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No stranger to HGTV, Candice Olson remains one of our all-time favorite designers, male or female. In honor of Women’s History Month, we asked her a few questions we’ve been dying to know.

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Which female designers influenced you?

Dorothy Draper for her courage and sense of fun and whimsy.

Ellen O’Neill who was an integral part in developing the casual, lived-in look of Ralph Lauren’s Home and Lifestyle Collections.

Sheila Bridges for her fresh take on classic design.

What’s the essential home accessory you use in your designs?

A beautiful area carpet not only grounds the room but often provides the jumping up point for the design of the entire space.

What are your top three favorite places to shop for the home?

Flea Markets and antique shops

Fabric showrooms. I love pattern, texture and color — fabric has it all.

1stdibs.com for truly unusual and unique art and accessories

What’s the best design advice you’ve ever received?

“A room is called a living room because it is made to be lived in not just to look at.”

A client said this to me years ago after she hired me to redesign her living room. She had been swept up in her previous designer’s signature look; very formal, white, uber-elegant, only to find it really wasn’t practical for her rambunctious young family and it really didn’t reflect who they were. It was a bit of a reality check for her and a valuable piece of advice that I’ve carried with me throughout my career.

candice-olson-basement-livingCandice combines reclaimed wood and modern furniture to create a masculine getaway for NHL star Alex Steen.

What room did you most enjoyed designing? Why do you love it?

Alex Steen’s basement: I love to incorporate natural materials and nature-inspired elements into my work. I think it’s what adds the warmth and comfort to the simple pared down lines of contemporary design.

Natural references are everywhere in this large basement project that incorporates an exercise room, family room and lounge area. Areas are divided with walls of flowing waterfalls, stacked logs become decorative art panels and a unique limestone-clad fireplace provides the perfect relaxing ambiance. The fact that the client was a professional hockey player was a big bonus — it’s the Canadian in me!

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Don’t miss our interview with Annette Tatum, author of The Well-Dressed Home and our look back at textile pioneer Lucienne Day.

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155 Responses

  1. Barbara Mclaurin says:

    I love Candice O lson desegners, i would give any thing to see her in person because she is my favorite, i love every thing about her designs.

  2. Barbara Mclaurin says:

    I love Candice O lson desegners, i would give any thing to see her in person because she is my favorite, i love every thing about her designs.

  3. Barbara Mclaurin says:

    I love Candice O lson desegners, i would give any thing to see her in person because she is my favorite, i love every thing about her designs.

  4. MARYWITTY says:

    I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE SOFA CANDICE HAD IN ONE OF HER SHOWS. IT HAD A BLOW UP MATTRESS. WHERE ARE THEY BEING SOLD? THANK YOU MARY WITTY

  5. JoAnne D. says:

    Candice's style is simply the best – sophisticated, classy and downright awesome. Every project she assumes has a chic WOW factor . The blend of colors, fabrics, storage and designs are so inspiring. My daughter and I imagine our basement designed by Candice – what a functional showplace it would be. Please Candice come to Pennsylvania and do your design magic on my basement (and any other place you'd like in my house)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Kay says:

    Candice you are truly talented! I love to watch your show….I just moved into an older home, your designs give me so many ideas for my little house. My little dog Rosie loves your show to.

  7. gail watkins says:

    How can I hire Candice Olson to help decorate my home. I am handicapped (left with paralized arm from an accident)

  8. bifold doors says:

    I really like your post you done a great jobs . Thanks for sharing valuable information.
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  9. regina says:

    Candice decorations are amazing. One day I will have money and I will bring her in my house to make it whooooooo

  10. Deb A says:

    candice olson, # 1 designer of all time!

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