Designer Nicole Fuller – Greenwich Village New York Townhouse

ELLE Decor A-List interior designer Nicole Fuller began her career in fashion, so it’s hardly a surprise that one of the first questions she asks her clients is if she can take a look inside their closet.

“A lot of times when I ask a client what color they like, they have no idea,” says Fuller, a former model. “So I go into their closet and look at the shades they wear, and we ignite this collaborative dialogue.”

While living in King’s Cross in London, Fuller designed her own apartment; her fellow models and friends in fashion encouraged her to launch her own firm, which she did in New York City almost a decade ago. She is known for the bold palette and stylish gestures she brings to her design projects, which have included homes for Zac Posen, Cass Bird, and Gianvito Rossi.

She also lends her fashionable eye to the design of products such as a tile collection for Ann Sacks and beds for Savoir. This fall, she will be launching her first wallpaper line, with Fromental, and a second rug collection for the Rug Company.

Nicole Fuller dining room

A fireplace wall is painted in vivid Yves Klein blue.

William Waldron

For a recent project, a Greenwich Village townhouse for a family of four, Fuller worked with the homeowners, attorneys Marc and Camille Trevino, to create a space fit for entertaining and the family’s growing art collection. “We wanted to bring uptown downtown,” Fuller says. “It feels grand and formal but at the same time completely livable and not too precious.”

From her home in Millbrook, New York, Fuller told ED about her approach to this Greenwich Village home.

ELLE Decor: This townhouse is filled with color but very balanced. How did you pick the great room’s vibrant blues?

Nicole Fuller: We looked through the Trevinos’ closets and clothes to decide which colors they might like to use in the house. I’m a fan of symmetry, and I loved that there were two facing fireplaces. I decided to use that as a jumping-off point; the pop of color—kind of an Yves Klein blue that feels alive but calming—grounds the space at each end. In the middle, I stayed with neutrals and small doses of color that keep it electric but very cozy and not overwhelming.

ED: The pocket doors are beautiful. Are those a custom design?

NF: The clients entertain a lot and have kids, so they wanted to have a space that could be closed off if they were having a dinner party or someone wanted to watch television. We created these pocket doors with a starburst effect and cerused the wood. The handles are these beautiful sculptural shapes set in resin and inset in the door so that they can completely tuck into the walls.

ED: Did you help the couple with their art collection?

NF: Yes. Art is such an important part of an interior, and it’s always exciting to go there with a client. This collection is something that the Trevinos and I curated together. It’s about the art and the piece and how you react to it. These clients were really trusting and inspired by what we were doing.

Nicole Fuller child's room with swinging bed

A child’s room features a swinging bed.

William Waldron

ED: There is a swinging bed in one of the kid’s rooms! How did you come up with that?

NF: I love a rocking chair or a daybed that swings. It’s so peaceful. When it’s right for a project, I try to incorporate that somewhere. We were designing two kids’ rooms—one room was a little bit bigger, and we had designed a swinging chair for that room. The other room wasn’t quite big enough for a swinging chair, so we custom designed a swinging bed instead!

ED: Aside from that bed, what was the highlight for you during this project?

NF: I enjoyed the art curation and the ability to really go for it with some color. I loved creating a home that this family will enjoy for years to come and that their girls will grow up in.

ED: Looking back at your career path, are you glad you made the move into interior design?

NF: The design world is a small industry, and it’s very intimate. I feel really blessed and grateful to be in it, especially since I fell into it very organically. I couldn’t have dreamt it better.