LexTalks Live & In Person with Alexa Hampton:

An Inside Look at the Careers and Stories Behind Design’s Top Talent

Alexa Hampton in conversation with Jenn & Mike Gracie, Christopher Spitzmiller and Ashley Whittaker


World renowned designer Alexa Hampton takes her popular “52 Weeks of Design” interview series on the road for the first-ever in-person LexTalks Live, during which she’ll interview design panelists Jenn & Mike Gracie, Christopher Spitzmiller and Ashley Whittaker. Take an inside look into the careers of the industry’s top designers and tastemakers as Alexa leads the conversation spanning the topics of design, gardening and lifestyle. Enjoy behind-the-scenes stories and a celebration of the world of design accompanied by a slideshow presentation with vivid and insightful imagery.

Alexa Hampton

Alexa Hampton

Since Alexa Hampton took the reins of Mark Hampton, her father’s iconic firm, as owner and president in 1998, she has advanced its legacy of elegant, practical, classically based interiors for modern living. Regularly named to Architectural Digest’s AD100 and House Beautiful’s Top Designer list as well as Elle Décor’s A-List, Hampton translates the classical principles of good design and decoration into some of today’s most elegant, enduring, and functional domestic landscapes.

Like her father, Hampton is a highly regarded author with two critically praised books on design to date – The Language of Interior Design and Decorating in Detail. In an ever-expanding portfolio of acclaimed products, Hampton provides smart, stylish, design-rich solutions for every aspect of the home. On-going Hampton-designed collections include furniture for Theodore Alexander, lighting for Visual Comfort & Co. and Generation Lighting, window treatments for The Shade store, fabrics and trims for Kravet, broadloom carpet for Stark, pillows and bedding for Eastern Accents, table linens for La Gallina Matta, hardware for SA Baxter, mantels for Chesney’s, architectural mouldings for White River, and flooring for Globus Cork.

Hampton sits on the board of trustees for the New York School of Interior Design and the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.


Jenn Gracie

Jenn Gracie

Jennifer has considered herself employed by the family business since birth, having had a love of Chinese porcelain and wallpaper from the start, even bringing examples of Gracie wallpaper to school to show and tell. In college, she studied English Literature and Sociology. A recent achievement is successfully planning a pandemic cross county move and wedding. She isCreative Director at Gracie, and loves designing new wallpapers, scuba diving, stand up comedy and perfecting her shortbread cookie recipe. 

Mike Gracie

Mike Gracie

Mike studied pre-law at Northeastern University, but chose to go into the family industry instead of proceeding on to law school. While gaining experience as a furniture salesperson at a San Francisco showroom, Mike began pursuing an acting career there. He returned to New York to join the family business and to continue his acting career, appearing in independent films and off-Broadway plays. Mike found his greatest satisfactions and rewards in the family business where he has spent a 26-year career.

Christopher Spitzmiller

Christopher Spitzmiller

Christopher’s iconic ceremic lamp designs draw inspiration from classical forms and traditional gem like glazes. He began his career in Georgetown in Washington, D.C. where he worked out of an old school house near Dumbarton Oaks. Shortly thereafter, his work received critical acclaim and his reputation as a noteworthy ceramicist began to emerge. In the summers, he worked from Mecox Gardens in Southampton as an artist in residence and such designers as Albert Hadley, Richard Keith Langham and Suzanne Rheinstein began to commission his work.

Since 1996, Christopher has been concentrating his efforts on his unique lamp designs. In the fall of 1999 after outgrowing his Washington studio he moved to New York City where he now creates his one of-a-kind lamps with his crew of skilled artisans. The lamps are of timeless appeal and luxurious quality. Beautiful classic forms are drenched in bold vibrant rich glazes. Each one of a kind lamp is set in a hand turned hardwood base, which is water gilt with 23k yellow gold or 9k white gold for a silver finish. Currently, Christopher is expanding his designs to table ware and other ceramic accessories.

Christopher’s work is often featured in celebrated publications such as Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Departures, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has had the honor of making lamps for the current Oval Office, the past two White House Administrations, as well the Blair House and other distinguished American homes.

When not in the Studio, Christopher can be found at his farm in Millbrook, NY gardening, bee keeping, making jam, cooking for friends, or tending to his flock of heritage breed chickens. He also enjoys the pleasure of giving back to the community by serving on the board of the local time-honored Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and as the Vice Chair of the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club President’s Dinner.

A Year at Clove Brook Farm

A portion of each book sale goes back to support the Antiques & Garden Show benefitting Cheekwood and ECON Charities.

Ashley Whittaker

Ashley Whittaker

Described as the “neo-traditionalist”, Ashley Whittaker reveals her fresh and modern perspective on traditional design and architecture in all of her work.  The New York City decorator’s hallmarks are distinctively classic taste and chic sophistication.  Characterized by tailored rooms that incorporate charming detail and engaging play on color and pattern, Whittaker’s signature style is immediately evident.

Listed on Elle Décor’s A-List of top designers, Ashley’s work has been published in The New York Times, Veranda, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Domino, and most notably, on the cover of House Beautiful on six separate occasions.  Achieving instant and renowned respect from the industry, Ashley shows a natural and effortless ability to create flawless interiors.

A Florida native, Ashley received her bachelor degree from St. Lawrence University. Ashley credits her training in the design industry to legendary decorator, Markham Roberts, for whom she worked before starting out on her own in 2006. Her work includes projects in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, California and Montana.

The Well-Loved House


Vicki and Kerry McCluggage