Podcast, Ep. 310: The Elegant Life with Alex Papachristidis

Alex Papachristidis

We welcome celebrated New York based interior designer Alex Papachristidis to the podcast, known for elegant and timeless spaces and work that has been featured on the Architectural Digest 100,Veranda, Elle Decor, House Beautiful and more. Alex founded his Manhattan based interior design firm in 1987 and has had projects all over the world from Colorado to London, Saudi Arabia to Texas. In this episode, he talks about his now available second book, The Elegant Life: Rooms that Welcome and Inspire, and the inspiration behind the homes he chose and the ways in which it showcases his abilities to do modern interiors with the same sort of grandeur of traditional interiors. Alex also talks about his love of soft goods, picking colors that represent you, and why we shouldn’t try and hide from the ugly things, but instead make them prettier.

Alex Papachristidis' BookWhat You’ll Hear On This Episode:

  • The importance of actually being able to live in your living room.
  • Creating interiors that are reflective of who you are and how you want to live.
  • How Alex gets his clients to tell him what they like.
  • How to not be afraid of color.
  • Alex’s love of a challenge: how did he do his sister’s home in plaster, white, gold, and silver?
  • How to pick colors that are going to be timeless and that you will love for a long time?
  • More about Alex’s colorful and layered home in the Upper East Side.
  • What does Alex mean by trying your paint finishes dry and wet?
  • Alex’s love soft goods to give a room extra coziness.
  • When taking on a project yourself, make sure you don’t downgrade and that you keep things all sort of the same level but just tweak it to make it new and fresh.
  • When you start collecting, go to the best dealers, stores, and museum exhibits for inspiration.
  • What was it like working with Greek contractors in Athens?

Alex Papachristidis InteriorDecorating Dilemma 

Hello Ballard podcast team and mystery guest!

I am excited to report that my husband and I recently purchased our first home, so I finally have a design dilemma to send in!

We live in Dallas, Texas, and the home is a 1927 Arts and Crafts (I think…with some colonial inspiration). I thought this would be brief, buut I guess I need more help than I thought… The dilemma is in the kitchen: The previous owner opened the wall between the dining and the kitchen, but…they did not match the crown molding! It simply stops where the old wall began. So, half the room has 8in crown molding, it abruptly ends in the middle of the wall, and the rest of the room has no molding at all.

I think they made this unfortunate decision because there is not enough space above the cabinets for 8 inches of crown molding. So…how do I continue the crown molding throughout the room? If it stops next to the cabinet, how do I make it look intentional?

Thank you for any insights or suggestions in advance. The inspiration, wisdom, and easy listening you have provided have been truly invaluable!!

Thank you all,



If you could, Alex recommends dropping the ceiling enough to bring crown molding into the room. This would open the room and create a panel that would complete the kitchen as a unit. He would also define the kitchen in another color, for example, paint it in white so it stands out and creates some delineation between rooms. Alex reminds us that if you have something ugly, just try and make it look pretty rather than trying to hide it.

Also Mentioned in This Episode:

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

Subscribe in Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts

Kelley Bostian

Kelley enjoys a light and livable home and is always searching for that perfect "finishing touch" antique piece. Here on How to Decorate, it's his goal to help you bring your own unique design vision to life.