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Tips to creating your dream space


The Washington Post
Friday, November 17, 2017

New York designer and author Victoria Hagan joined staff writer Jura Koncius last week on the Washington Post’s Home Front online chat. Here is an edited excerpt.

I know you decorated the vice president’s house for the Bidens. How different was it working in an historic house that is used for many governmental functions, as well as family living?

I certainly wanted to respect the history and traditions of the Naval Observatory, but at the same time I wanted to convey a welcoming feeling as it was the Bidens’ family home. No matter who you are or where you’re from, feeling welcome is always makes you feel good!

I read a recent list of directions in design these days that mentioned that people wanted their bedrooms to be cozy sanctuaries. What are ways to achieve this without getting too fussy?

Lighting is very important. I typically like lamps that have shades to soften the light. And never overlook your bedding! Make sure it’s something you’re happy with. And lots of soft pillows and throws!

What are your must-haves in any interior design?

A comfortable sofa, a comfortable chair and a great reading light. The rest is easy!

Your modern interiors all look fresh and crisp. Would you share some of your favorite white paints with us?

Benjamin Moore Simply White is the color in my Nantucket home – it’s crisp but slightly warm. Benjamin Moore Mountain Peak White is the white I chose for the New York pied-a-terre in my book; it’s even warmer. But please remember to always make a sample – finishes always turn out a differently.

I keep reading white kitchens are on their way out. Any ideas for a modern and fresh update?

I don’t tend to go with trends, but we’ve done some soft gray-blue kitchens, as well as soft sage. I tend to use lighter finishes in smaller spaces, but that’s just me! If you like a white kitchen but want to add some interest, you could try changing the color of the island or the base cabinets and get the best of both worlds.

I would love to mix some more interesting, textured fabrics and textiles into my bedroom. What are good sources for those?

Adding different pillows and a throw can add texture and interest to any space, including the bedroom.

Do you like using wallpaper these days? What rooms are you likely to use it in? Do you think it’s modern?

I use wallpaper in powder room and bedrooms most frequently. And absolutely! Sometimes we use a couple of different papers in one room to accent one wall from the other.