Eric Cohler ’81, one of the leading and most sought-after interior designers in the country, has authored a book, “Cohler on Design” (The Monacelli Press). The book features 160 illustrations of his work – one of which was photographed by John Lawrence’12 during an internship -as well as images of seminal historic interiors, artwork, style icons, and architectural masterpieces that have influenced his designs and encouraged him to look at a space in a new way. He uses these to teach readers to define their inspiration and use it in their homes.
“‘Cohler on Design’ exemplifies how to live well by integrating your personal tastes and passions into your interiors. This lavishly illustrated volume is a visual tour of Cohler’s work,” explains the publisher. “Eric Cohler, a perennial name on Elle Decor’s A-List, translates his extensive education in art and architecture into an uncomplicated, modern approach to interior design. He presents each project not as a merely aspirational fait accompli, but as a real example of a design idea that you can try in your own rooms, whether you’re hanging your collection of original Andy Warhol prints or your child’s finger-paintings. With vivid, dynamic text detailing Cohler’s experiences in the world of interiors, ‘Cohler on Design’ is a guide to making the fantastic possible, and the commonplace extraordinary.”
The book has been well received by trade publications, including Architectural Digest, which writes:
“Eric Cohler takes readers inside his design process, encouraging them to find their own inspirations and indulge in what they love. Filled with the stylish homes he’s created for his clients, his book is a functional-and entertaining-guide to decorating.”
Elle Décor also favorably reviewed the book, noting, “Designer Eric Cohler seamlessly mixes the traditional and the up to date; in his interiors, Old Master-style paintings meet sleek contemporary sculpture and furnishings. His first book, Cohler on Design, features images of the decorator’s personal inspirations, from Edith Wharton’s country home to Bauhaus buildings, as well as 160 photographs of his projects.”
Lawrence had the opportunity to intern with Eric Cohler Design in New York, N.Y., between his junior and senior years. Taking advantage of the opportunity to speak with the award-winning interior designer during an on-campus event, Lawrence began a dialogue with Cohler that landed an offer from Cohler for Lawrence to intern at his design firm in the of summer 2011. Invited to work with Cohler on personal restoration projects in both Connecticut and New York, Lawrence took photographs, one of which is in “Cohler on Design.” He has since moved to Chelsea, in Manhattan, to pursue a career as a residential real estate agent.
Cohler earned his B.A. in English and art history from Hobart in 1981. He also holds a master’s degree in historic preservation from the Columbia University School of Architecture and Urban Design, and a certificate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was recently named to the top 10 designer list in the U.S. by Elle Décor, and had his design and fabric selected by President and Mrs. Obama for the White House dining room.
Industry magazine editors have dubbed Cohler the “Mixmaster” for his use of contemporary materials juxtaposed with classical elements. Since establishing his firm in 1991, House Beautiful has described him as one of the 14 “best of the best” in the “next wave of designers in America,” and he is included annually in their “Top 100” issue. His aesthetic is sought after for the country’s top showhouses, including the Kips Bay and Hampton Designer Showhouses.
Cohler’s work often appears in leading domestic and international periodicals, books, and design television shows. Interior design manufacturers have taken notice of Cohler’s distinctive design aesthetic, with Visual Comfort carrying his lighting designs, and Lee Jofa premiering a Cohler fabric collection in September 2006.
In 2006, Cohler established an award at HWS that provides rising seniors with the opportunity to complete a two-week summer internship at Eric Cohler Design as well as a travel stipend for a senior research project of the student’s creation.