Our November Birthday Girl is designer Whitney Wilkinson. Having recently launched her eponymous business, Whitney Wilkinson Design Studio, she is making strides in the local interiors scene with her thoughtful mix of color and materials, unique pattern play and combination sourcing of new and old.
What’s unique about being an interior designer in New Orleans?
The mix of architecture and color is truly incredible. It’s easy to take this for granted when this is my everyday backdrop, but I’m reminded of it every time I travel elsewhere.
What inspires your design aesthetic?
As cliche as it may sound, nature! Whether I’m on a walk in my neighborhood or a park or driving around town, something always catches my eye. I like to take a mental picture (often a real one too) and inevitably that color or shape ends up in a design scheme at some point. Also, Instagram – the inspiration is endless. It could be as simple as the lines in a piece of furniture to an interesting color combination or a particular fabric.
Name a few design trends you love.
Generally speaking, I try not to decorate with trends, but a couple I’m into right now are contrasting cabinet colors and/or materials for uppers and lowers in a kitchen. Lately I’ve also been using one paint color all over a room.
What are your favorite projects to work on?
Some of my favorites are when we’ve done a full home renovation and then move into the decoration phase. I love to see a process from start to finish and see these projects come to life. That’s the most impactful.
Describe your own home’s aesthetic in four words.
I like to think of my home as warm, comfortable, layered and colorful. My home is my guinea pig. It’s where I try ideas out. It’s always in transition (for better or for worse) and I’m always one (or two or three) projects away from being done. But that’s my personality.
Most challenging part about decorating your own home?
The options! There are so many different ways a style can be interpreted and SO many beautiful fabrics and wallpapers and paint colors out there. I want to do everything at once – which of course doesn’t work. I’ve become very selective and thoughtful about what I bring into my house.
Favorite design shops in New Orleans for furniture and objects for clients?
My dream sourcing is Ware and Co. and Malachite Home for incredible one-of-a-kind pieces. Some of my other local go-tos are Merchant House and Consign Consign. I also LOVE estate sales.
Neighborhood you work in most often?
Uptown.Three things we’re doing wrong decorating our own homes?Using too-small rugs, hanging curtains incorrectly and not taking risks.
Rule of thumb on splurge versus save?
Splurge on good upholstery and at least one special fabric in a room. Save on accessories.
What’s on your birthday wish list?
A good massage at Woodhouse Day Spa and some family time.
How many candles are you blowing out this year?
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