After an extensive selection process involving 100+ submissions from talented designers across the US and weeks of online voting where HGTV fans cast hundreds of thousands of votes, we have a winner. Drumroll, please. Everyone join us in congratulating Caitlin McCarthy, the winner of our Fresh Faces of Design competition!
Caitlin’s genius small-space solutions and approachable high-meets-low design style wowed HGTV fans who voted her design tops in the small space category, then won over the judges who crowned her the winner overall. Here are a few photos of Caitlin’s award-winning downtown Los Angeles loft plus the judges’ POV on why she swept the competition:
Becky LaFranchi, Communications and Interior Design Manager for Ikea USA, had this to say: “When designing a small space, every detail is important, each decision impacts another, and the ability to edit is key.” Caitlin pulls together a beautifully balanced, collected-over-time look that tells a story but is well edited and doesn’t feel cluttered:
Jillian St. Charles, Vice President of HGTV.com adds, You don’t see many luxe-looking galley kitchens. This very functional space combines materials and judicious use of color in a way that’s really engaging.”
Brian Patrick Flynn, Interior Designer and Founder of FlynnsideOut Productions was impressed with Caitlin’s mastery of scale and the way she incorporated the loft’s century-old architectural elements, like the exposed brick and original hexagonal tile floor:
All the judges could agree that Caitlin’s design is approachable and deftly combines bargain finds with glamorous touches, like these Thomas O’Brien Hicks pendants that illuminate the hallway-turned-dining room:
Off the dining room is the loft’s main bedroom. Doorless white walls give the loft a cohesive feel that helps the small spaces flow one into the next:
The jewelbox of a bedroom conceals a real gem: a boutique-worthy glass-doored closet:
But that isn’t the loft’s only surprise — what looks like a built-in in the living room is actually…
a Murphy bed that cleverly tucks away when not in use. Genius!
Judge Becky LaFranchi summed up this petite pied a terre best, “Caitlin’s design proves that small-space living can be both stylish and comfortable. It also feels very individualized, and not at all cookie-cutter, like you might expect a tiny space to be.” Brava, Caitlin, congrats on your win!
But Caitlin isn’t our only winner, HGTV fans chose the designers listed below as a stand-out in their category. Need a little design inspiration? Be sure to check ‘em out!
Best Outdoor Space: Mike Albert, Design Workshop, Inc.
Most Serene Retreat: Angela Rasmussen, House 2 Home Design & Build
Best Use of Color: Bria Hammel, Bria Hammel Interiors
Most Family-Friendly Space: Jordan Iverson, Iverson Signature Homes
Best Space for a Party: Katie Marvin, S&K Interiors
Best Kitchen: Katy Lyons, Jamestown Designer Kitchens
Most Dramatic Transformation: Lauren Levant Bland, Lauren Levant Interior
Most Unusual Space: Angela Rasmussen, House 2 Home Design & Build
Best Use of Pattern/Texture: Sadie Sanchez Johnson, Amanda Austin Interiors
Best Small Space: Caitlin McCarthy, Caitlin & Caitlin
Interior designer Erica Reitman has a definite design point of view — how can you tell? The tagline of her website (VintageDesign.Me) says it all: “I Will Kick Your House’s Ass.” And that, she does very well. Erica strives to help homeowners make their homes look “bangin’” and when she’s not working her magic in homes across the country, she’s offering up helpful design tips and advice online. As we’ve done in the past, Design Happens dares to go beyond the interior design photos we’re accustomed to seeing and talks to the designers who actually created some of these stunning rooms. This week, we’re chatting with Erica Reitman.
D-Happ: Tell us about your website.
ER: I created VintageDesign.Me to be a spot online where people can go to get great advice, learn an easy tip, or read about my favorite resources. I really try to stay focused on tangible, real-world value and results, so I don’t do inspiration posts or random mood boards that don’t relate to anything (though I love looking at those things on other people’s sites!). I get how valuable everyone’s time is, so I always want people to come away feeling like: “I’m SO ready to go do this random decorating thing that I’ve never thought about before” after reading one of my posts. I also try to stress that while, of course I’d love for you to hire me to come decorate your home, you really don’t have to because e-v-e-r-y-o-n-e has it in them to put together a great space that makes them smile when they walk through their front door. And yep, I do mean everyone.
D-Happ: How would you describe your aesthetic?
ER: My overall aesthetic is kind of like a mosh pit at a Pearl Jam concert in 1992. I love, love, love the graphic, colorful design of the 60′s and 70′s, and really dig mixing pieces from that era with newer modern pieces. Big, bold pieces of art make me smile, and vintage anything always gets me revved up — especially if it comes from a flea market or a thrift store. I do tend to lean more toward more masculine interiors, and so I especially love working with guys on “dude designing” their spaces. So I guess my aesthetic is eclectic/vintage/arty/masculine/70′s/chic?
D-Happ: Where do you source inspiration?
ER: My favorite source of inspiration is vintage interior design magazines and books. I recently moved to Los Angeles, and the flea markets here are pretty amazing. So I often find great old issues of Architectural Digest, Town & Country and House and Garden magazines that I buy for a buck apiece and then pore over at home.
More of Our Talk
If you peruse HGTV.com, you’ll quickly find that we have thousands of images from designers across the globe. From Modern to English Country, and Eclectic to Traditional — we have all design styles. In the coming months, Design Happens will dare to go beyond the photos and talk to the designers who actually created some of these stunning rooms. This week, we asked Richard Gacek, of the Gacek Design Group, eight fun questions.
D-Happ: How would you describe your overall aesthetic?
RG: It’s a refined sophistication with a relaxed and classic twist — with simple, clean lines and an earthy modern design style. Natural elements and the architectural form play key roles in my work.
D-Happ: Where do you source inspiration?
RG: OMG – everywhere! My travels abroad in both exotic and European locations have been key. For example, a classic historic Parisian building can inspire natural elements, modern furnishings and linen fabrics. Architecture, history and culture — to me — define classic style and inspire comfortable living. Also, I am inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s structures that work in harmony with humanity and its environment.
D-Happ: What’s your favorite space/room to decorate in a home?
RG: My favorites are the kitchen and great room (house plans today are open concept). I like to create an experience that addresses the heart of the home — the comfortable place that a family goes to entertain and enjoy each other’s company.
5 More Questions After the Jump
If you’re visiting the Bay Area now through May 27th, you should place the San Francisco Decorator Showcase (at Herbst Manor in Pacific Heights) on your “I gotta see that!” list. This showcase is widely considered to be the West Coast’s premier design show house event, renowned for featuring the work of the region’s top interior and landscape designers.
EXTRA: DECORATOR SHOW HOUSE AT ATLANTA’S TUFFEAU ESTATE >>
Over the weekend, some of our bloggers had the privilege to get inside and check out this home — and, wow. Below are several of our favorite rooms.
Of course there’s something to sleek, modern design — but for me, I can’t get enough of homes where there’s something spectacular in every corner — where your eyes are full of wonder everywhere you look. A warm, rich and welcoming atmosphere just gets me excited. That’s the look I aspire to have in my house, and it’s the look I’m drooling over in this picture made at Designer Scot Meacham Wood’s home.
Scot is one of fifty designers featured in the new book, Designers at Home: Personal Reflections on Stylish Living. The book takes readers on a guided tour through the homes of renowned designers, who share their thoughts on gracious living and how they bring their professional philosophies home.
Gentlemen, do you need help putting together your fall office wardrobe? GQ.com offers an interactive shirt-and-tie tool where you can match up various ties with various shirts, then order the combo you like best. The tool is seriously helpful (and seriously fun).
Tell me guys, are you embracing the return of the skinny tie? Let me know below.
I’ve come to the conclusion that absolutely no bedroom is complete without a headboard. It’s true! Imagine your dream bedroom. I’m certain a gorgeous headboard makes a bold and eye-catching appearance in it. With Valentine’s Day a mere three days away, I’ve been doing some heavy daydreaming about my perfect headboard and bedroom. Tufted? Velvet (oh la la)? Sweet rustic shutters like the one from my DIY headboards post? The possibilities are endless. Here are my top six (yes, six – I couldn’t just stop at five) contenders from HGTV.com’s new guide to all things headboards. What’s your favorite?
5 More After The Jump!
Dan Faires, winner of the Design Star season 5 fan favorite vote, shares a sneak peek of his upcoming online show, DanMade.
I have a super-successful older brother who gets a kick out of discrediting my profession. He has a party trick that starts out with him saying, “Hey, wanna see what my overrated, interior-decorator brother considers a “skill”?” Then he picks up a pillow from his own sofa, moves it three inches to the right, hands someone a faux-invoice and says, “I just placed a pillow….so now I’m a designer! That will be one hundred fifty dollars, please.”
As I visualize clocking him in the face with a Christmas ham, I can’t help but think, “Are decorators really perceived as people who simply shop for pillows and paint walls?”
D Vs. D Showdown Cont’d.
Everybody say hi to our newest blogger, Brian Patrick Flynn from one of our favorite sites, Decor Demon (which he produces, writes and designs all the original content for).
We hope you’ll tune in this week for his fresh take on helping men and women find balance in gender-blended spaces. Then come back every week for Brian’s bloggings about the intersection of lifestyle and design. (Fair warning: His posts are addictive.)
ZicciBea, a luxury linen company created by designers Shoshanah Weinstock and Yali Katz, offers an affordable collection of designer bedding.
This week, one lucky winner will receive their choice of a complete duvet set in any size. For a chance to win, answer this week’s question before 12/11c, Monday, September 20.
This week’s question: Do you prefer your bedding to be perfectly matched or do you mix and match your different sets?
Click for official rules.
Troy Beasley is the principal designer for Beasley and Henley Interior Design. The company works with architects, builders and private clients from every corner of the country to create beautifully personalized interiors. Troy’s travels through Greece, Italy and Asia have influenced his tastes in architectural detail, artistic crafts and textile art.
1. Which designers influenced you?
I can’t site a specific designer or even a group of designers. I look at so many different people! I am influenced by anyone who is creative and artistic. It’s not just designers, but also artists, writers, fabric designers, architects…there’s a long list of captivating creative thinkers. I soak it all up.
2. What’s your favorite design style?
Get Troy’s Answer
Sabrina Soto, host of Get it Sold, has partnered with Target to become their Style Expert at Home. We caught up with her to find out about her new role and her essential summer decorating accessories.
What’s Her Decor Must-Have?
Christina Strutt runs the fabulous fashion and home decor brand Cabbages & Roses, which specializes in vintage fabrics. Her fifth book, At Home With Country, just came out and we’ve been diving into its beautifully cozy pages. Featuring full home tours of residences in England as well as the States, At Home With Country is full of easy-to-repeat designs, tips on mixing fabrics and inspirational ideas on bringing cozy country style into your home. We caught up with Christina to find out what inspires her and what she can’t live without. Plus, we have a special invite to her upcoming book event.
Find out what inspires her designs
We’re continuing to look at talented female designers in honor of Women’s History Month. Annette Tatum is a textile designer, author of The Well-Dressed Home and the incredible decorating blog by the same name. We caught up with her to learn about her influences, favorite places to shop and the best design advice she ever received.
Annette Tatum at home
This week we take a trip to the east coast to chat with designer Andreas Charalambous. Andreas is the principal designer at Forma Design, who’s work has won several awards this year from the American Institute of Architects and Mid-Atlantic International Interior Design Association. You definitely don’t want to miss his artwork over at andreascharalambous.com. Andreas also has several spaces on Designers’ Portfolio.
This week we’re kicking off Designer Dish, a new series here on Design Happens that lets us get to know some of our favorite designers a little better. Our inaugural designer is Lori Dennis, Founder and Principal Designer of Dennis Design Group. You can see Lori’s work over at Desingers’ Portfolio as well as on her own website.
Big, big news all you Rate My Space and Angelo Surmelis fans!
- HGTV’s Angelo Surmelis
As early as this summer, Angelo will have his own upholstered furniture line. Insiders, including Angelo, have been hush-hush about the new line until the last few days although it’s been a dream of the designer’s almost his entire life. Talk about a secret to keep! Furniture Today made the announcement last week, and I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about Angelo’s latest, exciting venture.
For a preview from the designer and namesake himself, check out Angelo’s wonderfully inspiring blog. Scroll down to his post on February 11. Angelo, who also owns the LA design firm, Swell Space, tells the story of how the announcement was made at the Las Vegas Home Expo. And he shares a picture of a fabulous, first-to-be-publicized chair priced under $300. In his blog — which is a must-read for design enthusiasts as well as fans — Angelo shares, “I always wanted to find a way to be able to merge my love of design and making stuff with affordability and ease.”
Mr. Surmelis, if this chic (and cheap!) chair is any indication, you have succeeded! We are anxious to see the fruit of your labors. And, by the way, this furniture is supposed to be shippable. Now that is swell. Want to send some words of congratulations to Angelo? Have any particular looks/pieces you’d like to see in Angelo’s new line?