This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with interior designer Brittany Bromley, who founded Brittany Bromley Interiors. “I’m definitely a maximalist; I love layered eclectic rooms that look as though they were collected over time. I’m also a big fan of symmetry, so I’m a classicist in that sense,” shares Brittany, who has shops in both Bedford, NY and Palm Beach, Florida. She adds: “Although some people have termed our style grand millennial, I prefer the idea that while we may have grown up in traditional interiors, that we tweak and allow those places to evolve to suit the needs and reflect the taste’s of today’s young families.” We asked Brittany to share more about her business, her working mom mantra, her tips for designing with kids in mind, decorating for the holidays and more.
Can you please share a bit about your family and where you live?
My daughter Gigi is six and my daughter Charlotte is nine, and we live in Bedford, New York. One of the reasons why we chose Bedford and why I love living here so much is that it doesn’t feel traditionally suburban, although it’s outside New York City, because there are so many horse farms and large plots of land, it almost feels more rural! There’s also a really interesting, eclectic mix of artists, writers, designers and people who grew up here that chose to return with their own young families, so it’s a terrific mix of people as well!
Your firm is full service – indoor and outdoor design services, a physical shop, and e-commerce. What part of your business do you enjoy the most?
It would be hard for me to pick one aspect about my business that I love the most, but I really love genuinely working with people. The brick and mortar locations that we have in Bedford and Palm Beach allow me to show people what we do. It’s often difficult for people to understand how I would design a room, and short of showing them our portfolio it’s very helpful to have them walk through spaces that have been conceived of and planned and then executed in a way that appeals to me.
And how do you manage all these different aspects of your business?
I have the most amazing team of people working for me. Everyone has the same hyper growth mentality, and they’re all committed to the different aspects of our business. It’s a beautiful team and I’m grateful for them every day!
What else has allowed you to grow so broadly?
In the beginning of my business I started saying “yes” to a lot of different opportunities and the mentality of always being open to new avenues has proved really productive and successful for me. While occasionally I may feel overwhelmed, my team and I all are committed to doing everything that we do to the very best of our ability, and I think the end result has reflected that commitment.
Can you please share how prospective clients can work with you—if they are local and then if they are farther away?
The beautiful thing about the world we live in is that we are all just a phone call, email, or text away from one another. Locally in our two locations we often get clients who have visited our showrooms who then engage us to help them design their homes, and further afield we find that because our work has been featured in many national publications, that our many projects throughout the country are a direct result of this national exposure.
Do you have a working mom mantra?
I use the analogy with my children of all of the family members being birds and that we all fly out of the nest to do interesting things and find things and discover things, and then we bring all of those bits of information and ideas back to our home and share them with one another. Children love this analogy because of course they are the baby birds, but I also feel that a well-rounded mother that can show her children that she’s able to do something that she loves and still be present for them is a terrific role model. My own mother worked very successfully as an attorney all of my childhood, and I loved the different facets of her, and the role model that she provided for me that it was possible to do everything “and” instead of “instead”. That said, there’s no question that there are times where it’s difficult to balance everything, but I think that’s as much of human condition as it is specific to motherhood!
I would say that my mantra is that when I’m with my children, I try to be completely and totally present for them. I find that even two hours of focused time with them is much more effective than trying to multitask when we’re all together. Whenever possible I try to put my phone and work away when I’m with them, so that they feel the full focus of that intention. Before I had children I asked a friend who worked at a girls school what she thought the best tools were for giving children and specifically girls, a sense of self and self-confidence. Her reply to me was that the most amazing thing you can do for your children is to give them your undivided attention, because it lets them know that they are THAT important to you and worthy of that attention level. I love that!
You live in a 200+ year old home. Can you share a bit about that and what you’ve worked on? What is the best part of having an old home? And most challenging?
I love old homes–to me they have so much character and for me personally it was definitely the right choice. I was lucky that I was able to buy my home a few years before I had children so I could focus on the things that needed to be done to the house before I had to think about all of the different ways that we would end up using it. This home has evolved over time, and I often say that it’s a 30 year project, because there are always things about it that I hope to make better, and as our needs evolve, so does the house! The most challenging thing about having an old home is the understanding that there are things about it which we will never be able to change. I don’t think we have a single right angle in my house, which means that over time all of the quirkiness of it has presented logistical problems. For instance I’m not sure that my wallpaper installer appreciates that there’s a 4 height inch difference between the left and the right side of my kitchen!
How has having kids changed the way you view your work?
I think the most significant way that having children has changed the way I work is my appreciation for performance fabrics! I’m still likely to do an English roll arm sofa, but I’m much more likely to render it from the amazing array of performance fabrics available today so that my clients can easily sponge it off when the inevitable spills happen, which gives both them and me a greater sense of peace of mind that they can enjoy the things which we do for them, without the worry!
What are your favorite ways to decorate for the holidays?
I’m a huge fan of greenery throughout the year, so the wonderful array of things available during the holidays is always an opportunity for me to flex my creative skills! I love garlands, wreaths, narcissus and Amaryllis. The patience it takes to nurture a bulb from a tiny little sprout into a beautiful flower to me always feels a little bit like its own version of the advent calendar. Each day bring something new and you’re a little bit closer to that final display of beauty! I am not a huge fan of the traditional red and green decorations, so mine are usually greens, with magnolias and often citrus like orange or Clementine, or unexpected additions like pomegranate. My Amaryllis are almost always pure white or pale coral and white variegated, which works well with the color scheme of my home!