Working with talented designers is a perk of running a fabric store, we get to bring their textile visions to life and see some really creative and beautiful products in the end. Our next friend of U-Fab feature proves this with her contemporary spin on classic fan homes.
Stephanie founded Modern Traditions Interior Design LLC in 2011. As the daughter of a general contractor, Stephanie began painting and wallpapering at the age of 14 and spent her first year after college as the construction site manager at New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity and dedicated many years to affordable housing in New Orleans and Washington, DC. Upon moving to Richmond with her family in 2008, Stephanie first found U-Fab while walking around the neighborhood. She promptly made roman shades for her kitchen.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love puzzles, problem solving and color and I think that is the basis for good design. Homeowners often hire designers because their home does not work, whether it’s uninviting, cramped or feels lifeless. I like to work closely with homeowners to create spaces specific to their needs, interests and personalities.
Do you have any advice for people who are planning on decorating?
Plan. Plan. Plan. While I think rooms can evolve over time as items are added, there should be a cohesive plan before making the first purchase.
What is the first step one should take when it comes to redecorating?
Sell, donate or discard items that do not inspire you or bring you joy. I had clients who never used their parlor because the seating was uncomfortable. They did not enjoy sitting in there, and not surprisingly, neither did their guests.
The family heirloom antique Eastlake settee and chair were reupholstered and new custom window treatments to tie the room together.
Designed by Modern Traditions Interior Design Photos by SaraEastman.com
What is your favorite style that is trending now?
Everything is bigger and bolder right now. I love the bright colors, large geometrics, bold floral prints, and large scale artwork. There are still a lot of neutrals, but the accents are big and bold.
What is your personal style?
I love color, maybe more than my clients, but several clients hired me to create neutral spaces with bright accents of color. I would probably skew more modern, but I love antiques and am sentimental about family heirlooms, so I practice melding modern and traditional in my own historic home.
Are there any tricks of the trade that you would like to share?
You should love every item in your home. It is important that everything works together, but I would rather wait for the perfect piece. Consider mixing high and low cost items.
What is your favorite possession in your home?
While I was back visiting friends in New Orleans I found an antique cabinet from China. I shipped it to Richmond and I have repurposed it as a bar. It fits perfectly under the stairs.
How do you find your inspiration?
My inspiration is directly from the client. For each project, I consider other parts of the clients home, lifestyle, travels and interests to guide the vision. For example, a beloved Delft plate collection inspired a navy blue dining room and a charcoal sketch of a little girl with a red bowl led to red accents throughout a kitchen.
In your opinion, what is the one thing that can change a room?
Window treatments can really make a space. There are so many options. Fabric, trim and style can all express the unique taste of the client. My clients who prefer sleek modern spaces are often reluctant, but there are styles and materials that work for everyone. Textiles can really make a space inviting.
Why should you pay someone to come to your home?
It helps to have a professional who can see your space with a fresh eye and who is aware of the trends and the return on each investment for new purchases. Homeowners can find the process overwhelming and often have a harder time visualizing the big picture. Oftentimes projects stagnate without a designer guiding the way.
Why do you shop at U-Fab?
I LOVE the wide variety and great prices! I can find options for both modern and traditional interiors. U-Fab has such an extensive selection there really is something for everyone. I must also mention the helpful staff, they are very knowledgeable and friendly.