First/Person: Ben Johnston

Cara Gibbs

07 January 2021


For interior designer Benjamin Johnston, business is busy despite the unsteady nature of the world. Here, the Houston-based designer shares the new definition of home, the perks of architectural training, and quarantine lessons not soon forgotten.


Quarantine has not slowed down my business substantially, at least not yet. I’m staying focused on the future and trying to make the most of the opportunities each day presents. It’s no secret that we are all finding ourselves spending more time at home, so naturally clients are anxious to keep their new construction projects moving forward. Now, more than ever, people are seeking refuge at home and approaching each space as a sanctuary from the rest of the world. We may be meeting virtually, but design work is still happening every day for me and my staff. The greatest lessons we can collectively hold onto in this moment is patience, compassion, and to cherish every moment we’re given.

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Inspiration, for me, starts with my clients. I strive to create designs and interiors that reflect the best versions of the people that live there. I think about spaces holistically with the architecture always firmly in mind, thanks to my formal training as an architect. When it comes to my aesthetic, I’m known for a classic, curated, and cool style. I’ve always been drawn to Art Deco and midcentury modern motifs, mixing the two genres in unexpected and unique ways. These days, I particularly enjoy designing home offices—people are working remotely more and more, and are in need of inspirational, luxe spaces to keep them motivated and inspired.

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"I love a great interval fabric that helps me pull palettes together. This pattern, in all of its colorways, provides an abstract pattern and a beautiful texture that works well in so many settings. It’s one of my go-to fabrics."



"How can you resist this luxe material and divine texture? The number of colorways of this mohair is terrific and provides a dose of luxury whether it’s on a sofa or just the back of a pillow."



"This cut velvet pattern brings a modern nod to any space. I’m using it on a series of cushions for a 12 ft curved sofa right now and I love the way it elevates the style, texture and luxe factor of the piece. Stay tuned for photos!"





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Cara Gibbs

Cara is a freelance design and lifestyle writer, editor, and stylist residing in Manhattan. Formerly the principal style editor at Luxe Interiors + Design, she now is a regular contributor to Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Wallpaper, and The Wall Street Journal, among other publications. She is also the co-founder of the artisan marketplace, In The Pursuit, a platform that marries content with commerce through a lifestyle lens.

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