It's time for the second installment of the Charlottesville Design House designer profile series. Today, I'd like to introduce Heather Picinich. If you're a long time reader, you might a post I wrote about Heather last summer. Now, we get to know her a little bit better.
S&C: Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into interior design.
HP: I moved to Charlottesville in 2001 with my husband, Blake. I worked as a Consultant in Washington, DC for about 10 years after graduating from the University of Maryland and came to Charlottesville to start our family of our two beautiful little girls. The funny thing is, while working in DC I was burnt out from working 60 hours a week for a major firm but now I work the same amount of time and love, love, love what I do! As for interior design, I guess it’s just always been a passion of mine; even in college I was the girl with the coolest dorm room and have been helping my girlfriends decorate their homes for years.
S&C: Heather Picinich Interiors launched in a big way last year. What advice do you have for designers who are thinking of starting their own business?
HP: Thanks for saying that I launched in a big way last year! It was truly one of the most exciting nights of my life being able to have a party of over 100 of my closest friends and clients to celebrate the launch of my website and facebook blog for Heather Picinich Interiors. Not to mention that the party was on my (ahem) 40th birthday.
When I first started working as an interior designer in Charlottesville back in 2007, my talented former business partner, Ami Smith, and I just jumped head first into business. It was an amazing experience but I would definitely recommend that new designers get a firm grasp of their business structure and ensure that they are confident in their designs. Also, create a great relationship with a good contractor and a wonderful seamstress!
[You all remember Ami Smith from last week's profile, right?]
S&C: How would you describe your design aesthetic? How has it evolved over time?
HP:I’ve been called “traditional eclectic” several times and I think it seems to fit. I do love classic furniture pieces, items that can fit into most any style. There’s nothing like fabric that can change your grandpa’s old club chair and give it new life! The eclectic side of my design aesthetic comes from my love of mixing old and new pieces to create a sense of a space evolving over time; a rustic, natural wood cocktail table working effortlessly with a gorgeous leather Chesterfield sofa.
S&C: Tell me about your favorite design resource in Charlottesville.
HP: Aside from all the amazing local retailers here, I think U-Fab has become one of the best things to happen to Charlottesville design resources in a while. Everyone, no matter the project size and budget, wants the best in fabric and furnishings but at a competitive price. Also, I’m a huge lighting fanatic and think it is one of the most important elements in good design. I’ve recently created a new relationship with Timberlake Lighting and am in love with their selections, not to mention customer service.
S&C: Where do you usually start your design process?
HP: Definitely fabrics! It is typically fabrics that start the process for me; I love to scour the fabric shops until I find the right one and then everything falls into place from there. For example, I am currently designing a den for a client who lives in the countryside and owns horses. After finding the perfect fabric for window treatments the whole design evolved into a gorgeous “hunt club” style, complete with leather recliners for him, beautiful upholstered chairs for her, and cowhide rug. It is going to be stunning!
S&C: What was the last purchase for your home that had you excited?
HP: A few months ago I blogged about my obsession with daybeds, but not necessarily for use in the bedroom. When my husband and I built our home a few years ago I was determined to put a custom upholstered daybed in my family room. It is the most versatile and comfortable, piece of furniture we own and everyone loves it! It serves as both a seating area for a dual conversation zone and as the perfect piece for my whole family to cuddle up together.
S&C: Is there anything you've been hoping to use in a client's home? Maybe a color scheme, pattern, or piece of furniture?
HP: I love a chic wallpaper! I have had my eye on this striking grass cloth wallpaper from Stoheim & Romann that is in the most subtle and gorgeous shade of silver grey with a whisper of turquoise blue. I am getting ready to have it installed in a client’s home as an accent wall in a room that is currently dominated by boring beige. This wallpaper not only adds great color but texture and pattern as well. Don’t be afraid of wallpaper; it can really add dramatic interest to a room when done the right way.
S&C: Any hints about your plans for your room in the 2011 Charlottesville Design House to pique people's interest?
HP: I am so excited about being able to design the 3-season sunroom! It will combine all the elements of my “traditional eclectic” style: great fabrics, stunning lighting, and a beautiful, yet functional, space. I am honored to be in the same company with such an amazing field of talented designers, some of whom I’ve looked up to for years.