Known for offering her clients a “fresh take on tradition”, Lindsay Pennington brings an inventive mix of classic elements and contemporary updates to each home she designs. Her work has been recognized as beautiful and eclectic, creatively blending colors, textures, and patterns to achieve rooms with elegance and warmth.
What inspired this career path for you?
I’ve always been fascinated by the world of residential interior design. My mother is an interior designer, and I grew up visiting showrooms, looking at wallpapers and fabrics, and being exposed to the intricate process of translating the needs and wants of clients into living spaces that are evocative, welcoming, personal, and functional. Before I started my business, I was an attorney for nearly a decade—ultimately the pull of engaging my passion and creative side won out, and I took the leap. But what I enjoyed most about practicing law was helping clients, and that’s still the best part of my job today.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
On an emotional level, the clients. I like to spend time getting to know my clients before executing the details of design for them, which translates into more time investment at the front end but results in a more detailed, personal, and directed final result. It also helps to narrow down choices, so that by the time we are into the selection phase for furnishings and finishes, I know them well enough to show only those things I know they are going to respond to and love (most of the time!). I’ve been known to select color palettes that I know will flatter my clients or act as flattering backdrops for their wardrobes or party lives. On a practical level, I’m inspired by the seemingly endless combinations of texture, pattern, and color that I find in fabrics and wallcoverings, so for individual rooms, I usually start there. When I’m really stumped, a trip to a museum, a restaurant, or store designed in an innovative way, or a classic design book usually does the trick.
Tell us about your creative process.
I prefer highly collaborative clients with opinions and some working knowledge of the aesthetic they are going for. I don’t shy away from clippings, Pinterest boards, and even Instagram messages from clients showing me things they like—in fact, I prefer it. Those images can act as a good jumping off point for helping me understand what my clients are responding to—is it a specific color? a little or a lot of pattern? a layered or more clean-lined look? If I haven’t worked with them before, we can always find a nice start there. Like most designers, I’m constantly shopping (not buying—there is a difference!) and sourcing new fabrics and materials, even when they aren’t job specific, and in the back of my mind I’ll have a little stable of appropriate textiles or pieces that I think will work. Together with the client, a budget is established and the fun comes when you begin to consider how everything will be executed and develop a soup-to-nuts plan for the installation. I tend to leave quite a bit of room for inspiration to arrive along the way, and often (with the exception of kitchens, baths, and architectural details) depart from the approved presentation, while keeping in the same spirit. We all need spontaneity and serendipity.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Colorful, lively, layered, and unexpected.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
Wallpaper hides a multitude of sins. If your budget limits purchasing to essential pieces (for example, sofa, chairs, coffee table, and lamps), I find that adding wallpaper to a room brings the color and pattern up the walls and offers a lot of bang for the buck.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
So many to choose from! Michael Smith, Jeffrey Bilhuber, Parish Hadley (and alums), Tino Zervudachi, David Mlinaric, Hugh Henry, and Jacques Grange.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
Tiffany Haddish! Tiff, please call me. We would have so much fun. I would love to create an eat-in kitchen for her that’s warm and relaxed, filled with color and personal touches, with a big old dining table and a few comfortable chairs pulled up to a cozy banquette, so she can have all her friends over (including me) and host a lot of dinner parties.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
Fast, cheap, and good: pick two.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
I read mounds of shelter magazines each month, so it’s hard to pick a favorite. One I could not live without, however, is British House & Garden.
What do you love about Viyet?
There are so many choices out there for designers, and our time is limited. It can be hard to see everything in person, especially here in LA, where traffic and parking can have a chilling effect on your big plan to visit five showrooms in a day. I love Viyet because it is so expertly curated—they send individuals to inspect pieces before accepting them for sale—so there is no question about quality. I go to Viyet for showroom samples from top trade-only vendors and for consignment pieces from interior designers with expert taste, and the ordering and fulfillment process is seamless with the highest level of customer service. I’ve ordered everything from upholstered pieces to wallpaper from Viyet, all from the comfort of my own home and laptop. It’s revolutionary for the interior design business.