Coffee With… Abbe Fenimore

A few weeks ago I went up to Dallas Market Center and had the chance to meet up at a local Starbucks with Abbe Fenimore from Studio Ten25.  We had such a great time chatting and I even got to meet her adorable mother, who gave lots of business advice to us “girls”.  Abbe is an amazing designer, whom I truly admire.  She also owns a very successful on-line shop, Shop Ten25, full of great designer furnishings and accessories.
Some of Abbe’s designs:

Here’s what Abbe had to say:

When did you know that Interior Design was your passion?
I would have to say it started with my first doll house. I remember picking from my Mom’s fabric remnants so that she could make bedding and drapes for each room, I was always wanting to change things. When I was about 10 my Mom gave me free reign to pick out the new pieces in my room, I remember being so excited to get started. I think she regretted
that decision when I picked everything in pink, turquoise and yellow!
Where do you find your inspiration?
If I set out to look for inspiration, I notice that I come up blank. It’s like saving your money to go shopping and then you can’t find anything you want to buy.
So, I have always kept a “forever file” of tear sheets from magazines and now I have one on my computer. I have organized the file by room and often by color to make searching easier. The most random things can inspire me too. I love seeing a piece of jewelry, shoes or even packaging in a store and knowing exactly how to implement that design into a space.
What is your favorite book/magazine on design?
It is very cliche’, but I do miss Domino Magazine. I love publications that continue to show unique homes and interesting uses for pieces that complete a room. Better Homes and Gardens has really caught my eye this past year.
And…I have to admit that I am LOVING Canadian design magazines too (House & Home and Style at Home), The modern approach to simplicity and function are a perfect mix.
How about your favorite site?
Decor Pad and Pinterest are great sites to find inspiration and easy to search for ideas.
What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as
a designer?
Finding creativity when I am completely exhausted. I run around during the day and juggle quite a few clients at a time. So, it is important for me to carve out “me time” in order to stay on top of my game…creatively.
And the most rewarding one?
The most simple of compliments from a client. One of my clients recently mentioned that her 4 year loved how everyone wanted to be at their new house and never leave. I was touched and almost teared up. For a family to love their home so much, and for their friends to want to stay for long visits makes all of the hard work worth it.
What decorating techniques/ideas/projects would you recommend to a homeowner who wants a quick
fix to their room?
Paint is always the most affordable change and it makes a big impact. Paint your old furniture pieces too, you can do this with a can of spray paint in a weekend. A fresh coat of paint will always create an updated look. I am also a big believer in plenty of great lighting. Lamps and light fixtures will not only brighten up those dark corners, but bring in an updated look fast. TJ Maxx, Home Goods and other online stores like Overstock and Home Decorators Collection have great pieces and great
What is something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
Well built furniture is a must, you can always find affordable
accessories, lighting and art on the back end.
When we moved into our first home together after being married, I knew my husband’s “manly” faux leather sofa was not going to cut it. We spend all of our time on the sofa and I knew that I wanted to dedicate a reasonable amount of money to that piece. We found a well made sofa that has a durable fabric for the dogs and won’t fall apart after a few years. We have had that piece for almost 4 years now and it was worth every penny.
What is your favorite color combination lately?
Lately I have been on a big “bright and chic” color kick. I am in love with teals, pinks and pops of yellow!
Most cherished possession?
I am the sentimental type and love having pieces from my Grandmother’s old jewelry collection. The latest addition came from my Husband’s Grandmother. She passed away a few years ago and left behind tons of great jewelry. Her gold oak leaf pendant was something she won at her Country Club, I have it on a chain and wear it at least once a week. I also love
to see how happy it makes my Husband when he notices me wearing it.
What would your dream project be?
I think I am in the middle of it right now! I am currently working on a client’s second home and it is going to be ahhhmazing! Uptown views, wallpaper everywhere and custom recycled bike chain chandeliers. I am in heaven!

Thank you so much Abbe for taking the time to meet with me and share your design thoughts.