Tom Scheerer

There are a number of decorating and design books that I have been eagerly anticipating, but perhaps none more than Tom Scheerer’s – the first from this brilliant interior designer. Tom Scheerer Decorates (written by Mimi Read with photographs by Francesco Lagnese) will be available on September 10th, but I am fortunate and thankful to have received an early copy from Vendome Press. His approach to decorating has been compared to the likes of Billy Baldwin and Albert Hadley – and while their influence is evident in his work, there is something that is so very singular about a Tom Scheerer interior.

Scheerer’s decorating looks a great deal like him. It’s tall and commanding but often quiet. It’s smart, correct, breezy, chic, well-edited – and just a touch eccentric. It balances refinement with all-American ease. Yet it is un-American in its emphasis on recycling, reinventing, and not overdoing things. The expression “decorated to death” never applies. Make no mistake: Scheerer’s clients are plenty affluent (as all decorating clients are). But when you look at a Scheerer room, money is never your first (or second or third) thought. In an age in which houses exhibiting unchecked exuberance, high drama, or conspicuous luxury get all the attention, he has cultivated his own restrained brand of chic, a look he describes as “cheerful” and “no nonsense.” But it is so much more.

Mr. Scheerer divides his personal time between the city (with apartments in both New York and Paris), the country (his family’s beach house in East Hampton, and a farmhouse in Maine), and the tropics (a home in Harbour Island, Bahamas) – and Tom Scheerer Decorates is appropriately divided into these three sections: City, Country, and Tropics. In all of these projects you see the hallmarks of his design – the relaxed elegance, the use of natural materials, and surprising pops of color, pattern, and texture. He favors the purity of workhorse fabrics (cotton, linen, wool) in place of more heavily engineered ones, appreciates the beauty of ethnic patterns (Indian, Cuban, Indonesian etc.), and always gives his rooms a layered, eclectic beauty. Other signatures include grasscloth upholstered walls, the use of pecky cypress, Thonet bentwood chairs, and nods to the mid-century modern – e.g. Saarinen tables, and Panton chairs.

In 2011, Town & Country magazine covered Scheerer’s redesign of the Lyford Cay Club – an exclusive private club in the Bahamas, and Tom’s most talked about project to date. If you want to see spectacular, look no further… check out my earlier post on the project. There is a litany of talented interior designers at work today, but when you see a Tom Scheerer project, you most definitely take notice. His work is the perfect mix of classic and old-fashioned, always comfortable, and invariably intriguing. Be sure to pick up a copy of this fantastic book… and for a fun surprise, check under the dust jacket!


Tom Scheerer Decorates


Tom Scheerer at home in East Hampton


the foyer of a Brooklyn Heights apartment

(notice the use of wallpaper on the sconces – love is in the details!)


a city bedroom

(photographs of fabric were used to decoupage an antique chest of drawers)


a boy’s bathroom in the city

(Scheerer designed the triangular, mirror-backed sconces)


a boy’s bedroom in the city

(dreamy and serene with a great mix of high and low pieces)


a city dining room

(such a great use of scale with the artwork)


a entrance hall in the country

(so fantastically layered and textured)


a dining room in the country

(am enamored of those deep blue walls, and Japanese rattan chairs)


a powder room in Florida

(stunningly graphic – the Lyford trellis wallpaper is a Scheerer signature)


the attic bedroom of his Harbour Island home

(love the mix of natural elements, and that calming, seafoam green)


the outdoor dining area of his Harbour Island home

(the woven chairs add another layer of texture to the space)


the library of a Harbour Island home

(the pecky cypress walls – another signature)


the kitchen of a Harbour Island home

(light and airy – the Cuban tiles are so fun and graphic)


the stair hall of a Harbour Island home

(again with the layers of texture – also love the pop of red)


the book sans dust jacket

(a thoughtful detail, and a fun surprise!)


photographs by Francesco Lagnese