Countdown to #CGInsiderKBIS: Meet the Designers!
DJ Carey is the Editor in Chief of CTC&G (Connecticut Cottages & Gardens) and Editorial Director of C&G Media Group. CTC&G is a monthly magazine that she helped launch in September 2004. Her extensive knowledge of design, architecture, entertaining, crafts and decorative arts contributes to successful editorial and advertising features for national magazines. DJ was awarded the 2015 Outstanding Media Award for the kitchen and bath industry.
Amy Aidinis Hirsch, founder of Greewich, CT-based Amy Aidinis Hirsch Interior Design. Amy Aidinis Hirsch’s design firm is a 2014 HOBI Awards recipient.
The Amy Aidinis Hirsch firm has been designing inspired spaces for clients for over a decade. Amy undertakes every design project as a guide and curator for her client, researching and seeking out the most innovative, vibrant treatments and finishes that will be the best possible fit for a client’s home.
Amy Aidinis Hirsch homes can be found throughout the country, and range from modern Montana ski houses to Boca Raton retreats and elegantly crafted environments in Greenwich, CT. Learn more about Amy via her Facebook and Instagram.
Amy Leonard has been obsessed with room design since the age of three, when she presented a detailed floor plan of her bedroom to her interior designer mother. A lifelong love of color, graphic design and detail was a natural segue following a BFA, to a successful career as a magazine art director, then photo stylist, working for numerous national publications and iconic titles such as Martha Stewart Living, Real Simple and Country Living.
Amy's hands-on expertise and stylistic approach evolved naturally into designing interiors, where she has designed homes in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and St. Thomas, USVI. She is the co-founder of Robson Leonard Design, a Westport, CT-based design firm that brings a practical approach, industry experience, and fresh design. Follow Amy's designs on Instagram.
Jenny Robson makes up the other half of Robson Leonard Design. Jenny inherited her design gene from her architect father, who brought her up to believe that form follows function — the underpinning of all thoughtful design. Her earliest memories are of re-arranging rooms – from her doll house to her parent's summer house – to make spaces prettier and function better.
Jenny’s career combined practical experience at Richard Rogers Partnership Architects in London as the practice's archivist and interior design work for Axel Interiors in CT. Prior to co-founding Robson Leonard Design her formal training included a BA in the History of Art, the Sotheby’s Fine & Decorative Arts course and Fairfield University's Interior Design Professional Certification program. Connect with Jenny via her Instagram.
Marcia Tucker, founder of Marcia Tucker Interiors in Greenwich, CT, fuses traditional English elegance with contemporary European influences to create thoughtful and original concepts for each client project. Born in Rio de Janeiro, and raised in San Francisco and New York City, Marcia’s passion for design led her to pursue a formal education at the KLC School of Interior Design in London where she graduated with honors.
A lover of beauty and symmetry— Marcia transforms homes into authentic living spaces radiating a classic richness and warmth— with the belief that color, shape, texture and light reveal organic landscapes within. Marcia is a meticulous planner with an enhanced sense of organization— producing consistent, customized design solutions in her signature style. Follow Marcia on Facebook and Instagram to see her work.
Caroline Kopp is the principal and founder of Westport-based Caroline Knopp Interior Design. A desire to find beauty in the world has guided the designer’s life from a young age, leading her to major in Art History at UC Berkeley and then on to New York to study interior design at Parsons School of Design. Later in her career Caroline continued her education with a sabbatical at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, where she studied decorative arts.
This education in both art and interior design has given Caroline a sophisticated eye which she continued to refine while working for some of the most renowned firms in the country. Caroline upholds the highest standards of quality and style for custom homes and has produced spaces that have been recognized by numerous notable publications, including Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Traditional Home and Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. To learn more, follow Caroline on Facebook and Instagram.
Having started her career as a fashion designer, Laura Michaels is no stranger to developing complete collections filled with layers of textures, patterns and colors. At her Greenwich, CT interior design firm Laura Michaels Design, Laura thrives on the challenge of finding the perfect combination of textiles and other materials, then integrating them in unique and unexpected ways. Laura spends much of her time sourcing fabric, carpet, lighting and more. . .from all over the world and prides herself on her thorough knowledge of the market.
Laura is also proud of her ability to source the "right" item at the "right" price. Her extensive knowledge of the market makes the design process quick and easy, but never routine. Her artistic vision transforms the space into warm and inviting interiors and it is Laura’s goal to provide a warm, inviting environment that is enjoyed by her homeowners and will last the test of time. Get to know Laura via her Facebook and Instagram.
Tori McBrien brings a breadth of fashion industry experience and a passion for beautiful design to her work with every client. After spending seven years on both the business and design sides at preppy-chic label Vineyard Vines, Tori found her decision to transition from fashion to interiors to be a natural evolution in her career. Having traveled the world to source materials for Vineyard Vines, she always came home full of inspired ideas for the accessories she designed. But the ideas didn’t stop at handbags and jewelry—Tori also found herself applying aesthetic updates to her own home, and increasingly becoming a resource for friends and family looking to refresh the look and feel of their homes. And so McBrien Interiors was born.
With her business savvy and product development experience, Tori is skilled at working within a specific timeframe and budget. She maximizes every dollar for her clients’ benefit, whether that means shopping in New York City’s highest-end furniture showrooms or seeking out hidden gems in antique stores and galleries. Connect with Tori via her Facebook and Instagram.
Michelle Morgan Harrison, owner and principal designer at Morgan Harrison Home, began her career in fashion more than 20 years ago. Michelle honed her eye for color and texture as the Senior Fashion Editor and Fashion Director of ELLE Magazine and Mirabella Magazine respectively. Michelle also served as Senior Editorial Director at Saks Fifth Avenue where she oversaw the fashion direction and editorial content for the retailer’s award-winning catalogs and online presence.
Michelle brings her fashion editorial-trained sensibility to each project she undertakes by building inviting color palettes and compelling blends of finishes. She artfully mixes styles and periods, ranging from very contemporary to elegantly traditional, producing beautiful classic rooms with a modern twist and a hint of glamour. She is known for her mix of finishes and textures and her ability to create family friendly homes that reflect her client’s personal style and sensibilities. Connect with Michelle via her Facebook and Instagram.
Sarah Robertson, Lead Designer at Westchester, NY county-based interiors firm Studio Dearborn, has designed kitchens and residential projects for over 25 years. Before launching Studio Dearborn in 2006, Sarah was principal of Dearborn Barry Properties, a residential real estate developer, renovating and constructing luxury residential projects for 20+ years, including work in Chicago’s Landmark District, Wicker Park.
Sarah believes that the kitchen truly functions as the heart of the home, and as such, should be highly functional but also a reflection of both home and homeowner. She strives to design a kitchen that complements perfectly a client's personality and lifestyle while respecting their home’s architectural integrity. Follow Sarah on Instagram and Facebook.
Joseph Najmy is the Founder of Norwalk-based Nukitchens. Nukitchens is a complete kitchen renovation company, offering everything from concept & design to installation & remodeling.
"My grandfather, Philip Farran, started renovating brownstones in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. His family of eight children learned the value of hard work and the importance of creating a home-life. His business was built on trust, surrounding himself with the right people who shared his values. My mother became a trained interior designer and my father developed his skills as a master furniture craftsman. This tradition is carried out today at my company. We continue to embrace the values of honesty and integrity with our staff and customers alike."
George Pusser, owner and President of CORNERSTONE was born in Utah. At the age of four, his family moved to Southern Alabama. He attended Livingston State College and majored in Business. During his teenage years, he worked for a pallet company learning to master heavy woodworking machines, while working on multiple renovation projects. He also worked with a framing crew for one year. George honed his carpentry skills working on 130' steel haul scallop boat, finishing all galleys and officers quarters. In the early 80's, George owned and operated a high-end residential construction company in Dallas, TX. During the next seven years, he completed many Turn of the Century homes in Park Cities, Dallas while acquiring rental properties, spec homes, and subdivisions. In 1992, George partnered to form CORNERSTONE Contracting Corporation, which he has been running successfully for the past 23 years.
Mindy Gerhardt joined Cami Weinstein Interiors, a full service interior design firm based in Greenwich, CT, two years ago as Director of Marketing. The design firm's projects include residential homes on the east and west coasts, apartments throughout NYC, and Hamptons beach homes.
Mindy's background as showroom manager at Decorative Crafts a luxury furniture brand, and years as a design assistant has created a niche in the industry. Together with Cami, they network through various affiliations to develop relationships industry wide. Recently, Cami moved her office to share space with Cornerstone Builders in Greenwich. Mindy has joined Cornerstone as Director of Sales part time and is excited to help them increase their visibility.
Plus, many more designers including Rene Costabile of Design Line Kitchens, Diane Sacc, Coco Kanakis of Spaciality, Inc., Eudora Sawyerr, Tony Aitoro of Aitoro, Mary Kurtz, Elise Higgins, Nathan Reynolds of Insperiors, Morgan Rolontz of R. Morgan Rolontz Architecture, Valerie Hurst of Touchstone Fine Cabinetry, Mary Holz, Linda Principe of Linda Principe Interiors, Susie Feia of Feia Construction, LLC, Frank Moceri of Moceri Custom Homes.