When it comes to design, nothing should ever be too precious, says designer Jessie Short of Oak City In - teriors. “Kids and pets make a home just as much as furniture and pretty fabrics,” she says, “and they can all live together.” The elegant coupling of function - ality with style and sophisticated design is Short’s calling card. Her mantra: “A house is meant to be lived in, not looked at.”

“Lately, I have been really inspired by English homes. Often referred to as the ‘insouciant home,’ they embody the idea that you should not be afraid to live in your home.” How does she achieve the delicate balance between everyday living and elegant interior design? “I embrace the imperfections. When everything is new and shiny, you lose a little bit of soul.”

This explains why the designer loves pieces that weather and age gracefully over the years. “I am drawn to finishes that get better with time, like unlacquered brass, marble, and pine floors,” she says, adding that she looks for inspiration in “old design books from ParishHadley and Elsie de Wolfe.” No matter what the project or who the client, though, Short always maintains the same approach: “The goal is to make everything warm and inviting.” 

Bunny Williams Home Pheasant Feather Lamp / $1,050 / bunnywilliamshome.com

Sister Parish Dolly Fabric in China Blue / to the trade / sisterparishdesign.com

Richard Ginori Oriente Italiano Malachite Platter / $193 / shopquintessentials.com

Byredo Tree House Candle / $85 / nordstrom.com

Union Camp Collective Antique Nesting Tables / $1,495 / chairish.com