6 THINGS WITH BECKY SHEA
6 Things with Becky Shea Founder of Becky Shea Design
Becky Shea Design is a leading NYC-based full service interior design and lifestyle studio specializing in organic modernist principles across luxury residential projects and custom, artisan crafted furniture and home decor. Their design philosophy is rooted in our deep appreciation for embracing nature’s energy in a sustainable, timeless way that evokes a sense of welcoming calmness and peace.
1. What started it all for you?
After working to help put myself through college, I moved to NYC in 2010 with nothing but two suitcases and found a couple of Craigslist roommates living on Wall Street in a converted studio. My career started as a flagship visual merchandiser for brands like Levi Strauss and Elie Tahari, architecting memorable floor displays that simultaneously enhanced point of sale and brand value. I then spent a few years strengthening my skill-set and business know-how at several start-ups, focusing on international business development, product development, and intellectual property for home design collections up until one start-up ended up shutting down their NYC office in late 2014.
Having zero experience in interior design at the time, I rolled the dice and took an unpaid 6-month apprenticeship with our friend Harley’s mom, Sherry Brous, who mentored me and gave me the opportunity to gain valuable experience with the various trades on construction sites in exchange for my experience in digital tools to aid Sherry’s business in the 21st century. I have no formal training in interior design beyond this apprenticeship and am completely self-taught in Photoshop, Sketchup Pro, and AutoCAD, which I would learn in the late hours of the night through YouTube tutorials and trial and error. When I felt confident enough in my skills and had been through a couple of renovations soaking up every detail I could, I applied for and became a senior interior design team consultant in New York for a large firm. After a couple of months, my reviews were so high that I became their go-to designer for VIP clients and any projects requiring residential renovation. After a year there, I left the company and launched my own design studio, and the first project was a full gut renovation of a SoHo loft for the co-founder of the design firm I had just left. Fancy that!
Fast forward to 2021, just five years after going off on my own, and BS/D has had multiple projects featured internationally and I’ve been invited to be a consistent voice of interior design with industry leaders such as Architectural Digest, Dwell, ELLE Decor, Domino, MyDomaine and more. I was also voted HGTV’s Designer of the Year winner for the Kitchen + Bath category in 2020 and have been interviewed on live TV and panels discussing the industry at large over the years. Our current projects include completely custom full-builds of new luxury homes where BS/D is in charge of every single aesthetic detail from the millwork/kitchen design and drawings down to the home’s siding, windows and rooflines, the smallest of which is 7,500 sq ft at the moment and some of which are 10k+. It’s been really thrilling to get to work on such incredible projects, and I feel so lucky to have had amazing clients along the way who truly appreciate our work and look at me as an artist with generally as much freedom as we could ask for. One of the keys to our success has been having a heavy emphasis on limiting the number of projects we do concurrently, which has allowed us to maximize our creative attention to detail in each home without being stretched thin.
2. What drives your creative spark?
3. Most treasured home decor item?
Oh my, this one is tough! We've designed a lot of the furniture in our home and each piece has so much meaning since we've used techniques that my grandfather used when he was a carpenter. It's hard to pick just one piece but our dining table upstate is something that brings a lot of joy. Hosting friends and family around our table over a beautifully made meal is something that leaves a lasting impression on my heart and soul.
4. What’s the best advice you've ever received?
Don't take anything personally. Everyone is fighting their own battles and projections are a result of someones internal struggle. Be kind, be patient and most importantly, be compassionate no matter how much stress you are under. Our clients hire us to be a north star in the journey of home building and complete gut renovations.
5. It's 5 o'clock at home. What would you be pouring?
Chamomile Tea! I absolutely love to end my week with a chamomile tea and a hybrid sativa joint. I'm all about the herbs, especially the medicinal kind. It's a great way to unwind and kick off the weekend!
6. What are your favorite 6 accounts that you follow for inspiration?@jakearnold
"Putting my hands in the earth and watching my hard work bloom in the garden is what inspires and drives my range of color. At the core of it all, we are all supremely connected to our planet and the more we invest in nurturing and caring for her, the more she will give back to us and the future generations that will grace her." -Becky Shea