The concept for the The Traditional List Directory began with our passion for connecting you with interior designers, artists and retailers we love, to help you create the home of your dreams. As a result, we are always on the look out for new designers whose works stops us in our tracks and this is exactly what happened when we came across the interiors of Dallas based interior designer, Andrea Marino. The only thing more exciting is knowing that you will love her work as much as we do!
Marino’s vibrant approach to traditional design is a breath of fresh air. She effortlessly combines classic elements of design, like richly layered textiles and soft lines, with comfortable furnishings to create interiors that as beautiful as they are functional and family friendly. We hope you’ll join us as we welcome Andrea Marino for a Q&A, as she answers all of our questions from her latest sources of inspiration to her best design advice.
Q: How did you get started in the design field? Was there a moment you knew you wanted to pursue a career in interior design?
A: Growing up I was always drawn to the arts. You could oftentimes find me with a sketchbook and pencil in hand. I loved drawing, painting, ceramics, and fashion and towards the end of high school I received a scholarship and spent a summer taking classes at Kansas City Art Institute. I knew I wanted to study something that would allow me to pursue my creative passion. I don’t know if there was a specific moment per se, but more of an intuition that I would always end up doing something in a creative field. I entered college declaring an Interior Design major and never looked back!
Q: How would you describe your design style and overall aesthetic?
A: I would describe my style as a fresh twist on traditional design for modern living. I love a home that has character and feels warm, inviting, and collected. I appreciate and am drawn towards classic silhouettes, patterns, and antiques. However, I also love incorporating modern elements whether it be art, an accent piece of furniture, or lighting to keep things interesting, playful, and fresh- I truly believe the magic is in the mix!
Q: We always love learning interior designers’ latest sources of inspiration. What has has been inspiring you the most these days?
A: Lately I have been very inspired by garden follies. Maybe it has something to do with spring and now summer starting, or my yearning to travel, but the colorful landscape, foliage, and architecture whether it be Greek Revival or Neoclassical has been so captivating to me. There is something so whimsical about them. I also love the concept of a quaint place to retreat and appreciate the stillness.
Q: What advice do you have for designing interiors that have traditional roots, but are fresh and compatible for modern living?
A: A good way to create a new take on a traditional furniture piece is to pair it with a fresh fabric. Mixing traditional finishes (like mahogany, walnut or wicker) with contemporary elements (painted finishes, mixed metals, acrylic) adds versatility and makes a space feel lighter and refreshed. Try pairing antique chests and tables with modern lines – a linen parsons table or a marble tulip table. Mix in a piece of abstract art or a contemporary light fixture.
As far as practicality goes, make sure that you prioritize comfort and stain treat fabric as needed– this will be a game changer for those inedible accidents that come from entertaining, kids, and life! Know how you and your family live – buy pieces that fit in well with your lifestyle, routines, and season of life. For example, if you have young children maybe a glass coffee table isn’t practical for you right now – find a tufted ottoman with a beautiful fringe trim or French leg that works just as nicely. As a rule of thumb, I always say to invest in quality upholstery – these are the pieces that, if chosen carefully, you can keep for many years to come and recover as your style evolves.
Q: Do you have a favorite space or type of room you love to decorate?
A: There truly isn’t a space I don’t enjoy designing but if I had to pick, I would say I love designing small spaces like an entryway, powder room, or butler’s pantry. They allow for an opportunity to really pack in some bold and playful design elements like lacquered walls, patterned wallpaper, or fun accent lighting. I also love a formal living and primary bedroom suite.
Q: What are your thoughts on design trends?
A: In general, I tend to not pay attention to them. I am more drawn to a classic, timeless aesthetic that will last for years to come!
Q: What advice do you have for home owners who are considering hiring an interior designer?
A: My biggest advice is to engage your designer at the very beginning of the process – it is never too early to start talking to a designer about your home project. Getting involved day one allows us to be a part of those initial conversations which are so critical to the overall direction and, ultimately, the success of the project. Trust the process – good design is a journey and takes time, allowing us to get involved early on not only allows for more time to make important decisions, but also allows us to execute our vision more effectively.
Stay in-the-know with our Newsletter, a monthly dose of classic design inspiration sent straight to your inbox. Receive the latest home tours, style tips, and marketplace finds.