This week on the blog, we are highlighting a talented local designer who we met a few weeks ago, Byron Risdon. Byron is based in the Washington D.C. market, but got his start working for design firms in New York City.
Read on to learn about how he found design, his tips for mixing vintage and new, and what Passerine rugs are sourcing up some inspiration for him these days!
Q: Tell us a bit about your path to interior design. How did you know this was your calling?
Byron: I guess you could say I took the scenic route. Initially, I didn’t know this was something wanted to do or even could do. After finishing grad school I was planning on teaching elementary school. I’d helped a few friends design their spaces and I began to have this desire for more. I didn’t want to go back to school nor could I really afford to. I began looking for jobs in the design field and was fortunate enough to get an assistant position with a boutique firm in NYC. I was completely unqualified and had no idea what I was doing but I was extremely eager to learn and I soaked up everything I saw there.
Q: Your style struck us as warm and transitional -- How would you describe your signature style? How do you tailor and adapt it to different clients and home styles?
Byron: My goal is always to create timeless spaces that will allow for transition over time. I want them to be both well thought out and tailored but warm and inviting at the same time.
Q: Do you have a favorite project thus far? Talk to us about it!
Byron: My favorite so far would have to be my first project after starting my own business. It was a partial renovation with an addition in Bethesda, MD. There were many pieces to the puzzle of that project and I really proved to myself that I could do this on my own. I remember the husband complimenting me in the end because he couldn't quite visualize everything but was really impressed with how it all turned out. I guess I did something right, they recently sold the house...fully furnished!
Q: Where do you find inspiration? Is there any particular style or trend that you are loving right now?
Byron: It’s more a feeling for me than a style. I talk with my clients about how they want to use the space and how they want it to feel. From there I source things that will meet their needs and compliant each other. I believe in a balance of old and new, modern and traditional with just enough details to show you really thought about.
Q: What is your philosophy about incorporating vintage into your projects? Any tips for our readers on how best to do this in their own homes?
Byron: Do what makes you feel good. If there’s a piece you love and want to incorporate don’t let style hold you back. Make sure it’s scaled properly for the space and don’t be afraid to repurpose it. I have a mid century cabinet in my bathroom for towels and toiletries that was once a bar/pantry cabinet.
Q: Love that! We read in an interview you gave once that you start every design with a rug, whether new or a client’s existing piece. What Passerine Rugs are you loving at the moment?
Byron: I love the rich bold colors of the Natalie rug. I could see that as the perfect anchor for a living room with muted upholstery and light walls but I could also see in a moody bedroom painted in a jewel tone. The variety in color allows for so much versatility.
The Natalie Rug
Byron: The Camille runners are so warm and the trellis like pattern is beautiful. I haven’t had the opportunity yet but I would love to use a long vintage rug like this for a stair runner. I think it would really have that WOW factor!