Women who have made an impact on interior design

As a woman within the interior design industry, I love being able to look up to strong and leading female designers. Last week I compiled a list of inspiring female interior designers who are currently influencing and making changes to the industry. Now I want to share with you all women who are no longer living. The work done by these women has made a substantial impact on the interior design industry. Without these women, the industry wouldn’t be what it is today.

1. Dorothy Draper

Dorothy Draper

Photograph from the archives of Dorothy Draper & Co.

Those who like a bold style should look to Dorothy Draper’s past work for inspiration. Dorothy never shied away from bright colors and large patterns, as she thought the vivid decorating style helped increase happiness and energy. Draper started her first business in 1925 and much of her work can still be seen today, in hotels and apartment lobbies.

2. Elsie de Wolfe

Elsie de Wolfe

Photograph from the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Often considered to have invented interior decorating as an occupation, Elsie de Wolfe is certainly a woman who has made a large impact on the industry. Her feminine designs were softer and brighter than the style many were used to at the time, and she was also well-known for making practicality a priority when decorating. De Wolfe first got into design in the early 1900s.

3. Frances Adler Elkins

Frances Adler Elkins

Photo credit: The New York Times

If you favor the eclectic style, you’ll love Frances Adler Elkins. An interior designer who’s popularity grew in the 1930s, Elkins was known for combining various styles and time periods in the same room, often mixing modern with vintage pieces.

4. Nancy Lancaster

Nancy Lancaster

Photo credit: The New York Times

Nancy Lancaster was a designer who first got her start in the 1920s. Through her work with the design company Colefax & Fowler, Lancaster is often credited for creating the “English country-house look,” which featured an elegant and comfortable style that people still love today.

5. Sister Parish

Sister Parish

Sister Parish co-founded Parish-Hadley in 1962 and the company lasted until 1999. Influenced by Nancy Lancaster, Parish expanded on the “English country house” look to create her own, named the American country style. Although Parish-Hadley is no longer in existence, Sister Parish Design, started by Parish’s family, aims to bring back her influential style.

Who are some of your favorite female interior designers? Send a comment and let us know!

By Wendy Weinert

4 inspiring female interior designers in the industry today

The interior design industry is full of talented artists, but today I want to highlight the women who are making an impact and raising the bar for other creatives. This list is by no means exhaustive, but I feel these four female interior designers are some of the top in the industry due to the inspiring and beautiful work they create.

Charlotte Moss

Charlotte Moss

Photo credit: Charlotte Moss

Moss started her business in 1985 and since then has been designing homes, executive suites and lending her talent to retail stores. She is well known for pushing the limits in design and has created a signature style through her use of American, European and Classical influences. Moss has won several awards, including “The Timeless design Award” by the Royal Oak Foundation.

Kathryn Ireland

Kathryn Ireland

Photo credit: Jon Hugstad

Practical homeowners who prefer a comfortable, stylish interior will love Kathryn Ireland. She is well-known for her bohemian style and continues to be ranked in top designer lists. She was even named one of the 10 designers who would influence the 21st-century style by House & Garden.

Laura Day

Laura Day

Photo credit: Laura Day

Inspired by the natural beauty of her rural, Arkansas home, Laura Day spent her early twenties traveling the world, seeking out more incredible sights and landscapes. Now, Day uses her experiences and memories to create fresh designs you are bound to love. Check out some of her work here and you’ll see what I mean.

Tyler Dawson

Tyler Dawson

Photo credit: Tayler Dawson

Having started Tyler Dawson Design in 2007, Dawson is still an up-and-coming designer. However, her talent is already recognized and her work has been featured in House Beautiful, Martha Stewart Living and more. Her work is often characterized by the warm, comfortable and playful feel, but she always seeks to make each project unique.

Get inspired by the designs and styles these four women have created. You might just learn some new ideas and approaches for decorating your own home!

By Wendy Weinert

Biggest Interior Designers of 2014

Like many people interested in interior design, I often browse the Internet for inspiration. One of my favorite things to do is view the portfolios of designers across the globe. It’s fun to look at the contrast of styles and the unique looks of mixing colors, patterns, and elements. As I look through photos, one thing is always obvious: Interior designers are not created equal. There are many that I dream will come into my home and add their spark of ingenuity to my walls — but others, well, I don’t think I would let them in the home of my worst enemy. They are that bad. Interior design is complex and is much more than just a bucket of paint, two lamps, and a couch. It is everything from the rug on the floor to the lights on the ceiling, and some designers have turned interior design into an art. While there are thousands of great designers across the country, there are a handful who are in a category of their own. Here are the five biggest interior designers of 2014.

Photo by Phil Manker (Flickr)

Photo by Phil Manker (Flickr)

Victoria Hagan

Victoria Hagan is a modern designer who adds a touch of cerebral atmosphere with classy furniture. While most modern rooms often feel cold and clinical, she uses colors and furniture to create warmth. She is described by The New York Times as “the most cerebral, the one bound to be influential” — it is obvious that her work is inspiring. I dream of sitting in one of her rooms and relaxing as I breathe in the freshness her style brings.

Steven Gambrel

Since I’m someone who loves bright colors in my home, Steven Gambrel is my personal favorite, and I am not the only one who thinks that. People adore his brave looks of adding emerald greens, deep blues, and even bright pinks into a room. He mixes colors, patterns, and fabrics in ways that only he can make look good. While his style focus is on high-gloss urbane and soigné country, he has the skills to attack any project.

Waldo Fernandez

As a favorite to Hollywood stars, Fernandez is a Danish Modern designer who takes the modern look to another level. His own style is recognized by his touch of natural woods combined with calming, neutral colors. His rooms are very laid-back with a hint of luxury laced throughout. I would love to curl up in a chair, read a book, and bask in the warmth of one of his rooms.

Robert Couturier

This designer has a style of his own and creates rooms that are unique to each of his clients. His work is so interesting to me, as he combines many styles for an eccentric and eclectic look. Every room is filled with patterns, unique lights, custom furniture, elegant curtains, and mind-blowing artwork. The time and energy he puts into every room is obvious in the details found on the walls, floors, ceiling, windows, and furniture.

Jeffrey Bilhuber

While he doesn’t focus on one particular style, his rooms all have a definite “Bilhuber” look. He takes a realistic approach and ensures that comfort and tailored class roll into the room together. People adore his style, which is filled with organization, warm colors, and unique furniture. A brief look through his photos makes it obvious why so many people are lining up for the opportunity to work with him. Interior designing is a skill that many seek but few achieve, and Bihuber is one of those designers who breathe success.

By Wendy Weinert

Designer spotlight: Diego Rincon helps clients’ tell their story with design

If a stranger were to walk into your home, what would that person learn about you based on your interior design? Every home should tell a story, and putting together that story is exactly what interior designer Diego Rincon loves to do best.

Designer spotlight: Diego Rincon helps clients’ tell their story with design

The designer was recently featured in Rue Magazine, where he shares what influenced him to enter the world of interior design. According to the article, Rincon was inspired to study architecture after admiring his grandparents’ house in Colombia, which his grandfather had designed himself. Clearly, a knack for creating beautiful spaces runs in the family, because after following his dreams, Rincon now owns his own company named Diego Alejandro Design, and has offices both in Manhattan and Miami.

Designer spotlight: Diego Rincon helps clients’ tell their story with design

Diego Alejandro: New York City Loft

Now a big-time designer, Rincon helps clients create homes that are comfortable, beautiful and intriguing. One of the most interesting aspects about Rincon’s work is his ability to turn a space into the story of a person’s life. A sofa or a lamp might just be pieces of furniture to you, but to Rincon, every piece of furniture has something to say, and can help turn a space into a reflection of who you are and where you’ve been. In the article, the designer talks about his favorite project, a two-story loft he put together for an advertising executive. While Rincon drew inspirations from his own life and places that he lived, he said that overall, “the space reflects the stories of my client’s life – where he’s been, what he’s done, and what he’s seen.”

Designer spotlight: Diego Rincon helps clients’ tell their story with design

Diego Alejandro: Meridian 5, Miami

Everyone has a story to tell, and using design to create a narrative is one of Rincon’s favorite things to do. In the article, Rincon stated “I love when someone asks me to design a space that’s personal and uniquely them.”

Designer spotlight: Diego Rincon helps clients’ tell their story with design

Diego Alejandro: Santa Marta, Columbia

You might not be able to hire a big-time designer like Diego Rincon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create a space that is unique to you. Whenever you look at a new piece of artwork, or are trying to decide on a new sofa, look to see how you can tell your story through design.

By Wendy Weinert