Designer Crush: ABH InteriorsAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
With projects ranging from a 100-year old historical preservation in San Francisco to a horse farm in Maryland, ABH Interiors has worked with a variety of high-end residential and commercial clients throughout the country since 2014. Founder Alexis Banks Humiston studied at Parsons The New School for Interior Design in New York City before kicking off her career at Victoria Hagan Interiors. Today, she leads a team that specializes in creating warm, inviting spaces. Learn more in our Q+A below.
Prior to interior design, Alexis spent six years on Wall Street, where she was responsible for business development and project management as a Vice President. She holds a B.A. in Economics and a minor in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.
How did you get your start in design?
I loved design from a very young age. As an identical twin who wore the same uniform to an all-girls school for ten years, I was always eager to find ways to identify and express my individuality. Moving furniture around and dreaming up new schemes for my bedroom was one of my earliest attempts to do so. Because of my family’s move to London, I went to an
international high school with 52 different nationalities, where my love of creativity was encouraged and not just fought for. I knew I wanted to spend my adulthood in architecture or interior design, but because it didn’t seem financially possible right out of college, I took a few extra steps to get there.
ABH Interiors has a “soft and tailored” aesthetic — what does that mean to you and how is that style achieved in practice?
I love to create spaces that are tailored, where each piece serves a special purpose and the shapes and layout feel intentional. Then I use fabrics that are soft on the hand and eye, to establish a welcoming and comfortable environment that people want to interact with. I add in any amount of color a client wants from there.
Tell us about a particularly memorable project.
I got my first interior design project in New York City, two weeks before I started classes at Parsons. I managed the entire project, with custom everything, from window treatments to wallpaper to furniture to rugs, all while being fully immersed in an intensive fast-track grad school program, without any office support or professional background in the industry! The project went really well and led to a lot of other referrals that still support our business today.
What is one particular design trend you’re excited to integrate into your work?
A design trend I love is emphasizing a greater connection to nature – by referencing nature in pattern imagery, showing off the natural beauty of raw materials, and most importantly, becoming more aware of where materials come from and how sustainable they are.
You worked on Wall Street before entering the design world — how did your background in economics prepare you for your current profession?
It definitely makes me appreciate my job more now! I did learn a lot, too. It was invaluable in teaching me how to run a business and make big strategic decisions. For the more day-to-day work, it has helped me understand how to filter through seemingly endless amounts of information, present ideas clearly, work with many different parties to accomplish a shared goal, and ensure that projects are well organized and delivered on time and on budget.
What’s one place in the world you haven’t visited yet but are dying to see and why?
Bhutan. I studied Buddhism and Hinduism as part of a Religious Studies minor in college. I have always been interested in religion, culture, and behavior, and I’d love to spend a month in a place as spiritually connected as Bhutan. I’d also want to learn more about the government-sponsored focus on happiness.
Favorite ice cream flavor?
Olive oil & sea salt.
Go-to karaoke song?
Any duet, so I get to have a partner up there! I could do a solo if I’m trying to clear out the bar.
Favorite childhood movie?
Labyrinth with David Bowie!
Whitney Houston. I was seven years old, and it was the first moment of my life that I wanted time to slow down instead of speed up.
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