Sandra Funk, principal of Montclair’s House of Funk design studio, is the interior designer you’ve always wanted. Wide-smiled and welcoming, Sandra’s love for home and spaces is clear to anyone she meets. The mother of two young children and a ten-year-old design studio, she has not only learned what it means to be a full-service designer, but also an incredibly savvy businesswoman. Without sacrificing her charm, Sandra is a fierce entrepreneur in a crowded market. With client-geared services and a polished business model, she has expanded her passion from a one-woman workshop into a firm of stylish, modern women who stake their place in today’s residential interiors landscape. Step into the House of Funk and join me in conversation with the bubbliest and brightest designer in New Jersey. Effortlessly transitioning between modern and traditional, Sandra’s take on this New Jersey estate is glossy, glamorous, and golden.
Andrew Joseph – What’s your wakeup ritual?
Sandra Funk – A homemade Cafe Americano and a Zone bar while checking emails, social, weather and the news. Do the morning routine with my kids, meditate, get myself ready, then zip over to my studio to dig in on the day ahead.
Andrew – How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Sandra – I think balance is pretty elusive. Juggling act is more like it. But really, for me, it’s all about delegating absolutely everything that someone else could do as well, if not better, than me. From bookkeeping to laundry, this is one of my keys to joy. The things only I do best? Relationships (with my family, friends, my team and my clients) and my design vision. The rest is really teachable.
Andrew – What modern design trend makes you cringe?
Sandra – Throw away furnishings. It’s bad for the earth and bad for your soul. Invest in long term, quality items that are made from authentic materials. Your inner peace will thank you.
Andrew – What’s your favorite time of day?
Sandra – 10 pm. Everyone else is asleep (ok, should be – my 11-year-old may be nocturnal like her mother). I dim the lights, put away the last of the days clutter, pour myself a nice glass of Cabernet, snuggle my dog and grab my laptop. From jotting down some new ideas to surfing for inspiration, it’s a quiet, creative time that I cherish.
Andrew – Who do you want to write your obituary?
Sandra – Me! OMG, I am the creator of my own life, my story, my journey – I’ll be the one to tell my story, my legacy. I envision it like an Oscar acceptance speech, I’ll thank the collaborators, contributors, my people, and leave them with my words of wisdom and lots and lots of expressions of love.
Andrew – How would you define your work in three words?
Sandra – Soul, grit, and emotion.
Andrew – Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Sandra – Ripped jeans.
Andrew – What might the design world look like in 10 years?
Sandra – I envision a design industry that is professional, direct, decisive, soulful, and earns their worth with grace and humility.
Andrew – Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Sandra – Eye Cream.
Andrew – A book that everyone should read?
Sandra – Memoirs of a Geisha – it just transports you. Another time & place. So sensual, dangerous, scandalous. With stunning imagery. Sandra lights up this pastoral farm house with soothing wall colors, a rustic ring chandelier, and a couch big enough for the whole family.
Andrew – What would you like to be remembered for?
Sandra – SHARING – sharing my designs, my business info, myself with my family and friends.
Andrew – How do you define beauty?
Sandra – All in the eye of the beholder. Mine and yours will vary greatly.
Andrew – Best way to take a rest/decompress?
Sandra – Travel. I find even if its a long, relaxing weekend at home, there is always a closet that needs to be cleaned out, mail opened, work to review, etc. When I travel, I do my best “unplug.” Absolutely necessary in my life.
And, in a pinch, an 80 min deep tissue massage helps…. : )
Andrew – Favorite city to recharge?
Sandra – I am absolutely lit up / alive with energy in the Napa / Sonoma area. It feeds my soul. The air, soil, food, wine, people, vistas and architecture all restore me.
Andrew – If you made a documentary, what would it be about?
Sandra – The spiritual journey to India that I am planning. How I’m transitioning from interior designer to lifestyle guru by layering in my spirituality into everything I do.
Andrew – Last piece of content you consumed that made you cry?
Sandra – Glee re-runs, Dammit.
Andrew – Who is your ideal client?
Sandra – Hard working, kind human with great style and an appreciative and trusting nature.
Andrew – Are there qualities in potential clients that you identify that make you know you have to run away?
Sandra – Oh yes. Perfectionism. It kills creativity and the artistic process.
Andrew – A song you can listen to on repeat?
Sandra – FourFiveSeconds by Rihanna, Kanye West, Paul McCartney It’s a bad-ass call to action, rise up and fight kinda jam…
Andrew – If you could switch lives with someone for a day who would it be?
Sandra – No one. Liking my existence, thank you.
Andrew – Your affirmation for today?
Sandra – I am loved.Booth or chair? Always space-conscious, Funk gives the option of either in this kitchenette with booths along the window for optimal breakfast-time accommodations.
About Sandra Funk | Sandra Funk is the founder and principal designer of House of Funk, an award-winning full-service and online interior design firm with offices in NY and NJ. House of Funk draws on over a decade in business to create thoughtful homes with an emphasis on clean lines and soulful touches, all rooted in tradition.
In 2017, the firm won second place in The American Society of Interior Designers’ NY Metro Chapter’s Design Excellence Awards for living space design. Sandra’s design work has been featured in numerous publications, including Elle Decor, The Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Luxe Interiors + Design, Dering Hall, and Design NJ.
About Andrew Joseph | Andrew Joseph’s passion for design and rich journalistic history led to the launch of his boutique PR firm in 2012. Prior to enjoying the successes of Andrew Joseph PR, Andrew honed his editorial skills at Vanity Fair and Allure. This experience, as well as the strong network of contacts developed over the years in public relations, brings a valuable edge to his new role as contributing editor. Let the musing begin.
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