Interior Designer Spotlight with Randy Trainor
Founder-owner C. Randolph Trainor Interiors, Franconia, NH.
For over 25 years Randy Trainor has done award-wining interior design for clients while teaching design students and giving lectures. Prior to starting her own company, Randy worked at the highly respected J. Taylor Hogan Interiors in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to her design work, Randy coaches ski racers all over the world as well as in nearby Cannon Mountain.
Join me as Randy shares her insights on interior design and how it is changing with Pinterest and new technologies.
Is it More Challenging to Have Your Interior Design Firm Based in a Rural Town?
“My client-base used to be in the Seacoast Region. I still have a ton of clients on the coast and also travel all over New Hampshire as well as to the North Shore in Massachusetts. I also hop on a plane and go somewhere if my clients have a second home. I don’t feel like I’m stuck in northern New Hampshire. Plus, it turns out that there are so many second homes up here. If they embark on remodeling or building, they need someone up here who is their eyes and ears on the job site and makes sure the design stays true to what it’s supposed to be. I keep the desired outcome in mind as I help with the numerous construction decisions that need to be made along the way.”
Is it Harder to Source Home Furnishings Locally?
“It’s amazing what you find up here! I came up and skied every weekend for 15 winters before we moved up full-time. And yet, when I got up here, I found that the resources were incredible. I mean, the mill work company I use goes all up and down the east coast, they do a lot of work in the Hamptons, and they are in Architectural Digest all the time. And they are right here! It turns out that I coach the owner’s son in skiing. There’s a blacksmith up here who’s work has been on the cover of Architectural Digest. So there are people like that who moved here because of the way of life.”
You Design for the Client and Not for the Pages of Magazines, Why?
“For someone to be happy, a house has to live well for them. How frustrating is it, if you walk into a house and it looks pretty, but the furniture isn’t placed correctly or the lighting isn’t good. If something is not convenient for the way you live, it’s not good for you as a client and it’s not good for the interior designer. Because every time you have to deal with that “frustrating thing,” you will think of the designer. I like my clients to have comfort and convenience and to have a house that looks pretty and nice. My clients can have all of these things because I can integrate them very easily.”
You Teach and Lecture on Interior Design. Why Should an Interior Designer Continue to Educate Themselves?
“I can’t imagine a designer who is not curious about what’s new and how interior design is changing. I’m just naturally curious about what’s coming and how I can introduce it to my clients. Plus, if you are a member of the American Society of Interior Designers or the International Interior Designer Association you are required to keep up with your certifications.”
How Will Interior Design Change in the Next 2–5 Years?
“Definitely from the furnishings standpoint. Everything is going to be a lot more custom. Even with smaller projects. I just got a brochure from my furniture manufacturer this morning and there’s a whole section on making a sofa the way you want. Make the arm you want. Make the leg you want. I see custom options becoming more affordable and am hoping people will understand that they can access those things.”
How Did You Become Experienced at Using Cowhide Rugs?
“One of my clients happens to like leather. When we were looking through samples the client really liked some of the cowhide samples. So it snowballed from there! 95% of the furnishings were custom designed. She liked a very limited color palette and it was a ski house so she wanted it to be sophisticated but not formal. The leather and the hair-on-hide seemed to be a way to get there without getting too much into the ski theme. We did include winter references like having a sled over the living room fireplace. Since we had so many rugs, we kept it interesting with different designs. Some were natural, some were colored, and some even came with the ranchers brand on them. There were a couple of big boys!”
Which is Your Favorite Interior Design Magazine?
“I would have to say Architectural Digest and Veranda. I like the variety of projects. You get to see things that aren’t just run of the mill. I’m also from the south which is why I like Veranda. They seem to focus more on southern things. I’m personally a clean-lined traditionalist but obviously I don’t just design in that style. I do everything from a ski country chic house to a contemporary kitchen and bath.”
Has Pinterest Changed the Way You Present Design Ideas to Clients?
“I see how we present designs to clients is changing from touch and feel and spreading the fabrics in front of them — to using technologies such as Pinterest. I have done several Pinterest boards for clients and it seems to have worked well. I still get in front of them at some points during the project. For example, I’m working for a big resort and 50 of the units are time shares. So I’m working with a committee which is spread out all over the country. So the Pinterest board is working well because they can all look at it and make comments. It’s also great when I have busy clients who travel a lot or are living overseas.”
For more on Randy Trainor: C. Randolph Trainor Interiors