Continuing our series in which we spotlight some of our favorite interior designers, today we are featuring Lindsay Pennington, a Kentucky native with a background in law, who now serves residential clients in Los Angeles and New York. Read on for a Q&A with her and a look at some of the elegantly eclectic spaces she has created.
Q: What’s your design philosophy?
A: I seek to create highly personal, layered, and inviting rooms for my clients to live and work in. While there are some touchstones to many of my designs--liberal use of color and pattern, and an emphasis on the expressiveness of artwork, books, and accessories--because none of my clients are the same, I strive to take their personalities and think about how they are going to use their homes, and translate that into a material space that reflects them, makes them comfortable, and facilitates their ease of use at the end of a busy day. What's most important to me is delivering to them a home that feels and looks like them, not me.
Q: What’s a typical day like for you?
A: I'm sure most designers can relate--although I try to plan my days, something always comes up, and it's this unexpectedness and spontaneity in my career that keeps things exciting.
I always start with lots of Peet's French Roast coffee (made at home), help my sons get ready for school, drop them off, and then take my three dogs to the park for some exercise and zen time.
Because Los Angeles is such a big city, geographically, I have my office at home where I keep all of my sample libraries and client files.
At least three days a week, I'm driving to clients' homes for in-person meetings, because it's so important to maintain face-to-face contact and keep the lines of communication open. There are so many things that we can learn about each other just by spending time together, and this helps me put myself in their shoes when sourcing items or making decisions with builders, architects, and sub-contractors.
When I'm not driving, much of my time is spent doing the necessary follow-up on purchase orders and deliveries--the back office paperwork we all would like to avoid but simply have to do.
Finally, for installations and photo shoots, I run around like a crazy person for days, sourcing those last minute accessories to make everything come together and feel richer and more lived-in.
Q: Are you a morning or night person?
A: Morning! I'm still astonished when people text or call me after 9 pm, as though they might be able to reach me.
Q: What do you do when you have a creative block?
A: I have a massive collection of interior design, architecture, and gardening books, and I love to sit down with them in a quiet place when I feel I need some inspiration. Each time I look at photos of rooms or buildings I admire, I take in something different, and usually the solution to a creative problem will arise. Creativity is not something that can be forced, so I also allow myself to take a walk, or talk to my children about their days at school, and giving myself that break can free up mental space for inspiration to appear.
Q: What keeps you sane?
A: Coffee, SoulCycle, a hot bath, and a good book.
Q: What helps you stay organized?
A: If there were a magic wand for organization, I'd love to use it. In the meantime, I take a lot of notes and photos, and try to document most decisions in emails between me and the clients and other principals involved. Texting is easy but it can get out of control very quickly!
Q: Whats apps can you not live without?
A: Instagram, Waze, and FlyDelta.
Q: No home is complete without...
A: A bed with clean sheets, artwork, books, colorful rugs, textiles, and dogs.
Q: What are your go-to pillow sizes?
A: For sofas, 20 inch squares and 18 inch squares with a lumbar in the center, depending on the size of the sofa. For beds, I love 26 inch Euro shams.
Q: What are some of your dream home must-haves?
A: A white picket fence. (Doesn't everyone?)
Q: What's a color you never tire of?
A: Black, red, and green.
Q: What’s your favorite part about being a designer?
A: My absolute favorite part about being a designer is working with clients. It's such a pleasure to help them bring their dreams and ideas for their homes to life, to make them warm, comfortable and welcoming for them and their families. I also learn so much from them: how to be a better listener, how to be a better communicator, and how to have more patience.
Q: What's on your nightstand?
A: A Ralph Lauren lamp, four books, a glass of water, and Carmex.
1. Go-to Paint Color: Benjamin Moore White Dove
2. No-regrets home splurge: A custom, green velvet St. Thomas-style sofa
3. Design Book(s): ALL of Jeffrey Bilhuber's books
4. Guilty Pleasure: Ruffles potato chips
6. Flower: Tulips and anemones
7. Artist: Cecily Brown
8. Restaurant: Cafe Mauro at Fred Segal
9. Luxury Candle: Diptyque Santal
10. Style Icon: Mary-Kate Olsen (even though I don't get to dress like this in real life)
11. Everyday Outfit: Jeans, a silk blouse, and either boots or sneakers
12. Set Design: Call Me By Your Name
13. Travel Destination: Rome!
14. Favorite Design Tip: Keep it clean!
To learn more about Lindsay, visit her website and social media profiles:
Social Media: @lindsaypennington