* Brittaney Elise is an LA-based interior designer for homes and commercial spaces
* Has worked with Selena Gomez and Zendaya, among others
* “Create a clear vision for your space before you decide to purchase anything”
Brittaney Elise is a young entrepreneur who is known for her work as an interior designer for homes and commercial spaces in Los Angeles and across the country.
Elise is currently designing the new Bellami Beauty Bars locations (from hair extensions brand, Bellami Hair), and just finished her latest residential project — redesigning the new residence for Bellami Hair’s Founder, Nikki Eslami (which also happened to be Kylie Jenner’s former home, in Calabasas).
We caught up with Elise to find out how she got started in the interior design industry, how to spruce up your pad without a lot of money, and learn the one piece of advice she gives to all her clients.
How did you fall in love with interior design?
I’ve been in love as far back as I can remember… it had to have begun somewhere between the childhood trips to The Home Depot with my father on every home-DIY project imaginable, and watching my mother’s natural ability to so effortlessly blend material things in such a beautiful way that would create the feeling of home.
That, of course, developed into an admiration and affinity for homes in history, art, and architecture throughout adolescence and into the high school and university years, and it is still ever-present today. And therefore tells me one thing: interior design appears to have always been my one true love!
How did you turn this love into a business?
I truly believe that when you pursue what you are most passionate about, you will find a way to make it practical and furthermore, successful. I am a huge advocate for education and I went to university for this. I learned the technical, psychological and business sides of applying my God-given talent — which, simply put, is to create beauty in surroundings.
Throughout my twenties, I worked full-time for other companies, including specific trades of the industry — hint: very important! — which, for me, were specifically, custom furniture design, natural stone, fashion, visual merchandising, and boutique management. I then dedicated most evenings, nights, and weekends to developing BE. Once I took the leap, I applied everything I knew and hit the ground running. In order to turn any passion into a business, we have to first understand business itself — then what it is we are trying to contribute to our world; who our customer is and how to give them the gift we have — and we have to continue to educate ourselves moving forward as society evolves in order to keep our businesses thriving!
What are some of the most memorable spaces you’ve worked on/memorable people you’ve worked with?
This is too tough to answer! In all of the spaces, I’ve left a piece of my heart within and all the unique individuals I have had the honor of developing relationships with have been memorable in unimaginable ways.
Why is the new year a great time to rethink your home decor?
Any time of year is a great time to rethink what’s going on in your surroundings. Trust me. Specifically, the top of the new year tends to be a great time to really take a look around and take inventory for what is no longer serving you; what’s got to go. What’s bringing joy to your daily routine? What’s due for an upgrade or for reupholstery? What is “SO 2017?” (Let’s face it, these trends are coming and going quicker than ever and my best piece of advice to anyone moving forward into the new year with his or her mind on a little home revamp would be to begin replacing the trendy passing fancies with what truly feels like HOME to you as an individual) And if you don’t know exactly what HOME means to you, that’s what we’re here for! Hire a pro.
You’ve worked with a bunch of celebrities, but how can the average person spruce up their place? Do you need a ton of money or have to hire a professional?
You don’t need to hire a professional for a little sprucing up here and there if you know exactly what you want, where to get it, how to get it at the best price, what to do when Murphy’s Law shows up in the process, and who to trust in the handiwork/construction fields. Most people do not. Which is why I am fully in support of going to my professional hair stylist, manicurist, and seamstress as opposed to doing any of those jobs on my own!
But fortunately, there ARE tons of beautifully-crafted pieces out there, easily accessible online these days that make the whole process so much easier for anyone understandably working within a smaller budget. Pro-tip: create a perfectly clear vision for your gorgeously new spruced up space before you decide to purchase anything. And STICK. TO. IT. Beware of Pinterest; do not be led astray from your vision.
What’s the best design tip you can give?
SOFT + STRONG. Find a way to combine masculine with feminine; weight with texture; bold with dainty and delicate — and you will have an underlying je ne sais quoi to your space that will feel complete to anyone standing in it.