Make Life Beautiful with Hadley Wiggins

Our conversation with designer Hadley Wiggins

03 February 2022 -

Hadley Wiggins’s character-driven approach inspires us to live more beautifully…

After starting her career in fashion and advertising, Hadley took on her first interior project for a family friend and fell in love with the hands-on process from start to finish.

Known for her eclectic style and vibrant historic renovations, Hadley has a knack for creating spaces that feel both playful and sophisticated with a bold point of view that evokes an instant sense of familiarity and warmth.  

Whether she’s working on a design project or sourcing vintage pieces for her Long Island storefront, North Found & Co., her aesthetic is recognizable by her apparent connection to the story behind every element she touches.  

We were lucky to connect with Hadley recently to learn more about her process, career, and unique design perspective. Read on for our Q&A and be sure to check out the highlights on our Instagram page for more.  

Photo by @pernilleloof via Hadleys recent Architectural Digest feature.

A moment we love from one of Hadley’s projects. Photo by @malcolmabrown

What was your very first job — ever?   

My first job was doing post-construction window washing on Martha’s Vineyard. I loved it. The homes I got to see and working with my hands. They never let me up the ladders, though, which may speak to the overall success of my skill set.   

Hadley via The Expert by @timlenzphoto.

Tell us about your journey into the creative industry; when did you realize that you could turn your passion into a career?    

I come from a family of design enthusiasts, and we moved quite a lot — from California to London, to NYC. There was always a renovation underway, and I was an engaged observer in watching my parents bring our homes to life. They loved the design process, and together they built inspired environments that most definitively influence my work today. 

After an early career at Ralph Lauren and later Lipman Advertising, managing accounts like Dior and Berluti, I came to interior design without any formal training, schooling, or experience in a firm. A family friend liked my style and asked me to decorate their pied-a-terre. That one job, which I entirely assumed to be a one-off, led to another, and another…

Photo by @davidbenthalphotography via @hadleywiggins_

Around the same time, a sleepy storefront on a country lane near my home on the east end of Long Island became available. Very much on a whim, I took the lease and opened an antique store a month later. Antiques were the backbone of my childhood homes, and I had been collecting them for years at this point. Opening a store gave me a better excuse to curate even more (and gave me the square footage to keep everything).  

The store offered me a playground, a space to create and develop my point of view in lieu of a large portfolio or resume. It became my business card for my design work, and though I have not reopened the retail component since Spring 2020, I continue to collect and offer sales by appointment.  

The businesses are a wonderful complement to one another. There’s no such thing as asking the antique fair dealer to hold something while you secure client approval, so the store allows me to collect things as I see them, whether I use them in a project or not. 

A breakfast nook moment designed by Hadley and photographed by @timlenzphoto 

If you could go back in time and give your young creator self one piece of advice, what would it be?   

Conviction instills confidence in others.   

Where do you find the most inspiration for your work?     

Let’s be real; the Pinterest algorithm is the greatest thing to happen to designers. Twenty years ago, it would have required hours of printed magazine flipping, tearing out pages, and pinning them to a board or filing away and hoping you can locate that perfect reference when the need comes up again. I draw inspiration from all types of imagery, interiors or not, and those assets are at our digital fingertips now.   

And I’m always snapping screenshots while watching period films. I have some ‘favorite films’ for which I couldn’t tell you the entire plot – I’m completely distracted by the aesthetics. Example: I Am Love is just a movie about Villa Necchi for me! 

A moment we love from one of Hadley’s projects

From the Gram



What does your creative process look like?    

For me, a well-designed home is an authentic reflection of those who inhabit it. If I have done my job well, I’ve created spaces that respond to the house, the setting, and are built from the inspiration I have gleamed from the owners themselves. I want to know how they live, which family heirlooms they’ve held on to, what they lugged home from their travels, etc. I start with them. From there, the programming of the property and function of each space is discussed and debated. It doesn’t matter how beautiful the space may be if it doesn’t serve the owners’ needs and account for the realities of their lives – dogs, children, etc. The dream projects are those that allow me to flex both muscles; first, the spaces that get better with time, use, and age, and second, the formal, entertaining, or adult-only spaces where “precious” is reasonable and appreciated.    

Photo by @malcolmabrown via @hadleywiggins_

What do you look for in a great vintage piece, and what advice would you give others hoping to start their collection? 

Buy what you like, and you will be the common thread that ties it together. I don’t have a single go-to criterion for antique buying other than responding to what I truly like – not because it’s on-trend and not because it’s expensive or collectible.   

 Recent work via @hadleywiggins_, photo by @timlenzphoto

What has been your biggest achievement? When was the last time you thought, “wow, I can’t believe I just accomplished that!”    

A recent feature in AD…. a milestone for sure.   

Photo by @pernilleloof via @hadleywiggins_ recent Architectural Digest feature.

Which upcoming project or endeavor are you most excited for?   

Last spring, a wonderful family came to us to engage in a new project in CT. At the time, we were not taking on new projects, but keywords in the email jumped out like a neon sign: LAKEFRONT STONE COTTAGE. Needless to say, I found the time to take this on. It’s a tiny project, and while I enjoy the complexity and problem solving that is involved in a major renovation or build, there is a specific joy in filling a space that is itself a beautiful object, in no need of alternation or reimaging. Better yet, the brief is for anything but a period-perfect, expected interior: “Go nuts.”

Recent work from Hadley. Photo by @timlenzphoto

To keep up with Hadley and her work, be sure to follow her on Instagram, and check out her portfolio and website here. 

Date Posted
03 February 2022