March 2018

Modernism Week: Q&A with designer Michael Berman

It was recently Modernism Week in Palm Springs, California, where we sponsored an event with Traditional Home at designer, Michael Berman’s home. Michael styled his beautiful midcentury home with a selection of our bedding and decorative accessories. In celebration of this event, we caught up with him for an interview. He graciously provided his thoughts on the design movement, finding inspiration, and his impeccable sense of style.


Michael Berman's Home

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My look is eclectic with a thread of modernity running through it. Putting things together that speak to each other. Like cooking… Experimental and adventuresome with restraint. I like clean simple lines, uncluttered spaces and a reference to 20th Century American Modernism. 

 Michael Berman's Home

How did growing up in Detroit influence your style?

Detroit was full of artists and industrial designers in the mid ‘60s and ‘70s. From Motown to the Auto industry; Detroit shaped the styling of the Mid 20th Century. I grew up in a household of fashionistas and car enthusiasts. Interior design and furniture came naturally. 

What do you love the most about living in Palm Springs? 

The slower pace and retro vibe we have in the desert is the inspiration for all my products. The air, the sunlight, the mountains, and the flora all compliment the wonderful mid-century architecture that dominates Palm Springs. It’s become a living and breathing MCM museum in a way. We live and work with that cool Sinatra/Presley vibe in the background!

 

The artwork in your master bedroom is stunning — can you tell us how artwork influences how you design a bedroom? 

I love contemporary art and especially pen and ink drawings or photography. I’m drawn to black and white art and the idea of capturing a living moment in time. I always keep the artwork in a bedroom more curated. Singular pieces or a grouping of the same subject. In Palm Springs, I grouped four photos that depict the cactus flower and desert fauna. 

We love how you incorporate vintage pieces on the bed (pillow covers) — tell us a little about how you find these amazing pieces.  

Vintage pieces add that personal touch of something found to the bed. Whether it be an African cotton blanket or mud cloth, or a Japanese Ikat silk pillow, or something created from vintage textiles. I think the juxtaposition of these pieces with luxurious cotton, silk, or alpaca bedding is a great way to make a personal statement. 

 

What do you look for when selecting bedding? 

I love to layer bedding. I’ll often choose from different collections. I love linen pillows and sheeting because of the cooling factor, and I’ll often use it as the base with a cotton or cotton/silk blend duvet over it. One of my favorite ways to sleep in the wintertime (even Palm Springs gets cold at night!) is to place a luxurious cotton fleece or alpaca blanket down on top of the flat sheet and lay on that. It gives the most comfy, cozy, and luxurious warmth when you cover up with a super 500 fill down comforter. Just thinking about this makes me want to get back in bed and snuggle with my pup!

What are the key components when putting a bed together? 

Keep it simple. Keep in functional. Keep it fluffy! I am a lover of body pillows. I usually will create a long flat boxed body pillow to lay behind the sleeping pillows or in front of pillow shams.

Do you have a favorite piece from the Garnet Hill collection (including EILEEN FISHER HOME)?

I am obsessed with the GH silk and cotton blanket in gray. It’s the perfect tone of taupe-gray and goes with everything. Absolutely the most luxurious blanket I have ever slept under! I love it under the Eileen Fisher washed linen line. The double-fringed raw edges are so chic and casual at the same time…. Ideal for California slumber.

For more design inspiration, explore our latest collection of bedding and home furnishings, including the complete EILEEN FISHER HOME assortment.


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