Designer Series: Interview with Sally Steponkus

Her infectious smile, entrepreneurial ambition and creative talent have made her one of House Beautiful's Top Designers to Watch, and I'm so excited to finally introduce Sally Steponkus as the next designer in this series! 

Sally has been decorating homes since 2001, leading her namesake design firm to create spaces with the perfect balance of traditional and energetic elements.  The greatest part of Sally's work is she makes glamorous design livable and unpretentious, and that's likely a reflection of her cheerful personality!

On a personal note, Sally's entrepreneurial drive is equally as inspiring for me as her keen eye.  As you'll find out below, Sally was only 24 when she set out on her own (yours truly better get moving...).  Love her!

Can you tell us about your first job in the design field? 

I worked as a memo girl in the Robert Allen showroom at the Washington Design Center for a couple of summers during college, pulling samples for designers and getting to know the fabric line.  It was busy and hard work but I loved it.    Everybody’s got to start somewhere!

What’s inspiring you now? 

Oh, lots of things:  the weather, for one.  When the sun shines and I know Spring is coming, I definitely feel like using brighter colors and cheerier prints and more whites (well, I always love white furniture).  I also take an antiques class and read a lot about antique decorative arts, which often influences my designs and very often a showhouse if I am currently working on one.  Sometimes old movies stick in my head too or a period TV show (Downtown Abbey on PBS!)

What is your most memorable travel destination?

Venice, for sure.  It’s the most gorgeous and romantic place I’ve ever been.  And I can’t wait to go back. 

What is your preferred room to decorate/design in a home? 

Probably a formal Living Room, because I don’t get to do them that often.  Clients rarely have these any more – everyone is forgoing them and doing just the huge Family Room, so when I get to play up some formality and elegance in the LR, it’s a nice change.  It’s a shame that people are deciding to omit these rooms that are used for entertaining, conversation and reading – just because there’s no TV perhaps?  But I love doing them, often in softer, more ladylike colors.  I have one on the horizon at a new client’s home and can’t wait to get my hands on it.  I have pale pink walls in mind.

What has been the greatest lesson since opening your business? 
That if I have confidence in myself and believe success can happen, then it will.  I have taken a lot of risks and they’ve all worked out for the best:  I opened Sally Steponkus Interiors when I was just 24, and then I hired both of my part time employees to work full time at the same time in June 2010 AND got our first office outside of my actual apartment that I live in at that time as well.  Every time I take a big step like this, I have to have confidence that it’ll work out and it always has, thank goodness.  I have been so lucky to have extremely supportive parents, fabulous friends and an incredible staff whose support I lean on all the time.  This is how I am able to go out every day and do my very best at what I love.

Photography credit: Angie Seckinger

1 comment:

Mike said...

This is a question for the designer: Most digital photos of 6 megapixels or more can be made into custom printed wallpaper to give your space the perfect look. Have you worked with custom wallpaper before? If no, will you consider working with custom printed wallpaper in the future?

Related Posts with Thumbnails