Podcast, Ep. 225: architect Roger Seifter

Architect Roger Seifter

Photo: Peter Olson. Architect Roger Seifter

We are long overdue for our conversation with the amazing architect Roger Seifter. He’s a partner at the renowned firm Robert A.M Stern Architects (RAMSA) and has designed houses all over the world including in the US, UK, India, and Canada. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, House & Garden, The New York Times, Lux, and many more. He recently co-authored the book HOUSES with his colleagues featuring projects and the design work from the firm. We talk all about his processes, projects in the book, adapting to different architectural styles, and more!

Houses by Robert A.M Stern Architects

Houses by Robert A.M Stern Architects

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • All about the process of writing HOUSES and the projects in the book.
  • Details about the incredible Las Olas project featured in the book.
  • Roger’s advice about designing or landscaping when you can’t build from scratch.
  • What is Roger’s process in building and designing a house?
  • How much input does a client have in a project?
  • How ornamentation is used in Mediterranean architecture.
  • Why a geographic location often dictates the architectural style of a building.
  • What’s the best way for a person to learn about architectural styles?
  • Is there such a thing as too much in terms of texture, ornament, patterns, etc., and how do you decide when and where to use it?
  • How to work with a boxy house.
  • More about Roger’s personal home in New Jersey he designed with his wife — a fellow architect.
  • Details on the Kiawah project that RAMSA worked on.

Decorating Dilemma


My family of 4 is about to move into a stunning 1930s Santa Barbara style home. It has original wall to wall hand painted tiles. The living room is a rectangle shape with built ins and a fireplace, making furniture placement a challenge. My questions are twofold:

1) How should I lay out the furniture. We are loungers and love to watch movies and relax, so a tv needs to be worked it. I was thinking we could put a TV directly across from the fireplace and then have a couch and two chairs across be flanked by the tv on one end and the fireplace on the other.

2). What type and color furniture would you put in here? What type of couch? I would like to brighten it up but don’t want it to look out of place near the dramatic sconces and floors. 

3) Dining room table suggestions are needed. I have been considering a glass top dining room table so you can see the floor while you are sitting at the table. This is totally outside of what I would normally pick, but I’m kind of into the idea, thoughts? 

Thank you,


Hi Amanda,

The easiest answer is DO NOT put a glass top table in the dining room; I would put a nice wood table.  There’s enough beautiful tile that we don’t need to see through it, but you could do with some leggy chairs. Regarding the fireplace; it’s beautiful but it’s tiny, so it would be odd to focus the furniture around the fireplace. Your instinct to mount the TV in the built-ins is the way to go and then position the furniture in a way that you can actually sit in it to watch. I would put the sofa across the room with the two chairs opposite it and then some pull-up chairs by the fireplace.  In terms of types and colors of furniture, I would keep the upholstery simple and soft in a neutral, lighter color. Then use pillows that pick up the colors from the tile. Just remember not to pick oversized furniture that will overpower the floors. If you decide to go without a rug, you’ll be relying on your furniture and window coverings to balance the sound, so maybe steer towards lush, skirted upholstery and ample, soft curtains. A bonus with skirted chairs is you can have them on swivels to access both the TV and the fireplace!

This is an amazing space and we can’t wait to see it finished. These floors are so unique and such a treat to see! Please send us the after photos.

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.