by Isabel Eva Bohrer
Inspired by the pride of craftsmanship and “joie de vivre” of 18th and 19th-century France, as well as the subtle glamour of the English countryside, Linda L. Floyd, Inc. Interior Design specializes in high-end residential design. Additional projects include several executive offices and a seaside bed and breakfast inn. “Most of my projects include new construction and/or remodel specification and detailing,” Floyd says.
The firm’s passion for sumptuous fabrics, trims, dressmaker details, antiques and custom woodworking can translate to any design style – from classic to contemporary to cottage. “The finest quality materials are used to create timeless and sophisticated living environments with the perfect balance of new and old, color and texture, comfort and style,” says Floyd. “Our custom woodworking and interior architectural detailing create ‘visible excellence’ the moment you walk into a room and are the perfect backdrop for the interior design portion of the project.” Although the firm focuses primarily on classical design with a European influence, it also recently completed a contemporary recording studio in the home of a key client.
“For me, each project is like a book and each room or space a chapter,” says Floyd. “After hearing the client characterize her dreams and design goals, I envision a narrative or script in my mind and the production begins. While there are always edits and changes, the storyline is usually consistent with the original script.”
Keeping in mind the literary analogy, one could say that a recent “book” of Floyd’s is the Julia Morgan Estate. Built in 1920, the Chauncey Goodrich House, known as “Hayfield House,” is one of the largest residences ever completed by architect Julia Morgan, who also designed Hurst Castle. “The residence is in the style of an English estate and is reminiscent of early 20th-century mansions built on Long Island,” Floyd says.
Floyd says her objective for this 1920’s home was to, “bring it up to 21st-century construction standards while maintaining the original design details and finishes for the exterior and throughout the public rooms.” For the interiors, she traveled with the client to England and New York to acquire fine English antiques and bespoke furnishings. “Our goal was to create beautiful living spaces that combine style, sophistication and comfort,” says Floyd. “The rooms needed to be luxurious, yet approachable, and relevant to today’s lifestyle.”
Centuries old antiques punctuate every room. “A prized 18th century-Gobelin tapestry, ‘The Fisherman’ by Francois Desportes, available through Vojtech Blau Inc. New York, is the focal point of the living room,” says Floyd. Antique chandeliers, such as the Nesle chandelier in the dining room–available through Shears & Window–spotlight furniture dressed in European fabrics, objets d’art, valued carpets and draperies with custom trim, such as those by Horner and Company.
“For the kitchen, we found a 1928 Magic Chef Stove, the ‘Rolls-Royce’ of stoves at that time, completely refurbished it and had it installed with a custom designed hood,” says Floyd. By fitting an 18th-century library table with power and using it as the center island, Floyd created a gathering place for informal entertaining, as well a functioning workstation when caterers were in residence. “Hardware styles from the 1920’s were used on the cabinetry along with white Carrara marble for the countertops,” she says.
Overall, the Julia Morgan Estate is a home where elegance mingles with ease and where all are welcome to enjoy its enthusiastic mix of style and quiet sophistication. It is this kind of project that future clients look back on as a sample of Floyd’s work. “Since most of the firm’s work is by referral, people look to us to do similar types of work on their projects, construction detailing and interior design,” says Floyd.
An avid traveler, Floyd herself always looks forward to travel projects. In fact, her trips to France were the foundations of her design career. Inspired by art history, she traveled to Europe numerous times studying the architecture, the furniture styles, the historical character and ambiance of the regions. “I became a partner in a French antiques and interior design store, which included many more trips to France and England, and the rest is history,” she says.