Design Showcase /

April 3, 2017
Designer Interview: Brett Eleanor Helsham
Designer Interview: Brett Eleanor Helsham
Our latest Designer Spotlight gives us a peek into the world of Brett Helsham Designs, the firm of New York-based designer Brett Eleanor Helsham. Brett opened her namesake studio in 2014 and now works with clients the world over in residential, hospitality, and commercial design.

We spoke with Brett to find out how she discovered that interior design was her calling, why she enjoys working with STARK, and more.

“It always fascinated me that a space could affect someone emotionally,” Brett stated. “It could be a really comfortable living room that makes you feel safe and happy. It could be a cafe that is lively, that inspires and motivates. Design is thought provoking to me. We spend most of our day inside so what we surround ourselves with – including who – should be important. It certainly is for me, which drove me down this path and subsequently to love what I do!”

Part of what Brett loves, in fact, is that every day is different, although she enjoys structure as well. Her day begins with a workout and meditation; then, as she said, “The chaos ensues!”

The Brigade carpet, a Brett favorite, as seen in a Brooklyn Heights space.

With clients of different personalities, aesthetics, and home sizes, she often finds herself running around the city to locate textiles, furniture, and accessories tailored specifically for each project and personality – certainly fitting, considering that her main inspiration is the people she designs for themselves and how they use their individual spaces.

Ebbe and Flow, another go-to piece for Brett, is pictured in this monochromatic room.

Yet although each client is different, Brett’s approach to design is essentially the same, and it begins with an understanding of the psychology behind how her clients live. “Whether they entertain, are spillers [meaning the spilling of drinks or other liquids], work from home, have pets… their day-to-day is important and ultimately drives the design,” Brett elaborated.

Fluidity is another concept that really appeals to her. “It’s more a feeling than a style,” she explained; a common thread of her work is that it’s simple and effortless, yet presented in unexpected ways.

“For me, all pieces work together to be complementary. However, STARK rugs are so beautiful that even when they try to blend in, they end up as the talking point of the room!”
To begin understanding the flow of a room, though, she always turns first to the architecture. “The vernacular of the space itself drives the direction of the design and the forms I want to use. Then I build off the largest piece in the room – most often the rug,” she stated.

A detail shot of the Brigade carpet in the Brooklyn Heights project.

The rug is crucial because the color or pattern unifies the room and, Brett added, “brings necessary texture that sets the tone and balances the space.” She also points out that the same rug can be masculine or feminine depending on the design flow and course taken in a room; one is sure to see both style strands running through the rooms pictured here.

Ebbe and Flow graces the floor of this luxe Williamsburg bedroom.

One STARK flooring she loves in particular, also pictured in the header photo, is Ebbe and Flow; its beautiful simplicity – and ample variety of available colors – makes it a favorite for bedrooms. Brett tends to use existing STARK products in order to get jobs done quickly, which is one of the reasons she likes the company: fast access to everything she needs. “They have range in their products, not only in style but price point, which allows me to use them as a one-stop-shop for all my clients,” Brett explained.

“Customer service is incomparable. They are so lovely to work with and always so nice – it’s refreshing!”

Another appearance of Ebbe and Flow in this serene space.

STARK serves a vast audience of interior designers around the country, such as many of the other firms featured in our Design Showcase, including Timothy Corrigan in Los Angeles, Amy Berry in Dallas, and Steven G. in South Florida. Are you a member of the trade? Find out the benefits of our program and apply for your STARK trade account today.
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