We're always thrilled to see Hygge & West wallpaper, bedding, and shower curtains out in the wild, but there's just something about seeing our wallpaper on TV that gets us a little extra giddy. Recently, interior designer Megan Hopp competed on Bravo's new show, Best Room Wins—and to our surprise and delight, her winning room design featured our very own Snow (Blue) wallpaper!
We caught up with the talented Megan (who Elle Decor called "a designer to watch in 2019") about what it's like to design (and win!) on TV, her passion for pattern, and what makes this fun and fearless design enthusiast tick.
Hygge & West: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you ended up in interior design.
Megan Hopp: I went to undergrad and graduate school for theatre, and while I loved performing, I also had a hard time detaching the job of an actor from the full creative concept. I operate in this world visually every step of the way, so soon after I graduated and moved to New York I was writing, designing, and performing my own shows. For as long as I can remember I have loved interior design; luckily I had parents who let me test out every room in the house as my bedroom and each time I made the move I got another shot at a fresh design.
My mother is an artist and costume designer, so doing creative things with your hands was a part of my day-to-day growing up. I learned to paint, sew, and cut in a very straight line as a little girl and by the time I made the move to New York I took those creative skills and pitched them as a helpful skill set so I could hop around doing whatever creative "projects" I could get. I was painting furniture, organizing closets, styling table tops, you name it. Between my theatre education and a lifetime of manual labor, I was able to figure out how to operate as a designer in a pretty efficient way. Interior design can be really intimidating both to try to do yourself or hire someone to do for you. I think being self taught is ultimately one of the things that's helps me be me as a designer; I'm never worried about doing something "wrong" because no one ever taught me those rules.
H&W: Your website mentions a motto of yours, "Change your space, change your life." How do you think someones home affects their life? How does pattern factor in?
MH: For the same reason people seek out a certain kind of scenery when they want to get away, relax, or recharge, how your home is set up and designed has everything to do with how you feel and, in turn, how you take on your day-to-day. I fully recognize that putting together an interior is a different skill set than, say, picking out clothes you like to wear, and a puzzle that can be daunting or too tricky to put together yourself. Enter a designer! I believe wholeheartedly that a designer's job is to execute as a design representative and an extension of sorts of the client. I'm here to investigate who my clients are and help them grow into the best space possible. With that said, a tricky part of the job can be welcoming people into an unfamiliar world where color, texture, and pattern can seem like a mystery and, not only that, a scary one. I am a pusher of pattern, I would wrap myself in wallpaper if I could. It's always really thrilling when you are able to move a client towards a color or pattern decision outside their safe zone, and ultimately find them energized and a believer on the other side.
H&W: You recently won Bravo's Best Room Wins with a room that included our Snow (Blue) wallpaper—congratulations! Can you tell us a little bit about that space, what inspired it, any obstacles you had to overcome in its design, and why you chose the wallpaper you did?
MH: Well, thank you, first off! The truth is it was a really real experience, and time was moving so quickly that my brain and body shifted a bit into this crazy state where work was just being executed and sometimes I barely even knew what I was doing until after I did it! All that's to say more than ever I was relying on my impulses—I had no time to second guess anything. I'm the least wishy-washy person I know, and I pride myself on my strong and fast decision making, so in a sense, this was kind of a dream scenario for me to really flex those muscles. The inspiration house was full of round shapes and natural textures with abstract amorphous textures. As such, I immediately knew I wanted to use a print with that free-flowing repetition. The clients and I jumped on the color train real quick, and blue was locked down as a favorite. This led me to your Snow wallpaper, and I could not have been happier with how it turned out. It was one of the first decisions I made in the space, and truly was the heart of the design. Oh, and I should also say your rush shipping did not disappoint!
H&W: What are the similarities and differences between designing for television and designing for real life? Are there any TV design tricks that can you used in real, every day spaces?
MH: From the creative angle, I can't say there was much of difference in how I operate in real life versus on TV (aside from the hugely expedited timeline!). The main difference was that I had a set budget coming from an outside source (not the clients). In real life there is a lot more discussion about where to spend or not spend money in a project, and budgets tend to grow and shrink almost daily. In this case I had a hard number, and was going to complete the room no matter what, so there wasn't much discussion over what I thought was best in allocating the budget. I would say the biggest trick takeaway is that it is possible to get furniture in a day! I was very stressed out about finding places that would sell me floor models, expedite shipping, etc., but if you do your research it can be done.
H&W: How do you approach pattern in your designs? What do you think pattern, and particularly wallpaper, brings to a space that other elements can't?
MH: Pattern is a lifeline for me. So often people see pattern as wild or scary and steer clear, but for me it is the most powerful tool in my bag. It can easily be the heart of a design and when you put it on your walls (meaning wallpaper) you are immediately making a statement. I had an old grad school teacher say to me once, "If it's not specific, it's not good," and those are words I have come to live by. I would rather do something really specific that 1 out of 100 people love than make a safe and boring choice that never moves the needle forward.
H&W: Hygge is a Danish concept that celebrates small joys and simple pleasures. What's hygge in your world?
MH: Simplest pleasure... hmm. I love collecting and rolling spare change, and then turning it into the bank teller. I like to clean out my closet a little too frequently. If I have the time, I like to walk from the top of Central Park all the way down to Greenwich Village. I enjoy cleaning out the vacuum cleaner, touching up paint scuffs, and folding laundry (I really like a project with a visual reward at the end) all while watching my favorite movie, Being Julia, for the millionth time.