It's not everyday that you stumble upon a blog from an actual practicing interior designer. Which is what happened to me when I found Patricia Gray's blog. Patricia is an award winning, highly recognized interior designer from Vancouver Canada, who finds time in her busy schedule to update her blog almost daily!
Her blog features inspiration she finds via the internet, including other designers and architects that she admires not to mention sneak peeks of her work. She has been published in Architectural Digest along with other notable magazines that you can view here.
I wanted to find out more about Patricia so following are some questions I asked her about business thus far.
How did you come to be a designer?
I started at 5 years old rearranging furniture, at 10 sewing cushions & curtains. Whenever we visited I would come home and sketch the house floor plan in detail and then try and recreate the rooms using my cut-out paper doll folders. I played with fabric samples and color chips for fun. When I was in my early 20’s I found out that there was a profession called “Interior Design”. So I enrolled at a local college and loved it. I then went on to study History of Architecture and Decorative Arts in Paris through Parsons School of Design.
What's your favorite color to work with and why?
I usually start with a neutral palette and get all the elements of the space correct, and then I add in color through materials & paint. I love neutral backdrops that are classic & timeless, and the color usually comes in the artwork, accessories, area carpets etc. That way color schemes can be changed relatively inexpensively over the life of the home.
What color combinations do you see using in the future?
Right now the materials I love are earthy: limestone, travertine, wengee wood, teak. The fabrics are natural: linen, wool mohair, silk, leather, suede. For the accent colors I would choose Kelly green mixed with touches of black or rich cinnabar mixed with a warm mink brown and of course white, white, and white.
What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
The ocean, art galleries and SHOPPING.
Which interior or furniture designers, past or present, do you most admire?
Francis Elkins – she was the epitome of the evolution of the American Style in Interior Design and was the inspiration for such Interior Design luminaries as Billy Baldwin, Albert Hadley & Michael Taylor.
John Saladino – His style is so classic, cultured and highly refined
Describe your design theory in 4-6 words.
well detailed, beautiful materials, comfortable, memorable .
What is your signature mark that you always try to implement in a space?
I don’t know because I am always changing and evolving.
Maybe others see what it is more than I do. I have been described in Architectural Digest as “being forward thinking and creating outside the box”.
If you could redo any space, past or present, what would it be?
I would love to be able to go back in time and redo my grandparents’ home or perhaps the Petit Trianon at Versailles.
What have you learned about having your own business that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
Just to have fun and enjoy the process.
What are your best practices when it comes to client relations?
Love your clients, be kind and gracious at all times.
What 5 things does a well designed home need?
- welcoming entry
- a great kitchen
- easy maintenance
- beautiful art
- comfortable places to sit
If you hadn't become a designer, what do you think you would be doing now?
Working in Paris at Chanel as a fashion designer.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Being better at what I am doing now.