When you walk inside the home of interior designer Stephanie Pohlman, her clean, coastal entryway immediately puts you at ease. That was her goal when she took on the redesign of her own sanctuary this year.
Many other homeowners have sought simple ways to reinvent their living spaces since social distancing procedures began as a result of the coronaviral crisis. Pohlman figured the best way to aid her Stephanie Pohlman Designs clients throughout the pandemic was by showing them how easy it can be to reinvent their residences through example.
“I opened my e-design service to show how I could [work] virtually,” she says. “If you hire me to make a design board, you can bring it to reality yourself.”
Pregnant with her second child at the start of lockdown in the metro area, she took to social media to present her ideas for each space found in the Pohlman property. Followers could watch her process, using the e-design service, as she turned inspiration into a real room.
“The bedrooms are small, so I wanted to make sure they were light and bright and open,” Pohlman describes. With her daughter’s room, she chose bohemian pieces, such as a carved sun-shaped headboard and a hanging chair. Wicker and wooden accents keep the aesthetic muted. The only pop of color is pink, which appears in the single curtain and, most noticeably, on the ombré statement wall that was hand-painted by the designer.
“My own home was a good place to experiment,” Pohlman says. “It has evolved so much. We renovated in 2015, when I was a new designer and didn’t have a lot of experience. We had popcorn ceilings. That was the most physically challenging thing because they are messy and hard to repair, once you remove them. The layout of the kitchen, with a wall separating the living room, was also a difficult thing.”
When Pohlman first described her intentions for the kitchen area, she was met with skepticism. Rather than be deterred, though, she chose to remove the wall between the two areas and add a large center island. Gold hardware and mismatched seating create a calming, cheerful environment. Navy and white dandelion wallpaper adds just a touch of whimsy to the sunlit space. The result floored her critics and gave the kitchen new functionality.
“Always start with a mood board, which I offer through my e-design service,” she says of her process. “Grab images from Pinterest, and put them together to see what you like from each picture. Start with big items, like the sofa, and then pull in a rug. Then go smaller, like with coffee and accent tables. Once you’ve nailed that down, [work] with accessories and wall décor. Make your home something you love by adding touches that [appeal to you].”
Although the University of Missouri-Columbia alumna has “a definite aesthetic,” Pohlman strives to offer her clients a wide range of moods and styles, ranging from farmhouse to modern to classic and coastal. “Small, trendy things that don’t break the bank can evolve the look [of your home while] big things can be timeless accents,” she notes.
The sought-after designer started her career in commercial design after graduating in 2012 but soon determined residential property suited her best. After shadowing an interior designer, Pohlman knew she wanted to launch her own firm to offer herself a flexible schedule as she started her family.
“I took a leap of faith,” she says about the beginning of Stephanie Pohlman Designs. “It ended up exploding! [My business grew through] a lot of word-of-mouth. Clients started following on Instagram and Facebook, and my list just kept growing.”
In the same manner through which Pohlman inspires her followers, she discovers her inspirations on social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest. Her overall hope is to show people that the space you create can be stunning without feeling untouchable.
“A lot of my clients hired me because they see that I’m not making something unlivable,” Pohlman says. “[I’m not making something that is so] beautiful but you’re afraid to host or drop a wine glass or have kids climb over the couches. I hope to show people that you can make a house beautiful and still family-friendly.”
Stephanie Pohlman Designs, stephaniepohlmandesigns.com
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