Over the Summer we’ll be introducing the fabulous designers that make up the Huff Harrington Design team. First up: Sam Jones. She’s been with us for the longest time wearing many hats (as you might have already read here). This talented woman has helped dozens of our clients, making their homes more comfortable, inviting and up-to-date – whether in Atlanta, New York, San Francisco, London or Paris.
Who are you inspired by?
My clients! I don’t go into a client’s home with a preconceived idea of how it should look. The home should reflect the taste and the style of its owners. If their guests say “this house looks just like you” to the clients, then I have done my job well. Their pride in their home is the ultimate goal and I will be there to guide them with fresh eyes. I treat their money as if it were mine. If we can re-purpose something and keep it, we can use the money we saved to buy that beautiful piece of art or new sofa that they have been wanting. And we always have fun and a lot of laughs.
Guidelines you follow for great design?
Mix It Up:
– Antiques with modern.
– Collectibles with flea market finds.
– An expensive abstract next to a five-year-old’s crayon drawing (if there is a fire, grab the crayon drawing – it’s priceless and insurance will cover the abstract!)
-His favorite leather chair next to your gorgeous linen sofa (Don’t worry, a pretty pillow will help soften the leather and a happy husband is far more attractive in your room than that perfect French chair.)
– I love to see a bronze statue on a bookcase next to a logo masterpiece created by a young family member. We once added a Scrabble board on a table in a house that was on the market – we spelled out the words “Buy Me”…It gave the prospective buyers a good laugh and they bought the house!
I have dared to ask if we could make the formal living room a large dining room. The answer was yes and the new dining room is the star of the house. Don’t be afraid to try a new arrangement. If you don’t like it, you can always move it it back the way it was. But, this rarely happens as a new perception is always more fun.
What is one piece you think every room should have?
Art! Art is the soul of a room and speaks volumes about the homeowner. If you put a sofa in an empty room, it will still look empty. If you put a great piece of art in an empty room, no one will notice that there is no furniture.
What is your dream design project?
A villa on Lake Como. I think Lake Como is the most beautiful setting in the world and I would endeavor to make the view of the lake come alive in the rooms I design.
Three designers you’d love to lunch with?
Charles Spada: Classical details mixed perfectly with modern touches that invite you to step inside and enjoy the calm and the magic of the space. You’ll never want to leave!
Stephen Shubel: Classic details playfully mixed with unexpected objects in a breathtaking manner that adds rhythm to a room. Your heart will sync and sing to the rhythm!
Ann Huff: Ann has been a fun and creative partner in crime in many projects and she would help add humor and wit to the luncheon. Also, she would never forgive me for not including her in what I think would be the absolute best luncheon ever!
Can you recall a time when you faced a tricky design challenge?
Ann and I were asked to help a client with her beautiful townhouse in London’s posh Kensington district. The centerpiece of her dream kitchen was a large table that needed a little paint refresh – having only a short weekend to complete our project, we immediately headed out for a can of Annie Sloan’s Paris Grey.
On Sunday, as we’re wrapping up the project and finishing the table, we ran out of paint with a smaller 24” section left and the Annie Sloan store was closed! We didn’t panic, we laughed about the “fine mess we had gotten ourselves into…think Lucy and Ethel” and decided we could create our own chalk paint. So we consulted the all-knowing internet and found a recipe that involved unsanded grout. We headed to the nearest hardware store, bought the grout and a quart of grey paint. After some creative mixing – we perfectly color matched Annie Sloan and finished the table! The saying about God protecting fools and children came to mind. Voila! The table was beautiful and two very smug and relieved painters smiled. As did our trusting client.
Thanks for sharing all of your design wisdom, Sam! We’re so thankful to have your talent on the Huff Harrington Design team.