Chic Chat: Colleen Waguespack Interiors

Sarah Essex Bradley Photography


Good morning, chic readers! Great taste and great interview answers? We can’t think of a better combination. Colleen Waguespack really wowed us with her heartfelt answers to our questions. We loved getting to know her better–and especially loved learning about the incredible Emerge Center that she led the Capital Campaign for. You’ll adore her as much as her gorgeous work! (Don’t miss the fab boat at the end. It will take you away no matter where you are today!)


1. How did you get started as a designer?

I grew up in New Orleans where the arts and cultural scenes are so strong and I was always fascinated by the creative expression that was all around me —- literally, everywhere! I went on to major in Interior Design in college and found that curriculum allowed me to incorporate my love of fine arts, graphic design, and architecture into one discipline. During college I took summer internships in Dallas and then in London and started out as a project designer in corporate architecture firms in Washington, DC once I graduated.


2.Where do you get your inspiration?

I probably look to fine arts more than any other area to get inspiration for my projects, though I am certainly looking all around me everywhere I go. A successful painting has to have the right balance, be expressive, and tell an entire story. I find a point in every vacation to sneak off to the nearest museum to study its collection. I love modern art just as much as the masters and in the Interior Design field, I’m equally comfortable and happy to work with antiques and with modern pieces.


3.Do you have a favorite project to date? 

I do have a favorite project —- it’s one that’s close to home here in Baton Rouge, LA and it’s the client that I have worked with the longest since starting my residential Design career. In so many ways we have grown up together as we met the first day our sons started 1st grade together and now they’ll be seniors in high school next year. Our tastes have evolved together —- we’ve travelled, dieted, shopped, and raised our kids all the while working towards her dream home which we are finally finishing this year. At this point we laugh that we have “the same brain”. On our last trip to New York I insisted that she travel light and we showed up with matching pajamas and basically matching outfits for the duration of the trip.


4.What is the biggest challenge you face as a designer?

Time management. Running a successful business and managing a family – my husband and I have three boys – can be incredibly rewarding but it is definitely a challenge. In addition to my design firm Colleen Waguespack Interiors, I founded our home accessories business Fig & Dove. So let’s just say that my schedule is a busy one and I sometimes have to struggle to keep myself from being pulled in too many directions at once!


5. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?

In 2012, with no previous experience in fund raising, I led the successful capitol campaign to build the Emerge Center: an early intervention center for children with speech and communication delays and autism, here in Baton Rouge. After living through the first five years of my middle son, Christopher’s diagnosis with autism, and running our extended family ragged getting him to different locations within the city as well as other states to get the therapeutic services he needed, I realized the best possible success for a child AND their family was to provide “all services under one roof”. Using this simple concept and setting up one-on-one meetings with donors to explain our mission, we were able to raise the funds needed and open the doors of the Emerge Center in under two years. Today the Center is thriving: it is a beautiful piece of architecture (so my previous design experience was put to good use), receives grants for research, has added a charter school , and most importantly is a warm and nurturing environment for families to get their children the critical care needed from experts in the field. I will always look back fondly on these years and hope all three of my boys never forget what we were able to accomplish. I always say, I have one son on the spectrum, but raised three boys on the playground of the Emerge Center.


6. Are there any designers that particularly inspire you?

I am always inspired and grateful to those designers who are successfully running a design studio as well as a retail shop that allow them to work from their carefully curated assortments. They take the time to travel globally and search for the one of a kind furnishings and accessories that add character and depth to our projects. Of those, my current favorites are Rose Uniacke (London), Margaret Naeve (Houston), and Amy Meier (Rancho Santa Fe). My historical favorite has been Vincent Wolf whose furnishings, accessories, and coffee table books have always found a way into my projects.


7. Go-to paint color?

Benjamin Moore/ Wind’s Breath/ OC-24. It has a chalky look and just the right amount of warmth to create a “white room” that is clearly not white. Everything looks good with it- antique furniture and modern- it’s the perfect backdrop.


Ebooks or hardbacks?

Hardbacks! I would never risk my electronics in the tub and I’m a tub and bedtime reader. I spend way too much time on my phone and like to think it’s put away before I get into bed.


M&Ms or Skittles?

M&M’s- with the peanuts! I steal all the little bags out of my kids’ Halloween candy.


Coffee or tea?

Coffee- and Cool Brew! New Orleans has always served true cold brew and I even still have an original “toddy” complete with the instructions showing a 1960’s housewife making it. I use coffee with chicory to make it extra thick, but the Cool Brew brand is authentic New Orleans.


Foyer-newel post .jpg Colleen Waguespack Interiors


Foyer from Living Room .jpgColleen Waguespack Interiors


Dining Room: angle.jpg.Colleen Waguespack Interiors


Living Room: view to kitchen & outside.jpg



Kitchen.jpg.Colleen Waguespack Interiors


Study.jpg.Colleen Waguespack Interiors


6506Northhaven-6156.jpg.Colleen Waguespack Interiors


50160291.jpg.Colleen Waguespack Interiors boat design




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Looking for the perfect weekend read?  I would love it if you would pick up Feels Like Falling!





House Tour: Massucco Warner Warmth


Yes, of course, obviously, this is a fabulous home exterior. That goes without saying, right? But a Grand Wagoneer makes our hearts pitter pat every single time! It’s the perfect accessory for any driveway.



Some things never go out of style,



And this perfectly imagined space by Massucco Warner proves exactly that. 



Whimsical finishes,



Soothing colors,



And family-friendly spaces,



Add up to an effortless home



That hits all the high notes of style. 



We love every single space, but we think this stunning porch has captured our hearts most of all…



Summer party, anyone? We can’t think of a more fabulous space for hosting all year round!

Thanks so much for spending your summer with Design Chic. We always love seeing you here!

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Chic Interview: Nina Magon

Nina Magon living room with large art and black floor lamp
Nina Magon – Contour Interior Design


Hi, chic readers! We hope you had an amazing 4th of July–and we are so excited to bring you an interview with a designer we positively adore: Nina Magon! Find out how the talented founder of Contour Interior Design made the transition from finance to interiors, why Zaha Hadid inspires her and the go-to white paint that she can’t do without! 

1. How did you get started as a designer?

From a young age, I knew creativity was beckoning me, yet I double majored in Economics and Finance as that was the equitable thing to do. After obtaining my degrees, I felt something was missing, and decided it was time for me to follow my true passion. I believed fashion design was my forthcoming, and so I pursued another degree in fashion design. Slowly but delicately, I discovered Interior Design through my love for fashion and opulent things and realized the creation of emotion-provoking environments would be my true calling. With that, I realized that the luxury landscape of the world was widening, and that’s when Contour Interior Design was born.


2. Where do you get your inspiration?

Travel. Traveling around the world from the ripe age of 3 evoked a feeling of connectedness as I realized how small the world really was, yet how captivating and vast it could be.There are so many different design styles throughout the world, so by traveling, you get to open your mind to see design from each culture and you gain a very global view of design. With more of a global knowledge on the many diverse design styles, it allows you to create designs that blend the old with the new in a forward-thinking and modern way that is updated with the times of today.  

3. Do you have a favorite project to date?

51fifteen restaurant inside of Saks Fifth Avenue in Houston, Texas. 51fifteen will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first restaurant to ever work on and it propelled me to the luxury market of hospitality design. The group that hired me has presented my firm with an empty shell which really allowed us to use our creativity in a very expressive way. We completed all the interior architecture and design for the space. 

4. What is the biggest challenge you face as a designer?

Having to say no to clients sometimes because of their budget. Many times clients come to us because they want a luxurious and unique experience, a space that would wow every person that walked in the door. They see our work and know we can deliver the modern and forward-thinking aesthetic they are trying to achieve, but sometimes their overall budget does not match their high level of expectations. When we know that we cannot deliver what the client wants for the budget they present, which would ultimately result in an unsuccessful project for both parties, we, unfortunately, have to say no. It’s honestly the hardest thing to turn down clients that really respect your work and aesthetic based on budget, but when you value your work then you know in the end you want your clients to be completely satisfied and happy. 

5. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?

To be selected to appear on NBC’s American Dream Builders in which 12 of the most notable, respected, and established designers and builders from around the country competed to win the title of the first American Dream Builder. I was a semi-finalist in this national competition and was praised for my high level of taste and aesthetics. The success and the exposure gained from being on TV propelled my career in the design world and elevated my name in the industry.  


6.Are there any designers that particularly inspire you?

Yes, Zaha Hadid. Zaha Hadid is truly one of my greatest inspirations, in the fact that she constantly went against the grain and stood out by being different and staying true to aesthetic. She is widely seen as the greatest female designer of contemporary times, who reshaped design for the modern epoch – something difficult for women to do in her time. Against all odds and a great deal of prejudice, she broke one glass ceiling after another. Zaha Hadid will always be someone that I look up to because she was not scared of being different and instead embraced it, which made her work beautiful masterpieces that will go down in history.

Go-to paint color?

Pure White – Sherwin Williams. I know white is typically not a go-to paint color, but I love this color because it really allows you to achieve a sleek light and bright space. It also presents the opportunity for your walls to become blank canvases for bold art to be displayed without over-cluttering space.

Ebooks or hardbacks?

Hardbacks. The beautiful thing about hardbacks is that after you read them, you can use the books as decorative accessories for bookshelves and consoles.

M&Ms or Skittles?

M&Ms. I am a chocolate lover. They are the perfect little sweet snack to munch on during your workday.

Coffee or tea?

Tea. I have always been a tea drinker, there are so many different kinds and I really enjoy a calming tea in the afternoons to relax me after a long workday. 



Nina Magon kitchen with black pendants and black stools


Nina Magon kitchen with black pendant lights


Nina Magon dining room


Nina Magon bathroom with freestanding tub


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Looking for the perfect weekend read?  I would love it if you would pick up Feels Like Falling!




A Taste of Summer: Sparkling Sips

Mae Mu Photography


Classic Mojito Recipe



Good morning, chic readers! We hope you have the most amazing 4th of July holiday. We know we did! In the spirit of the season, we thought we’d share a few favorite cocktail recipes to keep you sipping in style all summer long. 



Ari Agustian Photography


Mint Julep Recipe

chunky chef


Miguel Maldonado Photography


Moscow Mule Recipe

a couple cooks


Kim Daniels Photography


 Pineapple Ginger Basil Punch Recipe

kimbrough daniels


Andrew Wong


Fig and Bourbon Fizz Recipe



Thanks so much for stopping by today. Cheers to you!

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Looking for the perfect weekend read?  I would love it if you would pick up Feels Like Falling!




10 Family Rooms Perfect for Gathering

blue and white family room Jenkins Interiors
Jenkins Interiors | Nathan Schroder Photography


Memorial Day week is officially here! And, yup, just like most things, it’s going to look a little different this year…But that doesn’t mean that we can’t still get out the hot dogs and baked beans and celebrate with our families. (Socially distanced and 10 at a time, of course!)


Serena & Lily


To get you in the celebrating spirit, check out ten of our favorite family rooms that are the perfect place to gather the ones you love most–even if it’s just for family movie night. 


blue and white family room Jenny Keenan Design
Jenny Keenan Design


With plenty of seating… 


Serena & Lily


Lots of light


blue and white family room Jenny Keenan Design
Jenny Keenan Design | Julia Lynn Photography


The perfect accessories…


blue and white family room Jenkins Interiors
Jenkins Interiors | Nathan Schroder Photography


And enviable architectural details


Kara Miller Design | Brantley Photography



These family rooms are big on inspiration! 


Kara Miller Design | Brantley Photography



Connected to the kitchen? All the better!


family room Studio McGee
Studio McGee | Lucy Call Photography


And if you can’t make it to the beach, at least you can look at it from the comfort of your family room. For indoor style, we don’t think it gets much better than these chic spaces. Which is your favorite?


Need a Memorial Day Read? Check out Nature.Books.And.Coffee’s Review of my Instant USA Today Bestseller, Feels Like Falling:

“Feels Like Falling” by Kristy Woodson Harvey @kristywharvey was a definite 5⭐!!… This story has a dual POV, alternating between Gray and Diana. Gray just lost her mother to cancer!  She is the CEO of her company and recently split from her husband who cheated on her. She goes to spend the summer at the North Carolina shore. Diana who loses her job at the pharmacy has just broke up with her boyfriend, moved out of their shared apartment and planning to just live in her car! Just so happens, Gray has a spare guest house and offers Diana to stay there. These 2 , very different women truly Bond and help each other through the hard times in their life. They learn so much about themselves, and what really matters in life! I loved both characters!! This story was sweet, dealing with love, loss, romance, motherhood, and life!! This truly was a perfect beach read. A very endearing, positive read.


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House Tour: Luxury Brownstone with Roof Deck

Brownstone staircase Lisa Tharp  


Mom and I are both born and bred North Carolina girls. We lived in Manhattan for a while when I was little (Dad did, too. We didn’t leave him at home…), but, overall, we’re kind of good with small towns and slow paces. 


But, every now and then, I think it’s natural to imagine what something else would be like, to dream of dashing off to your favorite big city to be in the middle of the hustle and bustle. 

  Brownstone living room with abstract art  

To trade carpool for walking to school, yards for rooftop decks and houses for brownstones

  Brownstone living room  

If you’ve never imagined brownstone living, this exquisite one from Lisa Tharp might just change your mind. 

  Brownstone kitchen with brass stools  

The architectural details alone might be enough to convince us. 

  Brownstone bedroom  

Every, single place you look, Tharp has created a home, has created a moment

  Brownstone bedroom  

This is the kind of brownstone that you need to tour again and again to take in every lovely, luscious square inch of style.

  Brownstone entry  

It’s the kind of place that makes you think you could be made for city living, after all.

  Brownstone rooftop patio

But, then again, there really is no place like home.


Photography | Read McKendree|@readmckendree

Architecture |  Mellowes & Paladino Architects

Renovation | J.W. Construction


If I ever doubted that, last weekend at the Best of Our State Weekend, hosted by North Carolina’s incredible Our State Magazine confirmed it. (If you’re thinking of moving here, one issue and you won’t be able to fathom living anywhere else. You’ve been warned.) One of my bucket list items has always been to speak at an Our State weekend, and, last weekend, I got to cross it off. The crazy part is, I never actually told anyone I wanted to speak there. It just happened. I love those moments best.

You know how sometimes you’ve wanted to do something for a long time and it isn’t as good as you thought? This was NOT one of those times. It was SO MUCH BETTER than I even imagined. Huge, huge thanks to Our State for having me, The Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst for hosting us, and, most of all, to the 800 amazing readers who showed up on their Saturday afternoon to cheer me on. Walking into 2020 so grateful! 

Thanks so much for stopping by Design Chic today. We always love seeing you here!



My next novel, FEELS LIKE FALLING, releases April 28, 2020! I can’t wait to share this tale of Gray and Diana, their unlikely friendship, their summer loves and their chance at happily ever after, the sequel, with all of you. It’s never too early to preorder from your favorite local bookstore or online retailer!

More About Feels Like Falling…

From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand) and the bestselling author of the Peachtree Bluff series comes an odd couple tale of friendship that asks just how much our past choices define our happiness. 

In her warmest, wittiest, and wisest novel yet, Kristy Woodson Harvey delivers a discerning portrait of modern womanhood through two vastly different lenses. Feels Like Falling is a beach bag essential for Harvey fans—and for a new generation of readers.




10 Favorite Kitchens from Studio McGee


We absolutely adore the work of Studio McGee–and husband/wife team Syd and Shea McGee. 



Their kitchens are enviable to say the very least. 



As we round the corner to one year out of our house since Hurricane Florence, one of the things we miss the very most is our kitchen



These beauties are reminding us of all the reasons why. 



Ample work space…



Chic designer appliances,



And special touches–like this beyond adorable Dutch door!–are all hallmarks of a Studio McGee kitchen. 



Studio McGee proves that chic lighting absolutely belongs in the kitchen,



And that, right now, mixing metals is practically mandatory.


We couldn’t love these beautiful kitchens any more!

Visit MCGEE & CO to get the everything you need to style your home like Studio McGee

Lucy Call Photography

Thanks so much for making Design Chic a part of your day. We always love seeing you here!

Looking for more chic inspiration? Check us out on Instagram


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The Southern Side of Paradise Peachtree Bluff Series waterfront

Looking for the perfect summer read? Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly, Betchesand more all think you should slip my new novel, The Southern Side of Paradise, into your beach or pool bag. Have you checked it out yet?


Slightly South of Simple - waterfront

If you haven’t started the Peachtree Bluff Series yet, now is the perfect time! The first book in the series, Slightly South of Simple, has released in mass market paperback–and it’s #14 on the bestseller list! Pick it up at your favorite bookstore, local grocery store, drugstore or retail store




House Tour: Marshall Watson’s East Hampton Home

East Hampton house tour


When Mom and I started Design Chic in 2010, we thought we were going to blog for one year. The major purpose of Design Chic was going to be to share things that we loved with each other.  We certainly never expected anyone to actually read it or anything crazy like that. Nine years and several hundred thousand followers later we never in a million years could have imagined that we would have met so many incredible, talented, amazing people through this website.


Marshall Watson entrance hall


One of our favorite people we’ve met in the last nine years? Hands-down, Marshall Watson, whose stunning East Hampton home we are touring today.


Marshall Watson living room


We have long been amazed by Marshall’s ability to shift from one style to another very different one with effortless ease, making each home uniquely suited to its owners, for years. Nowhere is that fact better evidenced than in his gorgeous book, The Art of Elegance. (If you don’t have it, treat yourself today! You’ll thank us!)


Marshall Watson Interiors house tour living room


When Marshall and his husband Paul Sparks made the trek all the way to Beaufort, NC, where I live, to speak about The Art of Elegance, we recognized immediately that Marshall was as gracious and kind (and fun!) as we had thought.


Marshall Watson Interiors house tour


Even still, we never could have imagined what happened next. 


Marshall Watson Interiors house tour


Marshall was incredibly instrumental in making me a part of East Hampton Authors Night a few weeks ago, and even more amazingly, he opened his home for the most idyllic dinner party you could imagine. A long table spread across Marshall and Paul’s porch, steps from their enviable garden with the cool late summer breeze coming off of Gardiner’s Bay, which sparkled just beyond.


Marshall Watson Interiors living room


And, if you think Marshall and Paul’s home is stunning in pictures, you should see it in real life. The couples’ finds are paired with beautiful pieces from Marshall’s own collection–like these intricately designed end tables and coffee table–to create a truly one-of-a-kind look that is supremely elegant. 


Marshall Watson Interiors


Marshall never forgets about the ceiling, as is evidenced in almost every room of his home, 


Marshall Watson Interior Design East Hampton Home


And unique, well thought out touches, like this antique chandelier that creates a candlelit wonderland, reflect the couple’s sentiments and style.


Marshall Watson Interior Design East Hampton Home


Lovely Delft tiles grace many of the rooms in the home, creating unity and a nod to the sea beyond the door.



Among the glamour, though, this house doesn’t ever take itself too seriously. 


Marshall Watson Interior Design kitchen


Lyrics of Marshall’s father’s favorite song, Blue Skies, add a meaningful and slightly whimsical element to the well-appointed chef’s kitchen. 


Marshall Watson Interior Design guest bedroom


Guests are treated like royalty in a truly lovely guest bedroom, complete with Swedish furnishings–


Marshall Watson Interior Design bedroom


And luscious linens. 


Marshall Watson Interior Design bathroom


Even in the bathrooms, not a single detail is overlooked. 


Marshall Watson Interior Design bedroom


And in the gorgeous master, the view beyond the windows of idyllic Gardiner’s Bay is the most stunning focal point imaginable.


Marshall Watson interior design


This is hands-down my favorite shot of our incredible evening, taken at the very end of the night. It makes me laugh every time I see it!


Marshall Watson Interior Design dinner party


Marshall at the helm of the gorgeous table he created. Many of the flowers are from Marshall and Paul’s garden and the delicious meal–cooked by Marshall–was also largely grown in their own backyard. Amazing!


Marshall Watson Interior Design


Mom and I having a blast!

Needless to say, we hope to return to East Hampton very soon. Marshall and Paul, thank you so much for opening your stunning home to us–and for sharing it with Design Chic readers today!

Thanks so much for making Design Chic a part of your day! We always love seeing you here!

Five Days of Giveaways!

We’re celebrating Feels Like Falling with five days of giveaways! To enter ALL FIVE giveaways, simply:

  1. PreorderFeels Like Falling from you favorite independent bookstore or online retailer.
  2. Email me at

You will be entered in ALL FIVE giveaways–and will receive upcoming freebies when they’re available such as deleted scenes from Feels Like Falling, exclusive interviews, fun printables, great recipes and more!

We’re Giving Away:

Tuesday, August 20: 1 Signed Copy of Happy Hand Lettering, the fabulous new book by one of my favorite NC gals, Maghon Taylor of All She Wrote Notes! *WINNER ANNOUNCED OVER ON INSTAGRAM @kristywharvey!
Wednesday, August 21: A pair of Sassie Rocks Beach Babiesbracelets for you and your BRF! (That’s your best reader friend.)
Thursday, August 22: One dozen gorgeously decorated, undeniably delicious cookies from Southern Sugar Bakery!
Friday, August 23: THE VERY FIRST advance copy of Feels Like Falling! (To be shipped on Sept. 20.)
Saturday, August 24: A signed pillow from Craig Conover of Southern Charm’s Sewing Down South Collection–from Beaufort Linen Co.‘s August 24th in-store event! (I’ll be there. Hope to see you!)

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