Designer Spotlight

Meet Lindsay MacRae

Lindsay's style is happy, bright, fresh, fun, light-hearted, traditional, classic, tasteful, curated, and lately a bit coastal. Shop her favorite pieces on the Well Appointed House!

Q&A With Lindsay MacRae

We love getting inspiration from talented designers, and this week we were lucky enough to chat with Linsday MacRae. With an aesthetic that’s colorful, bright, and a little bit coastal, Lindsay shares some details on her background, her thoughts on the industry, and some helpful advice for decorating a new home.

How did you first get involved with interior design?

After working at Walt Disney World for a summer, I was inspired to become a Disney Imagineer and decided to study architecture and interior design in college.  Internships lead me in a different direction, and I ended up working for Gensler for several years after graduating.  I worked on a wide variety of commercial design projects before ultimately leaving to start my residential design firm in 2013.  

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I mainly draw inspiration from patterned wallpapers and fabrics.  I love happy patterns and colors.  Everything falls into place after that.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect is balancing my work life with my personal/family/mom life.  This job is intense and it’s 24-7.  It is not as glamorous as it seems on the outside.  

What is the most fun/rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is when clients tell me how much they love their new homes.  Whether it’s in person, over the phone, or in an email, it’s the best feeling and lets me know I’ve done my job.  Also, getting photographs back and showing my mom my work is super fun.

Do you have a favorite project that you’ve worked on?

It’s so hard to pick just one!  I completed a home in Scarsdale a few years ago.  It is so pretty, and the family was such a pleasure to work with.  I have another client in NJ that I have been working with for years.  I’ve touched almost every bit of the 15,000 SF home and that client always sends me home with fresh baked goodies.  That house looks amazing now.  Also, we just combined two apartments on NYC’s Upper West Side for another longtime client.  She has great taste and trusts me to do my thing and the end result is like a dream.  The last two projects were just photographed so keep your eyes out for them!

How would you describe your style?

Happy, bright, fresh, fun, light-hearted, traditional, classic, tasteful, curated, and lately a bit coastal!

How has the industry changed since you first got started?

Oh boy.  So much is out there on the internet now.  Clients have become savvier, and some like to shop around and do a bit of design themselves.  While I encourage clients to share their likes, it is important to not have too many people steering the ship.  The best projects are the ones where the clients step back and leave the designing to the experts (us). 
Also, there is such pressure to keep a constant presence on social media.  To me, social media feels a bit fake, but I also feel the need to keep up to stay relevant.  

What predictions do you have for styles/trends in 2023/2024?

Coastal style is still in, and I think we’ll continue seeing a lot of natural materials like rattan, jute, and seagrass.  The maximalist style seems to be picking up as well.  I overheard that open floor plans are being ditched in exchange for dedicated rooms and I couldn’t be happier about that.

What advice would you give a new homeowner, or someone embarking on their first design project?

I would advise someone to live in their new home for a little while first to figure out how they are going to use the space.  Also, buy what you love!  If budget is a concern, do the home in phases instead of finishing the entire home with furnishings that aren’t so great.  Don’t be afraid to invest in some high ticket items – it’s all about balance.  Styling and accessories can make or break a space.  Don’t forget to leave room in the budget for those.  And, of course, hire a designer!  Working with a designer opens a whole new world of possibilities with furniture and finishes.  They can help you navigate renovations and design, bring in skilled and reliable tradespeople, and help you avoid costly mistakes

A few of Lindsay’s residential projects: