If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a hundred times: black girls reallyÂ do rock! And this style and design expert is the perfect example of taking an interest and nurturing it into a passion then stepping out on faith to make it a career. Nicole Gibbons is the newest addition to OWN’s hot show “Home Made Simple” where she transforms average spaces into to stunning residences thanks to a bit of creativity, a keen sense of style and do-it-yourself know-how.
Nicole is an interior designer, tastemaker, blogger, on-air personality best known for her fashion-forward point of view on style for the home. I first met her in New York through a mutual friend and then I couldn’t stop following her blog So Haute Style to see her decorating tips, to find the hottest items to buy and, of course, to read her interviews with industry insiders. So when she booked this new show I just knew I had to talk to her for CocoaFab.
In between her busy schedule of scouting antique shops and jet-setting for clients, we caught up to talk about the new show, holiday decor tips and how to create a beautiful home on a budget. Martha Stewart move over, introducing Nicole Gibbons!
Amy: Congrats on the new show on OWN, Home Made Simple. What can fans and viewers expect from the show?
Nicole: Thank you! This is the third season of Home Made Simple and this season features an all-new half hour format and new faces including me! As a designer on the show, I’ll be helping deserving families transform their homes. We generally focus on one area of a home, and the spaces I designed for the show range from living and dining rooms to a home office as well as a kitchen. The show is all about improving your home using simple strategies and we tackle a lot of fun DIY projects which allow me to teach both the homeowners and the viewing audience easy ways to achieve great style on an accessible budget.
Amy: How will it be unique or stand out from other home shows?
Nicole: One of the things that makes this show so unique is that the focus is really on these incredible families that are so deserving. You get to hear their stories and for many of the families, the home transformations are life changing.
Amy: How did you make the transition from PR and media to interior design?
Nicole: I always loved design and started my blog, So Haute (www.sohautestyle.com) in January of â€™08 as a fun creative outlet while working in fashion PR. I soon realized that I was truly passionate about design and I started taking on small decorating projects in my free time for the experience. I also immersed myself in the design industry, attending events, networking, taking classes, getting advice from people whose careers I admired, reading a ton of design books and shelter magazines and really just educating myself as much as I could so that when it was time to make the transition I would feel prepared and confident. At the beginning of this year I decided it was time to focus on my business full-time so I took the leap and havenâ€™t looked back since! But in a nutshell it took me several years of preparation and education. I didnâ€™t just transition overnight.
Amy: What are your favorite trends for the holiday seasons?
Nicole: I try not to subscribe too closely to trends. For the holidays especially, itâ€™s about creating a look that is timeless and an atmosphere that feels festive and inviting.
Amy: Many Americans this time of year are trying to figure out how to decorate their home for Christmas on a budget. What are 3 or 4 quick and easy ways to bring in the holiday spirit into the home without breaking the bank?
Nicole: First, buy vintage. I found a ton of vintage Christmas ornaments on eBay a few years ago and spent a fraction of what I would have spent buying the same quantity of ornaments all-new. Plus, the ornaments I found have so much more charm than anything you can find today.
Secondly, if youâ€™re just starting out building a collection of Christmas dÃ©cor, start with minimal dÃ©cor and each year, add to your collection little by little, buying a few new pieces each season. Over the years youâ€™ll have amassed a beautiful collection filled with meaning and memories!
Next, use your Christmas presents as dÃ©cor. Wrap all of your presents in pretty paper thatâ€™s uniform and arrange them in little vignettes around your home for a cheap and chic presentation.
Finally, fill your home with candles in iconic holiday scents. Candlelight creates such cozy and inviting ambiance and warm, wintery scents like cinnamon, cloves and evergreen always tends to evoke the spirit of the holidays. Itâ€™s a great way to make your home feel like the holidays without spending a ton on decorative items.
Amy: Red and green are so typical for Christmas. Are there any other colors or color palettes that you recommend chic, savvy women decorate their homes with this holiday?
Nicole: I love using unexpected color schemes for the holidays. Itâ€™s a great way to freshen up your dÃ©cor and creates an opportunity to really incorporate your personality and style. For a whimsical take on traditional Christmas colors try rich jewel toned shades of pinks and teals. And I always love adding in metallic accents â€“ they add such a luxe and festive feeling to your holiday dÃ©cor!
Amy: What colors, accessories, prints and patterns will be big in 2014?
Nicole: Iâ€™m noticing the use of more luxurious materials like rich velvets and precious metal accents like gold, silver and brass detailing on furniture and accessories. Also â€“ we went through a tough economic period a few years ago when people were afraid to spend money on their homes but Iâ€™m noticing more people taking on home improvement projects and investing in enhancing their dÃ©cor. It seems like people are spending more time at home these days so they want their homes to be comfortable and beautiful.
Tune in to see Nicole Gibbons take homes from drab to fab on Home Made Simple at 9am/8c on OWN.