Designer Friday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With Eddie Maestri

The balance between remodeling a home and honoring its historic entities is hard to achieve. But for architect Eddie Maestri, it just seems to come naturally. Since forming Maestri Studio over 10 years ago, he has turned houses into homes from Texas to Oklahoma and has been featured in many major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Love Happens Magazine and now aspire design and home. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Eddie Maestri.

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Andrew Joseph: What’s a guilty pleasure you have?
Eddie Maestri: Staying in nice hotels whenever possible. No matter my destination, staying at a posh well-designed hotel is something I can’t pass up. Aside from the amenities, a luxe hotel incorporates everything I love about design – from fashion-forward and cutting-edge design to soaking up the architecture, interior, and art details. The best hotels, whether they are revamped historical buildings or newly built, draw from the local energy of their locale and serve as a place to recharge from a long day exploring a new place.

Andrew: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Eddie: I am a sucker for a good Old Fashioned.

Andrew: What’s something you always travel with?
Eddie: A simple leather-bound sketchbook with a set of good pens. I’ve carried these things with me on every trip. Sketching the places I’ve been allows me to reconnect with my passion for design – studying the details, capturing the inspiration in spaces, and learning what makes it beautiful. When I sketch, unlike a quick photograph, I’m forced to sit and stay a while – even have a drink – and feel the space, live it, and hopefully capture it in a way that I take it home with me.

Andrew: How would you describe your personal style?
Eddie: I’m collected and eclectic – just like my design. I’m inspired by mid-century design, but find my roots in the formality of the grand homes I admired growing up in New Orleans – always with touches of whimsy and kitsch to bring it down a notch. The classicism from my time in Italy – the patterns, repetitions, and site lines – always pair with a splash of SoCal laid-back comfort.

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Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Eddie: Building Maestri Studio. When I moved to Dallas to start working for a large architecture firm, my days were filled with work, but my weekends were full of DIY projects. It was those projects, and a lot of trial and error, where I explored my own personal style and led me to branch out on my own. When my starter DIY home was published, a few design jobs came rolling in and I slowly built enough business to formally launch Maestri Studio in 2008. What started as a very small business has developed into a dynamic design firm that I am very proud of. We constantly set new goals, new aspirations, and raise the bar for our achievements.

Andrew: Style (or design) icon?
Eddie: Dorothy Draper. I love her use of patterns, repetition, creating very intentional focal points in a space, and her courage to be bold with no apologies.

Andrew: Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Eddie: A gray and white houndstooth dinner jacket. I am obsessed with houndstooth, and found the perfect dinner jacket to sport. It may be busy for some, but I love it…and better yet, I blend in with our sofa pillows and really don’t care.

Andrew: Favorite tea to decompress, and in what mug?
Eddie: Any hot tea served in my Hunmin Jeongeum mug brought home from a trip to South Korea to visit my sister. Its soft green color is soothing, and the inlaid streaks of gold give it a unique flair. Especially during a pandemic, it always makes me feel a bit closer to family and reminds me of sipping hot cider with my sis in freezing Seoul.

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Andrew: What’s your favorite quarantine candle scent?
Eddie: The scent of the Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 Candle, inspired by the Baccarat Hotel in New York City, is truly one of a kind. It instantly takes me back to the times we could get away, sip cocktails in a classy bar or just sketch during tea.

Andrew: What’s one thing you hate admitting that you love about quarantine?
Eddie: Everything has slowed down and the hustle and bustle of juggling family, work, friends, and fun has died down – allowing me to spend more time with my kids. In the months pre-COVID, I had so many work events, dinners, and misc. outings that required a sitter and I was constantly on the go. Slowing down has been for the better and I am loving every minute with my little guys.

Andrew: How have you managed to grow your long-distance friendships?
Eddie: Like most people, we do a lot of Zoom calls. Zoom happy hours, group texts, and even Facetime cooking classes together. I recently spent a couple of Saturdays with my best friends learning to make bao buns, homemade pasta and Bolognese, and it was so nice to “hang out”

Andrew: Where will be the first place you will travel after COVID-19?
Eddie: All the places! But first, we have a family trip to Hawaii planned and I am anxious to book a trip to SoCal to visit one of my best friends and get a much-needed dose of California sunshine…seriously having withdrawals!


blankAbout The Designer | Eddie Maestri, AIA, a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, started designing homes in Dallas in 2004 and officially founded Maestri Studio in 2008. Certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), he is a registered architect in Texas and Oklahoma. Eddie holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design and a Master of Architecture from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas with a certificate in Health Systems & Design. In addition, he spent a semester in Italy focusing on architectural and urban studies, as well as expanding his talents in freehand drawing and art.

Eddie delivers truly custom architecture and design that is tailored to his clients’ styles and needs and influenced by the grand, yet approachable, architecture of his home town, the clean lines and patterns of mid-century design, and his exposure to far away places through his love of travel. Eddie guides the firm’s team throughout the process of every project, while encouraging a collaborative design studio with independent and innovative thinking. He prides himself on his appreciation for design, attention to detail, and on building strong client relationships.