Ana Claudia Schultz’s design style is all about equals and opposites: old/new, modern/transitional, bold/subtle. And all of those visual binaries are on display in the dining room of the 2019 Kingston Design Connection Showhouse, which she designed.
“Thoughtfulness is very important in my design,” she tells Chronogram. “[And] each piece and maker is thoughtful in their approach as well.”
Schultz lists off the upstate New York galleries and furniture stores she commissioned for the dining room, like Black Creek Mercantile & Trading Co. in Kingston, Gallery & Goods in Pine Plains and Gestalt in Hudson. First, she noted the dining room’s considerably high ceiling and chose to install customized Camellias wallpaper overhead. Then, for the contents of the room, she says, she “played with the yin and yang of masculine and feminine.”
View this post on Instagram
My room, along with all the other fantastic designs of the @kingston.design.connection Showhouse, were featured in @housebeautiful & @aspiredesignandhome—What an honor! 😍 Check out the 🆕 Feature links in my bio to get an inside look! (design: @acdesignstudio; 📸: @rikkisnyder)
“The lines of Black Creek Mercantile are minimal and the natural oak finish also adds softness from what can be a heavy-looking material,” Schultz says. “Art and accessories from Gallery and Goods are very considerate and raw. Mixed and matched dining chairs from Gestalt are masculine in color, but their Japanese silhouettes are soft [and feminine].”
When she had struck the right balance with the furniture, she commissioned custom rugs from Rowan Willigan, a visual artist and muralist based in upstate New York. “[They] wink to the liking of the wallpaper but in the shape of a hide that leans towards the Hudson Valley and masculinity,” she says. For the final touch, Schultz added living and dried flowers from Athabold, a floral design studio in Germantown.
Schultz spent years honing her design style in spite of self-doubt; for much of her life, she didn’t believe she’d be in the design field at all. She was taught about interior design by her mother, a natural decorator who, nonetheless, doubted the value of the art form and discouraged her from going down that road.
“Maybe because she was a great decorator, she didn’t believe in the institute of interior design,” Schultz says. “If you went to someone’s home that was designed, she thought of it as impersonal. That really impacted me and delayed my path to interiors.”
Taking her mother’s advice to heart, Schultz put interior design out of her mind and enrolled at Florida International University to study business and architecture. But ultimately, nothing could divert her from her true passion; it would just take a few years to get where she belonged.
For five years, Schultz decided to pivot from architecture and work as an interior designer for Ligne Roset, a French furniture company. While staffed there, she started her own jewelry company, ACD Jewelry, before committing fully to interior design. And now, her talents are on full display in the dining room of the 2019 Kingston Design Connection Showhouse, where thoughtfulness, balance and contrast reign.
“No matter how hard I tried I was always an interior designer,” she says. “But every path I took led me to where I am now, so no regrets.”