In the June issue of Atlanta Homes you will find an article called 'Carte Blanche'.  A 14,000 square foot 'McMansion' gets transformed into a stylish home for a young family. 

Atlanta Braves 2nd baseman Dan Uggla owned the home in Sandy Springs but spent most of his time in his downtown penthouse. The McMansion lacked a sense of warmth. When Dan proposed to his bride it was time to make the dated McMansion a family home. The couple gave interior designer Shawn Broaddus carte blanche to re imagine it and the result is a gorgeous, light filled home. Not a hint of McMansion here. 

Stripped of ornate moldings, dated kitchen cabinets and interior columns this home now looks elegant, fresh and current. Of course the light creamy interiors totally appeal to me. Touches of color used sparingly and an understated elegance throughout makes this a youthful yet 'grown up' home. 

I thought I would share not only the end result of this extensive project but also some insight into her job, how she got started and any advice she might have. 

Here is an interview with Shawn. I hope the questions and answers resonate with you:

1. How did you get started in interior design? Was there an 'ah-ha' moment ?

Well, I have had many people throughout the years ask to help with their homes, solely based on what they had seen at my own. About 5 years ago, I was asked to help with a high profile house in Atlanta and realized at that point, I may be on to something. I have always been into design on all levels – and this was my opportunity to do that for others! I certainly never thought I would have a career in interior design and a published home with the big 5-0 right around the corner.

2. What advice would you give someone who wanted to start a career in interior design? Would the advice be different for someone fresh out of college vs. someone wanting to start later in life as a new career path?

Don’t go into it because you think it’s glamorous - it’s  crazy hard work! To be good or above average you must live and breath design of all kinds and know what’s going on in all areas; Fashion, Architecture, Interior Design, Furniture Design, art etc.  I truly believe that the knowledge I gained from studying different types of design is what has allowed me to stand out in the crowd. Designers are a dime a dozen – you  have to have a niche.  Formal education is great, but in my opinion, not absolutely necessary if you are aware of what’s going on in the design world and able to implement that in your work. It’s all about the details.

3. What is the hardest part of your job?

Ahhh – Dealing with the things that go wrong on a project – and believe me – they do!!!  If you are working with clients who have never really used a designer it can very difficult the first go round. You are at the mercy of your subs/contractors and therefore have to rely on them heavily to get it done and get it done right.  I am a perfectionist, so that doesn’t help.

4. How do you define your style? 

My aesthetic is grounded by tradition incorporating  clean lines, architectural details, organic objects and luxurious materials.  I love art and feel a house has no soul without it. I do a lot of custom design to insure that the pieces are just right, adding to the overall detail of the space.  I look to all areas of design to stay current and hip and feel that a home should reflect the  personality of the people who live in it.

5. Do clients come to you for 'your style' or do they want you to curate 'their style'. Or a bit of both?

I think overall, they seem to be attracted to my style. I have had clients that are a bit more traditional than I am but when they see my work, they seem to become addicted to the  fresh overall feeling and quickly jump on board.

6. What is your favorite color and why?

Cream – it is the prefect soothing color that represents purity, nature and timeless style. It’s soft and yummy! 

7. What is the best part of your job?

The end result!!! When all the hard work is over, sitting back and taking it all in with your happy client is the greatest joy on the planet!

8. How do you handle changes/problems/difficult situations?

With a positive attitude. Life is not perfect – the sooner you realize that the better. You have to be able to "roll with the punches" in this business and keep everyone happy.  Losing your cool is just not an option.

9.  Atlanta homes -this looks like an extensive project!  How long did the project take start to finish?

Overall  about a year. I am still working on a few areas of the house; creating a space for a new baby on the way and an outdoor space to relax.  The project was huge, from construction to the final layers - it was definitely crazy.  But, my clients we’re awesome and that made it such a joy!

10. What inspires you? Where do you find inspiration? And how do you 'keep' inspiring things? Pinterest, old fashioned bulletin boards? sketchbooks?

Art, fashion and pure design – I love it all and I am inspired by all of the people who live in that world. The talent out there is pretty amazing, from interior designers to woodworkers. I am blown away by all of the people that are so good at their craft and the integrity that comes with that. I am a Pinterest freak!  I use to tear out pictures in  magazines and save them all. Now I can do that in a much more creative and organized way. I use Pinterest for my clients as a way to determine their style and understand mine.  Though Pinterest is a great tool, I still have a bulletin board at my desk filled with tactile design and inspiration that I can touch and feel.

11.  If you could have dinner with  one interior designer past or present, who would it be? And why?

You know, that’s a hard question to answer. I admire so many designers and draw from all of them but I guess if we’re talking cocktails I would have to say Nate Berkus. I’m pretty obsessed with his talent to create edgy creative spaces that always seem warm and inviting.

Thank you Shawn for taking the time to answer these questions and congratulations on a gorgeous project. 


Atlanta Homes article: here

see more Shawn Broaddus / B Design Interiors: here

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