At Home With Brent Swift
Expert reflections on great spaces
If you want to learn about the elements that make a home’s design truly sing, ask a builder and developer. This month, we sit down to talk with local expert Brent Swift about inspirations, renovations and what makes a space sublime.
Which architect, artist, or icon has inspired you the most in relation to your work and why? “I’m inspired by modernist architects like Walter Gropius, Gregory Ain, Marcel Breuer, Albert Frey, William Cody, Phillip Johnson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Richard Neutra and on and on … I love art. I find I’m drawn more to pop art like Peter Gee, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, but I love some of the great Spanish artists like Diego Rivera and Luis Filcer. So, architecture and art all work on the same level in my brain.
I’m inspired. I’m inspired to create usable, functional and classical spaces for our clients. I spend countless hours combing over some of the simplest details to deliver the highest quality product we can.”
If you could pick one time period to live in, in relation to design or lifestyle or architecture, which would it be? “I love the innocence of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, but I think it’s today. I look around and see a tremendous amount of talent in our industry from architects, designers and the trades. Some of the best minds in design are out there right now. You can get in your car and drive 15 minutes and go see an amazing house, building, park or streetscape.”
Which space in your home do you love? “It’s outside. I spend a lot of time outside, sitting in a Richard Schultz low lounge chair and watching tennis on TV. The smell of the summer air and the grass always makes everything OK. I also love my Carl Hansen chair and reading The New York Times on a Sunday morning, with my seven-year-old asking me a series of never-ending questions on repeat.”
Do you have a favorite design movement or trend? “It seems we are able to be inspired at the simple scroll on Instagram. I love all of the colors that seem to be making a comeback. We have colorful wallpaper, furniture and colorful paints that are popping up. Clients are way more informed and smarter, and that helps. They often push me out of my comfort zone and into something new and fresh.”
When starting a renovation or from-the-ground-up project, is there one element you think is most important to get right? “The design and layout of the space. We spend a tremendous amount of time in the design process.”