We’re excited to present our Interior Designer of the Month, Brett Helsham, the woman behind the eponymous powerhouse studio Brett Helsham Designs (BHD). After getting her start in high-end fashion, Helsham decided to pursue her passion for interior design with a special preference for mid-century modern decor with an edge. Read on to discover more about her background and the inspiration behind her very own AptDeco collection!

Brett Helsham, founder of Brett Helsham Designs

Helsham began her career working in PR for high-end fashion labels, and fell into interior design seemingly by fate. “I was going to start a company that would go into people’s homes to make them more green – nothing really to do with design” she recalls. A friend who was moving at the time offered to let Helsham try her hand at greening-up her new apartment – and it became so much more.

Modern Living room designed by Brett Helsham Designs
photo via Brett Helsham Designs

That first opportunity had Helsham hooked. “It was very DIY – I painted the living room walls baby blue myself, resanded her existing dresser and painted and stenciled with flowers, among other things. I was young, but hooked. That’s when I decided to bribe all my friends to let me do their apartments (laughs) – I set myself the objetive of putting a portfolio together to apply to grad school. I even quit my job and I went to this architecture firm to get more experience. I remember that I told them I would get them coffee or whatever it took to have the opportunity to work with them (laughs).” Right after finishing grad school Helsham threw herself into the world of interior design at that very same architecture firm – Wettling Architects.

Contemporary Living room designed by Brett Helsham Designs
photo via Brett Helsham Designs

Her background in fashion certainly helped early in her career, though perhaps not in the way you might expect. Helsham notes that her experience with fashion clients helped her stay organized when it came to opening her own firm. “Dealing with clients, fashion week shows, managing editors and socialites – that experience forces you to be organized and to be able to deal with chaos and handle the occasional crazy person. It totally translates over to interior design,” she laughs. “Truthfully, I think a lot of fashion trends run over to design. Putting a collection or an outfit together is very similar to designing a living room, for example. For me, I was more interested in the fabrics hanging on the wall” – the transition just seems natural.

Traditional Dining room decorated by Brett Helsham Designs
photo via Brett Helsham Designs

From designing people’s homes to curating her own collection

What are some Helsham trademark features that inspired her collaboration with AptDeco? Usually when working with clients, Helsham says she puts her own style aside in favor of whomever she’s designing for. “Every client is different. We have one client who wants everything to be Bali-themed, another whose style is more feminine, and another who wants everything to be tech oriented,” she describes. “That’s why every project is different and all comes down to their own lifestyle and how they want to enjoy their living space. When I’m designing for myself though, you’d see that my style is defined by minimal, streamlined furniture. I love light and airy pieces, and mixing feminine touches with leather and metals. And that’s my inspiration for this collection. I selected pieces that I’d love to see in my own apartment with the hope of providing useful recommendations. You’ll get to see a lot of classic pieces, a bit of home accessories, and some vintage pieces that people can customize or repurpose. My objective was curating a selection of potential pieces that could evoke that “it” factor.”

Dining room decorated by Brett Helsham Designs
photo via Brett Helsham Designs

Helsham’s own goals for the future include starting her own furniture line, moving into a studio space, and starting to work with small hotels and restaurants. She credits her success to taking advantage of opportunities that come with big risks and being surrounded by great mentors and coworkers, like Emily (her partner in crime at BHD)].

We love the collection that she put together on AptDeco and can’t wait to see what Brett Helsham Designs does next!

Brett and Emily - Brett Helsham Designs

Stay in touch with Brett and her projects by visiting her studio’s site.

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