Design Works Studio
1153 Executive Circle, Cary
My design signature: Creating beautiful and interesting spaces that reflect the people who live there. I believe my job as an interior designer is to work with the client to create a home that is authentic and fresh, keeping in mind the client’s lifestyle, personal taste and budget.
eBay must-buy: Pottery and ceramics. For instance, if you are looking for interesting plates to hang on a wall or a water jug with a great patina to add to your collection, you can search by country, color, etc.
Trend you would like to see end: I can get on board with most design trends if done in the right setting or in a small amount that makes sense to the space or the client’s personality. However, I’ve seen my fair share of the chevron pattern on rugs and curtains over the past few years.
Trend you are thrilled to see now: Wallpaper has been a trend for a while now, but some homeowners are still afraid of it. They are thinking of the “granny wallpaper” they may have grown up with. There are so many great designs out there now, and it makes such an impact.
My favorite find: My Greek-style vase I bought in Italy at an Etruscan site on my college study abroad trip. A local man was selling vases from a cart, and I’ve never seen another one just like it. It brings back great memories, and I love the patina. I am a big fan of buying something if you love it and finding a place in your home for it later, especially while traveling.
What I have learned about design the hard way: To not overlook certain aspects of design that give a space a “wow” factor. When I was starting out as a young designer I was more worried about pleasing the client and trying current trends. When you are in the business awhile and have a truer sense of yourself as a designer; you realize your job is to actually sometimes push your client just a bit sometimes, to do something a little edgy, such as an interesting accent color or wall covering. Sometimes the client has a hard time seeing it until the design is all put together, and then they are glad they took the risk.
Favorite room in a house to decorate and why: I enjoy decorating each room or area for a variety of reasons. The family room is fun to design because families spend a lot of time in them, and with a lot of open floor plans these days it’s a great opportunity to pull the design together so that it flows with the kitchen, dining room, foyer, etc.
Best way to improve curb appeal: Freshly painted door and shutters, flowers in pots on your porch, fresh mulch, and adding bushes and landscaping if you have none.
Favorite design book: “Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating,” by Lauren Liess (Abrams, 2015)
Best $100 décor refresher? Paint. It may sound cliché but it can make a huge difference in a room, especially in newer homes where every room is often painted a neutral shade. The master bedroom was a medium taupe color when we bought the house. I chose a blue-green with a touch of gray (Behr Celtic Gray, which has been discontinued; if you like this, try Sherwin Williams Sea Salt) and kept everything else in the room pretty neutral to keep the room serene and restful.
The monthly Meet The Designer column is a collaboration with the Alliance of Interior Designers. Info: allianceofinteriordesigners.org.