Photography courtesy of Whitney Schones Design
By Eleanora Morrison | October 2018
Within seconds of walking into San Antonio interior designer Whitney Schones’s home, it is evident that she does not play the decor game safely, in the most endearing of ways. Her bright and loving personality translates through the magical interiors she designs, and the most refreshing element of her work is her overflowing creativity and wild sense of imagination.
Her work boasts a uniquely eclectic aesthetic, encouraging clients to venture outside of their comfort zones by mixing patterns, splashing pops of color with paint and furniture, hanging bold lighting fixtures, and wallpapering rooms to make them lighter and brigther. One can’t help but feel joyous in a home or office styled by Schones and her team.
With a growing demand of San Antonio clients who have caught onto her tastefully daring designs, Schones’s work is beginning to leave its patterned mark. Inspired by her grandmother’s love of interiors as a little girl, Schones shares her background, her personal preferences, and her top tips and tricks for curating a life well-styled.
EM: What drew you into interior design and what is your background in the industry?
WS: It all started when I would sew pillows with my grandmother and insist on attending all of my mother’s meetings with her interior designer. I couldn’t get enough. I didn’t get my degree in design, however, because I was afraid it was just a phase. When I bought my first house, I fixed it up and friends kept asking me to help with theirs. Once I took my first official client, it snowballed from there.
EM: How would you describe your personal aesthetic when it comes to preference in home styling?
EM: How do you work with your clients to curate their personal worlds to be authentic to them?
WS: I help my clients build the road map to their dream spaces, which is the most fun part of my job. It makes it more interesting and also more challenging. The best part of the process for me is when I am given a pile of pictures that a client has collected, and incorporate their inspirations along the way. Pictures really do speak a thousand words. Clients don’t usually understand why they like a picture of an interior, but it is always clear to me what their preferences are.
EM: When you work with clients, what is it that you find is the biggest misconception when it comes to styling an interior?
WS: That it happens overnight. Usually a project doesn’t have a clear vision until after two, or even three meetings. If I hurry along, I might create something that a client won’t be happy with long-term. Slow and steady always wins the race.
WS: Just like favorite clothing designers, discover who your favorite furniture or fabric designers are. That fabric might be much more expensive than you intend to spend, but slow down and wait until you can buy that one piece that makes you the happiest. The designer pieces age better, and hold better value over time.
WS: As far as magazines, ELLE Decor, Traditional Home, and Architectural Digest are my go-to sources of inspiration. I also am inspired by coffee table books–the older the coffee table book, the better.
WS: I always suggest to slowly collect case goods that will last for a lifetime. Leave your side tables and lamps last–go to Target for those, and just plan on having to replace them in a few years.
WS: You have to be true to yourself. I never suggest finding a Pinterest post and copying it. The BEST spaces are the unique ones, the ones that include a chest from a great-grandparent and a piece of art that someone splurged on when they couldn’t really afford it, but knew that they would have it forever. Use what you already have instead of buying “filler” objects and artworks.
Editor in Chief
Editor in Chief and Creative Director of ELEANORA Magazine, Morrison is the Founder and CEO of S.H.E Media. A writer, digital content creator and entrepreneur born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Morrison is thrilled to be showcasing creative and editorial talents in the pages of ELEANORA who contribute from all over the world. Read more about Morrison and this month’s features in her latest Editor’s Letter. Follow her creative curiosities, mindful musings and day-to-day life at EleanoraMorrison.com and on social media @eleanoramorrison.