Interior stylist and founder of The Vogue Room, Ebony Staten isn’t just bright and bubbling with personality — her designs are too!
Q&A With Ebony Staten
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Ebony Staten: I wish I had a cute childhood story about how I would become this famous interior designer someday. However, this innate ability that I possess didn’t transcend until after I graduated from college. There’s always been a creative side within, and I’ve always loved fashion, art, and technology, but I graduated from North Carolina Central University and received my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. It wasn’t until I moved into my first apartment and started to decorate my place that discovered my niche for design. Working a full-time virtual IT position, decorating quickly became my outlet. During one holiday season, I started a part-time job at my local Crate and Barrel and I really felt as if I was in my element, despite spending my paychecks on all the great décor items in the store. From there, I started to educate myself on interiors and shortly after I started my own interior styling business called The Vogue Room.
C: How would you describe your style?
ES: My style is synonymous to high fashion design. Bold, modern, glamorous, slightly edgy, yet ahead of the trend. I love over exaggerated, heavy, rich and luxe patterns and textures, paired with feminine curves, metallic finishes, and saturated colors like my lipstick and nail polish. Fashion forward design infused with modern interiors is my jam!
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
ES: I find beauty and inspiration in everything that surrounds me. I’m constantly looking to be inspired by something or someone! New York Fashion Week recently wrapped up and the runway fashions totally inspired me. From Dior to Fendi, my wheels were turning on how I can translate these fashions into an interior space.
Traveling also inspires me. Whether it’s traveling to different cities or countries, while I’m visiting, I learn and see as much as I can. Visiting a museum or going on a tour to learn more about the culture of a country, and seeing how people live totally inspires me.
I’m also inspired by my fellow design peers. There is nothing like having great design buddies that totally inspire you, who you can collaborate with and bounce ideas off of each other! Also, I find inspiration in boutique hotels, T.V. shows, magazines, books… EVERYTHING!
C: Favorite room in the house?
ES: I can’t decide on one room, so I’m going to say the “gathering” space in a home, whether that’s the living room, dining room, kitchen or even the patio area. I love to entertain, therefore I love the place in a home in which everyone can meet, greet, and be happy together! The dining room you can always change out your tablescape decor for any occasion accessories and enjoy comfort food among friends. A living room with a great design layout creates the perfect space to converse, relax, or even have a game night. Spruce up your backyard with lounge furniture and entertain outside around a firepit. Gathering spaces are definitely my favorite space.
C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
ES: A monochromic theme is simply beautiful, however, I’m not a matchy-matchy type of girl. Typically, I walk into someone house and they have purchased an entire matching furniture set. *tsk tsk* Designing a space is about selecting unique pieces that speak to you and your personal style. Therefore, have fun and let your personality shine through.
C: Recent project that inspired you?
ES: Teleworking full-time 100% from home for 6 years can be a drag at times. Therefore, I know the importance of having a workspace that’s comfortable, functional, yet stylish. Earlier this year, I created an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority-inspired office for my client. This mom of two is a sophisticated businesswoman who works remotely from home a few days out of the week. Her current office was cramping her style and thoughts. My main goal was to provide her with a functional office space in which she could reach her maximum productivity and enjoy working in! I created more storage for organization, displayed her accolades and awards to remind her how great she is, and maintained a feminine stylish vibe. I must admit, she was totally thrilled with the transformation.
C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
ES: Whew, I can’t just choose one for sure. I like to get as many textures in a room as possible because it creates luxury and feels lived in! I love to mix patterns from animal prints, to florals, large-scale geometrics… Any pattern or combination that will make an impact in a space! I can’t commit to one color. At present, I’m really intrigued with lilac.
C: What is “good design” to you?
ES: Good design is coming home and your house greets YOU at the door! Curate a unique place that no one else will have and showcase a true reflection of you. Hand-select statement pieces that will stand the test of time. Not only should you be concerned with the beauty of a space, but a functional space is the ultimate key to good design.
C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
ES: Guest star from The Real Housewives of Atlanta Marlo Hampton’s townhome is freaking FABULOUS. From Hermes blankets in her guest bedroom to bold abstract art, paired with glamorous wallpaper and Fornasetti plates displayed on the walls, the designer Michel Boyd did an excellent job designing her home. Oh, and let’s not talk about the closet design, KILLER! Marlo’s townhome is the epitome of my dream home. Her personality and love for fashion permeate throughout which is the true definition of bringing personal style home. And that’s exactly what The Vogue Room is all about!
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
ES: Choose a theme and never skimp on details. Picking a theme will help with the overall planning process from start to finish, trust me. It will help you narrow down your color palette, tablescape, food and even the smallest detail as in the color of the punch for your guest. Never skimp on the details because people always remember the smallest details, like a place card at the dinner table. It makes your guest feel honored to be sitting at the table with you. Remember, more is more when entertaining, so go all out. I’ve hosted a few killer birthday and holiday parties, and I’ve always started with a theme for the party and details galore.
C: Best advice for DIYers?
ES: In the age of Pinterest and YouTube, find a tutorial that speaks to you, but also find different options and create your own process. Social media is free and everyone is showing how to do everything. I’ve learned so much from various DIY projects. Remember to document your process when you start working. You never know how helpful your process is to someone who wants to learn the same thing.
C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
ES: Interior design is a very personal service. You are allowing someone in the most private space in your life. Do your research on designers and visit their website, Instagram page, etc. Go through their photos and see what type of spaces they are curating and figure out if their style fits yours. When you talk to the designer, you want to make sure you have a connection. Make sure they understand your wants and needs and have a vision specific to how you and your family will use the space. Communication is key when working with designers. Remember they are the experts, and you are hiring them because you trust them to deliver excellent results.
C: What is one design trend are you most excited about this season?
ES: Wallpaper is BACK, and it’s not your grandma’s wallpaper! I’m so excited about wallpaper this season. Not only is it stylish, wallpaper adds depth and dimension to any room. It’s super fun and will totally transform your boring walls and ceilings from drab to fab. Wallpaper is definitely a cooler alternative to paint and comes in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns. Right now, I’m loving the user-friendly peel and stick temporary wallpaper. That’s right, renters, you can use the temp wallpaper on your apartment walls, dorm rooms… You name it. It’s super easy to apply and remove when you move out of the space. A few months ago, I sponsored a first-generation college student dorm room. With the temp wallpaper, it instantly transformed the dorm room walls to another level!
C: How do you take your coffee?
ES: Hold the coffee, I’ll take a peach bellini 🙂