Today I am excited to share Coffee With Erika Bonnell of Erika Bonnell Interiors. Erika & I met through Tobi Fairley’s Designer MBA group. I have to tell you it has been fun meeting so many talented designers through MBA and all the new friendships that have developed from it.
I’m warning you … be prepared once again for some pin-worthy photos!
This by far is my favorite and I literally gasped out loud when I saw it!
ACI: When did you know that Interior Design was your passion?
EB: Funny story- I grew up with my parents in the biz and swore, as a kid, that there wouldn’t be enough money in the world to pull me into this industry! My brother and I were always carted around here and there (not unlike my own two children are now, but by me!) and made to sit patiently while my parents tended to business. It wasn’t until I was out on my own that I found myself being pulled back to the world I was exposed to as a child. I’m super passionate about it now, and can’t imagine doing anything else.
ACI: Where do you find your inspiration?
EB: As cliché as it sounds, I soak everything up! I find beauty and visual interest inspiration everywhere! Movies, TV, fashion, nature, museums, restaurants, hotels, Pinterest, FB, other homes, mags- I see elements that I can incorporate into design all over the place.
ACI: What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favorite site?
EB: That’s a tough one- I don’t think I have a favorite. Some of my go-to design books are from Mary McDonald, Celerie Kemble, and Kelly Wearstler. I’m a big fan of Elle Décor and House Beautiful.
I love Pinterest! It just sucks you in. I’m not on it as much as I’d like- just have too many other things that need to get done- like feed my children!! It’s definitely my guilty pleasure.
ACI: What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
EB: Wow! I love this question, Amanda! I would say that, for me, the most frustrating part of my job is that I don’t have enough time to really dig into as much of the extra “stuff” that I love about my industry. This business is full of exciting events, wonderful people, educational conferences, trade shows, etc. I LOVE this stuff! I feed off of positive, creative energy and wish that I had more opportunities to fit added “extras” into my schedule.
The most rewarding part is seeing a project through to the end and how the design and function enhances the lifestyle of my clients. I feel that everyone has an image in their head that represents the life that they imagine themselves living. How your house looks and functions is a big part of that picture. My focus is to turn that image into reality.
ACI: What decorating techniques/ideas/projects would you recommend to a homeowner who wants a quick update to their space?
EB: Remove all the small odds and ends that make a space feel cluttered and messy. Add a few larger unique pieces to make a statement and show your personality.
ACI: What’s something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
EB: Hmmm- my answer isn’t going to be focused around quality or style. Let’s face it- it’s not within everyone’s reach to have great quality and style is subjective. I feel that quite often people rush into projects before they’re totally ready to tackle them. Putting together a plan is instrumental in carrying out a successful project. Think about everything- budget, function, floor plan, color, products, etc. and make sure you have the finished look intact before you start hammering away.
ACI: What’s your favorite color combination lately?
EB: Well, that’s easy- I am a classic black and white fan. Throw in a dash of emerald or turquoise and I’m in heaven!
ACI: What is your most cherished possession?
EB: Oh my, this type of question stumps me every time! I’m not a collector, not hugely sentimental- basically my personality is not one to be super attached to anything. I feel that just about anything is replaceable.
ACI: What would your dream project be?
EB: I’m working on my dream project! You’ll just have to stay tuned to find out what it is! Lol I’m such a tease!!