(Left to right) James Swan, Michelle Nussbaumer, Nancy Price and Robin Baron smile for the camera.
“It’s all about design,” said Robin Baron, celebrity interior designer, at the open of the “Three Divas of Design” panel, moderated by James Swan. She continued to explain that design is not all about symmetry, but about balance. Her comment carried over into a well-rounded discussion amongst a group of influencers known for their contributions to the design industry. Robin was accompanied by Michelle Nussbaumer, founder of Ceylon et Cie, and Nancy Price, founder of Nancy Price Interiors, resulting in quite a colorful panel of designers. Nestled in the center of the Interior Home + Design Center, this upbeat panel quickly turned into an open dialogue between the designers and their audience, which made for an intimate, honest, discussion.
Swan asked the ladies to share what inspired them to go into design—what’s the real story behind the home décor we love so much. All of the ladies shared tender stories about family members that had influenced them both professionally and personally, and how those influences guide their thought processes. “I’m honestly inspired by everyone around me—especially my clients—but I have to say that my father, a business man to the core, instilled the business qualities in me that have kept my business strong,” said Baron. Price agreed and added, “It’s about surrounding yourself by great people that support your goals, and has their own goals.”
This led the ladies into discussing their appreciation for their colleagues—other designers that are usually seen as “competitors.” Nussbaumer confirmed “actually, it’s not a competition at all!” The ladies all agreed that in the design industry, it’s about building a cohort. Sharing ideas is the key to insuring that you are going in the right direction with ideas and trends, and with the prominence of social media, there’s now a real sense of community in the industry. Price advised the importance of “staying in your own lane—know your strengths and own them,” but, she did agree that sharing and learning through others is beneficial.
“Edge,” “beauty in layers” and “travel,” were used to describe the ladies’ personal style, and each of their home décor lines reflect those words. While they all agreed that designers must continuously reinvent themselves and their lines, there is still certain aspects of themselves that are ingrained in their work that will just never change.