The Secret To Creating The Perfect Interior Is Getting On The Same Wavelength
by Andrea Aurichio
Interior Designer Hillary Wallace is combining business with pleasure this summer enjoying her Southampton Village
summer rental while she puts the finishing touches on a project in Bridgehampton.
Photo by Andrea Aurichio
Bridgehampton – Hillary Wallace loves her work as an interior designer for an exclusive international clientele including some of the grand homes in the Hamptons where she is renting for the summer.
The arrangement allows her to spend time with her husband and two children, including her six-year-old daughter Georgia Grace, who Mom says is headed for a career as a fashion designer. “Remember that name you’ll be hearing it again,” Wallace remarked, mentioning too her 11-week-old son James Justice, “we gave him a super hero name,” while staying on top of her projects aided by a full-time staff of four who man her office in the city.
The designer’s boutique firm, Simon-Wallace, is located in SoHo in downtown Manhattan. “I’m a loft liver,” Wallace said as she tooled around the back roads of the Hamptons in a small red mini convertible deftly avoiding the traffic on Montauk Highway as she toured some of her recent projects.
The Simon-Wallace Design philosophy is this: service is paramount, a priority that has given the designer an impressive stable of repeat clients. “I listen and I try to create an environment that reflects the client’s personality. Our job is to help people visualize who they are. I give them what they want, and what they may not have the time to create for themselves.”
While Wallace’s customers may not have the time to look for the perfect wallpaper or dining room table they certainly have the money, a key component along with time, needed to create the perfect interior. Wallace does not discuss fees noting each job is different. Many clients are oblivious to cost while others are encouraging the designer to be “sensitive” these days. In the world of high-end custom interior design that means the $25,000 dining table could be eliminated in favor of a piece that looks nearly as good for moderately less.
The designer shuns advertising for the most part and is skeptical of customers who contact her after viewing her website, preferring instead to work on word of mouth. “I’m a purist,” she said. I prefer word of mouth.” Her referrals come from satisfied customers who return as repeat customers, along with their friends and acquaintances that follow them to Simon-Wallace.
The name just evolved, according to Wallace, as a hybrid of her maiden name and her married name. “I was Hillary Simon,” Wallace said. “I started toying with names when I started my own business and Simon-Wallace sounded cool. So I went with it.”
Wallace headed east after attending UCLA where she was a student in the interior design program. She made a name for herself as the co-founder of the prestigious Polo Ralph Lauren interior design department and worked for Lauren for eight years before she started her own company seven years ago.