Cami Weinstein believes in color, art and breathable spaces.
It’s something that Cami Weinstein Designs — her eponymous, Greenwich-based interior design firm, which has been in business for some 25 years — has become known for.
She doesn’t view color as merely a “pop of color” — she abhors the term — but as a way to create a layering effect, even when combining neutrals. She doesn’t see art as mere accents but as pieces of thought-provoking collections. And she doesn’t see rooms as static but as spaces destined for families to create lasting moments and memories.
“I’m probably known for livable luxury,” Weinstein says. “I like rooms that you’re comfortable in. I like rooms that are very layered with artwork and objects and furniture and carpeting. I like when you walk into a room and you have a feeling of wanting to be comfortable and stay in that room.”
Weinstein’s style ranges from traditional to modern, and she particularly enjoys mixing styles. She encourages her clients to integrate collections into their living spaces, no matter how peculiar or eccentric they may be.
“I had a client once that collected old tortoise combs and so she had all those set up in her powder room,” Weinstein says. “I’ve had another client that, although not artwork, had a whole family tree of photographs dating back to the 1800s and we did a whole photo wall.”
In Weinstein’s Chappaqua home, she showcases the photography of her husband Marc Weinstein, while in her Montauk home — which, she acknowledges, is a bit more playful — she displays coral and seashells scattered throughout the rooms. She attributes her preference for art and color to a background in printmaking and fine art painting, which she studied in college.
“I occasionally go back to painting for myself, but it’s more of a personal passion at this point. I go back and forth. Sometimes they’re abstract; sometimes they’re things in nature; sometimes they’re just color exercises.”
When it comes to designing spaces, Weinstein doesn’t begin with artwork but with scale.
I think so many people don’t understand scale in a room and if you have the wrong scale of furniture, rugs or window treatments, then the room will always feel uncomfortable.”
This can be as simple as replacing furniture that is too big or too small, or removing pieces dating from different time periods that do not mix with the room’s existing décor, Weintein notes.
“I think it takes a very skilled person to understand mixing styles and periods,” Weinstein says.
The process itself is also very collaborative.
“I usually have very creative clients, clients that have great art collections. They come to the table with ideas about how to expand them…It’s usually a very collaborative process. Each of my rooms comes out unique to those individual clients, which keeps my job interesting.”
She recalls a client with whom she’s worked for some 20 years. This client, she says, has a very eclectic style, collecting everything from flea market finds to high-end art objects.
“She’ll just say, at a certain point — she can go really far out on a creative limb — ‘Pull me back.’ I would say we push each other in different directions.”
But most of all, Weinstein likes to incorporate a surprise factor.
“I really like rooms that are interesting. I like to feel my clients’ personalities in the rooms, be it their favorite objects or their favorite colors. I try not to create rooms that are in a time warp.”
She again refers to her Montauk home, which has a living room with blush pink walls, nautical accessories and a supersized dining room, created around functionality — something she recommends to her clients.
“Coming from an Italian background, I think dining rooms are very important,” she says. “I think the funniest thing is that we just rebuilt our house in Montauk, and I made a really big dining room in it. People were like, ‘Why are you creating a dining room in a beach house?’ And it’s because that is really the heart of our home.”
If she has one point of advice regarding home design, it’s remaining open to change.
“I think rooms are living like the people who live in the homes and they should be periodically changed, refreshed and things should be moved around,” Weinstein says. “They should be able to breathe.”
Cami Weinstein Designs is at 200 Pemberwick Road in Greenwich. For more, visit camidesigns.com or call 203-661-4700.