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Interview with New York Interior Designer Tricia Foley

Tricia Foley is a New York interior designer specialized in all home design and know for her simple, classic style, her work includes retail consulting, branding, residential interior design, magazine editorial and book publishing etc., and her clients like Ralph Lauren Home, North Fork Table and Inn, Pottery Barn, Target, Sears, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s Home Stores.

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Homedit: Were you always interested in design? Tell us about the moment when you decided this is the way to go.

Tricia Foley: Yes, I think I should have known when I turned my shoeboxes into houses when I was about 8, and then as a teenager chose my babysitting jobs based on the shelter magazines the neighbors had.

Homedit: Where do you find your inspiration?

Tricia Foley: Although I design for the present, I find a lot of inspiration in the houses of the past. I love historic houses and the timelessness of their problem solving, siting in the landscape and use of natural materials.  I also love to travel and spend as much time as I can in museums, shops and market places to soak up the material culture of a place.

Homedit: Can describe a bit your first interior design project ?

Tricia Foley: My first apartment in New York as a student at Parson School of Design was published in a book on small spaces and in House Beautiful, so I guess that would be my first real project.

Homedit: How would you define your personal style?

Tricia Foley: Simple, classic, natural.

Homedit: How long ago did you start your business?

Tricia Foley: I was a shelter magazine editor for many years, and wrote 10 lifestyle/resource books, during that time, and then so many friends and family asked me to help with their apartments and houses, that it was a gradual shift into my own design as opposed to covering it editorially!

Homedit: What kind of people ask for your help?

Tricia Foley: I met a wonderful couple in Chicago who had read my book on British Colonial Style who became great clients and friends, a famous tv producer in NY came to me as she had seen my own houses published in books and magazines and liked my style and asked me to interpret it for her… London friends with a young family were restoring an estate in Ireland and asked me to collaborate with their  architect
and do the interiors…

Homedit: What would be your recommendation for “what to do first” in a decorating project?

Tricia Foley:I think when you respond to the setting, landscape, lifestyle needs and layer in personal style as you solve design problems, it falls into place naturally…but making sure that you have a rapport with the client and speak the same design language is the most important.

Homedit: What advice do you have for someone with a new house to decorate and perhaps a limited budget?

Tricia Foley: I think to put together boards with tearsheets/color/style images to build a design story helps people visualize their style and interpret it…a site like www.pinterest is a great one to put together looks.

Homedit: What is your favorite book/magazine on design?

I like the Wolterinck books, World of Interiors magazine from London, Donna Hay from Australia

Homedit: How about your favourite site?

Tricia Foley: Remodelista, a great combination of inspiring places and great product design

Homedit:What is the average time allocated to a project?

Tricia Foley: I’ve done quick weekend makeovers to a year long restoration project in Ireland

Homedit: What advice do you have for young designers or architects reading this interview?

Tricia Foley: Invest in quality materials, be true to your own design aesthetic, don’t follow trends, think of the environment!

Homedit: What are your plans for the future?

Tricia Foley: I have a new business called The New General Store which is an on-line shop and seasonal pop-up store which focuses on furnishings for modern country houses…everything from perfect black rubber trugs and artisanal pottery made in the US, to Italian cream bicycles for $1000 and white sponges for $1.50. Everything is multi- functional, well-designed, and environmentally friendly….I love curating the collection, working on product development and designing this new retail concept setting and presentation.I’m also working on a book which covers this new lifestyle/shop

Homedit: What do you think of our site?

Tricia Foley: I love the site, especially the international aspect of it…it brings the whole world of design from architecture and interiors and what’s in them together in one place