What inspired your interest in interior design?
As a child, I was always reading design magazines and rearranging my bedroom. I had wood paneling and carpet and one summer I demanded while I was away at camp that the walls be painted white and the carpet removed and the hardwood floors be redone. I think of that as my first interior design project. I must have been around 10. I tried to then avoid the natural path of being a designer by studying psychology in school. After a while of that, I knew that it wasn’t for me. It has come in handy in working with clients today, I have to say!
Your company philosophy is that “a home is the ultimate reflection of personality: interiors are about the people who inhabit them and each interior is unique.” How did this philosophy play out in your own home décor?
With this philosophy, I like for people to think that they can be different and that they don’t have to design their space like their friends or even their parents. With clients and fabrics or certain pieces of furniture, I try my hardest to not use the same thing over and over again. I don’t want to be cookie- cuttter. My long term goal with my own company is to be able to show the world that I can do color, that I can do bold, that I can do modern that I can do traditional. This is what keeps my days interesting. Being able to work with wonderful clients that challenge my creativity and push me to learn and grow as a designer.
What is more intimidating to you as a designer… A blank canvas, or a client with pre-existing décor philosophies that you may not agree with?
I would say a blank canvas. I work with a lot of people who remodel. It is very hard for people to visualize a space together. If they could, they most likely wouldn’t be coming to my firm for help. With a blank canvas you can start anywhere. Where to start can be a challenge. I recently designed a living room from scratch. There was nothing in the space and the client told me that I could do whatever I wanted. The options were endless!
Who is your dream client?
To me my dream clients are the ones that I can collaborate with. Who are not afraid to take risks, who like to think outside of the box and are not in a rush to have it all complete by a certain date. For many spaces, it can evolve over time. Design is a process not a product.
Pantone recently chose “Tangerine Tango” as the color of the year. Is this a color that you plan on embracing, or do you have another color that you hope to see more of in 2012?
I love Tangerine Tango. I recently painted my own bathroom in it.
You’ve said that you find most of your inspiration from travel. Which areas of the world have inspired you the most?
Last year I traveled to South America. I have been all over England, Italy, France and Sweden. Just next week I am off to Morocco for two weeks. I have a feeling that I am going to find inspiration around every corner.
Do you have any favorite coffee table books?
I think that I have too many to even name. I am running out of room for books. But can one ever have too many books?
I know you’re quite the dog lover (you’re in good company with the Taigan team!). Do you prefer to dress up your adorable Westies in the latest fashions, or keep it simple with a classic collar and lead?
My boys do keep it pretty simple with their black and white theme going on. They do have black cashmere cable knit sweaters that were a gift. It is fun to have “matching sweater day”!
When entertaining do you have any go-to menu, flower, decor or music choices that never let you down?
I have learned over the years to keep it simple when entertaining. Make lists. Plan and shop ahead and have the candles and music playing before your guests arrive. One peeve that I have is not being able to enjoy my guests when they come over. So by keeping it simple, I can enjoy their company not be slaving by the stove all night long. I love peonies more than anything. Even a signature cocktail. Always a fully stocked bar and things that might be for kids too.