Meet The Australian Fashion Designer Turned Interior Designer Shaking Up The Hamptons With His Military Style

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Timothy Godbold sports a textured beard, slick haircut and has a glare that could kill, but don’t be fooled by his tough exterior, this Australian-born interior designer is not the enemy. After a successful career in fashion with big names such as Ralph Lauren, Godbold turned his talents to residential living and moved from London to New York, designing apartments and homes from the East to the West coast. It’s his livable luxury and unique style that continues to attract clients, including luxury apartments at 196 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side. His military influence in everything he does shakes up any space, even the dreary nautical seen so often in the Hamptons. We sat down with Godbold to discuss interior and design and what he’s working on right now.

Photo Credit: Timothy Godbold

 

What drew you to interior design?

I find interior design to be a truly creative environment. In the fashion industry, I was aiming to please the masses, but with interior design, I work one-on-one with a client, therefore I only have to please the client. I’m also selling my style. When a client approaches me, they’ve signed up for my aesthetic and my vision. Of course, I work with them taking into account, family, age practicality and personal preference, but with interior design, I’m me and what I provide is my creativity. For me, it’s a more open creative process. There’s no pecking order and I’m free to change, chop and play around with the space.

Describe your design approach and philosophy?

The best way to describe my philosophy is I design livable luxury. I want you to use the house. It’s not a museum and I don’t want my clients to worry about staining that crisp white leather sofa. Instead, I create a livable place that is also luxurious. Part of my process is editing. It’s like doing a fashion show where you have 100 looks but need to narrow it down to 20. For me, I edit a house. I look at many bedrooms that are beautiful, but there’s so much furniture that if you were to get up in the middle of the night, you’d trip on the way to the bathroom. When I’m designing, I think about every aspect of where I’m placing the furniture and if it’s practical. I pride myself on ensuring each piece of furniture has its own space. Having space around something is important to my philosophy.

Photo Credit: Timothy Godbold

What inspired you when designing the 8J apartment at 196 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side?

I came to New York in 1990 for the first time and it was very different than what it is today. I was immediately attracted to the vibrant Lower East Side, so it was the perfect opportunity to incorporate that into 8J at 196 Orchard Street. When I think of the area, I think of Madonna and Blondie walking down the street with a dollar in their pocket. It’s a romantic view, which shows in the ultra-suede walls I added and of course the Madonna art around the apartment. However, I also wanted to incorporate a bit of uptown as I wanted it to feel aspirational, so I went bigger in a smaller space to show that you can actually do that.

What draws you to military colors?

I like utility and masculinity. I also come from a career with Ralph Lauren so I like things that are authentic. Military fashion came from all things that were built for function, which means they have longevity. On Instagram, I’m about to show a whole room that is based on a black from a military tank. All these military colors represent bravery and comradery, which are elements that resonate with me as a person.

Photo Credit: Timothy Godbold

What trends do you see emerging in 2020?

I think there is a movement toward surrealism that will continue to grow. The eighties are definitely coming back, which I’m excited about, especially in furniture design. I’m telling my clients to by now because the pricing on these unique items will increase as it becomes more popular. I also think textures will be a focus. There will be a lot of textured walls, paneling, and other elements. I think the Scandinavian, minimalist grey is fading, allowing room for organic lines and a connection to the planet.

What are you working on right now?

I actually just bought a house in Southhampton right next to Georgina Bloomberg. I’m excited, it’s going to be amazing. The house was built in 1972 and has a modernist feel with a lot of light.

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