"I'm riding high," says interior designer John Rima from behind the wheel of his vintage Mercedes. The clean lines and elegant design mirror the aesthetic that has become the designer's signature style.
A perfectionist with a ‘well-trained eye,’ Rima is a special breed of designer, one whose skillful balance of ‘form and function, simplicity and ornamentation’ has been highly sought after by the Palm Beach elite for over 20 years. Yet he insists, "My design philosophy is simple and straightforward. My clients trust that I understand their needs, tastes and lifestyle and that I will incorporate them into an environment that is beautiful, unique and functional."
John Rima has been recognized by the design community since 1968, but admits that his career has taken some interesting turns along the way. In 1976, Rima took a sabbatical from interior design, shifting his focus to men's fashion. During his 14-year tenure as head designer for Pietrovanni, he brought the struggling house to the fashion forefront. His innovative style, which paired a tuxedo jacket with leather pants, landed him in the coveted pages of GQ, Interview and L'Uomo Vogue. He made headlines when friend and fellow artist Andy Warhol donned the designer's duds and strutted the catwalk with his, signature camera for the fashion show at Studio 54. Then in 1990, the designer chose to leave the fashion world behind and resume his first romance with his first love, architectural / interior design.
Skilled in both residential and commercial design, the transition was effortless. Rima has been in high demand ever since. Preferring a hands-on approach, he oversees all projects. With a diverse clientele hailing from New York to Boston, Atlanta to Los Angeles, he's often on the go. Able to pick and choose, the designer insists that, "No project is too big or too small. I give the same attention to a one-room oceanfront studio as I do to a 14-room Park Avenue Pied-a Terre or a Worth Avenue retail space."
In the end, the look of each is unique yet bears the designer's unmistakable mark of refinement and timelessness. Always on the lookout for new materials, he seamlessly combines the old with the new, incorporating a wide range of elements with a well- honed measure of balance - an approach that distinguishes him as both artist and designer. He cites that, "There is a wealth of materials from which to draw. The key is how they are used in the individual space."
Buoyed by the satisfaction of doing what he loves, Rima continues to thrive on, "The challenge to create beautiful and timeless interiors for each and every client."