With two decades of experience, the firm’s co-principals James Veal and Christine Stucker bring their dynamic viewpoints on design to each carefully curated project. Stewart-Schafer works with clients in every scope and scale in the spaces of residential, commercial, hospitality, and art. The firm provides a holistic and collaborative approach to design, deeply understanding each client’s perspective and working together to achieve timeless results. At the core of their design philosophy is the interplay between positive and negative through form, a strong emphasis on light, and distinctive material palettes.
While studying Art and Art History in college, Christine Stucker became concerned that classes focused more on ideology than craftsmanship. This led her to design her own curriculum where she spent her last year of school in Rome, Crete and Nice collaborating with artists and professors to understand how both design and craftsmanship varied from region to region. This experience naturally led Christine to begin her career as an artist and furniture designer, creating sophisticated pieces and fixtures for interior designers. Her work was noticed by John Varvatos, where she soon started as a Visual Producer, helping them design and build their iconic Bowery location. She sourced many of the original pieces of furniture, artwork, and rugs that are currently displayed in several of the Varvatos locations nationwide. Christine left John Varvatos to manage the Demisch Danant gallery, which specializes in furniture pieces inspired by twentieth century French design. Her success in this role, led Christine to be named Visual Director for Betsey Johnson – where she was responsible for reenergizing the company’s retail footprint. In 2009 she co-founded Stewart-Schafer so she could continue to help clients find elegant ways to balance both aesthetic beauty and structural soundness to strengthen their brands.
James Veal’s refreshing viewpoint stems from an aversion towards dogmatic design and his ability to think outside the box to develop innovative spaces. After studying business in Cambridge, England, James worked in construction and project management, honing his business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit. After yearning for more creative outlets, he began working with modeling agencies to travel the world and help brands glean inspiration from unique sources. It was during this time that James developed his photography practice and captured an array of cultural inspiration that Stewart-Schafer continues to leverage. Later, James followed his passion for design and curation to New York where he worked in production to create distinct moods and environments for notable fashion photographers such as Mario Testino. Wanting to give permanence to these fleeting yet powerful photo shoots, James transitioned towards creating long-lasting interiors. He co-founded Stewart-Schafer in 2009 with the aim of helping clients evolve past conventional modes of thinking to reinvigorate their visual brands.