Sherry Hart adds some much-needed fun to the interior design world, a lot of people would say. In addition to her magazine cover stories (recently, one of her projects was on the cover of House Beautiful … not too shabby), show house rooms, One Room Challenge projects and miscellaneous houses big and small, Sherry pens the always personal — and always entertaining — Design Indulgence blog, where she chronicles the day-to-day life of a designer, Old English sheepdog owner and Atlanta resident who keeps it real. We got some scoop from Sherry about her history and philosophies. Meet our newest ID Crush!
Do you have any childhood memories of you being designer-y at a young age?
Oh yes … when everyone wanted a pink bedroom, I wanted lavender. I always going against the norm! And I was very specific about my bedding, but my Mom had great taste to keep me in line. She was from Nashville and had a good Southern flair.
We love your career path. Tell us what you did in your younger days and how you made the journey to interior design?
I was a flight attendant for 20 years, and then when Eastern Airlines went out of business I decided not to pursue that career. I had just moved to Atlanta and my husband and I bought a house, which we totally renovated. It was during that time I felt I had discovered something I could be passionate about, and knew I should nourish. I decorated the house, there was a home tour, and people started asking me to help with their homes. I might have sent some images of one of the bathrooms to a certain magazine editor 25 years ago, and well … you know the rest of that story.
How would you describe your design style? Do you have any signature looks, and what do you enjoy doing, design-wise, these days?
My style went through a transformation about seven years ago when I switched from using color to a more neutral palette, sprinkled with a lot of black and white. I painted my walls and floors white for that crisp background and it definitely stopped that roller coaster of repainting rooms with the latest trend color.
What’s been your hardest project to date and why?
I got an incredible opportunity to work on House Beautiful‘s first “Whole Home Project,” a fully decorated home with all sponsored products. If you know HB, then you know they’re usually all about color, and that’s not my thing. It was not easy and there were a lot of “cooks in the kitchen,” meaning I had editorial guidelines to meet along with making plenty of sponsors happy. Trying to infuse my style into it became nearly impossible, but I feel that in the end, we achieved a good balance between all the parameters we had to work with.
Who are your design idols and why?
I love Daryl Carter because of his use of black and white and minimalist approach. Someone I was introduced to on Instagram is Sean Anderson, whose style I adore. And Victoria Hagan’s designs really appeal to my love of mixing modern and tradition with seamless transition.
People love your design blog. When/how/why did you start it, and what are some stories about doing such a personal blog?
I started my blog one day in 2010 with no plans on how it would go past my first post. What a ride it has been, and it sounds weird to say this, but I love the writing aspect of it. Somebody gave me the best advice: “Keep it real by just speaking your voice and don’t worry about using perfect grammar.” I come from a family of storytellers, so I think it’s a good fit. Instagram has almost taken over from blogging, but I have to tell you, I have no immediate plans of quitting! I think the funniest post I wrote was about my neighbor and how jealous I was of her backyard. People thought I was serious. It was a very snarky post, I admit, but the comments I got from people were really funny.
What are some of your go-to sources — both online and store-wise — these days? You’re good about doing both high and low products in a room. Any tips on where to go and how to incorporate bargains? Similarly, what do you think is splurge-worthy?
I love to mix high and low! I really believe beautiful custom upholstery and Target can live together in the same room. I am a real stickler about purchasing well-made upholstery pieces that will last and then you can be budget-minded about the rest of the space. Meaning this: Accessories can be trendy and it’s easy to swap them out if you didn’t break the bank with a purchase. I love Home Goods (they sell the same things I see at High Point Market, but they buy in such volume, it allows us to get those good deals!) I also love Crate and Barrel, West Elm and Overstock.
If you could be the interior designer for anyone, who would it be (and why)?
Oh gosh … that is a tough question because I would want them to also be excited to work with me. I feel like the best collaborations come from clients that truly trust me, so designing for my sisters is always first on my list. If I’m just dreaming here, it might be George and Amal Clooney. He is funny and she seems nice, plus they have houses in Italy and London, so that would be fun.
How do you spend your off hours?
You’ll find me walking my Old English Sheepdog, working out and dreaming about design. My real guilty pleasure is Netflix and reality TV … yeah, you can call me shallow, but seriously, there is something intriguing about it. After I discovered Downton Abbey — which I was late getting into — I also got hooked on British crime shows.
Learn more about Sherry Hart and her inspiring spaces by visiting sherryhartdesigns.com.
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