Phyllis Higgerson is a stylist, blogger, and decorator with a knack for creating interiors that are both simple and compelling. She started her design firm, Henhurst Interiors 12 years ago after an acquaintance admired her home so much that she asked Phyllis to decorate her house. From there, Henhurst Interiors took off. Her airy interiors exemplify Swedish style designs and bring a simple and elegant charm to the home.
Phyllis sat down with us to talk about her style tricks and tips on exuding luxury while staying on budget.
How would you describe your style?
I prefer neutral interiors that contain interesting antiques and unique accessories and art. Since traveling to Norway several years ago I have gravitated to the style of northern European interiors.
We love your ability to make neutrals and minimalism look so elegant. What is your trick to pulling off that aesthetic?
I believe in keeping it simple: make physical comfort the priority, have a few beautiful things to admire, and don’t try to make a statement.
What is it about antique furniture and objects that you love?
I have always loved history and anything that conveys a sense of history. It makes me feel grounded.
The interiors you create are filled with gorgeous European antiques mixed in with contemporary pieces. How do you blend the two so flawlessly?
I use contemporary upholstery with clean lines and look for antiques with patina or unusual details to provide visual interest.
Who was the first interior designer to make an impression on you?
My paternal grandmother. She decorated her homes with flawless style. She never made a wrong move.
Style: Are you born with it or do you learn it?
I believe it can be learned. My own style has evolved considerably since my first apartment, my first house and so on.
What’s your favorite all-time antique or vintage find, for you a for a client? Where did you use it?
I have a small collection of framed antique bookplates tucked among the books on my shelves. I like to think of the individuals who loved their personal libraries so much they went to the trouble of having custom bookplates made.
Any secrets on how to exude luxury while staying on budget?
My mantra is ‘have fewer, better things.’ Take your time in decorating, it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Have a wish list rather than furniture you want to replace one day.
What’s a staple in your overall design toolkit?
I believe in making multiple floor plans to see how furniture can be arranged for the best flow. I don’t know anything about Feng Shui but there is probably something to it.