The New York Minute

Interview Series: Meet Your Remarkable New York Neighbors

The Interior Designer

Paul & Vince would like to welcome Kerry Delrose, owner of Delrose Design Group.
…and the look on his face when he got there! He had no idea so many beautiful things existed that were not available in retail stores.

Paul & Vince would like to welcome Kerry Delrose, owner of Delrose Design Group. Focused on high-end residential projects, the NYC-based firm has worked internationally in Australia, Europe, and Dubai, as well as every corner of the United States.

Clean, simple, modern lines and furnishings define Kerry’s work. Large-scale pieces, unusual objects, and innovative applications are signatures, as well. His corporate clients have included Westin Hotels, Baccarat, and the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and his work has been featured in House & Garden, Elle Décor, Luxe, Esquire Classic Home, House Beautiful, New York Spaces, Vanity Fair, Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, Traditional Home, Design NJ, and several coffee table books. He has been a contributor to many publications, and has served as a speaker at various international design events.


Paul & Vince: How did you come to live in New York and in your current career?

Kerry: Well, it’s funny. I didn’t move to New York for my design career. I’m originally from Chicago and was actually working for Warner Brothers as a literary agent. Warner Brothers moved me from Los Angeles to work in the New York office. I had always been interested in design and had started doing interior design projects on the side until my husband convinced me to take the leap.

I started at a prominent architecture firm and then worked with a few other people, like Thom Filicia, when he was on the show Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. Thom and I worked as a team, flying back and forth to Los Angeles, and then fast forward a few years later, I started my own firm, Delrose Design Group. All that was fifteen years ago.


Paul & Vince: So you really recreated yourself? Amazing! So tell us, now, as the head designer in your own firm, what is a typical day like for you?

Kerry: Well, we do a lot of site visits and going to meeting with the contractors. Today, for example, I met with a couple from London and shopped with them for four hours for their new New York apartment. And then, I met a client at the New York Design Center and worked through some of our color schemes and some fabrics we’re working on. And now, here in the office while we speak, I’m working on design elevations for a residence we’re doing in Virginia.

Paul & Vince: How much of your work is in New York versus other places?

Kerry: I’d say 50% is in New York City and the Hamptons, and then the other 50% is all over. We’ve done penthouses in Sydney. I’m doing a lot in Austin, Texas, these days…and we are doing The Mandarin Oriental in Boca Raton.

By the way, I like doing both residential and commercial work, but they’re different. Residential is great because I get to work closely with the owners, whereas, with commercial projects, I can just envision the entire project; I’m hired to be in charge without too many challenges to my decisions, and that’s exciting.


Paul & Vince: That sounds like the best of both worlds and a good recipe for design expertise. So, can you tell us some things most people would not expect about your work?

Kerry: Well, one thing that most people don’t realize about working with a designer is that we have our own distinct suppliers.  A client of mine the other day said, “We need a light fixture for over the dining room table,” and I took him to one of my private vendors on East 60th Street, which is “for-the-trade-only.” And the look on his face when he got there! He had no idea so many beautiful things existed that were not available in retail stores. He was like a kid in a candy shop! That’s a real advantage, and we can show people custom things they don’t even know exist, stuff they don’t get to see every day…you can’t even find them online.


Paul & Vince: What are your favorite things to do in New York on your day off?

Kerry: I’m a huge museum fan. I love the Met. I love the Frick. I love MoMa. The Frick to me is the best plan because you can go to the Frick in the afternoon, go through the whole thing and see it all. Then – because I just found out the Central Park Boathouse is opening up again – on a perfect day, I could go to the Frick, take a walk into Central Park at 72nd Street, and see the seals at the zoo –(Seals! [laughs] I can watch them forever!) – and THEN I would have a drink at the Central Park Boathouse.

…and one more, Just For Fun

Paul & Vince:  Sounds like a perfect day!  And now it’s time for our Just For Fun question. Kerry, if you could create the most amazing amusement park ride the world has ever seen without any limits to reality or budget, what would it be?

Kerry: Let’s see…so, as a little kid in Chicago, my favorite thing in the world was the Shedd Aquarium downtown. I would beg my parents practically every weekend to go. My father used to say that I had webbed feet because I loved anything to do with water and aquatics.

So…I would design an underwater sea ride! Something interactive, like swimming with the dolphins or beautiful fish…but with lots of movement and thrills, maybe a rollercoaster.

Paul & Vince: Oh, really? an underwater rollercoaster?

Kerry: Yes, why not? You didn’t say I’d have to know how to build it!  [laughs] Yes, this would be a cool ride, but it could also slow down to where you can see the colors of the fish and coral and the sounds of the water….It would be so much fun for everyone, and for me? I’d be a boy again at …no, finally inside the Shedd Aquarium!

Paul & Vince: Maybe your next residential design includes a private aquarium?

Kerry: Absolutely. Nothing sounds better to me than watching seals at home while enjoying a cocktail! [laughs]

Original artwork by Jolisa Robinson, Gavriani-Falcone Team Marketing

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