By Christy Kyser Truitt
Auburn resident Patsy Young and daughter Julie Young Lewis of New York City spent many a night rearranging Julie’s childhood bedroom. Little did they know, these late-hour adventures would grow into the international company Julieann Gregory. The dynamic duo has designed interiors from Alabama corporate headquarters to Tribeca lofts in New York City and is now poised to stretch their influence across the pond.
The design firm offers multi-discipline elements which include corporate branding, complete home renovation and event styling, but perhaps the most unique feature is the e-Design. “This is a budget friendly option for the Do-It-Yourself enthusiast that needs a dash of professional advice,” says Lewis.
The service allows an affordable flat-rate fee, based on the room specifications. The firm will then mail a customized, digital book to include all you need to complete the perfectly designed room.
“While in Auburn University’s Architecture Program, I studied classical architecture in Rome. After graduation, I moved to New York City and then to London. I moved three times in three years! This inspired me to consider others who find themselves changing locations often, which is actually pretty typical of New Yorkers. I wanted to see if I could develop an interior design service which would help people design for the future, to factor in where they might be in five to 10 years, and what elements of their home should be transitional. A foundation to build from where every space has to be functional. E-Design by Julieann Gregory was born,” says Lewis, 26.
The unique program has caught the attention of international bloggers, Babyccino, a European site followed by tens of thousands around the world. The popular site for all things babies has only endorsed certain products to date, and Julieann Gregory will be the first of a group of services the site endorses. “We finished a job which will be on the blog in a few weeks. We want to show the world how we can help design space for children, how to select foundational pieces, how to decorate to a budget allowing different alternatives to certain selections. We do all this digitally, yet what we recommend we’ve personally experienced,” says Lewis.
Young adds, “We don’t recommend a chair until we’ve sat in it. A home should be a
reflection and layering of a lifetime. The client is the biggest driver, and we’re here to help them think of the future.”
Lewis describes a client in New York City with a two bedroom apartment. “The second bedroom would need to be a bedroom, office and eventually a baby room. The client was cost conscious so the larger ticket items had to be transitional,” says Lewis.
The ladies gained a love of design through travels. “Italy was eye candy for me,” says Lewis. Relationships developed across the pond between Lewis and others involved in interior design such as antique brokers and fabric suppliers while Young created and nurtured contacts reaching from Atlanta up the East Coast. Both ladies have backgrounds in construction while Lewis graduated Magna Cum Laude from Auburn University School of Architecture and interned with the famed design firm Bunny Williams, Inc.
“We’ve both worn the hard hats,” says Young.
Both emphasize the importance of knowing the structure of the canvas before painting the landscape. “We need to offer advice on the shape of windows and how a room will catch the light which will influence the type of draperies we recommend. Which rooms will need more stable flooring because we know the bath will have a cast-iron tub or which walls will need extra studs to hang a heavy mirror,” says Young. “I work very closely with my clients and have never completed a job without making a new friend.”
Family and business. Normally one would avoid the two yet these ladies make it work by leveraging each other’s strengths. “Julie is amazingly organized and very strong on the business side of things. Let’s just say we’ll both come back from a shopping trip, and her receipts are filed in alphabetical order while mine’s still crumpled in my back pocket. But we’ve been staying up late and moving furniture for as long as I can remember and are passionate about taking someone’s lifestyle and transferring that to space,” says Young.
Even the business name reflects the values of the company. “I have dreamed of naming a company Julieann Gregory after my three children, a combination of their names. Julie loved the name too, as it was a reminder of her favorite counterparts growing up,” says Young.
Across a continent, or around the world, Julieann Gregory Lifestyle & Interiors can take any design project from conception to living. From their home in Auburn which Young began decorating over 23 years ago to the small space of a New York City walk-up, through digital communication to in-house consultation, the firm stands prepared to serve the evolving needs of the market through any life season.
“The boundaries of a project aren’t found in the walls or rooms of a home. The essence of a project is the client,” says Lewis.