“ART IS A GREAT WAY TO FIND HUMOR”
Marisa Friedmann and her husband Scott are the masterminds behind The Home Revivalists, a New Jersey firm that designs, develops, and renovates homes and properties. “There is such a beautiful harmony that happens when you take a moment to appreciate the old school charm revivals possess,” says Marisa of her work, “versus tackling, deploying, demo'ing, and throwing together cookie-cutter layouts and generic materials.”
What inspired you to transition from working in fashion to building your own design firm?
I worked in fashion for 10+ years before fully transitioning to home, but always dabbled with interiors and enjoyed the spillage from fashion into decorating my many, many apartments throughout my tenure.
If you think about it, they're so inherent to each other - mixing colors, textures, silhouettes, and shapes to find components that provide complement and balance. Once I began having children, creating harmonious spaces became less of a pastime and more of an essential.
Describe your typical day.
I have 3.5 wild kiddos (2 boys, 1 girl, and a pooch), so my days start early - lots of chasing and chaos, but I always, without fail, give myself 15 minutes of meditation and a very strong espresso before it all. My day-to-day from there varies but typically involves visiting vendors, traveling to project sites, designing in my studio, and then taxiing kids to and from sports, and doing my very best to keep them all healthy, active, and present.
The variety each day brings really keeps me on my toes in the best way. After my kids are in bed, my wind-down begins, which always includes 45 minutes of cardio or pilates. I have a sauna blanket and love to crawl into that afterward to enjoy a show with my husband and a cup of tea. Keeping a consistent morning and evening routine always helps me feel balanced and recharged.
“Art is a great way to
find humor — which,
in my opinion, we can
never get enough of.”
How do you ensure a cohesive approach to property revival and interior design?
Being thoughtful is key. There is such a beautiful harmony that happens when you actually take a moment to digest and appreciate the old-school charm revivals possess, versus tackling, deploying, demo'ing, and throwing together cookie-cutter layouts and generic materials, which sadly, happens all too often.
I really thrive on shifting the context of things. You can have scrolly 10" moldings and parquet flooring, but then kick the furniture silhouettes up a notch, incorporate some texture and shine, modernize the paint palettes. The resulting synergy of old and new can be absolutely divine if the edit allows it.
Your best tips for making a space feel like home?
Pull out your inner collector and display the heck out of all the things! The knick-knacks you bought on vacation or sentimental art from your kids - get some chic shelves and show 'em off.
I collect vintage designer silk scarves and pottery (my kids included). Each piece has a story - I can tell you where I was when I received it, who I was with, what it's reminiscent of, etc. They're all over my house (strategically placed, of course). It's the stories and memories attached to special items that make spaces feel individual and homey. Side note - a nostalgic scent and vibey music also work wonders.
Advice for picking artwork for a room?
Always select pieces that speak positivity to you at a glance via color, content, scale, or whatever floats your boat and makes your heart sing. Life can be complicated and heavy.
Art is a great way to find solace or humor, which in my opinion, we can never get enough of.
Can you tell us about ArtStar pieces you have used in previous projects and why?
I chose Dress (by Ulas & Merve) ironically for a room that I "outfitted" in head-to-toe Missoni Home. Aside from the gorgeous shade of muted mauve used to depict her garment, the play on pulling the curtain down to shield herself, but not entirely. Show the shoe, honey. The tease. I loved it. Take Out Florals (by Natasha Martin) was just so clever. I used it in a casual dining niche. It's the perfect conversation piece. It's playful and silly, but also, gets the juices flowing with the florals as the food. As my Grandfather used to say, "Food is Medicine." I feel like he would really appreciate this one.
TAKEOUT FLORALS by NATASHA MARTIN
Fine Art Photography
DRESS by ULAS & MERVE
Fine Art Photography
PENANCE by HARRIET MOUTSOPOULOS
Fine Art Photography