A Pennsylvania native, Sheila Bridges moved from Philadelphia to New York City in 1986. She studied design and decorative designs in Brown University and Parsons School of Design and Polimoda in Florence.
In 1994 Bridges founded her interior design firm, Sheila Bridges Design, Inc, which gained worldwide fame. In its portfolio one can find residences and offices for many prominent entertainers, entrepreneurs and business professionals including the 8,300 square foot Harlem offices for former President Bill Clinton and his staff, projects at Columbia University and Princeton University.
Spaces designed by Bridges surprise with their seemingly simple design and usage of light color palette: “As I evolved as a designer I started to embrace color and take more risks.”. As a result, she creates spacious and well-lit interiors which immediately charm her clients. Her eclectic style uses elegant and tasteful furniture, together with an abundance of fine paintings and small but memorable details. Instead of “blindly filling up the space,” Bridges “[respects] that the design process takes time. The serendipity of gradually finding things along the journey is the fun of it. There’s no hurry.”. While the designer is cautious about her client’s interiors, she loves to experiment in her house : “My sensibility skews to those shapes and silhouettes and symmetries of classicism, and my own home is my laboratory.”. However, while aesthetics are an important part of her style, what Bridges aims for is the comfort of her interiors: ” “[it’s] important to have a home that makes you feel safe and comfortable, at ease and relaxed.”.
Bridges started to design furniture and home furnishings under the name Sheila Bridges Home, Inc. Her Harlem Toile De Jouy wallpaper is exhibited in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent wallpaper collection. The designer’s other memorable works can be viewed in museums throughout the country and Europe including The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Art and Design in New York City and most recently the Museé De La Toile De Jouy in Jouy-en-Josas, France.
Named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine, Sheila hosted Sheila Bridges Designer Living for the FINE LIVING Network, expertly produced and highly acclaimed series where the designer gave viewers advice on how to define and express their sense of personal style in their own homes. Bridges has been regularly appearing on NBC’s Today Show and became the contributing editor at MORE Magazine. Her work was included in House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Pink Eggshell, Gotham and New York magazines, as well as on numerous Top Designer’s lists. The designer wrote two books: Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime, published in 2002, and The Bald Mermaid, A Memoir, released in 2013.