Inspired design: 20 questions with interior designer Rachel Bishop


Rachel Bishop. Photo: Adam Mohr Rachel Bishop. Photo: Adam Mohr

Resides in: Charlottesville

Best known for: Trawling local antique malls, refinishing furniture, and obsessing over design 24/7.

1. Antique or modern? 25 percent antique, 75 percent modern.

2. City or country? Country.

Photo: Courtesy Rachel Bishop
Photo: Courtesy Rachel Bishop

3. Which colors do you use most? Gray, white, and blue.

4. Which materials or textures do you frequently use? Bold patterned fabrics, flatweave rugs, and unlacquered brass.

5. What is your favorite interior design-related word? Vignette.

6. Does your home look like the one you grew up in? Not at all, although my mom definitely influenced my love of design.

7. Does a room need a view? No, but it definitely helps!

8. Favorite designer or architect? Thomas O’Brien, Brad Ford, Steven Gambrel

9. Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine do you peruse religiously? I love the online magazine, Lonny, and I’ve been following design blogs like Little Green Notebook and I Suwanee for years.

Photo: Courtesy Rachel Bishop
Photo: Courtesy Rachel Bishop

10. Design-wise, what should a homeowner never scrimp on? Rug size—a skimpy rug can ruin a room. Splurge on the properly sized rug.

11. Design rule you like to break? Don’t be afraid to mix finishes and styles. Everything shouldn’t match!

12. What is your favorite room in the house? The screen porch. All the benefits of the outdoors without the bugs.

13. What is your most treasured possession? My kids’ artwork. There is no second-guessing or judgement in their work—just pure expression and experimentation. I am so envious and inspired by their artwork.

14. What do you wish you could do without? Coffee creamer!

15. What are you afraid to DIY? Refinish hardwood floors.

16. Have you ever had a change of heart about an object or a style? Yes! See question 20.

17. If you could live in one historical figure’s house, whose would it be? I know it’s cliché, but I would have to say Thomas Jefferson. It is hard not to admire Monticello.

Photo: Courtesy Rachel Bishop
Photo: Courtesy Rachel Bishop

18. On what movie set would you like to live? It’s Complicated.

19. If you were reborn as a piece of furniture or an object, what would it be? I hope I would be a fabulous piece of art. Great art is approachable, inspirational, and it makes you think. Those are traits I strive for and admire in others.

20. What is your first design memory? My dorm room my freshman year of college. It was the first time I had total control over what my room would look like and of all things, I chose hunter green and rose pink plaid bedding. UGH! What can I say? It was the ’90s.

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