For over 40 years, she has been referred to as “the master of color”—expertly showing how bright colors can energize any room and how nature’s hues have the ability to soothe. “Sometimes,” says Gil Walsh, the savvy interior designer who has been entrusted with more than $250 million in design work, “we find that homeowners are craving layers of color through art and accessories.” Sometimes it’s through fine china or tableware. And sometimes, she notes, it’s a fun wall accent, like patterned wallpaper. “Color,” Walsh says, “really reflects our positive attitudes.”
Now that Covid is flagging, people are beginning to entertain again. That’s certainly encouraging—and Walsh has seen many homeowners redesigning their living rooms and outdoor spaces for just that. Dinner parties, especially, are on the rise, which means new cutlery sets, new rugs, new wallpaper.
But it also means studying the utility of each room—for instance, the space in the kitchen; the ambience of a dining room; the arrangement of seating out in the patio. “People have spent so much time at home,” she observes, “that they have seen every little fault in every room.” Functionality is important, particularly in the dining room and kitchen. “Whether you have a renewed interest in cooking, or just wanting to cater a dinner party, your kitchen and dining rooms are vital.”
When asked about the home office, Walsh responds that it is here to stay. “After spending over a year at home, we have lots of new ideas—as well as wanting to give our spaces added flair.” Last year, most of her client meetings were remote, conducted on Zoom. That limited her ability to focus on body language, which is vital when meeting someone for the first time. “Touch is so important to our industry,” she says. “How can a client pick a comfortable fabric without feeling it? How can a designer see the passion in a client’s face without being one-on-one?”
For Walsh, getting back to normalcy has been a wonderful change. She recently completed a 10,000-square-foot home in Naples, Florida. “The project evolved into one of our best ever,” she beams. “In fact, a national publication already photographed it on our behalf to publish it in the fall.” At the moment, Gil Walsh Interiors has at least a half a dozen projects that are awaiting fall installations and photography.
She’s even been inspired to transform her own home. “We just finished giving the master suite a facelift and have decorated our living room with new, fun accessories and colors.” Walsh also increased her exterior plantings and hardware. “We are adding architectural details and textured layers to our family room. Home is now happily the center of all our entertaining.”