Designer Q&A with April Powers

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April Powers is an interior designer participating in the American Craft Council show, starting August 8 in San Francisco. Guided by the theme Let's Entertain, Powers chose a vase from Shelley Martin as the jumping off point for her design.

Why did you choose Shelly Martin's vase?

Shelly Martin’s handmade vases are simple and timeless which really speaks to our interiors aesthetics as a firm. Although the lines of her pieces are seemingly simple, the custom glazes she creates for them adds a level of interest that we found really inspiring.

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Can you tell us a little bit about the thought process that took you from Martin's vase to your design?

The design we created for the booth is our take on swanky cocktail hour. We have a mix of textures like leather, mirrored glass, wood, metal and woven materials. We also have some unexpected surprises like faux fur and really amazing art work. Shelly’s vases will add another layer of texture and color to our design. The sleek lines of her creations helped inspire a room that felt grown-up yet comfortable.

Can you tell us a story about a DIY or craft that you’ve created?

A while ago, I inherited an antique vanity from a relative. It had definitely seen better days. I painted it, swapped out the hardware and reupholstered the bench, reinventing it to something that was enjoyed and used daily.

Excluding fresh flowers in abundance or candles, what is your favorite styling trick to create a party atmosphere in your home?

A really great playlist and lots of delicious cocktails!

Sounds great! So, who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you serve?

Honestly, a simple pizza party with close friends just hanging out and catching up sounds like so much fun! I find the most casual gatherings, where everyone feels comfortable, usually end up being the most memorable.

Sometimes, even the clients with the biggest budgets fall in love with an affordable item from a popular catalog or online store. What's one of your best affordable finds?

I adore the Libations Bar Cart from Crate and Barrel. It’s a great size and the finish makes it feel high-end. I love it so much, in fact, that we used in in the design for our booth for the event!

Thanks April!

For more about April, click here. For more about the American Craft Council event, click here.

(Image credits: April Powers; Shelly Martin)