Lumens trade partner Danielle Colding is an NYC-based interior designer and the season 7 winner of HGTV’s Design Star. Having worked on projects from revamping residential spaces to custom event planning, Danielle has mastered the art of mixing sophisticated style with eclectic interiors. We’re enamored with her approachable-elegance aesthetic but she’s also very sweet and was kind enough to share one of her recent projects with Lumens.
Danielle and her team recently participated in Project Design 2013, an effort to revamp the Ronald McDonald House of Long Island, which provides a home for seriously ill and injured children and their families while receiving treatment. For the project, Danielle and 25 other leading interior designers took on the home’s original 18 bedrooms, plus the kitchen, breakfast room, 5 common areas, first-floor restrooms and 3 laundry rooms. The designers donated their time and resources to turning their respective spaces into ones to promote comfort, healing and happiness for the 1,000+ families it serves each year.
Danielle recently caught up with us to tell us more about the Ronald McDonald House and her work in NYC.
What role does design play in a project like the Ronald McDonald house?
Design is the motivating force for the renovation of the house as a whole. In particular, it is about creating soothing and inspiring spaces that promote healing. Design is all about creating a sense of comfort and well-being and nowhere is that more important than at a place like The Ronald McDonald House.
What’s was important for you to consider as you planned the spaces you worked on in the house?
For me the most important thing to think about was making sure to marry the functional requirements with great, classic design. Also, the real goal was to make something kid-friendly yet sophisticated. Color, pattern, and texture were key in all of my designs in the space.
What aesthetic were you going for? Any inspirations?
Unlike the other designers, I had seven common spaces to design—all of which were very functional common rooms. I tackled three bathrooms, three laundry rooms, and a telephone room, a cozy throwback to the days before cell phones, where parents could communicate directly with the hospital staff. In doing so many rooms it was my goal to show versatility above everything. I wanted to show the varied ways spaces could be approached and still fit into the landscape of the overall house. I am not usually a theme girl but I will say one of my laundry rooms was based around water… it was the real influence behind the design.
What is memorable about this project?
The most memorable part of the project was the real camaraderie among the designers. It is not often you work in tandem with other designers in the way we did for this project. It was such a bonding experience, and we were all motivated by doing it all for such a good cause.
We’re big fans of your design work. Do you have any go-to inspiration resources?
Oh yes! I am a huge Pinterest girl! It is such a great resource and quite addictive. I also, try to stay up on what’s going on in the fashion and art worlds. Style.com and trendland.com are favorites. Also, remodelista.com is my daily source for cool design.
Any design trends you’re seeing/loving?
The jewel tones continue to be everywhere—still love emerald and deep teal. Various shades of pink and purple has also emerged as winning colors. We are also seeing a ton of industrial style light fixtures—It is not a new trend but one I love and think can be the basis of a great space. Lastly, I have seen a return to many traditional fabrics but used in new combinations and in inventive ways. Mixing patterns has allowed some of these old standbys to find their ways into modern palettes. Chintzes and more delicate floral patterns have really come back in full effect. But now it’s all about how you mix them in to the design.
Any design “mistakes” that make you cringe?
The one I cannot abide by is matching too well. I am not a fan of furniture sets or coordinating too well. I have learned that one the hard way, as I am a reformed matcher myself. But spaces are much more interesting when there are some things that are off a bit.
What does your own home look like?
My home is super eclectic. I have inherited a ton from my mother’s home so it is a real mix of modern and antiques. I am definitely not a minimalist! There are books, art, and photographs everywhere. It has a really lived in and cozy feel.
Here’s a look at the additional laundry rooms and baths that Danielle took on for Project Design 2013. For more from the Ronald McDonald House in Long Island, click here.