Designer Profile: Annie Downing

anniedowning-1

What inspired this career path for you?
I worked in politics for many years, and I took art and interior design classes at night as an outlet. I started helping friends and working on my own home. It evolved from there.

What is your go-to source for inspiration?
I don’t really have a go-to source, per se, but generally travel, fashion, and books really inspire me.

Tell us about your creative process.
OOOOOHHHH. It’s the best part. Honestly, you really have to be in the right mind-set to create and work on a project. It can be mentally exhausting! I always meet with a client, see their space, or we go over their plans and talk about how they want their space to feel, we share a couple of images, and I try to interpret it while adding my own design to it. We pull fabric samples, finish samples, paint colors, wall coverings, trims, tear sheets, furniture, anything, even a piece of jewelry, and I literally toss them around, sometimes on the floor, sometimes on our work table, and when we know we know because it will just click and we say, “that’s it!” It’s very intuitive. Then we hope the client loves it as much as we do and says, “go for it”. Voila!

Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Sophisticated, unique, tailored, bold, fun, and serious. But not too serious.

What’s a staple in your tool kit?
Well, there are a few things: a measuring tape, blue tape, scissors, notepad, iPhone for pictures, pens, and pencils.

Who do you look up to in the design world?
I admire so many people in the design world. Some new faces that I admire are Kapito Muller for their attention to detail, and Charlotte Lucas for her fun use of color and pattern. I love Steven Gambrel. Kelly Wearstler, pure genius. David Hicks, Markham Roberts, Frances Elkins, so many.

If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I think it would be my personal home. I envision a serene, clean home with amazing art and lighting, and LOTS of details like Venetian plaster walls, white oak floors, a kitchen with floor to ceiling tiles, no upper cabinets, no hardware on the cabinetry throughout and large windows, vintage rugs. For a client, it would be a beach house because that’s when people really let loose and are open to fun ideas. It would have painted floors and great textures and fabrics, and would be welcoming the minute you stepped into it. You would just want to stay.

Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.  
“Rome was not built in a day.” Good design is a collaboration and worth the wait. Instant gratification can backfire on you!

Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Honestly, I try very hard to draw my own inspiration so I don’t heavily rely on one source. I do however love to re-visit my collection of books, and I have saved all my old Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and House & Garden magazines, and regularly pull out old ones to thumb through. They are always still relevant.

Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet, e.g., do any have unique back stories, in what kind of space do you hope they end up, etc.?
I love all the pieces. You can’t find them easily as all the case goods are one-of-a-kind or vintage. We have a showroom in Austin, but need to make room for more pieces! The alabaster lamps are truly one-of-a-kind, substantial, and would look amazing on a buffet in a dining room. I love the Kindel dining chairs for the lines, I would love those in a dining room with amazing wallpaper in it. I love the Henredon chests, the Dorothy Draper buffet. The Charles Hollis Jones table needs to be a desk in a sophisticated office. I love the fabric we put on the lacquered chair and a half, and the Wegman chairs. This furniture was all meant to last and to be passed down from generation to generation. I purchased it because I love it and would put it all in my own home.

What do you love about Viyet? 
All the hard work has been done for you! It’s all carefully curated, quality pieces. The furniture we are consigning is meant to last a lifetime. It goes with any aesthetic, and I am having a hard time parting ways with it!

 

anniedowning.com
austin, texas
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