Article Line Long1
Design

Who WE Would Hire To Design Our Homes If We Could… Any Guesses??

I feel pretty confident in saying that in almost every home reno or even room makeover, there’s that point of despair and when the creative juices are at an all-time low that you think to yourself, “Ugh, I wish _______ could just design this space for me.” It’s equal parts design fatigue and total admiration for “fill in the blank” designer. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE getting to design my own spaces and tapping into that creative side of myself… but I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t jump at an opportunity to get into the brains of some of my absolute favorite design firms. Wouldn’t we all???

This blog post idea came out of our EHD Offsite (we like calling it an offsite because it makes us sound undeniably legit:)) Emily posed the question, “Who would you want to design your house if you could hire anyone??” At first, my mind went blank and literally the only designer I thought of was Emily. That’s not to be a total suck-up but I’m sure nearly all of you rolled your eyes and I get it and it’s fair. I just know that woman knows how to make a comfortable, fun, yet extremely beautiful home. But with Emily off the table and a minute to actually think, I was FLOODED with designers/firms that I adore. Honestly, I don’t know if I can even name them all without making this post a million words long (especially since I’m not the only one contributing to this post).

So let’s start with Emily because I think we are all dying to know:)

Emily

I want to be clear that there are a million designers out there that I would recommend hiring, for sure. Last year for the farm I hired ARCIFORM because Anne and I totally jived, but we have different expertise – hers in architecture (especially vintage houses) and me in decorating and styling. There are no toes stepped on, or if they are, no pain felt or expressed (on either of our sides).

FUN FACT: I’m going to help her style and shoot their homes because they usually stop at the built-ins and that’s kinda where I love picking up the most.

design by workstead | photo by matthew williams
design by workstead | photo by matthew williams

But what if I was unable to do any of it and had to hand it off to someone to just let them execute my vision completely? Who would I hire???? It’s so hard and truly depends on the home. I suppose for the mountain house I would have hired Workstead. Their high-quality warm minimalism is ridiculous and will never age.

design by jessica helgerson design | photo by aaron leitz | via architectural digest

For the farm, it gets harder and harder to choose. I guess I have to go to the designers that always impress me, where I can see they are obsessing about the details as well as the overall art direction, that they are executing very custom, very laborious ideas. Obviously, I’d hire someone that is better than I am, and that would push the design further into unsafe territory where the visual wow pays off. So I think it would be a combination of Jessica Helgerson and Studio Shamshiri. I want the vintage warmth and soul that Jessica can do – I witnessed it first hand in the old firehouse that we shot for Styled. That tiny but smart bedroom with the built-in upholstered alcove with storage was so beautiful and genius.

photo by david tsay | from: styled

And for reference, we shot that 7 years ago, and it was designed even before then. I’m not saying that we should be surprised at how un-dated it is (it’s only been less than a decade) but I’m so impressed with how fresh it still feels. And maybe that’s because it’s appropriate for the house, with some risks and restrain. 

design by studio shamshiri | photo by stephen kent johnson | via elle decor

My love of Studio Shamshiri can be credited to their unexpected layering of vintage weirdness, upon a really masculine base. There is something super grounded about their style, but with levity in the furniture. Granted every single piece of furniture is 10K +, with collectible classics that the future will knock off badly, so in a way, they create this gallery of design that I want to be surrounded by. 

Also, fun fact – Heidi Caillier was high on my list, and fun fact – one of my best friends, best friends just hired her for her kitchen in Seattle which I’m VERY excited to see, and now that we are less than 3 hours away maybe I’m due for a visit …. 

Jess

You are about to see a bigger list than the rest of the team because it was painful to even limit it to these five. But you all have lives to lead and didn’t want to take up your entire day with ALL my fantasy collaborations.

Studio Shamshiri

design by studio shamshiri | photo by stephen kent johnson

Having Studio Shamshiri design a home of mine would be the dream of all dreams. They don’t specialize in a style as you can see from all of these photos. What they DO specialize in is creating truly special spaces that speak to the architecture of the home and are LAYERED with stunning details and wonderful surprises. You can tell it’s a “Studio Shamshiri” design because every moment is highly considered, very special, and yet feels effortless and comfortable.

Reath Design

design by reath design | photo by laure joliet

When I first was told about Reath Design and saw their portfolio I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about them sooner. HOW WERE THEY NOT EVERYWHERE YET??? I love how not afraid of color and pattern they are, but I also love that it doesn’t feel visually overwhelming. There’s somehow a casualness to it that I love so much. Take the color-blocked lounge chair cushions and the color-blocked tiled backsplash! Simple, easy, but so fun and not the norm. I think that they would really push me to take more risks in that regard, keep the design feeling cozy/welcoming while still keeping my love for modern, European-inspired design alive.

Arent & Pyke

design by arent & pyke | photo by anson smart

I have adored Arent & Pyke since my early days at EHD. They definitely lean more modern but still create cozy spaces that are surprising and textured. I also love their attention to shapes. Whether that’s a staircase, bed frame, lighting, whatever. There’s almost this dreamy visual ride you are taken on as you scan each room. It’s quiet but I think that’s also the point. “Modern Ethereal” is a great way to describe it and that sounds like something I also want to live in:)

Tali Roth

design by tali roth | photo by caitlin mills | via the design files

Tali Roth is kinda a blend of Reath and Arent & Pyke in a way. She designs insanely cool spaces that are modern but ones that also look extremely livable… at least how I want to live! They are playful, high-end, a little risky but also cozy. I am also a big fan of her art choices (which is a big deal to me since I am forever #teamgallerywall)

design by tali roth | photo by sean litchfield

YSG Studio

The queen of a modern custom design detail and the pinnacle of cool. YSG Studio is truly all about the unconventional and for me, it’s so important to have an element of that in all of my spaces. I don’t want my space to feel totally expected and in the hands of this incredible firm and Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem there’s no way that would happen. I mean look at that beautiful kitchen cabinet????

Ryann

Beata Heuman

design by beata heuman

The first designer that popped into my head was Beata Heuman. She is at the top of her game, her designs are bold, exciting, fresh, and they always maintain a hint of English country charm which I LOVE. She is a designer that truly excites me and reminds me that design can be (and often times IS) so fun, colorful, and playful. She is THE master of mixing pattern and color in a way that just looks and feels effortless.

A1000XBETTER

Talk about DREAM COLLAB. I’ve had the pleasure of writing about two home tours by A1000XBetter. First, I fangirled over this minimal eclectic granny home that they staged, and then I adoringly wrote about founder Kristen’s own home that she renovated and designed with her ex-partner. Her home is actually my favorite home tour we’ve ever featured on the blog. She has an amazing curated vintage style and she knows how to use exciting wallpaper like nobody’s business. If she designed my home I just know I’d feel like the coolest girl in town.

design by kirsten blazek | photo by virtually here studios | from: tour creative director and founder of a1000XBETTER kirsten blazek’s soulful, vintage filled home

Chroma SF

design by chroma | photo by stephen kent johnson
design by chroma | photo by stephen kent johnson

OKAY. Chroma is an interior design firm based in San Francisco and there is just something about this female-run studio that makes my heart skip a beat. Their designs are sophisticated and timeless but there is a western country (read: elevated horse girl) element that I just simply die for. If I ever win the lottery and buy a farm outside San Francisco, I am calling them up.

design by chroma | photo by shade degges

Romanek Design Studio

design by romanek design studio | photo by douglas friedman

I’ve always loved Brigette Romanek’s designs but after hearing her on the Design Time podcast I fell in love with her as a human being. She is wise and eloquent and her designs reflect the her expertise in mixing multiple styles with ease. I love how her designs are often minimal and modern but she always brings in life and intrigue with bold colors or unexpected shapes. This Laurel Canyon home in particular is one I go back to time and time again when I am feeling uninspired.

Lea Johnson

Julia Miller of J Miller Interiors

design by j miller interiors | photo by amanda birnie

I have been a long-time fangirl of Julia’s (before she created her design firm) – also I’m a huge fan of supporting local talent and Julia NEVER disappoints. The way she mixes patterns, textiles, woods, finishes, periods, etc. the list goes on and on. If ever I could afford a J Miller project she would be first on my list to reach out to! Her work is fresh and inspiring and full of aesthetics!

Prospect Refuge Studio

design by prospect refuge studio | photo by wing ho

Another local favorite of mine – I don’t even know where to begin with Victoria and her team of superstars – I love their work and I try to study every inch of what they share. Their approach and creativity are mesmerizing and I find my eye is captivated in every detail. 

Tsai Design

design by tsai design | photo by tess kelly
design by tsai design | photo by tess kelly

My dream in life is to work with an architect/design firm and build or renovate a true masterpiece in an architectural home. Where mid-century meets Japan in a modern way and plays with all sorts of levels, layers, shapes, lighting, and shadows and where technology blends seamlessly. This is when I laid eyes on Jack Chen’s work. He doesn’t know it but if money were no object, I would beg him to work with me.

Caitlin

Luke Edward Hall

design by luke edward hall | photo by benoit linero

Like…guys, I actually think he may be a genius. I know I drop his name in almost every post I write – I think I am officially the president of the Luke Edward Hall fan club at this point – but his use of color and pattern and his general point of view is just so masterful, you know? I’m over here waffling about whether or not to buy a cabinet (or if said cabinet has the right tone of wood) and he’s just in a whole other league, confidently assembling these rooms filled with antiques and soul. They feel collected but not planned and there’s not a ton of stuff – all the pieces are left to sing for themselves. (Also, as the owner of a water rower, I dream of a workout space like this.) I truly love everything he does so much and feel SO WEIRD for having this much of a talent crush on someone who is basically the same age as me. 

Etc. For Short

design by etc. for short | photo by laura resen

So, uh, apparently I love color. SHOCKER. I love how much joy and warmth this team brings to their spaces. Example A: the architecture in that first shot is SO stark and modern, but Sally transformed it into a totally layered and happy and playful space. I know that if faced with a similar blank slate, I’d have been totally overwhelmed (which is probably why I’m just an observer and not, ya know, a full-time superstar designer). I also love the whimsy in their projects – that light at the Firehouse Hotel (RIP) is so fun and special and obviously, anything leopard is a HECK YES from me. Love love love. 

Black Lacquer Design

design by black lacquer design | photo by jessica alexander

Have you ever seen a neon quote done in such an elevated way? I am truly obsessed with Caitlin’s designs (and wish that I shared her talent for designing cheeky, IG-ready rooms in addition to her name). I love her mixing of old and new, her willingness to go there with color and print (that bathroom…big swoon from me!), and how livable her rooms still feel. Scrolling through her portfolio, I’m always in awe that the rooms feel like places you could actually congregate without like, living in constant fear of breaking/spilling/staining. ME NEXT?

Mallory

Commune Design 

design by commune design

They are just the coolest LA design studio who use color INSANELY well in my opinion and they know exactly what to do with each project they get. They’re super versatile and just all in all have it so together & inspire me a HUGE amount.

Kelly Wearstler

design by kelly wearstler | photo by manolo yllera

It felt weird to not put Kelly Wearstler on this list when I feel like she is constantly pushing boundaries in design which is what I love so much about her projects. Being in the Santa Monica Proper is like going to vintage chair Disneyland – she is so good at curating unique pieces…then putting them TOGETHER and her combinations of shapes, colors and materials just make you stop and stare. I should also note she is typically working with huge budgets which is why she can have so many awesome statement-y pieces – so I’d have to assume I could afford such incredible maximalism, but hey this is a dream world so she definitely makes the list…she might even be my #1 choice.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard 

design by martyn lawrence bullard | photo via sands hotel and spa

He is an incredible designer known for mixing Hollywood glam with Moroccan patterns and shapes. In my opinion, this is what makes his designs so interesting and fun – which are 2 things that are important to me in a space. His Palm Springs house is my dream palm springs house…it’s TOO GOOD. If my house was in palm springs I’d definitely ask him to design it…or Jonathan Adler because The Parker is just so cool.

It’s clear that there is simply too much talent out there! Maybe in another life I’ll own many homes (with endless design budgets) to be able to collaborate with such wild talent. But until then they will stay as constant inspiration:)

How about you? Who would you hire? Which EHDer do you relate most to? And no you also can’t choose Emily! It’s the only rule… at least for this exercise:) xx

Opening Image Credits: Design by Studio Shamshiri | Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson | via Elle Decor

0 0 vote
Article Rating

WANT MORE OF WHERE THAT CAME FROM?

Never miss a single post and get a little something extra on Saturdays.

Subscribe
Notify of
56 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rusty
4 days ago

I like the designer choices of Emily and Jess the most.
I like colour a LOT, but too many patterns mixed, as in Caitlin’s toolbox, is too chaotic for my brain. I like the fun, fun, fun of them though. Just not for my home.
I’m not much into homes that look like hotels, so I don’t vibe with Mallory’s choices much, but some of those furniture pieces are juicy!

I think if I couldn’t have Emily herself….I’d choose Bowser! Everything she’s done sits well with me.
I seem to look n re-look at all the Studio Samshiri and Beata Heuman designs too! They remind me most of how I’d like my home to be. 😊

Rusty
4 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

And JukieRose!! Cozy comfort.

Rusty
4 days ago
Reply to  Rusty

Julie (sorry)

4 days ago

Sarah Sherman Samuel (she helped do Mandy Moore’s home). Or EHD alum Velinda Hellen.

Trudy
4 days ago
Reply to  Jessvii

I found myself wondering who would be on Velinda’s list….

Shayna
4 days ago

Heidi and Jessica for all the bedrooms and bathrooms. Can they please do something TOGETHER!! and Jean Stoffer for the kitchen.

Kate
4 days ago
Reply to  Shayna

Dream Team!

Meredith
4 days ago

Fun fact: my first boss out of design school was the head designer for Jonathan Adler when they did the Parker Palm Springs. So go look up Darren Brown! He’s a fab designer and an even better human being.
I also would not be mad if Shavonda Gardner designed my house…

4 days ago

Thanks for the eye candy, ladies! I love color, patterns and eclectic mix that looks thought out, not crazy. The floral settee in Beata Hueman (sp?) is killer.

Mary
4 days ago

I’d choose Beata Heuman or Ashley Whittaker. Could not afford either, but both colorful and playful! One more quirky but I also feel like I see so many of Ashley’s rooms that I would just love to live in.

This was a fun post! You introduced me to some designers I wasn’t familiar with!

Stephanie Z.
4 days ago

These are all beautiful!! Lately I’m really into Cortney Bishop Design. She is incredible and take risks in a fun, palatable way.

Lane
4 days ago

I’m trying to reduce the number of people I follow on instagram, so looking at this post is entirely counter-productive. HAHA I’m truly inspired, and even more excited about following you while you design your farmhouse. I’ve been inspired by so many of these creators already and it’s nice to add more to my list. This whole experience looking at this type of design reminds me of my grandparents farmhouse where I loved spending my summers and holidays before we moved to the US. That house wasn’t refined or sophisticated, but designers today are able to capture the details and the feelings perfectly while improving everything else.

Roberta Davis
4 days ago

I would love to work with any EHD alum, including Bowser, Julie, Velinda, and Orlando! As well as Emily, of course. I have always been struck with Heidi Caillier’s designs (though I live in Seattle, I heard about her only from your site, even though I have a degree in Interior Design and know lots of designers here. I don’t think anyone I know knows her). And EHD is always spotlighting so many great designers. Thanks for finding them and showing us their work as well as your own.

Sunny
4 days ago

Schuyler Samperton!! Warm and cozy but elevated style. She is my pick for a dream house.

Cheryl
4 days ago

Great discussion and how generous to support and showcase other designers.
When I feel like I’ve had too much drab in my eyeballs, Ken Fulk is a breath of fresh air. But I could just as happily live in John Derian’s cottage (we all know the one) and be as happy as a clamshell. Really it’s the setting, vibe and environment that seals the deal for me.

Amy Elizabeth Jones
3 days ago
Reply to  Cheryl

Oh yes, John Derian! Him too on my list 🙂

Lea
4 days ago

This may have been one of my most favorite reads ever!

Suzanne
4 days ago

Very inspiring. And, interestingly, theses are all so colorful. So many mixed patterns. A huge departure from the mostly white, gray and neutral cali casual vibe. I love it!

4 days ago

I adore Lauren Lies and Melissa with The Misfit House. Their projects feel personal and down to earth. It feels like they really make a home and not just a pretty photo for a magazine.

Barr
3 days ago
Reply to  Jesse S.

If Jessica Helgerson were too busy to come to Texas I would definitely want Lauren Leiss. She has such a relaxed, homey style.

Janine
4 days ago

This is a fun game!
If I got the mansion and the house in Tuscany in the divorce, I’d hire Henrietta Southam to spend my alimony.

If I was designing a home for just me and my son, Paro Home (Sarah Rhodes).

If I got a romantic house, I’d hire Nicole Balch (Making It Lovely).
If I got a house that I wanted to become an important heritage home in my city, Jessica Helgerson or Jake Arnold.

If I was doing a fresh start and wanted thoughtful design, even OVER thought design, I’d go with Anna Dorfman and Daniel Kanter.

kk
3 days ago
Reply to  Janine

Love the level of detail! I would love Abigail Ahern for my country house, Thai artist Thawan Duchanee ( who made Chaing Mai’s Black temple) and Rick Owens to do my OTHER country house..

Tracy
4 days ago

I’ve loved Commune for FOREVER. To me they capture the true essence of California laid back style. I also love the effortless looking white vibe of Leanne Ford. But she always does something that takes my breath away. And finally, for something completely different, I’m always captivated with everything James Coviello does for an old world vibe.

Jenn
4 days ago

You listed a lot of my tops! Reath Design is my favorite, I’ve even contacted them to see if they would do a mini consult (they don’t). My other current faves are Beata Heuman, Rita Konig, Lisa Burdu, and Nicola Harding. Basically a lot of English style designers. I’ve stolen ideas from of all of these designers in working on my current home.

Jenn
4 days ago
Reply to  Jenn

Oh I forgot two of my favorites: nickey kehoe and pierce and ward! I love designers who leave lots of original details and reUse clients furniture rather than doing everything néw.

Admin
4 days ago
Reply to  Jenn

oh i shoulda said pierce and ward!!! i also love them

Jill
4 days ago
Reply to  Jenn

This was super fun! Loved finding new designers in the comments too! I second Jessica Helgerson, and my other choice (money is no object, right?) would be Kit Kemp, if she even does residential projects. Both are so inventive and original, and I love all the artists’ and artisans’ work they incorporate into their unique designs.

Amy Elizabeth Jones
3 days ago
Reply to  Jenn

I love Rita Konig & Nicola Harding too! So many good designers out there….

Lena
4 days ago

If I had all the money in the world I would hire Clements Design. I know she’s been cancelled but I absolutely love Ellen DeGeneres’s homes and most of them are done by Clements Design with Matte Black, Jane Hollingsworth, and others. I would also move right into Galerie Half if it was allowed. The mix of worn rugs, mid century furniture/lighting, primitive antiques, African art, modern art, and super expensive furniture (Adnet, Prouve, Perriand, etc) just makes my heart sing but unfortunately, I am not a millionaire/billionaire.

Also love Heidi Caillier, Lauren Liess, Darryl Carter, William Mclure, Jake Arnold and Nate and Jeremiah.

Jenn
4 days ago
Reply to  Lena

Why has she been “cancelled”?

Lena
4 days ago
Reply to  Jenn

There were toxic workplace and bullying allegations lodged against her.

Paula Carr
2 days ago
Reply to  Lena

Oooo, Darryl Carter. He’s the only designer with a restrained color pallette that I would ever use.

Cris S.
4 days ago

I think I’d pick Michelle Nussbaumer. I look at a LOT of design blogs and books, but looking through her book Wanderlust? I just poured over the detail of every single picture. Love her!
For just within the EHD community, well – I love you ALL. But while I rarely would pick the same designs as he does, I think Orlando would be such a hoot to work with! And he has skillz.

Jenn
4 days ago
Reply to  Cris S.

Oh, her work is amazing. Have you seen her house with like three kitchens??

Dawn Kaestner
4 days ago

Jillian Harris and Alison Kandler

I am going bananas with this post. These are my favorite kind of posts! sooooo much eye candy! i’m still going through all of these. obsessed. i’ll be back with my comments….diving back in!

ok. it took me ALL DAY to look through this whole list and stare at every picture and devour them with my eyeballs (partially because i have kids and a full time job and eyeball devouring is time-consuming)
i was going to leave my usual list of comments, but i cannot even do that here. i’m mentally drained from being so in love with everything. some designers i already knew and loved, but so many new ones for me to obsess over now. this was a legit rabbit hole maker. thank you for that.

nora
4 days ago

Team Beata! Team Reath! Love Studio Shamshiri and A1000XBetter as well.

Barr
4 days ago

What a fun question! I didn’t have to think very long at all. Jessica Helgerson for me. I love her style and have been a fan or hers for a while now. If I win the lottery and she would come to Texas, she’d be hired!

Trudy
4 days ago

John Saladino. Bobby McAlpine. Pamela Pierce. The late Myra Hoeffer, Frances Elkins, John Dickinson and Michael Taylor (I can time-travel in my dreams).

Samantha
4 days ago

I would go with Leann Ford. I just love what she does.

nl
4 days ago

Jess. but mainly because YSG just hit me between the eyes and wouldn’t let go. New obsession.

Karyn Meadows
4 days ago

Everyone at EHD, obv!! I also love Shea McGee and Jess Helgerson. Also Heidi Callier, Courtney Bishop (I love EVERYTHING she does!!), Lauren Lies, and Nicky Kehoe. FUN post!!!

MS
4 days ago

Peter Dunham for sure!!!

Aimee Graham
4 days ago

No question, I’d pick Sheila Bridges. She was really the first black woman that I saw designing spaces – on tv even! it’s been years since she had her show and I find her and her style just as captivating. her use of color and pattern feels like a precursor to a lot of these.

Paula Carr
2 days ago
Reply to  Aimee Graham

Yes! Her Harlem apartment is so perfect. I love everything of hers I’ve seen.

Suzanne
4 days ago

I’m sure you shared Studio Shamshiri here before, but oh my, I love them! However, my pick would probably be Jessica Helgerson. I keep revisiting her designs as I get ready to redo my kitchen. But I have several others on my list: Sabbe Interiors, Hendricks Churchill, Heidi Caillier, Landed Interiors, and GP Schafer. Again, I’ve mostly been looking at kitchens lately, and I look at designs that work well with my 100+ year old home. As for the EHD alum I’d choose to do a design… I think I’ve been most attracted to Bowser’s style, but also Velinda (Sara’s TV room is amazing).

Louise
3 days ago

Rose Uniacke and Rita Konig

Tracy
3 days ago

Absolutely love Heidi! I’m going to hire her once our home on the Olympic Peninsula is built. Her design does it for me!

Janelle
3 days ago

Fantastic list! I like Arent and Pyke so much, I feel like theres a lot of fantastic design coming out Australia, (Troye Sivan’s loft by Flack Studio on AD anyone?) Ashe & Leandro are another really good US based interior design firm that does fantastic work, I think.

Gigi
3 days ago

Leanne Ford for me all day and runner up Katie Monkhouse and anyone with an eye for “Japandi” design.

Amy Elizabeth Jones
3 days ago

I love many of these choices too! I would add Jersey Ice Cream Co for their ability to maintain the original character of a home & the gorgeous plaster walls. I also love me a good ‘ol Thomas O’Brien design, especially his home in the country ‘The Academy.’ And I love Nickey Kehoe, as I know you do too!

Beth
3 days ago

Ben Pentreath, John Derian, Sheila Bridges, or depending on the house Darryl Carter.

ColleenB
2 days ago

Like some other commenters, I would choose Leann Ford. I would love a house full of organic wabi sabi and pieces that were never intended to be in a house, somehow fully functioning in the space.

Paula Carr
2 days ago

Studio Shamshiri and Commune for me!

Chris
21 hours ago

Oooh lala! More posts like this one! I had a grand time dissecting all the pictures to see which bits appealed to me.

56
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Go To Top