The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers of all time you need to watch
Hello beautiful people!! For today’s article, I will write about The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers of all time you need to watch. I’m going to talk about their professional journey to show how they started, the struggles they had, or what they learned, followed by a few design tips they have mastered and continue to learn across their life and design business journey. Lastly, I will show a few of their top interior design projects to show you their designs and get inspired to start on their own.
Who is Kelly Wearstler?
Kelly Wearstler is a hard-to-overlook (maybe even impossible) American and internationally renowned female interior designer. She is one of The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers of all time you need to watch if you want to learn about productivity and creativity. She has gained the title of the grande dame of West Coast interior design, known for her glamorously bold eclectic interior designs.
She doesn’t like to have a one-dimensional flat look, she seeks to build a story in the places she designs by juxtaposing female and male, contemporary and vintage, organic and architectural; for her opposites attract and create an interesting dialogue.
She is the founder and CEO of her namesake interior design and lifestyle firm with a presence in 20 countries. She has stamina and is willing to face the status quo to give heart-beating life to her projects.
She defines herself as a designer of interiors who creates sensory experiences. You won’t see bland null designs if she is involved. Her approach to design is to experiment, feel and tell a story, which is something crucial when you design a space, as I said before in my article A Sanctuary – Your Bedroom: ‘A space without a soul is only a display of furniture. Owners wish to have a display of their feelings.’
Her Inspiration sources come from many places: mother nature, history, art, architecture, graphic design, iconography, or even the climate associated with the space she’s working on. She thinks of design as storytelling and every design she makes has an identity, voice, or its own DNA as she states.
This emotional approach aligns with the concept of materiality in interior design, which is to appreciate the material’s texture, patterns, and colours without forgetting about their meaning in our lives. Materials have historical events, personal memories, social meaning, and can deeply influence how we feel in a space, hence changing our behavior. For example, if you want a cozy living room and see knitted candle holders, how would that make you feel? What if these were accompanied by a sweet scent overtaking the space? Would you feel warm or cold? I bet it’s the first choice. That’s what a good use of mixed materials, textures, and patterns can make us feel. Karen Wearstler understands this as clear as unpolluted river water.
“My motto in life is ‘Take risks;’ you don’t have a voice if you don’t. You have to venture outside your boundaries. That’s what life’s all about.” Kelly Wearstler
By following this motto, Kelly Wearstler has created unforgettable eclectic interior designs. Such as the design Proper hotel series: Santa Monica Proper Hotel, San Francisco Proper, and Austin Proper Hotel. She has worked in the residential sector, designing for big celebrities like Cameron Diaz with the Manhattan Apartment project in New York and the Sweet Escape Residential Project for Gwen Stefani.
“I am just a curious gal who is continuing to be curious”
Finally, Kelly Wearstler is unstoppable, she never stops learning, evolving, and being curious! She is an avid explorer and has gone out and beyond one field. She designs a variety of products such as stones, tiles, furniture, fabrics, lighting, accessories, and wall covering line, which is out of this world! No wonder she is one of the 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers at least on my list! 🙂
Kelly Wearstler Wallpapers from kellywearstler
Interior design tips from Kelly Wearstler
For Kelly Wearstler hierarchy and focal points are highly important to maintain balance and symmetry in her space designs. If every piece is fighting for attention, none of them are truly going to shine, and just like she says “creates needless drama”. To achieve this balance she suggests a mix of texture, pattern, colour, and history but without forgetting that little details allow for bigger pieces to shine and make a statement.
Kelly Wearstler advises playing with lightning, from natural sunlight to lighting fixtures. Lights can bring another layer to your room and be a decorative sculpture on itself, elevating the story you want to tell in your room. Also, you can choose to manipulate the lighting with pieces such as diffusing gauzy curtains or connecting dimmers to your lighting system to manipulate the brightness and set your desired mood.
Don’t be afraid to play with colours! For Kelly Wearstler, colours are a great way to enhance your mood or even make your rooms larger. To achieve this you need to think about how colours make you feel; yellow could make you feel optimistic, while red; empowered and fearless. Also, colour can help a space to seem larger than it is, about this Kelly tells an interesting anecdote in one of her masterclasses. She tells a story about painting her first apartment, where she saw a citric colour around the stained glass windows in her living room and she loved it so bought 20 quarts of yellow to paint the rooms, then boom when she finished painting, she realised the rooms unified and her apartment looked larger!
What can we learn from Kelly Wearstler?
Kelly Wearstler’s willingness to explore and experiment has been an invaluable asset for her professional growth, evolving and progressing step by step with every design project she takes. Which means, if you want to expand and grow, you can’t always do the same, if you are open to new unknown areas an unknown and possibly better you, will be born.
Embrace the “No’s”
Let’s be clear, nobody likes to be rejected, whether it’s the professional field or the emotional one. However, for Kelly Wearstler, the No’s are actually an opportunity to grow as a person and professional, for her if you always her yes’s challenges won’t arise hence you won’t build the resistance and character to keep pushing amidst the circumstances.
Adjust, learn, repeat
Kelly Wearstler has learned to adjust to the different projects and clients needs, not every project is the same, as she mentioned about the differences between the needs of the interior design business and the lifestyle business, both of them needed a different client and business approach. The first one is more personalized and carefully planned while the goal of the second one is to please a wider audience. This doesn’t happen only in design careers, but in any professional arena, you need to be able to identify the differences and adapt to bring the best service ever! If you want to become one of the 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers maybe in the future, you need to adapt these traits.
Surround yourself with the right people
This does not mean to connect only with people because you want something from them. No. It means to connect with a purpose, if you have a goal it’s way easier to achieve progress and evolution within that area if you surround yourself with talented people who nurture you and help in your growth.
Don’t let inspiration catch you unprepared
Kelly Wearstler knows inspiration can arise at any moment, which is why she carries with her a sketchbook to document those inspirational moments. If you work in a creative profession this could be a big help as sometimes we may have those inspirational insights outside of the home (ok, now we are more than ever in our homes but when you get out more frequently this is something important to remember).
Authenticity, Consistency, and Listening
For Kelly Wearstler, listening to her clients is one of the most important aspects of her work. She involves her emotions in a professional manner to understand her client’s goals as each project needs to have an identity and a soul. This is a must-have ability to master if you want to succeed as a valuable asset to your clients as you listen to them and deliver what they truly need to succeed.
Authenticity and Consistency
For Kelly Wearstler, a key ingredient in her success in standing out from her competitors has been to stay consistent and authentic with her core design philosophies. Which is to create beauty through thoughtful design. She states she is “a designer of interiors, an expander of ideas, a creator of experiences.”
Most important lesson to learn
To end this segment, I want to highlight that Kelly Wearstler did not start at the top. She worked as a Playboy Playmate in 1994 and as a waitress until 11 p.m. in order to pay off her college tuition and the costs of her interior design business. She worked while studying graphic design, architecture, and art history at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and then worked on her design projects until 3 am. All of this teaches her to multitask and organize herself while pushing hard for her dreams, so the final lesson we can learn from her is to not stop, reaching success does not happen because you’re lucky, it happens because you put in the work to transform your dreams into a palpable reality!
Finally, also be your own cheerleader, rewarding yourself when you have been working hard is important to maintain your motivation and level of energy. Just like this post Kelly Wearstler added on her Instagram on October 4, 2019:
“Sentimental value. Early in my design practice I would go to West Palm Beach two to three times per year to acquire furniture, art and decorative arts for my projects. During one visit I stepped into a small shop and this colourful, gestural work by Larry Zox took my breath away. I was working 24/7 and my projects were starting to grow, so I purchased it as a reward to myself. It is such a sentimental piece, I have kept it with me ever since. xK”
Did you know section of the 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers
Kelly is listed as one of the AD (Architectural Digest France) 100 best Designers of 2020! Indeed she is a true icon, her vision is out of this world and her imagery is always inspired and carefully curated. A big inspiration to everyone who is involved in design.
Whether you like her or hate her, you can’t deny her influence on the way we look at design in the 21st century.
- Eastwestbank: Kelly Wearstler: A Global Lifestyle Tour de Force
- Homestolove: Get to know interior design icon Kelly Wearstler
- Reclaimedflooringco: Kelly Wearstler: The Grande Dame of Interior Design
- Interiordesign: 10 Questions With… Kelly Wearstler
- Racked: 6 Things To Know About Multitasking Designer Kelly Wearstler
- Covetedition: Kelly Wearstler – Grande Dame Of West Coast Interior Design
- Kellywearstler: About Kelly
- Forbes: Believing In Design As Storytelling, Kelly Wearstler Has Revolutionized Modern American Design
- Masterclass: Kelly Wearstler’s 7 Tips for Designing Small Spaces
Elledecor:Creating A Scene: Cameron Diaz’s Manhattan Apartment
Who is Shea McGee?
Shea McGee is an American female interior designer whose journey started with her first home renovation project, her own home in Orange County, California, in 2010. Shea documented her interior design journey on Instagram when the social media platform was in its baby years. However, this personal project that started in a spare bedroom, transformed into a renowned design firm Studio McGee launched in 2013 with Syd, her husband. Their story, style and growth was something, that made it insanely easy for me to chose Shea as one of The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers.
Shea McGee is a sheer person whose style is approachable, bright, clean, and warm; like her personality. Shea gets inspired by her everyday life, especially by the outdoors, the natural light, and the beauty that surrounds us like the mountains or the little things like the cover from the books.
Studio McGee was born from the idea of making life beautiful and has currently completed various projects nationwide, have over 1.9 million followers on Instagram, a successful retail store McGee & Co with a Target partnership, a bestseller book Make life beautiful, and if that wasn’t enough, they have a reality series Dream Home Makeover on Netflix.
FYI on their show, you can see the lovely duo working as they take care of their beautiful young girls, work on client’s projects, and also build their home…you know, little things. Oh, if you have not seen it (yet), I have a warning for you: FYI the series has a binge-watch stamp, don’t see it if you’re too busy….you have been warned.
Interior design tips from Studio McGee
If you don’t know how to design your principal bedroom, take a step back and see the colours, textures, and patterns you have used in your living room or main parts of your home. The goal is to create a sense of flow and cohesion between the rooms. If you’re unsure, Shea says to do the throw pillow test, if the pillow from your living room flows with your main bedroom then your design is cohesive!
Don’t be afraid of antagonists! Just as we saw in the Kelly Wearstler segment, opposites can create interesting dialogues, and Shea has confirmed this when she was working for two clients who seemingly had incompatible types; bohemian and modern.
Dark Mood-Breaking Myths
Don’t be afraid of the dark. Shea knows that many of us can be afraid of painting our homes with moody hues.
Take the risk: if you’re still not sure about going black, Shea advises you to start with smaller rooms, this is because if you don’t like it you can repaint it more easily or choose different dark hues until you find one that clicks with you!
Balance: She also states that dark rooms can feel cozy and bring more light to your room, as black reflects the light (even if it’s a small space). For this, you need to balance your room by incorporating lighter tones, which adds interesting contrast points.
Drama: Black or dark hues are the perfect colour to add drama and sophistication to your room. Don’t be afraid of the rest of your home, it’s not in the same tone! As Shea says, this can be the perfect opportunity to add drama and sophistication without disrupting the home harmony.
What can we learn from Shea McGee?
I would say Shea is a vivid example of a career pivot done well, extremely well I would say.
You can take risks and follow your passions, or discover them. For this, you need to build confidence and willingness to step into the unknown, as Shea has mentioned she liked the design from a young age but didn’t pursue it because she didn’t have drawing skills or perceive herself as an artist.
However, that desired surge back when she remodelled her own house, documented it on, by then unknown, Instagram, and started helping her neighbours and friends with tips about design. Eventually, that latent design passion was never truncated by insecurities again! On the contrary, it grew constantly, from 2013 with only Shea, to what it’s today: a renowned design firm with 80 employers, an NYT bestseller, a Netflix reality with a binge-watch stamp, a successful retail store with a Target partnership, and a loyal community on Instagram with almost 2M followers (by today, maybe when you’re reading this they hit the well deserved 2M!) And you are still wondering how she is one of The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers?! I hope not! 🙂
Also, her degree in Communications helped her, as it gave her a better vision about how to market a business, so you know, every ounce of knowledge you have can help you in some way or other for different areas.
As you can see my friend, pivoting is possible! If you want to switch to an entirely new field or a similar one you can do it. The formula? It takes effort. For Shea 7 years, but it can be longer or shorter, every case is different, nothing is free in life, you need to give in order to receive, whereas its work or life, that’s how it is.
This is short but important advice, before getting into a full interior design journey Shea started small, taking a course from a community College in Orange Country for $100, she didn’t tell anyone, it was a secret, and then she was hooked up and started to take it seriously. This means if you have a full-time job or are unsure about the path you’re taking, then take baby steps, little by little, then if you’re passionate you can go full speed (with a plan of course!)
Also, Shea mentions that she took some classes for a few semesters, but has learned the majority of her knowledge through experience, this doesn’t mean that college or formal education does not work, but usually, experience is your best teacher, so if you’re afraid because you don’t have a degree don’t let that stop you! (unless you want to be a doctor, in that case, please let that stop you)
Trust – The start of a new career
Every start is hard. Especially if it’s something new, Shea talked about the lack of trust of her clients in her abilities, a lack of trust she understood because, why would they? She was new after all. However, she worked relentlessly, taking every project she could, even if it was free, as her goal was to gain experience and confidence. This totally paid off, as clients trusted her more and more with every new project she had, especially after she took her first full house project the Modern Mountain Home which was a big hit for her, this project ( that is still shared in social media) gave her more recognition and social trust in her abilities as an interior designer.
Nonetheless, don’t forget that she took every project she could, even free ones to gain experience until reaching there. Success is not luck, it’s hard work! I resonated with this character trait so much, it was no question that I will add her as one of The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers.
Shea and Syd are a vivid example that is not impossible for a couple to support each other. They’re not in a race but on a joint journey where they have established clear boundaries and different areas to focus on while growing together. For functional teamwork, that you can apply whether your partner is your husband, family, or a close friend, is to have divided responsibilities. If everyone has their own domain, you avoid overlaps, hence fights.
Shea mentions schedules help her keep a balanced routine between motherhood and work. However, warns that running your own business doesn’t mean you’ll have free time. This breaks the myth of benign rich and successful and have lots of free time, it’s true that if you delegate you’ll have more time and you’ll have more financial stability when you decide to retire but don’t be fooled if you want this kind of success you’ll be very busy for a while, so prepare to say some no’s for social events!
Did you know?
Studio McGee won the Domino Design Blog Awards for Best Interior Design Blog in 2018!
Also, one thing I didn’t mention is that Shea hosts warehouse sales, once she has enough items so those who can’t afford the full price will be able to purchase their product.
And, even though she’s busy running her design firm, she saves time to be there and help the customers with their purchases. I think this is such a kind gesture and noticeable proof she hasn’t forgotten at all her roots, because a few years ago she was one of those ladies standing in line, waiting to get in.
If you want to see updated information about the warehouse sales, check this page: mcgeeandco, right now it’s blank but on this page:studio-mcgee and FB: McGee & Co. Warehouse Sale you can check for information about the previous warehouse sale so you can come prepared once the new one comes 🙂
Marie Soliman – Bergman Interiors
Who is Marie Soliman?
#womensupportingwomen-Photo by mariesolimandesign
Marie Soliman is basically the British Kelly Wearstler to me, so don’t be surprised that I had to add her as one of The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers.
She and her husband, Albin Berglund, are the founders of the powerhouse Bergman Interiors, yes, another example of a power couple company. However, this case is different as Syd from McGee studio works in the business and management area. However, Albin is another great interior designer who’s also involved in the creative process.
Based in London, the internationally renowned architectural and interior design studio Bergman Interiors has revolutionised the luxury hospitality, residential, and now superyacht design industry with Njord, their superyacht luxury design brand. (which name was inspired by the namesake sea and wind Scandinavian mythology goddess)
Marie Soliman is a female interior designer that makes classic British design soulful, personal, and eclectic. They have also worked for Gyms and Spas, making a sound bold statement with their award-winning project The Engine Room for Rowing and Fitness Studio.
Engine Room Project -Photo by bergmaninteriors
In this project, the thoughtful design makes the users improve their performance, as the original artistic architecture enhances and pushes their users to their limit as the lights change from cool white to vibrant red based on the intensity of the rowing. FYI for this project they won in 2019 the FRAME Awards ‘Spa & Health Club of the Year’.
What is more fascinating about them is that they managed to start being represented in New York during the pandemic. Talking about ambition!
However, Marie Soliman’s creative vision does not stop at A1 hotels, residences, spas, superyachts, and concept gyms designs! She also has a deep love for painting and art, designing limited-edition couture, high-end jewelry, and custom made lighting.
She believes art is a deletion of the spirit, she gets inspired by vibrant colours, the textures of her homeland and juxtaposes modernity with tradition. She tells a story through her paintings, filled with emotions and the essence of life. No wonder she is on my list of the 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers.
Interior Design tips from Marie Soliman
Invest in Art
If you want a quick way to add colour and life to your house, art should be your go-to colourful decor piece.
This is a tip that a lot of designers agreed on and it’s very easy to do. To master this DIY hack Marie advises using neutral hues with diverse textures in your furniture and adding vibrant paints as your focal point.
This is a great design tip Marie gives to design your home. This trick allows you to maximise your home spaces, which can work pretty well for small homes. This sense of openness can be expanded with good natural lighting, for example with crystal-style windows, as every inch of your home will be invaded with light.
Marie and Albin’s home – Source:magzter
Last but not least, detailing. Those are the pieces that complete the symphony of your home.
For Marie, without the little details, a home is just a house. Details elevate the story you are representing. These could be scented candles for extra layering, or fresh plants to bring life to your home. Whatever you choose, have in mind the big picture, consider your other furniture and local points, like your sofa, your art, etc., and choose quality over quantity. Harmony and authenticity over luxury or trends.
Photo by mariesolimandesign
What can we learn from Marie Soliman-Bergman Interiors?
The Art of listening
For Marie and Albin, a fundamental piece to create unique spaces is by carefully listening to the client’s brief and thoughtful research that takes into consideration the surroundings and desired functions to bring to life a soulful, strong, and unique space. However, listening does not only lead to fine design; it leads you to strong personal connections.
And, this is powerful advice for you, my lovely reader. If you want to grow as a professional and as a person, thrive on making solid and stable connections. The outcomes can surprise you, from new career opportunities to new friendships.
“Creating strong personal connections with both clients and other brands has undoubtedly enriched the Bergman identity, leading to designing beyond just interiors” Marie Soliman
Through these connections, Marie has developed genuine friendships but also new unexpected projects such as a chessboard, which for her, has been one of the most beautiful products Bergman Interiors has ever designed. Indeed, C’est un objet d’art in its own right!
Also, on Forbes when asked about Njord, Marie mentioned that collaboration is an important part of the design process. She makes sure the Njord team consults the boat captain and the crew, as the design not only needs to be beautiful but functional. This kind of work team ensures that every voice is heard and creates a community where everyone can connect on a professional and personal level.
So, as you see listening brings good functional design and probably new friends and a bigger community to share knowledge and grow.
When you start a new project, you should think thoroughly about who you partner with. In this case, I’m not going to talk about Marie and Albin, but about the Njord superyacht branch. For the new launch, Marie and Albin partnered with Sarah Colbon, an experienced marketing and management executive in the yachting industry. What can we learn from this? An empire can’t be forged by one hand, if you want to grow and expand your reach you need to either delegate or associate with strategic partners, professionals, or individuals who have different skills, connections, and experiences that will nurture your goals. Teamwork!
Did you know section – Influential Female Interior Designers
Marie was shortlisted for the Interior Designer of the Year awards (UK) in 2020 alongside her husband and out of all the competitors, her husband, Albin Berglund, won. 🙂
@Bergmaninteriors announced their new collection! Launching in January 2021!Pre orders start now and it looks OH MY GOSH SO AMAZING.
Who are the Sundukovy Sisters?
Irina and Olga Sundukovy are a Russian sister duo, pioneering through hospitality by storm! They are the founders of the eponymous design and architecture studio Sundukovy Sisters, or S+S, founded in 2004. Another great power couple, who have made it to this article, where I am sharing the 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers.
S+S currently has 70 professional architects and dedicated representatives in Paris, New York, Dubai, and London. Their firm has completed more than 150 hospitality projects! Designing top-end restaurateurs and hoteliers across Asia, the USA, the Middle East, Europe, and Russia, their homeland.
They also gained worldwide recognition as Designers of the year in 2018 for the Fold Key Awards in New York!
I love their style, as it is soulful, inspired and a bit eclectic. Every time I look at their design, I feel like I want to live in those rooms/areas, even if it is a lobby. They are chic, fun, and one to look at!
Sofitel Cotonou, Benin. 2020-Source: sundukovy
For Irina and Olga, the design should be complex and easy. For them, good interior design should be interesting enough for anyone that admires design, art, or deep ideas (like us) but functional and practical for those who just want to chill out.
(you can check out their official interview video here!)
What can we learn from S+S?
Work to be inspired!
For the Sundukovy Sisters, inspiration and ideas come after work, not the other way around. As their work is the best source of inspiration, they also think the wider your reach the more unique things you’ll find! This is why they were motivated to reach other cultures and history outside of Russia, with every project they have worked on they get better and more mature.
This kind of approach gives us an important lesson: move! Sometimes, we can get stuck thinking about how we should do this? Or what’s the best idea for this? And, time passes by…without taking action. In those times remember what Irian and Olga say: “The more you work, the more ideas you have – not vice versa…”
Check out the full interview here! @madamearchitect
Don’t take work partnerships lightly
The Sundukovy Sisters take very seriously who they work with, you can’t save everybody and in work have to choose what’s best for you, this applies to clients or employers. You need to be on the same wavelength and trust each other, if not: you can’t work together. This is also important to stay motivated as for the sister duo you need to love your clients and be in a good relationship with your coworkers in order to stay motivated.
Keep improving – Be your own competitor
Sundukovy Sisters understand that self-development is endless. They compete only against themselves and the next project needs to be better than the previous one. This tells you one thing: you only need to compete against you, thrive to get better with every project you take without looking if the grass is greener on the other side. This quality is easily one that made me put them in this article about the 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers.
Interior Design tips from S+S
For professionals or anyone interested in design here is a good tip when you craft a design. S+S build their interiors on three pillars:
- History: history leads the concept, for the sisters the history behind a place it’s highly important, as it represents part of the soul, culture, and way of thinking.
- The object itself: this could be the architecture, or as Kelly Wearstler says the canvas you are going to paint on. You need to know how to smartly use this space to bring your concept to life
- The purpose: this is essential, you need to have a design that is functional and practical. It needs to be beautiful but also serves the purpose it was created for. Just like I mentioned earlier, for the S+S a good design is complicated and easy at the same time, and for them with a sense of irony as the world is already hard and difficult. So, don’t forget your sense of humour, be authentic!
Sofitel Cotonou Premium Hotel, Benin-Source: sundukovy
Also, for the Sundukovy sister if you’re working for a client you need to remember your objectives and be clear about the budget and the time frame.
I really liked an anecdote the Sundukovy sisters mentioned in their interview. It was about the Pullman Hotel renovation competition in Berlin, Germany. They crafted a design according to the hotel clientele: business tourists. So, this design was modest, simple, and square. But, when they showed this design to the design manager he said “No, this is the wrong direction!-You have to create an explosion. You have to blow up all the standards! You have to be yourselves, then you’ll win! The duo took this advice deeply and won. After this experience, they advise every aspiring designer: be yourself.
Of course, being yourself will not be sufficient to win a hotel renovation, but the point of this anecdote is about authenticity if you blend in and only go for the secure path you won’t be noticed and just pass away like a weird fashion trend, but if you are authentic and take risks, you will be remembered.
Did you know section – Influential Female Interior Designers
Irina and Olga Sundukovy were listed as two of the 100 Best Architects and Designers in Russia in 2020.
Jessica Bennett-Alice Lane
Who is Jessica Bennett?
#womensupportingwomen Photo by @jessica_alicelane
Jessica Bennett is an American female interior designer, owner, and design principal of Alice Lane. And before you ask, “Why is this not a namesake design firm?”Jessica and her husband Adam sold their dream home on Alice Lane to start their interior design dream, hence Alice Lane was born in 2008. I thought it was a really sweet and sentimental idea, when putting together this article about the 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers.
Alice Lane was born as a Home Collection retail store in 2008 after Jessica’s early passion for interior design burst out again after building her home. Now, Alice Lane has completed hundreds of design projects from small residential to big commercial buildings. Also in 2018, the Alice Lane residential project Tiger Oak won the Utah Valley Parade of Homes Award for Best Interior Design, Best Master Suite, runner-up Best Kitchen and 3rd place for Best Floor Plan. I will highlight this project in the favourites project list so you can check it out! 🙂
What can we learn from Jessica Bennett?
As we have learned throughout this inspirational journey, there is a lot to learn from others. You don’t reach success easily, it’s not luck.
Jessica, like Shea, had a latent passion for interior design, however, she did pursue a creative career at Utah State University and worked as an art director until she started doing her home renovations and doing corporate building design projects that led her to commit entirely to interior design projects and sell her house to finance her new retail store, 12 years have passed since then and now she has a podcast about interior design Dear Alice.
I liked this episode: Memory Lane | Celebrating Our Design Evolution. She celebrates her achievements and talks about what she’s learned throughout her business journey. Here are the best lessons I have summarized:
- Creativity process: Feel comfortable with your creativity, let it flow, don’t feel insecure!
- Opening a store: new starts rough and sometimes you need to give up on one dream to get another, such is this case. Jessica was very fond of her home and didn’t want to move out from her neighborhood, people were nice and she felt at peace, but the only money she and her husband could count on was from the house sale, so they made a decision and sold one dream to get another. It was a huge decision that they didn’t know if it was going to flourish, but as we have seen in this article without risks there’s no gain.
- Greatness comes from mutual desire for greatness: This tip is about teamwork and refers to the magic of a close team that works together and shares ideas to bring the best outcome possible, Jessica says that is like a drug (in a good sense!)
- Let people do what they’re best at: For Jessica, it’s important that their team has just one hat, this is a kind of luxury where everyone can focus solely on what they’re best at, for Jessica, it’s ok to not have all the answers, the important part is to communicate and work together so greatness can rise.
Btw, to hear the full episode click here: Podcast– Memory Lane | Celebrating Our Design Evolution, you’ll find out in more detail about the Alice Lane name confusion (yep, people think her name is Alice hahaha) and hear her business tips in more detail 🙂
Interior Design tips from Jessica Bennett-Alice Lane
Only use colour on elements that are easy to change, Jessica advises using neutral and timeless colours in fixed pieces, especially in the kitchen where renovations can get pricey, like countertops and backsplashes. This way you’ll save money but also save room for future renovations in case you wish to change your interior design style because that’s life, who knows?
Coastal Contemporary- Photo by alicelaneinteriordesign
Accent Wall Mistake
On her blog, Alice talks about design mistakes and how to avoid them, one of them is accent walls. About this mistake, they highlight one of Jess Bennett’s past regrets as she didn’t commit 100% to paint her whole office in black (including the ceiling). For Alice Lane Interior Design Firm, this is a mistake if you want an accent wall. For this, you need to commit 100% percent and paint or cover all your walls to achieve the drama statement, including the ceiling, which a lot of people forget (or don’t want to take the risk). A pro tip they give to reduce costs if you’re using wallpaper but don’t have enough for the ceiling, don’t worry just paint based on the wallpaper foreground to have the colour continuation and complete your room storyline.
Tiger Oak -Photo by alicelaneinteriordesign
Big Design in Small Spaces
For these design tips, the Alice Lane design firm used the luxury remodel they’ve designed for Ashlee Kennedy (FYI a Kelly Wearstler fan). I did a resume of the main 3 tips, which are:
- Use tile patterns of different stones to confuse the eye and make space seem larger than it is (they used this trick for the entry)
- If you want to hang a chandelier but have low ceilings, place the chandelier above the staircase so that you can have an elegant look without a feeling of constraint.
- For expanding the bathroom, you can use a 12” backsplash instead of the usual 4” backsplash, for Alice Lane the height helps lengthen the bathroom walls.
Note: in the potty closet, for a little drama and pop style, they used one of Kelly Wearstler’s wallpapers!
House of Kennedy- Photo by alicelaneinteriordesign
Did you know section – The 5 Most Influential Female Interior Designers
Parcel home, one of Alice Lane’s 2019 home winter projects, was featured in Utah-Style & Design Magazine!
Dear design lovers, this is the end of the article but not the end of our inspiring journey. We have seen a lot of anecdotes and experiences to learn from. I think the most important ones are:
- Taking Risks
However, maybe you have other ones, would you share them with me? I would love to know and connect with you! As we have seen connecting and sharing brings value to your community but also to your professional growth. And, for our individual responsibilities let’s maintain our consistency and motivation by taking risks and willing to make sacrifices for our dreams!
If you liked this article I invite you to take a look at my article Dress To Impress While Investing In Yourself!, here I share some advice on how to represent yourself well. I have learned throughout the years that the way you look can have a dramatic change in the way people perceive you. So, what’s the harm if we use this tool for a good cause? Let’s shine, impress and inspire (not only others!) but ourselves as we walk our way to greatness!
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