Meet the Connecticut Judges

Landscape Architect
Thomas Balsley

Thomas Balsley is the principal designer of Thomas Balsley Associates, a NYC-based urban landscape architecture firm whose work has had a profound impact on the built environment and the quality of life in cities across the US. His unique fusion of creativity and innovation with public process has produced extraordinary spaces large and small, provocative and sublime. His firm’s portfolio of award-winning projects and competitions include Dallas’ Main Street Garden, Cleveland’s Perk Park, Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Park, Tokyo’s Gate City, and Seoul’s Leeum Samsung Museum of Art. Closer to home, his highly acclaimed parks such as Riverside Park South, Gantry Park, Hunter’s Point South, and Peggy Rockefeller Plaza have helped to reshape NYC’s public realm. In an unprecedented acknowledgement of his contribution to public space in the City of New York, a park on 57th Street was renamed in his honor as Balsley Park. His teaching and speaking engagements at Harvard’s GSD, University of Pennsylvania, the National Building Museum, Seoul National University, etc., together with a wealth of publications and TV appearances, such as BBC’s “Around the World in 80 Gardens”, have exposed his work to a broader international audience. In the Spacemaker Press monograph “Thomas Balsley: The Urban Landscape”, NYT architecture critic Herbert Muschamp wrote: “Balsley inscribes places with a dual portrait of nature and culture in modern dress.”

Interior Designer
Scott Sanders

A graduate of Parsons School of Design, with a degree in Interior Design, Scott Sanders began his professional career at Ralph Lauren, creating the company’s interior design department. His highly acclaimed renovation of the Beach House Bal Harbour Hotel for noted art-collector and boutique hotelier clients, the Rubell family, during his last year with Ralph Lauren, reflected Sanders’ now evident signature style and was a driving force in establishing Scott Sanders LLC. Founded in 2000, Scott Sanders LLC’s extensive and diverse portfolio includes residential projects all over the world, ranging from ski homes in Aspen; condominiums and homes in Miami Beach; country estates in New Jersey; beach houses in the Hamptons; townhomes and apartments in NYC; and a sprawling adobe home in Arizona. Sanders’ notable designs for hospitality properties range from South Beach’s iconic Albion Hotel, to Crown Maple Syrup’s corporate offices, headquartered in Hudson Valley, New York. In addition to select residential properties in 2014, Sanders’ commercial division grew to include the design of a model apartment at The Printing House, an early-twentieth century iconic building in New York City, and the Art-Deco era, landmark, 440-room Lord Baltimore Hotel for the Rubells.

Karen Stonely, AIA LEED AP BD+C, received degrees in Architecture, Art and Art History from Rice University. Her work is a part of the permanent collection at the Garrison Forest School, Rice University and is privately collected. Ms. Stonely began independent practice in Maryland and New York in 1991, and founded SPAN Architecture in 2004 with Peter Pelsinski and Jean-Gabriel Neukomm. The studio thrives on a diverse body of work including residential, commercial, hospitality, retail and bespoke fabrications. SPAN has garnered numerous design awards, most recently the 2014 AIA Interior Honors Award, and is internationally published, gracing the covers of Interior Design and Architectural Digest. In addition, Ms. Stonely pursues public service through her passion for architecture and arts, most recently participating in the 2014 Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club Designer Show House. She serves as a Board Member of Open House New York and was a member of the Development Committee for the Architectural League of New York.

Interior Designer
Anthony Baratta

Anthony Baratta, is one of the most celebrated interior designers of the day with a global following of loyal fans. He is known for his bold use of color and scale that honors tradition while defying predictability. His design work has graced over 50 magazine covers worldwide.

Baratta’s work has been celebrated in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s National Design Triennial: Inside Design Now and he was awarded Benjamin Moore’s coveted “Hue Award” for lifetime achievement in design. His furniture collection with the venerable Thomasville Brand, consist of a 40 plus collection of upholstery, case pieces, mirrors and accent furniture.

In 2017 Baratta launched a spectacular collection of rug designs with America’s 100 yr. old classic rug manufacturer Capel Rugs and his signature bedding collection with industry leader Wildcat Territory, to perfectly compliment his bedroom furniture, adding to his creations for Lee Jofa Fabrics and Stark Carpet.

Baratta has coauthored 2 books: The Exuberant Style of William Diamond and Anthony Baratta; and Diamond Baratta Design. His current works include the New Jersey Governor’s Mansion and collaborations with Colonial Williamsburg.

Matthew Patrick Smyth

A returning IDA judge, Matthew Patrick Smyth’s firm specializes primarily in residential interior design from Connecticut to New York City and Paris and London, giving careful consideration to blend classic style with comfort. Smyth’s aesthetic illustrates a consistent focus on fine detailing and suitability, within a range of styles. Matthew Patrick Smyth Inc. utilizes high quality craftspeople to provide a finished product that reflects the client’s needs and interest. The firm’s goal is to maintain a long-term relationship with clients. Many of the firm’s clients are on their second, third and fourth projects with Matthew Patrick Smyth Inc. Smyth has branched out into product design with a carpet collection, a line of fabrics, a line of his wall covering designs and a bed collection.

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