James Swan

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Episode 139: Tamara Stephenson

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Tamara Matthews-Stephenson is an interior designer, author of design blog Nest by Tamara & product designer (co-owner and designer of home fabric collection Root Cellar Designs).  Nest by Tamara was voted #1 design blog in 2014 by Modenus for the Top 100 Design Blogs.


Interior Designer:  With two college degrees —a  baccalaureate degree in English from Castleton University and a certificate in interior design from Parsons School of Design — and over twenty years experience working as an interior designer, Tamara has honed her eclectic skills.  Tamara and her family divide their time between the bustling city and their beach cottage in the quiet hamlet of Springs in East Hampton.  The two different locations suit her personality well and have helped to fine tune her design aesthetic, which some have referred to as”sophisticated cottage.” Her interiors are a medley of modern furnishings and accessories, eclectic art which she combines with antiques and vintage finds, and they are layered yet well edited to reflect the client’s personality. Tamara uses her astute observations to bring the finest combinations of wares to each project.


Blog Author/Writer:  In 2008, Tamara began merging her former design experiences by penning her popular lifestyle blog Nest by Tamara.  This year Nest by Tamara blog received over 700,000 reads, and Tamara is sought after to speak at symposiums, host events and has been invited on sponsored trips traveling around the world from Paris’ Maison Objet to Milan’s Salone Mobile and London’s Decorex in order to write about cutting edge products and design, travel, entertaining and hosting.  In addition to running her design practice, she regularly contributes editorials on assignments for websites and print publications, including Dan’s Papers, Traditional Home, NYC&G and others.


Product Designer:  In spring 2015, Tamara joined forces with fashion designer Susan Young to create home collection company Root Cellar Designs.  They digitally create their fabrics keeping a commitment to textiles made in the U.S., and fabricated wares in the NYC garment district.  Their cut yardage fabric is now sold to the design trade in the Bradley USA showrooms in Atlanta and Chicago and surrounding territories and their ready-made pillows and table linens are sold online.  Please visit RootCellarDesigns.com.


Philanthropist:  Tamara is a board member of non profit organization IFDA (International Furnishings Design Association) New York Chapter as the Vice President of Communications.  She brought the non-profit organization onto social media, formerly wrote and published their newsletter, and currently writes their blog while managing their social media platforms.   Tamara was the former board member of The Flawless Foundation and in 2012 chaired their annual fundraiser, creating the dinner’s flower arrangements and decorating the room and tables for a 150-person sit down dinner at the historic Burden Mansion in New York City.  Tamara is involved in myriad fundraisers and interior design industry charity events where she utilizes her creativity to showcase designs for a variety of causes including formerly co-chairing the IFDA NY Chapter’s annual Take A Seat chair charity auction to benefit Habitat For Humanity NYC; creating a kitchen design forTraditional Home magazine’s Art of the Table in the Bilotta kitchen partnering with Lenox, a tabletop vignette for the annual black-tie gala at The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House at Cipriani in Grand Central Station, and designing a room for charity at the annual Housingwork’s Design On A Dime.


Explore Tamara’s Website and Blog here

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