Palm Beach designer Jack Fhillips is known for making beautiful rooms that not only work for the client now, but also stand the test of time in both quality and style. He believes good design lives forever. He says just because a piece or style is from the past- does not mean it is timeless. His work in the 2010 Design Center of the America’s Design House , in Dania Beach, Florida, was one of our favorite rooms — as well as the most livable in the bunch. Read on to learn about Jack’s most challenging (and rewarding) project and his distaste for The Donald.
1. What made you want to be a designer?
I decided I wanted to become a designer because I loved working with color and with people. Early interests of antiques, art and architecture all seemed to meld together into a career as a designer. Now I would become a landscaper, as nature fascinates me, or an animal rights activist.
2. Show us a picture of the room you most enjoyed designing and tell us why you love it.
My favorite project in the past was a real challenge. It was the Grand Ballroom at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills for Veranda Magazine’s Show House. The room was of colossal proportions and I had to somehow make it into a livable and friendly environment for a contemporary family, which tested a lot of my talents. My firm is used to very large homes and lots of square footage, but this room was approximately 26’ wide by about 60’ long. The unbelievable craftsmanship of this space – the millwork, the windows, the floors – was breathtaking. The views overlooking Beverly Hills were amazing and to be able to furnish it in my own style was like a fantasy dream come true.
We used my very own custom upholstery with wonderful furnishings. Many were found and remad, then integrated into the entire space with very contemporary art. The color palette remained neutral so that the important elements of the space; the architecture, views, art and antiques, guided you through a very sensuous and visual tour. It was quite a success and an experience I will treasure forever. The icing on this delicious experience was when it was requested that we also do the Grand Hallways connecting very important rooms on the first floor of the house.
3. What’s your favorite design style?
I don’t really have a favorite design style but I love pure clean lines and lean towards all things geometric and symmetrical versus Rococo and flourished. Whether it’s a Louis XVI chair or a Knoll BRNO chair I am happy in that equation. I abhor Victorian indulgence and absolutely hate “Trumpism” in contemporary design. I have no other words to describe what to me is really horrible style.
4. What’s the essential home accessory (or piece of furniture) you use in your designs?
I love occasional chairs everywhere — bedrooms, family rooms, living rooms. They are the one item you can always find a home for; they come in unique and varied styles and provide extra seating as needed. I also find books that someone actually reads and references back to — a wonderful item to live with and use. I also think antiques boxes are awesome and can be used anywhere.
5. What’s your favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spot isn’t anything exotic. I travel much too much for work, so I love to spend down time in one of my homes with my dogs. Ocean, golf and woods — I have the best of places for quiet and peaceful time. It is something I am really thankful for.