Leading Ladies of Design: 20 Famous Interior Designers & Architects
When it comes to women in the world of interior design and architecture these 20 ladies have left their mark on design history and inspire endless other women in the world of design with their creative philosophies and styles! Join us in honoring these famous interior designers and architects in celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month! Just as with our list of legendary women in fashion we have ordered this list alphabetically as ranking them would be impossible!
Often referred to as the Coco Chanel of interior design, Andrée Putman was a French interior designer and product designer who began her career in journalism, fell in love with resurrecting early Modernist French furniture and then became one of the most famous female interior designers of all time.
Internationally renowned interior and home décor designer Barbara Barry’s self-made success story and extensive library of celebrated interior designs and product creations make her a legendary inspiration in the world of design!
Famous for her livable luxury style, Bunny Williams is a New York-based interior designer, entrepreneur, and author who has won just about every award and accolade in the design industry. In addition to her interiors and books, she also has her own home decor line and has licensed designs to numerous furniture brands.
Italian architect and product designer Cini Boeri who is most well known for her designs for Knoll’s showrooms and furniture collections. In her architectural designs for residential and retail environments, she focused heavily on the functionality of the space.
Denise Scott Brown
An American architect, urban planner, writer, educator, and principal of the Philadelphia-based firm Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates with her husband Robert Venturi. Denise holds a firm place in history as one of the most influential female architects of the 20th century, both through her architecture and planning, and writings on postmodernism.
The most influential and famous among female interior designers in American history, Dorothy Draper was a pioneer and is credited with professionalizing the interior design profession through the founding of the first-ever interior design firm in 1925.
Irish-born French-based architect and furniture designer, Eileen Gray was a pioneer of the Modern Movement in architecture. She served the Parisian elite, became the first western practitioner of Japanese lacquer work and her ‘dragon chair’ was the highest priced piece of 20th-century furniture ever sold at auction.
Elsie de Wolfe
Revered as America’s first decorator and for her innovative style, Elsie de Wolfe, also known as Lady Mendl, was an actress, interior designer, hostess, author of the influential 1913 book The House in Good Taste, and a prominent figure in high society in New York, Paris, and London.
The creative force behind the legendary furniture brand, Knoll, Florence Knoll is an iconic mid-century American architect and furniture designer who studied under Bauhaus pedigree and revolutionized the way we live and work.
One of Italy’s most noted furniture designers of the 20th-century, Gabriella Crespi studied architecture, designed interiors for prominent individuals like the Princess of Monaco and created countless furniture designs which beautifully juxtapose design with sculptural abstraction.
A provocative and prolific Italian architect, interior and product designer, Gae Aulenti’s most notable project was her conversion of a Paris train station into the Musée d’Orsay.
From a single showroom in Chicago to a multimillion-dollar home decor empire, Holly Hunt’s story is highly empowering and most certainly an inspiration to all looking for success in the world of design! Known or her beautifully made, elegantly tailored and ever so perfectly proportioned home decor products and her sophisticated interiors, Holly sold her business to Knoll for an estimated $95 million in 2014, she maintains her role as CEO.
Inga Sempé is a French designer who creates furniture, lighting and other decorative objects for manufacturers like Ligne Roset, Alessi, and Baccarat.
Co-founder of the award-winning Tokyo-based architectural firm SANAA (Sejima and Nishizawa and Associates), Kazuyo Sejima is a Japanese architect known for her sleek clean modernist designs which beautifully intertwine with their environments.
South African entrepreneur, interior designer, author, and owner of her namesake firm, Kelly Hoppen is one of the most celebrated and sought-after interior designers in the world.
Kelly Wearstler x Farrow Ball (Photo by Joyce Park)
An L.A. Times best-selling author, hotel interior design trailblazer and commissioned interior designer for some of California’s biggest stars, Kelly Wearstler began her namesake firm in 1995 and since then her interiors and product designs have graced the pages of countless lifestyle magazines and her name has become synonymous with glamorous design. A true legend in the making when it comes to famous female interior designers.
Lina Bo Bardi
Driven by a passion to create structures that people really want, Lina Do Bardi, the Italian-born, Brazilian-based architect is one of the most important and expressive architects of the 20th-century.
Spanish-born Patricia Urquiola made her home Italy where she has built a highly regarded career as an architect, interior designer and a product designer for some of Italy’s top furniture manufacturers.
Sheila Sri Prakash
A pioneer in her home country of India, Sheila Sri Prakash was the first woman to start her own architectural firm in India, Shilpa Architects. An architect and urban designer she is known for her unique approach and her expertise in sustainability.
A world-renowned Iraqi-British architect, Zaha Hadid was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. A true architectural genius, Zaha died suddenly at 65, but not before leaving her mark on the world of architecture.