Interview with Interior Designer Doryn Wallach

Before going out on her own, New York based interior designer Doryn Wallach, worked for several design firms. Her successful design career includes both residential and commercial projects. Doryn has also been a contributor on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She has a new passion and gig too that she will share at the end of this interview!
doryn wallach designer interview
Simplified Bee: When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?

Doryn Wallach: My great-grandparents were antiquarians and while I didn’t know them, my mother was always involved in interior design. I used to go shopping with her when she would go on shopping trips with her interior designer but my Mom really did the majority of the designing. She was very talented but never turned it into a career. I really had no aspirations to be a designer and kind of stumbled on the major in college and it clicked for me. I love all kinds of design and style is important to my aesthetic.
white benches and zig zag run entry
SB: How would you describe your personal style?

DW: I have very eclectic taste. I could really design any space in any style depending on what was needed.   I appreciate most design styles. Because of this, in my own home, my taste is diverse, but somehow it just works together. I love a touch of glamour for every room, even if it’s the bathroom.   I love mixing textures and punches of color and creating style in unexpected places.
stylish entry table mirror console
SB: Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?

DW: Steven Gambrel and Kelly Wearstler. I feel almost cliché saying Kelly Wearstler because I feel like she is “trendy” at the moment, but I have watched her for a while.  She isn’t afraid to take chances on her style, and really goes for it in some of her spaces, but in her hotel spaces, the vibe is toned-down.  The Viceroy in  Santa Monica  and The Viceroy in  Anguilla  are two of my favorite hotel spaces. Steven Gambrel is someone whose work I have followed for a while and I really love his simple style, and yet he pays special attention to detail.   Details are what really makes a home, and a lot of designers and consumers don’t realize this

SB: Do you have “go to” paint colors? If so, which ones?

DW: I don’t really. I go by the elements/colors in the space and then choose a paint color. Even if I use a white on a trim and there’s a dominant color in the space, I use the lightest possible hue of that color which  appears white,  but really ties the space together.
green white elephant wallpaper bathroom
SB: Which of today’s interior design trends are here to stay and which ones will we see fade away?

DW: I am really loving how wallpaper has come back in style and not just your typical “grandma paper”. There are so many amazing papers out there today–beaded, suede, fabric backed, shell, metallic. It’s such an interesting way to add texture to a wall or ceiling and a great way to put a punch of something different in a bland space like a plain powder room. I would like to see Ikat prints fade FAR away. I think they’re on their way out…hopefully.
doryn wallach design sofa green pillows
SB: Where do you recommend clients splurge versus save?

DW: Splurge on the items you will use the most. Your sofa, your mattress and your kitchen. Save on things like accessories, throw pillows, dinner plates and glasses. Light fixtures can go either way for me. I think having one amazing light fixture somewhere in your home is always a good investment because it will make you happy every time you turn it on and go from home to home with you no matter where you go! My best piece of advice is splurge on classic pieces you know you’ll never grow sick of and can work in either a modern or traditional space, because BELIEVE ME, your taste will change a gazillion times in the next few years, for me, it’s about every 5 years!
vintage pinball machines art wall playroom
SB:  It seems you are embracing social media. You are on Facebook, Twitter and write a blog. Do you prefer one over the other? What is your advice to other interior designers who are timid about trying social media marketing outlets?

DW: Ha! This is a great question because to be honest, I am not a big fan of ANY of them!   But,  it’s a must today for any business.  Facebook, for me, is the easiest way to communicate,  and I wish it would merge with Twitter. Blogging is something I started in 2005 and loved doing solely because of the connection with people  I made.  Now,  blogging is more about  business now. I am not a writer, never claimed to be a writer and frankly, dislike writing. It is HARD for me to get blog posts out, I would prefer to speak to people over the radio or in person if I could. Twitter, don’t get me started. Twitter gives me anxiety!! I feel like if I am away from it for a few hours I have missed tons of opportunities and then I get stressed. The people that tweet non-stop, I just can’t understand how they do it! BUT, again…it’s a great way to market your product or business and you meet lots of great people along the way. I have made TONS of business connections through Twitter. It blows me away! My advice to other interior designers…HIRE someone to do it for you 🙂
doryn wallach gray bedroom designer
SB: Fill in the blank. No room is complete without…

DW: Something personal that warms you inside and brings a smile to your face when you look at it. Every room in a house should have something that you have a personal connection to, picked up in your travels,  bought because it was quirky and expresses some part of your personality, a picture or piece of artwork, just a color that makes you feel good. These are the things that make a room look like your room and not a showroom or retail store.
kitchen stove backsplash tin
SB: What’s next for Doryn Wallach Design?

DW: I have really been examining this a lot lately. My heart is really, truly not in residential design, though I just finished my home, which took about a year.  Possibly a hotel.   I do enjoy suggesting quirky, fun, not obvious products to people.  I can be very resourceful and I guess that’s how Doryn’s Dish came to be. It’s fun to me, but I would prefer to do it in person some how as an “expert”. I am also very interested in being on the radio.   I had a radio show in  Connecticut  a few years ago.  My idea for a new show would be: the “Psychology of Interior Design”– all the issues that come with it.   “How to Renovate With Out Divorcing” or “How to Merge His Things With Yours” and other non-couple related ideas. I’m also considering designing a lower-to-moderately priced wallpaper line that can be used for both kids’ and adults’ rooms. However, beauty may be my first love—it is just another way to approach design and style.   I lived in  London  a few years ago and wasn’t able to work because of visa issues  (was there for my husband’s job).   I wrote a ton of beauty/spa and beauty product reviews on Doryn’s Dish and pursued something I always wanted to do which was makeup and hair styling. I LOVED every second of my classes but never really did much with it because we moved back and I was pregnant with my daughter. However, just recently, I have partnered with an amazing mascara product called LashControl that I recommend daily to friends and family and I couldn’t be more excited to be on board. I am working on the creative development and marketing and it is FUN! It’s a dream come true and it’s going to be HUGE. As I get older, I realize that as a creative person, it is difficult to limit yourself to just one creative field. We are typically able to do many different things which is both wonderful and difficult at times because we can’t sit still. But I think deep inside me there’s a much hipper, cooler Martha Stewart waiting to be born. 🙂

SB: All of these images are of Doryn’s home she recently complete. The spaces are eclectic, inviting and fresh. I also this candid, down-to-earth interview with Doryn. Most importantly I am so glad she is following her heart and doing what she loves. Life’s just too short! Thanks Doryn for your time!

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2 Responses to Interview with Interior Designer Doryn Wallach

  1. Deb's mind September 29, 2011 at 12:12 am #

    Great Interview Cristin!!

  2. Jenna September 27, 2011 at 2:04 am #

    I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award! Check out my blog for more details 🙂
    Much Love!
    Jenna