With the coronavirus pandemic quarantine forcing T.V. anchors to report to millions of viewers from home, their interior decor has been on display and up for critique.
His home has been called “the best Skype room on all of cable T.V.” It received a 9 out of 10 on the Twitter feed Room Rater (missing a 10 only because the TV was on), and that post has nearly 600 likes. Interior designer Nina Carbone dubbed Faber’s backdrop “Where it’s at,” quoting Beck, inspired by the turntable, which he told me was a gift from his wife (just one though, no microphone). Elvis Costello, The Police, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles are on heavy rotation.
“It was not something I thought about at all,” Faber said regarding his on-air backdrop. But a cameraman who came to set up the home equipment declared the home office too bright. “That’s how I ended up at my dining room table.”
Having an expanse of the Long Island home in view—rather than a jarringly-close white wall or bookcase (or worse, a plant sprouting from the head)—seems to be key to the home’s appeal.
“It’s pretty funny—friends and sources, people I’m on the phone with all day, people I haven’t spoken to in a while, the first thing they say is, ‘I love your house,’” Faber said.
He notes that the design has more to do with Bartfeld’s eye than some unattainable price tag.
“It’s not speaking to some sort of incredible excess,” Faber said. “All these things can be ordered out of catalogs.”
More than anything fancy, he loves the relaxed overall feel of the home, which is a vibe we can all benefit from the days.
Below, Bartfeld talks about her career, how she worked with Faber (O.K., mostly his wife, journalist Jenny Harris), how she’s surviving the quarantine, and how you, too, can have a Zoom-ready home that will not embarrass in meetings with your boss.
How did you get started in interior design?
“From a young age, I have always been artistic. I remember constantly rearranging the furniture in my parents’ apartment when I was growing up in order to change the look of the rooms. I went to the Fiorella Laguardia High School in NYC for art and then went to the University of Michigan School of Art. I studied fine arts and graphic design. Then I went on to study interior design at Parsons. I worked for several well-known designers after Parsons and then went out on my own 15 years ago.”
Viewers have been loving David Faber’s interior design as he broadcasts from home. How would you describe his style?
“Like many of my clients, his style is sophisticated, elegant and relaxed. There is a mix of materials, finishes and styles that all work together.”
Can you talk about your approach to designing his home?
“I always start a design project by understanding my clients’ needs and lifestyles, and I am always very honest about what I like and what I don’t like! I send potential clients to my site to make sure they like my work. I was already friends with the Fabers, so that made our interactions very relaxed and open. They knew my style and preferences already, and I knew how they live, so that always makes the working relationship easier. I think design should be comfortable and practical and if someone hires me they already like my style and approach. I don’t believe things have to be expensive to be beautiful. I like to mix old and new things.”
Why do you think the look is so appealing to viewers?
“I think the space looks inviting, clean and homey, and the camera angle shows the depth and flow of the space. It feels like a home that anyone would be happy to live and work in. It has a feeling of calm maturity, which is particularly important during this time.”
What are some of the comments viewers have made about his interior style?
“You’ll have to ask him! [See above] But in general people think that the space looks refreshing and sophisticated, but not fancy. The chairs, rug, art and the classic turntable look terrific together.”
Do you have any tips for making your home look great while you’re on conference or zoom calls?
“If possible, its best to have either a plain or colorful background… and certainly not too much clutter. My daughter takes her high school classes on Zoom and we have re-organized the background of her room with some simple colorful pillows and it looks terrific on camera!”
You have a new shop in Montauk… how are you dealing with it being closed during the pandemic?
“I have been spending a lot of time there getting Indy Home ready for when it can open… whenever that is! And in the meantime, our website sales are really good, as people want to make their homes more comfortable now that they are spending all their time there. A lot of people are nesting and fixing up areas in their house that they have not previously had time to focus on. Several of my NYC-based clients have me helping them ‘remotely’ decorate their second homes. Little fixes like a new area rug, or bright interesting pillows, or a unique bench or chair can make a huge positive difference in a home.”