MyHomeIdeas (MHI):How did you get into design? Who or what influences you?
Angie Hranowsky (AH): I have been designing since I was little. I would design elaborate houses for my Barbies using record albums as the walls.
I drove my mom crazy decorating my apartments in college, always wanting to transform some piece of old furniture or dyeing fabric to drape over my sofa. However, it didn’t hit me until a few years ago when I was designing myfirst house that this was my calling.
I have a BA in art history and went to graduate school for graphic design, but interiors just come so naturally to me, it’s like breathing. I was getting so much response to my work that I decided to incorporate this into my existing graphic design business.
I am influenced by so many things. I love modern furniture and architecture. Milo Baughman, Eero Saarinen, Walter Gropius, the list is quite long. I love to collect, and I’m constantly looking for great furniture, art, and pottery.
MHI: What is your favorite paint color at the moment? What do you like to pair with it?
AH: I’m not sure that I have a favorite paint color. I love color, and it plays a large role in all of my work. I gravitate to some more than others, but it really depends on the project.
I often prefer to use grasscloth -- of almost any color -- on the walls instead of paint. I grew up with it in our house and have always loved it for the texture and dimension that it can add to a space. Donghia makes a beautiful silver metallic grasscloth that I am dying to use. I would pair it with a deep sapphire blue and raspberry.
MHI: What current trend do you think we’ll be so tired of in five years? What current trend do you love?
AH: I think we are already tiring of Hollywood Regency. I love that we are getting back to more natural materials, such as beautiful woods and rattan. I have always loved mixing both of those elements in my work.
MHI: How do you like to dress a bed?
AH: I don’t have any hard and fast rules for dressing a bed. The bed is such a focal point. I love interesting blankets or spreads and high thread count white sheets. I don’t think beds should be too fussy -- who wants to throw 15 pillows off of their bed every night just to sleep?
MHI: Do you have any personal design secrets you’d like to share?
AH: Combine different textures to keep things interesting. If you have a lot of wood, try incorporating something with glass or metal. If you have a lot of smooth fabrics and surfaces, add something nubby or rough. Also, try throwing in something rattan, like a small stool or side chair. It always seems to add interest.
MHI: How do you deal with televisions?
AH: Thank god for flat screen televisions. I like to hang them over a credenza or incorporate them into a bookshelf.
MHI: If you have one splurge to make in a room, what would it be? Where can you save?
AH: Invest in a quality rug or sofa.
To save money, reupholster existing furniture. In some cases, you can even have the upholsterer alter the shape of a chair or sofa. I did this recently with a client who was on a tight budget. We used their existing club chair, which had rolled arms and a skirt. We squared off the arms, streamlined the back cushion, and removed the skirt to expose the nice wood legs.
We used a nice, not too pricey, upholstery-weight cotton and the chair looked completely different. It went from typical and traditional to clean and modern.
MHI: Your rooms are filled with color. What is your favorite color combination? How do you like to use it?
AH: I think that is impossible to narrow down. I love so many colors and so many combinations. I love aubergine and deep pink, turquoise and yellow, coral and purple, and brown and almost anything.
MHI: In your opinion, what does every room need?
AH: Dimmers on your light switches, an orchid, and interesting, personal artwork.
MHI: What’s the most common mistake homeowners make? And how can it be avoided?
AH: They hang artwork too high. Try to keep it at eye level, and if you still aren’t sure, hang it a little low.
Angie Hranowsky Design Studio
2037 Lakeshore Drive
Charleston, South Carolina 29412
phone: (843) 810-3286
fax: (843) 225-0514