Ryan Brown

Ryan Brown answers your hard-hitting design questions.

on Aug 12, 2008

Christopher Alan wrote: How did you make your start into design? ... Did you base your degree around design or was it something you pursued after school? Also, what advice can you give me at 21 that you would have found beneficial?

Answer: My design education started at a very early age. My father was a developer who designed and built custom homes. He is an artist at heart so every outing was a chance for him to teach us more about design and architecture. I credit him with teaching me that everyday life is the best classroom. I encourage you to look around your hometown for inspiration. When time and budget allow, travel to other countries. Some of my best ideas come from abroad.

I love the Ralph Lauren Home print ads. There is nothing the epitomizes my sense of style and taste than that look. I want my house to look like one of them. Any advice on achieving this without spending about $1M on RL furniture?

Answer: Ralph Lauren is an amazing designer in many fields. The thing you like about his work is the "layered" look. More than just the furniture (which is beautiful) a room needs the proper accessories and art to complete the design. Its like putting on a dress for a formal event without adding and jewelry. When I'm designing a traditional room I bring in accessories that tell a story -- like hanging old boat oars on the wall or framing antique family photos. Finally, wall coverings are a great way to warm up a room -- grass cloths are great!