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Inside The World Of Interior Design With Courtney Thomas

Today I speak to an amazing designer who has mastered the art of elegant and luxurious design for busy California families. Courtney Thomas Design of La Cañada is one of my new favorites! Her refreshing take on luxury is not only livable but sophisticatedly adorned in color, prints, and decor.

There's a lot to admire about Courtney Thomas' design studio, but for me, a highlight is the inclusivity she brings to a home's design. She understands that first and foremost a home needs to be functional, for both adults and children (as many of her clients are busy parents) and only then can the client's aesthetic be worked in. Beauty can only go so far, and if a home isn't practical, you're probably not going to think it's so beautiful after a while. By the way Courtney so seamlessly marries function with style, one can't help but be impressed with the casual fluidity of her designs as well as the "livable luxury" she creates.

So, without further ado, please welcome Courtney!

Q: Courtney, thank you so much for joining me today! I have quickly become a huge fan of your design style, and as I mentioned before, it's your eye for function and style. You have this refreshing perspective of "practical before pretty," yet your designs always turn out luxurious and beautiful. How do you create the perfect balance between practical design and beautiful aesthetics - do you have any tricks?

Courtney: Yes. I click my heels three times, close my eyes and say "There's no place like home." I wish that was one of my tricks. My trick is far more grassroots. I start with a question of purpose: "What does this space need to do for you?" A room has to start with function before it can move onto aesthetic, it has to answer it's 'why' before we can layer in it's 'what'. Give the room purpose, and then balance it with the sensory, "how do you want this space to make you feel?".

Q: Yes, I agree. I don't know if I've heard that before, "the 'why' before the 'what'" but it makes complete sense! What are some of your favorite textiles and other materials you use to create sensory or ensure a comfortable, livable, and functional design?

Courtney: I design for lots of young families and we often discuss the abuse our furnishings suffer at the hands of our kids. For this reason, I have been a fan of sunbrella indoor/outdoor fabrics, linens and cottons with some synthetic blends, a tightly woven pile chenille for sofas or maybe leather whose finish can patina with style when they have daily run-ins with kids.

Image Source : Courtney Thomas Design

Q: Lots of great tips on durable and stylish textiles to use. Since you work with a lot of families, aside from them knowing to choose furnishings that withstand daily wear-and-tear, what do you feel most homeowners lack awareness in when it comes to designing their homes?

Courtney: Scale of furnishings and cohesive vision for not just a single space, but for a whole home. How to balance negative space in a room or how to ensure proportions of furniture suit the layout or how artwork best fills a wall.

Q: And, out of those design elements you’ve just mentioned, is there one specific piece you believe is the most important item to splurge on? How come?

Courtney: Art and lighting. Architectural elements.

Image Source : Courtney Thomas Design

Q: Makes sense! I see so many unique architectural accents in your designs as well as breathtaking artwork and lighting. You have a very refreshing style but it’s also very current. What resources do you use to keep up to date on current or future trends? Do you have any predictions for what you think might become a new interior design trend?

Courtney: The internet is our resource and online social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz are my best barometer of current and future trends. I have been seeing widespread movement towards a transitional design style, clean lines and unfussy finishes. There are fewer decorative tile elements and more uninterrupted natural stone installations. Even further striped back than transitional is a trend I see for the future, minimalist meets vintage. Organics and rough “hand” textures in more minimalist layouts.

Q: And finally, speaking of future trends, what excites you about the design industry these days? What design trend would you like to see more of?

Courtney: Authenticity. Lack of pretentiousness.

Image Source : Courtney Thomas Design

Well, I feel like your designs work in those two elements perfectly! Your projects just seem so relaxing yet clearly refined and very well thought-out.

I’m so excited that we got this chance to discuss your design philosophy today! Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule.

Image Source : Courtney Thomas Design

For anyone who wants to start following Courtney on social media, I definitely recommend finding her on Houzz for some droolworthy design ideas as well as keeping up with her latest projects on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Also, don't forget to check out one of my most recent blogs that features
Courtney's stunning use of hallways -- you will be impressed!