chris binnings designer at paul schatz

Chris Binnings


What are your main influences?
My initial influence would have to have been the interior designer who did our house when I was very young. I saw the transformation of the space and was fascinated by it. Later, at age 8 or so, I fixed up our playhouse and had a small bookshelf with my mother's Architectural Digests. My heroes were Albert Hadley and Michael Taylor.

What is your design philosophy?
My guideline is simple. Form follows function. I'm big on maximizing flow by creating destinations.

What do you love most about designing?
What I love most is the looks on people's faces when they see the finished product.

What has been your favorite project to date?
That one comes in two parts:
In the 90's I lived in New York City and worked with celebrity designer Douglas Burton who would later go on to start the first-ever design challenge TV show called, Trading Spaces. I remember well, Doug telling me about his idea. It was through him that I had the honor of meeting and working for my formative hero, Albert Hadley of Parish-Hadley Associates, who did the White House under Jackie O'. We were doing the summer home of the Bulleit Bourbon family in Naples, Florida. Mr. Hadley had a home there and Doug and I were invited for drinks and conversation. Surprisingly, Hadley's design aesthetic was similar to mine in that the space should serve the person and not the other way around.

What are your favorite brands/materials to work with?
My favorite brands tend to be led by a strong design team. Right now, for me that's Stickley's Marissa Brown and Charleston Forge. There's true artistry at work here.

What are your favorite rooms to work on?
My favorite challenge is neutralizing quirky spaces containing preexisting pieces either collected over the years or inherited. By adding elements that harmonize and sort of bridge the gap, I've yet to see a space I couldn't fix.

What makes Paul Schatz special?
I read that when our company was founded in 1919, it was on the premise of providing solid wood furniture, made here in America. Additionally, the fact that we're an authorized Stickley dealer says a great deal about our level of excellence. In fact, I've heard that we're one of the top 10 Stickley dealers in the nation. But all that aside, I have to say that I really do like our team. From the warehouse to the designers and office personnel to our owners. It's the kind of place you don't ever want to leave.

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