"Let's Talk Design" Series: Colleen Waguespack

"Let's Talk Design" Series: Colleen Waguespack

Colleen Waguespack brings over twenty years of experience to her Interior Design Practice based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. 

She is as comfortable implementing contemporary interior elements as she is blending antiques with modern upholstery and an eclectic collection of art.  Her signature style is a well-edited home that reflects each client’s personal taste, lifestyle, and background. She takes her clients ideas and guides them toward a more modern aesthetic, inspiring them to refine and expand their sense of style. Each project is a true collaboration that delivers a sophisticated and livable environment. 

 

How did you start your company and what’s your favorite part of what you do?

I graduated from LSU in Interior Design in 1997 and started my career in Washington, DC working for commercial architecture firms. When my husband’s job moved us to Baton Rouge ten years later, I opened the Baton Rouge office for a highly renowed residential Interior Design firm in New Orleans, Holden & Dupuy. While working there I saw a void in the market for artisan accessories you could buy on-line and launched Fig & Dove, an e-commerce product line. After seeing some initial success with Fig & Dove and realizing I needed my own office space and staff I opened my own Interior Design firm in Baton Rouge and brought Fig & Dove and Colleen Waguespack Interiors under one roof.

Describe your style in one sentence.

I have a timeless classic style with a modern edge that is as much about thoughtful purchases that speak to my clients’ personal preferences as it is about a well-edited space and pared down element I bring to each project.

When purchasing for your home, where should one invest and where should one save?

My end goal is to deliver a fully furnished home down to the decorative details that really make it look finished. However, I always advise new home-owners to invest first in the actual bones of the house. It is very hard to renovate once you have moved in and you can collect furnishings and artwork for the rest of your life. A quality paint job can go a long way and there is no such thing as moving into a house and thinking you can go without a fresh coat of paint. As far as where to invest in furnishings verses save, I would save on upholstery as there are many off the shelf brands with great performance fabrics at affordable prices. Invest in the elements that children and kids won’t ruin and that will bring a personal flair to the project: rugs, artwork, and one-of-a kind furnishings.

When designing a room, where’s the best place to start?

Go for the one item you absolutely LOVE first- whatever that is. You need an anchor! After you select that item, everything else will fall into place. I’m working with my niece right now who purchased an adorable home, but has a limited furnishings budget. She started the entire house with a colorful antique rug that was a stretch purchase for her, but it dictated the upholstery fabrics and accent elements so it made all the following decisions much easier.

What’s your advice when purchasing an investment rug?

An investment rug is similar to buying a piece of art- buy what you are really drawn to and it will never go out of style. I also believe the majority of the furniture should actually sit on top of the rug verses hanging off the edges. If you can’t afford a large investment rug, layer it on top of a larger more affordable sisal or jute rug.

Your three go-to paint colors.

Benjamin Moore/ Windsbreath & Revere Pewter and Farrow & Ball/ Pointing White

What design rule do you follow?

Listen to your client- it is THEIR HOME and they have to love the way it looks and how it feels. Most importantly, it has to reflect their lifestyle and heritage. I am there to be the editor and to help guide the clients to decisions they will feel good about now and in the long run. I educate my clients about their purchases and never hide my sources or brands. If they are buying a piece of Christian Liaigre furniture, they should know the breadth of his work and see his gorgeous showrooms- that way they will have a better understanding of the price point and an appreciation for what they are purchasing for their home.

 

Where do you find your inspiration?

I look to the fine arts more than any other area to get inspiration for my projects, though I am certainly looking all around me everywhere I go. A successful painting has to have the right balance, be expressive, and tell an entire story. I find a point in every vacation to sneak off to the nearest museum to study their collection. I love modern art just as much as the masters just as in the Interior Design field I’m equally comfortable and happy to work with antiques as modern pieces.