An Interior Designer’s Personal Oasis: Andrea’s Tips for Curating a Home That Tells Your Story

I firmly believe in love at first sight, at least when it comes to houses. The moment I laid eyes on my now home in Colorado, I knew it had to be mine. It was the kind of MidMod house you’d expect to find in the Hollywood Hills, and it captured my heart instantly. The only problem — it wasn’t for sale. Still, I couldn’t resist the pull of this beautiful home, and I did the thing you’re not supposed to do: I went up and knocked on the door. As luck would have it, the owner, a former Miss Colorado, was kind enough to give me a tour and share some tea. A year and a half later, she decided to move to Arizona and told me it was ours.

interior design red door Feng shui

Photo credit: Emily Minton Redfield

I first told myself that I wouldn’t get into a big remodel, but with young kids and a blueberry smoothie incident we don’t need to delve into right now, the pristine white carpet had to go. We ended up replacing it with stained wood floors, and added grass cloth wall to ceiling for a cozy texture. Over time, organically, the house showed us what other changes should be made, and we truly made it our own.

When it comes to designing your own home, it’s crucial to let it reflect your story. I’ve always been drawn to Feng shui, so one of the first things we did was paint our double front door a vibrant raspberry red to invite luck and good energy into our home. As often as we can, we try to keep our drapery open to let in the bright Colorado light, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

It’s important to always remember that functionality and beauty can coexist in a home. One of the changes that provided the most impact was converting a laundry room into a separate working kitchen, or what I call a “back kitchen”, to maintain the clean look of our main cooking space. I hate it when appliances sit out on countertops, and by making this entirely separate kitchen, we could keep our showpiece kitchen — with its hand-painted wallcovering and Calacatta marble countertops — truly immaculate and, frankly, that is not a word you can often use in a house with kids! 

One of the most important aspects of designing a home is infusing it with personal touches. Throughout our home, we’ve integrated meaningful pieces that tell the story of our family. Whether it’s an oil-on-canvas painting by my grandmother or a treasured gift from my father’s travels in Africa, these items add character and depth to the space. One of my favorite items to display in my home is a box of tinctures and other medical supplies, used way back when doctors would make house calls, gifted to me by my father after many years of hinting.

working kitchen blue interior design luxury

Photo credit: Emily Minton Redfield

Just like a person, a room can be devoid of personality. It can talk a lot but have nothing to say. That’s why each space I design is tailored specifically to the client’s stories — so that if you enter a home without knowing who lives there, you’d be able to learn something without their uttering a word. 

When working with clients, I always try and delve into their cherished memories to infuse those elements into their interior design. For a couple who were married in Bali, we made a hand-carved wooden sculpture of an Indonesian goddess and placed it center stage on their entry console, where it conjures romantic recollections with each passing glance. Whether it’s incorporating a meaningful object from their travels, or drawing inspiration from a beloved family heirloom, these details instantly add charm and warmth to any home.

primary bedroom floral orange luxury interior design

Photo credit: Roger Davies

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Mix genres, eras, textures, and price points. Then stir.

Andrea Monath Schumacher

Designing your own home is about so much more than just how it looks; it’s about how it makes you feel, celebrating your history and creating a space that tells your story, resulting in a design that resonates with who you really are. By infusing your unique past into the design, we turn a house into a true home that instantly welcomes you.

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