Interview with New York Interior Designer Sara Gilbane

Earlier this year, the seasoned, Traditional Home and youngster, Lonny collaborated to create a new digital shelter magazine, TRADhome. In it’s debut issue, TRADhome names 20 New Traditional Designers to Watch. On the coveted list is New York-base interior designer, Sara Gilbane. She is known for her classic modern-traditional style and artfully combining low-key and elegant pieces. Sara’s interiors are chic, yet grounded in practicality.
Simplified Bee: When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer? 

Sara Gilbane: After my first day of work at Kemble Interiors. I was thrilled to be working with Celerie Kemble and Christina Murphy and once I dove into those fabrics I never looked back!


SB: How would you describe your personal style? 

SG: I come from a traditional background and love bold color and pattern mixed with neutrals. My style has a bit of an eclectic loved feel with a sense of calm.

SB: Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project? 

SG: Architects Peter Pennoyer or Gil Schafer. 

favorite interior designer paints gilbane_thumb[1]
SB: Do you have “go to” paint colors? If so, which ones? 

SG: Benjamin Moore Linen White, Dove White, and Super White are always used on my moldings. Farrow and Ball Skylight is another favorite- a pale grey blue that makes you feel like you have been enveloped in a cloud.

SB: Which of today’s interior design trends are here to stay and which ones will we see fade away?

SG: Ikat, zebra, sisal, jewel tones, reclaimed wood, and bold color are all trending but they are classics and will never go away. Perhaps neon is one trend we will (gladly) see go.

SB: Where do you recommend clients splurge versus save? 

SG: Splurge on drapes, wallpaper, and a custom sofa ( you will LIVE on this for 20 years and it will be amazingly comfortable). Save on cocktail table, side tables, lamps. With this splurge/ save combo the splurge items are so unique people assume the rest of your pieces are special. Then again…. if you fall in love with something, buy it. Since you love it you will always find a way of working it into your next home.

SB: I love the timelessness of the nursery you designed that was featured in TRADhome. Tell us about your favorite design elements in the space. 

SG: We used a classic wool rug with a timeless geometric pattern in charcoal grey, celadon green, and slate blue to hide stains. The room had a tremendously high ceiling so we added silver star wallpaper on the ceiling and a custom painted pale blue and white circus tent stripe on the walls to add a sense of whimsy to the room. The deep mulberry colored rocking chair is one of my favorite pieces. It is so comfortable and the shape makes it perfect for a growing child ( not stuck in a nursery forever).


SB: You are embracing social media and write a blog {Travel for Design}, are on Facebook and can be found tweeting {}. Do you prefer one over the other? What is your advice to other interior designers who are timid about trying social media marketing outlets? 

SG: I love the blog though I do not have nearly enough time to update it as much as I would like to. I need to be better with tweeting! I would advise other designers not to be timid. I was not sure anyone would read our blog and we have over 6,000 hits a day! Go forth and blog, tweet, and tumble!


SB: Fill in the blank. No room is complete without… 

SG: Art.


SB: What’s next for Sara Gilbane Interiors? 

SG: I would love to design a range of fabrics and wallpapers for one of the fabric houses. I am fabric obsessed!

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7 Responses to Interview with New York Interior Designer Sara Gilbane

  1. Wendy June 4, 2011 at 7:08 pm #

    wow, great rooms – love her work! happy weekend!

  2. Fran June 2, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Wow, thanks for sharing the interview!! I love her work!! And, was excited to see Dove White as one of her go to colors. It's just the color I decided to paint my walls in my DR!

  3. Karena June 2, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

    Cristin, beautiful images and post!! Love the color palette!!

    Art by Karena

    Come and enter my $250 Amazing Giveaway from Tracy Porter!

  4. The enchanted home June 2, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Fantastic post! Love all the gorgeous spaces..that first bedroom is so beautiful. I love love love Farrow and Ball's skylight, such a great color. And Linen white is an all time great neutral.
    I enjoyed the post and she is indeed very talented!

  5. Linda in AZ * June 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm #

    *** Thoroughly enjoyed these spaces by a future “B*I*G NAME” in design… SARA is one talented gal/woman, and I look forward to following her fabulous, beautifully edited sense of style and flair!

    Many thanks, & best to Sara~~~

    Linda in AZ * ***

  6. Kathysue June 2, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I love Sara Gilbane's work and this was a great interview!! I loved her description of her design aesthetics, Kathysue

  7. Brittany {Gallery No. Eight} June 2, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Great interview! Sara's work is gorgeous!