Interior Designer – Diana Byrne Designs

IMG_2488Today, I’m excited to introduce you to a young interior designer, Diana Byrne, of DB Designs, who is making her mark – melding contemporary design into family homes and proving that modern designs can be fun, functional and full of warmth. Diana’s award-winning work has appeared in the WSJ, Luxe Interiors + Design and Serendipty Magazine and she’s just getting started!Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 6.49.22 PMPPT: Tell us a little about your background  and experience in interior design. Was it always your passion?

DBD: I actually started my career as a magazine editor. I worked at Vogue, Allure, Seventeen and YM, so I was always surrounded by extremely creative people in the office, on photo shoots, at fashion shows and scoping out cool new places in New York. I suppose that experience plus being aesthetic in nature translated into home design for me!

I had also taken classes in the city over the years and learned from helping out friends and family, just for fun. My first official project was a large beach house in the Hamptons (probably the craziest way to kick start a business). Since then, I’ve done all residential projects in New York and Connecticut working with clients who have varied tastes and styles, which I love. I’m constantly learning and discovering, whether it’s with my clients, architects, artists, or on adventures searching for treasures.

One of my best friends is also my business partner, Lynn Biase. She handles all the non-design parts of every project and she is absolutely an invaluable part of this job for me.IMG_2506IMG_2495PPT: What elements do you always include in a room you design?

DBD: I definitely don’t have a set of rules. I’d say balance is essential but them again, some rooms need to be thrown off balance to make them interesting. I love to have something in a room that makes people smile, widen their eyes or feel like they’re seeing something they haven’t seen before. I tend to think there should also always be a place in almost every room to sit, feel cozy or have a conversation. Lighting is obviously important, so I always try to take the most advantage of natrual light and address lighting fixtures and placement early on.IMG_2487PPT: Some designers start with a fabric or a carpet…what’s your jumping off point?

DBD: Usually, I first think about how the room is going to be used and the layout – if there is a central focus or purpose in the room, like a fireplace or tv, how to maximize light from windows, if there are any limitations, and whether any architectural elements or woodwork needs to be added or removed. Once the overall structure is set I like to know if we are working around any current art of furniture. From there I usually go to wall finishes, lighting and furniture and then the ball is rolling. I will say however, that sometimes I’m just daydreaming or hunting around NYC and find something I didn’t know I was looking for and that just kickstarts it all from a completely different direction!IMG_2490IMG_2486PPT: If you could design a room/home for anyone…who would that be?

DBD: Love this question! Kristin Wiig or Steve Carell. They make me laugh without saying a thing. And, if they’re busy…then a beach house for my husband. And, then he’d have to share it with me.IMG_2494 IMG_2499Screen Shot 2017-01-17 at 6.49.00 PM IMG_2501 IMG_2502IMG_2507 IMG_2503 IMG_2508 IMG_2511 IMG_2512If you’d like to see more of Diana’s work and learn more about her projects, visit her website.

Thank you, Diana, for sharing your insights and inspiration with us! I can’t wait to see what you dream up next!

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photography: interiors by Jane Beiles, headshot by Alix Martinez

Book Review: Mr Ken Fulk’s It’s a Magical World

img_0436Ken Fulk is part interior designer, part special event planner, part architect, part magician, and part ringmaster! Working out of a fantasy-like space in San Francisco, dubbed the Magic Factory, Ken Fulk and his team of “magic makers” have made a life and a career out of dreaming big and delivering bigger.

This gorgeous book,  takes you into the worlds Ken has created – homes that he has completely renovated and decorated and then welcomed the families back with a theme party that fits the decor –the fantasy wedding “in the woods” for Facebook’s Sean Parker–a bagel “emporium” in NYC — a private ski chalet/mid mountain retreat, a monumental masquerade….and much, much more.

With over 200 images of stunning homes and dreamy events, along with background shared by Ken of each project, I found myself inspired to create my own fantastical fetes and experiences. This is a chance to go inside the mind of a creative genius.

Ken is about the idea, the delivery and the details….lots and lots of details.img_0438 img_0440 img_0441 img_0442 img_0443 img_0444 img_0445 img_0446img_0447 img_0448 img_0449What a fabulous  book to add to your library or to give as a gift, especially if it’s to a fun-loving, adventurous friend with a sense of humor and an eye for detail!

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images: courtesy of Abrams Books. I was given a copy of this book to review, but the opinions are entirely my own.

Refined Design – Morgan Harrison Home

screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-37-31-pmMorgan Harrison is a full service interior design firm that I learned about from a friend, who is building a new home. She has had such wonderful things to say about Michelle Morgan Harrison and her team. It sounds like the process has gone very smoothly and that is key when you are working together for months on end. Morgan Harrison likes to say they are “pillar to pillow”, meaning their services include interior design, construction oversight, kitchen and bathroom design and space planning. This team is known for their ability to blend classic and modern influences, so that new homes may feel as if they have an “old soul”.

Here is a sampling from a number of their projects.screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-38-01-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-18-at-10-39-43-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-45-31-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-53-39-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-46-05-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-46-11-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-46-31-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-47-05-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-47-24-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-47-36-pmscreen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-58-06-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-49-02-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-49-55-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-50-02-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-50-30-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-50-57-pm screen-shot-2016-10-18-at-9-57-03-pmIf you have a project on the horizon, you might want to check out this team!

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