A design star for more than three decades, Vicente Wolfe creates sumptuous modern rooms for private dwellings, hotels, and restaurants and brings his refined aesthetic to collaborations with luxury brands like Ralph Pucci and Baccarat.
Haute Residence: You have described your style as modern with references to the past. Has that changed in recent years?
Vicente Wolf: I’m always evolving and trying to give my work a sense of the present, adjusted to client needs. My style has a lighter point of reference to the past.
HR: Is there a New York look?
VW: No. New York has an international sense [of style] that can be elegant, modern, traditional, or luxurious with a global, shabby-chic appeal.
HR: Uptown versus Downtown style:
VW: I think both ends are starting to come together––more so with Uptown seeking a more Downtown look.
HR: White is a “color” you use in key elements of a room. Why?
VW: I think white creates a canvas that allows forms, styles, and color to play against one another.
HR: Color palettes:
VW: Currently, I have a collection of beautiful colors with PPG Pittsburgh Paints inspired by my travels and designs.
HR: Design rules you like to break:
VW: Sometimes, designers feel that white is boring, but white can actually make a room pop. For example, painting a ceiling in a high-gloss white can make the room feel bigger in size. My VW White by PPG is the perfect white because it has no tint.
HR: The room you find most interesting to design:
VW: One that has good architectural details, a sense of light, and good scale.
HR: The room in your own apartment you are happiest with:
VW: My living room because it’s where I keep my plants, and it has great natural light. It’s also the room from which I experience the most.
HR: You just published a book, The Four Elements of Design. Which of the four elements inspires you most?
HR: News for 2016:
VW: I am working on a Fifth Avenue apartment, two restaurants in Macau, and a jewelry collection.
Portrait by Julien Capmeil / interior image courtesy of Vicente Wolf