Get to Know the 2021 Style Spotters

In SD Blog|June 21, 2021|By Lauren Espineli

Studio Designer proudly sponsors the Style Spotters LIVE! x Zoom event next week! Don’t miss this digital deep dive into the best product debuts. Each Style Spotter has come up with a collection of favorite products and trends to share. Sign up for StyleSpotters Live! Zoom on Thursday, June 30th at 2pm Eastern here.

The past year has brought dramatic changes to the in-person experience at High Point Market with the Spring event shifting from March to April. As the world gradually opens up to the regular schedule of events, markets, and trade shows, this year’s Style Spotters knew they had a greater responsibility than ever to source and champion the most exceptional home design products and trends of 2021.

The Style Spotters Live event on Zoom has become a must-see for both market attendees and design enthusiasts with an engaging and lively online presentation that allows each Style Spotter to introduce themselves and their singular style perspectives while presenting their stunning finds. High Point Market’s 2021 Style Spotters team—Sara Malek Barney, Lauren Clement, Heather French, Breegan Jane, Molly Kay Johns, Steve McKenzie, Keia McSwain, and Justin Shaulis—are about ready to step into the spotlight to showcase how they use their talents to find the best of High Point Market. Hosting the show are the ever fabulous Style Spotter mentors Shay Geyer of IBB Design Fine Furnishings and Gary Inman of Gary Inman Interior Designs.

Before you see the Style Spotters on Zoom, get to know each of the sensational Style Spotters:

Sara Malek Barney

Sara Malek Barney of BANDD DESIGN is an Austin-native who brings business entertainment experience from her prior jobs to her fun and exciting team of creative professionals. Sara and her team at BANDD pride themselves on their fresh and invigorating approach to décor and strive to craft spaces that “effortless, approachable, interesting, and purposeful.” The firm’s clients rave about how Sara and her team bring their visions to life and make cozy, cool homes that can be proudly shown off on Instagram.

Sara is thrilled to be a Style Spotter as she believes High Point is the most important event she travels to each year and gives her access to all of her favorite pieces and vendors. She shared, “I am always excited to go see everything and join the fun!” Her favorite vendors to explore at market are MadeGoods, Julian Chechester, and Regina Andrew. New things she is searching for are unique upholstery and lighting and the latest styles she favors are Wabi Sabi, California Casual, and anything with interesting shapes.

For Sara, High Point Market allows her to connect with her design tribe and she shared, ”Being surrounded by inspiring pieces and people who live and breathe all things design makes this experience so meaningful.” At the top of her must list are lighting fixtures of all kinds as they her favorite items to source.

Lauren Clement

Lauren Clement of Lauren Nicole Designs is based in Charlotte, NC and follows in her mother’s footsteps in her design career with a distinctive business and design philosophy, “Family + Function = Fabulous.” While Lauren’s designs promote comfort over beauty, she always finds a way to make both happen equally in her designs for an overall satisfying design experience for her clients. She listens closely and pays attention to the tastes and needs of her clients to create rooms that are sophisticated and stylish but also compatible with active and busy lifestyles.

Lauren has always admired the Style Spotter program as it excites her to see what other industry professionals are seeking out as new and innovative. She can’t wait to share her top 25 picks with the industry and considers it a tremendous honor. Her experience so far as already taught her about many new vendors and how to broaden her reach within the industry.

At market, she just loves seeing new upholstery fabrics and styles and the new and creative ways that dining and bedroom pieces are coming out these days. Lauren shared, “I am most excited to see the new accent pieces throughout market. I’m a sucker for cool drink tables, hall chests, cool cocktail tables.” On this note, she is excited to share her new Paddock Collection, a group of occasional furniture she is producing with Charleston Forge.

Lauren is especially thrilled for a chance to “return to normal” as she expressed, “There is nothing like the energy of Market.” For her, High Point Market is a time to rejuvenate, be inspired, and expanding her knowledge and reach as a designer. She shared that she “thrives off of this in personal, touch and feel event, that truly makes our industry go round.”

 

Heather French

Heather French of French and French Interiors, works as a team with her husband Matt on designing thoughtfully considered spaces that solve problems for their clients by creating important gathering spaces for human connection. Heather describes their aesthetic as a mix of “antiques, art, and modern pieces with an international flourish.” Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Heather and Matt provide residential, hospitality, and commercial interior design services that harken to the historic style of the region and aim to design rooms that create a “soulful, fun, and nurturing experience.”

As lead designer of her firm, Heather emphasizes the fact that personal space can affect mental energy, and designs spaces that honor a space’s history, culture, and purpose while serving its current intention. Heather loves creating fun, integrated spaces for her clients that bring life and purpose to a family’s home. She sought to become a Style Spotter because she loves the idea of getting to run around market, spying all the new and fun things. She is excited to see the new goods from Dowel Furniture, Selamat, and Hickory Chair. For Heather, High Point Market is her special playground and she calls it “Design Disney World” and a wonderful opportunity to catch up with all of her industry friends.

Breegan Jane

Breegan Jane is a self-styled Renaissance woman who is an interior designer, entrepreneur, lifestyle blogger, philanthropist, and devoted mom. She has designed creative music studios, managed international real estate projects, and designed an detailed home for a major recording artist. Her recent experience includes being the creative director for a luxury yacht manufacturer and designing a multimillion-dollar luxury estate in Bel Air, California.

Breegan became a Style Spotter because she understands the blessings of being able to use her design skills to fill spaces with beauty and enhanced utility. She seeks to make her work visually creative and is grateful for the artistry and fine work of worldwide artisans. Breegan explained that she is “proud to assume the responsibility of showcasing the work and craftsmanship of these skilled individuals by including their products in my design work.” She appreciates that being a Style Spotter allows her to share her amazing product finds to a wide audience.

 As far as her favorite market vendors, Hooker Furniture is at the top of her list because she is impatient to see their great products in person as she admires their work with leather furniture. She favors their Channeled Savion Sofa that she described as “an updated, and sophisticated answer to the age-old black leather sofa that every bachelor wants to put in their home.” Another product she is obsessed with is the Ardesia lighting fixture from Hubbardton Forge as it speaks to her fondness for stone.

A year of quarantine makes High Point Market especially meaningful for Breegan as she mentioned, “High Point Market means inspiration.” Not only does she get to physically interact with products but she gets to network and get to know her fellow creative professionals and in her words “discover the genius that exists in home design and decor.”

Breegan Jane at the Hooker Furniture Showroom

Molly Kay Johns

Ever since Molly Kay Johns of MK Interiors was a young girl, she knew her mission in life was to transform all the environments she entered into something more beautiful. Now a happy mother of three in the suburban Virginia and D.C. area, she often works with her builder husband to craft great homes that wonderfully support her clients lifestyles and dreams. Molly customizes interiors to match the spirit and personality of a client and also has considerable outdoor design experience to create an outdoor home oasis.

Molly truly enjoys being a Style Spotter as she has always loved High Point Market and considers it vital to her business. She explained, “I get to share what I love with other designers and trade professionals in more ways than I normally do by just attending. Sharing my market finds is a passion of mine and I wanted to do it in this unique and exciting way!” Molly is especially giddy about touching the products at market from such vendors as Barclay Butera who has a new collection with Lexington called Park City as well as new pieces and products at Vanguard, Bliss Studio, Wildwood, Bungalow 5, Gabby, CR Laine, Hudson Valley Lighting, Ryan Studio, and Thibaut just to name a few.

As an interior designer and a business owner, Molly expressed how the market is a “multi-faceted opportunity.” She uses the market to shop for her clients, take photos, and test out furniture to ensure she can design the best spaces possible for them. Equally important is the networking and connections the market can provide so she can get to know her fellow designers and creatives through panel discussions and seminars to sharpen her business skills. Molly considers herself in an everlasting love affair with interior design and exclaimed, “High Point is an essential part of my business and I simply could not do what I do without it!”

Steve McKenzie

Steve McKenzie of McKenzie Design runs his interior design practice along with his wife Jill. Steve’s design philosophy incorporates the gracious lifestyle he has come to love living in the south and his personal love for the mid-century modern aesthetic. Steve is also a mixed media artist whose canvases inspire his rug and textile designs. He and Jill run the interior design office, art studio, and classroom space at their business. Steve was the Chief Designer for Larson-Juhl for the last 20 years and was also the CEO for the past decade and brings deep knowledge of antiques and fine art to his Style Spotting experience.

Steve is especially honored to join the Style Spotters team this year as he has enjoyed their reports over the years and several of his friends have benefitted from the opportunity and encouraged him to apply. He is keen on sharing  some of his vision and perspective to High Point Market attendees.

There are numerous vendors on Steve’s must-see list and he always finds inspiration at Currey & Co. and always loves their new lighting, accessories and furniture designs. He also admires Selamat for always bringing interesting and new designs forward. Steve also loves sourcing so many unique high quality items at the Antique and Design Center.

Steven views High Point Market is the highlight of the year to see new products, connect with his favorite vendors, catch up with his industry friends, and elevate his practice by learning and sharing ideas with his peers.

Keia McSwain

Nekeia “Keia” McSwain of Kimberly Cameron Interiors is carrying on the legacy of the founder of her company in so many meaningful ways. As Principal Designer of Kimberly & Cameron Interiors, Keia inherited the leadership of the firm from the late Kimberly Ward and also became president of the Black Interior Designers’ Network, also established by Kimberly. Keia brings talent, experience, leadership, and a vital design legacy to the Style Spotters team.

Now based in Denver, CO, Keia and her design team are all about “awakening creative magic” in their work with powerful expressions of color and texture. Keia prides herself on her “well-trained eye for quality art, furnishings, and textiles” that always capture a client’s unique personality and perspective on life. She calls herself a “Layering Queen” by blending antiques, bold modern objects, art, and books for eye-catching and bold interior projects.

As leader of the Black Interior Designer’s Network (BIDN), Keia strives to establish strategic partnerships with premier industry leaders by simplifying the transitional period for new interior designers and she has recently launched an BIDN Ally network. She credits her deep love for the profession of interior design as the driving force for her success in creative design as well as effective leadership and looks forward to using her discerning eye at High Point Market.

Justin Shaulis

Justin Shaulis has over two decades of experience in architecture and interior design and brings extensive knowledge of antiques to his work as a Style Spotter. He combines his seasoned creative eye with exceptional formal training in programming, development, fabrication and construction as Justin holds a Bachelor’s of Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University. His design credentials are as eclectic as they are impressive with his work for top furniture companies to create industry showcases as well as architectural and design services for major corporations.

In 2002, he founded Justin Shaulis, Inc. to create a studio environment using holistic design methodologies for his singular mode of designing called “Emotive Design.” Justin defines this type of design that uses holistic design methodologies based on context and quality of life. He used such skills working with lifecoach Fran Harris the “Home Rules” show on HGTV. Justin’s portfolio of successful luxury design projects range from residential, commercial, restaurants, healthcare, and retail.

As a Style Spotter, Justin is truly in his element looking for what he calls “stellar pieces” with his considerable experience traveling throughout Europe looking for antiques. The best moments of his life is finding a rare piece . Justin shared in a video that he learned very young from the women in his life to appreciate tchotchkes or collector items and how each one has a story. He believes that interior design has many stories including the origins of each aesthetic and style but his favorite is telling the story of the people who are living in the space through design. Justin can’t wait to tell a story with his finds at the StyleSpotters Live event coming very soon.

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FEATURED IMAGE: Made Goods Showroom | Courtesy of High Point Market