There is something unmistakably mesmerizing about Colin King’s work. It never fails to make you pause, question, and admire the beauty in its stillness. We’re constantly seeking out his Instagram with its treasure trove of thought-provoking imagery that’s akin to a still-life painting. But this stylish curation of inanimate objects is anything but lifeless. King has a way of making the ordinary feel exceptional with vibrant vignettes, moody lighting, and considered curations that evoke depth, soul, and warmth. We’re thrilled to feature one of our favorite stylists and designers in our Eyeswoon series, Five Swoonworthy things to share more about his career, inspiration, design tips, and the décor he’s loving right now. (And be sure to give Colin King a follow—you won’t be disappointed!)
Colin King Is All About the “Abandonment of Perfection”
Words by Sacha Strebe.
NAME: Colin King
PROFESSION: Stylist, Designer & Art Director
HOME BASE: Tribeca, NYC
BRIEFLY, HOW YOU CAME TO DO WHAT YOU DO: It’s a super difficult question! But in that, a good one. I think for me, dance led to interior styling which has then led to product design, among other things. As each one has been in company with another, what’s guided my journey overall is this sincere curiosity to keep trying. Keep exploring; arranging and rearranging, no matter what the task at hand is.
WHAT YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB: I like the constant flux and change. There’s a rhythm one has to keep when balancing styling and design. Every job is completely different, so there’s an element of improv and having to think on your feet. It’s what makes each project special.
WHAT YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT YOUR JOB: In styling, there’s such a heavy need for logistics, it is always a huge effort to make sure we have everything we need safely arrived and ready to use. I would be a happy man if I never had to deal with car rental returns ever again.
YOUR AESTHETIC IN 3 WORDS: Whimsical, natural, and wise.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR WORK MOST AND WHY? Honestly, Nature is an endless muse for me. The abandonment of perfection is something that is both timeless and powerful. The way a branch climbs, or a curtain falls; gravity, and the way the world turns is always an inspiration.
I’M ENDLESSLY OBSESSED WITH____ BECAUSE: Design books! They’re how I learned, how I continue to learn. They provide a wealth of information, reference, and enjoyment all at once. My shelves are completely filled with titles, each one a different world.
DESIGN TREND YOU LOVE? WHY? If I had to choose one I would say the use of linen. It’s a beautiful textile (my favorite) that works in any room, on any surface, in any light, truly, for anyone. I use linen on my bed, for my upholstery, curtains, etc… There’s a simplicity to its look and feel that’s impossible to tire of.
ONE YOU WISH WOULD GO AWAY? WHY? There’s a never-ending sequel to mid-century modern. It’s beautiful, it’s well-loved, but I wish it were time to put it back on the shelf for a little while and allow some room for a fresh gaze.
COLOR OR NEUTRAL? EXPLAIN. I would have to lean more neutral, though not all color is bad. Most of the time I suspect the best answer is really a balance between the two. But in general, there’s a simple elegance that will always be around so long as you have a group of neutrals existing alongside each other.
WE WILL NEVER SEE _____ IN YOUR HOME (WHY): “Perfection”. Because it doesn’t exist! Home is where the imperfections live and take up space. It’s something we should celebrate, and be realistic about. So often in design, we’re pushed to believe that a space looking visually complete all the time is the best way forward. But there’s a beauty to reality, and in that a comfort as well.
HOW AND WHERE YOU SHOP: This is so difficult because there are so (so) many incredible vendors I work with and buy from. I love Nalata Nalata in the East Village, RW Guild, Seventh House, and Michael Trapp. I also love Etsy finds and auction sales. There’s a good amount of treasure on the internet and no shortage of places to find it.
WHO ARE YOUR DESIGN ICONS AND WHY? Roman & Williams / Atelier AM / Jacques Grange
Each of these designers and creators has taught me (at a distance) about space, balance, the art of reference, time, and proportion. Each has produced bodies of work in and around interiors that elevate concepts of design to the next level. Roman & Williams is at the helm of balanced purity and artistry. Atelier AM spaces have given me an appreciation of scale within an interior design. Jacques Grange is someone I really admire for his life story and career path in general. His use of layering and color is a masterful signature.
Colin's 5 Swoonworthy Things
1. Tizio Lamp by Artemide
A lamp that can surprisingly live anywhere, adds a sophisticated sense of maturity to a design.
2. LC 14 Tabouret
These are staples. The simplicity works so perfectly and practically wherever they’re placed.
3. Rock lamps by André Cazenave, 1960s.
These are lamps with a soft glow but an amazing impact. The fiberglass cast material is so lifelike, most people are shocked when they pick up the lamps I have and see how light they are. When the light comes through it’s unlike anything else.
4. Interconnect Candleholder
My first launched product design with Danish brand, Menuspace. An amazing piece for anywhere in one’s home.
5. T chairs by Olavi Hanninen - vintage, 20th century france
These chairs are perfect for simple geometric proportions that create a sense of heritage with any aged condition.