Michelle Jennings Wiebe is the owner and principle designer at Studio M, an interior design firm. Follow her design musings on her firm’s interior design blog. And if you need a little inspiration or need some design advice, follow the studio on Twitter or Facebook.
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Now let's go ahead and check in with her on her favorite colors to decorate with and where she thinks home decor style is headed in 2012.
First up, why don't you tell the community a bit about who you are, what you do, how long you have been doing it, and your background.
I am Michelle Jennings Wiebe, the President/Principal Designer of Studio M Inc., a national interior design firm based in Tampa, FL. I began the firm 20 years ago, pretty much right out of college. I have always wanted to be an interior designer; even since I was a young girl, drawing floor plans and decorating glorious Barbie houses. I went on to graduate from Florida State University, with my degree in Interior Design. (Go Seminoles!) I am also a chocolate connoisseur, a travel buff, and love a great pair of shoes!
What past experiences do you think have contributed the most to where you are now?
Several experiences have shaped me. I grew up in a beautiful historic brick home (built in the early 1800s) in Ohio that was renovated by a “big city” interior “decorator” that really intrigued me. I saw the transformation first hand, and I think this set the stage for my career as an interior designer. In addition, my grandparents and parents owned a business, so I also grew up with a love for real estate and construction. I knew I always wanted my own business!
What colors do you think we will see a lot of in 2012?
Overall, I think color in general will be hot—saturated, bright colors. With that being said, we are using a lot of vibrant paprikas, cherry reds, chartreuses, salmon pinks, all shades of blue (navy is my favorite!), and then gray as a base neutral. Also, our firm is using tons of metallic GOLD! It’s back, baby!
What patterns and trends do you think will be big in 2012?
Geometric patterns, including my forever obsession with chevron, will be hot. In addition, colorful graphic florals are making a comeback in a big way. Our firm loves horizontal stripes and over-scaled hounds tooth. Color blocking is very prominent in fashion, and we have carried that to interiors. Animal prints remain a classic accent, too!
Which colors, patterns & trends are you personally most excited about?
I am really into 70s inspired design, with a modern twist! We are finishing a client’s entertainment area (4,000 square feet alone!), and its vibe is “the 70s meets India.” Lots of golds, purples, turquoises. Really fun furniture and light fixtures. Hints of Marrakesh too.
What is your favorite website or app right now?
I am a huge One Kings Lane fan, and expect to be producing a “Tastemaker Tag Sale” this year. Another favorite site is Modenus which is a wonderful interior design resource. And I LOVE Coulourlovers ! You all are very helpful in putting unusual color schemes & patterns together. I also have dozens of other design sites and blogs that I follow on a regular basis on my iPad; there is so much great inspiration out there.
When decorating your home, what are the top three colors you turn to for the space?
Well, I am getting really antsy to redecorate my home—or build a new one! Right now it is a traditional interior full of varying shades of greens and creams, with chartreuse and fuscia accents in the master bedroom. For my new home, I am leaning towards a more modern scheme, with a gray base, then different colorful accents in each area.
What is your favorite paint color?
I honestly have many paint colors I favor, but one that is just exquisite is Benjamin Moore 1563 Quiet Moments, a soft blue gray that is just amazing in all types of light.
What's the best home design-related advice you've ever received?
I tell all of my clients to only order items they really like! Don’t follow trends, or think they have to do a particular style. They truly have to like it. I also always recommend starting with a fun inspiration piece for each room. This could be a fabulous piece of artwork, a quirky patterned colorful fabric, a graphic area rug, or simply an amazing view. But every room needs a starting point, and all other decisions are derived from this.
When you are feeling stumped, where do you turn for inspiration?
My most valuable place for inspiration is travel! This is where I love experiencing different cultures, architecture, etc. On a daily basis, I look to my piles and piles of design magazines and books! (You should see my nightstand; it literally is covered with them.) I also love design blogs, and have many friends on Twitter that I share ideas and resources with! (Yes, I am a Twitter addict. There I said it.) Lastly, a long stroll on the beach always gets my creative juices going too. It is a great place to dream and devise…..
For someone that is just beginning down the rode to create a better home, what resources or advice would you give to them?
Enjoy the process. The amount of decisions can be overwhelming at times, but it really is a journey. My home is never really “finished”; it is always changing with new ideas and collections. Make your home YOUR place you always want to come home to.