Ryan James



Ryan James, Interior Designer, is noted for his ability to maximize space and for his elegant designs. His diversity of styles range from traditional to ultra modern. Recognized for his design-build background and his thoughtful attention to detail, he creates visionary residential and commercial spaces that are as unique as his clients, while maintaining a continuity of program and function. His focus is on high end residential interior renovations as well as conceptually driven restaurant and nightclub renovations primarily in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY.  His work has been featured in Time Out New York, Interior Design Magazine and Houzz. You can also spot him on CNN's Headline News 'Project Home' series.

A native of South Carolina, Mr. James discovered his deep passion for architecture, design and landscaping at an early age.  At eighteen, he gutted and renovated his first rental apartment in Asheville, NC.  Numerous projects followed expanding his knowledge of landscape design and carpentry.  In January 2002, Ryan moved to NYC and became a project manager in a high-end architecture design-build firm focusing on residential projects throughout NYC and Brooklyn. That segued into a freelance career where he designed national corporate retail window display and store environment concepts for brands such as Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and Loft.  Concurrently, he designed and project managed conceptually driven restaurant and nightclub renovations located in the meatpacking district of Manhattan as well as Southampton.  Ryan studied interior design at Parsons The New School.  He founded his first business venture Design To Live in 2008.

Design To Live: Our mission at is to provide professional creative solutions that respond to customers individualized needs by offering outstanding design, quality results, and enthusiasm for each project. DTL provides professional support through all phases of project development – from conception through completion.

DTL specializes in:
- Interior Design and space planning for residential and commercial projects
- Commercial Renovation Project Management (e.g., restaurants nightclubs, and Presidential/CEO offices)

Other services we can provide are:
- Landscape Design and installation
- Theatrical set design
- Visual Merchandising, Store experience and Window Display Design


Project Home

HLNTV features designer Ryan James as he transforms a typical NYC rental bathroom on a tight budget.  In this segment, Ryan demonstrates how to skim coat walls to dramatically improve a room that has cracks and uneven surfaces. A light fixture, some artwork and a few accessories elevate the space without breaking the bank.
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The New York Times

"Trash Recycled as Art" features a new restaurant The Collective, co-created by Ryan James and Robert Delpazzo of Icrave design. The Collective is located at 1 little west 12th st (at ninth avenue) in the heart of the meatpacking district in NYC
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                                                                                                                                                         2008 Tour Of Homes
The complete makeover of a one–bedroom rental planned and accomplished by an aspiring designer. Housed in a stately 1925 six–story apartment building, every inch of its 550 square–feet has been utilized to best advantage. One's attention is constantly drawn to the fabulous views of Prospect Park; building materials reflect the earth–tones found within the park."
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