Where do you find inspiration?
I am a visual omnivore and find inspiration everywhere. From fashion magazines to art galleries to ballet and theater, to well-curated boutiques, to the creations of the many incredible artists and manufacturers we are lucky enough to work with, inspiration is everywhere. Our wonderful clients also provide us with a source of inspiration in their passions, their lifestyle and their sense of personal style, which we work to capture in the interiors we create for them to live in.
Did you always want to be an Interior Designer?
I started my career working in recruitment for an investment bank and a consulting firm, and went from there to a technology start up in the first “dot com boom”. After a few years, I realized I needed more creative work that would engage me on many levels, and that did not keep me at a desk in front of a computer all day. While considering my next career move, I remembered how much I had loved art as a child, and how often I had stolen my mother’s Architectural Digest magazines to look at the beautiful houses in them. While other little girls were drawing horses and dresses, I drew houses. I decided to go back to school and study interior design. I am, however, grateful for the time I spent in other industries prior to design school as I learned some of the practical knowledge needed to run a company.
How is it different working on your own home vs. your clients’ homes?
My family and I love moving and restoring pre WWII homes to live in. We have moved every 3 to 5 years for over 20 years! Each time I make a new home for my family it is a creative endeavor of blending the architecture and our art with the practical lifestyle needs of my family. Every home we have created for ourselves has been different from the last one purposefully. When working with clients, their needs and desires take center stage. Its my job to create home that embodies the clients, not one that looks like me. Designing a space the client feels comfortable in and loves being in is paramount.
What is your favorite room in your home?
I love our living room with its beautiful view of Alamo Square. Our home is a historic 1901 Edwardian with lovely traditional moldings and very high ceilings, but which I modernized with lighting and furnishings by my favorite manufacturers. The living room has an abstract pattern rug from Stark, an Apparatus chandelier, and a Chesney’s statuary white marble mantle paired with modern low button tufted Lawson Fenning royal blue velvet sofas and a vintage 1970’s glass and lucite coffee table. It’s a room with lovely historic bones paired with modern lighting and furnishings in a way that is always fresh and inviting to me. Because my children are musicians, we also have a 1940 Steinway baby grand and a collection of guitars in the living room. We spend time in there as a family playing instruments and singing together, or just reading and relaxing on weekends.
How do you start your mornings?
I have three children and six pets, so as you might imagine, its chaotic at our home in the mornings. Coffee first. Then I’m focused on getting my beauty routine done, walking the dogs, feeding the kids and pets and getting everyone to school on time before I make it to my office. Usually I have the phone in one hand all the while fielding the early emails and texts that are already arriving. If I’m lucky, once or twice a week I can squeeze a run in there somewhere which helps keep me centered.
What are your go-to daily beauty products and why?
In dry, cold winter weather I like to use a scrub like Goldfaden’s Doctor’s Scrub to remove dry, flaky skin, followed by hydrating serums and oils. I like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic and Caudalie’s Overnight Detox Oil. I finish my beauty routine at night with Goldfaden’s Bright Eyes to help prevent wrinkles and dark circles, and I always use a thick coating of lip protectant such as Laniege’s Lip Mask.
How do you de-stress?
I love reading a good book in a hot bath at the end of the day. That’s the best way for me to relax, unwind and prepare to sleep. I’m also a lover of running and yoga, both of which help me to clear my head. I have come up with some of my best design ideas while running.
What is your daily mantra?
Life is not a dress rehearsal.
Images courtesy of HSH Interiors and Lacy Kiernan Photography.