Spotlight

In the Spotlight: Stephen Saint-Onge

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Hello all, I’ve invited a special guest here today!  From time to time, I ask stylists and designers I admire to chat with me here, and today’s guest is Stephen Saint-Onge, also known as “Designer Dad”! 

Stephen is the Contributing Home Editor for Family Circle Magazine and his expertise is in creating comfortable and livable spaces for families.  His practical and budget conscious designs help us all bring beautiful, easy-to-attain style into our homes.  Stephen is the husband, father, and homeowner that reminds everyone to appreciate the simple things in life: home, family and friends.  Please welcome Stephen Saint-Onge and enjoy our Q & A.  

stephen saint-ongeQ:   Hello and welcome Stephen!  Share with us a little about your background and your work.

First off, hello to all the readers of your blog!  I’m a big fan of yours so it’s a true pleasure to get to talk to you this way.  I’ve done makeovers on television and in magazines for many years now.  I love that design can change someone’s life.  I have seen how simple changes can make an impact on a homeowner’s outlook and feel for their home.

In recent years, especially during the personal time of writing and photographing my first book, I realized that my focus is truly on the family focused home and lifestyle.  That’s what I’m all about, so the focus became about all things ‘Designer Dad’.   However, my blog is not solely about home design – it touches on my love of photography, food, culture, family, music, film.  As a creative person, I wear many hats so that place is the home base of all that I am doing or connected to.

A great deal of the work that I do is in the media or seen in the public eye, for example, my work as contributing editor to Family Circle Magazine or other makeover projects that I do.  At the same time, I’m also doing private client design work as well in the New York City Metro area.  It’s a good balance between keeping what I do in touch with what real families want because that is who I am designing for.  As a husband, dad of two boys, and a homeowner, I use those things as my touchstone towards reminding me of what I’m bringing to the creative table. 

Recently, my love and interest in photography has come into focus.  I now shoot all my own design projects and also launched a canvas collection of my photography and artwork targeted at the everyday home.   Photography is also going to be a bigger part of my next book project which is currently in the early stages. 

  

Q: From reading your recent book No Place Like Home, it’s clear your philosophy is focused on family friendly home design. Tell us where you begin when you work with a family to create a comfortable and stylish interior that reflects the needs and personalities in the home?

I start every design project with a private client the same way or even just someone coming up to me and asking me to help them figure out their home style – "What movie or TV show have you seen that has a great house featured in it that you just love?"  It is amazing how it takes people a second but then their faces light up. 

slipcovered chair stephen saint onge

They start remembering great houses they loved or ones that caught their eye.  For those that have no idea where to begin, that is great starting point.  What is your favorite movie home? is a great question to ask.  For me it would be: Something’s Gotta Give, Out of Africa, and It’s Complicated

summer white stephen saint-onge

Though you may not do a whole house exactly as you see it in the film, you get the essence of what you are moving towards.  I did a behind-the-scenes visit on my blog to the homes of the series on NBC’s Parenthood  – there was a huge response from fans because they connected with those homes and loved them.  Same with my visit to the set of The Good Wife on CBS.   You are entertained but you can also be educated and empowered by design! 

 

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In the Spotlight: Muse Interiors

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

You regular readers know from time to time I like to interview and feature designers or stylists that inspire me greatly, and the latest addition to my list of favorites is Lauren Muse of Muse Interiors.  I stumbled across her portfolio a few months ago and was so impressed with her spaces, I had to contact her and tell her so! 

Lauren’s room designs have appeared in several publications from New England Home to HGTV, and I’m sure we will continue to see much more of her work inside shelter magazines for years to come.  Lauren graciously agreed to answer some of my questions, so please enjoy our conversation and after seeing her designs, I’m sure you’ll be a huge fan too.    

CG: Hi Lauren, tell us a little about yourself, your background, your education, and how long you’ve been a designer.

LM: I started Muse Interiors in 2000 after going to New York School of Interior Design. I grew up and now live in Greenwich with my husband and two children.    

CG:  Your spaces are all so sophisticated yet casual, classic and still modern, filled with tailored yet livable furnishings.  What’s the design philosophy behind the look?

LM: The design philosophy behind the look is to maintain a transitional timeless style, rather than solely modern or traditional. This way the home stays current for years to come.  Like you mentioned, there is a balance to our work.  A mixture of clean lines and complex patterns with an elegant, yet livable atmosphere that is evident in the design.

 breakfast nook muse interiors

stripes and starburst in entry muse interiors  

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In the Spotlight: Ashley Goforth

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

ashley goforthFor a while now I’ve had my eye on Ashley Goforth, a talented interior designer from Houston, Texas. I spied some images from her portfolio online last year and was immediately drawn to her style – so simple and livable, timeless and elegant.

Ashley blends textures, periods, and patinas so successfully – her rooms are carefully edited to showcase the beautiful yet functional spaces.  Her furniture and fabric choices are classic, yet so current too.  She demonstrates that when you pair beautiful finishes with comfortable furnishings you can create a stylish space with just a few well chosen elements. 

Today, I’m delighted to have Ashley Goforth in the spotlight!  I asked her to answer a few of my questions, here she is!    .

CG:  Tell us your background, how you got started as an interior decorator, and a few things you’ve learned about going out on your own. 

AG: From a young age, I was surrounded with great design. Some of my friends homes were decorated by famous decorators and I grew up with a mother that loved decorating magazines and changing our fabrics out seasonally. I was not formally trained in design, I graduated with a liberal arts degree in Economics – but after school I worked for a steel company and I immediately knew I wanted a more creative, dynamic career. 

ashley goforth dining room

I discovered an opportunity to help run a store called Shabby Slips under the renowned designer, Renea Abbott, and from there worked my way up to design assistant. After six years of hands-on experience and exposure to wonderful projects around the country, I took a leap of faith and started my own company, Ashley Goforth Design, in 2005.

ashley goforth kitchen

 

 

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