Q&A With Bailey Li
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Bailey Li: I was working as a realtor and had a $1.3 million dollar listing in the historic district of South Orange, NJ. My listing was a beautiful, colonial style home that needed a lot of updates in order for us to get that asking price. I brought in a good friend of mine who had a great sense of style and a flair for decorating and told her that I needed her to stage the house. I arranged a meeting with the homeowner and my friend was hired for the job. We left the meeting and she turned to me and said, “Oh my God I don’t know how to stage a house you’re going to have to help me!”
From that day forward, we started our home staging business. The house received three offers and the home staging referrals began pouring in. We quickly became the go-to Stagers for realtors in the area and quite naturally once a home would sell and a new home was purchased, we were called in to decorate/design the new home as well.
C: How would you describe your style?
BL: In a recent article in House Beautiful magazine, senior editor Hadley Keller referred to me as The Eccentric Bohemian. I thought that was quite fitting. The only thing I’d add is the word artsy — “The Artsy Eccentric Bohemian.”
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
BL: My inspiration is honestly derived from my clients’ personality. I really love to sit, talk, laugh, interview and even hang out with my clients. I may take them on shopping “dates” and get them to have a glass of prosecco with me so that they let their hair down a bit. I have this joke that I shared at a NYSID panel discussion where I stated that designing is like being in a relationship… when you sign a contract with me, it’s like we just got married (albeit temporarily). It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman, man or a couple… what’s required to have a successful outcome is not very different than what’s required in a relationship with a significant other; great communication, honesty, trust, respect, compromise, and lots of laughter! The good thing is that when it’s over (our version of a divorce) the client is actually left with the house and all its contents.
C: Favorite room in the house?
BL: I live in a loft, so I have to say I love my whole entire space!
C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
BL: Omg, I’m not sure which rule I DO subscribe to!
C: Recent project that inspired you?
BL: I was truly inspired in a big way when I designed a living room and my client asked me to do one of my signature hand-painted walls. She gave me creative reign to do anything I wanted with her 18-foot wall. That level of trust was so liberating and inspiring.
C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
BL: The hand painted textures and abstract walls that I create myself always end up being my favorites. I treat them like custom artwork that I’m creating specifically for my client and their space.
C: What is “good design” to you?
BL: Good design to me is creative design. If I cannot find exactly what I’m looking for, I create it.
C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
BL: I’d love to move to Lenny Kravitz farm in Brazil. I may wanna add a few chandeliers and a wee bit of glam to femme it up a bit but I love the overall organic feel and creative vibe.
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
BL: PROSECCO, Prosecco, prosecco!
C: Best advice for DIYers?
BL: Do not DIY if you don’t have to unless you really enjoy it.
C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
BL: Find someone you can trust and then actually trust them.
C: What is one design trend you are most excited about this season?
BL: Metallic paints! I honestly do not know if that’s this season trend but it’s a constant for me.
C: How do you take your coffee?
BL: With a single shot of espresso.