Designer Spotlight: Heather Blue Harkovich

Named to Austin HOME Magazine’s list of “Who to call for interior design help,” Heather Blue Harkovich’s style is described as “Classic, Serene, and Chic.” The wonderful marriage of Heather’s analytical and business skills, an extensive knowledge of art history, and her exquisite design sense helps Heather create rooms that are as uniquely beautiful as they are functional and organized.

Heather opened her Austin, Texas design firm and retail store Heather Scott Home & Design with her husband Scott in 2007 where she combines her talents and cultural experiences to create trend-setting retail vignettes and classic custom interior design for high profile clients across the United States. She recently appeared on TLC’s TV show “Four Houses” and was hired by HGTV’s new show “Buying & Selling With the Property Brothers” to assist in behind the scenes design work for multiple episodes filmed in Austin.

Q: What inspired you to pursue interior design?
A: I have always been interested in the arts, but did not think about becoming an Interior Designer until I became involved with creative advertising in my corporate job (I have a degree in Fine Arts and an MBA). I realized I wanted to pursue a career which allowed me to be more creative. I loved reading home design magazines, so initially I decided to take an Interior Design Certificate program to see if I liked the field. Within 1 week I knew it was the career for me.

Q: What is your process for selecting art, and what advice do you have for someone buying art for the first time?
A: I usually find an artist which I think reflects the style of my client. I think art is very personal, so I try to select pieces which I think will not only look best, but also be something the homeowner is enthusiastic about. I then look at sizes, then colors. I do not think art has to ‘match’ the décor, but it is important, for me as a designer, that the art selected to be cohesive with the design scheme.

I would suggest someone new to buying art take some time to familiarize themselves with different styles. See which styles will appeal to them over time. When I first started studying art I liked impressionism, but I had an Art History teacher that taught me to appreciate contemporary art. Although my decorating style is not contemporary in anyway, that is usually the art I am now most drawn to. So, over time I think you can refine your tastes and learn more about what you like and why you like it. If you invest in a lot of art before you have defined your style, you are not making a wise spending decision, and I do believe art is a very good investment.

Q: What basic design tips do you have for anyone decorating a space from scratch?
A: If you are decorating a space from scratch the most important first step is to find an inspiration piece. For me, that inspiration piece is most often a piece of art or fabric. This can define your color scheme for the space. Many designers believe in starting with a rug. Unless your budget for a rug is $15,000 and your rug is an art piece in itself, I don’t agree with that philosophy. I think it is more important to find an element you love, such as art which is emotional, and use that as the foundation for your color scheme and style.

Q: What are some of the new art trends you expect to see this summer and fall?
A: I expect to see art which is more vibrant and fun. The past few years have been a bit muted and restrained when it comes to art and decorating. I believe homeowners are starting to feel more confident and wanting to feel happier in their homes.

Q: Who are your favorite artists?
A: My favorite artists are Elizabeth Stockton, Mallory Page and Cy Twombly. I had wanted a piece of art by Elizabeth Stockton for over 5 years before I was finally able to acquire one. I recently purchased 2 pieces from Mallory Page, one for my home and one for my office. I recently saw a Cy Twombly piece which sold for $15 million. Regrettably, I don’t have any plans to purchase a Cy Twombly piece in the near (or far) future!

Interested in being part of our Designer Spotlight? Let us know at curator [at]!

Designer Spotlight: Alexis Lane

Alexis Lane is the founder of Lane Design Studio in Austin, Texas. Alexis began her interior design career in San Diego designing residential spaces and model homes. After two years of hard work, she packed up her belongings and returned to the city she loves. Alexis has been creating amazing interiors that reflect the unique spirit and culture of the people of Austin ever since. Her designs can be found in Austin Monthly Home and have been featured in design competitions.

Q: As a designer, what inspires you?
A: I love going to funky shops that sell random finds like Uncommon Objects out here in Austin, or Anthropologie. They have such unique pieces and displays that I always walk away with new ideas that I want to try out. I am always looking for ways to work fun or funky accessories into an interior to help convey the owner’s history and personality. Without that, the space will feel staged and empty and won’t ever feel like a proper home.

Q: What is your process for selecting art, and what advice do you have for someone buying art for the first time?
A: Art is a very personal thing. It should speak to you and provide a place for your mind to rest when you sit down and take some time for yourself. I look for pieces that I really enjoy looking at and give me a sense of joy when I look at them.

If a piece of art was selected simply because it was cheap and matched the color scheme of the house, then it is just going to fade into the background of the home and won’t add any personality to the space at all. It will just be filler.

Q: For those having trouble transitioning from winter décor, what design tips do you have going into summer?
A: I don’t necessarily design with the seasons. At Lane Design Studio, I try to create designs that reflect the personality of the owner of the space. With that in mind, though, I keep the main furniture pieces like the sofa pretty neutral, so that when the mood strikes, the owner can switch out the throw pillows and area rug and create a whole new look in that room fairly easily.

For a look that is more summer inspired, I would add a natural woven fiber rug, some throw pillows with a white base color and a bright geometric pattern on them, and some accessories like a table lamp in that same bright color.

Q: Are there any current trends you love or hate? What are some of the new trends you expect to see in 2012?
A: I love how light and bright interiors are getting. Painting walls a brilliant white or a soft gray, and pairing it with vintage furniture covered in modern lush fabrics and textures is getting very popular. In Austin, the vintage and retro look is huge, and I adore it. I could happily spend all day hunting in our vintage furniture stores along Burnet Rd. I predict that we will be seeing a lot more décor with the shapes and bones of vintage pieces updated with modern colors and prints.

Q: Who is your favorite artist?
A: Antoni Gaudi is one of my all time favorites. He was an architect, but everything he created was beyond anything anyone could imagine. His spaces have a clear and distinct voice that are still just as relevant today as they were back in 1898. Not many designers today have that same beauty and impact.

Curated by Alexis:

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Designer Spotlight: Catherine Engelmeyer


For over twenty years, Belle Maison founder Catherine Engelmeyer has created interiors with an aura of elegance. Catherine’s French heritage inspires her work without limiting her options. A complete mastery of the decorative arts combines with a highly developed sense of empathy to create inspired solutions for discerning clients.

Q: As a designer, what inspires you?
A: My clients inspire me. The chemistry I develop with them inspires me to fulfill their dreams in ways they can’t possibly imagine. In terms of design, I can be inspired by everything from a color, fabric, accessory or piece of furniture. The smallest detail can inspire a complete design.

Q: What is your process for selecting art, and what advice do you have for someone buying art for the first time?
A: I work closely with clients to determine their style and interests and choose art that fits their character. My advice is buy what you like, not what you think will fit in a color palette. You want the art to inspire you, not just fit into the design scheme.

Q: What was your favorite project last year?
A: A recently finished compound on Lake George. The signature themes of this dream residence include stepped back beaded board ceilings, birch bark veneer cabinets, and impeccably carved local limestone. My aim was a sophisticated, idealized version of Adirondack style, using color, texture, weight and pattern to harmonize with the brilliant wood and stone work. An easy, relaxed elegance suffuses the space, perfect for intimate reflection or boisterous family gatherings.

Q: Are there any current trends you love or hate? What are some of the new trends you expect to see in 2012?
A: I am not a fan of Victorian design. I like clean, simple design, and current trends seem to be moving in that direction – clean lines, simple design and bright colors.

Q: Who are your favorite artists?
A: Annie Meyer, Joanne Rafferty, Aubril. Favorite classic artist is Monet.

Curated by Catherine:

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