Today we are introducing Meet the Experts, a brand new series on the blog. Here you will get to know Savvy’s design team: what they love in the world of design, decorating tips and tricks, and favorite things. First up is our newest designer, Brett Clark!
1.What inspires you most? Risk takers. Everything great in design today came about by someone taking a risk. Trying new things and experimenting are key ingredients in producing new and innovative design.
2.Who is your favorite design icon? Eero Saarinen. What can I say? He designed the St. Louis Arch! In the mid-20th century, he also created some of the most iconic furniture pieces that are still in production today. His studies in sculpture and architecture, along with his travels across Europe, are certainly translated into his classic design work.
3.How would you describe your decorating style in 5 words? Coordinated. Sophisticated. Eclectic. Classic. Personal.
4.What would be your favorite space to design? Definitely the kitchen. It is for me, the heart of the home. Although I have yet to have the pleasure of designing a client’s kitchen, I really look forward to the opportunity! The kitchen is an area that requires thoughtful planning in regards to function and an area that offers the chance to showcase many elements of design. A lot of things come into play in kitchen design: cabinetry, countertop, backsplash, flooring, lighting, plumbing, and appliances. Here is a Savvy kitchen that I absolutely love!
5.What does every room need? Something personal. Whether it’s a family heirloom or a meaningful piece of art, it’s important that a room not be just a collection of “pretty pieces.” It needs to tell a deeper story about the person or family living in it.
6.What design “rule” is meant to be broken? Committing to one design style. Don’t hesitate to mix and match styles. The best design comes from bringing together quality design from many different aesthetics! If you have a traditional interior, find a cool contemporary piece to give the space a touch of modernity. Prefer a modern vibe? Find a traditional piece to soften all the structured lines.
7.What are your “go to” paint colors?Caviar. Agreeable Gray. Hale Navy. Three of my absolute favorites are Caviar and Agreeable Gray by Sherwin-Williams and Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore. All three are ideal for so many applications, and clients seem to like them a lot.
8.What is your best decorating trick or tip? Don’t hang artwork too high! And remember, the bigger the better. These are two of my design pet peeves: artwork that is hung too high or is too small for the wall. A good rule of thumb is to align the center of the height of the artwork with the center of the height of the wall.
9.What trends are you loving right now? Mixed finishes. Whether it is a two-tone chandelier or a metal and wood console, I love this design trend, and I think (hope) it’s here to stay.
10. What do you like to do on your time off? Go for a walk around my neighborhood. Living in St. Louis’ Central West End, there are so many streets and neighborhoods with stunning examples of architecture. I love passing by all the historic homes and thinking about the people who lived there 100 years ago and wondering what the homes look like inside.
11. What’s your favorite cocktail? A Miami Vice. While relaxing on the beach, of course. Here’s how to make one! Mix 1 oz vodka, tequila, rum, gin triple sec and sweet and sour mix with a splash of peach schnapps. Pour over ice, in a collins glass. Pour into a shaker. Shake a couple times and pour the ingredients back into the glass. Garnish with a strawberry.
12. Do you have a favorite hotel that you can’t wait to visit again? The Langham Hotel Chicago. I have an obsession with hotel interiors, so it’s difficult to choose just one. Langham Hotel Chicago lives in a building designed by Mies van der Rohe in 1972. The combination of iconic architecture and stunning interior design makes it top on my list of favorites.
13. What is your TV show obsession? Ozark! This awesome show is on Netflix and stars Jason Bateman as a financial advisor who ends up laundering drug money. I watched all 10 episodes in one weekend. I couldn’t get enough. I would highly recommend it!
14. What design magazines are on your nightstand? Dwell. Wallpaper*. Architectural Digest.
15. Is their a movie interior that makes you swoon? Elrod House. This amazing example of modernist architecture was featured in the James Bond film “Diamond’s Are Forever.” It’s absolutely stunning.
16. What local restaurant makes your mouth water? Brazies (on the Hill). I think they have the best Italian food in St. Louis. My family and I have been dining at Brazies since I was a kid. You can find us there at least once a week!
17. Do you have a favorite place shop for clothing? Zara. My relationship with this clothing retailer began when I was living in Chicago. Zara is a clothing company that started in Spain and has since expanded globally. They have quality, but trendy, clothing that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! Unfortunately they haven’t made it to St. Louis yet, but it’s a good excuse for a weekend trip back to Chicago!
18. Where do you like to go to get away? Hilton Head. My family has been vacationing in Hilton Head, South Carolina, since I was nine months old! It’s like a second home to me, and it couldn’t be more relaxing.
19. If I couldn’t be a designer? I’d be a pilot! I always have to have the window seat, I love the view from above.
20. What does great design mean to you?Great design stimulates the senses, creates conversation, and compliments the function of a space!