The award-winning interior designer divulges a personal style and aesthetic that dates to adolescence.
Whether it’s envisioning an entire space just by looking at an 8-by-8-inch fabric swatch or picturing the end result of a suit while eyeing a tray of buttons, Jeff Schlarb has always been able to see the bigger picture. Yet, when it comes to figuring out which came first: his love of fashion or penchant for design, Schlarb is unable to answer. “It’s like asking who your favorite child is,” he explains with a laugh as he throws on a bleached jean jacket for a photo shoot. “Now, this jacket right here takes me back to when I bleached mine in the eighth grade and wore it for my school’s lip sync contest — which I won, by the way.”
Around this same time, Schlarb also tackled his first big design project: his childhood bedroom. “My mom told me I could redo the room after I broke a fish tank in it ” he recalls. “I was listening to a lot of Metallica at the time, so I chose to paint the walls a charcoal gray and added an accent wall of black matted wallpaper with a thin diagonal stripe. It ended up looking pretty good.”
Schlarb — along with his stellar team at Jeff Schlarb Design Studio — continues to push artistic boundaries. “I’ve been so proud of how varied our portfolio has been this past year — nothing looks the same,” he says. “We love taking our clients’ vision and putting our amplification on it ” A recent collaboration with the new Four Seasons Private Residences in San Francisco led him to stretch his creativity even further. His firm was chosen to decorate three different spaces with dynamically different looks. “We are so excited to be working with the Residences’ talented team and making beautiful interiors for such an impressive building,” says Schlarb.
You’ll probably see him conquering his next big project in tailored coats, versatile sweaters and custom-made suits. “Fit is key for me,” stresses Schlarb, who doesn’t shop labels. “But I just can’t wear a dress shoe anymore! I now prefer a high-end, tidy-looking tennis shoe.” A smart choice when he’s going from design meetings to afternoons with his favorite muses: his two young daughters.