Q&A With Ellen Godfrey
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Ellen Godfrey: The first time I got paid for my design work was designing a trade show booth for the company I was working for at the time. We would go to multiple trade shows a year and each time it was an opportunity to design a different retail space. I transitioned from that job and began designing residential and commercial spaces full time.
C: How would you describe your style?
EG: New Traditional – I like old school architecture with a mix of modern and traditional furnishings and art.
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
EG: Movies, hotels, restaurants, traveling, blogs, Instagram…
C: Favorite room in the house?
EG: After years and years of living in rentals, it was so fun being able to demo and design our kitchen. I wanted a green kitchen for a long time and I love how our dark green cabinets turned out.
C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
EG: “Paint a small space a light color to make it feel bigger.” I like doing the exact opposite. A dark color makes a small space feel nice and cozy. No one is fooled by a light color on the walls.
C: Recent project that inspired you?
EG: Heckfield Place in England – the design and sense of place is impeccable.
C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
EG: Texture: Linen. Nothing is comfier than snuggling up under a linen blanket.
Pattern: Plaid. It can read both modern and traditional, is more interesting than a stripe, and I love the British flair it gives a room.
Color: I love green! Rooms just look better with it. Whether it’s from a plant, a textile, or simply paint, most rooms are improved with a hit of green.
C: What is “good design” to you?
EG: Anytime beauty and function exist in equal parts, that’s good design.
C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
EG: The March house in the 1994 version of Little Women. The millwork, the colors, the textiles – it all adds up to the most beautiful and cozy home.
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
EG: If you’re laid back your guests will be too. Also – good lighting, good music, and good food are the three keys to a good time.
C: Best advice for DIYers?
EG: Know when it’s time to hire a professional. Also – patience is key.
C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
EG: Remember you’re the boss. Don’t get pushed into a design decision you don’t like.
C: What is one design trend you are most excited about this season?
EG: I am so excited that colorful wallpaper is back in style. For such a long time I felt like the trend was white walls everywhere, and while that can be beautiful (especially if you have good natural light!) a room can all of a sudden feel special and out of the ordinary simply by putting a great pattern on the walls.
You can really take the look to the next level by painting the trim in the room a coordinating color to the wallpaper. These intentional choices really make a room feel thoughtful.
C: How do you take your coffee?
EG: As an iced latte!