“As long as we’re quarantined, we’re going to be together,” Interior Design Editor in Chief Cindy Allen told the audience at the beginning of today's Instagram Live. She was joined by her self-proclaimed “sister from another mister” Margaret McMahon, SVP and Global Director at Wimberly Interiors. McMahon spoke with Cindy from her home in sunny, yet quiet Brooklyn.
McMahon's work primarily focuses on hospitality projects. “We are in partnerships with our clients,” she said, no matter where she or her client may be. With six global offices to assemble teams from—which are selected based on whose strengths match the client's needs—the designers at WATG are used to working remotely. Luckily for McMahon, her biggest challenge right now is navigating all the various video conferencing apps— from her living room she is still able to conduct business with her clients and the teams in Japan, Italy, and China.
When asked about how the pandemic has been affecting current projects and what design trends may come from this time, McMahon said that “the purpose of the building changes under these circumstances.” “What we can’t cure we have to endure,” McMahon continued. That, and not panicking. “We help [the client] figure out if we have to pivot and then we pivot,” she explained. Wimberly Interiors takes their relationships with their clients very seriously and it's important to check in on how hotel owners, for example, are doing, the same way she checks on her team. McMahon predicts luxury products will be few and far between, but leisure and health & wellness projects will likely continue to gain popularity. She is looking toward train travel for her ideal next project, which will be the Venice Simplon Orient Express for the Belmond brand.
While walking laps around her home, McMahon rediscovered some much loved and often forgotten about tchotchkes, which she has been arranging into artistic, color coded mood boards as a therapeutic activity. Viewers saw some highlights that included a spaghetti squash in her yellow arrangement and the focal point of one of her red displays, a hardcover of Women and the Art of War. In some final, inspirational words, Cindy and McMahon are ready to dare greatly and really be ready to take on the world and the new normal once we get there. Simply put by McMahon, “we need to take care of and love one another.”
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