Designer Crush: Haley WeidenbaumAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
1. How did you get your start in design?
Looking back I realize now that I always had a interest in home design and spatial design. Every since I was little I would rearrange the furniture in my room to find the best floor plan. Instead of asking my parents for new furniture I quickly realized that I could change the placement of furniture to redesign it or reinvent the space. Clearly spatial design was a interest of mine early on. This passion for interior design flourished during my college years when I move into to my dorm room and my first apartment. I loved designing and styling these spaces for myself and it’s during this time that I came to understand why it is so important to make whatever space you live in feel like a home. After graduating from USC with a BA in Communication I started working in Hotel Sales but quickly learned that I’d rather design the hotel than work inside of it. A year after graduating college I went back to school to earn a certificate in UCLA Extension Architecture and Interior Design and never looked back!
2. What’s your process for getting to know a client’s personality and helping them hone their sense of style?
Getting to know how my client’s live in their home is the best way in getting to know my clients. In our initial consultation I walk the space and learn about my client’s everyday life. Understanding how client’s interact with their spaces and allows me to design around their lifestyle. I try to equally think about form and function of a home when designing it. I balance their needs and wants with what will look/work best in the space.
3. One of your specialties is guiding clients who are moving in together – what are some of the ways you help couples with very different tastes merge their aesthetic visions?
Designing for couples who are just beginning to cohabitate can feel like I am a designer/therapist. I totally understand that designing someone’s home is very personal so I understand that this comes with the territory. I try to listen to both sides and when creating my designs I try to marry the two styles so both feel like they were heard and implemented.
4. What’s the number one design mistake/overdone trend you hope to never see again?
Overdesigning is a mistake I often see. I like a space to feel like a home and remain functional for real-life, so when I see overly designed spaces that end up looking either sterile or too themed, it feels unnatural to me. I still want to create a cohesive space, so updating a client’s current furnishings to incorporate their favorites in a fresh way to the new design makes it possible to achieve a well-design space without it looking like overkill in the end.
5. Describe one of your most memorable projects and what made it uniquely challenging.
I have to admit my own home was my biggest challenge but the most rewarding at the same time. As a designer, I have an appreciation for so many different styles, from traditional design to something more vintage and nostalgic. It is fun for me to figure out my clients’ aesthetic and run with it, but the process for furnishing my house was just a new experience for me. I found that my taste is eclectic and finding a way to integrate of my ideas in a way that made sense was the challenge for me.
6. Who’s your dream celebrity client and why?
Jennifer Lawrence because she seems so gracious and down to earth. She has some spunk to too and I think it would be cool to manifest her personality in her home.
7. If you could design the set for any movie, which would it be and why?
Because I love doing residential design and getting to know my clients so well, I would like to do a movie where the story revolved around a home that might involve a family drama in a beautiful house in a beautiful setting. Maybe a Nancy Meyer’s movie? Let’s just say a summer house on a lake with bungalows on the property and an ultimate bunk room!
8. Describe your ideal Sunday.
My son will wake me up and we’ll have coffee in bed as a family. Music will blast while we get ready to walk to breakfast a couple blocks from our house. Then we’ll meet up for a pool day with friends and family which will become a makeshift barbeque. I’ll be in bed before 10 p.m. so I can start my work week off right on Monday!
9. Hair up or hair down?
10. Outdoor hike or indoor bike?
11. Rise and shine or hit the snooze?
Rise and shine.
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