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2013 Showcase of Homes Designer Interviews

Upon completion of our 2013 Showcase of Homes entries, we sat down with the interior designers to discuss some of their influences, challenges, and signature looks.

Leah Margolis Nathan of Leah Margolis Design LLC created a youthful look for 96 Oak Street.  For this particular home, she said that her biggest influence was the fun and energetic young family.  “There are some very classic elements to the home – they wanted their house to really be timeless, which I love, but they were still eager to modernize a bit with clean lines and family-friendly accents”

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When it comes to inspiration, Leah looks to a number of outlets – different magazines such as Elle Décor, and numerous designers like Amanda Nisbet and Steven Gambrel.  Some of the best design advice Leah has ever been given is to buy what you love.  “If you love what you buy, no matter where it’s from or what style it is it will work with the rest of your collection.”  Stepping into 96 Oak Street, you will find an array of blue colors.  Leah says that her personal style includes a combination of bright vibrant colors like oranges and pinks, but she tends to decorate with more cool and neutral colors depending on what her clients gravitate towards.

In addition to the blue color palate for this Witt Construction home, Leah tried to use a few vintage and antique furniture pieces, “…I love mixing new and old – it really helps layer a space and makes rooms feel more collected and lived in.”  The easiest part of working on this project was collaborating with everyone at Witt and the homeowners themselves.  When it comes to differing opinions with clients, “you always have to remember that it’s your client’s home… I usually just tell them what I think is best and I allow them to make the final decision once they have all of the information.  At the end of the day, clients are the ones who have to live in the space so you want to make sure it’s comfortable for them and works with their lifestyle.”

Pam Dorwin Dawson of Dorwin Dawson Associates is the designer for the 24 Old Stone Ridge Showcase of Homes entry.  When looking for inspiration, Pam looks to a number of different outlets such as a variety of design and furniture magazines, different websites including Houzz.com, and a collection of her own personal journals that she has kept over the years.  Additionally, she has “always been fascinated with architecture and all the details that go into a great building or project.”  Being able to connect the architecture to the design of the interior is always essential.  Typically, Pam’s favorite rooms to decorate are the great room and/or kitchen area.  “It’s such an important space in most homes; it’s usually the heart and soul of a home.”
When deciding on paint colors, Pam says that her taste tends to change, but most recently she has been using different shades of grey (mostly warm greys) and different shades of aubergine.
For Pam, the easiest and most enjoyable part of designing this Witt Construction home has been working with the clients; “it always makes my job so much easier when you have a great client.”  Additionally, she said that working with the staff here at Witt has made all the difference; “they all have a tremendous sense of attention to detail.”

Both of these homes are available to public viewing during this year’s Showcase of Homes.  The event runs September 21 & 22, 28 & 29, and October 5 & 6 from 11am to 5pm. For more information, click HERE

Leah Margolis Nathan
Leah Margolis Design LLC

Pam Dorwin Dawson
Dorwin Dawson Associates