You have your own television show, Home Made Simple, on Oprah's OWN network on which you design homes for deserving families. How did this amazing opportunity come to fruition?
I’m one of four designers on OWN’s Home Made Simple, and each week one of us leads a home makeover on a budget for a deserving family with help from our team, which includes host Soleil Moon Frye (aka Punky Brewster) and a team of carpenters, organizers and chefs. I’ve always had a desire to do television and had done some on-camera work projects before last year including an appearance on HGTV, a video project with Nate Berkus and Target and a web series for TLC about decorating with color, as well as a lot of expert segments and other web videos. Last spring I decided that it could be a good time to explore representation, and I took two trips to LA in May and June to meet with potential managers and agents. One of the agents I met with presented me with the OWN opportunity the day after our meeting. I auditioned for it and got the job. I think it was all serendipitous. That particular agent didn’t end up becoming my agent but forging that connection helped me land this opportunity. I love working with the OWN team and the producers. I have always admired Oprah, so being on a show on her network is a huge honor.
Do you have any suggestions for people working with small living spaces on a tight budget? (i.e. investments pieces, items to save on, sources for budget-friendly finds, make the most of a small space etc.)
Paint. It’s the easiest, most inexpensive way to totally transform a room, and if you don’t like the result it can easily be changed. Splurge on a good sofa and mattress — save on accessories. Pottery Barn makes great upholstery in basic neutrals. West Elm is a great place for budget-friendly accessories. Lamps Plus is a great resource for lighting at all price points. I also love One Kings Lane and Gilt for home decor. I also love shopping flea markets, thrift stores, eBay, and Craigslist — all great places to find awesome decor at a good value.