To most people, it might seem unusual for someone to hire their former acting teacher from summer camp to design the interiors of their family’s new home. But for Emily Tisch Sussmanit was an exciting callback when she enlisted the New York-based designer Alec Holland to fully outfit the Hamptons home she shares with her husband, Kevin Craw, and their three young children.
“It’s a second career for me,” says Holland, a former comedian and actor. “I lived on the west coast and came here to teach acting at a performing arts camp in the Berkshires where Emily had been a camper – then a college counselor – that’s how we got together. met.”
The two lost touch over the years, but during the pandemic, Holland — now an established interior designer — received a message from Tisch Sussman on Instagram. “She had been following me for a while and knowing I was great in color and cheerful design, told me about how they lived in New York but moved into this fully furnished house practically overnight and had need my help.”
“We actually moved eight times in 18 months, and I had my third baby in the middle, so it was chaotic the moment we moved in – literally an hour after the seller left,” Tisch Sussman recalls, a respected Democratic political strategist and host of her own weekly podcast She pivots in partnership with Marie Claire.
But the furniture, which accompanied the property, had to disappear. “It was kind of federal style, and none of it made sense [for them]says Holland. “Emily is a very colorful person who really likes things to pop – it’s like the way she presents herself.”
Along with selecting what to reuse and completely furnishing the 9,000-square-foot, eight-bedroom, eight-bathroom home, Holland had the added challenge of navigating the design process while the family lived on site while time. “The good news is that while living there, we already had some ideas about how to use the space,” says Tisch Sussman. “And Alec was very good at taking our sweep [design] ideas and bring them to life.
The pair worked effortlessly together to refine the overall aesthetic, while respecting the integrity of the house. “It was so much fun working with him, as much as when we were advisers together,” Tisch Sussman shares wistfully. “And now the house has so much positive energy that every time I walk in I’m like, ‘Yeah, this is our space. It’s us!'”