Stylemaker Spotlight

Dara Rosenfeld reinvents history

After earning an undergraduate degree in art history from Boston University and a master’s in arts administration from New York University, Dara Rosenfeld began her career at Christie’s auction house. But her true calling lay in another field.

“I’ve always wanted to be in interior design,” she said. “I can remember my mother hiring an interior designer to design my childhood home in Toronto, and my grandmother collected antiques and fine art, so I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by beautiful objects and details.”

Rosenfeld learned her trade by working with architect Peter Marino and interior designer Paul Wiseman. Four years ago, she struck out on her own, starting her eponymous design firm ( www.dararosenfelddesign.com). “I like to start with an historical reference and reinterpret it so it always reflects the client’s lifestyle,” she said of her approach. “One of my favorite spaces juxtaposed a 19th century Baltic cabinet with a Rostrato lamp and a shieldback Swedish chair upholstered in a snakeskin print.”

Her projects have included residences in California – most recent, a Pacific Heights home with “a gorgeous color palette of deep gray, orange and blue” – and several in Hawaii. Rosenfeld credited Henri Samuel, the French designer known for his expertise in mixing genres, with influencing her work. “Early in my career I saw an incredible space by Samuel, and it’s resonated with me ever since,” she said. “I always try to achieve a balance between old and new by pairing contemporary pieces with antiques and custom designs.”