Inspiring Celebrity Encounter: Alexa Hampton

***** This is a repost from April 2014 in honor of the Design Bloggers Conference 2015 going on now in Atlanta. Alexa Hampton is the speaker for today. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it to see her again, so I thought I’d share our last encounter. Enjoy!


Alexa Hampton

Alexa Hampton and Veronica Solomon at Houston Design Center

Have you ever had the preconceived notion about someone without good reason? You expect them to be a certain way and when you meet them they are actually the total opposite? Well that was the case this week when I met Alexa Hampton. I guess because of her major accomplishments and contribution to Interior Design, I expected her to be intimidating, and somewhat a diva. But instead, she was very funny, energetic, charming, self-confident, and really down-to-earth!

Alexa Hampton, whose award-winning firm is based in New York has completed a wide range of design projects in the United States and China, including large residences, apartments, private airplanes and yachts. She is A Perennial member of Architectural Digest’s AD100, and House Beautiful’s Top Designer list, as well as a member of Elle Décor’s A-list. Her well sought after design style in Traditional, Classic and Eclectic has graced the pages of many of these publications, among others.

Alexa has many more accomplishments under her belt including a furniture line with Hickory Chair and a fabric and upholstery line with Kravet. You can view the pieces here in PDF format

alexa hampton

Her second book “Decorating In Detail” is a beautifully illustrated book where she shares the development process for eight elegant homes in locations from New York City to New Orléans. Walking readers through each room, she describes how she and the homeowners chose all the elements, from textures to fabrics to furniture.

alexa Hampton

Her visit to the Houston Design Center this week was very inspiring for me. The first part of the day’s events was a panel discussion about how to get published, which also featured Jay Jeffers (A published Interior Designer based in San Francisco) and Michael Imber (A published Architect)

alexa hampton

Panel Discussion at Houston Design Center: Michael Imber, Alexa, Jay Jeffers

 

alexa hamptonThe second part of her visit was a more intimate, informal sit down conversation with a handful of Houston Designers including myself, where we had the opportunity to pick her brain about anything and everything interior design. This is where her charming personality came shining through. It was as if I had known her for years. I was very comfortable talking to her and asking questions. She offered ideas and inspiration and even some insider information about the business side of her Interior Design practice – how she charges for her services and dealing with difficult clients.

She spoke a lot about her family and her home, and even the apps she uses and what social media channel she enjoys the most. She gave us all some great advice about seeing ourselves as a brand and encouraged us to work on packaging our brand and heading in the direction of getting published. She had some specific advice for me when she discovered that I write a daily blog. She encouraged me to seek opportunities to write a decorating or lifestyle column for local publications. Now why didn’t I think of that? :-) She is clearly as savvy a business woman as she is creative!

Despite being Interior Design royalty, as the daughter of the late Mark Hampton, who founded the firm back in 1976, I really got to see that she is a regular wife and mom, who has worked really hard for all she has accomplished. It gives a young Designer like me hope and inspiration, that my dreams too are achievable.

You can read more about Alexa Hampton by clicking to her website here

Here are a few of her designs that I just adore

alexa hampton

Source: Alexa Hampton

alexa hampton

Source: Alexa Hampton

alexa hampton

Source: Alexa Hampton

 

alexa hampton

Source: Alexa Hampton

 

alexa hampton

Source: Alexa Hampton

I just love these classically beautiful rooms, especially the last one pictured with the beautiful Gracie chinoiserie wallpaper. Just beautiful!

I just love her work and it was a pleasure meeting her.

This quote by her famous father really resonates with me. Sometimes the profession of Interior Design is seen in a negative light. But those of us who work in this capacity know very well that there is nothing frivolous about Interior Decoration. Each project  takes a lot of hard work, passion and dedication.

“We all know that interior decoration is seen by many as a frivolous career full of ruffles and flourishes and preposterous fashion statements. Yet to transform the bleak and the barren into welcoming places where one can live seems to me an important and worthwhile goal in life. Sometimes this transformation can stun the eye, sometimes simply gladden it, but these are not frivolous pursuits.” Mark Hampton

 

alexa hampton

Source: Alexa Hampton

Now it’s your turn:

Is there someone who you look to for career inspiration? Have you ever had the chance to meet that person? Were they what you expected? Please leave me a comment below.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my most recent Celebrity Encounter!

You can read more about past Celebrity Encounters here!

Have a fantastic Friday and do something fun this weekend!! :-) :-)

Be Inspired!

Casa Vilora Interiors

Veronica Solomon, Casa Vilora Interiors
VeronicaSolomon.com

 

Wallpaper Crush

I love wallpaper! And recently I discovered  two companies – Juju Papers and Makelike who have totally inspired me, and I am totally crushing on them in a big way! I would love to use their papers everywhere in my home! Of course, that would get pretty expensive, but one can dream….right?

I will share just a couple of my favorites in today’s short post.

Katy Interior Designer

Via JujuPapers.com

The “Sisters Of The Sun” pattern from Juju Papers based in Portland Oregon is right up my alley. I love the gold dots on black background. I am seeing this in my powder room :-)

This pattern is available in other colorways

Katy Interior Designer

Via JujuPapers,com

I also love the “Family Reunion” pattern by Juju Papers. This one has a more playful and whimsical touch

Katy Interior designer

Via Makelike.com

I am so in love with this beautiful pattern from Makelike called Lush, I could also see this in a powder room or bedroom. It is available in other colorways

Katy Interior Designer

Via Makelike.com

I also love the Perennial pattern from Makelike. How fun is this?

And one last one from Makelike before I close for today……..

Katy Interior Designer

Via Makelike

The Zig Zag pattern. I just love this shade of blue

I encourage you to check out both of these wallpaper companies for more beautiful patterns and colorways.

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior Designer

Veronica Solomon
Owner/ lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors

 

The Classic Touch Of Greek Key

Greek Key, Greek Fret or Meander “a decorative border constructed from a continuous line, shaped into a repeated motif”

Katy Interior Designer

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The Greek Key motif is a common decorative element in Greek and Roman Art. In ancient Greece this motif would appear in many architectural friezes, and pottery. The design is common today in classicizing architecture, and of course home décor and fashion.

I put together an OlioBoard showcasing some of my favorite pieces using the Greek Key motif. I tried to include a variety of products to really showcase how versatile this pattern truly is. You can see that it works wonderfully in everything from wallpaper to silverware.

It always lends itself to a classic touch in a room. Slightly masculine and tailored. My eye is always drawn to this design in a room, especially when done in a really graphic mix like black and white.

Katy Interior Designer

Greek Key Bedding Contemporary boys room Pamplemousse Design – NY

This amazing boy’s bedroom was done by Pamplemousse Design Inc based in NY. You can see how well the Greek Key motif was used in this room – subtle and well appointed. This room is clean and modern, yet classic. I just love it!

How have you used the Greek Key motif in your own home?

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

Katy Interior Designer

Veronica Solomon
Owner/ lead Designer
Casa Vilora Interiors

 

A Cozy Living Room For A Family Of Five

Hello my Lovelies!

I have another great room tour for you today…..actually, a few rooms. Yay! Goody goody gum drops!! I know how much you guys love room tours! :-) :-)

You remember the wonderful family I mentioned recently who just moved here from Canada, and hired me to give them a “Calm and Serene Dining Room Makeover”? You can click the link to learn more about that. Well, they also had me do the entire main area of their home. Today we will be taking a tour of the living room, foyer area, the breakfast area, and kids’ play area.

Are you ready to get started?

Katy Interior Designer

My clients already owned most of the pieces including the brown leather sofas and the coffee table, and they really wanted to keep them all. They also already owned the breakfast room table and chairs and the furniture in the kids’ play area.

Katy Interior Designer

The living room was pretty sparse when I first met the couple. The room needed a focal point and a way to emphasize the beautiful high ceilings. There was a massive recessed niche in the main wall that was crying out for a built-in unit. The windows were very naked…..which you all know is a big NO NO in my book :-) . The windows needed privacy and a way to block the afternoon sun, but still be open to look at the great views of their swimming pool and the golf course beyond.

Here is the space BEFORE

Katy Interior Designer

BEFORE – Window Wall

This is the main window wall. You can see that privacy is sorely lacking. What I did here was adding roller shades to address the need for privacy. The top windows were outfitted with motorized roman shades with a remote control, and the bottom windows were given manual roller shades to keep our budget in check. Then I added a layer of decorative drapery panels in a beautiful semi-sheer linen fabric to emphasize the high ceilings and frame the view.

You can see the AFTER shot of the window wall above.

Next I had to address the large wall niche that was crying for help

Katy Interior Designer

BEFORE

To make matters worse with this wall niche, it was painted in an accent color which drew a lot of attention to its nothingness. It kinda felt like a vortex that was sucking you into a black hole :-) Ok, that was mean, but that is exactly how I described it to my clients. Don’t worry, they have a great sense of humor.

I designed and had a built-in media center/bookcase custom built that adds a great architectural detail in this vast space. The built-in also added some much needed storage in the room

Katy Interior Designer

It was painted in white to match the existing fireplace mantel.

I brought in the two club chairs to add extra seating in the room. The striped ottoman was added to round out the seating area. I also added a new area rug to ground the furniture in this large room.

Katy Interior designerMy clients already owned the large art above the mantel and wanted to keep it in the room. However, she didn’t want a ton of color in the room, so I added a tiny bit of orange accents in the bookcase to set off the art work.

Katy Interior Designer

Here’s the view of the other side of the room

Katy Interior Designer
The breakfast area was given new roller shades, drapery panels, roman shades on the French door and a new light fixture.

Katy Interior Designer

These are non-functional roman shades made to look like functional roman shades on the French door. They are basically valances. I chose this beautiful geometric linen fabric that my client loves. You will notice the bottom layer of roller shades for privacy and blocking the sun. They roll all the way up and out of sight.

Katy Interior Designer

A bit of photo styling here :-)

katy Interior Designer

The children’s play room was given a fresher look by replacing the window treatments and a bit of organizing.

Here’s a BEFORE shot

casa Vilora Interiors

BEFORE

 

And here it is AFTER

Katy Interior Designer
Our new light fixture did not make it in time for the installation, so you are looking at the world’s ugliest fan :-)

Now for the final space: The foyer. There wasn’t much to this space. It was just a totally blank slate that needed major attention. It is the very first space you walk into. My clients wanted to keep it simple but memorable.

Here it is BEFORE

Casa Vilora Interiors

This is what I did in the foyer

Katy Interior Designer

I brought in a concrete top round table that fits perfectly in the area by the stairs. A pair of ceramic garden stools adds a bit of visual interest, and the gorgeous vase of faux forsythia adds a pop of color. Simple drama!

Here’s another shot

Katy Interior Designer
So this is the space complete!

And like any good Designer, I couldn’t resist doing a little something something in the powder room nearby.

I had to have these urchins :-)

Katy Interior Designer

Hope you enjoyed the rooms tour. I know my clients loved the results. Next is the study and master bedroom

Wishing You Beauty and Inspiration!

 

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