Designers to Watch

The Luxe Interiors of Melanie Morris Exude a Sense of Fun

Interior designed by Melanie Morris

Interiors by New York–based designer Melanie Morris have a bit of hygge. But cozy and comfortable as they may be, you won’t be lulled to sleep in them. Her rooms pop with ’80s style, colors and materials, from pink and teal to shiny brass to a bit of Memphis. Not surprising, considering she counts designers Kelly Behun and Ghislaine Viñas as aesthetic influences.

Black and white portrait of Melanie Morris
Melanie Morris left a legal career to pursue her passion for interior design (portrait by Dennis Leon). Top: In a Park Avenue apartment, Morris created a playful dining room, complete with an Ettore Sottsass Ultafragola mirror (photo by Adam Kane Macchia).

A former lawyer, Morris ditched legal briefs for mood boards 11 years ago. Now, she’s known for creating homes that combine comfort with luxury — especially for families with young children.

Morris does it all, from custom millwork to walk-in closets to selecting contemporary art. She recently launched her Pop rug collection, featuring playful designs with witty names like Spill, Bolt and Doodle. “I couldn’t find rugs that were happy and fun but high-end,” she explains.

Interior designed by Melanie Morris

The living room of an airy New Jersey beach house features a pair of Yves Klein tables in gold and blue. Photo by Patrick Cline

Melanie Morris living room

Morris outfitted a Purchase, New York, living room with a pair of curving Pierre Augustin Rose sofas and a Patricia Urquiola marble coffee table. Photo by Marco Ricca

Melanie Morris Greenwich CT

Morris’s design for a family home in Greenwich, Connecticut, was more subdued than typical for her, with neutral textiles and dusky blue walls in the living room. Photo by Marco Ricca

For a family in Greenwich, Connecticut, her work is more understated than usual, displaying traditional colors such as a dusky blue. Whimsical fruit-themed wallpaper in a bathroom is a nod to the client’s work as a nutritionist, and a demonstration of Morris’s playfulness. For a Park Avenue apartment, she used a black-and-white palette with shots of pink and teal and chose bold, neotenic furniture. An ETTORE SOTTSASS ULTAFRAGOLA MIRROR leans against a wall, adding fun-house pizzazz.   

In every project, Morris reflects the client’s personality, within the parameters of her bold aesthetic. “If they asked for something French provincial,” she says, “I’d turn them down.”

Melanie Morris’ Quick Picks

Prism Dining Table, 2018, offered by Wüd Furniture Design
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Prism Dining Table, 2018, offered by Wüd Furniture Design

“I love everything by Wüd, as its craftsmanship is impeccable. I’m especially drawn to the resin finish on this table, and who doesn’t love a lazy Susan!?” 

Doug Johnston 3Hc Pendant Light, 2020
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Doug Johnston 3Hc Pendant Light, 2020

“Note the use of rope on these stunning sculptural pendants, and the possibility of multiple configurations. These are  versatile and would be especially beautiful over a kitchen island or a dining table.”

Kho Liang le for Artifort Flower Coffee Table, 1960, offered by The Dutch Villa
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Kho Liang le for Artifort Flower Coffee Table, 1960, offered by The Dutch Villa

“I love vintage Artifort, and this flower table is right up my alley. I hope to specify this for a cozy den.”

Natural Travertine and Oak Coffee Table, 2020, offered by dooq
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Natural Travertine and Oak Coffee Table, 2020, offered by dooq

“I can’t get enough of travertine, and I especially like the mix of materials and shape of this coffee table. I am placing this in my Bal Harbour project, in the living room.”

Erik Olovsson Modern Side Table/Vase, 2020, offered by Studio EO
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Erik Olovsson Modern Side Table/Vase, 2020, offered by Studio EO

“I am a sucker for hand-blown glass, and this organically shaped table is stunning. It will be perfect in a lounge I’m designing.”

Richard Yasmine Set of 2 After Ago Side Tables, 2020, offered by Galerie Philia Furniture
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Richard Yasmine Set of 2 After Ago Side Tables, 2020, offered by Galerie Philia Furniture

“I’ve been eyeing these side tables for quite some time! I love how they are both functional and sculptural. These would be cool for a foyer.”

Carlo Scarpa Venini Mirror, 1930s, offered by Almond & Co.
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Carlo Scarpa Venini Mirror, 1930s, offered by Almond & Co.

“Love Carlo Scarpa and specifically the arched top of this mirror. It would elevate a powder room in an instant.”

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