Designer Friday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Prudence Bailey

Prudence Bailey is motivated by creating spaces that are approachable and unexpected with a dash of whimsy, or “gold” as she calls it, in the mix. Her style is defined by clean lines, fresh accents and an overall comforting aesthetic. Her design firm, Prudence Home + Design, effortlessly amalgamates modern and traditional elements in her projects, which makes them feel equal parts timeless and contemporary. And with over 17,000 followers on Instagram, Prudence has been able to share her projects and insights to her fellow designers and design appreciators alike! Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Prudence Bailey.

The Oakpark Avenue project designed by Prudence, is meticulously covered in hues of pale blue. The light and airy living area features demilune tables by the CEH and Port 68 mirrors upholstered in Tillett Textiles. Photo by Julia Dags.

Andrew Joseph: What’s your go to bed ritual?
Prudence Bailey: I probably have a terrible go to bed ritual that would make sleep therapists cringe! The way I unwind at night after working and taking care of my daughter and pets is I jump in bed, put my AirPods on and binge-watch my latest series until I can’t keep my eyes open!

Andrew: What modern design trend makes you cringe?
Prudence: I don’t love warm earth tones which are really having a moment right now! They always feel muddy to me. While they are definitely having a moment, it may be a fleeting moment, or at least I hope so. We don’t really follow trends too much in our designs so they don’t impact us in a way that we feel pressure to stay “on trend”. But, there are some trends right now such as floral wallpaper that we are so happy to see since we tend to do them a fair amount!

Andrew: What’s your favorite time of day?
Prudence: Early morning when everyone is sleeping still. I get so much done and without interruption! It’s so nice to be able to think clearly without the dogs barking or my daughter constantly saying “Mommy, Mommy, Mommy…!”

Tones of blue ranging from teal to navy work together cohesively to create this welcoming space. Photo by Julia Dags.

Andrew: What is one thing no one knows about you?
Prudence: I used to be a champion sprinter when I was in my formative years. My parents learned I could sprint when I was in Elementary school and I beat all the boys in the 50 yard dash. I started running on a track team by fourth grade for Northern California and was ranked second in the quarter-mile by the time I was in 6th grade! My great grandfather ran the quarter-mile in the Olympic trials with Jesse Owens so I guess it was in my blood! I ended up giving up sprinting while at boarding school and took up cross country competitive running and still distance running today. It’s a huge stress reliever for me.

Andrew: Dream country to work in? Or a dream project to take on.
Prudence: I would love to work in Paris and design a Parisian apartment! I just love the architecture there and how the Parisian people feel about design.

Andrew: Vintage or new?
Prudence: It has to be both. I feel so strongly that it’s all in the mix so I have to say a bit of both! Don’t you just love a modern design with an unexpected antique element on its own. Maybe it’s a chest, mirror or a crystal chandelier amidst the other modern elements. It’s presence creates friction between genres that is absolute magic!

Andrew: Style (or design) icon?
Prudence: My design icon is Mary McDonald. I absolutely love her designs with her impeccable use of color and vintage. She is a master at any design style!

This quaint guest suite in the Parish II home features unique elements such as Schumacher striped wall covering, Ryan Studio’s luxury pillows, and an elegant soft grey bench from West Elm. Photo by Julia Dags.

Andrew: What’s your biggest fear in life?
Prudence: My biggest fear is great white sharks! Growing up in the Red Triangle in Northern California’s SF Bay Area, Great Whites were a constant with the Farallon Islands just a few nautical miles away. I am fascinated by them as well and have read countless books about them as well as will watch any show. I am a walking Great White encyclopedia of knowledge so I don’t put a toe in the ocean!

Andrew: Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Prudence: I packed my bags in 2004 and moved to New York City from the SF Bay Area without knowing a soul. I was recruited by a firm in NY and they paid for my move so I took the offer. It was three weeks from the moment the company called me for an interview to my moving into my apartment in New York so it was a fast decision. My entire family lives in CA so it was really scary to move there and be so isolated but I clearly made it work! It was the scariest and the best thing I did in my life! I believe when you put yourself out of your comfort zone, there is no option but to succeed.

Andrew: Favorite bad movie?
Prudence: Wild Things with Denise Richards and Neve Campbell. I love the plot twist and the chemistry between those two women! Whenever someone says they don’t like that movie, I don’t believe them! It’s one of those movies people are afraid to say the like so they do it in secret! 

The name of this project is “Old Road,” but there is nothing old about it. A Gray Malin piece hangs gracefully over the breakfast nook and is accompanied by benches upholstered by Shumacher and Greenhouse Fabrics.

Andrew: Favorite Piece of clothing you own?
Prudence: I am known for all my dresses! I have so many and it’s really hard to pick a favorite since I love them all! I probably own at least 500 dresses, maybe more. The addiction is real! I wear them all year round.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Prudence: I love all the color that is popping up in design! Whether its bright happy colors or moody dark tones, it’s really fabulous! A life in grays seems so sad to me so seeing all this new found love of color in interior design makes me so happy! Color always adds a smile to everyone’s life.

Andrew: If you made a documentary, what would it be about?
Prudence: Language! In art school, I wanted to create a film called Babble based on the Tower of Babble. I would go across the US and film people talking in various towns and Parishes. It’s amazing how in our own country, the accents and dialects change and sometimes it sounds like US citizens are speaking another language entirely!

About The Designer | Prudence Bailey thrives on the joy her clients feel after revealing an exquisitely transformed room much more expressive of their lifestyle and taste than before. After stepping away from a successful corporate career that spanned over two decades, Prudence decided to turn her great passion for decorating into a prosperous profession in 2015 when she launched Prudence Home + Design (PHD) as a full-service interior design firm. She provides clean and fresh interiors that blend modern and traditional styles, which has become her signature look, while well-versed in working in any palate, layering and style depending on the client’s desire. Hailing her experiences in her previous career Prudence was able to transfer her expertise into running a thriving business. Prudence Home + Design was founded on creating inviting and comfortable spaces that are based on her client’s manner.

“I seek to truly understand my clients’ style. I work hard to use interior design as a means to bring to life their vision and personality. I also want to make the process enjoyable the whole way through for my clients by being financially transparent, positive, easy to work with and results oriented.”

A graduate of Northfield Mt. Herman and University of the Pacific where she studied art, this native Northern Californian presently resides in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Prudence has decorated numerous significant city, coastal and country homes and estates and as well as retail businesses on both the East and West Coasts. Prudence Home + Design offers a vast range of services from total room makeovers to full-scale renovations. She and her team deliver marvelous custom furniture design, strong array of window treatments, significant art selection, color consultation, and space planning as well as accessorizing, home organization and staging as needed. Prudence is a winner of Serendipity 2020 Home Design Awards.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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