Elizabeth Malmo is known for creating fresh and timeless interiors with a mix of classic design and contemporary elements. Specializing in both residential and commercial projects, she and her team enjoy working with their clients to create unique and comfortable spaces that have a flair for the unexpected. A former project manager at Miles Redd Interior Design, Elizabeth has honed her skills in the trade and has worked in the industry for the past twelve years. A native Tennessean, she graduated from Washington and Lee University and attended graduate school at The New York School of Interior Design. Elizabeth and her husband, along with their three children and two black labs, live in Memphis, TN.
In Her Words...read on to get to know Elizabeth!
How did you get started in Interior Design? What is your background?
I spent my childhood hearing stories about my grandfather who had been an interior designer and who had also died before I was born. Everyone always said that I reminded them of him. I was creative and loved to paint but never really considered pursuing a career as an artist or designer. I spent three years in college thinking I would pursue a career in finance. I filled my schedule with business courses as well as art classes. My art classes were a nice break, but I viewed them as more of a hobby rather than a career. My career path changed after spending the summer before my senior year in New York. I spent the first half of the summer interning for a hedge fund and the second half taking painting classes at Parsons The New School (which my grandfather had attended for Interior Design school). I'll never forget calling my parents at the end of that summer and telling them I was going to pursue a career in interior design. Following college, I enrolled in the New York School of Interior Design for graduate school. I attend NYSID and interned for the very talented, Mile Redd, eventually taking a job after school as a project manager for his firm. In 2013, I moved back to Memphis and opened my own firm, and have loved every minute of it!
What do you love most about including original art in your designs?
Art is such a special part of the home. Not only does it elevate a design, original art typically has a story or special meaning for clients and it is very personal. I think these personal elements are what make a house a home!
What is your favorite room in your own home?
We live in a 1940's home with little storage space. When we bought our house, the laundry room, which was just off the kitchen, was very utilitarian and honestly pretty ugly! It had a toilet that sat right next to the washer and dryer, a sink, and one single small shelf for storage. Luckily it backed up to a larger storage closet in our garage, and we were able to steal this space to create a separate powder room as well as a larger multipurpose laundry room. This new space is not our "mudroom/laundry/office/pantry room". It houses lockers for my kids, pantry storage, a desk with built-in file cabinets, and even a small beer refrigerator for my husband. I knew we would spend a lot of time in this space so I wanted to make it extra special. We have lacquered high gloss cabinets, Scalamandre wallpaper, and a tumbling block pattern tile floor. It brings me joy!
What are your three "must haves" in order to create an inviting space?
- Secondary lighting. Whether it's sconces, art lights, or table lamps, secondary lighting elevates a space and adds ambiance.
- Variation in scale. It is important to have a variety of scales in any space. When selecting fabrics and wallcoverings, make sure to use some small-scale patterns, some large-scale patterns, and some solids. The same goes for furniture. You do not want everything to feel like it is the same size.
- Wall coverings and decorative paint. We joke that I would probably wallpaper every room we design if our clients would let me! That being said, I do think unique walls create inviting spaces. Whether it is a patterned wallpaper, a textured wallcovering like grasscloth, high gloss paint, or applied millwork, a decorative wall provides a beautiful backdrop in any space. One of my favorite things to do is to layer artwork on patterned wallpaper. I think can create such an interesting dynamic!
How to Contact Liz...
Website: elizabethmalmointeriordesign.com | www.collectedbyelizabethmalmo.com
Instagram: @elizabethmalmointeriordesign | @collected_by_elizabethmalmo