Francesca Grace is a force to be reckoned with. The interior designer, stager, and reality star, who has appeared on HGTV’s Fix My Flip and Netflix’s Buying Beverly Hills is a true bon vivant, exuding genuine positive energy wherever she goes. Grace’s designs are also a breath of fresh air. While her staging work has a modern yet warm modern vibe—her Silver Lake, Los Angeles home is grand millennial perfection with a mix of patterns, pieces from different eras, and high and low. But it’s quite clear she isn’t doing for social media. Her designs are a true reflection of her personality.
I recently spoke with Grace about what she’s been doing since her reality television debut earlier in 2022, her plans for 2023, her best tips for those inspired by her style and so much more.
Amanda Lauren: How have you been spending your time since Fix My Flip wrapped?
Francesca Grace: Since Fix My Flip wrapped, I have been working on large home development projects, ground-up construction, and designing my newest round of pieces that I will be launching in 2023. I finally have had the time I needed to sit down and thoughtfully curate this new collection. The question I am toying with currently is—do I allow these pieces to finally be a collection that the public can purchase, or do I keep them solely for my stagings?
Lauren: Can you reveal anything about your next project?
Grace: I am designing a home that will be part of 2023 Modernism Week in Palm Springs. This has been such a passion project and a dream that is finally coming true. The developer Alex Chuo and I have been working hand in hand, getting this home ready for its debut this upcoming February. He really allowed me to bring my vision to life and has trusted me fully, which as an interior designer, is my ultimate goal—to be trusted.
Lauren: How would you describe your personal style?
Grace: What a tough question. My personal style is constantly changing, just like the sofas in my living room. I have had over seventeen different sofas this last year—if that doesn’t say enough about my never-ending need to constantly change my environment.
I would say that if I had to explain my style to someone who isn’t familiar with my work, it would be an [extreme mix] of different textures, earthy and rich color schemes, and a collaboration of vintage meets postmodern. I love curved shapes, embroidery, and marbles. Mixing all of this together brings me this warm and cozy feeling.
Lauren: What is the difference between maximalist and clutter core?
Grace: I think maximalists use different techniques together to create something beautiful that speaks [to] art. Clutter, well we all love our things…but clutter sometimes feels overwhelming and non-intentional. I think that when you want to blend eras, patterns, and colors, with a pinch of chaos, you have to do it with the intention for it to feel purposeful and something you are proud of or care to share with others. It brings life—not stress.
Lauren: How do you approach designing a home where someone will live versus staging a property?
Grace: I love this question [because] interior design and staging are so different. When designing a space for the purpose to be lived in, you are designing for your client. You want to cater to their needs and adapt to their style, while introducing them to new concepts and feelings.
With staging, you are designing for the masses. You want to make the home screams “Top Dollar” and you want anyone, not just someone, to be able to envision living in it. This means staying away from the personal touches and creating a universal space.
Do I follow all of these rules when staging? Not necessarily. Sometimes, if the house is a stale modern box, it is dying for attention and personal touch. So I usually throw out my own rules when it comes to special cases. But for the most part—universal.
Lauren: I’ve noticed there’s been a cultural gravitation towards traditional design since the pandemic, why do you think that is?
Grace: I think people are finally understanding how important their environment is to them. We have all been stuck at home, and we want to feel inspired, not exhausted from our spaces. They should be sacred and inviting and should relate to who we are as individuals.
Traditional/vintage design usually creates a comforting and homey feeling. Modern designs are cold and crisp. When it comes to being surrounded by a space for a long period of time, you may want that space to feel like home, and somewhere where you can put your feet up at the end of the day and breathe. Traditional designs send the invitation.
Lauren: What are your favorite ways to make any room feel more traditional?
Grace: When people hear “traditional design”, they sometimes think of the space as being old and outdated. I think it really depends on how you approach the space. Blending rustic woods, imperfect shapes, a softer color palette, and whimsical patterns will help you achieve a traditional design while keeping it fresh and unpredictable.
Lauren: Mixing patterns can be a big part of traditional design and we see a lot of this in your own home. What are your best tips for accomplishing this?
Grace: There is definitely a fine line for clashing patterns. I tend to love to push it, usually a little past that line. The goal with mixing is that you want to find the balance within it all. If the space feels heavier in a certain pattern and minimal in another, the space will feel awkward and unbalanced. You can usually measure it out, as you would with measuring flour. Look at your space from a distance. Sometimes I even take a picture and look at it from there. See where it feels most unbalanced. Throw in another pattern if one area feels too bare. This will begin to maximize the design and create unity.
Lauren: Where are some of your favorite places to shop for furniture and decor?
Grace: I think traveling is my favorite form of seeking inspiration and new items. Morocco was an incredible place for handmade ceramics with unique colors and prints. Paris was great for small treasures and rustic woods. And Middle America is excellent for thrift stores with rare finds.
If you are more of an online shopper, Etsy is my top choice. I really like to find handmade goods. They have so much more character, and you are usually not going to end up with the same item as your neighbor.
Lauren: What are some places you like to shop that might surprise most people?
Grace: Honestly, Facebook Marketplace. I am not going to lie, I am a die-hard fan of Facebook. The search bar is a never-ending world of rare and sometimes, strange finds. I also have an extreme addiction, so I look daily to see if anything stands out. I also love CB2. I think they do a great job at modernizing vintage designs, and postmodern elements.
The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.