues in my design work—the colors are very soothing and relaxing in homes. I also incorporate natural elements into my work as well: Wood tones, textures and other forms of nature are always a part of my design ideas. Everyone should love where they live, and it should be a place of solace, comfort and relaxation.” —Laura Credico, Interiors by Laura, Whippany

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