Homepolish designer Haley Weidenbaum is one of our all-stars, having joined the team as soon as we launched in Los Angeles. Read all about her journey in design.
Photos by Tessa Neustadt.
Ok, Haley, we know you’ve been with us since we launched in Los Angeles in summer 2013, but how did you start in interior design, in general?
“Even since I was a little girl, I always designed my spaces, rearranging the furniture in my room to find the best floor plan, etc. However, after graduating from University Southern California with a BA in Communication, I started working in hotel sales. (Once you graduate college, you are supposed to start a job right away, right?) I took the first job I was offered, but a year into that job, I realized I wanted to design the hotel rather than work inside of it! That first job helped me realize that I could NOT sit behind a desk all day. I needed to be out in the field, on my feet, interacting with people. I went back to school at UCLA Extension Architecture and Interior Design and never looked back! It was worth every tear, worry, and penny!”
And since you started in design, what’s been your favorite project?
“My favorite project of all time was actually my first big Homepolish project, shown above. It was the cutest family of three (with the fourth on the way) who lived in a picturesque Venice Beach bungalow. It wasn’t TOO big, a perfect size for me to tackle. My clients asked me to design the entire home. It was the first time that I was able to to cohesively design every room in a residence from start to finish without the client straying from my original design direction. This client gave me the freedom to do what I wanted, because they trusted me fully. It was a wonderful feeling and made the project so much easier!”
Client relations are so important for a project’s success. What have you learned about person-to-person relationships over the years?
“Don’t be afraid to disagree with your client. In the beginning of my career, I did not have the confidence to disagree because I was trying to be nice and sweet, but ultimately the design suffered. Now I tell my clients my strong opinions from the get go and make sure they stick with it. I learned quickly that people hire a ‘professional’ for a reason.”
Don’t be afraid to disagree with your client. They hired a ‘professional’ for a reason.
And where do you look to for inspiration for these bold design ideas?
“Travel. I find most of my inspiration from exploring other places. Even getting away for the weekend can fuel my creativity. You can see how globetrotting has influenced my aesthetic, especially in my own Los Angeles home, pictured above.”
Besides worldly, what would you say you aim for in your designs?
“I want my designs to be timeless. I always ask myself: ‘Will I get tired of this in ten years?’ If so, it’s not the right way to go.”
If you aim for timelessness, are there any trends at all that you ascribe to or appreciate?
“Hygge. Creating a comfortable, inviting, and welcoming space is always at the forefront of my mind when designing, so embracing hygge has been very easy for me to do. And honestly, it’s not difficult to execute in a home.”
Creating a comfortable, inviting, and welcoming space is always at the forefront of my mind when designing.
So we have traveled, timeless, comfortable… this sounds like a dream space. What are some sources you go to to create this feeling?
“My big box go-to is Restoration Hardware, but if we’re talking about hidden gems, I’d say Homestead Seattle. I’ve never been to the store (only online), but I am dying to visit.”
Maybe Seattle can be next on your personal global tour?
To follow Haley and see more of her style, go to @haleyweidenbaum. And check out some of her project highlights in the slideshow!