We’re back with a new guest tastemaker for some quick-fire questions and a mini-curation of some fab Chairish finds!
This week, we are joined by interior designer and winner of the 2020 Vishion Design Award, Maureen Stevens. Known for her editing eye and her love for what she calls storytellers – mementos, curiosities and artifacts that people keep in their homes as reminders of their experiences – Maureen has cultivated methods of styling and curation which she both provides in her design services, and shares via her blog and Skillshare classes. Maureen currently splits her time between New Orleans and Austin.
Read on to find out what she loves most about her unique mix of clientele, and hear a recounting of the most memorable storyteller she’s ever encountered.
What kind of design additions or changes have you made to your home since quarantine began?
I’ve been wanting to remodel our kitchen since we bought it 1 ½ years ago and have had my design plan since. I’ve finally said it’s now or never. Everything is underway: Just the floors, appliances and finishing touches, and it will be done!
What is the coolest vintage piece in your house?
Ahhh, so hard to choose. All of my mirrors are antique or vintage, mostly sourced from auctions; I have this Hollywood Regency dresser in lacquer black & gold, a Neoclassic side table, and a Victorian style secretary desk in deep walnut. But I guess the coolest would be this room divider with a mural of a soiree near the Mississippi River. All the ladies & gents are dressed to the nines, and some of the women are even wearing Mardi Gras beads.
Do you collect anything?
Busts, old postcards from places I’ve traveled (and forthcoming,) and oyster plates.
What sparked your interest in collecting these particular items?
Busts are just so old-world, so classic. The postcards I usually get from flea markets and antique shops in the cities I visit. And yes, I always go out of my way to trek antique alleys in each & every city. I frame the postcards and keep the curated collages in my home. They are mostly of architecture, but I’ve also been framing coasters from hotels & menus. And as for oyster plates, I’m in New Orleans, where there’s a million and one ways to prepare oysters.
Being that you split your time between New Orleans and Austin, do you design for clients in both cities? What is the biggest difference between your New Orleans clientele’s style and that of your Austin clientele?
Yes, I do design in both cities – and beyond as well! I feel like I have the best of both worlds. Austin tends to go more urban and modern, yet still laid back Whereas New Orleans clients is all about the Southern charm, preserving history and art. I must say, most of my NOLA clients have eclectic taste in art, and I’m all about it!
What’s the most memorable storyteller you’ve ever seen in someone’s home?
I’ve always loved busts, and even have quite a few peppered throughout my own home of iconic people like Marie Antoinette. And once, I went into a woman’s home and admired one of her busts of a little girl. As we went talked, I found out it was actually a bust of her little sister, who had died when they were young. It was a sad story, but she talked about her with joy.