Interview With Tamara Kaye-Honey Who Provides A Playfully Modern Approach To Design

Tamara Kaye-Honey from House Of Honey took the challenge of answering our 13 questions which reveal an impressive experience mixing old and new with whimsical and unusual pieces,shapes and colors.Tamara combines high and low pieces and materials,both new and vintage in an unexpected way to create fresh yet timeless spaces.

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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.

Tamara: I’ve  always been fascinated by fashion and interiors. As a child growing up in Nova Scotia  Canada  I was fortunate enough to travel with my dad on business to cities like NYC and London and was  in awe of the magnificent styles.  I received my graduate education in NYC at The Fashion Institute of Technology and was later hired as a clothing buyer for Bergdorf Goodman.

My love of fashion easily translated into interior design. Color theory, patterns, scale etc  and  the overall skill of putting an outfit together is very similar to that of a room. I still look to fashion to help inspire an interior and truly feel they go hand in hand.

Homedit: Where do you find your inspiration?

Tamara: I’m inspired by design and architecture from both the past and present.

The idea of customizing, re-working and reinventing, propels my designs. I try to create environments and pieces that are fresh and modern, yet retain a timeless quality.

Homedit: How long ago did you start your business?

Tamara: I’ve been practicing interior design for about  10 years and opened House Of Honey last May out of a desire to showcase my design sensibility. I felt there was a void in the market for a chic shop that carried a curated selection of  re-invented home furnishings and decorative accessories. The House of Honey concept is based on the idea of accessible design and a lifestyle that is full of personality, humor and of course, style. House of Honey gives clients the opportunity and access to great new and vintage fabrics and wallpapers and allows them to be part of the design process.

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

Tamara: My first major renovation project was our first home in Los Angeles( a mid-century modern gem) but my first  break was a hair salon I redesigned in South Pasadena. The owner took a big chance with hiring an unknown designer but it paid off for both of us!

Homedit: What kind of people ask for your help?

Tamara: Many of my clients have children so creating spaces that are both practical and chic is very important. I try to work with clients to make sure there is a connection or flow throughout the interior and a common thread, like one complete thought. I try to create personal spaces that are not only original in terms of design but thought provoking and unexpected. My interiors are an artful mix of old and new with a bit of whimsy and a  definite sense of humor.

Homedit: What is your favourite book/magazine on design? How about your favourite site?

Tamara: I collect vintage interior design books and have all by David Hicks.

I’m excited for the release of the  new Design Sponge book which comes out this month featuring many of the sites best projects, including one of mine!

For current design, the UK based magazine Livingetc  is amazing  and for online magazines Rue and Ivy&Piper are brilliant resources and very entertaining.

Homedit: What you recommend for this year ?

Tamara: Trends are best suited to profile in accessories so you can change them up seasonally.  It’s all about creating timeless interiors that mix witty and dramatic touches to create unique and personal spaces with a common narrative Start a collection and keep adding.  I have started collecting vintage ship paintings for my son  and the wall is starting to look great. I have done the same with vintage flower paintings for the guest bathroom. I think I have about 15 painting, creating a beautiful wall collage; the effect is quite dramatic.  I’m not a big fan of interiors that feel like they have been put together at once. Coming from a background in fashion its like walking out of a shop with an outfit all by the same designer. Its nice to mix it up and give a sense of history and personality in both fashion and interiors. I‘m a big fan of mixing both my clothing and interiors with new and old.

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

Tamara: It depends, I have some projects that take a few years and others a few months. I love the mix of types of projects and clients. It keeps it exciting!

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

Tamara: Be inspired and take in everything around you both old and new and always look to the past for new designs. It’s about reinterpreting and taking something old and making it fresh, current and creating your own sense of timelessness.

Homedit: What is your favorite thing at home that you didn’t design?

Tamara: So many….Our dining room table is a mid-century Milo Baughman table. I bought it on craigs list for  $500 from an elderly artist who used it in her studio for 30 years. It was covered in paint splatters when it arrived, but a bit of goof off and it looks brand new.

Our 1970s hanging parrot chair by Ib Arberg. I bought it with intentions of putting it in the window at my shop but its in the kids playroom, I think to stay!

Homedit: What was the best design advice anyone gave you?

Tamara: “Be true to yourself and just go for it. You will regret it if you don’t.”

My friend and business startup expert Nada Jones  recently published the book ’16 Weeks to Your Dream Business: A Weekly Planner for Entrepreneurial Women”. It’s a must read for anyone trying to start or grow a business.

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Homedit: What are your plans for the future?

Tamara: My goal is to expand my signature style “ The New Vintage”. By mixing old and new with whimsical and usual pieces/patterns/shapes and colors, the result is a fresh, playful and modern approach to design. I have just finished designing a line of nursery furniture for Nurseryworks that launched at this years ICFF and am working on a  lighting  line.

Oh and dreams of future boutique hotel project hopefully in Pasadena (where I Iive.)

Homedit: What do you think of our site?

Tamara:It’s so inspirational and such a great resource for client projects. I actually have been referring to Homedit lately to help with my attic renovation. So amazing!

Thanks for the opportunity to contribute to your amazing site.