Sunday, July 19, 2015

Let's Get Local - Interior Design


You guys, I know I said I was signing off for our vacation but I am SO flipping excited to share today's post with you all it just couldn't wait till when we are back. I started the "let's get local" series to feature women in business that are at the top of their game. It has been such an incredible journey for me to not only make many of the women I write about friends but to also see old friends from where I grew up also killing it in their designated field. So without further ado I would like to introduce my friend Maureen from Winter McDermott Design. Maureen's family and mine grew up around the corner from one another in a small seaside town of West Islip on Long Island. Thanks to the powers of social media we have been able to stay in touch here and there and almost twenty years later we discovered we weren't too far from one another yet again.  She has found herself in the historic whaling town of Sag Harbor which is not to far from where my folks retired on Shelter Island. So when I saw her home featured in a prestigious magazine I reached out to her right away to ask if I could feature her on the blog. I am over the moon she said yes and thrilled to share with you her stunning home as well as a fun q&a on this lovely ladies rise to success and local advice on all the fabulous things that surround her on the South Fork of Long Island. Get comfy, because today is a good one! 







Tell us a little about Maureen, the gal behind the design i.e. what do you like to do in your free time, personal style, guilty pleasures, travel etc.
Any free time I have is spent with my husband and children.  I'm in the thick of it with my daughter Winter only being 1-1/2  and my 4 year old PJ heading off to kindergarten in the fall.  Working and having a family is a constant balance but it's all so worth it.  If I do get a second by myself I always love some pampering to regroup so I can be a more relaxed and a calmer mother and wife.  Bookstores and coffee shops are always my go to and I try to get in a workout most days before the kids get up. I work with a personal trainer Erik Fredrickson from PranaFit who comes to my house in the mornings and I also take an amazing Tribe team class at Sag Harbor gym the other mornings.  Working out clears my head and makes me feel more confident and strong. 
My personal style is not unlike my interior design aesthetic.  I own mostly black white and gray clothing.  If I wear any pattern it's usually stripes or something simple.  I like to be comfortable at all times and hate anything too fussy.  My hair is always up in a bun and it's not uncommon to find me in sweatpants or yoga pants.  
What made you want to start your own business and do you have any advice for someone else about to venture down the same path? 
I left my career as a designer at Vicente Wolf Associates when I was pregnant with my son PJ.  I didn't feel comfortable going back to work full time and leaving him in Brooklyn where we lived at the time.  We also started thinking about moving out east for a an easier quality of life.  So I started researching the demand for design out east and realized there definitely is one!  I started working part time for some local firms out here and then decided to just take the plunge and start my own company.  There's an opportunity out east for some new modern interior design that is a departure from the traditional Hamptons look. Architects like Bates Masi + Architects and Nilay Oza are setting the trend for some amazing modern architecture.  The interiors should follow. Design is such a part of who I am - I get very restless and grumpy when I'm not creating something. I'm constantly thinking of new ideas and researching ways to do things different.  
My advice is to go to design school and learn how to create and read architectural drawings.  Interior design isn't just about decoration.  You're creating the entire interior - kitchens, bathrooms, lighting, millwork, door types and styles, etc. It isn't just about picking a pretty sofa.  Also learn about construction and to how to work with architects, landscape designers, and builders.  The projects run more smoothly if everyone is on the same page and understands one another.  Project management skills are a must - there are so many variables to manage and keep track of.  Most of my time is spent in from of a computer on AutoCAD and project managing.  
How would you describe your design aesthetic when it comes to executing an overall look for a client?
Vicente is still a huge mentor and inspiration to me.  His influence has been the backbone to everything I do.  Although his style is my foundation, my work ends up looking uniqueI try to keep my style simple, clean, and minimal with some surprise elements like an oversized light fixture or one single color that pops.  My interiors are always pretty muted and I love working with black, whites and grays.  It just never feels natural to do it any other way.  I always use modern classics like an Eames or a Saarinen and pair it with something different or unexpected.  Too much of one style becomes boring. It's about layering .  Anything exotic element like a tribal piece always adds some excitement.  
Where is your favorite place to get inspired for designing a homes interior? 
Architectural design books, driving around the Hamptons, magazines, and Pinterest.  I follow some amazing designers. 

Since you call Sag Harbor your home, what are some of your favorite places to shop, dine or visit in the area?
Shop: 
Sylvesters for gifts and their iced coffee
In Home for body washes and candles 
Gloria Jewel for clothing.  Megan, the owner curates a great collection of really beautiful simple clothing.  
Fishers Home Furnishings- I go here for great accessories and custom tables. It's a business run by the Fisher family who we have the pleasure to call our friends.  

Stella & Ruby for kids clothes which is owned & operated by a dear friend.  
Eat: 
Anywhere we can take the kids - Bay Burger for Liza and Joe's amazing food and ice cream, Estias, and Superica. 
Provisions for a quick lunch bite. They have the best turkey tacos and our good family friend Chris is the manager.  
Sen or Tutto IL Giorno for date nights.  We also travel up to the North Fork for what feels like a real getaway to North Fork Table and Inn or Jedediah Hawkins.  


As far as favorite things to do with the kids we like to hang out by out pool in the morning or walk into town for a Sag Harbor Baking Company run.  In the afternoon we go to Long Beach with the sun overhead and then head for a quick stop at Serene Green to grab fresh groceries for dinner.
Thank you Maureen for letting me feature you, your beautiful work & your beautiful family!

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