Spare Time

DESIGN THEORY

If you were to write a history of interior design in California, it would have to be divided into two eras: Before Michael Taylor and After Michael Taylor.

The legendary decorator transformed California interiors in the 1970s and ’80s with sunny white spaces brimming with plump, oversized furniture, rugged organic materials, and his ever-present plants. Airy and ethereal, Taylor’s rooms merged interiors and exteriors in a verdurous pas de deux that endeared him to entertainment titans and tastemakers.

Although Taylor left this world at age 59 in 1986, his legacy lives on. Among his ardent disciples is Oliver Furth, a fourth-generation Californian who is no slouch in the interiors field himself, appearing regularly on lists of the nation’s top designers. While the color-loving Furth doesn’t share Taylor’s penchant for sun-parched palettes, the designer insists that his career would not have been possible without the latter’s doctrine of scale, negative space, and—above all—light.

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INTERIOR DESIGN BY OLIVER FURTH

ARCHITECTURE BY TIM BARBER

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROGER DAVIES AND SHADE DEGGES

WRITTEN BY FRED ALBERT

This story appeared in the Summer 2024 issue of MILIEU.