Raised in Massachusetts, David Desmond graduated cum laude from Williams College with a degree in French, and proceeded to Paris to study graphic design at the Ecole supérieure d’arts graphiques Penninghen. Drawn to the fine and decorative arts, he traveled miles of corridors in the Louvre, crossed the thresholds of the grand antiquarians and traversed the aisles of the Marchés aux Puces. Over four years, he resoled his shoes repeatedly. He also refined his eye.
Having not considered interior design as a career, he then changed course, moved to Los Angeles and obtained a law degree from UCLA. Lawyering by day, his passion for the decorative arts led him back to UCLA, where he took interior design classes at night. After five years, he left the law to work for one of his UCLA professors as an assistant interior designer. Whereupon the Prelle brocade curtains parted.
Desmond started his own firm in 2000. Early clients were friends, and friends of friends. In his first year, a project designing exhibition space at Christie’s Beverly Hills led to a commission for the interior design of an art collector’s California bungalow. Projects for the same family followed, notably a new beach house near Los Angeles, as well as houses in Santa Barbara and London, and an apartment in New York. Fluent and comfortable in a gamut of styles and settings (not to mention countries), he received commissions through referrals posthaste.
Important to his development are repeat collaborations with noted architects on such projects as a Neoclassical house in limestone overlooking San Francisco Bay, an Italianate villa in Shanghai and a Colonial Revival house in Brentwood. He works often on estate projects built from the ground up, which because of their size and scope require abundant imagination, historical research, close attention to detail and patience. Across a wide range of projects there are certain elements that have come to define Desmond’s style: interest in quality foremost, irrespective of the value of each individual piece; historical awareness without undue reverence; appreciation for fine art, incorporated in the rhythm of everyday life; and timelessness -- the idea that beautiful interiors can and should withstand the tests of time. As well as children, pets and the occasional spilled glass of red wine.