Area homes receive design treatment from Betsy Burnham

| May 1, 2014 | 0 Comments
CLIENTS LIKED mixing classic look with fun lighting fixture

CLIENTS LIKED mixing classic look with fun lighting fixture.

When Betsy Burnham switched vocations from fashion to interior design, she took a risk. “It wasn’t easy to find clients back then,” but a friend who hired her also referred other clients to the designer and her business took off. Today, Burnham Design is a success, and the firm’s four employees include her business partner, Max Humphrey .

We spoke with Betsy in the living room of her 1927 Hancock Park home filled with a mix of patterns and colors that were compatible without being overwhelming. She is a collector, and scattered through the living room, dining room and library are some of her Chinese Fu dogs, bird sculptures, American folk art and contemporary paintings.

DESIGNER initiated cost-saving concept.

DESIGNER initiated cost-saving concept.

The blonde Connecticut native says her style is “classic but not stuffy.” She loves working with clients in the area because of the homes’ great architectural features like moldings and baseboards.  “My main focus is on large-scale projects, working on a team with the client, architect, and builder; I do mostly large scale remodels and new constructions as well as furnishing jobs,” she pointed out.

Her “Instant/Space” concept began four years ago that enables the client to receive valuable design advice at a cost much less than working one-on-one with a designer. For a flat fee (a living room plan is about $1,500), Betsy creates a master schematic online, including resources and phone advice. There are no budgets, fees and markups—just a creative design plan.

It is an alternative to the traditional full-service designer who comes to your house, and spends the next few years with you, she explained.  Instant/Space is for people who want to receive valuable advice at a less expensive price tag.

Betsy and her staff design a room or rooms, then send a box filled with a design concept board, a schematic furniture plan, flooring ideas, fabric swatches, color samples and a shopping list of nearby or online resources. “We have clients all over the country who use our Instant/Space.”

Her designer’s eye recently found a colorful woven basket while on a trip through Morocco. “I had to get off the camel I was riding to purchase it,” she said.

Whether traveling with husband Mark Stern or keeping up with daughter Carson and son Will, Betsy keeps current on decorating trends.

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