AROUND THE WORLD

AS SHE KICKS OFF THREE BIG PHILLY DE­SIGN PROJECTS, AREN DAROFF RE­VEALS THE GLOBAL IN­FLU­ENCES THAT IN­SPIRE HER LO­CALLY.

Philadelphia Style - - Contents - BY SHELLY COURT­NEY

As she kicks off two big lo­cal de­sign projects, Karen Daroff re­veals the global in­flu­ences that in­spire her lo­cally.

“There is de­sign in­spi­ra­tion around me ev­ery day, every­where I go,” says Karen Daroff. And it’s that open-minded ap­proach to in­te­rior de­sign that has made her firm, Daroff De­sign, suc­cess­ful for more than 40 years. While her work has taken her to 34 states, the Caribbean, the Mid­dle East, and China, Daroff is a Philadel­phian at heart. “I’m very proud to have been ed­u­cated, live, and work here in Cen­ter City,” she says.

All those pass­port stamps have played a role in her de­sign projects. “I pho­to­graph ev­ery­thing, be­cause I am con­stantly in­spired,” she says, de­scrib­ing tex­tured tiles she found in Spain, for ex­am­ple, and the ar­chi­tec­ture in Africa.

Much of Daroff’s day-to-day cen­ters on large-scale com­mer­cial projects like ho­tels, re­sorts, mul­ti­fam­ily hous­ing, and workspaces. “Our work is guided by ever-evolv­ing tech­nol­ogy and fac­tors like the en­vi­ron­ment and sus­tain­abil­ity,” she says. Her long­time clients in­clude Com­cast and Dis­ney, with three no­table projects in the pipe­line: a new res­tau­rant at the Philadel­phia Zoo, trans­form­ing the Fam­ily Court build­ing into a new ho­tel, and a re­fresh at Moore Col­lege of Art and De­sign, Daroff’s alma mater.

It’s no sur­prise that her home mir­rors the clean lines and sleek func­tion­al­ity that has grown to be a hallmark of her work. The clas­sic pav­il­ion de­sign con­cept, in­spired by 1930s ar­chi­tect Guiseppe Ter­ragni, fea­tures B&B Italia furniture and neu­tral tones with pops of color. Sky­lights and large win­dows cre­ate open ar­eas for guests to con­gre­gate. Her fa­vorite piece of dé­cor is a vin­tage al­abaster bust of a Vic­to­rian gypsy wo­man. “I trea­sure her as a very unique fea­ture in our home,” she says. 2121 Mar­ket St., 215-636-9900; daroffde­sign.com

For Karen Daroff (IN­SET), her for­m­meets-func­tion ap­proach to workspace in­te­ri­ors, like the project shown here, car­ries over into her Philadel­phia home.

Womb chair Eero Saari­nen 1948, Knoll ($3,917). 2300 Ch­est­nut St., 215-988-1788; knoll.com

Cham­cha wood cof­fee ta­ble, Phillips Col­lec­tion ($2,697). phillips col­lec­tion.com

Qu­at­tro LED task lamp by Robert Son­ne­man, Ylight­ing ($450). ylight­ing.com. LEFT: Ball clock by Ge­orge Nel­son for Vi­tra, Lu­mens (from $395). lu­mens.com

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