Meet David



David grew up in New York surrounded by taste and people talking about it, which for a young person was both a good and a bad thing (his father owned the fabric house Cowtan & Tout). From an early age he was interested in architecture, furniture, cars, and the history of each.


Since dropping out of Harvard Architecture School and founding his studio in New York in 2000, he has specialized in residential decoration in no particular style. It might be said that David’s work is known for trying to bring to modernism a touch of warmth and personality, and to traditionalism young energy and a dash of the exotic. For a project to be successful he believes in the importance of getting the architecture right, but that good decoration should also be a portrait of the person who lives there. His projects have been published in Vogue, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, House & Garden, and Veranda, as well as several books.


In 2002 David launched NettoCollection, a pioneering line of modern children’s furniture which channeled the style and beauty of pieces from the 1930’s and 50’s to lift the aesthetics of a whole industry.


As a writer on the history of architecture and design, from 2010-2012 he worked as contributing design editor to the Wall Street Journal. After 2012 he did so for T, the New York Times Style Magazine, and now writes the Case Studies column for Town & Country. Recently David authored a monograph on the work of Francois Catroux, published by Rizzoli.


David Netto Design LLC (with studio director Lily Dierkes) is now active in LA with projects on both the east and west coasts. David lives with his wife Elizabeth and two daughters in a small but dazzling Neutra house—which started as a portrait of its owners but is now more a portrait of their children—in Silver Lake, and welcomes your interest.


1. Music by Thelonious Monk. If he could do what he did creatively, who the hell am I not to try. Plus it’s just nice to think about how odd he was

2. Russia. Nothing is normal in Russia. If you ever get tired of looking at English or French architecture or furniture, look at Russian things for a while, and the world becomes exotic again

3. My godfather, the textile designer Alan Campbell. Nothing can equal the encouragement you receive as a young person, if you are fortunate enough to know someone like him. It stays with you all your life

4. Claridge’s. There are many many design lessons there, but it’s also just a place to live up to. Makes you dress your best, crack funnier jokes, etc. Makes you grateful to be there at all!

5. The book The Outermost House, by Henry Beston. It’s about getting down to work, in every way that can mean—spiritually, etc

6. Any room by Stephen Sills

7. Any writing by Simon Schama in the FT

8. The movie Topsy Turvy by Mike Leigh is good to watch if you’re trying to be creative and feeling sorry for yourself. It will remind you what people go through who really do something great

9. Laughter. It’s very important for a creative people, many of whom also have a temper, to have a sense of humor. Remember to laugh a lot. Laughter is like vitamins, and it will make your work better

10. The Boston Atheneum. If such a thing can exist, now, then the world isn’t ALL going to hell