Q&A With Kristen McGowan
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Kristen McGowan: Ever since I was a little girl I would glue myself to the T.V. watching HGTV and TLC! After watching spaces transform and people react to their new spaces I knew I wanted to be part of that. At every chance I would change around my room, finding new ways to update my personal space, which then transitioned into giving my family design advice on our family home.
I set off to interior design school achieving my bachelors of Interior design. During the program, I interned for a boutique design firm in Los Angeles. The projects were lavish and on a scale I could not begin to relate to. I then realized my passion and design focus geared more towards the everyday person. During my school-work transition I began a YouTube channel in hopes of sharing my design/decor tips and tricks! After two years of making video content, my channel caught on in the home decor niche! I noticed it was becoming a place where young people, renters, and new home owners came to learn how they could start creating the space of their dreams.
C: How would you describe your style?
KM: Comfortable, neutral, whimsical! I love creating timeless spaces that enhance everyday life.
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
KM: I am the first person to whip out my phone to capture the environment around me! I find inspiration in my everyday life whether it be bathroom tile at a restaurant a chandelier in a friends kitchen or wall paper in a dressing room, I am constantly snapping pictures of my surroundings. Other than that, wandering around home decor stores is my all time favorite pastime! Looking through new furniture, hardware, and decor always gets me inspired and up to date on current trends/
C: Favorite room in the house?
KM: That’s a tough one, but I would have to say the living room. To me the living room can be so much more than a beautiful room that never gets used! It sets the tone of the home, it holds special memories, it’s hopefully always photo ready, and can be the perfect place to gather around the Christmas tree! I think when designing and decorating a home, it’s the room of the house that can stand out, look pretty, and be the space you want to show off.
C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
KM: I don’t think every room needs a pop of color! I think super monochromatic spaces are dramatic and timeless. Sometimes that trendy pop of color you choose will be the downfall of the room the next year. Don’t feel the pressure to add color! A neutral, calm, monochromic space is sometimes all you need.
C: Recent project that inspired you?
KM: The simplest projects always inspire me the most. Taking over the design direction of my parents forever home has always inspired me. I love seeing the childhood home I grew up in transform into an adult space my parents can retire in.
C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
KM: I am a complete sucker for dramatic textures. I love pairing heavy faux furs with light linens. As for pattern I would have to say a classic herringbone pattern. The dramatic effect it gives when used for hardwood flooring or tiling work is always jaw dropping! And when it comes to color, I am a die hard fan of white! White everything! It makes a space feel new and fresh and creates a timeless base to add and mix colors.
C: What is “good design” to you?
KM: Good design to me is being able to enhance lives through the designed environment. Design controls so much of our lives, to the way we move, the way we feel, and what we see along the way. It sounds odd, but you know good design when you barely even notice it. The design will just flow so perfectly with human movement and behavior.
C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
KM: The English countryside home from the movie The Holiday! I don’t know if it’s because I watch the movie every Christmas season or because of its cozy charm, but I could just imagine snuggling up inside and staying warm by the fire. It seems so peaceful, beautiful, and unique! It definitely would need a little bit of updating, but who doesn’t like a new project?
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
KM: Make it memorable. Entertaining is all about the little details and great presentation. Give your guests that wow factor when it comes to decor, drinks, and photo opportunities! oh… and remember to spread the food out around the space so that your guests don’t congregate in one corner.
C: Best advice for DIYers?
KM: First off… You can do it! Make sure you have a realistic timeline and you’re prepared, Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Research and spend time planning out the project, and maybe consider getting a second opinion before you move forward.
C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
KM: Do your research, read reviews, and meet with professionals to discuss the plans of your project! See if their work, personality, and timeline is the right fit for you/ The more research you do ahead of time, the smoother the project will go.
C: What is one design trend you are most excited about this season?
KM: Making appliances a focal point and design feature! From vintage appliances, custom finishes, and statement hardware, appliances are becoming something to intentionally show case and highlight! The options are endless, and that makes for a beautiful custom space.
C: How do you take your coffee?
KM: When I am at home I take it with a splash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but when I’m out I enjoy a frothy cappuccino!