Interior Designer Zoe Feldman Updates the Classics
his summer, interior designer Zoe Feldman moved into a loft space above The Georgetowner’s office at 1054 Potomac Street from her office at 28th and M St. Her old office was only 200 square feet, barely enough space for a designer and two employees working on projects up and down the east coast.
The new office has more than enough room for the three of them to stretch out, but Feldman has only just settled on what color to paint the walls—a beige color with a hint of pink—after three previous choices.
“You know, like, the shoemaker has no shoes,” she said.
Feldman began her design career at Mark Hampton, working under the famed designer’s daughter, Alexa, who now runs the firm. She began her own company in 2003, and soon moved to Washington, a midpoint between New York and Florida, where she grew up.
Feldman has a very approachable style. She often brings in pieces of midcentury modern furniture and contemporary art to accent more traditional spaces—fun, but elegant.
“I think I’m classic enough that I think it’s relatable, but, like, fresh enough that it’s new or maybe a little inventive,” she said.
When she was a child, Feldman’s parent and grandparents ran their own art gallery, sparking her interest in fine art. She finds pieces for her clients all over, but often goes to in Georgetown at Addison Ripley Fine art on Wisconsin Ave. Her other love, mid-century modern furniture, comes from having grown up in a home filled with it.
“I guess the reason I like it is because it has become so classic,” she said. “It definitely makes a space more chic. Pop art, the same. I think really good design has tension.”
Interestingly, though, Feldman does not want to be known for a signature look.
“I tend not to follow formulas,” she said. “It really maintains the client’s personality, a canvas to show off who they are, as opposed to showing off who I am.”
Even as an alumna of Mark Hampton, Feldman did not always embrace more traditional style. “One of the things I learned at Mark Hampton is how to design in a traditional environment,” she said. “This is a little hyperbolic, but I had never seen, like, a curtain. It was so not my style, but it became my style. Anything done well can be really beautiful. I had no problem getting into that environment and making it really beautiful for them and truly liking it, also.”
Taking inspiration from everywhere, Feldman recalls one recent client who pushed her in a new direction. “I have a client who is more globally influenced. They travel. They collect things. It was really fun, because it was a smaller project, but I hadn’t had a client like that ever.”
“That’s the other reason I don’t want to get pigeonholed in one specific style,” she said. “That would just bore me.”