What She Wants

Designer Fiona Kotur's Secrets to Styling Her Own Home

With her home in Hong Kong, popular accessories designer Fiona Kotur Marin shows us that her tastemaker qualities extend way beyond the bags and shoes that she is known for.

Intimate and influential Fiona Kotur Marin, founder of the successful women’s fashion accessory label Kotur, has been surrounded by creative individuals all her life. Her mother Sheila is a successful artist and interior designer, while sister Alexandra served as both style director at Vogue and creative director for Town&Country U.S. “I grew up in a household in which art, design, and creativity were revered,” says Fiona. “And I love decorating as much as I do designing!”

Mining her creative talents since 2004, when she founded her eponymous label, Fiona is adept at mixing the modern, the traditional, and the whimsical with innate flair. We sat down with the multi-faceted designer and discussed her ideas on creating a stylish home.

Fiona's book collection at home

What is your secret to adding glamor to a room?
I think you need one dramatic piece that is a showstopper and it should definitely be something that you can’t find everywhere. I believe in incorporating a unique piece into every environment, whether it’s a work of art or something vintage. Whatever it is, it should be something bold that you can build around.


Tell us what that piece is for you?
I bought an eight-foot-tall, four-foot-wide 1950s brass palm tree lamp made by Maison Jansen. I thought it would look fantastic in our family room, which has balconies lined with bamboo, and hoped that it would somehow bring the outdoors in. It’s very architectural and bold. I found it on 1stdibs.com and kept my fingers crossed that it would not only fit in the space but also look good in the room. And that my husband wouldn’t kill me because I didn’t discuss it with him first!

Maison Jansen brass lamp

Well, did he like it?
He did! I have four sons and they love it, too. It’s a fun piece.

Any other favorite statement pieces?
I have a set of Mastercraft brass bamboo dining chairs that I love. They are very comfortable and very chic. I also love a gypsum crystal lamp made for me by Garrison Rousseau. Lighting is really important to me and I like to have lamps at different heights in a room.

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Kotur’s favorite shopping site, 1stdibs. com

Where do you find all your cool pieces? Any “secret” stores?
I really love Blue Carreon Home. I follow it on Instagram and have bought several pieces just from the photos. I have admired Blue for so long—his eye and sensibility. His store is definitely a secret find. Then there would be 1stdibs.com because I like unique pieces. The website is fantastic and it’s like traveling through markets and antique stores around the world.

What about not-so-secret stores?
I have two stores for my linens. All my beautiful, white-on-white embroidered linens come from Schweitzer Linen in New York. They have two stores in the city and it’s an old-school, classic place that New Yorkers know about. For my paper linens, I order from Merrimade, a catalog company that has been around for years. I get all of my monogrammed paper linens and cocktail napkins from them. They have a large assortment and they ship internationally, too.


Embroidered table linens from Schweitzer Linen

For you, it wouldn’t be home without?
Apart from my kids, which you obviously can’t buy, it would be my collection of books. I have a large collection of art and design books, many of which are out of print, that I bought mostly from a website called alibris.com. My idea of relaxation is lying on a couch and going through all my books. It’s inspiring and it’s just something I love to do.

Of all of your decorating books, which one is your favorite? What would you recommend?
I have a few and they are always changing, but I’m going to go for the classic Decorating is Fun!, by Dorothy Draper. Let’s go to the beginning of it all. I actually think that for her time, she was so revolutionary—as a woman and as a designer. So many of her ideas are still relevant today and I feel that a lot of what you see today is derivative from what she started years ago.


Decorating is Fun!, and 365 Shortcuts to Home Decorating, by Dorothy Draper

This story was originally published in the October 2014 issue of Town&Country.

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Alicia Colby Sy
Alicia Colby Sy is the former Executive Editor of Town & Country Philippines.
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