Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Alex Papachristidis - John Robshaw Textiles
Your Cart
Your cart is empty
12.17.2020 / Designer Spotlight

Designer Spotlight: An Interview with Alex Papachristidis

When I met Alex in my showroom, he smiled his charming smile and said that he is the “real deal.”  Soon after, a flurry of orders came in!  I came to know this dynamic designer from his stunning projects, as well as his charity work with Animal Refuge Fund in the Hamptons. I am so happy we tracked him down to profile his work and story of how he came to work in the design business. I also want to thank him for his support over the years - he is, as he stated when we met, the real deal.

Bedding and pillows by John Robshaw. Photo by Tria Giovan.

When did you know you wanted to get into the business?
Well, it’s a very funny thing, but it really never crossed my mind. When I graduated from school I went into my family business of shipping for a little while, and I just didn’t feel that it was creative enough for me. I was sort of lost. I was born and raised in New York. I thought, I know the city well, and I’ve always loved flowers, maybe I’ll open up a flower shop? Maybe I’ll open up a fashion business, or a restaurant. A friend came over to my first apartment out of college, and she said ‘Alex, you have great taste; you should be a decorator!’ It was like a lightning bolt in my head! It tied everything up in a pretty bow. I went to Parsons and I took classes, and fell in love with it. My sister got an apartment and hired me to decorate it, and that’s how it began, and it went from there. I’ve been decorating for a long time now and I can’t imagine doing anything else. 

Custom Zima Chair in fabric from the John Robshaw Fabric Collection. Photo by Tria Giovan.

What’s been inspiring you lately?
I can be inspired by travel, nature, film, anything really, but I’ve always been inspired by history. I don’t have a look that I create; I do different things depending on the client, so I have a variety and range of inspiration. I’m constantly being stimulated by the visuals of life. We’re inspired by everything we see and do, and I’m inspired by history more than anything.

After I finished our apartment, I was looking through a book, and I saw a hallway at the Château de Groussay that was done entirely in a tapestry fabric, and I realized that must have inspired me in terms of the colors I used in my bedroom. I think we absorb things, we go to places, and are inspired subconsciously.

Custom Bone Inlay Settee and bed upholstered in fabric from the John Robshaw Fabric Collection. Photo by Tria Giovan.

How long have you known John?
Forever. I’ve been doing this for 33 years now, and I’m not sure where I discovered John’s product first. Maybe ABC Home? I liked everything so much that I went to him directly, and I met him socially (maybe it was through Lisa Fine?) at a party. John Robshaw is bohemian, easy to use, attractive, and different from other bedding companies, and nobody really does for me what John does. I always put one of his big cotton throws at the foot of my bed. I’ve been drawn to his quilts and what they do to a bedroom. I think that’s what brought me first to John. I love that they’re machine washable. I like to create a bed that feels very personal. I also like to buy some of his antique textiles and use those in my projects. 

Curtains, chair, and ottoman upholstered in fabric from the John Robshaw Fabric Collection. Photo by Tria Giovan.

What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
Well I think people do know it about me, but most people wouldn’t think so… Nobody loves a bargain more than I do. As fancy as I am, I love a bargain! For my clients, and for myself, I love value.

Bedding by John Robshaw. Photo by Tria Giovan.

Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on?
That’s like saying you have a favorite child! I love all my projects, and they’re all unique. They’re always personal, and I love that they take me in a whole new direction.

Bedding by John Robshaw. Photo by Tria Giovan.

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get started in Interior Design?
Train your eye. Make sure that you know about the evolution and history of Decorative Arts. Scale and proportion are incredibly important. If you’re in Paris, go to the best antique store, just to educate yourself about what’s out there.

All of the great modern painters learned how to be classic painters first. They learned how to create something that is traditional and classic, and had a foundation to build on. 

You can learn more about Alex and his projects on his website and on his instagram.