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Designer Interview: We Finally Chat With Maggie Morgan

[All photos courtesy of Maggie Morgan]


A series of to-the-point interviews with local developers, architects, designers, and movers and shakers. This go-around: Maggie Morgan, the brains behind blog Maggie Rose and her namesake interior design business. Thoughts on who we should talk to next? Email us at seattle@curbed.com and let us know. We know, we know. We talk about Maggie Morgan a lot. A lot a lot. We can't help it -- we dig her style, she works on a budget, and she quit her normal, responsible, stable full-time job to pursue this design gig! Hers is a story just asking to be immortalized in film! Or something! For those who aren't drinking the Koolaid yet, we chatted with her about what she actually does.


But seriously, what is it you do? We love your blog, but tell us what your gig actually is.
MM: Until recently, I worked a full-time job (in a non-design field) and had a full-time commute to go with it. But I took a leap and these days I'm a full-time interior decorator. The blog is a large component of my business, but it's also design work for online clients around the world, drumming up local projects, writing emails, keeping a pulse on design trends, and more. I love it!

What design aesthetic do you speak to in particular? What's the Maggie Morgan "look?"
MM: I like to say that the look you'll get from Maggie Rose Interiors is "layered" - I love a home that has been collected over time, with elements that reflect the inhabitant's personality. I'm not afraid to mix styles, eras, or colors. My own home is a mix of traditional, modern, and mid century modern.
Any rooms or projects you'd just love to get your hands on?
MM: I'd love to do a living room for a couple who loves to entertain (and of course, in fantasy land, they'd have an unlimited budget!). On a smaller scale, a little jewel-box of a dressing room would be so fun and a chance to be really creative.

You do design on a budget too -- what's your favorite challenge so far?
MM: I love to work with people who are just getting started in their design and don't know where to start. But often they are young people ...and they don't have a ton of money to spend. My own apartment is probably the ultimate example! We spent a year with my boyfriend Ryan out of work, but I needed our home to be relaxing and rejuvenating when I got home after a 12-hour day. Piece by piece over a year we created a home we really loved. Now we're in a new place and I can't wait to see how that turns out!

What's the design project you're most proud of working on so far?
MM: My friend Lindsey wanted to take her "college-esque" bedroom up to "grown-up" status. With just a few hundred dollars we brought in a color scheme, created a visual headboard from a shower curtain, and created a room that she loved. Usually a budget means thinking outside the box, and in this case I was stretched in a really good way. [Editor's note: you can see the before and after shots here.]

What are your goals in the next year or so?
MM: I want to take on a few large-scale decorating projects here in Seattle. I have some projects wrapping up that I need to photograph for my portfolio. For the blog, I have some statistical goals, but I also want to focus my energy on really informative and interesting posts, including some original inspiration and photo shoots.

Who do you really admire on the design scene, either locally or nationally?
MM: New York decorator Jenny Komenda of Little Green Notebook is a huge inspiration to me. Reading her blog has really trained my brain to look beyond the obvious and be more creative. My favorite established designer is Windsor Smith, and I love her recent foray into distance-decorating (similar to my e-decorating) because I think she's helping change the business model for all of us.

Finally: Design trend you love and design trend you wish would just go away?
MM: I'm loving the resurgence of using family heirlooms in design. I wish what I call "catalog rooms" weren't so popular - when you buy every matching piece off the furniture store floor and it all looks the same. It's very one-note and bland. Where is the personality? I'm all about mixing and matching.

Anything you want our readers to know?
MM: I'm currently accepting new clients! But in all seriousness, people tend to think of Seattle as not particularly stylish or trendy, but I think it is! You just have to know where to look and who to collaborate with.

· Maggie Rose Blog
· Maggie Rose Interiors