Excited to have Mecox back again sharing their interview with designer Brynn Olson with you today.
Designer Spotlight: Brynn Olson
Trained as an artist from childhood, Brynn began her design career creating large-scale indoor and outdoor painted murals for commercial spaces and residences. After attending Vanderbilt University and pursuing an academic-oriented career, her love for art and design re-ignited years later and she joined Nate Berkus Associates in 2008. She furthered her education in Interior Design at Harrington College of Design while working full-time with the NBA family and managed and designed projects for commercial and private high-end residential clients and celebrities featured on/in The Nate Berkus Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Elle Decor Magazine, CS Interiors Magazine, and Chicago Home + Garden Magazine. She also assisted with development and rendering of original room designs for major publications and TV programs including Chicago Tribune, The Today Show, and Family Circle Magazine.
Her experience in the design process, project management and client relationships lead to the desire to open her own firm in 2012 under the belief that every environment should boast a timeless foundation infused with an edge that reflects the essence of each client. Brynn’s credence that “How you shape your space will shape your day” is the cornerstone to which each project is approached. The power of a well designed interior is not only an immediate aesthetic transformation but also an incredible impact on the individual who lives, works or interacts with that space. “I’m honored every time a new client asks us to be a part of their life in such a personal way.”
1. When visiting Mecox, what items are you usually searching for? What usually brings you into our store?
Mecox is literally our go-to resource during all phases of our projects. We’re constantly utilizing the online catalogue of amazing furniture when sourcing furnishings – antique, new, or custom – for clients. I find I’ll pop into the store from time to time just for inspiration which exudes comfort, layers and design forward elements. I always emphasize to clients that accounting for a budget to accessorize a home is such a small yet important nuance that separates those “great” homes from the “wow-worthy.” Mecox’s accessory selection is incredibly vast – I’ve never walked out empty handed (and always usually with my favorite candle in tote).
2. What’s your opinion on style trends and how much do they influence your aesthetic and approach to design?
It’s our opinion to embrace and have fun with trends as long as its a tasteful reflection of the client and the cost is minimal relative to entire budget. Without a doubt, we urge our clients to invest in timeless, classic pieces to form the foundation and any trends they’re gravitating towards to do in small doses where appropriate that can easily and cost effectively be changed out in a few years when those trends die out.
Sometimes the word “classic” gets mixed up with “boring” or “traditional.” We like to say “timeless” instead when it comes to chatting about style and generally encourage a 80/20 ratio of timeless to trendy. We want to make sure our clients are investing wisely but catering to those urges to try a trend on for size.
4. Is there a particular design element that you like to use in all of your projects?
Mixing in vintage or antique pieces with new or custom pieces is always a design element we aim for to create a truly unique space that’s not easy to replicate. We’re also always striving to have an appropriate mix of materials – metals (don’t be afraid to mix chrome and brass!), wood, upholstery, hides – in each space to create a more interesting, layered and thoughtful final product that generally garners the “I’d never think to put those items together, but I love it!” response.
5. Is there a particular color palette that you are currently using or in love with?
If you saw my wardrobe you’d think I’m obsessed with a black, white, gray, camel, navy (with a pop of brass jewelry) and you’d be right! When it comes to color palettes for a client it always depends on their personality, but you’ll always find us gravitating towards gray/greige foundation pieces mixed with subdued blues and greens with a pops of jewel-tones and high contrast patterns.
6. Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on? If so, why?
All of our projects end up being so vastly different that we couldn’t possibly choose one favorite project. We’ve helped design the spacial brand for Interior Define’s flagship store, created a fun and vibrant start-up office space for Pear’s Chicago-based headquarters, and countless homes ranging from sprawling new construction homes in the suburbs to refitting a one bedroom condo on Lakeshore Drive for a family of four. The range is pretty incredible and they’ve all come with interesting scopes and amazing people that are all a favorite in one way or the other.
7. When designing an interior, how much of your personal style do you bring to the table?
As an artist you have a natural proclivity to create something that is uniquely “you.” I’ve been painting since the age of 3 and selling my art since high school so the process of artistic creativity has always been a little bit second nature and always incredibly personal stylistically. I see interior design no different than any other medium I’ve enjoyed creating as an artist, and naturally my personal style will always show through. That being said, our clients are our number one inspiration and it is our responsibility to ensure their personal style is reflected in their space. Our “touch” on it is simply fine tuning and educating on stylistic selections.
8. What aspect of your career do you find most satisfying?
Without a doubt the most satisfying aspect of this career are the people that allow us into their home and trust us to create real change on their very personal environment. Witnessing the pure joy and excitement at a final reveal and to later hear how their space has impacted their daily lives is indescribable. We are so thankful to be able to create palpable impact in such a personal way.