Happy October, cuties! In the spirit of “trick-or-treat” I have a very special treat for you on this month’s installment of our Trade Spotlight series: Meet Peyton Bainbridge, the owner and lead designer of Peyton Bainbridge Interiors!
Peyton Bainbridge Interiors is based in New Orleans and is describes their design goal for clients as wanting to “create a space that clients are excited to come home to, yet the aesthetic adheres appropriately to each individual clients lifestyle.” Can you tell that Peyton and I are kindred spirits? I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Peyton has been with the KKH Trade Program for three years and been working with our products on simply gorgeous projects throughout the South and Emerald Coast.
“Since joining the KKH Trade Program roughly three years ago, we have fallen in love with their staff, ordering experience, and reliability.”
A woman after my own heart, Peyton describes her design style as “casual elegance, achieved by positioning the focus on a neutral color palette while adding touches of modern, antiques, and occasional pops of color.” When she’s not working with clients or on-site at an install, Peyton loves to play tennis, spend time with her pups, and enjoying quality time with friends and family. Read on to get to know her and her business (and enjoy some swoon-worthy shots from her portfolio).
Shop the Look
Tell our readers about your business—what are your specialities and core offerings?
We have experience in interior design and construction spanning over 14 years. We primarily work on renovations, alter architectural blueprints with clients’ builders, and decorate. I will always have a soft spot for a combination of antique objects, touches of modern, and pops of color, having grown up in New Orleans, Louisiana.
“Above all, we want to create environments that are elegantly casual while being useful for daily use.”
We enjoy sticking to neutral color schemes with colorful pops, whether they come from artwork, window treatments, accessories, or throw pillows. Although I enjoy and believe it is vital to embrace design trends, I would advise against basing any entire major space on one particular trend.
Tell us about your experience working with the KKH Trade Program.
Along with providing high-quality products, the KKH Trade Program also provides unmatched customer service, extraordinarily accurate lead times, and fantastic attention to their Trade members. These are just a few of the factors that make KKH one of our top picks whenever we start a project’s mood board.
Additionally, the website is quite user-friendly. I have so many trade accounts that are very difficult to access or order from. I place a high value on time. Working with businesses who make it tough for you to spend money or give false information regarding lead times is not something I enjoy.
Shop the Look
Do you take on projects nationwide or specialize in a certain location?
Although we have a main office in New Orleans, Louisiana, we design all across the South. The majority of our other noteworthy projects are concentrated on Nashville, mountain homes in Tennessee and Colorado, and lake homes like Lake Martin, Alabama, to name a well-known one.
Outside of New Orleans, we work with many clients who have second homes. Along the Emerald Coast, we work closely with builders in addition to having design clients, which is a truly wonderful experience.
Do you have a favorite interior design style to work with on projects?
I frequently receive this fantastic question. The fact that each property is unique and each client has a different vision is my favorite aspect of this industry and one of the reasons I went into design in the first place. I find it daunting to imagine doing the same thing every day.
“We don’t stick to any one design aesthetic, and I like elements of all of them. The client decides what they want, and we carry out their idea.”
Shop the Look
How would you describe the style of your own home? What’s your favorite piece of furniture or decor that you own?
My house strikes a balance between old and new. I really love the Scalamandre pillow I have on my white linen sofa since I love an animal pattern accent in any room. And the coffee table in my main living area, which is really from KKH and has a faux shagreen finish to balance the textures of the linens, velvets, and silks in my den, is my favorite item of furniture I own.
“I get compliments on my KKH coffee table every single time I have visitors! I would suggest the Century Monroe Regency Brass Accent 3 Drawer Coffee Table to anyone with a room big enough to use it. I adore how big and adaptable this coffee table is; at 60″ wide and 40″ deep, it is both practical and chic.”
When I work from home, I utilize it for game evenings, to spread out all of my work, and for charcuterie and wine nights with friends and family. The table is big enough to accommodate all of my coffee table books as well as my favorite 10-wick candle. Teddy, my Cavoodle dog, has been known to jump on it occasionally; my maltipoo Riley is too small, but he tries; KKH runs in the family, I guess!
An 80″ custom lucite console that had a tiny chip on the leg when it was delivered for my very first design project is my second favorite piece of furniture. Naturally, the fabricator produced a replacement, but I was allowed to retain this one. He declared he would never do another one of that size because he had never done one before. Because it holds such significant meaning for me, I absolutely treasure the piece.
Tell us about a notable project from the past few years.
One of my favorite homes to design was a local New Orleans home with lots of KKH furniture all over the place. Even while I aim to incorporate a KKH piece into every home, this specific client’s place was ideal for practically everything KKH style, right down to the furnishings and lighting.
“Again, while KKH offers products that I can get from other vendors, I prefer to order directly through them.”
Shop the Look
What have been some of the biggest joys and challenges you’ve faced in your career in the design industry?
The expression on a client’s face when a space is finished brings me the most overall happiness; and the relationships I’ve built with my customers, suppliers, and employees over the years have been the biggest source of fulfillment for me in my field. Particularly the laborers, who frequently receive insufficient credit. The majority of them I worked with at my first design internship when I was just 20 years old, and with whom I now have close bonds. Although we respect each other, I am to them like a younger sister.
“The Christmas celebration I host in my home for all of my employees, former and present clients, and their families is my favorite joy. Watching them get to know one another and have a good time is something I believe is incredibly special every year.”
The industry always has its fair share of obstacles, but I anticipate them on every project, so I wouldn’t call them challenges. The few clients I couldn’t satisfy have been the largest obstacle I’ve encountered in the business. It showed me that if something isn’t working in the beginning, it won’t get better throughout the project. I took that extremely personally for quite a few years, and it is important to know that business is typically not personal.
Are there any design trends you see on the horizon for the season to come? Any trends on their way out?
More than ever, clients nowadays are drawn to color. Navy blue kitchens have been popular for a long, and I’d say the trend is still going strong.
“People’s need for everyday spaces is the key design trend that I do not anticipate fading any time soon.”
Clients prefer high-performance textiles that may be enjoyed on a daily basis, without fear that a fabric will get destroyed. I like how people are moving away from “showcase” homes and toward practicality.
Because of this, furniture with glass or mirror tops has been out of style for a long because the average family does not want to frequently windex items. Black window trim and doors are popular. That won’t go out of style anytime soon, in my opinion. I adore how wallpaper has made a big comeback.
Shop the Look
What advice would you give someone who wants to work with an interior designer on their home, but they feel intimidated or hesitant? For someone who’s never worked with a designer, what’s the major upside?
Ask as many questions as you like; a skilled designer won’t become frustrated by it. No question is dumb. If you aren’t completely honest about your finances regarding the budget, it will ultimately only hurt you in the end. When you first meet a designer, follow your gut if you have a hunch it’s not a good fit. It will save both of you from the headache of the relationship not working out.
“Clients that appear tentative at first are typically people who have never worked with a designer before and are concerned that they won’t like the design. Generally speaking, they are anxious throughout the entire project, but they couldn’t be happier with the outcome!”
You are placing your whole trust in a stranger. I usually charge fixed costs for my services since I find that individuals are reluctant to pay by the hour. Every designer has their own style, but I discover that having a definite price actually eases anxiety for the prospective client. People think that designers cost a fortune, but in reality, they may help you save time and money in the long run.
The opportunity cost and financial savings are the main benefits of working with a designer. Many of my clients are aware of their preferences and could probably handle it themselves, but doing so would require time away from their commitments, families, etc. Although hiring a designer may first appear pricey, the money you’ll save on mistakes, discounts, and time will be well worth it.
Speaking to fellow design pros: What advice do you have about working a challenging client or overcoming unforeseen obstacles on a design project?
Always inform them up front that nothing will happen exactly as you had planned. Don’t give any arrival estimates or completion dates. It won’t be right no matter how precisely you time it. There are certain difficult clientele you can’t please. The most you can do is run your business ethically, with honesty, and transparency. Beyond that, you do not have control over others opinions of you and do not take it personally.
Shop the Look
Where do you draw the most inspiration from as a designer?
Numerous things. First and foremost, my grandfather. The majority of my motivation comes from his house and our vacations to Europe together. He had a stunning library collection of design books from all over the world. You can only get so far in design school; it’s critical to learn the skills that aren’t taught there.
“I think it’s important for both customers and designers to ask questions. People are reluctant to ask inquiries, especially designers. There is this idea of embarrassment that you should already be aware of every single design-related solution.”
Never once have I felt ashamed to say to a client: “I’m not sure, let me find out.” It’s more sincere, and I believe that people in life often respect it when someone admits they do not know everything. I’ve requested the front desk staff at a posh hotel or manager to speak with the owner at restaurants so that I can ask specific inquiries about a light fixture, or countertop. I find my best ideas away from home whether out to dinner, at a persons home, a hotel, or on vacation.
Are there any exciting updates with your business that you’d like our readers to know about?
I’m working on creating a line of home decor products for To The Trade right now, and I’m pretty excited about that. It will be a little while, but I am looking forward to it!
The Kathy Kuo Home Trade Program
Feeling inspired by Peyton Bainbridge Interiors? If you’re an interior designer or architect you can apply to our Trade Program to enjoy a wide array of professional benefits, as well as access to a thriving community of interior design pros. You can learn all about it HERE, but in brief, KKH Trade members receive: Competitive Trade Pricing, Free Shipping, Low Storage Fees, Dedicated Trade Specialist to Coordinate Orders from Start to Finish.