TEW Design Studio, Cary
My design signature: My design signature is at least one funky element in a space. Whether it’s a bright yellow ottoman, a green sofa, a cool wallpaper, a gold stencil on the ceiling or teal-colored cabinets, we try to encourage our clients to do something bold and fun. Most people like to stay neutral when thinking about their home, mostly because it’s safe. I like to push the limits and urge our clients to select at least one thing they wouldn’t normally go for. They end up loving it and it works every time.
Favorite space in your home: My favorite room to work or relax in is my sunroom terrarium because it brings together all the sights of the outside and the comforts of being indoors. This home had the perfect bones for an amazing sunroom. My husband and I worked on adding comfortable yet fashionable furniture for us and our two dogs to enjoy. I love sitting in it and listening to the rain or having the doors wide open on a nice breezy day.
Next project in your home: Decluttering! It’s amazing how decluttering and organizing makes a space look and feel that much better.
Favorite designer: There are many iconic designers I look up to, including Philippe Starck, Zaha Hadid, Charles and Ray Eames, and Frank Lloyd Wright. More recently I met Gulla Jonsdottir and got to see her speak at a conference, and she was so inspiring. Her designs are so true to who she is. Her words that describe her designs were like poetry. Even though she is a world-renowned designer, she seemed so humble and so real.
Best way to spend $500 to spruce up living room: There are many ways to spruce up a living room on a budget: good lighting, bold wall art or fun accessories.
My biggest design risk and how it turned out: Color, natural woods and modernist style is making a comeback into the design arena. When designing for a timid client, it’s always risky to push their boundaries of comfort and could scare them away. Once they see the space come together, I usually get the comment: “This is better than I could have ever imagined!”
Front entrance facelift: If you have the space, investing in an unique table and making a statement always makes a great focal point for an entryway. Add a bold piece of art above it to make it pop and you’ve got a fabulous foyer.
My go-to accessory for the bedroom: A cute water carafe is an easy way to keep your bedside table decluttered with a bunch of water glasses or bottles and an elegant way to make overnight guests feel more at home.
Favorite way to add a personal touch to a space: I’m a big believer in artwork and finding pieces that speak to your soul; something that makes you think or reflects your culture and your story. It could be your own artwork, your kid’s painting or a favorite artist.
Trend I am ready to see end: White countertops on white cabinets with white subway tile. A kitchen is an amazing canvas to work with, there are so many possibilities. It is the heart of the home and it should represent family gatherings and exciting memories. Growing up, my grandparents had a blue kitchen in a very traditional home, and that blue is very vivid in my childhood memories. Be risky and have an unforgettable space.
The monthly Meet The Designer column is a collaboration with the Alliance of Interior Designers. Info: allianceofinteriordesigners.org.