Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 3/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Sure, growing up as Mark Hampton's daughter opened doors. One of the first was to his New York studio, where Alexa Hampton began apprenticing at 13. Except during her years at Brown University, she's been working at Mark Hampton ever since. She took the lead after her father's death in 1998—she was 27 then.
Was it preordained that Alexa Hampton entered the family business? "I could draw," she replies. As could her father, whose watercolors are legendary. She describes the Interior Design Hall of Fame member as a Renaissance man, a "self-taught musician and a wonderful dancer." His daughter seems to have a talent for TV. In 2004, she landed a spot on PBS's This Old House for eight episodes, as the first female member of the team.
Current projects have her traveling to Big Sky, Montana, and Cherbourg, France. Trained by her father in modern and classical interiors, she has adopted his fundamental approach everywhere she goes. "He made me believe that ours is a service business," she says. "Yes, we bring artfulness, but our real job is to help people create their best style."
Ties to her father's accomplishments are strong. She's designed 80 pieces of furniture for Hickory Chair, the company that made its first licensing agreement with her father, in 1988. Almost 20 years ago, Mark Hampton redecorated Blair House in Washington, D.C.—the official guest residence of the White House. Today, his daughter is redesigning Trowbridge House, where former U.S. presidents stay. That's especially fitting, since she counts Theodore Roosevelt among her heroes.
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