Meet the New York Judges

Ellie Cullman founded Cullman & Kravis over 30 years ago. Known for layered, dynamic interiors, luxurious finishes and exquisite details, C&K’s work embraces a “modern traditional” aesthetic. This fresh approach is contemporary, yet respects the 30-year track record of the company’s passion for fine art and antiques.

In addition to its interior design practice, Cullman & Kravis recently launched its Elliehome Furniture Collection through The New Traditionalist, and a fabric collection with Holland & Sherry.

Ellie has consistently been included on the coveted AD 100 list of the world’s best interior designers and architects since 2000. She was named one of Architectural Digest’s Deans of American Design in 2005, and received the D&D’s Star of Design Award in 2009. She has been designated the 2016 recipient of the New York School of Interior Design’s Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ellie is the co-author with Tracey Pruzan of Decorating Master Class: The Cullman Kravis Way, (Harry Abrams, 2008) and The Detailed Interior: Decorating Up Close with Cullman & Kravis, (Monacelli, 2013).

Ippolita Rostagno

To meet Ippolita, the dynamic designer behind the Ippolita collection of sculptural 18-karat gold designer jewelry and spectacular handmade  home decor, is to understand what has already made her young company’s initial endeavor one of the most successful in jewelry history: Ippolita is strong; Ippolita is bold; Ippolita is powerful. This Italian born artisan and sculptor by trade forged her remarkable career guided by a fascination with Art, Luxury, and Craft. She is a genuine intellectual, and one of the most prolific designers working today.

From the onset of her burgeoning career, word quickly spread of Ippolita’s talent.  As a result, Ippolita became so busy with outside requests that she barely had time for her own designs. In 1999, Ippolita was finally able to start her signature fine jewelry business.  The Ippolita 18k gold jewelry collection makes its debut at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City.

Today, Ippolita jewelry and home collections are a raging success at the premier retailers around the world. Still determined to challenge herself, Ippolita endeavors to master every material and has set a mission that far surpasses the world of jewelry.  Aside from the Ippolita 18k gold business, Ippolita’s compelling vision has sparked a breathtak- ing collection of furniture, glasswork, collectibles, and ceramic designs.  Ippolita Home features fabulous materials and clever concepts, including versatile petrified wood side tables, hand carved wood and stone sculptures’ ceramic “face” bowls” and bento boxes filled with an array of treasures like original bronze sculptures miniature oil paintings and sterling silver Brazil nuts.

Benjamin Noriega Ortiz

BNO holds Master of Architecture from the University of PR and Master of Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University.

He began his professional career in 1983 with John F. Saladino, Inc, establishing his firm in 1992.

Notable residential clients include Lenny Kravitz, Laura Esquivel, Mark Seliger, Russell Simmons, Patricia Field and Sean Combs.

Notable commercial clients include Cartier, Diptyque, Morgan Hotel Group, NH Collection and Renaissance Times Square hotel, which was unveiled in February 2016.

Along with his husband artist Steven Wine, they transformed the former …and Bob’s Your Uncle store into the to-the-trade couture lighting company ABYU Lighting in 2007.

BNO published two books: Emotional Rooms, The Sensual Interiors of Benjamin Noriega Ortiz (2007) and Suspending Reality, Interiors by Benjamin Noriega Ortiz written with Linda O’Keeffe (2014).

D&D Building selected BNO as the Design Star 2015.

Ally Coulter is the Creative Director and Vice President for Luxury Living Group USA, the exclusive manufacturer and distributor for Fendi Casa, Bentley Home, Trussardi Casa, and Heritage Collection. Based out of New York, she joined Luxury Living in 2015 and has since directed the company’s US expansion efforts. Ally is currently leading commercial interiors projects for Luxury Living in New York, Miami, and LA with some of the top names in the development industry. As Creative Director, she is personally involved in the curated selection and design of furnishings for Luxury Living’s US market.

She began her design career at Ralph Lauren Home in Beverly Hills and has since designed for high profile celebrity clients in the fashion and financial industry in addition to elite residences for private clients. She has projects peppered throughout the northeast, spanning from Providence to the Hamptons.

Matthew Patrick Smyth

A returning IDA judge, Matthew Patrick Smyth’s firm specializes primarily in residential interior design from Connecticut to New York City, 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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