A home inspired by Jenni Kayne’s Pacific Natural is a home after my own heart—and one that intrinsically deserves a spotlight here on HAVEN. So naturally, we sat down with the mind behind the design for a little q&a. Victoria Balson is on the rise and she’s walking in with an Aperol Spritz in hand (her ‘design style cocktail’!). She knows how to paint character on a fresh and crisp canvas and I’m here for it. If you haven’t yet discovered Victoria’s work, I’m honored that we have the opportunity to introduce you to her today (she’s also now on The List!)—join me below to soak in the beauty of this tour as we glean a bit on her routine, daily muses, tips and more.
Tell us a bit about how you got your start as a designer. How and when did you launch Victoria Balson Interiors?
I launched Victoria Balson Interiors back in 2010 with two clients and lots of persistence. I was working at a firm in Summit, NJ prior to that for 6 years and got to the point where I felt confident enough that I could go out on my own. Luckily I had the support of my family because the first year was slow. But once I started to establish a name for myself and build a network of clients and a strong referral base I realized that I was actually running a successful interior design business.
If you had to describe your design style like a cocktail, what would it be?
Aperol spritz: it’s crisp and fresh and you feel good when you drink it…and the day after too.
Can you tell us a bit about the home that we’re featuring today? What was the inspiration behind the design?
Ah yes, our Maplewood Project! This was our second time working with this client which made the project especially fun. The homeowner and I also share a love of Jenni Kayne’s book Pacific Natural which served as the inspiration for the project. We wanted to achieve a relaxed California feel but also create a home that was practical for this family of five (with three young boys).
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What does your morning routine look like? What are a few things you do to get your day started off on the right foot?
My day starts early because I have to get my Obe Fitness workout in before the kiddos wake up! After that, I make sure to drink 8 oz of water and an earl gray tea with almond milk. Once I’ve done that, I’m ready for what the day has to bring.
What is a typical (or not so typical!) day in the life of Victoria Balson?
I would say there is definitely nothing typical about my day to day, ha! But I love that. I’m running to meetings, doing AutoCAD drawings, meeting potential clients, shopping for fabrics and furniture and going to site visits. And then, of course, there’s the paperwork… lots and lots of paperwork.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned in your first year of business?
I don’t think it was my first year of business, but the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in this business is to have a really strong set of processes. It’s not romantic or exciting, but it keeps things running smoothly behind the scenes so that I can focus on my clients and their designs.
You’re on a flight across the country and your entrepreneur crush sits next to you. Who would it be and why?
That’s an easy one—Amber Lewis. Amber needs no introduction and everything she does has so many layers and depth and is, well, just plain beautiful. Her work is immensely inspiring and so is the business she’s created. Not only is she a talented designer but she has a few brick and mortar stores and an online shop. I also think she’s just a cool chick. She doesn’t take herself too seriously and seems down to earth which I respect. And have you seen the house she’s building for herself?! It’s gorgeous.
What does a ‘dream home’ mean to you?
To me, a dream home embodies personal style and taste, impactful aesthetic elements, some luxe details that are unique to that home, and most importantly a sense of home and comfort for the people that live in.
We’re not a big fan of the terms ‘trends’, but are there any timeless design elements you’re currently looking forward to using in your upcoming projects?
I would have to agree, I don’t love “trends” either but there are a few design elements that I’m really excited about right now: Venetian plaster walls, marble sinks—like I mean the whole thing even the bowl, herringbone wood floors, organic natural materials and shapes, and a strategically placed arch.
Instagram account(s) you’re currently crushing on:
Current favorite book and/or podcast:
On my nightstand currently: The Dutch House
3 must-haves on every shelfie:
A stack of beautiful books, a plant, and an old/ vintage object
Favorite beats usually playing in the studio:
We don’t typically play music in the studio, but when we do it’s a total mix from anything like The Strokes, X Ambassadors and some Post Malone