We are kicking off a new, ongoing series where every week or two, we highlight one of our amazing interior designers! We’re excited for you to get to know them just a little better, find out what is inspiring them, and what projects they have going on!
Our very first Designer of the Week is Mary Courtney Johns!
Mary Courtney is our newest designer (she was formerly Lisa’s assistant!) and is doing such a great job in her new SummerHouse role! She’s a very talented designer and such a sweetheart on top of that! Without any further delay, let’s get to some Q&A!
What project have you been most excited about working on lately?
The project I have been most thrilled about lately is a living room on a lake in Madison. This space has tons of natural light pouring in and open views of the homeowner’s beautiful pool and the lake behind. The client has an existing rug ottoman that she wanted to take color inspiration from to drive the direction of the rest of the furnishings in the room. The color scheme is made up of deep charcoal brown, wheat, and warm gray, with accents of terracotta in the form of pillows. These colors are represented in an array of different textures from a thick, nubby weave on a pair of sofas to a worn leather on a swivel chair and pillows incorporating linen and velvet. Although this house is the client’s main home, it is essentially a lake house so the space needed to stay casual and livable. I incorporated a few refined touches since this is the only indoor living area in the home to have a good mix of formality and comfort. Every detail of this project mirrors my own tastes and how I want a living room to feel. I always strive to bring out the homeowner’s personality and desires while incorporating my design knowledge, but in this instance, my client and her space was exactly matched to my aesthetic!
What commercial space has most inspired you in the past few months as far as the feel/atmosphere/aesthetic? What about that space made such an impression on you?
Saltine in Fondren is actually really inspiring. It invites you in to sit and stay a while. I love when fun details are incorporated into a commercial space, cue the octopus decal on the wall serving itself up a Tabasco laden oyster. It dictates how people should behave and exemplifies a certain air of relaxation. The rustic chairs, park bench style banquettes, and aged wood floors also play their part in the carefree nature of this restaurant. The beauty of the tile detail at the oyster bar has an attraction similar to the inside of an oyster shell mimicking the iridescence through the tile work. I could go on and on!
Do you have any design projects going on at your own home right now? If so, can you tell us a little about them?!
I usually have a watercolor painting or a sewing project in the works at home but with a husband and a 16 month old, time is limited these days!
Has there been a color that’s really been grabbing you lately?
Coral! It’s not red and it’s not pink. It is versatile and complements a vast range of colors. It’s both juvenile and sophisticated depending on the application.
What do you most love about being a designer?
Being that I have always had a close relationship with art and hands-on projects, designing is my outlet for creativity. I am able to get lost in the search for fabrics and furnishings that are just the right fit for any certain space. The addition of small but meaningful details excites me like putting the final touches on a watercolor painting! Working with clients keeps my work from being redundant and molds my aesthetic into what is most needed within their spaces so I am constantly challenging my personal tastes.
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Thanks, Mary Courtney! Stay tuned for another Designer of the Week coming soon!