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Ellie Cullman And Alyssa Urban: 52 Weeks of Design

Home 52 Weeks of Design Ellie Cullman & Alyssa Urban

Ellie Cullman
& Alyssa Urban


This week, we're thrilled to highlight design partners Ellie Cullman and Alyssa Urban of Cullman & Kravis. Cullman & Kravis echoes our own core values-they are known for providing unparalleled quality, design excellence and personal service to every project, making them the perfect fit for our 52 Weeks of Design.

Ellie Cullman & Alyssa Urban


Ellie Cullman, the 2016 recipient of the New York School of Interior Design’s Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award, 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 a carpet collection with Crosby Street Studios, a fabric line with Holland & Sherry, and a furniture collection called “Ellie Home.”

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 a “Grand Master” by ELLE DECOR in 2016 and 2017.

Ellie is the co-author with Tracey Pruzan of Decorating Master Class: The Cullman & Kravis Way, (Harry Abrams, 2008), The Detailed Interior: Decorating Up Close with Cullman & Kravis, (The Monacelli Press, 2013), and From Classic to Contemporary: Decorating with Cullman & Kravis, (The Monacelli Press, 2017).

Questions and Answers

Q: "What's your design motto?"

A: "Never rest until the good is better and the better is best."

Q: "What's your favorite getaway?"

A: "Italy, anywhere, especially Florence where I am a founding member of the Friends of Florence, the first international non-profit dedicated to preserving the art and architecture of Florence. I'm so excited because this year I am going to the Venice Film Festival for the first time."

Q: "No room is complete without ___________."

A: "... good lighting. Never use down lighting. It is not flattering and exaggerates wrinkles. Layer your lighting, using chandeliers for general illumination and lamps, sconces art lights as well. The more lighting sources at low levels the better"

Q: "What's the easiest way to transform a room? "

A: "Buy a new rug, especially one from our new collection with Crosby Street Studios."

Q: "What's the best advice you've received?"

A: "You get more with honey than vinegar."

Ellie Cullman & Alyssa Urban


Alyssa Urban, one of Cullman & Kravis' design partners, is known for layering her interiors with both traditional and modern elements. Alyssa is a New York City native and earned her BA in Interior Design at the University of Wisconsin.

After living in Florence, Italy, where she developed her antiquing skills, she began her career as a set designer for Conan O'Brien's late-night talk show and The Dana Carvey Show, and eventually moved her talents to the interior design industry. After working for several noteworthy firms doing both hospitality and residential design, Alyssa came to Cullman & Kravis in 2000. Since joining Cullman & Kravis, Alyssa has completed designs at significant residences such as a Georgian residence in Houston, a New Jersey estate in Horse Country, a Fifth Avenue Pied-a-terre, and a waterfront home in Sagaponack. Alyssa loves shopping Art and Antique shows and seeking out up-and-coming artists to utilize contemporary art within a traditional setting. She currently resides with her husband and young daughter in New York City.


Decorating with Cullman & Kravis by Ellie Cullman and Tracey Pruzan
Square Throw Pillow
Mid-Century Dresser
Valentine Dining Chair

Cullman & Kravis embraces classic design with a modern perspective. We have no signature style; we are total design chameleons. To quote Andy Warhol: "I don't know. I just like everything." And I would add: As long as it's done well!
- Ellie Cullman

52 Weeks of Design


52 Weeks of Design is our yearlong celebration of 2017's most cutting-edge designers, brands and influencers. We'll introduce a new guest every week along with a bio, information about their designs and inspiration, and access to style tips, curated products and more.

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