ASPIRESIDE Chat: Collaborations


Carrier and Company Interiors, Ltd.

ASPIRE DESIGN & HOME asked designers how they spend their quiet time when they take a break from one another. Working with a spouse, sibling or partner is a terrific way to bounce ideas off each other, but sometimes all that togetherness can be challenging. We chatted with partners in four different design firms to get their feedback about the best ways to recharge their batteries away from the business…and away from their partner.


Jayne and Joan Michaels | 2Michaels LLC is a New York City-based interior design firm founded by sisters Jayne and Joan Michaels. With their expertise in 20th century art and design, they create beautiful, timeless and livable spaces.

Jayne Michaels: My sanctuary is my weekend house in Springs, a section of East Hampton. I love to cook and take long walks on the beach with my dog. I’m spending more time reading books. It’s a wonderful way to shut off the outside world and become absorbed in another realm.

Joan Michaels: I listen to music. It nourishes the soul; certain songs bring back cherished memories. I also watch old movies on TCM. Anything starring Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, or Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers will instantly put me in a good mood!


Paul and Sophie Yanacopoulos-Gross | HomeStories is a home furnishings and design firm established by European interior designers Paul and Sophie Yanacopoulos- Gross, husband-and-wife collaborators based in Brooklyn. Quality, authenticity and simplicity are their hallmarks.

Paul Yanacopoulos-Gross: My absolute “me time” is jumping in my classic car and driving away from it all. Once the New York City traffic jams have been navigated (or negotiated) and I find the empty country roads of upstate New York or Long Island, I switch off and start to relax.

Sophie Yanacopoulos-Gross: My garden in the middle of Brooklyn Heights. Gardening and reading are my favorite ways of recharging. I enjoy a certain solitude and silence.


Mara Miller and Jesse Carrier | Carrier and Company Interiors, Ltd. delivers looks that range from traditional and minimalist to glamorously bohemian. Mara Miller, principal and interior designer, works with her designer husband, Jesse Carrier, in this endeavor.

Mara Miller: I find that socializing with friends – to have a meal, drinks or even a long catch-up call – is very restorative. Listening to other peoples’ lives, trials, successes, interests, it helps to open up the world in both small and significant ways, because of the personal connections that we share.

Jesse Carrier: We have a house in Dutchess County, just under two hours away, that was purchased just for that reason – as a quiet respite to connect with nature and family. We attempt to go there most weekends and succeed half the time! Because Mara and I work together and are raising a family, the opportunity to have a complete change of scenery and pace literally and figuratively helps us disconnect from our New York City/work lives and get a fresh perspective.


John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon | The Madcap Cottage is a design firm based in North Carolina and New York. John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, collaborators and partners, find themselves busily engaged in a new book titled “Prints Charming,” a line of bedding on the Home Shopping Network and shop related videos posted on Facebook nearly daily.

Jason Oliver Nixon: Our ultimate luxury is time spent with good friends. It’s not material things that matter to us. We are passionate gardeners, and we love to get dirt under our fingernails and watch the garden come to life. We are like two kids who still like to jump in mud puddles!

John Loecke: Reading designer books and books like the biography of the Duchess of Devonshire, or going to the movies, going on a walk, or antiquing on my own.

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