Ray Booth: Evocative Interiors

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 Not too long ago, I reviewed the book, Poetry of Place by Bobby McAlpine. His architecture stands the test of time, while remaining fresh and vibrant. A rare accomplishment in a world where homes can be quickly dated and recognized by the year built. With great architecture like that of McAlpine, there must also come great design. Let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than seeing an architecturally phenomenal home with sad (and often horrifying) interiors. As you can see from the photos and interview below, Ray Booth completely agrees in the harmony between the architecture of a house and the interiors that make it home.

In Ray Booth’s gorgeous new book, Ray Booth: Evocative Interiors, he talks purposefully about the vital elements of design that are transformative in making a well-designed home. His work evokes an effortlessly chic emotion, yet when you look closely, it is apparent that it is well-executed and harmonious with the architecture. I recently asked him more about his design and his new book. I think this interview will surely make your week, and this book will definitely want to make it’s way into your home.

To purchase the book: CLICK HERE

To follow Ray on Instagram: CLICK HERE

For Ray’s website: CLICK HERE

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Where are you from/where do you live currently?

Would like to say the skies!!! Lots of travel as of late, and grateful for it all. Our main home is in Nashville, with an apartment in NYC and a summer house under construction on the cape!


What inspired you to write your new book, Ray Booth: Evocative Interiors?

I have been so fortunate to be a partner with McApline for now almost 20 years. We were working on rebranding our business, website, and writing the book “Poetry of Place” with our book agent Jill Cohen. She became aware of my work and thought it offered an interesting additional point of view to the work of the firm. She put me forward to Rizzoli as an author. Lucky me!

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How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?

 For me personally, I am looking for an aesthetic you feel. Therefore, I strive to make choices that are meaningful, be that a respect for context to a certain emotion. I strive to have clarity of thought and design but don’t  be limited to that (occasionally we have to break our own rules)!

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You eloquently say in your book, “The meaning of home must reflect these deeper truths, because a home should endure for more than a short while.” What certain elements in design help a home “endure” and remain timeless?

Choices that are not random…get the large notes to align with thought, or view, or emotion. In that way, it is grounded in more than just a passing fad. It is tethered to truth, and truth is timeless (and must be paramount in design and life).

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Are there any current trends you are embracing?

None! I love innovation and never knock any other’s trend. But for me, I am not very drawn to them…

What are your design pet peeves?

Good architecture and good interior design go hand in hand… It’s hard to have success if the bones are not right.
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Best advice you ever received about designing?

Reach and embrace the hearts of your clients.


What is on your nightstand?

A book I never seem to make it to as of late is, ” All the Light We Cannot See” by Anothony Doerr. Recommended by my greatest love and husband John Shea (who inspires me beyond just a long reading list).

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Potted boxwood______________

Potted Boxwood sit atop our decks and terraces and stand as a forgiving and patient reminder of mother nature. That although we may try to bridle and control her, she stands as a powerful lioness amongst her fool hardy cubs as they play.