Eric Roseff Designs

Boston Common - 2010: Eric Roseff Takes Parental Guidance When Designing


THE PHRASE “mom knows best” has serious meaning for designer Eric Roseff, who from childhood was surrounded by the principles of good design.

Roseff describes his mother as “incredibly ahead of her time designwise.” In the early ’70s she worked with an architect to create the family’s modern ranch home and filled it with pieces that are all the rage today (think a petrified tree stump and glass for the dining room table) but were largely unheard-of in suburban New Jersey at the time.

His mom’s wisdom has guided Roseff through countless design projects, but the most important lesson he learned from her is how to incorporate unexpected pieces into a room. Roseff recalls the antiques that punctuated the Lucite and mohair furniture of his childhood home—like his grandfather’s 1925 hutch, once used by roosting chickens, which was converted into a desk, or the old stable chest that housed the TV.

Roseff and his sister eventually opened a design store at the Jersey Shore, selling everything from hand-painted objects to custom jewelry to housewares. When they decided to open a second shop, Roseff, who had continued to study art and design, picked Boston.

The Beantown boutique closed after a few years, but he stuck around town and started doing decorative painting and murals for some other designers. He loved the work, and before long he broke off on his own, creating the firm Eric Roseff Designs.

For his clients, Roseff strives to create rooms that showcase their individuality and serve their needs. Most of his looks seem less modern than the home he grew up in, but he clearly gravitates toward the clean lines and fun accessories his mother favored. Browse his look book and you’ll find warm rooms that feature mixtures of luxurious fabrics and textures, lighting fixtures that could double as works of art and pops of color that make for livable spaces with definite design appeal.

“I love to mix high and low, new and old, modern and traditional,” he says, “even the contrast of textures, such as a primitive painted piece with a highly lacquered modern one. All of these things give a space true personality.”

In his own 1890 Victorian in Savin Hill, Roseff features what he calls “transitional modern” décor, mixing antiques with modern pieces and adding lots of color. But he’s careful not to go too far—he never wants to undermine the home’s underlying Victorian architecture.

He also loves to throw in cool touches like coral jewelry in Lucite boxes to showcase the coral wall tile in a bathroom, or a beautiful decorative tape along the bottom of a chair. “Sometimes the smallest details make the biggest impact in a room,” he says.

Although he occasionally works with clients who want to start from scratch, he believes that if an object has meaning to the owner, it will enhance the room. “Even if things are a little beat-up, far from perfect, they add personality to the space.” After all, if his mother found a way to use an old chicken coop as a desk, he should be able to reimagine just about anything.




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