Designer Friday: Kristen McCory

Pattern and palette are everything for designer Kristen McCory, whose inspired and innovative interiors combine an eclectic flair with classical notions of structure and balance. McCory, art historian and founder of McCory Interiors, lets us in on her basketball stardom, obsession with the strange and unusual, and industry inspirations in this installment of Designer Friday.Grandeur and graceful flowers are tied together in this dining room by McCory, using an unforgettable black and ivory fireplace. Warm colors and deep metallics meet in this comfortable and calming space McCory designed.


Andrew Joseph – What is one thing no one knows about you?
Kristen McCory – I went to Syracuse University on a full basketball scholarship. I later went on to play professionally in Europe and ended my basketball career back here in the States in 2004.

Andrew – What’s your current TV obsession?
Kristen – Not including all the great design shows out there, I would have to say it’s a close race between The Haunting of Hill House and American Horror Story. I have always had a strange obsession with horror films going back as long as I can remember. I believe in ghosts and the supernatural and I have worked in haunted houses before.

Andrew – If you had one more hour in the day what would you do with it?
Kristen – Spend it with my daughter.

Andrew – What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Kristen – Antiques. Sadly, even though they have always been available, I have not truly incorporated them into my work until recently. I had a spectacular client who had quite the collection of antiques and family portraits dating back to the 1800s. The stories behind the people in the portraits and the pieces of furniture were amazing as were the final design results.

Andrew – Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Kristen – Lead with confidence, live with courage, and a little competitiveness never hurt anyone.

Andrew – You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?
Kristen – Teriyaki chicken.

Andrew – Favorite scent?
Kristen – Hmmmm, goodness, there are so many. Eucalyptus definitely is at the top of the list, followed by hot apple cider or peppermint lattes.

Andrew – Last piece of content you consumed that made you cry?
Kristen – A basketball documentary on the rivalry between Geno Auriemma and Pat Summit. It was a remarkable time for women’s basketball. The rivalry literally put women’s basketball on the map. WE (the players) were all paving the road for the future. Both Geno and Pat recruited me between ‘90 and ‘92. Later, between ‘94 and ‘96, I worked in summer camps for both coaches. Even during those short weeks, their powerful words, motivational speeches, intelligence, and words of wisdom were life-changing. Even though I did not play on either one of their teams, I did play against them. The documentary brought me right back to my basketball days. Pat Summit passed away in 2016 from Alzheimer’s. Her legacy will never be forgotten.

Andrew – What is one thing that is always in your refrigerator?
Kristen – Bottled water and lemons. Besides my lone morning latte and an occasional beer, water is really the only thing I drink.

Andrew – Before leaving the house, you always…
Kristen – Brush my teeth, one last time. It’s kind of a bad habit, believe it or not. I brush way too much. McCory uses her flower power while pairing this silky floral curtain with an Asia-inspired vase.


About Kristen McCory | A graduate of Syracuse University, Kristen attended the university on a full basketball scholarship, studying Interior Design and Surface Pattern Design. Upon graduation, Kristen moved to Europe, and continued her career as a professional athlete, representing the countries of Germany, Luxembourg, and Finland. Following the end of her athletic career, Kristen moved to NYC. She worked with Stark Wallcovering and Old World Weavers, and later worked as a design assistant utilizing her surface pattern design background in decorative arts.

Today Kristen pushes the envelope while still classically executing each space. Her quirky and unpredictable, yet sophisticated and refined designs offer a balanced mix of materials and juxtaposing styles.

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