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For Garrett Hunter, Editing Is the Final Step in Every Project

Words by Morgan Goldberg
a living room filled with furniture and large windows

Photography courtesy of Garrett Hunter

Garrett Hunter doesn’t adhere to just one aesthetic, but he does have a signature design move that works every time.

Whether the Los Angeles-based Expert is channeling crisp minimalism or extravagant maximalism—both of which he does with aplomb—he always edits his work. “I find it to be supremely important,” he confirms. “Big ideas can sing if they are surrounded by thoughtful restraint.”

This means Garrett’s finishing touch on a room is usually removing something, rather than adding to it. “A method of constructive and then reductive exercises works very well from a decorative perspective,” he explains. “That’s how you find out what kind of energy a space actually needs.”

This meticulous revision practice is one reason why Garrett was recognized by Architectural Digest as one of the “9 Rising Stars Taking the Design World by Storm” in 2020. Here, he shares more of his genius, from the architectural styles that he finds inspiring to the no-fail piece that everyone needs in their home.

a living room filled with furniture and a fire place
a living room filled with furniture and lots of windows

Photography by Zachary Gray; Design by Garrett Hunter

Photography by Zachary Gray; Design by Garrett Hunter

The architectural styles that inspire me most

I’m especially drawn to Italian rationalist architecture, but also very fond of American West Coast organic modernism. Give me Villa Necchi Campiglio or a John Lautner house on the beach and I’m a happy person.

If my design style was a fashion icon, it would be

Margiela. There’s a friction of the disparate elements in my work mixed with inventive uses of materials, not unlike Margiela.

My biggest architectural pet peeve

Too many remodels force an open-plan concept, and the kitchens end up especially suffering for it. If the architecture disagrees or feels awkward because of a forced gesture, take a pause and reconsider. An awkward beam above a new kitchen “island” doesn’t usually look or feel good. Walls are okay!

a living room filled with furniture and a large tapestry

Photography courtesy of Garrett Hunter

The color I’m loving right now

I am always open-minded to color, and tend to look at it contextually. I usually end up preferring autumnal colors and aubergine has been a hue I have recently been jonesing for.

I’m dying for a client to request

A boat interior. There’s a completely different set of design requirements and I love all of the factors of integrated furnishings and design, along with the machined components of what a boat requires.

A no-fail piece that everyone needs

A Noguchi Lamp. It’s like a pair of blue jeans… classic and goes with everything.

a bedroom with a large painting on the wall

Photography by Chris Mottalini; Design by Garrett Hunter

My biggest career pinch-me moment

Procuring a very rare Eileen Gray Pirogue daybed for my very first project. It still seems surreal.

A design trend that needs to be retired…and one that should make a comeback

I hate trends, but I will say goodbye to sliding barn doors and hello to glass blocks. There is a time and a place for a barn door scenario, but they usually look awkward. Glass blocks, on the other hand, aren't just an outdated suburban material. They can add depth and light play into a space—Maison de Verre in Paris is a great example.

What makes a room feel cozy every time

A lighting dimmer.

a dining room with a wooden table surrounded by green chairs

Photography by Chris Mottalini; Design by Garrett Hunter

The design rule I love to break

Dark walls don’t always make a room seem smaller. They also make you notice key elements of a space, whether decorative components or a view from the window.

What I always buy vintage

Every house needs an old chair, whether it is a provenanced antique or vintage modern. Timeworn layers just feel right.

Last thing I bought for my home

A Franz West light. I love how primitive and honest they are—I’ve always wanted one.

a living room filled with furniture and a fire place

Photography by Chris Mottalini; Design by Garrett Hunter

Where I save…and where I splurge

I find the most impactful method of high/low is through structural materials. I have zero qualms about mixing the cheapest plywood with the most expensive stone if it makes sense for the project.

The hotel that represents ultimate luxury to me

Amanjena in Marrakech. It is at once over-the-top and quiet, which is not easy to accomplish. They’ve also pulled off what so many hotels cannot, which is that it heavily considers design, but also comfort and ergonomics.

At home, you’ll most often find me

In the garden with my fiancé Sean, playing with our dog Suki.

a living room filled with furniture and a chandelier
a man standing in a living room next to a table

Photography by Tim Street-Porter; Design by Garrett Hunter

Photo courtesy of Garrett Hunter

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