Drew Mcgukin is known for a touch of the ‘unexpected’ combined with beautiful textures, bold patterns, and the perfect amount of sophistication.
What inspired this career path for you? I have always been surrounded by design. My mom is a floral designer and my dad is a developer. When I grew up, our house was in a constant state of renovation, redecoration or addition — partially due to a growing family and partially due to my creative parents needing an outlet to express themselves. I think design was woven into my being at a very young age. From there, you just can’t escape who you are!
What is your go-to source for inspiration? Easy — people and travel. I have some of the most elegant friends and family members that inspire me daily. I’m also a go-go-go person. As much as I can see, touch, experience is great for me. I love learning and there is so much to learn from other people, as well as visiting other places, even if they’re not that far away.
Tell us about your creative process. I live by the mantra “Design = Collaboration” — I’m a hunter and gatherer. I love to collect-collect-collect, ask-ask-ask, brainstorm-brainstorm-brainstorm, then begin a very directed editing process. I think wide nets are best. I love to be inspired by something totally unexpected or quirky, then take that ball and run. I also like to draw unexpected inspiration from my clients and what’s running through their minds.
Describe your style in 6 words or less. Sophisticated, soulful, artistic and tailored… Timeless yet unexpected.
What are the biggest trends you see in interior design right now and what are you loving (and not loving)? I’m loving that there seems to be a real return to quality and less focus on mass availability. Things seem to be getting “special” again, which resonates as thoughtful, sophisticated, unique — it’s a very good thing. I’m not loving that many clients seems to have become overnight “design experts” within all facets of the industry b/c they can bring up a website and rattle off some fool proof design jargon! Let us not forget, there’s some magic that’s required in the process and not everyone is a magician.
What’s a staple in your toolkit? Felt furniture pads and an iPhone charger!
Who do you look up to in the design world? Honestly, I look up to my contemporaries. There’s a solid group of young upstart designers in NYC (and across the US) that have been killin’ it for several years now. We’ve all become wonderful friends. We help each other, we prop each other up, we refine one another and make each other stronger. We all ZOOM together! It’s amazing and I love how hard these awesome, talented, spirited humans work. They are tops in my book and they know who they are…! As far as mentors and cheerleaders go? Alexa Hampton is my modern day hero for her positive approach and stellar attitude about the whole business. She’s pretty incredible, and that doesn’t even begin to discuss her design acumen!
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for who would it be? I’d really love to be challenged by something like a massive old castle and how to make that feel modern and fresh, yet still honor the relevance, beauty, tradition, elegance and formality of days gone by…
Tell us your favorite design related word, phrase, or quote How about my least favorite words? “Bespoke” and “Curated” are totally over-played. Both words make me roll my eyes lately. Buzz-word Central! There’s a quote I love, love, love from Jeffrey Alan Marks: The Meaning of Home… Interior Design is a very personal thing. It’s like standing in front of the world naked and saying, “Hey, everyone, this is me!”
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? I barely watch TV, my magazines stack up like crazy, and I’m not a blog reader… how about that for an answer? It’s true (as much as I hate to admit). I’m on-the-go so much that I often don’t have the time, so I soak up inspiration in lots other ways. I’m constantly trending, but when I’m stumped, bored or need a lift, one website I always go to is 1stdibs.com. It’s a hotbed of inspiration for me across the board.