Classic yet cheerful, Meg Braff’s style has an elegance that is approachable and pretty. Braff published her first book, The Decorated Home: Living with Style and Joy, this past spring where she shares advice on creating rooms that are both livable and attractive.
What inspired this career path for you?
I have been interested in design from an early age. My childhood home was filled with antiques, and my first design experience was figuring out how to modernize the look. With my mom as my first “client”, I worked to spread out the heavy wood pieces, and chose zippy fun fabrics to lighten things up. Working on our home propelled me to pursue design as a career, so after graduating from Vanderbilt University, I moved to New York and began studying interior design at Parsons.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
I find inspiration everywhere — leisure and business travel, nature, design books highlighting interiors from the 30s and 40s, and my children and friends. I love going to museums and art galleries, and shopping on my travels. I am a big believer in seeing as much as possible. I am open to experiences — even if the locale is not directly in-line with my interests/aesthetic, I am always aware that inspiration could strike at any moment.
Tell us about your creative process.
My creative process begins with a few in-depth meetings with my client. I try and get a real handle on how they live (or want to live), how much they entertain, and how adventurous they consider themselves. I like to see their current home in person or in pictures, and I always ask for tear sheets of rooms they respond to. If possible, I like to get a peek at a new client’s closet…it can sometimes help give a better idea of how adventurous they are, regardless of what they said in the first meeting.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Exuberant, colorful, youthful, comfortable, timeless.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
I always have a tape measure and a Benjamin Moore color wheel with me. Minwax touch-up pencils are amazing! And clear fishing wire often comes in handy.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
I am inspired by many designers from the past, including Frances Elkins, Elsie de Wolfe, Albert Hadley, William Haines, and designer friends including Charlotte Moss and Jeffrey Bilhuber. I love Newell Turner, who has been such a support to me over the years. I am on the board of The Decorators Club and have traveled extensively with the Leaders of Design: I am inspired by so many of my friends from both organizations.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I’m writing this from Bermuda, where I am attending the America’s Cup, so I may be influenced… But I’m thinking my dream client is a single man, preferably with a boat in the America’s Cup Race! No-nonsense, focused, and passionate about design and efficiency.
Really though, my dream client has a sense of humor, is someone whom I get along with and can share a laugh with, and is willing to take some design risks. I’m so lucky to have wonderful clients!
What’s your ideal room?
My favorite rooms to design are bedrooms. Bedrooms are important because we spend so much time in them. Aside from a comfortable bed, I take special care in selecting cozy fabrics in patterns and colors that are soothing to the client.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
This year I loved watching The Queen on Netflix. It was so well done, with beautiful set design, not to mention the gorgeous costumes and jewels.
What do you love about Viyet?
Its accessibility and the fabulous deals! I love shopping online — in the car, between meetings, late nights. Viyet is a fantastic resource.