“As a resident of the world of design since birth, I’d like to take some time to celebrate some of the people and things in that world that I admire. I hope you come along for the ride. And, as my name has really taken a beating these last couple of years, -thank you Mr. Bezos, - feel free to think of me here by my nickname: Lex. And, please also enjoy this completely un-recognizable and years old headshot.” - Alexa Hampton

Ellie Cullman

Ellie Cullman

photo by Eric Piasecki

photo by Eric Piasecki

If you could have a second home anywhere, where would you live? Tuscany, in a villa in the Chianti hills overlooking Florence.

What are three words to describe your style? Classic, detailed, and sophisticated.

 Tell us about your childhood bedroom? My bedroom growing up in Brooklyn was very modest with furniture from Sloan’s and plain painted walls. I didn’t wake up to interior design until after I lived in Japan.

What’s the first investment piece you ever bought for your house? I bought a nine-foot long 17th Century Japanese six panel screen depicting the great monuments of the city, as well as the activities of all the social classes: from aristocrats at moon viewing festivals to artisans forging steel. This piece has had pride of place in several apartments and through several redecorations. To this day it is one of my most cherished pieces, and it still serves as a focal point in my living room. 

 In the history of design, if you could hire any designer other than yourself, who would it be?  I absolutely love Albert Hadley and Mark Hampton. But as for today, I would definitely hire my partners! 

No room is complete without art on the walls! 

 People think of me as traditional, but I am really a chameleon.

 Things you omit from:

  • A flower arrangement - ferns and baby’s breath

  • An hors d’oeuvre platter -  floral decoration

  • A bar cabinet – pre-made bottled mixers

A song for: 

  • Dinner at home  - I love playing music from female vocalists from Aretha Franklin through Joni Mitchell, Carole King and Adele. 

  • Working at your desk – No music - it’s too distracting for me. 

  • Going for a run - Not going outside for a run much these days. I prefer the treadmill or elliptical in the gym so I can get my daily dose of Morning Joe.

Biggest Vice? Chocolate, but not the fancy kind! I love a Mr. Goodbar, M&Ms and Three Musketeers.

If you were on an Ambien high and internet shopping, what would you buy? Not a big internet shopper but it sounds like I’m missing out! 

Do your clothes reflect your design sensibility, if so, how?  Yes, classic comfort in luxurious materials with pops of color. And jewelry, fine or costume, always! 

Who is your star crush? Bradley Cooper! He has it all. A trifecta: actor, director, singer!

What is the thing you would never do on a project, but don’t detest when you see others do it? We never do all white (we are too practical) but, I love when others make it look glam and inviting

If there were a fire, and you could only keep one design book, what would it be?  John Cornforth’s The Inspiration of the Past, my bible in the early days of my career.

For posterity, what would you like your work to be known for?  Understated classic elegance with a wide range.

photo by Eric Piasecki

photo by Eric Piasecki

A Few Favorites

  • Movie: The Godfather

  • Book: Educated

  • Scent:  Coco by Chanel

  • The fabric you always come back to: Any and all animal prints

  • Dream project: The White House

  •  Meal: A 12 course Kaiseki banquet at Kitcho in Kyoto

  • Drink: Tanqueray gin martini with a lemon peel

  • Hotel: La Residence in Paris - hard to believe but it’s even more luxurious than the Ritz!

  • Travel Destination: Florence or Kyoto

  • Artist: Helen Frankenthaler

  • Thing to collect obsessively: Books

  • Era in the history of design: Right now because there are no restrictions

  • Museum: National Museum of African American History and Culture 

  • Paint Color that always look great: Dove White

  • Favorite person to follow on Instagram: Jill Kargman, my son’s best friend, or my son - Trip Cullman! 

  • Dogs, Cats, or No Pets? None

Juan Montoya

Juan Montoya

Scott Sanders

Scott Sanders