In the latest “My Houzz,” model and actress Kate Upton hires designer Andrea Fava of Motivo Home to surprise her sister with a beautifully renovated master bedroom, bathroom, office, and guest bathroom. We caught up with Andrea to hear more about her design philosophy and what she enjoyed most about the renovation.
How did you get started in your career? I knew at a young age that design was a passion of mine. My grandmother was an interior designer and my mother is a custom home builder, so growing up I had examples of inspiring women making homes beautiful. I first started working for my mother’s construction company helping with finish selections for remodels and new homes when I was in college studying interior design. After that, I never looked back.
What is your design philosophy/guiding light? My design philosophy lies somewhere between luxury and practicality. I think people assume that because they have kids that they can’t have “nice things” or their house can’t look a certain way. And while I love modern design elements, I am really guided by tradition. When designing a home, I like to think about how the spaces will be used during the holidays throughout the years and how a family will spend time and grow through the different seasons of their lives.
Where’s the most unexpected place you’ve found inspiration? I’d love to answer with something romantic like “a nature trail in Georgia at sunset” or “doors down an obscure street in Rome,” but the inspiration for each project comes from the clients. The way they dress, the things they already have in their home and the things they talk about are all sources of inspiration.
What trend are you most excited about right now? I think homeowners are craving more details and character in their home, often adding it when it’s not already there. Some examples are brick walls in kitchens, unique carpentry moldings applied to headboard walls, or reclaimed beams on ceilings.
What’s your favorite building or space in the world? My favorite space in the world is my kitchen and family room. It’s where I get to cook for my family, spend time with my husband and kids, and have friends over. For me, it’s the memories created that make it so special. I can also say, I will never forget the way I felt when I saw the Colosseum in Rome for the first time. It truly took my breath away.
What did you enjoy most about this particular project? My favorite part of this project was the true surprise factor because it was an experience unlike any other. We’ve surprised clients with a final reveal before, but they were a part of the big selections at some point and I was able to get to know them before designing their home. This time, I had to learn about Christie through her sister and husband as well as context clues from furniture and decor she had in other areas of the home. Seeing her face at the reveal was really magical.
What is your favorite element in the space from this project? I love the design we came up with for the hallway/office. It was such a dramatic change from a hallway to a real, functioning, useful and beautiful space. It was also one of my favorite parts of the project because I knew it was going to be a space that was truly just for Christie. She’s a busy mom, running a meaningful charity and always doing so much for others, so creating something that was uniquely just for her was very special.
When you’re not designing, where can you be found? These days, when I am not designing, I am typically either at one of our boys’ baseball games, in the kitchen cooking (which is another passion of mine) or trying to squeeze in quality family time out on the boat.