Thomas O’Brien is an interior and home furnishings designer based in New York City. He is the founder and President of Aero Studios, one of America’s leading design firms, and the proprietor of Aero Ltd., the iconic home boutique that is the retail extension of the studio.
Since opening Aero’s doors in 1992, O’Brien has been celebrated for his ability to translate modernism into a warm and livable style; one based in comfort and tradition as much as spare streamlining. His work is known for its unique blend of refined yet easy domesticity and vintage elegance. His traditional-to-modern approach, including partnerships with great American brands such as Reed & Barton and Hickory Chair, defines the Thomas O’Brien brand of new-classic home furnishings, with furniture, lighting, tableware, textiles, carpets and bedding and bath collections for both fine and daily living. In addition, O’Brien is widely recognized for his popular Thomas O’Brien Vintage Modern collection for Target.
In all of these ventures, O’Brien is a collector first, who gathers the world of beautiful things that give a life meaning as well as style. As both a merchant and a designer, he is guided by personal and eclectic tastes, seeking examples of everything interesting with a knowledgeable eye, and ultimately, designing many of the furnishings for his customers to fill out this vision. Rather than disregard the historical and the found as incompatible with modern style, O’Brien uses these collected ingredients in a modern mix that suggests a design sensibility for the present.
O’Brien moves among disciplines readily, with ongoing development of new platforms for his brand. Recent steps into media have expanded his reach, including O’Brien’s first book, AMERICAN MODERN, with Abrams, and a growing presence online.
Thomas O’Brien received his BFA from The Cooper Union in New York City. He lives in Manhattan and in Bellport, New York. His work has been published in a variety of leading publications, including Architectural Digest, the New York Times, Time, Town & Country and Veranda, among others.