Designer Friday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Townsend Lloyd

As a New Yorker, Townsend Lloyd understands the importance of creating a space that reflects not only the clients but the neighborhood they reside in. With over a decade of experience, Townsend has been able to transform seemingly mundane spaces into modern, luxury accommodations that are both functional and sophisticated. She has completed projects all over New York and Connecticut and is currently working on a project overseas in Scotland. Being featured in many publications such as Business of Home and Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine, she has recently completed the renovation of a John Elgin Woolf mid-century modern home in Palm Desert. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Townsend Lloyd of Townsend and Co.

Timeless, classic, and refreshing is how Townsend describes her design aesthetic. Each space reflects a clean atmosphere that urges you to stay for hours. Photography by @kirstenrfrancis

Andrew Joseph: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
Townsend Lloyd: A dog on the Upper East Side, they really live the life!

Andrew: Describe your design style as if you were explaining it to someone who cannot see.
Townsend: I have a very tailored approach to design, a new take on traditional embracing clean lines, a neutral palette and minimalistic features with classic foundations. I love homes with great bones, high ceilings, large windows and beautiful architecture. Rooms should feel collected in spirit but modern in functionality and comfort, finished but not cluttered.

Andrew: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Townsend: Appreciation for quality and craft. We are all moving at lightning speed and two questions I am always asked when interviewing potential clients is “how quickly can we do this?” and “can we do this look for less?”. While there is tons of great design that is accessible and ready to ship, our generation tends to lose sight of the design process and appreciation for craft. When designing your home, I think it is important to take a step back and focus on what your vision for the project is, how you want the space to feel and how you live in the space. From there, we work backwards and establish a timeline and budget. Quality pieces with timeless lines can be repurposed and reinvented for different spaces and I always encourage clients to invest in a few key pieces to ground the space and fill in with some of the more accessible items. The bones have to be there for the design to work!

Andrew: If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Townsend: Mind-reader – in this job you have to understand people, how they think and what makes them tick. It is really important to listen to clients and ask questions that help you get in their head and understand what excites them, how they live, how they want to live and then take all of that information back, package it up and deliver them a really beautiful space that functions for their lifestyle. My most successful projects always have a foundation of mutual trust, respect and transparency.

Andrew: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
Townsend: So many good ones…the Napa Valley home from The Parent Trap piqued my interest at a very young age but more recently, I love Cameron Diaz’s Los Angeles home in The Holiday. And really anything Nancy Meyers but that is kind of a given.

Andrew: If you weren’t a designer, you’d be a ….?
Townsend: I always knew design was my true calling but I did work in publishing for many years early in my career and loved the business. I met the most interesting people and travelled all over the country. It was a really special time in my life, I grew a lot and developed a great corporate foundation which has been essential to running my own business.

Since the clients were so eager to move into their Tribeca apartment, Townsend worked on this project with a quick timeline of 3 months. The completed project was luxurious yet highly functional and kid-friendly.

Andrew: What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?
Townsend: We have had a totally crazy month but people seem to be focused on the home. I signed two contracts for new projects in CT that I am super excited about!

Andrew: What’s one thing people don’t know about you?
Townsend: I am Canadian, born and raised in western Canada with mountains, horses and cattle at my back door.

Andrew: What’s your design pet peeve?
Townsend: Small rugs – time and time again I see friends and clients purchase area rugs that are too small for their space. It really throws off the scale of a room.

Andrew: What was your first job?
Townsend: Design Assistant at Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

Andrew: Are you a good cook? If so, what’s your specialty?
Townsend: I love to cook and my specialty is pasta. My husband and I have been really into Gwenyth Paltrow’s vegan risotto and a delicious recipe for a fregola, roasted tomato, arugula and feta dish that a chef friend introduced us to, it is great hot and cold.

Andrew: Do you get your eight hours a night? – what is your schedule like?
Townsend: Always, I need my eight hours! I admire people who can function with no sleep but I am just not that person. I typically wake up at 7 AM, get dressed, make a coffee and head out for a walk with my dog, Moose. We love going to Central Park in the morning, stopping at Sant Ambroeus for a coffee and croissant on Friday’s, It is the best way to start the day. After our walk I tidy up the apartment and get organized for the day. I get to my office, a sunny southwest facing room in our apartment, by 9 AM and spend the morning catching up on emails, admin and sourcing before I head out for my meetings and appointments. If I don’t have client meetings or an event in the evening, I like to wrap up work by 6:30 so I can exercise, make a healthy dinner and have a quiet night at home.

Andrew: Who was the nicest person you worked for? Dare you share the worst?
Townsend: Eileen Boyd has been a mentor and friend for nearly two decades. She gave me my first job in the industry and has been one of my biggest advocates from day one. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support and guidance. She has the biggest heart and really opened my eyes to the world of interior design as a career. No comment on the worst, but it was bad!

Andrew: How would you describe your personal style?
Townsend: I like to think that my style is timeless, tailored and approachable. I like to feel fresh and polished but tend to be casual in my approach. Living in New York, I walk a ton so it is also important that I am comfortable. When I first moved to the city, I wore heels religiously but quickly learned that chic flats or a lower, block heel is way more practical and still looks great.

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
Townsend: I am working on some really dreamy homes in Connecticut right now and feel lucky to have some great clients with fabulous taste in real-estate. We are also working on the remodel of a landmarked property in Scotland which is a really exciting project. On my list of dream projects is a mountain house in Colorado, I love the mountains and would be excited to take on a project out west.

Townsend believes that less is more and for this children’s room, that speaks volumes. The minimalist approach with accented features creates a strong layered look. Photography by @kirstenrfrancis

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Townsend: Taking a risk. I left a very secure job that I truly loved to start my own business. It was really scary, I cried like crazy on my last day at the office, but ultimately knew it was what I needed to do. I think there is something to be said about following your intuition and having confidence in yourself.

Andrew: Style (or design) icon?
Townsend: Do I have to pick just one? Jackie Onassis, Aerin Lauder, Victoria Hagan, Oscar de la Renta, Olivia Palermo, Joseph Dirand…and many more

Andrew: What’s your biggest fear in life?
Townsend: Boredom – I love downtime and relaxing but do not cope well with boredom. Boredom strikes when you are not engaged in your life personally or professionally, there is always something to do, to read, to listen to or see so if you’re bored, get outside and fix it, promise you’ll feel better.

Andrew: Secret talent?
Townsend: I grew up in Western Canada near the Canadian Rockies and I am a very strong skier. I don’t get to ski as much these days but it is a part of my childhood I miss and something that does not come up often with my network in New York City.

Andrew: Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Townsend: For my 30th birthday, I went to Paris with three girlfriends and purchased a scarf from Brunello Cucinelli. It is the perfect piece to finish almost any outfit, I wear it with jeans and a white t-shirt to grab coffee or as a wrap with a simple black dress to a wedding. The piece is so versatile and provides a really polished look while being comfortable.

Andrew: What might the design world look like in 10 years?
Townsend: As our industry adapts to the rapid changes around COVID-19, I anticipate a surge in new projects as clients re-evaluate the purpose of their homes seeking more in-home entertainment, activities and accommodation for friends and family. I believe our industry will continue to evolve digitally and sadly, showrooms will continue to downsize and close. 3D Rendering of space will become more and more common in design presentations and online sampling for textiles will need to improve rapidly.

Andrew: Must-have clothing item everyone should own?
Townsend: Great jeans. I love the ability to dress jeans up or down with shoes and accessories. You can wear a really chic blazer and flats with jeans to a client meeting and look polished and professional without looking fussy or overdressed. I also love wearing jeans on the weekend to grab coffee with a friend or run errands.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Townsend: There is so much in flux right now but I am most inspired by the resilience of the industry. Manufacturers have quickly adapted their sampling and presentation procedures and are working tirelessly to keep businesses as usual for the designers and our clients. I have been pleasantly surprised by how much work we can still get done in light of the current circumstance. In life, I am inspired by spring. It is such a refreshing and welcome time of year, it is great to get outside and walk around the neighborhood admiring the architecture and people’s gardens.

Andrew: How do you define beauty?
Townsend: Beauty comes from within. The most beautiful people and most beautiful things are built with integrity and provide joy to those who receive them. Aerin Lauder once said “our job as designers is to surprise and delight”, I think that phrase sums up beauty for me, the ability to create joy.

About The Designer | Townsend & Co Interiors is recognized for creating sophisticated and livable spaces for discerning clients from coast to coast. With her expertise in exercising restraint and effortlessly mixing traditional and modern elements, accompanied by a love of clean lines and layered neutrals, Townsend’s work exemplifies a modern sense of luxury.

Townsend Lloyd opened the doors to Townsend & Co after nearly a decade of experience in the design industry. Townsend graduated from the New York School of Interior Design and launched her career at Luxe Interiors + Design magazine. She has worked for top designers in New York City and Greenwich, CT including Rinfret, Ltd and Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors.

Townsend recently completed the renovation of a John Elgin Woolf mid-century modern home in Palm Desert and is currently working on a modern farmhouse in Southport, CT, a gut renovation of a West Village townhouse and the renovation of a landmarked home in Scotland. She resides on the Upper East Side with her husband and dog, Moose.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

Like what you see? Get it first with a subscription to ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME Magazine.

Facebook Comments
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

aspire design and home is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, aspire creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, aspire explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. aspire design and home is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.