North Penn House, Indianapolis, IN,USA - Deborah Berke

The Interiors Monologues - Deborah Berke

The greatest designers of the century talk about Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century

Deborah Berke began her career as an architect in 1982. Since then, she has assembled a senior team of partners and principals with whom she has created a body of work with a distinct and lasting character. Her approach to architecture is informed by her pursuit of authenticity, love for the visual arts, and her intellectual rigor.

This house, featured in our new book, Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century, designed by her New York–based practice, draws as much from the surrounding area’s rich heritage of modernist residences from the 1950s and 60s as it does from the stunning woods-and-meadow landscape in which it nestles. These two threads inform and blend harmoniously in the home’s living area, which is situated at the heart of the long, low structure. The space lies in between two volumes made from locally sourced pine, one belonging to the kitchen while the other houses the fireplace.


Deborah Berke
Deborah Berke

The contextually aware choice of material means this focal point doesn’t compete with, but rather coheres with, the expansive natural vistas afforded by full-length windows that run along both sides of the room. The floor is made from the same limestone as the patio beyond, further heightening the sense of connection with the outdoors. Particular attention has been paid to the color palette of the furnishings and fixtures, which include contemporary pieces by American designers such as BDDW and Lindsey Adelman, as well as mid-century selections. Silver and pewter grays find representation in stone and fabric, while ochers and browns come from the wood and leather, accented by brass highlights, such as the trim of the fireplace or surface of a side table. 

The house is featured in our new book, Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century, which highlights 400 of the world's best living spaces created by over 300 of the most influential people in interior design. (In keeping with such a mammoth and ground breaking undertaking we decided to make it available in four different color cover choices.)

We asked Deborah about the interior in our book that inspired her the most; what it means to be featured in Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century and about the most important aspect of a room that aesthetically-minded buyers of the book can focus on. And, of course, we obviously had to ask her where in her own home she'll be placing her personal copy.


Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century
Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century


Lina Bo Bardi’s Glass House is stunning and it ranks at the very top of the modern houses of its time . The way the room is nestled in the trees is so beautiful, and it typifies what we think of as Tropical Modernism. She was such a pioneer, and I am glad that her brilliant work is being recognized. 

The book is a wonderful and eclectic mix of architects and interior designers past and present, many of whom were quite iconoclastic. Our work tends to be a bit more subtle or understated, so it is surprising, and also delightful, to be in such company.

I always gravitate toward natural light and long views , so that tends to dictate the way we orient a room.

Oversized and available in four collectable velvet covers to decorate any space in style, we wondered what color cover of Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century Deborah Berke wil choose.

I tend to rotate the books that I put out, but the diversity of entries in this book will give it staying power. Each room is a window into the lives of its designers and the clients for whom they worked.

Take a look for yourself and choose your own version of Interiors: The Greatest Rooms of the Century here. And check back in the coming days for our next interview with a designer from the book. Meanwhile, you can see more of Deborah Berke's elegant and eclectic interior design work on her website.