Taylor Spellman is a natural in front of the camera. It’s no surprise, then, that the host of Bravo’s “Yours, Mine or Ours” got her start as a dancer at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater before switching gears to launch her own design company at 23. Spellman’s bold, direct style helped her carve a niche decorating bachelor homes, including Million Dollar Listing’s Ryan Serhant. Add staging expert and flea market shark to her impressive roster, and there’s no stopping this star.
What inspired this career path for you?
I have always been in the arts, as I have been a dancer since practically before I could walk. I attended a performing arts high school and then started my college career with Alvin Ailey at Fordham University. I find design to be an extension of dance and the arts in general, as I work to balance bold moves with a flowing grace, just like I did on the stage. I learned my work ethic, attention to detail, and ability to think on my feet through dance.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
New York City is my biggest muse. The city is so vibrant with its eclectic mix of colors, textures, and people that I rarely have a day where I do not find something that gets my creative juices flowing. Also, I am an avid journal writer and I can often be found sketching my way towards my next great design or business plan. The original Domino: The Book of Decorating, Elle Décor, and Architectural Digest are either on my nightstand or in my massive vintage Gucci bag at all times.
Tell us about the Bravo show you are starring in. What do you hope people will take away from it?
My greatest hope for anyone who watches me on Bravo is that they are able to take away a design technique that will help them to create a living space that makes them feel inspired, safe, and “at home”. I do not view interior design as a luxury item, as our homes are our havens, and if I can provide the inspiration for someone to develop a space that speaks to their life, then I have done my job.
Your company motto is all about “work harder, play the hardest”. Why is this balance so important to your success?
When I started Taylor Spellman New York, I had two employees. Now I have a team that has grown organically of all women who work their fingers to the bone every day, all over the city. I like to emphasize the “play the hardest” when talking about my team, as the beauty of our office is that we live in the ridiculously stressful and fast-paced world of New York City real estate, but we still manage to leave it at the office when we end our days with very large glasses of wine. We also are all very fluent in sarcasm, which is fuel to the adrenaline fire that is the heart of TSNY.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Explain your creative process.
My creative process is a tried-and-true recipe of my journal, Blick colored pencils, Cabernet, 90s R&B, and constant laughs with my loved ones. Vision boards make my world go around, and I am constantly refining my look, searching for fellow creatives who inspire me.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
My lifelines are my number two Ticonderoga pencils, my journal, and my color wheel that is attached to my hip. I am a visual person, so I need to see and sketch to create the vision of my designs. A great problem that is developing for me is that I am working on so many projects at once, that my journal of sketches is now essential to keep track of my clients. I would also add that my team is a huge part of my tool kit — they keep me grounded and focused.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
Iris Apfel. I appreciate her love of all things — textures, patterns, colors. She is unapologetically herself, and that has allowed her to build an empire that serves as a daily inspiration to me.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
Most definitely Chelsea Handler, mainly because I would like to drink wine and laugh at every single thing she says. I would do an open concept living room, as it is the perfect backdrop for laughing and drinking one too many dirty martinis.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
Tailor your home to suit you and design for how you really live.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Domino and Elle Décor are a huge part of my life. I also would be lost without Interior Design Magazine which I consider to be the handbook to advanced and sophisticated design.
What do you love about Viyet?
Viyet does exactly what I aspire to do with my designs — give people access to pieces that will allow them to create a home that showcases who they are. The variety of beautiful pieces and the careful attention to detail in the curation of Viyet’s collections lets people really find what works for them. I also love the interface of the website and have to admit I have gotten lost in it on more than one occasion. Nowhere else can you find such quality, as this is your one-stop shop for high-end personalized pieces.