Playful, Layered and Personal: Meet Designer Stephanie Woodmansee

Interior designer Stephanie Woodmansee may have technically started her career working with Ashley Whittaker Design in NYC before going on to open her own firm, Henry & Co. (endearingly named after her family’s beloved dog), but her creative sparks began flying long before that. Stephanie recalls: “I grew up “flipping houses” with my mom and dad before it was a show :). We lived in multiple homes in upstate New York and Vermont… I think 10 houses and maybe two stints in inns when we were in-between homes.  My parents really did most of the work and I loved tagging along to the hardware store, garage sale, etc….  My mom worked for a moment in estate sales, had a pop-up antique shop, worked at a paint and paper store to learn the trade…  I had a lot of freedom with each new bedroom.  My favorite was the small rose petal collection from Laura Ashley.  Everything was covered in it and I begged for a balloon shade.”

Today, the work of this New Canaan based designer can be seen in the well-respected pages of publications such as House Beautiful and Architectural Digest among others.  These style books see what her clients do: a designer who expertly blends form and function in a totally unique fashion for each of her projects. Each home she designs feels genuinely authentic to the style and personality of the client. This skill can be seen in full force in a recent project completed by Stephanie featured in Architectural Digest. This home is an ideal showcase of her ability with unconventional (and yet somehow perfect) mixing and matching of styles, fearless (and super chic) use of color plus a majorly sophisticated dash of whimsy. Of the process, she explains: “Antique and vintage pieces are extremely important in my design process.  A space can be instantly transformed with an antique piece, bringing warmth, quirkiness, and a sense of history.  My client, Michelle loved old pieces as much as I did and it was such a fun way to work together to find the “one” for each space.”

To keep her creative cup full, this designer frequently turns to design, architecture and travel books for inspiration and trying out new concepts in her own home – always applying her own spin to an idea rather than borrowing anything directly. She describes her home this way: “It is always evolving, with my home being a bit of a testing lab.  We bought our forever home that needs some love but are just living as is with our three young children.  The Gracie dining room is not in our cards just yet… so for now, I took a scenic mural canvas from Anthropologie, purchased it 8 times and papered it on my dining room walls.  It makes me so happy!!”

Given her love of blended styles and unique combinations (“My goal for any room is to make it practical and inviting but also layered.  I don’t want a space to feel decorated…. But curated.”), she naturally gravitates towards antiques. “My curtains in my living room were my mom’s in almost all of her homes.  My mom offered them to me to use in some way in my home.  It was too good to be true when they fit perfectly in my own living room.  I added a fun fringe to the documentary Schumacher print and built a room around the unique colors.  It instantly felt like home when they went up.

I also have a chest of drawers I bought for my husband on our one year anniversary that I hope we will have forever. It was such a splurge at the time but such a special item I hope to pass down to one of my children.” Her advice for antique shopping? “If you see something you LOVE and are not sure how to incorporate it in your home, buy it anyways.  If you love something, it will work.  I purchased a sideboard for my home when I still lived in a 600 sq. Ft. Apartment and kept it in storage for 2 years. I knew it was the one.”


While antiques are an important element in creating a home that gives that curated feeling, she is also quite partial to textiles to add layers in a room. “I have always been a textile lover and definitely feel more is more in this department.   I love when a color or pattern is carried from one space to the next… and a story of the home is created.  I always tell clients to start with a pillow or lampshade if they are not as comfortable with pattern and color and work you way to your comfort level. You can always layer more with time.”

Click here to shop Stephanie’s TLV Favorites.

5 Questions with Designer Stephanie Woodmansee

TLV: Do you have a go to color combination? Or most beloved pattern?

SW: I always love a tree of life pattern and personally lean more towards floral prints over geometric


TLV: What are three words you would use to describe your style?

SW: Playful, layered, personal


TLV: A trend you currently love? One you are not so into?

SW: I love a good boot room at the moment or fancy pantry.  Yes, they are the workhorse spaces but are getting the attention they deserve.  I am not so into fast furniture… something to even fill the void.


TLV: Is there an era or a design style that you are particularly inspired by?

SW: I really am not partial to a specific one for projects but personally love anything French.


TLV: Dream project location?

SW: I have been dreaming about a project in Nantucket. 🙂


Photos by Reed McKendree /Courtesy of Stephanie Woodmansee | Text by Liana Hayles Newton







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