It's about 80 degrees outside when Will Taylor and I find a place in the shade to chat. He had just finished discussing the inner workings behind his successful blog, Bright Bazaar, in front of an enthusiastic audience at the first Create and Cultivate Vision Summit in Miami, a place for women to network and learn how to build their brands. His advice was friendly but confident, and I looked around as others smiled, nodded, and took notes. Among his many recommendations, Taylor advocated that entrepreneurs consider their time commitment, creative control, and exclusivity if they ever decide to work with another business.
And those wise words are clearly coming from experience. Taylor partnered with Home Depot to create the green room lounge and holiday pop-up at the summit, which included a living area decked out for the season. A Christmas tree twinkled against matching plaid green wallpaper, stockings hung above a glowing fireplace, and a warm throw blanket lay tossed on a soft couch. It was idyllic and showcased the versatility of Home Depot's offerings—everything, from the coffee table vignette to the furniture, could be found at the store. But the traditional winter setting also made for an easy icebreaker, considering how warm it was outside.
As he laughed about the summer-like conditions of this otherwise cozy display, Taylor shared more about his impressive background and design sensibilities with MyDomaine. Read on to get his tips for a stylish home, which include his thoughts on Pantone's Color of the Year and the trends he's excited about for 2019.
MyDomaine: Given that we're at Create and Cultivate, could you tell me more about your motivation for starting your blog?
Will Taylor: Bright Bazaar started because I graduated in 2008, at the height of the recession, and I had a journalism degree. And at the time, a lot of newspapers and magazines were shutting down—it was a volatile period.
I ended up getting a fancy advertising job that turned out to be a nightmare because it wasn't in my skill set. I went to college to study journalism and design, and there I was looking at numbers all day. I really wanted to be doing something creative, so perhaps out of frustration, I dove straight into working on this.
MD: Did you have a mission at the time that you're still using, or has the blog evolved as you've evolved?
WT: When the blog started it was about décor, the sort of "make you smile style" that it's become known for. But I would say that in the last five years it's grown into more of a lifestyle brand by expanding into how that design philosophy can be interpreted in terms of fashion, travel, and so on.
The mission is still to inspire people, but it has a wider goal to decorate and to dress and to live in a way that makes you happy.
MD: What was your inspiration for the holiday lounge?
WT: My inspiration for the holiday lounge at Create and Cultivate came from my childhood Christmases spent by the fire at our house in the English countryside. I wanted to take the traditional vibe of those memories, like the plaid wallpaper, and pair it with pieces that had a modern flair, like the steel and wood coffee table. My goal was to create a space that felt seasonal, comfortable, and cozy.
MD: How did Home Depot help bring that vision to life, and why would you recommend it for general decor needs, too?
WT: The breadth of product available at The Home Depot, especially their Home Decorators and Company Store collections, meant I was able to find a variety of design styles across furniture, textiles, and accessories to create a layered and lived-in space. I love that I was able to design a living room that looked as though it had been decorated over time from a variety of sources when in reality I was able to do it all online from the comfort of my home!
MD: Okay, we're going to switch gears a bit. Which trends are you excited about for 2019?
WT: I love the fact that there's been a big, sustained move toward Scandinavian simplicity. Neutrals have been used in a very interesting way, as in lots of layers and textures, and there's also been a push toward a more industrial edge, like exposed brick. The industrial look has been around for years, but before it was very cliché—like Edison bulbs. Now, there's been a stripping down of those elements.
For instance, I love pairing black steel with wood for texture. It still tells that industrial-type story, but in a more minimalist way. The materials can speak for themselves, rather than going all-out with a lot of materials and color. There's still color, of course, but it's more sophisticated.
MD: Speaking of color, how do you feel about Pantone's choice for the Color of the Year?
WT: Use it in moderation! Coral is a great accent color. For example, it would be a great way to inject color into a tonal or monochromatic space. It's so vivid that I really feel like it should take up probably 5% of a room. That would be enough.
I also think that Behr's choice of blue for its Color of the Year is smart because it's vivid but also neutral. It could really be applied to a lot of different spaces and wouldn't be as overpowering.
The same can be said for green, too, which I've been seeing a lot of—rich pine greens. I think there are going to be fewer all-white kitchens, which I'm excited about, and more of a use of color there, like with green cabinetry. I think people are realizing that you can use color in kitchens and be comfortable enough to live with it for years.
MD: For sure. I don't think you'd want to paint an entire room in coral, but blue would definitely work. And green cabinets would be beautiful.
WT: Yes, definitely.
MD: Although coral might work here actually, in Miami.
WT: Yes, but not in New York!
MD: Exactly! And in terms of New York, where you live, how do you think its unique sense of style has influenced you?
WT: Well, New York is all about small spaces. I've been thinking about a recent conversation I had concerning millennials, architecture, and design, and how their homes are increasingly about making the most of small spaces.
Their first homes aren't going to be five bedrooms; they're going to be two bedrooms that are shared. That's been my exact experience, too. And because of these constrictions, I think that's why there's been a move toward clean lines and minimal, light furniture as opposed to more traditional furniture that's perhaps more chunky and made of darker woods.
MD: Yes, of course. Those classic bedroom sets!
WT: Exactly, that was our parents' idea of "making it," whereas I feel like for millennials, "making it" is having your own one-bedroom apartment and furnishing it in a way that's like a sanctuary.
Now that everyone is so connected, and there's so much noise, a modern home needs to be comfortable and calm. And that translates to being able to see under a coffee table or a couch or having a few important things around that's artfully displayed. It's that idea of airiness and openness.
MD: There's a practicality to that design philosophy too since spaces are generally smaller
WT: Absolutely. I know that this Home Depot display is small, but actually, it feels very comfortable to me. It's reminding me of my New York apartment!