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Meet the Nostalgic Maximalist - Ghilslaine Schlechta

Meet Designer Ghislaine of the Nostalgic Maximalist

We chatted with collector, seller and interior stylist Ghislaine Schlechta of the Nostalgic Maximalist to ask about her design style and how she works with clients. She is a lover of vintage and more is more styling and incorporates it into her work with all of her clients. Her eye for design is incredible!

She also dives into the Flint and Bailey website and picks her favorite pieces she loves to incorporate into her designs.

Check out our conversation below to learn more from Ghislaine!

Q: How would you describe your design style?

A: Quirky, colorful, maximalist, and eclectic.

Q: When designing for a client, what are your top 3 attributes you incorporate into projects?

A: Creativity, attention to detail, problem-solving skills.

Q: What does your typical design process look like?

A: I'm not really a design expert. I'm a collector, seller and stylist.

At first I like to get to know my client a little bit through a consultation to get a sense of what the client wants but also needs from the space in question. We talk about the project's goals and requirements. This consultation will give me a sense of the client’s style, budget and functional needs for the space. After the consultation, I would create a moodboard and sketches to help me do research to create a concept. The goal is to capture the overall feel and look of the space. Once the concept has been approved by the client, I will start working on a space plan to make sure everything fits well and looks good together. The next phase is to select finishes and furnishings. This is when I start to select paint colors, flooring, window treatments, and other finishes for the space. I’ll also assist in selecting furniture, art and objects for the space. Once everything is installed and in place I’ll do a final walkthrough to make sure everything agrees with the client.

Q: What inspires you?

A: I get inspired by different art movements like Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Arts & Crafts but also contemporary art. I guess you could say all kinds of different art forms inspire me. I could see an interesting color scheme in an outfit that someone is wearing in the streets, or a great composition of atmosphere in a room from a movie I’m watching. I also browse through antique stores, flea markets, and thrift stores to look for objects of inspiration. Magazines, books on interior design, and art are great sources of inspiration. Pinterest is also a great way to collect inspiration. I get really inspired by what other artists, designers, collectors and stylists create. That's why social media is also a great way to see all the beauty that's created by others.

Q: Can you share with us one of your favorite design hacks/tips/tricks?

A: A space should serve you, not the other way around. A space can look great design wise but should be practical for daily use. So always keep those two elements in balance.

  1. Let go of symmetry, just try to create a visual balance. Create something that is pleasing to the eye.

  2. Don't be afraid to use color. You don't have to put a different color on every wall to add some color to a room. You can use a more toned base and add colorful accents like: objects, fabrics and furniture to create a more vibrant space. You can add different textures and prints to enhance a room.

  3. Don't submissively follow trends. Incorporate aspects from trends you like and give it your own twist. Analyze trends and ask yourself these questions: Do I like it now because it’s everywhere around me or does it suit my taste and how can I incorporate it so it becomes more timeless and authentic?

  4. See a room or a home as an ongoing project, it doesn't have to be finished. It takes time to create layers and it's also fun to keep changing things around. Your home should follow your needs and different stages in life.

Q: Can you share your 3 favorite pieces currently available online at Flint and Bailey and why? And how would you use them?

A: It's really difficult to choose just three items from all the lovely pieces on the website. I picked some items that I would use to decorate a console table in an entryway or hallway. MCM Green Glass Pitcher with a wild flower bouquet, the Blue Ceramic Lattice Bread / Fruit Basket, to use for trinkets and the Brass Rams candle holder with a bordeaux colored twisted candle. I love the rich colors on these items; they match great together. These are versatile items that can be used for different purposes. For example you could use the basket for bread, fruit, trinkets or to stack your small items for daily use.

Q: How do you incorporate vintage into your designs?

A: I'd like to think of vintage as the star of the show. I often use vintage pieces as a starting point and build a concept around these specific pieces. I love the uniqueness and craftsmanship of vintage and it can create an atmosphere in a room that new objects simply can't (in my opinion). I use pieces already owned by the client or that are sourced specifically for the project.

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