There’s something magical about Abbe Fenimore. It’s evident from your first glance at the spaces she creates – rooms blooming with vibrant hues, creative twists, and a sophisticated nod to the eclectic. We stumbled across her work several weeks back while enjoying a cappuccino and reading D Magazine. To anyone who knows Fenimore, it will be no surprise to discover that she has won best of D for three consecutive years (2012, 2013 and 2014). Picture damask metallic wallpaper, brilliant peacock-blue ottomans, and coral- and gold-streaked art – her designs exude chic imagination. It’s part Hollywood Regency, part Modern Chic, totally livable comfort. No doubt Fenimore’s eye for color and glam, plus her magic touch at transforming discounted items into eye candy, plays a major role in the success of her non-profit Dwell with Dignity. We are so excited to have had the opportunity to interview Fenimore and get an inside look at what inspires this incredible artist.
1. What’s your favorite aspect of modern interior design?
I love the fresh and approachable look of sleek lines paired with casual and comfortable pieces.
2. Which colors do you tend to use the most?
I most often find myself gravitating towards jewel tones. Deep turquoise, fuchsia and plum are my favorite colors to work with. I believe that when they are used in the right places, they can create a striking color palette without taking over a room.
3. Favorite materials or textures?
Mirrored pieces are always at the top of my list! They have the ability to open up small spaces and add a bit of chic without being overly girly. For textiles, I consider Mongolian fur and embroidered fabrics two of my favorites. Both add visual interest and bring versatility to multiple furniture and accessory pieces.
4. What is your favorite interior design-related word?
Aesthetic! It’s fun to say and describes the philosophy of design succinctly.
5. What does your home look like?
I define my home’s style as rustic chic. After six years of marriage, my husband’s and my styles have blended and our home showcases the best of what we both love. My husband is partial to rustic and casual, and I’m more into the sophisticated and chic. We’ve achieved our own unique aesthetic by combining his rustic elements, like antlers and natural stones, with my bright colors and patterns, interesting accessories and bold graphic prints.
6. What inspires you when you’re faced with a creativity block?
Stepping away from work and throwing myself into the things I love to do with family and friends is my go-to for finding inspiration. I have realized that just taking the time to do the things that I enjoy is key for keeping me balanced.
7. Favorite designer or architect?
I love Ron Woodson and Jamie Rummerfield of Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design.
8. Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
I have too many favorites to narrow it down to just one! You can always find stacks of my favorite magazines throughout my home and office, which I love diving into when I have free time. And digitally, I peruse my favorites via the Feedly app frequently.
9. What is forbidden from your designs?
Believe it or not, I really don’t have a forbidden design element. I know my aesthetic and appreciate the fact that my clients come to me because they were inspired by the spaces that I have created in the past. My clients ultimately dictate any forbidden elements in their design. There will always be a component of design that I do not want to incorporate in a client’s home, and vice versa, but compromise is key. And I have found that some of my most favorite spaces were the result of compromise!
10. Is there a design rule you love to break?
I am quite fortunate to have clients that don’t care too much about design rules, which allows me many opportunities to mix things up. For instance, I love to mix metals. I think the right combination of brass, gold leaf, and polished nickel can really warm up a room and create a fun mix, all without going overboard.
11. Where’s your favorite spot in Dallas?
Hands down, the Dallas Design District! It’s my go-to, one-stop-shopping area. Because showrooms, vintage stores and retail shops are all right there, it’s beyond easy to make the best use of time when shopping. Now if I could just convince a few of my favorite stores around town to move there, too!
12. Which popular design trend do you detest?
That’s a hard one, as I don’t really detest any one trend! As with all trends, they should be utilized in small doses. In small doses, they’re much easier to phase out of the home when you tire of it and are ready to move onto something new.
13. Any new trends on the horizon in modern interior design?
Recently, I have been seeing quite a bit of lacquered furniture, bold accessories made from agates and minerals, and fabrics in over-the-top graphic patterns. I love all of these trends and think they work well within any modern home.
Find out more about Abbe Fenimore on her website or follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram.