Class Notes Profiles
By Joni Moths Mueller
Ernest de la Torre, Bus Ad ’87, is one of the country’s top young interior designers.
Elle Décor magazine gushed about the top 25 interior designers on its 2011 “A List,” calling them the country’s “authentic tastemakers,” and pointing out de la Torre’s gift for designing luxurious and adventurous rooms. To illustrate the point, the magazine photographed the sitting room he restored in the historic Cooper Mansion in Tuxedo Park, N.Y.
De la Torre’s taste travels well. He is comfortable reinterpreting the raw space of a three-story loft in Soho or transforming existing space of an apartment overlooking Central Park, infusing it with the client’s wished-for Asian influences. Further evidence of his range will be apparent with his latest commission — designing an airplane interior.
Not long after graduating from Marquette, de la Torre was drawn from the corporate business world into the world inhabited by interior designers.
He worked for New York-based architect Peter Marino, and the experience confirmed de la Torre’s conversion.
“It was like a fire hose of information coming at me,” he says. “I knew I was learning, and it was affecting me.”
He earned a master’s in fine and decorative arts from Sotheby’s Institute in London and later designed furniture for Ralph Lauren Home Division. He founded his own firm in 2001 and has been on the radar ever since. Elle Décor, House & Garden, New York Spaces and others heap accolades on the de la Torre Design Studio. Fulfilling the “unique needs and desires of clients” and interpreting the “unique desires a space draws out of you” is what de la Torre says interior design are all about.
Whether choosing from homemade or custom design products, interior designer Ernest de la Torre, Bus Ad ’87, offers three tips to keep in mind when reimagining the interior of your own living room, plus an idea for a bedroom update on a limited budget:
1. Don’t overdo it. When finished designing a room, taking one thing away will help make sure the room isn’t over the top.
2. Don’t be afraid to mix different periods. Furniture, textiles and art from different centuries work well together if each shares a thematic element.
3. Unity is paramount. Be sure to look at the form, function and color of your choices for uniting elements.
4. For a $500 bedroom update, a new bedding set will refresh the room.