What’s Inside Really Does Matter
Make It So They Don’t Want to Leave…Ever
I’m not going to begin to act like I know everything about designing homes (even though I do think my place is pretty dope.) While I don’t know much about interior design, I have zero problems with reaching out to an expert, and Tiffany Thompson is just that. According to Tiffany, your place can always be better, and she lays out the blue print in the interview below.
Name: Tiffany Thompson, Owner of Duett Interiors
Location: Portland, OR
Diggy: Let’s start at the beginning. You currently have a job that you enjoy working at Nike. What made you want to launch Duett Interiors?
Tiff:I kept thinking about what my purpose is? It’s funny because as a kid, I bounced around a lot from home to home because my birth mother wasn’t around. I always felt a sense of uneasiness as a child and lack of stability until my aunt adopted me and welcomed me into her home.
When I moved to Portland and being isolated from other distractions I started to think – what is my purpose? God blessed me with the ability to purchase my first home from my Nike career and from buying my home, it exposed my true passion for Interior Design. I know I was placed on this earth to provide a place of a place of peace and safety for people and make interior spaces beautiful and inviting so no one feels unwelcomed. It’s not only about the space being beautiful, but bringing happiness to my clients and making them feel more comfortable at home. I look back on photos and memories I have. I can recall the textures of my grandmother’s couch, or the smell of vanilla in my mother’s bedroom. Those memories stay with you forever and bring you peace. I want to help create the foundation of other people’s timeless family moments and memories.
Diggy: Why is it important to make a place your own?
Tiff: Your home should be a place of retreat and relaxation. After a hard day at work, your home should provide you with a sense of comfort. More importantly, your home is a reflection of your personality, travels, and the things that mean the most to you. I stress to my clients that regardless of the amount of time you plan on spending in an apartment or your house, the more the space feels like you, the more inclined you are to enjoy coming home and having people over and creating new memories.
Diggy: What’s a common mistake that people make when attempting to design their place?
Tiff: Thinking everything has to match! They get a grey couch, grey rug, paint the walls grey. The place ends up being one muted color palette, which can be dull and boring, or shocking and extreme, depending on the color they gravitate towards. Creating balance is the key. If you have a color that you absolutely love, balance it with other neutrals and don’t be afraid to incorporate different materials in the room – leathers, furs, suedes, woods, glass. Another pet peeve is rugs that are too small for the space. Always consider scale and proportion in a room. Design rule #1 – If you don’t know what size rug to buy, either the entire furniture should sit comfortably on the rug or if space is a concern the two front legs should touch the rug.
Diggy: What do you recommend people do if they want to design their place, but don’t know where to start?
Tiff: The easiest way to get inspiration for how you may want you home to look is to go to your favorite store, hotel, restaurant or a city you love to travel to and think about how those places make you feel. That feeling is the one you want to mimic in your home. If you love the sexiness of the W hotel, then snap some photos the next time you are there or google some images online and literally copy the vibes/color palette/material selection in your home. Another cheat is to go to a major décor retailer like my favorite West Elm. They offer free services to plan your room. They provide a free layout, furniture options and can walk you through the design process for free. Even if you don’t buy their furniture, it’s a great and inexpensive way to get your ideas on paper. If the options they provide aren’t within your budget, head to less expensive retailers like Home Goods, Target and Joss and Main to find more budget friendly options.
Diggy: Lastly, I’m a guy so I don’t want my place to be TOO over the top. What can I do to still have a dope spot, but keep that masculine feel?
Tiff: Smells – A misconception for men is that your home doesn’t have to smell good or that the scents out there are too “feminine and floral.” For my male clients, I encourage them to purchase candles, incense that have really rich flavors – Tobacco, Leather, Mahogany. A great company to buy candles from is Le Labo. Santal 26 is a favorite for clients. The company focuses on unisex smells that aren’t too masculine or feminine but they take your space to another level.
Showcase Your Personality – If you are into a sport or travel a lot, incorporate things from your personal collection into your home and showcase them publicly. Add cool travel pickups to your coffee table set up, or display memorabilia or vintage sport items on your walls.
Finishes – Stay in the zone of colors and textures that are don’t have a ton bling to it and that aren’t over the top. If choosing metals, opt for tarnished silvers, coppers and onyx. You want to choose things that are timeless, and if they are neutral in color, then they can be more expressive in texture and vice versa.
Also, there’s nothing wrong with putting effort into your home and making sure it looks great. Whether you are single or in a relationship, your home really isn’t about you, but moreso the company you want to entertain. It should be inviting so your significant other, or whoever is visiting, doesn’t want to leave. Trust me – there’s nothing that going to impress a woman more than a guy with nice digs.
Bio: Born and Raised in Queens, NY, Tiffany Thompson is the owner of Duett Interiors, a small design firm located on the West Coast and a Product marketing manager for Nike Women’s Sportswear. Her designs incorporate diverse cultures and aesthetics from my travels. I specialize in a residential and commercial design and art curation.