Hi cuties! I am so excited to be kicking off the the summer season with our latest Trade Member Spotlight. This month’s Trade superstar? Charli Hendler, the owner and principal design at August Black Interior Design!
A longtime New Yorker—like your truly—Charli started August Black Interior Design back in 2008 as a design firm catering exclusively to men but has since grown and expanded her company into a full-service design firm taking on projects for men, women, couples—you name it! She primarily works in NYC and the Tristate area but also loves to travel for the occasional special project.
When she’s not busy with August Black Interior Design business, Charli loves to spend time with loved ones—preferably near the water—and she finds inspiration in travel, art, architecture, and nature. A woman after my own heart! Scroll through to hear about why Charli chooses to work with the KKH Trade Program, how she approaches her business and design ethos, and to check out some gorgeous images from one of her latest Manhattan-based design projects.
Photos below by Margaret Larson
Charli Hendler styling florals on-site
Tell our readers about your business–what are your specialities and core offerings?
August Black launched in 2008 as the only interior design firm that catered exclusively to men. Met with great acclaim, women and couples began to knock on the door.
Due to the growing demand for high-end residential projects, office and hospitality projects, August Black proudly expanded to full service interior design and project management services for residential, commercial, hospitality, restaurant and lounge projects in Manhattan and around the Tristate area.
“I aim to achieve timeless spaces with distinction and functionality. I love to re-imagine the possibilities while mixing modern and traditional pieces inspired by travel and art.”
How long have you been working with the KKH Trade Program and what stands out to you about it?
I have been working with the KKH Trade Program since 2018 and there are two elements that stand out to me most. The first is the exceptionally curated selection of furnishings, lighting and decor which has a clear through line of distinguished sophistication with a modern organic flair. The second is the unparalleled customer service should an issue or damage ever arise.
“I am always responded to quickly, with patience and with a solution right away—and in this industry, that is not something to overlook!”
Tell us about the gorgeous project featured in the photos shown here.
I recently finished a full gut renovation of a stunning corner apartment on Waverly Place in Manhattan. This magnificent remodel truly transformed, but perfectly preserved the unique nature of this sophisticated pre-war condo.
“The organic modern touches add consistency as you navigate through all the nooks and crannies of this 2 bedroom oasis in the city.”
A breath of fresh air in the center of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, this design aimed to capitalize on maximizing all the space has to offer, while layering thoughtful [as well as durable] details and lighting throughout to create an elevated and inviting environment, while keeping a calming feel in contrast to the busy city outside.
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Do you have a favorite interior design style to work with on projects?
I have a tendency to lean towards organic modern filled with tons of layers, texture, and sculptural forms throughout. That said, I also enjoy employing color layered with a black and white base!
How would you describe the style of your own home? Do you have a favorite piece of furniture?
There is a nice mix of black and white and lighter wood tones throughout which creates a nice consistency of calm and inviting while contrasted with a modern punch.
“Lighter wood plays such an important part to me in a Manhattan apartment, to offset the harsh brick and concrete beyond the apartment walls.”
My favorite piece of furniture is my bedroom dresser. It’s such a fun sculptural piece in a black lacquer, that I found when I moved to Soho in 2015. I updated the knobs and made it my own, and it’s a statement piece that I will bring with me wherever I go next!
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What have been some of the biggest joys and challenges you’ve faced in your career in the design industry?
One of the greatest joys is when clients send me photos of them enjoying their homes with their families and seeing shots of the spaces in action long after the project is completed. It shows me the full end result of what we were planning for all along throughout the design process.
“Knowing my clients are so happy and really living in the homes I have created for them is what it’s all about for me. This doesn’t come without challenges…many challenges!”
Over time the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that communication is the single most important factor in the design process. I have also learned to trust the process and to help guide, but not force, my clients to step a bit outside their comfort zones to imagine the possibilities they couldn’t have envisioned on their own.
Are there any design trends you see on the horizon this year, or any on their way out?
I am not a lover of trends. I prefer to incorporate trendy elements into decor and accent pillows since those are easier to replace over time. For core elements, I find it’s best to stick to pieces you won’t tire of, but that doesn’t mean they need to be boring.
“Right now, I’m loving chocolate and taupe tones for upholstery, sometimes paired with other neutrals—or even paired with jewel tones in deep purples and greens.”
To me, the farmhouse trend has been on it’s way out for a while, and I am over the all grey monochromatic look as I feel it makes spaces fall flat and limit their potential.
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What advice would you give someone who wants to work with an interior designer on their home, but they feel intimidated or hesitant? For someone who’s never worked with a designer, what’s the major upside?
The most important elements where I feel I add value as a designer is that I help my clients see possibilities within a space that they wouldn’t necessarily see or be able to visualize on their own.
Many people have excellent taste, but that doesn’t mean they can choose pieces that scale properly together and create the proper balance and functionality. Additionally, as a designer I have access to hundreds and hundreds of vendors and manufacturers that clients would not be able to access on their own.
Speaking to fellow design pros: what advice do you have about working a challenging client or overcoming unforeseen obstacles on a design project?
To me this comes back to communication. I try to put myself in the clients shoes to see how I would receive a particular challenge from their viewpoint. I always try to loop a client in on an issue only after I have gathered all information and have a proposed solution.
The Kathy Kuo Home Trade Program
Feeling inspired by August Black Interior Design? If you’re an interior designer or architect you can apply to our Trade Program to enjoy a wide array of professional benefits, as well as access to a thriving community of interior design pros. You can learn all about it HERE, but in brief, KKH Trade members receive: Competitive Trade Pricing, Free Shipping, Low Storage Fees, Dedicated Trade Specialist to Coordinate Orders from Start to Finish.